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13Sep/19

Neither Side Prepared to Make First Move on Spending Cap Deal

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR It’s looking more and more that any negotiations between GOP congressional leaders and the White House over lifting the Budget Control Act spending caps will not start until the new fiscal year approaches.On Wednesday, Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan said the White House has no plans to reach out to Republican leaders as its opening offer was its fiscal 2016 budget request delivered in February.“We’ve actually put our cards on the table, if you will, to say ‘Here’s what we want. Here’s how we would pay for it,’ and the next step really needs to be Republicans coming to the table to say, ‘Here’s our proposal on that,’” Donovan said in an interview with CQ Roll Call.Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, have bristled at President Obama’s criticism of this year’s spending bills, noting the president’s veto threat against all measures that stick to the statutory caps essentially blocks Congress from following existing law. The GOP, similarly, believes the president should make an overture regarding any new agreement to provide defense and non-defense agencies limited relief from the caps.“Sequestration was the White House’s idea in the first place, and if they want this committee to have more ability to fund the programs they desire, I would think they’d want to come to the Hill and meet with House and Senate leaders,” House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said earlier this month.Clearly, neither side is listening to the other.“The idea that they would say even though they’ve laid out a budget that doesn’t end sequester that it’s up to us to take the next step, it doesn’t make sense,” Donovan said. “What we need is a plan for the other side that we could then actually negotiate around.”For his part, the OMB director predicted the GOP would be forced to the negotiating table when they run into trouble passing spending bills for domestic agencies as a result of their austere funding levels.“The process will break down. I can’t tell you exactly what week or month it breaks down but it will,” Donovan told CQ.last_img read more

03Sep/19

Sundarbans gang leader killed in gunfight claims RAB

first_imgThe coordinator of robber gang ‘Majnu Bahini’ was killed on Sunday during what law enforcers claimed as a gunfight between the members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and robbers near Arbania Channel of Kalabagi area in west Sundarbans.The diseased was identified as Rouf alias Roufuj, 42, of Koira village in Khulna.Captain Khandakar Rafikul Islam of the elite force said a man of forest security force was injured by some robbers earlier on Friday. Since then, a team of Rab was conducting raids in different areas of Sundarbans to arrest the criminals.As a part of the operation, Rab men went to Kalabagi area around 9:25am. Sensing presence of the law enforcers, robbers fired gunshots on them, he said.Rab members also retaliated triggering the gunfight that continued for nearly half an hour.During the gunfight, other members except Rouf of the robbers’ gang managed to flee the scene, he added.Rouf was found bullet injured after the gunfight and he was taken to Dacope Upazila Heath Complex where on-duty doctor declared him dead.Rab also recovered a pistol, two machetes and 14 rounds of bullets from the spot.last_img read more

03Sep/19

Judge being influenced to get Tarique convicted

first_imgLogo of BNPBNP fear that the government is trying to influence the judge of the Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 to implement its blueprint by convicting party senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman and other party leaders in August-21 grenade attack cases.”The way Tarique Rahman, our party’s some leaders and then some high officials were implicated in the August 21 cases, it’s tantamount to showing a shameless thumb to the judiciary, democracy and the country’s independence and sovereignty,” said BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed on Monday.”Considering the overall situation, a strong doubt is created in our mind that the government is trying to influence the judge of August-21 cases bringing the examples of former chief justice SK Sinha and judge Motahar Hossain to implement its blueprint,” he said.The BNP leader came up with the remarks at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office as the tribunal is set to deliver its verdict in the case just two days later.On September 18, judge Shahed Nuruddin of the Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 fixed October 10 to deliver its verdict in two cases filed over the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital in 2004.Moudud said SK Sinha was forced to leave the country and resign after giving the verdict in 16th amendment case while Judge Motahar Hossain had to flee the country to save his life for not signing in a verdict written by the government in a money-laundering case against Tarique Rahman.He alleged that the government is now putting in all-out efforts to deprive Tarique and other BNP leaders of justice through a verdict as ordered by the government with an evil motive.Torque’s lawyer and BNP vice chairman Khandker Mahbub Hossain said around 225 witnesses gave depositions in the August-21 cases. “No one of them said Tarique and BNP leaders had involvement with the incident.”He said it will be contrary to justice if Tarique and other BNP leader are convicted in the case. “There’s no way to convict Tarique Rahman, Abdus Salam Pintu and Lutfuzzaman Babar by examining the witnesses and documents. Even, Sheikh Hasina in her deposition given under the section 161 did not bring any allegation against BNP and Tarique Rahman.”BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Jamiruddin Sircar, Rafiqul Islam Miah, Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury were also present.last_img read more

01Sep/19

Facebook Stock in Freefall Following Q2 Revenue User Growth Miss Lower Forecast

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 On paper, Wednesday’s revenue miss wasn’t actually all that dramatic: Facebook generated revenue of $13.23 billion during the quarter ending June 30, compared to $9.32 billion during the same quarter last year. The company’s net income for the quarter was $5.1 billion, compared to $3.89 billion in Q2 of 2017. Diluted earnings per share came in at $1.74, compared to $1.32 the year before.Analysts had expected $13.34 billion in revenue, and earnings of $1.71 per share.But the market wasn’t just reacting to Facebook generating less revenue than expected. The company’s growth numbers also slowed down notably: Daily active users only increased 11% year-over-year, to the tune of 1.47 billion on average during the month of June. A year ago, that growth rate was still at 17%.What’s more, daily active users have effectively been flat in the U.S. sequentially, and even declined in Europe when compared to Q1 — the first time the company has seen such a decline in recent quarters.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had warned in the past that the company may see some impact on its revenue as it aims to curtail abuse on the platform. “We started to see that this quarter,” Zuckerberg said during Wednesday’s earnings call, while promising to keep investing in fighting fake news, especially around elections.“We run this company for the long-term, not for the next quarter,” he added.Wehner blamed Europe’s new privacy laws for the decline in daily active users in the region, but Facebook CFO Sheryl Sandberg said that this hasn’t affected the company’s bottom line thus far. “GDPR has not had a significant revenue impact,” she said.Other factors that impacted the company’s revenue were global currency fluctuations, Wehner said.Wehner also mentioned another aspect of the decline that likely contributed to investors’ anxiety: Stories, a format that Facebook has been aggressively embracing across all of its apps, just isn’t monetizing yet as well as Facebook’s traditional newsfeed-based advertising business.Asked by an analyst if Stories would ever become as profitable as the company’s other ad formats, Sandberg remained cautious: “Will this monetize at the same rate as newsfeed? We honestly don’t know.” Popular on Variety center_img Facebook executives have long warned investors that the days of double-digit growth wouldn’t last forever. Investors have just as long shrugged off those warnings, driving the company’s stock up to record highs. On Wednesday, those same investors suddenly woke up to the realization that the good times truly won’t last forever.A miss on user and revenue growth sent Facebook’s stock down around 9% in after-hours-trading immediately following the company’s release of its Q2 2018 earnings report. Then, during the company’s earnings call, Facebook CFO David Wehner told investors that the company’s revenue growth would decline significantly over the coming quarters, and that Facebook’s operating margin would sink from currently 44% to the mid-30% range.Those stark warnings sent Facebook’s stock off a cliff, with share prices declining 24% in after-hours trading.last_img read more

31Aug/19

Scientists Create LightBending Nanoparticles

first_img Smart drug delivery system — Gold nanocage covered with polymer (w/ Video) Citation: Scientists Create Light-Bending Nanoparticles (2009, March 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-03-scientists-light-bending-nanoparticles.html (PhysOrg.com) — Metallic nanoparticles and other structures can manipulate light in ways that are not possible with conventional optical materials. In a recent example of this, Rice University researchers discovered that cup-shaped gold nanostructures can bend light in a controllable way. The cups act like three-dimensional nano-antennas. Directional scattering of an incoming electromagnetic wave by oriented nanocups. Image courtesy Nikolay Mirin, Rice University. The research is described in the February 19, 2008, online edition of Nano Letters.When light interacts with nanoparticles and other tiny structures, many interesting and even dramatic physical effects can occur. For example, man-made “metamaterials” have very fine structures with features smaller than the wavelength of light, some just tens of atoms across, imparting them with unique and often intriguing optical behaviors. Metamaterials are of interest to scientists because they may be able to interact with light in ways that naturally occurring materials cannot.The gold nanocups created in this research interact with light in two main ways: axially, the up-down direction, or transverse, the left-right direction. The transverse mode is by far the stronger of the two.”When we illuminated the nanocups, the transverse interaction exhibited a strong scattering resonance,” said Rice University researcher Naomi Halas, the study’s corresponding scientist, to PhysOrg.com. She conducted the study with colleague Nikolay Mirin. “We learned that the direction of the transverse resonant light scattering depends on the orientation of the cups, a property that has not been observed in studies of similar structures.”Specifically, the cups behave like a “split-ring resonator,” a type of metamaterial with a negative refractive index—the ability to refract (not reflect) light partially or fully backward. Split-ring resonators look like two concentric, non-touching rings that have each been split in half. When placed in a microwave or infrared field, an alternating current of that same frequency is induced in each ring. Each current in turn induces its own magnetic field at that same microwave or infrared frequency, which can either oppose or enhance the original field.Split-ring resonators can support resonant wavelengths that are much larger than their size. But since split-ring resonators are flat, their light-scattering abilities are restricted to a plane.Halas and Mirin’s nanocups are much like three dimensional versions of split-ring resonators. When light with the proper frequency is applied, a resonant electron current is induced in the cups. This current produces an electric field that is parallel to the cup opening (not parallel to the cup axis). The scattered light is emitted perpendicular to that field; in other words, in whatever direction the cup’s axis is pointing.This unique light-redirecting property should prove to be very useful in the development of new optical materials and devices, from solar cells to light attenuators to chip-to-chip optical interconnects in futuristic circuitry.”In this line of research, many other types of nanoparticles and nanostructures can be designed to have this type of light-redirecting property,” said Halas.Halas and Mirin created the nanocups by depositing latex or polystyrene nanoparticles, each about 80 nanometers in diameter, onto a sheet of glass. They coated the particles and the glass with a 20-nanometer-thick layer of gold, applying the gold from different angles to make sure both the sides and tops of each particle were covered, yet leaving an uncoated circular or elliptical “shadow” next to each particle, exposing the surface below.Finally, they poured an elastic polymer was poured over the array and, when the polymer had cured, peeled it off to reveal a transparent film embedded with gold nanocups.More information: Nano Lett., Article ASAP • DOI: 10.1021/nl900208zCopyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

28Aug/19

Ice and snow lead to accidents and school closures across North Staffordshire

first_imgMotorists faced serious delays this warning following a series of accidents as ice hit the region. A Met Office yellow weather warning for ice was in force until 10am on Monday morning. Police warned people to take extra care – and only drive if necessary – and a number of schools were also closed. A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Motorists please be careful when using the roads today, road gritters have been out trying to make our roads as safe as possible, but please allow extra time and care on the roads in these icy conditions, avoid driving where possible. “There may be a number of delays and we will try to update you with any road closures, please stay safe whilst getting your cars warm & don’t leave unattended.” Last night police closed the A50 Eastbound on Sunday night following a series of accidents between Blythe Bridge and the Derbyshire border. The road was closed at Blythe Bridge – and has now reopened A diversion was in place through Tean. The M6 Southbound was also closed between Junction 15 and Junction 14 on the southbound carriageway due to an accident involving two vehicles. That accident, which happened at around 10.30pm, cleared shortly before midnight, according to traffic data company INRIX. There was also an accident on the A500. Read MoreWhat are your rights if you can’t make it into work due to the weather? Bad weather was also causing disruption on major roads in Lancashire and Greater Manchester – while Cheshire Police are asking motorists to take extra care in Chester due to ice on the roads. West Midlands Ambulance Service also urged people to take care on the roads. A spokesman said: “We could see some wintry conditions during rush hour Monday morning with the latest Met Office forecast predicting snow & ice. “Allow extra time for your commute & drive steady.” Local authorities across the area confirmed their gritters had been deployed in the early hours of the morning.Key EventsSchool closures in Stafford Borough07:38First school closure reported in Newcastle Borough07:35Stoke-on-Trent school closures07:12 07:1215:21Council announces gritters will be outStaffordshire’s gritting fleet will be on the roads tonight as temperatures are expected to fall below freezing.Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet support member for Highways and Transport, said: “With temperatures forecast to fall below freezing overnight and the possibility of snow on higher ground in the early hours of Tuesday, our gritters will be heading out across the county this evening.“Officers will monitor the situation overnight and react accordingly to keep Staffordshire on the move, but, as always, if there is snow and ice on Tuesday morning people should take care and allow extra time for their journeys even if roads have been gritted.”11:31Roads could close again later if conditons worsen – police sayA Cheshire Police spokesman said:The Cat and Fiddle A537 and A54 crossing The Pennines to Buxton are now both open. Please still drive with care. If conditions deteriorate later then a further closure is likely.” 11:07Snow and Ice warning still in force in parts of Staffordshire MoorlandsAlthough the ice warning for most of Staffordshire is no longer in force, a second warning for snow and ice (primarily focused on Northern England) also covers Leek and surrounding areas.This warning is in force until 12pm.11:04One lane shut due to four vehicle accident on M6 in CheshireOne lane closed and slow traffic due to accident, four vehicles involved on M6 Northbound between J17 A534 (Sandbach / Crewe) and J18 A54 (Middlewich / Holmes Chapel). In the roadworks area.Lane one (of three) is closed.11:01Four vehicle accident on M6 NorthboundA North West Motorway Police spokesman said:RTC J17-18 M6 NB 4 vehicles involved in lane 1 of the road works section.” 10:51Accident on country roadReports of accident on B5027 Uttoxeter Road near Whitehouse Lane.Outside Heath Farm, between Stone and Uttoxeter10:36Cheshire Police called to 20 accidents in last three and a half hoursA spokesman said: “Across the county this morning patrols have dealt with over 20 collisions since 7am. Most are only because of the weather conditions. Please drive with care.”10:33Latest on the A50 Very slow traffic due to earlier accident, two vehicles involved on A50 Westbound between A521 (Blythe Bridge Roundabout / Draycot) and B5029 Grindley Lane (Creda Roundabout / Meir Heath / Blythe Bridge), congestion to Creswell Road and on A50 to A522 (Uttoxeter / Upper Tean). All lanes have been re-opened. Travel time is around 45 minutes.A van had collided with the central reservation. Icy conditions not helping the road. 10:27City Council assures commuters they DID they send out grittersIce and snow caused delays across Stoke-on-Trent this morning. More here.Gritters have been deployed throughout the region10:24Bin collections might be delayed – City Council sayStoke-on-Trent City Council say bin collections in the city may be delayed today.A spokesman said:Due to the weather, there may be a delay in bin collections today. Our crews are out and about so we ask that you leave your bins out so that the teams can collection them when they do get to you.” 10:08County Council say gritters will be out throughout the morningHelen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Support member for Highways and Transport, said: “Gritters were out overnight and then stood to again this morning to continue gritting as necessary.“In the north of the county our fleet covered the main routes overnight and then went out again at 5am this morning. They will be reloading and then going out again for a third time this morning to cover some of the other routes.“We also have teams out gritting footpaths in Leek, Cheadle, Biddulph and Blyth Bridge.”10:04A54 and A537 Cat and Fiddle reopenedThe Cat and Fiddle and A54 have now reopened, Cheshire East Council have confirmed.10:03Weather warning no longer in forceA Yellow Weather Warning for ice, issued by the Met Office yesterday afternoon, expired at 10am this morning.10:00Delays continue on A50 after van involved in accident09:54Recycling centres opening lateA Staffordshire County Council spokesman said: Home Waste and Recycling Centres – some of these are late opening this morning due to the snowfall last night. The sites are all being made safe as quickly as possible by the site staff, and will be opening as soon as it is safe to do so.” 09:41Road closed due to accident in TunstallVery slow traffic and road closed due to accident on Hollywall Lane in both directions at Burnaby Road.This is not helped by the icy road conditions.09:30Council say they were gritting last nightA Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman said the council’s gritters were deployed last night.He said: “Hi everyone, we can assure you that our gritting teams having been out gritting yesterday, last night and again this morning. It is important to note that grit does not melt snow and needs traffic in order to have maximum effectiveness.”09:12Vehicle leaves carriageway after accident on M6 One lane closed and heavy traffic due to accident on M6 Northbound between J13 A449 (Stafford South) and J14 A34 / A5013 / A5013 Creswell Grove (Stafford North).Lane one (of three) is closed after a vehicle left the motorway. 09:03Nine miles of traffic after accident on A5009:03Latest from police08:55Accidents on M6 near Stafford clearedThe two earlier accidents on the M6 near Stafford have now cleared.08:50School closure in Uttoxeter Loxley Hall School, Loxley, Uttoxeter is shut 08:48Severe delays on A50 WestboundA Highways England spokesman said:There are severe delays on the A50 westbound in Staffordshire due to a traffic collision between the junctions for the A522 (Uttoxeter) and the A521 (Cheadle). One lane is closed, however this is causing delays of over 90 (ninety) minutes. Staffordshire Police are on scene.Road users are advised to allow additional travel time this morning if using this route, and to consider alternative routes where possible.” 08:47Slow traffic on A34 in StoneSlow traffic on A34 The Fillybrooks Southbound at A520 Stafford Road / B5026 Eccleshall Road (Walton Shell roundabout). 08:44Heavy traffic on A523 at Bosley Crossroads Heavy traffic on A523 at A54 (Bosley Crossroads).Due to the closure of A54 because of snow.08:39Slow traffic on A53 between Leek and Stoke-on-TrentSlow traffic on A53 Leek Road Westbound between B5051 Clay Lake / Hillswood Drive (Endon) and A5272 Hanley Road (Holden Bridge, Stoke-On-Trent).Icy conditions on this stretch between Leek and Stoke-on-Trent08:37Traffic jams across cityWe have received comments on slow traffic and roads at a virtual standstill from across the area today.08:37Met Office weather warning in force until 10amThe Yellow Weather Warning for ice states:Icy patches are expected to form on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths on Sunday night and Monday morning. This is likely to lead to some injuries from slips and falls.” 08:31Latest update on road closures in Cheshire EastA Cheshire East Highways spokesman said: “The following roads remain closed due to snow and icy conditions in Cheshire Easdy: B5470 Whaley Bridge A537 Cat & Fiddle A54 Wildboarclough We’ll update when roads are safe to reopen. Our gritters & snow ploughs are continuing to treat priority routes. Please take care.”08:27Traffic on A53Traffic is queuing at the junction of Baddeley Green Lane and Leek New Road.last_img read more

26Aug/19

Nestle Disney Fortnite pull out their YouTube ads from paedophilic videos as

first_imgYoutube faced backlash for another content regulation problem when videos of young children with exposed private parts began surfacing. These videos also displayed advertising from major brands alongside the content, leading to major companies like Nestle, Disney, Fortnite pull these YouTube ads from the identified videos. This issue was first discovered on Sunday, when Matt Watson, a video blogger, posted a 20-minute clip detailing how comments on YouTube were used to identify certain videos in which young girls were in activities that could be construed as sexually suggestive, such as posing in front of a mirror and doing gymnastics. Youtube received major criticism from companies and individuals alike for recommending videos of minors and allowing pedophiles to comment on these posts, with a specific time stamp of the video of when an exposed private part of the young child was visible. YouTube was also condemned for monetizing these videos allowing advertisements for major brands like Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Fortnite, Grammarly, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Metro: Exodus, Peloton and SingleMuslims.com, etc to be displayed on these videos. Companies pull out ads from Youtube Following this news, a large number of companies pulled their advertising spending from YouTube. Grammarly told Wired, “We’re absolutely horrified and have reached out to YouTube to rectify this immediately, we have a strict policy against advertising alongside harmful or offensive content. We would never knowingly associate ourselves with channels like this.” A spokesperson for Fortnite publisher Epic Games told Wired, that it had paused all pre-roll advertising on YouTube. “Through our advertising agency, we have reached out to YouTube to determine actions they’ll take to eliminate this type of content from their service,” Fortnite added. Disney and Nestle have also paused advertising on YouTube. Replying to these accusations, a Youtube spokesperson said in an email, “Any content –including comments — that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments.” People on Twitter have strongly condemned YouTube’s actions. Youtube also recently updated its algorithm, introducing a new strikes system to make its community guidelines more transparent and consistent. They are introducing more opportunities for everyone to understand Youtube’s policies, a consistent penalty for each strike, and better notifications. Last month, YouTube announced an update regarding YouTube recommendations aiming to reduce the recommendations of videos that promote misinformation and conspiracy theories. Read Next YouTube bans dangerous pranks and challenges Youtube promises to reduce recommendations of ‘conspiracy theory’. Ex-googler explains why this is a ‘historic victory’. Is YouTube’s AI Algorithm evil?last_img read more