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.
Meghan MarkleGetty ImagesPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are currently enjoying the early days of parenthood but it looks like Prince William was not the only person from the Royal household who had reservations about Prince Harry marrying an American actress.As per a recent report, Prince Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, also had second thoughts when Prince Harry revealed his desire to marry Suits actress Meghan Markle. As per a report from the UK’s Sunday Times, Prince Philip reportedly told his grandson that “one steps out with actresses, one doesn’t marry them.”The 98-year-old Prince Philip allegedly made the above remarks after Prince Harry’s relationship with Meghan Markle strengthened with time.The Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Edinburgh are known to share a very strong bond. Last week only, Harry and Meghan’s Instagram account wished him a very happy birthday. Not only this, but Prince Philip was also featured in one of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first pictures with their baby Archie, alongside the Queen and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.As earlier reported, the 34-year-old Prince Harry endured a challenge in past with his brother Prince William as the latter was reportedly “concerned about how quickly the relationship” between his younger brother and Meghan Markle grew. One of royal expert Katie Nicholl previously stated in her interview that Prince William wanted to make sure whether his young sibling was taking the right decision or not. Prince Philip Reuters”…I think what was intended as well-meaning, brotherly concern and a bit of advice went down quite badly with Harry, who felt that William wasn’t being as supportive as he might’ve been. So there has certainly been tensions between the brothers,” Katie stated in the past.In addition to this, Katie added that Prince William sees how happy Meghan Markle makes Prince Harry and he is even impressed by her work ethic and how easily she has adapted to the royal life.”Of course … the jury is still out. But actually, I think William has realized that Meghan is probably the best thing to happen to Harry,” Katie added.
The 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.
People gather to attend a vigil outside Finsbury Park Mosque, close to the scene of a van attack in Finsbury Park, north London on June 19, 2017. Ten people were injured when a van drove into a crowd of Muslim worshippers near a mosque in London. Photo: AFPLondoners bearing flowers and messages of solidarity gathered Monday at the spot where a man ploughed a van into Muslims leaving prayers at a mosque, the fourth terror strike in Britain in four months.Eleven people were injured in the attack, which took place early Monday near Finsbury Park mosque, north London, raising fears of retaliation against Muslims after recent assaults by Islamic extremists.One elderly man, who had collapsed just before the incident, was pronounced dead at the scene, but it is not yet known whether his death was directly linked to the van assault.Among the roughly 100 people at the vigil, some carried signs reading “United Against All Terror”.“One of the things that all these terrorists share is a perverse ideology that wants to fuel division and divide our communities. We’re not going to let them,” said Mayor Sadiq Khan, speaking after prayers at the Muslim Welfare House on Monday evening.Flowers were left at the scene where hours earlier the 47-year-old van driver was pinned down by locals and shielded from violence by an imam, before being detained by police.The driver was later arrested on suspicion of “the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder”, the police said.The suspect was identified by British media as Darren Osborne, a father of four who lived in the Welsh capital Cardiff.As police searched a property, five residents speaking to journalists from the Press Association news agency identified images of the arrested man as their neighbour, Osborne.Security Minister Ben Wallace told BBC radio that the suspect was “not known to us”.Stepped-up police presenceLondon police chief Cressida Dick said the incident was “quite clearly an attack on Muslims” and promised a stepped-up police presence near mosques as the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close.Witness Abdiqadir Warra told AFP the van “drove at people” and that some of the victims were carried for several metres along the road.“He was shouting: ‘I want to kill all Muslims’,” another witness, Khalid Amin, told BBC television.The Finsbury Park Mosque said the van “deliberately mowed down Muslim men and women leaving late evening prayers” at the mosque and the nearby Muslim Welfare House shortly after midnight.Eleven people were hurt, all Muslims, with nine requiring hospital treatment. Two were in a very serious condition, police said.One Algerian man was among those injured, the north African country said.Locals pinned down the driver and the imam of the Muslim Welfare House stepped in to stop him receiving a mob beating.France and Germany quickly condemned the attack and Egypt’s Al-Azhar institution, the leading authority in Sunni Islam, condemned it as “sinful”.“Al-Azhar affirms its total rejection of this terrorist, racist, sinful act, calling on Western countries to take all precautionary measures to limit the phenomenon of Islamophobia,” it said in a statement.US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka expressed solidarity with the worshippers in a tweet but her father has so far not commented.Community in shockPrime Minister Theresa May, who was heavily criticised for failing to meet survivors of a devastating fire in a London tower block last week, visited Finsbury Park Mosque where she met local faith leaders.May condemned the assault as “sickening”, saying Britain’s determination to fight “terrorism, extremism and hatred… must be the same, whoever is responsible”.The use of a vehicle to mow down pedestrians drew horrifying parallels with this month’s London Bridge attack.In that incident, three men slammed a van into pedestrians before embarking on a stabbing spree—an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.In March London was hit with another car and knife rampage, that one near parliament. It was also claimed by IS.This time the attacker deliberately targeted Muslims, according to the police.“Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia and this is the most violent manifestation to date,” said Harun Khan, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella body.After the London Bridge attack, the mayor’s office reported a 40-percent increase in racist incidents in the capital and a five-fold increase in anti-Muslim incidents.Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, described the attack as “cowardly”.“Our community is in shock,” he said, urging people attending prayers to remain vigilant.‘Extraordinary city’It was the third major incident in the capital this month, after the London Bridge attack and last week’s devastating fire in the Grenfell Tower block, in which 79 people are thought to have died.“This is an extraordinary city of extraordinary people,” May said outside Downing Street after chairing an emergency government meeting.“Diverse, welcoming, vibrant, compassionate, confident and determined never to give in to hate.”Last month, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a pop concert in Britain’s third city of Manchester, killing 22 people, many of them children.The Finsbury Park Mosque was once a notorious hub for radical Islamists but has changed markedly in recent years under new management.Its former imam, Abu Hamza, was jailed for life in New York on terrorism charges in 2015.Despite the change in leadership and the focus on bolstering inter-faith relations, the mosque reported it had received a string of threatening emails and letters in the wake of the Paris attacks.
file photo of Cambodia mapThirty-two pregnant Cambodians were detained on Friday for their suspected involvement in an illegal surrogacy operation, carrying babies for Chinese clients, a court official said on Friday.Five other people, including a Chinese person, were arrested and charged with human trafficking following raids at two apartments in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.The pregnant women were discovered during the raids last month and 32 were charged with cross border human trafficking on Thursday, said Y Rin, a spokesman for Phnom Penh Municipal Court. They were placed in pretrial detention.Cambodia had been a popular international destination for infertile couples looking to have babies through commercial surrogacy, a practice made illegal in 2016.Police have said that each of the 32 women was promised $10,000 for carrying baby for Chinese clients.Once a woman becomes pregnant she receives $500, police said. When the baby is delivered, she is paid $300 a month until the full $10,000 is paid off.
×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 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.
New evidence for a preferred direction in spacetime challenges the cosmological principle (PhysOrg.com) — The 2011 Nobel Prize in physics, awarded just a few weeks ago, went to research on the light from Type 1a supernovae, which shows that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. The well-known problem resulting from these observations is that this expansion seems to be occurring even faster than all known forms of energy could allow. While there is no shortage of proposed explanations – from dark energy to modified theories of gravity – it’s less common that someone questions the interpretation of the supernovae data itself. Citation: A second look at supernovae light: Universe’s expansion may be understood without dark energy (2011, October 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-supernovae-universe-expansion-understood-dark.html Mathematically, the principle of least action has two different forms. Physicists almost always use the form that involves the so-called Lagrangian integrand, but Annila explains that this form can only determine paths within stationary surroundings. Since the expanding universe is an evolving system, he suggests that the original but less popular form, which was produced by the French mathematician Maupertuis, can more accurately determine the path of light from the distant supernovae.Using Maupertuis’ form of the principle of least action, Annila has calculated that the brightness of light from Type 1a supernovae after traveling many millions of light-years to Earth agrees well with observations of the known amount of energy in the universe, and doesn’t require dark energy or any other additional driving force. Copyright 2011 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. 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. “It is natural for us humans to yearn for predictions since anticipations contribute to our survival,” he said. “However, natural processes, as Maupertuis correctly formulated them, are intrinsically non-computable. Therefore, there is no real reason, but it has been only our desire to make precise predictions which has led us to shun the Maupertuis’ form, even though the least-time imperative is an accurate account of path-dependent processes. The unifying principle serves to rationalize various fine-tuning problems such as the large-scale homogeneity and flatness of the universe.”Light’s least-time pathHow exactly does the light travel on its least-time path? While the light is traveling, the expanding universe is decreasing in density. When light crosses from a higher energy density region to a lower energy density region, Maupertuis’ principle of least action says that the light will adapt by decreasing its momentum. Therefore, due to the conservation of quanta, the photon’s wavelength will increase and its frequency will decrease. Thus, the radiant intensity of light will decrease on its way from the supernova explosion during the high-density distant past to its present-day low-density universal surroundings. Also when light passes by a local energy-dense area, such as a star, the speed of light will change and its direction of propagation will change. All these changes in light ultimately stem from changes in the surrounding energy density.If this is the way that light from supernovae travels, then it tells us something important about why the universe is expanding, Annila explains. When a star explodes and its mass is combusted into radiation, conservation requires that the number of quanta stays the same, whether in the form of matter or radiation. To maintain the overall balance between energy bound in matter and energy free in photons, the supernovae are, on average, moving away from each other with increasing average velocity approaching the speed of light. If dark energy or any other additional form of energy were involved, it would violate the conservation of energy.The analysis applies not just to supernovae, but to other “bound forms” of energy as well. When the bound forms of energy in stars, pulsars, black holes, and other objects transform into electromagnetic radiation – the lowest form of energy – through combustion, these irrevocable transformations from high energy densities to low energy densities are what cause the universe to expand. More information: Arto Annila. “Least-time paths of light.” Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 416, 2944-2948 (2011) DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19242.x Explore further If the universe’s expansion is due to mechanisms that “break matter to light,” then the universe’s expansion is expected to follow a sigmoid curve. Image credit: Qef, Wikimedia Commons In a new study, that’s what Arto Annila, Physics Professor at the University of Helsinki, is doing. The basis of his argument, which is published in a recent issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, lies in the ever-changing way that light travels through an ever-evolving universe.“The standard model of big bang cosmology (the Lambda-CMD model) is a mathematical model, but not a physical portrayal of the evolving universe,” Annila told PhysOrg.com. “Thus the Lambda-CMD model yields the luminosity distance at a given redshift as a function of the model parameters, such as the cosmological constant, but not as a function of the physical process where quanta released from a supernova explosion disperse into the expanding universe. “When the supernova exploded, its energy as photons began to disperse in the universe, which has, by the time we observe the flash, become larger and hence also more dilute,” he said. “Accordingly, the observed intensity of light has fallen inversely proportional to the squared luminosity distance and directly proportional to the redshifted frequency. Due to these two factors, brightness vs. redshift is not one straight line on a log-log plot, but a curve.”As a result, Annila argues that the supernovae data does not imply that the universe is undergoing an accelerating expansion. The principle of least timeAs Annila explains, when a ray of light travels from a distant star to an observer’s telescope, it travels along the path that takes the least amount of time. This well-known physics principle is called Fermat’s principle or the principle of least time. Importantly, the quickest path is not always the straight path. Deviations from a straight path occur when light propagates through media of varying energy densities, such as when light bends due to refraction as it travels through a glass prism. The principle of least time is a specific form of the more generally stated principle of least action. According to this principle, light, like all forms of energy in motion, always travels on the path that maximizes its dispersal of energy. We see this concept when the light from a light bulb (or star) emanates outward in all available directions. Light disperses from a supernova explosion (yellow) to a site of detection (blue). As the universe expands, the light energy becomes diluted as it travels from its past, dense surroundings to its present, sparse surroundings. The light’s wavelength increases as a result of the decrease in surrounding energy density. Image credit: Annila. ©2011 Royal Astronomical Society In the relationship between the distance and redshift of Type 1a supernovae, the data (points) agree with the equation in which light propagates through the expanding universe on the least-time path (solid line). Image credit: Annila. ©2011 Royal Astronomical Society “On-going expansion of the universe is not a remnant of some furious bang at a distant past, but the universe is expanding because energy that is bound in matter is being combusted to freely propagating photons, most notably in stars and other powerful celestial mechanisms of energy transformation,” Annila said. “Thus, today’s rate of expansion depends on the energy density that is still confined in matter as well as on the efficacy of those present-day mechanisms that break matter to light. Likewise, the past rate of expansion depended on those mechanisms that existed then, just as the future rate will depend also on those mechanisms may emerge in the future. Since all natural processes tend to follow sigmoid curves when consuming free energy in the least time, also the universe is expected to expand in a sigmoid manner.”Not a one-trick ponyWhile the concept of light’s least-time path seems to be capable of explaining the supernovae data in agreement with the rest of our observations of the universe, Annila notes that it would be even more appealing if this one theoretical concept could solve a few problems at the same time. And it may – Annila shows that, when gravitational lensing is analyzed with this concept, it does not require dark matter to explain the results.Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicts that massive objects, such as galaxies, cause light to bend due to the way their gravity distorts spacetime, and scientists have observed that this is exactly what happens. The problem is that the deflection seems to be larger than what all of the known (luminous) matter can account for, prompting researchers to investigate the possibility of dark (nonluminous) matter.However, when Annila used Maupertuis’ principle of least action to analyze how much a galaxy of a certain mass should deflect passing light, he calculated the total deflection to be about five times larger than the value given by general relativity. In other words, the observed deflections require less mass than previously thought, and it can be entirely accounted for by the known matter in galaxies.“General relativity in terms of Einstein’s field equations is a mathematical model of the universe, whereas we need the physical account of the evolving universe provided by Maupertuis’ principle of least action,” he said. “Progress by patching may appear appealing, but it will easily become inconsistent by resorting to ad hoc accretions. Bertrand Russell is completely to the point about the contemporary tenet when saying that ‘all exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation,’ but fundamentally, any sophisticated modeling is secondary to comprehending the simple principle of how nature works.”Annila added that these concepts can be tested to see whether they are the correct way to analyze supernovae and interpret the universe’s expansion.“The principle of least-time free energy consumption claims by its nature to be the universal and inviolable law,” he said. “Therefore, not only the supernovae explosions but basically any data will serve to test its validity. Consistency and universality of the principle can be tested, for example, by perihelion precession and galactic rotation data. Also the final results of Gravity Probe B for the geodetic effect appear to me certainly good enough to test the natural principle, whereas recordings of the tiny frame-dragging effect are compromised by large uncertainties as well as by unforeseeable but illuminating experimental tribulations.”