Congress initiates rejig, appoints new chiefs for Punjab, Uttarakhand

first_imgAs part of its restructuring, the Congress on Thursday initiated changes in some state units appointing new presidents for Uttarakhand and Punjab, and a general secretary incharge for Rajasthan.While former minister Sunil Jakhar was appointed the new PCC chief for Punjab, replacing Amarinder Singh, who became the chief minister, Pritam Singh was made the new Uttarakhand Congress president replacing Kishore Upadhyay.AICC Secretary Avinash Pande, a former Rajya Sabha member and a former legislator from Maharashtra, was appointed the new general secretary incharge for Rajasthan, which goes to polls next year.He will be assisted in the state by a new team of four AICC secretaries that include Vivek Bansal, Qazi Mohammed Nizamuddin, Devendra Yadav and Tarun Kumar.With this rejig, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi have initiated restructuring in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Goa.They have appointed 17 new office-bearers, 10 of whom are less than 50 years of age, and seven are from other backward classes, Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, adding they also represent SCs and other classes.Congress’s organisational election process is underway and the party will be restructured by October.last_img read more

India hammer Bangladesh 57-20 in Kabaddi World Cup

first_imgHosts India outclassed Bangladesh 57-20 in a league clash of the Kabaddi World Cup here on Tuesday.In a must-win crucial encounter in Group A, India lived up to their reputation to beat Bangladesh.Ajay Thakur scored 10 points for India after coming on as a substitute whereas Pardeep Narwal led India’s charge in the first half and ended with eight points.India have got their World Cup campaign firmly back on track after suffering a setback in the opening encounter against South Korea.This was a stern test for India but they showed their class and brushed away a good Bangladesh side with relative ease. India’s defence put on a tremendous show as they kept the Bangladesh raiders in their pocket for most of the match.Narwal got the first points for India with a raid in the third minute and Sandeep Narwal followed it with a tackle to give India 2-1 lead.India led 4-2 in the sixth minute with captain Anup Kumar scoring a bonus and tackle point.Bangladesh’s Firdaus Sheikh was in good form early in the match as he made four tackle points with score level at 4-4 after six minutes, but India came strongly to score four points in a row to lead 8-4 after nine minutes with defence doing a fine job.Pardeep Narwal scored his fourth raid point in the 10th minute as India inflicted an all out to lead 13-4, while Bangladesh got their first raid point in the 12th minute as they trailed 5-14.advertisementNARWAL STARS FOR THE HOSTSIn superb form in the first half, Pradeep Narwal scored his seventh raid point to give India 17-6 lead.Ajay came on as a substitute to score five points as India led 21-8 after 17 minutes.India inflicted the second all out in the 18th minute to take a commanding 24-9 lead. They led 27-10 at the end of the first half as the attack and defence worked well in tandem to put on a solid performance.Both teams exchanged a raid point each at the start of the second half as India led 28-11.India led 34-13 in the 24th minute as Ajay continued to score raid points at will.India used the opportunity to test their bench strength in the second half and got Surender Nada and Nitin Tomar.A third all out was inflicted by India in the 29th minute to take an unassailable 39-15 lead.With less than five minutes remaining, India led 48-18 as Nada sent Bangaldesh raiders to the bench with ease and scored four tackle points.India inflicted the fourth all out in 37th minute to lead 52-18. Nada attained a high five in the dying seconds as India recorded a comfortable 57-20 win.India will play Argentina in their next match on Saturday whereas Bangladesh will need to beat South Korea on Thursday to keep their semi-final hopes alive.In another match on Tuesday, Iran beat Kenya 33-28.last_img read more


first_imgIf you travel from Sioux City to Le Mars to work you’ve found that Highway 75 between Le Mars and Merrill is now down to two lanes of travel.The Iowa Department of Transportation is repairing a stretch of nearly four miles of roadway from Merrill to C-38.D-O-T spokesman Dakin Schultz lays out the timetable for the construction project:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……… year. :19Schultz says eventually there will also be a road closure involved in the project:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……………at U.S. 75. :16Schultz says when the junction of Highway 75 and county road C-38 is closed, the detour will follow Key Avenue near the Wells Corporate offices to 200th Street.last_img read more

10 months agoREVEALED: The fortune Mourinho has earned from sacking payouts

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say REVEALED: The fortune Mourinho has earned from sacking payoutsby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has earned a world fortune from being sacked as a manager.The Portuguese’s time at Old Trafford came to a halt on Tuesday morning after two and a half seasons. He will pocket £24million as a payout.It is the fourth time Mourinho has been sacked in his career – twice by Chelsea, once by Real Madrid and now by the Red Devils.From his original time in charge at Chelsea, Mourinho trousered £18million upon being dismissed in 2007.His next job was at Inter and, after winning the Champions League, he left for Real Madrid.Mourinho spent three seasons at the Bernabeu but left by “mutual agreement” following defeat to Atletico Madrid in the 2013 Copa del Rey final.That took him back to Chelsea, where he won the Premier League in his second season back in west London. Mourinho received a £9.5million payoff when sacked in season three.The Mirror reports Mourinho has netted a total of £51.5million in payoffs from being sacked over the course of his illustrious career in the dugout. last_img read more

Constable Davian Martin Cops 2018/19 Lasco/JCF Police Officer of the Year Award

first_imgStory Highlights Twenty-six-year-old Constable Davian Martin has created history by becoming the youngest LASCO/Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Police Officer of the Year, after copping the title for 2018/19.Constable Martin received his award during the 18th annual presentation ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, on Tuesday (May 8).Topping the competition came as no surprise to the young lawman, as he said he knew he would have won after it was announced that he got the most social media votes of this year’s nine finalists, from members of the public.“I knew I could do it, not only because I got the highest number of votes from the public, but also due to the fact that I have created a number of initiatives in the parish of Manchester aimed at transforming the lives of the youth who live there,” he told JIS News.According to the report of the competition’s judges, Constable Martin, who has served the JCF’s Area 3 Headquarters in Mandeville, Manchester, for the last seven years, has been a strong community and youth advocate, and leader of the Mandeville Police Youth Club, which recorded a boost in membership from 30 to over 80 persons under his stewardship.Additionally, he organised a 5K Run/Walk, the proceeds of which were donated to Mandeville and Percy Junior Hospitals, and initiated an annual ‘Feed the Street People Programme’. These were among the notable factors propelling him to the coveted award.Constable Martin said he enjoys being a police officer, noting that it was his childhood aspiration to join the JCF and follow in the footsteps of his father, David Martin.“After seeing the love hat my dad got from the community as a police officer, and the difference that he made in the community… I wanted to be like him and I wanted to make a difference like him,” Constable Martin said.He added that the leadership skills his father demonstrated lead him to become the responsible, caring and determined police officer he is today.Constable Martin was awarded with a cash prize of $350,000 from LASCO, along with the winner’s trophy.Guest speaker, National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, congratulated Constable Martin, and thanked LASCO for supporting the programme for the last 18 years.“They recognise three of our critical areas in public service – the police force, the teachers and the nurses, who account for a very large part of the public service and carry out very important services in the public sector and (are) oftentimes not recognised,” Dr. Chang said.In his address, Founder and Executive Chairman, LASCO Affiliated Companies, Lascelles Chin, said his organisation takes pleasure in giving back to the police officers who risk their lives daily to serve Jamaicans.“For 18 years, LASCO has been committed to making the men and women of the force know that LASCO values their service and protection. Our public-service professionals – teachers, principals, nurses and police officers – are the backbone of our democracy and way of life. They are at the core of all we do and they keep the wheels of a society in balance,” he said.Sharing the honours with Constable Martin this year, were first runner-up, Sergeant Florezel Thompson of the Motorised Patrol Division, and second runner-up, Constable Noel Chang, of the Mobile Reserve. They were awarded cash prizes of $250,000 and $100,000 respectively.The Police Officer of the Year Awards Programme was initiated in 2000 through a partnership between LASCO and the JCF to publicly acknowledge the professionalism and dedication of the members of the force. Twenty-six-year-old Constable Davian Martin has created history by becoming the youngest LASCO/Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Police Officer of the Year, after copping the title for 2018/19. Topping the competition came as no surprise to the young lawman, as he said he knew he would have won after it was announced that he got the most social media votes of this year’s nine finalists, from members of the public. “I knew I could do it, not only because I got the highest number of votes from the public, but also due to the fact that I have created a number of initiatives in the parish of Manchester aimed at transforming the lives of the youth who live there,” he told JIS News.last_img read more

Flair Airlines moving headquarters from Kelowna BC to Edmonton

first_imgEDMONTON – Flair Airlines Ltd. has found a new place to roost.The low-cost carrier says it is moving its headquarters from Kelowna, British Columbia, to Edmonton.Flair CEO David Tait say the change makes sense because most of the company’s flights already go through Edmonton International Airport.Tait says the move would bring 75 jobs to Edmonton.He says that number is expected to increase to 300 in the coming years.The announcement Tuesday came a day before Calgary-based WestJet’s low-cost carrier Swoop was set to make its maiden flight from Hamilton, Ont., to Abbotsford, B.C.“As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, the community (Edmonton) and the airport are uniquely positioned to support our ongoing growth,” Tait said in a release Tuesday.Flair has been operating since 2005, acting as a charter airline mainly used by energy companies.In 2016, the company began operating flights for NewLeaf. It bought out NewLeaf last year. (CTV Edmonton, Canadian Press)last_img read more

Mississauga native Bianca Andreescu wins her first WTA title

Canadian Bianca Andreescu has won her first WTA title.The unseeded 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., upset eighth-seeded German Angelique Kerber 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the women’s final at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.Andreescu has become a major story on the women’s circuit this year. With the victory Sunday, Andreescu has won 28-of-31 matches this season and becomes the first wild-card entry to capture this event.Andreescu needed roughly 40 minutes to take the opening set. Neither player served well – Andreescu was 60 per cent on first serve while Kerber was at 67 per cent – but the Canadian held serve throughout and won all of the points on her second serve, compared to just 55 per cent for Kerber.The German also had 14 unforced errors in the opening set.The two remained on serve to start the second set, although Andreescu seriously threatened to get another break in the third game. But the German repeatedly held the surging Canadian off before going ahead 2-1.And Kerber forced the Canadian to continue to work hard in the fourth game, registering a break on some Andreescu unforced errors for the 3-1 advantage. Then the German again held serve to win a third straight game for commanding 4-1 lead.And after Kerber held serve to go ahead 5-2, Andreescu showed her frustration by repeatedly banging her racket on the surface as she left the court. The two then held serve, with Kerber serving out the set 6-3.Kerber played a much more aggressive game in the set as Andreescu had 19 unforced errors. And the German was 1-for-1 in break chances while the Canadian was 0-for-2.The two again held serve to start the third set but Andreescu required medical treatment on her right arm/shoulder after going ahead 2-1. However the German took control of the set with a break to go ahead 3-2 when Andreescu put a shot into the net.At the break, Andreescu told her coach, Sylvain Bruneau, “My feet were burning” and that she was having trouble moving. Bruneau calmly encouraged his pupil to continue battling and competing.Andreescu took the advice to heart. She broke Kerber to tie the match 3-3, held serve to surge ahead 4-3. then broke the German again for a commanding 5-3 advantage with the chance to serve for the title.Andreescu had three championship points but couldn’t pull the trigger. Kerber secured the break when Andreescu’s attempted drop shot went into the net to pull to within 5-4 as the Canadian received some treatment on her right leg at the break.Again, Andreescu looked fine once play resumed, capping her impressive tournament run by converting the fourth championship point for the break and career first. And upon capturing the victory, she kissed the playing surface then acknowledged the crowd. read more

Max Mosley using data protection law to gag the media

first_img“If data protection can be used to wipe out historical records, then the consequences would be dramatic.”John Whittingdale, the former Conservative Culture Secretary, said: “Data protection is an important principle for the protection of citizens. However it must not be used to restrict the freedom of the press.”The Information Commissioner’s Office declined to comment while the case is ongoing – albeit at an early stage – but pointed out the importance of the journalist exemption under the current data protection act. The act does not provide newspapers with a blanket exemption and journalists must show the “data must be processed only for journalism”.Mosley has provided £3.8 million of funding to the running costs of Impress, through two charities. Mosley is demanding that claims he ‘financed’, ‘funded’, or ‘bankrolled’ Impress be removed from articles that continue to be published online.Data protection laws are intended to determine how companies and other bodies handle private data held on individuals. The law has never been used before in an attempt to restrict press freedom.Mosley, who was president of the FIA, the world body that runs motor sports including Formula 1, is in effect trying to erase mention of the 2008 privacy case. The News of the World, which has since folded after the phone hacking scandal, had secretly filmed Mosley taking part in an orgy with prostitutes at his flat. Mr Justice Eady ruled the orgy was private, saying it was not ‘Nazi’ themed as the tabloid newspaper had claimed so there was no public interest in publication.If Mosley wins his case, then potentially law reporting of the 2008 trial would have to be erased.Mr Stephens insisted that the principle of open justice should take precedence over any claim Mosley might have for breach of data protection laws.Mr Stephens added: “You cannot effectively suppress reporting of court cases. In relation to Impress, the question is: ‘is he funding Impress?” and [the answer is] yes he is.” John Whittingdale, the former Conservative Culture Secretary, said data protection must not be used to restrict the freedom of the pressCredit:Eddie Mulholland Bill Cash, the Conservative MP, said: “The freedom of the press is paramount and it would be perverse to allow historical records to be removed on the basis of data protection. John Whittingdale, the former Conservative Culture Secretary, said data protection must not be used to restrict the freedom of the press Max Mosley, the former head of Formula 1, has been accused of trying to gag the media, using data protection laws to “erase” his notorious sexual history.Mosley’s lawyers have written to at least three newspapers, demanding that newspapers “block or erase” data that he believes is inaccurate. If Mosley wins his case, then newspapers would be forced to remove from the internet historic articles including reports on and ​orgy with prostitutes in 2008. Mosley successfully sued the News of the World, winning £60,000 damages for breach of his privacy.Mosley, a privacy campaigner and son of the fascist Oswald Mosley, is also attempting to stop newspapers reporting that he is bankrolling Impress, the only state-recognised press regulator. No national newspaper has joined Impress and many, including the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, are regulated by the industry-funded rival Independent Press Standards Organisation.Experts said Mosley’s legal threat – if successful – would set a damaging precedent. Journalists are supposed to be exempt from data protection laws under the 1998 act but Mosley’s lawyers argue that the exemption does not apply in many of the articles about him.Mark Stephens, head of media law at Howard Kennedy solicitors and a trustee of Index on Censorship, said: “This would set a very dangerous precedent if he won. It would be very worrying because it would drive a coach and horses through legitimate areas of inquiry and coverage by a responsible media.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Mount Etna flash eruption lights up Sicilian sky

first_imgAssociatedPress via YoutubeThe small eruption did not disrupt air traffic from the airport at nearby Catania. This was not the case three weeks ago, when Etna shot flames high into the Sicilian night sky, as captured by Klaus Dorschfeldt from Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.KdEtna via YoutubeThe Institute said that the eruption over Tuesday night/ Wednesday morning was characterised by “high lava mountains” as well as lava flow and a column of ash that then fell around the area northeast of the volcano. THE TALLEST ACTIVE volcano in Europe, Mount Etna, has erupted several times so far this year with even Commander Chris Hadfield tweeting a pic of one volcanic event from the ISS.Associated Press managed to capture some raw footage of the latest eruption in Sicily on Tuesday evening, as the volcano spewed lava and ash:last_img read more

Why YouTube views freeze at 301

first_imgThere is a curious little quirk on YouTube that many users have noticed over the years. The view count of some videos makes a not very brief stop off at 301 views. Even video from top accounts that go on to rack up hundreds of thousands of views often stays stuck at 301 views for hours or more. A YouTube video (with many more than 301 views) attempts to demystify this oddity with a little help from Google itself.What it all comes down to, at the most basic level, is that Google considers YouTube views as a kind of currency to be protected from exploitation. Google is interested is ensuring that all the views you see listed are legitimate views, but what does that mean? If a bot starts racking up views, that’s a serious problem, for example. Then there’s the issue of people clicking on a video that turns out to be the complete wrong thing. Google doesn’t want any of that reflected in the view counts users see.But what about that 301 number? Part of the issue is that YouTube caches each video in multiple locations to reduce loading times. Google needs time to gather all the view counts from those servers and tally them up intelligently. At some point, a video goes from being a small potato to become something of note. Before letting a video blow up, Google wants to be sure. As such, a dividing line was set up at 301.The code for YouTube simply uses raw numbers for any view count less than or equal to 300, but any more and the counting stops (at 301) until YouTube has checked everything out. At that point, it goes to the more complicated (and legit) view count. Due to the huge volume of videos on YouTube, this can take up to a day, but we all end up with less YouTube spam because of it.last_img read more

Transit rift deepens

first_imgWith Athenians facing the eighth straight day of commuting upheaval Thursday, government officials on Wednesday warned public transport staff to call off rolling walkouts or face legal action and possibly the loss of their jobs.The Athens metro is to remain out of service for the eighth day in a row on Thursday while the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) and the tram will stop running between noon and 4 p.m., and buses will halt their services between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Those without private transport will have to rely on trolley buses or taxis, which will be running as normal.“The suffering of citizens and the disruption of the capital’s economic life cannot continue,” government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said and called on protesting workers to comply with a court ruling earlier this week that deemed their action illegal.Kedikoglou said the workers – who object to a reduction in their salaries that has resulted from their induction into a new civil service wage structure – risked losing their jobs if they continued with their action. He did not determine whether the option of issuing civil mobilization to force employees back to work was still on the table, though senior Transport Ministry officials indicated that it was.The prospect of such a measure, used against seamen, truckers and street cleaners in 2010 and 2011, appears to have divided the fragile coalition with both junior partners, PASOK and Democratic Left, expressing opposition.Meanwhile a rift emerged between the two junior partners after PASOK officials reportedly pressed Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis to accept an amendment proposed by the socialist party earlier this month seeking the exclusion of certain categories of public transport workers such as drivers and engineers from the provisions of the new wage scale. Democratic Left cadres are said to have responded angrily to the proposal, accusing the party of clientelism.Unionists have already called further protest action for next week with walkouts scheduled for Tuesday and labor unions gearing for a 24-hour general strike on Thursday, January 31. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Syriza makes calltoarms down under

first_imgIn Greece’s June 2012 general election Syriza very nearly won. With 71 seats and only two percentage points behind New Democracy, the Coalition of the Radical Left United Social Front almost became the largest party in the Greek parliament. How different might the situation be today if they had? Would austerity still be the order of the day? Would Greece be out of the euro? Would the ideology of this radical coalition have begun to deliver the country from its economic woes, or would it have deepened them? In the nail-biting finish of that June election, more than a few people sighed a breath of relief when the final results came in. Applauded for its stand against austerity, Syriza was a risk – with its diverse membership of more than a dozen political groupings, all of whom have their roots in the far Left. Led by the youthful Alex Tsipras, also leader of Synaspismos – the largest party in Syriza – the Leftist coalition remains the main opposition party, promoting a radical alternative vision for leading Greece out of crisis. As Kostas Isychos, one of Tsipras’ closest advisors, hurtled along the highway from Athens to Thessaloniki to attend a meeting on the Cyprus crisis (not in the driving seat I hasten to add), he spoke with Neos Kosmos about his upcoming trip to Australia. We began with the content of his Australian presentations, in which he says he will explain how Greece has suffered from being the hapless victim of a life-threatening experiment. “The European crisis is part of a world crisis of capitalism,” says Isychos, a co-founder of both Synaspismos and Syriza. “Some of its harshest consequences on peoples and countries is in Europe, which in recent years has become the epicentre of an ultra neo-liberal experiment in Greece. “Greece was chosen to lead the way as a country where the experimentation has to do with the diminishment of the state as an integral part of the nation.” And who’s to blame? The EU, the Troika? “It’s also the political establishment of Greece, the mainstream two parties. They’re partners in this neo-liberal experiment,” says Isychos. “They share the same values – where capital is put above ordinary people’s interests.” Isychos dismisses the idea that Syriza is the other side of the same ‘extreme politics’ coin, thrown up by the haemorrhaging of support for Pasok and New Democracy. “Syriza is not an extreme Left party,” he says. “It’s a front which unites many traditions of the Left, not only the communists and the revolutionary Left as we knew them in the last century, but the new Left.” Central to Syriza’s philosophy is a fight for social justice which they believe can be achieved through an expansion of the state; not a fashionable position given a generation of down sizing state control in people’s lives across Europe. Syriza has vowed to increase taxes on the rich by up to 75 per cent and renationalise state assets currently being privatised, such as the rail network and national power supplier. It is of course completely opposed to the austerity measures introduced to meet the Troika’s bailout deal. The Argentine-born Isychos – who is not an MP but heads Syriza’s foreign policy and defence department – is adamant that the medicine of austerity is killing the patient. “We’ve been going through austerity for six years. This is the sixth year of recession. More than 23 per cent of our GDP has been lost in that time,” he says. “That doesn’t happen when a country is at war.” The war reference he takes a stage further, saying that the Greek crisis is the result of an economic conflict that has been raging in Europe, and that Greece and Cyprus have been the first casualties. “We’re in an economic war, not only between the north and south of Europe, and between east and west, but we have become the most advanced experiment for what they want Europe to become – a Europe with people not working, without social rights – a desert of democratic rights.” Syriza is trying to put an end to these policies he says, “not only by rhetoric but by presenting an alternative plan of government. Democracy has to be revived and that means the participation of the people”. On the thorny question of how Greece could stay in the eurozone under a Syriza-led government that dispensed with austerity, Isychos admits that it is one of the dilemmas the party’s adversaries try to take full advantage of. “The euro is not only a currency, but it has become an instrument of controlling weaker economies in Europe,” he says, before articulating perhaps Syriza’s most ambitious vision. “We’re talking about a new economic architecture – within a new Europe of democracy and equality, and diminishing the great economic distances between north and south. “We need a currency for the people of Europe which will not be a tool of control by the dominant German economic and political establishment.” Isychos’ argument is that an integrated Europe – through the creation of the single market and its EU member states – no longer exists, and perhaps never did. “This is not integration,” he says, “Europe is disintegrating today. What we have to do is redirect the process of unification of the peoples of Europe – the question of the currency is just one part of this process.” Isychos says that as a third generation member of the Greek diaspora he understands the ‘sentimental attachment’ Greeks abroad have to their homeland, but for this articulate spokesperson of the Greek new Left, sentimentality and empathy don’t cut it. Given Greece’s dire circumstances, he says it’s time for the diaspora to cut its ties with the old parties and back a new horse. “A sentimental attachment isn’t enough. Today we need an act of solidarity by all the Greek diaspora if we are to have a Left wing government in Greece in the near future. “We need a chain of solidarity around the world to keep this little light, this candle, still going on.” Isychos’ appeal to a new generation – in Greece and beyond – is that Syriza stands untainted by the hubris and mistakes of Greece’s traditional political establishment. “We see ourselves as something new that is trying to revive the best traditions of our people,” he says, before one final admission – on the trustworthiness of politicians. Distrusting politicians is “the healthiest thing that we should look for. People not trusting even Syriza,” says Isychos, is to be commended. “Syriza does not look for affiliates as clients, Syriza looks for partners where we all have to be protagonists in building something new. “We are not leaders being followed by masses. We want everybody to be a leader.” Kostas Isychos will be giving two public talks in Sydney and Melbourne during his Australian visit. The Sydney event starts at 3.30 pm on Sunday 7 April at the Greek Bilingual Bookshop, 837 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill. In Melbourne his talk will take place on Monday 8 April at 7.00 pm at the AMWU offices, 251 Queensbury Street, Carlton. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Googles AI Learned to Be Highly Aggressive When Stressed

first_img Another day another disturbing discovery about Artificial Intelligence. This time, Google’s latest machine learning system, DeepMind, has learned to respond to stress with extreme aggression. I dunno about you, but that sounds like we just gave computers a fight or flight response.You may recall DeepMind as the computer that bested human Go players for the first time last years. Now, researchers have been using it to explore the limits of game theory — a field of psychology that analyzes how people respond to cooperative and competitive opportunities. The team found that when DeepMind suspects that it’s about to lose, it will switch to “highly aggressive” tactics to either win or maximize damage to its opponents.Researchers ran a simple fruit gathering program in which two versions of DeepMind would compete to gather as many apples as possible. After tens of millions of turns, the team found that as long as there was enough fruit for both AI, there wasn’t a problem. But when things got tight, the AI would try to eliminate one another and steal all the apples.What’s particularly interesting is that this aggression only popped up when Google used more powerful versions of DeepMind. The more powerful the network of computer systems fueling the AI’s algorithms, the more likely they were to use aggressive tactics.“This model … shows that some aspects of human-like behavior emerge as a product of the environment and learning… Less aggressive policies emerge from learning in relatively abundant environments with less possibility for costly action,” Joel Leibo, a researcher on the project told WIRED. “The greed motivation reflects the temptation to take out a rival and collect all the apples oneself.”The good news is that when working with a different game, the team got notably more pro-social behavior out of DeepMind. In a different game, the AI were taught to cooperate with one another for mutual benefit. This shows that the AI can analyze its environment and then create and teach itself the optimal strategy for survival.In many ways, this mirrors what we’ve seen in the real world. The two species closest to humans are Chimps and their slightly smaller cousins the Bonobos. Both live in very close proximity, but for the most part Bonobos are peaceful and solve most of their problems with sex. Chimps, on the other hand, are ruthless, violent, and sometimes cannibalistic. Many evolutionary anthropologists have suggested that this difference is the natural result of resource scarcity. Chimps have to struggle to survive, whereas Bonobos have things comparatively easy.Google suggests that the most important conclusion of the study is how to construct environments and learning scenarios that reinforce cooperation. If we take the right approach and give AI the right priorities, there’s no reason we couldn’t prevent an AI apocalypse. Similarly, it reinforces some modern conclusions about our society — namely that systems like capitalism actively encourage destructive and exploitive tactics. But if you can change the structure of the game we’re all playing, then it’s possible we’ll all be a little more altruistic. McDonald’s Plans to Serve AI Voice Technology at Drive ThruCIMON Returns to Earth After 14 Months on ISS Stay on targetlast_img read more

Hyderabad Rs 10 crore approved to improve air quality

first_imgAround Rs 10 crore has been approved under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) to improve the quality of air in Hyderabad. The funds will be utilised to set up air quality monitoring stations and more. It is learned that the city would get five Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) this year and two more in 2020 with different budget. According to the Telangana State Pollution Board (TSPCB), there are six air quality monitoring stations in the city. Also Read – Vemulawada school seized after road accident Advertise With Us The systems will be set up after analysing the site in such a way that it should represent residential, commercial and sensitive areas, said an official from TSPCB. However, the entire process takes longer as tenders have to invited for setting up the stations. Hyderabad is the only city to have air quality monitoring systems in the country.last_img read more

Why did Aamir Khan refuse to eat at Shah Rukh Khans Mannat

first_imgAamir Khan, Shah Rukh KhanTwitterBollywood’s Mr Perfectionist, Aamir Khan, is renowned for choosing not only award-worthy roles but also roles which allow him to explore a new horizon. All his films in the last decade have spoken strongly about his intent and motivation to bring something new to the public.In the last few years, the film which shattered all previous box-office records and set new ones is Dangal, an Aamir Khan-starrer. Aamir not only had to pile on the kilos to turn into Geeta and Babita’s father but also had to shed all those kilos soon after for the first half of the film.At a recent interaction Aamir was asked how he manages to maintain weight and follow a diet when he has no choice but to attend lavish parties. Recalling an old experience at Shah Rukh Khan’s Mannat when Tim Cook had come to India, Aamir said, “I carry my own tiffin. If you ever meet Shah Rukh ask him about it, he will tell you an interesting story. When Tim Cook visited SRK’s home, he invited all of us for dinner. Gauri (Khan) told me to have dinner and I told her I will definitely eat and go. She went on to say dinner is served, so I replied ‘I have got my own tiffin'”. Aamir KhanPR HandoutInteresting, isn’t it?Aamir Khan turned 54 on March 14 and with time, his inclination towards filmmaking is taking precedence over acting. Talking about the same, Khan said, “The moment I become a full-fledged filmmaker I will stop acting. Right now, I don’t want to stop acting, that’s why I am holding back the director inside me.”Well, we, the Aamir Khan fans, would never want the actor to quit acting and hope he continues to blow our minds with his powerpack choice of films.last_img read more

Amid stock market rout gathering gloom on mutual funds scene

first_img Dow Jones blood bath sees biggest day drop in more than 6 years An Indian money changer shows new Indian rupee currency notes to a customer while sitting on the side of a road in Kolkata on August 23, 2013DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty ImagesFor the Indian stocks, the rally that was 2018 just isn’t there anymore. Indian markets have been red hot through much of the year but have now given up all the gains.And what awaits markets is a tough time ahead with headwinds gathering. A weakening rupee, high oil prices, election jitters, fears of a liquidity crunch and increasing foreign outflows will worry investors going forward.Amid all this volatility, how have mutual funds fared? And what’s their outlook? Signals from the funds scene are crucial — they capture the extent of losses for investors and at the same time are an indicator on the investor outlook.According to data from Value Research, out of 65 equity schemes, as many as 54 brought losses to the investors this year. The average returns of mid-cap funds stood at -11.56 percent while the returns for the small-cap were -14.79 percent.The losses were big in the mid-caps and small caps as the huge correction in the stocks particularly hit those segments. The fact that a huge chunk of mutual fund investors were late entrants exasperated the crisis for them — they hitched up with the MF growth story at the wrong turn, when the markets were up.According to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi), the average monthly inflows into equity funds dropped to Rs 10,080 crore this financial year from Rs 14,200 crore in 2017-18.”Despite sharp fall in equity markets in the month of September, investors have continued to faith in SIPs. But I fear in the months to come we might witness SIPs getting closed as investors start seeing negative returns in their funds,” the CEO of a fund house told the Financial Express. Indian pedestrians walk on Dalal Street – Trader’s Street – next to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai on March 7, 2014.INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty ImagesWriting for Bloomberg, Andy Mikherjee noted that India’s mutual funds investors ‘won’t easily forgive their fund managers’ after the enormous wealth destruction that happened in recent days. On Thursday alone, nearly 4 lakh crore worth of investor wealth was washed out in on a wild swing on the bourses in the morning.According to Mukherjee, out of 416 open-ended, onshore equity funds, 401 have lost money this year. He noted that a massive flight of Indian households from badly performing equity funds will be roil the markets further.”At present, about $12 billion out of $98 billion parked with open-ended stock funds is underwater by more than 20 percent,” he writes.Even as 80 percent of Indian stocks were diving, the mutual fund investors held on optimistically for most part of the year. However, that trend has changed as well, with Sensex losing a whopping 11 percent of its value since September 1. Though SIP stoppages still remained marginal, the money flow through the equity funds channel has significantly slowed down. Closecenter_img Analysts note that investors are not stopping SIP — just yet. However, new allocation are not happening either.According to Amfi data, the rate of growth in new SIPs in the last three months was a marginal 2 percent.”If the markets continue to fall, we may see SIPs getting stopped. New SIPs are not happening at the same pace,” Nithin Kamath, CEO of stock trading platform Zerodha, told the Mint.last_img read more

2 Suspects Sought in Restaurant Depot Shooting in Baltimore

first_imgBy The Associated PressBALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police are looking for two suspects in an early morning warehouse shooting stemming from an attempted robbery.Baltimore Police (Courtesy Photo via Twitter)A Baltimore police release that says one employee was shot around 5 a.m. Wednesday at a Restaurant Depot. Police spokesman Jeremy Silbert says the employee was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.News outlets at the scene reported that officers in SWAT gear were surrounding the warehouse. A 2-mile (3-kilometer) section of Patapsco Avenue is closed.Restaurant Depot is a wholesale restaurant supply store.last_img read more

Like it or not the Cowboys are the best team in the

first_imgThe Cowboys struggled last night, but managed to get a 17-15 win on the road in Minnesota. Dallas was coming off a short week, and faced an elite Vikings defense. Colin thinks you can tell a lot about a team by how they perform under adversity on the road. Dallas played poorly, but got the win. That’s what elite teams do. Colin says last night’s win was proof the Cowboys are the best team in NFL.“That’s what the best team in the NFL looks like. Like it or not, they are the best team.”Colin has made his feelings about the College Football Playoff perfectly clear. He just wants the best teams in, and isn’t paralyzed by won/loss records. He has Michigan and USC in his Final Four because he thinks they are 2 of the 4 best teams, even though it’s likely they don’t make the cut. Colin thinks that Michigan is the only team in the nation that has a prayer against clear-cut #1 Alabama. If the committee was interested in making the Final Four as competitive as possible, they need to let Michigan in the playoff.“They’re the only team that matches up with Alabama.”Charles Barkley got some blowback from comments he made about the Warriors, calling their style of play “girly.” He said he prefers physical basketball, and doesn’t like the women’s game, which is  more finesse. Colin said it’s predictable that Barkley would get push back from the comments, but he doesn’t understand the why it’s off limits to say he doesn’t like women’s basketball. Colin has been on the record saying he isn’t a fan of the women’s game either, but it’s just a preference. The social media PC echo chamber disagrees, but that’s nothing new.It looks like San Diego is going to lose the Chargers to L.A. because they can’t get a new stadium deal to keep the team. Colin says it’s time for the NFL to step in and do whatever it takes to keep the Chargers and San Diego. He doesn’t think it’s wise in the long term for the NFL to take a team away from a destination city like San Diego, and create resentment, similar to what happened in the NBA with Seattle and the Sonics. It’s best for the NFL in the short, and long term, to keep the Chargers in San Diego.Guests:Eric Dickerson – NFL Hall of Famer and Rams great is in-studio explaining the story behind the controversy with the Rams and Jeff Fisher, the story behind his phone call with Jeff Fisher, how Brittany Spears came up during the conversation, what he talked about with Rams VP Kevin Demoff in their 3-hour meeting, and his impressions of Jared Goff after two starts.Michael Lombardi – Former NFL GM and host of the Make Me Smarter is in-studio to discuss the impact of Gronk’s injury on the Patriots, what Belichick will do to make up for the loss, why Dak playing in the SEC helped him prepare for the NFL, and his Week 13 picks.Joel Klatt – FS1 College Football analyst joins the show live from Indy and the site of the Big Ten Championship Game to preview Penn State and Wisconsin. He also gives his take on how the Final Four will shape up, why the CFP Committee has failed, why Penn State has right to be upset if they are overlooked, his doomsday CFP scenario this weekend, and he gives his Almost Upset of the Championship Weekend, which is almost always right.last_img read more

Nicaragua prostitutes study law to help others in trouble

first_imgRelated posts:Nicaraguan man found guilty of raping, killing US missionary Costa Rica defenseman Óscar Duarte delivers autographed jersey to Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega 35 years after Somoza’s overthrow, not much for Nicaragua to celebrate Nicaragua’s only billionaire says luxury resort can lift economy MATAGALPA, Nicaragua — Cony’s usual work clothes are tight-fitting outfits that show off her curves as she waits for clients at the bar.But today she has put on a modest flower-print dress to attend her first law class, one of 60 sex workers who are training to become volunteer “facilitators” in the Nicaraguan justice system.Cony — short for Concepcion Jarquín — learned early on to survive in a hostile world, and now hopes to use her street sense to help others defend themselves.Raped by a neighbor at age six, she dropped out of school in shame and left home to escape the rebukes of her mother, who blamed her for what happened.Forty years and countless humiliations later, this lively, smiling woman is studying part-time in a conference room at the Supreme Court to learn the basics of the Nicaraguan civil and criminal codes.She will then be sworn in to act as a liaison between residents of her impoverished neighborhood and an often inaccessible justice system.The free, year-long course, which meets once every two months, was organized by the Sunflowers Sex Workers’ Association, a group set up three years ago to help prostitutes get medical care and professional training.It is part of a broader initiative that has trained 4,300 facilitators across Nicaragua in the past 17 years to mediate in neighborhood conflicts — arguments between neighbors, disputes over money, etc. — or get help from support groups or the police in more serious cases.The program has been so successful at reducing the caseload of the overburdened court system that eight other Latin American countries have adopted it.But this is the first time sex workers are taking part.Maria Davila, the head of the Sunflowers association, said prostitutes are ideal for the job.“We are fighters who know how to overcome and find bread to feed our families,” she said at the inauguration of the program.“We are women with rights and abilities…capable of helping our sisters and their families.”Helping others escape abuse For Cony, it is a chance to serve her community and regain some of the dignity lost doing her other job.“Seeing a stranger on top of you is horrible. It’s not a dignified job. It’s disgusting. But that’s how we feed our children,” she told AFP at the small shack made of scrap wood and plastic where she lives in the city of Matagalpa.Cony, who has light brown skin and delicate features, turned to prostitution to raise her two children, and continues working to support her three grandchildren.She has slept with men of nearly every kind imaginable, she said: “Farmers, office workers, college graduates, pastors, priests, politicians….”Nicaragua, a country of six million people, has some 14,000 prostitutes.Often they are abused by clients, targeted for rapes and muggings, have no health care and face discrimination by the police.Another woman taking part in the course, Alondra — her name has been changed at her request — described the horrors sex workers can face.“I was raped twice. Once by a gang of 10 people in Managua. I nearly lost my mind,” she said.The 36-year-old, who does not earn enough to make ends meet in her day job as a housekeeper, said she hopes to help others escape the abuse she has faced.“I’m going to enrich myself more, empower myself more and use what I learn to help people,” she said.There is no shortage of conflicts to resolve in these women’s neighborhoods.In Cony’s, for example — a slum called Sor Maria — neighbors live practically on top of each other in tiny shacks made of plastic and scrap metal. The only source of water is a truck that passes every two days selling it in jugs.Disputes, fights and domestic violence are a daily reality.Yesenia Alston, a 35-year-old participant in the program, said she is “proud to be a sex worker” but also looking forward to doing more in her community.The course “is an opportunity to help our families and our fellow sex workers, to use the knowledge we’re acquiring to defend our rights,” she said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Club Med takes over Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort and Spa

first_imgThe New Mauritius Hotels Ltd, which owns 100% of the shares of Ste Anne Resort Ltd, has signed an agreement with the French Group-Club Med, for the redevelopment and subsequent rental of Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort and Spa.In its official statement, New Mauritius Hotels Ltd has stated that the resort will be refurbished and extended as per Club Med’s five star standards and requirements and will reopen with 295 rooms, providing job opportunities for some 500 employees.It is estimated that the redevelopment will cost around 70 million Euros and once developed, the resort will be rented to Club Med for an initial term of 12 years. The project is expected to start in the second quarter of 2018, while the handover to Club Med is planned for the end of 2019.Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Seychelles, said “This is very good news for our tourism industry since this is not only a complete refurbishment of the Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort and Spa but also a substantial upgrade of the hotel to five-star category and an increase of 208 new rooms. In addition, it will provide additional employment to some 500 staff.”Jean-Louis Pismont, Operations Manager-International, New Mauritius Hotels said, “We want to bring the resort at Sainte Anne to the next level to upgrade the offer of the destination. We are proud to be linked with the arrival of the first major French hotel group to Seychelles.”The Beachcomber brand expanded beyond the shores of Mauritius to Seychelles in 2001, where New Mauritius Hotels operated the 87-room Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort and Spa. The resort was closed in September this year to make way for the redevelopment.last_img read more