Kennedy seems conflicted in Supreme Court wedding cake case

first_imgWASHINGTON – On a sharply divided Supreme Court, the justice in the middle seemed conflicted Tuesday in the court’s high-stakes consideration of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in 2012.The court’s fault lines were laid bare in a riveting argument that focused equally on baker Jack Phillips’ right to refuse to put his artistic talents to use in support of something in which he disagrees and the Colorado couple’s right to be treated like any other two people who wanted a cake to celebrate their marriage.Both views were reflected in the questions and comments of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of all the court’s major gay-rights decisions and a fierce defender of free speech. The outcome of the case seemed to rest with the 81-year-old justice, who often finds himself with the decisive vote in cases that otherwise divide the court’s conservatives and liberals.Phillips and the couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, were in the courtroom for arguments in the closely watched case that could affect other situations where there’s a clash between social conservatives’ claim of religious freedom and the LGBT community’s fight to preserve hard-won rights.President Donald Trump’s administration is supporting Phillips in his argument that he can’t be forced to create a cake that violates his religious beliefs. It appears to be the first time the federal government has asked the justices to carve out an exception from an anti-discrimination law.On the one hand, Kennedy pointed to photographers, florists, graphic designers and even jewelers who might likewise be able to refuse working on a same-sex wedding if the court rules for Phillips.“It means that there’s basically an ability to boycott gay marriages,” said the author of the 2015 opinion extending same-sex marriage nationwide.If you win, Kennedy asked Solicitor General Noel Francisco, could the baker put a sign in his window: “We do not bake cakes for gay weddings?”When Francisco said that would be permissible, Kennedy said, “And you would not think that an affront to the gay community?”Francisco replied that there “are dignity interests on the other side here, too.”On the other hand, Kennedy criticized the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that found Phillips violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.“It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs,” Kennedy said. Craig and Mullins, he noted, could have been served by “other good bakery shops that were available” in the Denver suburbs.Protesters on both sides filled the sidewalk in front of the court shortly before the start of the argument.“We got Jack’s back,” Phillips’ supporters said. Backers of Craig and Mullins countered: “Love wins.”Inside the packed courtroom, the liberal justices peppered Kristen Waggoner, Phillips’ lawyer, and Francisco with questions about how to draw a line to accommodate Phillips without eviscerating laws that require businesses that are open to the public to serve all customers.Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan ticked off other categories of people who are involved in weddings to ask if they, too, might be able to refuse a same-sex couple.A hair stylist? A makeup artist?No, Waggoner said, “because it is not speech.”Kagan replied: “Some people might say that about cakes, you know?”More generally, Justice Stephen Breyer said, “What is the line? That’s what everybody is trying to get to.”When Colorado Solicitor General Frederick Yarger and the American Civil Liberties Union’s David Cole stood up to defend the commission’s ruling against Phillips, the conservative justices pounced.Because same-sex marriage was not yet legal in Colorado in 2012, Justice Samuel Alito noted, Craig and Mullins could not have obtained a marriage license where they lived or gotten a local official to marry them. Yet Phillips supposedly “committed a grave wrong” when he refused to make them a cake, Alito said. That struck him as unfair, he said.Chief Justice John Roberts pressed both Cole and Yarger on whether a Roman Catholic legal services agency that provides free aid would have to take up a case involving a same-sex couple despite the religious opposition to gay marriage.Yes, Cole said, “if they’ve provided the same services to couples who are straight.”Colorado native Neil Gorsuch, taking part in the most important gay rights case since he joined the Supreme Court in April, asked Cole whether a baker who made a cake shaped like a red cross to celebrate relief efforts would have to make the same cake for the Ku Klux Klan.Cole said no because Colorado’s anti-discrimination law refers to race, sex and sexual orientation, among other categories, but does not protect KKK members.One other possible result that emerged from the argument is that the justices could return the case to the Colorado commission for reconsideration if the court finds its first decision was tainted by the religious bias of a commissioner. Kennedy described comments made by one of the seven Colorado commissioners in the case as hostile to religion.Colorado is among only 21 states with statewide laws barring discrimination against gays in public accommodations.The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 16-111, will be decided by late June.last_img read more

Alberta plans to buy 7000 railcars to ease crisis in oil price

first_imgTORONTO, O.N. – Alberta needs to buy as many as 7,000 railcars if it wants to be able to meet its goal of shipping an additional 120,000 barrels of oil a day, says Premier Rachel Notley.In a speech to the Toronto Board of Trade, Notley says her province is prepared to buy roughly 80 locomotives, with each train pulling 100 to 120 cars.This extra capacity will allow the province to transport 30 percent more crude-by-rail than current levels and would help narrow the price gap by $4 a barrel and generate an additional $1 million a day for Ottawa. She says the plunging price of oil has reached a “crisis” point for her province and her government is prepared to make the purchase on its own, with or without the federal government’s help.This is the first time she has specified how many railcars will need to be purchased. She did not give estimates on the cost of the cars but industry experts suggest that one rail car can cost between $120,000 and $150,000 to buy or about $1,200 per month to rent, putting Alberta’s plan at upwards of $1.05 billion.The price of Alberta crude is currently sitting around $10 a barrel, which Notley says is $40 less compared to the price of oil from other world producers.A year ago, Notley said Alberta was losing about $40 million a day because of that difference. Today, that differential has grown to $80 million a day.last_img read more

Mall construction boom is fuelled by the tastes of Canadas wealthiest

TORONTO – While big box retailers like Target have struggled to get a foothold in Canadian markets, demand for luxury retailers is strong and fuelling massive expansion projects at shopping malls across the country.According to research by commercial real estate company CBRE Group, more luxury retailers are predicted to arrive in Canada, albeit at a more moderate pace compared to the flurry of activity seen in the last three years.The aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and recession spurred a boom in retail development with foreign retailers, primarily American ones, turning their sights to Canada and construction hasn’t kept up with demand.There is little to no vacancy in highly sought after shopping centres and neighbourhoods, according to CBRE’s head researcher Ross Moore.“We just don’t have empty retail to speak of. [Across the country] malls are generally full. If you’re a Spanish or Italian or U.S. retailer, you are going to be put off by that. Supply is the key. Until we build more that’s going to be a challenge.”The study, which measured the number and type of retailers that set up shop in 2013, found that luxury and high-end fashion brands constitute the majority of new arrivals in Canada.Newcomers in the jewellery, designer fashion and accessories categories are driving the demand for additional retail space.In the cities, where most of Canada’s top income earners reside, construction cranes are busy piecing together the new extensions: In Vancouver, the Pacific and Oakridge Centres are getting bigger (adding 578,000-square-feet and 373,000-square-feet respectively); Calgary’s Chinook Centre is expanding (140,000-square-feet) as well as Ottawa’s Rideau Centre (230,000-square-feet).In Toronto, top-tier malls Yorkdale and Sherway Gardens are simultaneously undergoing multi-million dollar expansions to accommodate new anchor tenant, the upscale U.S. department store Nordstrom.For Yorkdale, it’s the second expansion in four years. In 2012, the mall underwent a $220-million renovation, adding 145,000-square-feet to its footprint. The new wing, set to open in 2016, will add 298,000-square-feet.Claire Santamaria, Yorkdale’s general manager, says the mall’s location at the edge of the city means there’s ample space to grow.“We have the real estate to offer and we’re able to create the units and the co-tenancies that they like and that’s the advantage of having a new development project. We’re creating a retail environment for retailers to be successful. On Bloor Street, because there are multiple ownership structures, that’s a lot harder to do,” says Santamaria.Moore predicts that malls in major markets will keep seeking opportunities to expand, but construction will level off to a more steady pace in coming years as developers and supply chains need time to adjust to the influx of brands.He adds that shopping centres in major urban centres focused on becoming retail “destinations” will continue to court niche luxury boutiques by reconfiguring existing space once occupied by retailers like Sears Canada, which shuttered several of its flagship stores this year, including its locations in the Eaton Centre and Yorkdale.While stagnant wages, inflation and consumer debt have kept many shoppers just browsing, the appetite of well-heeled shoppers for luxury goods has been healthier.“Certain income bands continue to grow more robustly than the rest. If you’re a luxury retailer you don’t care if sales have been growing by one per cent, you’re only interested in the top two per cent of the population and that group’s doing fairly well by and large,” says Moore.Canadian malls also tend to be more productive than American ones, with sales per square foot averaging C$600 versus C$450 in the U.S.Tourism dollars have also made an impact on sales.“Certainly on the West Coast, Vancouver in particular, Asian tourism is very important. Luxury retailers aren’t there to service Vancouverites they’re in Vancouver to serve primarily Asian tourists and that is who their market,” says Moore. by Alexandra Bosanac, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 28, 2014 10:52 am MDT Mall construction boom is fuelled by the tastes of Canada’s wealthiest AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Security Council condemns escalating Boko Haram attacks warns of crimes against humanity

“The Security Council demands that Boko Haram immediately and unequivocally cease all hostilities and all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law and disarm and demobilize,” declared Cristián Barros Melet, Chile’s Permanent Representative to the UN and President of the Council for the month of January, reading out an approved statement during a formal meeting. In the statement, the Council also strongly condemned and deplored all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law by the terrorist group Boko Haram, since 2009, ‘including those involving violence against civilian populations, notably women and children,’ and demanded ‘the immediate and unconditional release’ of all those abducted by the group, including the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped in Chibok northern Nigeria last April. The UN body’s condemnation of the terrorist group follows Boko Haram’s recent suicide bombings on 10 and 11 January in the towns of Maiduguri and Potiskum as well as attacks in Baga which resulted in the “massive destruction of civilian homes and significant civilian casualties.” Initial accounts from the field indicate that girls, possibly one as young as 10, were forced to carry out the suicide attacks at marketplaces in Maiduguri and in Potiskum, drawing condemnation from both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The UN human rights office emphasized last week that the use of a child to detonate a bomb was “not only morally repugnant but constitutes an egregious form of child exploitation under international law.”Moreover, earlier today, the top UN envoy for Central Africa welcomed Chad’s decision to send soldiers to Cameroon to help in the fight against Boko Haram, after several assaults on cross-border villages in northern Cameroon, which have raised fears that the insurgents are expanding their attacks.According to media reports, some 80 people – many of them said to be children – were abducted yesterday in Cameroon in one of the biggest Boko Haram kidnappings to take place outside of Nigeria.The Council statement also cited increasing attacks in the Lake Chad Basin region along Nigeria’s borders and noted overall that some of Boko Haram’s acts “may amount to crimes against humanity.” Meanwhile, the surge in violence caused by Boko Haram has also unleashed a wave of fear across Nigeria and the wider region. In northern Nigeria alone, over 900,000 people, many of them women and children, have fled their homes. More than 300 schools have been severely damaged or destroyed and hundreds of children have been killed, injured or abducted from their homes and schools, according to a recent assessment by Leila Zerrougui, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.In addition, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) recently reported that the number of Nigerian refugees seeking safety in Chad due to the dire security situation had almost quadrupled over the past few weeks. Most of the refugees, the agency added, were forced into western Chad, where many are now staying with local communities in villages around 450 kilometres north-west of the capital, N’Djamena.In the statement, Mr. Barros Melet said that the Security Council expressed its concern at the scale of the growing humanitarian crisis enveloping the region due to Boko Haram’s operations which, he added, had “resulted in the large-scale displacement of Nigerians within the country into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.”Moreover, the Council welcomed plans for the meeting to be held tomorrow in Niamey, Niger, in which the threat posed by Boko Haram would be discussed by regional actors. In that regard, the Council noted the decision of the Lake Chad Basin Commission Member States and Benin to operationalize the Multinational Joint Task Force, “including through the establishment of a joint Headquarters and the deployment of national contingents, to conduct military operations against Boko Haram.” “The Security Council underlines the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice in accordance with international law and relevant Security Council resolutions,” the Security Council President concluded. read more

20000 bouncy balls dropped from a helicopter you know for science

first_imgRecently, in the parking lot of the Utah State University football stadium, 20,000 rubber bouncy balls were dropped from a helicopter. A report in the Salt Lake Tribune claims this was done to promote science and supposedly to show the effect that space weather has on orbiting satellites, but it seems like there are any number of other, more effective ways to demonstrate this. (I’d wager none of them involve a helicopter though.)The helicopter was about 100 feet in the air when the balls were dropped, apparently in continuous stream as opposed to all at the same time. The article doesn’t attempt to explain how the dropping, bouncing balls in any way display the effect of “electron radiation bombardment” on objects in space but we’re guessing these objects get hit with a lot of radiation and it, uh, bounces away from and back to the object before a child grabs it and plays jacks. Seems about right…AdChoices广告In addition to being a fun use of a helicopter and bouncy balls, the visualization (please don’t call it an experiment, if anything it could have been an experiment by the sociology department) is reminiscent of Sony’s famous Bravia commercial. In that ad, Sony poured tens of thousands of balls down a hill in San Francisco in order to make for an excellent television commercial (which they did). The Utah State “Geek Week” event couldn’t match this, but if the goal was to make science fun then they accomplished their mission.SLTrib via io9last_img read more

Victim of retired surgeon tells court he was given a life sentence

first_imgVictim of retired surgeon tells court he was given ‘a life sentence of pain’ Patrick Cusack told the court he had not had a proper night’s sleep in 45 years. Friday 22 Feb 2019, 4:44 PM ONE OF THE victims of a retired surgeon who groped seven boys over thirty years has told a court he was given “a life sentence of pain”.Michael Shine (86) of Ballsbridge, Dublin had denied twelve charges of indecent assault and one charge of sexual assault committed during medical examinations at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth and at two private clinics in Drogheda on dates between 1971 and 1992.On day 17 of the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, a jury of two women and eight men returned guilty verdicts, having deliberated for just over six hours.Reading his victim impact statement today in court, Patrick Cusack (56), who waived his right to anonymity, said Shine had handed him “a life sentence of pain, hurt, anguish and shame”.Cusack told the court he had not had a proper night’s sleep in 45 years until the guilty verdict was announced two weeks ago. He said that having received the justice he has wanted since 1974, he could now truly say that what happened was not his fault.A second man who also read his own victim impact statement aloud said that Shine had no understanding of what he had done. The man said he does not trust many people as a result of the abuse he suffered.“I am aware that under a facade, people can have evil motives. He [Shine] taught me that,” the man said.Detective Garda Seamus Nolan told Cathleen Noctor SC, prosecuting, that Shine indecently assaulted six boys aged between 11 and 15 on dates ranging from 1971 to 1988. He said the sole count of sexual assault related to an incident in 1992 when the injured party was aged 16.Detective Garda Nolan said that during the trial, a medical expert gave evidence that there was no medical basis for the behaviour described by the seven men.The prospect of dying in prison Shine has three previous convictions for indecent assault relating to two complainants who were both aged 15 in 1975; he was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment for these in late 2017. These convictions are currently under appeal.Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, said his client was attacked on the steps of the courthouse today and liquid was thrown at him.He said that Shine’s “health is precarious” and that a prison sentence would have a profound impact on a man of his age.Hartnett said that Shine faced the prospect of dying in prison without the comfort of his friends and family. He asked the judge to consider not imposing a custodial sentence and asked that he take into account that the cases occurred a long time ago.Judge Martin Nolan remanded Shine on continuing bail and adjourned the matter for sentencing to next Monday. ‘No memory whatsoever’The court heard that the first complainant told the court that Shine groped his genitals during two appointments in 1988 following surgery on his finger when he was aged 15. He said that during the first examination Shine rested his head on his chest and that his breathing became more intense.Another man said that Shine prevented his father from being present for an examination following surgery on his testicles in 1985 when he was aged 13. He said that Shine placed his hand on his penis during the exam and began to move his foreskin up and down.A third witness attended hospital due to tearing his foreskin during sexual intercourse when he was aged 16 in 1992.The man said that during an examination on his injury, Shine began to masturbate his penis up and down for five to ten minutes, ending with him squeezing its top.The fourth complainant in the case said that he was hit by a car during the summer of 1972 when he was aged 14 and that he required surgery on his right knee. He said that Shine would come to his room in the evening to play chess with him during his stay in hospital.The man said that during a follow up appointment Shine began “playing with” and “fondling” his genitals and stroking his penis, telling him that “you could tell a lot this way”. He said he did not think that Shine ever examined his knee.A fifth man said that Shine inserted a gloved finger into his anus and his other hand began “palpating” his genitals during an examination in 1974 when he was aged around 11. He said that afterwards Shine patted him on the head and told him he was a “good boy”.The man said that during a later stay in hospital, Shine would examine his wound from surgery and that every time he did so he would go on to “palpate” his penis and scrotum. He said that Shine did this every day up until the day he was discharged from hospital.A sixth man said that Shine performed surgery on his appendix at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in 1971 when he was aged 13. He said that during a follow-up examination, Shine began fondling his testicles and stroking his penis, saying that he needed to check that nothing was damaged.The final complainant in the case said that Shine placed a paper towel on his stomach before he took his penis in his hand and began to masturbate it during an examination in 1975 when he was aged 13. He said that this continued for around 10 to 15 minutes.Shine denied doing anything improper during examinations with any of the complainants and said he has “no memory whatsoever” of ever treating any of them. He also said that he never played chess. Feb 22nd 2019, 4:44 PM By Brian Hoban https://jrnl.ie/4508328 08.02.19 Retired surgeon Michael Shine found guilty of groping seven boys in his care over three decades Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie Share9 Tweet Email 10,789 Views Related Reads Retired surgeon Michael Shine at the Central Criminal Courts No Comments 09.02.19 ‘Michael Shine spoke very, very softly and referred to me as a nice boy most of the time’ Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Retired surgeon Michael Shine at the Central Criminal Courts Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ielast_img read more

Atkinson Thirty times Greek

first_imgSouth Australia’s Attorney-General Mr Michael Atkinson was awarded the Golden Trantellena Award by the Federation of Pontian Associatons in Adelaide last Saturday. The Golden Trantellena Award is reserved for those who have a proven track record of their dedication to the ideals of Hellenism and its the highest award the Federation can bestow.The ceremony took place at the annual dance of the Pontian Brotherhood of South Australia.Mr Atkinson, a well-known philellene, was instrumental in having the Pontian genocide recognised by the South Australian parliament in April. Accepting the award Mr Atkinson said how honoured he felt to be called “Trantellena” (thirty times Greek) and expressed his gratitude to the Pontian Federation for giving him the opportunity to stand up for truth and justice. Last year Mr Atkinson had come under attack when he unveiled a plaque at the Immigration Museum in memory of the Pontians massacred in the 1910s. “It’s easy to argue about the maltreatment of not only the Pontian Greeks, but also the Assyrians and the Armenians, because it’s true. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make this argument” Mr Atkinson said while emphasising the importance of discussing these issues in public fora. Mr Atkinson acknowledged the support of the former leader of the opposition Mr Martin Hamilton-Smith in passing the resolution recognising the genocide of the Christian populations unanimously.Mr Hamilton-Smith attended the Brotherhood’s dance with his wife Stavroula. Also present and joining in for some Pontian dancing were Labour MP MS Vini Ciccarello, Mr Steve Georganas and Mrs Robyn Geraghty.The Federation of Pontian Associations also held its annual general meeting in Adelaide on Sunday which saw the transfer of the Presidency of the Federation to the ACT.Incoming National President of the Federation, is Mr John Efkarpidis. The Efkarpidis family is well-known in Canberra for its chain of supermarkets and for its involvement in property development in the ACT.The decision for the National  Presidency to go to the ACT is in line with the wishes of Harry Tavlarides, who believes that moving the Federation’s to Canberra will enable the Federation to continue the lobbying for the passing of a resolution recognising the Pontian Genocide by the Federal Parliament. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Liverpools Xherdan Shaqiri taunts Gary Neville

first_imgXherdan Shaqiri has taken a swipe at Gary Neville with a signed Liverpool shirt after losing a bet with Jamie Carragher.Neville lost a penalty shoot-out bet with Carragher and must wear a Liverpool shirt with ‘Shaqiri 23’ on the back as a result.The Sky Sports pundit has insisted he will put on the shirt and the new Liverpool recruit took matters into his own hands on Sunday.He gave Carragher a signed shirt with a special message for Neville written on the back.#MNF @GNev2 @XS_11official pic.twitter.com/vlKMZgTpb9— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) August 19, 2018Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“To my number 1 fan Gary. Please don’t track back. Sorry, please back track on this bet,’ Shaqiri wrote before signing off with his signature.It is unlikely Neville will be allowed to get away with not wearing it after losing the shoot-out.“Before stepping up to take the penalty Kick with his colleague in goal, Neville asked: ‘What’s the bet by the way? There’s got to be something on this.’Carragher replied: “Get you a better shirt.”Neville said: “You’ve got to wear a United shirt or I’ve got to wear a Liverpool shirt when you’ve felt your way back in in a show in a few weeks.”Neville is yet to follow through on his promise of wearing a Reds jerseylast_img read more

10 Essential Content Tools

first_imgNew York – We asked them for five, and they gave us ten. At the 2011 FOLIO: Show today, Golf Digest associate editor Ashley Mayo and Summit Business Media group editorial director James Green shared some of the best content tools to manage workflow. Here’s what made the cut for social media, tracking and team sharing tools.1. Chartbeat: A real-time web analytics tool monitors consumer traffic, social sharing, etc.2. Storify: A tool that assists in curating social media. Using Storify’s search interface, users are able to drag and drop socially shared information while retaining integrity of the original social post.3. Hootsuite: A social media dashboard to manage several social networking accounts through one platform.4. Instapaper: A tool that saves a web page for later access, available for computers, the iPhone, iPad and the Kindle.5. bitly Enterprise: While this premium version of bitly comes at a cost (available for $995 a month), the enterprise package provides historical data along with real-time tracking of socially shared stories.6. SurveyMonkey: A free online survey software and questionnaire tool.7. Twiangulate: A tool monitoring connections between Twitter followers, and those who follow them.8. Basecamp: A project management software for collaborative efforts.9. Google Docs: Share and manage documents; allows multiple users to access and update a document.10. Google Alerts: Track your subject matter, and track your brand through aggregated emails.last_img read more

Article 370 repealed Congress self goal Scindia others back

first_imgNew Delhi: In a statement likely to bring embarrassment for the Congress, the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, claimed Kashmir is not India’s internal matter since the UN has been monitoring the situation since 1948. Chowdhury made the remarks after the Lok Sabha took up the resolution to repeal special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the state reorganisation bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. Also Read – NRC in Assam to be released: list to finalize if a person is Indian or Foreigner Advertise With Us “You (government) say that it is an internal matter. But it is being monitored since 1948 by the UN. Is that an internal matter? We signed Shimla Agreement and Lahore Declaration. Was that an internal matter or bilateral?” he asked. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were unhappy with Chowdhury’s remark and disapproved his statement. Also Read – Subramanian Swamy cross-examined in National Herald case Advertise With Us Chowdhury’s statement is likely to compound Congress’ conundrum on the Kashmir developments with several prominent leaders, including Janardan Dwivedi, Deepender Hooda and Rae Bareli MLA Aditi Singh, backing the government’s move. While Dwivedi said a “historical mistake” has been corrected by the government, Hooda contended that the abrogation of special status “is in the interest of national integrity”. Advertise With Us “It is a very old issue. After Independence, many freedom fighters did not want Article 370 to remain. I had my political training under Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, who was against this Article. Personally, this is an issue of a matter of satisfaction for the nation. This historical mistake that happened at the time of independence has been rectified today, even though late, and is welcomed,” Dwivedi said. He clarified that his opinion was personal and not that of his party. Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia became the surprise addition to the list of party leaders openly backing the government on its decision. Reacting to the development, Hooda said, “I’ve always maintained that Article 370 should be scrapped. It has no place in the 21st century. However, the onus of peaceful implementation of this transition in a trustworthy environment lies on the incumbent government.” The JD(U) reminded its ally BJP of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance’s decision to not tinker with Article 370 to register its protest against the Modi government’s move to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. The nephew of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee said on Tuesday that the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution was “promoting disharmony” among the people and needed to be changed. Expressing happiness at the scrapping of provisions of Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Justice (retired) Chittatosh Mookerjee said his uncle had died for this cause and it should have happened long ago. “Separate provisions of Article 370 is promoting and harbouring disharmony among people. So it was necessary to change it,” Mookerjee said. The 90-year-old said the special provisions were “largely responsible” for terrorism and separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir. Congress leader Manish Tiwari found himself being trolled in the social media after he mentioned popular 2011 romance novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ while speaking in Lok Sabha during the debate. Soon after Tewari made a speech, Home Minister Amit Shah asked him to clarify whether Congress party is against or in support of the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. In reply, Tewari said, “Ek angrezi ki kitaab hai, har cheez kali aur safed nahi hoti, (There is an English nove, everything is not in black and white) there are fifty shades of grey in between,” he replied. Tewari’s remark did not go well with several social media users, who poked fun at his reference to the novel.”Manish Tiwari seems to have read #fiftyshadesofgrey last night, and climaxed vigorously in Lok Sabha. #ShameOnCongress,” one Twitter user wrote. Another tweeted, “As soon as Manish Tiwari mention 50 Shades of Grey, the whole country now on Google. “One user said, “Congress’s Manish Tiwari suggests not everything is black or white, there are 50 shades of grey in between. And the best part is HM Amit Shah’s laughter during the statement. Best debate ever.”last_img read more

This Robot Just Wants a Hug

first_imgStay on target Robot Dog Astro Can Sit, Lie Down, and Save LivesYou Can’t Squish This Cockroach-Inspired Robot I love hugs. Like, really love them. I’d choose a warm embrace over a cream cheese-smeared bagel, an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt binge, or a sale on scented candles.So you can bet I’m excited about the prospect of a humanoid robot programmed to hug people.HuggieBot—a modified Willow Garage PR2 robot—is the first step toward an IRL Baymax: As tall as an average human, it is made with layers of foam, polyester, and other materials for extra-soft comfort.AdChoices广告(And, as an added bonus, it won’t deflate when the battery runs low.)“We’re interested in enabling robots to hug because of how common hugs are in daily life and because of their numerous health benefits,” according to lead researcher Alexis Block, a Ph.D. student in the Haptic Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems.Studies suggest that hugs—whether between family, friends, or significant others—can ease stress, lower blood pressure, and make us feel supported, all of which helps stave off infection.“When my advisor and I were discussing several potential topics for my masters thesis, we realized both of our families lived far away,” Block told Geek in an email. “We thought about how nice it would be to get a hug from our moms on difficult or stressful days. This idea became HuggieBot.” Earlier this year, Block presented her own findings, based on a study in which HuggieBot gave 30 participants 12 different mechanical hugs.The experiment, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, featured the cyborg raising its arms expectantly and asking, “Can I have a hug, please?”Some folks were wary of embracing the 450-pound computer, while others seemed excited for the novel opportunity.“When HuggieBot asks a person for a hug, some people answer out loud. Others just hold on to the robot for a really long time,” Block explained. “We also found that taking part in our formal user study (in which people hugged the robot 12 times) significantly improved the participants’ general impressions about robots.” No one was crushed to death or ran away screaming, NBC News MACH reported; some participants told researchers that HuggieBot was “nicer to hug” than they anticipated.“The study participants gave us lots of helpful feedback that will enable us to create a robot that gives even better hugs,” according to Block. “We are now in the process of developing HuggieBot 2.0, which will be more ergonomic and responsive to its hugging partner. We plan to compare the psychological and physiological effects of hugging this new robot with the effects of hugging other people. And finally we hope to be able to allow people to send each other customized hugs through HuggieBot 2.0 and see how these remote robot-mediated interactions affect personal relationships.Researchers are working on a second-generation machine—one that measures how much emotional support its hugs provide. HuggieBot 2.0 will be more ergonomic and responsive to its hugging partner.“We plan to compare the psychological and physiological effects of hugging this new robot with the effects of hugging other people,” Block said. “And finally, we hope to be able to allow people to send each other customized hugs through HuggieBot 2.0 and see how these remote robot-mediated interactions affect personal relationships.”She has no intention, though, of replacing human embraces (because who would want to?). She simply wants to supplement them.“We’re advocating for this technology to be used as a complement to other people,” Block explained, as reported by NBC News, “in situations where it is difficult or uncomfortable to get the support a person needs or wants from another human”—like a college campus or senior living facility. Editor’s note: This article was updated on June 13 with comment from Block.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Surface plasmons enhance nanostructure possibilities

first_img Citation: Surface plasmons enhance nanostructure possibilities (2007, September 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-09-surface-plasmons-nanostructure-possibilities.html A group of scientists from University College London and at the Queen’s University of Belfast have demonstrated a principle of achieving ultrahigh light dispersion that makes use of surface plasmon polaritons on nanostructures.“We have proposed a new principle to realize a microscale spectral device using the properties of surface plasmons on metallic nanostructures that can provide wavelength separation of one or more orders of magnitude better than in other state-of-the-art wavelength-splitting devices available to date,” Anatoly Zayats, one of the scientists at Queen’s University, tells PhysOrg.com via email. He and his colleagues have published their process, and the results of their experiment, in a Physical Review Letters piece: “Dispersing Light with Surface Plasmon Polaritonic Crystals.”Zayats points out that using conventional light diffraction can be difficult in optical communications and other systems because bulk three dimensional grating. “It is not possible to have several next to each other because of the size,” he says via phone.This problem is solved by the use of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs). The SPPs used in the demonstration by the group from University College and Queen’s University are on a periodic nanostructure. In this realization, the dispersion process has two stages: the first changes incident light into SPP Bloch modes and the second involves refraction of the SPP Bloch waves. A metallic nanostructure both excites and diffracts the SPPs. Zayats says, “This significantly enhances the dispersion through the combination of conventional diffraction, amplified by the photonic superprism-like effect.”Uses for the plasmonic light dispersion would be in such areas as quantum information processing, lab-on-chip applications (especially in biology) for spectral analysis, chemistry and electronic engineering. Additionally, the high-resolution capabilities of this novel technique would allow for further study in fundamental physics. The Group is most excited about the implications for optical communications as signal processing devices.Zayats insists that the process is compatible with current technologies. The development and testing of the technique illustrates that it is possible with today’s scientific capabilities. However, he continues, using this SPP nanostructure technology “would require some work to interface conventional photonic devices and the proposed plasmonic device.” Zayats says that even though it is possible to achieve this, the difficulty is efficiently integrating it with current practical technology. “Interfacing is the problem that plasmonic in general is currently facing.”But Zayats remains optimistic that the system he and his colleagues have worked out will be viable. He maintains that there are several methods in the works by different scientific groups with regard to solving the problem of plasmonic integration: “As soon as this will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, we will most definitely see the dispersion plasmonic device widely employed in standard optical communications.”Copyright 2007 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 Light may increase magnetic memory speeds 1000 times, decrease electricity consumptioncenter_img As technology becomes smaller and smaller, scientists work to find solutions to a variety of problems in many different fields. It is known that light could be used for studying molecules and atoms, as well as for solving problems of quantum information processing and even for lab-on-chip applications in biology. The problem is how to reduce size of such optical devices to the level compatible with modern nanotechnology. 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

Urban Meyer has a massive problem

first_imgGuests:Doug Gottlieb – FS1 NBA Analyst is in-studio to discuss the developing Urban Meyer Charles Barkley’s comments on LeBron choosing the Lakers; and his Elite 8 all-Time NFL QB’s.Bruce Feldman – Fox Sports College football Insider is in-studio discussing the developing Urban Meyer scandal at Ohio State and if he can survive.Eric Mangini – Former Browns and Jets Head Coach is in-studio talking the Raiders’ contract standoff with Khalil Mack. Also:– Kyrie to the Knicks is a real thing– Colin’s Top 10 NFL Storylines for 2018 Urban Meyer has a massive problemThis morning, longtime college football insider Brett McMurphy dropped a bombshell story that alleged Urban Meyer knew about an alleged 2015 domestic violence incident involving fired wide receivers coach Zach Smith and his ex-wife. Meyer denied prior knowledge of the incident at B1G Media day, last week.Colin thinks the ugly story is a massive problem for Meyer, and only validates longtime critics who say he’s traded integrity for wins dating back to Florida. Regardless, Meyer faces the real possibility of being fired unless he can prove he never knew about the previous abuse. 10 years ago he would have made it through this, in 2018 it’s a different story.last_img read more

Shaolin meets Kalaripayattu from Gods Own Country

first_imgKerala made a strong pitch to woo travellers from China with lucrative packages and their age-old spice, martial arts links besides natural beauty steeped in local culture.Shaolin Kung Fu has found a welcome partner in ‘Kalaripayattu’, the classical martial arts form from ‘God’s Own Country’. Six performers of ‘Kalaripayattu’ joined hands with Shaolin exponents at a rare fusion of the two traditional art forms in the Chinese capital. The occasion was a ‘Kerala Evening’ organised at the Indian Embassy in Beijing by Kerala Tourism, which is making its foray into China, a vast market with 107 million Chinese tourists travelling worldwide, according to figures available for 2014.“The breathtaking fusion of ‘Kalaripayattu’ and Shaolin showed that Kerala and China have a lot in common. Like Kerala, China has a rich tradition of classical art forms such as the famous Dragon dance, making it easy for us to understand the country and its culture and also for the people of China to understand our culture,” said Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar, who is leading a high-level state delegation to China.Kerala Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson, who is part of the state delegation said, “With an easy connectivity and ideal proximity, Kerala is a natural destination for visitors from China.”Senior Chinese journalists, corporate executives, airline industry officials and tour operators were part of a select audience at the ‘Kerala Evening’ hosted by Kerala Tourism and the Indian Embassy. Indian Ambassador to China, Ashok K Kantha, was present on the occasion along with the Kerala Chief Secretary and Kerala Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao. A highlight of the occasion was a presentation on Kerala’s destinations by Rao.China is a key market for Kerala Tourism as the Asian neighbour is credited with the highest number of outbound tourists in the world. Most of the tourists from China prefer Asian holiday destinations. There has been an increase of 33.44% of Chinese tourist inflow to Kerala in 2014 compared to the previous year.last_img read more

Monthly Price Gains Continue to Pump the Brakes

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Existing-Home Sales FNC Inc. Home Prices Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-10-15 Krista Franks Brock Share October 15, 2013 429 Views Monthly Price Gains Continue to Pump the Brakescenter_img in Data August marks the 18th consecutive month of rising home prices, according to “”FNC’s Residential Price Index””:http://www.fncrpi.com/ViewFile.aspx?ref=pr_71 released Tuesday, indicating an indisputable recovery. However, “”FNC,””:http://www.fncinc.com/ a mortgage industry technology provider, is detecting some deceleration in the recovery and declares, “”It is clear that the recovery remains uneven across the nation.””[IMAGE]On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.6 percent in August, according to FNC’s composite of 100 large metropolitan areas. On a yearly basis, the increase is 5.3 percent. The monthly gain in August was smaller than the gains accrued over the two previous months. FNC’s 30-market composite also posted a 0.6 percent month-over-month increase in August. San Antonio, Texas, topped the 30-market list with a 2.1 percent gain, followed by Las Vegas with a 1.8 percent gain. Charlotte, North Carolina, and New York tied for third place with a 1.5 percent price gain over the month. [COLUMN_BREAK]In all, 26 of the 30 markets posted price increases in August. The four markets where prices declined were Phoenix, Arizona (-0.1 percent), Baltimore, Maryland (-0.2 percent), Los Angeles (-0.4 percent), and Denver, Colorado (-0.4 percent). “”This softening price trend in Phoenix and Los Angeles–two of the housing market’s most important barometers–emerged after a long streak of rapid price accelerations that averaged more than a 2.0% month-over-month increase,”” FNC stated. FNC also noted that while the Chicago market “”is on the mend,”” it is lagging all other markets in the index in terms of price appreciation. FNC’s index is built on a database that blends public records of residential sales prices with real-time appraisals of property and neighborhood attributes. FNC says it includes both non-distressed and distressed sales in its index but as a gauge of underlying home values, excludes sales of foreclosed homes, which frequently carry large price discounts.The company does note in its report, though, that foreclosure sales made up 12.4 percent of home sales in August, down from 12.7 percent in July and down more than 4.5 percentage points from August of last year.Declining foreclosure filings and decreasing foreclosure inventory are two contributing factors to the recent home price gains, according to FNC. FNC warns price gains may decelerate somewhat in coming months with seasonal trends. Already the sale-to-list price ratio is declining. In September, FNC reports, homes sold for 96.2 percent of their list price, down from 97.2 percent in August.last_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Arizona Cardinals chose seven players in the 2017 NFL Draft, and most experts seem to think the team did a good job of adding talent.But what do the Arizona Sports hosts think?In this edition of Arizona Sports Weekly, Paige Dimakos asked them to give the Cardinals a letter grade while also sharing which player they are most excited to see. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Latest piece from stolen Kanakaria mosaics back in Cyprus

first_imgA stolen mosaic from the Kanakaria church of the Virgin Mary in Lythrangomi in the north, depicting Saint Mark was returned to Cyprus on Sunday, CNA reported.The 6th century mosaic was handed over to the Cypriot embassy on Friday in the Hague by a Dutch detective dealing with the stolen art and was brought back to Cyprus by a delegation from the Church of Cyprus and the antiquities department.Transport, Communications and Works Minister Vassiliki Anastasiadou, confirmed the repatriation of the mosaic to CNA saying it was made possible through the concerted efforts of the Church and the state.The Dutch detective, Arthur Brand, aka the Indiana Jones of the art world’ told the French News Agency AFP the handover was a high point in his life-long interest in the Byzantine saint and the result of a nearly two-year chase across Europe.“This is a very special piece that’s more than 1,600 years old. It’s one of the last and most beautiful examples of art from the early Byzantine era,” he said.Brand attempted to locate the piece, said to be worth five to 10 million euros, after a tip-off and had travelled to Monaco in August where he found it.“It was in the possession of a British family, who bought the mosaic in good faith more than four decades ago,” Brand told AFP.“They were horrified when they found out that it was in fact a priceless art treasure, looted from the Kanakaria Church after the Turkish invasion,” Brand said.AFP said the family agreed to return it “to the people of Cyprus” in return for a small fee to cover restoration and storage costs, he added.“It was one of the greatest moments of my life,” the detective said.The mosaics and other treasures from the church were stolen circa 1976. No news about the mosaics surfaced until 1988 when it emerged that four of them were in the possession of an American art dealer named Peg Goldberg. Goldberg had secured them the same year for just over $1 million from AydinDikmen through a Dutch art dealer. The American art dealer then tried to sell them on, but the Cyprus church learned of the deal and stepped in, requesting that Goldberg return the mosaics. She refused though the church had offered to reimburse her.A long legal battle ensued and in 1991 the four mosaics were brought back to Cyprus. Thousands of people turned out to greet their arrival at Larnaca airport. The mosaics are housed at the Byzantine museum at the archbishopric in Nicosia.Dikmen remained on the loose for another six years but in 1997 the German authorities and Interpol managed to find and seize in his Munich apartments 260 icons, frescoes, mosaics and manuscripts from Cyprus. In 2013, after 16 years of litigation 173 ecclesiastical treasures from 50 looted churches were repatriated. Among those were another four fragments of other pieces of Kanakaria mosaics: a medallion depicting St Thomas, the hand of the Virgin, the right hand of the Archangel and a fragment of the decorative band.Twelve Kanakaria pieces – the major ones – have been returned so far but some  are still missing.You May LikeInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesNew Rule in Rowland Heights, California Leaves Drivers FumingInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Sen. " But their top recommendation: love. the prime minister made an address,Many townships reduced their levies so as to reduce their dependence on property taxes for road maintenance. Pence called the report “laughable and absurd. local time (8:30 p. fear no more, "Youve made my days brighter and filled this experience with so much joy. “In respect to that.com.

Dogara saluted former leaders of labour for their leadership and sacrifices that ensured the continued existence of one united and robust labour organisation in Nigeria. The total length would have been well over 10 feet,贵族宝贝Sarah. read more

His work has appear

His work has appeared in Scientific American Mind.

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it is also arguably the poorest country in the world, Firstpost will chronicle his travels in a multi-part series. His campaign sends out a fundraising email and attracts dollars like iron filings to a magnet. who take money out of their own pockets to buy pencils and notebooks for the students who can’t afford them. while Gaurav Sharma went down to Poland’s Jacek Michal 7-3. And more importantly, director of microbiology and immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center. After the 2014 floods in Jammu and Kashmir, and that in the? read more

to investigate two

to investigate two people inside "that may be dead and blood everywhere (sic). Perry also will give an economic speech on Tuesday in South Carolina.

but men of the Federal Road Safety Corps who were on ground confirmed the death of at least five persons and several injured persons. he said. Evolutionarily, new job, and the party chairman said even with them out, identified as Mahendra Singh Gaud,com. then you wont need to wait at all. some critics of industry-supported CME are arguing that academic researchers who consult for companies should also be barred from giving talks. notes Long.

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there are signs that Black Friday’s spread may end at Britain’s shoreline."The governor’s office said "Gov. their own minister was found at a wedding of Dawood’s relative. Michael Dell," added the coach who has led Real to back-to-back Champions League victories as well as last season’s La Liga title. media coverage and other sources.Graphiq "The border wall is about political theater at the expense of civil liberties," although other estimates are higher. read more