Thunder Bay Ont police chief charged with breach of trust obstructing justice

first_imgORILLIA, Ont. – The police chief of a northwestern Ontario city is facing charges following a five-month investigation into alleged criminal wrongdoing.Ontario Provincial Police say J.P. Levesque, 53, of Thunder Bay, Ont., is charged with breach of trust and obstructing justice.The police force says in a news release that it was contacted by RCMP in January and asked to conduct an external, independent and thorough investigation.No other details of the investigation have been released and the OPP says Levesque is to appear in court June 13.Levesque’s lawyer, Brian Gover, says his client is “a person of outstanding good character.”Gover says in an email that Levesque, who is on leave, looks forward “to fully responding to the allegations against him.”“As a police officer, Mr. Levesque has served the people of Thunder Bay in an exemplary manner for 30 years, including as chief of police since July 2011,” he said Tuesday in a statement.last_img read more

Hundreds of Canadian troops deployed to flood zones in Quebec and NB

first_imgMONTREAL — Many people in Quebec and New Brunswick will be spending their Sunday filling sandbags as they keep an anxious watch on rising floodwaters that are wreaking havoc across a wide region.About 200 soldiers started filling sandbags and carrying out evacuations in Quebec’s Outaouais and Mauricie regions overnight, with an additional 400 troops standing ready to deploy there and in Laval today.Urgence Quebec says that as of last night, bloated rivers had resulted in 903 flooded residences, 251 isolated residences and 317 evacuees across the province.Eight major floods have been identified as threatening thousands of Quebecers, and so far one death has been blamed on the high water.Police say 72-year-old Louise Seguin Lortie died Saturday morning after driving her car into a sinkhole caused by flooding in the Pontiac area, about 30 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.Some of the worst flooding has been in the Beauce region south of Quebec City, where 868 homes were swamped and 94 people evacuated.Meanwhile, about 120 Canadian soldiers are being deployed across western New Brunswick to help residents threatened by rising floodwaters.Fifteen communities in that province have been warned to remain on high alert. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

PJD Accepts Lahcen Daoudis Resignation from Government

Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of General Affairs and Governance, Lahcen Daodi has asked the head of the government to relieve him from his position.The decision comes following the uproar that Daoudi caused after he took part Tuesday night in a sit-in against the ongoing boycott targeting three companies, Centrale-Danone, Sidi Ali and Afriquia.The move caused the displeasure of Morocco’s head of government, who called for an extraordinary meeting of the Party of Justice and Development on Wednesday night. According to a communique released following the extraordinary meeting, the politburo of the PJD accepted the resignation of Lahcen Daoudi. In the communique, a copy of which was obtained by Morocco World News, the General Secretariat of the PJD considered Daoudi’s participation in the sit-in as ” unreasonable and inappropriate.” “The members of PJD appreciate that brother Lahcen Daoudi asked to be dismissed from his ministerial responsibility,” it added.On Tuesday night, the Moroccan Minister who made no secret of his support of the Centrale-Danone, appeared in a video chanting slogans denouncing the boycott’s reported “negative effect” on the Moroccan economy.His presence at the sit-in caused an unprecedented backlash on social media with thousands of Moroccans describing it as “irresponsible” and “unworthy” of an incumbent minister.For the resignation of Daoudi to become effective, it will require the approval of King Mohammed VI, as set out in the Moroccan constitution. According to article 47, “the Head of Government can demand of the King to terminate the functions of one or more members of the government who make their individual or collective resignation.” read more

Majority of 104 million lost by City of Saskatoon in fraud scheme

City of Saskatoon loses $1 million to fraudster posing as executive Tank: Scam stings at Saskatoon city hall with shiny fiscal reputation City of Saskatoon staff say $40,000 of the $1.04 million lost through an online fraud scheme has been recovered, while the majority of the funds have been legally “locked down.”City manager Jeff Jorgenson provided additional details about the fraud and recovery efforts in an interview on Monday. He did not specify how much of the remaining $1 million scattered among “multiple” bank accounts is under lockdown, or the country of origin of the accounts, but said the focus right now is on efforts to recover the money. The city hired an Ontario-based law firm to work with Canadian banks and issue court orders where most of the big banks are based.“What I can say is the vast majority of the money has been traced and legally frozen,” Jorgenson said. He was advised not to disclose how much of it was traced by both the internal and Ontario legal teams, in part because the amount is changing “hour by hour” as the banks find more money, he said.The money that has been located so far is in 10 to 15 accounts, Jorgenson said. After the money is frozen through the court orders, the individual bank account holders have to be informed they have the proceeds of fraud and to return the money. Jorgenson said some of the money will be returned voluntarily.“There’s a chance that some might contest it, and we basically just go through the legal proceedings to do everything we can to get the money back,” he said.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.He thinks there’s a possibility some of the money has been spent, since not all of it has been frozen, he added.The fraud was the first of its kind the City of Saskatoon has faced. Jorgenson said the fraud came to light on Aug. 12 after it became clear to the rightful receiver, Allan Construction, that the funds weren’t going to show up in its bank account. The payment was specifically related to the Sen. Sid Buckwold Bridge rehabilitation project, he said.The city was initially contacted in July by someone impersonating the company’s chief financial officer, Blaine Dubreuil, in an electronic communication, Jorgenson said. On Aug. 7 or 8, the city made the payment to the account provided by the perpetrator. After the fraud was discovered, the city reported it to Saskatoon police.“It’s very disconcerting that the perpetrator used my name and our company name to commit this crime,” Dubreuil said in a statement. “We have done a security assessment and are confident that our systems were not hacked or compromised. We’ll be working closely with the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Police Service as the investigation continues.”The city made a claim to its insurer last week after it uncovered the fraud. Jorgenson said the city also immediately implemented new controls to prevent a similar scenario from repeating in the future. He said the verification controls have been “bolstered,” but declined to describe the past controls that were in place at the time of the breach — such as who processed the change or who signed off on it — since that is now part of the investigation.He said the city also reviewed all changes of bank account information that have occurred within the City of Saskatoon corporate structure over the last few months to ensure there aren’t any other “lingering” potential frauds about to happen.“There were controls in place, but clearly, the controls weren’t adequate to prevent this theft, so I’m not going to say that we were prepared,” he said.The $40,000 that was returned to the city was returned by the first account holder the city dealt with.Jorgenson did not disclose how much it cost to retain the Ontario legal team; he said the cost has yet to be determined, but will be disclosed at the end of the process. He expects to make future updates to the public and to city council, he added.A perpetrator of the scheme — known as “whaling” because it targets higher profile entities than a “phishing” scam — has not been identified, Jorgenson said.tjames@postmedia.comRelated read more

Regina and Saskatoon see recordbreaking low temperatures

A blast of cold air from the Arctic brought record-breaking low summer temperatures to central Saskatchewan on Sunday.In Regina, the temperature reached a low of 2 C, breaking the record of 2.8 C set in 1901. In Saskatoon, the mercury dropped to 0.7 C, breaking the record low of 2.2 C set in 1940.North Battleford broke the longest-standing record. Temperatures dropped to 0.5 C, breaking the record low of 1.7 C set all the way back in 1895.According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECC), the cause for the drop was a large low-pressure system that was sitting over northern Saskatchewan that sucked cold air down from the Arctic. The plummeting temperatures even brought snow to areas of northern British Columbia and Alberta.Clear skies helped drag the temperatures down over central regions of the province.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Terri Lang, a meteorologist with ECC, explained that cloud cover usually acts like a blanket, trapping heat. Without that blanket, Lang said it allowed temperatures in those areas to sink.Temperature drops like this are rare, but not unprecedented. Especially for Saskatchewan. Lang said this drop isn’t the sign of a trend.“It’s the nature of where we are. We’re one of the places in North America that’s really far away from water,” said Lang.Water helps moderate temperature, and since Saskatchewan is not near any major lakes or oceans, Lang said temperatures are at the mercy of weather systems.“So we can get the really hot stuff from the south, we can get the really humid stuff from the southeast, and we can get the real cold stuff from the north,” said Lang.The nights are also getting longer, which allows the cold air to get deeper. This, as Lang explained, is unfortunately a sign that summer won’t be around much longer.“We’re turning that corner, I think, into the end of summer and coming into fall, which is a tough realization,” said Lang.The likelihood of crops being damaged by the brief temperature drop is low. Cory Jacob, a crops extension specialist with the province’s Ministry of Agriculture, said lighter frosts at these temperatures are not as severe as the heavier ones, which happen in the -4 to -5 C range.“This would be minor damage, in our opinion, if any,” said read more

Côte dIvoire Security Council says all parties must cooperate with prime minister

In a statement read out by its president, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar, the Council reiterated its support for the UN-authorized International Working Group (IWG) mandated to monitor progress in the Ivorian peace process and stressed that all parties must adhere to the timeline in the IWG ‘road map’ peace plan.The statement came just one day after Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced his concern about the stalled peace process in Côte d’Ivoire, which has been divided between the Government-held south and the rebel-controlled north since 2002. In a statement released by his spokesman, Mr. Annan called on President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny to “initiate a sustained political dialogue, with the participation of all Ivorian political leaders” to revive the peace process.Today, the Council voiced “grave concern” at delays in implementing the political transition and urges all Ivorian parties “to cooperate fully with the Prime Minister.” The Council reiterated its full support for Mr. Banny. “It strongly encourages him to continue his endeavours, in consultation with President Laurent Gbagbo, including his efforts to fight impunity and promote good governance,” the statement said, adding that elections must be held by the end of next October “at the latest.”The Council reaffirmed that the Prime Minister “must exercise his powers without hindrance, including his authority over the Defence and Security Forces,” and called on all Ivorian parties to support his efforts.The Council also said the neutrality and impartiality of the public media are essential to the peace process, and called for a reinstatement of dismissed officials of Radio Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI) and Fraternité Matin. “Obstacles to the freedom of movement of the impartial forces, in particular those put up by the Republican Guard, are unacceptable,” the Council President said.The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) has more than 9,000 military or police personnel in place to maintain peace. read more

The World Chess Championship Comes Down To The Final Game

Watching the World Chess Championship is an essentially digital experience. The players still play analog — they sit in chairs in the same room as each other, pushing boxwood pieces across a rosewood and maple board. But the pieces are equipped with sensors that digitize the moves, sending them to phone and laptop screens around the world. Even at the venue, only a small minority watch the actual human players through the thick one-way glass in the viewing hall. Far more stare at large flat-screen monitors, or at smartphones or tablets, exactly as they’d be doing were they watching in their living room.Along the lefthand side of the chess board in the official match broadcast, and in other popular live streams such as chess24, is a bit of data visualization. It’s a long bar, a certain proportion of which is filled white, the other black. In an even position, the split is 50-50. If white is clearly winning, it may be something like 65-35, say.“It’s bullshit,” one grandmaster told me at the match.And it is, in some ways. The most obvious way to interpret the bar is as a winning percentage for white and for black, but that’s inaccurate. The bar doesn’t include a proportion for draws, for example, which are the single most likely outcome at the beginning of a grandmaster game. The computer is also bad at recognizing clearly drawn endgames, often giving an advantage to one side when none truly exists. It also seems miscalibrated. If the bars read 80 for white and 20 for black, black is toast in these elite-level games and would resign forthwith. So shouldn’t the bars have read 100-0?To the extent that “the computer” and the almighty bar blind us to the chess being played, they’re a problem. We shouldn’t be watching the World Bar Shifting Championship. My colleague Ben Morris, who is watching the match from afar, noticed this effect. After 11 often grueling games over the past 16 days, the World Chess Championship is right where it started — tied. There is one full-length game remaining.Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the world No. 1 and defending champion, has spent the past two weeks jousting with his challenger, the underdog Sergey Karjakin of Russia. With defensive stands worthy of the Battle of Thermopylae, and an improbable win with the black pieces in Game 8, Karjakin is still alive. If he wins as black on Monday, Karjakin will unseat Carlsen, the heavy favorite and “Mozart of chess.” If Carlsen prevails with white, he’ll have successfully defended his title for the second time. The match has been a tense human drama. But the watchful eyes of computer chess engines have also been observing, quantifying the ups and downs and framing the conversation for commentators and spectators.Saturday’s 11th game of the best-of-12 World Chess Championship in New York City was a quick, 34-move draw — the ninth draw of the match — and took just more than three hours. The match is now tied at 5.5 in a race to 6.5 and chess’s ultimate prize.1Wins are worth 1 point, draws are worth half a point for each player, and losses are worth 0 points. If the match is tied after 12 games, speedier tiebreaker games will be played Wednesday. More on those below.Yet again, the game began with an opening called the Ruy Lopez — the seventh time in 11 games. While the match between the two grandmasters is tied, the real winner might be Rodrigo (Ruy) López de Segura, the Spanish priest who undertook the first systematic examination of this opening in 1561.This most recent game may have revealed more about the players’ states of mind than any deep chess truths or dramatic or instructive positions. Karjakin was handling the white pieces for the final time in the set of 12 games. Chess fans expected (and many hoped) he’d “push,” opting for sharp attacking lines, playing for a win rather than settling for a draw. Instead it appeared to be Carlsen who was seeking winning edges as black. On the 24th move, Carlsen faced this position: An obvious move here, and the one preferred by the computer chess engine Stockfish, is for black to take the white pawn on d3 with his own. Carlsen, however, did not surrender one of his pieces so easily. Instead, he pushed that same pawn to e3, a step closer to its possible promotion to a queen, seeing if there was still any blood to be squeezed from the stone of a position. There wasn’t. Karjakin blocked the pawn’s advance, and the two grandmasters agreed to a draw 10 moves later.But one wonders how much fight Karjakin has left in him. “I’m not happy with how I played, but at least I managed to hold,” Karjakin said after the game.“In the first part of the match, it was 80 percent chess,” he added. “Now, it’s 80 percent psychology.”Carlsen, meanwhile, said it’s still about the chess. “The match is trending in a positive direction for me, and today, I have to say, I was a lot calmer than I was in the last few games,” Carlsen said. “I’m optimistic about the rest.”If Monday’s game is drawn, the match will be tied at 6. That tie would then be broken, and a world champion crowned, Wednesday with four rapid chess games — 25 minutes a side with 10 bonus seconds added per move. If those are tied, two blitz games — five minutes a side with three seconds added per move — will follow. If those are tied, they’ll play another two five-minute games up to four more times. And finally, if those are tied, they’ll play a final sudden-death game, using a format known as armageddon. In armageddon, black gets “time odds”: White gets five minutes while black gets just four, but a draw counts as a win for black.Carlsen is the No. 1 rapid player in the world and the No. 2 blitz player. Karjakin is No. 11 in blitz. Wednesday also happens to be Carlsen’s 26th birthday. “The computer says …”This is a common refrain at the championship venue on the East River in lower Manhattan. It’s repeated in the spectators’ gallery, the cafe and the press room. It is also declaimed on live-streaming chess broadcasts and bounces around Chess Twitter. It’s the lens through which the world championship is viewed and the rubric by which the players are praised and criticized.“The computer” is a chess engine. There are many incredibly strong engines, capable of laying easy waste to the best humans. They go by names such as Stockfish, Komodo and Houdini. After a few split-seconds of considering a position, an engine like Stockfish spits out an “evaluation.” This is a single number, measured in fractions of a pawn. If the number is positive, the computer sees the position as better for white, and if it’s negative, better for black. This is how “the computer” has seen the match’s ups and downs so far: But to the extent that they illuminate the deep chess being played, and teach a middling-at-best player like me what makes a position comfortable for white, or troublesome for black, they’re a boon. Like advanced metrics in other sports, they are debated — loved and hated. But the digital tools can serve as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, what’s happening on the field (er, the board).One of the players in the match has dominated the public digital chess experience. Carlsen recently won’s internet Grandmaster Blitz Battle. Carlsen’s personage is now prominently plastered on two apps — one launched during the championship match. Carlsen has a slickly designed home page,, featuring cool-sounding sponsors like Nordic Semiconductor and Arctic Securities.The other player has struggled with his online presence. The websites and, as of this writing, redirect to Carlsen’s website. Karjakin has said he’s considered suing, while the Carlsen team has denied any involvement. Using a whois query, the closest I could come to identifying the true owner was through a domain registration privatizing company, with a Phoenix address and a Google Voice number, called PrivacyGuardian. ( is registered to an owner in Oslo.) I left a voicemail at the number and sent a message for the domains’ owner through the PrivacyGuardian website, saying I’d like to talk.The next day, someone going by “A A” emailed me back from a nondescript email address. They didn’t identify themselves, but they did make me an offer. A bundle of 11 Karjakin-centric domains, they wrote, including and, was available. The quoted price: 46,464.64 euro. “Anyone can buy the domains and make a gift to the future of the world chess champion,” they wrote.Game 12 is Monday afternoon, and the tiebreakers, if necessary, will be Wednesday afternoon. I’ll be covering the rest of the match here and on Twitter. read more

Avec WikiLove Wikipédia distribue de lamour

first_imgAvec WikiLove, Wikipédia distribue de l’amourUn bouton WikiLove s’apprête à faire son apparition sur l’encyclopédie en ligne Wikipédia. La fondation entend ainsi encourager les éditeurs de Wikipédia a produire plus de contenus en leur distribuant de l’amour.La fondation Wikimedia annonce sur son blog le lancement dans les heures à venir d’un nouveau bouton qui apparaîtra sur les pages des contributeurs de son encyclopédie en ligne Wikipédia. Baptisé WikiLove, ce bouton permettra aux internautes disposant d’un compte, d’envoyer des commentaires et des cadeaux, des images proposées par le site ou issues de leur disque dur, aux auteurs des articles de l’encyclopédie. Cette fonction, qui apparaîtra sous la forme d’un coeur rose, a pour but d’inciter les participants à contribuer d’avantage, grâce à la motivation que leur apportera les messages et cadeaux des autres contributeurs.À lire aussiWikipédia: le PDG de Google offre 500.000 dollars Wikimedia explique avoir mené une enquête auprès des internautes disposant d’un compte sur l’encyclopédie participative, et constaté que les réactions négatives, souvent émises par les auteurs les plus anciens, nuisaient au développement de Wikipédia. 69% des personnes interrogées par la fondation ont ainsi confié écrire moins d’articles en raison des critiques émises par les participants expérimentés. 78% des sondés affirment en outre avoir envie de plus participer lorsqu’ils reçoivent compliments et encouragements. C’est pour cela que Wikimedia propose désormais de donner de l’amour aux contributeurs de son encyclopédie qui devient alors encore plus sociale.La fondation, qui a grand besoin de bénévoles supplémentaires, indique en outre réfléchir à d’autres moyens d’encourager de nouveaux auteurs à enrichir le contenu de Wikipédia.Le 29 juin 2011 à 19:14 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Carrie Fisher Passes Away at the Age of 60

first_imgStay on target The Fool Who Follows Him: 9 Solo Spin-Offs Disney Should Make NextEpisode IX Gets a New Screenwriter and John Boyega Discusses Leia’s Sendoff Carrie Fisher, best known for playing Princess and then General Leia Organa in the Star Wars series, died Tuesday following what was reported as a massive heart attack last week. She was 60.“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” a statement released by the family said. “She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”Fisher suffered a massive heart attack Friday on a flight to Los Angeles from London, where she had been promoting her new book The Princess Diarist. Passengers reportedly gave her CPR before the plane landed and she was rushed to the hospital.Things appeared to be looking up after Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, posted on Facebook Christmas Day that her daughter was in stable condition.For the actress’s 60th birthday, Geek dedicated a week to covering her accomplishments, her legacy, and her contagious sense of humor. Carrie Fisher was many things–an actress, an author, a mental health activist, a mother, a mother to Gary, a person who won at Twitter, the greatest talk show guest of all time–but she was most importantly an inspiration and icon for nerds everywhere.Despite years of very public drug abuse, Fisher had managed to seek treatment, get help for her bipolar disorder, and become an outspoken voice for mental illness. Her public image has been one of resilience and honest self-deprecation, which I respected as somebody with mental illness, but also drew from when confronting my issues each day.“I outlasted my problems,” she said. “I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.”She was an influence for the rebellion in that galaxy far, far away, but when she was on Earth, she was a powerful force. She acted for decades, doctored some of the most famous scripts in Hollywood, and brought a light to our lives whenever she opened her mouth.May the force be with you, Carrie.last_img read more

Teacher bikes coasttocoast with students along

first_imgCAMAS — David Blair endured the heartland’s oppressive heat, all the potholes and cracked roads his tires could handle and plenty of aches and pains while biking across America this summer — all in an ill-fated attempt to attend his 30th high school reunion in Ohio.In seeking to reconnect with his youth, the Skyridge Middle School fitness teacher stumbled upon a way to connect with his students via the social networking site Facebook. Blair posted a nightly question, often related to geography or history, on his “Big Reunion Ride 2011” page that included them in his journey. Blair, 48, finished his 44-day, 2,581-mile ride Aug. 5 in Washington, D.C. He noted that the Facebook idea, which started almost as an afterthought, played an integral role in his ability to finish the grueling, rewarding trek across 14 states.“I was really proud of the accomplishment,” Blair said of his ride, which started June 23 in Everett. “There were a number of times I was tempted to stop, especially in the Midwest. Had I not had the Facebook setup with the kids following along, I may have called it quits.”Blair considered quitting after learning his high school reunion in Tallmadge, Ohio, was happening in October, not August as he first thought. The reunion had provided the chief inspiration behind the cross-country bike ride. He did eventually meet up with high school friends for pizza, however.last_img read more

AL leader acquitted from BDR carnage case dies

first_imgTorab AliTorab Ali Akanda, who was recently released from the 2009 BDR carnage case, died while undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on Friday morning. He was 80.Former president of ward no. 48 of Dhaka city Torab Ali was sentenced to life term imprisonment in the BDR (now Border Guard Bangladesh-BGB) revolt and killing case.The High Court in an appeal verdict on 27 November last year, acquitted him from charges.Torab Ali, however, was not released from the Keraniganj central jail as the HC order did not reach there.He was taken to the DMCH after he had fallen sick on Wednesday. He died at the coronary care unit of the hospital around 6:00am.A total of 74 people, including 57 army officials, were killed in BDR (now Border Guard Bangladesh) headquarters at Pilkhana in Dhaka in 2009.After the mutiny, the para-military force (BDR) was renamed as Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and 58 cases were filed — one for serious crimes, and the rest for revolt.On the criminal charges, some 152 people were sentenced to death and 423 others to different jail terms and 277 others acquitted. This was the country’s largest-ever killing case.Among the convicts, 161 people, including late BNP leader Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu and Awami League leader Torab Ali, were sentenced to life term imprisonment while 262 others to different jail terms starting from three months to 19 years.Later, the High Court upheld death sentence of 139 out of 152 and awarded life term imprisonment to 185 while 200 others were to different jail terms.Torab Ali and 48 others were acquitted by the court.last_img read more

RetroN 5 multicartridge games console release delayed until 2014

first_imgHyperkin’s RetroN consoles are popular because they allow you to play original game cartridges without the need for the original hardware. So if your SNES, Megadrive, or Game Boy has died, for example, a RetroN allows you to continue playing.In March this year the RetroN 5 was announced. It includes 5 cartridge slots and allows for games to be played from 9 different machines, which include:NESFamiconSNESSuper FamiconMegadriveGenesisGame BoyGame Boy ColorGame Boy AdvanceAs well as the games, you can plug in original controllers, or take advantage of Bluetooth and use up to 4 wireless controllers including one developed by Hyperkin specifically for use with the multi-console. The final great feature of the RetroN 5 is the inclusion of HDMI, allowing for easy connection to Plasma and LCD TVs as well as monitors.The RetroN 5 was meant to arrive in July, but that date came and went with a release expected at least before the end of this year. However, that now isn’t going to happen.The reason being Hyperkin has discovered some of the RetroN 5 units coming off the production line have faulty pins meaning they won’t be fully operational. Sorting out this manufacturing problem has meant pushing back the release to Q1 2014.Such delays are really frustrating for a machine that’s clearly going to be very popular. But hopefully this is the last of them, and we’ll get to finally purchase one before the end of March next year.last_img read more

Female peacock spiders show preference for multimodal courtship

first_img(—A trio of researchers, two from the University of California and one from the University of New South Wales, has found that female peacock spiders prefer a multi-modal manner of courtship from potential mates. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Madeline Girard, Damian Elias and Michael Kasumovic describe their study of the tiny spiders and what their study has added to the general knowledge of female preferences regarding mate selection where there are examples of extreme ornamentation on display. Scientists have known for quite some time that the males of many species have some degree of ornamentation meant to attract females, from bright colors to strange appendages. They have also known that some males engage in what appear to us humans as odd dances. What has not been so clear is how the females choose between one suitor and another. To learn more, the researchers focused on the tiny (quarter inch long) peacock spider. In this species, the males have a large colorful “tail” that they can spread wide like a peacock—they also have interesting colorings on their legs. Also, to gain even more attention from the female, the male engages in a unique vibration-type dance, unique in that it differs between members of the same species.The study was conducted in Australia, home of the spider, where the team collected 64 male/female pairs and put them in what they called courtship arenas—enclosures where the spiders could engage in courtship under lights and with cameras capturing all the action. The goal was to see if it might be possible to figure out how each of the females decided to mate with their assigned partner, or not 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. Citation: Female peacock spiders show preference for multi-modal courtship (2015, December 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Team shows how female spiders play an active role in courtship Explore further Male Maratus pavonis jumping spider. Credit: Bron/Wikipedia/Flickr The extreme variation in courtship found in birds of paradise, and the difficulty in observing them. In watching the spiders, the researchers noted the females were not often impressed with what a male had to offer, sometimes they simply turned away, while other times they simply ate them. In all, the team found that the females only liked 16 of the courtship dances, but by comparing success rates, the team was able to determine that on average, the way the male looked was twice as important as how he danced. Despite that, the researchers concluded that sexual selection ultimately came down to a combination of visual and vibratory displays. More information: Female Preference for Multi-Modal Courtship: Multiple Signals are Important for Male Mating Success in Peacock Spiders, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or … .1098/rspb.2015.2222Read also: The spectacular peacock spider dance and its strange evolutionary roots © 2015 Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society Blast_img read more

Hard times

first_imgChennai on Thursday virtually turned into an island. The coastal areas of Tamil Nadu were marooned after unprecedented rains in 100 years pounded India’s fourth largest city. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told in the Parliament on Thursday that the situation is “very alarming”. “It would not be an exaggeration to say that Chennai has become an island as it has been cut off from all national and state highways,” he said. However, the worst is yet to come. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, in the next 48 hours, the entire Tamil Nadu coast is going to be under heavy rainfall. For the citizens of Chennai, the following days are going to be as hard if not worse.  Also Read – Working on improving tiesThe death toll from rain-related incidents in the state has risen to 269 from 188 on Thursday, according to the Centre. It is imperative to note that Chennai has been under deluge for the entire month of November. The recent spurt in rainfall came after a relative lull last weekend. The city’s two main rivers, Adyar and Cooum, are flooded, with reservoirs and tanks overflowing and 35 lakes are reportedly flowing at dangerous levels. Although the army and National Disaster Response Force have rescued more than 5,000 people, many remain marooned. What’s worse, the rescue work in large parts of the city have been rendered high risk due to the prevalence of wires from broken electrical poles that have fallen in the water. The state electricity board, as a result, has suspended the supply of electricity as a precautionary measure. Moreover, the city is facing a massive shortage of food and other essential items like food and water, not to mention the impending healthcare crisis that is likely to grip the city. According to recent reports, a bottle of mineral water costing Rs 20 is being sold for Rs 150 in certain areas. In response, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who made an aerial survey of Chennai on Thursday, announced relief of Rs. 1000 crore for Tamil Nadu, which, he said, will be “over and above Rs. 940 crore which was released earlier.”  Meanwhile, thousands of residents are reportedly fleeing North Chennai, where no rescue services are operating. Besides government authorities, a host of NGOs and local citizens have come out in large numbers, providing shelter and basic necessities, besides offering manpower in rescue operations.  In fact, a website called has been working as a resource centre and assisting those in need of help. Despite all local efforts, the rest of the country must step up and play its part through donations, both monetary and material.  Also Read – Political parties and our Republic The economic impact of the disaster cannot be overstated. Chennai is home to major automobile manufacturing and IT hubs. The floods have severely derailed business activity in the city, with companies shutting down their offices en masse. According to Assocham, one of India’s major trade associations, “the financial loss due to record-breaking rainfall in Chennai and several parts of Tamil Nadu may even exceed Rs 15,000 crore-mark as Chennai has come to a virtual standstill and is in the grip of fear and panic.” Although the amount of rainfall in the city has been unprecedented, poor urban planning has significantly exacerbated the situation, with drains blocked and most of the city swamped. It is safe to assume that the infrastructure for big commerce, allied with the construction of illegal housing complexes, have replaced the natural barriers to withstand floods. Authorities in India’s fourth largest metropolis have allowed construction over all but 27 of its 650 buffers and reservoirs. Unsurprisingly, the worst-affected areas in the city include the recently constructed high-tech corridor for multinational companies. Across the city, multi-storey residential and industrial structures have been built over what was once a lake, tank, canal or a river only 20 years ago.  According to report submitted by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), there are over 1.5 lakh illegal structures in the city. Although the Madras High Court called for the demolition of many of these structures, the authorities have been unable anything, with stay orders coming in their way. So, when Chennai floods, there aren’t enough unobstructed channels for the water to get out. Moreover, rivers, natural outlets for flood waters, are choked with garbage, sewage, and silt. The government has already spent large sums of money to clear up Chennai’s rivers and resuscitate its sewage infrastructure. However, most of it is just good money gone down the drain, since city authorities did bother with detailed topographical assessments before constructing these expensive drains. Due diligence, one may assume, went out of the window. As a city, with an average elevation of about 6.7 metres above mean sea level, with many neighbourhoods actually at sea level, such laxity on the part of authorities cannot be excused.last_img read more

Banijye Basate Lakshmi Corporate world captured on stage

first_imgThat the visionary who recognised the emergence of ‘third theatre’ or ‘Company theatre’ a decade and a half ago will go on to inculcate corporatization in the minority art form to make it a sustainable project is much expected. The stupendous promotion of the play, ‘Awdyo Shesh Rajani’, directed by him is a paradigm shift in terms of pre-launch activities which can be compared with the marketing steps taken by any business house before selling their own product. The promotion of Mohit Maitra Mancha as a theatrical venue in north Kolkata is another pioneering move by an artiste and an ‘entrepreneur’, Bratya Basu in cultivating art and culture in the society. The noted playwright, director and the initiator of this process touches a significant issue by writing a crisp, suave drama titled ‘Banijye Basate Lakshmi’ that deals with the life of a corporate employee turned entrepreneur, Arya Dutta, who hails from a township Durgapur in Bengal. Here we see how theatre picks up a noticeable development of young minds of this generation which the creative persons did not pay heed to. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe title ‘Banijye Basate Lakshmi’ is a Sanskrit phrase which means that the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi dwells in trade and commerce. It drives home the message that it is in a commercial business that money is worshipped. Every young aspirant steps outside his home in pursuance of a dream of successfully earning enough to attain a respectable position in his career and thereby in the society as well. This drama is a success story of a young man, Arya Dutta, who joins a company of repute after completion of MBA in marketing. After being hand-picked by Sagar Dabriwal, the founder member and director of the company, Arya loses no time in gaining the confidence of his boss, Deblina Roy, who is the co-Director of the company and wife of Sagar Dabriwal. The play marks the challenging journey of growth of Arya from an ordinary corporate worker to a business tycoon. The narrative goes on to reflect the complex, moral conflict disturbing the simplicity and innocence of his mind throughout his professional journey. Arya’s habit of conversing continuously with his dead mother who acts as his alter-ego is the director’s unsettling ploy to unfold the mental dilemmas and anxiety regarding the young man’s changing values of life. His desperation to succeed is reflected in the way Arya secretly sleeps with his boss Deblina nonchalantly and in a shocking climax ends marrying someone else. The protagonist who appeared to be immensely pained by seeing the plight of the poorest of the poor in a remote village of South India had succeeded in overcoming his emotional ‘weakness’ by the time he claimed a fortune for himself through marriage. While Deblina becomes hysterical with Arya’s betrayal, Arya shows no sign of remorse. Bratya gradually knits every step of the young entrepreneur with the lavishness of corporate ideologies as the protagonist learns to prioritise his crude ambition over his ‘silly’ emotions. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDebasish with the help of D’moy does a wonderful job in constructing the stage with a look of a contemporary business establishment with a table, laptop and the front seats of a car in one end and a glimpse of middle-class household on the other. Actor, Sumit Roy as AryaDutta, in the middle takes the centre stage with his naked hunger to ascend to the top. His maturity in acting reminds us about the emergence as one of the most promising theatre artistes in Bengal. Sanjib Sarkar as Sagar Dabriwal looks brilliant with his acting and diction. Dishary Chakraborty’s music and experienced Dinesh Poddar’s lighting mingles well to enhance the quality of the production. Paikpara Indraranga does not dishearten them by producing ‘Banijye Basate Lakshmi. Indrajit Chakraborty, the ‘entrepreneur’ of this production and the director of the theatre group hails this as a unique intellectual and revolutionary effort in art and culture from Bratya Basu. Playwright, Bratya Basu in his effort to expose the ruthless corporate world does not criticise it from outside. He enters into the ‘capitalist world’ with Arya and uses the philosophy of David Howe, David Crystal, Max Weber and Prof Barch in the play. Basu explains how he is inspired by the philosophy of economist James William who believed that the economic thoughts ignited strong emotions which did not rest till the cause of grief and its remedies were established. He also invites the theatre lovers to drift from its traditional anti-capital and anti-establishment stance and to call this satirically a ‘Capitalistic Play’, a new concept. When the middle-class Bengalis, after the era of Prince Dwarkanath Tagore and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy are losing out in the race of emerging as successful entrepreneurs in the country, Bratya picks up a serious issue and his timing seems impeccable.last_img read more

Avail An Amazing Discount On The Complete Cisco CCNA Collaboration Bundle With

first_imgIn the world of IT, the name is Cisco is of great importance. If you are looking to advance in your career and are trying to get certifications, then we are here to help. Wccftech is offering an amazing discount offer on the Complete Cisco CCNA Collaboration Bundle. The offer is limited and will expire really soon. So, without wasting any more time, get the deal that will you jumpstart your career in a matter of hours! The bundle has a lot to offer and all you have to do is invest your time in it.Complete Cisco CCNA Collaboration Bundle featuresThe certifications will not only help network video engineers and IP network engineers, they will also help you increase your skill set. The bundle includes 2 courses, which will help you with everything you need. Here are highlights of what the Complete Cisco CCNA Collaboration Bundle has to offer: Access 2 courses & 36 hours of content 24/7 Prepare to ace the Cisco 210-060 & 210-065 exams Student will have understanding of Voice and Voip Fundamentals Develop the skills necessary to implement Cisco Collaboration & UC Solutions Explore the fundamentals of Cisco Collaboration technologies Learn how to implement Cisco Collaboration endpoints Describe Cisco Business Video components & architectures Understand how to implement multipoint conferencing on Cisco collaboration endpointsImportant Details Length of time users can access this course: lifetime Access options: web streaming Certification of completion not included Redemption deadline: redeem your code within 30 days of purchaseRequirements Internet required Working knowledge of converged voice and data networks Basic knowledge of Cisco IOS gateways Basic knowledge of Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Unity Connection Knowledge of video conferencing and streaming fundamentals Working knowledge of basic IP networking Cisco Basic IP networking e-learning or Interconnecting Cisco Devices, Part 1 and 2 (ICND1 and ICND2)Get the offer and make your career dreams come true.Original Price Complete Cisco CCNA Collaboration Bundle: $598Wccftech Discount Price Complete Cisco CCNA Collaboration Bundle: $19 Share Tweet Submitlast_img read more

Amazing food at Moth Hall

first_imgThe Siegetown Moths are holding an International Food Day today (Friday) from 9am to 4pm at the Moth Hall in Egerton Road.Mouth-watering cuisine from around the world is being sold to raise funds for charity.So make a turn and be greeted with irresistible aromas to make your taste buds tingle, as stall holders prepare delicious dishes to their customers’ demands.If you haven’t been down to the Moth Hall yet, you still have some time to get your hands on scrumptious snacks.As said above, the International Food Day will be going on till 4pm this afternoon, so make your way over for a “world food experience”! WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img read more

Charges dropped against former cop

first_imgThe charges against former police officer Fahim Khan have been withdrawn.Khan appeared in B-court yesterday (Wednesday), facing charges of theft by false pretenses and impersonating a police officer.The state has withdrawn all charges against the accused after it became apparent to prosecutors that the state’s case was incredibly weak. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

Suu Kyi says Myanmar refugees wont be forgotten

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories This part of the Thai border is home to up to 140,000 refugees. The United Nations says there are at least 417,000 refugees from Myanmar altogether, the rest living in Malaysia, India and Bangladesh.The fact that they are too fearful to return is a testament to the challenges ahead _ including ending an upsurge of fighting in northern Kachin state and releasing hundreds of remaining political prisoners. Although Western nations have begun suspending harsh economic sanctions that once helped isolate the now-defunct military regime, Suu Kyi says the world should exercise caution and maintain a “healthy skepticism.”Aeh Aeh Phaw, a married mother of eight who fled to Mae La in 2008 to escape fighting, said she dreams every day of going home.“Being in the camp is like living in a prison. It’s like we’re birds in a cage, we cannot move freely,” she said. “But we cannot go home until there is security and peace.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Suu Kyi’s trip itself is also being seen as proof of the confidence she has in those reforms. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who spent 15 of the last two decades under house arrest, had previously refused to leave the country because she feared the former ruling generals would not let her return.Suu Kyi’s trip to Mae La was much like her electoral campaign earlier this year that won her a seat in parliament: Pulsating crowds of supporters screamed her name and struggled to get a glimpse of the former political prisoner they have heard so much about but never seen.The beating of traditional drums heralded her arrival and departure, and as her convoy inched through the camp’s dirt roads, Suu Kyi mostly stayed in her vehicle, waving to the crush of onlookers wailing “Long live Mother Suu!”The 66-year-old opposition leader visited a health clinic in the camp, and listened intently as local authorities described the grim living conditions of nearly 50,000 refugees here, almost all of them entirely dependent on aid to survive.“I have not forgotten you,” Suu Kyi said during one of several impromptu stops to greet the crowds.Asked to comment on her visit to the camp, Suu Kyi told The Associated Press: “It’s not a problem to be solved with emotions. We have to solve it practically.” New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories center_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Associated PressMAE LA REFUGEE CAMP, Thailand (AP) – Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi got an up-close look at her nation’s long-standing refugee crisis for the first time Saturday, visiting a sprawling sea of thatched huts on the Thai border to tell those who fled here: “You will not be forgotten.”The newly elected lawmaker’s six-day journey to Thailand is her first foreign trip in 24 years, and she has used it to draw attention to the plight of her compatriots abroad _ from exploited migrant workers who came in search of jobs to war refugees who came in search of peace. Comments   Share   How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation 5 treatments for adult scoliosis The wildly enthusiastic refugees in Mae La said Suu Kyi’s trip Saturday was the first time anyone of such stature from Myanmar’s government had ever visited them. But few had hope their fate would change soon.“If we go back now, who will guarantee our security?” said Naw Mu, a 35-year-old woman who crossed the border 10 years ago and now lives in the crowded camp, which is shadowed by rugged mist-shrouded mountaintops covered in dense forest.“We want go back when there is peace, but we’re not ready,” Naw Mu said. “We’re afraid it’ll be like it was before _ we’ll be running for our lives.”Ethnic Karen rebels fighting for greater autonomy took up arms at independence from Britain in 1948 and are one of the longest-running insurgencies in the world. Over the last few months, however, they have been negotiating a historic truce with the government and skirmishes have eased.The cease-fire is part of a wave of globally praised reforms engineered by President Thein Sein’s military-backed government over the last year that have begun transforming the international pariah into a newly budding nation that has finally begun to open up.last_img read more

Mexican table grape exports to resume growth trend

first_img Mexican table grape exports to resume growth trend … EU’s citrus production set to rise 8% over last ye … BrightFarms grows salad greens including baby spinach, spring mix, baby romaine, baby arugula and baby kale, as well as multiple varieties of basil. The produce is sold in U.S. retailers including Walmart, Kroger, Ahold and Albertsons.”We are always testing new, innovative varieties to meet retailer and consumer demands. Most recently, we launched Sunny Crunch, an iceberg-leafy green blend that has the crunch of an iceberg but the higher nutrition density and flavor that is typically found in darker greens,” Lightfoot said.He went on to explain BrightFarms’ strategy was to build greenhouses near major metro areas, adding that using natural sunlight to grow plants enables us to be scalable in a cost-effective way.”We’ve also made it our priority to work with the nation’s largest retailers through produce purchase agreements. With a one-week freshness advantage, innovative varieties, a more reliable and safe supply chain, and consistently higher category sales, we’ve developed very successful partnerships with these retailers,” he said.”Working through these high-volume channels allows us to offer a premium, delicious and healthy product at an affordable price for the average consumer.” NZ: ‘Serious pest’ affecting avocado trees discove … State of the Market – Week 27 2019 … center_img July 09 , 2018 You might also be interested in U.S. greenhouse company BrightFarms has recently secured a US$55 million investment, which it says will fuel its ambitious expansion plans over the coming years. It secured the funding through a Series D equity financing round led by Cox Enterprises, a leading media and automotive services company.BrightFarms currently has four greenhouses in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois and Ohio (opening this summer) and has a fifth scheduled to open in Texas in early 2019.The company has ambitious plans to build 10 to 15 more greenhouses in the next three years.”As we continue to grow, we’re focused on regions across the entire country that are near city centers. These areas enable us to provide access to locally-grown produce at a cost where most Americans can participate,” Paul Lightfoot said in a statement sent to Fresh Fruit Portal.last_img read more