Left Front hits historic low all but one of its candidates in

first_imgNew Delhi: Registering its worst poll performance in over six decades, the Left Front was virtually wiped off its bastions with the Lok Sabha poll results showing it managed just five seats across the country.On its erstwhile turf in West Bengal, where it failed to win even one seat, its vote share reduced to a paltry 7 per cent from 23 per cent in 2014. And in Kerala, where it managed only one seat, its vote share was around 32 per cent. In the eastern state it was a debacle wherein all but one Left-wing party candidates lost their security deposits. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCThis was also the first time since 1952 that the Left Front did not end up with double digits in the general election. Till now, while it had put up its most dismal show in 2014, winning only 12 seats 12 less than what it had won in 2009 its highest ever tally of 59 seats had come in 2004. “The political ideology of the Left still has relevance, but it is not in tune with electoral politics. We need to do serious introspection, rework strategies, reorganise and reconnect with the masses,” CPI leader D Raja said, adding that young blood had to be infused to resurrect the Left in the country. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsOnce a Left stronghold, the CPI(M) has one seat in Kerala Alappuzha. Another Left party, the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), has won the Kollam seat in Kerala, but it is a part of the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the southern state. In West Bengal, a state ruled by the Left for 34 uninterrupted years, it has drawn a blank, while it had won two seats in the state in 2014. Five years since, it has not even managed to bag the second spot in any of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats. “To think that the Left Front has an ideological influence over people is the basic failure of the Left parties. Communities seem to be Left-leaning because of class interests like farmers, who feel their issues will be addressed by these parties. However, I am not sure they vote for the Left as their ideology may be different. “The Left has failed to culturally influence them with its ideology and, thus, it remains confined to their basic class interests,” professor, author and Left ideologue Chaman Lal said. The Left Front, comprising the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the RSP, enjoyed its golden period in electoral politics in the 1990s and early 2000s. It had governments in three states during this period and held around 55-60 seats in Parliament. It played the role of kingmaker for the Third Front governments during 1996-98 by joining a 13-party coalition and for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in 2004. However, with the loss at the hands of the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress in West Bengal in 2011, to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tripura in 2018 and staring at a humiliating defeat against the Congress in Kerala in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, its ideological influence seems to be waning. At the same time, BJP’s vote share has gone up to 40.1 per cent from 17.2 per cent. The TMC too has increased its vote share from 39.7 per cent in 2014 to 43.5 per cent. “When we talk of the Left’s relevance, we have to differentiate between the Left ideology and the Left-leaning political parties. The Left ideology is based on equality and the parties have not been able to reach out to the people and explain it. They are in electoral politics, but they never prepared themselves for it. “They have never fought for power at the Centre. They have never contested over 100 seats. So, they are perceived by the voter to be an ally..,” Apoorvanand, a professor of the DU, said.last_img read more

Lilly Singh Named As UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

first_imgActress, comedian, and author Lilly Singh was appointed UNICEF’s newest Goodwill Ambassador at a special event during the weekend in New Delhi.Lilly, who is known by her digital alias Superwoman, was in India to meet children and young people being supported by UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation.In her role as a Goodwill Ambassador, Lilly will use her unique digital presence to engage children and young people and empower them to speak out about the challenges they face.“I am honoured to join UNICEF as a Goodwill Ambassador, and to use my voice to support its mission of reaching every child,” Lilly said. “The children I have met here are overcoming so many challenges – and they are living proof of what a child can achieve, if given a chance,” she added.Lilly travelled with UNICEF to Madhya Pradesh State in Central India, where she met with adolescents and young people growing up in challenging circumstances including extreme poverty, but who have been able to bring positive changes to their lives.One of the many projects that Lilly visited was the UNICEF supported Youth4Change initiative, a leadership programme for young people that brings them together to support their peers and communities in taking action on the issues that impact them most such as of health and hygiene, protection from violence and exploitation, gender equality and the importance of a quality education.“It was beyond impressive to see the ‘Change Loomers,’ as they called themselves, create so many diverse and impactful initiatives to help improve their community,” Lilly said. “It was also incredibly inspiring to see free karate lessons for girls that not only build their self-confidence, but teaches them self-defense tactics to help them face the real-life threat of violence and harassment,” she added.“Lilly Singh is already a Superwoman, helping empower girls around the world – and we are delighted that she will lend her passion and her powerful voice to speak up on behalf of the most vulnerable children,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth.Lilly, 28, has gained a huge fan base of over 11 million YouTube subscribers. This year, she released her international and New York Times bestselling book How To Be A Bawse, and was recently cast in HBO’s film adaptation of “Fahrenheit 451.” Additionally, Lilly was ranked 1st on the Forbes Magazine Top Influencers List in the entertainment category.As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Lilly will use her platforms to showcase UNICEF’s work and to engage her millions of supporters in advocating for children’s rights. Her new role with UNICEF is complemented by her Girl Love initiative, which aims to end to girl-on-girl hate and instead focuses on positivity by encouraging support of women and girls.Lilly was joined at the launch event by Ms. Yasmin Haque, UNICEF’s Representative in India, who officially welcomed her to the UNICEF family.“Lilly is a role model to so many young people, especially girls, and we look forward to the role she will play in generating greater discussion – and greater action – around the value of girls in India and everywhere,” Haque said.More than 50 per cent of India’s population are below the age of 25 and India is already the second largest market for YouTube, Facebook, and many other video platforms.Lilly joins an impressive list of other UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors that includes David Beckham, Orlando Bloom, Jackie Chan, Muzoon Almellehan, Danny Glover, Liam Neeson, Priyanka Chopra, Ricky Martin and Shakira.last_img read more

Road Accident Injures 47 Wydad Athletic Club Supporters

Rabat – The fans were transferred to the emergency unit of Tetouan’s regional hospital Saniat Rmel to receive necessary medical treatment.Six fans, including the driver, were retained in the intensive care unit due to their severe injuries which required further treatment and medical supervision.Read also: Road Accident Kills 5 Tangier Football FansThe accident occurred near Jbel Lahbib province, 30 kilometers away from the city of Tetouan. According to local news outlets, the accident was caused by excessive speed and the driver’s disregard for road signs. The match between Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) and Moghreb Tetouan kicked off today at 3 p.m at the Saniat Rmel stadium. read more

Veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi to head UN staff security review

5 February 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has chosen veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi to chair an independent panel on the safety and security of United Nations staff worldwide, set up in the wake of the December 2007 Algiers bombing which claimed the lives of 17 of the Organization’s staff. Mr. Brahimi “possesses vast experience and knowledge of UN operations,” the Secretary-General told reporters in New York today as he made the announcement. “I am quite sure that he will lead this independent panel with fairness and objectivity, to bring a very important recommendation for the safety and security of the UN staff.” Mr. Ban said he will be engaging with Member States in the coming weeks and months to strengthen the security and safety support they are providing to UN staff posted in their countries.According to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, the independent review will “evaluate the strategic issues vital to the delivery and enhancement of the security of UN personnel and premises and the changing threats and risks faced by it.”The panel will examine the inherent vulnerabilities of UN operations around the world, study the responses of host countries, and identify the fundamental lessons drawn from preceding reports on the subject, including the preliminary report of the Department of Safety and Security on the Algiers attack. The other members of the Independent Panel on Safety and Security of UN Personnel and Premises, which will include international experts from outside the UN system, are expected to be announced shortly. read more

US human rights report notes sexual abuse by Sri Lankan authorities

Excessive use of force against civilians by police and security officials also remained a concern, the report said.The Executive Summery of the report notes that human rights issues reported in Sri Lanka included unlawful killings; torture, notably sexual abuse; arbitrary detention by government forces; website blocking; violence against lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons and criminalization of same-sex sexual activity; and corruption. Although same-sex sexual conduct was prohibited by law, it was rarely prosecuted.Police reportedly harassed civilians with impunity, and the Government had yet to implement a mechanism to hold accountable government security personnel accused of crimes during the civil war. During the year, however, the Government took steps to investigate, prosecute, and punish some officials who committed human rights abuses. (Colombo Gazette) A US human rights report has noted allegations of sexual abuse committed by Sri Lankan authorities last year.The ‘2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices’ released by the US State Department notes that there were reports of sexual abuse committed by Government and security sector officials against wives who came forward seeking information about their missing husbands or against war widows who attempted to claim Government benefits based on their deceased husbands’ military service. It stated that many reports of torture referred to police officers allegedly “roughing up” suspects to extract a confession or otherwise elicit evidence to use against the accused. The report states that interviews by human rights organizations found that torture by police remained endemic throughout the country.As in previous years, suspects arrested under the PTA since the civil war ended in 2009 gave accounts of torture and mistreatment, forced confessions, and denial of basic rights such as access to lawyers or family members. Some released former combatants reported torture or mistreatment, including sexual abuse by state officials while in rehabilitation centers and after their release. The report released by US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo notes that according to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) torture committed by Police forces was routine and continued throughout the country, and it received 193 allegations of physical and mental torture by state actors as of June last year. read more

Feds charges 11th person in ongoing UAW corruption probe

DETROIT — Federal prosecutors in Detroit have filed charges against an 11th person in an investigation of corruption in the United Auto Workers.Jeff Pietrzyk is charged with conspiracy. He’s accused of accepting at least $70,000 in 2013-14 from a chiropractor who was paid millions of dollars to make watches for General Motors workers. Investigators also say Pietrzyk was a middleman who passed cash to someone identified as Union Official 1.The charges were filed in a document titled criminal “information,” which means a guilty plea is likely. The new case was filed Friday on the fifth day of the UAW’s strike against GM. The name of Pietrzyk’s attorney wasn’t immediately known.Pietrzyk was a senior union official who worked closely with Joe Ashton, now retired as a UAW vice-president.The Associated Press read more

VIDEO Graduation day bittersweet for international student

Aysha Othman was sitting on her couch surrounded by stacks of study books preparing for her CPA exam, when her phone rang. She stared at it with a sinking feeling in her chest.It was her mother, calling her directly rather than through the app she usually used. The 21-year-old didn’t want to pick it up. She knew something was terribly wrong.She went numb, her mind blanking as her mom broke the news that her older brother Said, 24, was dead.She’d just spoken to him the day before.Within hours, Othman was on a plane headed home to Tanzania.She stayed for a month before returning to Brock University, where she graduated with a Master of Accountancy degree Saturday.“It’s probably going to be hard,” she said before convocation, her second this year. “It will be bittersweet.”Her brother Said was here in June to watch her walk across the stage for her Bachelor of Accounting degree. He was supposed to come back Oct. 17 along with her mother, aunt and cousin.He was very proud of her and her academic accomplishments. Shortly before his death, Said posted a collage of photos of the two of them on Facebook and bragged about her upcoming graduation.When she spoke to him the day before he died he said he was feeling unwell. He’d been battling an attack of sickle-cell anemia but it was Malaria that caused his death. With his compromised immune system, he couldn’t fight the mosquito-borne illness.She still can’t believe he’s gone. The loss hits her in the gut when she allows herself to think about him.He was her big brother. Her friend. Her inspiration.“I came to Canada because my older brother was studying here,” Othman says.Said went to the University of Toronto and studied finance and economics. Othman followed and started at Trent University before switching to Brock for its renowned accounting program.Othman is among the first graduates of the MAcc program at the Goodman School of Business. Brock was the first business school in Ontario to be accredited at the Master’s level by Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario and Othman said the intensive program was challenging and rewarding. She strived to do her best, the thought of her brother a constant motivation.My brother left a huge footprint.In 2012, Said returned home to Tanzania, where their father is the country’s chief justice, to work as head of trading in a bank.“My brother left a huge footprint,” Othman says. “This was the biggest loss for our family.”Othman, a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honours Society, says her brother’s death has changed her path.“I have to re-evaluate my life and prioritize. Now I see how important family is,” she says. “I was planning to settle down here but now it makes sense for me to go back home.”She says she wants to be there for her family and to help enable her younger brother Amin, 20, to continue studying abroad in England, where he is working on a law degree at the University of Southampton.Because Othman missed her Chartered Professional Accountants exam – a three-day, intensive test that accountants must pass to be certified – when she went back to Tanzania, she will have to take it in May.Saturday Othman beamed as she graduated in front of her loved ones. She sat in the front row at the convocation ceremony and when she walked across the stage, she could hear the pride of her family as they cheered.“Our mom is always our No. 1 fan,” she said. “She comes to every graduation.”In June, Othman will be in England with her mom to watch as her younger brother accepts his degree. read more

Mother needing surgery died after being turned away from three hospitals over

first_imgSt George's Hospital in Tooting “Meanwhile, at about 1pm, Ms Muldowney woke up very briefly while intubated and interacted with her daughter.”Ms Muldowney was transferred to the RLH and taken straight to theatre at 4.40pm. Unfortunately, her pupils had become fixed and dilated in the ambulance during transfer to the RLH and surgery did not save her.”If she had been transferred promptly, it probably would have.”The coroner, who recorded a narrative verdict, said evidence showed that Ms Muldowney “could have been transferred, undergone surgery, spent time in recovery, and then an intensive care bed procured”.”If such a bed was still unavailable, she could then have been transferred to a different hospital, at least having undergone the time critical clot evacuation and aneurysm clipping.”With prompt transfer and surgery, Ms Muldowney would probably have survived. “In my opinion, action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe that you have the power to take such action.”NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh said he was “very sorry” to read of the circumstances around Ms Muldowney’s death and that a serious patient safety issue had been raised.He said Professor Simon Mackenzie, from St George’s Hospital, had suggested Ms Muldowney “was not deemed by the neurosurgical services to which she was being referred to require immediate life-saving surgery” and fell outside the scope of the universal acceptance policy.Prof Mackenzie said he believed St George’s provided acceptable care because Ms Muldowney suffered a re-bleed during the ambulance transfer to the RLH.Prof Mackenzie said that “although at the time of the referral to the St George’s neurosurgical unit a re-bleed was a possibility, this was not the reason for her urgent transfer”, Sir Bruce wrote.But he said the process of securing a bed added a delay of just less than two hours to the acceptance process.Sir Bruce said there was a clear “difference in perspective” between doctors at East Surrey Hospital and St George’s, and a meeting is to be held between clinicians at the two units.He said the findings would be fed into broader work around the way patients are referred between hospitals.The coroner’s report and letter from Sir Bruce were first reported by the Health Service Journal.The findings come after a winter where hospitals have issued dozens of serious alerts over a lack of beds. BBC documentary Hospital has highlighted how patients are turned away or have operations cancelled due to a lack of beds, including intensive care beds. With prompt transfer and surgery, Ms Muldowney would probably have survivedCoroner Mary Hassell St George’s Hospital in TootingCredit:Paul Grovercenter_img A woman died from a brain haemorrhage after at least three hospitals refused to admit her for surgery because they had no intensive care beds.A coroner ruled that 57-year-old Mary Muldowney would probably have survived if she had been given immediate life-saving surgery to stem the bleeding.Ms Muldowney was admitted to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill on July 20 last year where doctors immediately suspected a bleed on the brain. A CT scan carried out just over an hour later showed heavy bleeds and doctors requested an immediate transfer to a specialist neurosurgical unit for surgery.But three units – St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south-west London, the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, and King’s College Hospital in London – refused the request due to having no beds.Other hospitals also said they did not have an available intensive care bed.In a letter to bosses at NHS England, inner north London coroner Mary Hassell said: “In desperation, knowing of the neurosurgical expertise of a former colleague, one of the East Surrey Hospital doctors went out of area and rang a consultant neurosurgeon at the Royal London Hospital (RLH).”Invoking the universal acceptance policy, he accepted transfer immediately, though in fact the RLH had no intensive care bed available at that time. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

The secret collection of Queen Victorias personal etchings which caused a privacy

first_imgIt has remained in the library ever since, and will now go on display for the first time as part of an exhibition exploring the Victorian era. Similar etchings are held by the British Museum and the Royal Collection, with this version one of a tiny handful of personalised copies left in Britain.Professor Sumner said: “This volume is incredibly rare. “It is a beautiful and personal collection of etchings by the royal couple known for their love of their children, who are so charmingly depicted here, along with their beloved pets.  “This story reflects their commitment to protecting their privacy. It illustrates a delightful  insight not only into the private lives of Victoria and Albert and their family, but also demonstrates their genuine artistic talent and unique collaboration.”The exhibition runs until October 29. Etching Queen Victoria did not want the pictures to be for public consumptionCredit:PA  Credit:John Steel Photography Her widower, Rev Digby Ram, chose to offer it as a gift to Princess Mary, King George V’s daughter, on the day of her wedding to the 6th Earl of Harewood in February 1922.In an accompanying letter still kept at Harewood House, Rev Ram wrote: “It is in perfect order and shape well worthy of the Princess Mary’s acceptance and I feel certain my wife would wish that it should be so disposed of if Her Royal Highness would graciously accept it?”Of the 1,777 gifts received for the wedding, the etchings are omitted from the official register on the request of Rev Ram but instead quietly travelled with the Princess Royal and her new husband to Harewood House in 1930. Credit:John Steel Photography  Credit:John Steel Photography An affidavit by Anson, which helped them win their case, states “distinctly the belief of the Plaintiff, that the catalogue and the descriptive and other remarks therein contained, could not have been compiled or made, except by means of the possession of the several impressions of the said etchings surreptitiously and improperly obtained”.Barrister Sir J Knight Bruce, prosecuting, noted that the printer’s actions had been “an intrusion not alone in breach of conventional rules, but offensive to that inbred sense of propriety natural to every man – if, intrusion indeed fitly describes a sordid spying into the privacy of domestic life – into the home (a word hitherto sacred among us)”.Victoria and Albert won their case, which is said to remain a defining judgement in the development of the law of copyright. Credit:John Steel Photography Professor Ann Sumner, historic collections advisor at Harewood House, told the Telegraph the Royal couple went on to present Anson and his wife, Hon Georgina Mary Anson, Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, with a bound volume of the etching, annotated by the Queen herself. “After all the controversy it showed their faith in the couple, to be discreet and loyal,” she said.Anson, however, died just eight months later at the age of 37. The book then passed to his daughter Mary, god-daughter of Victoria and Albert, and remained in her possession until her death in 1889. Etching Etching Queen Victoria It was given to former occupants of the house, the 6th Earl of Harewood and Princess Mary, upon their wedding day, with a note from Anson’s family asking them to keep it secret from the public and omit it from the official list of wedding presents.The pictures, those innocent by today’s standards, caused uproar in 1849. Then, despite being intended for Victoria and Albert’s personal records, they were seized by Jasper Judge, a journalist, who got hold of copies of the etchings via a printmaker in Windsor and approached publisher William Strange to plan an exhibition and catalogue.Learning of the approach, the Royals immediately sought legal advice, and launched a law suit attempting to ban the display and protect their family’s privacy. Etching They were the deeply personal etchings which caused a legal scandal, requiring Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to legally block pictures of their baby daughter and home life going on show without their permission.Now, a secret volume of those very images, presented to Prince Albert’s loyal private secretary in thanks for his evidence in court, is to be put on display for the first time, after being given back to the Royal family as a wedding present.A rare volume of 74 etchings, personally annotated by Victoria and given to George Anson, is to be displayed at Harewood House, and includes images by Victoria and Albert of their children, pets and one another. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Ganley No political party represents the moderate prolife constituency

first_imgBUSINESSMAN DECLAN GANLEY is holding a public meeting next week as efforts to form a new political party gather pace although he insisted yesterday that there is no firm decision made on whether or not he’ll set up a new party.Billboards advertising ‘Alternatives for Ireland’ with a picture of the Libertas founder have begun appearing around Dublin city centre this week ahead of the meeting planned for next Wednesday where UCD banking and finance professor Ray Kinsella will also speak.Ganley told TheJournal.ie yesterday that the meeting will be “discussing alternatives to the current status quo in Irish political thinking” on a range of issues from economics to abortion.“There is a sort of political status quo that holds sway in everything right across the board, from economics, policy towards job creation, and taxation,” he said.“You couldn’t put a cigarette paper between all the main parties on these issues.”He said meetings had taken place with people of no strong political affiliation as well as people currently in existing political parties in recent weeks but was not definitive on whether or not he will be forming a new political party.He added: “If it is to happen it has to be from the grassroots. It can’t be about one person. It can’t be about, for example, me. It has to be a real movement that is addressing issues that are of core relevance.”Ganley has previously said that the need for a new political party in Ireland is “obvious”.‘Conviction politics’Speaking yesterday, he said there was a lack of “conviction politics” in Ireland: “There is a significant portion of people out there who are in something of a stupor, who have deliberately tuned out of politics.”Ganley, whose pan-European Libertas movement failed in the 2009 European elections, also said a significant proportion of the population are not being represented” on the issue of abortion, raising concerns about the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill’s clause concerning suicide and the lack of term limits.“What is surprising is that there is a middle of the road, moderate, pro-life constituency that is very significant in Ireland that has got no voice,” he said. “There is no political party that is representing that voice in the Oireachtas.”Ganley claimed that the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who supports the legislation, is “way to the left” of the Labour Party chairman Colm Keaveney, who has outlined his opposition to the Bill.“It’s a bizarre situation where you find the leader of Fianna Fáil out to the extreme left of the chairman of the Labour Party,” he said.Ganley has also previously spoken of the need for a United States of Europe and the federalising of eurozone debt.Previously: Declan Ganley says need for a new political party is ‘obvious’Read: ‘It doesn’t stop here’ – Man promises new political party after 123 mile walkRead: Could Ireland change how it elects its TDs? Here are the optionslast_img read more

Bees Can Do Basic Arithmetic

first_imgStay on target A new study suggests honey bees, like most second graders, can do basic mathematics.We already know pollinators understand the concept of zero. But this new discovery, led by researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, expands our understanding of how brain size influences brain power.Smart things come in small packages. And the revelation that even the itty-bitty brain of a bee can grasp addition and subtraction has positive implications for the future of artificial intelligence.“Our findings suggest that advanced numerical cognition may be found much more widely in nature among non-human animals than previously suspected,” RMIT associate professor Adrian Dyer said in a statement.“If math doesn’t require a massive brain,” he continued, “there might also be new ways for us to incorporate interactions of both long-term rules and working memory into designs to improve rapid AI learning of new problems.”The experiment, conducted by RMIT PhD researcher Scarlett Howard, involved training individual honey bees to recognize colors as symbolic representations for arithmetic problems.Howard constructed a Y-shaped maze, at its entrance a set of one to five shapes—colored blue for addition or yellow for subtraction. After viewing an initial number, the bee would fly through a hole into a “decision chamber,” where it chose to turn right or left.Each side featured a correct or incorrect solution of plus or minus one, swapped randomly throughout the experiment to avoid the wax makers learning to visit just one sector of the labyrinth.Initially, the insects made random choices, being rewarded with sugar water or penalized with bitter-tasting quinine solution. It took 100 learning trials and up to seven hours for the critters to learn that blue meant “+1” and yellow meant “-1.”The ability to do basic math dates back thousands of years, based on evidence that the Egyptians and Babylonians used arithmetic around 2,000 BC.“These days, we learn as children that a plus symbol means you need to add two or more quantities, while a minus symbol means you subtract,” Howard explained.“Our findings show that the complex understanding of math symbols as a language is something that many brains can probably achieve, and helps explain how many human cultures independently developed numeracy skills,” she added.The full study was published this week in the journal Science Advances.More on Geek.com:Bees Were Also Distracted by 2017 Total Solar EclipseWalmart Patents Robo-Bees to Help Pollinate CropsResearchers Solve One of World’s Most Challenging Math Problems McDonald’s Turns Billboards Into Bee HotelsBentley Motors Creates Buzz As It Enters Honey Business last_img read more

Hearsts David Carey Calls for Aggressive Growth in 2012

first_imgHearst Magazines president David Carey addressed the past year and what’s next for the publisher in a letter to employees sent out this morning. According to Carey, Hearst’s aggressive growth in 2011 (including the acquisition of Lagardere and Hachette Fillappacci; the launch of HGTV Magazine; the debut of brand supplement Marie Claire @Work; and purchases of Red Aril and PayDQ) will continue in 2012. Now claiming 400,000 digital edition sales a month (the publisher hit 300,000 in late September), Carey reiterates Hearst’s goal to tip one million monthly paid digital subscriptions in the new year. He seems to have found the recipe for instant media attention: call out a projected audience number, and watch as web buzz booms. Other digital initiatives include the continued transition of Hearst’s magazine sites to HTML5. Good Housekeeping’s website (which was once included among the worst magazine websites on the ‘net) was the first to get the HTML5 treatment in 2011.Though digital may be considered the sexier playing field in the publishing industry, Hearst’s print portfolio will not be neglected in 2012. Aside from the forthcoming semiannual Cosmopolitan Latina, Harper’s Bazaar print presence will launch a revamped look; an increased trim size will debut in February. Carey highlights streamlined production through the Hachette merger as another benefit of the deal (a less obvious coup than titles like Elle magazine), “[We] are able to realize significant cost synergies through the…work of our service departments, particularly our production, IT and consumer marketing teams.”As a result of these cross-company initiatives, Carey says, “…roughly 40 percent of our revenues are U.S. print and digital, 40 percent international print and digital, and 20 percent are services (iCrossing and CDS Global).”Hearst’s growth is impressive, but lends little actionable strategy to publishers of smaller scale and lesser resources. With its new YouTube channels, large acquisitions and flashy media partnerships (Hearst took a 50 percent stake in reality television company Mark Burnett Productions in April), Hearst continues to perpetuate one of the most pervasive trends in the magazine industry as of late: publishers doing a lot of business besides publishing.last_img read more

Anchorage Office of Emergency Management Readies For Earthquake Drill

first_imgAnchorage is readying to take part in the Alaska Shield earthquake preparedness drill on Thursday, March 27.  The city’s Office of Emergency Management is located in an anonymous building on a quiet side street in midtown. Inside, there’s a seemingly haphazard arrangement of desks, but there is a method in it all. Director Kevin Spillers, invited the media into the office a couple of weeks ago. OEM personnel wanted to show how they work, if, or when, disaster strikes. Spillers says the city’s Emergency Operations Center , or EOC, is located within OEM “We are stewards of EOC. we are lead agency for city’s emergency preparedness activities.. EOC is a facility, until it is activated, then becomes the lead agency for response and recovery activities ” Spillers says.The EOC is only activated in times of great stress, such as on September 11, 2001 or during the anticipated Y2K event at the turn of the century.According to Spillers, when the EOC is activated, it focuses on emerging response and sets priorities, so that other agencies don’t step on each others toes.Michelle Torres is the public information officer at OEM. She says Anchorage has three top threats:“Earthquake, wildfire and severe winter storms.  With severe winter storms we see a lot of wind, but that is not all we want you to get prepared for.”The 1964 Alaska earthquake was the second largest ever recorded.. one in Chile in 1960 was larger. But the Great Alaska Quake, as it is termed, was the largest ever in North America. Torres says, this week’s drills will be earthquake and tsunami oriented. She says emergency officials estimate that in a city of roughly 300 thousand people.“If we had an earthquake in March of 2014, or whenever, we are looking at about 530 deaths, injuries in the 6000s, so we are looking to shelter over 42 thousand people, pets 19 thousand, slightly over, feeding and hydration.. 145 thousand people — 49 point seven percent of the population of Anchorage. So you know what that tells me right there. Our citizens and our residents are not prepared. So the question.. is how prepared are you at home?”  Torres asked reporters. She urges everyone to have an emergency kit, and emergency escape route and a family emergency plan in the event of another disaster, like the one that struck Anchorage in 1964.Torres says many different aspects of emergency response must work closely together while avoiding overlap when the EOC kicks in in the event of a disaster. She says Alaska has more than half the earthquakes in the US. Spillers says, in the eventuality of evacuations, the city already has shelters lined up “We would use designated facilities, primarily rec centers and the schools. There are 22 of them,” he says. The municipality will hold a “Great Alaska Shakeout ” drill on Thursday, March 27 at 1:36 pm. All municipal departments will participate as will all schools within the Anchorage School District. Torres says, the international protocol of “Drop, Cover and Hold On” is recommended by official rescue teams the world over. If the Earth shakes, Drop to the ground, take Cover under a sturdy table or desk, and Hold on till the shaking stops. Many earthquake injuries are the result of flying glass and falling debris, rather than the result of collapsed housing. Also on Thursday, tsunami sirens may ring out in coastal communities, and a tsunami warning my hit television screens and radios between 10:15 am and 10:45 am. March 24 through 28 is Anchorage’s offical Earthquake Preparedness Week. I’m Ellen Lockyerlast_img read more

BJP giving religious tinge to trivial incidents in State

first_imgHyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Tuesday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State unit leaders for giving religious colour to every small incident occurring in the State. The TRS alleged that the newly elected MPs of the Saffron party were talking irresponsibly. Addressing a press conference, TRS MLC Karne Prabhakar lashed out against the BJP leaders for giving religious colour to every incident in the State. Also Read – Minister distributes clay Ganesh idols in Suryapet Advertise With Us “The BJP leaders, who have won four Lok Sabha seats, are thinking that they have strengthened in the State. They are giving religious colour to every small incident and trying to provoke people to get benefitted,” alleged Prabhakar. He added that people of Telangana have been with Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao in all the successive elections. The TRS leader lashed out against BJP MP from Adilabad for his comments against Muslim minorities. Also Read – Corruption major stumbling block in PRLI progress: Nagam Janardhan Reddy Advertise With Us He alleged that the BJP MP should apologise, or his party president should condemn his comments. The MP is trying to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in Adilabad, alleged Prabhakar. Prabhakar also targeted BJP MLA Raja Singh and alleged that the BJP MLA had injured himself and charged that the police had beaten him. “Not only he hit himself and blamed police but also went to BJP working president J P Nadda to complain against the government,” Prabhakar said. He alleged that the BJP leaders target States where it is not in power and try to provoke people by showing small incidents as big. “BJP State unit president K Laxman should clarify whether there was West Bengal like situation in Telangana,” said Prabhakar.last_img read more

Facebook trounces Wall Street estimates with sharp ad sales growth

first_imgFacebook Inc provided more evidence on Wednesday that it can turn eyeballs into profit as the maker of the world’s most popular app and social website trounced Wall Street’s estimates, sending its shares to an all-time high.The leading social media company’s mobile app and push into video attracted new advertisers and encouraged existing ones to spend more. It now has more than 1.7 billion monthly users, well ahead of any rivals.Its shares were up 5.4 percent in after-hours trading at $130.01, after hitting their highest since the company went public in 2012.”Facebook has shown that you can be a giant and you can be innovative,” said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. “What is working very well is their very quick shift from desktop to mobility. This was their biggest issue when they went public.”Facebook is adapting better to the shift toward mobile and video than social media rival Twitter Inc, which reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth in three years on Wednesday.Mobile advertising revenue accounted for 84 percent of the company’s total advertising revenue, compared with 76 percent a year earlier.Total advertising revenue surged 63 percent to $6.24 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $5.80 billion, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.The company also saw strong growth in monthly active users, now boasting 1.71 billion as of June 30, up from 1.49 billion a year earlier. Time spent on its suite of apps, including the main Facebook app, Instagram and Messenger, increased “double digit percentages,” Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call with analysts.David Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer, pointed to Asia-Pacific, especially India, as one of the most promising areas for continued user growth. The region “has been a consistently good performer for us over the last several quarters and we will continue to invest our global sales resources to drive opportunities there,” Wehner said in an interview with Reuters.MILLENNIAL SHIFTFacebook is one of the biggest beneficiaries as advertisers move money away from television to the internet and mobile platforms. The company has been beefing up its presence in the mobile video market, where Snapchat and YouTube pose strong competition.The company is also courting advertisers to experiment with Facebook Live, its recently launched live video feature. Executives said they were working to become a “video first” platform, and identified private messaging as a growing focus.Zuckerberg reiterated his company’s 10-year plan on the call with analysts. Over the next three years, it will focus on continuing to grow its massive user base, especially in developed nations, and over the next 10 years it will look to build new technology to get more people online and using Facebook through internet-beaming drones.Meanwhile, Facebook still has several untapped areas for revenue opportunities, including its WhatsApp and Messenger apps, both of which have more than 1 billion users. But Wehner said the company does not plan to monetize them any time soon, and that it is instead focused on building interactions between businesses and users on the apps.Facebook also owns picture-sharing app Instagram, which recently announced it has more than 500 million users. Facebook has yet to say how much money Instagram makes, but research firm eMarketer predicts it will make $1.5 billion in revenue this year.Excluding items, Facebook earned 97 cents per share for the second quarter ended June 30. Analysts on average had expected a profit of 82 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.Net income attributable to Facebook’s stockholders rose to $2.05 billion, or 71 cents per share, compared with $715 million, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier.Total revenue rose 59.2 percent to $6.44 billion, ahead of analysts’ average estimate of $6.02 billion.last_img read more

Bangladeshis in Tripoli adjacent cities advised to remain alert

first_img.The Bangladesh embassy in Libya has advised all the Bangladeshis living in Tripoli and its adjacent cities to remain alert to avoid any untoward incident as the government of the country issued ‘State of Alert’ recently, reports UNB.The government of Libya issued State of Alert following recent law and order situation in the country, said a press release on Friday.The embassy also requested to call emergency hot numbers–+218916994207 and +218910013968 for any emergency need.last_img read more

Centre asks states UTs to issue environment clearances online

first_imgWhile online procedure is already in place for attaining environment, forest and wildlife clearances from the central government, the states and UTs have been asked to follow suit.In states, environment approvals are issued by State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and State Environment Assessment Committee (SEAC).“The states have been asked to start online submission of environment clearances from SEIAA and SEAC to bring transparency in the process. They have given consent in the matter,” said Javadekar. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIA two-day conference of chief ministers, environment ministers and forest officials on Tuesday concluded brainstorming on giving final shape to various environment laws and strict compliance of green norms. The conference was attended by 30 ministers and over 400 forest officials.Giving details of the resolutions passed in the conference, Javadekar said the states would have to clear the backlog of forest clearances by the end of June. They have been asked to complete delineation of eco-sensitive zones by 30 June. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindSeven states along the Western Ghats have been asked to submit their final reports by April 15 on demarcation of ecologically-sensitive areas in their respective areas as suggested by the K Kasturirangan Committee report.“All states have agreed to give their suggestion by April 15 because after that the eco-sensitive zone will be declared. So, we want input from the states and we have asked them to do ground survey which includes going to each village and taking opinion of the people in terms of development they want,” the Minister said.The states with tiger ranges will constitute state level steering committee and prepare Tiger Conservation Plans including voluntary village relocation from core and critical tiger habitats.last_img read more

Chinese police foil droneflying phone smugglers at Hong Kong border

first_imgDozens of high-tech phone smugglers have been apprehended by Chinese police, who twigged to the scheme to send refurbished iPhones into the country from Hong Kong via drone — but not the way you might think.China’s Legal Daily reported the news (and Reuters noted shortly after) following a police press conference; it’s apparently the first cross-border drone-based smuggling case, so likely of considerable interest.Although the methods used by the smugglers aren’t described, a picture emerges from the details. Critically, in addition to the drones themselves, which look like DJI models with dark coverings, police collected some long wires — more than 600 feet long.Small packages of 10 or so phones were sent one at a time, and it only took “seconds” to get them over the border. That pretty much rules out flying the drone up and over the border repeatedly — leaving aside that landing a drone in pitch darkness on the other side of a border fence (or across a body of water) would be difficult to do once or twice, let alone dozens of times, the method is also inefficient and risky.But really, the phones only need to clear the border obstacle. So here’s what you do:Send the drone over once with all cable attached. Confederates on the other side attach the cable to a fixed point, say 10 or 15 feet off the ground. Drone flies back unraveling the cable, and lands some distance onto the Hong Kong side. Smugglers attach a package of 10 phones to the cable with a carabiner, and the drone flies straight up. When the cable reaches a certain tension, the package slides down the cable, clearing the fence. The drone descends, and you repeat.I’ve created a highly professional diagram to illustrate this technique (feel free to reuse):It’s not 100 percent to scale. The far side might have to be high enough that the cable doesn’t rest on the fence, if there is one, or not to drag in the water if that’s the case. Not sure about that part.Anyway, it’s quite smart. You get horizontal transport basically for free, and the drone only has to do what it does best: go straight up. Two wires were found, and the police said up to 15,000 phones might be sent across in a night. Assuming 10 phones per trip, and say 20 seconds per flight, that works out to 1,800 phones per hour per drone, which sounds about right. Probably this kind of thing is underway at more than a few places around the world.last_img read more