Askcom Buys Recommendation Engine nRelate

first_imgAsk.com, the question-and-answer search and expert service, bought recommendation engine nRelate this week. The deal, says Ask.com CEO Doug Leeds, is a big bet on the growing importance of content recommendation features. The acquisition reflects the changing landscape of search, in that it may still be the primary way for a user to find content, but other methods—namely social referrals and content recommendation engines—are becoming increasingly influential. According to Leeds and nRelate CEO Neil Mody, the deal will integrate Ask.com’s search technology into nRelate’s recommendation platform to better serve up automated content suggestions related to the particular article a visitor is viewing. “We were looking to expand our business into areas where we can leverage the technology we built and get a part of the third leg of what’s going on in the Internet,” says Leeds. “The way the people navigate the Internet these days is search, it’s the oldest method of content discovery and has remained so until two new phenomenons came along—social, which is the second leg, and then the ability for publishers to recommend the content you’re going to read next.”nRelate currently services about 35,000 publisher sites and, says Mody, serves up about 1 billion impressions each month. “With the Ask technology built in we’re looking to improve the types of links we provide on an algorithmic basis and then, over time, explore some ideas that can increase our suite of products for publishers,” he says. At this point, Mody says nRelate is monetizing some of its customer sites better than AdSense. “We’re not doing that across the board, but for us that’s a great market validation. We’re getting a 6 percent clickthrough rate. About one in every 16 views on a page clicks on our unit. There’s really nothing else that gets that kind of CTR on a page.”Ask.com, which attracts about 65 million unique visitors each month, is one of about 50 digital brands belonging to IAC, which also counts Newsweek/The Daily Beast, College Humor, Dictionary.com and a variety of singles sites like Match.com among its portfolio. First-quarter revenues for IAC were $640 million, up 39 percent from the same period in 2011, according to company financials. Net income for the quarter was $34.5 million, up 91 percent.Terms of the deal were not disclosed and financials aren’t broken out for individual brands, but IAC’s search segment accounted for $343 million in revenue for the quarter.last_img read more

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GACs Entranze concept is a slick EV with room for seven

first_img 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Feb 7 • Chevy’s full-scale Lego Silverado is plastic fantastic in Chicago Concept Cars Electric Cars Tags See All Jan 22 • Our highlights of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show Detroit Auto Show 2019 Post a comment China’s GAC Motor first made its main-floor debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Now, in its third year, the automaker came to Detroit to show off a brand new concept.GAC Motor on Monday unveiled its Entranze EV concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. Loaded with the kind of tech you expect in a concept these days, GAC created this seven seater with the great American road trip in mind.The Entranze looks similar to Chrysler’s Portal minivan concept from CES 2017. The front lights follow the form of the front end closely, while the rear lights are tucked up under the glass. There are some big ol’ openings on the sides that make ingress and egress a breeze. Since the Entranze is electric, there’s no internal combustion engine to take up a bunch of space. And the wheels are pushed to the extreme ends of the body, allowing for even more space inside the vehicle.Enlarge ImageSliding glass doors and a front bench seat? Yep, I love it. Steven Pham/Roadshow The interior is the focus of this concept. Since it’s woke to use environmentally friendly materials in 2019, GAC claims the Entranze’s interior is made from more than 90 percent sustainable materials, including cork. The interior’s 3+2+2 configuration is atypical, but you’ll never hear me gripe about a front bench seat. The rocker panels on the side unfurl into steps, but they can also act as benches for just hangin’ out on the roadside. The interior looks like a work of art, with interesting blends of materials, colors and textures.The tech isn’t anything to shake a stick at, either. There are OLED screens all over the darn place — there are two little screens flanking the steering wheel, two screens at each front corner and a massive screen directly in front of the passenger. Those screens will be necessary to keep boredom at bay because, like many newfangled concepts, the Entranze is also capable of autonomous driving.While the Entranze is unlikely to make it to production, at least without a slew of changes, GAC does intend to bring its products to the US. However, it’s unclear when that will actually happen. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have some extra eye candy in Detroit. Share your voice 0 More From Roadshowcenter_img GAC Entranze concept debuts in Detroit Detroit Auto Show: Check out all the latest reveals.Concept cars: Soak in all the highfalutin tech and design. 39 Photos 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value reading • GAC’s Entranze concept is a slick EV with room for seven • 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous May 14 • History of the Toyota Supra, a Japanese sports car legend Detroit Auto Show 2019 Feb 4 • 2020 Kia Telluride: Detroit Auto Show debut turns Super Bowl ad starlast_img read more

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Samsung has 9 Galaxy phones you can buy now Heres how to

first_img The most wallet-friendly The Galaxy S10 Plus has a big 6.4-inch AMOLED screen, loads of useful camera tools and one of the longest battery times we’ve tested on phones this year, lasting an excellent 21 hours during our lab test for continuous video playback on Airplane mode. Unlike the Galaxy S10, it has two front-facing cameras instead of just one. Samsung Galaxy Fold ($1,980) The cheapest S10 phone Read more about the Note 10 Tags Angela Lang/CNET The one with the stylus but bigger and with 5G Read the Galaxy A50 review Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G ($1,300) Sarah Tew/CNET See at Amazon The Galaxy A50 is part of Samsung’s A-series, which is much cheaper than the top tier S-series of phones. At $350, £309 or AU$500, the A50 is one of your cheapest Galaxy options and features a 6.4-inch display, an in-screen fingerprint reader and a headphone jack. On the back are three cameras that include a wide-angle lens as well as a “depth lens,” which is used to take portrait shots with blurry, dramatic backgrounds. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G ($1,300) As the most wallet-friendly Galaxy S10 phone, the $750, £669 and AU$1,199 Galaxy S10E has a lot to offer. It’s a smaller phone, which is great for those looking for a comfortable grip, and it has a super-fast Snapdragon 855 chipset and a long-lasting battery life. Like other S10 phones, it can wirelessly charge other phones and accessories, like a pair of wireless earbuds or a smartwatch. Like all of Samsung’s Galaxy S10 phones, the standard Galaxy S10 is built from the best parts. It has a wonderfully sharp screen and a long battery life. Camera quality is awesome and it comes with all the extras, including the ability to wirelessly charge another device or accessory. See at Amazon See at Amazon The one that folds, obviously Andrew Hoyle/CNET The Note 10 Plus 5G is pretty much identical to the regular Note 10 Plus but like the S10 5G, it connects to 5G networks. Because of this, the phone weighs about 2 grams heavier and is more expensive than the Note 10 Plus by $200. It will be available on the US carriers Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as in South Korea and other international markets, but it may not be worth investing in the phone just yet. See at Amazon Read the Galaxy S10 review Read more about the Galaxy Fold The Galaxy S10 5G is Samsung’s first phone that can connect to the next-gen network of high-speed mobile data known as 5G. Initially launched on the US carrier Verizon, the Galaxy S10 5G costs $1,300, £1,099 and AU$1,999, which has a 6.7-inch display, the same four-camera setup as the Note 10 Plus and a second depth-sensing front-facing camera. The device is also available on Sprint and T-Mobile, as well as AT&T but only for business. See at Verizon Samsung’s Note 10 in an array of different colors. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Samsung doesn’t care if you already think there’s a dizzying number of Galaxy phones to keep track of. On Aug. 7, the company added more to the pile when it unveiled three Note phones, the Note 10, Note 10 Plus and Note 10 Plus 5G, which are considered to be the upper “top-tier” end of the premium phone spectrum. They join six other Galaxy phones that Samsung announced this year, bringing the total number of new Galaxy phones you can buy to nine(!). As the most unique Galaxy phone, the Galaxy Fold has a secondary 4.6-inch display that serves as its “cover.” It then opens up like a book to a 7.3-inch tablet. The Fold also has six cameras: on the back, there’s the same triple-camera setup as the Galaxy S10 and on the front a single 10-megapixel camera. In tablet form, there are two additional cameras inside: a selfie camera and an 8-megapixel depth camera.Preorders began in April, but after reports of screen breakages, flickering and, bulging with preproduction units, Samsung has delayed the Fold until September. (For more information, read CNET’s Galaxy Fold FAQ.) Because of the phone’s novel design, the Fold is the most expensive phone of the bunch, costing $1,980 (about £1,500 or AU$2,800). Angela Lang/CNET Samsung Galaxy A50 ($350) Read the Galaxy S10 Plus review Read more about the Note 10 Plus 2:08 Mobile Phones Samsung Galaxy Note 10 ($949) The one with the stylus Now playing: Watch this: Angela Lang/CNET The flagship but bigger Samsung Galaxy S10 ($900) The ‘flagship’ Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus ($1,100) Share your voice Angela Lang/CNET The flagship but with 5G Comments Angela Lang/CNET See at Amazon The one with the stylus but bigger Angela Lang/CNET Samsung Galaxy S10E ($750) Angela Lang/CNET Read more about the Note 10 Plus 5G 22 Read the Galaxy S10E review From budget devices and 5G phones, to one in particular that can fold in half (yes, really), we round up the latest Galaxy phones, tell you what makes them special from all the others and order them from cheapest to most expensive.Note that these products are independently chosen by our editors. CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products from the links. See at Amazon See at AT&T Read more about the Galaxy S10 5G As the Galaxy phone with the biggest screen (that doesn’t fold, that is), the Note 10 Plus has a huge 6.8-inch display. Like its Note 10 counterpart, it has a single front-facing camera but in addition to its three rear cameras, it has a fourth depth-sensing camera. And while it doesn’t have a headphone jack either, it does have expandable memory, unlike the Note 10. See at Amazon Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus ($1,000) 9 Samsung Galaxy phones and how to tell them apart As the standard model of Samsung’s newest line of ultraluxe phones, the Note 10 features a 6.3-inch display, three rear cameras, an in-screen fingerprint scanner and a signature S Pen stylus that can remotely control the phone’s camera via Bluetooth. It also doesn’t have a headphone jack or expandable memory. Samsunglast_img read more

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Samsung Galaxy M30 Review Behemoth battery saves the day

first_img 1/2 Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Wide angle lens test 1x normal modeIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 review: Wide angle lens testIBTimes India/Sami KhanPreviousNextColour reproduction in shots taken during the day is good.If you take a lot of portraits, the Live Focus does a decent job. But the edge detection is not on point while shooting humans even in well-lit conditions. See below: Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Portrait test rear cameraIBTimes India/Sami Khan Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Low-light camera testIBTimes India/Sami Khan Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Wide angle lens test 1x normal modeIBTimes India/Sami Khan IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:06/0:25Loaded: 0%0:06Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:19?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Low-light camera testIBTimes India/Sami Khan Samsung has stepped up its game in a big way in the affordable smartphone segment and the Galaxy M30 is living proof of that. While the smartphone giant continues to face an imminent threat from Xiaomi, which is dominating budget smartphone sales in India, the Galaxy M30 could save the day.Samsung Galaxy M30 was launched in India in February as the company’s response to the growing popularity of Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro. Priced at Rs 14,990, the Galaxy M30 shipped to us for review comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. There’s also a 6GB+128GB model, but it costs Rs 17,990, so we chose to test the base model that is likely to gain more traction in India.Before we get to the final impressions of the device, here’s what the Galaxy M30 offers.Display: 6.14-inch Super AMOLED Full HD+ Infinity-U displayMain Camera: 13MP (f/1.9) + 5MP (f/2.2) + 5MP (123-degree ultra-wide) lenses on backSecondary camera: 16MP sensor with selfie focusChipset: Exynos 7904 14nm 1.8GHz octa-core CPURAM: 4GBStorage: 64GB, expandable storage via dedicated microSD card (up to 512GB)Battery: 5,000mAh with 15W fast charging supportOS: Android 8.1 Oreo-based Samsung Experience 9.5 UIAdd-ons: Fingerprint scanner, face unlock, dual SIM card support, and moreHere’s how Samsung Galaxy M30 stacks up against its reputation.Design & DisplaySamsung Galaxy M30 benefits hugely from the Super AMOLED display that gives a bright and crisp output. The Infinity-U design is basically a round notch up top, which doesn’t occupy much space and delivers a large screen real-estate. The display output is the best in its price range, so if you’re a multimedia buff then the Galaxy M30 is a right fit. 1/3 Samsung Galaxy M30 reviewIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 reviewIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 reviewIBTimes India/Sami KhanPreviousNextBut it’s worth pointing out that the polycarbonate back doesn’t feel as premium as glass, but keeps smudges at bay and offers a solid non-slippery grip. The handset sports a USB Type-C port at the bottom, alongside speaker and 3.5mm headphone jack. The volume rockers are placed on the higher end of the side, which may be difficult to reach at once, the same is the case for the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. 1/2 Samsung Galaxy M30 reviewIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 reviewIBTimes India/Sami KhanPreviousNext Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Low-light front camera testIBTimes India/Sami KhanThere’s a wide angle lens in the setup as well, but having used some of the best wide-angle cameras, the Galaxy M30 could use some improvement. But I would like to cut some slack here as the effort is genuine and the price range is not even close to what I’m comparing with. As long as you want to capture landscapes, the wide-angle shots will look as dramatic as they can be, but trying to squeeze in more subjects in the wide angle frame is not such a good idea as the edges will get distorted. See the image below: Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Wide angle lens testIBTimes India/Sami Khan Samsung Galaxy M30 reviewIBTimes India/Sami KhanThe gradient finish on the back, though, is a classy finish. It looks elegant, not too flashy or loud as in the case of some phones.CameraSamsung Galaxy M30 packs a punch here. There’s a triple camera setup at the back and a single 16MP selfie snapper. Both work to their full potential and fulfil needs of those Instagram-savvy users.During the day, Samsung Galaxy M30 delivers its best results with the right detailing, contrast and colours. During the night, the details are lost completely. If you simply want to capture the city lights from your high-rise apartment to share it on Instagram, you’ll be disappointed to look at the results. 1/3 Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Low-light camera testIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 review: Low-light camera testIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 review: Low-light camera testIBTimes India/Sami KhanPreviousNext Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Portrait test front cameraIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 has good focus speed during the day, whereas low-light focusing will require some manual input. Check out some of the results straight from Galaxy M30’s camera roll below: 1/5 Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Normal camera modeIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 review: Normal camera modeIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 review: Normal camera modeIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 review: Normal camera modeIBTimes India/Sami KhanSamsung Galaxy M30 review: Normal camera modeIBTimes India/Sami KhanPreviousNextSamsung Galaxy M30’s selfies are better than expected. I had high expectations from the rear setup, but the front camera does a good job at taking selfies in all conditions.  Samsung Galaxy M30 review: Portrait test front cameraIBTimes India/Sami KhanPerformanceSamsung Galaxy M30 is not exactly the best performing phone out there, but its largely due to the dating Experience 9.5 UI based on Android 8.1 Oreo. The interface is laggy at times with delayed response rate, but running of multiple apps, mild gaming, streaming and social media browsing is handled like any other budget smartphone. There are some unwanted apps pre-loaded on the phone and Samsung suggests more to download, but you can skip them. Samsung Galaxy M30 reviewIBTimes India/Sami KhanThe Exynos chipset in the Galaxy M30 with the 4GB RAM works great for day-to-day tasks and multitasking and mild gaming doesn’t cause any problem. In fact, playing PUBG Mobile with medium graphics setting is also possible on this budget smartphone for those who want to get on the PUBG-craze. We did not experience any app crashes or freezing of the phone when running multiple apps. The facial recognition works extremely well and the fingerprint scanner is efficient. Overall, it is a decent phone, but power users will find a better fit with the Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review).BatteryThe one thing where Samsung Galaxy M30 really makes an impact is the battery. The 5,000mAh battery in the handset is a generous offering, but it is surprising considering the slim and handy design. The USB Type-C port and 15W fast charging is a worthy addition, which means users won’t have to wait for hours to get the M30 fully charged. But don’t expect it to be too quick as it would take at least 2 hours to fully boost the phone to 100 percent battery. Samsung Galaxy M30 reviewIBTimes India/Sami KhanAs for battery life, things get really impressive. Samsung Galaxy M30 manages power extremely well. Be it playing games, streaming videos or browsing and making calls, the Galaxy M30 will easily last you a full day with high usage. With mixed and moderate use, expect the M30 to deliver a day and a half on a single charge, which is quite impressive. Samsung Galaxy M30 reviewIBTimes India/Sami KhanThere are different power saving modes as well, which work just as great to further add more minutes to the battery life in the final few stages.VerdictIf you’re looking for excellent battery life in a smartphone, Samsung Galaxy M30 is the right choice. With average performance and a remarkable battery, display and design, you get a good package for under Rs 15,000. Sure, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro gives a tough fight, but this smartphone is for those who are used to Samsung’s interface, don’t want the glitter and shine, and are willing to settle on the camera use. Is Redmi Note 7 the new-age Nokia 3310? Closelast_img read more

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Bitcoin surpasses 12000 RBI issues warning says issued no licence to operate

first_imgA copy of bitcoin standing on PC motherboard is seen in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017. Picture taken October 26, 2017.REUTERS/Dado RuvicCrypto-currency Bitcoin is in news for the past one week as it hit $11,000. However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) warned public that it has not given any licence to anyone to operate such virtual currencies.In a notification, the central bank said, “users, holders and traders of Virtual Currencies (VCs) including Bitcoins regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with such VCs.”This is the third time that the central bank has come with a warning notice against the usage of virtual currencies.The RBI further stated that “no regulatory approvals, registration or authorisation is stated to have been obtained by the entities concerned for carrying on such activities.”Earlier in February, the apex bank had said that people using virtual currencies would be “doing so at their own risk. It also means that the RBI won’t provide any customer protection in case such currencies blow up or get compromised.”In the wake of the significant spurt in the valuation of many VCs and rapid growth in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), RBI reiterates the concerns conveyed earlier,” the bank said.Earlier in March, then Deputy Governor of RBI, R Gandhi had said, “Blockchain, the foundation for Bitcoins like innovations, is touted to be the death knell of currency. I believe its potential is being overstated. We can see that in these types of solutions for Virtual Currency, there is no central bank or monetary authority. They pose potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks.”On Tuesday, for the first time, Bitcoin surpassed $12,000 mark amid speculation that the widespread use of futures will help lead to digital currencies, Bloomberg reported.As Bitcoin is riding on a bull and hitting fresh highs, more and more investors are getting attracted toward this virtual currency. In the last three months, 400,000 investors have joined Bitcoin trading, which is 50 percent of its total user base.last_img read more

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After Imran Khans US visit Pentagon approves sales worth 125 mn to

first_imgImran Khan met Donald Trump in WashingtonReutersThe US Department of Defence has approved military sales worth $125 million to Pakistan to support its purchase of F-16 fighter jets on Friday. The decision was made a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met US President Donald Trump.”The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in continued support of the F-16 program for an estimated cost of USD 125 million,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.While the bilateral talks in Washington on Monday was declared ‘successful’ by both the countries, the defence deal is the first time the US has offered support after security aid to Pakistan was suspended by Trump in 2018.The statement released by the Pentagon said that Pakistan requested a continuation of technical support services from the US government and other technical and logistical support services from contractors to oversee operations. It also mentioned the services were required by Pakistan to conduct its Peace Drive advanced F-16 programme.The statement also said Pakistan had requested a continuation of technical support services — US government and contractor technical and logistics support services — and other related elements of logistics support to assist in the oversight of operations in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive advanced F-16 programme.Around 60 contractor representatives from Booz Allen Hamilton Engineering Services LLC will be sent to Pakistan for assisting and overseeing purposes.The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, a multi-role fighter aircraft, concerns India as it is often used against its neighbour, with the most recent usage against India in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrikes.Noting the state of elevated tensions between India and Pakistan, the Defence Department said: “The proposed sale of this support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”Protection of US technology as part of American foreign policy and national security “through the continued presence of US personnel that provide 24/7 end-use monitoring,” was also included.A recent report released by the Indian Defence Ministry has said that Pakistan is expanding its nuclear and missile assets even as the country suffers from a severe economic crisis.Intelligence officials from both the US and India have accused Pakistan army of using terror outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Islamic State to launch attacks on Indian and US assets in Afghanistan.last_img read more

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Man killed in Cumilla gunfight

first_imgProthom Alo IllustrationA suspected robber was killed in a reported gunfight between his cohorts and police at Raipur in Daudkandi upazila in Cumilla early Wednesday, reports UNB.The deceased is Rubayet Hossain Babul, son of Imam Hossain of Madhabdi upazila in Narsingdi district.Daudkandi police station officer-in-charge Mizanur Rahman claimed a team of police arrested two robbers Babul and Maruf Ahmed from Dhaka’s Uttara area on Monday in connection with their alleged involvement in mugging a covered van of export oriented fabrics from Daudkandi area.Later, police along with two others conducted a drive on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Raipur area around 3:00am to nab their associates.Sensing the presence of the law enforcers, associates of Babul opened fire to police prompting them to retaliate that triggered a gunfight.Babul caught in the line of fire while he was trying to flee the scene and sustained bullet injures.Later, he died on the way to Cumilla Medical College Hospital, police said.Four policemen including Nurul Islam, sub-inspector of Daudkandi police station, were injured during the gunfight.Police also recovered one pipe gun and a bullet from the spot.Babul was wanted in 22 cases field with different police stations in Narayanganj and Narsingdi.The news agency UNB reported on Tuesday that five people were killed in separate alleged gunfights with police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in three districts.The law enforcement’s version of the events was, however, not verified independently as no version of the incident was available immediately either from any witnesses or from any members of the victim’s family.last_img read more

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Netanyahu questioned in telecoms corruption case

first_imgIsraeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister`s office in Jerusalem on 25 February 2018. Reuters File PhotoIsraeli police questioned prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday for the first time in a corruption case that involves the country’s largest telecommunications company Bezeq, Israel Radio said.Police allege that the owners of Bezeq Telecom provided favourable coverage of Netanyahu and his wife on a news website they controlled, in return for favours from communications regulators.Netanyahu, already a suspect in two other corruption cases, denies any wrongdoing.A police spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. A Reuters cameraman saw a vehicle carrying two police officers pull into the prime minister’s official residence.last_img
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HRW for independent probe into election abuses

first_imgNew York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has recommended formation of an independent and impartial commission to investigate into ‘serious allegations of abuses’ in the elections in Bangladesh. “The allegations include attacks on opposition party members, voter intimidation, vote rigging, and partisan behaviour by election officials in the pre-election period and on election day,” said the rights group in a press statement on Wednesday. It insisted: “An independent and impartial commission should investigate the serious allegations of abuses in the Bangladesh elections.” Local journalist Rashidul Islam was also named in the case. The two journalists are accused under the draconian Digital Security Act, which criminalises peaceful speech and places undue restrictions on investigative journalism, it added. Voters in various parts of the country told the media that they had been turned away by officials or were joined in the voting booth by ruling party activists, who voted on their behalf. HRW further said, internationally recognised election monitors and foreign journalists were largely barred from the country. “The pre-election period was characterised by violence and intimidation against the opposition, attacks on opposition campaign events, and the misuse of laws to limit free speech,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. Bangladesh’s 11th parliamentary elections were held on 30 December, in which the ruling Awami League-led coalition secured a landslide victory, returning prime minister Sheikh Hasina to a third consecutive term. The ruling camp won 288 of the 298 parliamentary seats in the elections. “In a highly divided country, questions should immediately be raised when one party wins 96 per cent of the seats.” “Reports of ballot stuffing, intimidation of voters, and ruling party control of voting locations on election day mean that an independent and impartial commission should be formed to determine the extent of the violations.” On 1 January 2019, plainclothes police officers arrested Hedait Hossain Molla, a Khulna-based journalist, who had reported the total number of votes cast in the Khulna-1 constituency was higher than the total number of actual eligible voters, the statement pointed out. Instead of investigating irregularities, the HRW regrets, Bangladesh authorities arrested journalists for their reporting. According to the HRW, thousands of opposition supporters were arrested before the election, and journalists described having to censor their reporting for fear of arrest and violence. At least 17 people were killed in violence related to the voting. Nevertheless, a BBC journalist in Chittagong captured images of what appear to be stuffed ballot boxes before the polls opened. Other media reported that in some constituencies, in defiance of the rules, polling places closed for lunch in a clear attempt to suppress turnout. HRW said journalists were forced to delete videos documenting voter intimidation by Awami League supporters. Kafi Kamal, a reporter with the Daily Manab Zamin, said he was beaten up while filming an attack on voters at a polling place. “International donors, the United Nations and friends of Bangladesh should remember that elections are about the rights of voters, not those in power,” Adams said. The opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) said its polling agents were denied access in 221 constituencies. Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Bangladesh is a party, states, “Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity… [t]o vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors.” It quoted the opposition parties, journalists, and voters as alleging serious irregularities including ballot stuffing, voters being denied access to polling places, ruling party activists occupying polling places and casting ballots in the place of voters, electoral officials and the police behaving in a partisan manner, and violations of voter privacy in an atmosphere of blatant intimidation. A large number of similar accounts by journalists and other witnesses have emerged from across the country, according to the HRW statement.last_img read more

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Houston Playwright Makes New York Premiere This Week

first_imgAmy BishopPlaywright Crystal Rae (right) and Director Troy Scheid (left) head to New York City’s Midtown International Theatre Festival with the nine member cast of Lamariya this week.Playwright Crystal Rae says the best way to describe Lamariya is a sci-fi parable. “It’s sci-fi because it’s very strange and we’ve got these weird beings walking around and being very deity-like,” Rae explains. “And parable because it’s kind of based on a story from the Bible. So those two have met, married, and made a very weird-looking child.”The one-act play is set in Mississippi during the Jim Crow era, but also includes influences of ancient African mythology. It’s premiering at the Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York City this week, the first time a Houston playwright has taken part in its 17-year history.“I want to tell African-American stories that put us in different situations than what I’ve seen,” Rae says. “If I’ve seen them there before, then what new thing can I add? And if I can’t add anything new – if it’s been said and done – then I need to apply my thought process somewhere else.”This year, Lamariya was one of about sixty plays chosen from hundreds of entries. If a production sells out, the company could be asked to revive it at the following festival, which can be a breakthrough for a small theatre company or new playwright.Director Troy Scheid says they’ve been working to get as many of the seats filled as possible. “As far as expectations go, we’ve tried to do a lot of outreach by inviting people personally to come and see the show,” she says.The play premieres Tuesday night at the WorkShop Theatre in Manhattan with additional performances this weekend. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /01:14 Sharelast_img read more

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Arrests Made In Murder and Robbery Cases

first_imgBy Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFRO, mgray@afro.comThree investigations were brought to an apparent conclusion when arrests were made over the past week. Although Prince George’s County cases, a homicide suspect and multiple suspects in separate robberies were apprehended in Philadelphia, PA and Montgomery County.Homicide Detectives Make Arrest in District Heights ShootingPrince George’s County Police Homicide Unit detectives charged a suspect in connection with a recent homicide in District Heights. Marquis Gilliard, 28, of the 1600 block of Forest Park Drive in District Heights was charged in the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Ernest Bowman II of Northwest, Washington.Prince George’s County police were faced with a variety of investigations over the past week, including a homicide suspect who was apprehended in Philadelphia and robbery suspects who were arrested in Montgomery County. (Courtesy Photo)On July 15 around 10:30 pm, patrol officers were called to the 8000 block of Ritchboro Road for the report of a shooting. When authorities arrived on the scene, they found Bowman outside suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene.The preliminary investigation found the suspect and victim knew each other. Gilliard allegedly shot and killed Bowman after an argument. Gilliard is charged with first and second degree murder and other related charges. He was taken into custody in Philadelphia July 22 and is in the process of being extradited back to Prince George’s County.Five Teens Arrested for Armed RobberyFive teenagers were arrested after robbing a pharmacy retail store in Clinton at gunpoint then leading police on an automobile chase that ended in Montgomery County. Three of the suspects are reportedly from the District, one is from Alexandria, VA, and the other, who is a girl, is a minor whose information hasn’t been released.The group is believed to have targeted the pharmacy located in the 8000 block of Branch Ave. in Clinton around 1:35 am on July 16.  Moments after the robbery, Prince George’s County Police patrol officers found the car and the pursuit began with help from their aviation unit. It ended just after 2 a.m. in Montgomery County. No one was hurt during the pursuit where the suspects crashed their car on the Georgia Avenue exit ramp to the Beltways and all five suspects were apprehended without incident. Those identified suspects are David McKinney,19, and Keondre Reed, 17m of Northeast, D.C. Corey Nelson, 18, of Southeast, D.C. and  Rodney Wood, 17, of Alexandria, VA who are being charged as adults. The fifth suspect, a teenage girl, has been charged as a juvenile.Each faces robbery charges in this case.Bank Robber Arrested Within MinutesSaleem Muhammad, of the 4000 block of First Street in Southwest, D.C. was arrested less than five minutes after he allegedly robbed a bank in Oxon Hill on July 15.  The Prince George’s County Police Department arrested Muhammad very shortly afterwards around 12:20 pm after patrol officers and Robbery Unit detectives were notified of a bank robbery on Audrey Lane. Responding officers were able to locate and arrest the suspect within minutes later at a fast food restaurant in the vicinity of the bank. Officers recovered evidence from the robbery on Muhammad and he has been charged with robbery, theft and related charges. He is being held without bond.last_img read more

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Study provides surprisingly complex portrait of ancient trade networks

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 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. Explore further More information: Compositional data supports decentralized model of production and circulation of artifacts in the pre-Columbian south-central Andes. PNAS 2017 114 (20) E3917-E3926; published ahead of print May 1, 2017, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1610494114AbstractThe circulation and exchange of goods and resources at various scales have long been considered central to the understanding of complex societies, and the Andes have provided a fertile ground for investigating this process. However, long-standing archaeological emphasis on typological analysis, although helpful to hypothesize the direction of contacts, has left important aspects of ancient exchange open to speculation. To improve understanding of ancient exchange practices and their potential role in structuring alliances, we examine material exchanges in northwest Argentina (part of the south-central Andes) during 400 BC to AD 1000 (part of the regional Formative Period), with a multianalytical approach (petrography, instrumental neutron activation analysis, laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) to artifacts previously studied separately. We assess the standard centralized model of interaction vs. a decentralized model through the largest provenance database available to date in the region. The results show: (i) intervalley heterogeneity of clays and fabrics for ordinary wares; (ii) intervalley homogeneity of clays and fabrics for a wide range of decorated wares (e.g., painted Ciénaga); (iii) selective circulation of two distinct polychrome wares (Vaquerías and Condorhuasi); (iv) generalized access to obsidian from one major source and various minor sources; and (v) selective circulation of volcanic rock tools from a single source. These trends reflect the multiple and conflicting demands experienced by people in small-scale societies, which may be difficult to capitalize by aspiring elites. The study undermines centralized narratives of exchange for this period, offering a new platform for understanding ancient exchange based on actual material transfers, both in the Andes and beyond. The study challenges existing centralized network models of interaction in favor of a decentralized network structure. The researchers built the largest provenance database ever constructed for the region, taking a multianalytical approach that considered lithic sources, pottery analysis, and comparisons of clays and fabrics. These materials and artifacts had previously only been studied separately. The wide-ranging collection of data resulted in a complex, sprawling portrait of northwest Argentina during the Formative Period.This era was characterized by the slow development of sedentary societies with subsistence and crafting technologies. In older studies, researchers reconstructed regional networks based on typological similarities between materials and artifacts. The new study attempts to investigate interactions between both local and regional networks in the Andes during this period by comparing the manufacture and sources of materials, as opposed only to looking at styles.For instance, an examination of obsidian artifacts demonstrated that they shared a common source. But the differences between the cultural styles and assemblages demonstrated that many groups from different communities and cultures shared access to the same source. This allowed the researchers to create a regional network representing the movement and propagation of this source of rock.The petrography analysis of ceramics sources revealed a variety of technical production modes. The researchers found distinct chemical fingerprints for ceramic artifacts found in specific valleys and areas. “This pattern strongly suggests that there was a set of middle-range distance connections involving not only the circulation of raw materials and artifacts, but also the transmission of skills and concepts of manufacture and design that were not exclusionary,” the authors note.Notably, the study did not find characteristic artifacts from the Ambato Valley—these are distinctive gray-black wares found in past archaeological excavations that did not seem to spread among the regions encompassed by the current study. This calls into question the presumed centrality of the Ambato Valley as a node within the regional trade network. “Together with the observed low frequency of painted Aguado varieties in our core study area, the results of the geochemical analysis support a reconsideration of the purported central role of this valley,” the researchers write.The study concludes that the area supported many circulation networks involving multiple means of transport, including the presumed use of llamas. Additionally, local networks of different types were incorporated into larger regional networks that best served the needs of communities during that period–needs that were not necessarily dictated by either socio-political considerations or the desires of cultural elites. “Focusing on close intercommunity links rooted on common craft practices rather than solely on stylistic reconstructions is a more fruitful avenue to explore the ancient circulation of goods, skills, and people without assuming the capacity of early elites to manipulate and capitalize on such networks,” the authors conclude. © 2017 Phys.orgcenter_img (Phys.org)—The study of ancient civilizations, particularly those that did not leave extensive writing in the archaeological record, is reliant on the evidence of other kinds of material artifacts. And one of the keys to understanding large, complex societies is mapping the circulation of such artifacts. An international research collaborative recently published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the production and circulation of artifacts in the south-central Andes during 400 BC to 1000 AD. Albania stops smugglers of 230 ancient Apollonia artifacts Distribution routes for obsidian sources, decorated MG2 and MG7 pottery wares, Vaquerías and Condorhuasi wares, and type 1 vulcanite. Credit: (c) PNAS 2017 114 (20) E3917-E3926; published ahead of print May 1, 2017, doi:10.1073/pnas.1610494114 Citation: Study provides surprisingly complex portrait of ancient trade networks (2017, May 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-surprisingly-complex-portrait-ancient-networks.htmllast_img read more

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WBBSE announces schedule of Madhyamik

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on Thursday announced the schedule of Madhyamik Examination 2020. The examination will start from February 18 and end on February 27. The WBBSE usually announces the schedule of the examination for the next year while publishing the results for the examination. But this year, WBBSE president Kalyanmoy Ganguly had said that the schedule of 2020 examination would be announced later. A notification announcing the examination schedule was released on the website of the Madhyamik Board. The dates for Physical Education, Social Service and Work Education will be announced later.last_img read more

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When I hear about strategies that purport to legal

first_imgWhen I hear about strategies that purport to legally allow US citizens to avoid having to pay income taxes, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that it is some sort of dodgy cockamamie scheme. This is because the US government is no slouch when it comes to shaking down its citizens for every penny it can get away with. The mind-boggling spending on welfare and warfare policies necessitates this. It would be dangerously foolish in the extreme to think you could slip one past them. There really was no sure way to legally escape the suffocating grip of US taxes besides death and renouncing your US citizenship… until recently. Every other country in the world (besides the US and Eritrea) practices a system of residence-based taxation. This means that citizens are not liable for paying income taxes to their home country if they become a legal resident of another country and earn their income there. Take, for example, an American expat and a Canadian expat who both live and earn income in Singapore. The Canadian would only be responsible for paying the much lower Singapore income taxes, while the American would be responsible for paying Singapore income taxes AND American income taxes (though the IRS does allow for around $100k of foreign earned income to be excluded from income taxes if certain conditions are met). This is because the US taxes its citizens by virtue of their citizenship (citizenship-based taxation), regardless of where they live and earn their money. Even leaving the US permanently does not absolve you from paying US income taxes. Though Eritrea also practices citizenship-based taxation, it is an impoverished African country and has no ability to effectively enforce it. That’s the key difference. The US government can effectively enforce its citizenship-based taxation policies thanks to its massive economic, political, and military weight and the fact that it does not recognize any limit to its jurisdiction (consider FATCA and Edward Snowden). American expats are therefore in the uniquely unfavorable position of having arguably the worst tax policies and a government that can effectively enforce them. For many, it is a tight and suffocating tax leash. It is no wonder, then, that a record number of Americans gave up their citizenship last quarter to escape these onerous requirements. (You can find more about citizenship-based taxation versus residence-based taxation in this article.) There is, however, another way besides death and renunciation to legally escape US income taxes, thanks to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Of course, the US government could always pressure Puerto Rico to change its policies, but people in the know view that as unlikely. For now, Puerto Rico and its special tax situation definitely deserve consideration for Americans. Puerto Rico may be the best internationalization option for Americans at present, but its conditions may be unworkable for many. Fortunately, many other options exist for internationalizing at least part of your wealth—and your life, should you want to leave your home country and live elsewhere. And honestly, with the global economy in the state it’s in, just about everyone would benefit from internationalizing… it isn’t just for Americans. But how to get started? What are the best ways to move wealth offshore, and what are the best destinations for it? Should you internationalize in the same countries that you move your wealth to? All these questions, and many more, can be answered in one convenient, trustworthy resource. This resource has its roots deeply intertwined with the original “International Man”—legendary contrarian and speculator Doug Casey himself. So you can be confident that every detail has been thoroughly vetted, to not just maintain your wealth and lifestyle… but in many cases, to improve them. Get all the details and get started on your path to internationalization right now. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory (commonwealth) of the US, and this allows it to have a special tax arrangement. Namely, legal residents of Puerto Rico who earn their income in Puerto Rico do not pay US federal income taxes (though they still have to file a federal tax return). All Puerto Ricans are already US citizens, and since it is a commonwealth of the US, Americans are generally free to stay on the island without restriction and do not even need a passport to travel there. In order to obtain legal residency status in Puerto Rico and the associated tax benefits, one would have to be physically present on the island for at least 183 days a year. While US citizens who become legal Puerto Rican residents do not have to pay US federal income taxes on income earned on the island, they still have to pay local Puerto Rican taxes. This only amounts to 4% in certain cases, a pittance in comparison to combined US federal, state, and sometimes city income taxes. This low 4% rate only applies if the services are performed in Puerto Rico for clients outside of Puerto Rico—otherwise a local income tax of as much as 33% is applicable. For example, an investment manager based in Puerto Rico who performs services for US-based clients would be eligible for the lower income tax rate. Consult a tax expert to discuss individual cases and circumstances. In addition, Puerto Rico recently slashed its taxes on dividends and interest to ZERO, and capital gains taxes to as low as zero (maximum of 10%).This is part of a recent program over the past year or so in which Puerto Rico has been promoting itself as a tax-friendly jurisdiction open to Americans, in order to compete with its better-known Caribbean neighbors like the Cayman Islands. Taken together, Puerto Rico is an attractive destination for American companies and individuals who have portable incomes, such as software developers, writers, Internet businesses, and especially those dealing with investments, like hedge funds, in which the majority of the earnings are derived from investment income like dividends, interest, or capital gains. Spending half the year in Puerto Rico, with its beautiful white sand beaches, Caribbean climate, and close proximity to the US is not a bad proposition.center_img In short, thanks to a system of citizenship-based taxation, becoming a legal resident of Puerto Rico is the only way for Americans to keep their US citizenship and legally avoid US federal income taxes. There have been at least 40 Americans who have taken advantage of this special arrangement with Puerto Rico and moved there during the past year. Earlier this year billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson was said to have been exploring this option. Check out the short clip below from Bloomberg about an American who has moved to Puerto Rico for exactly these reasons.last_img read more

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Another huge corporation just went bankrupt It wa

first_imgAnother huge corporation just went bankrupt.It was one of the biggest bankruptcies of the year. But it certainly won’t be the last. In fact, we think this is a trend that could soon level the global economy…Some folks will call us alarmists for saying this. But, as you’ll discover by the end of today’s Dispatch, this prediction isn’t as bold as it sounds.Today, we’ll take a deeper look into this growing crisis…and we’ll show you what you can do today to protect your wealth.•  On Monday, Brazilian telecom giant Oi SA filed bankruptcy…The company went bankrupt after its $19.3 billion debt became too much to bear. It was the largest bankruptcy in Brazil’s history.Like many companies these days, it borrowed too much money. MarketWatch reported yesterday:Since 2009, Brazil’s fourth-largest telecom company has accumulated a huge amount of debt to complete two mergers, first with Brasil Telecom and later with Portuguese company Portugal Telecom. Those deals failed to generate enough cash flow to fund the company’s investment needs.Last week, the company said it was burning through cash. It warned that it desperately needed to restructure its debt. But, according to Fortune, it “ran out of time.”•  Many folks thought Oi SA would become one of the world’s top telecom companies…That’s because Brazil was a rising star of the global economy not that long ago.From 2000 to 2011, its economy more than quadrupled in size. Brazil was even the “B” in “BRICS,” a Wall Street acronym for five emerging markets with big growth potential.It didn’t live up to the promise.•  Brazil is in its worst downturn since the Great Depression…Its economy has been shrinking for two straight years.Unemployment and inflation are both at their highest levels in years and climbing. The country’s main stock market index, the Bovespa, has plunged 70% since 2010. And Brazil’s currency, the real, has lost 34% of its value over the past two years.•  Thousands of Brazilian companies have failed…Last year, 1,287 Brazilian companies went bankrupt. That was a record high, but it might not stand long.According to Reuters, 571 Brazilian companies filed bankruptcy between January and April. That’s twice as many filings as there were over the first four months of last year.•  Brazil’s government is a big reason why the country’s economy is unraveling…This won’t surprise longtime readers. As we’ve shown you countless times, almost every major financial crisis begins because of bad government policies. That’s because governments don’t create economic value. They only steal, hurt, and destroy it.Brazil’s socialist president, Dilma Rousseff, has destroyed the economy. She took the country from a 2.3% government surplus to a 10.3% deficit in just five years.Rousseff is still running the show right now. But she may not be for long. She’s currently standing trial for impeachment. Many folks believe a new government could turn things around.•  Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Investing, is watching Brazil’s economic crisis closely…Nick says it will take more than a new government to fix Brazil. In the April issue of Crisis Investing, he said things will get worse in Brazil before they get better:Replacing one corrupt government with another is not going to fix these problems. The worst is yet to come in Brazil. It’s shaping up to be a lovely train wreck.I believe soon, one (or a combination) of these things will trigger a full-blown crisis in Brazil. It will thrust Brazil onto the front pages of First World newspapers…and get Wall Street to say, “Sell anything Brazilian.”•  Nick thinks Brazil’s currency will collapse…Brazil’s had five currency crises over the past 75 years. That’s one every 15 years. Its last one was in 1994.If Brazil’s currency collapses, its stock market will collapse too…Nick says this would create one of the best buying opportunities in years.You see, most folks don’t realize that a crisis is actually an opportunity. In some cases, a crisis will give you the chance to buy a dollar’s worth of assets for a dime. That’s why we’ve called buying during crises “the world’s most powerful wealth-building secret.”Legendary investors like Warren Buffett and Sir John Templeton used it to become some of the richest men on the planet. Casey Research founder Doug Casey also used this strategy to make millions.Nick is an experienced crisis investor. In 2013, he made huge gains crisis investing in the tiny European island of Cyprus. The country just had a horrible banking crisis. Its stock market was down 98%. It was one of the world’s most hated markets.Nick recommended eight dirt-cheap Cyprus stocks to his readers. Three of those stocks more than doubled in under two years. Another gained 97%. Just one of the eight picks lost money, and the loss was small.•  Nick says Brazil’s economic crisis presents a similar opportunity…But he’s not ready to buy Brazilian stocks yet. He’s waiting for the crisis to become the front-page story on newspapers around the world.That’s when he’ll invest in the world-class Brazilian company he’s been “stalking.”This company dominates its industry. It’s highly efficient. And it’s been steadily growing its profits despite Brazil’s economic struggles. Nick will let his Crisis Investing readers know when it’s time to pull the trigger.You can learn how to access Nick’s best investing ideas by watching this free presentation. We encourage you to watch this video even if you don’t plan on investing in Brazil. That’s because you’ll learn about a much bigger crisis that will affect you no matter where you live in the world…•  The global financial system is more fragile today than it was in 2008…International Business Times reported last month:Corporate debt across the world has reached extreme levels, warned the Institute of International Finance (IIF), a trade group of financial institutions. The global banking watchdog added that it far exceeded the pre-Lehman financial bubble.According to International Business Times, it’s not just countries like Brazil that you need to be worried about. The entire global economy is drowning in debt:It said there was a double threat. While emerging markets had seen a five-fold increase in corporate debt to $25tn (£17.32tn, €21.91tn) over the last 10 years, developed markets such as the US and Europe were seeing record junk bond issuance.Referring to the US, the IIF said companies were borrowing as if there was no tomorrow even though their profits began to decline in 2014. It said the ratio of net debt to earnings (EBITDA) for companies was at 1.4. This had doubled since the 2007 subprime bubble.A rising debt-to-EBITDA ratio is a serious problem. It means companies have borrowed more money than they’re making.•  If you’re nervous about the global financial system, we encourage you to take action today…We recommend you start by owning physical gold.As we often say, gold is real money. It’s held its value for centuries because it has a rare set of qualities: It’s durable, easy to transport, and easily divisible. No matter where you go in the world, folks recognize its intrinsic value.Unlike many paper currencies, gold has survived every stock market meltdown, economic depression, and currency collapse in history. During many periods of economic turmoil, gold’s value skyrocketed.You can learn other ways to protect your wealth by watching this short presentation. We encourage all Casey readers to watch it.As you’ll see, an implosion of the debt market will likely spark a crisis that could impact every person on the planet. It won’t matter where you’ve put your money.You’ll also learn how to turn the global debt crisis into a money-making opportunity. Click here to watch this free video.Chart of the DayU.S. corporations are light on cash and high on debt…Today’s chart shows the cash-to-debt ratio for 2,000 nonfinancial U.S. corporations. A cash-to-debt ratio measures how much cash a company has compared to its debt. The higher the ratio, the better.You can see this key ratio has been plunging since 2013. It’s now at the lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis.It only gets worse when you dive into the details. As we recently explained, U.S. corporations have a record $1.84 trillion cash on their books. But more than half of that cash belongs to just 25 companies, or 1% of Corporate America.When you remove these cash-rich companies from the equation, the cash-to-debt ratio plunges to 12%. In other words, the bottom 99% of U.S. corporations have just $0.12 of cash for every dollar of debt.U.S. corporate balance sheets are weaker today than they were before the last financial crisis. And they continue to weaken.Again, you can learn how to protect yourself by watching this free presentation.Regards,Justin SpittlerDelray Beach, FloridaJune 22, 2016last_img read more

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Burger Kings New MeatFree Whopper Is Part of the Solution

first_imgFood Burger King’s New Meat-Free Whopper Is Part of the Solution 5 min read Brian Kateman Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Cofounder and President of the Reducetarian Foundation Next Article Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List –shares June 14, 2019 Ultimately, the only way to reduce global meat consumption is to be pragmatic — and that includes plant-based meat startups collaborating with fast food giants. Guest Writer Image credit: Impossible Foods The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now » “I’m confused. I’m re-evaluating my life.”These might not be the first words you’d imagine coming from someone who’d just eaten at Burger King. But this is exactly what one customer said after eating its new meat-free Impossible Whopper in a promo video from the fast food chain.In less than a decade, Impossible Foods has demonstrated how close we can come to eating meat without actually eating it. The startup has been at the forefront of the plant-based meat movement, fueled by growing concerns about the damaging effects of global meat consumption. While industrial meat and dairy consumption provides us with 18 percent of our calories, it uses 83 percent of farmland and produces 60 percent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.But while the number of vegans is slowly growing, many more are looking for plant-based alternatives to help them to reduce their meat intake. The Impossible Burger has been available in White Castle stores since last year, as well as hundreds of restaurants across the U.S., while the vegetarian burger from its competitor Beyond Meat has been available at more than 1,000 Carl’s Jr. restaurants since January.Burger King has introduced the Impossible Whopper at 59 restaurants in the St. Louis area and the Bay Area, with plans to quickly expand it to all of its 7,200 branches in the country by the end of the year. This move will undoubtedly bring plant-based meat into the mainstream.It’s clear that Burger King’s new plant-based patty is aimed at meat-eaters, who make up the vast majority of Burger King’s customers. The Impossible Burger mimics the texture of meat by using heme, a protein cultivated from soybean roots, and uses beet juice to make the burger look bloody.Burger King’s chief marketing officer, Fernando Machado, has said that customers and employees haven’t been able to detect any differences between the original Whopper and the Impossible Burger. But while the news has generally received a good reception, a few critics are concerned about the healthiness of plant-based meats. Until recently the Impossible Burger contained higher levels of salt than other veggie burgers and more saturated fat than traditional meat patties, according to consumer reports.While the startup has updated its formula and reduced the patty’s sodium by 30 percent and its saturated fat by two-thirds, one patty still contains 40 percent of our daily recommended amount of saturated fat and 16 percent of our daily recommended salt intake.While its undoubtedly healthier to stay home and have a salad, Burger King customers will be better off shunning the regular Whopper for the Impossible Whopper, which will have a similar amount of protein as the regular Whopper, but with 15 percent less fat and 90 percent less cholesterol.And while plant-based meat companies receive widespread support from those who want to see a reduction in meat consumption, some critics disapprove of plant-based meat burgers for working with companies that facilitate animal agriculture and its various ills.The meat industry and plant-based meat startups are increasingly seeing the mutual benefits of working together. It may seem confusing to see a fast food outlet that proudly serves “100 Percent Beef With No Fillers” offering a vegetarian alternative aimed at meat-eaters, but with the growing demand for plant-based meat, there’s profit to be had for Burger King and other eateries like it.In recent years, the meat industry has gone from seeing plant-based meat startups as competition to seeing them as collaborators that can exist alongside them. Last year, Tom Hayes, the then-CEO of Tyson, the world’s second-largest processor and seller of beef, chicken and pork, told Fortune, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?”Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown told Bloomberg that when it signed a deal with Tyson, people accused him of having blood on his hands. But he said he would “rather try to get things done than throw stones, and the people at Tyson know how to move the needle.”Moving the needle is essential for these startups to scale up — and a meat-free burger that can compete with the nation’s favorite meaty foods has the potential to greatly reduce demand for factory farming, and, subsequently, alleviate animal suffering, carbon emissions and antibacterial resistance.Making meat-free burgers readily available and affordable for consumers (the Impossible Whopper will cost $1 more than a regular burger) can only help to widen the shift towards a plant-based diet, which experts agree is an important answer to securing a future without food shortages, and is one of our best hopes for mitigating the worst of climate change.  Meat is deeply ingrained in the nation’s psyche, and for plant-based meat to become normalized, we need to be ambitious while also being realistic. The vast majority of the population will only transition to a plant-based diet gradually, and will require a lot of nudging to do so.For those more likely to stop of at McDonald’s than a local farmers’ market, Burger King can help expose people to plant-based meat in a setting they trust. And for meat-eaters already looking for ways to reduce their meat intake, making meat alternatives more accessible can only help to normalize the practice of going meatless.Ultimately, the only way to reduce global meat consumption is to be pragmatic — and that includes plant-based meat startups collaborating with fast food giants.last_img read more

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Bedfont appoints Dr Jafar Jafari as first member of the Gastrolyzer Medical

first_img Source:https://www.bedfont.com/news/home/bedfont-announces-dr-jafar-jafari-as-its-first-member-on-the-gastrolyzer-medical-advisory-board Jan 18 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Bedfont, who has specialized in the design and manufacture of breath analysis medical devices for over 40 years, announces today that Dr Jafar Jafari will be the first appointment to its Gastrolyzer Medical Advisory Board.Head of Upper GI Physiology at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust Hospitals, Dr Jafari has an MD in Medicine, a PhD in Neurogastroenterology, and has been involved in over 100 research publications regarding gastroenterology.  Notably, one of Dr Jafari’s main areas of interest is Hydrogen and C13 GI breath testing.The Gastrolyzer range works by measuring exhaled levels of hydrogen and methane that are produced when the gut breaks down food; interpreting these gas levels can help to determine gastrointestinal disorders such as lactose intolerance, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and more. We are privileged to welcome Dr Jafari into our Bedfont Family and onto our Gastrolyzer Medical Advisory Board. We are very fortunate to be able to call upon his extensive knowledge and expertise in the gastrointestinal field.”Jason Smith, Managing Directorcenter_img The Gastrolyzer range provides an instant, non-invasive and easy-to-use method for healthcare professionals and patients to use when investigating gut function. I am privileged to have been given this opportunity to contribute to Bedfont’s GI breath testing campaign.”Dr Jafar Jafarilast_img read more

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Study offers new insights for vaccine development to prevent RSV disease

first_img Source:https://www.lsu.edu/mediacenter/news/2019/03/26vetmed_cormier_rsv.php Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 27 2019In healthy adults, RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, feels like the common cold with a runny nose, chest congestion and cough. However, it is the second leading cause of death in infants. In fact, nearly 40 percent of infants who contract this widespread virus develop severe bronchiolitis or pneumonia, with 1 to 3 percent hospitalized. Each year, there are about 64 million cases and about 160,000 deaths due to RSV worldwide. Contracting RSV within the first few months of life can make a child more susceptible to developing asthma later in life. The elderly and immune compromised populations, including cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment, also suffer substantial morbidity and mortality. A new publication in Frontiers in Immunology by Stephania Cormier, the LSU Department of Biological Sciences Wiener Chair professor, and colleagues offers new insights for vaccine development, both active and passive, to prevent this deadly disease. This study is of particular interest following the recent failure of ResVax, an RSV vaccine by Novavax, to prevent RSV disease in infants via maternal immunization.”Because an infant’s immune system develops gradually within the first six months of life, the immune system does not respond and fight back in the same way as an adult would when infected by RSV. Since there are currently no effective RSV vaccines available, infants are essentially defenseless against this common virus,” Cormier said.The paper reviews the existing data demonstrating the importance of a family of small proteins called type 1 interferons, which are released by cells in response to viruses and are key to the body’s immune response. For example, when an infant is exposed to the influenza virus, its body launches an interferon response that fights back against the virus. However, infants who develop severe RSV bronchiolitis or pneumonia do not launch an interferon response when exposed to RSV. The scientists urge pharmaceutical companies to consider strategies for enhancing type 1 interferon responses to aid in combating RSV in infants.Related Stories$3.1 million NIH funding awarded to develop universal flu vaccineResearchers develop improved vaccine for meningitis and bloodstream infectionsNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patients”Vaccine developers need to look at how infants are responding immunologically to a vaccine at the site of infection. Our research shows that simply increasing circulating neutralizing antibodies is not enough to prevent disease in infants; it is also important to induce type 1 interferons,” Cormier said.She suggests approaches to restore a normal interferon response to a vaccine, which enhances the body’s immune response providing protection from disease.Since development of active vaccines is a long and costly endeavor, pharmaceutical companies are also interested in passively administering antibodies manufactured in the lab. For the past 20 years, the leading product of this type called Synagis has been used to reduce disease severity in the high risk population of premature birth infants. The new understanding of the host immune response to RSV suggests that improvements on Synagis need to provide both the antiviral activity and a countermeasure to the viral distortion of the host immune response.”Because Synagis has been a useful drug, most pharmaceutical efforts have targeted the same viral protein, called the F protein, as this approved drug. However, a different viral protein, called the G protein, has been implicated as a key driver of the immune system’s weak response. Antibodies against the G protein provide antiviral activity that is as good as those targeting the F protein, while also normalizing the host immune response,” said co-author Lawrence Kauvar, chief scientific officer of Trellis Bioscience, which is close to being ready to begin testing an antibody against the G protein in human clinical trials.In developing a new RSV vaccine for infants, the scientists urge the vaccine developers to think outside of the box.”If we can unlock infants’ type 1 interferon response, it could potentially change vaccines for all infants. It’s exciting,” Cormier said.last_img read more

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Papua New Guinea mulls temporary ban on Facebook

first_img Explore further The proposal, which Communications Minister Sam Basil said could lead to replacing Facebook with a locally developed social networking platform, was ridiculed as ill-timed and unworkable by opponents.Basil floated the idea of a one-month shutdown on Tuesday, saying it would “allow information to be collected” on fake accounts and users who upload pornography and defamatory information so that they could be removed from the platform.”This will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly,” he said.Basil also said PNG could create a local alternative to Facebook, which has been rocked by revelations that it improperly shared the personal data of 87 million users with British consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.”If there need be then we can gather our local applications developers to create a site that is more conducive for Papua New Guineans to communicate within the country and abroad as well,” he was quoted as saying by local media.No timeframe was given on the potential shutdown, although some reports suggested it could coincide with Port Moresby hosting the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit later this year.A spokesperson for Facebook in Sydney said they had reached out to PNG authorities and were “working to address their concerns”.Basil issued a follow-up statement Wednesday acknowledging that “Facebook use in PNG is not limited to personal chats and blogs” but also serves as a forum for legitimate commercial and information services.But he stood firm on pursuing a study of “the advantages and disadvantages of use of Facebook” and of “vulnerabilities” linked to personal data use and cybercrime. PNG Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker said shutting down Facebook would make a mockery of the nation during the 21-member APEC summit, expected to be attended by US President Donald Trump.”The APEC meeting is all about promoting the digital era to assist business, develop economies, and improve citizen welfare in member countries,” he told the PNG Post Courier newspaper Wednesday.”It would be a travesty if PNG sought to close down Facebook during the APEC month, making PNG seem rather foolish.”Facebook is widely used in PNG to discuss politics and expose corruption and MPs and officials have shown a high degree of sensitivity to posts in the past, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, one of the few foreign media groups based in the country.Basil denied the proposed ban was a threat to freedom of speech.”I don’t think so because MPs are open to criticism,” he said. Opposition MP Bryan Kramer, who has a large following on Facebook, called the proposal ridiculous.”The reason the word dumb comes to mind is because how does one shut down a platform to carry out research on it,” he said Wednesday. “It would be equivalent to saying we are carrying out research on the negative effects of TV so we are turning it off so we can study a blank screen.” © 2018 AFP Communications Minister Sam Basil said Papua New Guinea was mulling a one-month shutdown of Facebook and the possible development of an alternative social networking platform for its citizens UK regulator investigating Facebook over political campaigningcenter_img Citation: Papua New Guinea mulls ‘temporary’ ban on Facebook (2018, May 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-papua-guinea-mulls-temporary-facebook.html Papua New Guinea said Wednesday it was mulling a temporary shutdown of Facebook to uncover false accounts and block fake news in the Pacific nation, which hosts a major global summit later this year. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Research will help urban planners prioritize bike lanes

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Mobile phone ban for Dutch cyclists Citation: Research will help urban planners prioritize bike lanes (2019, February 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-urban-planners-prioritize-bike-lanes.html More information: Kushal Mehta et al, A methodology to estimate the number of unsafe vehicle-cyclist passing events on urban arterials, Accident Analysis & Prevention (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2019.01.005 A new virtual tool could help planners choose the best places to install bikes lanes in cities. The data-based tool builds on previous research at the University of Waterloo that validated the safety benefits of bike lanes for cyclists and motorists.Collected using sensors and a handlebar camera as researchers cycled hundreds of kilometres in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, the data showed bike lanes virtually eliminate vehicles getting too close to cyclists when they pass them.”Drivers aren’t trying to scare cyclists or be inconsiderate,” said Bruce Hellinga, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Waterloo. “In many cases, they just don’t feel they can leave more space because of the geometry of the road and the proximity of other vehicles.”On two-lane roads without bike lanes, passing motorists got within a metre of cyclists 12 per cent of the time. With bike lanes, that number dropped to just .2 per cent.On four-lane roads, unsafe passing dropped from almost six per cent with no bike lanes to .5 per cent with bikes lanes.One metre of separation was used to distinguish safe passing from unsafe passing in the study because it is a legal requirement in some jurisdictions in North America.The data is now being used to develop a transferrable software tool that predicts the number of unsafe passes on roads based on factors including traffic volume and flow.That would help urban planners determine where bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure would be most beneficial.”It’s not about giving something to cyclists and taking something away from motorists,” Hellinga said. “It’s about putting in infrastructure to reduce stress levels and improve safety for both.”The research was motivated by Hellinga’s own experiences cycling to work.”I got frustrated by what I perceived as vehicles getting too close to me,” Hellinga said. “You feel very vulnerable when a vehicle comes within what feels like mere centimetres.”In addition to improving safety, he said bike lanes make cyclists more comfortable and therefore more likely to cycle.Hellinga collaborated with graduate student Kushal Mehta and former postdoctoral fellow Babak Mehran.Their paper on a predictive model, A methodology to estimate the number of unsafe vehicle-cyclist passing events on urban arterials, appears in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. Explore further 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. Provided by University of Waterloolast_img read more

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