Producer Star Trek Discovery delayed to maintain quality

first_imgAdvertisement Executive producers Akiva Goldsman, from left, Heather Kadin, Gretchen Berg, Aaron Harberts and Alex Kurtzman and actors James Frain, Sonequa Martin-Green, Mary Chieffo and Jason Isaacs participate in the “Star: Trek Discovery” panel during the CBS Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at CBS Studio Center on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) “Star Trek: Discovery” also stars Jason Isaacs, Michelle Yeoh and Shazad Latif. Executive producer Alex Kurtzman told the Television Critics Association Tuesday that they “spent a lot of time” discussing how to create this new world for TV that felt authentic to the “Star Trek” universe. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment LOS ANGELES — The premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” on CBS’ subscription streaming service, CBS All Access, was postponed nine months to maintain the quality of the brand. “We are telling a story that we believe in. Everyone is so passionate. The craftsmanship here in our entire company, behind the camera and in front of the camera, is nothing short of stellar,” said Green. Kurtzman also debuted the theme song for “Star Trek: Discovery” performed by a 60-piece orchestra. It plays homage to the original theme and the entire song will play under a credit sequence in each episode. “Star Trek: Discovery” stars Sonequa Martin-Green of “The Walking Dead,” as central character, First Officer Michael Burnham. She’s the foster daughter of the Vulcan Sarek, who is Spock’s father. Also during that time, executive producer Bryan Fuller decided to exit the series as showrunner to focus on other projects. The timeline for the series is 10 years prior to the original series, or TOS, as Trekkies say. Kurtzman said “it became clearer and clearer” that the targeted January debut would “compromise the quality of the show,” so it was pushed with the blessing of CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves. The series premiere will broadcast on CBS Sept. 24. Immediately following, the first and second episodes will stream on CBS All Access. New episodes going forward will be available on Sundays. Executive producer Akiva Goldsman said, “We are going to cross paths with components that ‘Trek’ fans are familiar with, but it is its own standalone story with its own characters and its own unique vision of ‘Trek.’” Login/Register With: Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Pressure on China as it defends blocking Azhar terror listing

first_imgWashington: China on Thursday defended its fourth “technical hold” on the designation of Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, saying the move would give it time for a “thorough and in-depth assessment” of the case and help the parties concerned to engage in more talks to find a “lasting solution” acceptable to all. The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF DayThe Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. Just before the deadline ended, China put a “technical hold” on the proposal seeking “more time to examine” it. The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist. Asked why China once again resorted to blocking the move, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing here that Beijing’s decision is in line with the rules of the committee. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty”Only a solution that is acceptable to all sides could fundamentally provide a chance for a lasting solution to the issue. China is ready to communicate and coordinate with all sides including India to properly handle this issue,” he said. The Security Council 1267 Committee has clear standards on the procedures of designating terrorist organisations and individuals, Lu said. “China conducts a thorough and in-depth assessment of these applications and we still need more time, so that is why we put forward the technical hold,” he said. India Wednesday expressed disappointment soon after China put a technical hold on designating Azhar. The External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi said India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that leaders of terror groups involved in heinous attacks on Indian citizens are brought to justice. Outraged by China blocking for the fourth time a move to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, responsible UNSC members warned they “may be forced to pursue other actions” at the Security Council if Beijing continued with this policy. The senior diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity to give a sense of the frustration of the other members of the Security Council after China on Wednesday put a technical hold on the proposal.last_img read more

Man arrested on suspicion of rape in Belfast last night

first_img Image: PA Archive/PA Images By Sean Murray Share Tweet Email File Photo DETECTIVES IN THE North have arrested a man on suspicion of the rape of a young woman in south Belfast last night.In the University Street area at around 12.40am, the woman in her 20s reported being assaulted in the doorway of a commercial premises.The PSNI referred to the incident as a “serious sexual assault”.A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of rape and remains in custody this evening.University Street is near the grounds of Queen’s University Belfast, and Belfast City Hospital.Detective Inspector Zoe McKee issued an appeal for anyone who is in the area of University Street at the time the incident took place to contact police at Ladas Drive, quoting reference number 19 7/3/17.Read: CAB wants to sell €500k-worth of assets ‘linked to Kinahan cartel’Read: ‘Blood was pouring. I thought I was going to die’: Appeal after shooting of PSNI officer No Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img Tuesday 7 Mar 2017, 6:21 PM 9,580 Views File Photo Image: PA Archive/PA Images Mar 7th 2017, 6:21 PM Short URL Man arrested on suspicion of rape in Belfast last night The incident occurred in the University Street area of south Belfast.last_img read more

A Once Upon a Time Villain Gets Redemption but No Happy Ending

first_img Once Upon a Time’s Finale Was Everything We Loved About an Imperfect ShowHenry Screws Everything Up Again on Once Upon a Time Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. It’s been a few months since Once Upon a Time turned the tables on everyone before signing off for an unspecified period of time. But what turned out to be the final season continues tonight, and starts us off with a little fun bait and switch. We last left the series with ominous hooded figures, The Coven of Eight, standing in a circle. We begin this episode with a few ominous looking figures… that turn out to be teenagers. It turns out this is Zelena’s daughter Robin in her rebellious teen years. She’s experimenting with magic against her mother’s wishes.  She gets caught, a mother-daughter fight happens, and Robin storms out. There, she finds a mysterious potion in her cloak, drops it, and is whisked away by Gothel. So that’s how they really got separated.Things in modern-day Seattle aren’t going much better. Henry’s depressed because he couldn’t save Lucy, and Gothel is being a special kind of evil. She forces a bound Victoria Belfrey to reveal all the terrible things she’s done to get Anastasia back. After successfully poisoning Anastasia against her mother, she appears at the hospital to mock Zelena over her missing daughter. Just a real class act, this woman. She’s not just there to be the worst, though. She offers to wake Lucy up without it killing Henry. In exchange, she wants the resurrection amulet–a magical item that, according to Regina, can be very dangerous in the wrong hands.Rebecca Mader, Colin O’Donoghue (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)And remember how Regina and Zelena were estranged when they first re-met this season? We may be seeing a little bit of where that came from. Zelena blames her sister for Robin’s kidnapping. It was Regina who got her into magic, and so Zelena thinks it’s Regina’s fault she got kidnapped. Fortunately, Hook is here, showing the detective skills and instinct that makes him such a good Seattle cop. He offers to help Zelena get her daughter back. She agrees, however begrudgingly, and the two set about their search. Hook figures out exactly how to get to Gothel, and she’s being led in a seance by a woman named Madame Leota. Hey, it’s the witch from The Haunted Mansion! Yay more Disney properties! And look who else is there. It’s Robin! Except it turns out she wasn’t kidnapped. She’s magicking with Gothel voluntarily, and she tells her mother to blow off. But like, in a much more magical-sounding way.If it wasn’t already obvious, Gothel’s teaching of Robin turns out to be a big ol’ trap. Promising to teach her magic, Gothel asks Robin to step in the middle of a pentagram on the floor AND SHE DOES IT OH MY GOD ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?? Have you ever seen a witch stand in the middle of a pentagram on the floor? Don’t you find it a little odd that you only ever see them standing outside of one in popular fiction/mythology? Whatever, only a select few of the characters on this show have ever been known for their great brains. Gothel produces the resurrection amulet and we finally learn what it does. Like it says on the box, it brings people back to life. At the cost of the life of another. And guess whose life that is. Gothel is going to kill Robin to bring back Madame Leota.Emma Booth, Tiera Skovbye (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)She almost does too, but thanks to a pep talk from Hook, Zelena runs in to save her daughter. Demonstrating how much love she has for Robin, Zelena takes her place in the pentagram, ready to sacrifice herself for her daughter. But in an awesome moment, Robin remembers the other part of her heritage. She may have inherited some magic from her mom, but thanks to her dad, she’s a fine archer. A well placed arrow later, Gothel is freed and they have the resurrection amulet. Robin even decides to use it to give Zelena her magic back.This final season may not have the freshness and wonder of season one, nor does it have all the familiar characters we’d fallen in love with, like seasons two through six did. When it’s at its best though, it’s still the same show we’ve been obsessed with for since 2011. Its best episodes weave the flashbacks and present day scenes together to create and pay off small, satisfying mysteries, and deliver shocking surprises at just the right moment. Last night’s midseason premiere took a while to get there, but it delivered in the end. It still hits me right in the heart when the show nails its parallels between past and present this well.In the present day, Zelena and Regina locate the amulet, but before they can figure out what to do with it, Belfrey shows up. She pulled some Indiana-Jones-in-heels maneuvers to escape Gothel, only to realize how much Drizella used to love her, and how little she thinks of her now. If she can get the resurrection amulet to Gothel, Belfrey thinks, Lucy will be revived and she’ll be redeemed in the eyes of her daughters. She robs the witches at gunpoint and takes the amulet to Gothel. Wouldn’t you know it? It’s another trap. Who could have foreseen this turn of events? This time, once Gothel gets her hands on the amulet, she summons Drizella into the pentagram. She’s going to force Belfrey to sacrifice her daughter for Lucy.Gabrielle Anwar (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)This whole season did a real good job of making you hate Victoria Belfrey. She was driving up rents to force people out of Hyperion Heights. She was intentionally keeping Lucy from her mother. She broke Lucy’s heart. Her flashback episode made us empathize, and this one completely redeems her. That’s not an easy task for a character who spent so much of the season as a cartoonish villain. But hey, they made us love Regina. It shouldn’t be a surprise they did it again for Belfrey. All it took was a whole episode of careful set-up, and an impactful payoff. Mimicking Zelena’s actions from the flashback, Belfrey dives into the pentagram, pushing Drizella to safety. In doing so, she sacrifices herself to save her daughter, her step-granddaughter and stepson-in-law. She doesn’t get her happy ending, but she does get to die a hero. It’s a bittersweet ending for a few reasons. At the hospital, everyone’s overjoyed that Lucy’s awake. But Regina and Zelena know what that means. Gothel has the Resurrection amulet. That can’t be good for Hyperion Heights.Henry really didn’t have much to do in this episode. In its first hour back, Once Upon a Time gave us a handful of check-in scenes before diving into what really mattered. That didn’t include Henry. His scenes were all build-up to a twist we already knew. The hospital doesn’t know what’s wrong with Lucy, so they test her parents’ blood just in case a transplant is needed. Henry sees his book on her hospital bed and asks that he be tested too. And you know where this is going. The thing I don’t understand is why they treated the “Confirmed Parent” label on Henry’s blood test as some kind of big reveal. We knew this. We’ve been watching the show, we saw the flashbacks. The presentation does make it a little more exciting to watch somebody else find out. As Weaver warns Officer Rogers of darkness and cults coming to Hyperion Heights, a mysterious assailant murders the doctor and makes off with the results. We don’t know who, but it has to be someone connected to Gothel. Who else wouldn’t want the curse to end?Rebecca Mader (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)Coming back to an episode like this makes me a little sad that this season of Once Upon a Time will be its last. Sure, we hadn’t built up the familiarity with the residents of Hyperion Heights that we did with those of Storybrooke, but that would come. This episode may have taken a while to get going, but once it did, it proved that this show is capable of being just as good as it always was. It’s been showing us the same trick for nearly seven years, but it’s a very good trick. Well, we’ll just have to enjoy what’s left of Once Upon a Time while we have it. And with an evil coven and witchy murder mystery to look forward to, as well as a possible new big bad in Madame Leota, we should be in for a fun ride.center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

Robertson praises David Bates ahead of debut

first_imgScotland’s Andrew Robertson has heaped praises on David Bates ahead of his international debut with the team.The Hamburg defender is set to win his first cap in the heart of the Scotland defence, thanks to a large number of withdrawals from the team.Robertson has been impressed by the former Rangers Football Club defender, saying:“You don’t quite know how it will go on your debut but I think David can stand up and be counted,” he said according to Dail Mail.“He’s been really good in training. I remember watching him at Rangers and he’s come on a lot since he made the move to Hamburg.”“It’s up to the manager if he starts or not but, if he does, the more experienced lads will help him out and be positive.”Scotland’s Robertson hopes for a positive result against Belgium Manuel R. Medina – September 7, 2019 Scotland was defeated at home 2-1 by Russia in yesterday’s 2020 European Championship qualifiers, and the team is almost out of the race for a spot at the Euros.“Yes, it will be an inexperienced 11 due to circumstances, but I have confidence in the lads.”“Callum Paterson’s been doing well in the Premier League with Cardiff City and Ryan Fraser has the most assists in that league (with Bournemouth). The Celtic boys are all coming into international duty on a high.”“It can be hard to bring your own individual form from a club into a new team at international level but that’s what we’re aiming to do. Hopefull,y we can get the right result.”Meanwhile, Robertson admits the withdrawals have impacted Scotland’s preparation for UEFA Nations League games against Albania and Israel.“Of course it’s been a bit disruptive but we always plan with different team set-ups, and people are 100 per cent concentrated on what they are doing. These things happen and people will need to step up.”“We have to think that people will react well in adversity. I’m sure that will happen in Albania.”last_img read more

PM Modi arrives in Parliament for day 2 of Abhyas Varga

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday arrived in Parliament Library on the second day of ‘Abhyas Varga’ training programme being organised by the BJP for all its parliamentarians in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Modi was accompanied by BJP working president JP Nadda, among others. On day one of the exercise, the Prime Minister gave lessons to the newly-elected BJP MPs on how to become a successful public representative. Also Read – Trinamool, BJP activists scuffle at Dilip Ghosh’s event Advertise With Us According to those who attended the training being held in the Parliament premises, Modi asked the MPs to remain connected with their well-wishers who had worked for their success in their respective constituencies. While Modi spoke on how to become an ‘efficient MP’, Nadda spoke on organisation expansion and party’s mantra of ‘paanch nishthayen’ (that include Rashtriyata (nationalism), democracy, gandhiwadi samajwad (Gandhian socialism), sarvadharm sambhav (religious harmony) and politics guided by morals. Also Read – NRC in Assam to be released: list to finalize if a person is Indian or Foreigner Advertise With Us Chosen by the party, the lawmakers — Bhagwanth Kuba, C R Patil and Sudhir Gupta shared the formula of being a “successful MP”. The trio, under the leadership of Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, shared the stories of implementation of central government schemes in their respective constituencies. The agenda of the two-day ‘Abhyas Varga’ training programme is a focused group discussion on ‘Situation in West Bengal’ and a session that imparts NaMo App training to parliamentarians among other things.last_img read more

Xiaomi Redmi 7 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC launched Top facts

first_imgMain: 12MP (with 1.12µm pixel size, F2.2 aperture) + 2MP depth sensorFront: 8MP selfie snapper Redmi Note 6 Pro launch 6.26-inch HD+ (1520x720p) with 2.5D curved glass shield, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protectionAspect ratio: 19:9Brightness: 84% NTSC Colour Gamut 2GB + 16GB3GB + 32GB4GB + 64GB-expandable up to 512GB via microSD card 2GB + 16GB: ¥699 (around $104/€92/Rs 7, 143)3GB + 32GB: ¥799 (around $119/€105/Rs 8,164)4GB + 64GB: ¥999 (around $149/€131/Rs 10,209) 4,000mAh Dual 4G-LTE with VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE) Processor After weeks of teasing, Xiaomi finally unveiled the new generation budget phone Redmi 7 in Beijing along with China-region specific Redmi Note 7 Pro, which was first announced recently in India.The new Redmi 7 comes with a decent upgrade over the predecessor both in terms of visual appeal and internal hardware. The first noticeable change is the dot-notch design, which makes the display wider and with HD+ resolution, people will have a good time watching videos with less obstruction. It also features 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5 series shield, which not only adds value to the aesthetics of the exterior outlook but also protects the screen from damage during the accidental drop.On the back, Xiaomi Redmi 7 features a glossy shell with a fingerprint sensor in the middle and dual camera 12MP+2MP sensors on the back. Xiaomi Redmi 7 is slated to go on sale in China next week. Xiaomi ENMIUI blogUnder-the-hood, Redmi 6 successor comes packed with 14nm class 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 octa-core processor, Android Pie-based MIUI 10, 2GB/3GB/4GB RAM, 16GB/32GB/64GB storage (expandable up to 512GB storage via microSD card), an 8MP selfie shooter and a 4,000mAh battery, which is enough to keep the phone running for more than a day under mixed usage.Xiaomi has confirmed that the Redmi 7 will be offered three configurations—2GB + 16GB, 3GB + 32GB: ¥799 and 4GB + 64GB— for ¥699 (around $104/€92/Rs 7, 143), (around $119/€105/Rs 8,164) and ¥999 (around $149/€131/Rs 10,209), respectively. It is slated to go on sale March 26 and come in three colour options—Black, Blue and Red. RAM + Storage ModelOSXiaomi Redmi 7Android 9.0 Pie with MIUI 10ModelProcessorXiaomi Redmi 714nm class 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 octa-core with Adreno 506 GPUModelRAM + StorageXiaomi Redmi 7 Three dedicated slots ( SIM-1 + SIM-2 + microSD card), fingerprint sensor, Infrared sensor, Bluetooth v5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS/GLONASS Battery 14nm class 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 octa-core with Adreno 506 GPU Black/Blue/Red 2GB + 16GB: ¥699 (around $104/€92/Rs 7, 143)3GB + 32GB: ¥799 (around $119/€105/Rs 8,164)4GB + 64GB: ¥999 (around $149/€131/Rs 10,209) Xiaomi Redmi 7 Android 9.0 Pie with MIUI 10center_img 158.65 x 7.43 x 8.47 mm Display Model Network Close Colours Price Dimensions 2GB + 16GB3GB + 32GB4GB + 64GB-expandable up to 512GB via microSD cardModelCameraXiaomi Redmi 7Main: 12MP (with 1.12µm pixel size, F2.2 aperture) + 2MP depth sensorFront: 8MP selfie snapperModelBatteryXiaomi Redmi 74,000mAhModelNetworkXiaomi Redmi 7Dual 4G-LTE with VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE)ModelAdd-onsXiaomi Redmi 7Three dedicated slots ( SIM-1 + SIM-2 + microSD card), fingerprint sensor, Infrared sensor, Bluetooth v5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS/GLONASSModelDimensionsXiaomi Redmi 7158.65 x 7.43 x 8.47 mmModelWeightXiaomi Redmi 7180gModelColoursXiaomi Redmi 7Black/Blue/RedModelPriceXiaomi Redmi 7 Weight OS Add-ons Xiaomi Redmi 6 is one of the best value for money phone in the budget category.KVN Rohit/IBTimes IndiaAs of now, there is no word on when the Redmi 7 will make its way to India, but Xiaomi is unlikely to waste not more than a month, as the Indian market, lately is getting very competitive and rivals such as Tecno, Realme and even former leader Samsung are aggressively launching multiple phones with cost-effective prices.Key specifications of Xiaomi Redmi 7:ModelModelXiaomi Redmi 7Xiaomi Redmi 7ModelDisplayXiaomi Redmi 76.26-inch HD+ (1520x720p) with 2.5D curved glass shield, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protectionAspect ratio: 19:9Brightness: 84% NTSC Colour Gamut Camera 180g Relatedlast_img read more

Cairn IndiaVedanta merger may be delayed by at least 3 months

first_imgMetals and mining major Vedanta’s proposed deal to merge with subsidiary Cairn India would take at least another quarter to be completed.On 14 June last year, Vedanta had announced its plans to merge with Cairn India in a deal worth $2.3 billion. Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources had said in November last year that the merger would be completed by 2016’s April-June quarter. But, it has now been disclosed that the merger will be delayed further by “at least a quarter”.”The management has given to understand that the merger is running behind schedule and the companies are still awaiting a date from the high court to convene a meeting of shareholders,” The Financial Express quoted an analyst, who participated in the conference call hosted by Cairn India last Friday after its third quarter results, as saying.The shareholders’ meeting after the court’s order will be the “most crucial” for the merger to go ahead, according to another analyst who is closely tracking the transaction.For the merger to sail through, a majority of shareholders have to vote in favour of the transaction.”With regard to proposed merger with Vedanta Limited, the company is seeking directions of the Bombay High Court for convening meeting of all our relevant stakeholders,” Cairn India said in its statement on 22 January.Cairn India had given a $1.25 billion loan to Vedanta in July 2014 at below market rates that led to a sharp fall in investors’ wealth. Initially, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) — a major stakeholder in the oil and gas explorer — had objected to such an unhealthy move, but did not take any action.In September last year, the stock exchanges had given “no objection” for the merger.”The potential merger with parent Vedanta remains a key concern. The proposed swap ratio at Vedanta’s current share price implies value for Cairn of only Rs 84/share, implying 30% downside potential to the current price,” Nomura said in a note to its clients last week.last_img read more

Pakistan seeks UN intervention over Kashmir tension with India

first_imgPakistani foreign affairs minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi speaks during a press conference in Multan on 19 February 2019, following the ongoing tensions between Pakistan and India. Pakistan is ready to help India investigate the deadliest blast in Kashmir in decades, but will retaliate if Delhi attacks, prime minister Imran Khan said on 19 February as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals soared. — Photo: AFPPakistan’s foreign minister appealed to the UN secretary general on Tuesday to help ease tension with India that has escalated sharply following a suicide bomb attack in the Indian part of disputed Kashmir, that India blamed on Pakistan.Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, facing an election by May, has warned Pakistan to expect a “strong response” to the bombing claimed by a Pakistan-linked militant group, raising fears of conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors.“It is with a sense of urgency that I draw your attention to the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the threat of use of force against Pakistan by India,” foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote to UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.“It is imperative to take steps for de-escalation. The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions,” he wrote, blaming India for deliberately ratcheting up its hostile rhetoric for domestic political reasons.The Pakistani appeal follows days of rising tension between the old rivals after a suicide bomber blew himself up near an Indian police convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Thursday, killing at least 40 paramilitary police.Jaish-e Mohammad, a militant group said to be based in Pakistan which wants the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to be part of Pakistan, claimed responsibility but the Pakistani government has denied any involvement.“Attributing it to Pakistan even before investigations is absurd,” Qureshi said.“India must be asked to conduct an open and credible investigation on Pulwama incident,” he said.Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, a former princely state on the border between India and Pakistan, has been in dispute since the partition of India in 1947.Control is split between the two countries but each claims the region in full.The neighbours have fought three wars since 1947, two of them over Kashmir. They have fought countless skirmishes along their de facto border, which the United Nations monitors, in the Himalayan region.Pakistan ‘ready to talk’An AFP report from Islamabad says: Pakistan is ready to help India investigate the deadliest blast in Kashmir in decades, but will retaliate if Delhi attacks, prime minister Imran Khan said Tuesday as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals soared.Khan used a nationally televised address to demand Delhi share proof of Islamabad’s alleged involvement in last week’s suicide blast, which killed 41 people in Indian-held Kashmir and unleashed a fresh diplomatic crisis over the disputed Himalayan region.The attack, which has triggered nationwide anger in India, was claimed by Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed.Indian officials have said those behind the blast will pay a “heavy price”. The Indian military also said Tuesday the bombing had been “masterminded” by Pakistan, and specifically its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence branch.If India attacks, “Pakistan won’t just think to retaliate. Pakistan will retaliate,” said Khan in the address.Islamabad has denied involvement. “If you have some actionable intelligence about involvement of Pakistanis, give it to us, I guarantee you that we will take action,” Khan said Tuesday, adding that Pakistan was “ready to talk” about terrorism with India.It was “easy to start a war”, he said, adding that he hopes “better sense will prevail”.Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947. Both countries claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars in connection to the dispute.India has long accused Pakistan of harbouring militants that launch attacks on its soil, including banned groups such as JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks which left scores dead.Islamabad has repeatedly vowed to crack down on the groups if Delhi provides evidence of involvement.Khan said on Tuesday that if any militant group was using Pakistani soil to launch attacks, “its enmity is with us. This is against our interest”.Pakistan was also accused by Iran last week of sheltering the perpetrators of an attack which killed 27 Revolutionary Guards, while Kabul and Washington have long claimed that Islamabad offers safe haven to the Afghan Taliban.- ‘Defuse tensions’ -With anger building in India, prime minister Narendra Modi faces increased pressure to act as his Hindu nationalist government is expected to call a national election within weeks.Indian forces have staged operations since Thursday’s attack while anti-Pakistan and anti-Kashmir sentiment has spread across the country, fuelled by social media including widely shared false news reports.On Tuesday the Indian army said three JeM militants were killed in a gun battle a day earlier.Two of them were Pakistanis, including the group’s “chief operations commander in Kashmir”, lieutenant general Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon told a press conference in Srinagar.The Indian government has already withdrawn trade privileges for Pakistan, ended police protection for four Kashmiri separatist leaders, and halted some cross-border services.Earlier Tuesday, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi pleaded with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres to intervene in the escalating row.”The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions,” wrote Qureshi in a message shared with journalists.On Monday Saudi Arabia vowed to “de-escalate” the situation during a high-profile state visit by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to Islamabad. He is also due in India this week.Kashmir is one of the world’s most militarised zones, with some 500,000 Indian troops deployed to fight a rebellion that broke out in 1989.Scores of armed groups are now involved.Tens of thousands of people, mainly civilians, have died in the conflict. Violence has spiked since 2016 with almost 600 killed last year, the highest toll in a decade.Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan warned that any action by Delhi against Islamabad could disrupt peace talks with the Taliban.Pakistan is “playing a very important role” in the months-long push led by the US for talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, said Zahid Nasrullah. A fresh round of negotiations is set to begin next week.last_img read more

House Passes School Gun Violence Bill One Month After Florida School Shooting

first_img Share AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteSpeaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined from left by, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., meets with reporters following a GOP strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Rep. Rutherford, a former sheriff of Duval County, Fla., introduced a bill, the “STOP School Violence Act of 2018,” that would attempt to curb school violence by providing more training for school officials and local law enforcement to respond to mental health crises. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)The House overwhelmingly approved a bill to improve school safety Wednesday, the first gun-related action by Congress since the shooting that left 17 dead at a Florida high school.The bill authorizes $500 million over 10 years for grants to improve training and coordination between schools and local law enforcement and help identify signs of potential violence before they occur.Lawmakers approved the bill, 407-10. It now goes to the Senate, where a similar measure is being considered.House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the bill “provides a multi-layered approach” to identify threats so authorities can stop violence before it occurs.“Tragic violence has no place in our schools. Every American believes that,’” Ryan said. “This legislation will actually take concrete action to prevent that.”The vote came as the FBI announced it is doubling the number of supervisors assigned to review tips received from the public about possible threats of mass shootings or other violence.Deputy FBI Director David Bowdich told a Senate committee that the agency “could have and should have done more” to investigate information it received prior to the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.The FBI received at least two credible tips that the suspect in the Florida school shooting had a “desire to kill” and access to guns and could be plotting an attack, but agents failed to investigate.“While we will never know if any such investigative activity would have prevented this tragedy, we clearly should have done more,” Bowdich told the Senate Judiciary Committee.The Senate panel was considering a similar proposal to improve school safety, but a hearing Wednesday focused on law enforcement failures in Florida. Besides the FBI lapses, Broward County, Florida Sheriff Scott Israel has said his office received more than 20 calls about accused gunman Nikolas Cruz in the past few yearsSen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the committee, noted that Israel declined an invitation to testify Wednesday, as did Michael Carroll, secretary of Florida’s Department of Children and Families.“By thumbing their noses at Congress, Sheriff Israel and Secretary Carroll have let the American people down and also the citizens of Florida they serve,” said Grassley, R-Iowa.Some Democratic lawmakers sought to expand the focus to include gun control. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said more and more families are being victimized by mass shootings since a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons she authored expired in 2004.“This Congress cannot continue to do nothing, because nothing means more lives are lost, including the youngest and the most vulnerable among us,” said Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary panel. “High school students are literally begging us to take action to get these guns off the streets and out of our schools.”As Feinstein spoke, hundreds of students were rallying outside the Capitol to urge stricter gun control laws. The rally was part of a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence following the Florida attack. A larger rally is planned March 24.Chloe Appel, 15, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, held a sign that said, “Fix this before I text my mom from under a desk.” The high school student said she’s hopeful that Congress will enact gun control laws.“After today and after the next protest Congress will see how many people feel strongly about this so they will have to make a change,” she said.Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told the students that young people again are leading the nation, as they did during the civil rights and anti-war movements.“All across the country people are sick and tired of gun violence, and the time is now for all of us together to stand up to the NRA and pass common-sense gun legislation,” Sanders said.The FBI has acknowledged it mishandled separate tips related to Cruz, last September and again in January.“When we make mistakes, we will not hide them,” Bowdich said, vowing to work with Congress to correct mistakes and prevent similar tragedies.Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the FBI gets about 4,100 tips a day at its nationwide call centers with a staff of about 160 to handle them. More people should be dedicated to that task, Durbin said.President Donald Trump supports the school safety measure, one of two bills included in a modest White House plan released over the weekend to combat school shootings. The other bill would strengthen, but not expand, the federal background check system for gun purchases.The background checks bill has stalled in the Senate amid objections from some Republicans and concern by Democrats that it is insufficient. Without strong advocacy from the White House, an ambitious gun package appeared unlikely to even get off the ground, given most Republicans’ opposition to any new restrictions on gun rights.Ryan Petty, whose daughter, Alaina, was killed in the Parkland shooting, told senators that, “Nikolas Cruz and the deadly danger he posed were the worst-kept secrets in Parkland.”Petty, his voice shaking with emotion, called on lawmakers to follow the lead of Florida, which just passed legislation that raises the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21; extends a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns; and bans bump stocks, which allow guns to mimic fully automatic fire.“Build on common ground,” Petty said.last_img read more

Political rivalry alleged over death of infant at Ashoknagar

first_imgKolkata: A two-month-old baby died after she was hit on her chest while getting fed by her mother on Monday at Ashoknagar in North 24-Parganas. According to sources, Sikha Ganguly, a housewife at Keosa village in Ashoknagar, used to support Trinamool. Her husband Rabi Ganguly lives outside Bengal. It has been alleged that her in-laws, who are BJP supporters, used to put pressure on her to support the saffron party. Her elder brother in-law Sushanta Ganguly is a local BJP leader, who allegedly tried to force her to fight in the last Panchayat elections for BJP. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata According to Sikha’s allegations, she was being tortured almost regularly as she refused to support BJP. On Saturday afternoon, when she was breastfeeding her two-month-old daughter, her in-laws allegedly attacked her. While Sikha was being beaten up, the baby accidentally fell from her hands and was grievously injured. Immediately, the infant was rushed to Habra Hospital where the attending doctor declared the baby brought dead. Despite Sikha’s allegation, local BJP leadership denied the political angle and called the incident a family dispute. After the death of the infant, a case has been lodged and Sushanta has been arrested. According to police, no political angle has been found yet. “It is suspected that there might have been some dispute within the family. If any other angle is there, it will be revealed during further probe,” said a senior official of Barasat Police District.last_img read more

Help find missing horse

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Seen in the above photo is a horse that went missing yesterday (October 8). The horse was last seen on the Harrismith road close to Besters turn-off.If you have seen this majestic creature, please contact 0721167766.Your help would be much appreciated, so be on the lookout so as to reunite this beautiful animal with its owner. DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there!last_img read more

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first_img Technology | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | April 24, 2019 Accuray Launches Synchrony Motion Tracking and Correction Technology for Radixact System Accuray announced the launch of its Synchrony motion tracking and correction technology to be used with the Radixact… read more January 8, 2009 – TomoTherapy Inc. said today that Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO., has commenced treating patients on its second TomoTherapy Hi-Art(R) treatment system. Siteman, a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center, installed its first Hi-Art system in early 2006. The installation of a second unit enables more cancer patients to benefit from this intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) solution. “We knew the benefits of arc-based radiation delivery before installing our first TomoTherapy unit,” said Dan Low, Ph.D., associate professor of radiation oncology, Washington University School of Medicine. “Upon installation, we gained the ability to deliver IMRT in a continuous helical pattern, and the infrastructure and workflow to apply image guidance to each treatment, for every patient. This is something we cannot do on any other system. As we’ve become more accustomed to the benefits of this platform, we saw a need for a second Hi-Art system.”For more information:, FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Radiation Therapy | March 26, 2018 Women Report Fewer Adverse Side Effects From Partial or Reduced Breast Radiotherapy March 26, 2018 — Radiotherapy treatment… read more Dr. Kristin Higgens from Emory Explains a Novel PET-CT Linac SystemVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 5:48Loaded: 2.79%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -5:48 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions 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.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. News | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | October 31, 2018 Hypofractionated Radiation Provides Same Prostate Cancer Outcomes as Conventional Radiation An analysis led by researchers at Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center found treating localized prostate cancer with… read more Related Content News | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | June 20, 2017 IUCT Oncopole Installs First Radixact Radiotherapy System in France Accuray Inc. announced that the University Cancer Institute of Toulouse Oncopole (IUCT Oncopole) in Toulouse, France,… read more News | Proton Therapy | July 30, 2018 IBA Completes Installation of Two Proteus One Proton Therapy Systems in Japan IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) announced that they completed the first two installations of the Proteus One proton… read more center_img News | Radiation Oncology | February 01, 2018 ​ITN Celebrates World Cancer Day 2018 World Cancer Day takes place annually on Feb. read more News | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | October 25, 2017 UZ Leuven Treats First European Patient on Varian Halcyon Cancer Treatment System Varian recently announced an 80-year-old male with head and neck cancer became the first patient in Europe to be… read more News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 03, 2017 First New York Metropolitan Hospital Treats Cancer Patients With Accuray Radixact System Accuray Inc. and Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC), part of the Montefiore Health System (MHS),… read more Videos | October 29, 2018 VIDEO: Biologically Guided Radiation Therapy Using Real-time PET Imaging Kristin Higgins read more News | January 07, 2009 Siteman Cancer Center Adds Second TomoTherapy Hi-Art Treatment System Technology | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | July 05, 2017 Varian Receives FDA 510k Clearance for Halcyon Treatment System Varian Medical Systems has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for the Halcyon system,… read more last_img read more

Palais Stephanie located in the center of the fam

first_imgPalais Stephanie, located in the center of the famous La Croisette just steps from the beach, is offering the tempting Azur Evasion and Azur Sky Discovery packages for an unforgettable experience of Cannes valid for travel through December 2010. Palais Stéphanie’s recent 38 million Euro renovation transformed this classic hotel into a vibrant and stylish hotspot reflecting its glamorous film heritage as it sits on the original site of the Palais des Congrès, where the first Cannes Film Festivals were held.The AZUR Evasion package includes accommodations, daily continental breakfast, and in-room gift of Champagne and gourmet chocolates. Rates start from 210 Euros per room, per night, based on double occupancy including VAT and city tax.The Azur Sky Discovery package includes accommodations, daily continental breakfast and a thrilling 45-minute private jet flight over Cannes. Rates start from 285 Euros per room, per night, based on double occupancy including VAT and city tax with a minimum five-night stay.Guests can also take advantage of all that Palais Stephanie has to offer. After the renovation, the hotel features 261 spacious rooms and suites with upgraded flat screen TVs and high-speed Internet access; A heated rooftop swimming pool, Jacuzzis and Panorama bar; La Scena Lounge Bar and Restaurant featuring specialties from Italy, Japan and France and a full casino offering 150 slot machines and 19 gaming tables.www.PalaisStephanie.comlast_img read more

Fire in Liopetri damages house

first_imgA prefab house in Liopetri was damaged by a fire shortly after midnight on Wednesday.The fire was detected at 00.15am in the Limnia area of Liopetri.The house is owned by a 44-year-old man from Deryneia who during the day on Tuesday carried out work to insulate the roof of the residence.The damage has been estimated at €5,000 by the owner.Investigations into the causes of the fire are ongoing while the scene has been cordoned off and is being guarded.You May LikeHearClearWanted: 500 People For Free Hearing Consultation (Worth $175)HearClearUndoThis magazineFoods against bad breath which really workThis magazineUndoIdealHer5 Things Women Do That Most Men Find UnattractiveIdealHerUndo Korkolis brings magic to the stageUndoFilm review: Child’s Play ***UndoGreece to overturn law that made universities no-go zone for policeUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Rep Howrylak introduces bill to reduce taxes for retirees seniors

first_img Categories: Howrylak News,News Rep. Martin Howrylak of Troy introduced legislation today that seeks to significantly lower the tax burden for retirees.“I came to Lansing with the desire to provide taxpayers in Troy and Clawson and across the state with tax relief,” Howrylak said. “The retirement income tax exclusion was eliminated several years ago and my goal is to significantly lessen the retiree tax burden.”In 2011, Michigan made several changes to the tax code, including eliminating the pension and retirement exemption. If enacted, Rep. Howrylak’s proposal will significantly increase the retirement income subtractions for both single and joint filers. As a result, this legislation will reduce the portion of one’s retirement income that is subject to state tax and lower the tax obligation for all Michigan retirees and seniors.“Most senior citizens are dependent on a fixed income and this policy change had a significant impact on their pocketbooks,” Howrylak said. “My bill will greatly reduce the tax burden placed on these hard-working citizens and allow them to keep more of their earned income during their retirement years.”This legislation is the reintroduction of House Bill 5801, which Howrylak authored in 2016.HB 4159 has been referred to the Tax Policy Committee for consideration.##### 02Feb Rep. Howrylak introduces bill to reduce taxes for retirees, seniorslast_img read more

Horvath Lamb address House panel on truck length legislation

first_img Categories: Frederick News 10Mar Horvath, Lamb address House panel on truck length legislation Rep. Frederick bill enhances worker safety, cuts costsBusinesses hauling agricultural field drainage tubing on Michigan’s state highways could employ safer, more efficient truck and trailer combinations under legislation sponsored by state Rep. Ben Frederick that is under consideration by the Michigan House Agriculture Committee.Frederick’s bill creates an exemption for businesses hauling the drainage tubing to use vehicle combos up to 75-feet-long, versus the current 59- to 65-feet limit.Rick Lamb, Advanced Drainage Systems plant manager, and Justin Horvath, president and CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, joined the Owosso legislator Tuesday to provide testimony to the House Agriculture Committee on the legislation.“Our company currently uses proprietary industry-specific vehicles in many jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada,” Lamb said. “The advantages include the ability to haul increased payloads and use an automatic unloading technology that enhances our employee’s safety.”Lamb added that the updated hauling vehicles are less expensive to build, operate and maintain than the traditional semi-trailers his company now uses.“I’m pleased that a business in our community has identified a better way of operating and has reached out to me to help ensure their success,” Frederick said. “It’s important that our laws enable businesses to thrive and create jobs using the safest, most-efficient technology available.”The current transportation law already has exemptions of 70 feet truck/trailer lengths for saw logs, pulpwood or tree-length poles, and 75 feet for transporting motor vehicles, recreational vehicles and boats.“I want to thank Rep. Frederick for introducing this much needed legislation, which would have the double benefit of enhancing safety on Michigan’s roadways as well as spurring new business investment and job creation in our state,” said Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership President/CEO Justin Horvath.House Bill 4167 remains under consideration by the committee.###last_img read more

Is Netanyahus Scheduled Speech at CAP Providing Progressive Cover

first_imgShare1TweetShareEmail1 SharesOctober 28, 2015; Jerusalem PostOne of the recent controversies floating around the Beltway involves the decision of the Center for American Progress to host a major address by Benjamin Netanyahu on November 10th, giving the Prime Minister of Israel an important platform for reconnecting with American liberals after his campaign against the nuclear treaty with Iran and his Republican-sponsored speech to Congress. According to multiple sources, the CAP decision came after much lobbying from the Israeli government and the powerful lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).The decision of CAP to host the Prime Minister isn’t going down well in some circles. One former CAP staffer, unnamed in the press coverage, was quoted to say (to the Huffington Post), “[Netanyahu’s] looking for that progressive validation and they’re basically validating a guy who race-baited during his election and has disavowed the two-state solution, which is CAP’s own prior work.” The race-baiting undoubtedly refers to Netanyahu’s campaign warning to Israeli voters that leftwing nonprofits were busing Arabs to the polls in Israel’s recent elections to turn him out of office.Another former CAP staff person, Ali Gharib, wrote in The Nation about pressure from AIPAC and others on CAP’s positions on Israel that led CAP to quietly change its stance and what it would say publicly:I worked at CAP for more than a year, from 2011 through much of 2012, writing for the site ThinkProgress, mostly on Middle East policy. My stint there was defined by an attack on my and my colleagues’ work by pro-Israel groups; our taking a progressive stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pointing at pro-Israel figures as leading the charge for a war with Iran in Washington had attracted the attention of some of the Israel lobby’s nastiest apparatchiks. Though there was no evidence to back up the charge, we were smeared as anti-Semites. It’s a long story—I suggest reading accounts of the affair by Joshua Holland and Glenn Greenwald—but suffice it to say for our purposes that AIPAC played a significant role in the affair. And CAP’s positions moving forward from the attacks—including but not limited to virtually banishing criticisms of Israel and Netanyahu from our writings and, in at least one case, needlessly censoring a piece after publication—were guided by how to return to AIPAC’s good graces, often in coordination with AIPAC itself.Netanyahu’s appearance at CAP on November 10th will include a Q&A with CAP president and CEO Neera Tanden. But Gharib doesn’t hold much hope CAP and Tanden will turn the Netanyahu speech into an opportunity to grill the Prime Minister. Gharib adds that with the U.S. presidential campaign underway, “CAP is in a mode now of switching from being Obama’s think tank to being Hillary Clinton’s; the gravitational pull of an election is too great for the think tank’s ideological imperative (progressivism) to outweigh its unstated partisan mission.” CAP’s original director was John Podesta, who served as President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and now is heading Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Tanden was a domestic policy advisor in the Clinton White House and, among other relationships with Hillary Clinton, served as her policy advisor in the 2008 presidential campaign.To be clear, CAP isn’t Netanyahu’s only major speech scheduled for his upcoming tour. He will also be addressing the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Some conservative-leaning pro-Israel groups are actually concerned because Netanyahu is speaking to the liberal organization that some saw as anti-Semitic in its criticisms of Israeli policies not too long ago. But the conservative criticisms seem to pale against the liberal side’s concerns about Netanyahu at CAP. “This is someone who is an enemy of the progressive agenda, who has targeted Israeli human rights organizations throughout his term, and was re-elected on the back of blatant anti-Arab race-baiting,” said Matt Duss, a former staff person at CAP who heads the Foundation for Middle East Peace. “The idea that CAP would agree to give him bipartisan cover is really disappointing.”Here’s hoping that despite some of the strongly pro-Israel types supporting the Clinton campaign (Haim Saban comes to mind),Hillary Clinton’s own history of, as Gharib describes it, “mildly hawkish” positions on the Middle East conflict, and AIPAC’s having paid for trips of CAP staff members to Israel, Neera Tanden will give Netanyahu a tough grilling on a variety of issues. It would be a pleasant counterpoint to the award Netanyahu is scheduled to receive at AEI.—Rick CohenShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shareslast_img read more

Facebook Officially Bars Use of Data for Surveillance of Protests but is

first_imgShare24TweetShare6Email30 SharesBy Thomas Altfather Good (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia CommonsMarch 15, 2017; TechNewsWorldFacebook took a significant step on Monday to shield users from surreptitious monitoring on its social media sites Facebook and Instagram, announcing that it was prohibiting developers from mining data on those platforms for surveillance purposes. Application developers typically use automated data feeds from social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in commercial surveillance products used by law enforcement throughout the country to track criminal activity, but also as it turns out, spy on protesters and labor unions, with the potential to use these tools to track any individual or organization using social media. Facebook is apparently responding to a controversy brought to light by the American Civil Liberties Union in a report last fall revealing that an intermediary developer Geofeedia was provided access to data feeds by Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and used that information to monitor protesters in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri. The ACLU provides details on contractual arrangements between the social media companies and Geofeedia, including the latter’s access to Facebook data:Facebook had provided Geofeedia with access to a data feed called the Topic Feed API, which is supposed to be a tool for media companies and brand purposes, and which allowed Geofeedia to obtain a ranked feed of public posts from Facebook that mention a specific topic, including hashtags, events, or specific places. Facebook terminated this access on September 19, 2016.ACLU stated that Geofeedia claimed to have 500 law enforcement and public safety clients. The report also notes that surveillance companies such as Geofeedia marketed their products with advice to police to monitor hashtags linked to Black Lives Matter and noted the “overt threats” posed by activist groups and unions.Nicole Ozer, Technology & Civil Liberties Policy Director of ACLU of Northern California, described the vital societal benefit of free and open communication provided by social networks and the latter’s responsibility to protect its users against invasive scrutiny, stating “We depend on social networks to connect and communicate about the most important issues in our lives and the core political and social issues in our country […] Now more than ever, we expect companies to slam shut any surveillance side doors and make sure nobody can use their platforms to target people of color and activists.” Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice, warned that when social media networks grant access that facilitates governmental surveillance, ” it chills democratic dissent and gives authoritarianism a license to thrive.”Many recognize that social media sites are uniquely effective tools for people of color to communicate about bias and discrimination. Brandi Collins, campaign director for Color of Change, stated that “Social media platforms are a powerful tool for black people to draw attention to the injustices our community faces.” The Center for Media Justice and Color of Change have joined with the ACLU of California in a coalition whose chief goal is to urge social media companies to put effective systems in place to block surveillance efforts using their sites and data.The ACLU in their report gives credit to social media companies and their leaders who “have expressed support for activists, movements, and free speech,” noting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s endorsement of Black Lives Matter and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s trip to Ferguson, Missouri after the killing of Michael Brown and protests brought national attention to that city and to Black Lives Matter. However, the ACLU called attention to the CEOs’ apparent hypocrisy, stating judiciously that “a severe disconnect” existed between their public gestures and “the data access they have provided.”Data is gold to everyone involved, according to attorney and privacy and data security expert Timothy Toohey. There is, Toohey points out, a core existential conflict for Facebook and Twitter because of the value of information which social media companies control, “which puts them in very difficult positions balancing their commercial interests with other interests.”Facebook’s and Twitter’s policy modification itself will not stop all surveillance using their ubiquitous social media products; rather, their assiduous devotion to the letter of their stated intent, as demonstrated through careful monitoring and legal action, is the most effective and genuine means of maintaining social media as a genuinely open forum for communication and dialogue on a local and national level.– Louis AltmanShare24TweetShare6Email30 Shareslast_img read more

The DVB has approved the commercial requirements f

first_imgThe DVB has approved the commercial requirements for version 1.4 of the CI Plus specification. Separately the DVB has formed a partnership with the 3D@Home Consortium to encourage the development of standards for 3D TV and to share knowledge.The commercial requirements for CI Plus version 1.4 build on the current version 1.3 of CI Plus by adding support for dual-stream operation with a single module – meaning that a dual-tuner DVR host can be supported – as well as support for DRM-protected IP delivered content. Other features include CI Plus browser extensions, additional uniform resource identifiers, signaling and extensions and clarifications for module applications running on host middleware.The move follows an agreement with CI Plus LLP that DVB will take responsibility for future development of the CI Plus specification. It is anticipated that the technical work will take a year. Following its publication CI Plus LLP will adopt the specification.The DVB has also formed a partnership with the 3D@Home Consortium. The consortium was formed in 2008 with the mission to speed the commercialisation of 3D and provide the best possible viewing experience by facilitating the development of standards. In February 2011, the DVB Steering Board approved the specification for a first phase 3DTV delivery system based on the commonly used ‘frame-compatible’ system.“3D@Home is an important organisation for 3DTV. They have many areas of interest, including the study of ‘human factors’ associated with 3DTV viewing that we are hoping to learn from. For our part, our work developing delivery specifications for 3DTV, will be helpful for 3D@home.  Both organizations have things to share with each other,” said David Wood, chair of DVB’s Commercial Module on 3DTV.last_img read more