Google Assistant is making a run for Alexa The 359 Ep 516

first_img Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. $299 at Amazon DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. 5:21 Share your voice 0 Subscribe: iTunes | RSS | Google Play | FeedBurner | SoundCloud |TuneIn | Stitcher The Cheapskate Apple iPhone XS Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Turo: Save $30 on any car rental See It CNET On this podcast, we talk about:Google’s ambitions to teach its Assistant more sophisticated tricks. Spotify buys Gimlet and Anchor, two podcasting companies. Apple’s retail chief, Angela Ahrendts, announces departure. Google Assistant Alexa Google Spotify,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. $59 at eBay I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Turo Share your voice See it Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. The 3:59 gives you bite-size news and analysis about the top stories of the day, brought to you by the CNET News team in New York and producer Bryan VanGelder.Check out the extended shows on YouTube. Also, don’t forget to rate and review the podcast on iTunes. Google Assistant is making a run for Alexa (The 3:59, Ep. 516) Rylo An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. $60 at Best Buy Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) $210 at Best Buy Chris Monroe/CNET Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $6 at Tidal Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) $155 at Google Express See at Turo Read Google Home Hub review Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Boost Mobile CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Sarah Tew/CNET Read the AirPods review $999 See at Amazon Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Read the Rylo camera preview $999 Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Now playing: Watch this: $999 $999 Tags Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Comments Angela Lang/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Best Buy The Daily Charge Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Google Assistant is making a run for Alexa (The 3:59,… Sprint Post a comment Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Audio Smart Speakers & Displays Read Lenovo Smart Clock review See It Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. See It Sarah Tew/CNET $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Sarah Tew/CNET 7 $520 at HP Tags Read DJI Osmo Action preview Your browser does not support the audio element. Amazonlast_img read more

Gujarat Government Favoured Reliance and Adani Reveal CAG Reports

first_imgThe Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), India’s apex auditing agency has slammed Gujarat government in its five different reports, for mismanagement of the state’s financial resources for the financial year ended 31 March, 2013.The reports were presented in the assembly on Friday, which revealed that the state government port’s policy of 1995 was not being implemented 15 years later.In its audit report on the ‘Economic Sector’, CAG noted that Gujarat Maritime Board applied incorrect wharfage fees under the Captive jetty Agreement with Reliance Petroleum Limited, which led to the recovery of ₹649.29 crore.CAG also revealed that the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited did not fix delivery points after the finalization of power purchase agreement, which led to undue benefit of ₹587.50 crore to Essar Power Gujarat Limited, according to The Times of India.CAG said the non-monitoring of the construction quay in phase 1 of Adani Group-owned Mundra port led to short recovery of ₹118.12 crore. Moreover, it was also revealed that Gujarat government made excessive payments for solar power in the state.Additionally, the report about the state’s micro-financial management, observed,”… the non-submission of utilization certificates of Rs 9,121.46 crore indicated the lack of proper monitoring by government departments in utilization of grants.”It also condemned the Gujarat government for poor financial management and budgetary control and pointed that in two instances, grants amounting to ₹13049.67 remained unused.The Highlights of CAG’s report regarding Gujarat:Deficiencies in financial managementLoopholes in Jail SecurityHeritage: Monumental ApathyProfessionalism crunch in state Public sector unitsStaff shortage in Engineering CollegesGirls education scheme bungledUndue benefits to corporate sectorPoor tax recoveryRenewable energy burdenlast_img read more

Why is Yash yet to seek blessings for his daughter Ayra from

first_imgYash and Sumalatha.PR HandoutRocking Star Yash considers actress Sumalatha, who is now the Member of Parliament from the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, as his elder sister. His respect and love for her became evident after he relentlessly campaigned for her to ensure her victory in the recently-held General Elections despite coming under a lot of verbal attacks from the rival party.Yet Yash has not sought blessings for his daughter Ayra from Sumalatha in person. Wondering why? There is a genuine reason behind it as the actor has been waiting to introduce his little angel to the Mandya MP at the right time.”I have expressed my desire to see two-three times. He told me that he would bring her to met at a proper time. He wanted me to see her after becoming an MP. I am waiting now,” she told the media persons. The actress did not attend the naming ceremony of Yash and Radhika Pandit’s daughter held on Sunday, 23 June.Sumalatha told the media that Ayra is like her granddaughter and keenly waiting to see her in person.In the last six to eight months, unexpected turn of events have taken place in Sumalatha’s life. It was started with the death of her husband, actor-politician Ambareesh in November. In a matter of months, the actress, who was never into politics, was convinced by her hubby’s followers to join politics by contesting from Mandya Lok Sabha constituency.After refusing to get a ticket from Congress due to an agreement between its coalition partner JD (S), she decided to contest the election as an independent candidate. Yash and Challenging Star Darshan stood like a pillar of strength for her in the polls as she contested against Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumar.In the end, Sumalatha emerged victorious and entered the parliament for the first time.Coming back to Yash and Radhika Pandit’s daughter, she was born in December and the couple had the naming ceremony only now. The video from the event can be seen below:Introducing our lil angel.. ❤ನಮ್ಮದೇ ಉಸಿರಿನ ಮಗಳೆಂಬ ಕನಸಿಗೆ ಇಂದು ಹೆಸರಿಟ್ಟ ಸಂಭ್ರಮ❤❤❤ ಹರಸಿ ಹಾರೈಸಿ??…— Yash (@TheNameIsYash) June 23, 2019last_img read more

Fog disrupts ferry services on 3 routes

first_imgFile photoFerry services on Paturia-Daulatdia, Shimulia-Kanthalbari and Shariatpur- Chandpur routes remained suspended since early Monday due to dense fog.Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) stopped ferry services from 2:00am, said Salam Hossain, manager of BIWTC Shimulia-Kanthalbari route.A total of 13 ferries remained stuck in the middle of the river on the three routes, he added.The suspension of the services caused huge traffic tailbacks on either side of the ferry terminals.More than 300 vehicles were lined up at the Shimulia-Kanthalbari due to the disruption of ferry service. A total of six ferries were stuck on this route.Around 10 ferries were stuck in both sides of Daulatdia-Paturia route.The ferries were stranded with thousands of passengers in the mid-river, causing immense sufferings to passengers.last_img read more

Road crashes kill 4 in Chattogram

first_imgRoad Accident logoFour people, including a woman, were killed in separate road accidents on Dhaka-Chattogram highway in Sitakunda and Mirsarai upazilas on Friday, reports UNB.Three of the deceased were identified as Ruby Akhter, 55, Arif, 40, Kawser Alam, 42.Masud Alam, inspector of Kumira police outpost, said an accident took place when a pick-up van crashed into a stationary truck in front of Gul Ahmed Jute Mills in Kumira area around 7:00am, leaving the unidentified truck driver and pick-up passenger Arif dead on the spot.Ruby Akhter was killed following a collision among three vehicles — a bus, a truck and a lorry — in Chattogram’s Sitakunda bypass area around 3:00pm.In another accident, Kawser was killed and two people were injured as a car hit a batter-run rickshaw at Baropakia of Mirsarai around 5:00pm.last_img read more

TrumpKim summit pleases China while Japan puts on brave face

first_imgDonald Trump and Kim Jong UnWith U.S. president Donald Trump setting the course for normalising ties with North Korea and even saying war games with South Korea would end, China appeared a winner from Tuesday’s summit, as Japan tried putting a brave face on the outcome.Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged on Tuesday to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, and signed a “comprehensive” document at a landmark summit in Singapore.In turn, Washington committed to provide security guarantees for North Korea, though the joint statement was light on specifics.At a post-summit press conference, Trump said Washington would end “very provocative” and costly military exercises with South Korea, a move that would rattle Seoul and Tokyo, which rely on the U.S. military for their own security.China, North Korea’s most important economic and diplomatic supporter despite its anger at Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests, wasted little time with a reminder that U.N. sanctions could be adjusted if North Korea behaved itself.”The U.N. Security Council resolutions that have been passed say that if North Korea respects and acts in accordance with the resolutions, then sanction measures can be adjusted, including to pause or remove the relevant sanctions,” a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said at a daily news briefing.The Global Times, an influential Chinese state-run newspaper, said in an editorial that the time was right to consider “an appropriate reduction of the sanctions”.Brad Glosserman, visiting professor at Japan’s Tama University, said China would be pleased with the outcome.He said that North Korea would be as well.”Kim – wants a photo op, gets it, got an invitation to the White House,” he said. “He has an open door to the weakening of sanctions, no one is going to be putting on the squeeze. Everything North Korea wanted – I see no downside.”Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe put a positive spin on the summit, welcoming the fact that Trump told a news conference he had raised the issue of Japanese abductees, though there was no mention of that in the document signed by Kim and Trump.Yoji Koda, a retired admiral who commanded the Japanese naval fleet, and is a fellow at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, said the statement contained nothing new or concrete.”One of the key points that Trump and his advisers made was that the U.S. will not repeat the mistakes of previous deals,” he said. “From reading this document I don’t think the U.S. will be successful.”TROOP COMMENTSSouth Korea’s presidential office said it needs to seek clarity on Trump’s intentions after he said Washington will stop joint military exercises.South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in, who has been front and centre in efforts to engage the North and Kim himself, pledged complete cooperation.”My administration will spare no effort in cooperating with the United States, North Korea and the international community to ensure that the agreement can be implemented in its entirety,” Moon said in a statement.But Koda, the retired Japanese admiral, said ending the exercises would be a “clear mistake” and was “too early”.”Alliances are a key element of U.S. global strategy and exercises are a right of the U.S. to use to protect allied nations,” he said. “The U.S. should continue joint exercises, they are a signal to China too.”China, which has long suggested a “dual suspension” whereby North Korea suspends its weapons tests and the United States and South Korea suspend military drills, could effectively claim that as an outcome despite not being a party to the summit.”This joint declaration is in line with the three principles of ‘no chaos, no war, and peaceful settlement’ proposed by the Chinese government,” said Liang Yabin, an associate professor at Beijing’s Central Party School, which trains rising officials.Resolving tensions on the Korean peninsula has obvious benefits for China, especially in bolstering the development of its rust-belt and landlocked northeast.Beijing has also long feared that a collapse of its isolated neighbour could push waves of refugees into northeastern China, or that nuclear war on the Korean peninsula could contaminate swathes of the country.The emotional ties are deep too. The two countries fought side by side in the 1950-53 Korean War – a son of Mao Zedong died in the conflict – and China has long viewed North Korea as a useful buffer between it and U.S. forces in South Korea.While China was not a direct party to the summit, it was nonetheless a presence: Kim met with president Xi Jinping twice in the run-up, and even borrowed an Air China 747 to get to Singapore so he didn’t have to rely on his own Soviet-era plane.last_img read more

Syria forces overwhelmed by exodus from IS enclave

first_imgSuspected Islamic State group fighters wait to be searched after leaving the jihadists` last holdout in eastern Syria — Photo: AFPUS-backed Syrian forces warned Sunday they were struggling to cope with an outpouring of foreigners from the Islamic State group’s imploding “caliphate”, urging governments to take responsibility for their citizens.The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have evacuated nearly 5,000 men, women and children from the jihadist redoubt since Wednesday, moving closer to retaking the last sliver of territory under IS control.”The numbers of foreign fighters and their relatives that we are holding is increasing drastically,” Kurdish foreign affairs official Abdel Karim Omar told AFP.”Our current infrastructure can’t handle the mass influx”, he said.Syria’s Kurds have repeatedly called on foreign countries to repatriate their citizens, but most have been reluctant to allow battle-hardened jihadists and their relatives back home due to security concerns.At the height of its rule, IS imposed its brutal interpretation of Islamic law across territory straddling Syria and Iraq that was roughly the size of the United Kingdom.But more than four years after IS declared a cross-border “caliphate”, the jihadists have lost all but a tiny patch of land in the village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border.After years of fighting IS, Syria’s Kurds say they hold hundreds of suspected IS fighters and their relatives.”As thousands of foreigners flee Daesh’s crumbling caliphate, the burden which is already too heavy for us to handle is getting even heavier,” SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali said on Twitter late Saturday, using an Arabic acronym for IS.”This will remain as the biggest challenge awaiting us unless governments take action and fulfil their responsibilities for their citizens,” he said.No evacuations were reported from the enclave on Saturday, but the two batches that left on Wednesday and Friday included Europeans, Iraqis and nationals of former Soviet countries, according to the SDF.- Crammed prisons -Around 46,000 people, including a large number of foreigners, have streamed out of IS’s shrinking territory since early December, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor.While civilians are trucked north to Kurdish-run camps for the displaced, suspected jihadists are sent to SDF-controlled prisons.Omar said SDF “detention centres can’t accommodate all the fighters” coming out of the last IS pocket.The evacuation of men, women and children has put a strain on Kurdish-run camps for the displaced, especially the Al Hol camp, which now shelters more than 40,000 people.”There is a lot of pressure on us, especially in Al Hol, where in addition to the relatives of IS fighters you have a large displaced population,” Omar said.On Thursday, nearly 2,500 evacuees arrived at Al Hol, compounding already dire conditions inside the crammed settlement, the UN’s humanitarian coordination office OCHA said.”Thousands more are expected in coming hours/days at Al-Hol camp, putting a further strain on basic services,” it tweeted Friday.”This sudden influx presents huge challenges to the response — additional tents, non-food items, water and sanitation and health supplies are urgently needed.”The International Rescue Committee on Friday said 69 people, mostly children, had died on the way to Al-Hol, or shortly after arriving in past weeks.- Security concerns -The battle for Baghouz is now the only live front in Syria’s war, which has killed more than 360,000 people and displaced millions since 2011.The SDF say they are trying to evacuate remaining civilians through a corridor before pressing on with a battle to crush the jihadists unless holdout fighters surrender.Some 2,000 people are believed to remain inside Baghouz, including foreigners, according to the US-backed force.Many European countries are now confronted with the dilemma of whether to bring back their citizens who travelled to join the group and prosecute them at home, or bar them from entry over security concerns.On Friday, the family of Shamima Begum, 19, said it would challenge the British government’s decision to revoke her citizenship.Begum, who travelled to Syria in 2015 aged just 15, faced being left stateless after Britain revoked her citizenship, and Bangladesh, where her parents are from, said it did not want her.On Thursday, the father of Hoda Muthana, 24, sued to bring her home after President Donald Trump’s administration declared she was not a US citizen.last_img

Jury Duty Resumes In Harris County

first_img X Pu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneHurricane Harvey severely damaged Houston’s 20-story Criminal Justice Center, taking out dozens of courtrooms, countless offices and enough holding cells to accommodate 900 inmates. Jury trials resume in Harris County after weeks of postponement due to Hurricane Harvey. Hundreds of jurors returned to the downtown court complex Monday morning.  County Court at Law Judge Darrell Jordan said now the courts can sort through a backlog of cases.“Well, what we’re doing in the criminal courts is we’re taking the jail cases first. For everyone who has remained in custody who’s waiting for their day in court, they will have precedence over the people who are waiting at home. And so we want to get them in and out as soon as possible, and then from there we’ll move on to the bond docket,” Jordan said. Portable bathrooms have been set up behind the building on Preston so that potential jurors don’t have to go up and down the stairs or elevators searching for restrooms. Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel mailed new notices to thousands of potential jurors with the new locations for court and jury meetings.As usual, Judge Jordan said jurors can reschedule. “And this is just always, if you have jury duty and you can’t make it, you can always go online and move the date back or reschedule it.”Criminal Court judges are sharing courtrooms with fellow judges in the civil and family law buildings. Listen 00:00 /01:06center_img Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

Somalis Grasp For Answers After Deadliest Single Attack Somalia Has Ever Faced

first_imgThe initial numbers were staggering — and they grew ever more devastating as rescue workers sifted through debris: More than 300 people dead. At least 300 people injured. A blast area the size of “two or three football fields,” as one witness told The Guardian.The truck bombing in Mogadishu on Saturday — which tore through one of the Somalian capital’s busiest intersections, at one of its busiest hours — has left the country shaken and a section of the city in ruins. Even in a country that’s no stranger to militant attacks, Saturday’s violence marked “the deadliest single attack Somalia has ever faced,” according to its Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.And even as the country moved to mourn its dead Monday — with more than 100 funerals held already — authorities expect the death toll to rise still further, as The Associated Press reports that scores of people remain missing. Given the intensity of the explosion, it’s feared that some of the dead may never be found or identified.Latest Info about #Somalia Explosion: • At least 231 people killed, 275 injured • many others missing • Truck bomb exploded in #Mogadishu.— Mogadishu Update (@Magdashi3) October 15, 2017“My last time to speak with my brother was some minutes before the blast occurred,” one woman told Reuters. “I am afraid he was among the unrecognized charred bodies that were buried yesterday. I have no hope of getting him alive or dead. But I cannot go home.”“I have seen lots of people dying and crying,” Abdulkadir Adam, founder of the city’s Aamin Ambulance service, told NPR’s Eyder Peralta. “Everywhere there are parts of the body, collapse of the house, burning of the cars. It was kind of traumatizing, mentally and physically and morally.”Adam, who has 10 years’ experience in the service, said he had never seen anything like this.It’s a sentiment echoed by one man, who told the AP that he lost several family members in the violence: “With a heavy heart I would say this is the worst attack I have ever witnessed.”15 minutes after initial blast, smoke still engulfs the beautiful blue sky of #Mogadishu. Blast went off at a a busy junction in #Somalia.— Abdulaziz Billow Ali (@AbdulBillowAli) October 14, 2017The Somalian government has blamed the killing on al-Shabab, an Islamist extremist group that has carried out a number of similar attacks in the region in recent years — including a 2015 assault on a university campus in neighboring Kenya that claimed nearly 150 victims. Just months ago, the group’s hours-long siege of a Mogadishu restaurant left at least 31 people dead.Al-Shabab’s transnational footprint and long-running antagonism appear to give it the means and the motive to execute an attack on the scale of what happened in Mogadishu — which The Guardian reports involved “several hundred kilograms of military-grade and homemade explosives.”Yet the militant group, which is rarely shy about claiming attacks, has not claimed responsibility for this one. Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, a former leader of the group now in Somalian custody, condemned the bombing Saturday as an “irreligious” and “heartless” act, according to the AP. The SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist organizations, notes that on social media Monday, the group claimed at least two dozen attacks from the past two weeks — pointedly leaving Saturday’s attack unmentioned.Someone found alive in the rubble, 48 hours after the blast in Mogadishu.— Eyder Peralta (@eyderp) October 16, 2017Mohammed Haji Ingiriis, a student in Mogadishu at the time of the attack told Eyder that while authorities are likely correct, it remains possible that another group — one of many that depend on an unstable government for profit — could have had a hand in this.It is also possible al-Shabab itself was simply taken aback by the scale of the destruction — and the outraged response from locals, as Eyder details:“One of the interesting things we’ve seen is protests Somalis took to the streets [Sunday] to condemn the carnage. Analysts I’ve spoken to say maybe the scale of this will turn Somalis entirely against al-Shabab. They say maybe this can be a turning point for a country that has just been mired in conflict for decades.”“Today, I lost my son who was dear to me. The oppressors have taken his life away from him. I hate them. May Allah give patience to all families who lost their loved ones in that tragic blast,” one grieving mother told The Guardian.“And I pray that one day Allah will bring his justice to the perpetrators of that evil act.” Sharelast_img read more

Fallout Over Pugh Book Deal Grows

first_imgBy Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, syoes@afro.comThe burgeoning controversy over a children’s book written by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has triggered her resignation from the University of Maryland Medical System’s (UMMS) board of directors, as well as that of two others and raised questions regarding transparency and ethics.Earlier this week, Pugh resigned from the UMMS board after questions arose regarding the mayor’s $500,000 Healthy Holly children’s book deal with UMMS.Baltimore Mayor Catherine PughMayor Pugh provided an exclusive statement to the AFRO in response to the allegations swirling connected to her book deal controversy.“As you know, I am very interested in health and fitness, particularly as it relates to children. You may not know that I have been a publisher since 1979 and an author for 25 years,” stated Pugh. “I started working on the Healthy Holly concept more than a decade ago after attending a conference on childhood health and obesity, and, for several years I put a great deal of time and my own money into developing it. It was a project I was passionate about and I was excited for the opportunity to expand its reach,” Pugh added.“Despite all of this, I am glad the important messages in the book reached our city’s children. I never thought this would lead to today, and I understand how it may look to some, but here is what I have done to address this matter,” Pugh said before outlining the following actions she said she has taken. Chiefly, her resigning from the UMMS Board and updated her old Senate financial disclosure forms, which she says she recently learned “…that these transactions were disclosed on one set of forms, but not another. I’m not sure why this oversight occurred, but it has been corrected.”Pugh also told the AFRO she has returned the most recent payment and reported the revenue on tax returns. “I plan to keep working to improve the health of children in our city and I will keep writing with this experience in mind,” she stated.Subsequently, according to multiple reports two more members of the UMMS board, John Dillon and Robert Pevenstein resigned on March 19. According to Luke Broadwater, who broke the story for the Baltimore Sun, eight other members of the UMMS board have lucrative deals with the medical system. Four of those board members, August J. Chiasera, Francis X. Kelly, James A. Soltesz and Walter A. Tilley, Jr., have been asked to take a leave of absence by board chair Stephen A. Burch. Burch released the following statement on March 19:“As chairman of the board of directors for the University of Maryland System (UMMS), I take very seriously the concerns raised regarding board members that have business relationships with UMMS. Addressing this issue is of the highest priority for me and the organization. There is nothing more important that the trust of those who depend on our leadership…Let me be abundantly clear, this is not a reflection on any of the affected board members or their businesses. Our board members are incredibly talented professionals who bring invaluable expertise and perspective while advancing Maryland’s own world-class healthcare system.”According to The Sun report, Chiasera of M&T Bank ($7.4 million in revenues for the bank from UMMS), and former state Sen. Kelley ($4.4 million in revenues for his insurance company), are the biggest beneficiaries of their membership on the UMMS board.last_img read more

Detoxifying Nerve Agents Using Functionalized Polymer Nanofiber Membranes

first_imgUsing UV spectrophotometry, Sundarrajan and his peers analyzed the hydrolysis of paraxon and found that the most effective hydrolysis came from oxy-B-CD nanofiber membrane. “The ether group from oxy-B-CD acted as a linker with the benzene ring and optimized the interactions between the catatlyst and the paraxon,” he explained. The scientists made another startling observation: “As the yield of the oxy-B-CD increased, the extent to which the nerve agent stimulant hydrolyzed also increased,” Sundarrajan said. By manipulating the ether group that is between B-CD and IBA, the scientists could cause this increase in oxy-B-CD.The oxy-B-CD broke down paraxon into diethyl phosphoric acid and p-nitorphenol, which changed from the acid base to the base form (p-nitorphenolate). “A highly-stable complex between p-nitrophenolate anion and B-CD occurs, possibly from polarizability and resonance delocalization,” Sundarrajan added. Sundarrajan and his team measured the amount of p-nitrophenol with UV spectrophotometry, finding a maximum at 410 +- 10 nm. In other words, the nanofiber membranes functionalized with oxy-B-CD were effective in decontaminating paraxon.Furthermore, the team of scientists compared the hydrolysis of paraxon with activated carbon to the hydrolysis with oxy-B-CD, as well as the other types of functionalized PVC polymer nanofiber membranes. The team found that the oxy-B-CD was 11.5 times faster than the activated carbon and that the oxy-B-CD was also faster than B-CD, IBA, and the B-CD and IBA combination nanofibers.Manufacturers can add oxy-B-CD nanofiber membranes to woven clothing, leading to decontamination of organophosphorous nerve agents, as well as lighter and more breathable clothing. “Next we are trying to develop non-specific catalysts that will decompose both nerve and blister agents,” Sundarrajan says. By Syeda Z. Hamdani, Copyright 2006 Citation: Detoxifying Nerve Agents Using Functionalized Polymer Nanofiber Membranes (2006, July 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from A group of scientists from the National University of Singapore published a study in the May 30th issue of Nanotechnology, which developed polymer nanofiber membranes with a synthesized catalyst to detoxify nerve agents. Research fellow Subramanian Sundarrajan, with the University’s Bioengineering Division, and his colleagues wanted a method to detoxify organophosphorus nerve agents, such as Soman, Sarin, and Tabun. “Nerve agents disrupt the human nervous system by inhibiting the actylcholine esterase enzyme,” Sundarrajan said.Currently, protective clothing for OP nerve agents use functionalized activated carbon. Disadvantages to carbon include its heaviness, its ability to hold moisture, and having to dispose of contaminated clothing because of absorption.An important aspect of the study involved the choice of catalyst. “Literature showed that B-CD (B-cyclodextrin) and IBA (o-iodosobenzoic acid) have a history of hydrolyzing nerve agents. We hypothesized that if we synthesized a CD derivative with IBA functionality, it would have better catalytic properties,” Sundarrajan explained.As a result, Sundarrajan and his group chose 3-carboxy-4-iodosobenzyl oxy-B-CD, which was a CD derivative, as one of the catalysts in the experiment. The team also used other variations of B-CD and IBA. The material for the nanofiber membranes was equally vital; in the past, the scientists had experimented with nanofibers spun from cellulose acetate, but found this material to be too fragile.Instead, the scientists used PVC polymer for the nanofibers because of its advantages: PVC has a small fiber diameter, is extremely porous, and has a high surface area. “A high surface area helps in obtaining better reactivity with the catalyst,” Sundarrajan said.For the control portion of the experiment, Sundarrajan and his colleagues electrospun one set of PVC polymers into nanofiber membranes without a catalyst. They also electrospun PVC with B-CD, PVC with IBA, PVC with B-CD and IBA and PVC with oxy-B-CD. All functionalized nanofiber membranes were hydrophilic, with varying static water contact angles: 10 degress for the plain PVC and PVC with IBA, 12 degress for PVC with B-CD, 7 degrees for PVC with B-CD and IBA, and 9 degrees for PVC with the oxy-B-CD.To test the effectiveness of the functionalized nanofibers, the scientists chose paraxon, a nerve agent stimulant that can be analyzed with UV spectrophotometry. They dipped the nanofiber membranes in three different concentrations of paraxon, 10mM, 25mM, and 50mM, at 25 degrees C, as well as one additional beaker which had unhydrolyzed paraxon for comparison. 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

Intel predicts the death of mobile computing as we know it

first_img More information: This prediction is based on the statements of Rama Skukla, the vice president of Intel’s architecture group. During his keynote address at SEMICON West, a conference that takes place regularly in San Francisco, he stated that “tablets are disappearing”, and that the current types of devices we would be using in a decade from now “could not be described”.His remarks went off to say that, “The lines between a netbook, laptop and tablet are disappearing faster than designers today realize. It’s going to be very difficult to see where one device goes and the next one takes off.”Of course, he also has some other ideas about the future of technology. It was strongly implies by his remarks that he thinks that the personal computer will become outdated and that the future of PCs will be more like personal syncing grounds, connecting the users to an individual cloud of information that can be shared at will. While that concept is intriguing it could easily make the more security minded consumers out there nervous, since all data that is on the cloud is data that can be breached by determined hackers. In order to be read for these changes Intel is expecting to make major advances in processors over the next five years, including raising graphics performance by a factor of 12. via V3, Inquirer ( — The folks over at Intel have come up with an interesting prediction, one that may make all of you feel a little bit foolish for buying a laptop, and a netbook or a tablet. They are predicting that as time goes on the form factors in the mobile device market will break down and the distinctions between the devices will be largely a moot point. Companies will instead make multi-purpose smart computing devices. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Intel predicts the death of mobile computing as we know it (2011, July 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 Explore further Computex: Intel Outlines Atom Processor Plans, Productslast_img read more

NATHAN Brown is hoping his side can take the good

first_imgNATHAN Brown is hoping his side can take the good things out of the defeat to Huddersfield and kick on over the next month.Saints face the teams around them on the Super League ladder and that means every point is vital if they want to remain in the Play Off hunt.“We face the teams that are around the same points as us,” Brown said. “They have gone through similar situations as us with form, or lack of it, and bad luck. These games are important for numbers of reasons as if you are within a point of a team they become big contests when you play them for where your eventual position can be.“We need to play well in them and we can take out of the Huddersfield game the things that were good and improve on the things that were not so good.”He continued: “In the earlier part of the year Bradford gained some good scalps and have players who are really effective.“Jarod Sammut is very dangerous. When the ball comes to him he will do things no one expects. It just comes to him and he can be hard to handle. We need to be honest in defence, because if we’re not he will react.”Saints will be missing Ade Gardner through concussion whilst Anthony Laffranchi is also due to sit out the next couple of weeks.“We need to be careful with Ade,” Brown added. “Your head and neck are areas that you need to be 100 per cent about. He was not in a very good way after the game. I’d be very surprised if he is available and in any case I wouldn’t be doing him a duty of care to put him in that situation.“Anthony Walker is likely to be back around the Salford match and Gary Wheeler could be the week after that. They are slowly getting ready.“Jonny Lomax is getting close too. He contributed in two team sessions last week and we’ll have a better idea after another field session. He’s in a similar position to James Roby though, after all this pain you want to make sure when he comes back he stays back.“We looked better with Roby in the team on Monday, whilst having a regulation half back helped too.“We used our tenth half back combination – but we had a regulation half back and a regulation hooker and that showed in our game. I thought at times we looked quite good, but other times we didn’t and on some other occasions their defence had to work hard to stop us.“I didn’t think there was much in the game. They got a lucky try – a very questionable one – but when you are not winning you don’t get those ones. We had one or two poor lapses in defence and they made us pay. It was a four tries to three game and it was not that they slackened off. I thought we defended our way back into the contest.“If Gareth O’Brien had not appeared you would not have seen that performance. I thought Jordan Turner contributed quite positively to playing six and he’s been one of our best players this year. He also scored and nearly scored two or three more. He has a good skillset and has a good long term future at the club.“We’d like to stick with that combination. I know we have only got Gaz for an initial month – but if Warrington stay fit and healthy and they don’t need him we will then look at the future.“There was a lot more good in that match than what a lot of people saw and I saw a lot of good signs. One of these was with three minutes to go when Huddersfield made a break and we had nine St Helens players in the picture.“That shows urgency and keenness in the team and that is good, but we need to be more consistent.”Tickets for Sunday’s match are now on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.You can also take advantage of our 5-Star ticket offer – paying for five and getting one free.last_img read more