Ban Kimoon urges incremental progress in deadlocked disarmament arena

“Small steps forward are still steps forward,” Mr. Ban said as he opened the annual three-week session of the UN Disarmament Commission, a subsidiary body of the General Assembly.Last year, he called the lack of progress in the area “unacceptable,” citing the failure of the 2005 review conference of Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament and the need for new impetus for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. To break the deadlocks, he asked delegations to be flexible and not to insist on achieving all of their objectives: “I believe that incremental progress in this institution can have positive spillover effects across the UN’s disarmament machinery,” he said. “It can also help in cultivating a positive climate for addressing disarmament issues in other multilateral forums, including those dealing with treaty regimes,” he added.Any progress achieved can be contagious, he maintained, not just in the area of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, but also in the pursuit of “practical confidence-building measures” in the field of conventional weapons.He granted that the international community has made some progress in addressing the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, but said that new conventional-weapon issues are emerging, while old problems still demand solutions. “The fact that conventional arms continue to kill many thousands of people every year is often overlooked, except, of course, by the States and individuals suffering most from this bloodshed,” he said.The issue was one that struck to the very heart of the UN as an institution. “Failure is not an option,” he stressed. “Its consequences could well jeopardize many other goals of the Charter and the security and well-being of all our Member States.” 7 April 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged United Nations Member States to reverse the setbacks of recent years in controlling the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons – by reaching consensus on even small steps forward. read more

Five youth drown in Nawalapitiya

The youth were dragged down by strong currents and drowned, the police media unit said.A group of 12 people had gone to Adams Peak today and while returning to Gampola they had decided to go for a swim. Five youth drowned in Nawalapitiya, in the Mahaweli river today, the police media unit said.The police said that the five youth had drowned while bathing near a suspension bridge. The police said that the victims were aged between 25 and 30 years.

Middle East Annan deeply disturbed by escalation of attacks across Blue Line

A statement released this evening by Mr. Annan’s spokesman said that the Secretary-General was “deeply disturbed” by the action by Hizbollah units against Israeli forces last Saturday and the heavy Israeli retaliation against Lebanese targets. “He is especially dismayed by the further escalatory response by Israel in the bombing early today of Syrian position in Lebanon,” the statement said. It added that Mr. Annan, who had been in contact by telephone with the leaders in the governments concerned during the day and would continue the contacts tonight and tomorrow, remained convinced that political negotiations must be resumed with the least delay to prevent the situation from deteriorating further. Meanwhile in Beirut, Mr. Annan’s Special Representative for southern Lebanon, Staffan de Mistura, called on all parties to exercise restraint to prevent an escalation of violence. On Saturday afternoon, Hizbollah personnel crossed the withdrawal line — known as the “Blue Line” — into the Shebaa Farms area and fired at an Israeli tank, according to a UN spokesman. One Israeli soldier was killed and three injured. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) retaliated immediately by hitting Hizbollah targets in southern Lebanon.Late Sunday night, Israeli air force jets hit a Syrian radar installation in eastern Lebanon, killing three Syrian military. Spokesman Fred Eckhard said that the Secretary-General was discussing the matter by phone “with leaders in the region and beyond.”Following Saturday’s attack by Hizbollah, Mr. de Mistura met with Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri at the request of the Secretary-General. In a statement released after their meeting, Mr. de Mistura stressed that “the Blue Line as far as the United Nations is concerned has been trespassed in a violent way.” He noted that the incident was “an infringement — a clear infringement — of [Security Council] resolution 425.”This morning, Mr. de Mistura met in Beirut with Lebanese Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Hammoud. Noting the UN’s expression of concern over the Shebaa Farms incident, the Special Representative said in a statement released after the encounter that “today, the UN is equally very concerned by the IDF escalatory response, which is also a violation of the Blue Line.””It is crucial that all parties concerned exercise at this stage maximum restraint in order to avoid any spiral of violence,” Mr. de Mistura emphasized.Meanwhile in Jerusalem, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed Larsen, met with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. He also met with the Jordanian Foreign Minister, Abdul Elah al-Khatib, who is in Israel to officially present the joint Jordanian-Egyptian peace initiative. According to a UN spokesman, during the meeting, Mr. Larsen commended the Jordanian Minister, on behalf of the UN, for his timely and constructive initiative. read more

South Sudan UN deplores deadly attack as tensions in country simmer

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned a deadly attack against a United Nations ‘protection-of-civilians’ site in South Sudan amid a renewed flare-up of violence in the newfound nation. The attack – which occurred yesterday against the UN compound outside the city of Malakal – resulted in the shooting deaths of one internally displaced person (IDP) and the injury of six others, according to sources with UNMISS, the Organization’s Mission in the country. According to UNMISS’ account of the events, three members of forces belonging to either the Sudan People’s Liberation Army In Opposition or the allied militia led by General Johnson Olony opened fire on IDPs at the recently opened ‘protection-of-civilians’ site. UN peacekeepers reportedly returned fire against the assailants and are currently seeking to identify the perpetrators of what the Mission is describing as an “unprovoked attack.” UNMISS added that the exact circumstances surrounding the shooting incident “remain unclear.” In a statement released late yesterday evening by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on former Vice President Riek Machar and General Olony “to conduct an immediate investigation into this incident and hold to account those responsible.” “[The Secretary-General] reminds the parties that they must respect the inviolability of UNMISS premises, including protection of civilian sites, which are now host to more than 140,000 IDPs,” the statement continued. Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the Secretary-General also reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict in South Sudan and that he called on all parties to immediately cease the hostilities and make the necessary compromises to urgently conclude the negotiations facilitated by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Yesterday’s shooting is just the latest outburst of violence to afflict South Sudan as the country’s 18-month conflict continues to smoulder amid brutal violence against civilians and deepening suffering across the country. Some 120,000 South Sudanese are sheltered in UN compounds while United Nations estimates suggest that the number of people in need for 2015 will include an anticipated 1.95 million IDPs and a projected 293,000 refugees. read more

Apple fails to remove another stolen iOS game from App Store

first_imgFlash game maker Ironhide Game Studio has started a public knowledge campaign after Apple has failed to remove a counterfeit iOS version of the company’s popular Flash game, Kingdom Rush, from the App Store.According to the team’s official blog, they noticed a clone of their own game selling as Kingdom Rush TD on the App Store on October 21. The game was published by an entity called ‘my Yayi’ and used Ironhide’s art, sound, music, and levels. A comparison shot posted on the blog entry shows that it’s effectively a pixel-perfect clone.Ironhide contacted their Flash publisher, the games portal Armorgames, and that site contacted Apple about the problem. The team also claim to have sent 20 emails to Apple themselves with copyright infringement notices and to have hired a DMCA takedown service. According to the post, my Yayi removed the app for a week but then republished it, presumably with no changes. Ironhide then concluded that Apple has not taken action on the game.The copied game is meant to be a terrible port of the Flash original, according to Ironhide. It allegedly lacks polish, is poorly implemented and has plenty of bugs. The team is also concerned that unaware buyers will mistake it for an official release, bugs and all. The team also pegged the counterfeit studio my Yayi for taking three months to sell a stolen copy of a game that took a year to produce.Ironhide promised that the official iOS version of the game is close and hope that they aren’t put in the situation where the real game is in competition with the fake one on the App Store. The studio has also asked for fans to write to Apple – they provide the address and a template message – in support of Ironhide.Counterfeit iOS apps have been a recurring problem for some time now on the App Store. In almost every well-publicized case, Apple has been incredibly slow to respond, if it has responded at all. Earlier this year, a counterfeit version of an open-source game, Lugaru HD, was sold on the App Store for two weeks before Apple removed the offending app.Here’s the real version of the game in action:via Ironhide Gameslast_img read more

Les rivières mondiales en état de crise

first_imgLes rivières mondiales en état de criseUne étude publiée dans la revue scientifique Nature dresse un bilan alarmant de l’état des rivières du monde. Pollution, urbanisation ou surexploitation sont autant de menaces qui pèsent sur les cours d’eau de la planète.”Les rivières mondiales sont vraiment en état de crise”, alerte Peter McIntyre, professeur de zoologie à l’université du Wisconsin aux États-Unis, et auteur de cette étude à laquelle a participé un groupe international de chercheurs. Grâce à une modélisation informatique, ils ont dressé le bilan de santé des plus grandes rivières du monde, en évaluant l’accès à l’eau pour les populations humaines et l’état de l’environnement.Vingt-trois “facteurs de stress” ont été pris en compte, tels que le niveau de pollution, la richesse de la faune et de la flore aquatique, le taux d’urbanisation, le développement agricole et industriel ou le captage d’eau. Et les conclusions sont alarmantes : près de 80% de la population mondiale vit dans des zones où les rivières sont gravement menacées. Sur les 47 rivières et fleuves les plus importants, représentant la moitié de l’eau douce du globe, 30 sont considérés comme au moins “moyennement” menacés. “Huit d’entre eux sont exposés à une menace très élevée en termes d’accès à l’eau pour la population et quatorze à une menace très élevée pour la biodiversité”, soulignent les chercheurs.Cette situation ne concerne pas seulement les pays en développement, même si les pays riches ont massivement investi dans des barrages, des réservoirs ou l’aménagement des bassins versants. Ces initiatives ont permis de diminuer de 95% les risques qui pèsent sur l’approvisionnement en eau, mais elles n’ont pas contribué à mettre un terme aux tensions sur les rivières, ayant souvent eu un impact négatif sur l’environnement aquatique. Les rivières des États-Unis et de l’Europe de l’Ouest sont ainsi très menacées malgré des années d’investissement dans des mesures de contrôle de la pollution et dans la protection de l’environnement.Quant aux pays les plus pauvres, qui ne disposent pas des moyens suffisants pour la construction d’infrastructures, ils abritent 3,4 milliards d’habitants exposés à la menace la plus élevée. “La majeure partie de l’Afrique, de vastes zones d’Asie centrale, la Chine, l’Inde, le Pérou ou la Bolivie se débattent pour mettre en place des réseaux élémentaires d’eau potable et d’assainissement”, souligne l’étude.Ce rapport est d’autant plus inquiétant que les scientifiques n’ont pas pu intégrer à leurs recherches lapollution minière et les rejets de substances pharmaceutiques dans les rivières.Le 4 octobre 2010 à 16:47 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

DisplAir un écran holographique à détecteur de mouvements

first_imgDisplAir : un écran holographique à détecteur de mouvementsLa start-up russe DisplAir a développé un écran holographique sensible aux mouvements de l’utilisateur.La start-up russe DisplAir a mis au point un écran holographique pouvant répondre aux mouvements proche de son utilisateur. Les commandes peuvent donc être envoyées à “l’écran” et à l’ordinateur par identification de mouvements, dans l’air. Ce qui permet d’obtenir une diagonale mesurant entre 40 et 140 pouces (1 à 3,5 m)…À lire aussiCES 2012: Kinect débarque sur PC le 1er févrierDisplAir doit être utilisé à faible lumière et, dans l’idéal, dans une pièce sombre. Un système est chargé de projeter une légère fumée brumeuse qui accueillera la projection d’une image. Alliée à une caméra infrarouge DisplAir détecte les mouvements de l’utilisateur, à la manière de Kinect de Microsoft. Afin de parfaire son développement, la firme est en quête d’investisseurs. Le système affiche un temps de latence supérieur à Kinect (0,2 seconde contre 0,1 seconde chez Microsoft, selon Tom’s Hardware). Mais DisplAir semble déjà très précis. L’inconvénient majeur de cet appareil est son prix, pour l’instant compris dans une fourchette très large comprise entre 4 000 $ et 30 000 $.Retrouvez cette incroyable innovation en vidéo sur Maxisciences.Le 25 novembre 2011 à 17:20 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Trafic divoire les Philippines vont brûler leur stock de défenses et de

first_imgTrafic d’ivoire : les Philippines vont brûler leur stock de défenses et de cornesLe 21 juin prochain, les Philippines brûleront les stocks d’ivoire saisis qu’ils ont en leur possession, afin de protester contre le commerce illégal et invasif qui se déroule en Afrique via le braconnage de nombreuses espèces. L’acte a été salué par les associations de défense et fait écho à l’initiative similaire du Gabon l’année dernière en juin 2012.Les Philippines font face à de nombreux problèmes de braconnage depuis des années. Un fléau motivé par le trafic d’ivoire qui prend de plus en plus de valeur et empiré par la corruption. Afin d’inverser la tendance et de prendre son destin en main, le gouvernement a ainsi décidé de procéder à la destruction des stocks qu’il avait en sa possession, en signe de protestation contre le braconnage.Cela représente quelque cinq tonnes d’ivoire qui ont été saisies, vraisemblablement obtenues après le meurtre d’éléphants, de rhinocéros et d’autres espèces en voie d’extinction. De quoi livrer un message important au monde entier. C’est le Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) qui sera en charge de “l’incendie”. Cette agence conservera néanmoins 106 pièces rapatriées au Kenya ou utilisées dans le secteur éducatif. Cette initiative suivra celles déjà réalisées en 1989 par le président du Kenya, Daniel Arap Moi qui avait brûlé 13 tonnes d’ivoire et par le Gabon qui en a fait de même l’année dernière, au mois de juin. Le but : affirmer la volonté de contrer les puissances émergentes qui stimulent le commerce de l’ivoire et tendent à le rendre légal dans le monde. Le feu au Kenya, ainsi que les photos prises pour l’occasion avait ainsi enclenché de grands projets au sein de la Convention sur le Commerce International des espèces menacées d’extinction (CITES) ainsi que de multiples interdictions qui avaient permis à la population des éléphants de connaitre un regain.Des efforts insuffisantsCependant la courbe tend à s’inverser. En 1999, la CITES a autorisé la vente expérimentale d’ivoire de l’Afrique au Japon et en 2008, de l’Afrique à la Chine. Ceci constitue le nœud du problème alors que la Chine représente la plus grande partie de la demande planétaire sur l’ivoire. D’autant plus que l’ivoire est aujourd’hui, dans la société chinoise, considérée comme un signe extérieur de richesse. La Chine fait partie de ce que la CITES appelle “le gang des 8”, pays qui ont un rôle majeur dans le commerce illégal d’ivoire. Celui-ci inclut également le Kenya, la Malaisie, les Philippines, la Thaïlande, le Vietnam, la Tanzanie et l’Ouganda. D’où la décision prise par le gouvernement philippin dont le pays représente une plaque importante d’exportation.Une corruption difficile à enrayerEn 2005, les Philippines avaient procédé à une importante saisie de 7,7 tonnes et de 5,4 tonnes en 2009. Mais les agents de la douane qui ont réalisé ces saisies ont ensuite affirmé avoir “perdu” 6 tonnes, éveillant ainsi les suspicions. La saisie faite en 2009 a alors été confiée au PAWB, qui a lui aussi constaté que ses services étaient infiltrés par les trafiquants : 1,7 tonne d’ivoire a été volé directement dans la réserve, le voleur ayant même remplacé les articles volés par des répliques en plastique. La destruction de ces stocks apparaît donc comme la meilleure des solutions.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?La CITES a depuis mai 2012 établi un plan d’action sur l’ivoire et encourage bon nombre de pays à y prendre part. Celui-ci prévoit une vente réglementée, une instruction du personnel spécialisé dans le combat des fraudes, de multiples campagnes de sensibilisation et un questionnaire à remplir afin d’établir la situation par pays. Ceux engagés dans le combat devront fournir des échantillons ADN et aider aux recherches ainsi qu’œuvrer à l’éradication de l’exportation. La “cérémonie” se déroulera le 21 juin à 10h30, au Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center de Quezon City.Le 20 juin 2013 à 19:02 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Factchecking website Snopes in legal battle to stay in business

first_img KUSI Newsroom There is plenty of misinformation in the digital age so how can readers really know if something posted online is true?For the past 20 years, Snopes.com has been calling out the lies. Now in a fight for its survival, the fact-checking website which has been in operation since 1994, must convince a judge what truth and what is fiction.It looks like news: NASA is predicting 15 days of Darkness — but it isn’t true; a mother and her kids killed by their father in some small town — again, not true.Brooke Binkowski, the Managing Editor of Snopes.com, sets the record straight for readers on anything from big issues like the Senate health care bill, to less significant items like a story claiming a bigfoot corpse was seen in New Mexico.But this week, the website announced it is in danger of closing its doors.Snopes Founder David Mikkelson claims its advertising partner, a San Diego company called Proper Media, is withholding ad revenue and choking off the money Snopes needs to run the site.Binkowski was shocked to learn that she and 15 other staff members could soon lose their jobs.In an effort to save the site, Snopes set up a GoFundMe page and in just two days, the site raised more than half a million dollars. Some of the money will go towards legal costs in a complicated lawsuit over the ownership of Snopes’ parent company, which was started by Mikkelson and his now ex-wife.The lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs Christopher Richmond and Drew Schoentrup who work for Proper Media.After Mikkelson and his wife divorced in 2015, the plaintiffs claim they along with four other people at Proper Media gained a 50 percent stake in Snopes’ parent company. The plaintiffs also say Mikkelson is mismanaging and swindling the company and they are asking the court to remove him from the board.Mikkelson has filed a counter-suit.For Binkowski and her colleagues, the focus is keeping the website alive, especially at a time when fiction poses as news and lies masquerade as truth. She says the response so far has given her hope about Snopes’ future.  Posted: July 25, 2017 July 25, 2017 KUSI Newsroom, Fact-checking website ‘Snopes’ in legal battle to stay in business Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

US Soy Protein Arrives in Cote dIvoire West Africa

first_imgJosh Neiderman, ASA/WISHH Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, and WISHH consultant Mamadou Bousso are joined by Madame Karidia Koné, Director of the School Canteen Program, Cote d’Ivoire, and a colleague during a cooking with textured soy training last year. The government of the Cote d’Ivoire is now buying U.S. soy protein for their school feeding program.Two deliveries of 36 tons each have arrived in the Port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast this month, part of a consignment purchased by the Government of the Cote d’Ivoire for their school feeding program. This export from ADM, Decatur, Illinois is the culmination of ASA/WISHH market development efforts funded by USDA and QSSBs, including a Quality Samples Program, technical assistance on site and training at the National Soybean Research Lab, University of Illinois.The total order has an estimated value of close to $300,000. U.S. Ambassador to the Cote d’Ivoire, Terence P. McCulley, thanked the director of the school nutrition program for their commerce with the U.S.A. during a meeting at the Ministry of Education.last_img read more

First artificial meteor shower might outshine natural shooting stars

first_img Tags Share your voice 2018 Perseid meteor shower sizzles across the sky Rendering of an artificial meteor shower over Japan. ALE Meteor showers produce some of the most exciting nights of the year for dedicated skywatchers, but often they’re unpredictable —  and the weather doesn’t always cooperate either. A Japanese company thinks it has the solution: its satellite equipped to produce humanity’s first-ever artificial meteor shower heads to orbit this week.Tokyo-based ALE (for Astro Live Experiences) pitches itself as a pioneer in the “space entertainment sector.” It hopes to conduct a groundbreaking artificial meteor event in 2020 using its first satellite over an area near Hiroshima, where it will be observable by up to 6 million people over an area 200 kilometers (124 miles) wide. NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens. That satellite launches from Japan Thursday morning (Wednesday evening, Pacific Time) and is designed to test the concept and gather data that will help develop and refine the product. A second satellite is already under development. “I hope that our man-made meteors will help reveal new discoveries in science, and that it will gather and entertain people under the night sky,” CEO Lena Okajima said in a statement. The satellite creates its sky show by firing off little pellets a centimeter in diameter that are made up of a proprietary mix of non-toxic materials. The “particles,” as ALE calls them, are designed to generate a range of bright colors as they heat up and disintegrate during reentry into the atmosphere, all while still over 60 kilometers (37 miles) above our heads. The company says the particles will travel more slowly and glow longer than a natural meteor and with enough brightness to be seen over even cities with heavy light pollution like Tokyo.ALE’s first satellite is set to launch as soon as 9:50 a.m. Thursday, Japan time (4:50 p.m. PT Wednesday) aboard a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Epsilon Rocket also carrying six other new technology demonstration satellites.  0 14 Photos Sci-Tech Post a comment Spacelast_img read more

Dozens injured as powerful explosion takes place near US embassy

first_imgKABUL: Dozens of people were wounded with fatalities feared as a powerful explosion rocked Kabul early Monday, targeting an area of the Afghan capital housing military and government buildings, officials said. The rush-hour explosion sent a plume of smoke into the air above the Puli Mahmood Khan neighborhood of the city, interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said. Also Read – EAM Jaishankar calls on European Parliament President David Sassoli Advertise With Us An AFP reporter said he could hear gunshots shortly after the blast. “Dozens of wounded were taken to hospitals from today’s blast in Kabul,” health ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayer tweeted. The area was quickly blocked off by Afghan forces and ambulances, while the nearby “Green Zone” diplomatic area was put on lockdown, with no one allowed in or out. Also Read – This is why Denmark, Sweden and Germany are considering a meat tax Advertise With Us The heavily-secured neighbourhood is home to some military and government buildings, including one shared by Afghanistan’s intelligence agency and defence ministry, as well as the Afghan Football Federation and the Afghan Cricket Board.Shams Amini, a football federation spokesman, told AFP that the blast occurred near the federation’s gates. “Some of our colleagues are trapped inside, we have reports of some injuries. We don’t know if the attackers have entered the building,” he said. Advertise With Us Nearby Shamshad TV station, which was attacked in 2017, aired images of broken glass and damage to its offices but said it was not the target. No group immediately claimed responsibility, and police said they did not yet know the target or nature of the blast. Both the Taliban and the so-called Islamic State group are active in Kabul. The explosion came two days after the Taliban and the US began their seventh round of talks in the Qatari capital of Doha as Washington eyes a breakthrough before Afghanistan’s September presidential election.The negotiations have so far centred on four issues, counter-terrorism, the foreign troop presence, an intra-Afghan dialogue and a permanent ceasefire. A potential deal would see the US agree to withdraw its troops after more than 17 years in Afghanistan, igniting deep concerns among huge swathes of Afghans who fear the militants will return to some semblance of power. In return the Taliban would guarantee the country would never again become a safe haven for violent extremist groups, as happened with Al-Qaeda before the September 11, 2001 attacks. US officials have previously said they are hoping for a deal before the upcoming Afghan presidential elections, which have already been delayed twice and are now set for September.last_img read more

Black Police Chief in Virginia Says she was Forced Out

first_imgBy The Associated PressPORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — The first Black woman to lead a city police department in Virginia said Monday that she was forced out, calling herself “no quitter” and accusing a small group of officers of “bias and acts of systemic racism, discriminatory practices and abuse of authority.”Tonya Chapman released a four-page statement a week after her abrupt resignation. It says her attempts to change the culture consistently were met with resistance from some people within the Portsmouth Police Department, some of whom “quite frankly did not like taking direction from an African American female.”In this Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 photo, Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman makes remarks after an oath of office ceremony at the City Council Chambers in Portsmouth, Va. (Hyunsoo Leo Kim/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)Despite working closely with the city manager during her three-year tenure, Chapman says the city manager made her resign “under duress” and without warning.City Manager L. Pettis Patton did not immediately return calls Monday seeking comment.“There will be no comment as this is a personnel matter,” said Dana Woodson, a spokesperson for the city.City Councilor Elizabeth Psimas said in an email that council members can’t comment on city employee personnel matters.Chapman said the city manager told her that if she signed a pre-written resignation letter, she would receive two months of severance pay, but if she did not, she would be terminated. She said she is asking the city to extend her severance pay to six months and to give her a positive letter of recommendation.Portsmouth, with a population of nearly 100,000 people, is about 52 percent Black. Home to a large Navy medical center and a sprawling shipyard, it sits across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk and is a short drive to the Atlantic Coast.Chapman said she could not provide additional information about her forced resignation but suggested it was driven by “members of a highly influential fraternal organization” who had tried unsuccessfully for more than two years to generate a vote of “no confidence” in her. She said some of those people were recently disciplined for policy violations.Sgt. Matthew Crutcher, president of the Portsmouth Fraternal Order of Police, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Chapman said she knew running the police department would be a challenge but became acutely aware of racial tensions within the ranks after a former officer was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the 2015 shooting of a Black man.Officer Stephen Rankin shot and killed William Chapman II outside a Walmart. The 18-year-old was unarmed and had been suspected of shoplifting. Rankin, who is White, claimed self-defense, saying Chapman knocked away his stun gun and charged at him.“Having been a member of two other law enforcement agencies, I have never witnessed the degree of bias and acts of systemic racism, discriminatory practices and abuse of authority in all of my almost 30-year career in law enforcement and public safety,” she wrote.She said she is reluctant to speak publicly about what she witnessed “out of concern for public safety,” but said she is willing to share specific information with the “appropriate government entity.”James Boyd, president of the Portsmouth chapter of the NAACP, said his group will respond at a 6 p.m. Monday news conference. Last week, Boyd said Chapman is the latest victim of what he calls a systemically racist police force.Chapman’s statement also included a list of crime reduction statistics and community engagement initiatives during her tenure.last_img read more

Did You Know

first_imgStory Links 16.02.3 Extra Benefit. [A] An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or representative of the institution’s athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete family member or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Receipt of a benefit by student-athletes or their family members or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institution’s students or their family members or friends or to a particular segment of the student body (e.g., international students, minority students) determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability. (Revised: 1/10/91, 1/19/13 effective 8/1/13)Print Friendly Version Did you know…?Teammates are allowed to travel with teammates as long as arrangements are not made at the direction of the coaching staff, boosters are not involved in providing any kind of expenses, and the student-athletes do not receive any other type of extra benefits. See Bylaw 16.02.3 below for more information on the definition of an extra benefit. last_img read more

Wii drops to 16999 in the US at key retailers

first_imgThe price of the Wii console is expected to drop significantly in the U.S. come May 15, but a number of retailers have decided not to wait and dropped the price today instead. Those retailers include Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Toys’R’Us so far.The May 15 drop is expected to lower the price from $199.99 to $149.99, but today’s reduction only takes it down to $169.99 for both the black and white editions. Is this retailers jumping early on the official price drop, or in response to growing rumors that a Wii 2 is going to be unveiled at E3 in June?Also key, is the fact that Nintendo has started lowering prices on 1st-party software titles. Both Wii Sports Resort and Wii Party will be reduced to $39.99 instead of the current RRP of $49.99. Combining a Wii purchase with one of those games today therefore costs $40 less than it did yesterday.While demand for the Wii may be dropping off steadily, rumors about the Wii 2 has gamers salivating at the prospect at a console geared to attracting hardcore gamers back to Nintendo hardware. A Blu-ray drive and performance well beyond what PS3 can achieve have both been mentioned. No doubt more details will leak, or at least be speculated about, before the gaming event kicks off in a couple of months.via Gamesindustry.bizMatthew’s OpinionThese retailers must know something is going to happen, or Nintendo has informed them a price reduction is allowed, and they all jumped at the same time. The fact it is several retailers acting at once suggests some definite news has been distributed about pricing plans for the Wii going forward, or a Wii 2 announcement. All of them clearly want to move stock.Whatever the case, this price reduction is tempting, but it might be worth waiting until May 15 when the expected $149.99 price is offered. That’s another $20 you’ll get to keep in your pocket for games and accessories.As I mentioned the other day, I am looking forward to E3 now because there’s a chance Nintendo is getting ready to launch a powerhouse of a new machine. If those rumors are true then I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of renewed interest in Nintendo from gamers that had left them behind after seeing the very mainstream Wii.last_img read more

God of War Useful Tips to Know Before Starting

first_img God of War has finally released on PlayStation 4. I’m sure many of you have suddenly come down with an inexplicable ailment preventing you from working or going to school today. The hype surrounding the game is understandable given all its advancements and how beloved the franchise is. As I said in my review, this entry is exactly what the series needed. It is among the series’ finest entries.God of War is very straight forward. You don’t need a massive tome to understand how to play it. However, there are certain things you may want to know before fully diving into the game. That’s where I come in. This is a list of some things you’ll want to keep in mind as you journey through the lands of the Norse gods. You can, of course, play however you wish. It’s your experience. With that said, it’s never a bad idea to get some advice. Especially if it helps you get the most out of this brilliant game.Stay the &$%^ away from YouTubeI’m not even kidding with this one. The game has been out for less than 24 hours, and there is already a flood of YouTube videos containing massive spoilers. Seriously, stay the hell away from YouTube until you’ve beaten the story! You do not want a single second of the experience ruined thanks to some inconsiderate assholes.Upgrade whenever possibleGod of War is one of the most difficult installments in the series. Even on normal, the game will not have mercy upon you. If you want to survive, you’re going to want to upgrade Kratos’ equipment and abilities.As you kill enemies and make discoveries, you’ll gain experience points. You can use these to unlock different abilities in the skill trees for both Kratos and Atreus. These allow the characters to unleash devastating attacks and to withstand a great deal of punishment. The same applies to armor, via rune stones. Runes can give you more protection or let you dish out elemental attacks like frost or fire, and more. Runes that give you extra health are especially helpful.Some equipment and abilities are locked until you obtain specific materials or enough money. However, even if you’re short on supplies, you should always have enough to upgrade yourself, even by a fraction. A seemingly small upgrade can go a long way. Belive me, you don’t want to ignore this aspect of the game.Break everythingUse your fists or weapons to smash up everything around you. Boxes, vases, shields, and more are worth destroying since they almost always drop useful items. Most of the time, it’s money, but you may also find health stones. Going around pulverizing every object in sight sounds like an exercise in monotony. However, if you want to make sure you’re never low on cash for upgrades, it’s best to make sure no object is left standing. Go nuts!Pick up anything on the groundYou’ll find money almost everywhere you go. I’m not just talking about cash found in breakable items either. There are few places where you won’t see money just sitting on the ground. The ancients must have had crappy pockets or something. Their loss is your gain, as this easy cash is great for buying equipment upgrades. Money shines brightly, so it’ll be very difficult to not find a bunch of it during your travels.Along with this, you’ll also find a good deal of cash while traveling by boat. Barrels almost always have a decent amount of money. There’s even some (not-so-hidden) gold which sparkle on the water’s surface. If you’re short on funds, take a short boat ride around the game’s central hub to fill your pockets. Don’t forget to pick up Yggdrasil dew which is found all around the central lake. These help permanently boost stats like vitality, rune magic, strength, and more.Defend yourself!In previous games, you could get away with just blindly attacking whatever was in front of you. You had to dodge every now and then, but for the most part, you could spam attacks all day long. That isn’t the case here. If you don’t defend yourself, you will get bodied before you know it. You’re going to have to think fast, smart, and use some of Kratos’ new tools to prevent an early trip to Valhalla.The best way to defend yourself is with Kratos’ fancy new shield. It doesn’t look like much, but this thin wooden shield is the difference between life and death. Best of all, you can use the shield to deflect attacks. This leaves enemies vulnerable to your assault. With certain upgrades, you can even use the shield to deflect projectiles. Its usefulness can’t be understated.Dodging is another crucial component of survival. Enemies will always try to gang up on you from all sides. With the camera angle being so close, you can’t always see who or what is behind you. Enemies outside your field of vision are indicated by arrows. If the arrows are yellow, it means they are preparing to attack. Red means an attack is seconds away. When you see red, it’s best to dodge out of the way. For good measure, roll away twice to avoid attacks with a longer reach. Rolling is great for repositioning yourself, so use it often.Study the battlefieldThis goes hand-in-hand with defense. Every enemy behaves in a specific way. They almost always give a visual cue before attacking. If you pay attention, you’ll know exactly what’s coming and can prepare accordingly. Also, make sure to use the appropriate elemental attack whenever possible. Fire monsters are weak to ice, and ice monsters are weak to fire. Once you’ve faced enough monsters, you’ll become more confident in yourself since you’ll know how to react.Another great piece of advice is to know when to stand your ground or when it’s best to flee. Enemies have a health bar above their heads. To the right of that is their current level. If an enemy’s bar is green, it means it is close to your level. A yellow bar indicates a strong foe, and a purple bar means certain death. Foes with green health bars are fair game, and yellow ones should be approached with caution. As for purple… yeah, you’re going to want to avoid them. There’s no shame in running. You can always return once you’ve leveled up and gotten better gear.Fully explore AFTER you’ve finished the storyGod of War has vast worlds filled with all manner of hidden goodies to find. These include power-ups, collectibles, money, and more. As tempted as you might be to grab everything the first time around, it’s better to hold off until after you’ve completed the story.The first reason is simple: the story is so good that you’ll want to play it until it’s over. This game’s narrative certainly takes some detours along the way. For the most part, it does tell one cohesive narrative that flows rather nicely. Dropping everything to find hidden Valkyries or to close rifts stops everything in its tracks. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t collect things along your path. You definitely should. But for the most part, stick to the main narrative path until the end then come back to grab whatever you’ve missed.Also, you can’t collect everything the first time around even if you wanted to. Not until the very end of the game. As you progress, you’ll see chests you can’t open and obstacles which seem insurmountable. Like previous installments (and practically every Metroidvania-type game), you can only acquire certain items with abilities and equipment you get later in the game. This is why it’s better to hold off on collecting stuff. There is a specific part near the end of the game where you’ll have everything needed to find hard-to-get items. But as I said, you’ll be so close to finishing the game you may as well just complete the final mission and return to collect items after the credits have rolled. ‘God of War’ Documentary ‘Raising Kratos’ Explores 2018’s Top Video GamePS4 Hits Turn Tabletop With ‘God of War,’ ‘Bloodborne&… Stay on targetlast_img read more

Depression marks on seafloor suggest whales might be visiting prospective mining sites

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Journal information: Royal Society Open Science More information: Leigh Marsh et al. Geomorphological evidence of large vertebrates interacting with the seafloor at abyssal depths in a region designated for deep-sea mining, Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180286AbstractExploration licences for seafloor mineral deposits have been granted across large areas of the world’s oceans, with the abyssal Pacific Ocean being the primary target for polymetallic nodules—a potentially valuable source of minerals. These nodule-bearing areas support a large diversity of deep-sea life and although studies have begun to characterize the benthic fauna within the region, the ecological interactions between large bathypelagic vertebrates of the open ocean and the abyssal seafloor remain largely unknown. Here we report seafloor geomorphological alterations observed by an autonomous underwater vehicle that suggest large vertebrates could have interacted with the seafloor to a maximum depth of 4258 m in the recent geological past. Patterns of disturbance on the seafloor are broadly comparable to those recorded in other regions of the world’s oceans attributed to beaked whales. These observations have important implications for baseline ecological assessments and the environmental management of potential future mining activities within this region of the Pacific. © 2018 Phys.org New study suggests that sperm whales travel together, dine alone Explore furthercenter_img A trio of researchers with the National Oceanography Centre in the U.K. has found depression marks on the sea floor in a very deep part of the ocean—they suggest the marks may have been made by deep-diving whales. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, Leigh Marsh, Veerle Huvenne and Daniel Jones describe how they found the marks, and why they believe they might have been made by whales. In recent years, scientists have discovered that the seafloor is home to many rocky nodules that harbor valuable materials such as rare-earth elements and metals such as copper. Eager to cash in, companies have begun the process of sending machinery down to the bottom of the sea to set up mining operations. The researchers with this new effort suspected that such mining operations might cause problems for creatures that make use of the seafloor. They have been sending remotely controlled vehicles down below to study the ocean floor to find out. Past evidence has shown some creatures, such as starfish, live at very great depths. In this latest effort, they report that they might have found evidence of a type of whale making use of the seabed to forage for food—also at very great depths.The researchers have been focusing on an area known as the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone, a large swath of seafloor located between Mexico and Hawaii—past research has shown it is a region with a lot of rocky nodules. The remote vehicles they sent to the bottom of the ocean were outfitted with side-scan sonar, which can scan the seafloor looking for geographic features of the underwater terrain. The researchers report that they have found what they describe as a series of depressions resembling tracks made by beaked whales in other parts of the world. But what is unusual is the depth—from 3,999 to 4,258 meters. That is far deeper than any other observed tracks.The researchers believe the depressions were caused by deep-diving whales sifting seafloor debris looking for food. They acknowledge that more research will need to be done to prove that the marks were made by whales—but if their suspicions turn out to be correct, it could impact licensing for mining in such areas. Citation: Depression marks on seafloor suggest whales might be visiting prospective mining sites (2018, August 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-depression-seafloor-whales-prospective-sites.html 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

Man held for duping people of nearly Rs 80l

first_imgKolkata: A person identified as Sudipta Sarkhel has been arrested by Baguiati police station for allegedly duping people in the name of selling machines used for making products from beads and thermocol. He has been remanded to 7-day police custody by Barasat court on Sunday.According to police sources, Sarkhel used to lure women from several districts, promising to sell them machines for making paper and thermocol items as well as ornaments manufactured from beads. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSeveral people gave him good amount of money in good faith. After getting the money, Sarkhel stopped communicating with the victims and left his residence at Baguiati. He also closed his office near Jyangra. At present, the amount is around Rs 80 lakh which could go up.Since almost a year, Sarkhel was collecting money in such a manner. Apart from this method, he also supplied beads to some people who manufactured several items and returned them to Sarkhel. To lend beads, Sarkhel used to keep some money as security deposit. He also duped those people by not returning the security deposit money. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSources informed that he used live at a rented flat in Railpukur area in Baguiati.The landlord was also duped as he did not pay rent fr several months.On Friday, a person identified as Maitreyi Basu Thakur filed a complaint against Sarkhel at Baguaiti police station stating that she had been cheated of Rs 14 lakh.After commencing the probe, investigators contacted him through a lady police personnel to buy a machine. The lady police personnel lured him in to the trap. On Saturday night, when Sarkhel arrived at Jyangra to meet his next target, he was surrounded by police. He was taken to the police station and later got arrested. Police sources informed that till Sunday evening several people had contacted Baguiati police station. More complaints are yet to come in against Sarkhel.Among them, there is a police constable from the West Bengal Police, who was also duped in the same manner.He was interested in buying machines for his unemployed brothers. Apart from this, investigators also got information about Sarkhel being an accused in several cheating cases in North Bengal.During the investigation, Bidhannagar Police will contact with other police units in North Bengal to seek information about Sarkhel.last_img read more

48hr app cab strike to spell trouble for Kolkatans

first_imgKolkata: Commuters in the city may face hassle in reaching their destinations, with app cabs staying off roads on Monday and Tuesday. The 48-hour strike has been called jointly by the West Bengal Online Cab Operators’ Guild (WBOCOG), as a protest against their alleged exploitation by cab aggregators and harassment by police.State Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari, however, assured on Sunday that the state government will have adequate arrangement of state buses to ensure that commuters face no difficulty in reaching their destinations. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”The strike has been called by a particular union and all app cabs will not stay off roads. I have requested the police to ensure that app cab drivers who want to render services can do so without any difficulty. The police will take steps if anybody tries to forcibly stop services,” Adhikari said. The minister said that around 100 additional buses (both AC and non-AC) will be pressed into service on Monday and Tuesday. There are a total of 20,000 app cabs belonging to two leading app cab aggregators and around 15,000 take to the roads daily. There are more than 5,000 cabs that are affiliated to WBOCOG. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”The aggregating companies, despite repeated deputations, letters and agitations, have not provided any solution to the issues of the member drivers. We have repeatedly requested to increase our drivers’ share of income and to revive the IDs of drivers that have been blocked without any proper justification,” said Indranil Banerjee of WBOCOG. WBOCOG wrote a letter to the two leading aggregators recently, urging them to respond to their demands within seven days. However, they had received no response. An organisation of luxury taxis affiliated to AITUC have also announced strike on Tuesday, demanding that their repeated pleas to the state government for increase of fares have fallen on deaf ears. “There are around 9,500 luxury taxis rendering services at various government organisations across the state. A number of cases and penalties imposed by police has also been a concern and the drivers are finding it difficult to support their families,” a member of the organisation said.last_img read more

German samesex couples will have to pose as man and woman to

first_imgShare this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Despite a swift vote on marriage equality, German couples will have to register as a man and woman in order to get married.In July, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signed the marriage equality legislation a few weeks after the parliament voted in favour of the issue. The law reform gives same-sex couples full marital rights, and allows them to adopt children. GAYSTARNEWS- Disappointment for LGBT rights in Taiwan after gay tourism is boomingGermany votes to legalize same-sex marriageWhat if Donald Trump was gay? He won’t be married….Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/german-sex-couples-will-register-man-woman-get-married/ According to a report in the Berliner Morgenpost the software issue was discovered to be a problem throughout Germany. The software cannot register two men or two women who want to marry, so one of the couple will be forced to register as the opposite gender.Couples will still be able to marry from October.Snap decisionGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to put the issue of marriage equality up to a snap vote after meeting a lesbian couple who changed her mind.‘I would like to steer the discussion more into the direction of a question-of-conscience vote rather than me forcing through [Parliament] a majority decision,’ Merkel said at the time.Following the vote in June, German legal code now reads: ‘Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex’.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . But thanks to a technical glitch, couples will still have to register as husband and wife when applying for a marriage license.While same-sex couples will be able to be married from October, the software problem won’t be resolved until 1 November, 2018. The Federal Ministry of the Interior and the software developer are said to be working on the resolution. eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)last_img read more