Bahamas Represented at African Caribbean and Pacific States Culture Ministers Meeting

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Belgium, November 14, 2017 – Brussels –Photo1  –  (From Left) Director of Culture Rowena Poitier Sutherland, Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture the Hon. Michael C. Pintard, Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) Dr. Patrick Gomes, and Assistant Secretary-General (Political Affairs and Human Development) Ambassador Léonard-Emile Ognimba pose with a commemorative copy of  “From Georgetown to Sipopo and Beyond: The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group at 40,” during the recent 4th Meeting of ACP Ministers of Culture, held in Brussels, Belgium.  (MOYSC Photo)Photo 2BRUSSELS, Belgium — Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture the Hon. Michael C. Pintard (left) is pictured with Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) Dr. Patrick Gomes, after receiving a commemorative copy of“From Georgetown to Sipopo and Beyond: The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group at 40,” during the recent 4th Meeting of ACP Ministers of Culture, held in Brussels, Belgium.  (MOYSC Photo) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:center_img Header photoBRUSSELS, Belgium — Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture the Hon. Michael C. Pintard during the recent 4th Meeting of African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Ministers of Culture, held in Brussels, Belgium.  (MOYSC Photo)last_img read more

Two Army Communities Suffer Population Loss Report Shows

first_imgTwo cities with large Army posts have landed on a U.S. Census Bureau list of shrinking cities, with Columbus, Ga., home of Fort Benning, reaching the top of the ranking.The population of Columbus dropped 1.5 percent from July 2013 to July 2014, reported Yahoo.com, which linked the decline to a lower-than-expected surge at Benning from the last round of base closures.Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson disputed the report, however, calling it “completely irresponsible.”“The annual census data has fluctuations due to assessment variables, but there is no question that Columbus, Georgia has grown since the 2010 census. Any reduction in population due to the drawdown of the war in the Middle East is not expected to offset the increase of population resulting from BRAC,” Tomlinson told WTVM.Manhattan, Kan., home of Fort Riley, experienced a one-year population loss of 0.8 percent, placing it 11th on the list of shrinking cities.Neither Columbus nor Manhattan suffered from a loss of manufacturing jobs, the trend that explained why most of the cities on the list experienced a drop in population. Manhattan’s drop could be attributed to the migration of young adults from rural areas, along with the increasing modernization of farm work, according to Laszlo Kulcsar, director of the Kansas Population Center and an associate professor of sociology at Kansas State University. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

India drafts policy to claim stake in Global Internet of Things by

first_imgIndia is drafting a policy to have 5-6% of the $300-billion global Internet of Things (IoT) business by 2020, a top official said on Monday.”A policy framework is in consultation stage for getting a five-six percent share of the global IoT industry, which is estimated to be $300 billion by 2020,” department of electronics and IT secretary JS Deepak said at a summit here.The policy will also enable the sun rise electronics industry to generate $15 billion domestic market over the next five years.”Under IoT, various devices can be connected with internet for sharing data among a specified community,” Deepak said at a national meet on IoT, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the apex body of India Inc.The government has also drawn a roadmap to develop machine-to-machine (M2M) for the IoT industry.”IoT will be central to Digital India structure, with M2M communications around it,” Deepak added.Minister of State for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Babulal Supriyo told the delegates that a lot of power could be saved by switching off street lights automatically through connected devices.”IoT is the most happening trend, with the potential to transform all industries and help develop 100 smart cities across the country through contribution from each stakeholder in the country,” Supriyo added.The summit highlighted the proof of concepts and solutions in four sectors — energy, healthcare, transport and manufacturing and the solutions that are replicable in the Indian context.last_img read more

Precious objects gathered by fleeing Rohingya

first_imgMajor Rohingya refugee camp populations in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh. — Map: AFPThe Rohingya had no time to consider what to take as Myanmar forces drove the Muslim minority into Bangladesh in a crackdown a year ago likened by the UN to ethnic cleansing.Some fled with little more than the clothes on their backs and children on their hips. But what they did manage to bring tells an intimate story about the plight of a long persecuted and stateless people.- ‘This isn’t immaterial’ -Jalal Ahmed prised the faded tin number plate marked with Burmese characters off the front of his family’s home as they packed up their lives and left Rakhine state.”When we were leaving, we knew we would need something to prove we were Rohingya, and proof of our residency,” he told AFP in the doorway of the shanty where he lives with his family in a vast refugee camp in southern Bangladesh.The Ahmed family had lived in a proud two-storey wooden home in their village for countless generations, Jalal’s grandfather Abdul said.Jalal, a 52-year-old businessman, said the plate was not a memento but a connection to his past before the misery of refugee life.”This isn’t immaterial,” Jalal said. “We carried it with us because wherever we go, this will show that we belong to a place.”- Our identity -Mohammad Ayaz, 12, brought a faded old photograph of his family with him on the long journey from Myanmar.It shows 17 people — his grandparents, siblings and parents, aunts and uncles — posing for an official portrait holding signs marked with Burmese script.The Rohingya are reviled in Myanmar as illegal immigrants, branded “Bengalis” and denied citizenship and basic rights and freedoms.”We will need this photo when we go back to Myanmar, to identify who is who from our family,” he told AFP, folding up the creased photograph for safekeeping.”It’s a very important picture. We will need this.”- Feeding the needy -Asaru Begum knew the journey to Bangladesh would be long and arduous, especially for her children and grandchildren.So she brought cooking pots to gather water, stew rice and green chillies, and perform ablutions for prayer while hiding out in the hills.”I brought the pots and rice because I knew the children would get hungry after two days’ journey,” she told AFP, pointing to the pots she still treasures today.”I brought them so I could feed the babies. They cry a lot when they are hungry.”- ‘I miss school’ -Mohammad Khares, a diligent pupil with dreams of going to university, was in his final year of high school when violence erupted in his village.”I miss school very much. I was about to graduate, I was this close. That really hurts,” the crestfallen 20-year-old told AFP.There are no schools in the camps, so Khares has used his Bengali and English language skills to find piecemeal work with foreign aid groups helping the refugees.His school ID card is precious.Most Rohingya receive little or no schooling in Myanmar so his card — bearing his photograph, credentials and official seal — is a rare privilege and a passport to opportunity.”When I go back to Myanmar, I want to resume my studies. But they might ask, ‘what proof do you have of your education?’ This card will prove that I was a Class 10 (final year) student,” he said.- Family first -Violence descended so quickly on Mohammad Jubayer’s village that he had no time to choose what his family might need to survive in Bangladesh.”On our way here, we couldn’t bring anything,” he told AFP at the edge of a fetid tent colony overlooking a trash-strewn, muddy clearing.Other escapees shared what food they could as Jubayer, 30, and his wife took turns carrying their four infant children as their eldest daughter trailed behind.”We spent nine days walking through the hills. We had our children with us. So we just carried them — nothing else.”- A touch of home -Mohammad Umar left all this favourite playthings behind in Myanmar as his family joined the steady exodus of Rohingya leaving their burning homeland.But once in Bangladesh, the industrious 12-year-old put his mind to work.Scavenging a rechargeable battery, and carving a hull from a chunk of styrofoam, he fashioned a rudimentary boat replete with a pen tube for a rudder.”We used to make these and play with them in Myanmar,” Umar said as the boat chugged through brown puddles swollen by monsoon rain.last_img

France on edge ahead of presidential vote

first_imgFrench municipal policemen observe a minute of silence in the courtyard of the town hall in Bordeaux, southwestern France, to pay tribute to the police officer who was shot dead by an attacker on the Champs-Elysees the day before in Paris. Photo: AFPFrance was on edge Saturday on the eve of its most unpredictable presidential election in decades, which will take place under heightened security after the jihadist killing of a policeman.The shooting on Paris’s world-renowned Champs Elysees avenue on Thursday, claimed by the Islamic State group, thrust questions of security to the fore of campaigning after nine months of relative calm.On Saturday, police arrested a man carrying a knife at Paris’s Gare du Nord station, briefly causing panic as some passengers rushed out of the way.The French consulate in New York, where expatriates were casting ballots, was also briefly evacuated late Saturday after a suspicious vehicle raised fears of a bomb threat. The situation returned to normal after less than an hour and voting activities resumed.France goes to the polls on Sunday in an election seen as crucial for the future of a deeply divided country and the beleaguered European Union.Surveys suggest that nearly a quarter of voters are still undecided and that until now the French have been more concerned about jobs and the economy than terrorism.But analysts said the policeman’s shooting could shift opinions, perhaps handing an advantage to candidates seen as taking a hard line on security, such as far-right leader Marine Le Pen.‘Don’t give in to fear’Le Pen and 39-year-old centrist former banker Emmanuel Macron are leading the polls but the race has tightened in the final days and any one of four candidates could reach the runoff on May 7.Conservative Francois Fillon and hard-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon are both just a few points behind the frontrunners.Around 50,000 police and 7,000 soldiers will be deployed to protect voters on Sunday, with the contingent boosted in Paris after the Champs Elysees shooting.The killing of policeman Xavier Jugele by 39-year-old gunman Karim Cheurfi was the latest in a string of terror attacks in France since 2015 that have claimed more than 230 lives.US President Donald Trump tweeted that he thought the shooting “will have a big effect” on the election.“If it were to benefit someone that would clearly be Marine Le Pen who has dominated this issue throughout the campaign, or Francois Fillon,” said Adelaide Zulfikarpasic of BVA pollsters.Le Pen moved quickly after the shooting to present herself as the strongest defender against Islamist extremists, calling for France to “immediately” take back control of its borders from the EU and deport all foreigners on a terror watchlist.Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve accused Le Pen of attempting to exploit the killing, “as she does after every tragedy”.Macron described the shooting as an attack on democracy, urging voters: “Do not give in to fear.”As well as in the US, voting began Saturday in several overseas French territories such as Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.Adrien Gontier, an expat voting at the French embassy in Washington, said he was fulfilling his duty as a citizen.“In the United States, you can see what happens when people don’t vote, or vote badly,” he said. “We don’t want there to be a Trump in France.”A BVA poll conducted on Thursday and Friday showed Le Pen and Macron tied on 23 percent, ahead of Melenchon with 19.5 percent and Fillon on 19 percent.A total of 11 candidates are in the running, most of them in single digits.14 years in prisonA clearer picture was meanwhile emerging of the Champs Elysees gunman’s violent past.Cheurfi was arrested in February on suspicion of plotting to kill police officers but released because of a lack of evidence.A serial offender, he spent nearly 14 years in prison for a range of crimes including attacks on police. He had shown “no signs of radicalisation” while in custody, said France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins.Three of his close associates were released after questioning late Saturday.“Their interviews notably allowed us to gather certain elements on the attacker’s profile and personality,” a source close to the inquiry said.Cheurfi’s former lawyer Jean-Laurent Panier described him as “very solitary and introverted”.The shooting came days after two men were arrested in Marseille on suspicion of planning an imminent attack and follows a series of deadly strikes around Europe in the past month, targeting Stockholm, London and Saint Petersburg.By sad coincidence, slain policeman Jugele had gone to the Bataclan concert hall—one of the targets in November 2015’s Paris attacks—on the night of its reopening, as an ordinary concert-goer.“I am here with my friend to celebrate life and to say no to terrorism,” he had said in a BBC radio interview that emerged Saturday.Some 200 angry wives of police officers held a protest near the Eiffel Tower on Saturday, demanding better protection for their spouses while on duty.last_img read more

10 Things To Know for Thursday

first_imgAP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, FileFILE – In this Monday, March 13, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump listens during a meeting on healthcare in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. 1. TRUMP’S ABOUT-FACE ON NAFTAHours after the administration threatened to pull out of the trade pact, Mexico and Canada agreed to renegotiate the deal to “the benefit of all three countries.”2. LAWMAKERS NEAR DEAL ON SPENDING BILLA breakthrough seems possible after the White House backs off a threat to withhold payments that help lower-income Americans under “Obamacare.”3. UNITED MAKES ‘BUMPING’ CHANGESThe embattled airline says it will raise the limit — to $10,000 — on payments to customers who give up seats on oversold flights and will increase training for employees.4. HOW NORTH KOREA HAS MASTERED BRINKSMANSHIPThe technique over the years has won the country a grudging respect from Washington and its allies, while sometimes filling Pyongyang’s coffers with aid by relieved rivals.5. AS TRUMP CALLS FOR WALL, A LOOK AT WORLD’S BARRIERSWhile the structures are effective at protecting borders, they’ve also destroyed city neighborhoods, harm the environment and prevent innocent victims from reaching safety, an AP examination finds.6. ANN COULTER’S BERKELEY SPEECH CANCELEDStill, the liberal California university is bracing for possible violence and protests whether the conservative pundit comes to the campus or not.7. STANDOFF CONTINUES IN DELAWAREA man suspected of shooting and killing a state trooper outside a convenience store remains barricaded — and trading fire with officers — inside his house.8. SMALL BUSINESSES HAVE TAX BREAK WISH LISTSBut owners don’t plan a hiring binge if the Trump administration’s plan to lower tax rates becomes law.9. ‘YEP, I’M GAY’Ellen DeGeneres made history 20 years ago as the first prime-time lead on network TV to come out.10. WHERE THEY PLAY FOR PAYNow that the NFL draft is here, LSU running back Leonard Fournette is one of several college stars ready to cash in. Sharelast_img read more

Chameleons ballistic tongue inspires robotic manipulators

first_img Why chameleon tongues work in the cold (w/ Video) Explore further When fully extended, a chameleon’s tongue can reach twice the chameleon’s body length. Image credit: G. A. Boulenger. Wikimedia Commons. Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. More information: Alexis Debray. “Manipulators inspired by the tongue of the chameleon.” Bioinsp. Biomim. 6 (2011) 026002 (15pp). DOI:10.1088/1748-3182/6/2/026002 With the aim to mimic the mechanisms and performance of the chameleon’s tongue, researcher Alexis Debray of Canon, Inc., in Tokyo, Japan, has developed four ballistic robotic manipulators. Each of the four manipulators excels at copying a certain part of the chameleon’s tongue, and insights from each design could eventually be combined to create a more advanced chameleon tongue that could have manufacturing applications. Debray’s study is published in a recent issue of Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.“As far as I know, this is the first published demonstration of manipulators based on the chameleon tongue,” Debray told PhysOrg.com. “The particular mechanism of the tongue of the chameleon allows for fast accelerations and velocities and also applies no force during most of the motion.”As Debray explains, what we normally think of as the tongue of the chameleon is actually a larger system called the hyolingual apparatus. The tongue is just a small component on the front tip of the hyolingual apparatus. The majority of the hyolingual apparatus consists of the long, thin hyoglossus complex, which is the part that folds up like an accordion inside the chameleon’s mouth. The rapid movement of the chameleon’s hyolingual apparatus involves three phases: projection, catching, and retraction. Each of these three phases is controlled by a different system. The tongue (tip of the hyolingual apparatus) contains the accelerator muscle and collagens that control the projection. When the chameleon is ready to project, it slowly protrudes its tongue out of its mouth. Then, the tongue’s accelerator muscle projects the tongue off a bone inside the chameleon’s mouth. No applied force is needed to keep the tongue – and the rest of the hyolingual apparatus – moving forward. When the tongue reaches its prey, a tongue pad containing a small suction on the tip of the tongue can stick to the prey. Finally, the hyoglossus muscle in the accordion-like hyoglossus complex retracts the tongue at a constant velocity. Although the three phases are controlled by different systems, they occur in a single smooth, continuous motion.center_img 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. Like the chameleon tongue, Debray’s robotic manipulators use different specialized systems for projection, catching, and retraction. To project, all four manipulators use a coilgun in place of the chameleon tongue’s accelerator muscle. Elastomers and/or cotton string is used in place of the chameleon’s hyolingual apparatus. Instead of folding up like an accordion, the elastomers and string are wound around a reel. As for catching, the robotic manipulators use magnets on the tip of the elastomers, which attract magnetic “prey.” For retraction, the manipulators use either an elastomer, a DC motor connected to a reel and string, or a combination of both. One of the manipulators also had wings on the mobile part, which could allow researchers to take advantage of aerodynamic effects.“In the future, movable wings will allow controlling the trajectory after the ejection of the tongue, which is not possible now,” Debray said. “In our experiments, the wings are not movable. However, their aerodynamic effect on the trajectory of the tongue has been demonstrated experimentally. So far, aerodynamic effects have been poorly studied in the field of manipulators.”Using a high-speed camera, Debray could track the manipulators in motion. The results showed that the robotic manipulators could reach a projection velocity of 3.8 meters/second without the need for a continuously applied force, which is similar to the velocity of the chameleon tongue. In addition, the robotic manipulators could reach an acceleration of 919 meters/second2, which exceeds that of the chameleon (374 meters/second2). The manipulators that used a DC motor and string for retraction had the same extension ability as the chameleon tongue, and could also adapt to variations in the targets’ distances, as chameleons can. By incorporating various end effectors onto the robotic manipulators, the devices could have a variety of applications, especially for products passing on a factory line. For example, manipulators with sensors could be used to sense data on products. Stamps and catching devices could be used to deposit patterns and manipulate objects, respectively. Using a mechanism based on the chameleon’s ballistic tongue could provide certain advantages compared with other manipulators due to the small size and flexibility. Further, because ballistic manipulators do not apply a continuous force during their forward motion, an accidental collision would be less severe and likely cause less damage compared to a device being pushed forward. As Debray explained, the current manipulators lack reliability, and so they cannot yet be put to practical use.“The work presented in the paper is a first step towards manipulators inspired by the chameleon tongue,” Debray said. “Further development is needed in order to use them in factory lines. However, the ultimate goal of this work is the manufacture of Canon products such as cameras and printers, among others.” (PhysOrg.com) — Although the lungless salamander and some frog species have developed ballistic tongues, the chameleon’s ballistic tongue is the fastest, the longest, and the one that can catch the heaviest prey. A chameleon’s tongue can elongate more than six times its rest length, zipping forward at speeds of 3.5-10.5 meters/second – faster than a human eye can follow. The tongue is called ballistic because, like all ballistic objects, it moves freely without any applied force during its forward motion. Once the chameleon’s accordion-like tongue is ejected, it continues moving forward under its own inertia. Citation: Chameleon’s ballistic tongue inspires robotic manipulators (2011, April 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-chameleon-ballistic-tongue-robotic.htmllast_img read more

Astronomers discover first selflensing binary star system

first_img Explore further Scientists believe that nearly half of the stars in the night sky are multi-star systems, many of them binaries. Also, some binary star systems are unique in that their orbital path around each other lies in a plane with the planet Earth, which means from our perspective, they pass in front of one another on a periodic basis, causing an eclipse—generally, this results in dimming, which some might see as twinkling. In other instances, theory has suggested, the opposite should occur—instead of dimming, the eclipse should result in brightening—a phenomenon known as self-lensing—as the star in front magnifies light from the star behind it.Self-lensing is based on Einstein’s theory of relativity—light may not have mass, but it is still subject to gravity, it bends when passing stars for example. For that reasons, astronomers have been suggesting for years that if there existed a binary star system where one of the stars was similar to our own sun, but the other was a white dwarf—small but with a huge mass, and thus lots of gravity—than self-lensing should occur when the smaller star passed in front of the larger star. And that’s just what Kruse and Agol have found. 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. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play Simulation of gravitational microlensing in the KOI-3278 system using an image of our Sun as a proxy for the G star companion of the white dwarf. The blue sphere is the white dwarf. The large orange sphere is the G dwarf (using a NASA SDO/HMI false-color image of our Sun, since the star is very similar in properties to our Sun). The simulation shows how the G star is distorted by gravitational lensing by the white dwarf star if it could be seen at high resolution. Credit: Eric Agol (UW), NASA/SDO HMI science teams The two were studying the star KOI 3278 because it had previously been found to dim on a periodic basis. Thinking it was doing so because of a planet passing in front of it, the researchers looked closer. Instead of a planet, the researchers discovered another star. As they orbited, the two stars took turns passing between us and their mate, every 88 days. When the sun-sized star was out front, the binary system dimed, as occurs with most binary star systems. But when the smaller star was out front, the two observed, instead of growing dimmer, the result was a very subtle brightening (a 0.1 percent increase) that lasted for five hours, confirming theories and stoking hopes that one day an observation will be made of a similar system made up of neutron stars or black holes. (Phys.org) —A pair of astronomers at the University of Washington has discovered the first known instance of a self-lensing binary-star system. In their paper published in the journal Science, Ethan Kruse and Eric Agol describe how they happened across the previously theorized system while looking for undiscovered planets. Gravity-bending find leads to Kepler meeting Einsteincenter_img More information: KOI-3278: A Self-Lensing Binary Star System, Science 18 April 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6181 pp. 275-277 DOI: 10.1126/science.1251999ABSTRACTOver 40% of Sun-like stars are bound in binary or multistar systems. Stellar remnants in edge-on binary systems can gravitationally magnify their companions, as predicted 40 years ago. By using data from the Kepler spacecraft, we report the detection of such a “self-lensing” system, in which a 5-hour pulse of 0.1% amplitude occurs every orbital period. The white dwarf stellar remnant and its Sun-like companion orbit one another every 88.18 days, a long period for a white dwarf–eclipsing binary. By modeling the pulse as gravitational magnification (microlensing) along with Kepler’s laws and stellar models, we constrain the mass of the white dwarf to be ~63% of the mass of our Sun. Further study of this system, and any others discovered like it, will help to constrain the physics of white dwarfs and binary star evolution. Citation: Astronomers discover first self-lensing binary star system (2014, April 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-astronomers-self-lensing-binary-star.html © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: Science Geometry and light curve of the KOI-3278 system. As the white dwarf orbits a G dwarf (sun-like star) in this system, when the white dwarf passes in front of the G dwarf, it causes gravitational magnification, resulting in a pulse with a duration of 5 hours and height of 0.1%, while when it passes behind, it is blocked from view, causing an occultation and a dip, also of 0.1% (by coincidence). The black line represents the orbital flux as a function of time, relative to the flux only of the G dwarf (which is shown as a dotted line). This diagram is not to scale, and does not show the stellar variability or noise. For example, the pulse and occultation only last 5 hours out of the 88.2 days of the orbit, while in this diagram they last a much larger fraction of the orbit. Credit: Eric Agollast_img read more