Qualcomm and Apple kick off latest patent case

first_imgQualcomm, based in San Diego, California, is one of the world’s biggest mobile chipmakers.  Shara Tibken/CNET Apple and Qualcomm kicked off the latest chapter in a long-running legal battle over patents and licensing agreements in the chipmaker’s hometown of San Diego, California, on Monday.Qualcomm, which supplies chips and modems for much of the mobile phone industry, says Apple infringed on three of its patents in some versions of the popular iPhone. The chipmaker wants up to $1.41 per iPhone that infringed on its intellectual property sold during a certain period between 2017 and 2018. The exact figure was not disclosed, though it’s estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars or more. That sum would be a drop in the bucket for Apple — which briefly became a $1 trillion company last year — but a victory for Qualcomm would help to brandish its reputation as a mobile components innovator. “Qualcomm, although it doesn’t make a smartphone — it doesn’t have a product that you and I would buy — it develops a lot of technology in smartphones,” David Nelson, the lead attorney representing Qualcomm, said in an opening statement on Monday. The trial concerns three patents that Qualcomm claims Apple infringed on. One patent allows a smartphone to quickly connect to the internet once the device is turned on. Another deals with graphics processing and battery life. The third lets apps on your phone download data more easily by directing traffic between the apps processor and the modem. 2:13 Apple vs. Qualcomm: Court battles explained See All Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Apple During opening remarks, both sides zoomed in on the patent that focuses on boot-up technology when the phone is turned on. Nelson said the technology in the patent was “foundational” to the company’s work, long before it was registered. Apple claims Qualcomm stole the idea for that innovation from then-Apple engineer Arjuna Siva, who the company said discussed the idea with Qualcomm engineers in an email.”This one is truly the most outrageous allegation in the case,” Juanita Brooks, lead counsel for Apple, said of the infringement claim in opening statements. “They took the idea from us and ran down to the patent office.”A long battleThe courtroom clash between Apple and Qualcomm is part of a wide-ranging legal saga. Two years ago, the Federal Trade Commission, aided by heavyweights including Apple and Intel, accused Qualcomm of operating a monopoly in modem chips. The agency argued Qualcomm’s high royalty rates stopped competitors from entering the market, which has driven up the cost of phones and hurt consumers. That trial took place in January, and the parties are currently waiting for a decision from US District Judge Lucy Koh. The San Diego trial, presided over by US District Judge Dana Sabraw, is more technical than the other fronts of the legal battle. But it could have implications on how your phone is made and how much it costs. The trial also sets the stage for an April meeting between the two companies over licensing deals. The two companies have been arguing over royalties Apple paid Qualcomm for licensing the chipmaker’s technology. Apple paid $7.50 per iPhone, but Apple COO Jeff Williams testified in January that the price should have been a fifth of that price.The iPhone was first introduced in 2007, but the company didn’t start using Qualcomm chips for network connectivity until 2011. In 2016, the company started using Intel modems in some models of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Now, Apple has opted for Intel’s modems over Qualcomm’s in all its latest phones. ‘Eureka’ and ‘Maverick’After opening statements on Monday, Qualcomm’s first witness was James Thompson, the company’s chief technologist. He described Qualcomm’s relationship with Apple. He said the company typically began working on modems for an iPhone about four years before the phone would be released. “We defined the cellular component of that product,” he said. He also said both companies had nicknames for each other. Apple called Qualcomm “Eureka,” and Qualcomm called Apple “Maverick.”A verdict in the San Diego trial, which will be decided by a jury of eight people, is expected in mid-March.  Originally published at 1:45 p.m. PT.Update, 3:26 p.m. PT: Adds more detail from opening statements; and 4:25 p.m. PT: Adds more detail. reading • Qualcomm and Apple kick off latest patent case Tech Industry 0 Share your voice Post a comment Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 • Tags Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Qualcomm Apple Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

HP Inc says to accelerate job cuts by 2016

first_imgHP Inc said it was accelerating its restructuring programme and now expects about 3,000 people will exit by the end of fiscal 2016 instead of over three years as it announced in September.Then, Hewlett-Packard Co had said it expected to cut about 33,300 jobs over three years, of which up to 3,300 were to be cut in HP Inc. It said then that 1,200 people would leave the company by the end of 2016.The restructuring will result in charges and associated cash payments of about $300 million in the current year, the company said.”This move is basically HP Inc embracing the tough pricing environment and shifting their focus to building their portfolio,” says Shannon Cross, an analyst for Cross Research.HP Inc, which houses former Hewlett-Packard Co’s legacy hardware business, reported a near 12 percent drop in quarterly revenue, as it struggles with weak demand for PCs and printers.Revenue in the company’s personal systems business fell 13 percent in the first quarter ended Jan. 31, while it declined 17 percent in its printing division from a year earlier.PC sales have been falling sharply worldwide, and the launch of Windows 10 has so far failed to rekindle demand.Printer demand has been hurt as corporate customers cut printing costs and consumers shift to mobile devices.The company, which is reporting results independently for the first time since being spun off from Hewlett-Packard Co, forecast adjusted profit of 35-40 cents per share for its second quarter ending April 30.Analysts on average were expecting 39 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.HP Inc maintained its 2016 adjusted profit forecast at $1.59-$1.69 per share.The company’s earnings from continuing operations fell to $650 million, or 36 cents per share, in the first quarter from $770 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.Revenue fell to $12.25 billion from $13.86 billion.Analysts on average had expected earnings of 36 cents per share and revenue of $12.20 billion.HP Inc’s shares were marginally lower at $10.75 in extended trading on Wednesday. They had fallen more than 13 percent since the spinoff in early November to Wednesday.Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Co, also spun off from Hewlett-Packard Co, is expected to report results on March 3.last_img read more

Mattis makes surprise Afghanistan visit

first_imgIn this file photo taken on 9 November, 2017 US defence minister James Mattis delivers a press conference during the second day of a defence ministers meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Photo: AFPUS defence secretary Jim Mattis met with top Afghan leaders during an unannounced visit to Kabul on Friday, adding his weight to a flurry of diplomatic efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.His trip comes a little more than a year after president Donald Trump unveiled a revamped strategy for Afghanistan that saw him commit thousands of additional US forces to the war-torn country on an open-ended basis.Mattis, on his fourth visit to Afghanistan since becoming defence chief in January 2017, has met with president Ashraf Ghani and the new US commander for American and NATO forces, general Scott Miller.His arrival in Kabul comes at a sensitive time in the 17-year war.The grinding conflict has seen little progress by Afghan or US forces against the Taliban, the country’s largest militant group.Six US soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year, the most recent happening on Monday in an apparent insider attack.Ghani told Mattis that preventing so-called “green-on-blue” attacks, in which Afghan soldiers turn their weapons on international troops with whom they are working, was a “top national priority”.They also discussed other issues including the peace process, security reforms, upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, and Pakistan, according to a statement from the presidential palace.Afghan and international players have been ratcheting up efforts to hold peace talks with the Taliban, which was toppled from power by US-led forces in 2001.An unprecedented ceasefire in June followed by talks between US officials and Taliban representatives in Qatar in July fuelled hopes that negotiations could bring an end to the fighting.Battlefield setbacksBut a recent spate of attacks by the Taliban and the smaller but potent Islamic State group that left hundreds of people dead has severely dented that optimism.A twin bomb attack on a wrestling club in a Shiite neighbourhood of Kabul on Wednesday was just the latest in a long line of devastating assaults, killing at least 26 people and wounding 91.The attack underscored the challenges facing Afghanistan’s beleaguered security forces, which have been beset by corruption and low morale.Trump’s strategy, announced in August 2017, increased the US troop presence in the country and now includes a renewed push to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.Speaking to reporters as he headed to Asia this week, Mattis said he had reason to hope the Taliban may be ready for talks.There’s “still hard fighting, but right now we have more indications that reconciliation is… no longer just a mirage”, he said, adding that Afghan security forces were now taking the fight to the enemy.But there are fears that Trump is growing frustrated with the pace of progress in the country, spurring US diplomats and other officials to intensify their efforts.The Taliban have long insisted on direct talks with Washington and refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, which they see as illegitimate.There is speculation that another meeting between US and Taliban representatives could be held this month.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Islamabad on Wednesday where he said he was “hopeful” of resetting the troubled relationship with Pakistan, a key player in the Afghan conflict.He made the remarks after confirming that Zalmay Khalilzad, a high-profile former US ambassador to Kabul, Baghdad and the United Nations, would be appointed to lead peace efforts in Afghanistan.Miller, who took command of US and NATO forces at a handover ceremony in Kabul on Sunday, replaces General John Nicholson, who rotated out of the role after a more than two-year deployment.Nicholson told reporters last month that the warring parties now had an “unprecedented” opportunity for peace, and insisted Trump’s strategy for the country was working.But his positive outlook belied recent setbacks on the battlefield, including last month’s extraordinary raid by the Taliban on the provincial capital of Ghazni-just a two-hour drive from Kabul.Militants held large parts of the city for days and Afghan forces needed US air power to push them back.last_img read more

GE announces 500 GB holographic disc writer that runs at BlueRay speed

first_imgA prototype holographic drive system designed by GE researchers in the Applied Optics Lab at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY. Citation: GE announces 500 GB holographic disc writer that runs at Blue-Ray speed (2011, July 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-ge-gb-holographic-disc-writer.html (PhysOrg.com) — GE’s technology research group has announced the development of an optical disc writer capable of writing 500 GB of data onto a disc the same physical size as a DVD, at roughly the same speed as Blue Ray technology. This comes two years after announcing the holographic technology that was used to first imprint the discs with 25 times as much data as a Blue Ray Disc can hold. Explore further By making an announcement about an advancement in what most see as a dying technology, GE is taking somewhat of a risk, but Peter Lorraine, Manager at GE Global Research, who will be presenting today at the IEEE’s Joint International Symposium on Optical Memory & Optical Data Storage meeting is expected to pooh-pooh such notions and instead explain how the new technology could be used for long term storage for data, that the company says, will last for a hundred years (presumably if stored in ideal conditions).The technology works by initially stamping millions of tiny holographic images into a polycarbonate (a type of thermoplastic polymer) material, then a laser (which uses the same wavelength as Blue Ray technology) is used to erase parts of the holograms to encode data. Write speeds are 4-5 megabytes per second, which is on a par with Blue Ray (4.5 Mbytes/s). With this process the entire surface of the disc can be used, rather than just the four layers on the surface of the disc that Blue Ray is able to use, which is why it can hold so much more.And while critics point out that at such a rate it would take something like a whole day to fill the disc, GE counters by saying that since its primary purpose would be for archival storage, creating specialized writers that use multiple heads could very well be an option; and If such multiple read/write head drives could be created, it seems plausible to believe that such discs would be capable of carrying not just HD/3-D movies, but something even better, such as movies in a super HD (holographic?) format that hasn’t even been discovered yet.GE also points out that because the new writer uses the same wavelength as Blue Ray, its conceivable drives could be made for the new technology that would be backwards compatible, minimizing risk for both developers and end users. The company is expected to begin building arrangements with interested parties to license the new technology in just the new few months, so actual products appearing on the market can’t be too far off. More information: Press release © 2010 PhysOrg.com General Electric Develops a 500GB Optical Disc 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

Cool Constructs Room temperature outofplane ferroelectricity at ultrathin atomic limit

first_img Figure 2 | AFM and piezoresponse images of CIPS with different thicknesses. (a–c) AFM topography (a) PFM amplitude (b) and PFM phase (c) for CIPS flakes ranging from 100 to 7 nm thick, on doped Si substrate. Scale bar in a, 1 μm. (d,e) AFM topography (d) PFM amplitude (e) and phase (f) of 2–4 layer thick CIPS on Au coated SiO2/Si substrate. Scale bar in d, 500 nm. (g) the height (black) and PFM amplitude (blue) profile along the lines shown in d and e, respectively. L, Layers. Credit: Liu F, et al. Room-temperature ferroelectricity in CuInP2S6 ultrathin flakes. Nature Communications 7, Article number: 12357 (2016). Copyright © 2016, Rights Managed by Nature Publishing Group. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Wang describes the ways in which the researchers addressed these challenges. “To characterize ferroelectricity at nanoscale, the most widely used technique is called piezoresponse force microscopy, or PFM, which utilizes the converse piezoelectric effect.” (In the converse piezoelectric effect, materials become strained when an electric field is applied.) This is a technique that can be implemented using a commercially available atomic force microscope (AFM), in which AC bias can be applied to the AFM probe that serves as a moving electrode on top of the sample. The resulting AC electric field will cause the periodic oscillation of the ferroelectric sample due to this converse piezoelectric effect. The oscillation signal can then be detected by the AFM. “The amplitude of the oscillation represents the piezoelectric response that is proportional to the ferroelectric polarization,” Wang explains, “while the phase of the oscillation represents the direction of the polarization.” In their study, the scientists employed a state-of-the-art approach known as Dual AC Resonance Tracking (DART) PFM developed by Asylum Research to amplify the piezoelectric response by taking advantage of the resonance enhancement. The scientists are planning to study the pyroelectric properties of CuInP2S6 at its two-dimensional limit and apply their findings to developing energy harvesting devices. To that end, he adds, because mechanically exfoliated 2D materials are usually small and unsuitable for device applications, chemical vapor deposition growth of atomically thin CuInP2S6 is under development.”Ferroelectric properties are also very interesting for solar cell applications because of efficient ferroelectric polarization-driven carrier separation,” Liu concludes, “so 2D ferroelectricity-based solar cells could be very interesting, In its liquid phase, 2D ferroelectric CuInP2S6 could be easily hybridized with semiconductor 2D or organic materials – and a solar cell based on these hybrids would be very promising.” Figure 5 | Electric characterization of the vdW CIPS/Si diode. (a) The I–V curves from the typical vdW CIPS/Si diode with 30 nm thick CIPS, by sweeping the bias from 2.5 to −2.5 V, and then back to 2.5 V. Inset is the schematic of the device. (b) Resistance-switching voltage hysteresis loop of the diode measured at a bias voltage of −1.3 V. The schematic representations of the ON and OFF states with respect to the polarization direction are shown in the bottom-left and top-right insets, respectively. (c) Out-of-plane PFM amplitude (black) and phase (blue) measurements on the same diode device shown in a. Credit: Fucai Liu, Lu You, Kyle L. Seyler, Xiaobao Li, Peng Yu et al. Room-temperature ferroelectricity in CuInP2S6 ultrathin flakes. Nature Communications 7, Article number: 12357 (2016). Copyright © 2016, Rights Managed by Nature Publishing Group. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Journal information: Nature Communications More information: Room-temperature ferroelectricity in CuInP2S6 ultrathin flakes, Nature Communications 7, Article number: 12357 (2016), doi:10.1038/ncomms12357Related:1. Subatomic deformation driven by vertical piezoelectricity from CdS ultrathin films, Science Advances 01 Jul 2016, Vol. 2, no. 7, e1600209, doi:10.1126/sciadv.16002092. Picoscale precision though ultrathin film piezoelectricity, Phys.org (10 August 2016), http://phys.org/news/2016-08-picoscale-precision-ultrathin-piezoelectricity.html Citation: Cool Constructs: Room temperature out-of-plane ferroelectricity at ultrathin atomic limit (2016, September 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-cool-room-temperature-out-of-plane-ferroelectricity.html , Science Advances This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furthercenter_img Figure 1 | Crystal structure and characterization of CIPS. (a,b) The side view (a) and side view (b) for the crystal structure of CIPS (CuInP2S6) with vdW gap between the layers. Within a layer, the Cu, In and P–P form separate triangular networks. The polarization direction is indicated in by the arrow. (b) The ferroelectric hysteresis loop of a 4-μm-thick CIPS flake. (c) AFM image of the CIPS flakes with different thicknesses. Scale bar, 2 μm. (d) The height profile along the line shown in c. Clear step height of 0.7 nm corresponding to single layer thickness of CIPS can be observed. L, Layers. Credit: Liu F, et al. Room-temperature ferroelectricity in CuInP2S6 ultrathin flakes. Nature Communications 7, Article number: 12357 (2016). Copyright © 2016, Rights Managed by Nature Publishing Group. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. (Phys.org)—Optoelectronic devices that combine electronics and photonics are incorporating two-dimensional (2D) materials for a range of applications. At the same time, cooperative phenomena – in which a system’s individual components appear to act as a single entity rather than independently – have yet to be widely investigated, an important example being ferroelectricity (spontaneous electric polarization that can be reversed by an electric field) in the 2D limit. Recently, however, scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore have demonstrated room-temperature out-of-plane ferroelectricity (that is, orthogonal to the 2D material) in 2D CuInP2S6 (copper indium thiophosphate) with a ~320 K transition temperature, as well as switchable polarization in 4 nm CuInP2S6 flakes. The researchers state that their findings create the possibility of sensors, actuators, non-volatile memory devices, various van der Waals heterostructures (devices made from layers of dissimilar 2D crystals in which forces are based on molecular attraction or repulsion rather than covalent or ionic bonds), and other novel applications based on 2D ferroelectricity. Finally, in demonstrating a non-volatile memory device with an on/off ratio of ~100 in a CuInP2S6/Si ferroelectric diode, Liu notes that this investigation is just a preliminary demonstration of the possible applications of the 2D ferroelectric material. “A lot of work needs to be done to fully understand the transport mechanisms and how it is coupled to the ferroelectric switching,” he acknowledges. Tunable and mechanically robust ferroelectric ionic plastic crystals Prof. Zheng Liu and Prof. Junling Wang discussed the challenges that they and their colleagues encountered in conducting their study published in Nature Communications. “With reduced dimension, ferroelectricity – namely, long-range electric-dipole order – becomes fragile owing to the depolarization field that is opposing its own electric polarization,” Liu tells Phys.org. “The depolarization field inherently arises in ferroelectric materials due to the imperfect screening of bound charges,” that is, those bound to molecules and so cannot move in response to an external electromagnetic force. The difficulty lies in maintaining a precise geometry, Liu adds, because when the ferroelectric material’s thickness is reduced to its two-dimensional limit, the depolarization field can increase by orders of magnitude. At that point, the depolarization field may place the ferroelectric material into a paraelectric state, the result being disordered electric dipoles with a temporary polarization only when in the presence of an electric field. Therefore, the electrical boundary conditions are extremely important when exploring ferroelectricity at the material’s 2D limit. Moreover, he adds, reporting the experimental observation of switchable polarization in CuInP2S6 films down to 4 nm at room temperature, thickness reduction will greatly weaken the out-of-plane ferroelectric polarization. “This makes characterization of the ferroelectricity very difficult. Moreover, the large ionic conductivity of this material makes the polarization switching quite challenging. We therefore had to choose a small electric field that is just above the coercive field to avoid unwanted ionic motion.”Other concerns include demonstrating the potential of this 2D ferroelectric material by preparing a van der Waals ferroelectric diode formed by CuInP2S6/Si heterostructure. “In the case of CuInP2S6, the chemical composition and phase stability also play a role in stabilizing ferroelectric states – and in the 2D limit, it is difficult to determine the ferroelectricity with traditional methods, such as the time-dependent ferroelectric hysteresis loop measurement, due to large leakage current,” lead author Liu Fucai points out. Regarding potential, he explains that due to the relatively large band gap and thus weak light absorption, few-layer CuInP2S6 appears almost transparent on silicon (Si) substrate. “This situation makes the fabrication of the van der Waals heterostructure quite challenging during the lithography process.” Figure 3 | Ferroelectric polarization switching by PFM for CIPS flakes with different thicknesses. (a) The I–V curves from the typical vdW CIPS/Si diode with 30 nm thick CIPS, by sweeping the bias from 2.5 to −2.5 V, and then back to 2.5 V. Inset is the schematic of the device. (b) Resistance-switching voltage hysteresis loop of the diode measured at a bias voltage of −1.3 V. The schematic representations of the ON and OFF states with respect to the polarization direction are shown in the bottom-left and top-right insets, respectively. (c) Out-of-plane PFM amplitude (black) and phase (blue) measurements on the same diode device shown in a. Credit: Fucai Liu, Lu You, Kyle L. Seyler, Xiaobao Li, Peng Yu et al. Room-temperature ferroelectricity in CuInP2S6 ultrathin flakes. Nature Communications 7, Article number: 12357 (2016). Copyright © 2016, Rights Managed by Nature Publishing Group. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. “By driving the AC field at the first harmonic contact resonance,” Wang continues, “the piezoelectric oscillation signal can be greatly enhanced. Thus, the small ferroelectric polarization of the ultrathin CuInP2S6 flakes can still be detected by the AFM, as the signal has been amplified by orders of magnitude. This advanced PFM technique helps us to image the fine domain structure with nanometer lateral resolution and picometer vertical resolution, and thereby realize local ferroelectric switching using an AFM probe.”The paper discusses novel applications, including sensors, actuators, non-volatile memory devices, and various van der Waals heterostructures based on 2D ferroelectricity. “By virtue of the piezoelectric effect, ferroelectric materials always have the piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties that allow the use of atomically-thin CuInP2S6 as a strain sensor with high flexibility, such as electric skin monitoring human body motion,” Liu tells Phys.org. “By using the pyroelectric effect, 2D CuInP2S6 could also be used for thermal energy harvesting, and as we know, commercially available ferroelectric random access memory, or FeRAM” – random-access memory similar to DRAM – “with fast writing speed and low-power consumption, but with destructive readout could be improved by employing a ferroelectric diode to achieve non-destructive readout of the information. Considering the quasi-freestanding nature of 2D materials, ferroelectric diodes, or even ferroelectric tunnel junctions with an atomically thin ferroelectric layer may have a much higher ON/OFF ratio, providing the possibility of high-density ferroelectric memories with non-destructive readout.”Regarding the relationship between, and potential applications deriving from, ferro- and piezoelectric effects and van der Waals heterostructure interactions, Liu notes that vertically stacking of different 2D materials with van der Waals force have revealed unusual properties and have been investigated for the application of tunneling transistors, light emitting diodes, and light harvesting devices. “Incorporating ferroelectricity to the van der Waals heterostructure could demonstrate new functionality, such as ferroelectric field transistors and optoelectronic memory, by combining CuInP2S6 with 2D semiconductors.” © 2016 Phys.orglast_img read more

Petition filed in HC over NEET fiasco

first_imgKolkata: A writ petition was filed at Calcutta High Court on Wednesday, pointing out the errors in the Bengali translation of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) question paper this year. Apala Debnath, a medical aspirant, had filed the petition, drawing the attention of the court to the ambiguity and mistakes that had occurred in the examination. It was mentioned in the petition that there were 180 mistakes out of 180 questions in the Bengali version of the NEET question paper. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe medical aspirants who appeared for the examination with Bengali as the medium were confused by the ambiguity, meaningless and incomplete Bengali translation. Most of these students became nervous and hence could not answer the questions which were known to them.It was not possible for the Bengali version students to finish all answers within 3 hours. The petitioner had also raised questions on the role of CBSE, which conducted the examination. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe petition also stated that the students of Bengal were compelled to appear for the examination with xerox copies of question paper and OMR answer sheet. Such incidents were reported on the day of examination as well. The petitioner pointed out that such activities were the result of absolute negligence on the part of CBSE.The petitioner moved to Calcutta High Court, seeking its intervention as neither the Centre nor the CBSE took any initiatives in this regard, particularly after Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to the Union Human Resources Development Ministry, calling for a re-examination.Following the incident, the city doctors had also written to the Chief Minister and Prime Minister, seeking their intervention.last_img read more

Uber offers free helicopter rides for a day in Thailand

first_imgUber Technologies Inc have chosen Bangkok, known for its chaotic traffic, as the first city in Southeast Asia to introduce a one-day free trial for its helicopter service, after launching it in key global metro cities, including Bangalore. Chan Park, Uber’s regional general manager for Southeast Asia, said Bangkok is one of the worst cities in the world for traffic congestion.”This provides high potential for alternative transport platforms,” Bangkok Post quoted him as saying on Thursday. Thailand is among its three fastest-growing markets for its taxi app service in Southeast Asia, it said. Uber Technologies Inc, the smartphone-based cab service company will offer free helicopter rides on demand to Bangkok customers on Sunday from 11am to 3pm. If the request is accepted, the lucky rider and a friend will be picked up in a Mercedes-Benz car to board a helicopter that will give them an exclusive tour of Bangkok.  Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashThe number of Uber’s mobile app downloads is expected to increase as a result of the helicopter campaign, Park said. “One of Uber’s goals everywhere is changing the way our riders and driver partners connect to their city, and we are excited to be bringing UberCopter for the first time to Thailand.”We hope it gives Bangkok a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the city from a totally new perspective,” he said. UberCopter, or UberChopper as it is known in many markets, launched as a trial service from New York to the Hamptons in 2013.It has since been offered on a trial basis in other cities around the world including Bangalore, Cape Town, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai.last_img read more

Lessons to be learned from laptop ban says IATA

first_img Tuesday, November 14, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Posted by ABU DHABI — Better information sharing and coordination on security measures among governments and with the industry is essential, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, in a keynote address to the IATA AVSEC World Conference in Abu Dhabi.“The failure to share information among states manifests itself in many ways. The differing responses by governments to the threats that resulted in this year’s ban on Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) on some routes by the US and UK is an example of the confusion that can result,” said de Juniac.“Governments and the industry are partners in aviation security. Airlines have operational know-how. Governments have the financial and intelligence resources. We have to put them together effectively in a continuous dialogue focused on improving security.”No one can predict the next security challenge but “our common defense is stronger when governments and industry work together,” he said. “And if we can avoid long term extraterritorial measures, focus on global standards, share information and develop technology efficiently, our hand is strengthened even further.”More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalGovernments must avoid the long-term use of extraterritorial measures and ensure that airlines are not left to bear the financial brunt of unplanned expenses for an indeterminate period, he added.“Threats to aviation are real. And we understand that sometimes unilateral additional measures of an extraterritorial nature may be unavoidable. But these cannot be long-term solutions and airlines should not be caught in the middle, picking up the pieces and bearing unplanned expenses for an indeterminate period when governments cannot agree on measures needed for the security of their citizens.”The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirement that airlines conduct interviews with passengers flying to the US is an example of an extraterritorial requirement, he said. “Such interviews are traditionally done by government authorities. In the short term airlines may seem to be the best positioned to conduct the interviews. But in the long-term, if governments believe that these interviews are critical, then governments themselves should work together to dedicate the resources needed to fulfill that function.”center_img Lessons to be learned from laptop ban, says IATA Share Tags: IATAlast_img read more

Crystal marks construction milestone for new Crystal Endeavor

Crystal marks construction milestone for new Crystal Endeavor Set to debut in 2020, Crystal Endeavor will be the largest purpose-built Polar Class ship featuring Crystal’s all-suite butler-serviced accommodations and celebrated service.More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughts“We look forward to this innovative expedition yacht with great anticipation in the Stralsund shipyard,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay. “A highlight is our investment of over 20 million euros in new equipment so that the Stralsund shipyard will be able to continue to build cruise ships efficiently in the future.”Crystal is on track for major expansion over the next five years, with the addition of Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel river ships in addition to Crystal Endeavor. Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Posted by Travelweek Group Tags: Crystal Cruises MIAMI — Crystal celebrated a major milestone in Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises’ expansion, with the steel cutting of Crystal Endeavor in Stralsund, Germany.At the official ceremony at MV WERFTEN Shipyard on Jan. 15, Crystal president and CEO tom Wolber was joined by Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman and CEO of Crystal’s parent company, Genting Hong Kong (GHK); Colin Au, group president of GHK; Jarmo Laakso, CEO of MV WERFTEN; and local dignitaries Harry Glawe, Economics Minister of the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and Dr. Alexander Badrow, Lord Mayor of Stralsund.“Today is a special day in the development of Crystal Endeavor, which will introduce the next level of exploration for the Crystal brand,” Wolber said. “We are pleased to collaborate again with the experts at MV WERFTEN as we work toward a vision for Crystal Endeavor that truly embodies the spirit of discovery of Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises.” read more

Carnival Corp is moving these two Costa ships to China

first_imgCarnival Corp. is moving these two Costa ships to China Travelweek Group Tags: Carnival Corporation, China, Costa Cruises << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, November 6, 2018 center_img Share MIAMI — Two ships are leaving the Costa fleet and heading to China to serve that country’s growing cruise market.The first of these ships, the 85,861-ton, 2,210-passenger Costa Atlantica, is scheduled to be transferred by the end of 2019. Costa Atlantica’s sister ship, the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea, will be transferred at a date still to be announced.Both ships are heading to a new Chinese cruise division, CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited, the result of a new joint venture between Costa Cruises’ parent company Carnival Corp. and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).  “The official launch of our cruise joint venture in China is a significant milestone in the strategic development of a strong and sustainable cruise industry in China,” said Arnold Donald, CEO, Carnival Corporation. “Together with our partners, we are excited about our ability to launch a new cruise line in China based on existing ships and new China-built cruise ships tailored for Chinese travellers.” Posted bylast_img read more

Anver Anderson Sloveniabased teleport operator ST

first_imgAnver AndersonSlovenia-based teleport operator STN has named Anver Anderson as its new general manager.Anderson, who previously ran his own consultancy business, will be responsible for implementing on-going and new initiatives including global sales, marketing outreach and team development.Anderson has worked for a number of companies in a long career in the satellite business, including BT, Inmarsat, Europe*Star, Newtec and Signalhorn.last_img

Editors note This story is about infanticide — t

first_imgEditor’s note: This story is about infanticide — the killing of a newborn baby — and includes graphic descriptions of that practice.We had to pass two strictly-manned, massive gates to access the inner courtyard of the prison in Thies, the third largest city in Senegal. The women’s ward was off to the right, behind another wall and another smaller gate. It was like a small house, a cramped concrete structure without cells or bars. On the ground, mattresses were pressed against each other, blanketing the concrete floor. Women sat languidly on them or clustered in the courtyard outside.We were here to speak to women accused of infanticide — killing their newborn baby. It is the second-most common reason women are in jail in Senegal (drug trafficking is number one.). In 2015, 19 percent of the country’s 283 female prisoners were in prison for the crime of infanticide, according to the United Nations Office for Human Rights in West Africa. “It’s a practice, it’s a very common practice,” says Moustapha Diakhaté, a member of parliament, “it’s terrible, there are an enormous number of cases. There is a lot of infanticide in Senegal.”In some countries, like China and India, this practice has been employed by families for gender selection: families who prefer boys choose to kill infant girls. But in Senegal, experts say, infanticide is not related to gender. Rather, it is a response to taboo pregnancies, carried out mostly in isolation by women. “I hid [my pregnancy] because I was surprised and I was in shock. I was also scared of what my in-laws would say,” said F, a woman imprisoned for infanticide.Due to the immense stigma and social ostracization around the practice, the five women we interviewed asked that their identity be protected. They are identified by their first initial.The women we interviewed had what would be termed an “unwanted pregnancy” in public health jargon, but the term doesn’t capture the profundity of their feelings. An impossible pregnancy might be closer. One teenager was raped while working as a maid. Another woman had a brief extramarital affair after her husband left the country for work and she was living with her in-laws. “In our society, when a girl has sexual relations outside of marriage it’s a dishonor for the family, even worse when she gets pregnant. The two make a double dishonor,” explains Abdoulaye Thiam, director of the National School of Social Work in Dakar. “The women prefer to get rid of the baby.”The imprisoned women we interviewed were either convicted of infanticide or waiting to be judged — in 2015 over half of the country’s female inmates were in pre-trial detentions, which can last for years. Some women accused of infanticide don’t receive a verdict for five years.Their memories were often cloudy and fragmented, as is typical for people experiencing severe trauma. They described feelings of paranoia, panic and shame. Sometimes their stories shifted midway through. Their complicated emotions, justifications and choices in impossible situations show how human the issue is.Some of them cried as they were being interviewed.”Those who commit infanticide are not in a normal psychological state. When you light a match or when a spoon falls she jumps. She believes someone is always chasing her,” says Abdou Fodé Sow, director of Maison Rose, a safe house for women facing domestic violence in Dakar. The charity has hosted women accused of infanticide who were disowned by their families.”For the media [in Senegal], these women are monsters,” said Amy Sakho, a lawyer with the Association of Senegalese Women Lawyers, a women’s rights organization that advocates for and represents women facing myriad legal issues, including infanticide. “I often tell [journalists] to try to see what could be behind this, to try to understand how she could have come to this after carrying her baby for nine months.”Some experts believe that the strict abortion laws in Senegal are a contributing factor. “The link we must make is between an unwanted pregnancy and infanticide. Those who commit infanticide could not access a safe abortion,” said Dr. Seynabou Ba, a technical adviser at the Ministry of Health. Abortions are illegal in Senegal except when the health of the mother is in danger — and even then only with the consent of two doctors and a prosecutor. That kind of consent is nearly impossible to obtain. A task force of women lawyers, activists and lawmakers are working to change the law to allow abortions in the case of rape, incest and health of the mother, but the proposed bill is still at the ministerial level, and so far there is no date set to vote on it in parliament.Even those who believe abortion laws should be more liberal aren’t sure that would bring down the number of instances of infanticide. Sakho, the lawyer, says of her clients: “When I ask if she had the possibility to abort, she responds that it’s forbidden … all she knows is that abortion is prohibited by the law and above all by religion.” Senegal is a majority Muslim and deeply religious country.”We realize that the law comes at the end of a process. We are working first on society, mentalities and acceptance,” Dr. Ba said. Activists have held public debates on TV and radio to try to gently bring people around to the idea that in the cases of rape or incest, abortion could be permissible. But it’s a sensitive topic. When a mid-level imam issued a fatwa condemning abortion last year, the pro-reform activists paused activities for a few months.She Had An Affair And Hid Her PregnancyF told us that her husband was away from home for seven years, looking for work in Mauritania and then Gabon. During that time, F said, she slept with another man — just once — and got pregnant.She cried as she described the affair. She said the man put a spell on her to seduce her: “I was never an easy woman. I just don’t know what made me make a choice like that.”Living with her in-laws, she tried to conceal the pregnancy. “There were certain family members who suspected, but each time, I denied it, up until I delivered,” she said.F delivered in her bedroom alone, then said she fainted. She claimed that the baby was stillborn and that her family found her with the child in the room. But in her case file there is a photograph of the child’s body, just removed from the septic tank.Free After 3 Years In PrisonE was around 12 or 13 when she married. She had her first child soon after. After her third child, her husband died. She never remarried but went on to have four more children with another man. When he went blind, she became the family’s sole breadwinner, carrying basins of water from a well to a nearby construction site and selling drinking water to the masons.During her eighth pregnancy she continued her work and says she was exhausted, earning just a couple of dollars a day. When she delivered at home, E said the baby boy was stillborn, and she buried him in her yard. Two days later the police arrived and arrested her. She was found guilty of infanticide and sentenced to six years in prison. After three years, she was released for good behavior.Now she lives in a small coastal town and works on her brother’s farm in exchange for a small home and some food for her children. E spoke softly, sitting with hunched shoulders on the floor. While she acknowledged she is still suffering, she is grateful to be out of jail. “It’s better to be free without money than trapped between four walls,” she said.The Infant Was Thrown In A Septic Tank — And SurvivedN’s mother tried to kill her the day she was born. Her mother, B, was a student when she got pregnant. “I did not have my head in the pregnancy. I was never sick. The only thing I was thinking of was my studies,” she said.She delivered at home with her boyfriend, who told her to throw the baby in the septic tank. They did, then B went to school. She fainted and her teachers took her to the hospital, where the doctors determined she had just given birth. Though she denied it, the police went home and found newborn N alive in the septic tank. She still has a scar on her cheek where her face hit the edge of the tank when her parents threw her in. When N survived, B said, “I cried a lot, I regretted what I had done. I always said, if one day God gives me a child, I would take care of it.”Now three years old, N lives with her maternal grandmother while her mother serves time in prison for attempted infanticide.Ricci Shryock and Allyn Gaestel reported from Senegal with support from the International Women’s Media Foundation. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Did Ann Coulters Twitter Tirade Break a Law

first_img Add to Queue Did Ann Coulter’s Twitter Tirade Break a Law? –shares Airlines Image credit: BraunS | Getty Images A recent public battle between political commentator Ann Coulter and Delta has brought a question to light: What rights do travelers have when it comes to snapping pics and videos onboard aircrafts?After she was moved to a different seat on a Delta flight from New York City to Florida on Saturday, July 15, Coulter took to Twitter to express her anger over the matter. Having paid an extra $30 in advance for a seat with extra legroom, Coulter published a series of angry Tweets, calling the airline “fascists,” insulting the crew members and the flight’s passengers and going on to publicly argue with the company.  Related: United Airlines Passenger Dragged Off Plane by Airport EmployeesIn response, Delta promised to refund Coulter $30, issuing a statement apologizing for the mix-up, while also saying: “We are disappointed that the customer has chosen to publicly attack our employees and other customers by posting derogatory and slanderous comments and photos in social media. Her actions are unnecessary and unacceptable.”   During her Twitter tirade, Coulter also snapped and tweeted a photograph of the person sitting in her previously booked seat. In another tweet, she even insulted the woman, calling her “dachshund-legged.”Hey @Delta, if it was so important for the dachshund-legged woman to take my seat, she should have BOOKED THE SEAT IN ADVANCE. Like I did.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 16, 2017Taking photos and videos onboard an aircraft has been a grey area for some time now. And it turns out that might be because there’s no official policy set by the Federal Aviation Administration about photography onboard an aircraft. Instead, it’s up to the airlines.However, without the help of smartphones and social media, events such as David Dao being forcibly dragged off the United flight in April may have gone unnoticed. Yet, it turns out, the people who took the videos of the incident could have also been removed from the flight for violating United’s policy, which reads: “The use of small cameras or mobile devices for photography and video is permitted on board, provided you keep the purpose of your photography and video to capturing personal events. Photographing or recording other customers or airline personnel without their express consent is prohibited.”United is not the only airline to have such a policy, however it is one of the few to publish one online. American Airlines, JetBlue and Delta also reportedly have similar policies in place, however these airlines have internal policies that give airline employees the rights to prohibit people from taking photos as a means to “protect” the privacy of airline employees.Related: 10 Ways to Travel the World Without Breaking the BankIn a May 26 email from American Airlines CEO Doug Parker shared today by a company spokesperson with Entrepreneur, Parker wrote: “When videotaping infringes on the safety or security of a flight, we have the right to request that filming stop… American has a policy asking customers not to film onboard or at airports, but there is no federal law or regulation that prevents it. Nor will law enforcement require customers to delete photos or videos they’ve taken.”It turns out, it’s not only on aircrafts where photography is often prohibited. In 2016, former Mashable writer David Yi took a video of an American Airlines gate agent speaking to passengers of a delayed American flight. Upon seeing Yi filming, the gate agent said: “Sir, if you’re recording, that’s against the law. We can take you to jail for that.” Shortly after the incident, local police escorted Yi out of the Charlotte airport.Dear @AmericanAir I just witnessed this man berate and attempt to intimidate 30 people stranded in Charlotte pic.twitter.com/z2QyYsZyCj— David Yi (@seoulcialite) August 4, 2016While photography is acceptable in airports because they are considered “public” areas, the case is different when it comes to aircrafts. “Individuals are free to take photos/videos in the checkpoints. Checkpoints are public areas,” TSA representative Lisa Farbstein shared. However, once you’re on an aircraft — beware.“You can’t prohibit photography in public,” Daniel Greenberg, an attorney who specializes in photography rights issues, told the Huffington Post. “But the prohibition of photography on private property is legitimate. That decision is up to the property owner. If you don’t want to follow the carrier’s rules, don’t get on the carrier’s plane.” Next Article Apply Now »center_img The conservative commentator’s recent run-in with Delta Airlines raises the question: Do passengers have the right to take photos on aircraft? 4 min read July 17, 2017 The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Rose Leadem 2019 Entrepreneur 360 Listlast_img read more

Robot Babies Do Not Curb Teen Pregnancy

first_img Reporter at PCMag Register Now » 2 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Robot Babies Do Not Curb Teen Pregnancy High school sex-ed programs have come a long way since flour babies and fragile egg infants.Students across the world are being tasked with looking after a bundle of robotic joy to educate kids about the pressures of parenting. But the effort to prevent teenage pregnancy has possibly backfired — at least in Australia, where 57 institutions took part in a study conducted by the Telethon Kids Institute at The University of Western Australia.The six-day Virtual Infant Parenting (VIP) program included educational sessions, a documentary about teen moms and an infant simulator. For two days, one group of girls cared for a lifelike doll that cried when it needed to be fed, burped, rocked or changed; another control group did not. An internal monitoring system documented mishandling, crying time, the number of changes and general care.The girls were 13 to 15 at the time; program organizers then checked in with them periodically until age 20 to see if they had become pregnant. According to their findings, those enrolled in the VIP program experienced higher rates of pregnancy and termination: 8 percent (97 of 1,267) had at least one birth, compared to 4 percent (67 of 1,567) in the control group. Similarly, 9 percent (113/1,267) underwent an abortion, vs. 6 percent (101/1,567).”Our study shows that the pregnancy prevention program… does not reduce the risk of pregnancy in teenage girls,” lead author Sally Brinkman of the Telethon Kids Institute, said in a statement. “In fact, the risk of pregnancy is actually increased.”It remains unclear exactly why the program failed, though the girls only had to care for their robot babies for two days, presumably not enough time for them to have to cope with missing out on normal teen activities or deal with the financial pressure of being a teen mom. As London-based youth counselor Janette Collins told the Financial Times in October, these programs can give girls the confidence to cope with motherhood.There’s also the fact that fathers are left out of the experiment.According to the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. teen birth rate for those ages 15 to 19 dropped 19 percent between 2013 and 2014 to 249,078. Overall, it has dropped 61 percent since 1991, but it is still higher than many other developed countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom. Stephanie Mlot Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business August 29, 2016 Robots Image credit: VIP via PC Mag Add to Queue –shares Next Article This story originally appeared on PCMaglast_img read more

Study elucidates genetic causes of severe cardiomyopathies in children

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 7 2018Cardiac muscle degeneration (cardiomyopathy) is the most common cause of severe cardiac dysfunction and life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias in children. These severe disorders often lead to consideration of heart transplant. However, their actual cause – the genetic basis – has been poorly characterized.A collaborative effort of pediatric cardiologists of Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki, led by Docent Tiina Ojala and Academy Professor Anu Suomalainen Wartiovaara, with Catalina Vasilescu, MSc, as the lead author, succeeded to collect a globally unique KidCMP cohort of children with severe cardiomyopathies from the past 21 years, and analyzed them genetically.Related StoriesCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsMolecular switches may control lifespan and healthspan separately, genetic discovery suggestsThe unique patient collection was enabled by the local cardiology clinic being the only center of cardiac transplantations in Finland. The median age of diagnosis of our patients with severe disease was just four months.Using Next-Generation DNA sequencing methodology with rigorous subsequent validation of findings, the investigators uncovered the genetic causes in 40% of the patients.”The results highlighted an extremely variable genetic background, each family presenting a different pathogenic variant that often arose during the patient’s own embryonal development”, Professor Wartiovaara tells.The authors discovered that the genetic knowledge had direct implications for predicting the disease course and treatment decisions.”All children had life-threatening diseases early on, and some genetic defects predicted a primarily progressive disorder requiring cardiac transplant. However, if intensively treated, some gene defects predicted a recuperative course, without a transplant”, Dr. Ojala says.Personalized medicine is one of the goals of the current medical research, where the understanding of the genetic cause and disease mechanism in each individual will promote tailored forms of treatment. The study published by the University of Helsinki investigators makes an important step in this direction by deciphering genetic causes in children and their implications for treatment decisions. Source:https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/health-news/genetic-study-clarifies-the-causes-of-the-most-severe-heart-muscle-diseases-of-childrenlast_img read more

Apple reaches 500mlneuro tax settlement with France

first_img Apple paid nearly 500 million euros ($570 million) to resolve the case in a confidential settlement reached in December, a source familiar with the case told AFP, confirming a report in French news weekly L’Express.”The French tax administration recently concluded a multiyear audit on the company’s French accounts and an adjustment will be published in our public accounts,” Apple said in a statement. “We know the important role taxes play in society and we pay our taxes in all the countries where we operate, in complete conformity with laws and practices in force at the local level,” the company said.French authorities declined to comment further, citing the confidentiality of tax matters.French tech tax loomsApple is one of several American technology giants in the line of fire in Europe over their tax strategies, which see them route their income through low-tax nations such as Ireland or Luxembourg.In 2016, it was ordered by the European Commission to pay 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland.The European Commission said Apple paid an effective corporate tax rate of just 0.005 percent on its European profits in 2014—equivalent to just 50 euros for every million.The deal in France comes as the government prepares to push ahead with its own unilateral “GAFA tax”—an acronym of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon—faced with the failure of EU members to agree on how to get technology companies to pay more tax on their European operations.The levy, to be put to parliament in a bill this month, would affect companies with global sales of more than 750 million euros and 25 million euros in France.It would be retroactive to January 1 and is expected to raise 500 million euros this year.French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has called the question of how and where global companies pay their taxes “a major issue in the 21st century”.But an agreement among EU members has proved elusive.Ireland, Denmark and Sweden have all blocked plans for a levy for fear of dissuading investment, and Germany has proved lukewarm on the issue, fearing US retaliation against its car industry.The issue has been referred to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which aims to come up with an international agreement by 2020.Scramble to settleAccording to L’Express, the deal between France and Apple was clinched after several months of talks, and concerned the small amount of revenue the firm booked in France even as the sales it reported in Europe ballooned.The report said Apple’s European revenues exploded seven-fold, from 6.6 billion euros in 2008 to 47.7 billion in 2017, most of which was booked in Ireland where Apple has its European headquarters.At 12.5 percent, Ireland’s corporate tax rate is much lower than in France, where companies pay 33 percent tax on their profits.Apple insisted Tuesday that it was contributing to the French economy, saying it had invested 800 million euros on outsourcing in the country in 2018.It is the second US tech heavyweight to reach a settlement with French tax authorities in the past year.In February 2018, Amazon said it had settled a French claim for nearly 200 million euros and would start declaring all its earnings in the country, ending a dispute that had dragged on for years.In 2017, however, France’s tax collection drive suffered a setback with a local court ruling that Google was not liable to pay 1.1 billion euros in taxes claimed on revenues transferred from France to Ireland.Anti-globalisation groups have criticised the government’s push to settle cases out of court.”If you steal to eat you go to prison. When the GAFAM (GAFA plus Microsoft) steal billions the state does an out-of-court deal,” the anti-capitalist group Attac France tweeted on Tuesday. Apple said Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with French authorities to settle 10 years of back taxes, becoming the latest US company to make a deal with France, which has led a European push for higher taxes on tech giants. 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. © 2019 AFP Citation: Apple reaches 500-mln-euro tax settlement with France (2019, February 5) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-apple-agreement-french-taxes.htmlcenter_img France seeks 600 mn in taxes from Microsoft: report Explore further Apple confirmed it has reached a settlement with French authorities on back taxeslast_img read more

NFL training camp 2019 NFC West preview

first_imgGoff never looked comfortable with the stage or his opposition as the Patriots’ defense strangled the life out of the Rams offense in Atlanta, and his upcoming fourth year will be one in which he will have to rise to the challenge of dissecting opponents that will be out to emulate New England’s success. It’s largely on Goff to ensure that Los Angeles doesn’t suffer a Super Bowl hangover in a difficult division.Key InjuryJimmy Garoppolo, knee: The word is the Niners’ quarterback is “good to go” for training camp after tearing his ACL in Week 3 last season, but how he progresses in his return to padded practices should be closely monitored, as it his performances that are most likely to determine whether the West becomes a three-horse race in 2019.For all the good work Nick Mullens did last year, the Niners will go as far as Garoppolo does in a crucial third year for Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch. For them to have a chance of winning the division or just reaching the postseason, they need Garoppolo firing on all cylinders as soon as possible. NFL training camp 2019: NFC South preview NFL training camp 2019: NFC North preview How do you overcome a Super Bowl hangover in a division likely to be one of the toughest in the NFL in 2019?That is the conundrum the Rams face as they try to put their letdown against the Patriots in February behind them. Here’s the outlook for the NFC West heading into training camp:Team on the riseSan Francisco 49ersMany predicted the Niners to challenge for the playoffs last year. The loss of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to injury in September put that to bed, but with Garoppolo back under center, the Niners appear better poised for a push in 2019.The pass rush should go from a weakness to a strength after the arrivals of Dee Ford and Nick Bosa, who join DeForest Buckner on a stacked defensive front, which will hope to force considerably more turnovers than the record low of seven the 49ers produced last year.With Kyle Shanahan calling the plays for Garoppolo, an offense featuring star tight end George Kittle and a talented cast of young skill-position players, San Francisco’s attack should be prolific enough to keep the Niners in every game.Team on the declineSeattle SeahawksIt would be easy to predict a slide for the Rams after their Super Bowl heartache. However, beyond the departures of Lamarcus Joyner, Rodger Saffold and Ndamukong Suh, they have kept largely intact the roster that fell a win short of claiming the Lombardi Trophy and found a quality replacement for Joyner in Eric Weddle.The Seahawks, meanwhile, continue to embrace a youth movement on both sides of the ball having seen receiver Doug Baldwin retire and safety Earl Thomas depart.There will be significant pressure on D.K. Metcalf to perform as a rookie and take the pressure off top receiver Tyler Lockett, but that is a lot to ask of a wideout who displayed limited agility as a route-runner in college.However, the bigger problem is on defense, where the trade of star pass rusher Frank Clark has left Seattle relying on first-round pick L.J. Collier, injury-prone Ziggy Ansah and retread Cassius Marsh to pressure the quarterback. The Seahawks should still compete for the playoffs, but their lack of an adequate replacement for Clark could see them on the outside looking in.Rookies to WatchKyler Murray, QB, Cardinals: The story of the draft could become the story of the season if Murray lives up to the billing and sets the league afire as a rookie. To do so he will likely to have to mitigate the impact of an offensive line that was one of NFL’s worst in 2018 with his running ability. Every practice and preseason snap he takes until Week 1 will be intensely scrutinized as the Cardinals’ gamble is continually evaluated.Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers: Bosa could have been a Cardinal had Arizona opted to stick with Josh Rosen. Instead he will be hunting down Murray twice a season and the pass-rusher, along with trade acquisition Ford, will be crucial to San Francisco’s defense reaching to a new level. If Bosa is to have an impact similar to older brother Joey, he will have to put the injury bug behind him. He missed almost all of his final year at Ohio State with a core muscle injury and a hamstring issue left him sidelined for the 49ers’ minicamp.Player SpotlightJared GoffThough Goff does not have to prove anything in camp, he can expect to be under even greater scrutiny in 2019 after crumbling under the bright lights in Super Bowl 53. Aiming to derail their challenge will be a Seahawks team that will remain competitive as long as Russell Wilson is under center, while the 49ers should be in the mix if their quarterback can stay healthy and return to his 2017 form.The combination of Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury could be an explosive one for the Cardinals and should that prove the case that the NFC West may be the most fascinating division in football. Related News NFL training camp 2019: NFC East previewlast_img read more

What Are Rock Cairns

first_imgRock cairns are human-made stacks, mounds or piles of rocks. They take different forms, and have been built by cultures around the world for many different purposes. Cairns may serve as monuments, burial sites, navigational aids (by land or sea), or ceremonial grounds, among other uses. They may stand alone, in clusters, or in a network of related cairns; for example, as trail markers in a park. Larger cairns can withstand time and weather, and archaeologists believe that some examples are hundreds of years old. Rock cairns are considered cultural features, or parts of a landscape built by humans. They’re similar to works built with larger stones, such as megaliths, earthen mounds or stone geoglyphs, which are stones arranged to outline an image when seen from above. Cairns aren’t just structures — their locations may be carefully chosen, and the construction process or ceremonial use may be culturally important. Because of this, rock cairns can be “very difficult to understand without looking at a landscape scale,” said María Nieves Zedeño, an archaeologist at the University of Arizona. [Spectacular Images Reveal Mysterious Stone Structures in Saudi Arabia]Advertisement Mysterious ‘Super-Henge’ Found Near StonehengeHigh resolution ground-penetrating radar and other archeological technologies has revealed up to 9 large intentionally placed stones outlining a crescent-shaped arena less than 2 miles away from the well-known Stonehenge in the UK Durrington Walls area. The site was home to a large Neolithic prehistoric settlement built about 4,500 yearsago.Volume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65687-rock-cairns.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0001:2001:20Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball00:29Video – Giggly Robot02:31Surgical Robotics关闭  Learn more about Zedeño’s work on buffalo jumps at Archaeology.org Certain forms of rock cairns are still used today, for example, as trail markers. Credit: Shutterstock Read a statement about rock cairns from the National Park Service. Trail markers and art projects While many cairn traditions are very old, one type of cairn-building feels distinctly modern. There’s a controversial trend of artistically stacking stones in the wilderness, expressly to post pictures to social media. Conservationists criticize these amateur stacks, saying they can be confused for trail markers, and lead hikers astray. They also note that these amateur piles can disturb wildlife when they’re built or fall apart and that they leave a human mark in places that should be left in a more natural state. Most of these artistic stone stacks are not easily confused with older cairns, which, over hundreds of years, have had soil and vegetation build up around the rocks. Historical cairns may be so old that they’ve sunken into the ground, have been covered in lichen, or are otherwise obscured from view. The scale is also typically different. Older cairns may be made of stones too large for a single person to easily move, or they may consist of thousands of individual rocks. For example, at a Mohican stone memorial pile at Monument Mountain, in western Massachusetts, it was customary for visitors to add a stone. The votive cairn was 18 feet long and 6 feet high when it was first described in detail by a colonist in 1762, said Lucianne Lavin, the director of research and collections at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Connecticut.center_img View cairns in a location database from Historic Environment Scotland. What were rock cairns for? The word cairn comes from Scottish Gaelic. In Scotland, burial cairns are well-known, but there are many possible uses for cairns, which vary from culture to culture. In the West, native peoples have sometimes constructed burial cairns, Zedeño said, but there’s no clear evidence for astrology-based cairn positions. Instead, at memorial sites that are sometimes confusingly called medicine wheels, a central cairn might be surrounded by other cairns that point toward important places in a person’s life. In Montana, Zedeño has studied a series of cairns built around 500 years ago by the ancestors of modern-day Blackfeet Indians to funnel herds of buffalo to their death at cliff sites called buffalo jumps. The cairn construction displays a great deal of organization and understanding of buffalo behavior. “A site could have anywhere from 500 to 5,000 cairns,” Zedeño said. “It’s very large-scale landscape engineering.” In the northeastern United States, grave sites are just one possible context for cairns, Lavin said. They take other forms, including animal effigies and split stones filled with smaller rocks that are considered portals to the underworld. There are also stone ceremonial grounds that were built in spiritually significant places, with astrological stones that marked the position of celestial bodies in the sky at the start and end of dayslong festivals. But the origin or purpose of Native American cairns or other stone features is often disputed in the region. “There are some archaeologists who think that everything is farm clearing,” Lavin said. In other words, the stones are just piles of rocks that have been pulled from an agricultural field. “There are other archaeologists, including myself, who realize that there are a diversity of features out there.” She points to records from settlers, like the accounts of Monument Mountain, as evidence that Native Americans were building stone structures in Colonial America. The question isn’t just academic. Cairns are sometimes destroyed by construction, and recognition of these sites by the government is critical to preserving their ongoing cultural value to Native Americans, Lavin said. Additional resources: Correction: This article was updated on June 17, 2019 to state that the ancient cairns in northeastern United States may have served various cultural purposes and grave sites are just one possibility.last_img read more

Cabinet clears ordinance to make triple talaq penal offence

first_imgTriple talaq Bill fails Rajya Sabha test, again September 19, 2018 justice and rights Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (file photo)   –  PTI SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS It is my serious charge that despite having a woman leading the Congress, they did not lend support to the bill: Law Minister ‘Is Congress party only for Muslim men?’ SHARE The Union cabinet has cleared an ordinance to make the practice of instant triple talaq a penal offence, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Wednesday, citing compelling necessity for the move as the practice annulled by the Supreme Court continues unabated.Addressing a press conference, he accused the Congress party of not cooperating in the passage of the ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, pending in the Rajya Sabha, because of vote bank politics.Citing details of the ordinance, he said a woman or her blood relative will have to file a case before a police station to make the offence cognizable. The offence is compoundable. A compromise can also be reached before a magistrate after the affected woman consents to it, he said.’Vote bank politics’“It is my serious charge that despite having a woman leading the Congress, they did not lend support to the bill,” he told reporters.Describing the practice as “barbaric and inhuman”, he said nearly 22 countries have regulated triple talaq. However, gender justice was given a complete go-by in a secular country like India because of blatant vote bank politics.“I will again appeal to Sonia-ji that this ordinance has been brought in the interest of the country to bring gender justice. I appeal to you to rise above vote bank politics and help pass it in the interest of justice for women,” he told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.The Union minister also appealed to Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee to help in the passage of the bill pending in Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks numbers. The Lok Sabha has already passed the bill.The Supreme Court last year banned the practice. But since the practice was still prevalent, a bill was brought to make it a penal offence. COMMENT Published on RELATED last_img read more