By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 7, 2019 5:27:29 pm Bangalore news July 11 highlights: Will meet MLAs individually from tomorrow to scrutinise resignations: Speaker Ramesh Kumar “Why should I not? Let them file a complaint. If they want to put me behind the bars, I’m ready. I have taken a very big risk,” Shivakumar was quoted as saying by ANI when asked why he tore up the resignation letters of some MLAs.Follow | Karnataka crisis LIVE UpdatesBJP Karnataka chief and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa slammed Shivakumar over his behaviour and said, “He (DK Shivakumar) tore the resignation letters of some of the MLAs inside the Speaker’s office who had gone to resign. This is condemnable.” 13 Congress and JD(S) MLAs expressed their intent to resign from the party. (Express photo)The Congress-JD(S) coalition seemed to be hurtling towards a possible collapse after 13 Congress and JD(S) MLAs expressed their intent to resign from the party and tendered their resignations at the Speaker’s office. The leaders also met Governor Vajubhai Bala. However, their resignations still hang in the air as they were not presented to the Speaker of the assembly as mandated under the anti-defection law. Shivakumar firmly said that he’s ready if the MLAs file a complaint against him for his actions. (File)Amid the ongoing turmoil in the Karnataka coalition government, Congress’s “troubleshooter” and Minister D K Shivakumar Saturday admitted that he tore up resignation letters of dissident MLAs and firmly said he is ready to face action if legislators want to file a complaint against him. Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Best Of Express Bengaluru news: Top stories – July 15 DK Shivakumar: Congress’ crisis man and eternal troubleshooter Advertising Advertising After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? The Congress alleged that BJP was behind all these resignations while the saffron party denied its role in the whole matter.“Me and my party have nothing to do with developments in other rival parties. I heard through media that Congress-JDS legislators have resigned from their Karnataka Assembly seats. I’m categorically reiterating that BJP has absolutely no say on the issue,” Yeddyurappa said. Related News Hours after the turmoil, reports emerged that Shivakumar had torn the resignation letters of some MLAs. He said that he tried his best to stop the leaders from resigning. The leaders also met Governor Vajubhai Bala. (Express photo)“I have tried my level best to stop them from resigning. But they are telling some small stories. These are not reason enough for resigning. However, there is still some process. We will see,” Shivakumar told reporters.Meanwhile, the MLAs who submitted their resignations have been flown to Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel in Mumbai’s Powai.On the other hand, the Congress-JD(S) coalition has been holding a series of meetings in both Bengaluru and New Delhi to discuss the deteriorating situation. 3 Comment(s)
Senior vice president Ihssane Mounir also dismissed the launch of a longer-range single-aisle jet by rival Airbus as suitable for only a “sliver” of the market that Boeing hopes to address with a possible all-new mid-market plane.He declined to comment on the timing of Boeing’s own mid-market plane and said returning the grounded 737 MAX to service was its top priority after two deadly crashes.Boeing’s top-selling aircraft has been taken out of service worldwide since an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crashed in March, five months after a Lion Air 737 MAX plunged into the sea off Indonesia. A total of 346 people died in the two disasters. The shock announcement of a tentative order for 200 737 MAX airplanes from IAG, which operates Airbus for medium-haul routes and mainly Boeing ones for long-haul, electrified a subdued gathering overshadowed by the MAX crisis and trade tensions.Boeing had opened the show on a sombre note and suffered a further setback when General Electric disclosed a delay of months in supplying engines for the new 777X at the start of the show due to a component flaw.Mounir said he still expected the world’s largest twin-engined plane to fly this year and to be delivered in 2020. Related News Boeing deliveries fall 37%, set to lose biggest planemaker title By Reuters |Paris | Updated: June 20, 2019 4:01:23 pm Boeing reshuffles management of grounded 737 Boeing pledges $100 million to those affected by 737 Max crashes Advertising Advertising Boeing had opened the show on a sombre note and suffered a further setback when General Electric disclosed a delay of months in supplying engines for the new 777X at the start of the show due to a component flaw. (File/Representational)Boeing is in talks with other airlines for sales of its grounded 737 MAX after receiving a letter of intent for 200 planes from British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) at the Paris Airshow, its sales chief said on Thursday. Post Comment(s)
Advertising By AP |Brussels | Published: July 16, 2019 7:31:13 am EU probes Amazon over use of retailer info to gain edge The ministers said in a statement that in light of Turkey’s “continued and new illegal drilling activities,” they were suspending talks on an air transport agreement and would call on the European Investment Bank to “review” it’s lending to the country.They also backed a proposal by the EU’s executive branch to reduce financial assistance to Turkey for next year. The ministers warned that additional “targeted measures” were being worked on to penalize Turkey, which started negotiations to join the EU in 2005.Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu issued his own warning last week that his country would step up drilling activities off Cyprus if the EU moved ahead with sanctions. Former UK PM Major vows legal action to block suspension of parliament Advertising Meanwhile, Cyprus’ Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades will chair a meeting of political leaders Tuesday to discuss a renewed proposal by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa AKinci to establish a joint committee with Greek Cypriots on managing offshore gas drilling activities.Akinci has repeatedly called for the creation of such a committee that he says would give his community a say in how newly found gas deposits off Cyprus’ southern coast are managed and future proceeds are divvied up. A similar proposal was made by Akinci’s predecessor Dervis Eroglu in 2011. ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict More Explained Advertising The EU ministers repeated the “serious immediate negative impact” that Turkey’s illegal actions are having on EU-Turkey relations and called on Ankara to respect Cyprus’ sovereign rights in line with international law. (REUTERS)European Union foreign ministers on Monday turned up the pressure on Turkey after approving an initial batch of sanctions against the country over its drilling for gas in waters where EU member Cyprus has exclusive economic rights. Europe should brace for US tariffs on several fronts, says German official Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post Related News Best Of Express The Cypriot government says energy discussions with Turkish Cypriots should be part of overarching reunification talks, adding that Turkish Cypriot rights to the island’s energy reserves are assured. The government says future gas proceeds that will flow into an established hydrocarbons fund will be shared equitably after a peace deal is signed. Two Turkish vessels escorted by warships are drilling for gas on either end of ethnically divided Cyprus.The EU ministers repeated the “serious immediate negative impact” that Turkey’s illegal actions are having on EU-Turkey relations and called on Ankara to respect Cyprus’ sovereign rights in line with international law.They also welcomed the Cypriot government’s invitation to Turkey to negotiate the borders of their respective exclusive economic zones and continental shelf.Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus as a state and claims 44% of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone as its own, according to Cyprus government officials. Turkish Cypriots in the east Mediterranean island nation’s breakaway north claim another 25%. Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup by supporters of union with Greece. A Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence is recognized only by Turkey, which keeps more than 35,000 troops in the breakaway north. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, but only the internationally recognized south enjoys full membership benefits.Turkey contends that it’s protecting its rights and those of Turkish Cypriots to the area’s hydrocarbon deposits. Cypriot officials, however, accuse Turkey of using the minority Turkish Cypriots in order to pursue its goal of exerting control over the eastern Mediterranean region.The Cypriot government says it will take legal action against any oil and gas companies supporting Turkish vessels in any repeat attempt to drill for gas. Cyprus has already issued around 20 international arrest warrants against three international companies assisting one of the two Turkish vessels now drilling 42 miles (68 kilometers) off the island’s west coast.The Cyprus government has licensed energy companies including ExxonMobil, France’s Total and Italy’s Eni to carry out gas drilling in blocks, or areas, off the island’s southern coastline. At least three significant gas deposits have so far been discovered there. Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Post Comment(s)
US mulls increasing merit-based immigration to 57% City officials said traffic on the roads in Washington is likely to be snarled throughout the day thanks to numerous road closures. US House votes to set aside impeachment resolution against Trump Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China President Donald Trump said Monday that the Pentagon would put military tanks on display on Thursday in Washington as part of his plans to turn the annual Fourth of July celebration in the nation’s capital into a salute to the country’s military prowess.The tanks will join an airborne display of the nation’s firepower, including a flight of Air Force One over Washington and a performance by the Navy’s Blue Angel jets. Trump, who will be speaking at the celebration, has requested that the chiefs for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines be standing next to him as aircraft from each of their services flies overhead and their respective hymns play on loudspeakers.“It’ll be like no other, it’ll be special and I hope a lot of people come,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “We have some incredible equipment, military equipment on display — brand new. And we’re very proud of it.” By New York Times |Washington | Published: July 2, 2019 1:09:16 pm Advertising One group not happy about the idea? The City Council for the District of Columbia, which posted on Twitter: “We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks.”The inclusion of tanks, which was first reported by The Washington Post, would help transform the capital city’s annual event — a nonpartisan day of entertainment — into the kind of military celebration the president has long wanted.After watching the Bastille Day parade in Paris in 2017, Trump said that “we may do something like that on July 4 in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue.” He later raised the idea of a military parade on Veterans Day, but abandoned it in the face of opposition from city officials and a price tag of more than $90 million.But the president’s decision to play a starring role in this year’s Fourth of July events may give him another chance to preside over a display of the nation’s military might in front of a sprawling crowd. Related News Advertising Best Of Express Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Taking stock of monsoon rain Trump is scheduled to deliver a speech Thursday evening from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, becoming the first president in decades to participate in the annual event honoring the nation’s birthday. Trump announced the speech via tweet in February.“We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4,” the president tweeted. “It will be called ‘A Salute To America’ and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!”Critics of the president say his involvement amounts to a partisan hijacking of the Fourth of July event for his own political purposes.“He’s taking an American, a national holiday and making it about himself. And that is fundamentally wrong,” said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., whose constituents live just a short drive from downtown Washington and the site of the Fourth of July celebration.Connolly said some of his constituents who normally celebrate in Washington may choose to attend parades and fireworks in other parts of the metropolitan area this year.Washingtonian Magazine offered some suggestions in an article titled, “Avoid Trump’s Fireworks This Fourth of July and Celebrate in These Small Towns Instead.” Among the options they offered: Marching bands, pie-eating contests and weenie roasts in a half-dozen cities well outside Washington.But supporters of the president scoffed at the idea that Trump’s involvement is a reason for concern. Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker and vocal Trump booster, said the president should have the right to celebrate the Fourth of July as he sees fit.“What kind of idiot do you have to be to complain that the president wants to celebrate the founding of our country,” Gingrich said, adding he support’s the idea of having tanks and other military vehicles at the celebration to honor the country’s military.“Other than the fact they have to pay to fix the streets, who cares?” Gingrich said.Washington has hosted a Fourth of July celebration on the National Mall for decades, often bringing musicians and other entertainers for a performance at the Capitol before a fireworks display that explodes in the skies over the Washington Monument. A parade down Constitution Avenue takes place in the afternoon.The parade will include marching bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military units, giant balloons and drill teams, according to the department of interior, which oversees the events.This year’s concert will be hosted by John Stamos, who starred in ABC’s “Full House” sitcom. The entertainment will include appearances by singer Carole King, and performances by the cast of the Broadway musical “Beautiful.” Big Bird, Elmo and Grover — of “Sesame Street” fame — will also be performing, officials said.Fireworks have been part of the event for decades. This year’s celebration will include a longer fireworks show after two fireworks companies offered their services for free, a donation that officials said is worth about $750,000.This year, the day’s event’s will also include the president’s “Salute to America,” a speech he will deliver after the parade and before the start of the entertainment at the Capitol.“Salute to America will honor each of the nation’s five service branches with music, military demonstrations, multiple flyovers including a flight demonstration by the Blue Angels and much more,” the Interior Department announced on its website last week.“Our colleagues from the Department of Defense will be providing a one-of-a-kind music and air power experience including a flight demonstration from the Blue Angels,” the announcement on the website said.The FAA said it will suspend normal operations at Reagan National Airport during the president’s remarks and the flyovers by the military aircraft. They will also close the airspace over the capital during the fireworks displays.Such airspace closures, which disrupt normal flight operations, happen occasionally, officials said. A similar closure took place when historic planes took part in a flyover of the National Mall in 2015. President Trump said on July 1 that the Pentagon would put military tanks on display on Thursday in Washington as part of his plans to turn the Fourth of July celebration in the nation’s capital into a salute to the country’s military prowess. (File/Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times)Written by Michael D. Shear, Thomas Gibbons-Neff and John Ismay Advertising Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield More Explained Trump said that “brand-new Abrams tanks” and “brand-new Sherman tanks” would be on display Thursday. The M1 Abrams tank was used during the Gulf War and is still in use by the military. The M4 Sherman was used by the United States during World War II and the Korean War, and is no longer in active service.“You’ve got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks,” Trump said, “so we have to put them in certain areas.”Pentagon officials declined to comment Monday as they wrestled with how to accommodate the president’s tank request with only a few days left before the event. Among the logistical concerns was how to transport tanks that weigh more than 60 tons into the popular downtown area where tourists gather to see the monuments.Moving and guarding the tanks would require staffing at a time that many troops are at home for the holiday. Also a problem: The Memorial Bridge, which spans the Potomac River and connects the Arlington National Cemetery and the Lincoln Memorial, might not be able to hold the weight. Post Comment(s)
US hails talks with Taliban, denies troop withdrawal window Related News ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict After the Taliban’s ouster, she enrolled in Kabul University and became a lawyer. In 2016, she signed up to prosecute men who abused women in Kandahar province, where the Taliban movement was born.One after another, Fayez sent the abusers to jail. Two of the men she convicted were police officers. Last year, the government recognized her as one of the five bravest women in the country and put her portrait on a billboard in downtown Kandahar: “Heroes for women’s rights.”Most important, her dogged reputation empowered more women to come forward with stories of abuse.“My caseload grew as more women began trusting the rule of law,” she said. “Then the threats began.”On the floor of her living room she displayed printouts and recordings of previous death threats: emails and messages over WhatsApp, text and voicemail, commanding her to quit working. For months, she waved off the warnings as part of her job.Then in February, her colleague Azam Ahmad, with whom she had worked on many of her domestic violence cases, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen on his way to the office.“He was a very brave man and a friend,” she said. “These incidents and threats affect us mentally and emotionally. But we try our best to keep working.”A few weeks later, the Taliban letter — and the bullet — showed up on her windshield.“A Talib is a Talib,” Fayez said. “They have proven what type of people they are, what their ideology is. And if they return with the same ideology, everything will be the same again.”Afghanistan remains a deeply patriarchal society, but the overwhelming majority of women I met are unwilling to go back to the way things were. I had a hard time finding any who believed the Taliban had grown more tolerant in their years out of power.I traveled to Kunduz, capital of the northern province of the same name, to speak with Sediqa Sherzai, a fearless and embattled advocate of women’s empowerment who directs an all-female radio station on the outskirts of town.The province is controlled mostly by the Taliban, and the city itself has fallen to the insurgents twice for short periods.“Imagine a house surrounded by Taliban,” Sherzai said. “You would not be able to live, eat or do work with even momentary peace. People here live in constant fear that the Taliban will retake the city at any minute.”Since 2008, she has run Radio Roshani, a small shortwave station that educates women about their rights and encourages them to share their difficulties and stories. It has an audience across northern Afghanistan.The day I visited, Sherzai’s producers were recording a segment with young graduates about their challenges finding work in the city. In a room next door, she sat with a number of women from around the city to discuss the peace negotiations for an upcoming segment.“We reach people who cannot read and write,” Sherzai said. She emphasized how important it is for women to hear the voices of other women, especially in areas where literacy rates are so low.“Listeners trust that the woman speaking is practicing the advice she preaches, in her own life and on her own children,” she said. “It disarms them.”In 2015, when the Taliban briefly captured Kunduz, they occupied Radio Roshani’s studio for five hours, set it on fire and stole the equipment. They seized the phone numbers and addresses of staff members. Sherzai’s husband, Obaidullah Qazizadha, who helped found the station, received ominous telephone calls at their home.“Your wife is changing other women,” the voice on the phone said. “We do not agree with the ways she is changing their mindset.”She and her husband fled to Kabul, and the station went off the air. But in April, Sherzai decided to restart Radio Roshani. The station’s employees try to keep their involvement clandestine. Her husband keeps a shotgun in the control room.She is willing to risk her life to continue, she said, and she has no intention of making things easy for her enemies.“The Taliban were right,” she said. “We were changing the mindset of women.”But not all the Afghan women I spoke to had lost hope.As a young mother under Taliban rule in the late 1990s, Hawa Nuristani helped run a secret school for girls who were otherwise banned from attending class.After the Taliban’s fall, Nuristani emerged as one of the most influential women in the new Afghan state, becoming a prominent television news anchor and then moving into politics. She heads a commission that adjudicates electoral disputes.At various times, the Taliban imprisoned her husband, kidnapped her son and tried to kill her. One attack left a bullet in her leg and gave her a limp. Another attempt on her life, a bomb, demolished her car.In February, Nuristani was part of the Afghan delegation that traveled to Moscow to meet with a group of Taliban leaders — one of only two women in the group. The other was Fawzia Koofi, a member of parliament.In her Kabul office, Nuristani recalled the meeting with a defiant look in her eyes. But her tone was hopeful.“I do not think anyone else has ever been as troubled in the Afghan government as much as I have,” she told me. “But I went to this meeting because I feel like you cannot wash blood with blood. How long will this war go on?”For days, she listened to the Taliban leaders promise, among other things, to honor the rights of women. But when the talk turned to specifics, they froze up.She recalled them saying that women were too “sympathetic and delicate” for jobs like commissioner or mayor, where “a woman’s emotions might get in the way.”Still, Nuristani said she was choosing to give the insurgents a chance, if only because she sensed a war-weariness in the negotiators that appeared to match her own. But as I prepared to travel to Kandahar to meet Fayez, I discovered that she had fled the city.She had received a warning she could not ignore: a handwritten note, attached to the windshield of her family car, folded over a bullet.“From now on, you are our target,” the letter said, “and we will treat you like other Western slaves.” It was signed “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the formal name the Taliban use for themselves.Many Afghan women seized on the freedoms that emerged after the U.S. invasion and the collapse of the Taliban government in 2001. They do not want to go back to the terms of Taliban rule — to the floggings and banishment from public life. Advertising China acknowledges hosting Taliban’s chief peace negotiator for talks At just 29, Zainab Fayez made herself into one of Afghanistan’s foremost defenders of women.As the first and only female prosecutor in Kandahar province, deep in the conservative south of the country, she sent 21 men to jail for beating and abusing their wives or fiancées.I thought I should speak with her. I had gone to Afghanistan to ask women one of the most urgent questions hanging over the peace talks unfolding between Taliban leaders, the Afghanistan government and U.S. diplomats: After 18 years of gains for Afghanistan’s women, what are these women thinking now that the Americans might leave and the Taliban might return? Advertising Taking stock of monsoon rain Best Of Express Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post Advertising The opening session of the loya jirga, a yearly tribal assembly where some 30 percent of participants are now women, in Kabul. (The New York Times/File)Written by Cora Engelbrecht By New York Times |Kabul | Published: July 14, 2019 8:00:03 am “People on both sides of the war want peace and are tired of the fighting — certainly the Taliban,” she said. “I have heard this from them directly.” After Masood Azhar blacklisting, ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan case isolates Pakistan More Explained A Taliban attack on children causes outrage, everywhere but at peace talks But as some sort of agreement between the Taliban and U.S. officials appears likely, many women do not believe the insurgents’ promises to respect the rights of women this time around.Take Fayez, the prosecutor.I found her in Kabul, the Afghan capital, holed up with her two children in her relative’s house. Her husband, Fakhruddin, had just driven from Kandahar with the bullet and threatening letter.Fayez has seen enough of the Taliban to know that their promises to treat women fairly are as empty as the desert outside town.“I have never been so terrified,” she said.Born in the remote province of Ghor in 1990, at the height of the Afghan civil war, she grew up seeing the bottom line of Taliban rule: No school for girls, no jobs for women. Transgressors were stoned and flogged. Post Comment(s)
Some logistics and mobility industry heavyweights have formed a group committed to improving the lives and opportunities of working Americans through adoption of autonomous vehicles.The roster of the Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity includes the American Trucking Associations, Daimler, FedEx, Ford, Lyft, Toyota Motor North America, Uber and Waymo.”Our autonomous vehicle future will bring many significant benefits for society, but we also must remember that it may change the way many of us work,” said PTIO Executive Director Maureen Westphal.”Different career paths, entirely new occupations, and greater efficiencies in the transportation sector, are just a few of the changes we may see,” she told TechNewsWorld.”At the same time, and as we’ve seen with the adoption of any new technology, autonomous vehicles may alter some aspects of certain occupations and may reduce the need for others over time,” Westphal pointed out. “With all those issues in mind, the companies and associations leading PTIO intend to initiate an open conversation about jobs, career paths, and the other transitions that may result from the adoption of autonomous vehicles.” Automated vehicles can threaten jobs, but the risk is lower for freight, because truck drivers do more than just drive trucks, maintained Richard Wallace, vice president for transportation systems analysis at the Center for Automotive Research.”It’s hard to imagine something not coming up during the course of a day for a delivery service that doesn’t require human intervention,” he told TechNewsWorld.”For a long time, we’re going to have drivers as backups for automated systems, but it could be a lower-paid job. “The risk is there, but it’s at least 10 years away — maybe longer,” Wallace said.”I’m much more worried about manufacturing automation as a source of job loss than I am about automated vehicle operation,” he added. Threat to Jobs Where Is Labor? Automation is going to affect everything, as computers get better and better at performing tasks only people currently can do, Yaverbaum noted.”There’s a lot of jobs — especially low-skill jobs — that are going to be wiped out of existence, which is going to make it difficult for people to find work,” he said. “History can attest to the dangers of throwing millions of people out of work virtually overnight.”There will be jobs lost to automation, but it’s unclear whether those jobs will be replaced with new jobs, said Wallace.”What will definitely change will be the dimensions of those jobs and the skills sets, so people who get displaced may not have the skills sets to pick up the new jobs that are created,” he explained. “We will have a challenge to retrain, maintain skills and transfer skills, and I don’t see a lot of attention being paid to that right now.” John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Lofty Goals Automating truck driving could impact millions of workers in relatively unskilled, high-paying jobs.”The problem with autonomous vehicles is that the industry it’s disrupting employs nearly 4 million people. That’s equivalent to the entire city of Los Angeles,” said Eric Yaverbaum, a technology commentator and contributor to Fox News Tech Take.”Truck driving is a low-skill job that is pretty easily accessible, meaning its automation is going to make it extremely difficult for existing drivers to find comparable employment, so the economic effects of this are going to fan out well beyond the immediate industry impact,” he told TechNewsWorld.”It’s effectively removing a key source of income for a large chunk of the United States from accessibility,” Yaverbaum continued, “and will certainly throw families and communities all over the country into economic chaos for some time.” At the outset, PTIO has three broad goals:Identify research, programs and policy solutions to help expand the opportunities autonomous vehicles can create for our workforce.Focus on easing the transitions of any affected occupations into new and meaningful career paths, and champion new occupations in the new economy.Focus on the role public policy can play in helping the entire workforce benefit from autonomous vehicle technology. Public Beware Missing from PTIO’s roster is any representation from labor.”There are certainly limits to the efficacy of a group that’s trying to put out policy when organizations representing drivers aren’t included,” noted Kara Deniz, a spokesperson for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.”You wouldn’t have a working group about school teachers or nurses or any other profession and not have those people included,” she told TechNewsWorld, “so why should drivers be any different?”Although this kind of group is needed, PTIO’s composition is concerning, said John Kearney, CEO of Advanced Training Systems.”This particular group is composed of people whose best interest is served by having a result that promotes having autonomous operating vehicles,” he told TechNewsWorld. “We need the study group to have independent members so we can depend on the outcome.” Impact on Unskilled Labor
Source:https://newsroom.heart.org/news/got-menopause?preview=f7e8be1b7b9d12d7eec8234a2f9ea083 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 28 2018A healthy lifestyle during the transition to menopause may offset the acceleration of atherosclerosis, the slow narrowing of the arteries that increases with age, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.Women participating in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), ages 42-52 at enrollment, were evaluated using a 10-year “Healthy Lifestyle Score,” developed for this study. Each woman had annual medical exams and completed questionnaires about their physical activity, eating habits and tobacco use. In addition, participants had at least one coronary artery ultrasound, which is a non-invasive test that provides images of the inside of an artery leading to the heart.Related StoriesStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesLiving a healthy lifestyle may help offset genetic risk of dementiaHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionCompared to women with the lowest “Healthy Lifestyle Score,” those with the highest scores had significantly wider arteries, less arterial thickening and buildup of fatty plaque. The risk factor most associated with unhealthy arteries was smoking tobacco.”Midlife is a crucial window for women to take their cardiovascular wellness to heart and set a course for healthy aging. The metabolic changes that often occur with menopause, especially increases in cholesterol levels and blood pressure, can significantly increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cognitive impairment later in life, said Ana Baylin, M.D., Dr.P.H., an associate professor of nutritional health sciences and epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.”The good news is that middle-aged women can take their wellbeing into their own hands and make healthy lifestyle changes, such as avoiding tobacco smoke, eating a healthier diet and getting more physical activity to reduce their cardiovascular risk,” Baylin said.The study also notes that only 1.7 percent of the study population adhered to the three components of the “Healthy Lifestyle Score” throughout the study.”The low prevalence of a healthy lifestyle in this group of midlife women highlights the potential for lifestyle interventions aimed at this vulnerable population,” added co-author Dongqing Wang, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan. “Our prospective analysis clearly suggests that women approaching menopause can significantly lower this risk if they adopt healthier behaviors, even if cardiovascular issues have never been on their radar.”The National Institute of Aging’s Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation is a long-term, multi-institutional study of 3,302 women in their middle years as they transition to menopause. It started in 1996 and the women included in the new research were followed for about 15 years, with their most recent medical exams in 2015-2016. 1,143 women were included in this analysis.
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 18 2018Infants and toddlers in low-income, rural areas may be at higher risk for second- and third-hand smoke than previously reported, according to new Penn State-led research.As many as 15 percent of children tested had levels of cotinine, a byproduct formed when the body breaks down nicotine, comparable to those of adult smokers. About 63 percent of children in the study had detectable levels of cotinine, suggesting widespread exposure to smoke. The study appears in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.”This is one of the first studies to explore the risks of very young children, especially infants, for second- or third-hand exposure to smoking,” said Lisa M. Gatzke-Kopp, professor of human development and family studies and lead author of the study. “Our findings suggest that moving frequently, having more adults in the home, and spending less time in center-based, daycare facilities may increase a child’s exposure to smoke or smoke residue.”The researchers analyzed data from the Family Life Project, a long-term study of rural poverty in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. For the study, saliva samples of over 1,200 children were tested for cotinine. The samples were collected from children at age 6 months, 15 months, 2 years and 4 years. The presence of cotinine indicates that the child was exposed to second- or third-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke comes from a lit tobacco product, an electronic smoking device, or the smoker. Third-hand smoke is an invisible residue from smoke that settles onto floors, furniture and clothing.The researchers classified the children into three groups based on their cotinine levels. Fifteen percent of the children were in the high exposure group, with cotinine levels comparable to active adult smokers, while 48 percent were in the moderate exposure group and 37 percent were in the low exposure group. These values are higher than those seen in data previously reported in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which found that only one-third to one-half of children’s blood samples had detectable cotinine.Related StoriesPotential benefits and risks of using e-cigarettesRecreational cannabis legalization could impact alcohol industry, research showsResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repair”One of the reasons we may have found higher levels of exposure is that we looked at much younger children, starting when they were only 6 months old,” stated Gatzke-Kopp, who is also a Social Science Research Institute co-funded faculty member. “Because infants often put objects into their mouths and crawl on floors, they may be more likely to ingest smoke residue or get it on their skin, compared to older children.”The study team evaluated independent factors that may influence a child’s probability of being in one of the three exposure groups. They found that lower income, less education, frequent residential moves and fluctuations in the number of adults within the home were associated with high smoke exposure, whereas time spent at a center-based daycare was associated with lower smoke exposure.”Our results, if supported by future studies, can help educate parents and caregivers, as well as improve prevention programs that seek to reduce children’s smoke exposure,” said Clancy Blair, professor of cognitive psychology at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development and the senior author of the study. “For instance, nonsmoking families may not be aware that nicotine can be present in their child’s environment if their home was previously occupied by a smoker or if smoking is permitted at the workplace.”Source: https://news.psu.edu/story/550773/2018/12/06/research/low-income-rural-kids-higher-risk-second-or-third-hand-smoke
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 19 2019Cancer: The word alone evokes dread, anxiety, and fear. Accordingly, many women living with the disease and undergoing treatment experience chronic stress and depression. Scientists have demonstrated, in studies with rodents and humans, that stress can exacerbate cancer’s progression, but it wasn’t clear how.A new study, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, establishes that the stress hormone epinephrine sets off a cascade of biochemical reactions that favor breast cancer growth and spread.In the study, the researchers first demonstrated the effects of chronic stress on cancer stem cell growth, a novel twist on previous research that did not specifically focus on these self-perpetuating cells.”You can kill all the cells you want in a tumor, but if the stem cells, or mother cells, are not killed, then the tumor is going to grow and metastasize. This is one of the first studies to link chronic stress specifically with the growth of breast cancer stem cells,” says Keith Kelley, emeritus professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois, and an author on the study.To do this, they induced chronic stress in mice, by placing them in small enclosures that limited their movement. All the mice were stressed for a week before being inoculated with either human or mouse breast cancer cells. After inoculation, the mice were split into two groups: controls, which were moved into large cages; and stressed, which stayed in the small enclosures for an additional 30 days.Confirming the researchers’ expectations, the mice experiencing chronic stress showed behavioral changes consistent with anxiety and depression. They also had bigger, faster-growing tumors and more cancer stem cells than mice in control conditions.Having demonstrated the link between chronic stress, mood changes, and enhanced growth of breast cancer stem cells, the scientists went on to investigate the underlying biochemical underpinnings that caused stress to increase growth of cancer cells.”The direct signaling network between stress pathways and a cancer-propagating system remains almost completely unknown,” says Quentin Liu of the Institute of Cancer Stem Cell at Dalian Medical University in China and principal investigator on the study. “A better understanding of the biochemistry that causes stress to increase the growth of cancer cells could lead us toward targeted drug interventions, one of which we discovered in this work.”Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryMultiple lines of evidence led the scientists toward epinephrine, one of the body’s major stress hormones. First, epinephrine levels were significantly elevated in mice that experienced stress for the duration of the experiment. Second, in stressed mice that received treatments to inactivate the receptor for epinephrine – ADRB2 – tumors were significantly smaller and fewer stem cells were found.”When most people think of stress, they think it’s cortisol that’s suppressing the immune system. The amazing thing is cortisol was actually lower after a month of stress,” Kelley says.Once epinephrine binds to one of its two receptors, ADRB2, it elevates levels of an enzyme called lactate dehydrogenase. In normal situations, this enzyme delivers quick energy to muscles in a fight-or-flight situation and produces lactate as a byproduct. But cancer cells need lactate for energy. With excessive amounts of lactate dehydrogenase in chronically stressed individuals, cancer-causing genes are activated and cancer cells proliferate.”These data provide a novel pathway that explains how elevated epinephrine caused by chronic stress promotes breast cancer progression by acting directly on cancer stem cells,” Liu says.To evaluate the clinical significance of their findings with mice, the scientists measured epinephrine in the blood of 83 human breast cancer patients. Women with high levels of the stress hormone also had high levels of lactate dehydrogenase in biopsied breast cancer tissue, compared with adjacent non-cancerous tissue. Importantly, and consistent with findings in mice, patients with high serum epinephrine had significantly lower overall survival and disease-free survival compared to patients with low epinephrine levels.In a final test, the researchers grew breast cancer cells in the lab and introduced a wide variety of FDA-approved cancer drugs. Several treatments, including vitamin C, suppressed lactate dehydrogenase production. When vitamin C was injected into stressed mice, tumors shrank.Scientists have suspected Vitamin C’s cancer-fighting potential for decades, and several clinical trials have demonstrated positive results. This study contributes a new understanding of the vitamin’s action in biochemical pathways relevant to chronically stressed breast cancer patients.”Taken together, these findings show that vitamin C might be a novel and effective therapeutic agent for targeting cancer in patients undergoing chronic stress,” Liu says. Source:https://aces.illinois.edu/news/mouse-study-reveals-how-chronic-stress-promotes-breast-cancer-stem-cells-identifies-vitamin-c
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 11 2019At what age do you feel 65?A 30-year gap separates countries with the highest and lowest ages at which people experience the health problems of a 65-year-old, according to a new scientific study.Researchers found 76-year-olds in Japan and 46-year-olds in Papua New Guinea have the same level of age-related health problems as an “average” person aged 65.”These disparate findings show that increased life expectancy at older ages can either be an opportunity or a threat to the overall welfare of populations, depending on the aging-related health problems the population experiences regardless of chronological age.” said Dr. Angela Y. Chang, lead author and postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Health Trends and Forecasts at the University of Washington. “Age-related health problems can lead to early retirement, a smaller workforce, and higher health spending. Government leaders and other stakeholders influencing health systems need to consider when people begin suffering the negative effects of aging.”These negative effects include impaired functions and loss of physical, mental, and cognitive abilities resulting from the 92 conditions analyzed, five of which are communicable and 81 non-communicable, along with six injuries.The studies and additional information are available at http://www.healthdata.orgLink to The Lancet Public Health study: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(19)30019-2/fulltextThe study, published yesterday in the international medical journal The Lancet Public Health, is the first of its kind, according to Chang, whose center is housed at the UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Where traditional metrics of aging examine increased longevity, this study explores both chronological age and the pace at which aging contributes to health deterioration. The study uses estimates from the Global Burden of Disease study (GBD).Researchers measured “age-related disease burden” by aggregating all disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), a measurement of loss of healthy life, related to the 92 diseases. The findings cover 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries and territories. For example, in 2017, people in Papua New Guinea had the world’s highest rate of age-related health problems with more than 500 DALYs per 1,000 adults, four times that of people in Switzerland with just over 100 DALYs per 1,000 adults.The rate in the United States was 161.5 DALYs per 1,000, giving it a ranking of 53rd, between Algeria at 52nd with 161.0 DALYs per 1,000 and Iran at 54th with 164.8 DALYs per 1,000.Using global average 65-year-olds as a reference group, Chang and other researchers also estimated the ages at which the population in each country experienced the same related burden rate. They found wide variation in how well or poorly people age. Ranked first, Japanese 76-year-olds experience the same aging burden as 46-year-olds in Papua New Guinea, which ranked last across 195 countries and territories. At 68.5 years, the United States ranked 54th, between Iran (69.0 years) and Antigua and Barbuda (68.4 years).Related StoriesLong-acting contraceptives do not increase risk of HIV, concludes new studyReplacing a small amount of red meat with healthier foods may improve life expectancyGay men in China eight times more likely to face social discriminationThe study is entitled “Measuring population ageing: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.”Additional findings include: Countries with highest equivalent age to global 65-year-olds in 2017:1.Japan: 76.1 years2.Switzerland: 76.13.France: 76.04.Singapore: 76.05.Kuwait: 75.36.South Korea: 75.17.Spain: 75.18.Italy: 74.89.Puerto Rico: 74.610.Peru: 74.3Countries with lowest equivalent age to global 65-year-olds in 2017:1.Papua New Guinea: 45.6 years2.Marshall Islands: 51.03.Afghanistan: 51.64.Vanuatu: 52.25.Solomon Islands: 53.46.Central African Republic: 53.67.Lesotho: 53.68.Kiribati: 54.29.Guinea-Bissau: 54.510.Federated States of Micronesia: 55.0Countries with lowest age-related burden rate in 2017:1.Switzerland: 104.9 DALYs per 1,000 adults aged 25 or older2.Singapore: 108.33.South Korea: 110.14.Japan: 110.65.Italy: 115.26.Kuwait: 118.27.Spain: 119.28.France: 119.39.Israel: 120.210.Sweden: 122.1Countries with highest age-related burden rate in 2017:1.Papua New Guinea: 506.6 DALYs per 1,000 adults aged 25 or older2.Marshall Islands: 396.63.Vanuatu: 392.14.Afghanistan: 380.25.Solomon Islands: 368.06.Central African Republic: 364.67.Lesotho: 360.58.Kiribati: 347.59.Guinea-Bissau: 343.410.Eritrea: 325.7Source: http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/what-age-do-you-feel-65 Age-related disease burden rates decreased over time across all regions between 1990 and 2017, representing reductions in deaths and disease severity of age-related problems. In 2017, people in 108 countries experienced earlier accumulation of problems associated with aging, whereas those in 87 countries experienced slower onset of aging. Globally, the age-related diseases with the most deaths and DALYs were ischemic heart disease, brain hemorrhage, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Dr Priya Kannan, of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, added: Source:Anglia Ruskin UniversityJournal reference:Kannan, P. et al. (2019) Effectiveness of a treadmill-based aerobic exercise intervention on pain, daily functioning, and quality of life in women with primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized controlled trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials. doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2019.05.004. Women who have painful periods often take steps to actively avoid exercise – after all when you are in pain it is often the last thing that you want to partake in.However, this trial demonstrated that exercise significantly reduced pain for those people taking part in the program, and they also reported reduced pain levels after four and seven months.” Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 3 2019A treadmill exercise regime can reduce period pain and improve long-term quality of life, according to a new study published in the journal Contemporary Clinical Trials.Researchers conducted a trial over a seven-month period to see how treadmill exercise benefited women suffering from primary dysmenorrhea, commonly known as period pain.Women aged between 18 and 43 were asked to take part in a supervised aerobic training regime three times a week for four weeks, beginning the day after the end of their menstrual period, followed by unsupervised home exercise for six months. Their results were compared with a control group, who carried out their usual regimes.Related StoriesWar against mosquitoes saves lives and money in Sri LankaVitamin D supplementation may not reduce the risk of heart diseaseAre Chronic Pain Relief Drugs for Children Effective?The study found that the women who took part in the supervised exercise reported 6% less pain after four weeks and 22% less pain with continuing the exercise for an additional six months. Significant benefits of exercise were reported after the seven-month reporting period for other study measures, including higher quality of life and improved daily functioning. However, the participants did not report any increase in sleep quality following the trial.The study is the first of its kind to examine the effect of treadmill exercise on measures such as pain intensity, sleep quality and overall quality of life.Dr Leica Claydon-Mueller, Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: The improvements in quality of life scores after seven months were noteworthy, although it was perhaps surprising that there was no significant difference in sleep quality to that of the control group.These multiple benefits might be considered a ‘package deal’ by women. The evidence supporting the use of aerobic exercise for managing pain, improving quality of life and improving daily functioning has been strengthened by the findings from this research.”
Physical examinations aid in early detection of diseaseA team of researchers at Calgary, Alberta wanted to determine if physical examinations are still necessary in the modern world and what do family physicians think about the process.To land to their findings, they conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with 16 family doctors in Canada. They include those who have 20 years of practice experience, a recent family medicine graduate, a public health doctor, and a retired internist.The researchers explored the clinical experiences of doctors in conducting a physical examination. The respondents include 7 men and 9 women, whose clinical experience varied widely from both rural and urban locations.The team recorded the interviews, transcribed, and determined initial themes using template analysis.The study, which was published in the Annals of Family Medicine, revealed that physical examinations, according to physicians, is an important part of being a doctor. Moreover, they found that physical examinations gather data from patients, in addition to diagnostic laboratory procedures.Physical examinations are important in the doctor-patient relationshipRelated StoriesPersonalizing Nutritional Medicine With the Power of NMRGood health goes beyond having a doctor and insurance, says AMA’s equity chiefStudy finds link between healthcare utilization practices and relative levels of threat sensitivityThe participants were asked to describe two aspects of the physical examination – diagnosing and estimating prognosis and responding to patient’s illnesses. These procedures form relationships between the two parties, the doctor and the patient. The procedure allows doctors to use their bodies to experience their patients’ illnesses.The doctors also said that aside from diagnostic data gathered during physical examinations, the process helps with empathy, as laying on hands during the procedure strengthens the role of doctors as healers. Physical examinations also strengthen the relationships between doctors and patients, developing trust and establishing rapport.“Physical examination is part of the identity of family physicians. It not only contributes diagnostic information but is a therapeutic intervention in and of itself. Physical examination contributes to relationship-centered care in family practice,” the researchers concluded in the study.However, the researchers also said the study has limitations.“We do not know what patients experienced or what they expected. However, previous studies indicate that patients expect to be examined and are less satisfied when physicians do not examine them,” they explained.“We did not directly observe participants’ physical examinations and relied on their self-reports, sometimes long after the events they described. A key feature of this type of work, its interpretive nature, limits its generalizability,” they added.What happens during a physical assessment?Physical assessment or examination involves many procedures. All these contribute to a diagnosis that can be confirmed through diagnostic tests. First off, the doctor may need to conduct an interview for updated health history.The physician will ask certain questions related to healthy history, changes, and developments in health. These may include questions about the job, relationships, allergies, family history of illness, recent surgeries, supplements, and medicines.During the physical examination, the doctor will also check the patient’s vital signs, including blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse rate, and temperature. A visual exam will follow, which involves reviewing the patient’s appearance for any signs of possible conditions. A head-to-toe examination is done involving the head, eyes, beck, chest, abdomen, musculoskeletal system and nervous system functions.Aside from a visual exam, the doctor conducts palpation or touching parts of the body such as the abdomen, to determine abnormalities. Motor functions and reflexes are also included in the examination. Journal reference:Kelly, M.A, Freeman, L.K., and Dornan, T. (2019). Family Physicians’ Experiences of Physical Examination. Annals of Family Medicine. http://www.annfammed.org/content/17/4/304.full By Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo, BSNJul 10 2019Are you wondering if an annual or regular physical examination is still necessary? A new study reveals that it’s an integral part of relationship-centered care and detection of diseases early on.The increased availability of state-of-the-art and modern diagnostic technologies has sparked debate on whether the conventional physical examination is still needed in the clinical practice. One of the procedures done in clinics is physical examinations.Physical examination is a requirement not only in school admission, employment opportunities, or sports activities but also, in families. Family doctors play an important role in the conduct of these examinations to diagnose and treat many diseases.Otherwise known as medical examination or physical assessment, it’s a process that ensures that individuals stay in good health. Aside from this, it’s mainly a preventive process. Early detection and diagnosis of diseases will eventually lead to immediate treatment. Hence, it helps improve prognosis. As technology has gained ground in medicine and critics have called into question the diagnostic accuracy of physical examinations. Image Credit: Zetar Infinity / Shutterstock
Citation: UK bank bans bitcoin purchases via credit card (2018, February 5) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-uk-bank-bitcoin-credit-card.html Lloyds Banking Group on Monday joined major US banks in banning purchases of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies via credit card amid debt and security concerns. Explore further © 2018 AFP Hold your horses on those card bitcoin purchases 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. An LBG spokesman said the ban was across its Lloyd Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA branded credit cards.In a brief statement, he said LBG does “not accept credit card transactions involving the purchase of cryptocurrencies”.Over the past few days, US lenders Bank of American, Citigroup and JPMorgan each introduced the same ban.There is a concern that customers who bought bitcoin late last year when crytocurrencies in general surged in value have been left with big losses following massive declines in recent weeks.On Monday, the price of bitcoin tumbled to $7,950, two months after breaking through the $20,000 mark.It comes as China plans to stamp out all remaining cryptocurrency trading in the country by blocking access to overseas-based websites and removing related applications from app stores.The international value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have plunged this year amid fears of a crackdown in Asia and concerns that many currencies’ rapid rise in value last year could reflect an bubble.-Bloomberg News contributed to this story – China looks to stamp out cryptocurrency trading
Facebook, Google warn Singapore against ‘fake news’ law Provided by The Conversation Facebook has had a bad few weeks. The social media giant had to apologise for failing to protect the personal data of millions of users from being accessed by data mining company Cambridge Analytica. Outrage is brewing over its admission to spying on people via their Android phones. Its stock price plummeted, while millions deleted their accounts in disgust. Explore further This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. 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. Read more: #MeToo is not enough: it has yet to shift the power imbalances that would bring about gender equality The bad and the uglyBut the social media “free speech” machines can create human rights difficulties. Those newly empowered voices are not necessarily desirable voices. The UN recently found that Facebook had been a major platform for spreading hatred against the Rohingya in Myanmar, which in turn led to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Video sharing site YouTube seems to automatically guide viewers to the fringiest versions of what they might be searching for. A search on vegetarianism might lead to veganism; jogging to ultra-marathons; Donald Trump’s popularity to white supremacist rants; and Hillary Clinton to 9/11 trutherism.YouTube, via its algorithm’s natural and probably unintended impacts, “may be one of the most powerful radicalising instruments of the 21st century”, with all the attendant human rights abuses that might follow.The business model and human rightsHuman rights abuses might be embedded in the business model that has evolved for social media companies in their second decade. Essentially, those models are based on the collection and use for marketing purposes of their users’ data. And the data they have is extraordinary in its profiling capacities, and in the consequent unprecedented knowledge base and potential power it grants to these private actors.Indirect political influence is commonly exercised, even in the most credible democracies, by private bodies such as major corporations. This power can be partially constrained by “anti-trust laws” that promote competition and prevent undue market dominance. Anti-trust measures could, for example, be used to hive off Instagram from Facebook, or YouTube from Google. But these companies’ power essentially arises from the sheer number of their users: in late 2017, Facebook was reported as having more than 2.2 billion active users. Anti-trust measures do not seek to cap the number of a company’s customers, as opposed to its acquisitions. Power through knowledgeIn 2010, Facebook conducted an experiment by randomly deploying a non-partisan “I voted” button into 61 million feeds during the US mid-term elections. That simple action led to 340,000 more votes, or about 0.14% of the US voting population. This number can swing an election. A bigger sample would lead to even more votes. So Facebook knows how to deploy the button to sway an election, which would clearly be lamentable. However, the mere possession of that knowledge makes Facebook a political player. It now knows that button’s the political impact, the types of people it is likely to motivate, and the party that’s favoured by its deployment and non-deployment, and at what times of day.It might seem inherently incompatible with democracy for that knowledge to be vested in a private body. Yet the retention of such data is the essence of Facebook’s ability to make money and run a viable business.MicrotargetingA study has shown that a computer knows more about a person’s personality than their friends or flatmates from an analysis of 70 “likes”, and more than their family from 150 likes. From 300 likes it can outperform one’s spouse. This enables the micro-targeting of people for marketing messages – whether those messages market a product, a political party or a cause. This is Facebook’s product, from which it generates billions of dollars. It enables extremely effective advertising and the manipulation of its users. This is so even without Cambridge Analytica’s underhanded methods.Advertising is manipulative: that is its point. Yet it is a long bow to label all advertising as a breach of human rights. Advertising is available to all with the means to pay. Social media micro-targeting has become another battleground where money is used to attract customers and, in the political arena, influence and mobilise voters. While the influence of money in politics is pervasive – and probably inherently undemocratic – it seems unlikely that spending money to deploy social media to boost an electoral message is any more a breach of human rights than other overt political uses of money. Yet the extraordinary scale and precision of its manipulative reach might justify differential treatment of social media compared to other advertising, as its manipulative political effects arguably undermine democratic choices. As with mass data collection, perhaps it may eventually be concluded that that reach is simply incompatible with democratic and human rights.’Fake news’Finally, there is the issue of the spread of misinformation. While paid advertising may not breach human rights, “fake news” distorts and poisons democratic debate. It is one thing for millions of voters to be influenced by precisely targeted social media messages, but another for maliciously false messages to influence and manipulate millions – whether paid for or not.In a Declaration on Fake News, several UN and regional human rights experts said fake news interfered with the right to know and receive information – part of the general right to freedom of expression. Its mass dissemination may also distort rights to participate in public affairs. Russia and Cambridge Analytica (assuming allegations in both cases to be true) have demonstrated how social media can be “weaponised” in unanticipated ways.Yet it is difficult to know how social media companies should deal with fake news. The suppression of fake news is the suppression of speech – a human right in itself. The preferred solution outlined in the Declaration on Fake News is to develop technology and digital literacy to enable readers to more easily identify fake news. The human rights community seems to be trusting that the proliferation of fake news in the marketplace of ideas can be corrected with better ideas rather than censorship.However, one cannot be complacent in assuming that “better speech” triumphs over fake news. A recent study concluded fake news on social media: “… diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information.”Also, internet “bots” apparently spread true and false news at the same rate, which indicates that: “… false news spreads more than the truth because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it.”The depressing truth may be that human nature is attracted to fake stories over the more mundane true ones, often because they satisfy predetermined biases, prejudices and desires. And social media now facilitates their wildfire spread to an unprecedented degree. Perhaps social media’s purpose – the posting and sharing of speech – cannot help but generate a distorted and tainted marketplace of fake ideas that undermine political debate and choices, and perhaps human rights.What next?It is premature to assert the very collection of massive amounts of data is irreconcilable with the right to privacy (and even rights relating to democratic governance). Similarly, it is premature to decide that micro-targeting manipulates the political sphere beyond the bounds of democratic human rights. Finally, it may be that better speech and corrective technology will help to undo fake news’ negative impacts: it is premature to assume that such solutions won’t work. However, by the time such conclusions may be reached, it may be too late to do much about it. It may be an example where government regulation and international human rights law – and even business acumen and expertise – lags too far behind technological developments to appreciate their human rights dangers. At the very least, we must now seriously question the business models that have emerged from the dominant social media platforms. Maybe the internet should be rewired from the grassroots, rather than be led by digital oligarchs’ business needs. Facebook has also faced scrutiny over its failure to prevent the spread of “fake news” on its platforms, including via an apparent orchestrated Russian propaganda effort to influence the 2016 US presidential election.Facebook’s actions – or inactions – facilitated breaches of privacy and human rights associated with democratic governance. But it might be that its business model – and those of its social media peers generally – is simply incompatible with human rights.The goodIn some ways, social media has been a boon for human rights – most obviously for freedom of speech. Previously, the so-called “marketplace of ideas” was technically available to all (in “free” countries), but was in reality dominated by the elites. While all could equally exercise the right to free speech, we lacked equal voice. Gatekeepers, especially in the form of the mainstream media, largely controlled the conversation. But today, anybody with internet access can broadcast information and opinions to the whole world. While not all will be listened to, social media is expanding the boundaries of what is said and received in public. The marketplace of ideas must effectively be bigger and broader, and more diverse.Social media enhances the effectiveness of non-mainstream political movements, public assemblies and demonstrations, especially in countries that exercise tight controls over civil and political rights, or have very poor news sources. Social media played a major role in co-ordinating the massive protests that brought down dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as large revolts in Spain, Greece, Israel, South Korea, and the Occupy movement. More recently, it has facilitated the rapid growth of the #MeToo and #neveragain movements, among others. Citation: Why the business model of social media giants like Facebook is incompatible with human rights (2018, April 3) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-business-social-media-giants-facebook.html Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Judge Barry Ostrager of New York’s Supreme Court in Manhattan temporarily blocked the planned takeover of Xerox by Japan’s Fujifilm 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. © 2018 AFP The CEO of US photocopier and printer maker Xerox is stepping down to end a battle with shareholders opposed to a planned takeover by Japan’s Fujifilm. Explore further US judge temporarily blocks Xerox takeover by Fujifilm Citation: Xerox CEO to resign in settlement with top shareholders (2018, May 2) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-xerox-ceo-resign-settlement-shareholders.html Major shareholders Darwin Deason and Carl Icahn, who together control 15.2 percent of Xerox’s shares, have vigorously opposed the takeover and have filed a suit to block it.On Friday, a US court ordered a temporary block of the takeover, saying it prioritised the interest of Xerox’s CEO over its shareholders.In a statement issued Tuesday in the US, Xerox said Jeff Jacobson would be replaced John Visentin as CEO, with Keith Cozza taking on his role as board chairman.Both men are backed by Deason and Icahn.Under the planned deal, Xerox would be absorbed by an existing joint venture known as Fuji Xerox, falling under the control of Fujifilm.After the transaction is completed, Fujifilm would hold 50.1 percent of Fuji Xerox, while current Xerox shareholders would receive a special cash dividend of $2.5 billion. Deason and Icahn sued in February claiming a secret 2001 deal between Xerox and Fujifilm contained a clause that prevented the Xerox board from seeking another buyer, effectively shortchanging the company’s shareholders.Six board members will step down along with Jacobson, and the newly formed board will “meet immediately to, among other things, begin a process to evaluate all strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value,” Xerox said.It will weigh all options, “including terminating or restructuring Xerox’s relationship with Fujifilm and the proposed transaction with Fujifilm,” the statement said.On Wednesday in Japan, Fujifilm said it had “serious concerns” about the resignation of Jacobson and the other board members.”We believe the combination of Xerox and Fuji Xerox is the best option to provide exceptional value to shareholders of both companies,” it said, adding it believed the new board had an “obligation” to uphold the deal.Fujifilm said it would appeal against Friday’s ruling “as we believe the record shows our good faith and arms-length negotiations for the benefit of all shareholders.”Fujifilm shares plunged 5.45 percent to 4,123 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Boeing announces service orders worth nearly $1 billion ‘Very intense’ fightThe fierce rivals play up their intimate knowledge of the aircraft they produce as an advantage in providing after-sales support over others who could provide the services, including the airlines themselves.”We know best our aircraft because we have designed it,” Airbus head of services Laurent Martinez told AFP.”We have all the capabilities to support the airlines’ operations and to have the competitive edge in terms of spare parts.”Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the US firm currently only has a seven percent market share in the sector, and there was plenty of room for growth.”The products we have today can only address about 30 percent of this market,” he said at the recent Singapore Airshow. 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. Airbus’ Martinez said the Asia-Pacific is expected to account for 40 percent of the services market over the next two decades, with the region’s aircraft fleet set to almost triple by 2036 In Singapore, Airbus’s wholly-owned subsidiary Satair Group has an 11,000 square metre (118,000 square foot) warehouse to house spare parts While booming demand for air travel across has seen the world’s top plane makers ramp up production, it is the multi-billion-dollar after-sales service market that is taking an increasing amount of their attention.The aircraft titans are aggressively expanding their presence in the sector, which is dominated by maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft but also covers other services, from training to parts supply.The European and American firms have long done some business in after-sales support, but they are now moving to win greater market share and take on other players like Germany’s Lufthansa Technik and US-based AAR.”The services market is more lucrative than actual aircraft sales because it has more potential and it covers many different spectrums,” said Shukor Yusof, an analyst with aviation research firm Endau Analytics in Malaysia.”Boeing and Airbus—they have to be part of it. When you sell an aircraft, it’s in your interest to have a full package of after-market services.”Boeing predicts that the value of the approximately 41,000 planes that will be delivered worldwide over the next 20 years will be around $6 trillion—while the demand for services to support this fleet will be worth around $8.5 trillion. The European and American firms have long done some business in after-sales support, but they are now moving to win greater market share and take on other players like Germany’s Lufthansa Technik and US-based AAR Citation: Airbus, Boeing fly into lucrative services market (2018, May 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-airbus-boeing-lucrative.html Parts are arranged on towering shelves in brown, yellow and orange boxes, and range from a main landing gear for an A380, the world’s biggest passenger plane, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, to a washer worth one cent Both Airbus and Boeing also have major pilot training centres in Singapore. Airbus and Boeing may have built their global success on the back of the transcontinental airliners but they are now eyeing a lucrative if rather less glamorous side of the aviation sector in their battle to dominate the skies—parts and repairs. In Singapore, Airbus’s wholly-owned subsidiary Satair Group has an 11,000 square metre (118,000 square foot) warehouse to house spare parts.They are arranged on towering shelves in brown, yellow and orange boxes, and range from a main landing gear for an A380, the world’s biggest passenger plane, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, to a washer worth one cent. They can be dispatched from the warehouse—Airbus’s biggest such facility in Asia, and second-biggest in the world—within four hours of receiving an order, with plans to further slash the waiting time.Airbus, whose revenues from services hit $3.2 billion in 2017, 18 percent higher than the previous year, plans to expand the facility by 8,000 square metres next year. Explore further “So if this market grows about five percent per year as we focus more on developing new products, we expect to see dramatic growth in our business.”The Singapore Airshow highlighted the growing importance of the sector.The largest deals at the show, the biggest in Asia, were not plane orders but contracts worth nearly $1 billion signed by Boeing’s dedicated global services unit, which was launched last year as its vehicle to expand into the after-sales market.Both companies are focusing on Asia-Pacific due to explosive growth of the aviation sector in an increasingly affluent region where many people are flying for the first time.Airbus’ Martinez said Asia-Pacific is expected to account for 40 percent of the services market over the next two decades, with the region’s aircraft fleet set to almost triple by 2036.The fight for after-sales services market share between Boeing and Airbus will likely be every bit as fierce as their battle for aircraft orders.Competition “is going to be very, very tough—very intense”, said analyst Shukor. © 2018 AFP
Edge Hill University’s Robbie the Robot catches up on soap opera Emmerdale to recognize dementia signs. Credit: Edge Hill University 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. What is the value of a robot life? Provided by Edge Hill University Edge Hill University’s robot, Robbie, has become a soap fan after watching episodes of popular UK drama Emmerdale to learn about dementia. Robbie has watched over 13 episodes of the popular soap featuring the storyline of dementia sufferer Ashley Thomas.He can now spot signs of depression and aggressive behaviour in the hope that robots like him will be able to help people living with the condition.Ardhendu Behera, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science who led the project with three students, said: “There are 46.8M people living with dementia and this is set to rise to 115.4M in 2050.”Depression and aggressive behaviour are often the most upsetting and challenging symptoms for those closest to the person living with the condition.”Currently the only ways to monitor and manage dementia is by direct observation which is labour intensive, time consuming and can be costly from a care perspective. Or there’s wearable bio-sensing devices.”Monitoring and recognition is still very much in its infancy and we believe Robbie is the first robot to use vision-based recognition to recognise four behaviours; aggressive, depressive, happy and neutral.”Ardhendu and the team chose the Emmerdale episodes as the Alzheimer’s Society described them as a ‘realistic portrayal’ of the condition.They broke the 35-minute-long episodes featuring Ashley into 65,082 images, teaching Robbie to recognise facial expressions and body language.Third-year-student Zachary Wharton, from Ormskirk, added: “The aim is for Robbie and robots like him to look for clues as to when the person might be beginning to show aggressive behaviour and perhaps offer a distraction to help them calm down.”It might be through playing music or showing a video, talking to them. The potential use of robots is huge as they can not only with the daily routine of a sufferer for friends and family but could potentially intervene in situations to help.”In test situations Robbie was highly accurate at identifying aggressive and depressive behaviour when compared to happy and neutral behaviour.Ardhendu has presented the research to Alzheimer’s Research UK, palliative care organisations, the IEEE (the world’s largest technical professional organisation for advancing technology for the benefit of humanity) and other universities. Through previous projects Robbie has already been trained to recognise over 80 common objects, human actions and emotions.He can be used as a companion to the young and old following anything from how many times they have a drink and take medication to how active they are. Citation: Robbie the Robot becomes soap fan after watching Emmerdale to learn about dementia (2019, February 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-robbie-robot-soap-fan-emmerdale.html Explore further
More information: Encrypted Extremism: Inside the English-Speaking Islamic State Ecosystem on Telegram. extremism.gwu.edu/sites/g/file … cryptedExtremism.pdf Supporters of the Islamic State (IS) want to use social media to share propaganda and their extremist narrative, but they also want to coordinate operations without being detected by law enforcement and investigative agencies. These two goals are fundamentally in conflict, according to a new report from the George Washington University Program on Extremism. Seamus Hughes (left), Bennett Clifford, Helen Powell and Nicholas Rasmussen discuss how Islamic State supporters use the encrypted messaging application Telegram. Credit: GW Program on Extremism Citation: Report details how islamic state supporters use Telegram (2019, June 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-islamic-state-telegram.html Indonesia lifts threat to ban encrypted app Telegram Provided by George Washington University The Program on Extremism released its newest report, “Encrypted Extremism: Inside the English-Speaking Islamic State Ecosystem on Telegram,” on Thursday. The report, authored by the program’s research fellow Bennett Clifford and GW Presidential Fellow Helen Powell, provides a comprehensive look at how IS sympathizers build global online networks, disseminate propaganda and guide operations using the encrypted messaging application Telegram. The report examined more than 630 pro-Islamic State channels and groups containing English-language content collected between June 2017 and October 2018.The authors participated in a panel discussion at the Elliott School of International Affairs following the release of the report. The event featured Mr. Clifford, Ms. Powell, and Nicholas Rasmussen, senior director for National Security and Counterterrorism Programs at the McCain Institute and former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. The event was moderated by Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism.Telegram allows users to communicate through closed groups and forums, where content is not regulated by the platform. These closed groups limit members’ ability to recruit, but external approaches like public file sharing and use of public social media risk operational security and user privacy, according to the report.”When supporters do that, they potentially release information that could provide a link between their Telegram account and their presence elsewhere online, such as an IP address,” Mr. Clifford said.Over the past few years, companies like Twitter and Facebook have been pressured to crackdown on the spread of extremist content on social media platforms. The result means IS supporters are largely marginalized on Telegram, which is less accessible to the public compared to Twitter. How governments and the tech industry move forward from here should be carefully considered, Ms. Powell said.”Instead of trying to chase [IS supporters] from platform to platform… we should think a little smarter about how we can limit and confine extremism,” she said.Because supporters are continuously trying to conduct outreach and recruit new members, there will always be a public window into their online activities. Pushing users from Telegram to other platforms where monitoring might be more difficult may not be the best plan of action, Ms. Powell said.Governments should encourage Telegram to participate in industry-led forums and share insights and trends they observe with other tech companies to assist in their own monitoring. Telegram should also alert smaller companies when they observe IS supporters, known for their online adaptability, are increasingly linking to other platforms, Ms. Powell said.The report looked at hashtags used by IS supporters on Telegram and found that discussion of terrorist attacks in the west was notably absent. Supporters fundamentally focused on what was happening on the ground in Syria and Iraq in light of the territorial collapse of the caliphate, Mr. Clifford said. Supporters have refocused on Islamic State military activities, attempts to ensure online network resilience and supplementing official propaganda with user-produced content.Mr. Rasmussen said this report will arm governments with useful and publicly-available information to tackle the challenges they face with isolating online extremism.”ISIS continues to represent a global enterprise…the physical defeat of the Caliphate in Iraq and Syria does not change that reality,” he said. “I think it’s important to bring that home to the public and the broader policy community so that’s not lost even amidst the success we’ve enjoyed against ISIS.” Explore further 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.
Williams played 50 minutes in a club match for Ponsonby against Grammar TEC last week before suffering another fitness setback.The powerful midfielder has been linked with a return to rugby league after the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Sonny Bill Williams is a doubt for New Zealand’s Rugby Championship opener against Argentina due to a hamstring injury. Williams may not be available to feature for the world champions, though, as he is suffering from a tight hamstring.The 33-year-old missed much of the Super Rugby season after undergoing knee surgery.MORE: Crusaders confirm Crotty replacement for Super Rugby final against Jaguares The Blues centre was this week named in the initial All Blacks squad for the clashes with the Pumas in Buenos Aires on July 20 and South Africa in Wellington a week later.