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Police officer stabbed ahead of G20 summit in Japan

first_img Violent crime is rare in Japan but occasional high-profile incidents have shocked the nationJapanese police on Monday arrested a man on charges of stabbing a police officer and grabbing a loaded handgun in a western city near Osaka, which hosts a summit of the G20 grouping next week, police said. Advertising Japan government to pay damages to kin over leprosy isolation Advertising The 33-year-old suspect, caught while lying on a bench beneath which the stolen gun had been placed, has denied the charges, a local police official said.“We are taking a grave view of the incident, which caused great anxiety among residents,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference. “With a G20 summit scheduled next week, we will reinforce vigilance and guard even more strictly.”A large-scale search for the suspect began on Sunday, after the stabbed officer was found lying in front of a police box in the city of Suita. On Monday, he was unconscious and in a critical condition, authorities said. South Korea seeks US help in bitter trade spat with Japan Related News One of the bullets originally loaded in the stolen gun seemed to have been fired, but police have heard of no reports of related injuries or damage, the police official said.Violent crime is rare in Japan but occasional high-profile incidents have shocked the nation. Sunday’s incident follows a case last month in which a knife-wielding middle-aged man killed a girl and an adult, injuring 17 people near the capital, Tokyo. By Reuters |Tokyo | Published: June 17, 2019 10:25:53 am More acrimony in Japan-South Korea row as Tokyo lodges protest 1 Comment(s)last_img read more

Appeals court puts Trump abortion restrictions on hold again

first_imgBy AP |Seattle | Published: July 4, 2019 2:01:11 pm Abortion ban, Abortion rules, Ban on abortion, Trump ban on abortion, US abortion ban, US abortion rules Critics say the rules would force many clinics to find new locations, undergo expensive remodels or shut down.Trump administration rules that impose additional hurdles for low-income women seeking abortions are on hold once again. More Explained Supreme Court notice to Centre on petition seeking to decriminalise abortion Advertising Plea in Supreme Court: Abortion law violative of privacy Related News Alabama woman who lost pregnancy in shooting is charged in foetus’ death Advertising Federal judges in Washington, Oregon, and California blocked the rules from taking effect. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane in Oregon called the new policy “madness” and said it was motivated by “an arrogant assumption that the government is better suited to direct women’s health care than their providers.”A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit overruled them two weeks ago. The judges called the rules “reasonable” and said they align with a federal law that prohibits taxpayer funds from going to “programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”With that decision vacated, the injunctions issued by the lower court judges are once again in effect. It’s not clear when new court arguments will be held.“We are profoundly grateful the preliminary injunction is back in place,” said Clare Coleman, president of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, which is involved in the cases. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday vacated a unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel and said a slate of 11 judges will reconsider lawsuits brought by more than 20 states and several civil rights and health organizations challenging the rules. The rules ban taxpayer-funded clinics from making abortion referrals and prohibit clinics that receive federal money from sharing office space with abortion providers.Critics say the rules would force many clinics to find new locations, undergo expensive remodels or shut down.The Justice Department did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The agency previously said its position “is supported by long-standing Supreme Court precedent, and we are confident we will ultimately prevail on appeal.” Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Post Comment(s) If allowed to take effect, the administration’s new policy would mark a return to rules that were adopted in 1988 and subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court. Under the Clinton administration, those rules were abandoned in favor of a requirement that the clinics provide neutral abortion counseling and referrals upon request.Those challenging Trump’s approach have pointed to the Affordable Care Act, which bars the government from creating unreasonable barriers to medical care or interfering with communications between the patient and provider. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Taking stock of monsoon rain She said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had not yet been enforcing the new rules, even though the three-judge panel’s ruling had given it the green light to do so.The rules affect organizations that provide, and women who receive, health care through Title X, a 1970 law designed to improve access to family planning services.Among them is Planned Parenthood, which had called the now-vacated panel decision “devastating.” It serves about 1.6 million of the 4 million low-income patients who receive health care through Title X.Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of Title X or other taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or to save the woman’s life. Abortion opponents and religious conservatives say Title X has long been used to indirectly subsidize abortion providers. Best Of Express last_img read more

Trump unloads on Paul Ryan calls him a lame duck failure

first_imgRyan is very critical of Trump in the book “American Carnage” by Tim Alberta of Politico, in excerpts running in various publications.Alberta wrote the former speaker could not stand the idea of another two years with the president, and saw retirement as the “escape hatch,” according to The Washington Post.Ryan quoted saying: “I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government. I wanted to scold him all the time.” Related News Advertising Rocky road ahead for ‘Dreamer’ immigrants bill in US House of Representatives Trump tweeted late Thursday: “He had the Majority & blew it away with his poor leadership and bad timing. Never knew how to go after the Dems like they go after us. Couldn’t get him out of Congress fast enough!”Trump may have been angered by various revelations in the book, including accounts recalling widespread negative GOP reactions to his off-colour videotaped comments in the “Access Hollywood” scandal in the closing weeks of the election campaign. But Ryan was the main focus of his Twitter page.“Paul Ryan, the failed V.P. candidate & former Speaker of the House, whose record of achievement was atrocious (except during my first two years as President), ultimately became a long-running lame-duck failure, leaving his Party in the lurch both as a fundraiser & leader”, Trump began his tweetstorm. US House Speaker rejects Rosenstein impeachment effort By AP |Washington (usa) | Published: July 12, 2019 4:30:41 pm Donald Trump, Donald Trump Twitter, Donald Trump News, Twitter, Twitter News, Twitter Trends, US President, Paul Ryan, Indian Express Trump began his tweetstorm on Paul Ryan late Thursday saying Ryan blew his majority with his poor leadershipPresident Donald Trump unloaded via Twitter, on former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan, calling him a “lame duck failure.” Post Comment(s) Advertising Paul Ryan not comfortable with separating parents, kids at border last_img read more

New oral drug reduces menstrual bleeding for women with common uterine tumors

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 9 2018A new oral drug significantly reduced menstrual bleeding for women with the most common gynecologic tumors in the United States – benign tumors that disproportionately affect African-Americans, an international clinical trial found.In the five-country study, Elagolix reduced bleeding in more than 90 percent of premenopausal women who had heavy menstrual bleeding associated with fibroid tumors – noncancerous growths of the uterus known as uterine leiomyomas that often appear during childbearing years.Surgery has traditionally been the gold standard for treatment, resulting in hysterectomy or myomectomy, so a nonsurgical option offers new hope, said Dr. Bruce Carr, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and lead author on the study appearing in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.”There are no orally approved drugs to decrease bleeding and prevent anemia in women with these tumors,” said Dr. Carr, Director of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern, who holds the Paul C. MacDonald Distinguished Chair in Obstetrics & Gynecology. “Now, there is a medical option for this devastating disease that affects up to 75 percent of women.”Related StoriesMenstrual cups just as good as sanitary pads or tamponsResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryPrescribing hormone therapy together with the new drug prevented estrogen-deficiency induced side effects like hot flashes and bone loss, the researchers found.Fibroid tumors can be associated with infertility, miscarriage, and early onset of labor and are the most common reason for hysterectomy worldwide, costing an estimated $2.2 billion in the U.S. alone. For women in their 40s and 50s, abnormal uterine bleeding also is the most common reason to see a gynecologist, and fibroids are one of the most common causes of the symptom.Researchers examining health disparities of uterine fibroids found that 80 percent of African-American women and approximately 70 percent of white women will have uterine fibroids by age 50, although the tumors cause symptoms in only about a quarter to half of women who have them. Research in the Journal of Women’s Health reported that African-American women: Had a higher cumulative risk of uterine fibroids. Experienced a threefold greater incidence and relative risk of fibroids. Had an earlier age of onset. Were 2.4 times more likely to undergo hysterectomy. Had a 6.8-fold increase in the number of uterine-sparing myomectomies. Researchers conducted the clinical trial at 86 sites in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Chile, and the United Kingdom and involved the Mayo Clinic, Eastern Virginia Medical School, the University of Illinois, the Cleveland Clinic, Mercy Health Osteoporosis and Bone Health Services, Augusta University, and The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., along with the maker of the new drug (elagolix), AbbVie Inc. Dr. Carr received research support from AbbVie and Agile Therapeutics and served on the Repros Therapeutics Data and Safety Monitoring Board.Source: https://www.utsouthwestern.edu/newsroom/articles/year-2018/elagolix.htmllast_img read more

Study outlines link between Americas eviction crisis and high rate of STIs

first_img Source:https://www.american.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 24 2019Almost 2.3 million people are evicted from their homes annually and four evictions are filed every minute in the United States. A study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases outlines a correlation researchers found between America’s eviction crisis and the high rate of sexually transmitted infections. The study is part of an ongoing collaboration between researchers from American University, Yale University, and Drexel University that is aimed at examining connections between mass incarceration, housing instability, subsidized housing policies, race inequities, and sexually transmitted infections.According to the study, counties with high eviction rates in three of the four U.S. Census regions – Midwest, South and West – have higher rates of two common STIs: chlamydia and gonorrhea. Notably, the analysis reveals the trend remains true even when researchers controlled for factors such as poverty and other known determinants of STIs.Related StoriesBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustryComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairThe Centers for Disease Control reports that chlamydia and gonorrhea have been on the rise in recent years. From 2013 to 2017, chlamydia diagnoses have increased by 45 percent and gonorrhea diagnoses have increased by 67 percent. While both are treatable with antibiotics, they can have serious health consequences if not diagnosed in a timely manner.”Our findings point to the possibility that housing instability may play a role in one’s increased risk for STIs by disrupting long-term relationships and leading to new or more casual relationships,” said Linda Niccolai, first author of the study and professor of epidemiology at Yale University School of Public Health. “Also, individuals might be more likely to engage in riskier sex when their economic vulnerability increases and may engage in sex in exchange for basic necessities.”One way to mitigate risk, the researchers propose, is for policymakers to focus on affordable housing. Housing inequality has reached a peak not seen since the 1930s. Approximately nine percent of poor renters expect to be evicted in the next two months. Research has recently shown that a full-time, minimum-wage worker cannot afford the average market-rate one-bedroom apartment in 99.6 percent of U.S. counties, according to a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Rising rents in the private housing market, coupled with limited governmental assistance, means the majority of the renting poor in America spend more than half of their income on housing costs.”Successfully addressing health problems, like the increase in STI infections, will take more than the efforts of physicians and the biomedical industry,” said Kim Blankenship, co-author of the study and professor of sociology at American University. “It will require a commitment to ensuring that all Americans are able to live in conditions that promote their health, and this includes access to stable and adequate housing.”last_img read more

New game app spreads knowledge about personcentered care

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 27 2019Click, swipe, listen to patients and follow the talk among the healthcare staff. Now, another step in the work towards a more person-centered care is being taken as the PCC Game app is being launched. A virtual journey for greater knowledge and with tricky questions along the way.The game app was developed on behalf of the University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-centred Care (GPCC), a research center that also works to spread knowledge about and to implement person-centered care as an approach in various health care settings around the country.The app forms a complement to books, articles and lectures for those who want to learn more about person-centered care. After thousands of downloads of the Swedish version of the app, it’s now also available for free in English, from both the App Store and Google Play. Related StoriesGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsApplication of machine learning methods to healthcare outcomes researchOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchPerson-centered care means that the care recipient is not just seen as a patient with a diagnosis, but as a whole person, with experiences and knowledge that are crucial for the care to be optimal. The patient thereby becomes an important partner in the planning of care.Research shows that the approach can reduce the number of days in hospital care, and lead to the care recipients having greater confidence in health care. But even though virtually everyone is positive towards person-centered care, many health care settings may be slow to introduce the approach in a structured and thorough manner.The game is set up as a map, where the user can choose different tasks. The tasks are either mini-games or content that stimulates reflection. The user is also encouraged by the game to test new ideas directly in daily activities and think about the outcome.One example of a mini-game is that the user can meet a fictitious care recipient, navigate through dialogs to then create a health plan together with the care recipient.“When a research center and a gaming company meet, an exciting encounter arises. We’ve learned to use texts and images in a new way, and to think more in gaming terms. The gaming company has in turn had to learn what person-centered care involves,” says Irma Lindström Kjellberg.The game has been developed in cooperation with the software company IUS Innovation. The Swedish branch of the International Network of Health-promoting Hospitals and Health Services was also involved in the development of the game and provided opinions on content and form.To download the PCC game onto your smart phone or tablet: Search for PCC game on App Store or Google Play. Source:University of Gothenburg The PCC Game app is a complement to all of the other ways of learning we can offer. By using new media, acquiring new knowledge can become easier and more enjoyable, without the content becoming superficial.”Irma Lindström Kjellberg, Senior Adviser at GPCClast_img read more

Diet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetes

first_imgEndocrinologist and co-author of the study, Jürgen Harreiter, adds: Gestational diabetes is the main risk factor for type II diabetes in women following childbirth and also increases the child’s risk via foetal programming. The development of preventive measures both during and after pregnancy is an important goal in the fight to combat the diabetes epidemic. It could be that low-carb diets are not ideal for pregnant women”. The evidence for an ideal weight gain during pregnancy is still not definitive, particularly in the case of obese women, and requires further studies”. Source:Medical University of ViennaJournal reference:Harreiter, J. et al. (2019) Nutritional Lifestyle Intervention in Obese Pregnant Women, Including Lower Carbohydrate Intake, Is Associated With Increased Maternal Free Fatty Acids, 3-β-Hydroxybutyrate, and Fasting Glucose Concentrations: A Secondary Factorial Analysis of the European Multicenter, Randomized Controlled DALI Lifestyle Intervention Trial. Diabetes Care. doi.org/10.2337/dc19-0418.center_img Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that manifests during pregnancy and, in most cases, disappears again – at least temporarily – immediately after the birth. It is assumed that in Austria, as in the rest of Europe, every seventh pregnant woman is affected by it. Unfortunately, no accurate data are available, because the maternity card (Mutter-Kind-Pass) data that are collected countrywide are not yet centrally evaluated. Estimates suggest that approximately one third of the women affected are also obese.One of the major risk factors is obesity in the mother-to-be. The recommended pregnancy-related weight gain for obese women is 5 – 9 kg but many women greatly exceed these recommendations. In order to explore the possibilities and indicators for avoiding gestational diabetes in obese women, nutritional lifestyle interventions involving 436 women were evaluated as part of the EU DALI project (Vitamin D and Lifestyle Intervention for Gestational Diabetes), in which the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, led by endocrinologist Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, played a major role.The project involved coaching a group of obese pregnant women to change their diet and to comply with five lifestyle measures: to reduce their intake of soft drinks, to reduce their intake of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates and fat and to increase their intake of protein and dietary fibre. The control group made no changes to their eating habits. A second group of women did regular physical activity and received corresponding advice. The control group took no physical exercise.Related StoriesResearchers identify molecular pathway underpinning exercise and improved motor learningMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesDiabetes patients experiencing empathy from PCPs have beneficial long-term clinical outcomesAlthough the weight gain of those women who followed the dietary advice was smaller, they also displayed higher fasting blood glucose levels and a higher level of substances in the blood resulting from increased fat breakdown, such as fatty acids and ketones. This also correlated with reduced carbohydrate intake. Higher levels of free fatty acids were also found in the blood of the new-born babies. No changes were found in these metabolic markers in the other groups. However, according to the study, increased physical exercise was just as unsuccessful in preventing gestational diabetes as vitamin D supplementation.In summary, it can be concluded that nutritional interventions have a significant influence upon maternal and infant metabolism. However, the advantage of smaller weight gain by restricting carbohydrates in obese pregnant women simultaneously results in increased fat breakdown and the associated release of free fatty acids into the blood of both mother and baby. The consequences of this are not yet clear and need to be further investigated.Says Kautzky-Willer: Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 11 2019The assumption that minimizing weight gain in obese pregnant women is advantageous for avoiding gestational diabetes has not been borne out. This was shown by a study conducted by MedUni Vienna’s Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Indeed, it might even be detrimental to the mother and the unborn child to restrict carbohydrate intake during pregnancy. These results have recently been published in the leading journal “Diabetes Care”.last_img read more

Google Tencent eye collaboration on new technologies

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 further © 2018 AFP China’s Tencent draws $41 bn orders for $5 bn bond sale Citation: Google, Tencent eye collaboration on new technologies (2018, January 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-google-tencent-eye-collaboration-technologies.html Internet titans Google and Tencent on Friday signalled possible future collaboration on developing new technologies as the US and Chinese firms announced a long-term patent-sharing agreement. Google effectively withdrew its search engine from China’s heavily controlled internet landscape in 2010 in a row over censorship and cyber-attacks, and many of its services remain blocked but there are signs of a thaw in relations The companies gave no details on the scope or nature of the potential cooperation but said in a joint statement that they “are open to deeper collaboration in the future on innovative new technologies”.”By working together on agreements such as this, tech companies can focus on building better products and services for their users,” Google’s head of patents, Mike Lee, was quoted saying. Sam Xu, head of intellectual property at Tencent, added that the patent agreement would “advance the collaboration between two leading technology companies”.California-based Google already has similar cross-licensing tie-ups with Samsung, LG and others, which are typical industry arrangements between corporations designed to minimise patent infringements.But any cooperation between the US search giant and China’s all-conquering tech leader—the world’s second- and fifth-largest companies by market value, according to Bloomberg News—is bound to generate buzz in the IT world.Google effectively withdrew its search engine from China’s heavily controlled internet landscape in 2010 in a row over censorship and cyber-attacks, and many of its services remain blocked.But there have been hints of a thaw in relations.Chinese internet regulators recently allowed access to its translation product, and last month Google announced it would open a new artificial intelligence research centre in Beijing.The agreement with Tencent would apply to a broad range of products, the companies said, without giving any specifics.Tencent operates China’s ubiquitous WeChat messaging platform and is the country’s leader in social media and gaming.It is pushing to build up its entertainment and gaming businesses and has signalled plans to buy studios, expand into content creation and diversify overseas.dma/dan read more

Comcast challenges Disney with 65B bid for Fox

first_img © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 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. Comcast made a $65 billion bid Wednesday for Fox’s entertainment businesses, setting up a battle with Disney to become the next mega-media company. With the Fox deal, Disney would get more content for those services—through the studios behind the Avatar movies, “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family,” along with National Geographic. Marvel would get back the characters previously licensed to Fox, reuniting X-Men with the Avengers.Comcast, meanwhile, has been leading the way in marrying pipes with the entertainment that flows through them. It bought NBCUniversal’s cable channels and movie studio in 2013 and added Dreamworks Animation in 2016.The Philadelphia company has been tinkering with the traditional cable bundle, offering stand-alone subscriptions for some types of video along with smaller bundles of cable channels delivered over the internet. Comcast has said it will add Netflix to some cable bundles.With Fox, Comcast would expand a portfolio that already includes U.S. television rights to the Olympics and comedy offerings such as “Saturday Night Live.” Comcast already owns such cable channels as CNBC, Bravo and SyFy.Whichever company prevails would also control Fox’s cable and international TV businesses. That’s key for Comcast, which currently doesn’t have an international presence. The Fox television network and some cable channels including Fox News and Fox Business Network would stay with Murdoch’s family under either deal, as with the newspaper and book businesses under a separate company, News Corp.Fox shareholders are set to vote on the Disney bid on July 10. Despite Comcast’s higher offer, it’s not immediately clear whether Fox’s board would entertain it. According to regulatory filings, an unnamed company, widely thought to be Comcast, previously made an offer for Fox. But Fox went with Disney because of concerns it would face more regulatory scrutiny with the other company.That was before U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled in AT&T’s favor and rejected the government’s argument that its takeover of Time Warner would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more to stream TV and movies. The government worried that AT&T, as DirecTV’s owner, could charge Comcast and other rival distributors higher prices for Time Warner channels like CNN or HBO. In turn, that could drive up what consumers pay. AT&T and Time Warner argue they’re simply trying to stay afloat in the new streaming environment.Disney wouldn’t face the same issues because it isn’t a television distributor as the way Comcast and AT&T are. But if Disney gets Fox, the combined movie studios would account for 45 percent of worldwide box office revenue, according to BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield. That could raise regulatory objections. A larger studio could use its power to keep its movies in more theaters longer, dampening competition from rival studios.Disney and Comcast had already been at battle in the U.K. over Sky TV. Fox has a 39 percent stake in that company and has been trying to buy outright, with the intention of selling the full company to Disney as part of that deal. U.K. regulators have given the OK to that offer if Fox sells Sky News. Regulators there also have cleared Comcast’s $30.7 billion offer for the 61 percent of Sky that Murdoch doesn’t own.In addition to the $35-per-share cash offer, Comcast agreed to pay a $2.5 billion termination fee if the deal doesn’t pass regulatory muster. It also agreed to reimburse Fox for the $1.5 billion-plus break-up fee it agreed to pay to Disney if their deal doesn’t go through.Disney and Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Comcast challenges Disney for control of 21st Century Fox assets The bid comes just a day after a federal judge cleared AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner and rejected the government’s argument that it would hurt competition in cable and satellite TV and jack up costs to consumers for streaming TV and movies. The ruling signaled that Comcast could win regulatory approval, too; its bid for Fox shares many similarities with the AT&T-Time Warner deal.Comcast says its cash bid is 19 percent higher than the value of Disney offer as of Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal and others reported earlier that Comcast had lined up $60 billion in cash to challenge Disney for media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s company. Disney’s offer was for $52.5 billion when it was made in December, though the final value will depend on the stock price at the closing.”This is a golden offer that will put considerable pressure on (Disney CEO Bob) Iger and Disney to step up their game on another bid,” GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives said. “This is even higher than the Street thought, which speaks to Comcast really wanting these key assets.”The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox comes as traditional entertainment companies try to amass more content to compete better with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers’ attention—and dollars.If the Comcast bid succeeds, a major cable distributor would control even more channels on its lineup and those of its rivals. That could lead to higher cable bills or make it more difficult for online alternatives to emerge, though there is not yet evidence of either happening following other mergers. For Disney, a successful Comcast bid could make Disney’s planned streaming service less attractive, without the Fox video.Content is becoming more important as ways to deliver content proliferate. Cable companies like Comcast are no longer competing only with satellite alternatives such as DirecTV, but also stand-alone services such as Netflix and cable-like online bundles through Sony, AT&T and others.Disney already started its own sports streaming service and plans an entertainment-focused one late next year featuring movies and shows from its own studios, which include Marvel, Pixar and “Star Wars” creator Lucasfilm. This combo of file photos shows the 21st Century Fox sign outside of the News Corporation headquarters building on Aug. 1, 2017, in New York, bottom, and a Comcast sign on Oct. 12, 2017, in Hialeah, Fla. Comcast is making a $65 billion bid for Fox’s entertainment businesses, setting up a battle with Disney to become the next mega-media company. (AP Photo/File) Citation: Comcast challenges Disney with $65B bid for Fox (2018, June 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-comcast-disney-65b-fox.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Harnessing artificial intelligence for sustainability goals

first_img Credit: European Space Agency Dr. Helber said, “Take for example the SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. It is expected that 95 percent of urban expansion over the next decades will take place in the developing world. There will be obvious issues relating to public health, clean water and so on. MIT unveils new $1 bn college for artificial intelligence As ESA’s ɸ-week continues to provoke and inspire participants on new ways of using Earth observation for monitoring our world to benefit the citizens of today and of the future, it is clear that artificial intelligence is set to play an important role. “As a first step towards helping those people, we need to be able to map these growing urban environments.”It is clear that you cannot manually analyse hundreds of terabytes of data every day, we need an automated approach, which is where artificial intelligence comes in.”Through our research, we can, for example, run over a Copernicus Sentinel-2 image with trained artificial intelligence and the type of land is automatically classified.”This, in turn, allows changes in land-use, such as urban growth to be monitored automatically.”This is just one of the topics related to coupling Earth observation with artificial intelligence being discussed at the ɸ-week.With the huge potential that this field has to offer, ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes Josef Aschbacher noted, “We believe that artificial intelligence is set to take us into a new era for Earth observation and this can only benefit society.”While I expect this will be a matter of routine in the years to come, my personal dream is to fly a small satellite that carries an artificial intelligence chip to provide information in a more ‘intelligent’ way.”And in fact, we already hope to launch a small experiment of this nature next year to see how it would work.” The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence is training an artificial intelligence system with data from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. This approach can improve the method of land classification. Credit: German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence Citation: Harnessing artificial intelligence for sustainability goals (2018, November 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-harnessing-artificial-intelligence-sustainability-goals.htmlcenter_img Provided by European Space Agency Taking place at ESA’s Centre of Earth observation in Frascati, Italy, on 12–16 November, ɸ-week has drawn hundreds of people from numerous disciplines to explore innovation, new technologies and cross disciplinary cooperation – to see how satellite data coupled with new technologies such as artificial intelligence can bring benefits to science, business, the economy and society at large.One might initially associate artificial intelligence and machine learning with robots and science fiction. However, it is, without question, seeping into our everyday lives through, for example, digital advertising, speech recognition tools and innovations such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.Artificial intelligence is fundamentally the simulation of human intelligence by computer systems. Before it can work, it has to learn by being trained. Not only does it have to acquire information – essentially it has to acquire the rules for using the information correctly.With availability of such a vast amount of satellite data – Earth observation satellites operated by ESA alone provide about 150 TB of data every single day – it is a challenge to make use of it all effectively.Artificial intelligence and computing, however, have the power to unlock the full potential of these satellite data and make full use of missions in orbit.Applying artificial intelligence to Earth observation is expected to make it easier and quicker to provide users with the information they need. This is particularly relevant for dealing with environmental disasters and climate change, but also for making headway in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).At ɸ-week, Patrick Helber from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, talked about how they are training an artificial intelligence system with data from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission to help address global challenges such as those highlighted by the SDGs. 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.last_img read more

Lawsuit against Disney Fox hits Malaysian casino operators shares

first_img The $1 billion lawsuit, filed in the US District Court in Los Angeles, alleges that Disney and Fox failed to honour a 2013 deal to license intellectual property, including from Fox animated films like “Ice Age” and “Planet of the Apes,” for the theme park outside Kuala Lumpur.The suit alleges that Fox was seeking to terminate the contract and that Disney executives were also keen on distancing themselves from the project because the park would be adjacent to a casino and would harm the company’s “family-friendly” image.Disney and Fox representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Genting Malaysia Berhad (GENM) said in a statement to the local exchange it was claiming damages in excess of $1 billion.It vowed “to fully enforce its rights” under the deal and “claim for the cost of its investments and consequential and punitive damages”.”The litigation is not expected to impact GENM’s current business operations,” the company said.However, investors still sold Genting stocks, which plunged by as much as 18.6 percent before recovering slightly. They were down 14.72 percent by mid-afternoon.Brokerage CGS CIMB Securities described news of the litigation as a “major negative surprise” for the theme park, the opening of which has already been delayed by more than a year.”Potential legal complications” could also affect the park’s new proposed opening date, scheduled for the first half of 2019, it added.”The plan was for Fox World to be the new centerpiece of Resorts World Genting, GENM’s integrated resort complex in Genting Highlands,” according to the lawsuit.The suit alleges that Fox had used repeated delays in the project as a reason to cancel the deal and had recently issued a notice of default, requiring the developer to open the park within 30 days, an impossible deadline.”This is a case about seller’s remorse, first by Fox, and then by Disney, after the latter began the process of acquiring Fox in a deal now expected to close in the first half of 2019,” the suit claims.It adds that Genting was entitled to recoup the more than $750 million it had already invested in the park, along with consequential and punitive damages in excess of $1 billion.Built on more than 25 acres (10 hectares) in the Genting Highlands, an idyllic mountain retreat an hour’s drive outside of Kuala Lumpur, the park was to feature more than 25 rides and attractions based on such blockbusters as “Ice Age,” “Life of Pi,” “Alien” and “Night at the Museum.” Explore further Malaysian casino operator Genting claims the Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox walked away from a planned theme park near Kuala Lumpur © 2018 AFP 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.center_img Shares in Malaysian casino operator Genting fell nearly 19 percent Tuesday after it sued The Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox for allegedly abandoning a project to build a theme park in the country. Citation: Lawsuit against Disney, Fox hits Malaysian casino operator’s shares (2018, November 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-lawsuit-disney-fox-malaysian-casino.html EU approves Disney’s deal to buy Fox entertainment assetslast_img read more

Huawei how the telecoms giant is seen around the world

first_img Timeline showing how Chinese telecom giant Huawei has been dropped from major markets in the past year 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. Huawei’s status as a leading supplier of the backbone equipment for telecoms systems—mostly in developing markets—has given China an inside track for spearheading fifth-generation (5G) mobile technology.5G communications are the next milestone in the digital revolution, bringing near-instantaneous connectivity, vast data capacity and futuristic technologies.However, fears and that Chinese telecoms companies like Huawei could be proxies for Beijing’s intrusive security apparatus, using the sophisticated infrastructure for espionage, a growing number of Western states turn their backs on the giant.China has strongly defended its flagship tech group, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi denouncing on Friday an “unfair and immoral” campaign against Huawei.Here is an overview of how Huawei is seen around the world:The United StatesWashington has slapped the strictest restrictions against Huawei, and according to American media, is strongly encouraging its allies to follow suit.A report in October 2012 by the House Intelligence Committee found Huawei and China-based ZTE could be used to undermine the security of the US, and demanded they be excluded from public contracts.The committee’s report noted that Huawei, whose founder is a former Chinese army engineer, “did not fully cooperate with its investigation and was reluctant to explain its relations with the Chinese government”.Despite steering clear of infrastructure projects, a congressional letter issued in December 2017 said Huawei’s equipment remained a “security threat” to the US.Telecoms groups AT&T and Verizon have stopped offering Huawei smartphones in the US and in August 2018 President Donald Trump signed the military budget for 2019 which prohibited government and military officials from using devices built by Huawei and ZTE.Australia, New Zealand, JapanAustralian authorities banned Huawei from submitting offers for the national broadband internet programme in 2012, fearing cyber-attacks. In the summer of 2018, Australia excluded Huawei from rolling out 5G, saying “the involvement of suppliers likely to be subject to extrajudicial decisions by a foreign government” constituted a security risk. Huawei’s status as a leading supplier of the backbone equipment for telecoms systems—mostly in developing markets—has given China an inside track for spearheading next-generation 5G technology ‘No evidence’ of Huawei spying, says German IT watchdog Citation: Huawei: how the telecoms giant is seen around the world (2019, January 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-huawei-telecoms-giant-world.html US charges against Chinese telecoms giant Huawei have cranked up tensions between the world’s two biggest economies, but the company is already facing obstructions around the world over alleged cyber-security risks. New Zealand followed suit in November, officially citing technological incompatibility, and Japan came next in December with a ruling aimed at avoiding “information leaks”, according to the Nikkei newspaper.Czech RepublicIn mid-December, the Czech cyber-security agency warned against the use of Huawei and ZTE’s software and equipment, claiming it posed a threat to national security.”Chinese laws require private companies headquartered in China to cooperate with intelligence services,” it argued.PolandOne of Huawei’s officials in Poland was arrested in mid-January by the internal security service ABW on charges of spying for Beijing. A senior government official then said that the country had begun investigating equipment provided by Huawei to assess the risks.Countries on alertIn Britain, where the government has expressed “serious concern”, the operator Vodafone has suspended its purchases of Huawei equipment for its infrastructure in Europe. BT announced in December it would remove Huawei materials from its existing 3G and 4G networks.Germany remains cautious, with the country’s cyber-crime body (BSI) chairman saying in mid-December: “For decisions as serious as a boycott, you need evidence.”In France, where two operators use Huawei equipment in their 4G network and conduct 5G tests with it, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian last week raised “risks” regarding Huawei, and an amendment has been proposed in the senate to “ensure the safety of mobile networks” to prevent espionage or sabotage on 5G.Norway, whose current networks are largely composed of Huawei equipment, is simply thinking of measures to “reduce (its) vulnerability”.In the midst of a full diplomatic spat with Beijing, the Canadian government told China in mid-January it would continue to mull whether or not to bar Huawei equipment from new networks while rejecting Chinese threats of “repercussions” in the event of a ban. Explore further © 2019 AFPlast_img read more

Judge rules Qualcomm violated antitrust law in chip market

first_img“The Trump administration views Qualcomm as almost the crown jewel for the U.S. in terms of U.S. technology development. Similar to the way China views Huawei,” said Angelo Zine, CFRA analyst. “It will be interesting to see if this gets revisited.”Qualcomm’s rivals are mostly Asian companies, including Huawei, Zine said. The Trump administration has set bruising sanctions against Huawei and pushed European allies not to use the Chinese company’s technology due to national-security concerns of China spying. The U.S. government is also in a spiraling trade war with China.The Trump administration’s attitude to Qualcomm can be seen in a case from last year, when it blocked a Singapore company, Broadcom, from buying Qualcomm over concerns about national security and who would dominate 5G technology. In this Jan. 9, 2019, file photo a sign advertises 5G at the Qualcomm booth at CES International in Las Vegas. Qualcomm and Apple drove declines in technology stocks on Wednesday, May 22. Qualcomm plunged following a federal judge’s ruling against the chipmaker in an antitrust case. (AP Photo/John Locher, File) The decision vindicates the U.S. Federal Trade Commission two years after it filed its antitrust lawsuit against the San Diego chipmaker. It’s a potentially costly setback for Qualcomm, as the decision could slash its ability to extract big royalties from phone makers.Qualcomm said Wednesday that it would appeal, suggesting the case could still take a few years to resolve.”We strongly disagree with the judge’s conclusions, her interpretation of the facts and her application of the law,” Qualcomm General Counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement.The outcome seems likely to reduce the licensing fees paid to Qualcomm, but it’s unclear if device makers will pass on any of their savings and lower their prices. The royalties represent a relatively small portion of smartphone prices that now top $1,000 for some premium models.U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, ruled Tuesday that Qualcomm Inc. must renegotiate licensing deals with customers. It must license its patents to rival chipmakers at fair prices and can’t sign exclusive agreements that block competitors from also selling chips to smartphone makers like Apple. Qualcomm must submit to FTC monitoring for seven years.The case has geopolitical ramifications. If Qualcomm suffered a big hit to its profitability, that could mean less spending on research and development—a knock to an American tech icon as the U.S. embarks on a politically sensitive race with China to update to 5G, a new wireless technology. Citation: Judge rules Qualcomm violated antitrust law in chip market (2019, May 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-qualcomm-violated-antitrust-law.html In this Nov. 6, 2018 file photo, attendees look at the latest technology from Qualcomm at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Qualcomm’s stock is tumbling before Wednesday’s market open on May 22, 2019, after a federal judge ruled that the company unlawfully stifled cellphone chip market competition and charged excessive licensing fees. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File) Explore further Trade group Computer & Communications Industry Association said Tuesday’s ruling was a win for wireless technology, as it would mean more competition.Qualcomm has justified its “no license, no chips” system as a repayment system for the $40 billion it has spent through several decades working on wireless technology essential to smartphones.Last month Apple and Qualcomm settled a bitter financial dispute centered on some of the technology that enables iPhones to connect to the internet. The deal requires Apple to pay Qualcomm an undisclosed amount. It also includes a six-year licensing agreement that likely involves recurring payments to the mobile chipmaker.Apple had already lost an earlier battle with Qualcomm in March when a federal court jury in San Diego decided the iPhone maker owed Qualcomm $31 million for infringing on three of its patents.Qualcomm shares dropped 12% to $68.18 in afternoon trading. A federal judge has ruled that Qualcomm unlawfully squeezed out cellphone chip rivals and charged excessive royalties to manufacturers such as Apple in a decision that undercuts a key part of its business. © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Apple, Qualcomm settle bitter dispute over iPhone technology 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

Raytheon and United Technologies announce merger Update

first_imgRaytheon and United Technologies announced on Sunday that they will merge, creating a behemoth American aeronautics and defense company. United Technologies is breaking into 3 independent companies 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 Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Raytheon and United Technologies announce merger (Update) (2019, June 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-raytheon-technologies-merger-wsj.html The new company, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, will be created via an exchange of shares between the two firms, with the merger expected to conclude in the first half of 2020, they said in a joint statement.”The transaction will create a premier systems provider with advanced technologies to address rapidly growing segments within aerospace and defense,” the statement said.Raytheon is best known for its Patriot air defense systems, which gained fame during the first Gulf War, and its Tomahawk cruise missiles, often the first weapons fired from US navy ships in recent conflicts.United Technologies (UTC) is a big player in the aeronautics industry with its Pratt and Whitney engines, which are used in civil and military aircraft, including the F-35 multi-role stealth fighter, considered one of the most advanced combat aircraft in the world.The Wall Street Journal first reported that talks have been under way between the two pillars of the global aeronautics and defense industries.’Merger of equals’This “merger of equals” will be concluded after United Technologies holdings Otis elevators and Carrier air-conditioning and building systems are spun off, the statement said.Separating those assets—a task involving some 500 people—should be completed by the first half of next year, the statement said.The UTC merger with Raytheon would transform the two companies into a single conglomerate with varied but well-established brands, each in the top tier of its specialty.The statement said UTC’s CEO Gregory Hayes, the merger’s architect, will assume the leadership of the new group, while Raytheon’s CEO, Thomas Kennedy, will become chairman of the board.Two years after the merger is completed, Hayes will take over as both CEO and board chairman.Hayes has led UTC since 2016 and oversaw the $23 billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins, another big name in the US defense and aeronautics sector.Thanks in large part to Rockwell Collins, which became Collins Aerospace, UTC posted good results in the first quarter of 2019. Collins Aerospace makes parts for aircraft engines, internal and external lighting for aircraft, seats, brakes, landing gear and pneumatic, hydraulic and electrical equipment. It also offers maintenance services for aircraft.Rockwell Collins’ sales rose 71 percent to $6.51 billion in the first quarter of 2019.During his presentation of the quarterly results, Hayes expressed optimism about the outlook for the rest of the year, stressing that the mix of civil and defense products had put UTC in a strong position.Massive defense groupThe UTC-Raytheon merger will create one of the biggest defense groups in the world, even if its $168 billion market capitalization based on Friday’s share prices is reduced by the coming UTC spinoffs.Boeing was valued at $199 billion Friday, Lockheed Martin at $100 billion and Europe’s Airbus at 94 billion euros, or $104 billion.In 2018, Raytheon had sales of $27 billion and earnings of a little less than $3 billion.For its part, United Technologies posted sales of $66.5 last year, and earnings of $5.3 billion. Raytheon and United Technologies have announced that they will mergelast_img read more

TN Govt tables Lokayukta Bill in Assembly

first_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL A file photo of Tamil Nadu State secretariat in Fort St. George in Chennai.   –  M Prabhu Published on SHARE corruption & bribery July 09, 2018 inquiry Tamil Nadu COMMENT The Tamil Nadu government today tabled a bill in the state Assembly for putting in place a Lokayukta to inquire into corruption allegations against public servants. The Tamil Nadu Lokayukta Bill, 2018 was tabled in the House by Minister for Fisheries and Personnel and Administrative Reforms, D Jayakumar. The bill, after being adopted, would pave the way for creation of the body that would look into graft charges against government servants. The jurisdiction of the Lokayukta would cover serving and former ministers, sitting or ex-MLAs and state government employees. In the Statement of Objects and Reasons, Jayakumar said the Centre had earlier enacted the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 and it “provides” that every state has to establish the Lokayukta. “Accordingly, the government has decided to establish the Lokayukta for the state of Tamil Nadu to inquire into allegations of corruption against public servants,” he said. COMMENTSlast_img read more

Cabinet approves bill for setting up of NCIM

first_imgThe draft bill is aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education of Indian medicine sector The Union Cabinet approved the draft National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine (NCIM) Bill, 2018. The bill seeks to replace the existing regulator, the Central Council for Indian Medicine (CCIM), with a new body to ensure transparency and accountability, an official statement said.The draft bill provides for the constitution of a National Commission with four autonomous boards entrusted with conducting overall education of Ayurveda under the Board of Ayurveda and Unani, Siddha and Sowarigpa under the Board of Unani, Siddha and Sowarigpa.There are two common boards namely Board of assessment and rating to assess and grant permission to educational institutions of Indian systems of Medicine and Board of ethics and registration of practitioners of Indian systems of medicine to maintain National Register and ethical issues relating to practice under the NCIM, the statement stated.“It also proposes a common entrance exam and an exit exam, which all graduates will have to clear to get practicing licenses. Further, a teacher’s eligibility test has been proposed in the Bill to assess the standard of teachers before appointment and promotions,” it said.The draft bill, the statement said, is aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education of Indian medicine sector in lines with the National Medical Commission proposed for setting up for Aloepathy system of medicine.The proposed regulatory structure will enable transparency and accountability for protecting the interests of the general public, it said.The NCIM will promote availability of affordable healthcare services in all parts of the country, according to the statement. SHARE SHARE EMAIL healthcare industry COMMENTS Ayurveda sector touches $4.4 billion market size: study Published on COMMENT December 28, 2018 Representative image SHARE RELATED last_img read more

Congress Working Committee unanimously rejects Rahuls offer to resign as party chief

first_imgCOMMENTS SHARE COMMENT politics Published on eventscenter_img Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s offer to resign was unanimously rejected by the Congress Working Committee that urged him to continue in the post and asked him to carry out a “complete overhaul and a detailed restructuring” of the party.Congress leaders, who addressed the media after the meeting, said the highest panel discussed no names as a replacement for Gandhi. Opposition leader in Lok Sabha Ghulam nabi Azad said Gandhi’s leadership is acceptable to everyone as he knows the issues and problems the party and the workers face everywhere. “In this circumstance, only he can lead the party,” Azad said.Thanks for votersA resolution passed the meeting said the CWC accepted the mandate of the people and expressed its gratitude to the 12.13 crore voters who voted for Congress. “The Congress is committed to dawn the role of a constructive opposition, raising people’s issues and holding the government accountable to people of India,” the resolution said.The CWC commended the “tireless efforts” of Gandhi, office bearers, leaders, party workers, volunteers and Congress candidates and thanked the allies for jointly fighting an “ideological” battle. The resolution also added that Gandhi offered his resignation but, CWC “unanimously and with one voice” rejected it and requested for his leadership and guidance in “these challenging times”.“The CWC unanimously called upon the Gandhi to lead the party in its ideological battle and to champion the cause of India’s youth, the farmers, the SC/ST/OBCs, the minorities, the poor and the deprived sections. The CWC fully recognises the challenges, the failures and the shortcomings, resulting into this mandate. The CWC recommends a thorough introspection and requested the Congress President for a complete overhaul and a detailed restructuring at every level of the party. A plan to this effect shall come into force at the earliest,” the resolution said.ChallengesThe CWC also noted that the country faces a number of challenges as a new government takes over. “The issue of surging oil prices post sanctions against Iran as also price rise stares us in the face. Banking sector is in dire straits with uncontrolled and unchecked NPAs soaring to nearly 12 lakh crores, over last five years, threatening the very stability of banking operations. Serious questions being raised on the financial viability of NBFCs, wherein hard earned savings of the people’s life are invested. The downturn of economy coupled with lack of private investment and a steep fall in consumption patterns, point towards grave economic slowdown. The looming job crisis has seen no solutions, jeopardising the future of our young. The agrarian crisis continues unabated with large swathes of the country reeling under severe drought particularly Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka,” the resolution said.It added that institutional integrity remains under a cloud. “Social strife and tensions affect large portions of our populace. CWC notes that these are issues to be urgently addressed by the next government. The responsibility and accountability to overcome these challenges is of the next government,” the resolution said adding that the Congress will continue to play a constructive role to overcome these serious challenges. “CWC hopes that the government will address these issues as its top priority,” the resolution added. May 25, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses as senior party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh look on, at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, in New Delhi, on Saturday. – PTIlast_img read more

Government medical colleges are selling seats now

first_imgIf you’re a resident Indian with poor NEET scores, getting admission in a government medical college is a pipedream, but if you are an NRI, you have a good shot at it. The reason is that it is not just private colleges commercializing medical education. Some state governments too have joined the bandwagon in the name of making their colleges self-financing. So, 3%-15% seats are set aside for NRIs and some even have “management quotas”. Five states — Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh — and Puducherry have government medical colleges with NRI quotas. Unlike caste-based quotas, which are to compensate for historical deprivation and backwardness, the NRI quota is for being able to charge lakhs as fees. Most states claim the quota is to mobilise funds for maintenance and infrastructure, something that would earlier have come from the health budget. Gujarat has the highest number of NRI seats, 241, followed by Rajasthan with 212, Punjab with 41, Puducherry with 22, Himachal Pradesh with 20 and Haryana with 15 seats. NRI seats are open not only to NRIs but also those they sponsor. Thus, many can use this quota if they have a brother, sister or parent who is an NRI willing to give an undertaking to sponsor the entire course fee. If a student has no parents or is taken as a ward by near relatives, even NRI uncles, aunts or grandparents can be sponsors. There have been several cases of candidates faking eligibility, prompting greater scrutiny of candidates’ NRI claims. A look at over 1,900 NRI candidates admitted in 2016shows that almost three-quarters were unreserved category students, barely 3% belonged to SC/STs and rest were OBCs. While the average NEET score of government quota students including reserved SC, ST and OBC seats in 2016 was 472.5, that of NRI candidates in private colleges was 220.8 and of those in government colleges was 339.6. The NRI quota fees in government colleges range from Rs 14 lakh to almost Rs 20 lakh per annum. While this is very high compared to the fee charged for the other government seats in most of these colleges (Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh per annum), it is much cheaper than the Rs 30 lakh per annum charged by most private colleges for NRI seats. Andhra Pradesh too earlier had NRI seats in government colleges, but has discontinued this. Madhya Pradesh had about 28 NRI seats in government colleges till 2016, but discontinued the practice in the face of public protests. Last year, the Karnataka government had toyed with the idea of starting an NRI quota in government colleges, but dropped the idea after student organisations threatened agitations. Former vice chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences and eminent cardiologist Dr KS Ravindranath explained that the reason for opposing NRI quota in Karnataka government colleges was because it would encroach on seats for poor meritorious students. The government ought to allocate more, but there are never sufficient funds to provide facilities for sports, research, simulation lab etc, he added. Former joint director of medical education in Madhya Pradesh, NM Shrivastava questioned the concept of using NRI seats to generate funds to improve the college. “The money earned from NRI seats was small in comparison to the resources required for running a college. Moreover, government colleges are meant for public welfare, for poor to get free treatment and for meritorious students. They are not meant to make money. Free education is the government’s job in a democratic welfare state. That’s why the government decided to put an end to NRI quota in MP,” explained Shrivastava. (with inputs from Bharat Yagnik in Ahmedabad, Initshab Ali in Jaipur, Shimona Kanwar in Chandigarh and Pushpa Narayan in Chennai) Download The Times of India News App for Latest India News.XStart your day smart with stories curated specially for youlast_img read more

Scientists might have felt they do not want to take chance

first_imgCHENNAI: With Isro yet to officially announce the nature of the technical snag that prompted it to call off launch of Chandrayaan 2, a former space scientist Tuesday commended the team for halting the high-stake Moon mission. The launch of India’s second Moon mission aimed at landing a rover on the unexplored Lunar South Pole was aborted early Monday due to a “technical snag” minutes before the scheduled lift-off of the country’s most powerful rocket GSLV-MKIII from the spaceport of Sriharikota. Former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Nambi Narayanan, credited for his contributions in the development of cryogenic technology in the country’s space programme, said calling off the launch was disappointing not just for the general public but even for the brains behind the Rs 978 crore project. “It is a pity that countdown was stopped. They (scientists) might have noticed something wrong. I feel the problem might (have been even) small but they must not have wanted to take a chance”, he told PTI. Narayanan’s comments came even as the Isro was yet to make any formal announcement on what went wrong during the final hour of countdown that prompted the space agency to call it off 56 minutes before the lift-off. Though none of the Isro officials whom PTI contacted responded, experts have said a glitch might have been noticed when the rocket’s liquid propellant was being loaded into the cryogenic upper stage engine. Incidentally, an update by Isro at around 1.34 AM Monday had said “Filling of Liquid Hydrogen in Cryogenic stage of #GSLVMkIII-M1 completed. #Chandrayaan2 #ISRO Stay tuned for more updates..” Narayanan said it was good ISRO halted the launch after noticing the glitch. “It may be a small thing, but that is always good (halting a launch instead of going ahead). They are now trying to understand what went wrong. what actually happened. So, we need to wait..” he said. Isro had earlier scheduled the launch of the mission, headed by women scientists Ritu Karidhal and Muthayya Vanitha, in the first week of January but shifted it to July 15 after choosing a launch window between July 9 and 16. Chandrayaan-2, comprising an orbiter, a lander and a rover, was to have been injected into an Earth orbit about 16 minutes after lift-off with the lander to touch down on the Moon surface 54 days later through a series of critical orbit rising manoeuvres. Download The Times of India News App for Latest India News.XStart your day smart with stories curated specially for youlast_img read more