US puts hold on foreign arms sales, including F-35s to UAE

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has put a temporary hold on several major foreign arms sales initiated by former President Donald Trump. Officials say that among the deals being paused is a massive $23 billion transfer of stealth F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates. That sale and several other massive purchases of U.S. weaponry by Gulf Arab countries had been harshly criticized by Democrats in Congress. The new administration is reviewing the sales but has not made any determination about whether they will actually go through. The State Department says the pause is a routine administrative action that most incoming administrations take with large-scale arms sales.last_img read more

US central bank unveils alternative to Facebook’s Libra

first_imgNoting security concerns posed by Facebook’s digital currency Libra, the Federal Reserve on Thursday revealed details of its own instant payments system.FedNow will provide households and businesses with instant access to payments, for wages, government benefits or sales, without waiting days for checks to clear, the Fed said.The system, which is not due to launch for two to three years, “will be designed to maintain uninterrupted 24x7x365 processing with security features to support payment integrity and data security,” the central bank said. Facebook’s announcement last year of plans to design the Libra cryptocurrency and payments system raised immediate red flags for global finance officials who expressed a barrage of withering criticism about the security and reliability of a private network.Facebook’s Libra project has “raised other fundamental questions about legal and regulatory safeguards, financial stability, and the appropriate role of private money,” Fed Governor Lael Brainard said in a speech Thursday.But the United States central bank already has experience providing reliable clearing of private payments. “We are committed to building an instant payment system that delivers the payment speed that users want without bypassing the legal and regulatory protections they have come to expect from banking relationships,” Brainard said. She noted that the government’s emergency aid programs during the COVID-19 pandemic “underscores the importance of rapid access to funds for many households and businesses that face cash flow constraints.”The initial design of FedNow came following thousands of comments from interested parties, some of whom also raise concerns about Libra, and additional features will be announced as it gets closer to roll out.Brainard said key features include fraud protection tools, ability for banks to ensure funds are available after hours and on weekends, ability to work with private payment systems, and those systems where users are identified with aliases, like email addresses, rather than account numbers.”Ultimately, the FedNow Service can be a catalyst for innovation in the market by providing a neutral platform on which the private sector can build to offer safe, efficient instant payment services to users across the country,” she said.Topics :last_img read more

Canadian jeweler threatened for opposing gay marriage — after providing service to gay weddings

first_imgHotAir.com 22 May 2015Via Rod Dreher, who gleans this from the incident: “You must not only bake the cake, or arrange the flowers, or make the ring, you must hold the correct opinion when you do it.”A lesbian couple came into the jeweler’s shop looking for custom-made rings for their wedding. No problem, he told them. Later the couple recommended him to some friends, who dropped by — and noticed a sign on the wall that read, “The sanctity of marriage is under attack. Let’s keep marriage between a man and a woman.” The lesbian couple then decided they wanted a refund on their rings, the media picked up the story, and now the jeweler’s being threatened for his thoughtcrime. Of such things are the mileposts on the road to perfect tolerance made.“It seems to be a Canadian right to post what you believe,” said the jeweler in his own defense. It does?“I have been posting different aspects of my religious beliefs the last 11 years, and I’ve never had one single problem with any of my customers,” he said…“One of the reasons my family chose to come to Canada was the freedom of rights,” he said, noting the freedom of religion and freedom of speech…“I feel really bad that [White] feels that we would in any way try to hurt or discriminate against her, but we will not retract from what we believe. I cannot say, ‘Well because you feel bad, I will stop believing what I believe,’” he said.“When I walk on Church Street in Toronto, where I am right now, and I see [LGBT rainbow flags], and I see a lot of signs and a lot of things on public property, I don’t have a problem with them. I accept it. I chose to come to Canada… and we accept the whole package… I don’t discriminate against that, nor do I come and tell them to take them down. For the same reason, I ask to have the same respect in return, especially when it’s in my own business.”http://hotair.com/archives/2015/05/22/canadian-jeweler-threatened-for-opposing-gay-marriage-after-providing-service-to-gay-weddings/last_img read more

Pitt, Penn State to meet in Big 10-ACC Challenge

first_imgPittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon, left, talks with Talib Zanna ina game on Nov. 9, 2012 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — In-state rivals Penn State and Pittsburgh are facing off again — on the basketball court.The Pennsylvania programs will be pitted against each other in this year’s Big Ten-ACC Challenge. The Nittany Lions will visit the Panthers on Dec. 3.Penn State and Pitt last met in 2005, when the Panthers won 94-51 in Pittsburgh.Pitt, which is moving from the Big East to the ACC next season, leads the all-time series with Penn State 76-68.The schools are also renewing their longtime football rivalry for a four-year series starting in 2016.last_img read more

Southee’s swing: Tim Southee on par with Sachin Tendulkar’s number of sixes in test…

first_imgAdvertisement With a red cherry, swinging the ball in the air is the attribute that one would correlate Tim Southee with rather than a clean swing of a bat to dispatch the ball into the stands. But as per the stats, Southee is also pretty good at the latter skill.Advertisement Coming into bat at No.8 during the second innings of the first Test in Galle, Southee achieved a rare feat with the bat by equalling the tally of the number of sixes hit by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in the longest format.Advertisement During the pacer’s short-lived innings of 14 off 19 deliveries, he hit a solitary six which was enough to get his tally to 69. He just needs one more to be level with Pakistan’s Younis Khan.Sachin Tendulkar reached 69 sixes in 329 innings while it only took 89 innings for the right-arm seamer. The current record for the maximum sixes in the longest format is held by Southee’s former teammate and captain Brendon McCullum, who has hit a staggering 107 sixes over the course of his career.Advertisement Read Also:Cherry loves Boult: Sri Lankan players puzzled after ball gets stuck into Trent Boult’s helmet\https://www.sportsindiashow.com/zimbabwe-great-grant-flower-claims-fed-lack-freedom-security-pakistan/ Advertisementlast_img read more

Kansas pet food plant is searched

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Federal agents searched the facilities of a dog- and cat-food manufacturer and one of its suppliers as part of an investigation into the widening recall of pet products, the companies disclosed Friday. Food and Drug Administration officials searched an Emporia, Kan., pet-food plant operated by Menu Foods and the Las Vegas offices of ChemNutra Inc., according to the companies. Menu Foods made many of the more than 100 brands of pet food recalled since March 16 because of contamination by the chemical melamine. ChemNutra supplied the manufacturer with wheat gluten, one of the two ingredients tainted by melamine used in recalled pet products. Both companies said they were cooperating with the investigation. Menu Foods also said the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Kansas and the western district of Missouri have targeted the company as part of misdemeanor investigations into whether it violated the federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. The sale of adulterated food is a misdemeanor.last_img read more

The Best Science Follows Design

first_imgSir Francis Bacon emphasized that you will know good science by its fruits. Here are good examples of fruitful research that took inspiration from nature’s designs.Chameleon SmartphonesCredit: Bernard Gagnon.Chameleon-inspired nanolaser changes colors (Science Daily). How do chameleons change colors? The answer: by shifting the spacing of nanocrystals on their skin. Can you think of any human technologies that need to do that? How about TVs and smartphones? Using this principle, researchers at Northwestern University first had to research how this is done in the lizards.“Chameleons can easily change their colors by controlling the spacing among the nanocrystals on their skin, which determines the color we observe,” said Teri W. Odom, Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “This coloring based on surface structure is chemically stable and robust.“Good science led to good fruit. Using the same principle, “the Northwestern team’s laser exploits periodic arrays of metal nanoparticles on a stretchable, polymer matrix,” allowing them to change the emitted color at will. “The work could open the door for advances in flexible optical displays in smartphones and televisions, wearable photonic devices and ultra-sensitive sensors that measure strain.”Diatoms (Mark Armitage)Diatom NanotechnologySingle-celled architects inspire new nanotechnology (Science Daily). A quarter of the oxygen we breathe comes from “microscopic, jewel-like products of nature” called diatoms. You can find these microscopic jewels in oceans, lakes, rivers, and soils. Inspiration from their beautiful designs began in the 18th century. That led to curiosity, which led to good science. Researchers found out amazing things, all the way from their chemistry and microstructure to their ecological role for the whole biosphere.Through their respiration, they produce close to a quarter of the oxygen on earth, nearly as much as the world’s tropical forests. In addition to their ecological success across the planet, they have a number of remarkable properties. Diatoms live in glasslike homes of their own design, visible under magnification in an astonishing and aesthetically beautiful range of forms….Scientists have found that the silica architectures of diatoms are not only inspiringly elegant but exceptionally tough. Indeed, the silica exoskeletons enveloping diatoms have the highest specific strength of any biologically produced material, including bone, antlers, and teeth.The scientific discoveries, in turn, inspired good fruit. Wanting to mimic these properties, researchers in Arizona and Shanghai have “designed a range of diatom-like nanostructures.” This article uses the word “inspire” five times.Insect Wing DronesAn insect-inspired drone deforms upon impact (Science Daily). Drone owners understand the deep moan when watching their expensive toy crash. Insects seem to withstand impacts; what gives? The insect wing gives, that’s what. The origami-like structure in insect wings can fold and absorb blows. Japanese engineers put that kind of flexibility into joints in their insect-wing-inspired drones, and found that they survive much better. “This new type of drone, which was inspired by insect wings, draws on the advantages of both stiff and flexible structures.”Biological Light What is bioluminescence and how is it used by humans and in nature? (The Conversation). Cardiff University researcher Catrin Williams tells about some of the many organisms that generate light in nature. In her opening paragraphs, she pretends to know more than Darwin:Bioluminescence, the production and emission of light by living organisms, became a sticking point for Darwin. He struggled to explain why this phenomenon appeared in separate species in a seemingly random fashion. We now know, however, that bioluminescence has evolved independently at least 40 times on land and in the sea.Always be on the lookout when you hear a scientist say “we now know,” because you may be in for a bluffing exhibition. This one is a doozy. Rather than admitting the misfit with Darwin’s theory and the evidence, she leaps into belief in 40 evolutionary miracles! The facts that Williams shares need no help from Darwin.An embedded video shows how millions of “sea sparkle” plankton light up when disturbed by people throwing rocks into the sea or walking out into the water. Williams next tells how nature’s design has inspired imitations and uses all the way through human history, culminating in today’s “green energy” inventions and the green fluorescent protein from jellyfish that has revolutionized biomedicine and won its discoverers a Nobel Prize.Please don’t choke on Williams’ final sentence: “The evolutionary process that culminated in bioluminescence may have taken million of years, but its scientific applications continue to revolutionise our modern world,” she says, presumptuously assuming her hearers are Darwin DODOs, too. “Remember that, the next time you see the sea sparkle.” Wouldn’t you rather remember the Creator of these wonders? The Bible has much to say about light, starting from “Let there be light” as God’s first creative act, to Christ the Light of the World glorified in the light of the eternal heaven. In His light and works, we see the light in science. Good science takes inspiration from the Creator’s designs, and turns them into creative applications to show love to fellow humans. Remember, it was Jesus Christ who told the disciples that you would know good teachers by their fruits. That phrase is what inspired Francis Bacon to distinguish good science from bad. (Visited 395 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

USDA authorizes emergency grazing for areas affected by wildfires

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest USDA Authorizes Emergency Grazing in Response to President Trump’s DirectiveThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), acting in response to a directive from President Donald J. Trump, today authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands located in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas — the three states most heavily impacted by ongoing wildfires which began on March 6, 2017.“President Trump, the USDA, and Governors Brownback, Fallin, and Abbott deserve a great deal of credit for moving swiftly to open these lands to grazing so that many of the cattle producers who were dramatically impacted by last month’s wildfires can feed their herds,” said Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Those devastating wildfires burned more than 1.5 million acres in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas and killed an estimated 9,000 to 18,000 cattle. Those cattle can’t be replaced, but today’s action will help ranchers salvage what remains of their herds.”USDA Acting Deputy Secretary Michael L. Young issued a memorandum authorizing the emergency grazing of cattle by ranchers, who are facing the ruination of their herds due to lack of sufficient grazing land. The authorization is pursuant to appropriate restrictions and conservation measures, which can be found in the Acting Deputy Secretary’s memorandum.“Ranchers are facing devastating conditions and economic calamity because of these wildfires and they need some relief, or else they face the total loss of their herds in many cases,” Young said. “These measures will allow them to salvage what remains of their cattle and return to the important business of feeding Americans and the rest of the world. I commend and thank President Trump for acting decisively in response to this dire situation.”The USDA action is required to direct the Farm Service Agency to permit the grazing on lands covered by the CRP, which exists to conserve and improve wildlife resources. In this case, the grazing will overlap with the primary nesting season of the lesser prairie chicken. CRP has procedures in place, already developed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to permit emergency grazing on protected lands during nesting season. Lesser prairie chicken nesting season runs in Texas from March 1 to June 1, in Kansas from April 15 to July 15, and in Oklahoma from May 1 to July 1.Ranchers and farmers are only now able to begin to estimate losses, since the fires are still burning in some places and access to the lands to survey the damage has been limited. Damages in the states are expected to grow, but are now estimated as follows:KansasCounties affected include Clark, Comanche, Ellis, Ellsworth, Ford, Hodgeman, Kiowa, Lane, Lincoln, Meade, Ness, Russell, and Seward.An estimated 630,000 acres burned, primarily pasturelands.Estimated livestock loss: between 3,000 and 9,000 head of cattle.Large volumes of hay and feed destroyed.Estimated cost of fencing destroyed exceeds $36 million.OklahomaCounties affected include Beaver, Ellis, Harper, Roger Mills, Woodward, and Woods.An estimated 389,533 acres burned.Estimated livestock loss: 3,000 head of cattle.An estimated cost of structure loss of $2 million.Estimated cost of fencing destroyed exceeds $22 million.TexasCounties affected include Armstrong, Carson, Collingsworth, Donley, Gray, Hansford, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, and Wheeler.An estimated 550,000 acres burned, affecting 346 farms and ranches.Estimated livestock loss: at least 3,000 cattle and 1,900 swine.Thousands of miles of fences expected to be a total loss, but so far unable to be surveyed.The Acting Deputy Secretary’s memorandum can be found on the USDA website (PDF, 387 KB).last_img read more

3 Reasons Why Digital Detox Is So Enticing

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit But, most of all, I did nothing – and it was great. I could physically feel my head rising above the water again as the stream of information subsided. My wife told me I was more fun to be around, probably because I wasn’t tutting at my phone every 10 seconds.Can digital detoxing help you relax, unclutter your mind and make you happier?It’s no use asking me. There’s only one way to find out. Are you brave enough to try it?Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Guest author Sam Hailes is a freelance journalist from the UK.“What does this button do?”  That was the cryptic yet clever final tweet from John Mayer in 2010 when he abandoned his 3.7 million followers.5% off your food bill. That was the offer that LA restaurant Eva gave to customers who surrendered access to their mobile phone for the duration of their meal.“Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage.” That is the error message that frustrates, angers and infuriates millions of people across the world.What has happened to us?15 years ago nobody banked online, updated their status or Instagrammed their food. Now, we’re all doing it. Even that last one (admit it). Plugging in to the Web has many benefits. But for some the whole experience has become overwhelming. Could interest in the Internet really be waning?Perhaps.A growing chorus is rising up from people glued to their computer screens. They complain of distracting noise and nonsense dominating their Twitter feeds and Facebook timelines.Quit The Web Or Quit Smoking?If switching off sounds tough, though, you’re not alone. A 2011 survey found participants complaining that digital detoxing was about as difficult as quitting smoking.Still, plenty of people are giving it a try. During the Christmas 2012 period, some 600,000 UK users deleted their Facebook accounts. Being online, especially when viewed through the lens of making and building friendships, may not be as cool as it used to be.Web users are discovering three big problems:1. Too Big To Keep UpThe Web allows almost anyone to become a publisher, and various guestimates put the number of active blogs at a whopping 450 million. And that’s just the ones written in English!The sheer quantity of information has become overwhelming, and it continues to grow exponentially. That’s great for Wikipedia, but not so great for our brains.2. Clogged BrainsThe average American consumes 100,500 words a day. Three quarters of our waking day is spent consuming information. The effects can be stupifying as well as enlightening.Have you ever had a day when you’ve done nothing but stare at a screen yet feel as if you’ve just run a marathon? Do you have more than 10 tabs open in your browser most of the time? Do you have social media apps on your phone, always running in the background?While our brains may need to stop and switch off, occasionally, the Internet never takes a break.3. Driving Us To DistractionWhether you spend hours looking at pictures of cats or The Huffington Post, the problem is the same. You’re distracting yourself with information. The knowledge that there’s so much information out there just waiting to be consumed makes us jumpy. We barely digest one cute cat picture before moving on to a top 10 list. (Heck, I’m be surprised you’re still reading this!)Switching OffIs it any wonder that more people are switching off – even if only for a limited time? The feedback from those who’ve tried it is nearly unanimously positive.Talking about the two week period when he denied himself Internet access, Mark Hooper wrote in the Observer:I read more, I cooked more, I wrote a few postcards (and managed to forget to leave enough space for the stamp). I drew. I went on long walks. I drove to Hastings and ate chips on the beach. I watched more curling in the Winter Olympics than I would have thought humanly possible. I rediscovered the rare thrill of staying up until midnight on a Saturday night to see if my football team had won (we’re in the Championship) or – better yet – only finding out when I opened the Sunday papers. Tags:#Pause Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos sam hailes Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

How I made it: Viswanathan Anand, Chess player

first_imgViswanathan AnandGrandmaster Viswanathan Anand, 41, began his journey with chess at the age of six. Lovingly referred as “Vishy”, the undisputed world chess champion was crowned with success at the tender age of 14, when he won the National Sub Juniors Championship in 1983. In 1984, he became the youngest,Viswanathan AnandGrandmaster Viswanathan Anand, 41, began his journey with chess at the age of six. Lovingly referred as “Vishy”, the undisputed world chess champion was crowned with success at the tender age of 14, when he won the National Sub Juniors Championship in 1983. In 1984, he became the youngest Indian to win the International Master title at the age of 15, which was soon followed by the National Chess Champion at 16. Since then, a string of victory ensued with him and he won many more titles. The rest, as we know, is history. A Padma Shree at the age of 18, a Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee at 22 and a Padma Vibhushan at 38, Anand changed the way world looked at India in the field of chess. Dronacharya for many, he has now become a national treasure. Here in his own words, the chess master shares his story with Deepshikha Punj.First encounterI started playing chess when I was only of six. Of course, I was also into a lot of other sports like tennis, table tennis, swimming-everything that we had at my club. This developed my interest in other sports as well, but the needle that pointed chess to me was my ability to grasp the basics of the game. Gradually, I became good at it. Although I did not acquire an expertise at an early age, but I played considerably well. After a couple of years, I got more and more involved with the game and soon realised this is what I should do. It has become an important part of my life now. My passion and love for chess, however, never hindered my education. I did my schooling from Don Bosco, Egmore, Chennai and completed by degree in commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. I kept going to school and then to college. The best part about playing chess was that it never became a reason for stop doing anything else. The game always interested me and I even realised that I could be reasonably good at it, so I just continued playing. I would credit my knowledge on the subject to my mother who taught me to play chess at the first place. My mother and her family were into playing chess and she used to play with her younger brother. so she had some background in chess, but she never went to a club to play chess.The big challengeBefore I won the World Championship in 2008, my competitiveness was constantly questioned. So when I beat Vladamir, I felt a sense of pride. I realised that now nobody could comment that I never won a match or complain about the match formats. After that, I never had to deal with questions at all, whereas before I had to face all such questions. My strategy in all the matches that I have ever played is the same. Before any match, I always think of winning. No matter what record is available, you just want to clinch it. And I also feel that same way. It does not matter whether it is a World Championship or FIDE or something else, I always step out with a pinch of confidence and faith. Of course towards the end of the world championship, I did feel a sense of relief, so am glad that it happened sooner than later.The right pathBeing felicitated with awards such as the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri undoubtedly feels humbling. It is always nice to be rewarded. But I do not feel the pressure, just because I have won an award. I am extremely grateful for all the awards given to me but I try not to let it get into my head. It is more important to play well and do what gives you joy. If you are involved in a mundane work and do not feel connected, there are chances you might not be able to perform well. Rewards and accolades are always an added bonus. A sense of responsibility pushes me to work harder and perform better. Be it sports or any other profession, one must remember that a bad result is one thing, but a bad result when you know you didn’t put in your 100 per cent and you could have done it differently, hurts more.A different connectWhen I play chess, I play it for India. I feel Indian but I think the question of your nationality does not really come up that much. When I play my game and hear the national anthem play, of course I feel proud. I am happy that I play chess because I love chess and there are people who enjoy watching it and more importantly they enjoy my game. All of this makes me feel ecstatic. Somewhere at the back of your mind you are aware that you are an Indian but that really does not come up on a day-to-day basis.Admiration featI did not really have an idol. For instance, I used to like John McEnroe a lot, but I did not want to shout like him but perhaps I enjoyed shouting through him. I enjoyed other sports so it was natural for me to admire sportsmen of different faculties. I admire many people, but I don’t necessarily follow them. As far as chess is concerned, I admired players like Bobby Fischer, but again I wanted to create a niche for myself. I always wanted to stand on my own feet and do something on my own rather than following a star.My support systemWhen I got married, my wife Aruna was not interested in chess as such, but she gradually got acquainted to it and started understanding it. She has been my psychological support through all my stumbling blocks. Of course, chess has now become an important part of both of our lives. It has given us fame and many other luxurious perks, but relying solely on just that is not enough. Fame and money flow in with hard work and dedication.Golden rulesI have always learnt not be be complacent. For instance, sometimes, after winning, people get too excited or after losing out, they get depressed. Balance and goal are extremely important to move forward. You need to understand how badly you need to win. Even if you fall, there is always a scope for standing up and correcting yourself. Not just as a player but also as a human being, we must understand the various cycles of life. We should first understand ourselves and then reason out our failures, because failing once in a while only makes us stronger. So don’t worry about loosing too much. Also, never loose focus and forget what you want. It is important to have goals. Playing sports is motivating and measures improvement, so it’s a great way to learn and move ahead. At the end, the only pearls of wisdom I can pass on is that one must not wait for an opportunity to knock at your door but make most of what you have and do most of what you can.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more