Morocco Strongly Committed to Implementing Paris Agreement FM

Rabat – Morocco is strongly committed to implementing the Paris Agreement which will make the Marrakech conference the COP of action, said, on Wednesday in New York, COP22 president Salaheddine Mezouar.The fact of depositing the instruments for the ratification of the Paris Agreement mirrors the firm commitment of Morocco to implement the said agreement, said Mezouar, also foreign minister, on the sidelines of the 71st UNGA, quoted in a statement by the COP22 steering committee.HM King Mohammed VI entrusted me with the task of depositing Morocco’s instruments of ratification, he said, adding that this is a strong message for the international community all the more so because we have reached the threshold of 55 countries which have ratified the agreement ahead of the COP22 in Marrakech next November. Mezouar called for continuing the mobilization, hoping to see the Paris Agreement come into force before the COP22.UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon applauded in a speech the 29 countries which have already ratified the agreement, as well as the 31 new ones which have deposited their instruments on Wednesday.For the enforcement of the Paris Agreement, 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions should deposit their instruments of ratification at the UN. read more

LafargeHolcim to Open Cement Grinding Station in Laayoune

Rabat – LafargeHolcim, the national cement leader, is set to inaugurate its first cement grinding station in Laâyoune.This major production unit will support the development of the entire Southern region, particularly its major infrastructure and housing projects, by meeting the growing demand for cement, an essential product for construction.The LafargeHolcim project will join the Ciments du Maroc factory in the region, as the Italcementi subsidiary owns a cement grinding and cementing center as well as a wind far near the same coastal town. The cement market in the southern provinces is quite appealing for domestic and global investors.Moroccan group Anouar Invest had already announced plans to build a cement plant in Laayoune. The investment disclosed  in 2014 will amount to MAD 300 million. The cement plant, named Moroccan Cimenteries of the South (Cimsud), should eventually reach a capacity of 500,000 tons per year. The cement plant will take 75,000 person-days throughout its construction and create 170 jobs.In its 2017 forecasts, LafargeHolcim Maroc expects domestic demand for cement to remain stable compared to 2016. The group is pursuing its strategy of differentiation and commercial innovation to better satisfy the needs of its customers, notably by introducing constructive solutions for the building industry as well as the supply of major infrastructure projects.In line with Morocco’s sustainable development and green energy objectives, LafargeHolcim Morocco plans in 2017 to implement a waste sorting center in Rabat as well as a construction solutions development laboratory in Casablanca.The successful merger of Lafarge Ciments and Holcim Maroc gave birth to LafargeHolcim Maroc, with a cement production capacity of 11.8 million tonnes, close to 280 points of sale, and 3,000 employees and subcontractors. read more

Thousands of Somalis flee capital after fresh fighting this week – UN

25 September 2008At least 12,000 civilian residents of Mogadishu have fled their homes in the Somali capital since last weekend because of a surge in fighting between Islamist insurgents and Government forces backed by the Ethiopian military, the United Nations refugee agency reported today. Half of the newly displaced have found shelter in different neighbourhoods within Mogadishu, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while the remainder have escaped to the town of Afgooye, about 30 kilometres away.Afgooye is already home to an estimated 350,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), mostly from Mogadishu, where the fighting between the Government forces and the Islamists has been particularly intense over the past year.Catherine Weibel, a spokesperson for UNHCR, told UN Radio that many residents panicked as the shelling stepped up at the weekend and they left their homes to avoid being caught in the crossfire.Ms. Weibel said UNHCR and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in the region expect that the number of displaced to keep rising as the fighting is continuing.She added that humanitarian workers are finding it difficult to reach those in need and distribute aid because the city is so insecure.The latest fighting is taking place despite the signing of a UN-brokered peace deal between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the rebel Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) in June that was supposed to end the armed clashes.Somalia has not had a functioning national government since 1991, and the current fighting has combined with a drought in parts of the country to create a humanitarian crisis. At least 3 million people, or more than a third of the population, are now dependent on aid.The efforts of the UN to deliver aid are often hampered by pirate attacks against aid ships off the coast of Somalia, prompting the naval forces of individual States – including France, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada – to provide escorts.Today the World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed the decision by Canada to extend its naval escort mission by a further month, instead of ending this Saturday as originally slated.“Make no mistake – Canada’s generous act of extending naval protection will allow us to get food in and will save lives,” WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in a statement. “We urgently call on other nations to step up to the plate.” read more

Security Council urges Iraqi leaders to strive towards formation of new government

The 15-member panel calls on “all political entities to respect the certified election results and the choices of the Iraqi people,” according to a statement to the press read out by Ambassador Claude Heller of Mexico, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency this month.The Council statement echoes the remarks earlier this week of Ad Melkert, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), who described the certification as a crucial step towards the formation of a government that will shape the country’s future for the next four years.The Federal Supreme Court upheld the results announced by Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), in which the party headed by Iyad Allawi, a former prime minister, received more votes than the coalition led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in the 325-member Council of Representatives.At least 12 million people cast their votes in the 7 March polls, in which more than 6,000 candidates took part.Today’s press statement by the Council stressed that Iraqi leaders should quickly engage “in an inclusive political process to form a government that represents the will and sovereignty of the Iraqi people and their hope for a strong, independent, unified and democratic Iraq.”Last week Mr. Melkert told the Council that a broad-based coalition government in Iraq is a better alternative for the people of that country who are eager to see a stable administration.“At this juncture, Iraq would probably be better served by a broadly inclusive government as a radical alternative to exclusion and disenfranchisement that many communities have experienced in the past,” he stated.In his latest report on UNAMI, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that, once established, the new government will face a host of challenges, ranging from national reconciliation and the sharing of natural resources to human rights and reconstruction. “The challenge is to consolidate the gains that have been made in recent years and not allow armed groups and other spoilers to exploit the situation,” he wrote in the report, which was released last month.In the press statement today Mr. Heller noted that Council members condemn the recent series of terrorist attacks in Iraq “by those who sought to deny the voice of the Iraqi people by attempting to disrupt the elections and the government formation process through violence.” 3 June 2010The Security Council today welcomed the certification of the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections, three months after the polls were staged, and urged the country’s political leaders to re-double their efforts to form an inclusive and broad-based government. read more

Sarath N Silva ordered to appear in court

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court alleging that Sarath N. Silva had made a statement during a meeting in Maradana which was in contempt of court. (Colombo Gazette) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has been ordered to appear in court next month to face contempt of court charges.Notice has been issued by the Supreme Court on Sarath N. Silva to appear in court on February 07.

Regional groups offer mixed picture of progress towards development goals

In their annual dialogue with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) yesterday, the heads of the major groups – Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Western Asia and Africa – detailed the status of efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the regional level.Their presentations revealed sharp contrasts across, and even within regions, in some of the primary MDG target areas, which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by 2015.Warning against generalizing global development trends, Brigita Schmögnerová, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and Commission Coordinator, stressed that regional cooperation offered countries a way to address common development challenges. While country-level ownership of the MDGs was key, regional approaches and South-South cooperation could reinforce good practices at the country level and promote them on a wider scale within developing regions.José Luis Machinea, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), agreed, adding that regional dimensions offered countries an effective instrument for cooperation in facing common development challenges and in reaching the Goals. That was especially important in relation to issues of a cross-border nature, such as trade, sustainable development and natural disasters.Highlighting striking regional disparities, Kim Hak Su, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), said that while many countries, especially in South and South-East Asia, were on track to achieve most of the MDGs, many others, including small island developing states, were not. He was very concerned about the least developed Asian countries, the largest of which was Bangladesh, and their progress. The more successful countries must help those in greater difficulty, he said.K.Y. Amoako, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said global partnerships today required cooperation between rich and poor countries on numerous levels for activities such as the transfer of technology. Africa’s main concern as a region was to form strong partnerships at the national, regional and special partnerships levels. Partnerships at the national level called for addressing each country’s specific needs and for strengthening cooperation between governments and civil society.Focusing on other issues pressuring development, Khaled Abdel Hamid, Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), said the overall GDP of his region would have increased by $600 billion since 1990, if there had not been instability or war. Such instability affected not only the growth of the countries in the region, but also the work and assistance offered by ESCWA. Continued instability affected investment, but that was not the whole picture. Institutions and policies also played a role and ESCWA worked with countries, in that regard. For example, ESCWA worked with the Palestinian Authority to crystallize development in the occupied territories, despite the continuing instability there. read more

Hollywood stars makes unscheduled stop in Little Rock

Hollywood stars makes unscheduled stop in Little Rock by The Associated Press Posted Oct 24, 2016 6:49 am MDT Last Updated Oct 24, 2016 at 7:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An American Airlines flight from Nashville to Los Angeles with two Hollywood stars on board made an emergency landing in Little Rock after a suspicious odour was reported in the cabin.The aircraft landed Saturday at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport. American Airlines spokeswoman Alexis Aran Coello told Little Rock television station KTHV ( ) that the flight landed safely and no injuries were reported.Actors Kate Mara and Jamie Bell said on Twitter that they were on the flight. Bell tweeted a photo of the pair at the airport and Mara tweeted that the flight was “a disgraceful, pathetic way to treat the families travelling with infants and elderly.”The airline apologized, also via Twitter, for the disruption. read more

Jets Have No Interest In Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens can continue to get his popcorn ready from his house because according to sources the New York Jets have no interest in signing the free agent wide receiver.During the fourth quarter of Monday night’s Jets and Houston Texans game, Owens tweeted, “Hey JETS!!! I’m available! I’m ready, willing & able! Call my agent @jordanwoy & let’s make it happen.”This tweet came after losing Clyde Gates to a shoulder injury and newly signed wide receiver Jason Hill dropped a big pass in the Jets’ 23-17 loss to the Texans.  Hill was signed after the Jets loss wideout Santonio Holmes for the season due to a torn ACL in his left knee.During a Tuesday morning conference call with reporters, Jets coach Rex Ryan did not reject of the idea of signing Owens, saying, “You never say never or anything. We’ll look at all options, like we always do.”Ryan’s statement to reporters compares in contrast to what Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum told the Star Ledger last week.  Tannenbaum stated he was looking for a player who was “speedy, younger than 30 and someone who took part in training camp,” to fill the role of Holmes’.The key phrase in Tannenbaum’s statement “younger than 30”, meant he was not looking in the direction of Owens, who is 38.Owens, a 14 year veteran, has been in a free-fall since being cut by Dallas Cowboys after 2008.  Owens last played in the NFL for the Bengals during the 2010-11 season and caught 72 receptions for a total of 983 yards.  This summer he tried out for the Seattle Seahawks, but was eventually cut.Owens has been in the media spot as of late for back child support.  He has four children that range between the ages of 5-12.  In July, he avoided jail time by paying $20,000 to the mother of his 7-year-old daughter.The six-time Pro Bowler receiver will continue to wait for that much needed phone call from a team, but it surely will not be from the Jets. read more

Le PDG de Nvidia propose des pistes pour rattraper le retard sur

first_imgLe PDG de Nvidia propose des pistes pour rattraper le retard sur l’iPadLe patron du fabricant coréen de processeurs pour tablettes équipées d’Android a donné quelques pistes afin que ces dernières rattrapent leur retard sur l’iPad d’Apple.Sur le marché des tablettes tactiles, Apple et son iPad ont fait le vide autour d’eux. Afin de réduire le fossé qui sépare la machine de la marque à la pomme de celles équipées d’Android, Jen-Hsun Huang, le patron de Nvidia, qui fabrique le processeur Tegra 2 équipant la plupart des tablettes fonctionnant sous Android, a son idée. “C‘est un problème de point de vente. C’est un problème d’expertise des détaillants. C’est un problème de marketing. C’est un problème de prix”, a-t-il expliqué à Cnet.Plus que les prix en eux-mêmes, c’est la configuration technique des tablettes Android qui le gêne. “La configuration de base incluait la 3G alors qu’elle n’aurait pas dû en disposer. Les tablettes devraient avoir une configuration WiFi et être moins chères”, a-t-il ainsi détaillé. Surtout, le gros défaut pointé par Jen-Hsun Huang réside dans le manque de richesse dans l’offre d’applications dédiées aux tablettes Android. Un souci en passe d’être résolu, l’Android Market comptant pour la première fois plus d’applis gratuites que l’App Store depuis le début du mois de mai.Le 17 mai 2011 à 16:38 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Du thé chinois cultivé dans la crotte de panda

first_imgDu thé chinois cultivé dans la crotte de pandaUn entrepreneur chinois pense avoir découvert le moyen de produire le meilleur thé au monde. A l’image du kloug, le fameux gâteau roulé sous les aisselles dans Le Père Noël est une ordure, l’idée de ce Chinois n’est autre que de cultiver ses feuilles de thé dans des fécès de pandas. La crotte de panda aurait des vertus incroyables sur le thé selon An Yanshi, un entrepreneur chinois. D’après lui, cet ingrédient serait même indispensable pour produire un thé plus savoureux. Cet ancien professeur de calligraphie n’a ainsi pas hésité à acheter près de 11 tonnes d’excréments de pandas pour fertiliser ses plants de thé dans les montagnes de la province du Sichuan dans le sud-ouest de la Chine. C’est en assistant en juillet à un séminaire que ce grand amateur de thé a eu son idée : il y a appris que ces mammifères noirs et blancs absorbaient moins de 30% des bambous qu’ils consomment, rejetant par les voies naturelles les 70% restant.À lire aussiQuand un panda s’attaque à un bonhomme de neige au Canada”La bouse de panda est riche en éléments nutritifs (…) et devrait être nettement supérieure aux engrais chimiques”, a-t-il déclaré en dégustant une tasse de thé, cultivé avec comme engrais du purin de vache, d‘après l’AFP. Déterminé, l’homme qui a fondé la société Thé Panda a annoncé sa première récolte pour le printemps et a estimé que sa création deviendrait le thé le plus cher du monde et ce, dès sa première vente ! Il compte en effet laisser partir le premier lot de 500 grammes contre la modique somme de 27.000 euros. Un prix tout à fait justifié si l’on en croit l’entrepreneur qui a fait breveté son idée et assure que son thé vert peut aider les gens à perdre du poids et les protéger contre les rayonnements.  Mais si M. An Yanshi a été vivement raillé pour son projet, il souhaite avant tout, grâce à son entreprise, sensibiliser et convaincre le monde de remplacer les engrais chimiques par des déjections animales. “Les gens ne devraient pas s’inquiéter mais plutôt développer une relation harmonieuse avec le ciel, la terre et l’environnement. Tout le monde a l’obligation de protéger l’environnement”, a t-il insisté.Le 8 janvier 2012 à 13:43 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Maurizio Sarri admits Alvaro Morata is low on confidence

first_imgChelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has admitted that Alvaro Morata lacks confidence but he is not worried about the Spaniard’s lack of goals.After making a great start to his Chelsea career following his £60 million transfer from Real Madrid, Alvaro Morata has endured an alarming dip in form.Morata did well during the first half of last season, scoring freely during the opening weeks.He struggled during the second half of the season, scoring just one league goal, although he scored two goals as Chelsea won the FA Cup.Morata will likely lead the attack when in the London derby when Chelsea face Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.New manager Maurizio Sarri, while speaking in a press conference acknowledged Morata’s lack of confidence. The Independent reports.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.“I am not worried about Morata,” said Sarri. “Morata is a very great player. I think that, in this moment, he needs only to gain confidence. But he is a great player.”Sarri states that he is not worried about Alvaro Morata whom he describes as a great player who only needs to gain some confidence. #CHEARS— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 17, 2018“Maybe, maybe [he is low on confidence]. He needs to score. As all the strikers in the world do, I think. He needs to gain confidence, but he’s improving so I’m not really worried about him.”last_img read more

Liverpool hire throwin coach

first_imgLiverpool have made an astonishing signing of a specialist in throw-in to further boost their prospects of winning silverware.Danish coach Thomas Gronnemark will work with the first team on a part-time basis.Gronnemark has enjoyed successful stints with Schalke 04, Hertha Berlin and FC Midtjylland with most clubs admitting success in set-piece plays.He holds the world record for the longest throw-in at 51.33m.“Midtjylland showed that the long throw-in could be a weapon if you can do it with the correct technique, precision, and tactical awareness,” Gronnemark said.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“It’s very important that it’s a flat throw because if it’s too high, it’s easy to defend.“If you can make a long throw-in precise and flat, together with some tactical aspects, then it’s much easier to score.”Liverpool maintained their winning run in the Premier League season with a 1-0 victory against Brighton on Saturday to move top of the table.Klopp’s side will aim to continue their 100 percent start to the league campaign against Leicester on Saturdaylast_img read more

Doorways to Luxury tour touts highend local homes

first_imgWhat: Doorways to Luxury, a tour of 21 high-end houses in Southwest Washington priced between $600,000 and $5.6 million.When: Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.Where: Throughout Clark County.Cost: Free.Information: Doorways to Luxury.Well-appointed and luxurious living is the overarching theme of an annual tour of homes set for noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.The self-guided Doorways to Luxury tour will showcase 21 high-end homes in Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties. Priced from $600,000 to $5.6 million, the houses illustrate the variety of upscale living options in Southwest Washington, ranging from condominiums to penthouses, from sprawling country estates to homes with sweeping waterfront views.The historic Biddle mansion and property are sure to be one of the must-sees of this year’s tour, said Connie McDowell, listing agent for the property and a principal broker with The Hasson Co. Realtors. She described the 1930s-era home as “meticulously maintained and updated.” The listing includes 5 acres of land that share a 350-foot border with the Columbia River.“The person who developed the site was an engineer from Pennsylvania and an amateur botanist,” McDowell said of Henry Jonathan Biddle, known for protecting and purchasing Beacon Rock in 1915 for $1 from Charles Ladd, a Portland developer.Biddle collected, identified and planted native flora and fauna all over his waterfront estate, according to McDowell.“It’s now so private and luscious, you feel like you’re surrounded by nature,” she said.The kitchen has been remodeled, but the home features original woodwork, chrome faucets and leaded glass windows.High-end materials, finishes and design differentiate luxury homes from typical listings, said Linda Horowitz, a broker with Windermere Real Estate/Stellar Group in Vancouver.“Nice appointments — granite, hardwood floors, high-end appliances and hardware, travertine floors,” she said. “They have the things you would find in your Street of Dreams (home showings).”last_img read more

Storms expose horse and carriage tracks from as early as 1800s in

first_imgRecent nor’easter’s exposed Peat bed that has been buried in sand at Nauset Beach. Clear markings of horse and Carriage traffic, probably from the 1800s early 1900s— Orleans Police (@OrleansPolice) March 12, 2018 ORLEANS, MA (WSVN) – Police in Massachusetts have posted photos of an exposed peat bed at Nauset Beach in Orleans, which show impressive markings from as early as the 1800s.The department posted the photos on their Twitter page of the exposed ground after sand had been blown away.What remained were clear markings of horse and carriage tracks.Police say the markings could be from the 1800s and early 1900s.You can see all the photos below. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Possible domestic violence offender detained after search in Miami

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – City of Miami Police have taken a man into custody accused of domestic violence.7Skyforce HD hovered above the scene as the subject sat against a fence in handcuffs in the area of Northeast Sixth Avenue and 86th Street, Monday afternoon.Officials said the man was detained for questioning.According to officials, police set up a perimeter between Biscayne Boulevard through Eighth Court and 86th to 87th streets.The roads were later reopened for traffic.The cause of the domestic violence incident remains under investigation.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

New CBO Report Estimates House Space Corps Proposal at 36 Billion

first_img ADC AUTHOR The Congressional Budget Office issued a new cost estimate Monday for the House version of a new space command that would total more than $3.6 billion between 2020 and 2024, Breaking Defense reported.The new estimate, based on the House’s proposed “Space Corps” command in its fiscal 2020 NDAA, includes $2.3 billion in personnel costs and assesses that it would require “between 4,100 and 6,800 additional personnel for new management and support positions,” according to the report.The CBO’s new cost estimate also came in well above the Trump administration’s earlier low-end estimate of $2 billion in initial start-up costs to establish a new proposed “Space Force.”In May CBO issued a similar cost estimate calculating that the Trump administration’s original proposal would “increase DOD’s annual costs by $1.1 billion to $1.9 billion, and incur onetime costs of $1.8 billion to $4.7 billion,” according to the report.The House Armed Services Committee’s space command proposal and the Senate’s approved NDAA proposal both would create a new Air Force space command, similar to the Marine Corps under the Navy. The two proposals differ on the make-up of a separate space command and how DOD would establish a new space acquisition management structure. Both sides of Capitol Hill have expressed deep concerns about costs, according to the report.Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zoe Thackerlast_img read more

Arctic coast guards team up Russia included

first_imgPhoto: USCG.The head of the U.S. Coast Guard met today with his counterparts from seven other northern nations to create the Arctic Coast Guard Forum, at a signing ceremony in New London, Conn. The forum is intended to help pool resources when life, limb or the Arctic environment are in danger. But perhaps the most significant feature of today’s event was Russia’s presence.Download AudioThe new Coast Guard alliance has the same membership roster as the Arctic Council: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the U.S. Through the council, the countries agreed years ago to help each other with search and rescue and oil spill response. But how is this collaboration supposed to happen, besides starting anew with every emergency?“These binding agreements had no mechanism to implement operations, which really falls on the shoulders of the coast guards,” said Admiral Paul Zukunft, the U.S. Coast Guard commandant.That’s the gap the Arctic Coast Guard Forum aims to fill, with regular meetings, dialog and joint exercises.American resources clearly aren’t keeping with the expected increase in ship traffic. Case in point: a 1,000-passenger cruise ship is expected to sail the Northwest Passage next summer. Zukunft says if there’s an accident the U.S. Coast Guard can’t stage a major rescue on its own.“In the summer months, we have two H-60 helicopters, pre-positioned up in the Arctic,” he said. “Between those two helicopters we can probably recover maybe 15 people.”The new forum isn’t the first line of defense for the cruise.  Zukunft says the American and Canadian coast guards will be talking to the cruise line about what assets it intends to have on standby. But Russia, with dozens of ice breakers, is obviously the Big Daddy of Arctic response.Still, the formal creation of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum stalled last year, because Canada objected to Russia’s participation, in response to Moscow’s move on Ukraine. Zukunft says all eight Arctic nations had to be part of the forum.“Russia has the preponderance of the resources when it comes to the Arctic domain,” he said. “So it’s critical to have them at the table, if we’re going to have a joint statement that really has some meaning.”Heather Conley, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, agrees it was right to include Russia, although she says it’s a challenging proposition when you look at Russia’s actions in the Arctic.“Russia has performed snap military exercises, at full combat readiness, without notifying other Arctic states,” she said. “We know they are changing their security position, their military. They’re reopening military bases. They’re doing some things that go beyond what I’d say are acceptable for simple search and rescue and maritime cooperation.”But, Conley says, talk is good, and Zukunft says sharing information is what the Coast Guard forum is all about.“So hopefully it turns into a good venue for additional dialog that will help reduce tensions in the Arctic,” Conley said.last_img read more

Zimbabwe legalises cannabis

first_imgA member of the International Church of Cannabis holds a joint while participating in a 4/20 celebration on 20 April, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. Photo: AFPZimbabwe has legalised production of cannabis for medicinal or scientific use, according to new regulations seen by AFP Saturday.A statutory instrument entitled Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Scientific Use Regulations, said prospective producers can apply to the health ministry for a licence to grow cannabis but under strict conditions.”An application shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee and three copies of a plan of the site proposed to be licensed,” read part of the regulations.Individual producers must be citizens of the country or have proof that they are resident while companies must produce proof of incorporation in Zimbabwe, the regulations said.The producers will submit to routine audits by the health ministry.”The application shall contain, the maximum quantity expressed as net weight in grammes, of fresh cannabis, dried cannabis, cannabis oil to be produced by the applicant under the licence and the production period and the maximum number of cannabis plants to be sold or provided.”The licence is valid for five years and should be renewed, if necessary, before expiry.Producers intending to “possess, produce, sell, provide, ship, deliver, transport or deliver cannabis at more than one site” will require a separate licence.Production and use of cannabis was illegal in Zimbabwe although the herb is widely used in traditional medicine to treat conditions like asthma, epilepsy and mental illness while some people use it as recreational drug and, supposedly, to make their hair grow quicker.Production or possession of large quantities of cannabis attracted up to 12 years in jail.last_img read more

Trump urges China to resolve Hong Kong crisis

first_imgIn this file photo taken on 29 June 2019 China`s president Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump before a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka. Photo: AFPUS president Donald Trump on Wednesday said Xi Jinping can “humanely” resolve the violent standoff with protesters in Hong Kong and appeared to suggest meeting the Chinese leader.”I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it,” Trump tweeted from vacation at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.”Personal meeting?” he added in what appeared to be an idea for offering his own help to Xi directly.Protesters have staged 10 weeks of relentless protests to demand greater freedoms in Hong Kong, including rallies that paralyzed the semi-autonomous city’s airport, one of the world’s busiest travel hubs.The United States has said it is “deeply concerned” over Chinese security force movements on the border with Hong Kong and urged Beijing to honor the territory’s autonomy.Under a 1997 deal that saw Hong Kong return to China from British colonial rule, the city is meant to have far greater liberties than those allowed on the mainland.last_img

Hybrid Human Faces Could Populate Google Street View

first_img Citation: Hybrid Human Faces Could Populate Google Street View (2008, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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 Visualizing a quantum crystal: Imaging the electronic Wigner crystal in 1-D From left to right: the original photo, a photo selected for swapping certain features, and the resulting hybrid. Due to privacy concerns, Google has been blurring the faces of people caught on Google Street View cameras. But rather than blurring people’s faces and diminishing the reality of the scene, researchers have demonstrated a new way to automatically depersonalize the faces – by creating hybrids. The new face-swapping technology, developed by Neeraj Kumar and colleagues at Columbia University in New York, finds faces in a photograph and swaps their features with those from a library of faces, such as picture-sharing sites like Their software then automatically chooses one or more suitable faces for swapping the eyes, nose, and mouth out of the original image, resulting in a facial composite.As a final step, to weed out inferior replacements, the system ranks the resulting images according to how well the hybrid face fits the surrounding region in the original photograph, and chooses the highest ranked replacement for insertion.Unlike other programs, the new technique is fully automatic, and generates plausible results across a variety of lighting conditions, viewpoints, and skin tones. The researchers performed a case study in which they asked participants to identify real and fake faces from a set. They found that people are almost equally likely to classify real facial images and the hybrid facial images as being real. Of 12 people tested, 58% of the hybrid face images were misidentified as real, and 75% of real images were correctly marked real.Besides de-identifying faces, the same technology could be used by photographers for creating an optimal group photograph from several similar shots. As the researchers explain, the “burst” mode found on most cameras can take several images at once. Then, an automatic face replacement technique could be applied to swap blinking or frowning faces with better faces taken from the other images. The result would be a single composite image with all the best faces.More information on the researchers´ face-swapping technique can be found at New Scientist last_img read more