Sidewinder robots slither like snakes

first_imgIn 2011, archaeologists needed to find out whether parts of ancient Egyptian boats were hidden in dangerously unstable humanmade caves by the Red Sea. Howie Choset, a roboticist at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, thought he had the perfect solution. He had built robotic snakes, so he outfitted one with a camera and sent it slithering through the cave’s narrow opening. But when the robot got inside, “we faced a challenge that we had not seen before,” Choset recalls. The robot couldn’t make its way up the cave’s sandy slope, and the exploration was a bust.Now, Choset has found a way to climb that mountain. By teaming up with researchers studying how live snakes move, he and his colleagues have determined what it takes to make snake robots go uphill, even on slippery, sandy slopes. These reptiles, real and robotic, are sidewinders—they move forward not by slithering, but rather by wriggling their bodies perpendicular to the direction of travel in a undulating S-shaped wave.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The motion is peculiar and, supposedly, “if you look too long at [a sidewinder] you’ll go mad,” says Daniel Goldman, a physicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. And that motion will enable a snake to go uphill. But to maintain a grip on an incline, the snake modifies its motion to keep more of its body touching the ground as it moves, he, Choset, and their colleagues report online today in Science.Those insights could lead to robots that do better on rough terrain than robots with wheels, such as a Mars rover. “We don’t presently have machines that can climb steeply inclined fragile ground, and this work suggests new ways to build machines that can,” says Daniel Koditschek, an engineer at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved with this work but who develops legged robots for desert explorations. “The opportunities and benefits for robotics here are significant.”Goldman specializes in studying how animals manage to move through sand and other granular materials that tend to give way. Curious about snakes, he and Hamidreza Marvi, now at postdoctoral student at CMU, went to Zoo Atlanta, where they filmed and analyzed the movements of six sidewinder rattlesnakes climbing in an enclosure with an inclined floor covered with sand. They varied the angle of the floor with each test and also observed several vipers, snakes that are not sidewinders, try to ascend the incline.The vipers slipped and failed to move up the slope, whereas the sidewinders had no problem, the researchers report. As it moves, a sidewinder sends a horizontal wave down its body. At the same time, it undulates up and down. As a result, the parts of the body on the ground push off while the airborne loops reach upslope, where they then make contact to push off. Marvi found that on flat ground, at any moment the rattlers have 25% of their body in contact with the ground. But the snakes tune their motion to the terrain. On a slope of 10°, 40% of the body remains in contact with the ground. That fraction increases to 45% on a 30° slope.In making the adjustment, a snake has to balance two factors. Too much contact and the reptile can’t lift the other parts of the body high enough to reach up the slope. Too little contact, and the sand gives way under the snake’s weight. “Apparently, these animals have found a sweet spot,” Koditschek says.Choset’s group programmed the robot to move in a similar manner, then altered the waves to change how much of the robot’s body was in contact with the sand at any one time. It, too, made it up through the sand. And by tweaking the two waves, “we can make our snake robots do what the snake can’t do,” Choset says, such as turn on a dime. These attributes may lead to robots that can snake their way through rubble in disaster zones to find trapped people or that can inspect nuclear power plants.“I’m smitten with this paper,” says Adam Summers, a comparative biomechanist at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories who was not involved with the work. “The biology is informed by the engineering and vice versa.”Choset, too, is quite pleased. He doesn’t have the permits needed to go back to the Egyptian caves, but has now used the robot on another archaeological expedition. There, “we did much better,” he says. Things are looking up for robotic snakes.last_img read more

Tripura panchayat elections tomorrow

first_imgOnly 14% seats will witness a contest in the three-tier panchayat elections in Tripura to be held on July 27. The BJP has already won nearly 86% seats unopposed.The opposition Congress and the CPI(M) are mainly contesting in areas where they succeeded in securing a decent vote share in last Lok Sabha election. The opposition parties squarely blamed the BJP for allegedly resorting to “terror tactics” to prevent them from putting up candidates, but the ruling party refuted the charge and attributed the failure to the “non-existent organisation of opposition parties in Tripura”.The election is taking place in areas beyond the jurisdiction of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, which has its own local-level set-up called ‘Village Council’ that will go to poll next year.The BJP’s share of seats already won is reminiscent of the years of CPI(M) rule when successive governments used to dominate all local elections. However, the number of seats won without contest this time is unprecedented.Counting on July 31Of 6,111 seats in gram panchayats, the BJP has won 5,728 seats unopposed, besides 337 of the 419 seats in 35 panchayat samitis and 37 of the 116 seats inzilla parishads. Paper ballots will be used in the panchayat election. Counting will take place on July 31.last_img read more

What Subbarao enjoys post-RBI? He can speak without mkt fear

first_imgNew Delhi, July 15 (PTI) Former RBI Governor D Subbarao misses the time when his every spoken word could move the markets, but also enjoys not being governor anymore because he can now speak freely without fear of moving the markets.Subbarao, who was succeeded by a much more outspoken Raghuram Rajan at RBI, also says that “virtually all central bank governors have taken an ego trip on the magic of the words they spoke or rued the fallout from some miscommunication”.The observation assumes significance in the wake of intense speculation that Rajan has now decided against a second term because of his various utterances not being liked by the government.Subbarao also said some thought he was not “the uberconfident, alpha male central bank governor markets respect”, while others thought that “it was, in fact, my low- key demeanor and low-profile personality that commanded respect and aided effective communication”.In a tell-tale book “Who Moved My Interest Rate?” about his five-year tenure as RBI Governor, Subbarao says, one of the nice things about being a central bank governor is that the markets hang on every word you say, treating every syllable, nuance, and twitch of the face as a market cue.He also said: “One of the stressful things about being a central bank governor is that the markets hang on every word you say, treating every syllable, nuance, and twitch of the face as a market cue. That about sums up both the opportunity and challenge of central bank communication.”advertisementHe said that experience helps but does not “guarantee that markets will not deem what you said something other than what you believe that you said”.”I learned along the way?and sometimes the hard way,” he added.Subbarao said he was largely commended in his five years at RBI for bringing a culture of openness to a conservative and inward-looking institution and was complimented for making the bank more transparent, responsive, and consultative.He was also commended “for listening as well as speaking; for streamlining our written documents and simplifying our spoken language”.He added: “On the flip side, I was criticized for showing self-doubt and reticence instead of conveying certainty and confidence, for straying from the message, and for too much straight talk and too little tact.”I was both praised for speaking up and criticized for not speaking enough when the occasion demanded.”There are many things I miss about being governor. One of them is that I can no longer move markets by my spoken word. Equally, there are many things I enjoy about not being governor. One of them is that I can speak freely without any fear of moving markets.” MORE PTI BJ SAlast_img read more

Musical heroes and sporting legends

first_img Canal calm has to be better than road rage | Letters Since you’re here… Share on Facebook Share on Messenger • Geoffrey Boycott was dull, played for himself, ran out colleagues and made rash declarations. No wonder Theresa May’s a fan (‘Boring? No, he’s stuck at it’: May bowled over by Boycott, 9 September).Alasdair McKeeLancaster• Max Bell is clearly wrong to call Steely Dan’s Countdown to Ecstasy the greatest rock album ever made (Letters, 9 September) – but only in using the bluntly inadequate “rock” to describe music so beautiful, acute and beguilingly genre-defying. Lindsay Camp Bristol Steely Dan How sad that The guide, Somme (Travel, 9 September) merely registers that Butterworth Farm, Pozières, “is named after a missing British soldier”. That soldier was George Butterworth, one of the outstanding composers of his time, great friend of Vaughan Williams and best known for his pieces The Banks of Green Willow and the musical setting for Housman’s poem The Shropshire Lad. When we stayed in this B&B some years ago the owners had CDs of Butterworth’s music for guests to play – a moving experience as we looked out on the field where he died.Chris ScarlettSheffield Brief letters Share on Pinterest Theresa May Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Reuse this content Classical music Share via Email • Ian Grieve may feel safe from speeding cyclists and pedestrians inside his canal boat (Letters, 8 September) but it will be a different story if he ventures on to the towpath. Canal and River Trust even has a campaign to reduce the risks involved: “Share the Space, Drop your Pace”. Marion BirchRickmansworth, Hertfordshire • Time spent last week reading Guardian coverage of Brexit: 2 hours 15 minutes. Time spent solving Suguru puzzle: 6 minutes. Please make the Sugurus more difficult so that I can have a better balance in my life.John ShanahanManchester• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters Topics Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Cricket Read more letters … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Read more May hails leadership of Geoffrey Boycott, who was axed over team revoltlast_img read more

Star Quarterback Could Miss Upcoming College Football Season

first_imgVirginia Tech's Lane Stadium during game against Clemson.BLACKSBURG, VA – SEPTEMBER 30: A general view of Lane Stadium prior to the game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Clemson Tigers on September 30, 2017 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)It is June, so hope should spring eternal for most big college football programs. Virginia Tech is holding its breath with the situation regarding quarterback Josh Jackson, however.Jackson, a preseason second team All-ACC player heading into the fall, is dealing with an “academic-related issue.” It reportedly has his status in question heading into the season.Virginia Tech should know Jackson’s status soon, though, so there is time to prepare for the worst case scenario. The quarterback’s father spoke to the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the timetable.“As of right now, Josh is still a member of the Virginia Tech football team,” Fred Jackson said Thursday by phone. “We’ll know more in two days. It’s too early to talk about this.”Jackson is not suspended by the team, and still has access to its facilities and activities. If he cannot play this fall, though, it leaves a huge hole in the starting lineup for a team that was set to challenge for the ACC Coastal division.Josh Jackson emerged as one of the ACC’s most promising quarterbacks as a redshirt freshman in 2017.Jackson completed 60.3-percent of his throws for 2,991 yards, 20 touchdowns, and nine interceptions last year. He also rushed for 324 yards and five touchdowns.If he cannot play, Kansas transfer Ryan Willis is likely in line to start. He played for the Jayhawks in 2015 and 2016, throwing for 2,530 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 17 picks.The Hokies also have redshirt freshman Herndon Hooker, who was set to be third string this year. Quincy Patterson II also joins the team this summer, but was probably set to redshirt before the Jackson news.Patterson was a four-star recruit over at 247Sports, and ranked No. 13 among dual threat quarterbacks in the class of 2018.last_img read more

Public Talks Exhibits Contribute to Understanding of Titanic

first_imgNova Scotians and visitors will be able to learn more about the province’s connection to the sinking of the Titanic through a series of public talks and exhibits in March and April. “Through Nova Scotia’s museums and archives the story of our connection to Titanic is being told in new and interesting ways,” said Frank Corbett, acting Communities, Culture and Heritage minister. “I encourage everyone to visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Nova Scotia Archives to learn more about this important part of our shared history.” The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic will host three free Titanic-related public talks. George Wright: a Lifetime and a Legacy will explore Mr. Wright’s history as a Haligonian and Titanic passenger who did not survive the sinking. A businessman in the early 1900s, many of his buildings remain in Halifax as registered heritage properties. The public talk by Kevin Barrett takes place March 13 at 7:30 p.m. A temporary photographic installation by Andrew Danson Danushevsky, An Earnest Price: 150 Grave Stories, will bring together grave site images of the 150 Titanic victims buried in Halifax. The talk and exhibit opening take place April 3 at 7:30 p.m. The exhibit will be on display until July 2. Hilda Slayter, a Haligonian and a survivor of the sinking, will be remembered through song in Hilda Slayter: a Survivor’s Story and Song. The performance by Rosalie Peppard will take place April 10 at 7:30 p.m. As part of the event, Henrietta Mann will also give a talk on the rusticles that have formed on the Titanic. The museum will also showcase Cable Ships: Connecting Halifax to Titanic and the World, a temporary exhibit that features the roles of the Halifax-based Mackay-Bennett and Minia ships in the recovery operations. The exhibit runs from April 12 to Nov. 4. The Nova Scotia Archives will host The News Gets Worse and Worse: Halifax and the Titanic on April 14 at 5 p.m. The free event marks a special evening to commemorate the city’s connection to the Titanic. The public will be able to see, for the first time, Titanic-related material, newspapers, photographs and diaries of Haligonian academics, businesspeople and historians that detail the emotional response to the tragedy. Garry Shutlak, senior reference archivist and noted Titanic expert will be on hand to discuss the material. “The 100th anniversary is an excellent occasion to learn more about our connection to Titanic,” said Lois Yorke, director, Nova Scotia Archives. “We are pleased to offer the public an opportunity to explore the never-before-seen material from our vaults at the archives.” One of the most significant items on display will be the diary of Clifford Crease, a 24-year old crew member of the Mackay-Bennett, the ship that brought 170 bodies back to Halifax. Mr. Crease’s granddaughters, Rabia Wilcox and Nadine Zuest-Wilcox will to discuss their grandfather’s experiences and legacy at the event. Other items in the exhibit feature the lives of George Wright and Hilda Slayter. For more information on the events and other Titanic commemorative events visit www.novascotia.com.last_img read more

Family of Cdn killed in Barcelona terror keeps focus on acts of

first_imgA Canadian killed in a terrorist attack on a popular street in Barcelona was described by his family as a man who enjoyed lively debate and travelling.Ian Moore Wilson was the father of a Vancouver police officer.Vancouver police issued a statement from the officer’s family saying Wilson was killed when a van plowed into crowds of tourists on Thursday.Wilson is described as a loving husband to his wife Valerie Wilson of 53 years, a father, brother and grandfather who was “always game for a lively debate, a good book exploring new places, and a proper-sized pint.”The family says they intend on focusing on “the extraordinary acts of human kindness” they’ve experienced despite the tragedy because that’s what Wilson would have wanted.They say they’ve received support from Vancouver police, the RCMP, airlines and emergency responders in Spain who helped Wilson in his final moments and provided urgent medical care to Valerie Wilson.“These are the things we will choose to focus on when we endeavour to come to terms with the senseless violence and acts of hatred that have taken loved ones before their time,” the statement said.The family has asked that their privacy be respected.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that in addition to the Canadian who was killed, four other Canadians were injured in the terrorist attack.“It was with great sadness that I learned today that one Canadian was killed and four others injured during (Thursday’s) cowardly terrorist attack in Barcelona,” Trudeau said in a statement.“Sophie and I offer our condolences to the families and friends in mourning, and hope for a speedy recovery for the injured Canadians.“We join Spain and countries around the world in grieving the senseless loss of so many innocent people. We must stand firm against the spread of hate and intolerance in all its forms. These violent acts that seek to divide us will only strengthen our resolve.”The details about those who were injured or their current condition has not been released. Canadian officials say they are in touch with the affected families.In total 13 people were killed in Barcelona and another in a separate attack in the resort town of Cambrils south of Barcelona. As many as 100 were injured.Spanish authorities said citizens from 34 different countries were among the dead and injured.Canadian officials Friday still advised Canadians in Barcelona to avoid the Las Ramblas area, where Thursday’s attack occurred, and follow directions from local authorities.Allan Gray and his family were in a Las Ramblas restaurant Thursday when they heard a loud crash and saw crowds of panicked people rushing to the back of the building.Amid the commotion, the Mississauga, Ont., man ran with his wife and two daughters into an adjoining hotel where they huddled on an upper floor for the next five hours, flinching at the sound of gunshots and wondering whether movements in the stairwells were people trying to find safety or a potential terrorist about to launch another attack.Gray, 50, said that the scariest part of the entire ordeal was not knowing what was going on.“Everybody was panicking … we just didn’t know what was going to happen,” Gray told The Canadian Press in an interview Friday. “Every little movement, every little bang was just horrific”People weren’t sure whether gunshots heard were coming inside the building, and were terrified that there might be a shooter in the hotel, Gray said.His daughter, Daniela Gray, said that she was preparing for the worst“For many hours we were terrified that there was someone inside or that there was going to be an explosion of some sort,” the 24-year-old said.As the hours passed, the Gray family learned more about what was actually happening through social media.The family of four took shelter in the hotel until a police officer finally escorted them out of the area to safety.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Friday Canadian authorities always step up vigilance at home when an attack like this happens elsewhere.“When an event like this occurs extra special attention is focused on it so Canadians can be assured that their police and their security services are taking every necessary step to keep Canadians safe,” he said, during an event in Regina.Spanish authorities said the back-to-back vehicle attacks — as well as an explosion earlier this week in a house elsewhere in Catalonia — were related and the work of a large terrorist group.Anca Gurzu, a Canadian from Ottawa, was in a nearby neighbourhood when the Barcelona attack took place, but only realized what was going on after receiving a frantic call from a friend.“(The police) were just everywhere, they were walking with their guns, and it was a bit surreal,” said Gurzu, who went to the scene of the attack about two hours after it took place to see what was going on.She said the residents of Barcelona remained “defiant” in the face of the violence, and that thousands of mourners gathered in the city’s main square on Friday to observe a minute of silence and march through the city’s streets.People laid candles on the street beside bloodstains on the pavement where victims had been hit, she said.The crowds chanted “I am not afraid! I am not afraid!” as they marched through the streets.Outside the main strip where the attacks occurred, Gurzu said the city’s residents are making an effort to try and go about their lives normally.“People are trying to just move on.”— with files from Linda Givetash, Mia Rabson and the Associated Presslast_img read more

Humboldt Broncos memorial fund thanks everyone involved in GoFundMe campaign

first_imgHUMBOLDT, Sask. — The chairman of the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund is thanking everyone who was part of a $15.2-million GoFundMe campaign and its distribution to those involved in the bus crash.Darrin Duell, president of the fund, says in a statement that it’s been a “long, difficult and painful process” since the April 6 crash that left 16 people dead and 13 injured.He thanked Humboldt resident Sylvie Kellington, who created a GoFundMe page in the hours after the crash, for her foresight in initiating the appeal.He also thanked the 140,000-plus people who donated for their kindness to the Broncos families.Duell noted the board of directors, advisory committee, legal team and others involved volunteered their time as they worked through the distribution procedure required by Saskatchewan legislation.The committee’s recommendations were approved by a Saskatchewan judge Wednesday.Each of the 16 families who lost a loved one in the crash will receive a total of $525,000, while each of the 13 surviving players will receive $475,000.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Nunavut creates cabinet portfolio targeting suicide prevention

first_imgAPTN National NewsNunavut’s legislative assembly has come up with a plan to tackle Nunavut’s suicide crisis.The assembly created a new position minister responsible for suicide prevention.That new role comes with the familiar face of Paul Okalik, the territory’s former premier.APTN spoke with Okalik about his new role.last_img

Canaccord to buy Australian securities business Patersons for 23 million

TORONTO — Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. has struck a deal to acquire Australian financial services firm Patersons Securities Ltd. for roughly $23 million in cash.The Melbourne-based securities business has operations in wealth management and capital markets.Canaccord chief executive Dan Daviau says the addition of Patersons is part of its strategy to increase the scale of its wealth management operations and improve its business mix in Australia.The Canadian financial services firm said the transaction was conducted through its Australian operation, Canaccord Genuity Australia.The deal is subject to various conditions, including shareholder and court approval and is expected to be completed during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019.Cash consideration of $25 million Australian dollars or 23.55 Australian cents per share, amounting to roughly C$23 million, will be paid upon closing. The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:CF) read more

Missing persons commission begins fresh sittings in Mullaitivu

Following the public sittings in Mullaitivu, the commission will record statements from the public in Mannar and Vavuniya.Gunadasa said that the commission has invited 1600 people to record oral statements over a 6 day period in Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya regarding family members reported missing during the war. (Colombo Gazette) The Presidential commission to investigate into complaints regarding missing persons began fresh public sittings in the Mullaitivu District today.Secretary to the Commission Hewa Wasalage Gunadasa said that the commission will hold sittings in Mullaitivu for three days. read more

Suzukis Swift leap in pedestrian friendly design

Better car design has helped halve UK road deaths in the last 30 years. Fatalities have fallen despite a near doubling of cars on roads. But while accident statistics show we have some of the safest roads in Europe, there were still more than 3,300 deaths in the UK last year. In the drive to make roads safer for all users, manufacturers are designing new models with an armoury of new safety features that protect more than just car drivers and their passengers. Millions of pounds are being invested in making vehicle front ends less harmful to pedestrians, if they are unfortunate enough to be hit by the car. Models like the new Suzuki Swift show how far the industry has already come. On sale from April, the Japanese supermini won a coveted three star rating for pedestrian safety in recent EuroNCAP crash tests. The result reflects its lightweight, energy-absorbing body structure built on a completely new platform, as well as much closer work with EuroNCAP to improve crashworthiness. Of course, designing safer cars is not just a question of damage limitation – far better to prevent an accident happening in the first place, particularly for those walking or cycling. Here too, the new Swift shows a strong hand. Active safety features include a host of braking technologies in the form of four-wheel ABS, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist. These sort of features are not reflected in NCAP crash tests. Nevertheless, they are helping drivers of models like the new Swift, and other road users to stay where they belong – as far apart as possible. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Ohio State baseball wins 5th straight game takes down Xavier 103

The Ohio State baseball team celebrates its victory against Xavier March 19 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won, 10-3.Credit: Sam Harrington / Lantern photographerWith Big Ten play looming, the Ohio State baseball team appears to be starting to play their best ball of the season.Playing under a gray sky for most of the evening, the Buckeyes (13-6, 0-0) came out shining and rolled to their fifth-straight victory, defeating Xavier, 10-3, Wednesday.The game featured two freshman starting pitchers on the bump with the Musketeers’ (11-7, 0-0) Trent Astle going against the Buckeyes’ Tanner Tully.Tully, starting his first collegiate game, began with a commanding five-pitch first inning. Astle wasn’t so lucky.Sophomore infielder Troy Kuhn was batting first for the Buckeyes and, on the second pitch he saw, smacked a homerun over the left field wall. The shot was Kuhn’s fourth of the year, good enough to lead the team.“I’m seeing the ball real well,” Kuhn said. “I keep getting good pitches to hit … taking advantage of other teams mistakes.”With runners on second and third and still no outs, freshman outfielder Ronnie Dawson had an RBI groundout and sophomore infielder Zach Ratcliff followed with an RBI single to give the Buckeyes a quick 3-0 lead.Astle found himself in another jam to begin the second. With the bases loaded and nobody out, sophomore infielder Jacob Bosiokovic hit a sac fly to deep center that plated two. Junior outfielder Pat Porter followed with a sac fly of his own to score another and give Tully a six-run lead to work with.The freshman responded, going five innings with five hits on no runs scored. When Tully had Musketeers in scoring position, he turned up the heat to keep them at bay.“It was good just to go in there and throw strikes and keep the defense in it,” Tully said. “I throw a little bit harder, hit my spots a little bit more (with runners in scoring position) and make sure they don’t score.”Coach Greg Beals was impressed enough with Tully’s first start to say he would probably be the Sunday starter this weekend.“There was no question in my mind he was capable of starting and capable of doing what he did,” Beals said. “To put five zeros up like that, though, was sure good to see … in our meeting tomorrow there’s a pretty good chance we decide Tanner Tully is our Sunday starter this weekend.”The Musketeers scored one in the sixth and two more in eighth to give them a chance, but the offense rose to the occasion and responded with four runs of their own in the eighth.Redshirt-senior reliever Tyler Giannonatti recorded the final four outs to give him his first save of the season and keep the Buckeyes perfect at home so far.The win streak has been an enjoyable one for the Buckeyes, but they know it isn’t time to get complacent.“We’re pretty happy (with where we are), but this is where our mission starts,” Kuhn said. “We want to come out hot.”The Buckeyes are next scheduled to Friday when the Michigan State Spartans come to town. First pitch at Bill Davis Stadium is set for 6:05 p.m. read more

Danica Patrick Sad to Inform Fans of Divorce

Danica Patrick was ‘sad to inform’ her fans on Tuesday, that her and husband Paul Hospenthal are divorcing after seven years of marriage.Patrick made the announcement through her Facebook page hours after posting a video to thank fans for voting her the most popular driver on NASCAR’s mid-tier Nationwide Series circuit.“I am sad to inform my fans that after seven years, Paul and I have decided (to) amicably end our marriage,” she said. “This isn’t easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this. He has been an important person and friend in my life and that’s how we will remain moving forward.”Hospenthal, a physical therapist, met Patrick while treating her for a non-racing injury. They were married in 2005.The news comes as Patrick just finished her first full season in NASCAR, after leaving IndyCar. She ran the full Nationwide schedule and 10 Sprint Cup races.In nine Cup starts, Patrick had her best finish earlier this month, finishing 24th at Texas and running every lap for the first time. Patrick has been involved in wrecks or plagued by maintenance issues in her past races.Tony Gibson, Ryan Newman’s former crew for Stewart-Haas Racing, played a big part in Patrick’s success in her last two races ath the end of the season. He helped her to finish 10th in Nationwide points, surpassing Sara Christian’s 1949 record of finishing 13th in the Cup series. Gibson plans to become Patrick’s full-time crew chief starting next year.Patrick’s notoriety has declined since the beginning of her career in IndyCar. There was talk that her appeal had dwindled with advertisers, but Go Daddy has pledge their allegiance with Patrick. The website domain provider will continue to use her in commercials during next year’s Super Bowl. They have also committed sponsor her during the Cup schedule next season. read more

Whitehall incident what do we know so far

first_imgThe weapons retrieved A number of knives were seen spilling out of the suspect’s backpack. One appeared to be a large kitchen knife and another a flick-knife. Two police forensic officers, wearing crime scene suits, combed through the evidence. They took photographs of the contents of the bag, before taking them away for further examination.Several knives and what looked like paper or tissue were all put into a separate bag or box. When it came to the brown rucksack lying on the floor, the officer opened it ‘gingerly’.It is not clear if police knew he was carrying weapons when the decision was made to stop him. What did the police have to say?Scotland Yard said:A man has been arrested in Whitehall this afternoon, at approximately 14:22, following a stop and search as part of an ongoing operation.The man was arrested in Parliament Street, junction with Parliament Square, by armed officers from the Met’s Specialist Firearms Command.The man, aged in his late twenties, was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism. Knives have been recovered from him.He is being detained under the Terrorism Act and is in custody in a south London police station.Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command are continuing their investigation, and as a result of this arrest there is no immediate known threat.Who is the suspect?The 27-year-old man, dressed head to toe in black, was walking among a crowd of tourists and workers in Parliament Street when he was wrestled to the ground by armed police officers. He has been named by the BBC as Mohammed Khalid Omar Ali. Forensic police were seen inspecting them.  Credit:Heathcliff O’Malley  Forensic Officers looking at with knifes at the scene  It is understood that the suspect’s family had become concerned about his behaviour and reported him to the authorities several weeks ago. Investigators believe he was about to launch an attack. Scotland Yard said the arrest occurred as part of an “ongoing operation” by detectives from Counter-Terror Command and the investigation is still continuing.Three knives and a rucksack were seen on the ground following the arrest.Here is what we know so far.Family reportedly ‘tipped off’ policeParliament staff were told by security sources that the man’s family tipped off police, Sky News’ Chief Political Correspondent Jon Craig reported. Police pick up a knife at the scene after a person was arrested following an incident in Whitehall in LondonCredit:Lauren Hurley/PA Wire The ‘lone wolf’ suspect had been under close surveillance when counter-terrorism officers ordered his immediate detention as he came within 300 yards of the gates of the Prime Minister’s residence.It is understood that the suspect’s family had become concerned about his behaviour and reported him to the authorities several weeks ago. Investigators believe he was about to launch an attack.No one was injured during the incident but eye witnesses described a struggle between the 27-year-old and police as armed officers and plain clothes police surrounded the area at around 2.30pm.A security source told Reuters that the man, from London, was known to counter-terrorism officers and MI5 before his arrest. A suspected jihadist with carrying a rucksack packed with knives was arrested in Westminster after police were reportedly tipped off by his family.The 27-year-old man, who is believed to be called Mohammed Khalid Omar Ali, was arrested under the Terrorism Act – just yards from the scene of last month’s Westminster attack.The suspected terrorist was heading towards Downing Street when he was dramatically arrested by armed police, security sources have told The Telegraph.center_img The  source said: “He was under surveillance and he was stopped while walking away from Parliament Square and up Whitehall towards Downing Street.”A senior policing source said: “This is someone who was known and under surveillance. He was being watched very closely. He had been travelling on the London Underground and we understand he had exited the Tube at St James’s Park station before walking in the direction of Whitehall and Number 10.“At some stage an alert went out to all the teams in the area and the order was made to pick him up.” What does Theresa May have to say?Prime Minister Theresa May was on a tour of a factory in Chesterfield at the time and praised the police and security services for preventing another terrorist strike at the heart of British power. Police pick up a knife at the scene after a person was arrested following an incident in Whitehall in London.   Forensic Officers looking at knifes at the scene Credit:Yui Mok/PA Wire Mrs May said: “It shows that our police and intelligence and security services are on the alert, as they always are, looking to keep us safe and secure. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to these people, many of whom are unseen, unheard, yet the job they do day in, day out to keep us secure is a really important one and we should thank them for it.”A spokesman for London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Mr Khan is hugely grateful to the police for their swift, decisive and professional actions. He is hugely relieved there have been no casualties.”  Staff in Parliament told by sec sources police were tipped off about man arrested in Whitehall by his family, which probably saved his life.— joncraigSKY (@joncraig) April 27, 2017 Heathcliff O'Malley Photographs taken during and after the dramatic arrest showed a bearded man, possibly of Asian or east African origin with cropped black hair, held at the scene for at least ten minutes. In one image, he appeared to be smirking for the camera.One of his hands appeared to be wrapped up in a bandage as four officers stood next to him. A Whitehall source told The Telegraph that the man, who is understood to have been born overseas but who lives in south east London, had been arrested as part on an “intelligence-led operation”. he had been followed on the Underground and is thought to have surfaced at St James’s park tube station before heading towards Westminster. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Russia with 5 of 5 travel to France 2017

← Previous Story “New Poland” ready for handball agony? Next Story → Perfect Germany smash Austria without Gensheimer France 2017Russia handball Russia will try to join upper part of handball globe at World Championship 2017 in France with coach Torgovanov on the bench and well-known faces like Atman and Dibirov in the main roles. Obviously, Russian boys are eager to make a stronger push towards after their girls marked 2016 with amazing success in Rio, where they won gold at Olympic Games.However, there is a long way to go in Group with France, Norway, Brazil, Japan and Poland.It looks that Russia are in good form after five matches in 10 days, which they ended with the smile. “Komanda” beat Belarus twice 27:22 and 31:26, while before New Year Eve Torgovanov’s boys won Riga Council Cup.Russia wins Riga Council Cup againMen’s 19th international four-team handball tournament “Riga Council Cup 2016” was won by national team of Russia for the second consecutive year.Tournament started on the 27h of December when goalkeeper Edgars Kukša played excellent game and hosts Latvia surprisingly won Belarus (23:20) while Russia in fierce battle overtook Egypt (24:23). Day later Latvians played good 1st half (13:14), but lost to Russia (19:27). First won get Belarus who scored the winning goal in the last minute over Egypt (28:27). On the last day of tournament Egypt convincingly won Latvia (30:20), bet Russia celebrated victory over Belarus (28:21).National team of Russia finished tournament with perfect 3-0 and deservedly get the winners cup for the second consecutive year and for the third time in Riga Council Cup history (2012.. 2015., 2016.). The rest of the teams concluded the tournament with one win and two losses, but better goal difference secured 2nd place to Egypt. 3rd finished Belarus, 4th – Latvia, who played without several leaders (Aivis Jurdžs, Dainis Krištopāns, Ģirts Lilienfelds and Ingars Dude).Top-scorer of the “Riga Council Cup 2016” was Dmitry Kovalev from Russia (22 goals), but MVP trophy got Egyptian Elsam Eisaa.Best players in each teamRussia – Pavel AtmanLatvia – Edgars KukšaBelarus – Vjachaslau SaldatsenkaEgypt – Yehia ElderaaTop-scorer – Dmitry Kovalev (22 goals, Russia)MVP – Elsam Eisaa (Egypt)Results: http://bit.ly/2i6SBNU Tournament table: http://bit.ly/2iGBSRr Scorers list: http://bit.ly/2hG4nNoPhotos by Romualds Vambuts  read more

Thessaloniki water sale put on hold

first_imgState sell-off fund TAIPED announced yesterday that it was freezing the privatization process for the majority stake in the Thessaloniki Water Company (EYATH).According to the fund’s official statement, TAIPED will re-examine the ways in which the company can be utilized following the new conditions to have emerged as a result of a Council of State verdict regarding the Athens Water Company (EYDAP) as well as the reaction from the local community.The decision of the Council of Stae plenary on EYDAP stated that the company’s privatization “renders uncertain the continuation of the supply of its affordable utility services and of its quality which is not fully safeguarded by state monitoring alone.” It added that “EYDAP services are supplied on a monopolistic basis to a large population by unique networks in the area,” which also applies in EYATH’s case.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Lawyer Jallow Sues Gambia Government

first_imgBy Yankuba JallowIbrahima Jallow, a legal practitioner in The Gambia has yesterday filed a case against the Government of The Gambia.Lawyer Jallow’s claim is that the former President of The Gambia unconstitutionally assented to the Legal Practitioners Act before it was passed by the National Assembly.“Acting on the powers conferred on the president of the republic of the Gambia to give assent to a bill passed by the National Assembly of The Gambia, the president of the republic of the Gambia unconstitutionally assented to Legal Practitioners Act 2015 on the 27 December 2015 before the Act was passed by the National Assembly,” Jallow said in the suit.He said acting on the powers conferred on it by the constitution of the republic of the Gambia, the National Assembly of the Gambia passed the Legal Practitioners Act 2015 on the 29 December 2015 after the Act was assented to by the president, in contravention of the provisions of section 100 of the constitution of The Gambia.Contrary to the provisions of Section 100 of the Constitution of the Gambia the National Assembly of the Gambia gazetted the Legal Practitioners Act 2015 on the 3rd February 2016 eight (8) days outside the Constitutional prescribed period. According to the litigants, the Constitutional period is within thirty (30) of assent by the president.“The act and or omission of the NAM and the president in paragraph 9, 10 and 11 are in contravention and inconsistent with the provision of section 100 of the Constitution of the Gambia,” Lawyer Jallow argued.“The act and or omission of the NAM and the president are not only unconstitutional but are procedural improper.”Jallow said an action for the declaration under section 5 of the Constitution of the Gambia can be brought against any authority or person and or the president of the republic of the Gambia in his official capacity or title by virtue of section 69 (2) of the Constitution of the Gambia.He sought for a declaration that the National Assembly acted beyond its powers by passing a bill that was assented to by the president.On the second prayer, the plaintiff sought for a declaration that the Legal Practitioners Act be void since the proper procedures as required by law weren’t followed.last_img read more

8 reduce reward package in response to national living wage

first_imgLess than one in 10 (8%) employer respondents who have seen their wage bill increase following the introduction of the national living wage have reduced aspects of their reward package, such as paid breaks, overtime or bank holiday pay, in response to this, according to research by the Resolution Foundation.The survey of 500 organisations, conducted in early June 2016, also found that 35% of respondents have seen an increase in their wage bill this year because of the national living wage.The national living wage came into effect in April 2016. The mandatory £7.20 an hour rate applies to staff aged 25 and over.The research also found:6% say the national living wage has increased their wage bill to a large extent.16% of respondents expect the national living wage to increase their wage bill at some point in the future.14% of respondents who have seen an increase in their wage bill have employed fewer staff, offered fewer hours or slowed recruitment.12% of respondents have invested in technology in response to the introduction of the national living wage.15% of respondents have invested in more training for staff.Around a third (36%) of respondents have increased their prices as a short-term reaction to the national living wage, and 29% have taken lower profits.Conor D’Arcy, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The national living wage has already delivered a welcome pay boost to millions of workers. The big question has been how employers would respond. The evidence so far is that firms have absorbed some of the impact on their wage bill, while passing on a share of those rising costs to consumers through higher prices.“Encouragingly, evidence of workers seeing their hours cut or even losing their jobs has so far been relatively limited. The challenge now is for firms to continue to respond positively to the national living wage, particularly by raising productivity.“Brexit is likely to reshape the landscape in which many low-paying sectors operate. This means that the expertise of the independent Low Pay Commission is more important than ever, and ministers should carefully heed their advice.”last_img read more