New BC sports exhibit features Indigenous athletes

first_imgTina HouseAPTN NewsThe British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame has unveiled a new gallery.It features the top Indigenous athletes from a wide range of

Trump says US should change tax law to punish NFL

first_imgWASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is suggesting the U.S. change its tax laws to punish organizations like the NFL if members are “disrespecting” the national anthem or flag.The NFL gave up its federal tax-exempt status a few years ago and now files tax returns as a taxable entity. So it’s unlikely that Trump’s proposal, tweeted in the early hours Tuesday, would change anything.Trump tweeted : “Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!”Trump also tweeted Tuesday that ESPN ratings have “tanked” because of Jemele Hill, the anchor suspended for making political statements on social media.While NFL viewership is down slightly, ESPN remains among the most popular cable networks, averaging 3 million viewers in prime time. The network has suffered subscriber losses over the last few years as some viewers have moved to streaming services from cable television.Hill, an African-American co-host of the 6 p.m. broadcast of “SportsCenter,” received backlash last month after calling Trump a “white supremacist” in a series of tweets that referenced the president’s comments about a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.That comment prompted Trump to demand an apology from ESPN and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to call for Hill’s firing.While ESPN took no formal action against Hill over the Trump comment, she did apologize to the network for the trouble her remarks had caused while standing by the tweets. ESPN cited that apology in announcing Hill’s suspension Monday , saying in a statement that ESPN employees had been “reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences.”Hill targeted Jerry Jones on Twitter on Sunday after the Dallas Cowboys owner stated that players who disrespect the flag would not play for his team. She suggested fans who disagree with Jones should boycott the team’s advertisers and not buy the team’s merchandise.She clarified Monday that she wasn’t calling for an NFL boycott.last_img read more

NTSB hasnt fully examined limo in fatal crash

first_imgWASHINGTON – Federal safety investigators have been unable to conduct a full examination of the limousine involved in a crash that killed 20 people nearly two weeks ago in upstate New York because local prosecutors are probing it as part of their case against the limo company’s operator.While a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says it is working co-operatively with local officials, people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Thursday that investigators have privately expressed frustration over their inability to fully examine the limousine.They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive conversations.The limo remains in the possession of New York State Police after the limousine company’s operator was charged four days after the crash with criminally negligent homicide.A state police spokesman said it could be several more weeks before the NTSB is granted hands-on access to the limo. The NTSB would get in line behind state investigators and the lawyer for the limo company’s operator.“The vehicle is the most important piece of evidence that will help ultimately determine the cause of the crash, and the extent of any criminal wrongdoing,” spokesman Beau Duffy said in a statement. “If the NTSB were allowed to handle evidence before it has been fully examined and processed by the state police and the defence, it would jeopardize the criminal case.”NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss said investigators were able to look inside the limousine briefly and have not conducted a full examination. But he stressed that the agency is working closely with state police.“We anticipate getting everything we need in a timely fashion,” Weiss said. “They have a criminal investigation to do. We have to accommodate that.”The federal agency is charged by Congress to conduct independent probes and can make urgent safety recommendations to address specific issues discovered during an investigation. The NTSB expects to release a preliminary report on the wreck in the next several weeks, Weiss said.The district attorney in Schoharie County did not immediately return a call from the AP seeking comment on Thursday.The limousine loaded with 18 people on their way to a birthday party for one of the occupants ran a stop sign and crashed at the bottom of a hill in the town of Schoharie. Everyone in the limo died, including four sisters, along with two pedestrians.Prosecutors allege the limousine company’s operator, Nauman Hussain, allowed an improperly licensed driver to operate an “unserviceable” vehicle. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge and has declined to comment on the crash.___Klepper reported from Albany, N.Y. Associated Press writer Mary Esch in Albany, N.Y., contributed to this report.last_img read more

Male Disney Cruise worker claims harassment by female boss

first_imgORLANDO, Fla. — A middle-aged male former labour analyst at Disney Cruise Line says his younger female manager created a hostile work environment by bullying him about his age, bragging about sleeping with married men in the office and passing him over for promotions.Anthony McHugh says in a lawsuit filed last month in federal court in Orlando that the female manager discriminated against him because of his sex and age. He says she called him a “stuffy old fart” in front of staff and wouldn’t provide him with an iPhone or tablet like she did for staff younger than 40.Experts in workplace law say it’s uncommon for a female manager to be accused of sex discrimination against a male underling and creating a hostile workplace.Disney says the lawsuit is without merit.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Ex PM makes emotional appeal to MS MR and CBK

Former Prime Minister D M Jayaratne today made an emotional appeal to President Maithripala Sirisena, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga to take measures to ensure the Sri Lanka Freedom Party does not split.Speaking at an event in Kandy today, Jayaratne said that he feels very sad at what is taking place within the SLFP. “I am still attempting to unite these three leaders,” Jayaratne said.Jayaratne said that if the three leaders unite then the SLFP can easily win an election at any time. Jayaratne, who was Prime Minister under Rajapaksa, said that he feels outside influence has resulted in attempts to split the party. He said that he personally met President Maithripala Sirisena and the two former President’s and appealed to them to protect the SLFP. He said that so many SLFP supporters have urged him to unite the party and he will continue to make that effort.The former Prime Minister said that he knows he will not live long but his love for the party will never die. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Annan urges world leaders to be accountable for promises made on HIVAIDS

Attending an inter-faith event at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in New York on the eve of World AIDS Day, Mr. Annan said the international community has finally begun to take the fight seriously, devoting greater financial resources and giving more and more people access to antiretroviral treatment.Yet the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, known as UNAIDS, estimated recently that 39.5 million people around the world live with HIV and another 4.3 million will be infected this year, with nearly two out of every three new infections occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Significant increases in rates of infection have also been reported in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.At least 25 million have now died from AIDS-related diseases in the 25 years since the first case was reported, and this year alone almost 3 million people will die. The pandemic is the leading cause of death among both men and women aged between 15 and 59.“Because the response has started to gain real momentum, the stakes are higher now than ever,” Mr. Annan said. “We cannot risk letting the advances that have been achieved unravel; we must not jeopardize the heroic efforts of so many,” adding that “leaders must hold themselves accountable – and be held accountable by all of us.”He urged the leaders to strengthen protections for all vulnerable groups, whether people living with HIV, young people, sex workers, injecting drug users or men who have sex with men.The theme for this year’s observation of World AIDS Day is accountability, and the idea that “AIDS stops with me.”The Secretary-General said accountability applies not only to world leaders, but to “all of us,” from business leaders who can campaign for HIV prevention in the workplace to health workers and faith-based groups who can listen and provide care to sufferers without passing judgement.“It requires fathers, husbands, sons and brothers to support and affirm the rights of women. It requires teachers to nurture the dreams and aspirations of girls. It requires men to help ensure that other men assume their responsibility – and understand that real manhood means protecting others from risk.“And it requires every one of us to help bring AIDS out of the shadows, and spread the message that silence is death.”In an opinion column published yesterday in USA Today, Mr. Annan outlined many of the steps he has taken to fight the AIDS pandemic during his 10-year tenure as Secretary-General, such as the establishment of UNAIDS, and promised to “keep spreading that message.” read more

US household wealth tops prerecession peak on rising stock market and higher

by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Mar 7, 2013 2:42 pm MDT WASHINGTON – It took 5 1/2 years.Surging stock prices and steady home-price increases have finally allowed Americans to regain the $16 trillion in wealth they lost to the Great Recession. The gains are helping support the economy and could lead to further spending and growth.The recovered wealth — most of it from higher stock prices — has been flowing mainly to richer Americans. By contrast, middle class wealth is mostly in the form of home equity, which has risen much less.Household wealth amounted to $66.1 trillion at the end of 2012, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. That was $1.2 trillion more than three months earlier and 98 per cent of the pre-recession peak.Further increases in stock and home prices this year mean that Americans’ net worth has since topped the pre-recession peak of $67.4 trillion, private economists say. Wealth had bottomed at $51.4 trillion in early 2009.“It’s all but certain that we surpassed that peak in the first quarter,” said Aaron Smith, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics.Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of assets like homes, stocks and bank accounts minus debts like mortgages and credit cards. National home prices have extended their gains this year. And the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, a broad gauge of the stock market, has surged 8 per cent so far this year.Some economists caution that the recovered wealth might spur less consumer spending than it did before the recession. Dana Saporta, an economist at Credit Suisse, notes that Americans are now less likely to use the equity in their homes to fuel spending. The value of home equity Americans are cashing out has fallen 90 per cent in six years, she said.And since the housing bust, when home values fell broadly for the first time in decades, many homeowners are skeptical that higher prices will last, Saporta said. They won’t necessarily spend more as a result.Finally, the upper-income Americans who have benefited most from the nation’s recovered wealth don’t tend to spend as much of their money as Americans overall do.But they’ve gotten a lot richer. The Dow Jones industrial average has just set a record high. Since bottoming in March 2009, the Dow has jumped 119 per cent. Roughly 80 per cent of stocks are held by the richest 10 per cent of households.For the past five years, middle-class Americans have sold stocks and missed out on much of the rebound. In the October-December quarter, Americans dumped nearly $466 billion in stocks and bought $229 billion in bonds, the Fed’s report showed.Homes accounted for two-thirds of middle-class assets before the recession, estimates economist Edward Wolff of New York University. Among all U.S. households, they accounted for only one-third of assets. And national home values remain about 30 per cent below their peak.Still, some Americans are benefiting from rising home prices — and spending more as a result.Helen Lyons of Takoma Park, Md., bought a home with her husband last year and is already seeing neighbours sell for much higher prices. That’s given her confidence that her home purchase will pay off.“I think we got in at exactly the right time,” said Lyons, 24. “We feel like we are sitting on something that is a potential investment, not just a place to live.”The increase in her home’s value has led Lyons and her husband, Nick Finio, to repaint the interior, landscape the yard and stain the porch.“You buy a house, you end up going to Home Depot and spending tons of money,” Lyons said.That helps explain why economists expect Americans’ regained wealth to contribute further to the economic recovery. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 per cent of the economy.“It should boost consumption, because as people feel wealthier they tend to spend more,” Saporta said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that households will go on a spending spree.”Carl Riccadonna, an economist at Deutsche Bank, is a bit more optimistic. He thinks higher home values and some easing of credit requirements by banks will lead Americans to cash out more of their home equity.Riccadonna forecasts that the increase in home prices alone could boost consumer spending this year by roughly $110 billion — nearly offsetting the $120 billion cost of higher Social Security taxes that kicked in Jan. 1.The Fed report also showed that Americans are increasingly taking on more debt, enabling them to spend more. In the October-December quarter, household debt rose 2.4 per cent. It was the sharpest gain in nearly five years.And it marked a shift from when the recession ended in June 2009, after which many households focused on repaying debt rather than borrowing. Economists increasingly think that process, known as “deleveraging,” is ending.“The drag from deleveraging is now a thing of the past,” Smith said. “Household credit is once again supporting growth.”Smith noted that the two key trends in the Fed report — higher wealth and more consumer borrowing — are likely enabling people to spend more at a critical time: Most workers have had to absorb higher Social Security taxes this year. Someone earning $50,000 has about $1,000 less to spend in 2013. A household with two high-paid workers has up to $4,500 less.And gas prices have risen sharply. The average price for a gallon is $3.72, roughly 44 cents more than when the year began.“The combination of what we’re seeing in terms of wealth increases and higher household borrowing explains why spending has not fallen more in the face of higher taxes and gasoline prices,” Smith said.Household finances are still improving, even with the increase in borrowing. Total household debt amounted to about 100 per cent of after-tax income in the October-December quarter, down from 126 per cent in 2007.___AP Business Writer Bernard Condon in New York contributed to this report.___Follow Chris Rugaber on Twitter at US household wealth tops pre-recession peak on rising stock market and higher home prices AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Blaz Blagotinsek at Veszprem

One of the most promising young line-players in Europe in this moment, Slovenian  signed three years deal Blaž Blagotinsekwith Telekom Veszprem! The 22-years old member of RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko and Slovenian national team joined team who has clear ambition to win every competition in the upcoming season.He will try to find a place for himself alongside two powerful guys, Renato Sulic and Andreas Nilsson. Blaz BlagotinsekTelekom Veszprem handball ← Previous Story Europe get first potential Beach Handball Olympians Next Story → IT’S TIME: IHF Beach WCh begins in Budapest

La vente de riz provenant de la région de Fukushima interdite

first_imgLa vente de riz provenant de la région de Fukushima interditeLe Japon a décrété ce jeudi 17 novembre un embargo sur le riz produit dans une région de Fukushima. Une décision prise après que des taux de césium supérieurs à la limite autorisée ont été enregistrés dans des échantillons de riz provenant de cette préfecture du nord-est de l’archipel nippon.Le Japon a interdit la vente du riz produit dans une région de la préfecture de Fukushima. C’est la première fois qu’une telle décision est prise sur du riz depuis l’accident nucléaire survenu le 11 mars dernier suite au séisme et au tsunami qui ont dévasté le nord-est du pays. Comme le rapporte l’AFP, le porte-parole du gouvernement Osamu Fujimura a ordonné au gouverneur de Fukushima, Yuhei Sato, d’arrêter la vente du riz venant d’Onami, à 57 kilomètres au nord-ouest de la centrale nucléaire accidentée.À lire aussiLe pied d’éléphant, cette effrayante masse radioactive cachée dans les entrailles de TchernobylCet embargo, qui concerne 154 exploitations, a été décidé après qu’un taux de césium dépassant la limite autorisée a été relevé dans des échantillons de riz. Un taux de 630 becquerels par kilogramme a été enregistré, quand le seuil maximum autorisé pour les produits alimentaires est de 500 becquerels. “Cette interdiction sera maintenuejusqu’à ce que le riz produit dans la région soit déclaré sûr”, a expliqué un responsable du ministère de l’Agriculture nippon. Depuis l’accident nucléaire, plusieurs légumes, mais aussi du lait, de la viande de boeuf, du thé et des produits de la mer ont été interdits à la consommation. Malgré les déclarations rassurantes du gouvernement, les Japonais craignent de voir toute la chaîne alimentaire contaminée par les rejets de la centrale de Fukushima.Le 17 novembre 2011 à 19:05 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Deputies investigate strongarm robbery in Hazel Dell parking lot

first_imgClark County sheriff’s deputies are investigating after a strong-armed robbery occurred early Wednesday morning. The victim told authorities that he used the site OfferUp, where he found a knife he was interested in buying from another user, Clark County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Fred Neiman said. The two agreed to meet at the parking lot of Winco Foods, 9700 N.E. Highway 99, at about 1:30 a.m., Neiman said. The man selling the knife grabbed the cash from the victim without exchanging it for the knife and jumped in a car and sped away, Neiman said. Neiman said that deputies are actively investigating the alleged crime and did not release any other information about the incident.last_img

Former Wrangell Institute property could see another boarding school

first_imgANSEP is based at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The curriculum is geared towards science and engineering and gives high school students the opportunity to earn college credits.ANSEP Vice Provost and founder, Herb Schroder, said ANSEP is opening its first high school in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District in August, but said that’s not enough to serve the 1,200 students he’s engaged statewide. Now he’s eyeing Wrangell as the future site of ANSEP’s first residential school.“We’re committed to working with the community in Wrangell. What we want to do is build a residential school that would hold at least 400 students from across Alaska,” said Schroder. “When they attend this school, students can earn college credits and graduate from high school in as little as three years. If they want to stay for four years, that’s fine. They can earn credits for degrees in education, psychology, biological sciences, engineering, business management and many others.“Schroder said he’s been looking for a location for a residential facility for over a year. In February, he presented a proposal to legislators to take over Mt. Edgecumbe boarding school in Sitka. Mt. Edgecumbe faculty was unaware of the proposal until after the fact.Alaska Department of Education & Early Development Interim Commissioner, Dr. Susan McCauley, said the State Board of Education was not aware of the proposed takeover either.“He then, did present to the State Board of Education at its March meeting and talked about the idea of a general ANSEP residential school. He indicated at that time he would not be pursing that scenario with Mt. Edgecumbe,” said McCauley. Wrangell’s Borough Manager, Jeff Jabusch, said the Assembly is looking into including ANSEP’s proposed school into development plans for the 130-acre institute property about five miles south of town.“It was perfect timing because we were looking at the institute site. We have a consulting group that’s working with us to develop that. This in the early stages was a component, an education facility out there. There’s a lot of things we have to work out,” said Jabusch.Jabush said the design firm, Corvus Design, will present two or three new designs for the property on June 13. The public will be able to comment on those designs.Herb Schroder said he plans to be at that public hearing, and at the borough’s June 14 regular meeting.Besides a possible ANSEP high school, the designs include a senior assisted living facility, single-family housing, apartments and retail space. Wrangell could see another boarding school in the next five years. ANSEP, an accelerated high school program based on University of Alaska Anchorage campus, is interested in building a 400-bed facility on the former Wrangell Institute property.Download AudioAn ANSEP instructor helps girls with building their own computers. (Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage) The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program – or ANSEP – is thinking about building a residential high school on the former Wrangell Institute property. The Wrangell Assembly announced the news at its latest regular meeting.last_img read more

Corporator Janaki Rama Raju learns of peoples woes

first_imgHyder Nagar: Division corporator Janaki Rama Raju toured Jai Bharath Nagar, Brindavan Colony in Hyder Nagar division and enquired drainage issues in the area. Deputy Commissioner Ashok Samrat, Health Inspector Rajasekhar, AE Rajeev, Work Inspector Mahadev, Satyannarayana, Muncipal staff and locals participated.last_img

130 crore Indians have begun journey towards Vikas PM Modi

first_imgParis: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday exuded confidence that India has begun its journey towards development. “Today I can say with confidence that the 130 crore Indians have begun their journey towards development. The mandate we have received is not just for running a government, but for building a New India,” Modi said addressing the Indian community at the UNESCO headquarters here. Also Read – Pakistan test-fires 290-km range missile Advertise With Us “When I visited France four years back, I had promised that the country will start its march towards development. I do not belong to the community of Indians that forgets promises. I am the one who reminds people of the promises I made,” the Prime Minister said. “I have come to a nation of football lovers – a nation that very well understands the importance of goals. In the last five years, we have together set goals, which were considered impossible to fulfil,” he said. Also Read – Imran calls on Pakistanis to take part in ‘Kashmir Hour’ Advertise With Us Modi also inaugurated a memorial there, that has been built to pay homage to the Indians who lost their lives in two Air India plane crashes — in 1950 and other in 1966. “I salute all those including the great Indian nuclear physicist Homi Bhabha who lost their lives in the Air India plane crashes in France’s Saint Gervais,” he said.last_img read more

Barack Obama Announces Another 12 billion for Energy RD

first_img Monday, President Obama announced that money would be provided for research at the national laboratories for the Department of Energy. Additionally, grants will be available for those wishing to do research in renewable energy. Areas such as wind, solar, biofuels and hydrogen will be encouraged. Even nuclear energy and questions about storing carbon dioxide underground will be eligible for grant funding under the new rules. The funding is in addition to tax credits and spending approved in the recently passed economic stimulus package.Some of the technologies and companies that are like to benefit from energy R&D funding include:* Serious Materials, which uses energy efficient materials to make energy-draining process of mixing raw materials in a wet slurry and then using outside energy to dry it, the company has a recipe that makes use of chemicals — and their reactions — for the drying heat necessary.* Solyndra, a solar power start-up. This company is receiving the first Department of Energy loan given out in years. Instead of using silicon, Solyndra manufactures soalr cells out of copper, indium, gallium and selenide (CIGS) and shapes them into cylinders that are placed on panels. The efficiency of Solyndra’s solar panels is between 12 an 14 percent — a number boosted by a special reflective coating on the roof below the panel.* 1366 Technologies is on a quest to make solar energy cheaper than coal. The company is associated with Emanuel Sachs, who is on leave from MIT right now. The company claims it cracked the $1 barrier using cadmium telluride for its thin-film cells. But further advances in chemistry and physics are needed to reach that sort of cost-efficiency using silicon.* Winsupply, a company that offers geothermal, wind and solar equipment, could use tax credits and other funding to make its products more widely available.* Universities might also receive some funding. MIT is one of the hottest places right now for developing technology that can boost energy efficiency. Additionally, projects like those at different universities to use LED lights as wi-fi access points could also bring energy use dollars to higher education institutions languishing due to the economic crisis. The biggest needs in green technology R&D involve using scientific breakthroughs to make renewable energy cost-efficient. Until science and technology can give us energy that costs less than fossil fuels, renewable/green energy will be limited. But this funding may put energy R&D on that track.© 2009 Explore further Solar energy development could get boost. 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. U.S. announces solar energy initiative ( — One of the more interesting areas of technological development in the coming years is likely to be energy development — specifically green energy development. With new advances in physics allowing for such items as organic thin-film solar cells, it appears that energy technology could be one of the uses for cutting edge scientific advancements. U.S. President Barack Obama is hoping to spur further advancements in energy technology through increased funding for research and development. Citation: Barack Obama Announces Another $1.2 billion for Energy R&D (2009, March 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Two of Milky Ways globular clusters found to have halo stars

first_img(—Australian astronomers have uncovered evidence of halo stars in two globular clusters residing in the Milky Way galaxy. According to a new study published on June 21 on the arXiv pre-print server, the globular clusters known as Messier 3 and Messier 13, have extratidal halo stars. The new findings suggest that both clusters could be surrounded by extended stellar halos. Citation: Two of Milky Way’s globular clusters found to have halo stars (2016, June 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2016 Explore further Mount Lemmon SkyCenter image of Messier 3. Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona 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. Messier 3 and Messier 13, containing 500,000 and 300,000 stars respectively, are among the best known globular clusters. However, previous studies focusing on finding extratidal stars in these clusters haven’t delivered any promising results so far. Now, a team of researchers led by Colin Navin of the Macquarie University in Australiahave analyzed the available data about the two clusters in order to reveal new insights on their structure.For their research, the scientists used data from the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fibre Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) survey of the Northern hemisphere, which utilizes the Xinglong Observatory in China to obtain the spectra of about 10 million objects, including stars, galaxies and quasars. They chose LAMOST, as this survey covers a number of Northern hemispheric globular clusters and therefore has potential to search for extratidal stars.”We find candidate extratidal stars in wide halos around the globular clusters Messier 3 and Messier 13 in the LAMOST Data Release 1,” the researchers wrote in the paper.First, the team identified the characteristics of globular clusters that were likely to have member stars in the Data Release 1 Catalog. Spatially, they had to be within the survey area of LAMOST; then, the researchers chose to use globular clusters that had relatively high heliocentric radial velocities. After eliminating clusters that only had small numbers of candidate stars, they were left with Messier 3 and Messier 13 as likely candidates to search for extratidal stars.Finally, they found eight candidate extratidal cluster halo stars in Messier 3 at distances up to about 10 times the tidal radius, and in Messier 13, they identified 12 candidate extratidal cluster halo stars at distances up to approximately 14 times the tidal radius.The scientists noted that if the status of these stars is confirmed, they would support previous studies that both clusters are surrounded by a halo of extratidal stars or exhibit tidal tails. However, in order to validate their status, high-resolution spectroscopic observations of the chemical abundances are required.”High-resolution spectroscopic observations of the candidate extratidal cluster halo stars would be valuable in confirming their origin, and hence provide constraints for theoretical studies,” the paper reads.According to previous studies, a significant fraction of stars in the bulge and halo of the Milky Way originated in globular clusters. It is believed that a minimum of 17 percent of the present-day mass of the stellar halo originally formed in globular clusters. Notably, the tidal debris of globular clusters also act as indicators of a host galaxy’s gravitational potential as the extratidal stars spread out in a stream that traces the orbit of its progenitor.The researchers hope to find more candidate extratidal stars in Messier 3 and Messier 13, and possibly in other globular clusters, as the dataset grows. Meanwhile, they recommend that future observations focus on known photometric members of clusters. Image: Hubble stares into the crammed center of Messier 22 More information: New halo stars of the Galactic globular clusters M3 and M13 in the LAMOST DR1 Catalog, arXiv:1606.06430 [astro-ph.GA] and M13 are Galactic globular clusters with previous reports of surrounding stellar halos. We present the results of a search for members and extratidal cluster halo stars within and outside of the tidal radius of these clusters in the LAMOST Data Release 1. We find seven candidate cluster members (inside the tidal radius) of both M3 and M13 respectively. In M3 we also identify eight candidate extratidal cluster halo stars at distances up to ~9.8 times the tidal radius, and in M13 we identify 12 candidate extratidal cluster halo stars at distances up to ~13.8 times the tidal radius. These results support previous indications that both M3 and M13 are surrounded by extended stellar halos, and we find that the GC destruction rates corresponding to the observed mass loss are generally significantly higher than theoretical studies predict.last_img read more

Implementing RNN in TensorFlow for spam prediction Tutorial

first_imgArtificial neural networks (ANN) are an abstract representation of the human nervous system, which contains a collection of neurons that communicate with each other through connections called axons. A recurrent neural network (RNN) is a class of ANN where connections between units form a directed cycle. RNNs make use of information from the past. That way, they can make predictions in data with high temporal dependencies. This creates an internal state of the network, which allows it to exhibit dynamic temporal behavior. In this article we will look at: Implementation of basic RNNs in TensorFlow. An example of how to implement an RNN in TensorFlow for spam predictions. Train a model that will learn to distinguish between spam and non-spam emails using the text of the email. This article is an extract taken from the book Deep Learning with TensorFlow – Second Edition, written by Giancarlo Zaccone, Md. Rezaul Karim. Implementing basic RNNs in TensorFlow TensorFlow has tf.contrib.rnn.BasicRNNCell and tf.nn.rnn_cell. BasicRNNCell, which provide the basic building blocks of RNNs. However, first let’s implement a very simple RNN model, without using either of these. The idea is to have a better understanding of what goes on under the hood. We will create an RNN composed of a layer of five recurrent neurons using the ReLU activation function. We will assume that the RNN runs over only two-time steps, taking input vectors of size 3 at each time step. The following code builds this RNN, unrolled through two-time steps: n_inputs = 3n_neurons = 5X1 = tf.placeholder(tf.float32, [None, n_inputs])X2 = tf.placeholder(tf.float32, [None, n_inputs])Wx = tf.get_variable(“Wx”, shape=[n_inputs,n_neurons], dtype=tf.float32, initializer=None, regularizer=None, trainable=True,collections=None)Wy = tf.get_variable(“Wy”, shape=[n_neurons,n_neurons], dtype=tf.float32, initializer=None, regularizer=None, trainable=True,collections=None)b = tf.get_variable(“b”, shape=[1,n_neurons], dtype=tf.float32,initializer=None, regularizer=None, trainable=True, collections=None)Y1 = tf.nn.relu(tf.matmul(X1, Wx) + b)Y2 = tf.nn.relu(tf.matmul(Y1, Wy) + tf.matmul(X2, Wx) + b) Then we initialize the global variables as follows: init_op = tf.global_variables_initializer() This network looks much like a two-layer feedforward neural network, but both layers share the same weights and bias vectors. Additionally, we feed inputs at each layer and receive outputs from each layer. X1_batch = np.array([[0, 2, 3], [2, 8, 9], [5, 3, 8], [3, 2, 9]]) # t= 0X2_batch = np.array([[5, 6, 8], [1, 0, 0], [8, 2, 0], [2, 3, 6]]) # t= 1 These mini-batches contain four instances, each with an input sequence composed of exactly two inputs. At the end, Y1_val and Y2_val contain the outputs of the network at both time steps for all neurons and all instances in the mini-batch. Then we create a TensorFlow session and execute the computational graph as follows: with tf.Session() as sess:       Y1_val, Y2_val =[Y1, Y2], feed_dict={X1:       X1_batch, X2: X2_batch})Finally, we print the result:print(Y1_val) # output at t = 0print(Y2_val) # output at t = 1 The following is the output: >>>[[ 0. 0. 0. 2.56200171 1.20286 ][ 0. 0. 0. 12.39334488 2.7824254 ][ 0. 0. 0. 13.58520699 5.16213894][ 0. 0. 0. 9.95982838 6.20652485]][[ 0. 0. 0. 14.86255169 6.98305273][ 0. 0. 26.35326385 0.66462421 18.31009483][ 5.12617588 4.76199865 20.55905533 11.71787453 18.92538261][ 0. 0. 19.75175095 3.38827515 15.98449326]] The network we created is simple, but if you run it over 100 time steps, for example, the graph is going to be very big. Implementing an RNN for spam prediction In this section, we will see how to implement an RNN in TensorFlow to predict spam/ham from texts. Data description and preprocessing The popular spam dataset from the UCI ML repository will be used, which can be downloaded from The dataset contains texts from several emails, some of which were marked as spam. Here we will train a model that will learn to distinguish between spam and non-spam emails using only the text of the email. Let’s get started by importing the required libraries and model: import osimport reimport ioimport requestsimport numpy as npimport matplotlib.pyplot as pltimport tensorflow as tffrom zipfile import ZipFilefrom tensorflow.python.framework import opsimport warnings Additionally, we can stop printing the warning produced by TensorFlow if you want: warnings.filterwarnings(“ignore”)os.environ[‘TF_CPP_MIN_LOG_LEVEL’] = ‘3’ops.reset_default_graph() Now, let’s create the TensorFlow session for the graph: sess = tf.Session() The next task is setting the RNN parameters: epochs = 300batch_size = 250max_sequence_length = 25rnn_size = 10embedding_size = 50min_word_frequency = 10learning_rate = 0.0001dropout_keep_prob = tf.placeholder(tf.float32) Let’s manually download the dataset and store it in a text_data.txt file in the temp directory. First, we set the path: data_dir = ‘temp’data_file = ‘text_data.txt’if not os.path.exists(data_dir):   os.makedirs(data_dir) Now, we directly download the dataset in zipped format: if not os.path.isfile(os.path.join(data_dir, data_file)):   zip_url = ‘’   r = requests.get(zip_url)   z = ZipFile(io.BytesIO(r.content))   file =‘SMSSpamCollection’) We still need to format the data: text_data = file.decode()   text_data = text_data.encode(‘ascii’,errors=’ignore’)   text_data = text_data.decode().split(‘\n’) Now, store in it the directory mentioned earlier in a text file: with open(os.path.join(data_dir, data_file), ‘w’) as file_conn:       for text in text_data:           file_conn.write(“{}\n”.format(text))else:   text_data = []   with open(os.path.join(data_dir, data_file), ‘r’) as file_conn:       for row in file_conn:           text_data.append(row)   text_data = text_data[:-1] Let’s split the words that have a word length of at least 2: text_data = [x.split(‘\t’) for x in text_data if len(x)>=1][text_data_target, text_data_train] = [list(x) for x in zip(*text_data)] Now we create a text cleaning function: def clean_text(text_string):   text_string = re.sub(r'([^\s\w]|_|[0-9])+’, ”, text_string)   text_string = ” “.join(text_string.split())   text_string = text_string.lower()   return(text_string) We call the preceding method to clean the text: text_data_train = [clean_text(x) for x in text_data_train] Now we need to do one of the most important tasks, which is creating word embedding –changing text into numeric vectors: vocab_processor = tf.contrib.learn.preprocessing.VocabularyProcessor(max_sequence_length, min_frequency=min_word_frequency)text_processed = np.array(list(vocab_processor.fit_transform(text_data_train))) Now let’s shuffle to make the dataset balance: text_processed = np.array(text_processed)text_data_target = np.array([1 if x==’ham’ else 0 for x in text_data_target])shuffled_ix = np.random.permutation(np.arange(len(text_data_target)))x_shuffled = text_processed[shuffled_ix]y_shuffled = text_data_target[shuffled_ix] Now that we have shuffled the data, we can split the data into a training and testing set: ix_cutoff = int(len(y_shuffled)*0.75)x_train, x_test = x_shuffled[:ix_cutoff], x_shuffled[ix_cutoff:]y_train, y_test = y_shuffled[:ix_cutoff], y_shuffled[ix_cutoff:]vocab_size = len(vocab_processor.vocabulary_)print(“Vocabulary size: {:d}”.format(vocab_size))print(“Training set size: {:d}”.format(len(y_train)))print(“Test set size: {:d}”.format(len(y_test))) Following is the output of the preceding code: >>>Vocabulary size: 933Training set size: 4180Test set size: 1394 Before we start training, let’s create placeholders for our TensorFlow graph: x_data = tf.placeholder(tf.int32, [None, max_sequence_length])y_output = tf.placeholder(tf.int32, [None]) Let’s create the embedding: embedding_mat = tf.get_variable(“embedding_mat”, shape=[vocab_size, embedding_size], dtype=tf.float32, initializer=None, regularizer=None, trainable=True, collections=None)embedding_output = tf.nn.embedding_lookup(embedding_mat, x_data) Now it’s time to construct our RNN. The following code defines the RNN cell: cell = tf.nn.rnn_cell.BasicRNNCell(num_units = rnn_size)output, state = tf.nn.dynamic_rnn(cell, embedding_output, dtype=tf.float32)output = tf.nn.dropout(output, dropout_keep_prob) Now let’s define the way to get the output from our RNN sequence: output = tf.transpose(output, [1, 0, 2])last = tf.gather(output, int(output.get_shape()[0]) – 1) Next, we define the weights and the biases for the RNN: weight = bias = tf.get_variable(“weight”, shape=[rnn_size, 2], dtype=tf.float32, initializer=None, regularizer=None, trainable=True, collections=None)bias = tf.get_variable(“bias”, shape=[2], dtype=tf.float32, initializer=None, regularizer=None, trainable=True, collections=None) The logits output is then defined. It uses both the weight and the bias from the preceding code: logits_out = tf.nn.softmax(tf.matmul(last, weight) + bias)Now we define the losses for each prediction so that later on, they can contribute to the loss function:losses = tf.nn.sparse_softmax_cross_entropy_with_logits_v2(logits=logits_out, labels=y_output) We then define the loss function: loss = tf.reduce_mean(losses) We now define the accuracy of each prediction: accuracy = tf.reduce_mean(tf.cast(tf.equal(tf.argmax(logits_out, 1), tf.cast(y_output, tf.int64)), tf.float32)) We then create the training_op with RMSPropOptimizer: optimizer = tf.train.RMSPropOptimizer(learning_rate)train_step = optimizer.minimize(loss) Now let’s initialize all the variables using the global_variables_initializer() method: init_op = tf.global_variables_initializer() Additionally, we can create some empty lists to keep track of the training loss, testing loss, training accuracy, and the testing accuracy in each epoch: train_loss = []test_loss = []train_accuracy = []test_accuracy = [] Now we are ready to perform the training, so let’s get started. The workflow of the training goes as follows: Shuffle the training data Select the training set and calculate generations Run training step for each batch Run loss and accuracy of training Run the evaluation steps. The following codes include all of the aforementioned steps: shuffled_ix = np.random.permutation(np.arange(len(x_train)))   x_train = x_train[shuffled_ix]   y_train = y_train[shuffled_ix]   num_batches = int(len(x_train)/batch_size) + 1    for i in range(num_batches):       min_ix = i * batch_size       max_ix = np.min([len(x_train), ((i+1) * batch_size)])       x_train_batch = x_train[min_ix:max_ix]       y_train_batch = y_train[min_ix:max_ix]       train_dict = {x_data: x_train_batch, y_output: \y_train_batch, dropout_keep_prob:0.5}, feed_dict=train_dict)       temp_train_loss, temp_train_acc =[loss,\                        accuracy], feed_dict=train_dict)   train_loss.append(temp_train_loss)   train_accuracy.append(temp_train_acc)   test_dict = {x_data: x_test, y_output: y_test, \dropout_keep_prob:1.0}   temp_test_loss, temp_test_acc =[loss, accuracy], \                   feed_dict=test_dict)   test_loss.append(temp_test_loss)   test_accuracy.append(temp_test_acc)   print(‘Epoch: {}, Test Loss: {:.2}, Test Acc: {:.2}’.format(epoch+1, temp_test_loss, temp_test_acc))print(‘\nOverall accuracy on test set (%): {}’.format(np.mean(temp_test_acc)*100.0)) Following is the output of the preceding code: >>>Epoch: 1, Test Loss: 0.68, Test Acc: 0.82Epoch: 2, Test Loss: 0.68, Test Acc: 0.82Epoch: 3, Test Loss: 0.67, Test Acc: 0.82…Epoch: 997, Test Loss: 0.36, Test Acc: 0.96Epoch: 998, Test Loss: 0.36, Test Acc: 0.96Epoch: 999, Test Loss: 0.35, Test Acc: 0.96Epoch: 1000, Test Loss: 0.35, Test Acc: 0.96Overall accuracy on test set (%): 96.19799256324768 Well done! The accuracy of the RNN is above 96%, which is outstanding. Now let’s observe how the loss propagates across each iteration and over time: epoch_seq = np.arange(1, epochs+1)plt.plot(epoch_seq, train_loss, ‘k–‘, label=’Train Set’)plt.plot(epoch_seq, test_loss, ‘r-‘, label=’Test Set’)plt.title(‘RNN training/test loss’)plt.xlabel(‘Epochs’)plt.ylabel(‘Loss’)plt.legend(loc=’upper left’) Figure 1: a) RNN training and test loss per epoch b) test accuracy per epoch We also plot the accuracy over time: plt.plot(epoch_seq, train_accuracy, ‘k–‘, label=’Train Set’)plt.plot(epoch_seq, test_accuracy, ‘r-‘, label=’Test Set’)plt.title(‘Test accuracy’)plt.xlabel(‘Epochs’)plt.ylabel(‘Accuracy’)plt.legend(loc=’upper left’) We discussed the implementation of RNNs in TensorFlow. We saw how to make predictions with data that has a high temporal dependency and how to develop real-life predictive models that make the predictive analytics easier using RNNs. If you want to delve into neural networks and implement deep learning algorithms check out this book, Deep learning with TensorFlow – Second Edition. Read Next: Top 5 Deep Learning Architectures Understanding Sentiment Analysis and other key NLP concepts Facelifting NLP with Deep Learninglast_img read more

Costa Rica secures 670 million loan for hydroelectric dam

first_imgThe Inter-American Development Bank (BID) approved $670 million in loans to finance the Reventazón Hydroelectric Dam – the most complex hydroelectric project ever built in Costa Rica – near the Caribbean slope town of Siquirres.The 305.5 MW project is expected to provide energy for some 525,000 families and comes with an estimated price tag of $1.1 billion. It is slated to start generating energy in 2016 (TT, April 15, 2011).Funding for the project will go to “the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a 305.5 MW hydroelectric plant and its associated facilities including transmission lines, substations and access roads,” according to the bank’s website.Costa Rica currently generates about 90 percent of its electricity from renewable resources, namely hydroelectricity. The country aims to reach 95 percent renewable energy generation by 2014, and by 2021 – the same year it hopes to become the world’s first carbon-neutral country – Costa Rica wants to generate 100 percent of its electricity from renewable resources (TT, Dec. 08, 2011). Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Hospital Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli army

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian man was killed Thursday morning during a clash between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the West Bank, a Palestinian hospital official and the Israeli army said.Falah Abu Maria, 53, was killed by three live bullets shot at his chest at close range, said Yousef Takrouri, deputy director of Al-Ahli Hospital in the West Bank city of Hebron. He said Abu Maria’s 22-year-old son was shot in the legs, and another one of his sons was brought to the hospital with light injuries to his face. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy In a plea bargain, a Jerusalem court on Wednesday sentenced Nahman Twito, 18, to two and a half years in prison and Shlomo Twito, 20, to two years in prison. A third suspect is still on trial.The brothers confessed to setting fire to a classroom in the Jerusalem school, which has both Jewish and Arab students, last November. Graffiti was also found on the walls reading “death to Arabs.”As part of the plea bargain, the court dropped the charge of incitement to violence.The two brothers are part of the Jewish extremist Lehava group opposed to Arab-Jewish coexistence. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted by vandals in recent years by mostly teenage Jewish extremists to protest what they perceive as the Israeli government’s pro-Palestinian policies. The acts have been widely condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.___Associated Press writer Miriam Berger contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa said Abu Maria was killed “in cold blood” while trying to protect his two sons.The Israeli military said its troops were carrying out an arrest raid in the village of Beit Omar when they were confronted by “a violent mob.” It said a Palestinian attacked a soldier, who responded by firing at the attacker’s legs.As forces left the scene, the army said, Palestinians threw rocks and bricks at them and forces fired toward the “main instigator.”Later, hundreds of Palestinians flowed through the streets in a funeral procession. Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops, who responded with “riot dispersal means,” the army said.In Jerusalem, Israeli police said vandals drew swastikas at a Jewish seminary and set fire to a decorative curtain on the ark that holds a Torah scroll.Yonatan Steinberger, a student at the Jewish studies seminary, says the Torah scroll was found on the floor of the seminary a few days before. Police said they are investigating.Also, two Israeli brothers convicted of setting fire to a bilingual Hebrew-Arabic school in Jerusalem last year have been sentenced to imprisonment, a court spokeswoman said. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

Travelers urged to study foreign languages

first_imgDr Milena Savova is the Director of NYU-SCPS  Department of Foreign Languages, Translation and Interpreting Preparing for an overseas vacation involves more than just packing a bag and thumbing through a phrase book, says New York University’s Dr Milena Savova, who encourages would-be travelers to undertake a three-week intensive language course pre-trip.Often, newly arrived travelers may know how to ask a question in a foreign language, but they may not understand the reply, Dr Savova told e-Travel Blackboard.“We want to make sure that people can communicate beyond the phrase book.” New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers three-week intensive language classes over the summer for the beginner or low intermediate speaker. Classes include cultural field trips to ethnic communities in New York and make use of “authentic materials” to provide students with “a more comprehensive course”, Dr Savova said.For visitors to New York City, accommodation can be arranged at the NYU dormitories, making the course part of a vacation in and of itself. New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies also offers evening courses over the spring and fall. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more