Khartoum: Sudanese authorities on Thursday shut down news broadcaster Al Jazeera’s Khartoum office, as thousands of protesters gathered outside the country’s military headquarters to pressure the ruling generals to cede power. The sprawling military complex has become the focal point of the weeks-long protest movement, which is calling for the country’s Transitional Military Council to hand over power to civilians, following the ousting of longtime autocrat President Omar al-Bashir in April. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Late Thursday, the Qatari television channel said its bureau was abruptly shut down and its journalists banned from reporting in the country with immediate effect, without being given a reason. “They told us that the military council had decided to close the Al Jazeera network’s office and withdraw its licence,” bureau director Al-Musallami Al-Kabbashi told AFP. The news channel, which regularly broadcasts footage of the demonstrations in Sudan, is funded by Doha, a close ally of former president Bashir. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”The Network sees this as an attack on media freedom, professional journalism, and the basic tenets of the right for people to know and understand the reality of what is happening in Sudan,” Al Jazeera said in a statement published online. Meanwhile, the military council said incidents on the margins of the protest site were threatening public safety. “In the face of those developments that threaten public security and safety,” authorities would “work in accordance with the law to guarantee citizens’ safety and to resolve manifestations of insecurity and lawlessness,” it said in a statement. Chanting slogans in favour of a civilian government, singing and waving Sudanese flags, the mostly young protesters gathered after dusk on Thursday to join the demonstration. “We’re here to confirm our basic demand for a civilian authority in the transitional period until we can guarantee a real democratic transition,” said Mohamed Hasan, a young protester outside the military headquarters. The Alliance for Freedom and Change protest movement had called for people to gather at the site on Thursday for a “million-strong march”.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to file its reply in four weeks on a plea seeking quashing of allotment, extension or continuation of leases to firms for mining iron ore from over 358 mines across the country without any fresh evaluation.The Centre sought some time from the court to file its reply to the plea. A bench of Justices S A Bobde and B R Gavai allowed it four weeks and said that the issue needs to be heard at length, while listing it on a non-miscellaneous matters day. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!Petitioner advocate M L Sharma contended that mining leases were granted or extended without following the due procedure in law. Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, told the court that a “mala fide” plea has been filed and he wants some time to respond to it.On April 16, the apex court had asked the Centre to respond to Sharma’s plea which has also sought a direction to the CBI to register an FIR to probe the matter. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe top court had appointed senior advocate P S Narasimha as amicus curiae to assist it in the case. The plea has alleged that in February this year it came to Sharma’s knowledge that 288 mining leases were extended in exchange of “large donations” to political parities which has created a “serious financial loss” to the tune of Rs 4 lakhs crore to public exchequer. The petitioner has claimed that leases have been either granted or extended to the firms for mining iron ores in over 358 mines without either any fresh evaluation or adopting the auction process. It has also sought directions for recovery of market value of the mined minerals in accordance with the law. Besides, it has sought a court-monitored probe into the extension of lease and allotment of the mineral mines for free of cost alleging that it had caused huge financial loss to the public via a concocted conspiracy. “Within the principle upheld by the Supreme Court in its previous judgement, no natural assets can be allotted/extended free of cost. Impugned extension is contra to the law of the country. No where in the Act, it says to extend the lease free of cost. At least value of extension must be decided as per the maximum rate of auction value by the state or by another state government during these period,” the plea has said. It has said that loss caused to the exchequer is liable to be recovered from the mining firms and their leases are liable to be quashed and the mines be put to fresh auction. The plea has also sought quashing of section 8A of the MMDR (Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation) Act. Section 8-A of the Act provides that all mining lease should be granted for 50 years and on expiry of lease period, it should be put up for auction as per the procedure specified in the Act. “It is revealed to the petitioner that a large amount of political donation has been given by the corporate miner for the impugned provisions (of MMDR Act) for extension of the mining lease as free of cost from escaping auction process which is also a subject matter for CBI investigation and calling list of mines from all states for further action,” the plea said.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) – the UN agency specializing in the world of work – has launched ArtWorks, an artist engagement program to raise awareness of fundamental rights at work, including freedom from slavery and from child labor.Hollywood heavyweight Nicolas Cage is the first artist to support ArtWorks. Cage says he’s proud to help the ILO’s work to end child labor.There are more than 215 million child workers in the world today. “As the father of two sons, this is a situation that I find unacceptable, and it makes me want to do something about it,” said Cage in a statement on the ArtWorks website. He calls on people to take action, from urging governments to ratify the international convention to eliminate the worst forms of child labor to writing to clothing and sports equipment manufacturers, asking them to ensure there is no child labor in their supply chains.ILO Director-General Guy Ryder recalled that artists have supported the work of the ILO in the past and he now feels the need to revive the collaboration. “Work is a transformative force in our society, and so is Art – it inspires and moves people to act,” said Ryder. “When we look around the world and see hundreds of millions of people living in poverty, or in conditions of slavery, when we see millions of children forced to work – and millions of adults and youngsters without a job, when we see people’s rights under threat, we feel that we need to work with artists even closer than before, to draw attention to the plight of all these women, men and children. We can do a great deal of good if we work together,” he added.ArtWorks has also attracted the support of rising stars. Songwriter Vienne and Step Up actress Kathryn McCormick have teamed up in the music video ‘She Breaks’, which Vienne wrote after hearing a young lady in her late teens tell her story about being trafficked across international borders for the sex trade.“Work is part of our identity, it’s central to our human condition,” said ILO Director of Communications Marcia Poole, adding that “the world of work is in profound crisis, from scourges such as modern-day slavery to child labor and the global job crisis. But we can change things if people take action and this is why the support of artists is extremely important. We are thrilled to have Nicolas Cage supporting the fight to end child labor and we’re in conversation with other artists, so ArtWorks will be growing in the coming months.”The ILO is the oldest UN agency and was created before the UN itself. It was founded in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice. The ILO was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s new president is calling on his countrymen to help battle against fuel thefts, as long lines spread to gas stations in Mexico City.The fuel scarcity arose because of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s decision to close government pipelines riddled with illegal fuel taps drilled by thieves.The fight against $3 billion per year in fuel thefts has become the first big domestic battle for the leftist president since he took office on Dec. 1.Lopez Obrador said Wednesday: “We are asking the people to help us not be defeated by criminals.”A government called on motorists to avoid panic purchases as part of a campaign “to rescue the nation’s sovereignty.”The government has been distributing fuel with tanker trucks; Lopez Obrador said the problem would be solved soon.The Associated Press
Const. Nilan Dave of the Niagara Regional Police speaks with Jeanette Ramsay, co-ordinator of Policing and Criminal Justice at Brock, and Lisa Kuiper from Career Services at the Police Recruiting Showcase.Const. Gzime Graffi from the Waterloo Regional Police ServiceFive police forces gathered in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre lobby last week to talk to Brock students about careers in policing.Recruiters from forces such as the Niagara Regional Police and the Waterloo Regional Police Service had displays at the Police Recruiting Showcase, held Jan. 27.“It’s going really great,” said Sgt. Steve Haernel with the Ontario Provincial Police. “We’ve had lots of interest. The OPP is hiring and will continue to hire. We’re anticipating a lot of retirements in the next year.”“We’re always excited to present our services to the students at Brock,” said Sgt. Dean Smith with the Waterloo Regional Police.The recruitment fair was held in collaboration with the Career Services and the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Social Sciences.Sgt. Steve Haernel with the Ontario Provincial Police speaks to Drew Rebek, a second-year Political Science student.
Seeking to defuse what he called “the major crisis” stemming from the flare-up of violence between Israel, the Palestinians and Lebanon, Secretary-General Kofi Annan is today sending a three-member team of veteran United Nations officials for wide-ranging talks in the region. At the same time he is engaging in intensive telephone diplomacy with leaders from both within and outside the region, including United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacque Chirac.“He really is on the phone personally, very engaged in trying to do his best to calm things down,” spokesperson Marie Okabe told a news briefing in New York, where the Security Council today failed to adopt a draft resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the Israeli soldier abducted by Palestinian armed groups from Gaza and for a halt to what it called a “disproportionate” military reaction by Israel, due to a veto by the United States, which called the text unbalanced and outdated. Ms. Okabe added that Mr. Annan was about to speak to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. “He is constantly on the phone with all players in the region.”Speaking to reporters in Rome, where he is on a visit, Mr. Annan voiced deep alarm, particularly at the impact of the fighting on civilians, with dozens of Lebanese already killed as a result of Israeli operations and many more injured, and Israeli civilians killed and wounded from Hizbollah militant attacks on Israeli towns.“I would like to remind the parties that under the law of armed conflict, attacks must not be directed against civilian objects,” he said. “In particular, they have an obligation to exercise precaution and to respect the proportionality principle in all military operations so as to prevent unnecessary suffering among the civilian population,” he said.“I and leaders from around the world have been working around the clock, as have my representatives on the ground, to find a solution to the crisis, to urge restraint and prevent these situations spiralling even further out of control,” he added.“I can only hope that the parties heed our counsel, and that regional players who have influence will do likewise. Reckless and dangerous actions will only lead to further bloodshed and instability, inflaming an already highly volatile region.The team Mr. Annan is sending to the region will be led by his Special Political Advisor Vijay Nambiar and includes UN envoy to Middle East Alvaro de Soto and Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen. It will first visit Cairo to meet with Egyptian officials and consult with Arab League Foreign Ministers meeting there on Saturday, the Secretary-General’s spokesman said in a statement issued in Rome. They are also expected to travel to Israel, the occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, and Syria. Other stops will be added as needed during the weeklong trip. “Mr. Nambiar will emphasize to all parties the Secretary-General’s call to exercise restraint and to do whatever possible to help contain the conflict,” the spokesman said. “He will also reiterate the Secretary-General’s message to respect international humanitarian law and to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.” Mr. Annan yesterday called for the immediate release of two Israeli soldiers seized by Hizbollah militants and called on the Lebanese Government to extend its control over all Lebanese territory and prevents such attacks across the line separating the two countries. He has also called for the release of an Israeli soldier seized last month by Palestinian militants from Gaza. In his comments today, he said he was gravely concerned about the situation in Gaza, where Palestinian civilians are paying a bitter price from heavy Israeli military operations and an alarming humanitarian situation that threatens to get worse.Leaders Mr. Annan has already spoken to include Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
“I condemn the murder of Alberto López Bello,” said the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. This killing must be investigated thoroughly as part of the endeavour to stem violence against the media in Mexico. I trust that no effort will be spared to improve the safety of journalists seeking to carry out their professional obligation to keep the public informed.”Mr. López Bello, 28, was found dead on 17 July in Trinidad de Viguera, in the state of Oaxaca. He was a crime reporter for the newspaper ‘El Imparcial’ (The Impartial) and had recently published stories about drug dealing in Oaxaca. He had reportedly received threats in connection with his work.Mr. López Bello is the third journalist to be murdered in Mexico this year.
“Wildlife remains integral to our future through its essential role in science, technology and recreation, as well as its place in our continued heritage,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, adding that some of the world’s most charismatic animals are in immediate danger of extinction as a result of habitat loss and illicit trafficking.“I urge all sectors of society to end illegal wildlife trafficking and commit to trading and using wild plants and animals sustainably and equitably,” Mr. Ban noted in his message for the Day.Speaking at the opening today in Geneva of the “Wild and Precious” exhibition, which includes photographs of dancing mantas, magnificent elephants, iconic apes and majestic trees, Mr. Ban noted that, sadly, many of the world’s most charismatic species, as well as lesser known but ecologically important plants and animals, are in immediate danger of extinction. “Wildlife is part of our shared heritage. We need it for our shared future,” he stressed. General Assembly President John Ashe, who was also in Geneva, noted that the world’s wild fauna and flora ought to be celebrated for they bring so much to the human family. “The exhibition we open today illustrates how animals, insects, plants and trees are all unique pieces forming the beautiful mosaic of our natural environment. Not only do they sustain our livelihoods, they are an integral part of our cultural heritage through tales and legends, symbols and traditions,” he stated. “In the complex symphony of nature, each and every species plays an essential part to maintain the delicate balance of our planet’s ecosystems.”The UN General Assembly designated 3 March for the World Day to coincide with the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement between Governments of 176 Member States. Administered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Geneva, its aim is to ensure that global trade in close to 35,000 species of plants and animals does not threaten their survival.The CITES Secretariat, in collaboration with UN agencies, implements the aims of the World Day. The Convention’s Secretary-General, John Scanlon, echoed Mr. Ban’s message, calling on everyone celebrating the Day “as citizens and as consumers” to bring the illegal billion-dollar industry to an end.“Let’s work for a future where people and wildlife coexist in harmony,” Mr. Scanlon said.Wildlife crime is another form of organized crime and fuels trafficking and terrorism, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said.In his message for the Day, Executive Director Yury Fedotov stressed that the UNODC is active in two areas essential to reducing such crimes, demand reduction and sustainable livelihoods to combat failure in our “stewardship of this planet’s biodiversity.”He emphasized the importance of breaking with the past traditions that help drive these crimes, noting that “young people are the next generation of potential purchasers of illegal wildlife commodities. Working globally, we can deliver science-based information to young people and help dispel the misinformation.”For example, African elephants are poached for ivory, often sold in Asian markets with third countries acting as transit points for this illicit trade, according to UN figures.Cutting demand means changing the attitudes of consumers in these countries, and working with authorities to combat wildlife crime through a series of national and cross regional enforcement crackdowns.Last year, China organized its first ever crush of illicitly traded ivory, and in 2012, a national campaign mobilised 100,000 officers country-wide to partner with authorities in 28 other countries in a collaborative enforcement effort to stop the trade.This year’s World Wildlife Day falls within the UN Decade on Biodiversity, which started in 2011, to promote the implementation of a strategic plan on biodiversity and its overall vision of living in harmony with nature.“We have a stronger economy, diverse food products and advancements in medical research all as a result of wildlife and natural ecosystems,” Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), whose message, along with a host of others, appears on the World Wildlife Day website [http://wildlifeday.org/].Irina Bokova, head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), noted that the UN agency’s global network of World Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserve are home to some of the most emblematic and threatened wildlife species, including mountain gorillas, pandas, tigers and different species of rhino.“I call upon all actors – including, government authorities, nongovernmental organizations, customs services, police forces and the scientific community – to redouble their efforts and deepen cooperation,” she said. “Only by joining forces can we craft a sustainable future for the planet’s precious wildlife and biodiversity.”
A junior doctor who went missing last month was “increasingly depressed” about the state of the NHS, her colleagues said. Lauren Phillips, 26, was last seen on February 23. A search was mounted after she failed to turn up to work at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital on February 26.Her car was found two days later in the North Devon seaside resort of Woolacombe. HM Coastguard, the RNLI and the National Police Air Service have all joined the search for her. A male colleague said Dr Phillips regularly worked late and was concerned about the future of the NHS. The co-worker, who asked to remain anonymous, told BBC Devon: “She works crazily hard. On Facebook she was getting increasingly depressed with the state of the NHS.”Dr Phillips, a talented violinist who played with the Bristol Symphony Orchestra, had also written Facebook posts attacking Jeremy Hunt and changes to the junior doctors’ contracts.She joined pickets protesting against the new contracts in January last year. Detective Inspector Mark Langdon, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “We continue to do everything we can to find Lauren and we’re making sure her family are regularly updated about our investigation.”As Lauren’s car was found in Woolacombe our focus has been on the North Devon area and so we’re directing our appeal at any surfers or ramblers who may have passed through the area in the past fortnight.” North Bristol NHS Trust said it would not comment on any possible work-related issues involving Dr Phillips. 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. A spokesman said: “At this point in time our concern is with helping the police to find Lauren, it would not be appropriate for us to say anything more at this time.”Dr Phillips is white, 5ft 5ins tall, of slim build with brown eyes and long dark brown hair.
The firm said: “Today’s announcement will still leave EDF Energy with the lowest variable gas tariff of all major suppliers. The gas increase follows three gas price reductions over the last two years.”Deferring the gas price rise until the summer will have saved EDF Energy variable gas tariff customers £16 million since January – the equivalent of £20 per household.”EDF Energy, in common with all suppliers, has faced a range of rising costs for some time, in both wholesale energy and non-wholesale energy costs and obligations.”Chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: “I know that price rises are never welcome, but the industry is facing significant cost increases. To be a sustainable and responsible business, we aim to make a fair margin in supplying customers.”This fair margin allows us to invest for the long term, in particular in good service, innovation and smart metering. It also allows us to help more customers choose the right tariff for them. We have cut all the costs under our control without compromising our customer service.”We accept that the Government, regulators and consumers groups have concerns about the way markets work for customers, particularly the energy market.”EDF added it was launching a new fixed three-year tariff, at £1,155, until April 2020, with a year’s free boiler insurance worth £130.Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “EDF’s second price rise in four months, when there has not been a dramatic rise in wholesale energy prices since it last put up prices, is difficult to justify and is further evidence that the energy market is not working in all consumers’ interests. Credit:AFP The combined effect of the increases in December and June on a dual fuel direct debit customer will be £91. Theresa May may announce a cap on energy bills within weeks as the energy firm EDF raised its prices for the second time in four months.The nine per cent price rise for customers of the French-owned company has been described as “difficult to justify” by the energy regulator Ofgem.The head of Ofgem said the new tariffs, which follow increases by other leading energy firms, are further evidence that the energy market is not working in all consumers’ interests.The French-owned company is to increase its dual fuel tariff by 7.2 per cent from June, gas prices by 5.5 per cent and electricity by 9 per cent, affecting 1.5 million customers.The company, which has 3.3 million customers, said the industry is facing “significant” cost reductions.But the move has been met by anger in Parliament with Business Secretary Greg Clark saying, “loyal customers are being taken for granted by the big energy firms.”It is understood the Government is considering a scheme to protect families which will include a cap, after pressure from MPs and campaigners to step in. The Prime Minister’s spokesman said the Government was prepared to act, adding: “We are concerned by the planned increases. We are committed to getting the best possible deal for households.”EDF announced a 1.2 per cent increase in dual fuel tariffs in December, and has said the combined effect of both changes is 8.5 per cent.EDF said its standard variable dual fuel direct debit tariff will increase to £1,160 a year – up by £78 – from June 21, the standard variable gas tariff will increase by £29, and the standard electricity tariff by £49. “Energy consumers on standard tariffs risk being taken for granted and we encourage customers to shop around to find the best deal for them.”Ofgem and the Government are working on a raft of reforms to ensure fairer treatment for consumers and to make the market smarter and more competitive. Today’s announcement is further evidence of the need for change.”In March, SSE announced a rise of 6.9 per cent on dual fuel bills, and E.On said it was putting up its standard variable dual fuel prices by an average of 8.8 per cent.The rises followed moves by other Big Six energy firms to put up costs, with npower hiking prices by 9.8 per cent and ScottishPower by 8 per cent, while British Gas has a price freeze in place until August. 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.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Friday saw the official opening of the new Archeological Museum in Patras by the Greek Minister of Culture, Antonis Samaras. The museum will display valuable collections of mosaics, ancient glass vases, and findings from graves from the prehistoric to the Roman eras across three halls.The central hall, called “Private Life Hall” will display objects from the everyday life of the ancient world. Visitors will be able to see instruments and plates that were used in the ancient households as well as mosaics found in the local region.
Les personnes aux yeux marron semblent plus dignes de confianceSelon une étude tchèque préliminaire, les personnes ayant les yeux marron inspirent plus de confiance que celles qui ont les yeux bleus. Mais la forme du visage influerait aussi sur le sentiment de fiabilité.Quel propriétaire d’yeux marron n’a jamais espéré un jour avoir les yeux bleus ? Plus fréquents, les yeux marron sont souvent considérés comme beaucoup moins agréables à regarder que des yeux bleus. Et pourtant, ces derniers pourraient ne pas être aussi appréciés que l’on ne pense. En effet, selon une étude menée par des chercheurs tchèques, les personnes aux yeux bleus inspireraient moins de confiance que les yeux marron.Pour arriver à cette conclusion, l’équipe de chercheurs s’est en fait demandée dans quelle mesure la couleur de l’iris contribuait à juger de la fiabilité d’un individu. Pour le savoir, ils ont donc réalisé une étude qui a consisté à photographié 40 hommes et 40 femmes d’une vingtaine d’années. Des candidats qui avaient des yeux strictement bleus ou marron, les couleurs jugées intermédiaires ayant été mises de côté. Puis ces portraits ont été présentés à 238 volontaires hommes et femmes auxquels on a demandé d’évaluer la confiance que le visage leur inspirait. En étudiant les réponses des sujets, les scientifiques ont alors constaté que les personnes ayant des yeux marron, montraient un net avantage, en particulier les hommes. Leur visage inspirait davantage de confiance que les autres montrant des yeux bleus. Mais les chercheurs ne se sont pas arrêtés là puisqu’ils se sont alors posés une seconde question : la couleur des yeux était-elle le seul critère déterminant, ou masquait-elle une caractéristique associée telle que la forme du visage ? Un visage rond inspire plus confianceÀ lire aussiL’haemolacria, quand les yeux se mettent à pleurer du sangEn effet, il a également été démontré que les personnes ayant un visage large suscitaient davantage la confiance que celles au visage étroit. Pour s’assurer de la validité de leurs résultats, les scientifiques ont donc prolongé l’expérience en retouchant les photos de façon à ce que les personnes aux yeux bleus aient les yeux marron, et vice-versa. Puis ils ont sollicité un nouveau groupe d’observateurs qu’ils ont interrogé après l’avoir fait regarder les photos. Si les yeux marron ont semblé inspirer plus de confiance, les résultats ont cette fois-ci montré que c’était la forme du visage associé à ces yeux qui primait. En effet, les hommes aux yeux foncés ont tendance à avoir un visage plus rond, une bouche et un menton plus larges, un nez plus fort, des yeux un peu plus grands et des sourcils fournis et rapprochés. Une physionomie qui inspire plus de fiabilité que celle des hommes aux yeux bleus qui ont tendance à avoir des traits plus fins et une bouche plus étroite notamment.”Bien que les visages à yeux marron aient été perçus comme plus dignes de confiance que ceux aux yeux bleus, ce n’était pas la couleur marron des yeux qui a causé la plus forte perception de confiance c’est les caractéristiques faciales qui lui étaient associées”, soulignent les chercheurs dans la revue PLoS ONE. Le 10 janvier 2013 à 17:57 • Maxime Lambert
Watch These Movies Before ‘Good Boys’Watch These Movies Before ‘Stuber’ Stay on target Satire is tough, especially in a world where the line between real life and parody no longer exists. That’s what makes the continued brilliance of The Onion such a miracle. Not only do its writers put out some of the most objectively funny articles around, but they do so while expertly indicting the form and tone and function of the media. As part a member of the media, kudos.However, after perfecting the fake news formula, in recent years The Onion has been expanding into experimental and contemporary new directions. Some of those experiments have been better than others, but as a fan of both comedy and internet media, it’s been a real treat peeling off the layers of these new Onion websites. And because there’s nothing funnier than explaining a joke, let’s chart out the great and growing Onion Journalistic Universe!The OnionThe Onion is the foundation on which the rest of this universe is built upon. And what a great place to start. The Onion skillfully skewers print news, mimicking the voice and structure and writing style of traditional journalism. Just a casual glance of the homepage reveals a treasure trove of brilliant headlines and photoshopped images.“Pair Of 26-Year-Olds Hit It Off After Learning They Have Student Loans From Same Bank”“Mom Thinks You’d Enjoy Restaurant She Can’t Remember Name Of Right Now”“Biden Forges President’s Signature On Executive Order To Make December Dokken History Month”Political posts like that last one are especially great since they exist in their own consistent alternate universe where John Kerry is a suave man of mystery and Joe Biden is even more like your uncle. There’s enough Onion lore now to fill at least two books, Our Dumb Century and Our Dumb World.Beyond standard news and opinions, The Onion applies its parody formula to other classic aspects of journalism like stodgy movie reviews and viewer-hungry broadcast news. Enjoy the awkwardness of local news, the hot takes of cable news, and the emptiness of morning shows, sports shows, and reality shows. With videos this strong, it’s too bad The Onion Movie wasn’t very good. But overall the world of traditional news is so broad and ripe for parody The Onion has been able to laser-focus on it for almost 30 years.ClickholeThe Onion is great, but in the last few years, news has radically changed in ways parodies of traditional journalism can’t capture. Basically, the internet ruined everything and created its own entire terrible style of news to poke fun at. The Onion realized a brand new venture was needed to meet this challenge. In 2014, it found the the answer: Clickhole, the vibrant shining star of the current Onion Journalistic Universe.The reality of mindless, empty, clickbait content on the internet today is so insane you’d think it’d be impossible to parody. The actual clickbait ads displayed on Clickhole blend in seamlessly with the fake ones, a great postmodern touch. Our current fake news plague even keeps some journalists from getting the joke. But time after time Clickhole finds a way to amp up the craziness and the terror of online media while maintaining just enough plausibility to create beautiful non-sequitur after non-sequitur.Historical oral histories on JFK’s extra-long neck. Triumphant announcements about ham on escalators and the damp man with the rope. Quizzes about tending to Yoda’s skin needs. Lovecraftian toothpaste tell-alls. Feminist Street Sharks (unrelated to Roxie). Today I was reading this article about pineapples and in-between the laughter I just marveled at the quality of the writing.Like The Onion, Clickhole doesn’t include bylines or talk in public about its inner working that much. I imagine it’s because it’s a very collaborative project with few pieces crafted by just one writer. It also helps the site maintain a single, consistent, bizarre, dark, hilarious voice. But knowing that Alan Resnick, the visual artist between gonzo comedy-horror masterpieces like Alan Tutorial and This House Has People In It, contributes to the site makes a ton of sense. This article in Wired explaining the technology behind Clickventures is also pretty enlightening. Learn how they develop classic adventure games like “You Are The Cannibal Lobster-Man Of New England. Can You Become The Governor Of Maine?” or “Acquire Frogs.”I read and share Clickhole stories all the time. I’m a thrall to its content. Again, working in the industry, it expertly mocks gives it a special place in my heart. While I’m over here worrying about “real” YouTube gaming videos and Facebook Live shows, they’re making YouTube videos about how Sonic is deaf and Facebook Live shows with a southern woman reading the height and weight of commenters. Curse them and their perfection!StarWipeStarWipe may not have been the funniest or most successful part of the Onion Journalistic Universe. In 2016 the site shut down after only one year online. But it’s the experiment I found the most fascinating. Sean O’Neal took the hyper editorialized celebrity news culture coverage he had been doing on The A.V. Club and basically expanded it into a whole website.The result was a tense balance between the outright comedy and farce you’d expect from The Onion or Clickhole but applied to news stories that are ostensibly true. The site rarely if ever technically lied to people, but the facts were delivered with an overwhelming amount of comedic spin.“Roseanne Barr Condemns Trump With Her Endorsement”“America To Keep Pummeling Chewbacca Mom With Fame Until She Has Public Meltdown”“Bill Cosby’s Lawyers Appeal The Use Of Things People Have Said As Evidence”Straddling the line between fact and fiction makes StarWipe a kind of missing link in The Onion evolutionary history. Celebrity culture is also the perfect arena for this approach. Real celebrity news is so nuts and relatively low-stakes why even bother trying to top it with fake celebrity news? That’d be boring and also a disservice to readers. StarWipe actually informed its audience in its own specific and weird way. It was almost like a more honest Perez Hilton. Like Clickhole, StarWipe is also an excellent, thematically appropriate name.The only problem with this method was how esoteric it ultimately was. Just look at how explanation I had to write to contextualize these jokes. StarWipe put out some great articles and videos and quizzes, but in the end it was unfortunately too academic, too much comedy for people who think about comedy. That’s not enough people to sustain a website. At the very least, the site’s final days were full of great stories about how futile and meaningless the world of Hollywood news is. StarWipe died like it lived, using a heaping amount of comedy to deliver a heaping amount of truth.All Hail the New Flesh!The A.V. ClubBy being a source of actual, factual pop culture news, The A.V. Club may be the outcast among the Onion Journalistic Universe. But it’s snarky tone makes it feel like part of the family, not just the mutual parent company. So it deserves a mention here. Besides, as you all should know from reading Geek.com, real news about TV and games and flop movies can be even more ridiculous than parody. Since this is the most “straightforward” Onion site, there’s less to unpack here. It’s just a funny, thoughtful entertainment news website, even after The Dissolve brain drain.Full disclosure, I’ve done some freelancing for The A.V. Club in the past.Special Mention: ReductressReductress isn’t a canonical member of the Onion Journalistic universe, but this relatively new satire of women’s magazines also deserves a special mention. Founded by comedians Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo, Reductress has carved out a powerful niche for itself poking fun at the inane, condescending, patriarchal content the world at large expects women to find useful and enjoyable. I can’t say how well this material speaks to women, seeing as I’m not one, but some of these stories are so funny I can’t imagine anyone with a sense of humor not enjoying them.“Why I Stopped Calling Them the ‘Alt-Right’ and Started Calling Them ‘My Brother’s Friends’“Brave! This White Woman Chose To Protect Her Race Before Her Own Gender”“Is He The One, Or An Old-Timey Railway Scamp Looking For A Place to Stay?”Reductress takes what great’s about the Onion Journalistic Universe, filters it through an unfortunately marginalized feminist perspective, and turns it into an original, vital source of comedy that stands on its own.So while we all wait for the real world stop being such a joke, at least we can appreciate the wide and wonderful, funny and fake news world of the Onion Journalistic Universe. Also, if The Onion is the MCU of fake news, does that make The Borowitz Report the DCEU?
Stay on target Concrete is already pretty amazing stuff, and additives can make it even better. Toss in some fiberglass to add strength. Others substances can speed up or slow down the curing process and even control shrinkage.Now a team of researchers at Binghamton University has learned that by adding a little fungi to the mix they could make concrete that was actually capable of repairing itself. That’s right, fungi. Specifically, Trichoderma reesei.T. reesei actually sees a lot of commercial usage because of its ability to produce cellulase. It’s also been used to help dry beans, produce laundry detergent and wine, and, more recently, to convert biomass into biofuel.What the Binghamton researchers discovered was that T. reesei was able to thrive in a high-pH lab environment — which they created by dissolving calcium carbonate in water. Calcium carbonate, for those who don’t know, is a key component of cement… which, in turn, is a key component of concrete.A similar environment can occur naturally whenever concrete becomes damaged and water inevitably makes its way in. That’s always been a huge problem in construction. Throw a little T. reesei and some food into the concrete mix, and throws cracks could gradually disappear.The fungi, said assistant professor of mechanical engineering Congrui Jin, “work as a catalyst within the calcium-rich conditions of the concrete to promote precipitation of calcium carbonate crystals.” Crystallization fills the cracks, and the fungi eventually take a much-deserved rest after doing the repair work.When cracks form in the future and the environment becomes favorable, dormant spores in the concrete become fungi and start patching up the holes all over again.It’s incredibly promising work. The next step: to evaluate the use of the fungi to make sure there are no long-term risks to humans or the environment. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend
18 Photos Jack Dorsey Getty Images Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey certainly has a lot to talk about these days.From the controversial meditation retreat he took in Myanmar to whether he’d ban President Donald Trump if Trump called for murder, Dorsey is no stranger to sitting in the hot seat. Twitter, which has struggled to attract new users, is also grappling with a variety of challenges, including hate speech, harassment and election meddling by Russian trolls. In a Q&A published by Rolling Stone on Wednesday, Dorsey, who wears a nose ring, talks about hate speech, tech addiction and his most memorable moment with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, among other topics. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about the 42-year-old tech mogul.His most memorable encounter with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg involves a dead goatZuckerberg comes up with a personal challenge for himself every year, and in 2011 he vowed that the only animals he’d eat were ones he killed himself. That year, Dorsey said, Zuckerberg served him a goat that he’d stunned with a laser or stun gun and then killed with a knife. The pair then waited 30 minutes as the goat cooked in the oven. “We go in the dining room. He puts the goat down. It was cold. That was memorable. I don’t know if it went back in the oven. I just ate my salad,” Dorsey told Rolling Stone. He can get addicted to Twitter like the rest of usDuring live events such as an election or a basketball game, Dorsey said, he compulsively checks Twitter like everyone else. The tech mogul said the company never intended to make the site addictive and has looked at removing the “like” counts from tweets. Instead of spending hours on the platform, Dorsey said, he wants users to walk away feeling like they learned something new. “Right now I just feel overwhelmed, because I don’t think I’m learning anything new, ultimately.”He doesn’t think there are any “self-professed Nazis” on TwitterTwitter has come under fire in the past for not doing enough to combat hate speech on the platform. Even actor Seth Rogan has criticized Dorsey and Twitter for verifying white supremacists on the site. In the interview with Rolling Stone, Dorsey said he doesn’t think there are any “self-professed Nazis” on Twitter but acknowledged more work needs to be done to combat hate speech. Part of the problem, he noted, is that Twitter relies on users to report hate speech. “They see things, but it’s easier to tweet out ‘get rid of the Nazis’ than to report it,” he said. “We need to be more proactive, but a lot of it has to do with the friction of everything relying on it being reported in the first place.” He thinks Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is ridiculous, but Dorsey wants to helpMusk is known for ideas that sound like they come from a science fiction novel. Dorsey, who described himself as a “toolmaker,” said he wants to lend a helping hand. “He is ridiculous. You have to be. You have to be to think that big,” Dorsey said. “I love him. I love what he’s trying to do, and I want to help in whatever way.” Elon Musk comes alive on social media: Part entrepreneur, part madman He no longer has political ambitionsAt one point, Dorsey talked about wanting to be mayor of New York, but the tech mogul said it’s no longer on his dream list. Though he thinks the political job is impactful, he noted that it would take years before you’d see the effect of a new policy. “I’m just now more and more convinced that building and creating can influence faster than what can happen in our current legislative system,” he said. “Also, I would probably be terrible at it.” He wants to eventually give away all his moneyWhen asked about his philanthropic goals, Dorsey pointed to two causes he cares about. One is climate change, and the other is economic disparity. “I don’t think it’s fair what I have access to,” he said.He never wanted to be a CEO or entrepreneurDorsey, who grew up listening to punk rock music and once dyed his hair blue, describes himself as a “punk” during the Rolling Stone Q&A. He also says that he never had ambitions as a kid to become an entrepreneur, public figure or CEO. “The character I loved most in The Wizard of Oz was the wizard,” he said. “‘Cause he was behind the curtain.” CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.Everything about Fortnite: What you need to know about the hit game. 0 Jack Dorsey Twitter Tags Post a comment Culture Tech Industry Share your voice
Rangaraj Pandey to act in Nerkonda Paarvai.PR HandoutIn what could be considered as an unconventional choice, television presenter and journalist Rangaraj Pandey has been roped in to play an important role in Ajith Kumar’s upcoming Tamil movie Nerkonda Paarvai.Rangaraj Pandey has been signed to play the role of a lawyer played by Piyush Mishra in the original version, Pink. According to reports, the makers considered his oratory and debating skills while picking him over the other contenders.Talking about acting in Nerkonda Paarvai at an event in college, Rangaraj Pandey reportedly said that he knows the reason why he was preferred over other actors by the makers and stated people would know whether it is a good decision or not only after the film’s release.Rangaraj Pandey indicated that he does not take himself seriously as an actor, but never denies any offers. He assures to give his best shot to everything that he does in his life.In Ajith’s Nerkonda Paarvai, he will be the defence lawyer of powerful men, who are accused of molesting three women.H Vinoth-directorial movie has Vidya Balan playing Ajith’s wife, while Shraddha Srinath, Andrea Tariang and Abhirami Venkatachalam are in the important roles. Delhi Ganesh, Arjun Chidambaram, Ashwin Rao and others are in the cast. Ajith in Viswasam.PR HandoutThe shooting of the movie is underway in Hyderabad and the makers want to wrap up the shoot in one schedule. Initially, there were reports that the film would be released on May 1. The latest rumours claim that the release might be postponed by a few months.
IIT KharagpurWikimedia CommonsIn the battle of talent hunting from Indian institutions, Asian companies have beaten the US firms this year. Exciting international offers are pouring in from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore as the Asian firms eagerly look forward to hiring fresh graduates from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).In the the first few days of final placement campaigns this year, which started on December 1, overseas offers have surged at IIT Madras and IIT Kharagpur. IIT Madras has seen a rise in international offers to 22 from six in the first three days and the numbers at IIT Kharagpur have jumped to more than 30 from nine, Economic Times reported.IIT Roorkee got 13 international offers in the first three days, compared to seven last year. At IIT Bombay, international offers, including pre-placement offers, have shot up to 60 from 50.According to top institutes placement members, the surge in the international recruitments is due to Asian firms aggressively hiring tech talents.Japan has started to look for more talents from Indian institutes and recruit more Indian techies. According to a Hindu report, Yohei Shibasaki the Chief Executive Officer of Fourth Valley Concierge Corp, a headhunting firms based in Tokyo, said that he has started recruiting from top 30 Indian universities, including the IITs.The numbers of Indians working in Japan are also gradually increasing. About 8,000 of the 23,000 Indians are IT professionals in Japan, the Hindu report said. “IITs are the hub for technology talent for global companies. Now, more and more countries, led by the likes of Japan, are realising the potential of IIT students,” said NP Padhy, IIT Roorkee professor-in-charge of training and placement.Recent reports also suggest that overall campus recruitment in engineering colleges in India is also likely to gather momentum in the current financial year as startups across sectors are all set to hire techies for various roles that demand technical skills. This year, even Microsoft has made more US offers than last year. IIT BombayWikiCommonsRoles such as data analyst, artificial intelligence engineer, user-experience engineer, mobile software developer and augmented reality engineer are high on demand and startups are ready to pick up potential candidates for these roles.They are also ready to give them a package of Rs 9 lakh-16 lakh per annum, Economic Times reported.Companies like Paytm, Exotel, Pepperfry, Voonik, Go-Jek and Razorpay are seeking to hire potential graduates from more than 10,000 students set to graduate in 2018.Candidates from Indian Institute of Technology will still remain the key focus for the startup recruiters as well.
Rohingya-burningMyanmar’s government has failed to meet its international obligations and protect Rohingya Muslims from the atrocities taking place in Rakhine state, two UN special advisers said Wednesday.The statement from the UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng, and the special adviser on the responsibility to protect, Ivan Simonovic, added the international response to the crisis was a failure.“Despite warnings issued by us and by many other officials, the government of Myanmar has failed to meet its obligations under international law and primary responsibility to protect the Rohingya population from atrocity crimes,” said a joint statement.“The international community has equally failed its responsibilities in this regard,” they added.Since late August more than 500,000 Rohingya have fled an army campaign in Myanmar’s Rakhine state that the United Nations has denounced as ethnic cleansing.The UN Security Council has called on Myanmar to end military operations in Rakhine, grant access to aid workers and allow the safe return of the Rohingya refugees.The council however has not followed up its appeal with action such as imposing sanctions, a move diplomats said is opposed by China, a supporter of the Myanmar’s former junta, and Russia.“Once again, our failure to stop atrocity crimes makes us complicit. When will we live up to our countless promises of ‘never again’?” the advisers asked.Myanmar authorities argue the military operations in Rakhine are to root out militants following attacks on police posts in late August.A recent report by the UN human rights office accused Myanmar of seeking to permanently expel the Rohingya, by planting land mines at the border with Bangladesh where the refugees are sheltering.UN rights officials spoke to refugees who gave accounts of soldiers surrounding homes and firing indiscriminately as residents ran for their lives, and of uniformed men gang-raping women and girls, some as young as five.“In some cases, before and during the attacks, megaphones were used to announce: ‘You do not belong here—go to Bangladesh. If you do not leave, we will torch your houses and kill you’,” the report said.The UN’s top political affairs official, Jeffrey Feltman, returned on Tuesday from five days of talks in Myanmar that failed to yield a breakthrough.Feltman is expected to report to the Security Council on his talks.
Logo of BNPThe Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Sunday welcomed the election commission’s decision to deploy army from Monday ahead of the general election billed for 30 December, reports UNB.In a statement, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam said, “I strongly urge the Bangladesh Army to ensure equal opportunities for all political parties and candidates.””We sincerely believe the deployment of army will help create an atmosphere for a fair and neutral election which has so far been absent,” he added.Fakhrul said they also hope that every member of the army will play an effective role in protecting the interests of people instead of working for any individual or any particular section of people in any way.”Bangladesh Army has always been dedicated to serving the country and the nation. Their image can’t be tainted for protecting any individual’s interest.”On 13 December, the election commission decided that members of the armed forces will be deployed as the striking force for 10 days from 24 December in the forthcoming national election.The EC officials said over 700,000 security men alongside the armed forces members will be there in the field on the voting day.Meanwhile, a total of 1,016 platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) forces were deployed across the country on 18 December to maintain the law and order.
Dr. Jocelyn Turner-Musa of Morgan State University discusses the ASCEND Center for Biomedical Research, an innovative student training program designed to increase diversity in the biomedical research workforce.Morgan State University researchers are producing innovations that will greatly benefit our state and nation – not to mention, that have strong entrepreneurial potential. That was the message to Annapolis lawmakers at the fifth annual Morgan Innovation Day, held in the state’s capital on March 19. Faculty and students from the university presented work with implications for predicting rain fall, measuring climate change, oyster farming, military technology, biofuels, and public health.“This was really an opportunity for us to showcase the research prowess of our faculty, staff, and students,” said Dr. Victor McCrary, vice president for research and economic development at Morgan State University.The annual Innovation Day was the brain child of Morgan State President Dr. David Wilson, says McCrary, who wanted to make sure the state’s lawmakers were aware of the innovations being produced at Morgan and the economic potential of those innovations for the state.Morgan president Dr. Wilson initiated this day to showcase the research being done by Morgan’s faculty and students.For example, the university’s environmental laboratory on the Patuxent River, the Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory, is developing sustainable ways for the area’s oyster farmers to grow oysters. “In the past, they dredged the oysters,” said McCrary, “and what happens is, that’s not a sustainable method, versus, we can teach them how to actually grow and harvest their oysters in shallow water.”The university is also conducting research in conjunction with the U.S. Navy to develop a new way to ignite airplane ejector seats using an electronic-based charge rather than the current chemical-based charge. This could help save crucial moments for an ejecting pilot and lead to even more lives saved than the current method.Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford listens to an environmental presentation.Morgan has also partnered with the Maryland Innovation Initiative, which seeks to make academic research commercially viable, and is genetically modifying algae, which normally grows in fresh water, in order to allow it to grow in salt water. Because most of the water on Earth is salt water, this innovation could allow scientists or companies to grow algae in our vast salt water oceans, which can then be used to create oil and biofuels.“We’re not doing research for the sake of research,” said McCrary. “We’re doing research that will have impact and lead to greater health, wellness, and economic development not only for Baltimore but for the state of Maryland and the nation as a whole.”Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford attended the event and praised Morgan for its involvement with the Maryland Innovation Initiative, and for pursuing research that can also serve as an engine for economic development said McCrary.“We are very active in taking our research to the point where start-up companies will be formed,” said McCrary, who added that Morgan produced its first start-up in the last month.Nationwide, says McCrary, universities are changing their patent and intellectual property policies to make it easier for their researchers to take ideas developed under the auspices of the university to the marketplace. Morgan is also in the process of aligning its policies with best practices in order to incentivize its researchers to turn their projects into companies.“Morgan is looking forward to continuing to be Maryland’s premier urban research university,” says McCrary, “and part of that is creating the ecosystem so that folks will come to Morgan not only for our academic curriculum but for the opportunity to start their own company.”firstname.lastname@example.org