New Delhi: Nippon Life Company Friday announced an open offer to acquire nearly 22.49 per cent stake in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management (RNAM) for Rs 3,179 crore under a deal with Reliance Capital which is exiting the mutual funds business. Nippon Life Company would acquire up to 13.82 crore equity shares or about 22.49 per cent shares of Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management (RNAM) at Rs 230 per share, according to the RNAM’s draft filed with regulator Sebi on Friday. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsThe transaction is to be payable in cash for a total consideration of Rs 3,179.41 crore. Reliance Capital in May had announced to exit mutual fund business by selling its stake in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd (RNAM) to its joint venture partner Japan’s Nippon Life Insurance. Both partners had 42.88 per cent stake each in the company, while the rest is with public shareholders. Reliance Capital has already signed the binding definitive agreements with Nippon Life Insurance of Japan. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefAn open offer is a mandatory condition under Sebi guidelines for acquiring equity shares in a company (target) by the acquirer company (Nippon Life). RNAM has already sold 4,82,83,405 equity shares through an offer for sale (OFS) undertaken on May 24 and May 27, 2019. Upon completion of the acquisition of shares, Nippon Life will have the right to re-constitute the board of directors in RNAM including the right to appoint nominee directors or effect resignation of any director on the board. RNAM had registered a net profit of Rs 486.09 crore in fiscal ended March 2019, up by 6.7 per cent from a year ago’s Rs 455.74 crore. Nippon Life of Japan will acquire the stake in RNAM through its internal accruals and it has earmarked Japanese Yen 58,000 million (equivalent to Rs 3,676.04 crore).
For the 99th year running, the Sefrou festival, also called the “moussem of the King’s fruits,” will celebrate the region’s cherry growing industry, and its unique cultural heritage.The festival was listed in 2012 on the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list, which recognizes practices worldwide that celebrate cultural identity and promote respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.The Sefrou festival will include artistic events, conferences on cherry farming, open air concerts, sports competitions, and the annual “Miss Cherry” pageant. If anything like last year, folkloric shows, an art exhibition, and “fantasias,” will also be on the cards. The official schedule for this years’ festival has not yet been released. Read also: Moroccan Rose Festival Celebrates Roses’ Economic and Cultural ValueThe event provides an opportunity for local associations and cooperatives to commercialize their products and promote the region’s economy.The festival is one of seven Moroccan heritage items on the UNESCO list. Also on the list are the moussem of Tan Tan that brings together nomadic Moroccan tribes, the cultural space of Jemaa El Fna plaza in Marrakech, the Mediterranean diet, falcon hunting, argan cultivation and exploitation, and the Taskiwin dance from the Atlas Mountains.
I would like to start by acknowledging the work of the Canadian members of this Committee. Over the past 3 years, Mr. Zimmer, Mr. Angus and Mr. Erskine-Smith spearheaded a bipartisan effort to deal with data governance. I’m inspired by the seriousness and integrity they bring to this task.The perspective that I bring today is that of a capitalist and global tech entrepreneur for 30 years and counting. I am the retired Chairman and co-CEO of Research In Motion, a Canadian technology company we scaled from an idea to $20 billion in sales. Innovation Nation: What Canadian companies need to thrive in the cutthroat global ideas economy Remember the internet of the ’90s? That’s what Canada’s outdated data protection laws were designed to handle Canada’s digital industry needs to set global standards — we all depend on it While most are familiar with the iconic BlackBerry smartphone, ours was actually a platform business that connected tens of millions of users to thousands of consumer and enterprise applications, via some 600 cellular carriers, in over 150 countries. We understood how to leverage Metcalfe’s law of network effects to create a category-defining company. So I’m deeply familiar with multi-sided platform business model strategies as well as navigating the interface between business and public policy.I’ll start with several observations about the nature, scale and breadth of our collective challenge here.The online advertisement-driven business model subverts choice and represents a foundational threat to markets, election integrity, and democracy itself Disinformation and fake news are just two of the many negative outcomes from unregulated attention-based business models. They cannot be addressed in isolation. They have to be tackled horizontally, as part of an integrated whole. To agonize over social media’s role in proliferation of online hate, conspiracy theories, politically motivated misinformation and harassment is to miss the root and scale of the problem.Second, social media’s toxicity is not a bug — it’s a feature. Technology works exactly as designed. Technology products, services and networks are not built in a vacuum. Usage patterns drive product development decisions. Behavioral scientists involved with today’s platforms helped design user experiences that capitalize on negative reactions because they produce far more engagement than positive reactions.Third, among the many valuable insights provided by whistleblowers inside the tech industry is this quote: “the dynamics of the attention economy are structurally set up to undermine the human will.” Democracy and markets work when people can make choices aligned with their interests. The online advertisement-driven business model subverts choice and represents a foundational threat to markets, election integrity and democracy itself.Fourth, technology gets its power through control of data. Data at the micro-personal level gives technology unprecedented power to influence. Data is not the new oil – it’s the new plutonium. Amazingly powerful, dangerous when it spreads, difficult to clean up and with serious consequences when improperly used. Data deployed through next generation 5G networks is transforming passive infrastructure into veritable digital nervous systems.Our current domestic and global institutions, rules, and regulatory frameworks are not designed to deal with any of these emerging challenges. Because cyberspace knows no natural borders, the digital transformation’s effects cannot be hermetically sealed within national boundaries. International coordination is critical. With these observations in mind, here are my six recommendations for your consideration:Eliminate tax deductibility of specified categories of online ads. We need to zero in on the core problem: the attention-based advertisement-driven business model. Subscription business models are much less prone to poisonous manipulation. Taxes create powerful incentives. In Canada, we do not allow tax deductibility for foreign offline advertising. This approach should be generalized so that tax incentives favour subscription models for online services. Ban personalized online advertising for elections. We are dealing with the largest, most centralized form of attention control in human history. Online platforms have mastered behaviour modification and this kind of tool for manipulation is not something we want for sale to the highest bidder during an election. Official elections are a short period of time and the income earned from advertising is trivial to large social media companies. But as the Brexit referendum has demonstrated, the social cost of compromising election integrity is enormous. Implement strict data governance regulations for political parties. This includes at least two things. 1. Apply privacy regulations to political parties regarding access to personally identifiable information. 2. Require transparency of all commercial and technical relationships between political parties and social media companies. The fact that Canadian political parties are still not subject to privacy regulations deeply troubles me. Provide effective whistleblower protections. Some of the most valuable information the public has learned about the abuse of data has come from brave whistleblowers. Make sure whistleblower protection extends to both private sector and governmental activities. Add explicit personal liability alongside corporate responsibility to affect CEO and Board of Director decision-making. To strengthen adherence to existing regulations, consider adding annual signed CEO and Board certifications similar to those required for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. This 2002 Act was designed to better protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures in the wake of various accounting scandals. As a businessman, I can assure you that when a senior executive or board member must affix their name to a document that has personal liability, this immediately changes behaviour to one of greater prudence and caution. Create a new institution for likeminded nations to address digital cooperation and stability. The data-driven economy’s effects cannot be contained within national borders. New approaches to international coordination and enforcement are critical as policymakers develop new frameworks to preserve competitive markets and democratic systems that evolved over centuries under profoundly different technological conditions. We have arrived at a new Bretton Woods moment. We need new or reformed rules of the road for digitally mediated global commerce – a World Trade Organization 2.0. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the Financial Stability Board was created to foster global financial cooperation and stability. A similar global institution, say the ‘Digital Stability Board’, is needed to deal with the challenges posed by digital transformation. The nine countries on this Committee could constitute founding members of such a plurilateral body, which would undoubtedly grow over time. Technology is disrupting governance and if left unchecked could render liberal democracy obsolete. By displacing the print and broadcast media in influencing public opinion, technology is becoming the new Fourth Estate. In our system of checks and balances, this makes technology co-equal with the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. When this new Fourth Estate declines to appear before this Committee — as Silicon Valley executives are currently doing — it is symbolically asserting this aspirational co-equal status. But it is asserting this status and claiming its privileges without the traditions, disciplines, legitimacy or transparency that checked the power of the traditional Fourth Estate. The work of this International Grand Committee is a vital first step towards redress of this untenable current situation.Thank you. Jim Balsillie, retired co-CEO of Research In Motion and chair of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, testified today at the hearings of the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy being held in Ottawa. Politicians from Canada and 10 other countries have gathered to consider how best to protect citizens’ privacy and their democracies in the age of big data and social media. Here are his prepared remarksCommittee Members;It is my pleasure to testify today to such distinguished public leaders. Data governance is the most important public policy issue of our time. It is cross-cutting, with economic, social and security dimensions. It requires both national policy frameworks and international coordination.Social media’s toxicity is not a bug – it’s a feature
by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Jan 17, 2014 6:39 am MDT US home construction dips slightly in December to 999,000 rate but 2013 best year since 2007 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – U.S. home construction slowed in December but ended 2013 with the best showing since the housing bubble burst.The Commerce Department said Friday that builders broke ground last month at a seasonally annual rate of 999,000. That’s 9.8 per cent lower than November’s pace of 1.12 million, which was the fastest in five years.For the year, builders started 923,000 homes and apartments, up 18.3 per cent from 2012. It was the fourth straight annual gain and the strongest since 2007, when 1.36 million homes were started.The housing market has been recovering steadily over the past year, helping to boost economic growth and create jobs. But a rise in mortgage rates from record lows reached a year ago have started to weigh on those gains.For December, construction of single-family homes, which makes up roughly two-thirds of homebuilding, fell 7 per cent to an annual rate of 667,000. Construction of apartments, which can be more volatile, dropped 14.9 per cent to a 332,000 rate.Applications for building permits, considered a good sign of future activity, fell 3 per cent in December to a rate of 986,000. Single-family permits fell 4.8 per cent. Permits for apartments were unchanged.Construction activity in December fell 33.5 per cent in the Midwest and 12.3 per cent in the South. Construction rose 15 per cent in the West and was unchanged in the Northeast.Mortgage rates are roughly a percentage point higher than in the spring. Still, they remain low by historical standards. The average rate on a 30-year mortgage fell to 4.41 per cent this week. That’s down from a peak of 4.6 per cent in August.U.S. homebuilders remain generally upbeat ahead of the spring home-buying season.The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index slipped to 56 in January, down slightly from a 57 reading in December. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. Even with the small dip, the overall index remains in positive territory and is nine points higher than it was a year ago.The spring buying and selling season kicks off next month, traditionally the time of the year that sets the tone for residential hiring and construction. Many builders, particularly smaller firms, sell homes that will take months to build.Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to data from the homebuilders association. A builder works on the the roof of a new home under construction on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013., in Wilmette, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Hello, everybody, and welcome to Brock University!I know that, for many of you, today is the first day of entering a new school, and we all understand if you’re feeling a little nervous. It’s okay. And there are many who are feeling pretty great, as this is your last year.For those of you who are adjusting to being in a new environment, just say “Hi” to everyone you meet in the halls. I am sure no one will ignore you. And if you need any help, please just ASK. I want to say that each one of you has a responsibility to yourself. Everyone has that special something that you’re good at, and everyone has something to offer. At Brock, the education you receive will guide you to discover yourself. Opportunities are many — maybe you will be the person who finds a cure for cancer, maybe you are the next great writer, or the next Prime Minister.Join teams, join clubs, discover new things, meet new people and help make change where it is needed, exercise your voice. In today’s world, no matter what it is that you plan to do, I guarantee that you will need education to do it well.This beautiful country we share will depend on you for a brighter future, it will need your voice on the challenges that it will face, such as new technology, economy, fighting poverty etc.. If you should decide to quit your studies, you are not only letting yourself, family, friends down but you have also turned your back on your country. I know it will not be easy, but the university has everything in place to help you through, just ASK.And all I ask for is that you try and then try hard, there is really no excuse for not doing your work because you make your own dreams and you make sure that you have a future. Begin your journey with us by asking yourself how can I contribute to this educational institute this year? Do not let yourself down. You are in control of your own destiny.Thank you and may the Great Spirit touch your heart.Chancellor CheechooChancellor, Brock University
EVANSTON, Ill. — Ignas Brazdeikis scored 13 of his 23 points in the second half and Jordan Poole made two big plays in the last 2 1/2 minutes to help No. 5 Michigan hold off Northwestern for a 62-60 victory Tuesday night.Poole finished with 15 points as the Wolverines (9-0, 2-0 Big Ten) added to their best start since they opened the 2012-13 season with 16 straight victories. Zavier Simpson scored 10 points, and Jon Teske had eight points and 10 rebounds.The game was tied at 58 when Poole fed Teske for a dunk with 2:30 left. After Ryan Taylor made a jumper for Northwestern, Poole drove inside for another dunk that made it 62-60 with 1:53 left.Michigan had a shot-clock violation with 14 seconds to go, giving Northwestern one last chance. Taylor was long on a desperation 3-pointer as time expired.Dererk Pardon led the Wildcats (6-3, 0-2) with 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting. Vic Law shook off a slow start and finished with 19.It was a second straight tough defeat for Northwestern, including a 68-66 loss at Indiana on Saturday.Michigan appeared to be in control after opening the second half with a 9-0 run to make it 45-30 with 17:19 left. But Northwestern came roaring back.Pardon’s driving layup sparked a 15-2 spurt for the Wildcats. A.J. Turner’s three-point play sliced Michigan’s lead to 47-45 with 13:16 remaining, sending a charge through the crowd at Welsh-Ryan Arena and prompting the Wolverines to take a timeout.Brazdeikis helped Michigan settle down, converting a layup to make it 51-45 with 11:30 left. The freshman, who exited for a brief moment in the first half due to a back issue, went 9 for 18 from the field.BIG PICTUREMichigan: The Wolverines had some defensive issues in the second half but helped themselves with a 33-26 rebounding advantage for the game.Northwestern: Law sparked the Wildcats in the second half, scoring 11 points.UP NEXTMichigan stays home for the next month, beginning Saturday against South Carolina. The Wolverines’ next road game is Jan. 10 at Illinois.Northwestern hosts DePaul on Saturday and doesn’t play another Big Ten game until Jan. 2 at Michigan State.___Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap___More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25Jay Cohen, The Associated Press
KURDISH REBELS BEGAN withdrawing from Turkey into their stronghold in northern Iraq on Wednesday, a major step towards ending a decades-long conflict that has left tens of thousands of people dead.The pullout is the first visible sign that months of fragile talks between the state and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) could succeed in ending 29 years of guerrilla war.“We know that they have started moving,” Selahattin Demirtas, a pro-Kurdish lawmaker actively involved in the process, told AFP.About 2,000 rebel fighters are expected to begin leaving Turkey on foot, travelling through the mountainous border zone to reach their safe havens in the inhospitable Qandil mountains in northern Iraq.There they will join another 5,000 fellow militants at the command base which has been used as a springboard for attacks against Turkish security forces.A “symbolic” date of departureThe withdrawals are expected to take three to four months, with several media outlets reporting that the rebels have been on the move for weeks and that May 8 is a “symbolic” date of departure.On Tuesday, the rebels said they would not renege on their promise to withdraw following an order from their jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan.Ocalan, known as “Apo” or uncle to Kurds but a “baby killer” by Turks, called in March for a historic ceasefire from his jail cell after months of clandestine peace talks with Turkish security services.But if his supporters have agreed to the pullout, they have not yet taken their hands off their guns as the delicate process begins.The rebels on Tuesday complained about Ankara boosting troops and carrying out surveillance flights at the border, saying they were “delaying the peace process” and paving the way for “provocations and clashes.”The Turkish army has not confirmed these measures but said their “fight against any terrorism continues”, although no fatal clashes have occurred in recent months, the first such lull in years.Acting PKK leader Murat Karayilan warned late last month that the fighters would would strike back and the withdrawal would halt “immediately” if they were attacked.“We have no doubt about the state but fear provocation from dark forces,” Demirtas said, referring to the possibility of ambushes by splinter paramilitary groups which may not be fond of the process.Mass withdrawals in 1999 were disrupted when Turkish forces ambushed departing rebels, killing around 500 people and wrecking hopes for a permanent peace.Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly vowed that retreating rebels “will not be touched”.He said Tuesday that “laying down weapons” should be the top priority for the PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist group by Ankara and the West, for the process to succeed.Wider constitutional rights for Turkey’s Kurds called for Karayilan said in April that the PKK was expecting Ankara to “do its part” before giving up arms, and called for wider constitutional rights for Turkey’s Kurds, who make up around 20 per cent of the 75 million population.A permanent peace could transform Turkey’s impoverished Kurdish-majority southeast, where investment has remained scarce and infrastructure insufficient due to the threat of clashes.It will also impact Erdogan’s political future, after he braved a major nationalist backlash in revealing the negotiations with Ocalan.Millions of Kurds are expecting Ocalan, who narrowly escaped a death sentence in 2002 after European Union pressure, to be pardoned and join political life.Ocalan said in his March peace call that a ceasefire would be the beginning of a “new era” for the Kurdish movement.“It is not the time to give up the struggle, but to start a different one,” Ocalan said.- © AFP, 2013Read: Three Kurdish women activists shot dead in Paris hitRead: ESB International announces €30 million contract win in TurkeyRead: Afghan Taliban capture Turkish civilians after helicopter lands
Insulation bales stolen ahead of Halloween weekend will turn toxic if set on fire The thieves set off with 80 insulation sheets. Garda photo of a sample of the insulation bales taken from the building site. Garda photo of a sample of the insulation bales taken from the building site. Image: Garda Press Office Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 21,426 Views http://jrnl.ie/3050307 Image: Garda Press Office Thursday 27 Oct 2016, 7:18 PM 28 Comments Oct 27th 2016, 7:18 PM Share264 Tweet Email GARDAÍ ARE WORRIED about what could happen if thieves decide to set fire to a number of insulation bales stolen from a building site in Louth this week.Twenty insulation bales were taken from Strand Road in Termonfeckin over the past four days.Investigating gardaí have been told that if the items are set alight, the smoke and fumes would be toxic. They could potentially cause harm to anyone coming into contact with them without appropriate breathing apparatus.An appeal has been issued for anyone with information to contact Drogheda garda station on 041 987 4200 or the confidential line on 1800 666 111.Local gardaí want to inform the community in Termonfeckin of the possible dangers if the material is burned.Read: Off-duty garda catches two young men trying to flee from scene of serious car crashMore: From 0.03% to 91%: Just how pure are the illegal drugs sold in Ireland?Read: “The situation for children in Calais is the worst it’s ever been” Short URL By Sinead O’Carroll
The Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai on Feb 29, 2016 (representational image).IANSShares of Ramco Systems rose as high as 7.6 percent on Tuesday after the Chennai-based enterprise software company informed stock exchanges that air medical service Air Evac SMS Inc. has completed implementation of its aviation software Ramco Aviation V5.7 across its 135 bases in the US. The stock later gave up gains partially to trade at Rs 355 at around 1 pm.Read: Ramco Systems, Jubilant Life shares jump on deal winsAir Evac’s fleet comprises 150 helicopters with about 700 active users and is a subsidiary of Air Medical Group Holdings with which Ramco Systems has a decade-long business relationship.”The implementation of Ramco Aviation suite covers Line, Hangar & Shop Maintenance, Engineering Change Management, Technical Records, Inventory Management, Procurement Management, and Facility Management along with Advance Reporting tools,” Ramco Systems said in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).For the quarter ended December 31, 2016, Ramco Systems had reported net profit of Rs 3 crore on total sales of Rs 113 crore.The BSE Sensex was trading in the red at 28,625.
Credit: Rethink Robotics The company offers Baxter with two kinds of grippers to choose from. Electric parallel grippers enable Baxter to pick up objects of varying sizes. Vacuum cup grippers are meant for hard-to-grasp objects, such as smooth, nonporous or relatively flat items.While Baxter is not the ideal choice for tasks that require an extremely strong or fast industrial robot, Baxter is smart enough to adapt to changes. The robot uses vision to locate and grasp objects, and can be programmed to perform a new task just by holding its arms and moving them to the desired position. The robot can continue to work even after missing a pick-up or dropping a part. It can visually detect parts and adapt to variations in part placement and conveyor speed. If Baxter drops an object, it knows to get another before trying to finish the task. What is not at all mindless about Baxter is its design in that, for an industrial robot, Baxter enjoys an incredible lightness of non-being. Baxter has thick, round arms, but they are not heavy. The arm moves in a fluid motion. “When you hold the cuff, the robot goes into gravity-compensation,” said Rodney Brooks, the company founder, “zero-force mode,” as if the arm is floating. Credit: Rethink Robotics Baxter signs British flu vaccine deal Explore further Citation: Your next assembly lines may have Baxter robot doing pick-up (w/ Video) (2012, September 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-lines-baxter-pick-up-video.html 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. More information: www.heartlandrobotics.com/inde … php/products/baxter/ Another differentiator is that, while Baxter is smart, it does not require a high learning curve. One of the argued barriers to industrial adoption of robots has been training requirements to operate industrial robots. The disadvantage has been in the thought of requiring employees to train in programming and in interacting with new robotic equipment, eating up time and financial output. Rethink’s team claims Baxter units can be retasked in a matter of minutes. “No custom application code is required to get it started. So no costly software or manufacturing engineers are required to program it,” according to the company. Baxter is taught via a graphical user interface and through direct manipulation of its robot arms. Nontechnical, hourly workers can train and retrain Baxter right on the line.As for safety, the designers gave Baxter sensors to detect people within contact distance and trigger the robot to slow to safe operation speeds. If Baxter’s power supply were cut, its arms would relax slowly. Employees would have time to move out of the way. Baxter is based on the vision of roboticist. Rodney Brooks, company founder of Rethink Robotics, which started in 2008. Baxter’s first shipments will start next month. Credit: Rethink Robotics © 2012 Phys.org (Phys.org)—Rethink Robotics is introducing Baxter to the manufacturing sector with a note: Baxter can ignite a revolution in breaking down costs and safety barriers holding back automation in American manufacturing. The Boston-based company says the $22,000 (list price) robot is a fraction of the cost of traditional industrial robots “with zero integration required.” Baxter has been expressly designed to work on assembly lines to perform menial tasks. Baxter has two arms, each with seven degrees of freedom, and a reach similar to that of a human, to take over the mindless menial tasks. It can load, unload, sort, pack, unpack, snap-fit, grind and polish.
Find out which version of Windows 10 is installed by Martin Brinkmann on July 24, 2016 in Windows – Last Update: May 07, 2018 – 10 commentsMicrosoft changed how feature updates are released on Windows. While updates are still delivered via Windows Updates and other update options, updates on Windows 10 are not reflected in the operating system’s name.There is no Windows 10 Service Pack 1, or Windows 10.1, for instance, and Microsoft has no plans to change that.This makes it a tad difficult to find out which version of Windows 10 is installed on a device.Microsoft does have internal names for updates, the Anniversary Update for instance was released on August 2, 2016 and the April 2018 Update in, uh, April 2018. Those names are not added to the version of Windows 10 on the other hand.Checking the Windows 10 versionProbably the best option to verify which version of Windows 10 is installed on a device is to use the winver command.Tap on the Windows-key, type winver.exe and hit enter.This launches a small About Windows program that lists information about the installed version of Windows. The program is also available in previous versions of the Windows operating system.The program lists a version and build number, and both help you understand which version is installed.Finding out can be useful in making sure that you got the most recent version for example.VersionThe version uses a four digit code that refers to the year and month of release.1507 – The initial release of Windows 10 (July 2015).1511 – The first major update for Windows 10. (November 2015).1607 – The second major update, also called the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 as it is released a year after the initial release of the operating system (July 2016).1703 — The Creators Update released in April 2017.1709 — The Fall Creators Update released in October 2017.1803 — The April 2018 Update released on April 30, 2018.1809 –OS BuildThe OS Build number offers the same information as the version. It is a bit harder to decipher though as you cannot draw a direct link between the build and version.The major builds of Windows 10 Stable are the following ones:10240 – The initial release build that Microsoft released back in July 2015.10586 – The build of the first major update released by Microsoft in November 2015.14393 – The build of the Anniversary Update, the second major update, released on August 2, 2016.15063 — The build of the Creators Update released in April 2017.16299 — The build of the Fall Creators Update released in October 2017.17134 — The build of the April 2018 Update released in April 2018.Note: The Anniversary Update is released in August 2016, but the version states 1607 meaning July 2016.Note 2: The About Windows screen highlights the edition of Windows 10 as well. You find it listed in the first sentence after the copyright notice.You may check winver to find out if you have installed the most recent Windows 10 feature updates on a computer. Knowing the version may also be useful to find out if a guide, tutorial or news article applies to the version of Windows that is installed on your computer.SummaryArticle NameFind out which version of Windows 10 is installedDescriptionThe guide provides you with information on how to find out which version of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is installed on a device.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement
Top Gun: Maverick Latest news (July 2019)During San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Tom Cruise popped in during Paramount Pictures’ Terminator: Dark Fate panel to debut the first trailer for Top Gun: Maverick. The action star looks like he just walked off the set of the original, aviator sunglasses and all.Maverick is back. #TopGun pic.twitter.com/8ZDeE5h6fsJuly 18, 2019What is the release date for Top Gun: Maverick?When Tom Cruise revealed Top Gun: Maverick in 2017, the film was scheduled to be released on July 12, 2019, but was eventually pushed back a year. It will now hit theaters on June 26th, 2020.”Aviators are back, the need for speed,” Cruise said in the 2017 interview. “We’re going to have big, fast machines. It’s going to be a competition film, like the first one.”Who are in the cast and crew of Top Gun: Maverick?Tom Cruise returns to star and stunt in Top Gun: Maverick, as does Val Kilmer, who will reprise his role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. “I can’t comment on the screenplay, but we all know what we want to see!” Kilmer wrote about his involvement on Facebook. Goose’s son, Bradley Bradshaw, is played by Miles Teller. In the trailer we see Teller thumping piano keys just like dad and get a glimpse at the temperament he inherited, too.Chicago Justice star Monica Barbaro presents Topgun’s first female pilot and Bradley Bradshaw’s love interest. This will be her first major film project. We also get a look at Jennifer Connelly in the trailer, whose character is described as “a single mom who owns a bar near the base.” It seems like she may replace Charlie as Maverick’s romantic opposite. Jon Hamm joins the cast as a hardened Naval officer, or so we think by the striking glares in the trailer. He told Collider he’s impressed by the aerial action: “There’s not a lot of CG. Those guys are really up in planes and getting thrown around in multiple Gs.”Finally, we see Ed Harris telling Maverick that he’s a dying breed. “The end is inevitable, Maverick, your kind is headed for extinction.” Can someone say “drone warfare?”Joseph Kosinki (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion), directs Top Gun: Maverick, while Hans Zimmer scores the movie. The cinematic pair has worked together on action films before and we’re excited to see them team up again.Kelly McGillis won’t be reprising her role as Charlie Blackwood, the civilian flight instructor who played Maverick’s love interest in the original.For more Top Gun: Maverick cast and crew information, check out the film’s IMDb page.Best TV Shows on Netflix Now After years of anticipation, Top Gun: Maverick is finally flying into theaters over 30 years after the 1986 cult film premiered. Original star Tom Cruise is starring in the sequel, and while we’ll meet some new pilots, Cruise won’t be the only familiar face in the film.The movie’s details are classified. If we told you, we’d have to kill you. Kidding —it takes place an accurate 34 years later, with Cruise reprising his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.Maverick is now a flight instructor at the Miramar Topgun, where he’s guiding the son of his late flying partner, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. The trailer below doesn’t give much else away. But honestly, we don’t need much else than amazing aerial shots to be excited for a Top Gun revival. Get your flight suit ready. Here’s everything you need to know about Top Gun: Maverick. RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…logoCreated with Sketch.
Feature | Digital Radiography (DR) | July 19, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr DR Advances Promote Imaging of Whole Spine Recent advances in… read more Advances in long-length digital radiography are creating opportunities for visualization during spinal surgery, as well as pre- and post-operatively. Image courtesy of Fujifilm Medical Systems Related Content Videos | Artificial Intelligence | July 03, 2019 VIDEO: Artificial Intelligence May Assist in Pediatric Imaging Sudhen Desai, M.D., FSIR, read more Videos | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 VIDEO: Demonstration of the Shimadzu FluoroSpeed X1 Radiographic Fluoroscopy System Shimadzu displayed the FluoroSpeed X1 conventional radiographic fluoroscopy (RF) system at the Association for Medica read more Shimadzu FluoroSpeed X1 Walkaround AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:25Loaded: 11.42%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:25 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Technology | Digital Radiography (DR) | July 25, 2019 Samsung Announces New iQuia Premium Digital Radiography Platform Samsung has announced iQuia, a new digital radiography (DR) platform of premium products and technologies that improves… read more Video Player is loading.Sudhen Desai explains how deep learning might assist pediatric imagingPlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 8:21Loaded: 1.95%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -8:21 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Feature | Information Technology | June 27, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr Smart Algorithm Extracts Data from Radiology Reports Radiology reports may contain information essential to figuring out a patient’s condition. read more News | Digital Radiography (DR) | July 23, 2019 Konica Minolta and Shimadzu to Co-market Dynamic Digital Radiography in the U.S. Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas Inc. along with Shimadzu Medical Systems USA announced a collaborative agreement to… read more Technology | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 Shimadzu Medical Systems Receives FDA 510(k) for FluoroSpeed X1 RF System Shimadzu Medical Systems USA, a subsidiary of Shimadzu Corp., announced they have received U.S. Food and Drug… read more August 12, 2014 — Attendees at the Association of Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) Meeting and Exposition will have the opportunity to see the latest entries to the growing line of 14×17 inch wireless flat panel detectors by Rayence, the new 1417WCC (Csl) and 1417WGC (Gadox). Weighing just 6.6 pounds with dimensions that are ISO 4090 cassette size standard, Rayence 1417WCC/1417WGC detectors are ideal for in-room and portable applications. Carbon-fiber, seamless unibody construction combined with a shock, vibration and scratch resistant composition makes them well-suited for demanding imaging environments.Rayence 1417WCC/WGC detectors are manufactured using the company’s own scintillator formulation and feature high detective quantum efficiency (DQE), an impressive pixel pitch of 127 microns, and a resolution of 3.9 lp/mm, assuring the delivery of exceptionally sharp, high quality images. Auto triggering technology permits the detectors to be installed without integration to the X-ray generator and underscores their capability of being used in various imaging environments. The built-in memory stores up to 100 images and allows images to be taken if a computer connection is unavailable, and prevents the loss of images should there be an interruption of power or internet connection. An Auto Image Rotation function eliminates the need for the technologist to configure image orientation by automatically displaying images correctly regardless if they were taken with the detector in the portrait or landscape position. “The advanced technology Rayence brings to the diagnostic imaging industry has been well recognized within the specialty market,” said Leo Park, president of Rayence Inc. “With the introduction of our new 1417WCC/WGC detectors, Rayence is now in position to fulfill the demanding and versatile needs of busy imaging centers and hospitals,” Park continued.The 1417WCC/WGC detectors are equipped with a rechargeable lithium battery having a battery life of 4 hrs/960 images, a dual bay battery charger, two additional batteries, and an industry leading three-year manufacturer warranty.For more information: www.rayenceusa.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Technology | August 12, 2014 Rayence Debuts New Wireless Flat Panel Detectors at AHRA New 14×17 inch detectors designed to fulfill the versatile imaging demands in hospitals News | Digital Radiography (DR) | June 28, 2019 Springfield Clinic Deploys 17 Carestream Digital X-ray Systems Springfield Clinic implemented 14 Carestream DRX-Evolu read more News | Radiology Business | June 26, 2019 Konica Minolta Healthcare and the Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub Partner to Drive Innovation in Healthcare Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc. read more News | Radiation Dose Management | July 18, 2019 Low Doses of Radiation Promote Cancer-capable Cells Low doses of radiation equivalent to three computed tomography (CT) scans, which are considered safe, give cancer-… read more
October 25, 2017 — Varian recently announced an 80-year-old male with head and neck cancer became the first patient in Europe to be treated on the Halcyon system at University Hospitals Leuven (UZ Leuven) in Belgium. Halcyon is an advanced cancer treatment system that is more comfortable for the patient while delivering ease-of-use for healthcare providers, accelerated installation timeframes, expedited commissioning, simplified training and automated radiation therapy treatment.Halcyon simplifies and enhances virtually every aspect of image-guided volumetric intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), according to Varian, and is designed to expand the availability of high-quality cancer care globally. It is well-suited to handle the majority of cancer patients, offering advanced treatments for lung, esophagus, brain, head and neck, and many other forms of cancer.”We selected the Halcyon system because of its potential to accelerate the treatment workflow and allow for a much closer connection between the patient and therapist,” said Prof. Karin Haustermans, M.D., chair of the department, UZ Leuven. “Having now completed our first treatments I can say that Halcyon lived up to its promise of a more efficient workflow and better integration of imaging and treatment, which resulted in a much faster overall treatment time.”For more information: www.varian.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Radiation Oncology | July 31, 2019 Laura Dawson, M.D., FASTRO, Chosen as ASTRO President-elect The members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) elected four new officers to ASTRO’s Board of… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2019 Varian Showcases Cancer Care Systems and Software at AAPM 2019 Varian showcased systems and software from its cancer care portfolio, including the Identify Guidance System, at the… read more Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more News | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | October 25, 2017 UZ Leuven Treats First European Patient on Varian Halcyon Cancer Treatment System Image-guided system for intensity modulated radiotherapy used on 80-year-old male with head and neck cancer News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more Related Content News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 07, 2019 Qfix kVue One Proton Couch Top Validated by Mevion Medical Systems Qfix and Mevion Medical Systems announced that a special version of the kVue One Proton couch top is now both validated… read more News | Proton Therapy | August 06, 2019 IBA Signs Contract to Install Proton Therapy Center in Kansas IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) recently signed a contract and received the first payment for a Proteus One solution… read more The top piece of content in July was a video interview explaining how Princess Margaret Cancer Center is using machine learning to create automated treatment plans. This was a hot topic at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting in July. Feature | August 05, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor Most Popular Radiology and Radiotherapy Topics in July 2019 August 5, 2019 — Here is the list of the most popular content on the Imaging Technology New (ITN) magazine website fr read more News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more
Last week, on Monday, The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will testify before the committee regarding Twitter algorithms and content monitoring. The hearing is scheduled to take place on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 5, 2018. It is Wednesday, and Jack Dorsey has released a Testimony ahead of appearing before the committee today. Mid August, Jack Dorsey announced plans to rethink how Twitter works to combat fake news and data scandals. In July, Twitter deleted 70 million fake accounts in an attempt to curb fake news and improve Twitter algorithms. It has been constantly suspending fake accounts which are inauthentic, spammy or created via malicious automated bots. In his testimony, Dorsey has pushed back critics who have accused Twitter of censoring political content and not acting quickly enough to take down hateful expression. “Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules.” His testimony provided information on four important factors that E&C sought answers for. Improving Twitter’s health Twitter algorithms Twitter’s work on Russian meddling of the 2016 elections Information on recent malicious activity Twitter saw on the platform. Twitter Healthcare Regarding Twitter’s health, Dorsey asserted that the platform has developed a more “comprehensive framework” to encourage healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking. Earlier this year, Twitter began collaborating with the non-profit research center Cortico and the MIT Media Lab on exploring how to measure aspects of the health of the public sphere. They also requested outside experts for their proposed health metrics for Twitter. Following which the social platform is partnering with the University of Oxford and Leiden University and other academic institutions to better measure the health of Twitter, focusing on “informational echo chambers and unhealthy discourse on Twitter”. Twitter Algorithms In 2016, Twitter introduced a Home Timeline new ranking feature to show people the Tweets they might find most interesting first. Twitter also has a notification timeline that enables people to see who has liked, retweeted and replied to their Tweets, as well as who mentioned or followed them. Twitter algorithms also promote “Safe Search”. Per this mode, potentially sensitive content is excluded from search results, such as spam, adult content, and the accounts an individual has muted or blocked. Individual accounts may also mark their own posts as sensitive. Twitter also uses behavioral signals to determine how Tweets are organized. When a Tweet is identified as potentially detracting from a healthy conversation, it will only be available to view if you click on “Show more replies” or choose to see everything in your search setting. Using behavior signals, Twitter has had a 4 percent drop in abuse reports from search and 8 percent fewer abuse reports from conversations. In preparation for the hearing, Twitter data scientists analyzed Tweets sent by all members of the House and Senate that have Twitter accounts for a 30 day period spanning July 23, 2018 until August 13, 2018. They observed that there is no statistically significant difference between the number of times a Tweet by a Democrat is viewed versus a Tweet by a Republican. Their performance is the same because the Twitter platform itself does not take sides. Twitter’s work on Russian meddling of the 2016 elections After the meddling of Russian interference in US presidential elections in 2016, Twitter conducted a comprehensive platform activity. They identified 50,258 automated accounts that were Russian-linked and Tweeting election-related content. They also conducted an analysis of accounts that promoted election-related Tweets on the platform throughout 2016 in the form of paid ads. The two most active accounts were affiliated with Russia Today (“RT”), which Twitter subsequently barred from advertising. Per Dorsey’s testimony “Twitter’s main focus is on promoting healthy public discourse through protection of the democratic process. We must continue to work together with our elected officials, government partners, industry peers, outside experts, and other stakeholders so that the American people and the global community can understand the full context in which these threats arise.” Recent Malicious activity Twitter saw on its platform Twitter has suspended a total of 3,843 malicious accounts affiliated with the Russian Internet Research Agency. “As an example of Twitter’s ongoing efforts, Twitter identified 18 accounts in March 2018, believed to be linked to the Internet Research Agency uncovered by our ongoing additional reviews.” They have also suspended 770 accounts for violating Twitter policies in Iran. These accounts were in violation of Twitter’s platform manipulation policies and were engaged in coordinated activity intended to propagate messages artificially across accounts. Dorsey says, “Twitter has been in close contact with our industry peers about the malicious accounts located within Iran—we have received detailed information from them that has assisted us in our investigation, and we have shared our own details and work with other companies.” Dorsey ends his testimony saying that increased transparency is critical to promoting healthy public conversation on Twitter and earning trust. “We remain vigilant about identifying and eliminating abuse on the platform perpetrated by hostile foreign actors, and we will continue to invest in resources and leverage our technological capabilities to do so,” he wrote. You can read Dorsey’s entire testimony here. Read Next Facebook, Twitter takes down hundreds of fake accounts with ties to Russia and Iran, suspected to influence the US midterm elections. Twitter’s trying to shed its skin to combat fake news and data scandals, says Jack Dorsey. Twitter allegedly deleted 70 million fake accounts in an attempt to curb fake news.
Share Travelweek Group Tags: Crystal Cruises Crystal’s ‘Sell 3,Sail Free’ is back with free cruises for agents Posted by Friday, April 7, 2017 LOS ANGELES — Praising travel agents as some of its “greatest ambassadors”, Crystal Cruises is bringing back its ‘Sell 3, Sail Free’ travel agent promotion. Travel pros get the chance to earn complimentary sailings while clients get added savings.Agents selling three suites aboard select November and December 2017 and all 2018 Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises’ Crystal Esprit between now and Dec. 23, 2017 will earn a free sailing for themselves and a guest aboard any 2018 Crystal Esprit voyage.Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises is preparing for its inaugural West Indies season beginning this fall.“Our travel agent partners are some of our greatest ambassadors and there is no better way to reward their efforts than with the opportunity to enjoy the unmatched luxury they tout to their clients,” says Crystal Cruises Chairman, CEO and President, Edie Rodriguez.Billed as a boutique luxury hotel on water, the all-suite, butler-serviced Crystal Esprit is ideally suited to explore exotic harbours throughout the Mediterranean and the West Indies, with just 62 passengers. All-inclusive indulgences range from Michelin star-inspired cuisine and an endless pour of fine wines, champagnes and spirits to a choice of one complimentary Crystal Adventure ashore in every port.More news: Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaBooking and occupancy conditions apply. Agents are asked to call 1-800-446-6620 for more information. << Previous PostNext Post >>
Cuba cruise calls, flights exempt but new Kempinski blacklisted << Previous PostNext Post >> Source: The Associated Press Thursday, November 9, 2017 Share Tags: Cuba WASHINGTON — While Canadian travellers are still flocking to Cuba’s beaches in record numbers, American travellers with Cuba on their wish list are even less likely to go now that President Trump’s administration has handed down specific travel, commerce and financial restrictions for the island.Now off-limits to U.S. citizens are dozens of Cuban hotels, shops, tour companies and other businesses included on a lengthy American blacklist of entities that have links to Cuba’s military, intelligence or security services.Blacklisted hotels include the Manzana Kempinski, which opened with great fanfare this year as Cuba’s first to meet the international five-star standard.Most Americans will once again be required to travel as part of heavily regulated, organized tour groups run by U.S. companies, rather than voyaging to Cuba on their own.The stricter rules are the implementation of Trump’s revised Cuba policy announced in Miami back in June. They mark a return to the tougher U.S. stance toward Cuba that existed before former President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro restored diplomatic relations in 2015.“These measures confirm there is a serious reversal in bilateral relations which has occurred as a result of the decisions taken by the government of President Donald Trump,” said Josefina Vidal, the top Cuban diplomat for North America.However the overall impact on American business with Cuba will be limited. Trade is sparse as it is and many American travellers already stay at hotels not on the no-go list.Cruise ship calls and direct commercial flights between the countries will still be permitted.More news: Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThe rules are designed to steer U.S. economic activity away from Cuba’s military, intelligence and security services, which dominate much of the economy through state-controlled corporations. The goal is to encourage financial support for Cuba’s growing private sector, said senior Trump administration officials, who briefed reporters on a conference call on condition they not be quoted by name.“We have strengthened our Cuba policies to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military and to encourage the government to move toward greater political and economic freedom for the Cuban people,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.The new policy maintains several categories of travel to Cuba that are permitted despite the embargo, which carries on decades after the Cold War’s end. Americans can still travel on educational and “people to people” trips as well as visits designed to support the Cuban people by patronizing privately owned small businesses that have popped up across the island in recent years.But those travelling to support Cuba’s people must have a daylong schedule of activities designed to expose them to Cubans and steer dollars toward citizens, such as renting rooms in private homes. Those on organized, “people to people” or educational visits must be accompanied by a representative of the U.S.-based group organizing the trip.Vidal, the Cuban diplomat who was the public face of Cuba’s opening with the United States during the Obama administration, said the policy would harm Cuba’s economy, American citizens and U.S. businesses. The rules were also quickly denounced by travel groups and proponents of closer U.S. ties to the island.More news: ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThe rules come amid deep strains in the U.S.-Cuba relationship stemming from invisible, unexplained attacks that have harmed more than two dozen U.S. government personnel in Havana since 2016. The attacks led the Trump administration to order most of its diplomats to leave Cuba in September and issue a sweeping travel warning urging Americans to stay away.Officials insisted that the new, tougher rules had no connection to the attacks. The U.S. first complained to Cuba’s government about the attacks in February, four months before Trump announced his broader policy intentions.Some exceptions will accommodate Americans who already plan to visit Cuba. Those who booked “people to people” trips before Trump’s June announcement will be exempt, along with Americans who organized education trips before the rules start on Thursday. Business deals already reached with entities on the prohibited list will be allowed to proceed.It’s unclear how aggressively the U.S. will police the new rules. Officials said they would use information obtained from several U.S. agencies to catch violators, who could be subject to penalties and criminal prosecution.The blacklist bars business with the large military-run corporations that dominate the Cuban economy. These include GAESA and CIMEX, holding companies that control most retail business on the island; Gaviota, the largest tourism company; and Habaguanex, which runs Old Havana.With files from The Associated Press
Associated PressHAVANA (AP) – Cuban first daughter Mariela Castro has been granted a U.S. visa to attend events in San Francisco and New York, sparking a firestorm of criticism from Cuban-American politicians who called her an enemy of democracy and a shill for the Communist government her family has led for decades.The trip, which kicks off next week when Castro is due to chair a panel on sexual diversity at a conference organized by the Latin American Studies Association, is among several to the United States by prominent Cubans, some with close links to the government. Cuban academics, scientists and economists now frequently attend seminars in the United States, and Cuban artists and entertainers are also finding it easier to visit the U.S. due to an easing of travel restrictions by President Barack Obama’s administration. Sponsored Stories The LASA International Congress, which includes hundreds of sessions on academic topics, takes place May 23-26 in San Francisco, a city closely associated with the history of the gay rights movement. Cuba’s state-run press said Castro will be among 40 Cuban experts in attendance.According to the website of the New York Public Library, Castro is also to take part in a May 29 talk with Rea Carey, director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, about international gay rights, as well as sexual identity and orientation in Cuba.The trip was confirmed by an official at her institute and a State Department official, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. The State Department official said several other Cubans who wanted to attend the LASA conference were denied visas.State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to comment, citing rules that prohibit discussion of individual visa applications. But she said that if Castro shows up in San Francisco it would be a “fair assumption” that she had entered the country legally.LASA president Maria Herminia Tavares de Almeida, a University of Sao Paulo professor of international relations and political science, said Castro was selected for her expertise on gender issues, not for her famous family. Patients with chronic pain give advice How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories “She’s coming as any other researcher or participant that has attended a call for papers and had their paper accepted,” Almeida told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “It’s an academic issue, not a political issue.”Almeida added that in recent years LASA had stopped holding its congresses in the United States because it was too difficult for Cuban academics to get U.S. visas, especially during the Bush administration. This time, the association felt that relations seemed to be improving so they brought the event to San Francisco, Almeida said, though some Cuban academics’ visa requests were denied.Other prominent Cubans who have received U.S. visas recently include Eusebio Leal, a historian who has spearheaded the renovation of Old Havana and sits on the powerful Communist Party Central Committee. He is currently on a visit to New York and Washington.Mariela Castro, despite being the president’s daughter and niece of retired revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, has no official link to the government, though her organization presumably receives state funding. It is not known whether she is a Communist Party member.Cuban-American Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, slammed the visa decision on Wednesday, even before the visit was announced. ____Associated Press writers Paul Haven and Peter Orsi in Havana and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Four benefits of having a wireless security system More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Menendez called Mariela Castro “a vociferous advocate of the regime and opponent of democracy.” On Thursday, four other Cuban-American lawmakers added their voices to the outcry, noting that State Department guidelines prohibit visas to officers of the Communist Party or government of Cuba.“The administration’s appalling decision to allow regime agents into the U.S. directly contradicts Congressional intent and longstanding U.S. foreign policy,” wrote Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and David Rivera of Florida, along with Albio Sires of New Jersey in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.“While the Cuban people struggle for freedom against increasing brutality at the hands of Castro’s thugs, the Obama administration is greeting high-level agents of that murderous dictatorship with open arms,” they wrote. “It is shameful that the Obama Administration would waive the common sense restrictions in place to appease the Castro dictatorship once again.”Others said the hardliners were stirring up controversy over something that has happened many times before.“It’s a very positive thing they give her the visa,” said Wayne Smith, America’s former top diplomat in Cuba and a critic of the U.S. embargo on the island. “You have to consider the source, where the criticism is coming from. They don’t want dialogue.” Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 0 Comments Share Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Castro, 50, is a noted advocate of gay rights and head of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education. She has pushed for the island to legalize gay marriage for years, so far without success. She recently praised Obama’s stance in support of same sex marriage, and said her father, President Raul Castro, also favors such a measure, though he has not said so publically.It will not be Mariela Castro’s first visit to the United States. She was granted a visa to attend an event in Los Angeles in 2002, during Republican President George W. Bush’s administration, and also made stops in Virginia and Washington.Prominent Americans have also been frequent visitors to Cuba. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter came last March, and a bi-partisan delegation led by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, was here in February, meeting with President Castro as well as an imprisoned American subcontractor.Carmelo Mesa-Lago, the dean of Cuba economy-watchers and an expert at the University of Pittsburgh, said Cuba has long had a large presence at the LASA conference, without sparking much protest.“Academic exchanges like these are not new, but what’s different in this case is who she is,” he said.
Observation Hill and Hospital Park residents are frustrated after being without water for the last half hour.According to uThukela District Municipality, a burst pipe has been reported in Cilliers Street.Technicians are working on solving the problem, and homeowners should have water by 5pm or 6pm. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite