Category: nrdsz

Bell of Batoche safe and sound – will be repatriatedBell of Batoche safe and sound – will be repatriated


first_imgBy Melissa RidgenAPTN National News“Where is the Bell of Batoche?”That question has burned the minds and souls of the Metis for 20 years since it was taken, under the cover of darkness, from a legion hall in Millbrook, Ont. where it was kept as a war prize from the North-West Rebellion.APTN Investigates host/producer Todd Lamirande knows the answer to that burning question.“As a Metis person, a journalist and a history-lover, the mystery of the Bell of Batoche has been near and dear to me. I’ve been working on this story for most of my career,” said Lamirande via phone from an undisclosed location near where the bell is being held.There’s been buzz over the bell’s whereabouts ever since the fateful night it vanished in 1991. Just three weeks prior to the break-in, a number of Metis leaders, including Yvon Dumont, had been at the legion and were photographed standing next to the bell in its secured enclosure. They were smiling. Did they know something?When pressed years later, Dumont denied any knowledge of the identity of the bell liberators, though he suggested if a Metis person was responsible, he was a “hero not a criminal.”Then in 2005, Gary Floyd Guiboche, who was a member of Dumont’s group that night in 1991, dropped a bombshell, telling The Globe and Mail that he and an unnamed partner reclaimed the bell from the legion three weeks after the visit. He was quoted saying the partner “has kept the bell hidden too long for no reason” and also had medals taken from the legion that belonged to a Millbrook soldier who fought against the Metis at Batoche. Guiboche never gave up the identity of the partner or the bell’s location.After the Globe story the trail went cold again, aside from rumor and innuendo that never panned out as fact.Until now.Tune in to APTN on Aboriginal Day for special coverage from the latest in Lamirande’s quest to find the Bell of Batoche.In the meantime you can watch the ground-breaking story he did for APTN Investigates about the missing bell.last_img read more


NS boasts of 100M in film production but industry says jobs stillNS boasts of 100M in film production but industry says jobs still


first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia says film production in the province has gradually increased over the last two years to $102 million in 2017-18, but critics say the industry still hasn’t nearly recovered from the controversial axing of the film tax credit.Bernie Miller, deputy minister of the Department of Business, told a legislature committee on Wednesday that the figure is in line with the 10-year average before the province ended its film tax credit in 2015.He said the province’s film and television production fund paid out $22 million last year.“Moving forward, production demand under the development fund looks strong,” said Miller. “It’s important to remember that Nova Scotia’s film industry is cyclical and somewhat volatile in the short term and we need to be careful in considering not just year-over-year activity but long-term trends.”Miller said Nova Scotia’s total production volume has remained “somewhat constant” at between one and two per cent of total Canadian production volume.He maintained the number of jobs in the sector has increased over the past two years, but repeated that there was a boom and bust cycle even under the old tax credit system.But Progressive Conservative Tim Houston said the province is now spending more money for film production and animation than it did under the old tax credit, and it isn’t seeing a corresponding increase in jobs and production activity.“They need to look at where they are spending the money and why they are spending it and work with the industry to get better bang for the buck,” Houston said following the hearing.“If you are spending as much money and you have less economic activity and fewer people working, you are doing it wrong.”In addition to the $22 million figure highlighted by Miller, the province also spent $10 million on animation. Before the province eliminated the tax credit, it spent $24 million.Laura MacKenzie, interim executive director of Screen Nova Scotia, said while there have been small improvements, employment and production levels aren’t close to what they were before the tax credit was changed.MacKenzie said the industry hasn’t recovered from the loss of the tax credit, which covered up to 65 per cent of eligible labour costs.“Absolutely not,” she told reporters. “Our workers aren’t working the way they used to be working.”According to IATSE, the union which represents motion picture technicians in the Maritime provinces, gross pay for its membership has fallen 65 per cent from 2014 levels.MacKenzie said the government needs to do more to attract productions and to boost local companies.She said that should include building a sound stage, creating an equity fund to help local producers, and increasing the base refundable portion of the current fund, which currently is 25 per cent for all production costs.“We’d like to see at least three percentage points for talent and zoning included in our base rate,” MacKenzie said.Miller said the government is exploring opportunities around a potential sound stage, but is less open to increasing the current refundable portion of the fund.“I don’t know that there’s a cause and effect between more government funding and growing the industry, because we have always had between one and two per cent of the industry,” he said.Miller said he wants to shift the discussion away from “simply adding on to the percentage of incentive” to a broader discussion of how the province can become more competitive nationally.last_img read more


Alberta poised to topple PEI as Canadas spud kingAlberta poised to topple PEI as Canadas spud king


first_imgFrench fried, mashed, scalloped, hash browned — there’s almost no bad way to serve up a delicious potato!Alberta is processing more spuds than ever before. Last year, potato production in our province reached a record 20,500 hundredweight – or more than two-billion pounds.“We’ve seen potato production in Alberta more than double over the last 20 years or so, and we’re just actually right behind Prince Edward Island and Manitoba in third spot for potato production,” said Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial.P.E.I. is still Canada’s top producer. But that may be about to change.“There’s just not a lot more farming or agriculture space for them to expand,” Hirsch said. “As a result, I think Alberta will easily surpass Prince Edward Island … in the next few years.”One of the reasons for the rapid increase is the growth of value-added industries in southern Alberta.“Alberta really is on the map for processed potato products, frozen french fries, snack foods and the like,” he said. “Farmers have been responding to that by growing more potatoes.”last_img read more


Siddha Group introduces Rooftop SkyplexSiddha Group introduces Rooftop Skyplex


first_imgSiddha Group, Eastern India’s leading real estate developer, recently announced a first-of-its-kind initiative, Rooftop Skyplex, at their projects with Skywalks to give Kolkatans an altogether new movie-watching experience like never before.Siddha Group has always been a pioneer in introducing new dimensions in real estate; be it the longest ever Rooftop Skywalk in the world at an affordable residential project or the Siddha homebuying App and more. Skyplex is an additional feature where Siddha home-buyers can watch movies at the open air Rooftop Skywalks in an amphitheater setting. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainA lot of residential condominiums have introduced the concept of mini theatres at their residential clubs but Siddha Group is going a step forward and introducing Rooftop Sky Theatre experience with Skyplex with modern projection technologies with hi-tech sound system at their Skywalks. “We have always added innovations in our projects which have made home buying and living experience for the customers better. With our Rooftop Skywalks being the talk of the town, we added this extraordinary feature in the form of Skyplex in our Skywalks. Because who wouldn’t love the experience of watching their favourite movies or watching their favourite teams fight it out at the fields, at the rooftop under the sky in the open air. Now-a-days it is all about providing unique experiences and we are sure this is something our customers will look forward to”, said Sanjay Jain, Managing Director, Siddha Group. Siddha will be adding this feature across their affordable Skywalk projects that include Siddha Sky at EM Bypass, Siddha Suburbia on Southern Bypass, Siddha Eden LakeVille on BT Road and Siddha Galaxia at Rajarhat. All the Skyplex are proposed to have a 2K projection and dolby digital sound system. Comfortable sit outs across the amphitheatre will provide ample seating space for the residents.last_img read more


Grateful that we had stopped Couple avoids fiery Alberta crash that killedGrateful that we had stopped Couple avoids fiery Alberta crash that killed


CEREAL, Alta. — A Saskatchewan man says a well-timed pit stop may have helped him avoid getting caught in a fiery 10-vehicle crash in southeastern Alberta that killed three people.Dore Germo and his wife left Kelowna, B.C., on Monday after a holiday visiting friends. After a night in Calgary, they were on their way home Tuesday to Warman, Sask.They stopped for gas and a break in Hanna, Alta., about 80 kilometres from where seven passenger vehicles and three semi trucks collided on Highway 9.“We were quite grateful that we had stopped,” Germo said in an interview Wednesday.“It just makes you think, ‘Could that have been us further up the road?’ We just don’t know.”Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.The couple spotted smoke as they continued east but thought it was a grass fire.Then they saw flashing lights and heard sirens. A police officer was running down the middle of the road waving his arms at stopped vehicles.“I rolled down my window and he was just yelling, ‘Get out! Get out!”‘Germo said they were directed to a gravel road to get around the crash, and from there they could make out a tanker truck and burned vehicles amid the smoke.“It kind of looked like a bomb had gone off because there were these burnt-out vehicles and it was very eerie,” he said.“It was quite a sickening kind of empty feeling once you realized that — yes — those are people just going about their day and travelling somewhere.”He said he’s praying for those involved.“The first thing you think of is those poor families.”RCMP confirmed Wednesday that three people were found dead at the crash scene between the small communities of Chinook and Cereal, about 300 kilometres east of Calgary. Ten people were injured, two critically.One of the trucks that was carrying fuel ignited, causing several vehicles to catch fire, and another truck was carrying butane.A stretch of Highway 9 was still closed on Wednesday afternoon, while crews cleared the area and recovered dangerous goods in one of the trucks.RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott said the crash happened in a construction zone.“Any time that traffic is moving through or travelling near a construction zone, there’s always a concern just generally about travelling safely.”She said a collision analyst was at the site for several hours taking measurements, noting marks on the road and recording where debris had landed.The investigation could take several weeks, she said, and will also take into account mechanical exams and witness statements. It’s too early to say whether any charges are possible, she added.“We need the public to understand this does take some time.”The RCMP’s victim services unit was providing support to people involved in the crash. The unit set up at the legion in nearby Oyen on Tuesday night.“They’re there to offer whatever help they can, even if it’s just to listen to somebody and give them a blanket,” Scott said.— By Lauren Krugel in Calgary read more


Istanbul will host second International Jazz Day UN announcesIstanbul will host second International Jazz Day UN announces


The Turkish city of Istanbul will be the global host city of the second International Jazz Day, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Government of Turkey announced today.“I am delighted to announce that Istanbul will serve as the host city for the 2013 International Jazz Day celebration on 30 April,” said UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova. “A meeting place of global cultures, Istanbul is an ideal location to highlight the extensive influence of jazz.”Born in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, jazz is rooted in African traditions, draws from European musical forms, and has evolved into various styles across the globe.In partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, International Jazz Day was adopted by UNESCO Member States on the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. The Day seeks to raise awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people.This year, the main concert for International Jazz Day will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, while other celebrations and educational programmes will take place around the globe. Libraries, schools, performing arts centres, artists and arts organizations of all disciplines throughout the world will be encouraged to celebrate the day through presentations, concerts and other jazz-focused activities. “On International Jazz Day, jazz is celebrated, studied, and performed around the world for 24 hours straight,” said Mr. Hancock. “Collaborations abound among jazz icons, scholars, composers, musicians, dancers, writers, and thinkers who embrace the beauty, spirit, and principles of jazz, freely sharing experiences and performances in our big cities and in our small towns, all across our seven continents.”Celebrations in Istanbul will kick off with a special early morning performance for high school students conducted by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and others, UNESCO said in a press release. An evening concert at Istanbul’s famed Hagia Irene will also be held featuring performances by stellar musicians from around the world.“Last year’s celebration reached more than one billion people through educational programs, performances and media coverage,” said the President of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Tom Carter. “This is a phenomenal figure that we believe will be surpassed in 2013.” read more


Holmes scores 17 as Mississippi State women beat Texas 6749Holmes scores 17 as Mississippi State women beat Texas 6749


AUSTIN, Texas — Jazzmun Holmes scored 17 points, and No. 6 Mississippi State beat No. 10 Texas 67-49 on Sunday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.The Bulldogs entered the marquee matchup of powerhouse programs coming off a series of early season routs. The result against Texas turned out to be more of the same: The Bulldogs were in complete control, even if the score wasn’t quite so out of hand.Mississippi State (8-0) ended the first quarter with a 10-0 run and coasted the rest of the way as the Longhorns time and again booted the ball around with 22 turnovers or surrendered offensive rebounds for put-back baskets.The Bulldogs led by 17 at halftime, stretched it to 24 in the third quarter and were never really threatened. Chloe Bibby made a buzzer-beating layup, then a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 20 to start the fourth quarter. Mississippi State got the lead as high as 27 before a late 10-0 Texas run.Bulldogs senior Teaira McCowen grabbed 12 rebounds to set the school record with 1,109 for her career. The centre broke LaToya Thomas’ mark of 1,108.Sug Sutton scored 16 points for Texas (7-1).BIG PICTUREMississippi State: McCowan could have gobbled up even more rebounds if she wasn’t limited by foul trouble and sat for much of the second quarter. Her 6-foot-7 frame dominated Texas inside on both ends of the court.Texas: The Longhorns need junior forward Joyner Holmes to return quickly. Her size and ball-handling skills are sorely needed against big opponents like McCowan. Holmes has been out with an ankle injury and the Longhorns hope to have her back in time for next Sunday’s game against No. 11 Tennessee.UP NEXTMississippi State hosts No. 22 Marquette at home on Thursday.Texas hosts No. 11 Tennessee on Sunday.Jim Vertuno, The Associated Press read more


Column Why do we care about Will and Kate the fairytale acrossColumn Why do we care about Will and Kate the fairytale across


first_imgFAIRY TALES HAVE set us up for a fall: books that chronicle the heroic efforts of some handsome prince saving the beautiful damsel in distress from a life of misery – is it any wonder that so many Irish, granted mostly women, have an obsession with royal life?There should be a disclaimer on the inside cover giving readers a heads-up that the chances of this actually happening in reality are slim to none.But then again, albeit slightly predictable and unoriginal in their plotlines, the authors of fairy tales at least had the foresight to wrap the end up with “happily ever after”, thus allowing the reader’s imagination to conjure up the wonderful life Prince Charming and his Princess had in a faraway land. No daily update on what the princess was wearing, where they went on their holidays, or what their extended family were doing.Once upon a time…Unfortunately, there is no such luck in the real world, where we have our very own “once upon a time” playing out across the pond in the form of William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, two peas in a royal pod.While the vast majority of us may not care less about the royals, it’s fair to say there is no escaping them, whether we like it or not.In truth, how many of us live vicariously through some celebrity or other, whether loved or loathed? Sports player, actor, musician, model or maybe politician? We single out one and proceed to skulk around in the background, trawling through websites, commenting in forums, leafing through magazines and newspapers, always judging, always watching. Pure and utter voyeurism, a trait we Irish are stellar at.But why are we obsessed with the royals and, in particular, Will and Kate? Just what is it about the blue-blooded couple that has the everyday person scrambling for more and more information?The wedding of the centuryIn 2011, there was the wedding of the century when Will made Kate an honest woman. A bit presumptuous maybe, considering this century is still in its infancy, but anyway. One in three Irish people watched the Royal Wedding, a statistic that accurately reflects the national fascination with the bride and groom. But then again, this isn’t a new phenomenon. In 1981, roughly 750 million people worldwide tuned in to see Charles and Diana wed, setting the precedent for future royal couplings. The only difference with Will and Kate was that the viewership grew to approximately two billion.Hand-in-hand with the extraordinary surge in public adoration for Will and Kate is the argument that it could be linked to the tragedy that befell William as a young boy, and the strong streak of Irish ‘Mammyism’ engrained in our DNA. The late Lady Diana was loved by all, her beauty and strength enhanced, not diminished when she left Charles. Rather than be shunned, she and her two sons William and Harry were embraced into the bosom of the nation.A side-effect of this Irish Mammy Syndrome is that we have an innate mothering quality, wanting to make sure that the boys, who suffered such public heartbreak and loss, turn out okay. Will, with those big doe-eyes, and the unfortunate acquisition of his father’s hairline was always the pet.The girl-next-doorEnter Kate Middleton, with her perfectly mute image, who would become the face of the modern royal family. While not particularly interesting on paper, in the media Kate was portrayed to the public as the ordinary girl-next-door who had been lucky enough to find a real prince. Her very own fairytale come true, except our Kate doesn’t exactly fit the criteria for damsel in distress.The banality of ordinary life for the everyday person is something Kate Middleton would never have come close to ever experiencing, given her prestigious background. In fact what our boy Will did was save her from her comfortable, rich, sophisticated, privately-educated lifestyle. Fair play, Wills.With Will and Kate’s pairing, we find ourselves caught in a royal chokehold, where we can’t get away from the fierce media coverage that the couple attract. Contemporary celebrity culture dictates what we hear, read, and see every day in the media, which means if you read headlines, you’re pretty much doomed to know about them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t care. Newsworthy news is a rare gem these days. Deal with it.The obsession with the royal couplePinned as the perfect couple, is it that the media has manipulated the image of the royal couple so that we try to identify with them and ultimately strive to be like them? Are we to feel bad because we’re not more like them?With Kate, the obsession is more real. Fashion, weight, pregnancy, it seems Kate is a model example on all counts; therefore celebrity culture infers that women need to be like her. When she wears a particular Topshop dress, it immediately sells out, because Topshop dresses are something us ordinary folk can afford. Wasn’t that nice of Kate to buy something on the high street?Popular culture of previous generations saw artists of influence championing and shaping the culture of the day, acting as catalysts for change in society. Nowadays, we have scripted reality and paparazzi. Privacy is priceless. No more topless sunbathing for the Duchess.Perhaps what is most confusing about this whole obsession is the fact that it goes against what we Irish love – a bit of misery, especially when it comes to those of higher society. So why is it that we seemingly can’t get enough of the fairytale across the Irish Sea? Really, there is nothing special about Will and Kate, an average-looking man and wife you could say. Dated, broke up, got back together, got engaged, got married and now there’s a baby on the way. Hold on, maybe that’s just it. Will and Kate are just your average couple. They just happen to be royalty.Aoife O’Connor is a journalist from Kerry. You can view here LinkedIn page here or follow her on Twitter here.PICS: Immortalised in wax – Kate and Will>Read: 11 celebrity couples that make us believe in true love>last_img read more


NaMo loyalist Kangana Ranaut makes chai and pakoras after BJPs clean sweepNaMo loyalist Kangana Ranaut makes chai and pakoras after BJPs clean sweep


first_imgKangana Ranaut making chai and pakoras.InstagramPrime Minister Narendra Modi won the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 from his seat in Varanasi and is also set to form the government at the Centre after the landslide victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).After returning from her gig at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival 2019, Kangana Ranaut got busy in the kitchen at her Mumbai home! The actress treated her family to chai and pakodas to celebrate PM Narendra Modi’s victory.Sharing pictures from her kitchen and drawing room where her family was relishing the pakoras, Kangana Ranaut’s team said on Twitter, “#KanganaRanaut celebrates the legendary win of narendramodi and BJP4India at the #LokSabhaElections2019 by spending time with her family!”Chai and pakoras have been synonymous with Narendra Modi, who claims he was a chaiwalla as a child, serving tea to patrons and leading a humble life.Kangana has been a BJP loyalist and rooted for PM Narendra Modi all along. She has also slammed fellow actors like Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt for not voicing their opinion on politics.However, Kangana Ranaut has refuted claims that she will enter politics in the future. We shall wait and watch if she changes her decision five years later for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024!Kangana Ranaut wowed fans with her style at the various events at Cannes 2019, especially her first look, which was a fusion sari with a corset and long-sleeves hand gloves. The look was curated by designers Shane and Falguni Peacock.Back in Mumbai, the actress will now begin promotions for her film Mental Hai Kya that releases on July 26, 2019.Kangana Ranaut was last seen in and as Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019), a film she also happened to co-direct after director Krish left the shooting mid-way.last_img read more


HC scraps Niko deals orders to confiscate its propertiesHC scraps Niko deals orders to confiscate its properties


first_imgnonameThe High Court on Thursday scrapped the decade-old joint venture of BAPEX and Canadian company Niko to explore gas in Bangladesh.A High Court bench comprised of justice Naima Haider and justice Abu Taher M Saifur Rahman passed the order in the morning.The bench also scrapped the deal between Petrobangla and Niko for supply, sale and purchase of the extracted gas.Saying that the two deals were signed through corruption, the court ordered that no payment should be made to Niko as long as the Canadian company gives compensation for two blowouts at Tengratila Gas Field in Chhatak of Sunamganj and the case regarding the compensation payment is not disposed of.The court also ordered that all the properties of Niko Canada and Niko Bangladesh under the two deals should go under the custody of Bangladesh government.Besides, whatever properties Niko has in Block-9 will be confiscated and thus go under the custody of Bangladesh.last_img read more


Optimized by Evolution Ants Dont Have Traffic JamsOptimized by Evolution Ants Dont Have Traffic Jams


first_img Explore further A team of researchers from institutions in Germany, India, and Japan discovered this surprising result while observing the ant species Leptogenys processionalis travel down linear trails. Like many other ant species, these ants form trails with their pheromones that remain stable for hours or even days, making the trails analogous to vehicular highways. “Our study clearly demonstrates that ant traffic is very different from vehicular traffic, in spite of superficial similarities,” Andreas Schadschneider, of the University of Köln and the University of Bonn in Germany, told PhysOrg.com. “It also raises a fundamental question: how do the ants achieve practically ‘free-flow’ up to such high densities; our experiment demonstrates what happens and we also make a theoretical model of what might be responsible for this behavior.”To observe the ants in their natural setting, the researchers set up video cameras at sections of 10 different one-way trails that had no intersections or routes that branched off. Surprisingly, the scientists never observed individual ants speeding up to overtake another ant in front; the ants followed each other in single file. This behavior, of course, contrasts with vehicular highway traffic, as well as most other known traffic forms. Most significantly, the scientists found that, unlike vehicular traffic, the average velocity of ant traffic remains the same in spite of increasing density. Consequently, the greater the density, the greater the flux, so that more ants travel down the trail segment in a given amount of time. In contrast, vehicles on a highway tend to slow down when the traffic density increases, eventually resulting in a traffic jam. Along the same lines, the researchers noted that most types of high-density traffic exhibit mutual blocking, in which a vehicle is prevented from moving by neighboring vehicles and also contributes to the blocking of those vehicles. However, the researchers did not observe mutual blocking in the ant trails.As the researchers suggested, perhaps evolution has optimized ant traffic flow, since ants are known to have highly developed social behaviors. In their study, the scientists observed that ants tend to form platoons in which they move at almost identical velocities, allowing them to travel “bumper-to-bumper” while maintaining their velocity. At higher densities, platoons merge to form longer platoons. But because their head-distance remains the same, traffic still maintains its same velocity even as density increases. This behavior is very different from highway traffic, in which vehicles close together tend to slow down. Citation: Optimized by Evolution, Ants Don’t Have Traffic Jams (2009, March 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-03-optimized-evolution-ants-dont-traffic.html (PhysOrg.com) — As highway traffic increases, you’d probably expect a traffic jam, where vehicles slow down due to the high density. While traffic jams are a common occurrence on our highways, high density traffic has completely different effects for ants traveling on trails. As a new study has found, ants don’t have traffic jams. Rather, as ant traffic density increases, the traffic maintains the same average velocity as at low densities. While observing ants traveling on a trail, scientists observed that, unlike in vehicular traffic, the average velocity of ant traffic remains the same in spite of increasing density. Image credit: Alexander John, et al.center_img “For the ants, an efficient transport system is essential for the survival of a colony,” Schadschneider said. “Food sources are usually not in the immediate neighborhood of the nest and so the transport has to be well organized. Therefore it is not surprising that evolution has optimized the behavior of the ants (or all social insects). On the other hand, human transportation systems still reflect a certain desire for freedom and individuality. In contrast to ant traffic, what dominates in human traffic are two things: selfish (non-cooperative) behavior, and large body weight of vehicles where any contact between the vehicles would be costly (for the cars as well as for the riders’ lives). Ants, on the other hand, do not mind body contacts which become unavoidable at high densities.”As he explained, understanding ant behavior will require further study: “Now entomologists have to connect this behavior of ants to their ‘thinking and sensing’ process. Our work opens up the possibility of collaborations between entomologists, physicists, mathematical modelers and traffic scientists.”While this study shows that the collective marching of ant traffic seems to be very different from vehicular traffic, the scientists suggest that ant traffic might be more analogous to human pedestrian traffic. They plan to explore this analogy in the future, and they predict that their results could have applications in swarm intelligence, ant-based computer algorithms, and traffic engineering. “To our knowledge, so far applications in swarm intelligence mainly draw from the analogy with the formation of ant trail networks,” Schadschneider said. “Our study was focused on a different aspect, namely the usage of an already existing trail. Combining both approaches could open promising perspectives for future applications, e.g. in optimization problems.“From a traffic engineering point of view, the results give some indication on how to improve the situation on our highways,” he added. “As the example of the ant trail shows, non-egoistic behavior could improve the situation for almost everybody. However, this will be difficult to achieve since, very much in contrast to the ants, drivers and their cars are very different. Another interesting point is the relevance of communication between the vehicles. On ant trails this is achieved mostly on a chemical basis. In the future, our cars might be connected electronically and transmit e.g. information about velocity changes immediately. This would allow the driver to react much quicker to a new situation.”More information: John, Alexander; Schadschneider, Andreas; Chowdhury, Debashish; and Nishinari, Katsuhiro. “Trafficlike collective movement of ants on trails: absence of jammed phase.” Physical Review Letters, 102, 108001 (2009).Join PhysOrg.com on FacebookCopyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Ants show us how to make super-highways 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.last_img read more


Volkswagen announces Temporary Auto Pilot with advanced featuresVolkswagen announces Temporary Auto Pilot with advanced features


first_img More information: Volkswagen press release: www.haveit-eu.org/displayITM1. … sp?ITMID=117&LANG=EN (PhysOrg.com) — Volkswagen, as part of the European wide research project HAVEit, has announced the Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP), a set of features added to a car that aids in speed control, lane-assist and crash avoidance. Explore further Much like the highly touted driverless vehicles in the news of late, the new vehicle system from VW works by means of sensors and cameras mounted on various parts of the exterior of a vehicle. Assistance comes via cruise control, automated braking when curves are noted (or to avoid a collision), steering assist to keep the vehicle in the proper lane, passing assistance and assistance in stop and go traffic. Unlike other vehicles in the news however, the TAP is not meant to serve as a driverless vehicle; it’s more of a guardian angel, watching over a driver and instantly correcting mistakes.The company is quick to point out that the driver is still in control the entire time the TAP system is in use, and thus must continue to actually drive the vehicle; TAP should be thought of as more like driver extensions, they say, not as an autonomous system that can take over the driving when asked.Critics have already suggested that the new additions might actually make a car less safe to drive, citing the fact that humans as a rule tend to focus less sharply when they don’t have complete control of things. Since its not clear yet just how much control the human will have when the TAP is engaged, these criticisms seem premature. If after all, the person continues to drive the car the entire time the TAP is engaged, and the TAP only makes itself known if and when it performs corrective actions when errors are made by the human driver, it would seem this would require the driver to continue to maintain as much control as has been the case up to now.In any case, the test vehicle, a modified Passat, marks another giant leapt towards fully automated cars; this because it’s clear that Volkswagen fully intends to put such an equipped vehicle on the market in just the next few years. This stands in stark contrast to other concept cars demonstrated by others such as BMW, and Google, which still have many hurdles to overcome. The difference here is that VW’s system is comprised of off-the-shelf components and the fact that the driver continues to maintain control at all times.In any case, it seems clear that it won’t be too long before human beings will no longer be trusted to drive themselves around. Citation: Volkswagen announces ‘Temporary Auto Pilot’ with advanced features (2011, June 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-volkswagen-temporary-auto-advanced-features.html ‘Smart cars’ that are actually, well, smart 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. © 2010 PhysOrg.com HAVE-IT (Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport)last_img read more


Model shows how gas giants could have survived and spun away fromModel shows how gas giants could have survived and spun away from


first_img(Phys.org)—A new model developed by a team of researchers with member affiliations in Argentina, France and Mexico, depicts a possible scenario to explain why gas giants do not migrate into the star they are orbiting during their early stages. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the researchers note that prior efforts to build a model that could explain gas giant growth and behavior did not take tidal effects into account and thus could not show why they survived. Martin Duncan of Queen’s University offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. 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. Citation: Model shows how gas giants could have survived and spun away from their star (2015, April 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-gas-giants-survived-spun-star.html Gas giants, such as Jupiter and Saturn, exist today because of certain processes that went on during their early development—but until now, no one had come up with a reasonable model to explain those processes—most showed the gas giants migrating into their star during their early stages, rather than spinning away from it.In this new model, the researchers believe tidal effects are the key. It all starts, they note, with a material disk surrounding a nearly born star. Material in that disk crashes into other material and some of it sticks—as that happens over and over more accretion takes place until the evolving planet grows large enough to start capturing gas in its atmosphere. Once that happens, the researchers say something interesting happens—as new material falls through the gas into the solid core of the planet, heat is released. That heat is then transferred back to the surrounding gas, and because the planet is spinning, parts of the gas, ahead of and behind the planet, expand—more so on the trailing side. That results, the researchers claim, in what they call a heating torque that actually pushes the still evolving planet away from its star. The model also suggests that the distance the planet is pushed from its star depends on the material that was in the original disk which made its way to the core of the new planet. Heavier elements would naturally offer more torque, but a planet’s eventual resting place would also depend on the size of the planet that formed.The model is just a first step in a new direction in trying to explain how gas giants came to be and where—research will continue both by the team with this new idea and of course by many others in the field. This is Jupiter’s Great Red Spot in 2000 as seen by NASA’s Cassini orbiter. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute © 2015 Phys.orgcenter_img Journal information: Nature More information: Planet heating prevents inward migration of planetary cores, Nature 520, 63–65 (02 April 2015) DOI: 10.1038/nature14277AbstractPlanetary systems are born in the disks of gas, dust and rocky fragments that surround newly formed stars. Solid content assembles into ever-larger rocky fragments that eventually become planetary embryos. These then continue their growth by accreting leftover material in the disk. Concurrently, tidal effects in the disk cause a radial drift in the embryo orbits, a process known as migration. Fast inward migration is predicted by theory for embryos smaller than three to five Earth masses. With only inward migration, these embryos can only rarely become giant planets located at Earth’s distance from the Sun and beyond, in contrast with observations. Here we report that asymmetries in the temperature rise associated with accreting infalling material produce a force (which gives rise to an effect that we call ‘heating torque’) that counteracts inward migration. This provides a channel for the formation of giant planets and also explains the strong planet–metallicity correlation found between the incidence of giant planets and the heavy-element abundance of the host stars. Explore further Rocky planets may orbit many double starslast_img read more


Tiny engine powered by demixing fluidTiny engine powered by demixing fluid


first_img A levitated nanosphere as an ultra-sensitive sensor An international team of researchers has developed a tiny, liquid-based engine powered by a demixing fluid. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group describes their little engine and possible uses for it. The engine is essentially a tiny sphere orbiting a laser beam in a liquid solution. The sphere in the experiments was extremely tiny (2.48 micrometers in diameter) and made of iron oxide and silica. The liquid solution was a mixture of water and lutidine. The two ingredients were important, because together, they formed a critical liquid mixture that would separate at a desired temperature. In this case, separation occurred when its temperature warmed to approximately 34 degrees C.Starting the tiny engine involved first placing the sphere into the liquid solution (held below its separating point) and then capturing it with optical tweezers—a laser beam. Initially, the sphere was held in place. The iron oxide allowed the sphere to absorb heat, which propelled the sphere away from the center of the optical tweezer beam. The power of the laser beam was then slowly raised, causing the temperature of the sphere to rise, which in turn caused a rise in temperature of the surrounding liquid. Eventually, as the temperature of the liquid reached its critical point, the two fluids became un-mixed, forcing the sphere to move slightly. But because it was still held in place by the tweezers, it moved in a partial arc. The sphere’s temperature heated the liquid, further pushing the sphere when it reached its de-mixing point. This happened repeatedly, pushing the sphere all the way around the tweezer. It continued orbiting the tweezers for as long as laser power was applied.The researchers note that the system had a small range of temperatures in which the sphere would smoothly orbit—applying to little laser power caused the sphere to stop, too much and the sphere’s orbit would become erratic and at some point, it would break free of the tweezers grasp. The researchers suggest their engine could be used as a tiny mixer. 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. Citation: Tiny engine powered by demixing fluid (2018, February 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-tiny-powered-demixing-fluid.html Going in circles. A micrometer-sized silica sphere with irregular iron oxide inclusions is trapped by optical tweezers (red area indicates focused laser light). Heating of the sphere by the light causes a near-critical liquid mixture to develop local concentration variations (trailing bubbles) that push the sphere to revolve around the beam. Credit: F. Schmidt/Univ. of Gothenburgcenter_img More information: Falko Schmidt et al. Microscopic Engine Powered by Critical Demixing, Physical Review Letters (2018). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.068004ABSTRACTWe experimentally demonstrate a microscopic engine powered by the local reversible demixing of a critical mixture. We show that, when an absorbing microsphere is optically trapped by a focused laser beam in a subcritical mixture, it is set into rotation around the optical axis of the beam because of the emergence of diffusiophoretic propulsion. This behavior can be controlled by adjusting the optical power, the temperature, and the criticality of the mixture. © 2018 Phys.org Explore further Journal information: Physical Review Letterslast_img read more


Fire breaks out at leather factory in Tyangra none hurtFire breaks out at leather factory in Tyangra none hurt


first_imgKolkata: A fire broke out at a leather factory at Tyangra on Tuesday morning. No casualties or injuries have been reported so far.Locals and the employees of the factory spotted smoke billowing out of a portion of the factory at around 11 am. They reported the matter to the fire brigade. Initially, around three fire tenders were pressed into action to douse the flames. Two more fire engines later were swung into the operation. The fire fighters had faced difficulties while identifying the source of the fire as thick black smoke covered the entire area. The fire personnel finally detected the source of the fire. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey tried to douse the flames by sprinkling water from outside the room which had caught fire. They later managed to enter the room that almost turned into a furnace. The fire fighters started the cooling process. The incident triggered panic among locals. Some local people took part in the rescue operation. They informed the fire brigade and police. Following the incident police also reached the spot and evacuated the entire area to check any untoward incident. Police and fire officials ensured that none was trapped inside the factory. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe area was cordoned off. The fire fighters brought the situation under control and doused the flames. They faced difficulties in extinguishing fire as the factory is situated in a congested area. Police and fire brigade officials have started a detailed probe into the incident. They are yet to ascertain the exact cause of the fire and the extent of the damage. According to the preliminary investigation, the fire officials suspect an electrical short circuit might have caused the fire. Police said some inflammable materials and chemicals were stored inside the factory. According to the preliminary investigation, police and fire officials suspect that some leather goods might have destroyed in the fire. A detailed probe has been initiated.last_img read more


Trumps New Power Plan Comes With a Deadly PriceTrumps New Power Plan Comes With a Deadly Price


first_imgWest Virginia is second only to Wyoming in both coal production and President Trump’s winning vote percentage in the 2016 general election. So it was no surprise that Trump flew to the Mountain State on Tuesday to stump for his new plan to boost coal-fired power plants by cutting regulations on planet-warming carbon emissions.“We love clean, beautiful West Virginia coal,” Trump told supporters at the Charleston Civic Center, while mocking renewable energy and natural gas, which have displaced coal in electric utilities across the US. “We love [coal],” he said. “You know, it’s indestructible stuff. In times of war, in times of conflict, you can blow up those windmills. They fall down real quick. You can blow up those pipelines real quick. You can do a lot of things to those solar panels, but you know what you can’t hurt, coal. You can do whatever you want to coal.”Trump’s new power plant proposal—released by the EPA on Tuesday—would give states more leeway in regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, and allow older coal plants to keep running. Administration officials say the plan will result in both more carbon dioxide emissions and more air pollution. It would also hit West Virginians the hardest when it comes to the effects of toxic air pollution from those very same coal plants. That’s according to a risk analysis by Trump’s own EPA released Tuesday.On page 176 of the 289-page document, EPA officials assembled a colored map of the United States showing the number of deaths per 100,000 people due to respiratory ailments from tiny particles of soot (also known as particulate matter, or pm-2.5). Under four scenarios of increased coal-fired electricity production under the new plan, West Virginia is shaded in the darkest red. That indicates it is the epicenter for the highest number of additional deaths from particulate and ozone pollution in the United States. Southwest Pennsylvania and parts of the upper Ohio Valley—regions of both coal mining and coal-fired electricity—are in the next-reddest group for additional deaths. Nationwide, the EPA analysis states that the increase in coal burning under the Trump plan would result in an additional 470 to 1,400 premature deaths each year by 2030 due to respiratory ailments. “What we are dealing with is greenhouse gases, we are not dealing with sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxide or pm2.5,” he said. “We have abundant legal authority to deal with those other pollutants. If we want to regulate pm, we regulate pm straight up.”In addition to carbon dioxide, which is the major greenhouse gas, burning coal produces sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, mercury, and dozens of toxic chemicals that are linked to human health effects.Nitrogen oxides and particulates combine with sunlight to form smog, which causes respiratory ailments in both children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, for example. Mercury escapes from coal-burning power plants into the atmosphere, returns to the ground in the form of rain and is washed into streams and water bodies. Mercury then accumulates in fish, and moves up the food chain where it poses neurological health risks to pregnant women and children who eat the fish, according to the EPA website.Coal-burning power plants account for 42 percent of all sources of mercury in the US, the EPA says. But when it comes to US energy, coal has been a big loser for the past decade. The one-two punch of cheaper natural gas and power from solar farms and wind turbines has cut the amount of coal-fired electricity powering US homes from 50 percent in 2008 to 30 percent in 2013. EPA officials said the new power plant rules would allow each state to set its own emissions-reduction goals by using energy-efficiency technologies at each plant. The states would have to pick from a set of approved EPA-approved technologies, and each state’s emissions plan would need final approval from EPA officials in Washington. The EPA analysis estimates that under the Trump plan, greenhouse gas emissions would be 3 percent higher than under the Obama regulations.EPA director of the office of air quality William Wehrum, an attorney for coal, energy and manufacturing companies until he joined the agency, drafted the new Trump plan.“Every power plant is a bit different,” Wehrum told reporters during a conference call on Tuesday. “What our program would do is to set standards that are tailored to the facility.” Wehrum said that the EPA will regulate the potential public health impacts using existing clean air laws rather than forcing power plants to burn less coal that produce pollutants.center_img That big drop was the result of cheaper natural gas and renewables, not more environmental regulations, according to a May 2018 study in the American Economic Journal by Harrison Fell, associate professor of agriculture and resource economist at North Carolina State University, and his colleague Daniel Kaffine, a University of Colorado Boulder associate professor in economics.Fell says that the same market forces are continuing to push coal out of the US energy stream. He believes the new EPA power plant proposal might prolong the agony for some coal miners and coal producing areas, but it won’t change the equation for utilities that have cheaper alternatives. “I doubt you will see a massive reinvestment in coal-fired generation,” Fell said. “It’s not going to lead to a whole bunch of new coal plants, but it will stave off retirement of some of them.”One bit of good news for those West Virginia miners: Even though the state’s coal production is expected to continue dropping through 2030, according to a new study by West Virginia University, exports to coal-hungry India, Ukraine, and Brazil might keep some of them working.More Great WIRED StoriesCan this all-Asian competition disrupt beauty pageants?How to track your heart rate with wearablesMagic Leap’s rebirth as a company with real productsPHOTO ESSAY: The ghost towns of Spain’s financial crisisWhy Saudi Arabia would want to invest in TeslaHungry for even more deep dives on your next favorite topic? Sign up for the Backchannel newsletter In comparison, the Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Power Plan would have saved 1,500 to 3,600 premature air pollution deaths annually by 2030. The new White House proposal would replace the Obama rules, which were blocked by the Supreme Court in 2016 after lawsuits argued that the Obama plan was too restrictive and would cause electricity prices to rise. The Obama plan was in legal limbo until the White House announced it was replacing it.Critics say the Trump plan will do nothing to help slow the effects of climate warming, and will allow some utilities to spew out more harmful air pollution. “This is absolutely a rollback that will result in more pollution,” said Benjamin Longstreth, deputy director for federal policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group that opposes the new EPA plan.last_img read more


Live News traffic and weather updates for North Staffordshire South Cheshire onLive News traffic and weather updates for North Staffordshire South Cheshire on


first_imgPunter found hiding in bushes Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Police search for missing woman Driver named following fatal collisioncenter_img Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app  – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store , or get the Android version from Google Play .  Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook –   Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter –   For breaking news and the latest stories,  click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter . Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories.  Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram . 18:53Fuel spillage causing delays in WolstantonHoon Avenue partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident and fuel spillage at Hempstalls Lane.Near Merryfields School. Restrictions will remain in place until fuel can be cleaned up.18:23Accident reported in BiddulphReports of accident on A527 Congleton Road at Fold Lane. Traffic is coping well.Affecting traffic between Whitemore and Gillow Heath. 18:10Broken down vehicle on M6One lane closed and queueing traffic due to broken down vehicle on M6 Northbound between J13 A449 (Stafford South) and J14 A34 (Stafford North). In the roadworks area.Lane one (of three) is closed. 18:08North Staffordshire firm ceases production after three die in listeria outbreakSix hospital patients became ill after eating pre-packed sandwiches that are being linked to the outbreak. More here.17:18Accident in Trentham Reports of very slow traffic due to accident on A5035 Longton Road at Barlaston Old Road.Near The Golf Club. 16:05Theresa May ends leadership of Conservative PartyShe will remain Prime Minister while Tory MPs and members choose a successor. More here.16:00Stop and search powers increased after ‘knife-related incidents’ and assaults in townThe powers will be in force from tonight as police work to tackle to concerns from the community. More here.15:39Accident on A500One lane closed and queueing traffic due to accident on A500 D Road Southbound at A34 Stone Road (Hanford Interchange).The road has been reduced to one lane. Affecting traffic heading towards Acton.15:28Motorists asked to avoid road following accident involving car, caravan and vanEmergency services are at the scene and the road will remain closed for some time. More here.14:25Busy on A50A50 Westbound busy but moving from Meir Tunnel towards the A500 D Road (Sideway Roundabout). 14:22Long delays on M6 near StaffordOne lane closed, long delays and queuing traffic due to broken down car on M6 Southbound between J14 A34 (Stafford North) and J13 A449 (Stafford South). Congestion to Stafford Services. Travel time is 50 minutes.Lane one (of three) is closed. Traffic was already slow here following a separate break down earlier. Stafford Services is located between J15 and J14. 14:21Lane closure on M6One lane closed due to broken down vehicle on M6 Southbound from J19 A556 (Knutsford) to J18 A54 Middlewich Road (Middlewich / Holmes Chapel). Traffic is coping well.Lane one (of four) is closed. 13:19A50 Victoria Road accidentA50 Victoria Road in both directions partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident near Dewsbury Road. Not too far from Aldi.13:19A50 accidentReports of accident on A50 Westbound at A521 Uttoxeter Road (Tesco Roundabout / Caverswall / Meir Park). Reported to be near to B&Q.13:19M6 slow in Cheshire One lane closed and slow traffic due to accident on M6 Northbound from J16 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe) to J17 A534 Old Mill Road (Sandbach / Crewe). Lane one (of four) is closed. This is a separate incident to the broken down lorry on the exit slip from Sandbach Services.13:18Heritage train tracks catch fire after gas pipe ignites (Image: Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service)The train tracks of a heritage railway in the Staffordshire Moorlands caught fire when a gas pipe ignited. Full story.13:02M6 northbound in Cheshire M6 Northbound lane closed on slip road from the services due to broken down lorry at Sandbach Services. Traffic is coping well. Lane one (of two) is closed as you exit Sandbach services to join back onto the M6. Services located just before J17. 12:53A500 traffic Heavy traffic on A500 D Road at A53 Etruria Road / Etruria Way (Basford Roundabout).12:39Bucknall Road slowUsual congestion on Bucknall Road inbound from A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights) to Hanley Town centre.12:37Lane two reopenedLane one (of three) is closed due to the stranded lorry, which has two burst tyres. Lane two reopened at around 12:30. Stafford Services are located between J15 and J14. 12:37Porthill Road slowA527 Porthill Road busy but moving at A500 D Road / Longbridge Hayes Road / Longbridge Hayes Road (Porthill Bank). 12:29Long M6 delaysTwo lanes closed, severe delays and queueing traffic due to lorry having a tyre changed on M6 Southbound between J14 A34 (Stafford North) and J13 A449 (Stafford South). Congestion to Stafford Services. In the roadworks area. Travel time is 60 minutes.Lanes one and two (of three) are now closed due to the stranded lorry, which has two burst tyres. Stafford Services are located between J15 and J14. 12:28M6 traffic easingTraffic easing, earlier broken down car on M6 Northbound from J14 A34 (Stafford North) to M6 (Stafford Services).Lane one (of three) was closed in the roadworks area but reopened at around 11:25. The services are located between J14 and J15. 12:09Heavy traffic on A500Heavy traffic on A500 D Road Southbound around A527 Porthill Road (Porthill Bank). Travel time is five minutes. 12:01Moorland Road congestionUsual congestion on B5051 Moorland Road / Ford Green Road at A5272 High Lane (Smallthorne Roundabout). 11:40A34 Newcastle Road Slow traffic on A34 Newcastle Road between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). 11:29Broken down car on M6Slow traffic due to earlier broken down car on M6 Northbound from J14 A34 (Stafford North) to M6 (Stafford Services). In the roadworks area.Lane one (of three) was closed in the roadworks area but reopened at around 11:25. The services are located between J14 and J15. 11:05Woman injured after collision between HGV and car (Image: Google)A woman in her twenties received minor injuries after being involved in a two-vehicle collision. Full story.11:04Issues on the M610:46M6 sheepOne lane closed and slow traffic due to reports of two Sheep on road and broken down lorry on M6 Southbound from J14 A34 (Stafford North) to J13 A449 (Stafford South). In the roadworks area. Lane one (of three) is closed due to the broken down lorry. Hello and welcome to StokeonTrentLive’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Friday, June 7. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the traffic and travel and weather updates – as well as news and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLivelast_img read more


Iraq sentences 24 IS militants to death for killing soldiersIraq sentences 24 IS militants to death for killing soldiers


first_img Top Stories Sponsored Stories At one point in the trial, while the chief judge was questioning the defendants, several relatives of the slain soldiers stormed the courtroom and started throwing shoes and water bottles at the defendants, who were inside a defendants’ cage, which is customary in many Arab courtrooms. The judge who issued the 24 death sentences also acquitted four other defendants for lack of evidence.After the sentencing, the victims’ relatives raised up pictures of their loved ones. Some burst into tears and others chanted “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is Great” in Arabic, and “Oh, Hussein,” a reference to a revered Shiite saint and the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson.Ali Abdul-Hamza, whose brother was among the victims, said “Justice is done” as he was leaving the courtroom.“We are relieved to see these criminals receiving the maximum punishment,” he told The Associated Press.Ahead of the trial, the spokesman for Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council, Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, promised that “the trial will be transparent and fair.”He added that some 604 other militants, believed to have taken part in the killing, were still at large. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Comments   Share   BAGHDAD (AP) — A Baghdad court on Wednesday sentenced 24 suspected members of the Islamic State terror group to death for their role in the killing of hundreds of Iraqi soldiers during the extremists’ blitz across the country last year.The case stems from the horrific killings of 1,700 Iraqi soldiers at the hands of the Islamic State militants who captured the troops after IS overran Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit in June 2014. At the time, the soldiers were trying to flee from Camp Speicher, a nearby army base.After Tikrit was captured, IS posted graphic images and video that showed its gunmen massacring scores of the soldiers after loading the captives onto flatbed trucks and then forcing them to lay face-down in a shallow ditch.Iraqi forces, assisted by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition, retook Tikrit in April, and arrested dozens of suspects linked to the massacre. Forensic teams exhumed many of the bodies from mass graves believed to contain some of the hundreds of soldiers killed by Islamic State militants.The 24 defendants sentenced Wednesday to death by hanging were charged with the killings and membership in a terror group. All pleaded not guilty, insisting that they never took part in the massacre. They told the court that their confessions were coerced under torture by Iraqi officers.The trial in Baghdad was attended by families of the slain troops — many of whom had filed claims against the defendants.Some of the families told the judge that a day after the fall of Tikrit, they received calls from their relatives in Speicher, telling them that some Sunnis tribal chiefs had arrived at the gate of the air base and told the soldiers that they can go home safely by lorries waiting for them outside the base. Hours later, all contact was lost with the soldiers. Also Wednesday, a bomb went off in an industrial area in the town of Taji, 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding five others, police officials said. Also, a bomb blast a commercial street in western Baghdad killed two people and wounded eight.Medical officials confirmed the death toll. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Men’s health affects baby’s health too Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more


swarms of swiftletsswarms of swiftlets


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