Omnibus Talks Still Not Wrapped Up

first_imgNegotiators made substantial progress over the weekend on a fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill, and as of Sunday afternoon both parties were aiming to release the text of the measure late Monday.Significant issues still remained as Democrats and Republicans strived to strike a deal on a $1.1 trillion year-end spending agreement, though, and the schedule remains uncertain, reported CQ.The latest timeline means Congress may be forced to pass a third continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown after midnight Wednesday. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has pledged to follow the GOP rule requiring legislation to be available for three days before the chamber can vote on it, so lawmakers likely will need at least one additional day to clear the omnibus. The Senate also would need additional time to advance the spending package.On Friday the House passed a five-day CR, which President Obama signed later that day.The omnibus is expected to contain full-year spending plans for all 12 annual spending bills. One outstanding question Republican leaders need to determine is whether to attach a package of permanent tax extensions to the spending package.House Appropriations Chair Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) on Friday described the high-level talks as “slow” and “snail-like, glacial, in fact.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Queen Elizabeth posts on Instagram for the first time

first_img This is how the Nazi Enigma machine works Now playing: Watch this: Queen Elizabeth II took an early tour of Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security, a new exhibit at The Science Museum coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Government Communication Headquarters. Along with the letter from Babbage, the exhibit includes Alan Turing’s Enigma M1070. The Royal Family’s Instagram has more than 2,000 posts, but this was reportedly the first one the queen wrote personally. Her first post has gotten more than 42,000 likes and 836 comments so far.”Today, I had the pleasure of learning about children’s computer coding initiatives and it seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post, at the Science Museum which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors,” the queen wrote. Mobile Culture 4:44 Share your voice 0 Tags Queen Elizabeth visits The Science Museum in London. The Science Museum Computers are a part of our everyday lives, and we may not give much thought to their origins. In true royal fashion, Queen Elizabeth II has reminded us on Instagram.The queen posted on Thursday that she visited The Science Museum in London and viewed a letter in the Royal Archives written in 1843 by Charles Babbage. Babbage designed the “Difference Engine” and has been credited as the world’s first computer pioneer. The queen wrote that Prince Albert saw a prototype in 1843. Post a comment Instagramlast_img read more

Mahindra Scorpio with Bulletproof Kit Price Availability Details

first_imgThe Scorpio lovers in the country now have more reason to fall in love with the iconic SUV of Mahindra. The Defence Land Systems, a Mahindra owned company has introduced a bulletproof kit for its Scorpio to give a safety ride to the customers.The bulletproof kit is being offered in three variants – Executive, premium and VVIP at 12.67 lakh, 16.07 lakh and 18.33 lakh respectively and is available for booking in the country with advance payment of 75,000 at the e-retailer Snapdeal.Talking about the features of the new Bulletproof kit for Scorpio, it can safeguard the passengers inside the car, if a shot is fired at 90 degree angle from a 9mm pistol from a distance of 5m and come with a real time tracking device.While the Executive kit packs bulletproof glass, fire proof fuel tank, real time vehicle tracking device and bulletproof body panels, the Premium kit offers bulletproof panel and run flat system in addition to the features offered in the Executive kit. The third variant VVIP comes with blast proof carpet and bulletproof glass with power windows in addition to the features in the Premium kit.The iconic SUV Scorpio, one of the top selling SUVs in the domestic market is sold with the 2.2 liter turbo diesel mHawk engine and 2.5-litre m2Di. The car which has been sailing in India since 2002 is expected to get a new version in coming months. Scorpio facelift which has been spied testing numerous times in the country is expected to pack the same 2.2 liter four cylinder turbocharged mHawk diesel engine, which powers the current model and is likely to offer a power of 120 bhp and peak torque of 290 Nm. The new Scorpio might also get 6-speed automatic transmission for improved performance.(ED: AJ)last_img read more

BNPled 20party to organise demonstrations for Khaleda release

first_imgKhaledaThe BNP-led 20-party alliance has decided to stage different action programmes at different metropolitan cities, including Dhaka, in July demanding the release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, reports UNB.The decision was taken at a meeting of the alliance at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office on Monday night, said 20-party coordinator Nazrul Islam Khan.Briefing reporters after the meeting, he said, “We’ve taken a decision to observe various programmes in all metropolitan cities with a demand for immediate release of our leader Khaleda Zia,”Nazrul, also a BNP standing committee member, said the 20-party’s next meeting will finalise the action programmes.Replying to a question, he said their alliance is a major democratic force in the country and it is united.The BNP leader said various issues relating to the country’s political situation, proposed budget and farmers’ deprivation of fair prices of their produce came up for discussion at the meeting.All the top leaders of the most alliance components joined the meeting held with BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in the chair.However, no representative from Jamaat-e-Islami was present at the meeting.last_img read more

Muslim leaders preach love after mosque attacks

first_imgHigh school students embrace as they give hugs to Muslims waiting for news of their relatives at a community centre, following Friday`s shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand 18 March, 2019. Photo: ReutersNew Zealand Muslim leaders on Monday conveyed messages of love, compassion and appreciation for the community support they had received after a lone gunman attacked two mosques, killing 50 people and injuring dozens more.Mustafa Farouk, the President of Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, said the community was in shock and mourning, but was resilient.”We know we are living in a country that we are welcome, that loves us. One of the most beautiful and most peaceful countries in the world,” he told a media conference in Christchurch, where the attack took place on Friday.Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges.Farouk said the message for those who pedalled hatred was that they had “failed woefully”.”Because what they have done, if anything, is to increase the love and the feeling we have for our own country and we have also seen the tremendous outpouring of love, what we call aroha here in New Zealand.”Some families have expressed frustration that the bodies of almost all victims have not been released while authorities carry out post mortems and investigations.Under Islam it is customary to conduct burials within 24 hours.Rehanna Ali, coordinator of womens affairs’ Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, described the process of preparing the bodies for burial.”These people died in prayer, on their way to prayer, on our holy day, a Friday, in the precincts of our holy places. And faith was what they died for. And so faith is now part of the healing process for their loved ones.”Over the weekend and into Monday, tens of thousands of people flocked to memorial vigils around New Zealand and a victim support website raised more than NZ$5.5 million ($3.8 million).Hundreds visited the sites of the shootings, performing songs, bringing flowers and food, and offering condolences.”Through all of this we try to remember that what we are bringing back to this tragedy, this horror, is a sense of compassion,” Ali told media. “The response to so much hate, has been love.”last_img

Verizon Promotes STEM Courses Careers Among Girl Scouts

first_imgAyah Syeed and Sakina Ahmad of Girl Scouts Troop 920 discuss their award-winning robotic design during the Verizon panel to promote STEM among girls. (AFRO/ Photo/Shantella Y. Sherman)A group of local Girl Scout troops heard firsthand about the benefits of embarking on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM careers from female employees of Verizon’s operations, wireless, and state government affairs departments.Karen I. Campbell, vice president of State Government Affairs for Verizon D.C. said the partnership between Verizon and the Girl Scouts helps open a dialogue between professional women and the girls they hope will join their ranks in coming years.“STEM teaches you how to think analytically and to take the really complicated stuff and narrow it down,” said Campbell, who holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering management and a minor in engineering psychology. “Helping girls understand that in a room of 25 engineers, only three would be women and that 80 percent of the jobs in the future will require science, technology and math, means making them aware of the benefits and opportunities open to them.”Lidia Soto-Harmon, CEO of Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital, said that the introduction of STEM careers, and even STEM merit badges, follows a tradition established in 1915 by Girl Scouts founder Julliette Low.“Girl Scouts is 102 years old and its founder created the first aviator badge in 1915 even before women were allowed to drive cars. She was thinking very early about how we get girls interested in non-traditional jobs,” she said. “It’s really all about shattering that perception that science, technology, engineering, and math are men’s jobs.”The panel and mentor sessions with professional women in the STEM industry reinforces the Girl Scouts’ mission of opening possibilities to girls, and according to Soto-Harmon will help girls enter an employment sector consisting of 75 percent men.The Girl Scouts STEM Program currently consists of introducing girls of every age to STEM experiences relevant to everyday life.Ayah Syeed and Sakina Ahmad of Girl Scouts Troop 920 said that their interest in STEM grew primarily from a love of robotics and the challenge of trying to join an all-boys science team in school.“The boys really didn’t want girls in their club, so I decided that the girls should have one of their own,” Syeed said. “We were really dedicated to figuring out how to craft the best products and it was cool to do something a lot of boys thought we couldn’t.”The girls’ team triumphed with a 3rd place showing in a recent competition, which also convinced other girls to consider science fun.“I have always been interested in robotics and I was able to convince a group of girls that it was cool,” said Ahmad. “It’s really cool also that the Girl Scouts is introducing girls to different experiences that we never thought of as careers so we can see how something that is really awesome can also be our profession.”last_img read more

New Algorithm Ranks Sports Teams like Googles PageRank

first_img Explore further Who’s in first? Physicists develop new football ranking system © 2009 PhysOrg.com More information: http://www.thepowerrank.com/ “A few years ago, I got interested in the technology behind Google’s search engine,” Feng told PhysOrg.com. “After looking into the PageRank algorithm, I realized it had the same origin in random processes that I use in my research every day… I thought suitable modifications of the algorithm should apply to ranking sports teams.”As Feng explains, the Power Rank algorithm requires only two parameters: the game score and the home field advantage (in the NFL, the home field advantage is considered to be three points). “There is no human bias, no memory of last season, and no style points,” he said. The idea is that this neutral ranking method can provide more accurate results than other methods, such as the simple win-loss record. For example, the Power Rank method ranks New England in third place in the NFL (behind New Orleans and Indianapolis); while these top two teams both have 12-0 records, New England’s record is 7-5. In contrast, Jacksonville, which also has a 7-5 record, is ranked 20th of 32 teams.To determine these rankings, the Power Rank algorithm is based on the concept of a network, where the nodes are the teams and the links between nodes are defined by games played between those teams. When two teams play each other, a number is assigned to the link (arrow) between those teams, based on the score and location of the game. The number is an estimate of the probability that the team at the head of the arrow beats the team at the tail on a future neutral site. A larger margin of victory implies a higher number on the edge from loser to winner. (There are two arrows between each pair of teams, with the arrows pointing in opposite directions, and the numbers on each arrow add up to 1.00, or 100%).Then, based on all the games in the league, each team receives a value. The teams are ranked in order by their values, similar to how Google’s PageRank algorithm ranks webpages. For example, in PageRank, a website becomes highly ranked when other highly ranked websites link to it; similarly, teams earn their rank by beating other highly ranked teams. The average value of the league is zero, so that teams with a positive (negative) value are slightly better (worse) than the average team.On the Power Rank website, Feng gives some examples to demonstrate how the algorithm works. In the NFL, suppose that San Francisco beats Chicago 55-21, Chicago beats New York 23-20, and New York beats San Francisco 35-32, with each team winning at home. If an algorithm only considered wins and losses, the three teams would be ranked equally since they each have one win.However, the score of each game gives additional information, which the Power Rank algorithm uses. The results of the algorithm are shown in the figure above. With this basic information, the Power Rank algorithm has attempted to sort out the contradiction that San Francisco beat Chicago but also lost to New York, who Chicago beat. Of course, the team’s values are based on only two games, so the values are probably not very accurate until more games are played.On the Power Rank website, Feng currently has a list of all 120 NCAA college football teams, as well as a list of all 32 NFL teams ranked by the algorithm. So far, he has not compared the algorithm’s predictions to individual game results, but he plans to do so soon. In addition, Feng plans to apply the algorithm to international soccer before next year’s World Cup. Although it may be tempting to use the Power Rank algorithm to predict individual games, Feng explains that the purpose of the algorithm is primarily to rank teams, not for guessing the future.”It is impossible to predict the outcome of a single game,” Feng said. “There are so many arbitrary factors to take into consideration, such as injuries. The Power Rank is truly about ranking teams based on how they have performed in the past. The ability to predict future outcomes based only on past scores serves to validate the rankings.” 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. (PhysOrg.com) — Sports fans may be interested in a new system that ranks NFL and college football teams in a simple, straightforward way, similar to how Google PageRank ranks webpages. The new sports algorithm, called the Power Rank, is being developed by Ed Feng, a researcher in statistical mechanics at Sandia National Laboratory, although this project is independent of his work at Sandia. An example of the Power Rank algorithm: if San Francisco beats Chicago 55-21, Chicago beats New York 23-20, and New York beats San Francisco 35-32, the resulting network is shown on the left, and the teams’ values on the right. Credit: Ed Feng. Citation: New Algorithm Ranks Sports Teams like Google’s PageRank (2009, December 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-12-algorithm-sports-teams-google-pagerank.htmllast_img read more

CM to keep watchful eye on price of essential goods

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will hold a meeting of the task force to ensure that prices of essential commodities do not go up in the state.The meeting is scheduled to be held on June 6 at Nabanna, the state Secretariat and all the concerned ministers and officials have been asked to be present.It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister has already expressed her concern apprehending a hike in prices of essential goods after the arbitrary increase in the fuel prices. She had earlier tweeted: “We are very concerned about the rising prices of petrol and diesel. This will certainly affect prices all around. Common people, farmers and many will suffer.” Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe Chief Minister had also attacked the Centre for its “indifferent” attitude towards the issue and urged all anti-BJP political parties to go for a statewide agitation. There were also protest rallies across the state against the abnormal hike in prices of petrol and diesel.The state government had always taken steps to check the rampant increase in the prices of essential goods in the past and there is also a task force that maintains a strict vigil to oversee that the commoners are not harassed. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedNow, the state government is going to hold the meeting in which all the aspects in this connection will be discussed in detail.A few days ago there was a hike in potato prices. It was sold at around Rs 20 per kg at various markets in the city. The state Agriculture Marketing department took necessary and immediate measures after identifying that the price of the potato had shot up just for a particular section of middlemen.With the increase in the prices of petrol and diesel, the cost of transportation of goods has also gone up. It is leaving an effect on prices of vegetables, rice and other essential commodities.In such a situation, the state government is chalking out a plan to take necessary steps to give respite to the common people as much as possible. There would also be discussions in the meeting to ensure that prices of essential goods do not go up ahead of the forthcoming festivals in the state.last_img read more