Time scale established for proton transfer

first_img Explore further Nagasaka is an assistant professor at the Institute for Molecular Science in Okazaki, Japan, and has belonged to the University of Tokyo, where until last year he worked as a doctoral student with Kondoh, Amemiya, Ohta and Iwasawa. Their work focuses on establishing the time scale of proton transfer between water (H2O) and hydroxyl (OH) on a platinum (Pt) surface. Their work appears in Physical Review Letters: “Proton Transfer in a Two-Dimensional Hydrogen-Bonding Network: Water and Hydroxyl on a Pt(111) Surface.”“This is a two-dimensional bonding network,” Nagasaka explains. “It becomes a model system to study proton speed, and to give us a time scale.”In the experiment, the team used laser-induced thermal desorption in order to prepare a specially patterned honeycomb arrangement of H2O and OH. Laser-induced thermal desorption is a method that allows for physical separation, usually from solids. A laser is used to provide heat in such a way as to prepare the special arrangement of the water and hydroxyl on the platinum surface.At the same time, the evolution of the H2O and OH distribution was observed with the help of microscale x-ray photoelectron sprectroscopy (micro-XPS). This process is used to measure elemental composition on a tiny scale, allowing the team in Japan to record the process. After analyzing the results, a diffusion equation was used to determine that direct proton transfer had taken place.“This is very basic science,” Nagasaka explains. “Proton transfer is very important in physics, chemistry and even biology. But we don’t have a very good understanding of how the mechanism works. This is an important result, and a first step in studying how to control different reactions.”Nagasaka says that it has been difficult to determine reaction rates, and this can impact different experiments in a variety fields, especially those that concern surface materials. “We were able to determine the speed on the nano time scale using our new method,” he points out. “This is first result like this, and there is a possibility to apply it to other processes.” He’s not sure, but he thinks that maybe the method of combining laser-induced thermal desorption with micro-XPS could be used to help study reaction rates in fusion.Most of Nagasaka’s work focuses on surface chemistry – the study of how different molecules and atoms react on surfaces. The field of surface chemistry has grown in recent years to encompass electronics, fuel production (including renewable fuels) and other applications, such as artificial fertilizers. Understanding proton transfer could open up new avenues of study and lead to innovation in a number of fields, as well as in various scientific disciplines.“This is really a model system,” Nagasaka explains. “During the next five years we will do further study.”Copyright 2007 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. “In the past,” Masanari Nagasaka tells PhysOrg.com, “we only knew that proton transfer was a fast process. Now we are able to determine the speed of proton transfer. This is a step in understanding the mechanism of proton transfer, which is very important in many fields.” 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.center_img Citation: Time scale established for proton transfer (2008, March 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-03-scale-proton.html Earth’s core has been leaking for billions of yearslast_img read more

Robots closer to performing bed baths w Video

first_img The robot was developed by a team led by Dr. Charles Kemp, the principal investigator for the Healthcare Robotics Laboratory. Cody has compliant arms and a specialized “bath mitt” attached to one of them. The area of skin is selected via a camera and laser range finder, and then the robot cleans it with the soapy bath mitt, using a gentle wiping motion. The robot’s arm joints have reduced stiffness to soften any accidental impacts, and the robot is programmed to never exert pressure capable of causing injury. As an added safety measure, there is also a “stop” button to instantly stop the robot moving.The initial contact in the experiment was made by the robot, which differs from most robot/human contact experiments in which the human initiates the interaction. Cody robot. Image credit: Travis Deyle — www.hizook.com/blog/2010/11/04 … aths-patient-hygiene– www.healthcare-robotics.com/ More information: Explore further The psychological effect on patients of having an autonomous robot carry out their bed baths is unknown, but leading postdoctoral student on the team, Dr. Chih-Hung (Aaron) King, who was the robot’s demonstration “patient,” said the experience made him tense at first but his trust of the robot grew and the tension waned after a while. There was little or no discomfort involved, and he never felt afraid.The researchers say having a robot carry out hygiene tasks such as bed baths for incapacitated patients may have advantages such as giving the patient greater privacy and independence, and may improve their quality of life. A robot could also provide some relief for nurses or carers who sometimes find the bed bath embarrassing, which can also make the patient feel uncomfortable.Cody was introduced at last month’s 2010 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Taipei, Taiwan. The theme of this year’s conference was “Intelligent Robotics in the Next Transition” to reflect the increasing interest in human-robot interactions and using robots to help improve the quality of life for humans. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Scientists study robot-human interactions (PhysOrg.com) — Cody, a robot built at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S., has been demonstrated initiating contact with a live person and cleaning their arm and leg using wiping motions. This leads the way towards a robot that will in the future be able to autonomously carry out bed baths on live patients. Citation: Robots closer to performing bed baths (w/ Video) (2010, November 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-11-robots-closer-bed-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.last_img read more

Google looking to make driverless cars legal in Nevada

first_img 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. In any case, it’s clear that Google is very serious about continuing its research with autonomous vehicles and as a part of that is pushing for legislation to create for themselves a hassle free environment for doing so. As a result, there are now two bills currently being introduced to the Nevada legislature related to autonomous vehicles; one would be an amendment to another bill regarding electric vehicles that would create a means of licensing and testing autonomous vehicles on public roads; the other would provide an exemption for such “drivers” from the current law that disallows texting while behind the wheel.Google claims that computer controlled vehicles are and will be much safer than conventional human driven vehicles because they are able to respond to road conditions more quickly and don’t fall prey to other human foibles, such as drinking and driving, falling asleep, or simply forgetting to pay attention. If Google’s push to legalize such vehicles succeeds, we might just find out over the next few years, if they’re right. Citation: Google looking to make driverless cars legal in Nevada (2011, May 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-google-driverless-cars-legal-nevada.html Explore further Google’s self-driving car now races on rooftops (w/ Video)center_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com It was just last March that Google announced to the world that it had been racing autonomous cars around on rooftop parking lots and then just seven months later that it had been testing those cars on California roads; news that both made headlines and bolstered Google’s image as one of the more innovative companies operating today. Now comes news that Google is ready to tackle the sticky problem of allowing such cars to drive legally on roads, an issue no doubt that cropped up in the wake of its earlier announcements.It’s not exactly clear why Google chose Nevada for its first push at legalizing what it’s been doing already; though there are theories, such as the fact that the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) just happens to be held in Las Vegas each year, or maybe it’s because Nevada has a history of allowing things that other states don’t; prostitution being the most infamous example, of course. Or it might be the fact that Nevada has a lot of roads that have very little traffic in very out-of-the-way places and thus could test its vehicles on public roads without much oversight. (PhysOrg.com) — In an unexpected move, Google, the wily search giant with loads of ambition and enough spare cash to enable it to dabble in technologies that appear to have nothing to do with its core business, has hired lobbyist David Goldwater to represent the company in its push to legalize the running of autonomous vehicles on Nevada roads; this comes less than a year after announcing that it had been running live tests of its self-driving vehicles on California roads.last_img read more

Pioneer previews integrated floating image display technology

first_imgThe Pioneer FV-01 Floating Vision system. FV-01 system The system makes use of a 3D module that has an LCD module mounted on the back. The system then uses a specially designed 3D lens, mounted in the front, which allows the image to appear as if it is floating in space. Since it only relies on one projection, and not the traditional right and left eye perspectives of older 3D systems the screen can project a clear image from a variety of angles and without the use of glasses. At the Embedded Systems Expo demonstration the in-car navigation system was paired with multiple touch panel displays. The system allows a user to select an object on the touch screen panel the same way that you would with most navigation systems. Then once a hand is swiped over the Floating Vision display the image of the object that the user selected is projected into the 3D display map. This system is similar to the FV-01, a PC connection system that creates a floating 3D display, currently being sold by Pioneer. The company hopes to move from the USB connections of the current systems to integrated systems in the future with the use of the Floating Vision system. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further Japanese Researchers Develop Portable 3D Display System Citation: Pioneer previews integrated floating image display technology (2011, May 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-previews-image-technology.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. (PhysOrg.com) — Pioneer has recently conducted a demonstration of its floating image display technology, which is being called Floating Vision, that allows for a small sized 3D floating screen to be projected into spaces like the dashboard of a car. The system, which was shown off at the Embedded Systems Expo, uses a set of infrared sensors that allow this projected screen to be used in a manner similar to that of the current touch screen systems in use, in a limited capacity at the present moment. The system was demonstrated both in a car, and in the context of a customer service scenario. last_img read more

Study shows fairy wrasses perceive and respond to their own deep red

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Fluorescence characterization of C. solorensis. (a) Male fish illuminated with broad-spectrum white light; (b) same individual under monochromatic blue illumination. (c) Excitation (dashed line) and emission (solid line) spectra of opercular scales. Credit: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0787 Citation: Study shows fairy wrasses perceive and respond to their own deep red fluorescent coloration (2014, May 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-05-fairy-wrasses-deep-red-fluorescent.html Researchers find blind fish use novel type of navigational aid 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: Fairy wrasses perceive and respond to their deep red fluorescent coloration, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 28 May 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0787AbstractFluorescence enables the display of wavelengths that are absent in the natural environment, offering the potential to generate conspicuous colour contrasts. The marine fairy wrasse Cirrhilabrus solorensis displays prominent fluorescence in the deep red range (650–700 nm). This is remarkable because marine fishes are generally assumed to have poor sensitivity in this part of the visual spectrum. Here, we investigated whether C. solorensis males can perceive the fluorescence featured in this species by testing whether the presence or absence of red fluorescence affects male–male interactions under exclusive blue illumination. Given that males respond aggressively towards mirror-image stimuli, we quantified agonistic behaviour against mirrors covered with filters that did or did not absorb long (i.e. red) wavelengths. Males showed significantly fewer agonistic responses when their fluorescent signal was masked, independent of brightness differences. Our results unequivocally show that C. solorensis can see its deep red fluorescent coloration and that this pattern affects male–male interactions. This is the first study to demonstrate that deep red fluorescent body coloration can be perceived and has behavioural significance in a reef fish.center_img © 2014 Phys.org Explore further Most fish that live in deep ocean water are blue, which is generally thought to be because blue light is able to pass through the water above and other colors are not. That makes it almost impossible for those that reside in such deep waters to see any other color, thus there would be no point in being any other color. No point that is, unless you’re a fish that can not only produce a fluorescent color, but are able to see it as well. That appears to be the case with fairy wrasses (who live at depths of 30 to 200 feet)—the tops of their heads are colored fluorescent red and parts of their foreheads are yellow. Such coloring must have a purpose, the researchers surmised, likely to ward off rivals or predators or to attract a mate—the reasons behind most such coloring in fish that live closer to the surface. To find answers to their questions, the trio ventured to Indonesia, where the fish reside.First they conducted a field study, watching the fish in their native environment. Then, they bought some specimens and put them in water tanks outfitted with mirrors. The mirrors were so the fish could see themselves, obviously, which being creatures with small brains, would naturally assume were other male fish. Upon seeing themselves in all their full colored glory, the males attacked. When filters were put in place that allowed the fish to see themselves without the fluorescent coloring, however, the reaction was much less pronounced, proving that the fish were able to see the coloring and had a tendency to react to it. The study is the first to demonstrate that deep red fluorescent coloration can be seen (and responded to) by a reef fish. The researchers next plan to test females of the species to determine if male coloring is also meant to attract a mate. (Phys.org) —A trio of researchers with the University of Tübingen in Germany has found that the fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis) is able to perceive its own deep red fluorescent coloring and responds to it in aggressive ways. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Tobias Gerlach, Dennis Sprenger and Nico Michiels describe field and lab studies they conducted that appear to prove that the fish is able to see fluorescent colors.last_img read more

Proposed diamond maser could operate at room temperature

first_img(Phys.org)—Before there were lasers, there were masers—devices that operate in the microwave regime and other wavelengths that are longer than those of visible light. But while the first masers were built back in the 1950s, they have failed to achieve the same commercial success as lasers due to their demanding operating conditions: gas masers require high-vacuum conditions and solid-state masers require ultracold liquid-helium temperatures (about 4 K) to operate. In a new paper published in Nature Communications, Liang Jin, et al., from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Stuttgart, have proposed a concept for a diamond maser that can operate at room temperature. With the potential to achieve a coherence time of a few minutes, the maser could pave the way for widespread applications.The biggest advantage of using diamonds is that diamonds have nitrogen-vacancy center spins that have the longest known lifetime at room temperature of any known solid-state spin, and a long spin lifetime is essential for achieving a key maser mechanism: population inversion. In population inversion, more spins exist in an excited state than in a lower-energy state, and so a long spin lifetime is required. The problem is that the spin lifetimes in most solids at room temperature are much too short—often just a few nanoseconds—to achieve useful population inversion.In contrast, the diamond spins have a lifetime of about 5 milliseconds at room temperature, making them an ideal candidate for a room-temperature maser. These spins can be rapidly pumped to their excited state with the help of a magnetic field, and even though a magnetic field may complicate the device’s experimental realization, the researchers expect that the challenge can be overcome with commercially available magnets.If the diamond maser could be realized in the future, it would be the second room-temperature solid-state maser demonstrated so far. In 2012, researchers from the UK reported in Nature the first such device, which they made out of an organic material (p-terphenyl doped with pentacene), which has a lifetime of about 0.1 microseconds—about 1/50th of that of the proposed diamond spins. Although the pentacene-based device marked an important milestone as the first room-temperature maser ever demonstrated, its spins could not completely reach the ground state but instead existed in an intermediate, metastable state. As a result, the pentacene maser had low efficiency and could only operate in pulsed mode at a low rate. The researchers of the new study hope that the proposed diamond maser will improve in these areas, with the potential to achieve a higher stability, higher efficiency, and longer masing time. “The diamond maser can work at room temperature and in a continuous wave mode, in contrast with the pentacene maser,” coauthor Renbao Liu, Physics Professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, told Phys.org. “Also, the diamond material is very stable under high-power pump, which is not the case for organic materials.”If a maser can be realized with these features, it could have a variety of applications for microwave technologies, including radar and high-precision clocks. Portable, room-temperature masers could be used for ultrasensitive magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study minerals. The maser could also be used as a low-noise amplifier for space communication. “Room-temperature microwave amplifiers with a noise temperature of about 1 K can be employed to amplify microwave signals from satellites, or used in space to detect microwave signals from remote universe backgrounds,” Liu said.In the future, the researchers will work on experimentally demonstrating the maser, along with running more realistic simulations and studying the collective quantum coherence effects in the diamond spins when coupled to microwave photons. Journal information: Nature Illustration of the room-temperature diamond maser. Credit: Jin, et al. ©2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited Citation: Proposed diamond maser could operate at room temperature (2015, October 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-diamond-maser-room-temperature.html MASER power comes out of the cold: Researchers demo solid-state MASER capable of operating at room temperatures 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: Liang Jin, et al. “Proposal for a room-temperature diamond maser.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9251 © 2015 Phys.org Explore further , Nature Communicationslast_img read more

Amino acids formed from the singleelectron activation of carbon dioxide

first_img More information: Hyowon Seo et al. Photoredox activation of carbon dioxide for amino acid synthesis in continuous flow, Nature Chemistry (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2690AbstractAlthough carbon dioxide (CO2) is highly abundant, its low reactivity has limited its use in chemical synthesis. In particular, methods for carbon–carbon bond formation generally rely on two-electron mechanisms for CO2 activation and require highly activated reaction partners. Alternatively, radical pathways accessed via photoredox catalysis could provide new reactivity under milder conditions. Here we demonstrate the direct coupling of CO2 and amines via the single-electron reduction of CO2 for the photoredox-catalysed continuous flow synthesis of α-amino acids. By leveraging the advantages of utilizing gases and photochemistry in flow, a commercially available organic photoredox catalyst effects the selective α-carboxylation of amines that bear various functional groups and heterocycles. The preliminary mechanistic studies support CO2 activation and carbon–carbon bond formation via single-electron pathways, and we expect that this strategy will inspire new perspectives on using this feedstock chemical in organic synthesis. Design plan for α-carboxylation of amines with CO2. a, Carbon–carbon bond formation with CO2 has generally relied on two-electron reaction pathways with an extended π system or a strong nucleophile. Cat., catalyst. b, Single-electron reduction of carbon dioxide and its reaction with an α-amino radical to provide an α-amino acid. c, Continuous flow setup for the photoredox-catalysed synthesis of α-amino acids. The reactants were introduced via a gas-tight syringe that contained a solution of the amine substrate, base and catalyst. CO2 gas was metered into the system by a mass flow controller (MFC). These two streams were joined by a T-mixer before irradiation under an ultraviolet lamp. The pressure of CO2 is controlled by a back-pressure regulator (BPR). Credit: (c) Nature Chemistry (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2690 Hyowon Seo, Matthew H. Katcher, and Timothy F. Jamison of Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a continuous flow system that allows for the single-electron reduction of CO2 that combines with a variety of amines to form α-amino acids. Their methodology involves the use of a photoredox catalyst and, using their flow system, optimized reaction conditions to obtain regioselective α-amino acids in high yields. Their work appears in Nature Chemistry.The keys to this group’s procedure are the photoredox catalyst and the ability to fine-tune their reaction conditions using their continuous flow system. In determining the appropriate photoredox catalyst, Seo et al. tested para-terphenyl based on prior work by Yanagida’s group. This catalyst was attractive because it has an appropriately high reduction potential to reduce CO2.The photoredox catalyst served to remove an electron from the amine as well as to catalyze the reduction of CO2. These two radical molecules then combined to form a C-C bond at the benzylic C-H of an N-benzyl compound resulting in an α-amino acid. Additional experiments showed that this reaction worked well with a variety of amines including those that do not have a benzylic carbon.The second important aspect to this reaction mechanism is the continuous flow set up. Carbon dioxide gas is mixed with a liquid aspiration of amine and catalyst. This system allowed for the controlled flow of CO2, which in turn allowed for the controlled combination of the amine radical and the CO2 radical. Seo et al. were able to optimize the pressure and flow of CO2 to obtain maximum yields. An additional advantage to this set up was the short path length of light, which also helped control when it would activate the catalyst and prompt the redox reaction to occur.Using N-benzylpiperdine as their model reaction, Seo et al. tested their apparatus first using the reaction conditions reported by Yanagida’s group. They then optimized the conditions to eventually obtain the desired α-amino acid in 92% yield. Among their changes, they added potassium trifluoroacetate (KOCOCF3) base, which helped with yields and regioselectivity. While mechanistic studies did not reveal exactly how the base is used, Seo et al. hypothesized that it served as a salt stabilizer.Additionally, Seo et al. optimized their reaction using a UV filter. This prohibited the formation of unwanted by-products that resulted from short wave irradiation. In do this, they obtained 92% yield of the desired α-amino acid. Prior to using the UV filter, they would obtain two different regio isomers, but after the filter, they saw almost exclusive regioselectivity for the desired product (i.e., carboxylation at the benzylic position).Once they obtained the optimal reaction conditions, they then tried to make a variety of α-amino acids. Notably, all cases showed a greater than 20-to-1 regioselectivity in favor of the desired α-amino acid. Among their results, they found that N-benzylpiperdines with ortho-, meta-, and para-alkyl substitution worked well, resulting in the desired α-amino acids as did chloroarenes and a variety of amines. Amines with several types of heterocycles and fused rings tolerated the reaction conditions well. N-benzyl amines with electron poor arenes did not do as well, and neither did alcohols, ketals, or primary amines. However, masked versions of alcohols and ketals can be produced, and the reaction does tolerate 4-piperidone analogs as a possible bis-protecting group for primary amines. Also their reaction worked well when tested on a known pharmaceutical ingredient with a heterocycle and no benzylic C-H bond (ticlopidine).”Very interesting to us is the fundamental chemistry of the radical anion of carbon dioxide, which we’ve proposed as a key intermediate in this process,” says Professor Timothy Jamison. “Some of our ongoing efforts are directed toward using this enabling platform as a means toward this aim.” Citation: Amino acids formed from the single-electron activation of carbon dioxide (2017, January 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-amino-acids-single-electron-carbon-dioxide.html (Phys.org)—Carbon dioxide, an abundant greenhouse gas, is very difficult to use as a carbon source for carbon-carbon bond formation. CO2 is highly stable and unreactive, requiring prohibitively difficult or toxic reagents in order to form carbon bonds. Regioselective hydroarylation of alkynes to make ortho-, para-, and meta- productscenter_img Journal information: Nature Chemistry Explore further 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. © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

Queen Will Suspend UK Parliament At Boris Jo

first_imgQueen Will Suspend U.K. Parliament At Boris Johnson’s… Markus Schreiber https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/me/2019/08/20190828_me_johnson_suspend… by NPR News Shannon Van Sant, Bill Chappell 8.28.19 10:48am Updated at 10:15 a.m. ETBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament, infuriating his political opponents and others who accuse Johnson of circumventing the democratic process. The move would likely allow Johnson to bypass lawmakers and push through a no-deal Brexit.Within hours of Johnson’s request, the queen agreed to prorogue, or suspend, Parliament for several weeks in September and October. Johnson asked the queen to suspend Parliament during the second week of September, soon after lawmakers return from their summer recess. Under his plan, the body would not meet again until Oct. 14 — just two weeks before the deadline for Britain’s planned departure from the European Union.Parliament had been scheduled to meet during the first two weeks of September and reconvene on Oct. 9.Johnson insists he wants Parliament suspended so he can develop an agenda for his new government. He adds that a queen’s speech has now been scheduled for Oct. 14, when he will present his agenda.Critics, opposition politicians and some members of Johnson’s own Conservative party say his maneuver would give lawmakers little time to push back on a no-deal Brexit, which a majority of the Parliament opposes.In an interview at 10 Downing Street, Johnson said, “We’re not going to wait until October 31st before getting on with our plans to take this country forward.””This is a new government with a very exciting agenda,” Johnson continued.Member of Parliament Anna Soubry called Johnson’s move “outrageous.” She tweeted that Parliament “will be shut down at a moment of crisis as we face crashing out of the #EU with no deal & for which there is no mandate. Our democracy is under threat from a ruthless PM elected by less than 100K Con members. Email your MP now & demand Parliament sits.”Yvette Cooper, an opposition Labour lawmaker, tweeted, “Boris Johnson is trying to use the Queen to concentrate power in his own hands — this is a deeply dangerous and irresponsible way to govern.”Conservative Member of Parliament Philip Hammond reacted by saying, “It would be a constitutional outrage if Parliament were prevented from holding the government to account at a time of national crisis.”The move, Hammond added, was “profoundly undemocratic.”Johnson threw his plan to suspend Parliament into action one day after he reiterated his commitment to take Britain out of the European Union on the Oct. 31 deadline.”Jeremy Corbyn wants to cancel the referendum and argue about Brexit for years,” Johnson said via Twitter. “I am committed to leading our country forward and getting Britain out of the EU by October 31st.”The term for suspending Parliament in this way is “prorogue” — to formally end a session of Parliament by royal prerogative without dissolving it. According to the official Parliament website: “A prolonged prorogation reduces the influence of Parliament over the way the country is governed. While Parliament is prorogued, MPs and Peers cannot formally debate government policy and legislation, submit parliamentary questions for response by government departments, scrutinize government activity through parliamentary committees or introduce legislation of their own.”In the U.K., there are longstanding precedents to prorogue Parliament before a queen’s speech, “albeit generally more briefly, and rarely, if ever, at such a constitutionally charged time,” the BBC reports, citing royal correspondent Jonny Dymond.The news agency adds that under Johnson’s plan, Parliament would be closed for 23 working days. According to the House of Commons Library, prorogation periods since the 1980s have rarely lasted longer than two weeks.The idea that Johnson might resort to prorogation to get his way on Brexit was seen as a possibility earlier this summer, before he formally replaced Theresa May. One week before Johnson took office, the House of Commons approved an amendment seeking to block any attempts to prorogue Parliament — in a vote that saw more than a dozen defections from Johnson’s party.In the House of Commons’ background paper about the process, it notes that because prorogation is a royal prerogative power, “there is no obvious legal mechanism by which Parliament could prevent its exercise otherwise than by passing legislation to constrain it.”When asked what levers might be used by angry lawmakers to ensure they can work on a Brexit deal, NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports from London that the options include approving legislation to postpone the Oct. 31 deadline, or perhaps seeking to oust Johnson himself.”He’s only been in office since July,” Langfitt notes, “It would be extraordinary to call a no-confidence vote this early. But this is where we are in the Brexit process.”Noting the high stakes involved, Langfitt adds, “People are very angry, and they say this is beyond Brexit — it has a lot to do with democracy.”Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.last_img read more

Montana Men Who Lied About Military Service Or

first_img Tamir Kalifa by NPR News Vanessa Romo 8.28.19 8:14pm When Ryan Patrick Morris and Troy Allan Nelson appeared in court after violating the terms of their respective (and unrelated) probations last week, Montana’s Cascade County District Judge Greg Pinksi added a unique list of punishments to their sentences — including an order to wear a sign saying “I am a liar” — for pretending that they had served in the military.Ultimately, the judge sentenced Morris to 10 years in prison for a felony burglary charge with three years suspended, and Nelson received five years for felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs with two years suspended, the Great Falls Tribune reported. But before either man can be eligible for parole, Pinski decided, Morris and Nelson must demonstrate remorse for their lies by writing letters of apology to the American Legion, AMVETS and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, among other groups. They also have to handwrite the names of all 6,756 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they have to pen obituaries of the 40 Montanans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pinksi also ordered each man to complete 441 hours of community service — one hour for each of the Montanans killed in combat since the Korean War. The self-flagellation must continue even after their release. Pinski mandated that every year during the portions of their suspended sentences they’ll each have to visit the Montana Veterans Memorial for eight hours on Memorial and Veterans days wearing a placard that reads, “I am a liar. I am not a veteran. I stole valor. I have dishonored all veterans.””There are certain people — shameful people — who have not put their lives on the line for this country who portray themselves as having done so,” Pinski told the defendants, according to the newspaper.”I want to make sure that my message is received loud and clear by these two defendants,” Pinski said. “You’ve been nothing but disrespectful in your conduct. You certainly have not respected the Army. You’ve not respected the veterans. You’ve not respected the court. And you haven’t respected yourselves.”Pinski’s sign-wearing punishment follows similarly public punishments in recent years that have forced other lawbreakers to publicly parade their misdeeds. In 2012, a Cleveland woman was ordered to stand on a street corner holding a sign that read, “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.” A year later, an Ohio judge made one man hold a sign outside a police station that said, “I apologize to officer Simone & all police officers for being an idiot calling 911 threatening to kill you. I’m sorry and it will never happen again.” Morris and Nelson had asked to have their cases moved to veterans court in the hopes of receiving more lenient sentences. Veterans courts have been set up as an alternative to the traditional justice system, seeking to provide treatment plans to address underlying issues unique to service men and women that may have led to crimes, including PTSD, anger issues and substance abuse problems. In Morris’ case he fabricated a harrowing and inspirational story. In 2017, the Tribune reported, he told the judge he had served seven combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and now suffered from PTSD. He said his hip was replaced after surviving an improvised explosive device incident and that after returning home he had joined an outreach team to help homeless veterans in his hometown. None of it was true, and it was his own father who eventually outed him. Nelson’s lie was less detailed, but he did manage to enroll in Veterans Treatment Court before he was discovered as a fraud, the paper found. Despite Pinski’s evident disdain for the men’s lies, neither was charged with stolen valor, which makes it a federal crime “for an individual to fraudulently hold oneself out to be a recipient of any of several specified military decorations or medals with the intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit.” The two men apologized in court for lying about their nonexistent military service.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. Montana Men Who Lied About Military Service Ordered To Wear… last_img read more

Forgotten melodies

first_imgThe Capital hosted a night of rare and long forgotten music, a n unique experience for the city’s music lovers.  Pracheen Kala Kendra organised this musical concert  to save the dieing Indian classical music and in memory of Madan Lal Koser. Talking about the initiative of saving the long lost Indian classical music, Sajal Kausar said ‘Pracheen Kala Kendra is making an effort to make people realize that Indian classical music is the gist of Indian culture and its essence should be valued. We are heading towards preserving the cultural heritage of the country.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The auditorium of Shri Ram Centre for Arts witnessed centuries old musical sound based on ancient Indian traditions. Adding life to the concert were the performance given by Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Salil Bhatt who performed a jugalbandi over mohan veena and satvik veena. They were accompanied in their act by Parameshwar Hedge, MD. Akram Khan and  Himanshu Mahat on tabla.After presenting the age old classical music to Delhi’iets Salil Bahtt said,  ‘I appreciate the attempt of the Pracheen Kala Kendra to save classical music from being extinct and is overwhelmed to be a part of this cause.’Before the concert Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Salil Bhatt has also launched their albums East Meets West – Ecstatic Fusion of Indian Classical, Jazz and Western Percussions and Satkriti – The musical creation of Lord Shiva.last_img read more