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. 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 years
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.
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) © 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.
The 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.
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. © 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.
(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 Communications
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- products 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.org
Queen 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.
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…
The 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.
The three day extravaganza will create riot of colours in the air which will attract attention and enthusiasm across. Delhiites who have been indulging in this sport for many years will have a visual delight to watch for. Professional Kite Flying experts from across India and World will be taking part in this year’s kite festival.The festival will be inaugurated by Somnath Bharti, Minister of Tourism, Law, Art & Culture & Administrative Reforms, Govt. of Delhi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival has a lot in store. Some of the major highlights are night kite flying, where expert kite flyers will fly kites attaching LED lights and kite trails, which will have more than 100 kites on one string.Famous international kite flyers like Barbara Meyer from USA, Bob C from UK ,Sami Sayeghs from Beirut, Tinton and Sari from Indonesia, Cho from South Korea and Antonio from France will be demonstrating their skills in this year’s Delhi International Kite Festival. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThey would demonstrate their kite flying skills with kites like Hexagon Stars, Sled Kites, Delta kites, Barongi kites and many more. This year the festival will have 30 expert Kite Flyers from across India from places like Kerala, Chennai, Rajkot, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Trivandrum and Delhi.A theme stall is also set up where an exhibition on the history of kites will enlighten visitors about this age old art. This stall will also display kites of different sizes from one square inch to 70 square inch, kites made of tissue paper, elastic paper, bamboo, cloth, etc. More so Delhiites will get a perfect opportunity to savour lip smacking food as there will be a food stall, which will have street foods of Delhi and Rajasthani food. Cultural programs scheduled every evening will enthral the visitors too. There will be folk music performances, dances by Sahitya Kala Parishad. There will be magic shows, puppet shows, biscope, longman etc. to provide visitors a fun filled time at the Kite Festival.A special kite making demonstration for children will be organised where professional kite flyers will showcase their expertise and demonstrate the art of kite making. A painting competition for children will also be organised on 25 Jan, (Saturday) at 2 pm at the venue.Delhi Tourism’s sole purpose to celebrate kite festival is to revive the fading age old tradition and give an opportunity to Delhiites to witness patangbaazi out in the open.When: 24-26 January; Timings: 12pm-6pmWhere: Golden Jubilee Park. Near Old Yamuna Iron Bridge
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed her displeasure over the Deshikottama controversy.This is for the first time that the Deshikottama award will not be given at the convocation of Visva Bharati University. It is a convention that the Prime Minister, who is the Chancellor of the varsity, confers the Deshikottama award. There has been no convocation in the past four years. The last Chancellor who visited the university during the convocation, was Manmohan Singh in 2008. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe Chief Minister said “Convocation is not a place for politics. It is a place of pride, it is a place of Kabiguru,” adding that “The importance of the function would have been more had the Deshikottama award been conferred”.Visva Bharati’s Executive Committee had cleared the names of Amitabh Bachchan, Amitav Ghosh, Gulzar, Suniti Kumar pathak, Ashok Sen and Jogen Chowdhury for the award. The names were sent to the Ministry of Human Resources for vetting. The MHRD sat on the file and neither approved nor rejected the names. Mamata Banerjee said she had come to attend the convocation with Rajiv Gandhi, when she was an MP from Jadavpur. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedShe said she would be present at the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan. Banerjee maintained that she had the finest relation with Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh and hoped that Indo-Bangladesh relation would improve. “We are neighbours and our relationship is very deep,” she said, adding that her relation with Sheikh Hasina “is not political but emotional.” She said she would meet Hasina on Saturday in Kolkata and described her visit as “a courtesy call.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come to Visva Bharati on Friday. He will come to Andal Airport and then will fly to Visva Bharati by helicopter.Sheikh Hasina will reach the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at 9 pm and will leave for the venue in a helicopter as well. The convocation will start at 10.30 am and will continue till 11.55 pm. The Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh, along with Mamata banerjee, will be present at the convocation. Then, they will go to the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan.Hasina will also attend a function at Jorasanko Thakurbari. On Saturday, she will be conferred D.Litt at the convocation of Kazi Nazrul University. In the afternoon, she will attend a function at Netaji Bhavan and will meet Mamata Banerjee later.
Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court today allowed the Railways to carry out eviction of encroachers at New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri stations, and directed the West Bengal government to cooperate with the national transporter in the process. The HC directed the state government to depute a magistrate to oversee the drive to evict around 80 illegal shops encroaching on railway land at the two stations. Justice Rajasekhar Mantha also granted authority to the Railway to use its own force for the eviction drive. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights New Jalpaiguri is an important station connecting the Northeastern states with the rest of the country and is being upgraded to a ‘Class A’ station, but the encroachments have hindered the development of infrastructure there, Additional Solicitor General Kaushik Chanda told the court. The HC directed the state government to cooperate and provide assistance to oversee the eviction of around 60 unauthorised vendors, including restaurants, outside the station building of the New Jalpaiguri station complex and 20 shops at Siliguri railway station. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed “The whole country is suffering, every state, every city is suffering due to illegal encroachments,” Justice Mantha observed while disposing of the petition filed by the Railways. Chanda and counsel Saptarshi Roy submitted that the West Bengal government has written that its concurrence is required for removal of the encroachers and sought direction to the state for providing assistance in carrying out the eviction order. Justice Mantha said the Railways will not require concurrence of the state government for evicting the illegal occupiers at the two stations, which are under the jurisdiction of North Frontier Railway (NFR). The high court had, on a petition by the NFR, ordered eviction of illegal shops at the two stations on July 5, 2016. However, unable to find assistance from the state to remove the encroachments, NFR moved the high court again in July 2017. Justice Joymalya Bagchi, who had passed the eviction order earlier, told the state and railway authorities to form a high-power committee to oversee the modalities and execution of the eviction order. Since there was not much headway in execution of the order, the NFR authorities moved the high court again today seeking assistance of the state government. The encroachments, by illegal shops and settlements on railway land adjacent to the tracks, hamper development of services to passengers at stations as well as punctuality of trains owing to speed restrictions, a senior railway official said.
The issue of farmers’ suicide rocked the Assembly on Monday with BJP members entering the Well of the House, demanding a debate on it and dubbing the Siddaramaiah government as “anti-farmer”.As the House met for the day, Opposition BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar raised the issue of repeated incidents of farmers suicides, with many incidents reported in the sugar belt of Mandya district. “Farmers are losing hope,
The jury is still out on the genre of The Merchant of Venice, one of the most debated and complex plays by William Shakespeare. While some argue it’s a comedy there is still a debate on it being a tragic comedy or a problem play. However, when Vikram Kapadia decided to direct The Merchant of Venice for Aadyam theatre, he was sure that his adaptation of the Bard would be a black comedy. “It is open to many interpretations. But for me, it is a black comedy. It’s always a challenge to adapt the Bard’s work. Since playing around with dialogue means killing the play, I have only made it contemporary with the costumes and the set,” Kapadia told in an interview. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Adapted in a contemporary setting, it is a universal tale showcasing the games people play. There is deception, treachery, love, hatred and revenge. For Kapadia, the play is politically and socially relevant than ever before. The satire on society is also an exciting thriller. Venice and Belmont are now recast as worlds of great gamblers, rich business men, socialites and the prodigal youth. It’s a world where morals and conscience are replaced by opportunism and convenience. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe play opens with a cross-dressed singer (very central to many Shakespearean plays) crooning in a night club, introducing the audience into a heady world of cocktails and casinos. It’s in the bar that Antonio (Luke Kenny) a rich merchant promises Bassanio, his young friend 3,000 ducats for wooing beautiful heiress Portia.The play revolves around two main plots— Bassanio’s adventures playing the lotto to win Portia and Shylock’s pursuit of Antonio’s ‘pound of flesh.’ Shylock, the central character, is the heartbreaking villain, an unmerciful Jew moneylender. The most successful banker in Venice, he is regularly slighted by the Jews and is constantly in competition with Antonio. In his modern take on the play, Kapadia tried to portray Shylock more sympathetically, like most of the contemporary renditions.Shylock is played by the director himself. Sporting a magnificent beard (minus the red hat) he makes a poignant performance. Kapadia’s Shylock comes across as a wounded person with a sense of pride and pulled off the predicament of Shylock with ease and elan.However, one wonders if Kapadia was successful in bringing out the human side of Shylock. The director also failed to show the intensity of the relationship between Shylock and his daughter Jessica, who elopes with Lorenzo, a Christian, which shatters Shylock. Another character who took the centerstage is Portia. She is stubborn, vindictive, wealthy and beautiful, a character with many shades. Yuki Ellias as Portia was at her best at the court scene, which is very melodramatic. Despite Rajeev Siddhartha’s good looks, he failed to make an impression as Bassanio. The Moroccon king (Neil Bhoopalam), Portia’s unsuccessful suitor put on a brilliant show, as did Jim Sarbh as Gratiano, Bassanio’s friend.Somehow, Kapadia fumbled at places, where he tried to induce a contemporary flavor to the narrative. His idea of modernity highlighting a night club, actors in bikinis and bottom slapping of women didn’t fit the plot.
Kolkata: Air-conditioned Volvo buses, named as Banglashree Express by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, which will connect district headquarters with Kolkata, will be flagged off on Wednesday.The Chief Minister will be flagging off the buses in front of Nabanna. In the same programme, trauma care air-conditioned ambulances and mechanical wrecker vans will also be flagged off. Twenty two trauma care air-conditioned ambulances and 13 mechanical wrecker vans will be flagged off on Wednesday. Also Read – Sowing activities on track with ample rain in S Bengal districtsWith Chief Minister flagging off the Banglashree Express buses, the air-conditioned bus service between Kolkata and headquarters of the districts will be initiated. It was the month of March when the decision was taken to introduce the bus service between the district headquarters and Kolkata.State Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari had said: “Initiative has been taken to introduce bus services to connect district headquarters with the city, which will further improve connectivity with districts.” Also Read – Son-in-law arrested in connection with Garden Reach murder incidentAn official of the state Transport department said that the Chief Minister has named the buses as Banglashree Express. It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister had named all projects of the state Transport department, including Gatidhara and Jalodhara.She has also designed the logo of the Gatidhara scheme, under which unemployed youth receive a financial support of Rs 1 lakh to buy a commercial vehicle. In the last financial year, more than 10,000 youths have received the benefit of the Gatidhara scheme. In a bid to ensure that the service gets introduced as early as possible, a high level meeting took place in May and the top brass of the state Transport department and all the corporations under it had a detailed discussion on issues in this connection.It may be mentioned that the state Transport department has already introduced 300 new buses and there are projects in the pipeline to introduce more.In the beginning of June, the state Transport minister had flagged off five air-conditioned Volvo buses from Esplanade. The buses operate from Kolkata to different parts of North Bengal at present.With introduction of the buses, people from North Bengal are getting immensely benefitted. It has ensured better bus service between Kolkata and North Bengal as the same operates from Kolkata to Siliguri, Kolkata to Alipurduar via Cooch Behar and Kolkata to Kandi.
Active-play video games used for exercising can improve physical and mental fitness in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).”We think that the exertion of participating in this type of game helps to improve the neural connections in the brains of these children,” said one of the researchers Claudia Hilton, associate professor at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, US.The findings suggest the use of exergames —video games that are also a form of exercise —has the potential to serve as a valuable addition to therapies for children with autism spectrum disorders who have motor and executive function impairments. Executive function is the higher level of intelligence that helps us to plan and organise. It is used to redirect higher thinking when changing plans and suppressing inappropriate behaviours. It is important for being able to live independently as adults. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The researcher investigated the use of the Makoto arena, a triangular shaped arena with pillars at each point, each with lights and sounds at various levels of the pillars for improving
Kolkata: North 24-Parganas district police arrested three persons, including two Bangladeshi nationals from Gobardanga on Saturday night.The Bangladeshi nationals are Sujan Roy (26) and Rajib Mondal (26). They were aimlessly roaming near the market place situated close to the railway station when they were arrested. Police have also arrested one Najrul Mondal, who is believed to be a tout and had helped the duo to cross the border.According to police, all the three persons were roaming aimlessly and this aroused suspicion of the police personnel, who were conducting vigil in the area. They were taken to the local police station for interrogation. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifePolice have arrested them as they failed to produce any valid documents. It was learnt that in the face of prolonged interrogation, the duo admitted they had entered the Indian Territory illegally through the Indo-Bangladesh border at Jhaidnaga village.They also told the police that Mondal had helped them to cross the international border. The accused, however, claimed that they had come here for job.Police are investigating all possible angles behind the incident. They are yet to ascertain the real motive of the youths and why they had entered the country with the help of a tout. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPolice are also investigating whether they are involved in any anti-national activities or have been involved with any extremist groups.They have started a detailed probe.It may be mentioned here that the district police have arrested around 15 Bangladeshi nationals in the last few months, who also claimed to have entered the Indian Territory in search of jobs.The district police are vigilant particularly in the border adjoining areas.
Kolkata: The South Eastern Railway (SER)has decided to install a new foot overbridge within three months at Santragachi Railway Station. Senior officials have also instructed the concerned authorities to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras on the existing foot overbridge before Diwali, for better crowd management.According to P S Mishra, General Manager of SER, they have decided to install the new foot overbridge as soon as possible. On Thursday, he visited Santragachi station and instructed the officials to complete the work within January 31. Sources informed that work of infrastructure development is already in progress at Santragachi. After the stampede incident, the railway authorities have decided to install the foot overbridge as early as possible and for that other works will be delayed. The new foot overbridge will be 12 metres wide and its length will be 161 metres. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeApart from installation of the foot overbridge, Mishra has also directed the officials to install more CCTV cameras in the existing foot overbridge before Diwali, as during the festival, the passenger load is likely to increase. The cameras will help the railway authorities to manage the crowd. Additional Railway Protection Force (RPF) and commercial staff will be deployed at Santragachi station during peak hours, until the foot overbridge gets completed. Apart from security management, senior officials have also directed to install new Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVM) at both entry points of the station, to avoid long queues. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to sources, though the railway authorities are about to install more CCTV cameras, no one knew that the existing cameras were not working. After the incident, when the cameras were checked for footage, it came to light that they were not working. On Tuesday evening, two persons died and at least 12 others were injured after a stampede occurred at Santragachi Station, when announcements were made about the simultaneous arrival of trains on platforms connected by the foot overbridge.
Kolkata: Four persons waiting in the out patient department (OPD) of the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital were injured after a chunk of concrete came off from the ceiling and fell on them Friday, police said. The incident happened in the waiting hall of the ophthalmology department’s OPD around noon. The four, after preliminary medical treatment, were released, police said. “Because the building is quite old, there are some rooms where the ceiling is not in good condition. We have closed the room,” a senior doctor at the hospital said.