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Federal use of AI in visa applications could breach human rights report

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first_imgOTTAWA – A new report is warning about the federal government’s interest in using artificial intelligence to screen and process immigrant files, saying it could create discrimination, as well as privacy and human rights breaches.The research, conducted by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab outlines the impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions within the technology could lead to “life-and-death ramifications” for immigrants and refugees.The authors of the report issue a list of seven recommendations calling for greater transparency and public reporting and oversight on government’s use of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to automate certain activities involving immigrant and visitor applications.“We know that the government is experimenting with the use of these technologies … but it’s clear that without appropriate safeguards and oversight mechanisms, using A.I. in immigration and refugee determinations is very risky because the impact on people’s lives are quite real,” said Petra Molnar, one of the authors of the report.“A.I. is not neutral. It’s kind of like a recipe and if your recipe is biased, the decision that the algorithm will make is also biased and difficult to challenge.”Earlier this year, federal officials launched two pilot projects to have an A.I. system sort through temporary resident visa applications from China and India. Mathieu Genest, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, says the analytics program helps officers triage online visa applications to “process routine cases more efficiently.”He says the technology is being used exclusively as a “sorting mechanism” to help immigration officers deal with an ever-growing number of visitor visas from these countries by quickly identifying standard applications and flagging more complex files for review.Immigration officers always make final decisions about whether to deny a visa, Genest says.But this isn’t the only dive into artificial intelligence being spearheaded by the Immigration Department.In April, the department started gauging interest from the private sector in developing other pilot projects involving A.I., or “machine learning,” for certain areas of immigration law, including in humanitarian and compassionate applications, as well as pre-removal risk assessments.These two refugee streams of Canada’s immigration system are often used as a last resort by vulnerable people fleeing violence and war to remain in Canada, the Citizen Lab report notes.“Because immigration law is discretionary, this group is really the last group that should be subject to technological experiments without oversight,” Molnar says.She notes that A.I. has a “problematic track record” when it comes to gender and race, specifically in predictive policing that has seen certain groups over-policed.“What we are worried about is these types of biases are going to be imported into this high risk laboratory of immigration decision-making.”The government says officials are only interested developing or acquiring a tool to help Immigration and Justice Department officials manage litigation and develop legal advice in immigration law.“The intent is to support decision makers in their work and not replace them,” Genest said.“We are monitoring and assessing the results and success of these pilots before we launch or consider expanding it to other countries and lines of business.”In April, Treasury Board released a white paper on “responsible artificial intelligence in the government of Canada,” and is currently consulting with stakeholders to develop a draft directive on the use of automated decision-making technologies within government.Molnar says she hopes officials will consider the Citizenship Lab’s research and recommendations, including their call for an independent, arms-length oversight body to monitor and review the use of A.I. decision-making systems.“We are beyond the conversation whether or not A.I. is being used. The question is, if A.I. is here to stay we want to make sure it is done right.”—Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.last_img
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Pot producer Sun Pharm to become Zenabis via reverse takeover

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first_imgVANCOUVER – Medical marijuana producer Sun Pharm Investments Ltd. is moving to create Zenabis Global Inc., a publicly-traded company with growing operations in British Columbia, New Brunswick, and eventually in Nova Scotia.The privately-held cannabis company is merging with a subsidiary of propagated agricultural plants supplier Bevo Agro Inc. via reverse takeover, in which a smaller firm takes over a public company.Bevo is currently listed on the TSX Venture exchange and after the transaction and amalgamation, the company will change its name to Zenabis, taking after one of Sun Pharm’s cannabis brands.Sun Pharm says it currently has two licensed production facilities in British Columbia and New Brunswick, with a third due to come online shortly in Nova Scotia, together, encompassing more than 61,000 square metres of growing space.After the transaction is complete, the companies say Bevo’s greenhouse facilities in Langley are intended to be expanded and retrofitted.On completion of planned expansions, the companies say the combined entity will have more than 320,000 square metres of indoor and greenhouse space across the three provinces.Companies in this story: (TSXV:BVO)last_img
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Sensex slips from lifetime high on profit booking

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first_imgMumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex retreated from its lifetime high to close 135 points lower Thursday as investors booked profits at higher levels amid weak global cues. After rising to an intra-day record of 39,487.45 points, the 30-share index turned negative to settle 135.36 points, or 0.34 per cent, lower at 39,140.28. The broader NSE Nifty slipped 34.35 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 11,752.80. The benchmark indices had closed at record highs on Tuesday on earnings optimism and forecast of a near-normal monsoon. Markets were closed Wednesday for Mahavir Jayanti. Also Read - Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal "After a period of significant momentum ahead of the general elections, the market may take a pause in some kind of an interim profit-booking," said Joseph Thomas-Head Research, Emkay Wealth Management. "The accelerating scenario of a slowdown in global growth as also the definitive prospects of higher fuel prices and a weaker currency may also be working on the minds of the market participants at this juncture, he added. Top losers in the Sensex pack included Yes Bank, Vedanta, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, L&T, SBI, NTPC, Kotak Bank, HDFC, HDFC Bank, PowerGrid, Infosys and ITC, falling up to 4.18 per cent. Also Read - Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost On the other hand, RIL was the biggest gainer on the index, rising 2.79 per cent ahead of its Q4 results. Tata Motors, Asian Paints, TCS, Coal India, Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank and HUL also ended in the green, rising up to 2.32 per cent. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased equity worth a net Rs 1,038.58 crore on Tuesday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares to the tune of Rs 37.22 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed. Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Japan, China and Korea ended in the red. In Europe, bourses in Germany, France and the UK were trading on a mixed note in early deals. Global crude oil benchmark Brent futures fell 0.17 per cent to USD 71.50 per barrel. Meanwhile, the Indian rupee appreciated 5 paise to 69.55 against the US dollar intra-day.last_img
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Norfolk supports action against activist lawbreakers

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Municipalities are backing farmers who fear the Ontario legal system is unwilling to protect them from activists who break the law in the name of animal rights.Norfolk council recently endorsed a resolution from the Township of Warwick calling on the Ford government to defend the rights of farmers who have been harassed.The resolution calls on Attorney General Doug Downey to “work with his fellow MPPs and agricultural leaders to find a better way forward to ensure stronger enforcement of existing laws – or new legislation – to ensure the safety of Ontario’s farm families, employees and animals.”Warwick Township council is based in Watford. The June 17 resolution notes that “in recent months, there has been a steady increase in harassment of farmers and livestock transporters by activists opposed to animal agriculture and the consumption of animals.“The protests have become blatantly illegal in nature with extremist groups trespassing onto private property, unlawfully entering into buildings, and removing animals without fear of prosecution and even promoting and publishing their crimes on social media.”Vittoria Coun. Chris Van Paassen moved approval of the Warwick resolution at the July 9 meeting of council.“People are quite concerned about their safety and the safety of their livestock,” Van Paassen said.Farmers and the organizations representing them sat up and took notice last spring when an animal rights activist broke into a Lucan-area barn and removed an allegedly sick piglet.The Toronto woman was charged with break-and-enter and mischief. However, the London Free Press reported May 12 that Crown attorneys dropped the charges because “there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.”On social media, the activist declared this a landmark win for “the right to rescue.”A spokesman for Ontario Pork said this is worrisome because it will embolden like-minded individuals.The Ontario Federation of Agriculture agrees and is also advising the Ford government to enforce the law.“That’s true,” said Larry Davis, Norfolk, Haldimand and Brant’s representative to the OFA.“We really feel pressure from these people. That’s really upset the OFA. These actions need to be dealt with. We need to keep on top of it.”Davis added: “I’m glad Norfolk County has addressed that resolution. That’s good for agriculture.”Unauthorized individuals breaking into livestock facilities can cause an enormous amount of damage and suffering.Many facilities are bio-secure to guard against pathogens. Some bacterial, viral and fungal agents can result in the destruction of entire herds and flocks to prevent their spread to other farms. Transmission by footwear is a common means of infection.Const. Ed Sanchuk, spokesperson for the Norfolk OPP, said the local force will charge anyone engaged in trespassing, break-and-enter and theft.Sanchuk recommended that livestock operators fit their buildings with high-quality video cameras.Even where offenders obscure their faces, there is usually something identifiable when surveillance equipment produces good-quality images, he said.“If there is evidence to support charges, charges will be laid,” Sanchuk said. “There’s nothing like having direct evidence for a crime in front of you.”Sanchuk added that incursions of this sort are often advertised and organized on social media. He said anyone spotting such activity should call local police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com
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Three Canadian banks surprise analysts with better lending results

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by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 28, 2013 11:00 am MDT Three Canadian banks surprise analysts with better lending results TORONTO – Three of Canada’s biggest banks delivered first-quarter results on Thursday that outshone analyst expectations, helped by improvement in their lending operations.Both Royal Bank (TSX:RY) and TD Bank (TSX:TD) boosted their quarterly dividend payments, leaving CIBC (TSX:CM) as the unexpected lone wolf to keep its payouts at their current level. But aside from the disappointment, the results from the banks included more positive surprises than negative ones.Royal Bank said that net income rose 12 per cent to $2.07 billion, or $1.36 per share, in the period. Adjusted earnings amounted to $1.38 per share, beating analyst estimates by six cents, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.TD Bank’s earnings grew 21 per cent to $1.79 billion, or $1.86 per share. Adjusted profits were $1.92 billion or $2 per share, eight cents above a consensus estimates.CIBC delivered the weakest overall results with profits falling more than four per cent to $798 million, or $1.91 per share, affected by a $148 million loss booked in its structured credit business. The bank said when filtering out those costs, adjusted earnings rose to $868 million or $2.15 per share, seven cents above the consensus estimate.Concerns the banking sector is headed towards more challenging times didn’t appear to be quite as evident as some analysts had anticipated before the quarterly reports began earlier this week.The banks demonstrated that their personal and commercial loans businesses are still solid, even as expectations point to consumer lending growth slowing in the coming quarters amid persistent economic weakness.“The results that have come out of the domestic businesses have just been much better than my expectations,” said Tom Lewandowski, a financial services analyst with Edward Jones in St. Louis.“I’ve held the contention that as you see slower growth (the banks are) going to have to reposition your balance sheet into lower yield securities. If business growth continues to keep up with what we’ve seen here in the first quarter, that … may be less of a concern.”On the dividend front, Royal Bank will rise five per cent to 63 cents per share. TD’s payout will rise by four cents to 81 cents per share. CIBC will keep its dividend unchanged, despite expectations from analysts to the contrary.CIBC president and chief executive Gerry McCaughey defended the bank’s decision to holding steady on the dividend when asked by an analyst on the earnings conference call.“I wouldn’t read too much into our not raising the dividend this quarter,” he said.“On the capital front, we’re also in the middle of a (stock) buyback program that’s going at an accelerated pace. As I said before, to the extent that you have a buyback, it does allow you to raise your dividend more rapidly and stay within your payout ratio.”He said the bank is still considering “the exact mix” of its buyback program, which would determine what happens to dividend increases in the coming quarters. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
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Week in Westminster – Week ending Friday 8 November 2013

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DOWNLOAD1. Government publishes call for evidence for £500 million ULEV funding2. £75 million fund for APC projects announced3. Perkins Review of Engineering Skills published4. October shows growth in new car, commercial vehicle and bus and coach registrations5. Commission launched to address second hand car complaints6. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
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PPPs Presidential candidate says he is committed to Guyanas advancement progress

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Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related'We will bring back progress to this country'- PPP/C presidential candidateJanuary 21, 2019In "latest news"Ali promises to restore lost hope of GuyaneseMarch 4, 2019In "latest news"Ali calls on supporters to return PPP to officeMarch 11, 2019In "latest news" PPP Presidential candidate, Irfaan AliPresidential candidate for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Ifraan Ali, in expressing his gratitude towards his Party for electing him to the helm, said that he sees himself as part of “a broader team that will advance an agenda, which has as its primary focus, the people of our country.”Moreover, in a statement, Ali expounded “that I commit, fully, to the programme of the Party, as it relates to delivering greater prosperity and progress for all our people, regardless of race, religion or gender, as well as to ensure the advancement of our nation.”Ali said the years of experience that he has working under various capacities within the Party, Parliament and in Government has positioned him to tackle “some of the most severe challenges facing our people and country – the increasing levels of joblessness, increasing debt, deteriorating investor confidence, poor performance of the economy, poor implementation of the PSIP, incompetence in government, the diminishing of welfare programmes that benefited vulnerable groups, ill-informed decisions and taxation policies that has affected key sectors.”See his full statement below:I am humbled to have been selected by my Party as the presidential candidate. I wish to express my sincerest gratitude to the leadership of the Party for reposing in me their confidence.I also thank the thousands, in and out of the Party, who have publicly and privately encouraged me to seek the Party’s nomination. I see myself as part of a broader team that will advance an agenda, which has as its primary focus, the people of our country.The assurance of my comrades, who also contested for the candidacy, to working as a team is evidence of a collective commitment to a united People’s Progressive Party (PPP).I commit, fully, to the programme of the Party, as it relates to delivering greater prosperity and progress for all our people, regardless of race, religion or gender, as well as to ensure the advancement of our nation.I am glad that the campaign is over. I hope that the rumor-mongering, which was clearlyintended to spread division in our ranks and to disparage me and the other candidates, will now stop.Over the last 20 years, I have served my Party at regional and national levels. My work with the Progressive Youth Organization (PYO), since 1992, has given me a unique perspective of the challenges facing our youths and the opportunities that exist to enable them to activelyparticipate in the governance of our country and being part of the solution.My Party’s decision to select me, as a young person, is testimony to our commitment to not only talk the talk about youth leaders, but actively facilitate this. I have been elected to the leadership of the Party for almost 15 years and served in various capacities, including as Finance Secretary.My grounding in the PPP has imbued me with a deep sense of commitment to the struggles of all our people, especially the vulnerable, and inspired a personal commitment to the people of Guyana.My experience in government has allowed me the opportunity to design and develop strategies and policies, consistent with the PPP’s manifesto, to overcome hurdles in key sectors.My experience at the technical level, at the State Planning Secretariat and as Head of the Caribbean Development Bank Project Implementation Unit (PIU), allowed me the opportunity of overseeing the design, management and implementation of various projects and programmes across Guyana. With seven years of Cabinet experience I was tasked with the management of large-scale projects, which resulted in the delivery of key goods and services to the Guyanese people.I believe that the experience I have acquired, both in government and as the Finance sectorspokesperson for the Parliamentary Opposition, has positioned me to tackle some of the most severe challenges facing our people and country – the increasing levels of joblessness, increasing debt, deteriorating investor confidence, poor performance of the economy, poor implementation of the PSIP, incompetence in government, the diminishing of welfare programmes that benefited vulnerable groups, ill-informed decisions and taxation policies that has affected key sectors.I look forward, with great anticipation and with the support of my comrades to confront themany challenges that lie ahead to ensure that the People’s Progressive Party is returned togovernment so that we can resume the development agenda that will place our people andcountry back on the path of prosperity.
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Coulées de boue la France est toujours sans nouvelle des touristes disparus

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first_imgCoulées de boue : la France est toujours sans nouvelle des touristes disparus en IndeInde – Alors que le nord de l’Inde est ravagé par d’importantes coulées de boue, le gouvernement français est sans nouvelle de plusieurs dizaines de touristes présents dans cette région au moment de la catastrophe.Ils étaient 150 touristes français présents dans le nord de l’Inde lorsque la région a été victime de gigantesques coulées de boue. Aujourd’hui, les familles de plusieurs dizaines d’entre-eux sont sans nouvelle et cèdent à l’inquiétude. Le Parisien explique pour sa part que la région en question est très prisée des randonneurs et que le bilan officiel est aujourd’hui établi à 185 morts pour 400 disparus, dont trois Français. Ce bilan n’est malheureusement que provisoire, et ce sont bien des dizaines de Français qui sont recherchés en ce moment même. Bien que le ministère français des Affaires étrangères se refuse à parler de décès, les nouvelles sont inexistantes, et les autorités indiennes assurent que les corps des trois Français officiellement portés disparus ont été retrouvés inanimés. Quelques familles ont vu leur inquiétude prendre fin, lorsque certains touristes ont téléphoné à la cellule de crise mise en place afin de signaler qu’ils sont toujours en vie. Le gouvernement français n’abandonne pas les recherches, tandis qu’on estime à 14 millions le nombre de sinistrés dans cette région. Le 12 août 2010 à 13:02 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img
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Curiosity la planète Mars a bien pu abriter de la vie par

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first_imgCuriosity : la planète Mars a bien pu abriter de la vie par le passé Mardi, la NASA a annoncé que les derniers résultats fournis par le rover Curiosity confirme que la planète Mars a pu abriter de la vie par le passé. Les scientifiques ont identifié plusieurs ingrédients chimiques nécessaires à la vie.Un peu plus de huit mois après l'arrivée de Curiosity sur Mars, le rover aurait-il déjà rempli une partie de sa mission ? L'objectif de celle-ci est de déterminer notamment si la planète rouge a un jour pu abriter de la vie. Et il semblerait que Curiosity ait répondu à la question ! C'est du moins ce qu'a affirmé mardi la NASA au cours d'une conférence de presse, un peu plus d'une semaine après la panne que le rover a connue."Une question fondamentale de cette mission est de savoir si Mars a pu abriter un environnement habitable", a expliqué Michael Meyer, principal scientifique du Mars Exploration Program de la NASA. "De ce que nous savons aujourd'hui, la réponse est oui", a t-il ajouté. Comme l'a précisé le chercheur, cette affirmation découle des résultats de l'analyse de roche réalisée par Curiosity et ses deux instruments appelés Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) et Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin). Cette analyse a été plus précisément effectuée sur un échantillon de poudre prélevé à l'intérieur même d'une roche après un forage. Les ingrédients clés pour abriter de la vie Baptisée "John Klein" et dénichée à Yellowknife Bay, la roche en question est composée de mudstone contenant des minéraux argileux, des minéraux de type sulfate et d'autres éléments chimiques. C'est justement là que les découvertes des équipes de la NASA deviennent intéressantes puisque l'analyse a aussi révélé la présence de soufre, d'azote, d'hydrogène, d'oxygène, de phosphore et de carbone. Autant d'éléments qui sont considérés comme des ingrédients clés pour l'existence de vie. "Les minéraux argileux représentent au moins 20% de la composition de l'échantillon", a indiqué David Blake, principal scientifique responsable de l'instrument CheMin au Ames Research Center de la NASA. Or, ces éléments sont les produits de réaction entre de l'eau relativement douce et des minéraux ignés tels que de l'olivine, également présente dans le sédiment. D'après les chercheurs, la réaction pourrait avoir eu lieu dans le dépôt sédimentaire, durant un transport du sédiment ou directement dans sa région source. La présence de sulfate de calcium ajoutée à celle de l'argile suggère ainsi que le sol était plutôt neutre ou moyennement alcalin. Aussi, l'ancien environnement humide de Mars n'était probablement pas, contrairement à d'autres régions de la planète, très oxydant, acide ou extrêmement salé. "On aurait pu boire cette eau", a lancé John Grotzinger, du California Institute of Technology et responsable du projet Curiosity. "Nous avons caractérisé une très ancienne, mais étrangement nouvelle "argile martienne" où les conditions ont été un jour favorables à la vie", a t-il ajouté cité par la NASA.  Des sources d'énergie pour des micro-organismes ? À lire aussiPourquoi certains s'évanouissent-ils à la vue du sang ?"La gamme d'ingrédients chimiques que nous avons identifié dans l'échantillon est impressionnante, et cela suggère des associations telles que des sulfates et des sulfures qui indiquent une source possible d'énergie chimique pour des micro-organismes", a commenté Paul Mahaffy, principal investigateur de l'instrument SAM au Goddard Space Flight Center. Toutefois, les chercheurs ont tenu à souligner : si cette conclusion semble certaine, trouver que la vie est possible ne veut pas dire qu'elle existe ou a existé. Pour l'heure, le rover n'a ainsi trouvé aucune trace de vie ou de micro-organismes quelconques. Mais la NASA est optimiste au vu des découvertes successives révélées par Curiosity. "Curiosity est lancé dans une mission de découvertes et d'exploration, et en tant qu'équipe, nous pensons qu'il y aura bien d'autres découvertes excitantes au cours des mois et années à venir", a assuré John Grotzinger cité dans un communiqué de la NASA. Aussi, les scientifiques comptent bien poursuivre sur leur lancée en laissant Curiosity continuer d'explorer la zone de Yellowknife Bay pendant encore plusieurs semaines.Puis le rover entamera une longue route pour se rapprocher du monticule central du cratère Gale, le Mont Sharp, l'un de ses principaux objectifs. Une fois arrivé là, Curiosity étudiera les surfaces exposées où des minéraux argileux et d'autres de type sulfate ont été repérés depuis l'orbite. Ceci apportera peut-être de nouvelles informations sur la durabilité et la diversité des conditions habitables de la planète rouge. Une chose est sûre, la mission du rover qui devrait durer au moins deux ans, ne fait donc que commencer.Le 13 mars 2013 à 11:34 • Maxime Lambertlast_img
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Man accused of assaulting Vancouver officer police dog

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first_imgA Vancouver man wanted for violating a court order to have no contact with his ex-girlfriend is accused of assaulting a police K-9 and his handler during a confrontation with police late Tuesday.Michael D. Hayes, 27, appeared Thursday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree burglary domestic violence, third-degree assault of an officer, harming a police dog and violation of a protection order.He is accused of forcing his way into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and ignoring her requests for him to leave. When she called police, he allegedly attacked a Vancouver police officer and the officer’s K-9.Judge Suzan Clark held Hayes in Clark County Jail in lieu of $80,000 bail and appointed Vancouver attorney Jeff Barrar to defend him. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 11 on the charges.Police responded at 11:11 p.m. Tuesday to the ex-girlfriend’s home in the Autumn Park Apartments, 13213 S.E. Seventh St. The 26-year-old woman stated that an intoxicated Hayes was inside her apartment without her permission, according to court documents. A records search showed that a judge had ordered Hayes to have no contact with the woman.last_img
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Tim Cook made good case that tariffs could hurt Apple Trump

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first_imgWashington: US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he had spoken with Apple Inc's chief executive, Tim Cook, about the impact of US tariffs on Chinese imports as well as competition from South Korean company Samsung Electronics. Trump said Cook "made a good case" that tariffs could hurt Apple, given that Samsung's products would not be subject to those same tariffs. Also Read - Watch: Donald Trump says Florida faces absolute monster hurricane Advertise With Us Tariffs on an additional USD 300 billion worth of Chinese goods, including consumer electronics, are scheduled to go into effect in two stages on September 1 and December 15. By contrast, the United States and South Korea struck a trade agreement last September. "I thought he made a very compelling argument, so I'm thinking about it," Trump said of Cook, speaking with reporters at a New Jersey airport. Also Read - Pakistan test-fires 290-km range missile Advertise With Us US stock futures rose upon opening on Sunday after Trump's comments. In addition to his comments on Apple, Trump said on Twitter earlier in the day that his administration was "doing very well with China". Apple's MacBook laptops and iPhones would not face the additional tariffs until December 15, but some of the company's other products, including its AirPods, Apple Watch and HomePod, would be subject to the levies on September 1. Apple was not immediately available for comment outside normal business hours.last_img
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RideHailing App Vehicles Abandoned in China

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first_img U.S. Army To Test Remote-Controlled Combat VehiclesDomino's Brings Autonomous Pizza Delivery to Houston Stay on target Is this where good cars go to die? As China’s ride-hailing apps and companies grapple with a safety crisis and slowing growth, photos emerge of more than a thousand vehicles abandoned in an industrial park, most of them still new.The abandoned vehicles are located in Nanjing, in the Jiangsu province of China.View of abandoned ride-hailing app vehicles in Nanjing, China on November 1, 2018. (Photo Credit: VCG/VCG via Getty Images)Earlier this year, Nanjing became the first city in China to put a temporary cap on the number of vehicles that can be hailed online and via apps, as reported by Jiemian (in Chinese). By controlling the issuance of new licenses for ride-hailing vehicles and taxis, the city was hoping to regulate the sector, curb illegal practices, and reduce safety risks.In September, Meituan Dianping, operator of the world’s largest on-demand food delivery service, announced that it was halting further expansion into China’s ride-hailing market. The Beijing-based company started its pilot ride-hailing operations in Shanghai and Nanjing earlier this year, and was expected to compete with the country’s industry leader, Didi Chuxing.The change in strategy for Meituan came after the deaths of two young women passengers on Didi’s carpool-like Hitch service within the space of three months, according to the South China Morning Post.The deaths also prompted China to conduct comprehensive inspections on all ride-haling service companies, according to Reuters. The inspections started in September.Abandoned ride-hailing app vehicles in Nanjing, China on October 31, 2018. (Photo Credit: VCG/VCG via Getty Images)Even with the crises the, ride-hailing industry in China is already worth $30 billion, more than the rest of the world combined, according to a report from consulting firm Bain & Company released in May this year. And it could more than double in size to reach $72 billion by 2020.But fierce competition — aside from big players Didi and Meituan Dianping, third-party apps such as WeChat and Alipay offer ride-hailing services — is likely to allow only a small number of companies to survive.“We’re seeing a lot of acquisition and consolidation,” Raymond Tsang, one of the authors of the Bain & Company report, told CNN Business. “And profitability among these players has not been very high, to say the least.”More on Geek.com:Uber, Lyft Help Voters Get to the Polls on Election DayWaymo, GM Lead Self-Driving Car RaceToyota’s e-Palette Mobile Retail Space Expected in 2020last_img
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George HW Bushs Service Dog Stood Vigil By His Casket

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first_imgSully, the service dog of former President George H.W. Bush, spent the night of December 2, 2018, lying before Bush’s flag-draped casket in Houston, Texas. Jim McGrath, spokesman for the Bush family, tweeted a photo on Sunday night, captioning it “mission complete.”Bush, who served as the 41st U.S. president between 1989 and 1993, died on November 30th at the age of 94. Sully traveled with the casket on the flight from Texas to Washington D.C. on Monday, December 3rd.The former president’s body is due to lie in state this week ahead of a day of national mourning.Official portrait of George H.W. Bush, former President of the United States of America.The coffin is being flown to D.C. on board Air Force One — temporarily renamed Special Air Mission 41, in homage to the late president – and then back on Wednesday, with Sully accompanying the body throughout.Jeb Bush, the late president’s son, had also tweeted the image, saying, “Sully has the watch.”Sully, a two-year-old Labrador Retriever, is named after the airline pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who landed a passenger jet on the Hudson River in New York in 2009, saving all of the 155 passengers and crew on board.Sully, the yellow Labrador retriever service dog of former President George H.W. Bush, waits as joint services military honor guard carry the flag-draped casket of the remains of his master during a departure ceremony to Washington D.C. at Ellington Field on December 3, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, who died on November 30, will lie in state in Washington before returning to Houston for his funeral on Thursday. Photo by David J. Phillip – Pool/Getty ImagesThe dog was assigned earlier this year as a service dog to Bush, who used a wheelchair in the last years of his life.During the summer, Bush tweeted, “A great joy to welcome home the newest member of our family, “Sully,” a beautiful — and beautifully trained — lab from @AmericasVetDogs. Could not be more grateful, especially for their commitment to our veterans.”According to the BBC, “A highly trained dog, Sully can perform a number of commands, including opening doors and fetching items such as the phone when it rings. He will now work as a service dog, assisting with therapy for wounded soldiers.”The former president had been receiving treatment for a form of Parkinson’s disease and had been admitted to the hospital with a blood infection in April.The United States flag is lowered to half mast aboard USS George H.W. Bush on December 1, 2018.The disease caused slow movements and difficulty balancing, among other symptoms. Bush frequently used a wheelchair toward the end of his life, and Sully provided assistance with daily life.“Sully could open doors, pick up items and summon help,” The Associated Press reported.According to the Washington Post, “The display of instinctual, animalistic devotion captured the reaction to Bush’s death in a way that the words spilled all weekend over the Internet could not. Dogs, wrote the poet Emily Dickinson, ‘know but do not tell.’ ”A portrait of Bush in the White House is pictured draped in black mourning crêpe on December 1, 2018.Bush and his wife, Barbara, were noted dog lovers.While in the White House, the Bush’s presidential pets were Millie, a springer spaniel, and later one of Millie’s puppies, named Ranger.(Spot, the White House pet of George W. Bush, was also a puppy of Millie’s.)Millie was famously referred to during the 1992 presidential campaign, when Bush said, of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, “My dog Millie knows more about foreign affairs than these two bozos.”Bush’s remains will lie in state inside the rotunda of the United States Capitol, pictured here in 2005. Photo by Matt H. Wade CC BY-SA 3.0Sully was part of America’sVetDogs, “a service dog program that assists veterans, active-duty service members and first responders with disabilities.”The Washington Post said, “The Labrador was raised by VetDogs, first through its prison puppy program that gives inmates a chance to teach animals the basic tasks of housebreaking and standardized commands, and then at the program’s campus in Smithtown, N.Y.”Sully celebrated his birthday in July “with a bone tied in a bright pink bow. Last week, he was already preparing for Christmas.”That Sully will continue to serve veterans was important to the Bush family. George W. Bush, the late president’s son and 43rd president, predicted that Sully will bring joy to patients at Walter Reed.Read another story from us: The First Dog in American History to be Awarded Military RankPresident Bush will be buried at the presidential library in Texas, alongside his wife, who died seven months ago.last_img
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OpenJDK Project Valhalla is now in Phase III

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first_imgProject Valhalla is an OpenJDK project started in 2014 in an experimental stage. It is headed by Oracle Java language architect Brian Goetz and supported by the HotSpot group. The project was created for introducing value-based optimizations to JDK 10 and above. The goal of Project Valhalla is explore and support development of advanced Java VM and language features like, value types, generic specialization, and variable handles. The Project Valhalla members met last week at Burlington MA to discuss in detail about the current project status and future plans. Goetz notes that it was a very productive meeting with members either attending the venue in person or connecting via calls. After over four years of the project, the members decided to meet as it seemed like a good time to assess the project. Goetz states: “And, like all worthwhile projects, we hadn’t realized quite how much we had bitten off.  (This is good, because if we had, we’d probably have given up.)” This meeting indicates the initiation of Phase III project Valhalla. Phase I focused on language and libraries. Trying to figure out what exactly a clean migration to value types and specialized generics would look like. This included steps to migrate core APIs like Collections and Streams, and understanding the limitations of the current VM. This enabled a vision for the VM that was needed. Phase I produced three prototypes, Models 1-3. The exploration areas of these models included specialization mechanics (M1), handling of wildcards (M2) and classfile representations for specialization and erasure (M3). At this point, the list of VM requirements became too long and they had to take a different approach. Phase II took on the problem from the VM up, with two additional rounds of prototypes namely MVT and LW1. LW1 was a risky experiment; sharing the L-carrier and a* bytecodes between references and values while not losing performance. If this could be achieved, many of the problems from Phase I could go away.  This was successful and now they have a richer base for further work. The next target is L2, which will capture the choices made so far, provide a useful testbed for doing library experiments, and set the stage for tackle remaining open questions between now and L10.  L10 is the target for a first preview, which eventually should support value types and erased generics over values. For more information, you can read the mail on Project Valhalla mailing list. Read next JDK 12 is all set for public release in March 2019 State of OpenJDK: Past, Present and Future with Oracle No more free Java SE 8 updates for commercial use after January 2019last_img
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EU drug regulator starts safety review of HPV vaccines

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first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of LONDON (AP) — The European Medicines Agency says it has started a review of cervical cancer vaccines to see if they are linked to two rare conditions, but emphasized it hasn’t changed its recommendations for how the shots should be used.The vaccines against HPV have been used in more than 70 million people worldwide and prevent cancers caused by HPV, including those of the cervix and womb.In a statement issued on Monday, the European drug regulator said an investigation has started into a possible connection between the HPV vaccines and two conditions: complex regional pain syndrome, and POTS, a condition where the heart rate jumps abnormally after sitting or standing. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health toocenter_img Here's how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Comments   Share   Current HPV vaccine information doesn’t include warnings about these conditions and no causal link has been found.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img
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Fixed Mortgage Rates Hold for Third Straight Week

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first_img Share Mortgage interest rates stayed fairly level this week, settling in ahead of Friday's August jobs report.Freddie Mac released on Thursday the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) coming in at 4.10 percent (0.5 point) for a third straight week, the lowest level seen so far this year.The 15-year fixed average was down slightly, dropping 1 basis point to 3.24 percent (0.5 point).It was a similar story for adjustable rates, with the 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged a rate of 2.97 percent (0.5 point), unchanged from last week, and the 1-year ARM averaging 2.40 percent (0.4 point), up from 2.39 percent previously.The numbers coming from Bankrate.com's weekly survey were similar, with the 30-year fixed average moving up a point to 4.24 percent and the 15-year fixed moving down a point to 3.37 percent. The 5/1 ARM moved slightly more, dropping 7 basis points to 3.25 percent.While it's been a tame summer for mortgage rate movements, analysts at Bankrate say it's only a matter of time before that steadiness ends, especially as economic improvements spur policymakers at the Federal Reserve to stop holding interest rates down as much."If we get another upbeat jobs report this week, the bond market could begin to realize that higher interest rates are an eventuality, leading mortgage rates higher," they said in a release.As for what will happen next week, expert opinions are split between an increase and no meaningful change."[W]hen rates do rise, they won't go up gradually, like a gently sloping hill. They'll march upward in steps, like a flight of stairs," said Holden Lewis, assistant managing editor at Bankrate. "That first step might be a doozy. It might happen in the coming week (doubtful) or months from now." in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Bankrate Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac Mortgage Rates 2014-09-04 Tory Barringercenter_img Fixed Mortgage Rates Hold for Third Straight Week September 4, 2014 472 Views last_img
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Failed breakin at Larnaca coop

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first_imgPolice on Saturday were investigating an attempt to break into a co-op bank in the Larnaca area in the early morning hours.Police said a patrol was dispatched at the scene after the alarm at the Makrasyka branch in Anglisides went off at around 3am.Officers found that the would-be thieves had broken the glass of one of the emergency exit doors in the front of the building.The branch manager arrived just before 4am and gave police access to the security camera footage, which recorded the perpetrators trying to break in.Security footage showed a car parking on the street in front of the branch but its registration was not visible.A tall, stocky, individual wearing a ski mask and a sweat shirt with a hood got out of the car and headed for the door.The individual, who was wielding what looked like a screwdriver, repeatedly kicked the glass door and then hurriedly returned to the vehicle, which headed towards a rural area.The branch manager and another employee confirmed that nothing was missing from the bank. You May LikeClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It's FreeClassmates.comUndoFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoAuthorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img
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Sher nephew and Dep

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