You shot to fame with Autograph in 2010. From then to now, how will you describe your journey? It has been a journey of almost nine years and it is very difficult to put this experience into words. I have been lucky and blessed! You have also started composing singles that are being produced by SVF Music. How did the decision to do something different come about? I have been doing albums for the last nine years and making a single is not new to me. Like other artistes, I always wanted to have my own album. But things here are not very smooth. Film music takes precedence over other kinds of music. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knotThings changed for me after Autograph. I would have come up with my albums anyway, but I don’t think they would have been equally popular. Autograph has given me a lot. The songs in the movie and the way they were picturised became popular because they were a part of a huge film. I have always been into making albums; I have been doing my own stuff. I write a lot of songs and when I feel like they are not in sync with films or not in line with the theme, I release them as singles or albums. Also Read – ‘Vaastav’ gave me the real sense of being an actor: Sanjay Dutt on film’s 20-year anniversary What kind of response have you been receiving for your singles so far? The response has been very encouraging. We are generally very scared to do Bangla singles and albums. I made an album called Bakyobageesh in 2014 which released along with a song I had composed for Chotushkone. The song from Chotushkone became so popular that my album did not reach a lot of people. It was very unfair! I have decided, the next time I make an album, I will release it at a time when none of my film albums will be around or else it too will face the same fate! But things look brighter now. People are restless and want to listen to something different. That is paving the way for a new genre of music that does not necessarily fit into film narratives. My single Kalboishakhi worked moderately well. We have performed the song live several times. Next came a dance number, Mithye Kotha. No one expected a dance number from me. That song really clicked and the audience started requesting the song at live shows. I had the chance of experimenting with alternative rock, and that is how we created Ish Debashish. The song deals with battling mid-life crisis. There is no movie in Bengal that deals with a subject like that or that has the space for a song like this. Thus, it found a place in my solo project. It also did quite well, not as much as Mitthe Kotha which is more mainstream in its appeal. But we have been performing the song at our concerts. Many singers believe that composing non-film music is more liberating than film music. What do you think? That holds true for many artistes. For me, that is partially true. I don’t exactly compose for films. I write songs on my own. And, if a script or a film comes to me, I usually play the existing songs from my bank. The makers listen to them and take their pick. It is not that a film dictates my song-writing. The makers select my songs for their films. So, the process is different for me and I think it is very liberating. If at all I have to make songs for films, then I am restricted by the characters, the storyline and the situation. If I have Soumitra Chatterjee and Sabitri Chatterjee on screen, I will not have a loud song; I would have a mellow number or maybe just a soft cello or piano playing in the background as a prelude to my song. In a way, it is liberating when I am writing and composing songs for films as well. When it comes to albums, it is completely liberating. In albums, I can use any instrument and there is no restriction on their duration. You have worked in both the Bangla and Hindi music industries. Do you sense any differences? Yes, there is a lot of difference between both these industries. When I am working on a Hindi film, I am making music for audiences who belong to a different demography. It is very difficult to create a tune that appeals to everyone. But, in Bengal, I have a very good understanding of the kind of songs that the Bangla audience will like. Rabindra Sangeet is very popular in West Bengal. But it is not as popular across India. People have tried to translate them in several languages, but they have not worked. Only the national anthem has worked at the national level (Laughs). Bengali and Hindi, as languages, are so different. S D Burman, Salil Chowdhury and R D Burman have crossed boundaries and created everlasting melodies. I try to follow their footsteps. I want to create something similar to what they did. Hindi films become a little difficult for people like us who are starting their journey in this industry. Most songs that you compose do not find a place in films. Last year, I worked on October, which was a fantastic film. I composed a song that was sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. That song became quite popular but it was not there in the film. In fact, there are no songs in the movie. Then, I had also worked in Pink. I composed two songs for it that were not there in the movie. I consider myself lucky that five of my songs were retained in Piku. I had also composed its background score. That was a very fulfilling experience. What are your upcoming projects? Bengal has been very kind to me. I have been offered four to five movies a year and sometimes more. I started this year with Shah Jahan Regency. I am composing music for Srijitda’s Vinci Da. In May, I will be doing Shibu’s (Shiboprosad Mukherjee) Konttho. After that, I have another film of his called Belashuru. I also have Mainak Bhaumik’s Bornoporichoy. So I have my hands full. I think 2019 will be quite musical for me!
New York – Morocco ranked African champion of international tourism in 2015.The African Development Bank (AfDB) published its third annual continental tourism report on Wednesday, in which Morocco registered the highest number of international tourist arrivals in 2014.According to the Africa Tourism Monitor 2015, a joint publication of the African Development Bank (AfDB), New York University Africa House, and the Africa Travel Association (ATA), for its second consecutive year, Morocco maintained its record of over 10 million tourist arrivals. The North African country recorded 10.2 million international tourist arrivals in 2014 compared to 10.05 million in 2013.Morocco ranked ahead of South Africa with 9.5 million tourists, Egypt with 9.1 million and Tunisia with 6.7 million international arrivals.According to the African report, which studied tourists’ arrivals from March 2014 to March 2015, Morocco received 28 percent of international tourists who visited Africa.South Africa was in second place with 24 percent of the totalnumber of arrivals, while Egypt took the third spot with 17 percent of Africa’s tourism, in the same period.In terms of employment, Africa tourism generates 20.5 million jobs, including direct, indirect and induced types of employment supporting the travel and tourism industry, the report revealed.Among Africa Tourism Monitor’s list of Top 10 African Countries for Total Employment (Direct, Indirect, Induced) in the Tourism Industry for 2014, Morocco ranked fourth place with 1.74 million jobs, ahead of South Africa (1.50 million).Egypt ranked number one in tourism industry employment with 2.94 million jobs, followed by Ethiopia (2.29 million) and Nigeria (2.2 million).Morocco’s leading tourism figures coupled with its top safety ratings have placed the North African country as one of the top travel destinations for tourists worldwide.The French and British Foreign Ministries recommend Morocco in their list of safe countries for British and French nationals to visit.Five-star accommodations, entertainment that meets and exceeds global standards, the uniqueness of its terrain, rich history, culture and hospitality par excellence are just some of the many qualities that place Morocco among leaders of the travel and tourism industry.“These rankings mean that Morocco is becoming a full-fledged destination, highly competitive, but also a leader when it comes to innovative and sustainable solutions to tourism development issues,” Moroccan Minister of Tourism Lahcen Haddad said in a statement to Morocco World News.The 2015 report was themed “Unlocking Africa’s Tourism Potential,” in terms of investment, sustainability, development, business partnerships, and economic growth.Africa Tourism Monitor illustrates how the travel and tourism industry involves local communities to participate and thrive in these sectors.The same report informed that international tourism in Africa is mainly driven by the United States (22 percent), the United Kingdom (19 percent) and France (17 percent), representing nearly 60 percent of the total of arrivals in 2015.
6 May 2008The international community needs to refocus on South Sudan and to increase support for recovery and development there, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General said today. Speaking to the third meeting of the Sudan Consortium held in Oslo, Norway, Asha-Rose Migiro said the main goals must be to improve security and living standards, rebuild infrastructure, advance disarmament and demobilization, strengthen the rule of law, and to create secure conditions in the country.The Sudan Consortium, which is led by the UN and the World Bank, brings together governments and civil society organizations from around the world, including representatives from Sudan itself. It was established in 2005 following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended 21 years of civil war between South Sudan and the national Government of the country.Ms. Migiro said that the initial pledging conference for Sudan three years ago had “proved crucial in mobilizing resources for the initial phase of the CPA. It is therefore opportune that, three years later, we return here once again to energize our efforts in support of the CPA.”She cited significant achievements, including the return of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes, and the increase in the number of children going to primary school in South Sudan from 350,000 in 2005 to 1.2 million in 2007. But she added that “much more needs to be done. A unique but narrow window of opportunity exists, which, if grasped, can help Sudan…achieve a lasting and broad-based peace.”Ms. Migiro noted that the continuing violence in the Darfur region of Sudan is “of grave concern,” but added that it is “of critical importance that the focus on Darfur should not eclipse our work for peace throughout the rest of Sudan.”Before today’s meeting in Oslo, a group of 20 women from all over Sudan said that progress since the first Consortium meeting had been “too slow” and called for international support for women’s leadership in the country and the realization of a 25 per cent quota for women in public office.At a meeting in the Norwegian capital facilitated by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the women expressed “grave concern” about the situation in Sudan and said they are “particularly concerned about the persistence of extremely poor human development indicators in relation to women and girls’ literacy, maternal mortality, productive asset security, economic and political empowerment and protection from gender-based violence.”
Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette will be travelling to Kosovo on Sunday, resuming her visits to peacekeeping missions to reinforce Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse for United Nations personnel. As she has in previous stops, the Deputy Secretary-General will review the status of relevant prevention and enforcement measures in place at the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Ms. Fréchette will be in Kosovo from 5 to 7 June to be followed by a visit to Burundi from 8 to 10 June.She has already visited UN peacekeeping missions in West Africa from 28 February to 6 March 2005, including those in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.
President Trump tells Mexico, Canada he won’t pull out of NAFTA President Donald Trump signs the Education Federalism Executive Order during a federalism event with governors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) by The Canadian Press Posted Apr 26, 2017 9:09 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 27, 2017 at 4:52 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email President Donald Trump on Wednesday told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will not pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, just hours after administration officials said he was considering a draft executive order to do just that.The White House made the surprise announcement in a read-out of calls between Trump, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.“President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries,” said the White House.Trump said he believes “the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.”The announcement came hours after administration officials said Trump was considering a draft executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the deal – though administration officials cautioned it was just one of a number of options being discussed by the president and his staff.Some saw the threat as posturing by Trump to gain leverage over Mexico and Canada as he tries to negotiate changes to the deal. Trump railed against the decades-old trade deal during his campaign, describing it as a “disaster.”Senior White House officials had spent recent days discussing steps that could be taken to start the process of renegotiating or withdrawing from NAFTA before the end of Trump’s first 100 days in office, according to a person familiar with the president’s thinking.But the person, along with an administration official, who both spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations, had said a number of options remained on the table, and stressed discussions are ongoing about the best way to proceed.White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined to comment on the order, which was first reported by Politico.“The president has made addressing the problems of NAFTA a priority throughout the campaign, and once the president makes a decision about how he wants to address that, we’ll let you know,” he said.The administration appeared to be divided Wednesday over how and when to proceed, as they balanced a newfound cautiousness with the desire to rack up accomplishments before Trump’s 100th day on the job.Some were gunning for Trump to sign a draft order this week, while others were weighing the complications surrounding withdrawing from or renegotiating the deal without Congress fully onboard. The debate played out in the press Wednesday as some outlets quoted officials insisting the signing was imminent, while other officials dismissed the reports as “just a rumour.”“My practice is to comment on things we’ve actually done or are doing as opposed to commenting on rumours,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters at an unrelated White House briefing Wednesday evening.Trump could withdraw from NAFTA – but he would have to give six months’ notice. And it is unclear what would happen next. The law Congress passed to enact the trade pact might remain in place, forcing Trump to wrangle with lawmakers and raising questions about the president’s authority to raise tariffs on Mexican and Canadian imports.The decision came days after the administration announced it would slap hefty tariffs on softwood lumber being imported from Canada. Trump has also been railing against changes in Canadian milk product pricing that he says are hurting the American dairy industry.Trump told The Associated Press in an interview last week that he planned to either renegotiate or terminate NAFTA, which he and other critics blame for wiping out U.S. manufacturing jobs because it allowed companies to move factories to Mexico to take advantage of low-wage labour.“I am very upset with NAFTA. I think NAFTA has been a catastrophic trade deal for the United States, trading agreement for the United States. It hurts us with Canada, and it hurts us with Mexico,” he said.Another senior White House official declined to comment on “rumours” of specific actions. But that official said NAFTA has been a top priority for the president since day one and said the administration has been working on it since taking office. That person also spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the administration’s thinking.The Trump administration last month submitted a vague set of guidelines to Congress for renegotiating NAFTA, disappointing those who were expecting Trump to demand a major overhaul.In an eight-page draft letter to Congress, acting U.S. Trade Representative Stephen Vaughn wrote that the administration intended to start talking with Mexico and Canada about making changes to the pact, which took effect in 1994.The letter spelled out few details and stuck with broad principles. But it appeared to keep much of the existing agreement in place, including private tribunals that allow companies to challenge national laws on the grounds that they inhibit trade – a provision that critics say allows companies to get around environmental and labour laws.Reports Wednesday of the possible move drew objections from some in Congress, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona.“Withdrawing from #NAFTA would be a disaster for #Arizona jobs & economy,” he tweeted. “@POTUS shouldn’t abandon this vital trade agreement.”
One more piece of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 2012 NBA Finals run was cast to the wind during Thursday night’s draft. The Thunder dealt Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the rights to No. 11 overall pick Domantas Sabonis. For those of us who look back fondly on the 2012 Thunder’s killer Big Four of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Ibaka, it was a reminder of how OKC broke up one of the great what-might-have-been young cores in NBA history.But putting aside one of the internet’s favorite pastimes of 2015 — second-guessing the Harden trade — the truth of the matter is that the roster the Thunder sent to the 2016 Western Conference finals had already surpassed the edition that went to the NBA Finals four years earlier, at least according to advanced metrics such as our Box Plus/Minus talent ratings:1Essentially a lo-fi version of ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus ratings, with the benefit that they can be computed for historical seasons. We’ve used them a few times in the past. If Durant does re-up with Oklahoma City, the addition of Oladipo would edge the Thunder ever closer to the Warriors and Spurs at the top of the West. If not, they’ll be just another mid-level team in one of the most top-heavy conferences ever. And a big reason why was the emergence of Steven Adams, who was selected with one of the picks that came to OKC in return for Harden and has become an excellent defender and rebounder. Adams’s strong play made Ibaka expendable, but so had Ibaka’s own downturn over the past couple years. And although comparing shooting guards and stretch fours is a bit apples-to-oranges, Oladipo posted better numbers than Ibaka last season, at a younger age, for less than half the money. As currently constructed, the Thunder are better off now than they were a day ago.Of course, none of that matters if Durant doesn’t opt to re-sign with Oklahoma City in free agency. Despite a bit of a down playoff campaign — and the fact that he probably isn’t even OKC’s best player anymore — KD is still one of the top handful of players in the NBA, and it will be his decision that determines the Thunder’s future far more than Sam Presti’s draft-day machinations.
GIW Industries says it is to deliver four MDX 600 cyclone feed pumps to Anglo American’s Quellaveco copper project in Peru.GIW, a subsidiary of KSB, won the order based on the reputation of its centrifugal slurry pumps and the firm’s commitment to customer support, it said. “Decades of experience in slurry transport means GIW is in the perfect position to partner with Quellaveco.”Anglo American plans on first copper production coming out of Quellaveco in 2022, which, with a reserve of 1,300 Mt at 0.58% Cu, is expected to have a 30-year mine life at an average production capacity of 127,500 t/d. This could see the mine produce around 300,000 t/y of copper.The Quellaveco project marks a significant milestone for GIW as it continues to invest in the region, the company said. In 2018, it expanded its service capabilities in South America to meet the needs of current and future customers.Local GIW technicians will be on-site to assist Quellaveco for the installation, commissioning, and start-up of the four MDX 600 cyclone feed pumps, according to the company.“The MDX pump was selected for the Quellaveco project because of its success in copper and gold applications around the world,” GIW said. “The MDX product line has undergone extensive development; in fact, the latest technology features a remotely adjusted mechanical suction liner.“The pumps for Quellaveco are specially designed to operate in the most extreme duty conditions. Critical wear parts are made of GIW’s proprietary white-iron alloy, Endurasite. This material extends wear life and optimises pump performance.“These features combined have a direct impact on Quellaveco’s total cost of ownership – proving the MDX is the most reliable pump on the market.”Hernan Palavecino, South America Region Manager for GIW, said economic stability and continuous growth in the country have facilitated the investment of new mining projects in Peru, with the country, over recent years, becoming a key player in the global market.“GIW recognises the importance of the Quellaveco mine to the region,” he said. “The greenfield project solidifies Peru’s position as a substantial player in the South American and global mining markets. The award is a result of GIW’s drive for continuous improvements in slurry technologies. We are committed to offering high-quality service while building a long-term partnership with Quellaveco.”
The majority of developers in possession of a Google Nexus One smartphone will be using it to test apps destined for the Android Market. However, engineer David Gilday took a different route and made his Nexus One the brain of a Rubik’s cube solver.The Nexus One is used in conjunction with a Lego Mindstorms kit to create the solver. Lego is used to hold and rotate the cube while an app on the Nexus One uses data garnered from the phone’s camera to first establish the state of the cube then relay instructions to the Mindstorm controller to solve it.AdChoices广告This isn’t the first Rubik’s cube solver Gilday has made, but it’s certainly the fastest. His first used a Nokia N95 and Symbian OS, then he moved to a DROID, but the Nexus One has proved the fastest managing a solve in 12.5 seconds although it averages 15 seconds. Gilday says the N1 is faster due to the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, and an update to his solving code.His solver can work with cubes as large as 100x100x100, but good luck building a Lego robot to hold and turn a cube of that size.Read more at DeviceGuru and the ARM Blog (down for maintenance at time of writing)Matthew’s OpinionIt’s easy to forget the amount of power on offer inside the latest smartphones. They out perform PCs that are only a few years old, yet in the form factor they are presented in this power is hidden. Break it out and start using it with other devices and you have a very efficient and fast brain.I think we are going to see this occurring more and more, especially with an open platform like Android. You’ve got a powerful unit in the form of a phone that can receive input via camera, touchscreen, or connected device, and an development platform to experiment with. How long is it going to be before we start seeing devices that promise all kinds of cool and advanced functionality, but ship as a shell requiring a phone to function as a brain?Here’s the 7x7x7 solver using the Motorola DROID:
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The leader of the Pan Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), George Papandreou pledged to take immediate measures to bring the country out of economic crisis.The pledge was made during his major annual political address to the Thessaloniki International Fair on Saturday.Within its first 100 days, his government would pass laws to slash waste, grant relief to businesses and households and boost public investment as part of a three-year stability and growth plan, Mr Papandreou said.“It’s time to roll up our sleeves and all work together,” said Mr Papandreou, who hopes to bring PASOK back to power after more than five years in opposition.“The country can come out of this crisis and the economy can return to growth and create new wealth,” Mr Papandreou said. Greeks must choose between “cutbacks” and “investment.”The PASOK plan includes a one-off “solidarity” payment, measures to protect lenders and indebted households, a one-year freeze on price increases for public-sector utilities, a one-year grace period for those companies unable to make loan payments and “radical tax reform.” PASOK won’t impose new taxes on low- and middle- income earners, according to Mr Papandreou, and won’t increases taxes on companies.PASOK will abolish tax breaks for companies, impose a low tax rate on retained earnings to encourage investment and reform real estate taxes so that large property owners, like the Church of Greece, paid a just amount. PASOK would increase public investment to 4 percent of gross domestic product in the first budget it tables, subsidize pension contributions for young workers to encourage companies to create jobs, increase unemployment benefits and introduce “radical reforms to combat waste in public finances he said. In response to the proposal by Greek Prime Minister, Costas Karamanlis, to freeze public sector pay and accelerate privatisations to contain public spending and cut the national debt Mr Papandreou said his opponent’s policy would be catastrophic. “If we freeze wages now, we’ll just freeze the market,” Papandreou said. The proposals by Mr Papandreou have drawn strong responses from the Left of Greek politics.The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said that Papandreou had confirmed for the umpteenth time that PASOK was ready to “attack” the incomes and rights of the people, and was treading the well-known road that serves the interests of the plutocracy, hand-in-hand with ruling New Democracy (ND).KKE said that there are two paths to growth. The one is represented mainly by ND and PASOK, and is the path that brings financial crises, whereas the other path is represented by the KKE and encapsulated in the slogan “Alliance for popular power and economy”.The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) accused Mr Papandreou of having put forward general and ambiguous positions which failed to convince the public that the “new PASOK he proclaims will not be the same as the PASOK we already know”.SYRIZA accuses Mr Papandreou of attempting to present as progressive a deeply conservative set of policies that will only widen the already big regional and social inequalities.The ultra-nationalist Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party, in a brief announcement, described Papandreou’s appearance as being reminiscent of his father (the late former prime minister and founder of PASOK) Andreas Papandreou and that his plans were made up of many promises without adequate explanations.His appearance was that of a man struggling to achieve his goal without knowing how to do so, according to LAOS, and that his plans were “like changing a bicycle chain while in motion on the rise of a hill.”
Two Greek cardiologists managed to save a 54-year-old woman’s life during a flight from Lisbon to Zurich.The woman suffered a heart attack while the plane was in flight and two Greek cardiologists, Giorgos Angelopoulos and Nikos Spiliopoulos, came to her aid and saved her life.The two doctors from Aigio, a port town on the Gulf of Corinth, boarded the TAP flight and were returning to Zurich after attending a medical conference in Lisbon.Using minimal equipment the two experienced cardiologists sprang into action, working in unison to resuscitate the Swiss woman who was on the same flight.The plane landed at Zurich Airport after the doctors had managed to stabilise her condition. The patient was immediately transported to a hospital.READ MORE: Greek passenger just missed Ethiopian airlines flight – initially held as suspect Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Arturo Vidal confessed that his lack of minutes earlier this season at Barcelona was frustratingThe Chilean midfielder arrived at Camp Nou in the summer from Bayern Munich in a €19m deal to the surprise of many observers.But life at Barcelona didn’t begin as well as Vidal had hoped with only two league starts to his name before the end of last month.And Vidal’s obvious frustration hit a boiling point in October when he posted an angry emoji on Instagram upon being omitted from their Champions League at Tottenham.However, the 31-year-old insists all is forgotten now with Vidal having started Barcelona’s last four La Liga games.“There was a little bit of annoyance, but it’s in the past,” Vidal told RAC1.“A player always wants to play and to be important. You come here to contribute, not to cause problems in such an important team.Match Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).“It was a little bit of a heated thing, but it’s in the past. I’m only thinking about working, doing things well and winning titles.”Despite his upturn in fortunes right now, Vidal is refusing to get carried away due to the quality at Barcelona.“I don’t feel like a starter, but this is something that is earned training session to training session and whenever you are called upon to play,” admitted Vidal.“No player can feel like a starter here, as whoever is playing best will be in the line-up.“I try to do what the coach wants and give what I know from my career. I can steal balls, attack and defend, and give my best.“Some people get confused and aren’t sure what it is I do. There aren’t many midfielders who can do what I can, which is to go box to box. This is good for the team.”Barcelona will take on Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.
Farmers For Monarchs, a broad-based collaboration aimed at addressing on-farm conservation efforts, was launched last week at Commodity Classic, America’s largest farmer-led convention and trade show. The American Soybean Association (ASA) is a partner in the collaboration. This unprecedented, united effort by farmers, ranchers, landowners, the agriculture industry, conservation groups and others seeks to encourage and enable the voluntary expansion and establishment of pollinator and conservation habitat. The initiative includes planting milkweed and other habitat along the monarch butterfly seasonal migration route in North America.“This is a unique moment in time for pollinator health and populations. There are many factors impacting declines in monarch population: loss of habitat is one of them,” said Peter S. Berthelsen, The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund Partnership coordinator. “That’s why farmers can make huge a huge difference by identifying the opportunities within their current farm and ranch operation that can benefit and support their habitat needs.”Every fall, monarch butterflies migrate up to 3,000 miles, from the upper Midwest to Mexico, to spend the winter. Upon their return in the spring, monarchs need milkweed plants along the migration route to lay their eggs, as it is the only source of food their young will eat. Monarch butterflies face many challenges that have contributed to a significant decline in the overwintering population as compared to the 20-year average: loss of breeding and food habitats along their migration route, weather and climate change, predators, pathogens and parasites, and less overwintering habitat in Mexico.U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) is currently evaluating monarch conservation efforts along the migration route. In June 2019, it will determine its final listing decision of the monarch and, possibly, its habitat, under the Endangered Species Act. A listing could potentially impact the way farmers manage their land in the future. Voluntary efforts to establish and restore monarch habitat could lead to reversing population losses, potentially rendering a listing unnecessary.Farmers For Monarchs stresses the importance to farmers and ranchers of establishing and expanding monarch habitat in the 2018 and 2019 growing seasons so these efforts can factor into the decision of the USFWS. Farmers can help by:Planting habitat on non-farming areas;Working with conservation partners;Voluntarily registering habitat; andJoining local, state or federal incentive programs.Farmers can visit http://www.farmersformonarchs.org/ for more resources and information on conservation efforts.Information provided by a news release from Farmers for Monarchs.
While re-enactors and historians will observe Gettysburg’s sesquicentennial for the next week, today is the 150th anniversary of a Vancouver link to that Civil War milestone.Union Maj. Gen. John Reynolds was killed in the opening engagement of the three-day battle.He was among several Gettysburg generals — on both sides — who served here before the war or were posted to Fort Vancouver later in their careers. (It became Vancouver Barracks in 1879.)Reynolds was an artillery major at Fort Vancouver in 1860. He was named commander of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy before being assigned to a combat role. Reynolds was shot in the head on July 1, 1863 — the highest-ranking officer on either side to die at Gettysburg.Union Maj. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard was involved in the same engagement on July 1. He came to Fort Vancouver in 1874 as commander of the Department of the Columbia.George Pickett came to Fort Vancouver in 1856 during a tour of Northwest posts, including Camp Pickett on San Juan Island, where he took part in what became called the Pig War. The Virginia native left in July 1861 to join the Confederate Army.
Jim Johnsen at a meet and greet in Juneau, July 7, 2015. Johnsen is a candidate for University of Alaska president. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)Each of the three main University of Alaska campuses are accredited separately. A study released this week asks would it be more cost effective to bring all the campuses together under one accreditation. The answer: probably not.Listen nowThe report suggests condensing the three accreditations into one would be a monumental process with few benefits. But there are other cost savings options.UA President Jim Johnsen says the University is already looking into some of those possibilities.“We’ve got seven teams working as we speak on four administrative areas and three academic areas, to see how we can restructure to reduce costs and drive higher performance,” Johnsen said.One option is consolidating administrative departments for academic programs that exist on multiple campuses, such as engineering, teacher education, and business administration.“We have three schools of management; we have three schools of education,” Johnsen said. “Are we gonna continue to have those three or is it gonna be somehow changed?”Johnsen says condensing the programs would require accreditations on a program-by-program basis, but he’s confident that would be possible.The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities grants accreditation based on certain sets of academic standards.The report notes that even if that commission approves a move to bring the university system under a single accreditation – which is uncertain – the process would take at least two years, and a significant amount of faculty, staff, and administrative resources to complete.And, once the process is finished, the report says there’s no guarantee it will result in more students or higher quality programs, or meet the state’s higher education needs.Regardless of the report’s recommendations, Johnsen says it’s an avenue deserving of a closer look.“I’m agnostic when it comes to three accreditations, one accreditation, 38 accreditations,” Johnsen said. “It’s about our mission for the state of Alaska. That trumps everything.”No decisions have been made regarding UA’s accreditation strategy, but it’s a topic scheduled for discussion at the next Board of Regents meeting in September.
(Phys.org)—A group of researchers from the Institute for Molecular Science, National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan report a novel covalent organic framework (COF) that is crystalline, highly stable in water, strong acids, and strong bases, and has a remarkably high 2D surface area. This COF was modified with catalytic subunits and used as a catalyst under inert conditions for Michael addition reactions using a variety of reactants. Their work is published in Nature Chemistry. 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. Exploration of stable, crystalline, porous covalent organic frameworks © 2015 Phys.org Journal information: Nature Chemistry Covalent organic frameworks are crystalline organic structures that are porous. They are an extended organic framework similar to graphene. COFs can serve as an organic platform for other reactions or, in the case of this research, as a catalyst. This catalyst was metal-free, and when modified with chiral catalytic arms, produced entioselective products. Furthermore, this catalyst allowed for a Michael reaction under relatively mild conditions and was able to be recycled multiple times.The ideal COF has stability, crystallinity, and porosity. Prior research on COFs shows that it is difficult to optimize all three of these properties in one covalent framework. Importantly, crystallinity and porosity in 2D frameworks depend on interlayer interactions. Hong Xu, Jia Gao and Donglin Jiang designed a COF that has additional delocalization over the phenyl groups in an effort to enhance interlayer interactions via pi-stacking. Their COF is comprised of triphenylbenzene (TAPB) and dimethoxyterephthaldehyde (DMTA) subunits. When combined, the aldehydes on DMTA react with the amines on TAPB to form an imine which is conjugated with the dimethoxy phenyl groups in DMTA. This added interlayer stability promotes crystallization.The new TAPB-DMTA COF’s stability was tested using thermogravimetric analysis after samples were subjected to various solvents, including water, strong acid, and strong base, for one week. Results showed that there was no loss in weight in the COF in water or the organic solvents tested (DMF, DMSO, THF, MeOH, and cyclohexanone). Twelve molar HCl resulted in 85 wt% of the original COF, and 14M NaOH resulted in 92 wt%. The COF was still 72% of its original weight after being subjected to boiling water for a week. Additionally, powder x-ray diffraction and surface area measurements showed that the COF maintained its original crystal structure and only decreased somewhat in surface area. IR studies showed that the bonds remained intact.Additionally, crystallinity and porosity were investigated using powder x-ray diffraction analysis. Analyses and simulation studies confirmed the crystalline structure. A nitrogen-sorption profile indicated that the new COF was likely a mesoporous material. Additionally, Xu, et al. confirmed that the COF had a very high 2D surface area. Taken together, this new COF has remarkable stability and high crystallinity and porosity. With such excellent features, this COF should make a good platform for catalysis. More information: “Stable, crystalline, porous, covalent organic frameworks as a platform for chiral organocatalysts”, Hong Xu, Jia Gao and Donglin Jiang, Nature Chemistry, DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM2352AbstractThe periodic layers and ordered nanochannels of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) make these materials viable open catalytic nanoreactors, but their low stability has precluded their practical implementation. Here we report the synthesis of a crystalline porous COF that is stable against water, strong acids and strong bases, and we demonstrate its utility as a material platform for structural design and functional development. We endowed a crystalline and porous imine-based COF with stability by incorporating methoxy groups into its pore walls to reinforce interlayer interactions. We subsequently converted the resulting achiral material into two distinct chiral organocatalysts, with the high crystallinity and porosity retained, by appending chiral centres and catalytically active sites on its channel walls. The COFs thus prepared combine catalytic activity, enantioselectivity and recyclability, which are attractive in heterogeneous organocatalysis, and were shown to promote asymmetric C–C bond formation in water under ambient conditions. Explore further Citation: Covalent organic framework that has highest reported stability and can be modified for organocatalysis (2015, October 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-covalent-framework-highest-stability-organocatalysis.html Graphic view of TPB-DMTP-COF (red, O; blue, N; grey, C; hydrogen is omitted for clarity). Credit: Hong Xu, Jia Gao and Donglin Jiang, (c) 2015 Nature Chemistry, DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM2352 To make the TABP-DMTA COF into an entioselective catalyst, Xu, et al. functionalized the COF walls with chiral centers on organocatalytic sites. These chiral organocatalytic sites [(S)-Py] were attached to some of the methoxy groups on the DMTA subunits. Not all methoxy groups were substituted, and, indeed, the number of groups that were substituted with (S)-Py affected the catalytic activity. Characterization confirmed the structure of the catalytic COF and that the overall structure of the COF was maintained after functionalization. The organocatalytic sites were incorporated into the walls of the COF and, based on number of sites within a pore, they create nanopores of varying sizes. To test the organocatalyst, Xu, et al. looked at Michael addition reactions using various reactants. While Michael addition reactions are typically conducted in organic solvents, in this case, water was used as it has more practical utility. The reaction was conducted in water at 25oC at near atmospheric pressure. Because the catalytic COF was insoluble, this allowed for recovery and reuse of the catalyst. The model Michael reaction involved reacting cyclohexanone and β-nitrostyrene. This resulted in 100% conversion, 92% enantiomeric excess, and 90/10 diastereoselectivity. The authors note that this is the first example of a heterogenous catalyst based on a crystalline porous material that has been used for the activation of low-activity ketones in a Michael addition reaction.They investigated how their catalytic COF worked with Michael addition reactions using different reactants. All had good conversion and selectivity. Four-methoxy-β-nitrostyrene had the best selectivity with 96% e.e. and 94/6 diastereoselectivity after reacting for 26 hours. Kinetic studies indicated first-order with respect to the nitrostyrene reactant. Additionally, the catalyst retained its reactivity after five cycles, although reaction time increased with each cycle.”One of the key issues of COFs is the combination of stability, crystallinity and porosity,” says principle investigator Donglin Jiang, “This study would open a platform for functional explorations and applications of COFs.”
Facebook Comments U.S. real estate developer Patrick Vincent Hundley, 45, a major player in the central Pacific town of Jacó, was arrested Monday along with two other suspects on suspicion of committing $7 million in real estate fraud.The daily La Nación reported on Wednesday that the developer of projects including Diamante del Sol, Bahía Azul and The Palms, and the owner and president of DayStar Properties, allegedly defrauded five foreign investors of millions of dollars when he convinced them to invest in a property in Jacó, a popular tourist beach destination.The Prosecutor’s Office confirmed in an email to The Tico Times on Wednesday that Hundley was accused of administrative fraud, a crime that carries up to 10 years in prison. The same email added that another man with the last names Mora Delagdo, and a woman with the last names Fernández Cruz also had been charged in the case.A records search shows a man with the last names Mora Delgado belongs to several of Hundley’s 70 listed Costa Rican corporations (both SAs and LLCs).According to a criminal complaint filed in July 2013, Hundley allegedly told investors he could help them avoid paying higher real estate prices by purchasing property through his own company. The plaintiffs then paid Hundley up to $500,000 a month for future shares in that company. However, the plaintiffs say that after paying $7 million, they never received the shares or the 15,850 square-meter property.According to La Nación, the property Hundley offered for sale had liens on it and its ownership was in question, which prosecutors say constitutes additional administrative fraud.Hundley became a permanent resident of Costa Rica in 2008, according to the Immigration Administration. Hundley – who also formerly owned Jacó’s Second Division soccer team the Jacó Rays – has said he first moved to Costa Rica in 2002.According to the sports daily Al Día, on Wednesday, Jacó Rays President Johnny Pérez told Radio ADN that Hundley hasn’t owned the team “for a while” and now is a sponsor, donating $1,500 a month to the team.A hearing before a criminal judge in Garabito was set for 3 p.m. on Wednesday to determine if the court would impose preventive measures while the investigation continues.Watch a video of Hundley introducing the Rays, founded in 2010, here: Related posts:Police raid offices, home of US real estate mogul accused of fraud US real estate developer accused of fraud in Jacó allegedly targeted Michigan investors U.S. beachgoer tries to burn down police station after his arrest in Tamarindo Police arrest 2 US citizens on cocaine possession charges
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