Although Air India’s passenger list shows Malati as a passenger, she wasn’t found at the TIA immigration, raising a serious question about the security systems deployed by the TIA and Air India.The immigration officers at TIA have sent her passport and ticket’s copy to the Department of Immigration (DoI) for further investigation. The case has completely astounded the immigration officers at the DoI. According to the airlines staff, Malati ran away while she was being brought to the immigration counter from the flight. “The case looks very funny but is extremely serious one. It raises questions about the security systems at our immigration and of Air India,” said an official in a condition of anonymity.The source hinted at the role of agents who take girls and women to Gulf and other destination countries. “There are high chances that Malati was sneaked out with the help of agents who are hand in gloves with immigration officers,” added the source.Air India staff, who handed Malati’s passport to the TIA Immigration Officers, have said that she was in the flight from Delhi to Kathmandu and provided a copy of the record of passengers who boarded the flight to back their claim. Once Nepali citizens are deported from any foreign countries, they are brought to the DoI for investigation. The DoI can even detain the deportees for a certain period of time for investigation.The DoI has formed a three-member committee to look into the case. “We are investigating the case of Malati to find her out through a committee. As of now, we can’t say whether she had boarded the flight from Delhi or fled after landing at the TIA,” said Director General at the DoI Kedar Neupane.Sri Lanka has emerged as one of the new transit points to traffic Nepali girls into Gulf and many other destination countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. (Colombo Gazette) After the flight arrived in Kathmandu, the staff of Air India handed over Malati’s passport and a copy of her ticket to the immigration officers at the TIA, but she was not with them. A Nepali woman deported from Sri Lanka has been reported missing as she was not on the flight which reached Nepal.Malati BK, 38, was refused entry by the Sri Lankan immigration authorities and was deported from the country on February 7, myrepublica.com reported. She was placed on a Colombo-Kathmandu flight of Air India that was set to land at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) via New Delhi.
The death toll in the Ballapana road accident involving a bus and a van rose to seven today. Three people were killed yesterday and several others sustained injuries following the accident in Ballapana.Of the injured admitted to hospital four succumbed to their injuries while receiving treatment in hospital. The accident took place along the Kandy – Colombo main road. (Colombo Gazette)
Sandvik’s HX410 electrostatic dust suppression system will take on the challenge of transfer point dust suppression for RWE Power in Germany. The customer will evaluate the HX410 on a conveyor that transports lignite and overburden in the Garzweiler open-pit mine. The conveyor has a capacity up to 37,500 t/h at a belt speed of 7.5 m/s (25 ft/s) and a belt width of 2,800 mm.Until now, RWE Power AG has used primarily water-sprinklers to reduce the dust to acceptable levels. At a transfer point, RWE Power cannot use water because of the coal-online analysis system installed there. One double HX410 will be installed on the upstream conveyor and a second double HX410 on the downstream conveyor. As the Sandvik HX410 has already proven its effectiveness and reliability in more than 200 applications, RWE Power decided to give it a chance to prove its abilities in the most demanding environment.The system is ionisation-based and has been designed to bind dust where it is formed. It is a simple system with very low operating and maintenance costs, offering many benefits in comparison to conventional ‘suction-through-filter’ or water-based systems. It is suitable for retrofits or installations on new conveyor systems. The HX410 ensures that chutes, loading points and transfer points don’t generate unacceptable dust emissions. Without proper dust control, each transfer point could generate more air-borne dust that eventually spreads all over the conveyor area. In most applications, a single HX410 is installed right after the chute on top of the belt.Basically there are two different standard sizes available. The first is for belt widths 400 to 650 mm and the second for belt widths 800 to 1,400 mm. For wider belts, custom-made constructions can be offered by Sandvik. The power requirement for a standard system is below 500 W and maintenance time is less than 1 hour/month. The system picks up particles in the range of 0.01 to 100 µm. The efficiency for an average particle size of 5 µm is always above 90%.
It’s a ‘no’: DUP statement means Brexit deal less likely to pass in House of Commons tonight A second vote on May’s Brexit deal is to take place later today. There are 650 seats in the House of Commons; Theresa May needs 320 votes to pass her deal tonight. If the deal fails again this evening, parliament will vote on a no-deal Brexit tomorrow, or an extension to Article 50 on Thursday which could delay Brexit if the EU is amenable. The DUP’s statement in full reads: “The Prime Minister set out a clear objective for legally binding change which would command a majority in the House of Commons in line with the Brady amendment. We recognise that the Prime Minister has made limited progress in her discussions with the European Union. “Having carefully considered the published material as well as measuring what has been achieved against our own fundamental tests, namely the impact of the backstop on the constitutional and economic integrity of the Union of the United Kingdom, it is clear that the risks remain that the UK would be unable to lawfully exit the backstop were it to be activated.“The Attorney General’s legal advice is clear in his last paragraph “the legal risk remains unchanged that if through no such demonstrable failure of either party, but simply because of intractable differences, that situation does arise, the United Kingdom would have, at least while the fundamental circumstances remained the same, no internationally lawful means of exiting the protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement.”We want to see a deal which works for every part of the United Kingdom. We will support the right deal which respects the referendum result and Northern Ireland’s place as an integral part of the United Kingdom.“The European Union has been intransigent. It is possible to reach a sensible deal which works for the United Kingdom and the European Union but it will require all sides to be reasonable and in deal making mode.”The European Research Group (or the ERG), made up of hardline-Tory Brexiteers – has also advised its 110 members not to support the government’s motion, describing the new assurances as offering only “faint and remote prospects of escaping” from the backstop.The House of Commons is due to vote on May’s Withdrawal Agreement at 7pm. Related Read 58,368 Views By Gráinne Ní Aodha 105 Comments Share1269 Tweet Email1 https://jrnl.ie/4536984 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Source: Arlene Foster/Twitter Short URL Latest ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/YLmnPcEI24— Arlene Foster (@DUPleader) March 12, 2019 Image: Dominic Lipinski 12.03.19 Deal in jeopardy as UK’s Attorney General says there is still a legal risk of being trapped in backstop Mar 12th 2019, 2:16 PM DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds and DUP Leader Arlene Foster in Downing Street. Image: Dominic Lipinski Tuesday 12 Mar 2019, 2:16 PM However in our view sufficient progress has not been achieved at this time. DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds and DUP Leader Arlene Foster in Downing Street. THE DUP HAS said that it cannot support Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit deal tonight, making it less likely that the Withdrawal Agreement will pass in the House of Commons. MPs are due to vote once again on the Brexit deal, in the wake of last-minute measures announced last night by May and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.However, advice from attorney general Geoffrey Cox published this morning put hopes of the deal passing in doubt. Deputy leader and MP, Nigel Dodds tweeted the party’s current position, adding: “Sufficient progress has NOT been achieved at this time.”However, the party added that it does want to back an agreement but does not believe May’s deal passes its “fundamental tests” on the “constitutional and economic integrity” of the Union. As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox:
L’unique outil de voyage du papillon Monarque : sa boussole interneChaque année, le Monarque d’Amérique du Nord, migre sur des milliers de kilomètres depuis le Mexique jusqu’aux Grands Lacs du Canada. Le tout aller-retour sans “carte interne”, ont découvert les scientifiques. Selon les chercheurs, les migrations du Monarque d’Amérique du Nord sont effectuées uniquement à l’aide d’une boussole interne. Le papillon se base ainsi sur la position du Soleil, qui lui indique la direction à suivre en fonction de la période de l’année, rapporte l’Independent. Cela faisait déjà un certain temps que les scientifiques se demandaient comment le Monarque réussissait à s’orienter. Auparavant, certains experts estimaient que les papillons utilisaient une “carte” interne, génétiquement codée, qui leur permettait de localiser leur position. Cette faculté aurait alors été complétée par une boussole interne capable d’indiquer la direction à suivre. Mais la dernière étude montre que les Monarques s’en sortent en fait uniquement avec une simple boussole. Ces travaux expliquent ainsi comment le papillon, qui pèse environ un demi gramme, est capable de survivre au voyage de retour vers les forêts des montagnes mexicaines pour l’hiver. Sans cette boussole, les plus jeunes, nés vers la fin de l’été, ne pourraient pas effectuer le voyage.Un système de navigation simple”Pour se diriger correctement, normalement une boussole et une carte sont nécessaires. Nous savions déjà que le Monarque utilisait des signaux extérieurs, comme le soleil ou les champs magnétiques, comme boussole pour repérer la latitude. Mais une carte interne requière la connaissance de la longitude et de la latitude”, analyse le professeur Ryan Norris, entomologiste à l’Université de Guelph à Ontario.Pour en arriver à cette conclusion, le scientifique a étudié des Monarques de la région d’Ontario, au Canada. Il a ainsi pu tester leurs schémas de vol grâce à des expériences menées à 2.500 kilomètres à l’ouest de Calgary. Il a découvert que le papillon essayait toujours de voler dans la même direction, sans compenser le déplacement géographique. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?”Les Monarques que nous avons étudiés à Guelph ont volé vers le Sud-Ouest, dans la direction générale du Mexique. Lors des expérimentations, à Calgary, les papillons ont volé dans la même direction, comme s’ils partaient d’Ontario, suggérant qu’ils ignoraient leur déplacement de 2.500 km”, explique Rachel Derbyshire, auteur de l’article publié dans la revue The Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.Un repérage du relief Mais les Monarques utiliseraient également des points de repère terrestres, comme les montagnes, pour se diriger. Selon les auteurs de l’étude, il est même possible qu’ils soient capable de “flairer” leur destination, lorsqu’ils sont sur le point d’atteindre les forêts de conifères mexicaines.Ces lépidoptères se regroupent par centaines dans cette région pour y passer l’hiver. Ils effectuent plus de 4.000 km, deux fois par an, entre août et octobre vers le Mexique et au printemps vers le Canada. Le 10 avril 2013 à 19:33 • Emmanuel Perrin
Battle Ground Public Schools has shuffled several of its administrators, citing what it termed “challenges” at the growing Laurin Middle School campus.Matt Kesler, a first-time principal who was at Laurin Middle School, will move to River HomeLink to be an administrator for River Online Learning, the district’s online program. Travis Drake, Prairie High School’s longtime principal, will head to Laurin to fill Kesler’s position. Prairie Assistant Principal Stephanie Watts will step into Drake’s position on an interim basis.Area districts typically wait until the end of the school year to announce administrative changes, but district spokeswoman Rita Sanders said the district wanted to make changes now rather than wait. She said Laurin is growing, and the campus is one of the older buildings in the district. That creates an environment that requires “an experienced leader,” she said.“It’s just we needed more experience, pure and simple,” Sanders said.Superintendent Mark Ross also alerted district staff of the changes in an email Wednesday.“In this case, we felt that it was critical to have an experienced administrative team immediately begin working at Laurin to help them with the challenges they face as a campus in one of the highest student growth areas of the district,” Ross said.Neither Sanders’ nor Ross’ email offered many details in terms of what “challenges” the campus faces. Sanders pointed to growing pains like not enough parking or office space.“It’s everything,” Sanders said.Other administrators will also be affected by the shifts. Eric Sakshaug, the former dean for students at Battle Ground High School, is heading to Laurin as its assistant principal. Erin Thompson, who was assistant principal at Laurin, will hold the same job on an interim basis at Prairie. Ben Ziegler, an administrative intern, was named the interim dean for students at Prairie High School.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR In a pilot project conducted at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., the Army found that deconstructing, rather than demolishing, three buildings allowed it to increase the percentage of material that could be diverted from a landfill.In a standard demolition, a building is quickly torn down using mechanical equipment, with the primary goals being cost reduction and reducing the amount of materials sent to a landfill, reported the Army Corp of Engineers’ Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville. The Corps’ goal is to divert 60 percent of the materials following a demolition; the salvaged materials are either reuse or recycled.During a deconstruction, a contractor removes the greatest amount of materials that are intact and suitable to reuse or recycle. Not all buildings are good candidates for deconstruction, however. Engineers must consider the type of construction, contents and condition and their suitability for reuse, as well as the project itself, project schedule, and markets and industry capabilities, according to the story.The Fort Leonard Wood pilot involved three buildings — a chapel, laundry and warehouse. The contractor reused or recycled more than 250 tons of material from the chapel, for an 85 percent diversion rate; nearly 700 tons of material was reused or recycled from the laundry, for a 73 percent diversion rate.During the contractor’s deconstruction of the warehouse, though, the building became unstable due to excessive rotting of the wooden structure. As a result, the deconstruction effort was stopped and the Army decided to demolish the building. Despite the snag, the contractor was able to reuse or recycle 297 tons of material, diverting more than 63 percent from a landfill.Overall, the contractor reused or recycled 1,246 of the three buildings’ 1,717 tons of material, making the project a success, according to the Corps.“Deconstruction is one of those valuable nuances in the demolition arena that may allow us to increase our diversion percentages without significant cost in time or dollars,” said Dave Shockley, chief of the Corps’ facilities division branch.
2019 Nissan Leaf Plus: A positive spin on an old favorite 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 48 Photos More From Roadshow Post a comment Enlarge ImageThis is the Honda Fit EV. It didn’t get sold in Thailand but that’s not going to stop the Thai government from making its own version. Honda Converting older cars into electric vehicles was once one of the only ways to get an EV in your driveway, but it’s gone somewhat out of fashion as commercially available, purpose-built EVs have become common.But the government of Thailand reportedly plans to develop its own electric vehicles. Specifically, the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) isn’t content for makers of electric cars to bring their wares to the country, so it’s going the way of Fugazi and doing it itself, according to a report Thursday by PaulTan.org.Now, the government isn’t going to just go all willy-nilly, modifying whatever is lying around. It’s going to focus its efforts on three specific models that are commonly available used in Thailand. Those are the Toyota Vios, Honda Jazz and Nissan Almera, which we know as the Toyota Yaris sedan, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa.EGAT is targeting a price of around 300,000 Thai baht (or approximately $9,470) to complete the conversion. This would include lithium-ion batteries, an electric motor and all the associated electronic gubbins necessary to make the thing work.Whether these converted EVs are any good remains to be seen, and since more are becoming available through more traditional means — Hyundai sells the Ioniq and Kona Electric in Thailand now, Nissan sells the Leaf and has for a year — we’ll be curious to see if anyone actually buys one. 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 0 Share your voice Electric Cars Car Culture Tags 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Honda Nissan Toyota
UN secretary general António Guterres has said the UN is working hard to make all peacekeeping operations cost-effective and is constantly finding ways to reform, restructure and drive costs down. “At the same time, UN peacekeepers are relentless in searching for new ways to build sustainable peace,” he said in a message marking the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers being observed today (Monday). Looking forward, the secretary general said they are aiming to do more to end operations that have achieved their goals. “We’re also reforming and adapting our peacekeeping missions to improve their effectiveness in the increasingly challenging environments in which they work.” The UN chief said peacekeeping operations have evolved from simply monitoring ceasefires to protecting civilians, disarming ex-combatants, protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law, supporting free and fair elections, minimising the risk of landmines and much more. He said they also work to ensure that women are fully represented in peace processes, political life, and in branches of government. “All these investments are fundamental to building lasting peace.” The UN secretary general paid tributes to more than 113,000 ‘Blue Helmets’, UN Police and civilian personnel deployed to 16 missions, according to the message received here from UN Information Centre here. “We acknowledge the contribution made by an ever-growing number of Member States to our operations,” said the UN chief in his message laying emphasis on investment in peace around the world. More than one million women and men who have served under the UN flag with professionalism, dedication and courage throughout our history. “And we honour the memory of more than 3,500 peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving,” said Guterres. Last year, he said, 117 peacekeepers paid the ultimate price and they included military, police, international civil servants, UN Volunteers and national staff from 43 countries. “So far in 2017, twelve peacekeepers have been killed.” “Our partnership is central to the success of peacekeeping missions, since Member States decide where troops go, what they will do, and what resources will support them,” said the UN chief. He said close cooperation from Member States is vital if they are to deliver on the promise of lasting peace, while peacekeepers create conditions on the ground to enable solutions to emerge and take root. “I’ve also prioritised ensuring that women play a far more active role in peace operations, as troops, police and civilian staff. Gender parity is essential for its own sake, and the presence of women increases the chances of sustained peace while reducing incidences of sexual abuse and exploitation,” the UN chief mentioned. The secretary general said for nearly 70 years, UN peacekeeping has proven to be one of the international community’s most effective investments in peace, security and prosperity. The demand for UN peacekeepers has risen steadily over the years, and deployment is now near an all-time high, said Guterres adding that peacekeeping has had a positive impact on the lives of millions of people around the world.
Map of RajshahiThe village has been virtually cut off. After the 30 December national parliamentary polls, buses no more pass through the village, auto-rickshaws cannot leave the vicinity and cable television has been disconnected.The villagers have been isolated because the candidate from the opposition political camp secured more votes than the ruling AL candidate contesting in the national polls.Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) candidate Aminul Haque got 1,249 votes while the Awami League candidate Omar Faruk Chowdhury got only 653 votes from the village.This village is Kolma in Tanore upazila of Rajshahi. It is located 50 kilometres away from Rajshahi city and is under the Rajshahi-1 (Tanore-Godagari) constituency. Voters of this village voted at the Kolma Government Primary School centre.On condition of anonymity, the villagers said their only ‘fault’ was that more people voted for the BNP candidate in the village.The correspondent, while visiting the village, met with BNP supporters, though could not locate any of the party’s leaders. The supporters were reluctant to speak openly.They said, apart from closing down bus service and satellite connections, the deep tube wells of the village were taken over by Awami League activists and supporters.It seems water for irrigation will be stopped as well, they added.The locals said that there were two ways to exit from the village- either from the west through the village Billi or from the east through Dargadanga village. However, the villagers are now blocked from all sides.Tanore upazila AL president Golam Rabbani told this correspondent, “I heard about what is going on in Kolma, but can do nothing about it.” “Now anyone, regardless to their political beliefs, is being attacked. The other day two pro-AL college teachers were beaten up and their motorbikes were vandalised on the way to college,” said a local.An auto rickshaw driver of the village complained that a group of AL activists kicked him out from Dargadanga Bazar and now he could not drive his auto rickshaw.Kolma ward AL president Sirajul Islam alleged that BNP activists and supporters attacked a union parishad chairman and Tanore upazila Juba League president a day before the election, leaving five of them injured.Citing it to be the reason of fray, the AL leader said the attack on the teachers was a mistake.He hoped the situation would improve very soon.Most of the shops and restaurants were found closed in the Kolma bazaar while an owner of a restaurant told the correspondent that the dispute had affected their businesses.This correspondent contacted Mohammad Ali, supervisor of a Bismillah Paribahan bus travelling from Rajshahi to Tanore. He said the bus was not running through Kolma village after the election.Asked about the reason he said, “There are clashes in the village.”Tanore police station officer in charge (OC) Rezaul Islam and Kolma UP chairman Lutfar Haider did not answer their phones when attempts were made to contact them.However, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Chowdhury Golam Rabbi told Prothom Alo that nobody told him anything about the matter.He said necessary action would be taken after the matter was investigated.
×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Over a year after first announcing it, Samsung subsidiary Harman is finally releasing its JBL Link Bar, a smart sound bar that comes with Android TV built-in. The new device effectively doubles as a smart speaker, and does away with the need for any additional streaming devices.Google and Harman / JBL first announced the JBL Link Bar back in May of 2018, with plans to release the device later that year. The companies didn’t go into details on what caused the delay, but the Link Bar does come with some added complexity, as it effectively functions as 3 devices in 1.First, the Link Bar is an ordinary sound bar, with the option to attach an external subwoofer for added bass. It also turns any TV into a smart TV, capable of streaming Netflix, YouTube, HBO and more, thanks to the built-in Android TV smarts. And finally, it works even when the TV is turned off, thanks to build-in far-field microphones that effectively turn it into a Google Home-like smart speaker. The Link Bar comes with 3 HDMI input ports to attach game consoles, Blu-ray players and other external devices, adding some level of voice control to these as well. What’s more, video input from these external devices is combined with Google Assistant functionality, making it possible to access your calendar or check the weather without having to leave that Blu-ray movie you’re watching.A Harman news release does mention 2 other features worth pointing out: Just like other Android TV devices, the Link Bar will have Chromecast built-in, making it possible to beam videos to the TV from your phone. Also, the sound bar comes with something JBL calls “PrivacySwitch for far-field microphones,” which apparently is a fancy name for a physical mute button.The Link Bar sells for $399.95, and an optional subwoofer costs another $299.95.
For the last couple of weeks movie sequels have been making the news. First up we heard about the potential for a Blade Runner sequel, then we had it confirmed Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to play a T-800 again in Terminator 5. Today, we’re talking about remakes, and specifically the 1976 movie Logan’s Run.Remaking such a classic is sure to grab the attention of science fiction fans (probably more out of concern than excitement). But there is at least one reason to think this may actually turn out to be a great movie. That reason is Ken Levine.Levine will be better known to most of you as the co-founder and creative director at Irrational Games, as well as being the creator of BioShock. But before he turned his hand to video games, Levine was a screenplay writer. Now it looks as though Warner Bros. has hired him to write the screenplay for a remake of Logan’s Run.That may seem unusual seeing as Levine is now so focused on creating games at Irrational, but apparently he accepted the offer because he is so passionate about the project. That’s another good sign we could get a great movie from him.Levine has already proven he can grab and keep our attention across the games he has worked on (System Shock 2, Thief: The Dark Project, and the BioShock titles). Hopefully he can achieve the same thing for Logan’s Run.
Researchers have been constantly putting their efforts into improving conversational AI to make them better understand human languages and their nuances. One such advancement in the conversational AI field is the introduction of Transformer-based models such as OpenAI’s GPT-2 and Google’s BERT. In a quest to make the training and deployment of these vastly large language models efficient, NVIDIA researchers recently conducted a study, the details of which they shared yesterday. NVIDIA’s Tensor core GPU took less than an hour to train the BERT model BERT, short for, Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, was introduced by a team of researchers at Google Language AI. It is capable of performing a wide variety of state-of-the-art NLP tasks including Q&A, sentiment analysis, and sentence classification. What makes BERT different from other language models is that it applies the bidirectional training of Transformer to language modelling. Transformer is an attention mechanism that learns contextual relations between words in a text. It is designed to pre-train deep bidirectional representations from the unlabeled text by using both left and right context in all layers. NVIDIA researchers chose BERT-LARGE, a version of BERT created with 340 million parameters for the study. NVIDIA’s DGX SuperPOD was able to train the model in a record-breaking time of 53 minutes. The Super POD was made up of 92 DGX-2H nodes and 1472 GPUs, which were running PyTorch with Automatic Mixed Precision. The following table shows the time taken to train BERT-Large for various numbers of GPUs: Source: NVIDIA Looking at these results, the team concluded, “The combination of GPUs with plenty of computing power and high-bandwidth access to lots of DRAM, and fast interconnect technologies, makes the NVIDIA data center platform optimal for dramatically accelerating complex networks like BERT.” In a conversation with reporters and analysts, Bryan Catarazano, Vice President of Applied Deep Learning Research at NVIDIA said, “Without this kind of technology, it can take weeks to train one of these large language models.” NVIDIA further said that it has achieved the fastest BERT inference time of 2.2 milliseconds by running it on a Tesla T4 GPU and TensorRT 5.1 optimized for datacenter inference. NVIDIA launches Project Megatron, under which it will research training transformer language models at scale Beginning this year, OpenAI introduced the 1.5 billion parameter GPT-2 language model that generates nearly coherent and meaningful texts. The NVIDIA Research team has built a scaled-up version of this model, called GPT-2 8B. As its name suggests, it is made up of 8.3 billion parameters, which makes it 24X the size of BERT-Large. To train this huge model the team used PyTorch with 8-way model parallelism and 64-way data parallelism on 512 GPUs. This experiment was part of a bigger project called Project Megatron, under which the team is trying to create a platform that facilitates the training of such “enormous billion-plus Transformer-based networks.” Here’s a graph showing the compute performance and scaling efficiency achieved: Source: NVIDIA With the increase in the number of parameters, there was also a noticeable improvement in accuracy as compared to smaller models. The model was able to achieve a wikitext perplexity of 17.41, which surpasses previous results on the wikitext test dataset by Transformer-XL. However, it does start to overfit after about six epochs of training that can be mitigated by using even larger scale problems and datasets. NVIDIA has open-sourced the code for reproducing the single-node training performance in its BERT GitHub repository. The NLP code on Project Megatron is also openly available in Megatron Language Model GitHub repository. To know more in detail, check out the official announcement by NVIDIA. Also, check out the following YouTube video: Read Next Baidu open sources ERNIE 2.0, a continual pre-training NLP model that outperforms BERT and XLNet on 16 NLP tasks CMU and Google researchers present XLNet: a new pre-training method for language modeling that outperforms BERT on 20 tasks ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) file a complaint against the border control officers for violating the constitutional rights of an Apple employee
November 29, 1999After much anticipation and preparation, the day for pouring concrete finallyarrives. Nearly eighteen cubic yards were poured into footing forms, then troweledto level and left to cure over the next few weeks under wetted carpeting. Form-workfor the walls of the EastCrescent Complex can now begin. Photo and text by Benjamin Ericson.
By Stelios OrphanidesCyprus should seek to “considerably” reduce its public debt as a percentage of economic output the earliest possible by generating small surpluses, a Bank of Cyprus economist said, days after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) updated its forecast for government debt to 109.3 per cent, a new all-time high.Public debt, which rose last year to €19bn, or 106.1 per cent, of gross domestic product (GDP), is expected to rise further this year during which the government aims at a marginal fiscal deficit of around 0.5 per cent of GDP, as a result of an expected bond issue to increase government funds. Cyprus’s economy expanded 2.8 per cent last year and while the government forecasts that it will continue growing at the same pace, the IMF expects a gradual slowdown to 2.5 per cent this year and 2.3 per cent in 2018.“Maintaining liquid funds sufficient to cover the financial needs of the government for a certain period of time may be a bit costly but probably necessary in order to reinforce your credibility and safeguard access to funds at reasonable yields,” said Ioannis Tirkides, economic research manager at Bank of Cyprus, the largest Cypriot lender. “Our net public debt is about eight percentage points of GDP lower than gross debt and I think this distinction is taken into account by rating agencies”.According to the Central Bank’s February balance sheet, the government held a total of €1.1bn deposited at the Central Bank at an annual interest rate of -0.4 per cent. In addition to this amount, in February the government had a total of €949.3m in deposits at commercial banks at an unspecified rate.Last year, the government, which completed a cash-for-reforms programme financed by the EU and the IMF, after successfully restoring market access with the issue of a 7-year €1bn bond at an average yield of 4 per cent, spent a total of €509.7m in interest payments.“However you measure public debt, gross or net, it is high, which denies the government any fiscal space to be able to respond effectively to outside shocks,” Tirkides said.Interest payments made up roughly 7.5 per cent of total government spending last year compared to 8 per cent the year before, according to finance ministry data. Cyprus’s public debt is the fourth highest in the euro area, behind Greece, Portugal, and Italy.Tirkides said that should the government avoid running into deficits this year, the debt level as a percentage of the economy will be declining “over the next few years” with a nominal growth of up to 4 per cent.The IMF expects a 1.5 per cent inflation rate this year, compared to a 1.2 per cent deflation rate last year.In 2018, consumer prices in Cyprus are expected to increase 1.4 per cent, per IMF forecast. The organisation forecast that government debt will drop below the 100-per-cent mark first in 2020, a year later compared to its October forecast.“For a faster pace of decline of the debt ratio, you will need small surpluses,” Tirkides continued, adding that while maintaining fiscal discipline “can be hard,” it still remains “necessary”.In recent months, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades resisted calls from the European Commission to generate a bigger primary balance, arguing that this would harm growth. The Commission also criticised the parliament’s decision to ditch the immovable property tax and the delay in implementing fiscal structural reforms.“As growth adjusts to its potential level, maintaining a balanced budget will be harder, which makes it difficult to understand the wisdom of some budget decisions at this time,” Tirkides said.With presidential elections looming, the government departed last month from its austere fiscal policies of the past four years — which allowed a consolidation of public finances — by agreeing to upgrade the pay scales of medical staff at public hospitals.Last year, it also shelved its plan to privatise state-telecom Cyta after encountering strong resistance in parliament. It did the same in 2015 with power producer Electricity Authority of Cyprus. The privatisation programme agreed as part of the bailout terms was aiming at generating €1.4bn in revenue to reduce public debt.With the island’s sovereign rating remaining below investment grade, partly on a stalled reform process, and partly on a non-performing loan ratio in the banking system accounting for roughly 50 per cent of total loans, fiscal sustainability hangs in the balance with the introduction of the national healthcare scheme still pending, the Bank of Cyprus economist said.“All this is happening at a time when the fiscal impact of health reform is a big unknown thus raising the question, how will you be able to resist all the spending pressures that will come about when you finally do health reform?” Tirkides said. “Rating agencies and markets will be asking and waiting. The problem to credibility is not in the arithmetic of things but in the messages they convey”You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppGet Maximum Privacy with Minimum EffortFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: News State Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, was recently presented a 2013-14 Champion of Free Enterprise award from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce by Trisha Kinley, Senior Director of Tax & Regulatory Reform. The award recognizes Franz’ 100-percent voting record on 13 House roll call votes important to Michigan’s business climate on issues such as campaign finance, environment, human resources, legal reform, tax policy, and transportation investment. “Rep. Franz has demonstrated a strong commitment to Michigan’s economic competitiveness and free enterprise by supporting policies based on individual freedom, incentive and opportunity,” noted Jim Holcomb, Senior Vice President for Business Advocacy & General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. 08Oct Franz earns ‘Champion of Free Enterprise’ Award
Categories: Afendoulis News No appointments are necessary. In an effort to serve all who come to office hours, Rep. Afendoulis asks residents to be prepared to keep their meeting to ten minutes in length. If residents are unable to attend, or may have an issue that could take longer to discuss, they may contact Rep. Afendoulis’ office to schedule a separate meeting. Rep. Afendoulis may be reached at (517) 373-0218 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. State Rep. Chris Afendoulis announced his upcoming office hours for the months of February and March.“It is important for me to meet with my constituents to hear the questions and concerns they may have regarding state government,” Afendoulis said. “I invite all residents to join me for office hours.”Rep. Afendoulis will be available at the following times and locations:Friday, Feb. 167:30 to 9 a.m. at the Red Hot Inn, 3175 Leonard St. NE in Grand Rapids. Friday, Mar. 27:30 to 9 a.m. at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids. 31Jan Rep. Afendoulis invites residents to upcoming office hours
Share24TweetShareEmail24 SharesAndrew Cline / Shutterstock.comFebruary 22, 2016; CNNOn Sunday, Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich signed a bill that prohibits the state from contracting with any organization that performs or promotes abortions. While the bill didn’t directly mention Planned Parenthood, its passing effectively blocks approximately $1 million dollars in funding towards the organization’s services, which include HIV testing, health screenings, and violence prevention.While Kasich’s signature on this bill was expected, it marks another setback in a long, political battle that Planned Parenthood is fighting state by state to maintain access to critical government funding in order to continue providing health services to women.The longstanding political heat on Planned Parenthood was intensified last year when Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick called for an investigation of Planned Parenthood after the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released their now-debunked fetal tissue videos. Planned Parenthood countersued the activist group, saying its methods of obtaining the basic content in the much-edited video were fraudulent and misrepresented the organization’s services. Planned Parenthood was ultimately victorious in that battle, with the grand jury actually indicting the videographers rather than the organization they had been charged to investigate.That did not slow much down as far as state persecutions of the organization went, and Governor Kasich’s action is a reminder that the political battle may be a harder one to fight than the legal. Already, Texas, Alabama, New Hampshire, and Arizona have defunded the organization based on the CMP videos. Kasich also refers to the incident as part of the reason to defund these health services, commenting that Planned Parenthood is an organization that has “discredited” itself, despite the fact that the legal findings imply otherwise.Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards swiftly responded to Kasich’s signing, noting that this legislation, driven by political opposition to more controversial services like abortion and fetal tissue donation, actually cuts off a much wider range of critical health services:This legislation will have devastating consequences for women across Ohio. John Kasich is proudly eliminating care for expectant mothers and newborns; he is leaving thousands without vital STD and HIV testing, slashing a program to fight domestic violence, and cutting access to essential, basic health care.When asked directly what the impact of defunding Planned Parenthood would have on issues such as women’s health and the rise of STDs, Kasich points to the 150 other eligible grantees and contractors that partner with the Ohio Department of Health. In an interview with CNN, Kasich says pointedly, “While we don’t support Planned Parenthood, we do support a robust funding of women’s health. We just can’t operate through that organization any more, they have lost credibility. We are going to make sure that we have the places that women can go to get the treatment they need.”Kasich did not go into detail around the capacity or services provided by these alternate service providers, but he has taken a consistently strong stand against abortion before and during his presidential campaign.In a year focused on a presidential and congressional elections, and with a newly vacant seat on the Supreme Court, the politicizing of Planned Parenthood’s services and funding, as well as other nonprofit organizations with advocacy and services that align with political profiles on both sides of the aisle, will continue to be elevated.—Danielle HollyShare24TweetShareEmail24 Shares
Share2Tweet9ShareEmail11 SharesBy Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Paul LePage) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsFebruary 20, 2018; Press Herald (Portland, ME)It seems like a long time since NPQ has covered a story about how Gov. Paul LePage of Maine is trying to get nonprofit organizations to pay taxes or in other ways bend to his will. The most recent was in December of 2017, when the governor was withholding funding from a workforce development program with which he disagreed. Prior to that, there have been numerous instances when he has done or said something against the nonprofit sector. So, it is with a sigh of resignation that we read a story in the Portland Press Herald about accusations that the governor, who is in the last year of his term, may have used inaccurate information in a pitch to tax land conservancies.When he was reelected for a new term to start in 2015, LePage immediately submitted a two-year budget that called for a dramatic overhaul of the tax code in Maine. One portion of that proposal was to impose property tax on nonprofit organizations owning property valued at more than $500,000, which the governor assumed would mean mostly hospitals and universities. The proposal was soundly defeated by the legislature.In his most recent State of the State speech, delivered on the 13th of February, LePage renewed his call to tax nonprofit organizations as a way of easing the burden on homeowners. This time, however, he set his sights on nature conservancies, which, he says, own $18.3 billion worth of land and are not paying taxes. He estimates this costs the home-owning population of Maine $330 million.Conservation advocates and some legislators have taken exception to this estimate, calling it disingenuous at best. It appears true that there is a large portion of Maine land that has been taken off the tax rolls through some form of conservancy. Of Maine’s 20 million acres, at least 4 million, or 20 percent, has been conserved in some fashion. However, the veracity of LePage’s claim does not seem to go much farther than that.A recent report issued by the governor’s office estimates that more than 1,300,000 acres of conserved land are owned by the federal government or the state of Maine, and so would not be affected by any legislation to impose a tax levy. An additional 2,300,000 are privately owned and protected through conservation easements, most of which are subject to taxation already. The leaves about 500,000 acres of land owned by land trusts. That land is valued at about $6.4 billion, not the $18.3 the Governor claimed in his speech.Some of the land trusts in question pay a reduced tax already because they are part of the state’s Tree Growth or Open Space programs and must remain as working forests. Other trusts offer payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs, to help offset some of the expenses incurred by the host municipality. (It should be noted here that the National Council of Nonprofits is adamantly opposed to any nonprofit organization being required or encouraged to pay PILOTs. They consider it simply another way to divert funding from the mission work of the nonprofit and into government coffers.)The state legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee is finalizing a report on tax-related issues and conservation lands. The members of the committee appear not to have been affected by the governor’s speech. One Republican legislator is quoted as saying that the land trusts have made a convincing case, and that even though it may not be enough, they are paying something. An independent legislator argued that since the governor’s office has not supplied the Committee with data to corroborate his claims, then the claims can only be set aside as “an interesting story.”—Rob MeiksinsShare2Tweet9ShareEmail11 Shares