Pressuring Google

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Some call it treason Re: “Bin Laden alive and taunting U.S. on tape” (Jan. 20): Proof that anti-war Democrats are undermining the War on Terror, and aiding and abetting our enemies is openly demonstrated in bin Laden’s 19th and most recent propaganda recording. The tape, predictably aired by the jihadists’ preferred news agency, Al-Jazeera, includes references to “Bush misled and lied,” “al-Qaida is winning in Iraq due to U.S. financial and human losses” and “polls show majority of Americans want U.S. troops out of Iraq.” Such Democrat leaders as Kennedy, Pelosi, Reid, Gore, Sheehan, Dean, Murtha, Durben and their clients in the Bush-hating elite media should take partisan pride in having scripted and proliferated propaganda points for our sworn enemy, al-Qaida, in a time of war. – Paul Taylor Los Angeles Useless investigation Re: “Feds try to google Google” (Jan. 20): Go! Go! Google. Keep protecting our right to privacy, and shame on Yahoo, MSN and AOL for capitulating to the government’s demands for their search records. With the Bush administration’s track record of playing fast and loose with the facts, are we to believe they want to mine search engines to “estimate the prevalence of online material … deemed harmful to minors”? It certainly sounds like a ploy to dig for anything they “deem” suspect, including terrorists. I’ve googled “Osama bin Laden,” “al-Qaida” and others to spell-check so my letters to the editor are not error-filled. Does that make me a terrorist or sympathizer? If they really want to keep us safe, how about protecting us (and NSA’s computers) from spam and pop-ups? – Sandy Sand West Hills Re: “Clinton White House officials accused in possible cover-up” (Jan. 19): The article on the Barrett report just blew my mind. “Clinton White House officials accused in possible cover-up.” Twenty-one million dollars spent over more than a decade investigating the Cisneros case and ending with “no definite conclusion.” The man was found guilty but pardoned by Clinton. We know that. We knew that over a decade ago. To spend $2l million over that period of time just proves how viciously vindictive some are in trying to smear the Clinton administration. Just remember those were our tax dollars that supported Barrett and his staff for all those years. Thank goodness the present administration’s guilt is so obvious. – Marilyn Sims Reseda Counting Pluto dust Re: “NASA craft blasts off on 9-year trip to Pluto” (Jan. 20): How exciting! Will somebody please tell me how important is it to spend $700 million to send a dust counter to Pluto? Seems to me that $700 million could go further to feed poor children or even rebuild New Orleans. Is Pluto that important? What a waste. – Earl D. Howitz North Hills Day-laborer center Re: “New day-laborer center OK’d” (Jan. 19): I am appalled the City Council is encouraging the hiring of day laborers by setting up these centers and coercing business such as Home Depot to financially support them. These workers are neither licensed nor insured and compete unfairly with legitimate businesses that carry workers’ comp insurance, pay taxes, etc. And I suspect that a large percentage of these day laborers are also undocumented aliens. I am not a construction worker or contractor, just a homeowner who believes illegal activities (however noble) are still illegal. I do appreciate that I will not have to drive through crowds on the sidewalk trying to get some work, but perhaps there should be a law prohibiting congregating on the sidewalks soliciting employment. – Harry N. Hirschensohn Sherman Oaks Assisted suicide Thursday’s Daily News Poll result that 52 percent of respondents don’t believe in assisted suicide is typical. My own poll shows that this crowd is usually on the wrong side of every issue, whether it’s torture, spying, turning a blind eye to killing civilians in false wars, allowing big business to outsource and pollute, and a host of other issues. Here’s my message to you “Holier Than Thous”: If, at the end of my days, I am wracked in pain or hopelessly losing my faculties and I choose to meet my end peacefully … and if anyone interferes … they’re coming with me! – Chuck Heinold West Hills Pandemic? Re: “State braces for pandemic” (Jan. 19): The blaring headline gave me the clear impression that a raging surge of bird flu cases was just over the border in Arizona and would be here any day now. Although the second paragraph stated that no cases have yet to be reported in the U.S., that it’s not known to spread between humans, and that a pandemic would only be likely should the virus mutate, your headline attributed an alarmist sense of urgency that is inappropriate at best and irresponsible at worst. Wouldn’t it have been more accurate and reassuring to just state that state health officials have released a draft of a contingency plan to implement emergency procedures in case it becomes necessary? – Janet Hedke Saugus Live and learn I’ve been reading the Editorial section of the Daily News since it was the Green Sheet, and never a week has gone by without an article or letter to the editor about the terrible woes of the LAUSD. When in this lifetime (hopefully) are they going to sort themselves out? What was so wrong with McGuffy’s Reader (or equivalent), times tables, spell-downs and teachers who were allowed to teach their students? Any teacher who actually wants to dive into this morass has to be either insane or admirably courageous and dedicated. My high schools in Chicago had 48 desks bolted to the floor in each classroom, and, by George, we were bolted to ’em until we learned. Our parents had no lines except to “encourage” us to behave and to see that we learned. – Vicki Wagner Sherman Oaks Mean revisited Re: “Mean definition” (Your Opinions, Jan. 19): The two dictionary definitions of the mean as an arithmetic average and as the midpoint (median) of a distribution are not necessarily inconsistent. The mean is in fact the median when the distribution is symmetric about its midpoint. In the case of a set of numbers, the average and the median are always the same when the numbers on either side of the midpoint are symmetrically spaced about it. For example, the average, or mean, of 10, 20, 50, 80, 90 is 50, which is also the same as the median. I emphasize this is only true for data symmetrically distributed about the midpoint. I hope this clears up the confusion. – Ron Siskind Sherman Oaks The secret name How has it escaped the collective minds of intelligentsia that Arnold is an anagram of Ronald? – Vince Garofalo Burbank Singing the anthem The singer who will sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl has been announced. I hope sheet music was given to that person with the request our anthem be sung exactly as written. Nothing gripes me more than a singer changing our national anthem to his or her version. When the song is sung correctly, I get goose bumps. Any ninth-grader can sing the song right; why can’t the professionals? Wouldn’t it be great for the 300-million-plus Americans and our fighting men abroad to be able to stand proud as our national anthem is presented to the world? – Truett Sparkman Woodland Hills The money is nothing Regarding the various letters on the price tag on the Iraq war. This price tag is nothing when you look at the lives lost and, above all, the damage to American credibility. Can we ever regain that lost image? What is the face we have to show God in whom we trust? – Paramjit Singh Lancaster 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Airline passengers tipped to double by 2035

first_imgPassengers who think airports are crowded now should brace themselves to deal with twice as many people by 2035.The International Air Transport Association is predicting passenger numbers will almost double from 3.8 billion this year to 7.2 billion in 2035 based on an annual compound average growth rate of 3.7 percent.But it  warned of long delays for passengers and flights unless air transport stakeholders work together to improve infrastructure.The airline industry group also cautioned a  strengthening of the current trend towards trade protectionism could cut growth to 5.8 billion, affecting aviation jobs and the global economy, as barriers slow growth to an annual compound growth rate of 2.5 percent.”Economic growth is the only durable solution for the world’s current economic woes, ” IATA director general Alexandre De Juniac told the World Passenger Symposium in Dubai on Tuesday. “Yet we see governments raising barriers to trade rather than making it easier. If this continues in the long-term, it will mean slower growth and the world will be poorer for itBased on the 3.7 percent growth figure, IATA forecasts the Asia-Pacific region will be the biggest growth driver with China tipped to provide 817 million new passengers annually in 2035 and displace the US as the world’s biggest aviation market.The US will gain an additional 484 million passengers to retain second place while India, with an additional 322 million passengers, will replace the UK in third place.Indonesia and Vietnam are also forecast to grow quickly to round out the top five with 135 million and 112 million new passengers, respectively.Routes to, from and within the Asia-Pacific will grow at 4.7 per cent to see an extra 1.8 billion passengers a year in two decades’ time to bring the overall market size to 3.1 billion.North American growth of 2.8 per cent annually will see 1.3 billion passengers travelling each year, up by 536 million, while Europe will record the slowest growth rate of 2.5 per cent to add 570 million passengers and hit 1.5 billion travellers annually by 2035.The Middle east will continue to grow strongly at 5 per cent per year to add 238 million passengers annually by 2035 and bring to total market size to 414 million passengers. The United Arab Emirates will top the region’s growth at 6.3 per cent a year.Africa is also expected to see strong growth of 5.1 per cent annually for a total market of 303 million passengers while Latin American markets will grow by 3.8 per cent annually to 658 million passengers.IATA has a roadmap to handle the growth called the Simplifying Business Program which includes initiatives to make airport and security checkpoints more efficient, provide customers with better real-time information and improve the way tickets are issued and itineraries recorded.Part of this is proposal called One Identity, which would mean passengers would need to prove their identity just once and eliminate the need for repeated ID checks.But whether the aviation industry and governments are capable of coping with the massive growth remains to be seen.De Juniac called for players in the air transport industry to work together to embrace “speed, innovation to meet the challenges of growth and rising passenger expectations’’.But he warned of problems with airport and airspace capacity, citing rising congestion in Europe and potential issues in the Gulf region and China.“I fear we may be headed for an infrastructure crisis that will impact air travellers,’’ he said. “Inadequate infrastructure negatively impacts the passenger experience in the form of flight delays, longer routes and inefficient schedules.“Then there is the cost to economies of lost business opportunities, employment and social development. Remember aviation is a critical catalyst for economic and social development, supporting 63 million jobs and some $2.7 trillion in economic impact.”IATA also released a survey of almost 7000 passengers which showed travellers wanted to do more of the traditional check-in processes before they arrive at airport and more than 70 percent now using online facilities.A big number wanted to travel to the airport luggage free, with 26 per cent wanting their luggage picked up at home and 24 per cent wanting to drop off their bags “off airport’’.Security and border control processes were seen as the biggest “pain points’’ and passengers were also keen to pass through security without having to remove personal items.  Four out of 10 chose their route based on their airport transfer experience.The survey found in-flight wi-fi had gained in popularity and more than half of passengers wanted to connect during their journey, up 12 per cent on 2015.Some 85 per cent also said they were prepared to share personal data to allow airlines and airports to offer them a more customised travel experience.last_img read more

Watch the State of the Nation Address 2014

first_imgWatch the video stream of South African President Jacob Zuma’s 2014 State of the Nation Address at the opening of parliament in Cape Town on Thursday 13 February.Read more:State of the Nation Address 2014: the full textPreview: State of the Nation Address 2014last_img

Let’s Mine Our Landfills

first_imgThis post originally appeared at Ensia. The car tires were abundant and easy to spot. As were newspapers, made from trees with tough cell walls. Then there were tons of soil, aged and packed with decomposed garbage from the 1980s, when Madonna belted out “We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl,” and Star Wars brought us a future that didn’t seem to include trash cans anywhere. At the closed Perdido Landfill in Escambia County, Florida, they’re digging into the past to eliminate old garbage that could contaminate groundwater and to clear space for future trash. In the process, they’re also mining for any treasure that could help offset the cost of doing so. During its first phase, which ran from 2009 to 2011, the dig uncovered a copious amount of soil that was then used to cover up new trash, a practice required by federal and state regulations.RELATED ARTICLESLandfills Can Make Great Building SitesLandfills Are a Big Methane ProblemLandfills Have a Huge Greenhouse Gas ProblemGarbage Disposal, Compost, or Landfill?Are We Recycling Too Much of Our Trash? The project, which will start Phase 2 in 2019 or 2020, is a classic case of landfill mining — an intriguing idea to address multiple growing problems worldwide: increasing population, depleting natural resources, and climate change. “I’m a big proponent of mining landfills,” says Mark Roberts, vice president of engineering consulting firm HDR and project manager for the landfill mining work at Perdido. “Garbage real estate is really valuable.” The biggest challenge to make landfill mining work is economics, experts say. The cost of excavating trash, sorting out valuable materials such as metals, and then reburying the rest tends to exceed the revenues from selling recovered materials. “Resource recovery alone can’t justify these projects financially,” says Joakim Krook, associate professor in the Department of Management and Engineering at Linköping University in Sweden. “They need to have alternative benefits.” However, if alternative benefits — such as the value of preventing pollution, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the need to mine new materials, and making room at an old dumpsite for modern, more environmentally friendly waste disposal — are factored in, landfill mining in some cases becomes an attractive option. Making room Landfill mining can be traced back to a 1953 project in Israel to find fertilizers for orchards by scooping up soil from decomposed trash. Few other projects were reported until the 1990s when, in an effort to prevent groundwater contamination and other pollution, new regulations in the U.S. required landfill owners to use plastic liners and soil to sandwich the garbage like a layer cake. The national effort to modernize garbage dumps shut down many old landfills and required 30-year monitoring of closed dumps for groundwater contamination and methane gas production. It also forced communities to look for new space for landfills. Digging up closed landfills to make room for new ones has been one of the goals behind some of the landfill mining projects that have sprung up since the 1990s. Other goals include eliminating a potential source of pollution, reclaiming valuable materials, and acquiring waste to burn to generate steam and electricity, says Jeremy O’Brien, director of applied research at the Solid Waste Association of North America, an industry trade group. The U.S. has seen sporadic projects scattered across the country with a variety of primary goals. For example, the main goal of a 1989 project in Connecticut was to move waste from an unlined cell to a lined one, and a 2000 effort in Iowa aimed mainly to protect groundwater and recover space. Costs and benefits The costs and benefits of landfill mining can vary so widely that projects that aren’t deemed cost-effective in one place could be considered worthwhile elsewhere. The city of Denton, Texas, for instance, scrapped a project to excavate a 30-acre site last year after determining that it wasn’t going to generate nearly as much revenue from selling recyclable materials, such as metals and plastics, and creating new landfill space as had been anticipated back in 2015. In southern Maine, on the other hand, a four-year reclamation work that began in 2011 created an estimated $7.42 million worth of recovered metals, according to Travis Wagner, professor of environmental science and policy at the University of Southern Maine and co-author of a study of the project that was published in the journal Waste Management. A private scrap-metal company contracted with Ecomaine, the nonprofit owner of the landfill, to mine metals from the site. The project dug up 34,352 metric tons (37,867 tons) of metals at an estimated cost of $158 per metric ton. In addition to the value of the metals, Wagner pegged the economic value of the newly created landfill space at $267,000. The landfill wasn’t your typical garbage pile, however. It was a space reserved for the ash created by a nearby incinerator that vaporized trash from the regular landfill onsite, such as auto parts and mattress springs, to produce electricity. The process creates the ash with a concentrated amount of metals. The ash also contains metals that are uniformly distributed in the pile. The metals included steel, silver, copper, and aluminum. “At a regular landfill, the metals aren’t uniform, and to get to the metal, you have to get rid of a lot of nasty crap and rocks. It’s expensive to process that waste,” Wagner says. “If you want to mine something, you want to know exactly what the metals are and their concentration.” Soil and space The Escambia County project dug up mostly soil made from decomposed organic materials mixed with dirt used to cover the garbage. Roberts says the soil is valuable because it could be used to cover trash in the adjacent, active part of the landfill. Reusing the soil reduces the need to buy and truck in soil from elsewhere. The ability to rebury unwanted trash in the newer section of the landfill also helped to lower the project’s cost. “A lot of the economics of it is due to transportation — you don’t have to haul mined garbage across the county,” Roberts says. Even so, the soil was only the second-most valuable item recovered. First was the room for more garbage. “The value is not necessarily in the recovered materials. It’s the air space you will gain — that’s worth a fortune,” he says. The first phase of the project cost $2.7 million in mining and processing the long-buried waste, and another $3 million to build new landfill space of 2.8 million cubic yards (2.1 million cubic meters), Roberts says. That new space will bring in $60 million in fees charged to haulers. Overall, the return on the investment is at least fivefold, he says. Similarly, a 2015 project in Washington State didn’t generate a lot of money from recovered metals, mostly unidentifiable rusty pieces, but it cleared out space for a new stormwater detention pond and created a new landfill space, or cell, in the pond’s former location. “It was not a spectacular success in terms of recovering resources. However, we did successfully relocate the waste into a modern cell to mitigate risk to the environment,” says Pat McLaughlin, director of solid waste division for King County, which operates the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. “We were able to upgrade our stormwater detention system and increase landfill capacity in the new cell.” The project took place in part of Cedar Hills that began burying trash in the 1970s, next to an area built to modern standards. The project provided good lessons for the county to experiment with excavating and relocating old garbage, an undertaking that could be under consideration in the future, McLaughlin says. Shifting the balance Currently landfill mining projects are few and far between. However, some see that the situation is due to change. A good number of academic and government-funded research projects in Europe, including in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, and Germany, are working to shift the cost-benefit balance of mining materials from landfills by bringing down the sorting costs and factoring in the value of the environmental benefits that can be gained. Projects range from improving the technology for sorting and recovering materials to calculating environmental benefits, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, from using previously mined materials, says Krook. Available landfill space plays a role, too. Trash generation is rising globally and projected to increase by 70% and reach 3.4 billion metric tons (3.7 billion tons) per year by 2050, according to the World Bank. The upward global trend is echoed in the United States, which has seen the amount garbage from cities and counties grow from 217.3 million tons (197.1 million metric tons) in 1995 to 262.4 million tons (238.0 million metric tons) in 2015, the most recent data available, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Right now, I would generally say that there’s a lot of landfill capacity out there. When supply starts to dwindle then you will see more interest in this,” O’Brien says. While landfill mining can create values beyond pure profits, for now the waste management industry is paying more attention to solving sustainability problems through promoting recycling and other efforts that divert trash from landfills. “It always seems silly that we put in all this energy to produce these materials and goods, and then we dispose of perfectly good materials,” Wagner says. “Meanwhile, we are mining and producing more virgin materials.” O’Brien echoes the sentiment. “Once we stop new materials from reaching landfills, then we can focus on reclaiming old ones,” he says.   Ucilia Wang is a California-based environment and technology journalist.last_img read more

Helping Families Support Early Communication Development in Young Children

first_imgImage from Pixabay.com, CC0By Juliann Woods, Ph.D., CCC-SLPMore than ever, research indicates the incredible role of families in their children’s communication development.  We are learning more and more about early brain development and how parents and other caregivers can contribute to the social, emotional and communication development of babies from day one.  In fact, some of what we are learning may be counter to the way we were raised or the way our extended family believes is most appropriate.  For example, did you know parents are now encouraged to engage in multiple forms of appropriate physical touch to foster social connectedness and security for babies?  These forms of touch are not just brief hugs before and after naps, or during distress, but any time and every time the baby is interested!  Zero to Three provides a great overview of this information in this video.  Babies typically share eye contact with adults as early as 6-8 weeks which helps to build attachment and social communication [1].  When adults and babies look directly at each other, babies try to communicate more often.  When adults respond with a word or action, babies can try again and take another turn. [2] These simple exchanges are the beginning of conversations – the back-and-forth interactions that build a child’s participation with a communication partner.  When you pair quality back-and-forth interactions with hearing and repeating meaningful words, it creates a win-win situation for the child’s social communication learning! This video from the Hanen Centre further discusses the importance of these types of interaction.  What else do parents need to know to promote early communication and language development when they are concerned about their child or he/she has a disability or developmental delays? Often, they need to be aware of ways to make the most of their everyday routines and activities to provide additional attention, use special strategies, or provide more opportunities for their child to practice and learn communication skills.  Because of the importance of the relationship between the parent and child, we know that parents can be terrific communication partners for their child.  They may, however, need information and coaching from an early intervention professional to learn strategies that will  help them engage their child in conversations and social interaction to teach communication and language skills. The good news is that it does not have to take extra time and energy, special toys, or expensive materials to support a child’s development in this way. Military family members experiencing a separation due to deployment, can still participate in ways that are meaningful, enjoyable, and facilitate early communication and language development!In our next webinar on September 27, 2018, we will begin to explore early social communication intervention strategies that early intervention professionals can encourage caregivers to use during everyday routines and activities.  To prepare for the discussion, please watch Kris and Kiyah’s eleven minute home visit video prior to the webinar.  In the live webinar, we will break down the components of this home visit, discuss the strategies used by the early intervention provider, and reflect on the coaching process to support Kiyah’s increased use of communication throughout her daily routines and activities.[1] Erhard-Weiss, D., Meltzoff, A. N., & Brooks, R. (2007). Eyes wide shut: The importance of eyes in infant gaze following and understanding other minds. In R. Flom, K. Lee, & D. Muir (Eds.), Gaze following: Its development and significance (pp. 217-241). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.[2] Parlakian, R. (2016).  It takes two:  The roots of language learning. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2016/02/takes-two-roots-language-learning/This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, Ph.D., members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube.last_img read more

India defeat England by 6 wickets in 3rd ODI at Nottingham

first_imgSuresh Raina celebrates after taking the wicket of England’s Alex Hales (right), during at Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottingham, England, on August 30, 2014. Photo: APAmbati Rayudu scored an unbeaten 64 as India relied on an all-round performance to defeat England by six wickets in the third cricket one-dayer and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series on Saturday.Rayudu, who was drafted in place of an injured Rohit Sharma, stitched 87 runs with Suresh Raina (42) from 14.5 overs for the fourth wicket as India chased down the modest target of 228 with 42 balls to spare.Ravichandran Ashwin, however, took home the Man of the Match award for his excellent performance with the ball as he picked up three wickets giving away just 37 runs.Ajinkya Rahane, who was promoted to opener’s slot, made 45 while Virat Kohli struck 40, his highest innings score of the tour so far, as the Indian batsmen had an easy outing against a pedestrian-looking English bowling at Trent Bridge.Rayudu grabbed his chance of making it to the playing eleven with both hands as he scored his third half century in his 14th ODI. He hit six fours in his 78-ball unbeaten knock.Rayudu himself struck the winning runs a two off James Tredwell as India reached 228 for four in 43 overs to fashion a clinical win to the celebration of the Indians at the dressing room and sizeble supporters at the stand.Ravindra Jadeja was the other unbeaten batsman on 12.The visiting batsmen played sensible cricket without taking much risks after their bowlers, led by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3/39), had put them on top by dismissing England for 227.advertisementShikhar Dhawan was the lone Indian batsman who did not make a substantial contribution in the match which saw home side paceman James Anderson being booed by Indian supporters.Anderson was involved in an ugly spat with Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the first Test at the same venue here. India had lost the five-match Test series 1-3.The first ODI at Bristol was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rains. The remaining two ODIs of the series will be played at Birmingham (Sept 2) and Leeds (Sept 5).Teams:England: Alastair Cook (C), Alex Hales, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Steven Finn, James Tredwell and James AndersonIndia: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma.Scorecard:last_img read more