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25 days agoBarcelona president Bartomeu to meet with Pique to clear the air

first_imgBarcelona president Bartomeu to meet with Pique to clear the airby Carlos Volcano25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is set to meet with defender Gerard Pique to clear the air after the latter’s recent comments.Sport says Pique has questioned the board twice in the last week. He said he did not like the team’s pre-season tours of Japan and the US, claiming “we did more travelling and less training and we’re feeling it.”Then he hinted that the board were planting stories in the media against the players.The objective of the meeting will be to smooth things over and stop Pique’s digs which in Madrid they are using to do more damage to Barcelona. About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Nuns funds and guns the firearms debate on Wall Street

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Some of Wall Street’s heaviest hitters are stepping into the national debate on guns as investment firms ask firearms makers what they are doing about gun violence.The firms speak softly, but because they own trillions of dollars’ worth of stock, their voices travel far. And they’re now joining forces with some unusual allies, including smaller and untraditional investors. In this context, the investment fund BlackRock, which owns big stakes in three different gun makers, might end up working alongside a group of nuns.Sister Judith Byron, the director and co-ordinator of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, says her group and BlackRock appear to have similar ideas when it comes to gun manufacturers and retailers. Following the killing of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, funds like BlackRock started asking gun manufacturers what they are doing to reduce the risks of gun violence, and asking retailers how much they make from selling guns.Byron says her group, a coalition of religious communities and health care systems, invested in firearms makers a decade ago and has been working on gun safety issues for years. In the last few months the coalition introduced resolutions pushing American Outdoor Brands, Sturm Ruger and retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods to give reports to investors about the steps they are taking to reduce gun violence.“We’re hoping we can engage these big investors and encourage them to vote for our resolutions,” she says.Some larger investors have similar views. The biggest public pension funds in the U.S., CalPERS, recently refused to sell its investments in companies that sell assault rifles. It says that by remaining an investor, it’s been able to get those companies to make positive changes.The nuns aren’t protesters, and they don’t carry props or signs to disrupt board meetings, although they sometimes work alongside groups that use those tactics. Byron says some of the shareholder meetings she’s attended have been downright pleasant, with investors and board members thanking her for asking questions.Support from investment firms was crucial to the coalition’s big success last year when, after decades of work, it backed a successful resolution that required oil giant Exxon Mobil to disclose the effects climate change is having on its business.Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said companies are often reluctant to risk any sales in order to do the responsible thing. But it does sometimes happen, as when CVS stores stopped selling cigarettes in 2014. He said activists deserve most of the credit for getting the funds to speak out.“BlackRock didn’t wake up one morning and say, ‘We are going to take a different approach to investing, it’s the right thing to do,’” he said. “It’s a reaction to the activists.”The top priority of firms like BlackRock, State Street and mutual fund company Vanguard is to make as much money as possible for their clients. But because they own so much stock, they can wield a lot of influence: They can support new directors who want to change the direction of the company and back proposals that change the way it operates.BlackRock is a major shareholder in gun makers Sturm Ruger, American Outdoor Brands, and Vista Outdoor Brands. About a week after the shooting in Parkland, BlackRock said it wanted to speak with the three firearms makers about their responses to the tragedy. The fund said it is looking into creating new investment funds for investors that exclude firearms makers and retailers, and if many funds and investors followed suit, that would affect the price of those stocks.In a letter to BlackRock, American Outdoor Brands said it supports steps that will promote gun safety while protecting the rights of firearm owners. The company said it backs measures including improved background checks and improved support for people with mental illnesses, but said it’s opposed to “politically motivated action” that won’t improve public safety. Sturm Ruger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.In other words, there are limits to the funds’ power. They aren’t choosy investors and won’t dump the gun makers no matter what they say. That’s because their main investment strategy to invest in huge numbers of companies, including every stock listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.According to Todd Rosenbluth, CFRA’s director of research into funds and exchange-traded funds, that means BlackRock and Vanguard don’t have that much leverage compared to activist investors or hedge funds. Those investors can have more dramatic effects on individual companies because they can buy up the stock, run for seats on the board themselves, or threaten to sell the shares if they don’t like the company’s choices.“They can use their wallet and sell the shares or they can pressure the companies and threaten to sell the shares if actions aren’t taken,” said Rosenbluth. So far, he said those investors aren’t really getting involved in the debate.Still, there have been changes: Dick’s, Walmart, Kroger and L. L. Bean have all said they will no longer sell guns to shoppers under the age of 21. Rosenbluth said that has more to do with the ongoing national debate about gun safety and regulations than anything the investment firms have said, and he believes laws will ultimately have a larger effect.But Byron, who also wants new gun laws, says she is encouraged by the response from corporate America.“We see companies taking leadership roles in environmental and social issues, which is encouraging,” said Byron, adding that as shareholders, “they’re our companies. We own them.”last_img read more

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Not me says Lighthizer as Freeland NAFTA negotiators grind forward

first_imgWASHINGTON – A bombshell claim of “resistance” to Donald Trump’s presidency inside the White House inserted itself Thursday into Canada’s painstaking march toward a deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s two hours of talks with her U.S. counterpart, trade czar Robert Lighthizer, barely registered in the American capital despite the high-stakes for the continent’s economy.As Trump fumed, and a full-scale hunt was launched the identity of the anonymous author of a New York Times op-ed piece, Lighthizer was drawn into the stranger-than-fiction drama, joining a series of Trump administration officials who publicly denied authorship and declared their loyalty to the president.“It does not reflect my views at all, and it does not reflect the views of anyone I know in the Administration. It is a complete and total fabrication,” Lighthizer said in a widely reported written statement.He joined Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and others in issuing his disclaimer to being the Washington’s most famous anonymous Beltway politico since Deep Throat during the Watergate scandal.A block from the White House, where a furious Trump was Tweeting fire at the disloyalty from his inner circle, Freeland and Lighthizer pushed on with talks that cut to the core of North American prosperity.They issued fresh marching orders for their respective negotiating teams. Freeland maintained the same upbeat tone she has held since arriving in Washington this week to reboot talks with the Trump administration.“We really are confident, as we have been from the outset, that a deal which is good for Canada, good for the United States and good for Mexico is possible,” Freeland said, as she departed the office of the U.S. Trade Representative on her way to the Canadian Embassy.Freeland returned to Lighthizer’s office Thursday night for a 20-minute meeting that she said was constructive.“It was important to discuss a couple of issues face-to-face,” she said, without elaborating.But with the economic fate of workers and industries in three North American countries hanging in the balance, the New York Times piece sparked questions about how the fallout would affect the bump-and-grind of the NAFTA negotiations.Derek Burney, who was former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s chief of staff during the original 1988 Canada-U.S. free trade negotiations, said any direct impact was unlikely but Trump remained “the big wild card” in the negotiation.“We have to hope to catch him between tantrums to get a deal,” said Burney, who along with Mulroney has advised the current Trudeau government on how to negotiate with Trump.Trump is likely “feeling pressure on many fronts these days and may be frustrated to learn the limits to his authority on trade, hence his warning to Congress ‘not to interfere’,” said Burney, who became Canada’s U.S. ambassador after the original free trade deal.Canada and the U.S. need to present an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress by Oct. 1 in order to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico.Trump is threatening to move ahead on a deal that excludes Canada, but he also needs a win on trade ahead of midterm elections in November that will test his ability to keep control of Congress.Flavio Volpe, the president of the Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, said he didn’t think the latest bombshell would directly affect the negotiators inside the room.“But it certainly underscores for all of us observing the talks that it’s not that easy to do this negotiation. It’s a compressed timeline with an ever-changing counterparty,” said Volpe, who was in Washington on Thursday for meetings with auto industry representatives on the possible impact of Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Canadian automobiles.Trump has already imposed hefty tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum, using a section of U.S. trade law that gives him executive authority to do that in the name of national security.Freeland reiterated her view Thursday that the fate of those tariffs was separate from the NAFTA talks, and she urged the administration to lift the “unjustified and illegal” action.During the day, she and Lighthizer pored over results from their front-line negotiators who held a long stretch of talks that started Wednesday night and finished in the early morning hours of Thursday.Freeland stuck to her mantra of not wanting to negotiate in public — an agreement struck with the tough-talking Lighthizer as an act of good faith.The two sides still have to resolve differences on three key issues: dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.The goal of this week’s talks is to reach a deal by Dec. 1 so Congress can give its approval to a revised three-country NAFTA before Mexico’s new president takes office.last_img read more

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Ayushmann Khurrana completes Article 15 shoot

first_imgMumbai: Ayushmann Khurrana on Tuesday wrapped up filming his upcoming movie, “Article 15” and the actor said the Anubhav Sinha directorial will be “the most relevant and important film” in Indian cinema. Touted as a hard-hitting investigative drama, “Article 15” will see Khurrana play a police officer for the first time. “Wrapped up a film which will become the most relevant and important film of Indian cinema. Thank you @anubhavsinha sir for giving me this gem and also writing the most real cop role ever. #Article15,” the actor wrote on Twitter. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka He also shared a 3D mini figure modelled on him in his cop avatar and thanked the cast and crew for it. The film is being called one of Sinha’s most ambitious projects till date and is the director’s first collaboration with the actor. “Article 15” also stars Isha Talwar, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra, M Naser, Ashish Verma, Sushil Pandey, Subrajyoti Bharat and Zeeshan Ayub. Produced by Benaras Media Works, the film went on floors from March 1 in Lucknow.last_img read more

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EC bans Congress Chowkidaar Chor Hai ad

first_imgBhopal: The Election Commission in Madhya Pradesh has banned the ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ advertisement of the Congress party and ordered an end to its broadcast. The Joint Chief Election Officer on Wednesday issued a notice to all the state district officers saying that the media certification and inspection committee has cancelled the ad certification and it should be discontinued. The Bharatiya Janata Party had earlier complained to the Chief Election Officer saying that the ad was offensive and defamatory in nature. Chief Election Officer V.L. Kantarao has directed action against the Congress, besides issuing a notice to the party.last_img read more

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Casablanca Among 10 Most Disappointing Destinations in the World

first_imgCasablanca- Travel website Smarter Travel has recently published a list of 10 places it considers as the “most disappointing” destinations in the world. Casablanca has made it to the list.Casablanca, Morocco’s economic capital is a “soulless” city, according to Smarter Travel. According to the website, Casablanca is only a transitory station, unlike other places in the Northern African kingdom, and is thus one of the “10 most disappointing” destinations in the world. “Many international flights to Morocco arrive in Casablanca, but many visitors wish that their flight had kept right on going. This very commercial city is mostly office buildings and has been called “soulless” by many tourists. Transit here, but keep on going to the rest of Morocco if you want a more authentic experience,” says the survey. In addition to Casablanca, the top teen “most disappointing destinations in the world” includes Gibraltar (UK), the Niagara Falls in New York, Temple Bar in Dublin, California’s Hollywood, Nassau, in Bahamas, Liberty Island in New York, Frankfurt in Germany, Florida’s famous Walt Disney World, and Las Vegas. The survey, however, doesn’t says what are the criteria it used to arrive to such a conclusion or whether it based its ranking on the opinions expressed by travelers.In another survey published by American Magazine WeatherWise, Morocco’s largest city ranked 3rd best weather place in the world.  Referring to weather condition in Casablanca, the survey says: “Strongly moderated by cold currents of the Atlantic Ocean, the weather of the northwestern coast of Morocco experiences little seasonal variability and extremely mild temperatures year round. According to World Meteorological Organization data for Casablanca, which lies in the heart of this region, January experiences an average daily high of 63°F and a mean nighttime low of 45°F.”© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

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Confirmed Kepa and Jorginho handed Chelsea debut

first_imgChelsea kick off their Premier League campaign against Huddersfield in what will be Maurizio Sarri’s first league game in chargeSarri who replaced compatriot Antonio Conte at the helm at Stamford Bridge will be hoping for a positive start to his tenure when they confront Wagners’ men.The Italian tactician has gone with a strong line-up as expected, handing new boys Jorginho and Kepa their debut in a Chelsea shirt.Eden Hazard starts on the bench having returned late for pre-season training due to being given additional time off following his World Cup exploits.With an attack boasting the likes of Alvaro Morata, Willian, and Pedro, the Blues will be aiming for the maximum three points.The last time both sides met, Huddersfield held on to a shocking 1-1 draw that derailed Chelsea’s Champions League aims.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.Team to play Huddersfield: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Willian, Pedro, MorataSubs: Caballero, Hazard, Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Giroud, Zappacosta, ChristensenTeam to play Chelsea: Hamer, Hadergjonaj, Zanka, Schindler, Kongolo, Lowe, Hogg, Mooy, Billing, Pritchard, MounieSubs: Lossl, Smith, Diakhaby, Sobhi, Van La Parra, Depotire, Stankoviclast_img read more

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Watford legend tips Abdoulaye Doucoure to leave for PSG

first_imgTommy Smith expects Abdoulaye Doucoure to leave Watford for a big money move to Paris Saint-GermainThe French midfielder has thrived at Vicarage Road following his arrival in 2016 from Ligue 1 side Rennes, which has led to reports of interest from bigger clubs.Liverpool and Everton have both been linked with Doucoure recently, but Smith believes PSG are the favourites to make a £50m bid in this month’s transfer window.“He’ll be a huge loss if he does leave and ultimately he probably will do,” Smith told Love Sport Radio.“When you’re talking about clubs the size of PSG, Champions League football and titles, for any player that’s going to be attractive.“When you’re talking £50m for a player, for a club like Watford that’s enormous. I think if that is the kind of interest, it will only be a matter of time.”Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.The former winger compared Doucoure to fellow French midfielder and Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira, who now coaches OGC Nice in Ligue 1.“I’ve seen him play a number of times and he’s an exciting talent who can score goals as well,” added Smith.“He’s a Vieira-esque midfielder who gets up and down and gets in both boxes.“He’s quite physical and he’s good on the ball as well so I’m not surprised by the interest.”Doucoure didn’t feature in Watford’s 2-0 FA Cup win over National League side Woking on Sunday.last_img read more

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Crime update from The Royal Bahamas Police Department

first_imgHIGH POWERED ASSAULT WEAPON SEIZED, ONE MAN IN CUSTODYAn adult male is in custody following the seizure a high-powered assault weapon during a raid on a home on Sunday 5th November 2017.   According to reports, shortly after 4:00pm, South Central Division officers acting on intelligence executed a search warrant on home located at White’s Addition off Kemp Road where they uncovered an AK – 47 Assault Rifle.Mobile Division officers later arrested a male occupant of the home in connection with this incident. POLICE ARE APPEALING TO THE PUBLIC TO SHARE INFORMATION ON ANY ILLEGAL/SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES IN THEIR COMMUNITIES, NO MATTER HOW SMALL OR INSIGNIFICANT (THE TIP) MAY SEEM, MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE URGED TO ANONYMOUSLY CONTACT THE POLICE AT 919 OR CRIME STOPPERS AT 328-TIPS (8477) (NEW PROVIDENCE) OR 1-242-300-8477 (FAMILY ISLANDS)CRIME PREVENTION TIP OF THE WEEK – If a crime occurs – report it!Everyone should consider it his/her responsibility to report crime. Many criminals target favorite areas and have predictable methods of operation. When you report all the facts about a crime, it helps the police assign officers in the places where crimes are occurring or where they are most likely to occur. If you don’t report crime, this allows the criminal to continue to operate without interference.In many cases, it is the information provided by victims and witnesses that leads to the arrest of a criminal. So tell the police as much as you can; no fact is too trivial. The police need the eyes and ears of all citizens.Please visit the Royal Bahamas Police Force Website at www.royalbahamaspolice.org or facebook page at www.facebook.com/rbpforce for Latest News, Daily Crime Reports and additional Crime Prevention Tips.Press Release: RBPF MALE AND FEMALE IN CUSTODY FOR ARMED ROBBERYReports are that shortly after 5:00pm, Mobile Division officers took an adult male and an adult female into custody for questioning reference to armed robbery on Sunday 5th November 2017.The two suspects were found in possession of two cell phones taken during an armed robbery sometime in October 2017. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 6, 2017 – Nassau – This is an update from the Royal Bahamas Police DepartmentSUSPECT SHOT IN BOTCH ARMED ROBBERY ATTEMPT DIES IN HOSPITALA male suspect, who was hospitalized on Friday 27th October 2017 after being shot in the middle of an attempted armed robbery, has died.   The wounded man was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after 4:00pm this afternoon (Sunday 5th November 2017)The wounded man and another suspect attempted to rob a man, as he was about to enter his home in Yellow Elder Gardens around 11.30pm Friday 27th October 2017.   However, the victim fought back, struggling with the suspect with the gun. During the struggle, the gunman suffered a gunshot wound and fled on foot along with his accomplice into a waiting blue Honda vehicle with gold rims. Related Items:last_img read more

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The toprated Tribit XFree Tune wireless overtheear headphones drop to just 3249

first_img Share your voice 9 Tags Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Comments The folding Tribit XFree Tune headphones look and sound luxurious, but the price tag is all cheapskate. Sarah Tew/CNET Just last year, CNET audio guru David Carnoy was delighted to discover that the $50 Tribit XFree Tune over-the-ear wireless headphones offered “terrific sound for the money.”Right now, today, I’m delighted to tell you that Cheapskate readers can score the Tribit XFree Tune over-the-ear wireless headphones for $32.49. That’s after clicking the on-page 5% off coupon and then applying promo code DLTXFREE at checkout.See at AmazonCarnoy’s XFree Tune review is the best place to start if you want the full scoop on these, as I haven’t had the chance to try them myself.I can tell you that the carrying case is included at this price; it’s not $5 extra as mentioned in the review. And speaking of reviews, the headphones scored a genuinely impressive 4.6-star average rating from over 700 buyers.Other important things to know: Tribit promises a whopping 40 hours of playtime on a charge (though it takes a full 4 hours to recharge), and you can also bypass Bluetooth in favor of a wired connection (cord included), which requires no power at all.I think these would make a great gift for a mom, dad or grad.Read more: The best headphones for 2019 Bonus deal: One of my favorite recent sci-fi books is on sale for $2Not to be confused with the sci-fi TV series of the same name, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch is a twisty, trippy sci-fi novel that was among my favorite reads of the past few years.The Kindle edition normally sells for $10, but for a limited time, you can grab Dark Matter for just $2. If you’re more into the Barnes & Noble or Google Play e-book ecosystems, it’s on sale in both those stores for the same price.See at AmazonI’ll just add that this isn’t “hard sci-fi,” if that’s what you’re hoping for. Rather, it’s a fast-paced page-turner, with some fresh twists on old tropes. I couldn’t put it down. CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! Now playing: Watch this: 1:25 The Cheapskate Tribit XFree Tune: A cheap Bluetooth headphone that sounds… Headphones Digital Media Amazonlast_img read more

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11 migrants dead 200 missing in Mediterranean

first_imgEleven migrants have died and nearly 200 are missing after two boats sank off the coast of Libya, UN agencies said Monday citing survivors, in the latest such tragedy.The first involved an inflatable craft which left Libya early Friday with 132 people on board, only to start deflating a few hours later, before overturning.Some 50 survivors were picked up by a Danish container ship, the Alexander Maersk, which was alerted to divert by Italian coastguards and dropped them off on Sunday in Pozzallo, southern Sicily.Representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) were able to meet them on Monday to hear their accounts.Survivors told them that women and children were among those missing.At the same time, the bodies of 10 women and one child were found Monday on a beach in Zawiya, 50 kilometres (31 miles) west of Tripoli, according to an official for the Libyan Red Crescent.Then on Sunday seven migrants-a woman and six men-were rescued by Libyan fishermen and coastguards off the coast of the Libyan capital.An IOM spokesman who met them said they had set out on a boat with at least 120 people on board, including about 30 women and nine children.In all more than 6,000 migrants were rescued Friday and Saturday in international waters off the coast of Libya and brought to Italy, while several hundred were rescued in Libyan waters and taken back to Libya.The number of people leaving Libya in the hope of starting a new life in Europe is up nearly 50 percent this year compared with the opening months of 2016.With most departures coming in the warm summer months, the trend points to around 250,000 people arriving over the course of 2017. Some 500,000 migrants were registered in Italy in the three years spanning 2014-16.last_img read more

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Theres A Democrat Running For Every Texas Congressional Seat Next Year

first_img Share MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR. FOR KUTIn deep-red Texas, Republicans will have to fight for every congressional seat in next year’s midterm elections. For the first time in 25 years, Democrats are running in all of Texas’ 36 congressional districts, according to documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State’s office.Mark Jones, political science fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, says those filings set a record for the number of Democratic challengers in an era of Republican dominance, and are a departure from 2016 – when eight Republican-held congressional seats went uncontested by Democrats.“We are seeing a groundswell of unusually high support and mobilization among progressive Democrats who are really angered by the Trump administration,” Jones said.But, Democrats aren’t just gunning for congressional seats. According to preliminary numbers from the Texas Democratic Party, Democrats are running in 89 percent of the seats in the Texas House and 88 percent of the seats in the Texas Senate. Both are the highest percentages the party has mustered since at least 1992.“We are seeing Democrats come out to run not only for the goal of challenging and doing something to voice their opposition to President Trump,” Jones said. “But we are seeing Democrats come out in several districts where, in the past, Democrats had no chance whatsoever and had difficult time recruiting top-quality candidates.”Historically speaking, the opposition party tends to make big gains in Congress during the first midterm election following a presidential election. For example, Republicans won back the U.S. House in 2010 after the election of President Barack Obama in 2008.Jones says resistance to President Trump’s policies has led to “enthusiasm and mobilization,” particularly among more left-leaning Democrats. But he says that doesn’t mean that Democrats can expect huge gains in dependably Republican Texas.“Outside of CD 23, held by Will Hurd, all of the Republican-held districts today, more likely than not, will stay Republican-held districts,” Jones said. “But they are not locks, and certainly we can’t consider them to be sure-things.”Jones says it will take a perfect storm for Texas Democrats to make significant gains in Congress. He says Trump’s approval ratings will have to continue to decline, Democrats will have to continue to out-fundraise their Republican opponents, and Republican candidates will have to make a lot of mistakes.Tariq Thowfeek, a spokesperson with the Texas Democratic Party, says he’s optimistic Texas Democrats could help the party take control of the U.S. House.“Democrats need 24 seats to take back the House,” he says. “I think four of those seats can come from Texas.”But Brendan Steinhauser, a Republican strategist in Austin, says flipping four Republican-held seats in Texas won’t be easy.“This has the potential to be more competitive statewide,” says Steinhauser. “Although, I would think most Republicans would say that we are still probably not going to lose any incumbents this cycle.”Texas’ congressional map doesn’t favor Democrats. Federal courts have ruled the congressional map drawn by the GOP-led Texas Legislature intentionally discriminates against minority voters, which tends to hurt Democratic candidates. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has put a hold on the effects of those rulings as it weighs a gerrymandering case from Wisconsin.However, Democrats could have a shot at unseating Republicans in congressional districts that Hillary Clinton won last year. Democrats are currently eyeing three of those districts, specifically:CD 7, which is currently held by Rep. John Culberson, R-HoustonCD 23, which is currently held by Rep. Will Hurd, R-HelotesCD 32, which is currently held by Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas.All three of those incumbents have filed for re-election, but Steinhauser says he doesn’t think they’re as vulnerable as Democrats hope.“Those three members of Congress over-performed Donald Trump on the ballot and they did win re-election,” Steinhauser says. “So, if you are looking ahead to 2018, it does seem like they are going to win in 2018 given that Republicans do tend to do better in midterms than they do in the presidential years.”A lot of that depends on turnout, though. Steinhauser says the key for Republicans is to deliver on some of their promises, including the GOP tax cut plan, in order to keep Republican voters engaged.“I don’t see that changing too much in this next election cycle, but I do look to see the Democratic turnout to be higher than it probably ever has been in a midterm election in Texas,” Steinhauser says.Even though Democrats are more motivated than they’ve been in years, Texas remains a mostly Republican state. The GOP swept all the statewide races in 2016 and Donald Trump won the state by nine percentage points.While the margin was closer than many years before, it’s still a big gap for Texas Democrats to close.last_img read more

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Study shows solar powered sea slugs can survive long term in the

first_img 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. (Phys.org) —A team of researchers from Germany and the Netherlands has found that at least two species of sea slug thought to be able to endure long periods of starvation by gleaning energy from the sun has found that the slugs can live for long periods of time without food and with or without sunlight. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the team describes experiments they conducted with the slugs and then outline their findings. The two types of sea slugs (Plakobranchus ocellatus and Elysia timida) survive by eating algae, but prior research has shown that the creature can survive very long periods of starvation. Because the slugs do not digest—at least right away—a specialized subunit of cells known as an organelle, that in the algae is responsible for photosynthesis, scientists have believed that the slugs were somehow gaining energy from the sun using the cells from the algae.To test this theory, the researchers subjected several of the sea slugs to long periods of starvation under three different conditions. One group of the slugs was kept in the dark without food—another group was kept in a sunlit enclosure but was also not given any food. A third group was given a chemical that inhibits photosynthesis and was then kept in a lighted enclosure, but was not given any food either. After 55 days the researchers pulled the slugs from their enclosures and studied them to learn if there were any differences among them. Surprisingly, the researchers could not find any. All the members of all three groups survived and all lost approximately the same amount of weight. A subsequent test showed just how durable the slugs really are—the researchers put six of them in a dark enclosure and didn’t feed them for 88 days—all of the slugs survived and even appeared healthy.The results of the study disprove the idea that the slugs somehow derive energy from the photosynthesizing cells they keep alive for long periods in their bodies. The researchers suggest that the slugs may instead be allowing the cells to remain alive for long periods of time, simply to eat them slowly as time passes. This means that the cells are apparently kept alive by the sun while in the slugs body—sort of an internal farming system, allowing the slugs to survive long starvation periods, which because they move so slowly, appears a necessary adaption to ensure survival. Explore further Exemplary images of P. ocellatus specimens. Image (i) shows a slug kept in the light and which was regularly fed, hence best representing natural conditions. Image (ii) shows a slug after 55 days of starvation in the dark. Credit: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2493 More information: Plastid-bearing sea slugs fix CO2 in the light but do not require photosynthesis to survive, Published 20 November 2013 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2493AbstractSeveral sacoglossan sea slugs (Plakobranchoidea) feed upon plastids of large unicellular algae. Four species—called long-term retention (LtR) species—are known to sequester ingested plastids within specialized cells of the digestive gland. There, the stolen plastids (kleptoplasts) remain photosynthetically active for several months, during which time LtR species can survive without additional food uptake. Kleptoplast longevity has long been puzzling, because the slugs do not sequester algal nuclei that could support photosystem maintenance. It is widely assumed that the slugs survive starvation by means of kleptoplast photosynthesis, yet direct evidence to support that view is lacking. We show that two LtR plakobranchids, Elysia timida and Plakobranchus ocellatus, incorporate 14CO2 into acid-stable products 60- and 64-fold more rapidly in the light than in the dark, respectively. Despite this light-dependent CO2 fixation ability, light is, surprisingly, not essential for the slugs to survive starvation. LtR animals survived several months of starvation (i) in complete darkness and (ii) in the light in the presence of the photosynthesis inhibitor monolinuron, all while not losing weight faster than the control animals. Contrary to current views, sacoglossan kleptoplasts seem to be slowly digested food reserves, not a source of solar power.center_img © 2013 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Citation: Study shows ‘solar powered’ sea slugs can survive long term in the dark (2013, November 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-11-solar-powered-sea-slugs-survive.html Researchers discover sea slugs that stab each other in the head after copulation (w/ Video)last_img read more

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Gods not dead as yet

God, is he an entity in real or merely a myth? This question has dogged mankind for long. Carrying forward the doubt-belief system, the play Krishan Vs Kanhaiya questions your faith, in the spiritual and ritual sense, in God.An adaptation of the Gujarati play Kanji Virudh Kanji, the drama satirically narrates a tale which revolves around an altercation between an atheist and god. Directed by Umesh Shukla, it casts Paresh Rawal in a pivotal role as the atheist Krishna alongwith Chirag Vora, Jimit Trivedi, Puja Gupta, Ankit Trivedi among others. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’After an earthquake ravages his antique shop, Krishanlal Mehta asks the insurance company to pay the damages. However, he is in for a rude shock when the insurance company doesn’t give him the money because the disaster is not man-made but ‘made by god’. That seals it for Krishan and he decides to file a case against god himself.What follows is a very intelligent, deeply thought out and well-argued case for and against the existence of god, the role of multi-billion religious trusts, how the common man has become ‘god fearing’ rather than ‘god loving’ and the fallacies of insurance. The arguments in the court between Krishan, and god, Kanhaiya are both hilarious and raise questions about religious faith. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTo add a twist to the tale, Kanhaiya — the Lord himself — presents himself to Krishan and through witty dialogues and smart arguments gets him to see the truth about God, taking him on a journey wherein the atheist gets converted to a hardcore believer.The writer, Bhavesh Mandaliya, does an incredible job adding humour to a serious plot. The play’s focus isn’t on showing an atheist’s conversion to someone religious, rather it is about the arguments raised for and against one’s belief in a higher power. The director, Umesh Shukla, uses the script to bring that idea out through the lighting effects and stage design. Similarly Paresh Rawal’s comic timing and punches are sharp as a shooter’s and hits the bull’s eye. The length of the play- two hours and 15 minutes could have probably been reduced. read more

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Mamata hands over job appointment letters to wives of Iraq victims from

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee handed over appointment letters of jobs to the next of kin of the two persons from Nadia, who were killed in Iraq.The state government has also given a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to each of the families and assured further help to them.The two of them are out of the 39 people from India who fell victim to the gruesome killing by the IS in Iraq. Both the victims were residents of Nadia district. Khokan Sikdar was a resident of Tehatta Chitka village, while Samar Thikadar was a resident of Chapra Mahakhola. Their mortal remains had been brought to their villages on Tuesday. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsFamily members of the victims visited the state secretariat Nabanna on Friday. The Chief Minister handed over the appointment letters for job in home guard to Khokan’s wife Namita Sikdar and Samar’s wife Dipali Thikadar.Dipali’s daughter Sharmistha was also accompanying her. Namita also came along with her son Abhra and daughter Gita, who is a BA student at present.After speaking to the bereaved family members, the Chief Minister accompanied them when they were leaving the state secretariat. They were assured all support by the state government for studies of their children and even if they need any other sort of help. Sources said that they have requested if it would be possible for her to give them jobs in some other department, instead of home guards.It may recalled that on the day when all hopes of the family members of Khokan and Samar came to an end, following the announcement of External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on March 20, the Chief Minister had tweeted: “Deeply saddened and shocked by the very sad news from #Mosul. Words are not enough to console the 39 grieving families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them”.last_img read more