SpiceJet aircraft makes emergency landing in Ahmedabad

first_imgLow cabin pressure mid-air forced a Delhi-bound SpiceJet aircraft from Mumbai, carrying over 100 passengers, to land at the city airport this morning under emergency conditions. All the passengers on-board were safe, an airline spokesperson said.“SpiceJet Boeing 737 aircraft (VT-SZB) was operating flight SG 160 Mumbai-Delhi. Enroute, the aircraft had a (cabin) pressure problem,” the SpiceJet spokesperson said. Following the standard operating procedure, the crew diverted the aircraft to Ahmedabad, where it landed safely, he added. There were over 100 passengers on-board the plane, the spokesperson said.last_img

Boxer Akhil livid as his bed at CWG Village collapses

first_imgThe shoddy state of the Games’ Village stood exposed today when the Indian boxing team checked in at their residential block there only to find defending Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar’s bed collapsing.The 10-member Indian team, comprising among others Olympic and world championship bronze medallist Vijender Singh, were also kept waiting for nearly four hours at the Olympic Bhavan here for the bus to take them to the Games’ Village.On reaching the Games’ Village, Akhil said it was a rude shock as his bed collapsed when he sat down to take rest after a long journey.”We reached at the Olympic Bhavan late in the afternoon to collect our accreditation cards. But when I sat down on my bed to take rest it collapse,” he told PTI.”I checked the bed and part of it has no plywood on it. It was very disappointing after enduring a long journey. The athletes are at least entitled a decent place to rest. Even the toilets are not very clean. I have told coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu about this,” said the boxer who will compete in 56kg at the Commonwealth Games.Apart from Akhil and Vijender (75kg), the team also comprises Asian champion Suranjoy Singh (52kg) and Commonwealth champions Jai Bhagwan (60kg) and Dinesh Kumar (81kg).Accompanied by national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu and Cuban coach B I Fernandes, the team comes here after months of training at the Naitonal Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala.Boxers join the weightlifters and netball players in arriving at the Village, which was severely criticised by international delegates some days ago.advertisementlast_img read more

Attorneys Urged to Utilise Sentence Reduction Day Initiative

first_imgStory Highlights Queen’s Counsel, Valerie Neita-Robertson, is encouraging fellow attorneys to utilise the Supreme Court’s Sentence Reduction Day initiative, noting that the reduction of case backlog is favourable to all stakeholders in the justice sector. The Sentence Reduction Day programme is being implemented by the Criminal Case Management Steering Committee, which has as its mandate the implementation of policies and strategies that are geared towards the administration of justice in a timely manner in all the courts. The Sentence Reduction Day initiative provides an opportunity for accused persons to enter a guilty plea and benefit from a maximum of up to 50 per cent reduction in their sentence, according to the provisions of the Criminal Justice Administration Amendment Act, 2015. Queen’s Counsel, Valerie Neita-Robertson, is encouraging fellow attorneys to utilise the Supreme Court’s Sentence Reduction Day initiative, noting that the reduction of case backlog is favourable to all stakeholders in the justice sector.“The backlog is not beneficial to any side; defence attorneys are suffering. When you have a case dragging on for 10 years, there is no amount of money to be paid to you to account for that. So, if you can get rid of it early while doing what is in the best interest of your client, then the system, I think, will begin to work a little better,” she said.The second instalment of the initiative will be available on Thursday, October 19, at the Home Circuit and Gun Court Division of Kingston and St. Andrew and on Friday, October 20, at the St. Catherine Circuit Court.The Sentence Reduction Day initiative provides an opportunity for accused persons to enter a guilty plea and benefit from a maximum of up to 50 per cent reduction in their sentence, according to the provisions of the Criminal Justice Administration Amendment Act, 2015.Mrs. Neita-Robertson, in an interview with JIS News, said it is the obligation of all defence attorneys to facilitate an efficient system in the best interest of justice.“The defence attorney does what is in the best interest of his or her client. If the client is guilty and tells you he is guilty, having indicated that this is his wish, I would really encourage all attorneys [to utilise the Sentence Reduction Days],” she said.She also urged young attorneys to seek assistance and support from senior counsel, if needed, in order to take advantage of the provisions under the programme.Mrs. Neita-Robertson further noted that she personally used the initiative in its initial instalment on May 22 this year, from which her clients benefited significantly.She added that it is also valuable that pleading guilty on the day carries no penalty for the accused, noting that the attorney can get a sentencing indication from the judge ahead of the proceedings.“Persons in the past Sentence Reduction Day have gotten suspended sentences, because when you take away time served, it comes down to zero; but the accused would still have to pay a penalty for breaking the law, such as probation or suspended sentence,” she said.For her part, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Andrea Martin-Swaby, said that in addition to the benefit of a reduced case load to the prosecution, victims, complainants and witnesses also benefit from the Sentence Reduction Day initiative.“Witnesses, complainants and victims benefit by not having to repeatedly relive or revisit the unpleasant circumstances of the case in a trial… and are, therefore, usually happy to not have to go through the process,” she said.Mrs. Martin-Swaby further noted that a reduced case load also frees up the justice system to adequately handle cases that require the trial process and the use of a jury.The Sentence Reduction Day programme is being implemented by the Criminal Case Management Steering Committee, which has as its mandate the implementation of policies and strategies that are geared towards the administration of justice in a timely manner in all the courts.last_img read more

Earmark Ban Fails to Slow Lobbying on Appropriations Issues

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The congressional ban on earmarks has not stopped Washington lobbyists from continuing to work on appropriations bills but it has changed their focus.Now lobbyists are pressing the Appropriations panels to include policy language or establish funding targets, rather than earmarks for specific projects.Clients, for example, may want to make sure certain agency programs are adequately funded so there would be money available for a competitive grant program, Jim Dyer, a lobbyist at the Podesta Group and former staff director on House Appropriations, told CQ Roll Call. In that case, Dyer would ask a committee to set guidelines for the program that are aligned with his clients’ capabilities. “Obviously, it’s a different world than it was 10 years ago,” he said.Republicans have banned earmarks since 2011 through caucus rules that have been renewed in each Congress, while Democrats have adopted a voluntary earmark ban.Jim Richards, a partner at Cornerstone Government Affairs, echoed Dyer’s remark, noting that clients now focus on programmatic funding. “Your first priority is ‘do no harm,’” Richards said, meaning no cuts to a particular program. “But you’re still scrambling for any type of increase once you do no harm.”One consequence of the earmark ban has been a shift from cities and municipalities seeking funding for specific projects to corporations looking for favorable language in committee reports. Despite the changes, appropriations and federal budget issues remain the top target in the lobbying world, according to the story.last_img read more

AI is getting more in touch with your emotions

first_imgThe EmoNet research study demonstrates how AI can measure emotional significance. ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIB/Getty Images Artificial intelligence might one day start communicating our emotions better than we do. EmoNet, neural network model developed by researchers at the University of Colorado and Duke University, was accurately able to classify images into 11 different emotion categories. A neural network is a computer model that learns to map input signals to an output of interest by learning a series of filters, according to Philip Kragel, one of the researchers on the study. For example, a network trained to detect bananas would learn features unique to them, such as shape and color. EmoNet was developed using a database consisting of 2,185 videos that resembled 27 distinct emotion categories, which ranged from anxiety and interest to even sadness and surprise. While the model was able to differentiate images that related to “craving,” “sexual desire” and “horror” at high confidence intervals, it wasn’t as strong in detecting “confusion,” “awe” and “surprise” which were considered more abstract emotions. The neural network used color, spatial power spectra as well as the presence of objects and faces in the images to categorize them. The findings were published in the journal Science Advances last week. The study might provide value to researchers who were previously dependent on participants self-reporting their emotions. Now instead of only relying on subjective responses, scientists can focus on patterns within the visual cortex using AI to better understand a subject’s feelings. Different patterns will “decode” different emotional experiences. “When it comes to measuring emotions, we’re typically still limited only to asking people how they feel,” said Tor Wagner, one of the researchers on the study. “Our work can help move us towards direct measures of emotion-related brain processes.”In addition to new ways to measure emotions, the research team adds that AI could help eliminate labels when it comes to mental health. “Moving away from subjective labels such as ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ towards brain processes could lead to new targets for therapeutics, treatments, and interventions,” said Kragel. Decoding human emotions is just one of the latest examples of how researchers are exploring AI. Last month, a team of UN researchers trained an open-source language model to write fake, but convincing, UN speeches. And a recent study by MIT suggested that neural networks could be used to make the perfect pizza.  Share your voice 1 Artificial intelligence (AI) Comment 5:27center_img Now playing: Watch this: The promise of AI Tech Industry Tagslast_img read more

Forbid CocaCola from using groundwater demand Varanasi villagers

first_imgAlarmed by the massive usage of groundwater by the Coca-Cola bottling plant which has led to water scarcity in the area, as many as eighteen village councils in PM Modi’s constituency Varanasi are demanding the soft drink maker be forbid from drawing groundwater.The villages in Mehdiganj area of Varanasi district claimed that they have been seeing water shortages since the plant started its operations in 1999.”Elected village council heads represent the voice of the people, and they are clear that Coca-Cola is not welcome in Mehdiganj. It is time for Coca-Cola to pack up and leave,” said Amit Srivastava of the California-based India Resource Center, which is supporting the village councils in their cause.”Coca-Cola paints a pretty picture of itself internationally as a responsible user of water, but the reality in India is that it exploits groundwater at the expense of the poor, the women, children, farmers and livestock who have to live with less water because Coca-Cola mines groundwater in a water scarce area for profit,” Reuters quoted Srivastava as saying.As Mehdiganj is mainly agrarian, villagers in the area depend on groundwater for most of their requirements.  Coca-Cola, which uses groundwater for production purposes, competes with local people for water, according to environmentalists.Srivastava said the 18 village councils had written to the State Pollution Control Board, which gave a licence to Coca-Cola to open the plant, asking the officials to prevent the company from “extracting any more groundwater in the area.”The Central Ground Water Authority had declared Arajiline block, where the Coca-Cola bottling unit is located, as “over exploited” in 2011, he pointed out.However, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages said that a study undertaken by the Central Ground Water Board in 2012 did not find any evidence to prove that company’s groundwater usage had led to drying up of ponds, wells and hand pumps.”The Central Ground Water Board observed that this depletion was not due to withdrawal of ground water by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd (HCCBPL) plant,” said a company statement.last_img read more

Various staterun private hospitals observe International Brain Tumour Awareness Week

first_imgKolkata: Various state-run hospitals and some private health establishments are observing International Brain Tumour Awareness Week from October 20-27 through various programmes.One of the main objectives of the move is to spread awareness among people about the disease and what needs to be done to check it. The incidence rate of brain tumours in India is rising. Around three percent of 78,4821 cancer deaths in India is caused due to brain tumours in 2018. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to a senior Radio Oncology Consultant in the city, different kinds of tumors are detected in patients at different age groups. While most cases have unknown causes, some are linked to genetic diseases such as Neurofibromatosis and exposure to radiations. A new emerging threat is the exposure to. While smart phones are everyone’s best friend, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has observed that radiofrequency waves from mobile phones are the new emerging threat to the disease. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, linked to mobile phones, may be carcinogenic and there is always a high risk in using them. Dr Jyotirup Goswami, Consultant, Radiation Oncology said: “Worldwide, one percent of approximately 3 lakh cancer cases are found to have brain tumours but Indian data suggests that as much as 10 percent of new patients could be suffering brain tumors.” As per Globocan 2018 report issued by the International Association of Cancer Registries (IARC) associated with WHO, as many as 28,142 new brain tumour cases are reported in India annually, while there are as many as 24,003 death. According to a report done by the government hospitals in Bengal, around 13.6 percent cancer cases are found to be suffering from brain tumour, Dr Goswami said. A recent study in Eastern India was done by Clinical cancer investigation journal by involving 130 cases with brain tumour found male preponderance. Most common tumour type in this study was neuroepithelial tumor (70 percent). Among the neuroepithelial tumors, most frequent subtype was astrocytic tumor (41 percent). The second most frequent brain tumor was meningioma (20 cases, 15.3 percent). While symptoms of brain tumours are not always specific but persistent symptoms like unexplained headaches, difficulty in speech, vision, hearing, unexplained nausea-vomiting, changes in mood or ability to concentrate, memory loss and numbness in the legs or arms are all causes for concern. If anybody complaints about any of the symptoms the patient should consult a neurologist immediately and if necessary the patient will be asked to get brain imaging done. If the patient is diagnosed with brain tumors, a surgery may be required followed by radiotherapy & chemotherapy.last_img read more