votwpslwaksb

first_img « The Death of Socialism QUESTION: With the private vs public debt and interest rate discussion, nobody is mentioning things like government legislation to forcing people to buy government debt. For example 401’s, IRA’s… must have or be in government debt.Your thoughts?ANSWER: Governments have often resorted to forced loans. When Italy was in trouble, they took 90-day paper and converted it to 10-year paper. Most people are clueless about the German hyperinflation. They assume it was due to the government printing money. The spark was December 1922 when the government confiscated 10% of everyone’s property and handed them bonds as a forced loan. Confidence completely collapsed at that moment.This is all part of the process of the decline in confidence in the government. This is why the system is unsustainable. We will be heading into a great monetary crisis very soon. Categories: Corruption, Sovereign Debt Crisis Tags: forced loans, Hyperinflation center_img Custodial Risk in the Post MF Global Era »last_img read more

first_imgThe Top 10 Candidates for the 100th Washington State Apple Blossom Festival Royalty were announced tonight (January 9).  Vying for the 2019 Queen and two Princesses are:From The Eastmont School DistrictCandidates                                                               ParentsCassidy Cunningham                                             Jeff & JoAnn CunninghamLucy Gomez                                                              Irma GomezCitlali Gonzalez-Arroyo                                          Candelario & Albertina GonzalezElizabeth Popoff                                                      Don & Lisa PopoffLorena Zepeda                                                         Martha Fuertes & David Zepeda From The Wenatchee School DistrictCandidates                                                               ParentsOlivia Lancaster                                                       Rick & Sandra LancasterMaria Elena Metzger                                               Gary & Helen MetzgerSavannah Slife                                                        Eric & Daphne SlifeEllie Toth                                                                   Andrew & Connie TothBailey White                                                              Will & Christy White The Top 10 Candidates will be spending the next month being interviewed by radio and TV stations, touring many local businesses and attending speech, make up, media and etiquette lessons in preparation for the 2019 Royalty Selection Pageant, sponsored by Cashmere Valley Bank on Saturday, February 9 at 7:00 pm in the Wenatchee High School Auditorium.  $31,000 in scholarships will be awarded Pageant night with the Queen receiving a $10,000 and each Princess receiving $5000.Pageant tickets go on sale Monday, January 14 @ 9am at the Festival Office (2 S. Chelan Ave.) or online at www.appleblossom.org.   Cost is $25 for lower level seating and $20 for upper level seating; all seating is reserved.  For more information, call 662-3616.last_img read more

first_imgGiving items to charity can be beneficial for your taxes, but does require a little bit of work depending on the value of the item, or items, donated. Sean Patton with Cordell, Neher and Company says for donations to non-profits like Goodwill, YWCA or similar locations taking small-value items, you have more control.“It’s up to you to substantiate what the fair value of that is under a certain amount. Less than $5,000, you’re basically going to come up with what that value is.”If it’s more than $5-thousand, then the item will need to be appraised and paper work will need to be signed by an appraiser and the non-profit who received the donation.Patton also noted that there are reports of people getting smaller returns than they were expecting and that’s because the new tax law was designed to change the withholding tables for workers, and that might mean a smaller refund.“It doesn’t necessarily mean that your tax was higher. It may mean that you, in advance, sent less money to the government which means that you’re not getting as much back with your tax return. To me, as an adviser for individuals, that’s a good thing. You had more money in your pocket throughout the year.”Questions about taxes should always be directed to a tax professional.last_img read more

first_imgJun 25 2018A team of researchers at Lund University in Sweden has developed a fluorescent variant of a molecule that inhibits cancer stem cells. Capturing images of when the molecule enters a cell has enabled the researchers, using cell-biological methods, to successfully describe how and where the molecule counteracts the cancer stem cells.Salinomycin is a molecule produced by terrestrial bacteria of the species Streptomyces albus. It was previously known that this molecule acts selectively against cancer stem cells, but the mechanism behind it was not understood. Now, Lund researchers have created a fluorescent variant of salinomycin to understand how it works.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis system”We have shown where the molecule ends up when it is absorbed by cancer cells. By making the molecule fluorescent, we have also been able to capture the course of events on film”, says Daniel Strand who leads an organic chemistry research team at Lund University.It has long been known that this molecule can transport ions across cell membranes, in this case potassium ions. Even so, the researchers were surprised when they saw images of the molecule in cells.”Those of us involved in the study initially naïvely assumed that the molecule acted in the cell’s outer membrane”, says Daniel Strand.However, the images showed that the molecule rapidly passed through the outer cell membrane and its destination was an organelle called the endoplasmic reticulum. This is where the molecule acts as an ion transporter, and it is this specific activity that the researchers have succeeded in connecting to a reduction in the percentage of cancer stem cells.The research results may contribute new approaches to the development of cancer drugs both for treatment of cancer and for reducing the risk of relapse.Source: https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/fluorescent-molecules-reveal-how-cancer-stem-cells-are-selectively-inhibitedlast_img read more

The restoration is “a good opening salvo that many in the planetary community support,” says Jim Bell, president of the Planetary Society, an advocacy organization based in Pasadena, California, and a planetary scientist at Arizona State University, Tempe.Within the science division’s astrophysics budget, the House would also rescue the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a joint mission between NASA and the DLR, Germany’s space agency. SOFIA, an infrared telescope that rides in the back of a modified jumbo jet, holds appeal to both astronomers and planetary scientists, but its large operating expenses and long history of problems and delays had made it prime target for budget cutters. In the president’s request, NASA had called for cuts that would effectively ground the mission. But the House would provide $70 million for SOFIA.Reinstating SOFIA would renew other governments’ faith that NASA can maintain its share of international partnerships, says Bell, noting that planetary scientists are still smarting from NASA’s departure from the European ExoMars mission, a planned rover. “SOFIA is a unique resource,” he says. “The last thing we need is yet another disappointment for our international partners.”Within NASA’s human exploration division, the committee has questions and concerns about the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)—a planned deep space mission to visit an asteroid and bring it closer to Earth. It’s not clear, the panel says in its report, whether ARM represents an important steppingstone en route to the human exploration of Mars. “A lot of support for ARM has been conditional on understanding more about what it’s going to cost,” Bell says. “I’m waiting to see more details come out. It seems that Congress is as well.”The spending bill is likely to be approved by the committee tomorrow and will then go to the full House. The Senate is just beginning its parallel appropriations process. Many observers expect that final spending levels won’t be decided by Congress until after elections in November. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe NASA science programs—and in particular planetary science programs—would receive a funding boost under a proposed House of Representatives spending bill for fiscal year 2015. The measure would also block a White House proposal to shut down an airborne telescope and give NASA enough money to avoid having to shut down any of its aging planetary explorers.The draft bill, released today and scheduled to be voted on Thursday by the full Committee on Appropriations, would bump NASA’s science directorate to $5.2 billion in the fiscal year that begins 1 October. That is a roughly 1%, or $220 million, jump over President Barack Obama’s request released in March.NASA’s Planetary Science Division would receive $1.45 billion of the total—enough, the panel writes in a report accompanying the bill, to ensure the “extension of all healthy operating missions that continue to generate good scientific output.” That language is reassuring for planetary scientists, who have been worried that tight spending caps will force the agency to end one or more of six operating missions that still have life in them. The White House had essentially proposed defunding two of the missions—the Opportunity Mars rover and the 5-year-old Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter—in its request. read more

first_imgDuring the eruptions, the volcanoes could eject methane and nitrogen as gases, along with the molten water ice, Moore says. He adds that it’s interesting that the volcanoes are seen at the edge of Sputnik Planum, a deep basin that was likely created by a large impact. The stress of such an impact could have opened up conduits in the icy crust, he says. A similar situation can be found on Mars, where volcanoes are found flanking the Hellas Basin. “You have to look to the other red planet to find something similar,” says Alan Stern, the New Horizons principal investigator at Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) in Boulder, Colorado. “It’s truly amazing—it’s like something from a terrestrial planet.”On seeing the images at the conference, Dave Stevenson, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, unaffiliated with New Horizons, says he’s “neutral” as to whether the features are in fact volcanoes. “There wasn’t enough there for me to pass judgment,” he says. But he says it’s “not ridiculous” to think that Pluto has enough residual heat, from radioactive elements in its rock, to drive cryovolcanism.Bob Pappalardo, a planetary scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, also wants to see more evidence. If the results hold up, he says, they could increase “the relative role of cryovolcanism in resurfacing icy bodies.” Planetary scientists have previously invoked tectonics—the cracking of a body by forces in the crust—as a way of opening up planetary interiors and allowing resurfacing. A good example of this is the fissures on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, which are currently spewing water out into space. Volcanolike features have been detected on Triton, a moon of Neptune, and Titan, a moon of Saturn. But White says neither of the two moons support features as big as the Wright and Picard mons. “There’s nothing of this scale,” he says.Another surprise revealed at the conference was the discovery that Pluto’s atmosphere is much colder and more compact than thought. Previously, UV light from the sun was thought to heat up atmospheric molecules, exciting them enough that they jump off into space. But the new haze molecules that have been detected on Pluto act as coolants for the atmosphere, absorbing some of the energy of that UV light. That means that Pluto has held onto a lot more of its nitrogen than was thought, says Randy Gladstone, a New Horizons scientist at SWRI. “Escape is currently not significant,” he says. Stern points out, however, that long-term climate cycles in Pluto’s tilt and orbit can cause its climate to vary wildly, which means that the atmospheric loss rate may have been much higher in the past.Because of the extreme distances and power limitations of the radio antenna, data from the New Horizons encounter, which in July flew within 12,500 kilometers of Pluto’s surface, is still being beamed back to Earth. Just 20% of the data has been retrieved, Stern says.The mission is not yet over. Last week, mission managers at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, completed maneuvers to steer the spacecraft toward a smaller follow-on target, 2014 MU69, a Kuiper Belt object less than 50 kilometers across. Current plans have that flyby occurring on 1 January 2019, at a distance of 20,000 kilometers. Wright Mons (top circle) and Piccard Mons (bottom circle) show summit depressions consistent with volcanoes in this 3D visualization of Pluto’s surface. Shades of blue indicate a lower elevation and shades brown and yellow, a higher elevation. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND—Researchers on NASA’s New Horizons mission have discovered evidence on Pluto for what appears to be two cryovolcanoes—volcanoes built out of frozen ice that once oozed molten ice from the inside of the dwarf planet. The discovery points to an internal heat source that, at some point in Pluto’s past, drove the melting of interior reservoirs of volatile ices, such as nitrogen and methane, that then erupted at the surface. It also suggests that the cryovolcanoes were a way for Pluto to periodically rejuvenate surface supplies of these volatile ices, which sublimate into the thin atmosphere and are eventually lost to space.The features would be the first large ice volcanoes in the solar system, says Jeff Moore, a New Horizons scientist at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, though the team is not yet willing to say the discovery is definite. “These sure look very suspicious and we’re looking at them closely.” The results were announced here today in a series of talks and an accompanying press conference at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.The two features, provisionally named Wright Mons and Piccard Mons, are mounds of ice with rims that tower as high as 5 or 6 kilometers above the surface. They are located just outside the southern tip of Sputnik Planum, the smooth, bright “heart” of Pluto. The rims, more than 150 kilometers across, encircle pits that are nearly as deep as the mountains are tall. The shape was unmistakably volcanolike, says Oliver White, a New Horizons scientist also at Ames Research Center. “When you see a big mountain with a big hole on the top, it generally points to one thing.” Moore says the surface textures suggest that past eruptions, which may have occurred a billion years ago, would have oozed out water ice that was plastic rather than liquid and runny. “It’s more like toothpaste extruding out of a tube,” he says. He says the volcanoes themselves are probably made out of water ice, since nitrogen and methane ices are too soft to support such a heavy, tall feature. NASA/JHU Applied Physics Laboratory/SRI Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

first_imgJust a few fuzzy species get most of the public’s attention: Think pandas, cheetahs, and polar bears. Many are mammals. Cute, and sometimes dangerous, they capture our hearts–and most of our conservation dollars. But what about the world’s other inhabitants? Is there a furless version of the giant panda that could capture the public’s imagination—not to mention their donations? To find out, researchers dug into a record of more than 50 million page views for reptile articles on Wikipedia in 2014. They found that of more than 10,000 reptile species on Wikipedia, the top 82 nab more than half of all views. The attention hogs tend to be big and dangerous, like Komodo dragons (above), saltwater crocodiles, and black mambas. And many of these top species are endangered, too, according to the paper in Biological Conservation. The researchers admit that Wikipedia views aren’t a perfect representation of public sentiment, but the study provides a starting point for helping the less-furry among us.last_img read more

first_img 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% 175% 200% 300% 400% By Ilima LoomisAug. 1, 2017 , 9:00 AM Font Size One of Haleakalā’s ahu, or shrines, with Hawaii Island faintly visible in the distance. How the world’s largest solar telescope rose on Maui while nearby protests derailed a larger scope Font Family None Raised Depressed Uniform Dropshadow Related article: In June 2015, protesters blocked the DKIST’s construction baseyard, a staging area in central Maui at the foot of the mountain. They succeeded in turning back a wide-load convoy scheduled to deliver parts to the construction site late at night. A month later, the DKIST’s builders tried again. On 31 July, more than 200 protesters gathered just after dusk in the road outside the baseyard. They began to shout and chant in Hawaiian, some blowing into conch shells as trumpets. They linked their arms in plastic pipes to form a human barrier across the road.At about 10 p.m., Lawrence watched as police in riot gear began moving in to disperse the crowd. They used hacksaws to cut through the plastic pipes and started arresting protesters. At the last minute, Lawrence recalls, she rushed forward and lay down in the road. Police arrested her, along with Kaeo and 18 other people. “I was ready for it,” she says. “It was exhilarating. I’d do it again if it helped our cause. Nobody wants to resort to that. Obviously it’s not fun going through the court system, but at that moment, I was a proud Hawaiian.”Lawrence speaks cautiously, sensitive to portrayals of the protesters as “crazy Hawaiians.” She is quick to point out that, for opponents of the telescopes, blockading the transport was a last resort, after almost a decade of going through official channels. “We did everything we could through the courts, the hearings, the public meetings—what more do we have to lose by doing direct action?”Kuhn acknowledges that his own understanding of Native Hawaiian objections have evolved since he first championed a solar telescope on Maui. Earlier, when surveys of the Science City site found a few sensitive archaeological sites, he bristled at the expense of hiring a cultural consultant to monitor construction and ensure work follows traditional protocol, such as not removing stones from the site. Nor did he like the idea of workers and scientists being “indoctrinated” with an educational video about the role of the mountain in Hawaiian culture and spirituality.But over time, he says, after listening to countless hours of testimony at public hearings and meeting in private with Native Hawaiian leaders, he came to agree that it was important to respect native beliefs. The DKIST has made other concessions. Native Hawaiian leaders have given input to the project through a special working group. A dressing area was built at the summit for Hawaiian practitioners conducting ceremonies at the ahu—which, he notes, were constructed in the 2000s as part of IfA’s cultural management plan. And the DKIST has established a $20 million program at Maui College that combines Hawaiian culture with science education. “There was real dialogue that took place,” he says. Making a good faith effort to address Native Hawaiian concerns led to real compromise and understanding on both sides, he says. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country For Lawrence, who participated in protests against its construction, the telescope feels like a slap in the face. “It hurts,” she says. Other Hawaiians see an affront not just to their beliefs, but also to their sovereignty. “As a people, we don’t have control of some of our most sacred spaces,” says Kaleikoa Kaeo, a Hawaiian-language educator at the University of Hawaii Maui College in Kahului, and a leader of the telescope opposition. “They say it’s Hawaiian culture versus science. I say, ‘No, it’s Hawaiian culture versus white supremacy.’”Despite their complaints, the $344 million Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is nearly complete. The exterior dome was finished in August 2016. The telescope’s most important part—a 4-meter mirror—was cast in Germany, polished to a precise shape in Arizona, and shipped to Maui. This week, the road to the summit was set to be closed on the night of 1 August, so that the 3-ton mirror could be delivered at a slow crawl in a wide-load truck—with a police escort. In 2019, when the dome opens and the mirror is trained on the sun for the first time, the DKIST will be the largest and most powerful solar telescope in existence, capable of studying the sun’s surface, corona, and magnetic fields in unprecedented detail. “It’s gratifying to know that within my lifetime we actually will be using this telescope,” says Kuhn, who helped conceive the design in the 1990s and now serves as one of four lead investigators on the project. Mirror delivered to giant solar telescope despite Native Hawaiian protest 360° video: Site of the world’s largest solar telescope Bryan Berkowitz — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan Across the 48-kilometer Alenuihāhā Channel, the battle to build another major telescope project on a sacred peak has taken a very different turn. Two years ago, protests led by Native Hawaiians blocked the start of construction of what was set to be one of the world’s largest optical telescopes, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), atop the 4200-meter-high Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island. Court setbacks followed, although last week a former state judge recommended that the state grant a disputed permit. But the telescope faces months of further hearings, and even if it gets its permit, opponents have vowed to take the case back to court. TMT officials say that if they are not able to start construction by April 2018—and if the state is unable to manage safe construction access to the site—they will switch to an alternate site: La Palma, in Spain’s Canary Islands.Why did these two seemingly similar projects have such different outcomes? From concept, to location, to politics, to public relations, many factors combined to smooth the DKIST’s way, whereas the TMT faced bigger challenges from the start, observers say. “There are a lot of similarities between the two projects, and also between the opponents of the projects,” says Günther Hasinger, director of IfA, which as host for both telescopes receives a portion of their viewing time. “But there was just a series of mishaps, or a confluence of more difficulties on Mauna Kea than on Haleakalā, that brought us to where we are now.”In the Hawaiian language, Haleakalā means “house of the sun”—the place where the demigod Maui snared the sun to slow its passage across the sky. The traditional meanings seemed almost too perfect to solar astronomers looking for a place to build a successor to the modest, 1.6-meter telescopes they had used for decades. Astronomers with the U.S. National Solar Observatory (NSO), headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, had whittled down a list of 50 proposed sites to six locations, where they tested the observing conditions. In 2005, NSO picked Haleakalā as the place with the lowest amount of dust and air turbulence—the atmospheric distortions that make stars twinkle—because it sits on top of a tall, cone-shaped volcanic mountain surrounded by a smooth, flat ocean.It also had a tract of land already dedicated to astronomy. In 1961, Hawaii’s governor gave the University of Hawaii ownership of a 7-hectare parcel near the summit. Three years later, the university dedicated a first small solar telescope in what would soon become known as Science City. Today it is home to six academic telescopes (aside from the DKIST) and four space surveillance telescopes operated by the U.S. Air Force.Still, the proposal to build a big new solar telescope went unfunded for years. It took the 2008 global economic crash to propel the DKIST forward. In 2010, the federal government’s economic stimulus package, which targeted “shovel ready” projects, delivered a large chunk of the funds needed to build the telescope. In 2013, the project, originally called the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, was renamed for Hawaii’s longtime Senator Daniel K. Inouye.Current solar telescopes can see things on the surface of the sun 300 kilometers across—100 kilometers under special circumstances—but many of the details scientists want to study are smaller than that. “You need a microscope, and that’s what DKIST is,” says NSO Director Valentín Martínez Pillet. With a resolution of 25 kilometers, the DKIST ought to be able to make out a long-sought feature: magnetic flux tubes, twisted and tangled filaments that can channel energy into the corona. They may hold clues to a long-standing mystery: why the corona is a million degrees hotter than the photosphere, the visible surface.But it’s not just the DKIST’s resolution that matters; the 4-meter mirror offers badly needed light-gathering power, too. “It surprises many nighttime astronomers that when we’re looking at the sun, we need sensitivity,” says DKIST Project Director Thomas Rimmele. Yet astronomers need to block the vast majority of the sun’s light to see the faint corona, or to drill down into the sun’s atmosphere at specific wavelengths. “We’re struggling to get enough photons collected,” he says. The added collecting power also means that DKIST scientists don’t need long exposures: Their quick snapshots will capture the sun’s transient features, such as the reconnection of twisting magnetic fields that drives violent space weather events like solar flares and coronal mass ejections.The DKIST’s ability to investigate the solar eruptions that can endanger electric grids and communications may be one reason why it received more public support than the TMT, which is solely a research tool, Hasinger says. But he believes a more important difference between the two projects is simply their scales. At 18 stories, the TMT would be not only the largest telescope on Mauna Kea, it would be the largest humanmade structure on Hawaii Island. The TMT’s footprint—2 hectares including its roads and parking lot—is 10 times the size of the plot used for the DKIST. “It’s just a huge structure,” Hasinger says. “In relative size you could say it’s similar [to the DKIST], but in absolute size it’s much bigger.” Moreover, Mauna Kea is not only higher than Haleakalā, it’s the highest peak in the Pacific—and, consequently, it offers Native Hawaiians a higher-profile platform to air their grievances. Window — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan — Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Defaults Done Your graphics card does not seem to support WebGL.Find out how to get it here.center_img — Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent — Opaque Semi-Opaque In 2015, protesters on Maui disrupted the delivery of materials to Haleakalā to build the DKIST. Text Edge Style For highest quality, view on YouTube. — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan Email Graphic: J. You/Science Jeff Kuhn remembers his first trip to Haleakalā, the summit of the Hawaiian island of Maui. It was 1996, and Kuhn, a solar physicist, was being courted by the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy (IfA) in Honolulu. The recruitment tour included a visit to the handful of IfA telescopes atop Haleakalā, which stands more than 3 kilometers high. Kuhn climbed through switchbacks for nearly an hour in a dreary drizzle. Then the mist suddenly parted. Kuhn looked down and realized he was above the clouds. “It’s like a giant door opened up in the sky,” he says. “I looked up, and saw this incredibly dark blue sky, and the sun.” Kuhn had a good feeling about this place, but he wanted to test his hunch. Getting out of the car, he held his thumb up to the sky, covering the blinding, brilliant disk of the sun. In most places, this test reveals a halo—a sign that dust particles in the atmosphere are scattering light. Dust makes it hard to see faint things next to bright things, like the corona, the wispy outer atmosphere of the sun that appears during eclipses. But on Haleakalā, Kuhn saw no halo—only a deep, dark blue. It was the perfect place, he decided, to build the largest solar telescope in the world.Haleakalā is also a special place for Tiare Lawrence, a community organizer on Maui who has visited the summit since childhood. Native Hawaiian culture celebrates a profound spiritual connection with the land, and few places are considered more sacred than high mountain peaks. In ancient times they were regarded as wao akua—“realm of the gods”—where deities and demigods walked the earth. Today, they are still treated with reverence, places many Hawaiians visit to honor ancestors and practice spiritual traditions. These days, when seeking spiritual guidance, Lawrence drives up to the summit, often visiting one of two ahu, or stone altars. “Haleakalā has always been that place I go to cleanse, to think, to give pule [prayer], to find answers,” she says. But now the white dome of a towering new telescope enclosure, nearly 14 stories tall, looms over the shrine. Foreground Background Default Monospace Serif Proportional Serif Monospace Sans-Serif Proportional Sans-Serif Casual Script Small Caps Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Higher grounds Giant telescopes are planned for both Haleakalā and Mauna Kea, but the road to Haleakalā goes through a national park, which has helped limit protests. Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChapterssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions off, selectedCaptionsFullscreenThis is a modal window. Mauna Kea also poses a bigger management challenge for the University of Hawaii. The science reserve on the Mauna Kea summit spans nearly 5000 hectares—an area more than 650 times larger than Maui’s compact Science City. “If someone is not happy with the management of Mauna Kea, it falls directly on the university,” Hasinger says. “On Haleakalā we only have the small area of Science City. The rest is managed by the national park.” And although the university owns Science City, its preserve on Mauna Kea is a lease, which means it is subject to state audits. In 1998 and 2005, the auditor released critical reports about IfA’s stewardship of Mauna Kea, providing ammunition to groups opposed to mountain telescopes. (A follow-up audit in 2014 reported improvements in IfA’s management of environmental and cultural resources.)The organizations behind the two projects are very different, astronomers note. The DKIST is a national project, funded by the National Science Foundation and owned by NSO. Using federal funds meant that NSO had to follow strict accounting procedures, perform a federal environmental impact assessment, and satisfy U.S. historic preservation rules. By contrast, the TMT, a private consortium supported by institutions in five countries, received no federal funds for construction. That meant it didn’t have to deal with those same regulations. “The opponents were able to sell it as this foreign company coming in and basically using our mountain for their purpose, whereas [the DKIST] at least is a national interest,” Hasinger says.The groundbreaking ceremonies for the two projects reflected the stark differences in their characters—and also exposed their different vulnerabilities. Kuhn remembers going as a guest to the TMT ceremony in October 2014. He stayed at a fancy Hawaii Island resort, surrounded by scientists and media from around the world, as big-screen TVs ran a live feed of the TMT’s construction site on Mauna Kea. But the celebratory atmosphere faded when Native Hawaiian protesters blocked a convoy of dignitaries heading up the mountain for a blessing and groundbreaking. As protesters shouted and chanted, organizers eventually turned off the live feed. “It was a disaster,” Kuhn says. “I understand why they wanted a great big party—it was a way of saying, ‘Yes, we’re moving forward, partners, come and join us, and bring your checkbooks.’ But I think it had the opposite effect, which was to put up a lightning rod that attracted lightning.” The event “marked real doubt” about the project’s future, he recalls.TMT Executive Director Ed Stone, who is also a professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, concedes the event didn’t go as planned. “Certainly whatever groundbreaking there was could have been done better than what happened,” he says.In contrast, the groundbreaking ceremony for the DKIST, in November 2012, was kept “very private,” with only a handful of people closely involved with the project, Kuhn says. “I think there was an honest sensitivity to those people who felt strongly that it shouldn’t be there,” he says.“Secret,” snorts Kaeo, when asked about the private DKIST launch. Kaeo’s opposition to the telescope runs just as deep as his resentment of the TMT. But he says practical issues made it harder to disrupt construction of the solar telescope.Mauna Kea, he notes, is wide open, sparsely populated, and minimally patrolled by authorities. “You can literally go up and touch the telescopes,” he says. Science City, on the other hand, can be reached only by traveling through a national park. The summit is swarming with tourists and park rangers, and the telescopes are in a tight cluster, safely ensconced at the end of a private road. And don’t forget the military presence. “When you go up there, you’re under surveillance.” Kaeo says. “Now you’re talking federal charges, federal crimes.”He and Lawrence did their best to protest the DKIST anyway. By the summer of 2015, work on the telescope had been underway for more than 3 years, and opponents were largely inactive after almost a decade of court challenges that failed to stop the project. But images of Native Hawaiians being arrested on Mauna Kea inspired them to make one more stand. Karim Iliya Although the concessions mollified some opponents, they do not satisfy Kaeo, who says they fail to address the fundamental problem: Hawaiians had no say in giving away their mountain. He says he will continue to resist. As Science went to press, Kaeo was rallying protesters to demonstrate against the planned delivery of the mirror. “Even if we lost the battle,” he says, “our goal is still to win the war, and the war is about our right to control for ourselves our future in this place.”It’s another one of those deep-blue-sky days on Haleakalā, and LeEllen Phelps, the DKIST’s thermal systems manager, is showing a group of visitors around. Phelps opens a door onto a catwalk that traces the outside of the telescope’s white dome, and pauses for a moment to take in the view. Across the Alenuihāhā Channel, she can see the massive profile of Mauna Kea, and, just barely, white flecks—the domes of existing telescopes. Below her stretches a forbidding volcanic landscape, dotted with silverswords—endangered plants, adapted for the harsh ultraviolet light of Haleakalā, that look like oversized sea urchins. And at her feet, almost in the telescope’s shadow, is one of the two shrines.“When I first got hired, I came up here and sat on a rock and listened,” Phelps says. Haleakalā has been recognized as one of the quietest places on Earth, but between the rumble of car engines and a chorus of humming telescope chillers, she quickly noticed that wasn’t the case at Science City. With the ahu in mind, she insisted on—and got—better soundproofing and a quieter cooling system, meeting sound engineering standards for a place of worship.The summit may be a vantage for astronomy, but it’s also holy ground. “It might not be my culture,” she says, “but if you spend any time here, it’s a place worthy of respect.”last_img read more

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Paul VoosenJun. 27, 2019 , 4:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) NASA will fly a billion-dollar quadcopter to Titan, Saturn’s methane-rich moon Emailcenter_img The siren call of Titan could not be ignored. NASA’s next billion-dollar mission, called Dragonfly, will be an innovative quadcopter to explore Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, the agency announced today. The craft will soar and hover over the icy moon’s surface—and land on it—in a search for the conditions and chemistry that could foster life.The mission—led by Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, and also managed by APL—will launch in 2026. It represents a calculated risk for the agency, embracing a new paradigm of robotic exploration to be used on a distant moon. “Titan is unlike any other place in the solar system, and Dragonfly is like no other mission,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science in Washington, D.C., while announcing the mission’s selection. “The science is compelling. It’s the right time to do it.”Titan is veiled by a nitrogen atmosphere and larger than Mercury. It is thought to harbor a liquid ocean beneath its frozen crust of water ice. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft studied Titan during its historic campaign, and, in 2005, dropped the short-lived Huygens probe into Titan’s atmosphere. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The surface it saw had many geologic features similar to those found on Earth, including plateaus, dune-filled deserts, and, at its poles, liquid seas and rivers. But on Titan, where temperatures average a frigid 94 K, the “rocks” are made of water ice and the seas are filled with ethane and methane, hydrocarbons that are gases on Earth. The moon’s stew of organic molecules and water, many scientists believe, could have resulted in reactions to create amino acids and the bases used to build DNA’s double helix. It’s as if Titan has been conducting experiments on life formation for millions of years, Turtle says. “Dragonfly is designed to go pick up the results of those experiments and study them.”Dragonfly is an inspiring selection, adds Lindy Elkins-Tanton, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University in Tempe and principal investigator of Psyche, NASA’s mission to a metallic asteroid. “Titan might truly be the cradle for some kind of life—and whether life has emerged or not, Titan’s hydrocarbon rivers and lakes, and its hydrocarbon snow, makes it one of the most fantasylike landscapes in our solar system.”Given Titan’s complex surface, a lander at a single site would not be able to say much about the moon’s chemistry. Dragonfly leverages the advances in computing and aircraft design that have led to the explosion of hovering drones on Earth. It will carry eight rotor blades, on the top and bottom of each of four arms. It is, in effect, a movable lander, capable of shunting kilometers between sampling sites every 16 Earth days. Titan’s dense air and low gravity will allow the 300-kilogram, sedan-size copter, which will be powered by a radioactive generator, to hover with 38 times less power than needed on Earth.The timing of Dragonfly’s arrival, in 2034 during Titan’s long northern winter, ruled out a landing near the north pole, home to the moon’s evocative methane seas; those sites would leave it unable to radio home. Instead, the quadcopter will explore the moon’s vast equatorial deserts, which are likely fed by a grab bag of material from all over the moon. (“The largest zen garden in the solar system,” Turtle says.) It will search especially for impact craters or ice volcanoes, energetic processes that could provide a spark—and the liquid water—needed for nascent organic chemistry. During its nearly 3-year primary mission, after traveling 175 kilometers in a series of flights lasting up to 8 kilometers each, Dragonfly will ultimately reach the 80-kilometer-wide Selk impact crater, its primary target. The impact that created Selk was large enough to melt Titan’s water-ice crust and liberate oxygen, priming reactions that are recorded in its outcrops.Dragonfly won’t be equipped with a robotic arm, like the recent Mars rovers. Its exploration will first be guided by an instrument on its belly that will bombard the ground with neutron radiation, using the gamma rays this attack releases to differentiate between basic terrain types, such as ammonia-rich ice or carbon-rich sand dunes. Its two landing skids will also each carry a rotary-percussive drill capable of taking samples and feeding them through a pneumatic tube to a mass spectrometer that can analyze their composition. The sampling system represented a risk for the mission; NASA scientists were concerned Titan’s hydrocarbon-rich atmosphere could clog it, Zurbuchen says. “It’s the oil spill version of an atmosphere.” Over the past 2 years, after extensive testing with “pathological” materials and a redesign, Turtle says, the agency’s fears were allayed.Beyond Titan’s surface, Dragonfly will also target its atmosphere and interior. During flight, it can collect measurements, much like instruments mounted on a balloon would. And it is also equipped with a seismometer that could use vibrations induced on the moon by its tidal lock with Saturn to gauge the ocean hidden beneath its crust, which scientists have suggested could be made up of ammonia-water or water and sulfate. Ultimately, the quadcopter’s explorations may be able to last up to 8 years after landing before its nuclear power source peters out.The cost-capped New Frontiers program, with $850 million set for the mission and some $150 million for launch, is the largest planetary exploration line that NASA opens to outside competition and leadership. A significant factor in Dragonfly’s selection, Zurbuchen adds, was APL’s ability to deliver the Parker Solar Probe, now on a mission to explore the sun that’s on time and under budget. Dragonfly went head-to-head with one other finalist, the Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return, which would have sampled primordial ice from a comet and returned it for study on Earth.Previous spacecraft launched under New Frontiers include New Horizons, which surveyed Pluto and recently flew by MU69, an icy object in the farthest reaches of the solar system; Juno, now in orbit around Jupiter; and the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer, now orbiting the asteroid Bennu before collecting samples and returning them to Earth.last_img read more

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) When it comes to floorboards and furniture, termites get a bad rap. But there’s one type of wood they may be good for: the trees of rainforests.During an extreme drought that struck the island of Borneo during late 2015 and early 2016, researchers studied eight widely scattered plots on the forest floor. In four of those 2500-square-meter areas, team members dug out or leveled termite mounds and then left poison baits for the insects that remained. In the other four areas, researchers left the insects alone.In the plots with intact termite mounds and nests, soil moisture at a depth of 5 centimeters was 36% higher during the drought than it was in plots where termite activity was disrupted. Termites (above) generally require a moist environment and, when necessary, will dig down dozens of meters or more to bring water up to their living spaces, the scientists note. Chien C. Lee By Sid PerkinsJan. 10, 2019 , 2:00 PM Surprise: These termites are good for trees Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country That termite-induced boost in near-surface soil moisture was beneficial to plants during the drought, the researchers report today in Science: Seedlings of climbing vines transplanted into areas where termites remained active were 51% more likely to survive than those in areas without the wood-eating insects.Because droughts are expected to occur more frequently in coming years as climate changes, termites may play an increasingly important role in rainforest productivity and biodiversity, the researchers suggest.last_img read more

first_imgAn ancient woman from Romania shows an edgeto-edge bite (left). A Bronze Age man from Austria had a slight overbite (right). D. E. BLASI ET AL., SCIENCE, 363, 1192 (2019) Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Bickel suggests that as more adults developed overbites, they accidentally began to use “f” and “v” more. In ancient India and Rome, labiodentals may have been a mark of status, signaling a softer diet and wealth, he says. Those consonants also spread through other language groups; today, they appear in 76% of Indo-European languages.Linguist Nicholas Evans of Australian National University in Canberra finds the study’s “multimethod approach to the problem” convincing. Ian Maddieson, an emeritus linguist at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, isn’t sure researchers tallied the labiodentals correctly but agrees that the study shows external factors like diet can alter the sounds of speech.The findings also suggest our facility with f-words comes at a cost. As we lost our ancestral edge-to-edge bite, “we got new sounds but maybe it wasn’t so great for us,” Moran says. “Our lower jaws are shorter, we have impacted wisdom teeth, more crowding—and cavities.”*Correction, 15 March, 11:10 a.m.: This story erroneously stated that the newly favored consonants led to the replacement of the Latin patēr to Old English faeder about 1500 years ago. Patēr came not from Latin, but from the Proto-Indo-European language that gave rise to Latin and other languages in Europe and Asia. Ancient switch to soft food gave us an overbite—and the ability to pronounce ‘f’s and ‘v’s By Ann GibbonsMar. 14, 2019 , 2:00 PM First, the six researchers used computer modeling to show that with an overbite, producing labiodentals takes 29% less effort than with an edge-to-edge bite. Then, they scrutinized the world’s languages and found that hunter-gatherer languages have only about one-fourth as many labiodentals as languages from farming societies. Finally, they looked at the relationships among languages, and found that labiodentals can spread quickly, so that the sounds could go from being rare to common in the 8000 years since the widespread adoption of agriculture and new food processing methods such as grinding grain into flour. Don’t like the F-word? Blame farmers and soft food. When humans switched to processed foods after the spread of agriculture, they put less wear and tear on their teeth. That changed the growth of their jaws, giving adults the overbites normal in children. Within a few thousand years, those slight overbites made it easy for people in farming cultures to fire off sounds like “f” and “v,” opening a world of new words.The newly favored consonants, known as labiodentals, helped spur the diversification of languages in Europe and Asia at least 4000 years ago; they led to such changes as the replacement of the Proto-Indo-European patēr to Old English faeder about 1500 years ago, according to linguist and senior author Balthasar Bickel at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. The paper shows “that a cultural shift can change our biology in such a way that it affects our language,” says evolutionary morphologist Noreen Von Cramon-Taubadel of the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York system, who was not part of the study.Postdocs Damián Blasi and Steven Moran in Bickel’s lab set out to test an idea proposed by the late American linguist Charles Hockett. He noted in 1985 that the languages of hunter-gatherers lacked labiodentals, and conjectured that their diet was partly responsible: Chewing gritty, fibrous foods puts force on the growing jaw bone and wears down molars. In response, the lower jaw grows larger, and the molars erupt farther and drift forward on the protruding lower jaw, so that the upper and lower teeth align. That edge-to-edge bite makes it harder to push the upper jaw forward to touch the lower lip, which is required to pronounce labiodentals. But other linguists rejected the idea, and Blasi says he, Moran, and their colleagues “expected to prove Hockett wrong.” Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

first_imgMemo from @CoryBooker campaign manager @ASDem explains their goals for debate night: Introduce Booker to voters who don’t know him, or only have a vague sense of who he is. pic.twitter.com/jpJtNuS3st— Kevin Robillard (@Robillard) June 25, 20192. Don’t waver. Chances are that Booker’s fellow candidates will try to call him out for recently not ruling out ever meeting with Nation Of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, who many people have called anti-Semitic. Booker’s comments, which seem to have been taken out of context — “I don’t feel the need to [meet with Farrakhan], but I’m not one of these people that says I wouldn’t sit down with anybody to hear what they have to say” — came in the days after he had some choice words for Biden’s apparent embrace of racist former senators.3. Keep the pressure on Biden. With the former vice president leading the polling pack by double digits, it would probably behoove all candidates to aim for the top. In this case, that could mean Booker keeping Biden’s recent spate of racial missteps as a primary talking point for why voters should consider other candidates. Doing so could spur other candidates on the stage Wednesday night to do the same, a risky move that might hurt Biden but could also further damage the Party as a whole. But to be completely honest, it still seems like something is missing.Booker has a chance to fill in those apparent blanks Wednesday night, but will he?“Few other contenders are under as much pressure to distinguish themselves at this debate, and the one next month, as he is,” the New York Times’ Jonathan Martin wrote about Booker on Tuesday.With arguably the weakest field among both debates Wednesday and Thursday night — he faces off against former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; former Maryland Rep. John Delaney; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan; and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — this could be Booker’s biggest chance to distinguish himself from his rivals before what is all but guaranteed to be a punishing primary season.(The rest of the Democratic field — Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Pete Buttigieg, Biden, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, California Sen. Kamala Harris, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Andrew Yang, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Rep. Eric Swalwell and Marianne Williamson — takes the debate stage Thursday night.While Warren is the strongest debate opponent (again, according to polling) Wednesday night, Castro is no slouch, either, which means this will be far from a cakewalk for Booker.As such, here is one possible roadmap the esteemed senator could follow in what is as close to a make-or-break moment as there has been for a candidate in these early stages of the 2020 campaign season. Here are five things Booker should at least consider doing Wednesday night during the first Democratic presidential debate. 4. Galvanize Democrats. Yes, Booker should go all out to show America he’s a candidate whose White House ambitions should be taken seriously. But he should also keep his eyes on the Democrats’ prize, which is to keep Trump from being re-elected. Booker and his fellow Party members running for president must keep in mind that any attack they launch on each other is more than fair game for Trump to use when he debates whichever Democratic becomes the Party’s nominee.5. Go for Trump’s head. The New York Times speculated that Booker may be guilty of being “too nice.” What better place to disprove that rumor than on the national debate stage where he can take aggressive aim at his Democratic rivals as well as the president, whose recent comments about reparations could serve as the perfect ammunition for Booker?The debate starts at 9 p.m. EDT and will be televised live on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo.SEE ALSO:Standing By Massa! Ben Carson And Tim Scott Are All Teeth As Trump Lies On ObamaTamir Rice’s Mom Celebrates His Birthday As She Continues Fight Against His Killer .⁦@CoryBooker⁩’s debate prep includes push ups and bicep curls “to keep him motivated” a campaign aide said. pic.twitter.com/OMRryFxypS— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) June 25, 2019In all actuality, the 50-year-old is riding a wave of momentum that was steadily building up well before last week’s House testimony about reparations. And his war of words with Joe Biden, the frontrunner candidate, over the former vice president’s glowing words for pro-segregation senators certainly didn’t hurt either. Booker also gave an emotional and fiery speech at the South Carolina Democratic Convention this past weekend. More By Bruce C.T. Wright Where All The Presidential Candidates Stand On Reparations, In Their Own Words It’s Debate Eve! I’m excited to hit the stage tomorrow, June 26 at 9 p.m. ET. I can’t wait to share with you my vision for a more just and fair nation. pic.twitter.com/ZA7IK8bkNt— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 25, 2019 1. Make sure America knows who Cory Booker is. Despite his heavy name recognition, chances are that not all voters, even Democrats, really know who he is or what he’s about. Wednesday night is Booker’s chance to rectify that situation with a proper introduction on national TV, and he knows it. The Evolving Relevance Of ‘The Talk’ The New Jersey senator’s campaign has seemingly stalled. That is if you let polling tell the whole story. The latest poll placed Booker in sixth place out of 24 candidates, and he was trailing Kamala Harris, the only other Democratic White House hopeful who is Black. However, if you’ve been paying attention, Booker’s profile has arguably never been higher, or stronger. Biden hits back at Booker over segregationist senator. “Apologize for what? Cory [Booker] should apologize. He knows better” pic.twitter.com/xq8lLk4tTj— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) June 20, 2019 Senator Cory Booker addresses the 2020 South Carolina Democratic Convention. #PoliticsNation pic.twitter.com/Vi5NzGQwSj— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) June 22, 2019 2020 Democratic Candidates For President , 2020 Election , Cory Booker , Democrats Reparations presidential candidates Everything We Know About Sadie Roberts-Joseph’s Murder Investigation Cory Booker’s name rings bells. This much is undeniable. But one major looming question is how loudly those same bells will toll for him during the first debate for Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night in Miami? Unpacking Mayor Pete’s ‘Douglass Plan’ For Black Americalast_img read more

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email First, though, the researchers need to convince others who have studied nodding syndrome for years that they are right. Originally reported in Tanzania, the disease spread to what is now South Sudan in the 1990s and to northern Uganda after 1998. Uganda has reported 3000 cases, but no new ones since 2014. The current study was done on the brains of five Ugandan children who fell ill while living in camps for internally displaced persons between 2005 and 2010, when Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army was terrorizing the region, and later died.The brains are among a dozen obtained by U.S. and Ugandan researchers between 2014 and 2017, overcoming challenges such as persuading relatives, harvesting the organs promptly after death, and transporting them from remote areas in a tropical climate. Initial investigations done in the United States were never published—it’s not clear why—and the brains were returned to Uganda, where Pollanen’s group studied all 12. They hope to publish their analyses of the remaining seven soon.The current paper is thin on detail and lacks important controls, cautions neurologist Avindra Nath of the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, who has studied nodding syndrome. It does not describe the brain pathology in children from the same population who died of other forms of epilepsy, for example.Robert Colebunders, an infectious disease expert at the University of Antwerp in Belgium who has long worked on nodding syndrome, says he has still-unpublished postmortem findings from seven children who fell ill at the same time, in the same camps, but survived longer because they received better care and experienced fewer seizures. None of them shows tauopathy, he says. “My conclusion is that tau [deposition] is a consequence of seizures, not a cause.”Colebunders favors a long-standing theory that the ultimate cause of nodding syndrome is infection by a parasitic worm called Onchocerca volvulus, which is endemic to the same regions. There is no evidence that the worm itself penetrates the brain, but last year, Nath and others proposed that a protein in the worm triggers the production of antibodies that attack a similar protein on neurons, in a misdirected autoimmune response.It’s dangerous to propose that nodding syndrome is a neurodegenerative disease, Colebunders says, because it could divert resources away from much-needed efforts to eradicate the worm and to improve care for children with the illness. “With good care and nutrition, the epilepsy can be controlled and the children can go back to school without suffering any cognitive deficit,” he says.But Peter Spencer, a neurotoxicologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, suspects the worm is a bystander. He suggests it opportunistically infects people who have another condition that also triggers seizures and tau deposition. How it all fits together is unclear, but tau gives investigators one more piece of the puzzle, Spencer says. “We have an opportunity here to discover the primary cause of this disease, and then to do primary prevention.” Not only will that benefit affected children, Spencer adds, “It will potentially open up our understanding of other tauopathies, too.” Mysterious childhood brain illness in Africa shows surprising similarity to Alzheimer’s A disease mystery with no shortage of leads now has an intriguing new one. Since the 1960s, thousands of children in poor, war-torn regions of East Africa have developed epilepsy-like seizures in which their heads bob to their chest; over time, the seizures worsen, cognitive problems develop, and the victims ultimately die. Researchers have proposed causes for nodding syndrome that include malnutrition, parasites, and viruses, but have not proved a clear link to any of them. Now, the first published examination of the brains of children who died after developing the condition suggests it has a key similarity to certain brain diseases of old age, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s: It leaves victims’ brains riddled with fibrous tangles containing a protein called tau.”Nodding syndrome is a tauopathy,” concludes Michael Pollanen, a pathologist at the University of Toronto in Canada who is lead author of a report published last month in Acta Neuropathologica. Pollanen believes the finding “suggests a totally new line of investigation” into the syndrome. As significant as the discovery of the tangles may be what his group of Canadian and Ugandan researchers didn’t find: any sign of the brain inflammation that might be triggered by a parasite or virus. “Our hypothesis is that nodding syndrome is a neurodegenerative disease, like Alzheimer’s,” Pollanen says.Some who study the condition are skeptical, but the possibility excites researchers working on other tauopathies including Alzheimer’s. Childhood forms of those diseases are exceedingly rare, but the nodding syndrome finding “means [tau deposition] is not an age-dependent problem,” says John Hardy, of the UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London. Something else must have triggered the tauopathy in these children. And because nodding syndrome struck a small region of East Africa, over a specific time period—in Uganda, the condition appears to be vanishing—its trigger might be relatively easy to identify, and could shed light on the causes of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Hardy and others say. By Laura SpinneyDec. 19, 2018 , 4:30 PMcenter_img JAMES AKENA/REUTERS A 2012 image from Uganda shows an 11-year-old boy suffering from nodding syndrome. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

first_imgRod Stewart, 73, is in need of a “good old fashioned clear out” and that means auctioning off some of his furniture and decor, many of which are said to be “very rock and roll.” “Stewart reportedly put Wood House, which sits on 24.8 acres just outside Epping in Essex, on the market last year for £7.5m, having moved down to the nearby grade II-listed Durrington House, which he bought in 2013 but spent years renovating,” reported The Guardian.Rod Stewart (right) and Ronnie Wood (left) of the band Faces, in concert 1975. Photo by Jim Summaria CC BY-SA 3.0Sworders’ Fine Art Auctioneers of Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex said that the more than 60 lots that will be auctioned in September 2018 include a teak lounge armchair with leopard print upholstery, a painted figure of a banjo player, a pair of gilt bronze-mounted side tables, a pair of late 19th century pier mirrors, and a set of four gilt bronze two-branch wall lights.The items could raise up to $50,000.John Black, one of the directors of Sworders, said, “It’s really good decorative house furniture, nice tables and wall lights.”Teak lounge armchair with leopard print upholstery. Photo courtesy: SwordersStewart has accumulated the furniture over many years. Black said: “We all have a good sort-out once in a while and that is the case with Sir Rod Stewart in this instance. He has accumulated many things over his lifetime and has decided now is the time to have a bit of a clear-out.”Stewart was knighted at Buckingham Palace in October 2016. He is in the top 20 most successful musical artists of all time, according to Billboard.Cold painted spelter figure of a banjo player. Photo courtesy: SwordersHe was born January 10, 1945, in North London, the youngest of five children. His focus when young was on soccer, but his father also bought him a guitar when he was 14. He was drawn to the music of Al Jolson, Little Richard, and Bill Haley & His Comets.Stewart dropped out of school at 15. He was interested in becoming a professional footballer (soccer). Later he said in an interview, “Well, a musician’s life is a lot easier and I can also get drunk and make music, and I can’t do that and play football… They’re the only things I can do actually: play football and sing.”Rod Stewart Live Hamburg 2013. Photo by Ian Dury CC BY-SA 3.0After performing as “Rod the Mod,” he got his break as the lead singer of the Jeff Beck Group, from 1968 to 1969. He released his first solo album, The Rod Stewart Album, in 1969, and joined the Small Faces (later the Faces) in 1969. During this time, the New York Times took note in a critical review of the “hoarse and insistent shouting of Rod Stewart.”Rod Stewart’s blues-influenced singing style has been widely praised as one of the greatest in rock.Abandoned Aerosmith tour vanIn the 1970s, his album Every Picture Tells a Story made him famous after “Maggie May” reached the charts. His other hits of the time include “(I Know) I’m Losing You,” “Reason to Believe,” “Every Picture Tells a Story,” and “You Wear It Well.”Gilt bronze-mounted side tables. Photo courtesy: SwordersIn 1975, Stewart began a romance with Britt Ekland, a Swedish actress who was a Bond Girl. He also decided to move to the United States because of a dispute over taxes with the British government. The next phase of his career produced “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” and “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” Both topped the charts but both were also ridiculed.One rock website said of “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” that “Stewart’s third No. 1 single was routinely blasted by rock purists back in the day for being a disco sellout and cashing in on his image.” His decadent image was particularly scorned by punk rockers emerging on the scene.The auction is carried by Sworders’ Fine Art Auctioneers of Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex. Photo courtesy: SwordersStewart was far from finished, however. He put out many hit records over the years and launched many successful comebacks, with 15 Grammy nominations and 1 win.In one interview, when asked about his fashion regrets, Stewart said, “When people say, ‘Oh my God, what were you thinking of when you were wearing that?’ I go, ‘What were you wearing 40 years ago?’ But there’s one turnout that was really strange. … [I wore] yellow satin trousers, a blue tank top and a red fur boa tied around my waist, and little white shoes. That’s the only regret I’ve got. Otherwise I stand by all my collection of clothes.”Rod Stewart, Ekeberghallen, Oslo, Norway. Photo by Helge Øverås CC BY 2.5Stewart married three times. In an interview, he said, “Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.”Read another story from us:Napoleon’s hat from the worst day of his life was auctioned and fetched a hefty sumHis 30th album, Blood Red Roses, will be released later this year.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.last_img read more

first_imgOctober 8, 2018 Dr. Justin Hartman By L. Parsons Winslow High School Principal Dr. Justin Hartman will be allowed to continue in his position after an incident that occurred off campus last month. The Winslow Unified School District (WUSD) Governing BoardSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adcenter_img WUSD school board learns of incident involving principallast_img

first_imgBy New York Times |Abu Dhabi | Updated: June 2, 2019 4:53:01 pm LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy govt survive? Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies The Middle East Institute recently received $20 million. Its chairman is Clarke, the former official who pushed through the UAE defense contracts. After leaving government in 2003, he had also founded a consultancy with the UAE as a primary client. He did not respond to requests for comment.Emirati Ambassador Yousef Otaiba hammered his many contacts in the White House and on Capitol Hill, arguing that Obama was ceding the region to extremists and Iran. The prince himself made the case at the highest levels. He “gave me an earful,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates recalled in a memoir. Saudi prince, Saudi prince USA, Mohammed bin Zayed, MBS Saudi, Saudi MBZ, MBS MBZ Saudi, Saudi prince washington, Most powerful saudi prince, Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Express, world news, latest news President Barack Obama walks with Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, outside the White House in Washington, May 13, 2015. Prince Mohammed grew the United Arab Emirates’s power by following America’s lead. He now has an increasingly bellicose agenda of his own. And President Donald Trump seems to be following him. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)(Written by David D Kirkpatrick) New Education Policy will ensure our higher education system remains a client of global scienceBy Milind Sohoni Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Taking stock of monsoon rain Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Saudi prince, Saudi prince USA, Mohammed bin Zayed, MBS Saudi, Saudi MBZ, MBS MBZ Saudi, Saudi prince washington, Most powerful saudi prince, Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Express, world news, latest news Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan attends the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Mecca, Saudi Arabia May 30, 2019. (Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters)For decades, the prince has been a key U.S. ally, following Washington’s lead, but now he is going his own way. His special forces are active in Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Egypt’s North Sinai. He has worked to thwart democratic transitions in the Middle East, helped install a reliable autocrat in Egypt and boosted a protégé to power in Saudi Arabia.At times, the prince has contradicted U.S. policy and destabilized neighbors. Rights groups have criticized him for jailing dissidents at home, for his role in creating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and for backing the Saudi prince whose agents killed dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi.Yet under the Trump administration, his influence in Washington appears greater than ever. He has a rapport with Trump, who has frequently adopted the prince’s views on Qatar, Libya and Saudi Arabia, even over the advice of Cabinet officials or senior national security staff.Saudi prince, Saudi prince USA, Mohammed bin Zayed, MBS Saudi, Saudi MBZ, MBS MBZ Saudi, Saudi prince washington, Most powerful saudi prince, Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Express, world news, latest news Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan kisses the forehead of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Mecca, Saudi Arabia May 30, 2019. (Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS)Western diplomats who know the prince — known as MBZ — say he is obsessed with two enemies, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. President Donald Trump has sought to move strongly against both and last week took steps to bypass congressional opposition to keep selling weapons to both Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Advertising “It’s the Year of Tolerance. How many countries in the world right now are having a year of tolerance?” Mattis asked. “I don’t know of any,” he said. “You are an example.” Watch More Explained Best Of Express Top News Also Read Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the 29-year-old commander of the almost negligible air force of the United Arab Emirates, had come to Washington shopping for weapons.In 1991, in the months after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the young prince wanted to buy so much military hardware to protect his own oil-rich monarchy — from Hellfire missiles to Apache helicopters to F-16 jets — that Congress worried he might destabilize the region.But the Pentagon, trying to cultivate accommodating allies in the Gulf, had identified Mohammed as a promising partner. The favorite son of the semiliterate Bedouin who founded the UAE, Mohammed was a serious-minded, British-trained helicopter pilot who had persuaded his father to transfer $4 billion into the U.S. treasury to help pay for the 1991 war in Iraq. Post Comment(s) In the past, the prince looked for a “green light” from Washington, said Wahba, the former U.S. ambassador. Now he may send a heads-up, she said, but “he is not asking permission anymore.”Saudi Arabia, the giant next door, had quarreled with the United Arab Emirates over borders and, as the regional heavyweight, also constrained UAE foreign policy. By the end of 2014, the position of crown prince — next in line for the throne — had passed to a known foe of the Emirati prince.So he plunged into the internal Saudi succession battle and waged an all-out lobbying campaign in Washington on behalf of a little-known alternative: the 29-year-old Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a favorite son of the aged Saudi king.“MBZ’s message was, if you trust me and you like me, you will like this guy because he is cut from the same cloth,” recalled Rhodes, the Obama adviser.By March 2015, the two princes had invaded Yemen together to roll back a takeover by a faction aligned with Iran. Then in 2017, as the Saudi prince consolidated his power, they cut off all trade and diplomatic ties with Qatar, to pressure it into abandoning support for the Muslim Brotherhood.Both the Yemen and Qatar conflicts are routinely described as Saudi-led, but the Emirati prince first sought to sell them to Washington, Rhodes and other former officials recalled.By late 2015, U.S. diplomats say, Mohammed was also suggesting that the UAE and a new Saudi leadership could be crucial in bringing the Palestinians around to some new peace agreement — the so-called “outside-in” approach to a deal.But for that, Mohammed awaited a new administration.All the Prince’s MenIt was meant to be a personal farewell.Despite their sharp differences, Mohammed had remained cordial with Obama, and the president thought they shared a mutual respect, according to four senior White House officials. So when the prince requested a final meeting, as friends, Obama agreed to a lunch at the White House, in December 2016.But Mohammed backed out, without much explanation. He flew instead to New York, for his first face-to-face meeting with Kushner and other advisers to the president-elect, Donald Trump. To arrange the meetings, Mohammed had turned to a financier, Richard Gerson, founder of Falcon Edge Capital. He had worked with the prince for years, and he was also a friend of Kushner.“I am always here as your trusted family back channel any time you want to discreetly pass something,” Gerson wrote to the prince after the election in a private text message, one of several provided to The Times by a third party and corroborated independently. He signed off another message as “your loyal soldier.”The trip was supposed to be secret, but intelligence agencies detected the prince’s arrival. Obama’s advisers were stunned. But Mohammed was already working to reverse the administration’s policies, talking to Trump’s advisers about the dangers of Iran and about Palestinian peace talks, according to two people familiar with the meetings.“They were deeply impressed with you and already are convinced that you are their true friend and closest ally,” Gerson wrote to the prince after the meetings.Mohammed was positioning himself as an intermediary to Russia, too.One of Mohammed’s younger brothers had introduced Gerson to a Russian businessman who acts as a liaison between President Vladimir Putin and the Persian Gulf monarchs, according to the special counsel’s report. The Russian businessman, Kirill Dmitriev, conferred with Gerson about a “reconciliation plan” for the United States and Russia, and shortly before the inauguration, Gerson gave a two-page summary of the plan to Kushner.Gerson declined to comment for this article.The next month, in January, Mohammed invited Dmitriev to an Emirati retreat in the Seychelles to meet with someone else they thought represented the Trump team: Erik Prince, the Blackwater founder who had recruited mercenaries for the UAE.Why Mohammed would seek to connect Russia with Trump’s circle remains a matter of debate, but he has worked for years to try to entice Putin away from Iran, according to U.S. diplomats and leaked emails from the Emirati ambassador in Washington.But prosecutors are also investigating the activities of other operatives and go-betweens working for the prince who tried to insinuate themselves around Trump.Investigators are still examining the campaign contacts of an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation who has worked for Mohammed and of a Lebanese-American businessman who acted as his emissary. Other prosecutors are investigating whether another top Republican donor whose security company worked for the prince should legally have registered as his agent.The special counsel’s office has also questioned Rashid al-Malik, an Emirati real estate developer based in Los Angeles who is close to Mohammed and to his brother — the head of Emirati intelligence. Al-Malik is also close to Trump’s friend Tom Barrack, and investigators are asking if al-Malik was part of an illegal influence scheme, according to two people familiar with the matter.Another investigation, prompted by a whistleblower, is examining the possibility that the United Arab Emirates used cyberespionage techniques from former U.S. operatives to spy on American citizens.Yet the prince’s courtship of the Trump administration has not been damaged. In the 2 1/2 years since his first meeting with Kushner, Mohammed has received almost everything he sought from the White House.A Prince UndauntedEach winter, Mohammed invites financiers and former officials to Abu Dhabi for a salon that demonstrates his global influence.The guest list last December included former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; former French President Nicolas Sarkozy; former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Hadley, the Bush-era national security adviser; American investors Mohamed A. El-Erian, David M. Rubenstein and Thomas S. Kaplan; and Chinese computer scientist and investor Kai-Fu Lee.Undeterred, the prince also included Dmitriev, the Russian businessman linked to Putin.Mohammed’s post-Arab Spring interventions have hardly stabilized the region. An aide he sent to Cairo to help turn around the moribund economy has returned in frustration.Egypt’s military-backed government still depends on billions of dollars a year in assistance from the UAE and its Gulf allies, and despite Emirati help and Israeli airstrikes, Cairo has not yet quelled a militant backlash centered in the North Sinai.The isolation of Qatar has failed to change its policies. In Libya, Khalifa Hifter is mired in a bloody stalemate.Mohammed’s push in the Horn of Africa has set off a competition for access and influence among rivals like Turkey and Qatar. In Somalia, after allegations of bribery by the fragile central government, Emirati forces have shifted to the semiautonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland.Djibouti, alleging neglect, last year replaced its Emirati port managers with a Chinese rival.“He thinks he is Machiavelli, but he acts more like Mussolini,” said Bruce Riedel, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and a former official in the CIA.In Saudi Arabia, the Emirati prince has been embarrassed by the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that his Saudi protégé had ordered the brutal murder of Khashoggi, a Virginia-based Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist. Their joint, 4-year-old intervention in Yemen is turning into a quagmire, with horrific civilian casualties.“The UAE is a stain on the world conscience — the UAE as it is currently governed is violating every norm of the civilized world,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.Yet the prince’s standing remains strong inside the Trump administration. The “outside-in” proposals for Israeli-Palestinian peace passed over by the Obama administration are at the core of Kushner’s emerging plans.Trump has repeatedly backed the positions of the Emirati prince: by endorsing his Saudi protégé after the Khashoggi killing, by applauding the isolation of Qatar even as the secretary of state and secretary of defense publicly opposed it, by canceling the nuclear deal with Iran, by seeking to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, and by vetoing legislation to cut off U.S. military support for Saudi and Emirati forces in Yemen.Last month, Trump publicly endorsed the Emiratis’ favored militia leader in Libya one day after a phone call with Mohammed — even through Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had previously urged the same leader to retreat.Mattis, the former secretary of defense, last month delivered a lecture in Abu Dhabi sponsored by Mohammed. When he joined the Trump administration, Mattis disclosed that he had received $242,000 in annual fees as well as valuable stock options as a board member at defense contractor General Dynamics, which does extensive business with Abu Dhabi. He had also worked as an unpaid adviser to Mohammed. I Co-Founded Facebook. It’s Time to Break It Up In the Middle East, Mohammed did more than talk. In Egypt, he backed a military takeover in 2013 that removed an elected president who was a Muslim Brotherhood leader. In the Horn of Africa, he dispatched a force to Somalia first to combat piracy and then to fight extremists. He went on to establish commercial ports or naval bases around the Gulf of Aden.In Libya, Mohammed defied U.S. pleas and a U.N. embargo by arming the forces of the militia leader and would-be strongman Khalifa Hifter. Emirati pilots carried out airstrikes in Tripoli and eventually established an air base in eastern Libya. Advertising Advertising Saudi prince, Saudi prince USA, Mohammed bin Zayed, MBS Saudi, Saudi MBZ, MBS MBZ Saudi, Saudi prince washington, Most powerful saudi prince, Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Express, world news, latest news President Donald Trump welcomes Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, to the White House in Washington, May 15, 2017. (Al Drago/The New York Times)Richard A. Clarke, then an assistant secretary of state, reassured lawmakers that the young prince would never become “an aggressor.”“The UAE is not now and never will be a threat to stability or peace in the region,” Clarke said in congressional testimony. “That is very hard to imagine. Indeed, the UAE is a force for peace.”Thirty years later, Mohammed, now 58, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of the UAE, is arguably the most powerful leader in the Arab world. He is also among the most influential foreign voices in Washington, urging the United States to adopt his increasingly bellicose approach to the region.Mohammed is almost unknown to the American public, and his tiny country has fewer citizens than Rhode Island has. But he may be the richest man in the world. He controls sovereign wealth funds worth $1.3 trillion, more than any other country. His influence operation in Washington is legendary (Clarke got rich on his payroll). His military is the Arab world’s most potent, equipped through its work with the United States to conduct high-tech surveillance and combat operations far beyond its borders. Testing the waters: Mention of Blue Economy in budget must serve as an impetus for the sectorBy Vishwapati Trivedi 05:22 “MBZ has an extraordinary way of telling Americans his own interests but making it come across as good advice about the region,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser under President Barack Obama, whose sympathy for the Arab Spring and negotiations with Iran brought blistering criticism from the Emirati prince. When it comes to influence in Washington, Rhodes added, “MBZ is in a class by himself.”Mohammed worked assiduously before the presidential election to crack Trump’s inner circle, and secured a secret meeting during the transition period with the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The prince also tried to broker talks between the Trump administration and Russia, a gambit that later entangled him in the special counsel’s investigation into foreign election interference.Today, at least five people working for Mohammed have been caught up in criminal investigations growing out of that inquiry. A regular visitor to the United States for three decades, Mohammed has now stayed away for two years, in part because he fears prosecutors might seek to question him or his aides, according to two people familiar with his thinking. (His brother, the foreign minister, has visited.)The United Arab Emirates’ Embassy in Washington declined to comment. The prince’s many American defenders say it is only prudent of him to try to shape U.S. policy, as many governments do, and that he sees his interventions as an attempt to compensate for an American pullback.But Mohammed’s critics say his rise is a study in unintended consequences. The obscure young prince whom Washington adopted as a pliant ally is now fanning his volatile region’s flames.By arming the United Arab Emirates with such advanced surveillance technology, commandos and weaponry, argued Tamara Cofman Wittes, a former State Department official and fellow at the Brookings Institution, “We have created a little Frankenstein.”The Perfect PrinceMost Arab royals are paunchy, long-winded and prone to keeping visitors waiting. Not Mohammed.He graduated at the age of 18 from the British officers’ training program at Sandhurst. He stays slim and fit, trades tips with visitors about workout machines, and never arrives late for a meeting.U.S. officials invariably describe him as concise, inquisitive, even humble. He pours his own coffee, and to illustrate his love for America, sometimes tells visitors that he has taken his grandchildren to Disney World incognito.He makes time for low-ranking U.S. officials and greets senior dignitaries at the airport. With a shy, lopsided smile, he will offer a tour of his country, then climb into a helicopter to fly his guest over the skyscrapers and lagoons of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.“There was always a ‘wow’ factor with MBZ,” recalled Marcelle Wahba, a former U.S. ambassador to the UAE.In the capital, Abu Dhabi, he has overseen a construction craze that has hidden the former coastline behind man-made islands. One is intended to become a financial district akin to Wall Street. Another includes a campus of New York University, a franchise of the Louvre and a planned extension of the Guggenheim.When he meets Americans, Mohammed emphasizes the things that make the UAE more liberal than their neighbors. Women have more opportunities: A third of the Cabinet ministers are female. Unlike Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates allow Christian churches and Hindu or Sikh temples, partly to accommodate a vast foreign workforce. (The country is estimated to have 9 million residents, but fewer than a million citizens; the rest are foreign workers.)To underscore the point, the prince last year created a Ministry of Tolerance and declared this the “Year of Tolerance.” He has hosted the Special Olympics and Pope Francis.“I think he has done admirable work not just in diversifying the economy but in diversifying the system of thought of the population as well,” said Gen. John R. Allen, former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, now president of the Brookings Institution. (In between, Allen was an adviser to the UAE’s Ministry of Defense.)The United Arab Emirates are a tiny federation of city-states, yet Abu Dhabi alone accounts for 6% of the world’s proven oil reserves, making it a tempting target to a larger neighbor like Iran.In 1971, when the UAE gained independence from Britain, the shah of Iran seized three disputed Persian Gulf islands.The Muslim Brotherhood, a 90-year-old Islamist movement founded in Egypt, has become mainstream in many Arab countries. On that subject, Mohammed says his dread is more personal.His father assigned a prominent Brotherhood member, Ezzedine Ibrahim, as Mohammed’s tutor, and he attempted an indoctrination that backfired, the prince often says.“I am an Arab, I am a Muslim and I pray. And in the 1970s and early 1980s I was one of them,” Mohammed told visiting U.S. diplomats in 2007, as they reported in a classified cable released by WikiLeaks. “I believe these guys have an agenda.”He worries about the appeal of Islamist politics to his population. As many as 80% of the soldiers in his forces would answer the call of “some holy man in Mecca,” he once told U.S. diplomats, according to a cable released by WikiLeaks.For that reason, diplomats say, Mohammed has long argued that the Arab world is not ready for democracy. Islamists would win any elections.“In any Muslim country, you will see the same result,” he said in a 2007 meeting with U.S. officials. “The Middle East is not California.”The UAE began allowing U.S. forces to operate from bases inside the country during the Persian Gulf War of 1991. Since then, the prince’s commandos and air forces have been deployed with Americans in Kosovo, Somalia, Afghanistan and Libya, as well as against the Islamic State group.He has recruited U.S. commanders to run his military and former spies to set up his intelligence services. He also acquired more weaponry in the four years before 2010 than the other five Gulf monarchies combined, including 80 F-16 fighters, 30 Apache combat helicopters, and 62 French Mirage jets.Some American officers describe the UAE as “Little Sparta.”With advice from former top military commanders including former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Allen, Mohammed has even developed an Emirati defense industry, producing an amphibious armored vehicle known as The Beast and others that he is already supplying to clients in Libya and Egypt.The UAE is also preparing a low-altitude propeller-driven bomber for counterinsurgency combat, an idea Mattis had long recommended for the United States, a former officer close to him said.Mohammed has often told U.S. officials that he saw Israel as an ally against Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Israel trusted him enough to sell him upgrades for his F-16s, as well as advanced mobile phone spyware.To many in Washington, Mohammed had become America’s best friend in the region, a dutiful partner who could be counted on for tasks from countering Iranian influence in Lebanon to funding construction in Iraq.“It was well known that if you needed something done in the Middle East,” recalled Richard G. Olson, a former U.S. ambassador to Abu Dhabi, “the Emiratis would do it.”A Prince Goes RogueMohammed seemed to find a kindred spirit when President Barack Obama took office in 2009, White House aides said. Both were detached, analytic and intrigued by big questions. For a time, Obama sought out phone conversations with Mohammed more than with any other foreign leader, several senior White House officials recalled.But the Arab Spring came between them. Uprisings swept the region. The Muslim Brotherhood was winning elections. And Obama appeared to endorse the demands for democracy — though in Syria, where the uprising threatened a foe of the Emiratis, he balked at military action.Then it emerged that the Obama administration was in secret nuclear talks with Iran.“They felt not only ignored — they felt betrayed by the Obama administration, and I think Prince Mohammed felt it particularly and personally,” said Stephen Hadley, a national security adviser under President George W. Bush who has stayed close to the prince.After the uprisings, Mohammed saw the United Arab Emirates as the only one of the 22 Arab states still on its feet, with a stable government, functional economy, able military and “moderate ideology,” said Abdulkhalleq Abdulla, an Emirati political scientist with access to the country’s rulers.“The UAE is part of this very dangerous region that is getting more dangerous by the day — full of chaos and wars and extremists,” he said. “So the motivation is this: If we don’t go after the bad guys, they will come after us.”At home, Mohammed hired a company linked to Erik Prince, founder of the private security company formerly known as Blackwater, to create a force of Colombian, South African and other mercenaries. He crushed any hint of dissent, arresting five activists for organizing a petition for democratic reforms (signed by only 132 people) and rounding up dozens suspected of sympathizing with the Muslim Brotherhood.The UAE revved up its influence machine in Washington, too. It was among the biggest spenders among foreign governments on Washington advocates and consultants, paying as much as $21 million in 2017, according to a tally by the Center for Responsive Politics. They earned good will with million-dollar donations after natural disasters, and they sought to frame public debate by giving millions more to major think tanks. Express Opinion P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies last_img read more

first_img More Explained By New York Times |Washington | Published: June 5, 2019 9:54:58 am Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 US needs to reach out to India, other Asian partners to strengthen ties beyond Europe: Biden Best Of Express Joe Biden aggressively defends Obamacare Chandrayaan-2 launch on July 22 at 2.43 pm: ISRO Advertising When Joe Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president, their administration brokered the landmark Paris climate accord and imposed the nation’s first federal regulations for cutting carbon dioxide emissions.Now, as Biden runs for president, he has laid out an ambitious climate plan of his own that goes well beyond what Obama achieved, proposing $1.7 trillion in spending and a tax or fee on planet-warming pollution with the aim of eliminating the nation’s net carbon emissions by 2050.The sweeping proposal from the typically moderate Biden demonstrates just how far the Democratic field has moved on climate change. His environmental targets are similar to the goals of the Green New Deal put forward by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, which even the House Democratic speaker has been unwilling to embrace. Bidens earned $15 million after 2016, challenging ‘middle-class Joe’ image “We’ve seen the ground shift, certainly in the Democratic Party and with Democratic voters, around the importance of climate change,” said Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who is working for former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, another presidential candidate.In some ways, Biden’s plan goes even further than the Green New Deal, which offers aspirational targets but few concrete policy steps to achieve them.Biden proposes that Congress pass a law by 2025 to establish some form of price or tax on carbon dioxide pollution, a policy championed by most economists as the most effective way to fight climate change. Obama tried but failed to pass such a bill in 2010 after Republicans successfully attacked the idea of a carbon price as a national energy tax — and that was when Democrats controlled both the House and Senate.Obama later drew criticism from Republicans for bypassing Congress and using his executive authority to instate the nation’s first major federal climate change policies, including regulations to curb planet-warming pollution from tailpipes and smokestacks.But he never came close to a plan like Biden’s, intended to zero out the nation’s carbon emissions by midcentury, pledging instead that the United States would lower its emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.Biden’s plan calls for a federal investment of $1.7 trillion over 10 years into clean energy and other initiatives, which the campaign said would be paid for by rolling back Trump’s tax breaks for corporations. It also proposes leveraging state, private and local funds for a total expenditure of $5 trillion over a decade.It pledges support for environmental justice programs, designed to help minorities and poor people disproportionately harmed by pollution, and urges an end to new permits for oil and gas exploration on public lands.Biden, who is seeking to appeal to blue-collar workers who helped deliver states in the industrial Midwest to Trump in 2016, promised retraining programs and new economic opportunities for coal workers and others displaced by the decline of the fossil fuel economy.“We’re not going to forget the workers, either,” Biden said in a video promoting the plan.Biden’s proposal “would be an effective climate change policy,” said Richard Newell, president of Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan Washington research organization focused on energy and environment issues. “But for the kinds of shifts envisioned in this plan and the other Democratic plans, there needs to be a sea change in Congress.”A spokeswoman for Trump’s reelection campaign reiterated Tuesday the president’s frequent criticism of climate plans like the Green New Deal.“If they want to win the nomination, all of the Democrats will ultimately have no choice but embrace the Green New Deal, which is just a wish list of unrealistic, socialist policy ideals,” the spokeswoman, Erin Perrine, said in a statement.Hours after the Biden campaign rolled out the proposal, an official with a progressive group and an article in the conservative Daily Caller flagged a handful of sentences in the document that appeared to borrow language from other organizations.It resurrected a sensitive issue for the Biden campaign: Accusations of plagiarism forced Biden out of the presidential race in 1988.“Several citations, some from sources cited in other parts of the plan, were inadvertently left out of the final version of the 22-page document,” the campaign said in a statement Tuesday. “As soon as we were made aware of it, we updated to include the proper citations.”Other candidates have set out their own far-reaching goals.Warren said Tuesday she would spend $2 trillion over 10 years for environmentally sustainable research, manufacturing and exports, intended to help “achieve the ambitious targets of the Green New Deal.” She also favors a moratorium on new federal fossil fuel leases on public lands.Warren pitched her plan as part of a broad program of economic intervention to support U.S. manufacturing and promote job creation. She, too, said she would prioritize investments in historically marginalized communities and provide benefits for fossil fuel workers.Inslee has called for the nation to eliminate its net carbon emissions by 2045 and has proposed $3 trillion in federal spending to create 8 million green energy jobs. And O’Rourke would spend $1.5 trillion over a decade on climate and clean energy programs, with plans to leverage an additional $3.5 trillion in state, local and other funding.Several other candidates, including Sanders and Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey, have formally backed the Green New Deal legislation but have not put forth their own major climate change policies.Biden’s most aggressive initiatives call for flexing the United States’ trade and foreign policy muscles to compel other countries, particularly China, the world’s largest carbon dioxide polluter, to reduce emissions.Combining climate change policy with trade policy, the plan calls for the imposition of “carbon tariffs” on goods imported from heavily polluting economies, a move that would directly affect Chinese imports. It also gives Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a chance to highlight his credentials in the international arena.“We can no longer separate trade policy from our climate objectives,” the Biden campaign wrote. “Biden will not allow other nations, including China, to game the system by becoming destination economies for polluters, undermining our climate efforts and exploiting American workers and businesses.”While the idea of placing tariffs or quotas based on pollution associated with specific imported goods has long been discussed in Washington, it has never been enacted, in part out of fear of sparking a trade war. But Trump has already started the process to tax nearly everything China sends to the United States.The president also has pledged to withdraw the country from the Paris climate agreement. Biden’s plan calls for the United States to rejoin the agreement and to take the lead in pushing members of the pact to regularly strengthen their pledges to reduce planet-warming pollution, although such a mechanism is already built into the original text of the accord. On Tuesday, however, environmental activists largely lauded Biden’s plan and credited the influence of the Green New Deal.“He put out a comprehensive climate plan that cites the Green New Deal and names climate change as the greatest challenge facing America and the world,” said Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, an environmental activist group that has championed Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal. “The pressure worked.”Biden’s base tilts toward older and more centrist voters, rather than the younger progressives who are traditionally more closely associated with environmental concerns. But Biden has said that he has “never been middle of the road on the environment,” stressing on the campaign trail that he was an early advocate for combating climate change and frequently referring to work he did on that issue dating to the 1980s, when he was a Delaware senator.Democratic pollsters say that in surveys and focus groups, climate change often emerges as the second most important issue to the party’s primary voters, after health care — a departure from previous presidential campaign cycles when the environment was sometimes an afterthought. Related News Advertising Biden’s proposals came just hours before a rival candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, released her own climate proposal as part of a $2 trillion green manufacturing plan. Her plan would create a National Institutes of Clean Energy and push federal spending toward American-made renewable energy technology.As the Democratic base increasingly demands action on climate change, other candidates have unfurled major environmental policies. Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington is focusing his entire campaign on climate change, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas has also released a proposal.“Climate change is an incredibly important issue for the Democratic base right now,” said Nick Gourevitch, a Democratic pollster who said he is neutral in the race. “It’s about the future, and it’s something that this president has made worse in the minds of the Democratic base,” he added, referring to President Donald Trump.Biden faces deep skepticism from the liberal wing of his party, even as he leads most early polls. How far he would go on climate change seemed to be a daily question in his first month as a candidate. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is also running for president, and Ocasio-Cortez took swipes at him over that issue. Taking stock of monsoon rain A Biden administration would convene a world summit of the most heavily polluting economies, the campaign said, and Biden would urge those nations to commit to even more ambitious pollution reduction plans. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Advertising Climate change takes center stage as Biden and Warren release plans Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled a plan centered on reinstating the climate policies of the Obama administration, and included some unexpected proposals that would push significantly beyond what that adminsitration achieved. (NYT)Written by Coral Davenport and Katie Glueck 0 Comment(s)last_img read more

first_img Related News Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post Advertising Advertising Delhi: At Rohingya camp, a festival under shadow of disease bangladeshi nationals, bangladeshis deported, bangladeshi convict, bangladesh border, assam border police, guwahati news, indian express The massacre in Inn Din village in Rakhine state in September 2017 was a mass execution of Rohingyas by the Myanmar Army and armed locals.  (AP Photo/Representational)The US has slapped sanctions against Myanmar’s chief of military and three other top officers for gross human rights violations, including killing of Rohingya Muslims and barred their entry into America. More Explained The massacre in Inn Din village in Rakhine state in September 2017 was a mass execution of Rohingyas by the Myanmar Army and armed locals. Two journalists were jailed for their coverage of the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims. They were released in May this year.A senior State Department official later told reporters that US remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Burma, especially in conflict-affected areas in Rakhine as well as other violence-affected areas across the country such as Kachin and Shan states.The official said that the release of the soldiers on the directions of Hlaing is a mockery of accountability for the military and its senior leadership.Numerous credible international investigations, including those conducted by the US and the United Nations, have detailed the gross disproportionate violence, including ethnic cleansing, committed by security forces before and after the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacks on August 25, 2017, the official said. Advertising By PTI |Washington | Published: July 17, 2019 12:02:25 pm The US had in 2018 designated two other generals Lieutenant General Aung Kyaw Zaw and General Maung Maung Soe.The United States remains concerned that the Burmese government has taken no actions to hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, he said, adding that there are continued reports of the military committing human rights violations and abuses throughout the country.Pompeo said that the recent disclosure that Hlaing ordered the release of soldiers responsible for the extrajudicial killings at Inn Din during the ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas is an example of the continued and severe lack of accountability for the military and its top leadership.Hlaing released the convicts after only months in prison, while the journalists who reported about the killings in Inn Din were jailed for more than 500 days, he said. ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Following the sanctions imposed on them on Tuesday, Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Soe Win, Brigadier General Than Oo and Brigadier General Aung Aung along with their immediate family members have been banned from entering the United States.“With this announcement, the United States is the first government to publicly take action with respect to the most senior leadership of the Burmese military,” Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, said.“We designated these individuals based on credible information of these commanders’ involvement in gross violations of human rights,” he said. For Rohingya kids in Delhi, a chance to get lives back on track “For the sake of his own reputation and that of the country, Burma’s military must cease such atrocities, hold those responsible to account, and pursue a path of reform,” the official said Post Comment(s) Best Of Express As India builds houses, Myanmar to reach out to Rohingya in Bangladesh To date, the US has taken a number of actions to promote accountability for these atrocities, including the sanctioning of five Burmese generals and two military units for serious human rights violations in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan states, the official said.These four senior officials are well-known in the international community for gross human rights violations across the country over the past decade, the US official said.Observing that the Myanmar’s military has a role to play as a national defence force, the State Department official said that however, under the command of Min Aung Hlaing, and often at his direct order, members of the Burmese military have committed appalling violations of human rights across the country. Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file last_img read more

first_imgWrapping Up: Abuse of Power Connecting the Dots The key element in all of this is abuse of power. Whether we are talking about jail guards or executives, there are a lot of people who don’t do well when given power. Their limiters don’t work, and the result is that they push the envelope until a catastrophe occurs and they are fired.There should be controls and oversight to offset this behavior, but it is abundantly clear that those controls in many firms and government agencies currently aren’t doing the job. While we are focused on sexual harassment, we likely are missing other bad behaviors — like selling company assets or expense abuse — that go along with abuse of power.I’ll leave you with one more example of common power abuse, and that is carrying out vendettas: using your power to get revenge on someone you believe has done you harm, either inside or outside the company. This is extremely common among folks who abuse power, and it can create a vicious cycle and even escalate to violence.There is a good chance you may not be able to affect change in others, but — and trust me on this — abuse of power is a career ender, regardless of the path you take. Making sure you and your employees (if you are a manager or executive) don’t abuse power increasingly will be critical to preserving your career. In this age of social media, keeping such abuse secret soon may become impossible. What Varonis does is provide a solution that ensures that people who shouldn’t have access to internal data don’t have access, and that any attempt to violate the related policies, either by internal or external actors, are caught and stopped quickly.While much of the focus of late has been on protecting customer records, Varonis’ capability to both identify an attempted breach and ensure that it will fail is largely unmatched in the segment.Given Uber’s alleged theft of Google’s intellectual property was the basis for this column, and that it allegedly was an inside job — something I’ve argued is likely far more common than most firms realize — focusing on a product that could have prevented this theft or provided stronger evidence of it is why I’m making Varonis my product of the week. The last time I saw the rise of industrial espionage was in the early 1980s, when many Japanese technology firms made illegal moves to try to compete better with IBM. They were caught, and the monetary cost in terms of damages and penalties was massive — enough so that it mostly wiped out the practice outside of government-sponsored efforts from countries like China, North Korea and Russia.Over time, the security organizations that once were staffed and missioned to catch and stop this kind of activity were defunded. They went from being staffed by ex-spooks (basically specialists in catching or being spies) to being run by hourly workers who, in far too many cases, couldn’t even be hired as a beat cop.There is a lot of money in selling intellectual property. There is a huge advantage if you can get hold of it, in terms of meeting your objectives, advancing, and getting a huge bonus. The incentives are massive. There are state-level players active again with far greater resources and cyberhacking capabilities, along with a ton of employees who haven’t seen a raise since Carter was president. Expense Abuse Industrial Espionagecenter_img I’m bringing back Varonis as my product of the week, because intellectual property theft almost cost me my job, and it is a company killer. Varonis has the best protection against IP theft (including customer and employee confidential records). It appears that one reason sexual harassment claims have gotten out of control is that human resource departments have been acting more to cover up problems like this than to correct them. This is largely because HR has the responsibility to make problems like this go away, but it currently lacks the authority either to fire or correct a misbehaving executive’s behavior. Even if it were possible, it’s likely that the career of the poor HR person who took such an action also would be over.HR is hardly alone in terms of losing authority to do its job. Whenever you have a mismatch of authority and responsibility, you have a crucible for wrongdoing. Currently, a lot of staff organizations — like security, HR and internal audit — are so far below what should be minimal staffing standards that I expect there are a lot of companies that are just as unaware they’re bleeding as Google was. We’ve seen a hint of this in the new Trump administration. Some members of his cabinet massively abused expense policies and either used government jets inappropriately or booked seats on private jets at huge premiums.These were treated as isolated cases, but the people involved came out of the private sector, and behavior like this is typically learned. It is very likely that this practice of abusing expense accounts and company assets came from the firms where they were working prior to joining the Trump administration.This suggests these practices are widespread, but because internal audit has been defunded, unlike government oversight, it likely isn’t being caught yet. Much like it has been with sexual harassment, I expect that all we are waiting for is the right post on social media to be picked up by a reporter, and suddenly we’ll have another wave of firings, and the firings for expense abuse likely will be far wider and deeper than the sexual harassment firings have been so far.This is because accounting and finance, unlike HR, have retained a great deal of power. Boards watch expenses far more aggressively than they do things like sexual harassment (though, if things continue on the sexual harassment front, that likely will change, and it should). As powerful men drop like flies due to their inability to resist abusing their authority, it’s clear that the problem is widespread. Similarly, it’s likely that we’ll find the problem of alleged industrial espionage is not limited to Uber. You see, when people misuse authority — and the sexual harassment problem is a massive misuse of authority — folks typically don’t just misuse it in one area.For some time, I’ve suspected that the harassment issues were just one aspect of a bigger problem. The allegations that Uber aggressively moved to steal intellectual property from Google and colluded to cover up evidence of the theft may be indicative of another area in which executives have been abusing their authority.Rather than wait for the next scandal to surface, I thought it would be interesting (since I’m an ex-internal auditor who has been through a cycle like this before) to look at the other areas where we likely will find that executives and others who wield authority have been doing scandalous things. I’ll close with my product of the week: one of the few security offerings that could prevent against a significant amount of this immoral behavior, Varonis. Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has undergrad degrees in merchandising and manpower management, and an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob.last_img read more

first_imgRisk Reduction Jonathan Terrasi has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2017. His main interests are computer security (particularly with the Linux desktop), encryption, and analysis of politics and current affairs. He is a full-time freelance writer and musician. His background includes providing technical commentaries and analyses in articles published by the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights. It is newly minted conventional wisdom that not a single information security conference goes by without a presentation about the abysmal state of Internet of Things security. While this is a boon for researchers looking to make a name for themselves, this sorry state of affairs is definitely not beneficial for anyone who owns a connected device.IoT device owners aren’t the only ones fed up, though. Right behind them is Eldridge Alexander, manager of Duo Labs at Duo Security. Even better, he has a plan, and the experience to lend it some credibility.Before assuming his current role at Duo Security, Alexander held various IT posts at Google and Cloudflare. For him, the through-line that ties together his past and present IT work is the security gains that accrue from aligning all of a network’s security controls with the principle of zero-trust.”I’ve basically been living and breathing zero-trust for the last several years,” Alexander told LinuxInsider.Simply put, “zero-trust” is the idea that to the furthest extent possible, devices should not be trusted to be secure, and they should be treated as such. There are many ways zero-trust can manifest, as it is not so much a singular technique as a guiding principle, but the idea is to leave yourself as invulnerable to the compromise of any one device as possible.A recurring theme among his past few employers, this understandably has left its mark on Alexander, to the point where it positively permeates his plan for IoT security on home networks. His zeal for zero-trust comes to home networks at just the right time.Although consumer IoT adoption has been accelerating, zero-trust has yet to factor into most consumer networking tech, Alexander observed, and we’re getting to the point where we can’t afford for it not to.”Investigating not really new threats but increased amount of threats in IoT and home networks, I’ve been really interested in seeing how we could apply some of these very enterprise-focused principles and philosophies to home networks,” he noted. Network Segmentation IoT Security Standards?center_img Alexander’s THOTCON presentation touched on the 5G connectivity that many predict IoT will integrate, but in exploring the viability of alternatives to his setup, Davis quickly gravitated toward Alexander’s proposal.Connecting to IoT devices via 5G certainly would keep them away from home users’ laptop- and smartphone-bearing networks, Davis acknowledged, but it would present other challenges. As anyone who has ever browsed Shodan can tell you, always-on devices with seldom-changed default credentials connected directly to the public Internet have their downsides.”Having your IoT devices isolated with your home-based devices is great, but there is still the possibly of the IoT devices being compromised,” Davis said. “If they are publicly accessible and have default credentials, they could then be used in DDoS attacks.”Enabling IoT for direct 5G Internet connections doesn’t necessarily improve the security of end-user devices, Davis cautioned. IoT owners will still need to send commands to their IoT devices from their laptops or smartphones, and all 5G does is change the protocol that is employed for doing so.”IoT devices using cellular 4G or 5G connections are another method of isolation,” he said, “but keep in mind, then the devices are relying even more on ZigBee, Z-Wave or Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with other IoT devices in a home, which can lead to other security issues within those wireless protocols.”Indeed, Bluetooth Low Energy has its share of flaws, and at the end of the day protocols don’t impact security as much as the security of the devices that speak it.Regardless of how the information security community chooses to proceed, it is constructive to look to other points in the connectivity pipeline between IoT devices and user access to them for areas where attack surfaces can be reduced. Especially when weighed against the ease of inclusion for the necessary software, router manufacturers undoubtedly can do more to protect users in cases where IoT largely hasn’t so far.”I think a lot of the security burden is falling on the consumer who simply wants to plug in their device and not have to configure any particular security features,” Davis said. “I think the IoT device manufacturers and the consumer router and access point manufacturers can do a lot more to try to automatically secure devices and help consumers secure their networks.” In Alexander’s home IoT security schema, which he unveiled at Chicago’s THOTCON hacking conference this spring, zero-trust chiefly takes the form of network segmentation, a practice which enterprise networks long have relied on.In particular, he advocates for router manufacturers to provide a way for home users to create two separate SSIDs (one for each segment) either automatically or with a simple user-driven GUI, akin to the one already included for basic network provisioning (think your 192.168.1.1 Web GUI).One would be the exclusive host for desktop and mobile end-user devices, while the other would contain only the home’s IoT devices, and never the twain shall meet.Critically, Alexander’s solution largely bypasses the IoT manufacturers themselves, which is by design. It’s not because IoT manufacturers should be exempted from improving their development practices — on the contrary, they should be expected to do their part. It’s because they haven’t proven able to move fast enough to meet consumer security needs.”My thoughts and talk here is kind of in response to our current state of the world, and my expectations of any hope for the IoT manufacturers is long term, whereas for router manufacturers and home network equipment it is more short term,” he said.Router manufacturers have been much more responsive to consumer security needs, in Alexander’s view. However, anyone who has ever tried updating router firmware can point to the minimal attention these incremental patches often receive from developers as a counterclaim.Aside from that issue, router manufacturers typically integrate new features like updated 802.11 and WPA specifications fairly quickly, if for no other reason than to give consumers the latest and greatest tech.”I think a lot of [router] companies are going to be open to implementing good, secure things, because they know as well as the security community does … that these IoT devices aren’t going to get better, and these are going to be threats to our networks,” Alexander said.So how would home routers actually implement network segmentation in practice? According to Alexander’s vision, unless confident consumers wanted to strike out on their own and tackle advanced configuration options, their router simply would establish two SSIDs on router setup. In describing this scenario, he dubbed the SSIDs “Eldridge” and “Eldridge IoT,” along the lines of the more traditional “Home” and “Home-Guest” convention.The two SSIDs are just the initial and most visible (to the consumer) part of the structure. The real power comes from the deployment of VLANs respective to each SSID. The one containing the IoT devices, “Eldridge IoT” in this case, would not allow devices on it to send any packets to the primary VLAN (on “Eldridge”).Meanwhile, the primary VLAN either would be allowed to communicate with the IoT VLAN directly or, preferably, would relay commands through an IoT configuration and management service on the router itself. This latter management service also could take care of basic IoT device setup to obviate as much direct user intervention as possible.The router “would also spin up an app service such as Mozilla Web Things or Home Assistant, or something custom by the vendor, and it would make that be the proxy gateway,” Alexander said. “You would rarely need to actually talk from the primary Eldridge VLAN over into the Eldridge IoT VLAN. You would actually just talk to the Web interface that would then communicate over to the IoT VLAN on your behalf.”By creating a distinct VLAN exclusively for IoT devices, this configuration would insulate home user laptops, smartphones, and other sensitive devices on the primary VLAN from compromise of one of their IoT devices. This is because any rogue IoT device would be blocked from sending any packets to the primary VLAN at the data link layer of the OSI pyramid, which it should have no easy way to circumvent.It would be in router manufacturers’ interests to enable this functionality, said Alexander, since it would offer them a signature feature. If bundled in a home router, it would provide consumers with a security feature that a growing number of them actually would benefit from, all while asking very little of them in the way of technical expertise. It ostensibly would be turned on along with the router.”I think that’s a valuable incentive to the router manufacturers for distinguishing themselves in a crowded marketplace,” Alexander said. “Between Linksys and Belkin and some of the other manufacturers, there’s not a whole lot of [distinction] between pricing, so offering home assistant and security is a great [distinction] that they could potentially use.” There is some promise in these proposed security controls, but it’s doubtful that router manufacturers actually would equip consumer routers to deliver them, said Shawn Davis, director of forensics at Edelson and adjunct industry professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.Specifically, VLAN tagging is not supported in almost any home router devices on the market, he told LinuxInsider, and segmenting IoT from the primary network would be impossible without it.”Most router manufacturers at the consumer level don’t support reading VLAN tags, and most IoT devices don’t support VLAN tagging, unfortunately,” Davis said.”They both could easily bake in that functionality at the software level. Then, if all IoT manufacturers could agree to tag all IoT devices with a particular VLAN ID, and all consumer routers could agree to route that particular tag straight to the Internet, that could be an easy way for consumers to have all of their IoT devices automatically isolated from their personal devices,” he explained.VLAN tagging is not restricted by any hardware limitations, as Davis pointed out, but is merely a matter of enabling the software to handle it. Just because the manufacturers can switch on VLAN tagging in software, that doesn’t mean it will be an easy matter to convince them to do so.It’s unlikely that router manufacturers will be willing to do so for their home router lines and, unsurprisingly, it has to do with money, he said.”A lot of the major companies produce consumer as well as corporate routers,” Davis noted. “I think they could easily include VLAN functionality in consumer routers but often don’t in order to justify the cost increase for feature-rich business level hardware.”Most router manufacturers see advanced functionality like VLAN tagging as meriting enterprise pricing due to the careful development that it requires to meet businesses’ stricter operational requirements. On top of that, considering the low average technical literacy of home users, router manufacturers have reason to think that power user features in home routers simply wouldn’t be used, or would be misconfigured.”Aside from the pricing tier differences,” Davis said, “they also might be thinking, ‘Well, if we bake in VLANs and other enterprise-based features, most consumers might not even know how to configure them, so why even bother?'”Beyond cajoling router makers to enable VLAN tagging and any other enterprise-grade features needed to realize Alexander’s setup, success also would hinge on each manufacturer’s implementation of the features, both in form and function, Davis emphasized.”I think each manufacturer would have different flows in their GUIs for setting up isolated VLANs, which wouldn’t be the easiest for consumers to follow when switching across different brands,” he said. “I think if IoT security was more standards-based or automatic by default between devices and routers, overall security in consumer devices would greatly improve.”Securing both of these concessions from router manufacturers would likely come down to ratifying standards across the industry, whether formally or informally, as Davis sees it.”The different standards boards could potentially get together and try to pitch an IoT security standard to the router and IoT device manufacturers, and try to get them to include it in their products,” he said. “Aside from a new standard, there could potentially be a consortium where a few of the major manufacturers include advanced IoT device isolation in the hopes that others would follow suit.”last_img read more