Europe plans to launch giant x-ray space telescope

first_imgThe European Space Agency (ESA) announced today that it has chosen an instrument that will scan the universe for x-ray emissions from massive black holes and other celestial objects as its next large space science mission. The Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics (Athena), scheduled for launch in 2028, would be the largest x-ray space telescope ever built. ESA’s large missions typically cost about €1 billion.“Athena will revolutionize our view of black holes and cosmic structures filled with million degree gas. We really need this to build a holistic picture of the observable Universe,” said Paul Nandra, director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, and lead investigator of the Athena proposal, in a statement. Researchers will use the telescope to study the growth of supermassive black holes and how they affect the galaxies around them and to map the universe’s hot gas.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Athena’s selection marks the latest step in a long, tangled effort to build a major new x-ray observatory. A decade ago, ESA, NASA, and the Japanese space agency JAXA had begun planning to work together on a next-generation mission called the International X-ray Observatory (IXO). That collaboration disintegrated, however, following a change of priorities by NASA. But last year the European IXO team presented a scaled-back plan, dubbed Athena, at an ESA meeting that examined some 30 ideas for future large missions. This past November, the agency announced it had chosen themes for two potential missions: “The hot and energetic universe” would be the focus of a mission to be launched in 2028, with a “gravitational universe” mission set for 2034. Athena was the only realistic proposal for the first slot, and its backers spent the past 6 months honing their pitch. Today, the work paid off. “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re delighted,” says astrophysicist Andrew Fabian of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, a member of the Athena coordination group.Athena will have x-ray collectors—essentially specialized mirrors—that will have 30 times the area of existing scopes, such as NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton. It will also have sharper resolution and a much improved ability to analyze x-ray spectra. X-rays can be focused only by reflecting them off metal mirrors at very low, grazing angles. Athena’s mirrors will be made of a huge number of slivers of silicon made using methods taken from the semiconductor industry and crafted by robots. “It’s a giant leap forward,” Fabian says.Although Athena will be an open observatory so that any astronomer can apply for observing time, its two main goals will be to understand hot intergalactic gas and supermassive black holes. Fabian says that most of the normal matter in the universe is in the form of hot gas between galaxies or among galaxy clusters. “We want to understand what it’s doing,” he says. Athena’s spectrometer will be sensitive enough to not only analyze the chemical makeup of the gas but also how it is moving, via its Doppler shift.The supermassive black holes that lie at the heart of many galaxies also pose a mystery because they seem to have a disproportionate influence over the properties of the galaxy around them, given the relatively small size of the black hole. Athena will be able to track the hot gases swirling around these central black holes so researchers can study their interaction with the surrounding galaxies.The decision to go ahead with Athena neatly fills a hole in the electromagnetic spectrum not yet covered by the upcoming generation of giant observatories. These large-scale instruments are now under construction or in planning and include the European Extremely Large Telescope and other U.S.-led scopes (which will observe the optical and infrared portions of the spectrum), the Square Kilometre Array (radio waves), the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (short wavelength radio), the James Webb Space Telescope (infrared) and the Cherenkov Telescope Array (gamma rays). “Athena is well matched in capability” with these other instruments, Fabian says, allowing multispectral observations of interesting astronomical objects.The Athena team must now draw up a detailed design and budget before ESA gives the final go-ahead for construction, planned to begin in 2019.last_img read more

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SPORT-SAG-LD IND 3 LAST

first_imgIn Kabaddi, the Indian mens team thrashed Bangladesh In Kabaddi, the Indian mens team thrashed Bangladesh 30-17 in the morning session before scrapping past Pakistan in the evening with a 9-8 result at the R G Baruah Sports Complex. The home team topped the league table with an unbeaten record. In the womens section, India toyed with their Pakistani opponents to emerge an easy 56-23 victors before thrashing Bangladesh 43-11 in their last league match to top the group with a clean slate. As far as football is concerned, the India U-23 team registered a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Bangladesh to breeze into the final of mens event. India led 2-0 at the interval. After Udanta Singh put India into the lead in the 22nd minute, Mawihmingthanga followed it up with a fantastic strike from outside the box five minutes before the interval. Changing over, Jayesh Rane sealed the fate in the 65th minute, which also saw Bangladesh coach Gonzalo Moreno being sent to the stands. In womens football, Kamala Devi Yumnam and Ngangom Bala Devi struck two goals each to power defending champions India to a 5-1 thrashing of Bangladesh and set up a summit clash with Nepal. The final will be a repeat of the 2010 Dhaka Games, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday. PTI PDS TAP AH AHlast_img read more

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Rousey’s Fight Moved to Melbourne

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Ronda Rousey’s next UFC fight against Holly Holm has been moved up to Nov. 15 in Melbourne, Australia.The mixed martial arts promotion made the announcement Aug. 28.Rousey was scheduled to defend her bantamweight title against Holm on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas, but a thumb injury to welterweight champion Robbie Lawler has changed the UFC’s schedule.Lawler was slated to defend his title against Carlos Condit in the main event at UFC 193 at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, which will seat more than 55,000. Due to the time difference, the live pay-per-view event will be broadcast in the United States on Nov. 14.Instead, Rousey (12-0) will go after her seventh title defense against Holm (9-0), the boxing champion from New Mexico.Rousey has become one of the world’s most prominent female athletes while winning her last three bouts in a combined 64 seconds. She stopped Bethe Correia in 34 seconds on Aug. 1. TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Leicester City FC owner may have been in the helicopter when it crashed

first_imgLeicester City football club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s helicopter crashed right outside the club’s stadium on Saturday after a Premier League match between Leicester and West Ham United.The match ended in a draw and about an hour later, the helicopter spiralled out of control and crashed in the club’s car park.Many spectators saw the incident happening while there are reports suggesting that club goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel ran to the scene hearing emergency bells and witnessed the scenario with tears in his eyes.BBC reported on Sunday, quoting a source close to his family, that Srivaddhanaprabha was on board when the helicopter crashed outside the King Power stadium.In the latest news coming in, Reuters source close to the club has said that chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was among five people on board when the helicopter crashed on Saturday. Also on board were, a daughter of Vichai, two pilots and a fifth person whose identity is not known. No details on whether anyone on board the helicopter survived.Officials from the club and Vichai’s company, duty-free giant King Power International, declined to comment on whether he was in the helicopter when the crash happened.According to eyewitnesses, the helicopter just cleared the top of the stadium before it started to spin. It then plummeted to the ground and burst into flames.A spokesman for the Midlands club said: “We are assisting Leicestershire Police and the emergency services in dealing with a major incident at King Power Stadium.”A Leicester City spokesman said: We are assisting Leicestershire Police and the emergency services in dealing with a major incident at King Power Stadium. The Club will issue a more detailed statement once further information has been established.advertisementLeicester City (@LCFC) October 27, 2018Police and the ambulance services urged people to stay away.John Butcher, who was near the stadium at the time of the crash, told the BBC his nephew saw the helicopter spiral out of control apparently due to a faulty rear propeller.”Within a second it dropped like a stone to the floor…Luckily it did spiral for a little while and everybody sort of ran, sort of scattered. As far as we are aware nobody around the car park was caught up in this problem.”Vichai is a huge favourite with the fans after he bought the unfancied side from central England in 2010 and they went on to stun the soccer world by winning the league title in 2016.According to Forbes magazine he is the fifth richest person in Thailand with an estimated net worth of $4.9 billion.Leicestershire Police said a team from the Department for Transport’s Air Accidents Investigations Branch had taken charge of the investigation into the cause of the crash.ENGLISH CHAMPIONSAfter pumping millions of pounds into the club, he helped steer them back into the top flight in 2014 before they stunned the sport by beating the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea to become champions of England.Leading players in the side, including Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire, sent messages of support on Twitter while rival clubs including Manchester City also voiced their concern.Freelance photographer Ryan Brown was covering the game and saw the helicopter clear the stadium before it crashed, the BBC reported.”Literally the engine stopped and I turned around, and it made a bit of a whirring noise,” Brown told BBC Radio 5 Live. “It turned silent, blades started spinning and then there was a big bang.”Leicester had played a league match at home against West Ham United earlier on Saturday, drawing 1-1.The self-made businessman Vichai founded Thai duty-free giant King Power in 1989.The duty-free business got a big boost in 2006 when it was granted an airport monopoly under the government of then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and it continued to prosper even after Thaksin’s ouster in a coup that year.The family’s empire also includes Belgian football club, Oud-Heverlee Leuven.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

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A-League Review

first_imgNewcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix A-League Review: Bobo hauls in Mariners as Jets are grounded Dom Farrell 19:40 1/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Bobo - cropped Getty Images Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix Sydney v Central Coast Mariners Newcastle Jets Sydney Central Coast Mariners Wellington Phoenix A-League Sydney FC extended their A-League advantage to seven points after Newcastle Jets suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at home to Wellington Phoenix. Bobo headed his 16th goal of the season to salvage a 1-1 draw for Sydney FC against Central Coast Mariners – a result that increased their advantage at the top of the A-League.Graham Arnold’s men went behind in the seventh minute after goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne clumsily brought down Kwabena Appiah-Kubi and he was unable to keep out Blake Powell’s spot kick.Sydney’s leveller arrived from a familiar source after the hour when Adrian Mierzejewski stood up a cross from the right corner and Bobo nodded past Ben Kennedy. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The reigning champions and premiers are seven points clear at the summit after nearest challengers Newcastle Jets suffered a surprise 3-2 defeat at home to bottom club Wellington Phoenix.Bobo scores his 16th goal this season!Can anyone catch him in the Golden Boot race?: @FOXFOOTBALL #SYDvCCM #ALeague pic.twitter.com/nbMy15cl3s— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) January 20, 2018The visitors scored twice in eight minutes either side of the half hour through Matija Ljujic and Daniel Mullen.Andrew Nabbout pulled a goal back but Roy Krishna steered home a fine third for the Phoenix before Dimitri Petratos’ penalty set up a grandstand finish.last_img read more

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Shania Twain on contracting debilitating Lyme disease that led to vocal issues

first_imgTORONTO – Shania Twain was riding high in the early-2000s, coming off the smash success of the hit-packed “Come On Over” and the release of “Up!”, which topped Billboard’s album charts and got her booked to perform at the Super Bowl.Then she saw the small bug.“I saw a tick fall off me,” Twain recalled in a phone interview Thursday.The Canadian country-pop music superstar was bitten by the tick in Norfolk, Va., and started immediately experiencing symptoms that threatened her performances.“I was on tour, so I almost fell off the stage every night,” said the Timmins, Ont.-raised singer-songwriter.“I was very, very dizzy and didn’t know what was going on. It’s just one of those things you don’t suspect.”Twain sought treatment and was subsequently diagnosed with Lyme disease, a tick-borne bacteria that leads to flu-like symptoms and can spread within the body.For Twain it resulted in dysphonia, a vocal cord disorder that eventually left her unable to sing for a while and forced her to undergo extensive speech therapy and vocal training.“It’s difficult work,” she said. “It’s like dealing with an injury. I’m just glad that it’s not my heart or my kidneys or something like that. At least I can do something about it.”With a confessional new single on the charts — “Life’s About to Get Good,” off her upcoming album “Shania Now” (due Sept. 29) — Twain is talking for the first time about personal issues including her Lyme battle.Though she was diagnosed right away, she didn’t realize until recently that it was Lyme that led to her vocal issues, which audiences first learned about on the 2011 docu-series “Why Not? With Shania Twain.”“It took all these years to determine that,” said Twain. “Then it was all about, ‘Now what do I do about it? How can I fix it?’ So that took several years, just working out what therapy would work for me, without even knowing how well it would work in the end.“But with perseverance and determination, I was able to record the album and I was able to tour. Getting through all of that, I’m encouraged now and I feel like I can tour again and I’ll make more records. So I’m feeling really successful with that challenge.”The five-time Grammy Award winner cautions nature lovers to be vigilant about searching for ticks.“(Lyme) is very dangerous because you have a very short window to catch it and then treat it and then even when you treat it, you could still very well be left with effects, which is what happened to me,” she said.“Normally it can attack your nervous system or the vital organs — heart, liver, kidneys, nervous system. It’s a debilitating disease and extremely dangerous. You can’t play around with it, so you’ve got to check yourself for ticks.”Twain said she counts herself lucky that she saw the tick fall off her, noting many people don’t.“You’ve got to check out where you are and whatever region you’re in and what the rate of Lyme disease is in the region, if you’re going to go out in nature,” she said. “And I love nature, so that’s a big bummer for me.”last_img read more

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BehindTheScenes Drama Explodes in Bravos Newest Guilty Pleasure DAYTIME DIVAS Premiering June

first_imgInspired by best-selling author Star Jones’ book Satan’s Sisters…A Novel Work of Fiction, DAYTIME DIVAS captures the off-camera drama between the five co-hosts. On the small screen, Maxine (Vanessa Williams), Mo (Tichina Arnold), Heather (Fiona Gubelmann), Kibby (Chloe Bridges) and Nina (Camille Guaty) are best friends that chat about life, love, politics, and juicy gossip. But behind-the-scenes, it’s even juicier – a backstage world filled with power struggles, diva fits, and steamy affairs that also includes Maxine’s son Shawn (McKinley Freeman, DAYS OF OUR LIVES), a producer on the talk show.In the premiere episode (Monday, June 5 at 10 p.m. ET), The Lunch Hour ladies face backstage intrigue and steamy affairs which fuel a power struggle over the future of the show.With showrunners Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler (AWKWARD, 90210), DAYTIME DIVAS boasts a long list of talented executive producers including Josh Berman (DROP DEAD DIVA), Star Jones (THE VIEW), Suzanne de Passe (THE TEMPTATIONS), Madison Jones, Susan Levison and writers Amy Engelberg and Wendy Engelberg.Social Media links TORONTO – Bravo brings a behind-the-scenes look at the juicy, backstage drama of daytime talk shows in DAYTIME DIVAS, airing Mondays at 10 p.m. ET beginning June 5. The 10-episode, one hour drama stars Grammy® and Emmy®-nominated actress Vanessa Williams (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES), along with Camille Guaty (SCORPION), Chloe Bridges (PRETTY LITTLE LIARS), Fiona Gubelmann (WILFRED), and Tichina Arnold (EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS) as the hosts of long-running daytime TV talk show The Lunch Hour. Viewers can also catch-up on Bravo.ca, Bravo GO, and via On Demand partners.The entire first season launches on CraveTV following the season finale on Bravo, bolstering CraveTV’s popular Dramas Collection, which also includes TWIN PEAKS, THE AFFAIR, MISTRESSES, THE ROYALS, and CASUAL.“Continuing to build on Bravo’s slate of captivating dramas, the addition of a salacious series like DAYTIME DIVAS is sure to satisfy the guiltiest of pleasure viewing,” said Pat DiVittorio, Vice-President, Programming, CTV and Specialty. “And while Vanessa Williams is not a real-life ‘diva’, her acting star power shines through in her role as one.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment About BravoBravo delivers compelling stories through clever and immersive programming to viewers across Canada. From high-profile dramas to blockbuster feature films, Bravo is home to award-winning entertainment. Bravo is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about Bravo is available at www.bravo.ca. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Twitter Facebook Bravo on Facebook Bravo on Twitter Login/Register With:last_img read more

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German court rules Frankfurt must ban some diesel cars

first_imgBERLIN – A German court has ruled that Frankfurt must ban high-polluting diesel vehicles in order to improve the city’s air quality.The dpa news agency reported Wednesday the Wiesbaden administrative court ruled on a complaint filed by the environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe, which had argued the city was not meeting European Union clean air rules on nitrogen oxide levels.It was not immediately clear how many vehicles would be affected or how widely. Hamburg has already banned older diesel models from selected roads, and authorities in Stuttgart plan to ban older diesel vehicles from parts of the city next year as well.Diesel engines, which are popular in Germany, emit harmful nitrogen oxide.The bans follow a February court ruling allowing cities to include diesel bans in their air protection measures.last_img read more

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Illegal immigrants in Assam can be released with riders SC

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said it could possibly look into releasing illegal immigrants held in Assam detention centres, on the condition that they assure their availability for legal proceedings, as and when required. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked advocate Prashant Bhushan, amicus curiae in the matter, to come up with suitable conditions imposed on these detenues post their release. Bhushan was asked to inform the court of these on Friday. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The court said it needs to impose such conditions that people can be traced and their availability ensured before authorities concerned, while asking the Assam government to work on the overall framework of setting up tribunals and ensuring speedy trials for the illegal immigrants. Bhushan indicated at a possibility of monthly reporting at police stations concerned, and their guarantors assuring their presence whenever required. Exploring the options of what can be done if the detenues do not show up, the bench queried what action can be taken, besides forfeiture of the bond amount furnished by the guarantors. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen As Bhushan said that such detenues can be sent to jail, the bench asked him under which provision could this be done. Regarding the functioning of the foreigners tribunal, the court told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to file an affidavit on the availability of retired judicial officers, bureaucrats and advocates with certain years of experience, who could be taken on board as presiding officers. Mehta also told the court that Gauhati High Court has been engaged in doubling the foreigners tribunals in the state from 100 to 200.last_img read more

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Moroccan Diplomacy in Africa The King Succeeds where Diplomats Struggle

Washington DC- King Mohammed VI’s successful visits to African countries, including his current stops in Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, are indications of the Monarch’s profound interest in the region and footprints of his foreign policy agenda.Unfortunately, Moroccan officials has thus far failed to translate the King’s public relations accomplishments into diplomatic gains.The king’s relaxed and humble manners are winning him praises and admirers in every stop. Sadly, the same cannot be said about Moroccan officials, who more than often, come across as haughty and abrasive if not outright arrogant. The Monarch’s sincere attentiveness to the cultures and history of places he visits should serve as an example for Moroccan representatives whose lackluster interests in some capitals are sources of diplomatic strains. Even with Morocco’s new constitution that offers the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to a partisan minister, it is evident that the Palace continues to dictate foreign policy. Despite this “centralization” of power, a multifaceted leadership, in and outside the Palace, split among different and sometimes conflicting entities remains in charge of managing the foreign policy in Rabat. This lack of a unified command produces a chaotic and sluggish diplomacy that has undermined Morocco’s efforts to advance its agenda in Africa and around the world. The Kingdom needs, rather, a communication campaign tightly controlled by one organism whose sole purpose is to map and execute a coherent and purposeful diplomacy outlined by the King.The success of the Royal visit to Eastern Africa must be translate into a change in position of countries like Tanzania and Ethiopia in the Western Sahara conflict favoring Morocco’s local autonomy plan. For Morocco to win over the support of East African nations at the African Union (AU), Rabat needs to make structural adjustments to the way it conducts its diplomacy in English speaking Africa.We have seen in the past how Royal visits’ strategic and communication accomplishments start to disintegrate once the euphoria and glamour of his presence evaporates. These diplomatic meltdowns are due to an absence of a clear and unified post-royal visit strategy in the region.Moreover, Morocco’s dysfunctional diplomacy could undercut the King’s efforts to persuade reluctant East African nations to halt their support for Algeria’s antagonistic campaign to keep Morocco out of the AU.As in the past, the King does the PR while his foreign policy advisers remain incapable to maneuver on the margins of the Royal visits to lobby and secure clear and concise commitments from the host countries to adopt pro-Rabat positions. The Monarch’s visit to East Africa is an opportunity for the Moroccan diplomacy to promote its vision of a new regional realignment that will favor the Kingdom. It opens the door for the Moroccan foreign policy establishment to explain the country’s vision of a strong Africa where shout-south cooperation is key to economic development. The architects of King Mohammed VI tours in Africa, current and past, should listen to independent foreign policy advisers who may criticize Morocco’s current over all foreign policy and could propose a new course of action. This latest historic visit has opened the door for Rabat to install long-term relationships in hard to reach niches. The question now is whether the different policy makers around the King agree in a new strategy to capitalize on this monumental momentum or keep the same old weary approach. read more

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Nintendos quarterly profit rises on hit Switch games

TOKYO — Nintendo, the Japanese video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises, is reporting a 25 per cent jump in its fiscal third quarter profit, boosted by the popularity of games for its Switch console.Nintendo Co. reported on Thursday that its October-December profit was 104.2 billion yen ($956 million), up from 83.7 billion yen a year earlier.Quarterly sales totalled 608.4 billion yen ($5.6 billion), up 26 per cent.Among the hit software for Switch was “Super Mario Bros. Ultimate,” whose sales have totalled 12 million units since it went on sale in December.The popularity of such games helped drive Switch machine sales during the holiday shopping season, the company said.The Switch is a hybrid game machine that works both as a console and a tablet.The Associated Press read more

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Zimbabwe UNICEF helps launch campaign against surging child rape rates

28 February 2008With the number of reported cases of children raped in Zimbabwe surging more than 40 per cent in the last three years, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has joined with the Government and religious groups in an awareness campaign to fight the scourge. With the number of reported cases of children raped in Zimbabwe surging more than 40 per cent in the last three years, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has joined with the Government and religious groups in an awareness campaign to fight the scourge. The Zimbabwean Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, the National Faith Based Council of Zimbabwe, and UNICEF yesterday launched their Stand Up and Speak Out campaign against child abuse, aiming to reach more than six million of the African country’s citizens.“The Stand Up and Speak Out information campaign will confront all types of abuse of children – sexual, physical, neglect and verbal,” UNICEF’s Representative in Zimbabwe, Festo Kavishe, said. “If perpetrators are going to be stopped and if children are going to have the confidence to speak out against these evils, then families, communities and schools must concentrate on the value of children, and how they deserve our love and respect,” he said.In a press release, UNICEF said the information campaign is aimed at raising awareness of all forms of child abuse, the damage caused, how child abuse can be prevented, and importantly where to get help. It said the campaign includes programming for radio, television, signage and print media, and well as training and materials for church sermons, Sunday school classes, and other religious activities.Iconic Zimbabwean gospel singer Shingisai has written a campaign song, which will air on national radio and, hopefully, be sung in churches across the country. Official police figures show that there were 2192 reported “rape cases involving children 16 years and below” in 2003. In 2006 this jumped to 3112, an increase of 42 per cent. read more

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TSX tanks loonie drops to 11year low as oil crashes to below

TORONTO — Plunging oil prices dragged the Toronto stock market down Monday by more than 300 points — about 2.4 per cent — as the Canadian dollar fell to its lowest levels in more than a decade.The oil-sensitive loonie dropped nearly 0.8 of a cent from Friday’s close to end the day at an even 74 cents U.S. That’s the lowest the Canadian dollar has been against the greenback since June 2004.The price of oil dropped $2.32 to settle at US$37.65 a barrel, a level not seen since the 2008 financial crisis roiled world markets.The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Friday it would maintain current production levels for the next six months even as a worldwide supply glut shows no signs of easing.Oil has dropped from a high above US$110 in July 2014 as OPEC has pumped up supply while demand from big consumers such as China has sagged.Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, said cheap oil will be a double-edged sword for Canada.“Obviously, consumers in Canada benefit from lower gasoline prices,” he said.“But given the slow growing economy and the fact that oil prices has squashed any investment in the energy industry, and given how prominent that industry is for the Canadian economy, that’s really slowed down growth.”In the U.S., cheap oil has been a boon because consumer spending is a larger share of GDP and cheaper gas tends to boost what people spend elsewhere, he said.“Across the board you’re seeing much more of a benefit to the U.S. economy and other developed economies like Europe where energy isn’t a big part of their market,” he said.The improving prospects for the U.S. economy and the looming rate hike for the American dollar are helping drive down the loonie, Fehr said.And while the strengthening greenback can cause pain for importers or travellers, he said, Canada’s exports look to be increasing as American buyers take advantage of their purchasing power.“I wouldn’t expect to see a huge rebound in the loonie any time soon because there’s just a lot of forces at play,” he said.The Toronto stock market closed down 315.94 points, or 2.37 per cent, to 13,042.83, the biggest one-day decline since a 374-point drop on Sept. 28.The metals and mining subsector was the biggest loser on the day, down 7.6 per cent, while the energy subsector fell 5.9 per cent.New York markets also closed in the red. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day down 117.12 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 17,730.51, while the broader S&P 500 index fell 14.62 points, or 0.7 per cent, to end at 2,077.07. The Nasdaq declined 40.46 points, or 0.8 per cent, to end at 5,101.81.The February gold contract fell $8.90 to settle at US$1,075.20 per ounce, while the January contract for natural gas fell 8.9 cents to US$2.067 per mmBtu. read more

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Fresh violations of ceasefire agreement reported in Sierra Leone UN mission

The rebels claim the violations occurred on 14 and 15 May in the RUF-controlled Kono district, the UN operation said in a statement issued in Freetown.UNAMSIL Force Commander Lieutenant-General Daniel Opande was told of the reported allegations by RUF interim leader Issa Sesay during a meeting with the RUF yesterday in Koidu. Gen. Opande was conducted around the villages that were attacked and expressed his regret over what he called an “unfortunate” incident. He also expressed confidence over the outcome of the 15 May Freetown meeting between the RUF and Government of Sierra Leone and the hope that the two sides would send messages to their front line commanders to abide by the ceasefire agreement.Meanwhile, senior UN mission officials travelled to Kambia to sensitize local RUF representatives about the upcoming disarmament process agreed upon in Freetown on Tuesday. read more

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Invest in the UK says business minister at Paris Motor Show

Mark Prisk said, “The government is committed to creating the right business conditions for success and industry wants to source more from the UK. We are already seeing vibrant new clusters emerging from the transition to a low carbon economy and we want to encourage even greater growth as the market demand for low and ultra low carbon vehicles takes hold.” Professor Richard Parry-Jones said, “Our message is that the UK automotive sector has been transformed over the last decade and that the UK government is strategically committed. The UK is a uniquely attractive country in which to invest, especially in innovative low carbon transport R&D. We have a very competitive, strong and diverse vehicle industry and companies from around the world are achieving their goals by taking full advantage of the UK’s world class universities, innovative companies and strong skill base. Eleven of the world’s volume vehicle manufacturers have a base in the UK, supported by 19 of the world’s top 20 suppliers with particular strengths in premium vehicles and advanced powertrain, from low carbon internal combustion engines to innovative electric drive trains. During the visit, Mark Prisk and Richard Parry-Jones met top executives from a number of UK and global manufacturers and suppliers. During his visit to the Paris Motor Show, business minister Mark Prisk urged international manufacturers and suppliers to take a fresh look at what the UK can offer potential investors in terms of engineering expertise, skilled workforce, innovation and cutting edge design as the UK looks to take the lead in low carbon automotive technologies.At an event at the British Embassy in Paris, hosted by Mr Prisk, seventy companies from the global automotive sector convened to hear from the business minister who was accompanied by co-chairman of the Automotive Council, Richard Parry-Jones.   With the first European mass market hybrid vehicle being built in the UK, the first hybrid engine built outside of Japan, the first mass market pure electric car, set to be built in Sunderland, along with a major electric battery plant, the UK can demonstrate the wide range of new, low carbon and related business opportunities available to potential investors in the UK automotive industry. “For companies already investing in the UK, there are significant opportunities to increase local sourcing. The Automotive Council UK is working to help them realise these opportunities fast.” For more information about the Automotive Council visit www.automotivecouncil.co.uk. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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US Elections Issue of abortion an important factor for female voters

first_imgTHE ISSUE OF abortion will be an important factor to female voters in the upcoming US Presidential Elections, according to new research by the Pew Research Centre.Women are far more likely than men to rate several issues as “very important” to their voting decision, with abortion and health care topping the list.More than half of women (54 per cent) who are registered to vote say the issue of abortion will be a “very important” factor in their voting behaviour, compared to just 36 per cent of men.Overall, 46 per cent of all registered voters say this issue of abortion will be very important to their final decision.The vast majority of women (81 per cent) say health care will be a very important factor in how they vote, compared with 67 per cent of men.Women are also more likely to view education as “very important”, with 74 per cent of females saying so compared to 64 per cent of males. The question of jobs also gets more attention from women, with 86 per cent rating the issue as very important while just 78 per cent of men do so.There is not issue that significantly more men than women rate as “very important”, according to the research.Overall, issues such as energy, immigration and terrorism are less important to voters than in 2008.The research was carried out by the Pew Research Centre during 12 – 16 September and involved registered voters.VIDEO: Four key moments in the second US presidential debateRead: Obama claws back as race heads to wire: analystslast_img read more

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25 people injured in explosion at German apartment building

first_img25 people injured in explosion at German apartment building The cause of the explosion is not known. Image: AP Image: AP Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Sunday 24 Jun 2018, 4:58 PM Jun 24th 2018, 4:59 PM By Associated Press 15,116 Views Share66 Tweet Email Short URL TWENTY-FIVE PEOPLE were injured, four of them severely, when an explosion destroyed an apartment building in the western German city of Wuppertal.Police said the explosion rocked the several-story building shortly before midnight with a large bang, scaring people in surrounding homes so much they ran out into the street in a panic. The detonation was so severe it destroyed the building’s attic and the top three floors, the German news agency dpa reported.Fire then broke out in several different parts of the apartment building and firefighters had trouble dousing the flames because parts of the building kept collapsing. They were able to rescue four severely injured from inside the building and sent them to the hospital. Another 21 people were slightly injured and treated by emergency staff at the scene.Police said they were in the dark about the cause of the explosion, dpa reported.A car nearby was destroyed, buried under window frames that were blown onto it by the explosions’ impact. Emergency personnel picked up bricks and furniture on the street today. Source: APSome of the building’s roof beams stood black and eerie in the smoke as police scoured accessible parts of the building for further people trapped inside before giving the all-clear.Where the building stood is now a huge gap in a row of apartment buildings in the city’s Langerfeld neighborhood.Today authorities brought in heavy equipment to tear down the remains of the ruin. They said it was too dangerous for investigators to search for evidence that might reveal the explosion’s cause because the destroyed building could collapse at any time. http://jrnl.ie/4089498 15 Comments last_img read more

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Following Shiras Journey

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Carol devoted 25 years of study to uncover the hidden story of the Greek Jews and the little-known truth about the Greek Holocaust. A lifelong passion for Greece led her to explore the history of the country’s once thriving Jewish communities and the small modern-day communities which are determined to never let the tragedies of the past be forgotten. Born in South Africa, she migrated to Australia in 1995, and with her team, has designed a unique three-part project, which aims to share this story with audiences in Australia, Greece and around the world. Somewhere along the way, she teamed up with Greek Australian aspiring director Natalie Cunningham, who brought in a whole different perspective. Neos Kosmos interviewed both of them before the presentation of the project at the Jewish Holocaust Museum on Thursday 5 March, a few days before Shira travels to Greece, to be screened at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and the Jewish Community Centre in Athens.“I felt a very strong connection to Greece almost on a spiritual level, which is something I honestly can’t otherwise explain,” Carol Gordon tells Neos Kosmos.“It is extraordinary as there was no-one of Greek descent in my family; it is really interesting to feel connected to a country you have no actual connection to.”Carol grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, alongside Greek people, as there was a huge Greek population there at the time. She believes Greeks and Jews are very much alike. While she was still living in South Africa, she began researching the history of the Greek Jewish communities. “In all my travels, I slowly started to discover that there once were Jewish populations all over Greece and most of them had disappeared during the war,” Carol says.“I started this quest because I became very passionate with discovering information about those communities, while no-one knew anything.”A while later, she relocated to Australia as a result of the political situation in South Africa. “It got very dangerous, the crime was untenable and we were scared to leave our house, even to go out in the garden,” she remembers.“I had a baby and was trying to have a life while people around us were constantly being attacked.”“We didn’t want to be a statistic so we left,” Carol adds.Her burning desire to tell the story of these communities didn’t leave her though. Her coming to Australia made her even more committed and compelled to get it done. “I always knew about Rhodes in Greece, because I met many Jews from Rhodes who initially had fled to Rhodesia, Congo and eventually settled in South Africa, but we had no clue about the rest, including Thessaloniki, where 60,000 of an 80,000 Greek Jewish population who perished in the Nazi concentration camps lived,” Carol explains.The experiences of Greece’s Jewish population during the Holocaust have remained relatively unknown until recently. In the post-war years, fear, suspicion, economic hardship and civil war relegated the sad history of the Greek Jews to the horrors of a time people preferred to forget.“A very interesting part of this quest is that there was no internet during the quest, no information available anywhere, therefore I had to dig bits and pieces here and there.”“When the internet happened, my whole life changed because suddenly I was able to contact people all over the world and held information that was just not ‘out there’ for public knowledge,” Carol admits.Her extensive research eventually led her to write a film script, with the hope of doing a feature film based on it, even though everything originated from the idea of a documentary.“When I realised that getting a feature film made was so difficult, I decided to return to my original plan and turn this research into a documentary,” she says.“I have actually published the screenplay, which is fiction, though based 100 per cent on factual events.”In the book, Shira – the fictional Carol – actually finds a branch of her family history connecting with Greece.“The fictional character in the book is mainly based on me, her name is Shira, which in Hebrew means song … Carol also means song.”“I might have been Greek in a past life – if you believe in this kind of thing. Maybe this is my missing link,” she says with a laugh.Carol had been working on this project for over 20 years. After the shoot in Greece, Natalie Cunningham came along.“I did the shoot on a shoestring, with most people ‘donating’ their skills and time,” Carol confesses.She had spoken to a young man from the Jewish community who happened to be at a film school and asked him if he could edit the material. He initially agreed to, but at the time of the shoot he was finishing off his own film and was unable to take on the responsibility. He recommended Natalie, a Greek Australian filmmaker instead.“Coincidentally I was in Germany at the time of the filming, learning a lot about WWII and visiting several Jewish memorials, as I was particularly interested in the history of the Holocaust,” Natalie Cunningham says. Carol’s phone-call, mentioning she was doing this documentary about the Greek Jewish community that perished suddenly made perfect sense to the young filmmaker.“After talking on Skype for hours, we both realised this collaboration was meant to be,” she says.Carol kept coming across people who didn’t know about the Greek Jewish community and its staggering story. “I was one of them,” Natalie tells Neos Kosmos. “Working on this film was also a big learning process for me, as I was researching an area I knew very little almost nothing about, as did many people I spoke to.” For Greek Orthodox Natalie Cunningham, Shira’s Journey was not only fascinating, but an eye-opening experience to which she connected instantly. “Discovering the extent of the suffering these people had been through was mind-blowing,” says Natalie.“In school, I learned about the Jews in Germany, Poland, France, in Italy even, but never did I hear anything about the communities in Greece.“I’m grateful, as many years might have gone by without me knowing about this part of the history,” she continues.“We would always simultaneously come up with the same ideas, even though I’m 55 and Natalie is 28,” Carol highlights.Natalie edited the film from home for over six months, watching the survivors tell their stories in Greek, translating and adding the subtitles. Following Shira’s Journey features interviews with Greek Jewish Holocaust survivors, second and third generation survivors as well as community members who are fighting to keep their traditions and culture alive.“As a Greek Australian, this experience was immense and a lot of the time I had goosebumps on my skin.“Watching the survivors talk with this cold number tattooed on their skin was … gut-wrenching,” Natalie continues. “It’s not only what they experienced in the concentration camps; hearing them go through the incidents leading up to the moment of their capture is something that really stayed with me.”Carol, on the other hand, was drawn by the story of a woman in Larissa, who actually didn’t go to the camps but was a survivor in hiding, having to lie about her identity to stay alive.“She was only sixteen, living with her family in the woods and wanted to go to Larissa to see her classmates and friends, who she missed terribly. Even though her parents told her off, she went regardless,” Carol tells.“The girl was actually betrayed by a school teacher who recognised her, was captured and interrogated for days, stripped of her belongings. She persistently lied about her name and demanded to be released and her valuables to be returned to her, but remained incarcerated and fought with the soldiers constantly.” According to the woman, the lengths the SS were prepared to go in order to verify the story of a little girl were unbelievable. They were willing to march to a nearby village and conduct a research. Fortunately, there were a lot of circumstances that fell in her direction by sheer luck, and thanks to some very quick thinking she managed to be set free and run off back to the hills.“One more story that really got to me was that of a survivor we met in Thessaloniki,” Carol says.“Aged sixteen too, he survived because his mother was German and was needed to translate. The Nazis never stopped torturing him even though he was of value to them.”“He was medically experimented on, had his appendix removed with no anaesthesia, while his friend died next to him. When he was liberated, he was nothing but a breathing skeleton and had to remain in hospital for months.”Carol came across several appalling stories during her research, many of which involved children.“Most of the time I was in tears just by looking at my kids; thinking of what the Nazis did to babies; the number of people who died for nothing.“The more I found out, the more I wanted to make the story of the Greek Holocaust known,” Carol says.Ever since the Film Festival, Carol and Natalie have been getting international attention, which makes them even more determined to get the story told.“We wouldn’t have gotten there without all the great support from the Greek Community, the Greek Film Festival and the Greek Centre, who have been on board with this project from the very beginning” Natalie adds.“As a Greek Australian and a director, having our film screened at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival is an honour that gives us more motivation to pursue our cause.”* Shira’s Journey is a published screenplay which tells the story of a young Jewish woman who travels to Greece to learn about the Jewish communities that existed there prior to World War Two, illustrated with the photographs of ethnographer Emmanuel T. Santos. Part of the photographic archive will be presented at the Jewish Holocaust Centre (13-15 Selwyn Street, Elsternwick, Victoria 3185) on Thursday 5 March, 7.30 pm. For more information and bookings call 9528 1985 or email admin@jhc.org.au. Tickets cost $10.last_img read more

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The Worlds Longest Dragon Boat Is a Sight to Behold

first_imgStay on target A team from Cambodia is now in the Guinness Book of World Records for building a dragon boat that’s nearly as long as the State of Liberty is tall.The record-setting dragon boat measures 286 feet and 5 inches. For reference, the Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall. The boat can hold 179 oarsmen, according to Guinness World Records.The boat was built using traditional methods by the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), Prey Veng, and the Prey Veng Provincial Administration in Cambodia.The builders used six logs and some stumps, and the timber came from Koki msoav (Hopea odorata) trees, a species which can reach up to 148 feet in height. The trees are also known to be highly water-resistant.A tree trunk used in the construction of the boat. (Photo Credit: Guinness World Records)Some of the tree trunks used for the boat were over 50 years old, and their use required official permission  from government departments such as the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.The boat was constructed for the Cambodian Water Festival, one of the country’s biggest traditional celebrations, held during the second week of November.Photo Credit: Guinness World RecordsThe International Dragon Boat Federation, which sets the international standard for dragon boats, inspected the finished vessel to confirm it qualified for the record.More on Geek.com:Watch: Gymnast Sets World Record for Insane BackflipCan You Beat These 9 Incredible Gaming World Records?World’s Largest Game Boy Makes a Man Out of Nintendo’s Handheld Dude Watched ‘Captain Marvel’ 116 Times to Break World RecordEarliest Known Mariner’s Astrolabe Earns Guinness World Record last_img read more

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Stanford’s ‘Smart Glasses’ Track Your Eyes to Stay Focused

first_img Sony Patents Prescription VR GlassesGeek Pick: Gunnar Haus Computer Glasses Are High-Tech Eye Safety Stanford researchers developed smart glasses that track your eyes to focus on what you see.Far from the high-tech Google Glass, these “autofocals” are designed to restore proper vision in people who would otherwise need progressive lenses.“More than a billion people have presbyopia”—a vision defect that causes our eyes to lose elasticity needed to focus on nearby objects, according to Gordon Wetzstein.“We’ve created a pair of autofocal lenses that might one day correct their vision far more effectively than traditional glasses,” the Stanford electrical engineer said in a statement.Autofocals use information from each eye’s gaze to dynamically update the focus to near or far (via Nitish Padmanaban/Stanford University)His prototype—which looks like a bulky pair of VR goggles—aims to solve the biggest problem with traditional multifocal lenses: little to no peripheral focus.Imagine driving a car and looking in the side mirror to change lanes: A motorist wearing varifocal lenses must switch from looking at the road ahead through the top of their glasses and turn almost 90 degrees to see the mirror through the lower part of the lens.“People wearing progressive lenses have a higher risk of falling and injuring themselves,” study co-author Robert Konrad, a graduate student at Stanford University, explained.In contrast, Stanford’s prototype uses fluid-filled lenses that bulge and thin as the field of vision changes; it also includes eye-tracking sensors that triangulate where a person is looking and determines the precise distance of the object of interest.Stanford engineers are testing a pair of smart glasses that can automaticallyfocus on whatever you’re looking at (via Robert Konrad/Stanford University)As visualized in these images, when the pair of eyes look left, the planted koala becomes clear (above); look right, and the boomerang-clinging bear comes into focus (below).Stanford engineers are testing a pair of smart glasses that can automaticallyfocus on whatever you’re looking at (via Robert Konrad/Stanford University)And while Wetzstein & Co. did not invent the lenses or eye-trackers, they did develop the software system that harnesses eye-tracking data to keep the fluid-filled lenses in constant and perfect focus.The team tested their prototype on 56 people with presbyopia, all of whom said the autofocus lenses performed better and faster at reading and other tasks.Moving forward, researchers hope to streamline their technology, taking the specs from bulky headgear to lightweight frames. Preferably something energy-efficient and stylish, Wetzstein said.“This technology could affect billions of people’s lives in a meaningful way that most techno-gadgets never will,” he added.A paper describing the autofocal glasses was published last week in the journal Science Advances.More on Geek.com:These $1,000 AR Smart Glasses Are Compatible With AlexaToshiba DynaEdge Smart Glasses Fit a Monitor in a MonocleLess Is More For Intel Vaunt Smart Glasses Stay on targetlast_img read more

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