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first_imgSeoul: The world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker Samsung Electronics on Wednesday reported second-quarter net profits slumping by more than half in the face of a weakening chip market, and as a trade row builds between Seoul and Tokyo. The flagship subsidiary of the sprawling Samsung Group has enjoyed record profits in recent years despite a series of setbacks but is now struggling with chip prices falling as global supply increases. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalNet profits in the three months to June were 5.18 trillion won (USD 4.38 billion), Samsung Electronics said in a statement, down 53 percent year-on-year. “The weakness and price declines in the memory chip market persisted… despite a limited recovery in demand,” it said. In mobile phones, it achieved “stronger shipments on new mass-market models but was overall weighed down by slower sales of flagship models and increased marketing expenses”, it added. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe results come hours after Apple, one of Samsung’s main rivals, delivered better-than-expected results as growth from services helped offset weak iPhone sales. The US firm has been shifting focus to digital content and services as sales of its flagship device weaken. Facing hardware challenges of its own, Samsung launched its top-end S10 5G smartphone earlier this year after South Korea won the global race to commercially launch the world’s first nationwide 5G network. But in April it was embarrassingly forced to delay the release of its new and hotly anticipated Galaxy Fold phones after reviewers provided with early devices reported screen problems within days of use. A simmering dispute between South Korea and Japan, which has seen Tokyo impose restrictions on chemical exports crucial to the South’s world-leading chip and smartphone companies — is also expected to affect Samsung Electronics’ key products. “The company is facing challenges from uncertainties not only in business areas but also from changes in the global macroeconomic environment,” it said. Two of the chemicals and materials targeted by Tokyo, hydrogen fluoride gas and photoresists, are essential to making memory chips, while the third, fluorinated polyimide, is used for high-spec TV screens and smartphone displays, including folding models. In the second half, Samsung Electronics said it “expects persistent uncertainties in the memory business”, while “overall sluggish demand in the broad smartphone market may limit upside potential” as competition increases. Q2 profits were ahead of expectations, HMC Investment Securities analyst Greg Roh told AFP, although smartphone sales lagged behind consensus forecasts. He expected similar profits in the July-September period before sales pick up in the fourth quarter, but added: “One big variable is the trade spat with Japan.” The South Korean firm had spent nearly eight years developing the Fold as part of its strategy to propel growth with groundbreaking gadgets. While the model was not the world’s first folding handset, the smartphone giant hoped it would help spark demand and potentially revive a sector that has been struggling for new innovations. The firm earlier this month announced it has “made improvements” to the device and would release it in September, but analysts say its delivery is likely to be affected by the Seoul-Tokyo trade dispute. “Because of the volume of chemicals required within the semiconductor manufacturing process, it is unlikely that the major chip suppliers will be able to find suitable quantities from suppliers outside of Japan,” said Len Jelinek, executive director of semiconductor research at IHS Markit. Tokyo’s move has raised international concern about the effect on global tech supply chains and the possibility of price hikes for consumers worldwide. Samsung is by far the biggest of the family-controlled conglomerates that dominate business in the world’s 11th largest economy, and it is crucial to South Korea’s economic health.last_img read more

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first_imgAn Indigenous community in northeastern Ontario is turning to drones to help lower costs and create jobs.Moose Cree First Nation has teamed up with Toronto-based Drone Delivery Canada to see if the self-flying aircraft can reduce the time and expense of bringing food, medicine and other supplies to the remote community.Moose Cree is located 2.5 kilometres from Moosonee, Ont., but is situated on an island with no easy link to the shore.Goods are usually transported by barge in the summer and in trucks driving along ice roads in the winter, with pricey helicopters filling the gaps during the spring and fall when the waterway is partially frozen.The community says it will start experimenting with using drones to transport key supplies.It says the pilot project, which is expected to get underway next month, could not only reduce prices for food and other key supplies but create jobs in the area.Stan Kapashesit, Moose Cree’s Director of Economic Development, said the project could alleviate the present-day financial strain on community residents who pay exorbitant amounts for groceries and other basic necessities.He said goods being transported by helicopter cost between $7 to $10 per pound. Although those costs fall when barges or trucks can be pressed into service, he said expenses remain high and inevitably get passed on to customers.Neither he nor Drone Delivery Canada would speculate on how much money the program could save, but Kapashesit said the benefits could extend into the future.He says the pilot project will create some temporary jobs in the community. If it’s successful, however, the potential for economic growth is much greater.“The plan is to include communities that are north of us,” he said, citing the Indigenous communities of Kashetchewan, Fort Albany and Attawapiskat as examples. “The long-term vision would be to include drone delivery to those communities, and the hub would be Moose Cree.”Drone Delivery Canada CEO Tony Di Benedetto said the idea to use drones to access remote communities is beginning to gain traction around the world.He said drones are already ferrying medical supplies to parts of Rwanda as well as taking other key supplies to communities in mountainous regions of Europe.Canada’s underserved northern communities, he said, seemed a natural fit for the delivery experiment.“What we saw looking in this area was big, wide-open spaces with immediate lack of infrastructure,” he said. “We saw that there was an immediate requirement where basic sustenance is a challenge for these communities.”Di Benedetto said the project will start modestly, with small 1.2-metre-by-1.2-metre drones that can carry up to 4.5 kilograms flying from Moosonee to Moose Cree. The whole flight should take no more than 10 minutes, he said, adding the test phase will involve mapping the best routes and determining the most sensible places to unload the aircraft.If the project is successful, he said the company would bring in larger drones that can carry heavier loads and travel longer distances.He said the company is waiting for regulatory approval to get the project underway.Kapashesit said the community is keen on the experiment, adding he hopes it will engage a generation of residents.“To see something new and innovative and using technology like this is exciting for them,” he said. “We’re hoping that the youth take to it and consider it as a potential employment opportunity or something to go for for the future.”last_img read more

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first_imgLast week, the Hope For Henry Foundation and Children’s National Medical Center were the beneficiaries of a reception (at a private home) in Georgetown featuring race car driver Jeff Gordon.Gordon visited the Washington fundraiser on his way to Richmond, where he will drive in this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.Jeff Gordon, whose philanthropy focuses on ending childhood cancers in the U.S. and abroad, emceed the evening and engaged Laurie Strongin, Executive Director of Hope for Henry, and Dr. Kurt Newman, CEO of Children’s National Medical Center, in a panel discussion about the latest advancements in treatments and cures.While Newman lauded Children’s cutting edge research in genomics and personalized treatments to save lives, Strongin explained her group’s success in “…saving the ‘quality of life’ for children and their families,” being treated at Children’s and other area hospitals. In 2008, the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation began funding Hope for Henry’s program to provide fun and exciting birthday parties to Washington area children spending their birthday in the hospital.The evening netted more than $60,000 to be split between Hope for Henry and Children’s National Medical Center. Melissa Rosato, the Washington, DC-based president of the Promise Circle, an auxiliary group of Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation supporters, organized the benefit that brought together members of the Washington business, philanthropic and medical communities, including Toni Verstandig of The Aspen Institute; Jeffrey S. Dome, MD, PhD, Chief of the Oncology Department at Children’s National Medical Center; Adam Bernstein, President of the Bernstein Companies; David Jacobsohn, Chief of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Children’s National Medical Center and Mark Schweitzer, Senior Vice President of Comcast.last_img read more

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first_imgCitizens of Panem… here’s your chance to join the rebellion and see what’s in store for Katniss, Peeta and Gale before anyone else.Global charity auction site Charitybuzz is auctioning off the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to film a non-speaking extra role on the set of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, and it’s all for a good cause. The lucky winner will head to Atlanta (soon!) for one whole day of filming before production wraps up on April 18. They’ll be a part of movie history and have the chance to hang with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and other members of the cast!The battle for this unique opportunity can be found here and will be available for bidding through March 27.Also up for auction is the chance to visit the film set in Atlanta, where producer Jon Kilik will personally introduce the winner and a friend to cast and crew and even take them to lunch. Bidding is already up to $4,950, and with seven days left this price wont last. Fans can join in on the games here and place their bids through March 20.Proceeds from both auctions will support the Kristen Ann Carr Fund, which provides grants for cancer research and seeks to improve all aspects of cancer patient life with an emphasis on adolescents and young adults.Charitybuzz raises funds for nonprofits by auctioning thousands of incredible experiences spanning the best of pop culture. Since launching, the company has raised over $100 million for charity by giving bidders the chance to live their dreams and make a difference.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Canadian PressCalgary’s mayor and seven chiefs in southern Alberta say a controversial sculpture along a city interchange was never meant to be Indigenous art.Naheed Nenshi and Treaty 7 leaders have released a joint statement about the Bowfort Towers sculpture, which some critics say appears to emulate Indigenous burial scaffolding.The steel-and-rock sculpture by New York artist Del Geist was commissioned under Calgary’s public art policy for about $500,000.The statement says the request for proposals didn’t ask for the art to incorporate Indigenous themes, but that the city asked Geist to seek advice of a Treaty 7 traditional knowledge-keeper late in the design process.It says when the art was unveiled, the city “may have left the impression” that the sculpture was Indigenous or Indigenous-inspired.The statement says Geist has been building similar sculptures around the world for decades, and that the traditional knowledge- keeper did not identify Bowfort Towers as burial scaffolding when the design was reviewed.“We therefore acknowledge that the city attempted to be respectful, but that there was a misunderstanding that has led to much discussion, debate and hard feelings,” said the statement, which was released Thursday.“In this time of reconciliation, we believe that it is important to acknowledge what doesn’t work and to move forward with a better way, being always respectful of one another.”The joint release calls for future art projects to include more public input, including input from Indigenous peoples.Calgary is on land covered by Treaty 7, which was signed in 1877 between Canada and the Pikani, Kainai, Sikiska, Bearspaw, Chiniki, Wesley and Tsuu T’ina nations.Nenshi said earlier this month that the city’s public art policy needs to change, but he also called criticism of the sculpture unfair and compared it to a “lynch mob.”City Coun. Sean Chu, a vocal opponent of public funding for the arts, has called the sculpture “the worst kind of wasteful spending of tax dollars.”Currently, all public art is chosen by a panel of seven members six of whom are civilian volunteers.The statement says that for several months the public art program has been training artists on how to submit bids, and that the city has set up a committee to explore ways to share more Indigenous art.It notes that committee was already being developed before the controversy over Bowfort Towers.“We hope that the difficult debate over this piece will strengthen our resolve on creating a more inclusive community for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike.”last_img read more

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VANCOUVER — Lululemon Athletic Canada Inc. has filed a lawsuit in the United States alleging a connected group of unidentified defendants created hundreds of online stores selling counterfeit Lululemon goods.The retailer filed the trademark infringement suit in a U.S. federal court claiming a group of difficult-to-identify counterfeiters believed to reside in China or other foreign jurisdictions worked together to sell counterfeit Lululemon products.The claim alleges the defendants created online stores to dupe consumers into believing they’re visiting authorized retailers, and many used the company’s trademark without authorization.The company wants the court to stop the defendants and transfer the domains to Lululemon.The claim asks for “all profits” earned by the defendants or damages in the amount of $2 million for every use of the company’s trademark.Lululemon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. read more

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Perpetual Treasuries Limited had paid the credit card bills of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) informed court today.The CID said that Mahendran’s credit card bills upto Rs. 3.2 million had been paid for using funds received from Perpetual Treasuries Limited. Meanwhile, Perpetual Treasuries Limited owner Arjun Aloysius and Chief Executive Officer Kasun Palisena were further remanded over the treasury bond scam.The Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered that Arjun Aloysius and Kasun Palisena be further remanded till June 21. (Colombo Gazette) Mahendran was the Central Bank Governor when the scam took place. The revelation was made in connection to the ongoing investigations over the Central Bank treasury bond scam. Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Department said that a State Minister had received two cheques worth Rs. 2 million from W.M. Mendis & Co. Ltd.W.M. Mendis & Co. Ltd is owned by Perpetual Treasuries Limited owner Arjun Aloysius. read more

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Some say the law allows for targeting and detention of the Tamil minority; the civil war that waged for nearly three decades was fought between the state and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or Tamil Tigers. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Sky News on Thursday that the Sri Lankan government had known Sri Lankan nationals who had joined Islamic State (IS) had returned to the country – but that they could not be arrested, since joining a foreign terrorist organisation is not against the law. “We knew they went to Syria … But on our country, to go abroad and return or to take part in a foreign armed uprising is not an offence here,” Wickremesinghe said. “We have no laws which enable us to take into custody people who join foreign terrorist groups. We can take those who are, who belong to terrorist groups operating in Sri Lanka.” But the proposed legislation suffered a setback when the Council on Legislation suggested it is incompatible with Sweden’s constitutionally protected freedom of assembly. And so now local, state, and social services are working together to determine whether individuals have committed war crimes, because, under current Swedish law, a specific crime needs to be suspected before an investigation can be opened, a resource-intensive process. His comments came days after attacks on Easter Sunday that killed 253 people – revised down from more than 350. IS claimed responsibility on Tuesday, although the degree of their involvement is unclear. Sri Lanka has anti-terrorism legislation – its Prevention of Terrorism Act of 1978 has been criticised by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The law allows for “arrests for unspecified ‘unlawful activities’ without warrant, and permits detention for up to 18 months without the authorities producing the suspect before a court pretrial,” as Human Rights Watch put it in a 2018 report. “Strained resources is part of why some countries are reluctant to have their foreign fighters return home,” Heller wrote. (Courtesy Washington Post) “Even for countries that have criminalised membership in foreign militant groups or other terror offences abroad, it can be difficult to collect enough useful evidence from a foreign battlefield to meet a prosecutorial standard,” Sam Heller, senior analyst of non-state armed groups at Crisis Group, wrote in an email. “That’s why countries like Australia have passed ‘declared areas’ legislation, which prohibit their nationals from visiting specific countries or areas such as Raqqa. So it’s not so easy – I think everyone’s trying to figure it out.” Sri Lanka is not alone in not having legislation that makes it illegal to join a foreign terrorist organisation. Last month, the Swedish government moved ahead with a proposal for legislation that would make it illegal to participate in or cooperate with a terrorist organisation. While the Prime Minister may be making as much a political case as a legal one, the pre-existing anti-terrorism law in Sri Lanka was written in, and for, a different time.Many countries amended their relevant legislation after 2014, the year that Islamic State declared a caliphate. In 2014, Australia approved its Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill, which made new offences of “advocating terrorism” and “of entering or remaining in a ‘declared area’ of a foreign country in which a terrorist organisation is engaging in hostile activity.” That same year, Ireland proposed a Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) (Amendment) Act, which made it an offence to, among other things, recruit and train for terrorism. The bill is now law. “They have been working on replacement legislation called the Counter-Terrorism Act, which is designed to be a) more rights-friendly and b) more responsive to current forms of threat, but the law remains in drafting stage, after numerous rounds of deliberations in government and parliament,” Sri Lanka analyst Alan Keenan of the International Crisis Group wrote in an email. read more

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Zambia hosts more than 191,000 refugees, mostly from neighbouring Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said there had been poor donor response to the $3.2 million appeal launched in September to cover food needs until the end of the year.As a result the Rome-based agency had to halve the rations of pulses in October and of cereals in November. Food distribution in general will be halved unless funds are forthcoming, spokesperson Christiane Berthiaume said. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned that the shortage could compromise the repatriation programme to Angola, which is getting back on its feet after three decades of civil war. “The refugees have been away from their homes for decades. They can’t go back and rebuild their lives if they are malnourished; they won’t have the energy for agricultural activities,” spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis said.“Donors have supported us through the darkest moments of the Angolan war. Now we have the solution in sight, and it’s working. We need help now,” she added. The warning is ironic in that the necessary food is there if only the donations arrive. Last week WFP announced plans to dramatically increase the amount of food aid purchased in Zambia as long as there is another substantial surplus in 2005. WFP Country Director David Stevenson said Zambia had become an essential source of food but “our plans depend not only on the size of the harvest but also on the cash donations we receive.” read more

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by The Associated Press Posted Feb 2, 2016 2:52 pm MDT Last Updated Feb 2, 2016 at 4:08 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Student says he’s in trouble for renting dorm room on Airbnb BOSTON – A student at Emerson College in Boston says he’s facing disciplinary action after renting out his dorm room on Airbnb.Jack Worth tells The Boston Globe (http://bit.ly/1nEfdGM) he rented the room in early January to three guests on three separate nights.The 19-year-old sophomore says the listing was online for two weeks before school officials asked him to remove it. Worth wouldn’t say how much he charged for the room.Worth says the school’s punishment would mar his time at the liberal arts school.Emerson officials wouldn’t say whether Worth rented out his room on Airbnb, citing privacy concerns.But school officials say an attempt to sublet a dorm room would violate the school’s housing policies.An Airbnb spokesman says all hosts are asked to follow local regulations when renting a room. read more

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The Bish-Bator compound in Afghanistan where around 650 conflict-displaced families live. Photo: OCHA Afghanistan “As one of the world’s most aid-dependent countries, it will be difficult for Afghanistan to achieve self-reliance as long as there is conflict,” Special Representative of the Secretary-General Tadamichi Yamamoto told members of the Security Council during a briefing. “Conflict diverts resources, which would be better spent on developing Afghanistan and helping its people. Peace is therefore a requirement,” he underlined. Mr. Yamamoto, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), went on to stress the need to resolve political tensions between two senior leaders in the Government to ensure that it is stable. “No effective policies are possible if the Government is internally divided,” noting that tensions had surfaced, with public criticism by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah aboutwhat he viewed as the incomplete implementation of the political agreement of 2014.Mr. Yamamoto noted that the two leaders have met several times since then to try to identify the issues and to seek solutions. He said efforts are still under way, and further meetings are expected. He nevertheless called on the leaders to show to the people of Afghanistan and to the international community that they are able to govern effectively. He also welcomed the recent signature by President Ashraf Ghani of the legislative decree for electoral reform as a constructive development in this regard. “The political agenda must progress constructively, political stability must be maintained; and the elections must take place,” he said, telling the Council that the two year anniversary of the 2014 political agreement that established the National Unity Government draws near, the political oppositions have increasingly challenged the legitimacy of the Government. Challenging security situationDrawing attention of the 15-member body to the volatile security situation within the country, the UN official expressed concern that the toll extracted by violence on civilians continues to increase. “Nowhere is this trend more apparent than for children, among whom there has been an 18 per cent increase in casualties, with 388 children killed in six months,” he reported. He noted that the country’s health and social systems could also face further strain as the number of people newly displaced by the conflict is being added to by a massive increase in the number of Afghan families returning back from Pakistan. “If current trends continue, Afghanistan will have to meet the needs of at least one million people on the move,” said Mr. Yamamoto, adding that unless urgent measures are taken, thousands of families could suffer due to the upcoming winter season. Some positive developmentsIn his briefing, Mr. Yamamoto also noted some positive developments. In particular, he welcomed President Ghani’s comprehensive, long-term approach to tackling corruption, which seeks to develop the architecture needed to prevent corruption, as well as hold those responsible for corruption to account.He also acknowledged the Government’s continued progress on other reform and mutual accountability commitments, in particular preparing for the country’s National Peace and Development Framework and successfully negotiating a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.Speaking on the upcoming Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, Mr. Yamamoto called upon the Government to “seize this opportunity” that meeting will offer. He also welcomed the Government’s plan to hold a side event at the Conference to spotlight the challenges faced by the country’s women who were widowed by the long conflict.Concluding his briefing, Mr. Yamamoto said that the country has an opportunity to build on its achievements of the past fifteen years and move towards stability and self-reliance. “With effective government and the continued support of the international community it has every chance of succeeding,” he added. read more

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Roger “goat man” Simon smiling as he exited the High Court late Thursday night (Carl Croker photo)After being acquitted of all 12 counts of murder in relation to the February 17, 2008 massacre at Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), former accused, Roger “Goat Man” Simon was finally afforded his bail privilege, a sum which amounted to $900,000. His Defence Attorney, Peter Hugh, on Friday afternoon appealed for bail on the grounds that his client spent a considerable amount of time in prison awaiting trial.State Prosecutor Diana Kaulesar objected to bail on the grounds of the gravity of the offence, and the fact that some of the charges had multiple counts. Simon, along with five others, are facing several charges related to the 2008 Bartica attack. These include, one count of terrorism, one count of unlawful wounding and three counts break and enter and larceny.The prosecution, when asked by presiding Judge Roxanne George, SC, was unable to indicate when the State would proceed on the terrorism indictment. As such, the judge granted bail in the sum of $500,000. Simon was additionally placed on $100,000 bail each for the three break and enter and larceny charges and the unlawful wounding charge.Simon, when leaving the court was escorted by law enforcement ranks, shouted to his sister and other relatives to ensure that they take steps to ensure that his bail is paid.Death penalty & life imprisonmentOne day after being issued the death penalty for seven counts of murder, Dennis “Anaconda” Williams was on Friday sentenced, in absentia, to life imprisonment for each of the five counts for manslaughter. It was noted that it was Rondell “Fineman” Rawlins who was identified as the one who shot five persons dead at the Bartica Ferry Stelling. Justice George, however, stressed that the evidence in the trial showed that the convict, Mark Williams, was part of the joint enterprise that executed the Bartica attack, via “indiscriminate shooting”.“It was a callous disregard for life,” the Judge told the court.Chief Prison Officer Patrick Crawford testified that Dennis Williams refused to attend court despite being informed on “numerous occasions”.Mark Williams’ manslaughter sentence deferredMark Royden Williams, called ‘Durant’ and ‘Smallie’ was sentenced to death by hangingMeanwhile, Mark Williams’ manslaughter sentence was deferred to February 10, following a discrepancy with the number of counts upon which he was convicted for the said offence. Williams was found guilty on multiple counts of murder late Thursday evening and was sentenced to death by hanging. When the death sentence was read, Justice George had noted that the two Williams will be hung by the neck until they are dead.On the night of the fatal attack, 12 persons, including three Policemen, were slaughtered as gunmen carried out a deadly rampage, while members of the community were watching a game of 20/20 cricket on television.Police Lance Corporal Zaheer Zakir and Constables Shane Fredericks and Ron Osborne were fatally shot, while Edwin Gilkes, Dexter Adrian, Irving Ferreira, Deonarine Singh, Ronald Gomes, Ashraf Khan, Abdool Yasseen, Errol Thomas and Baldeo Singh were the civilians killed.Over 30 witnesses testified in the case that lasted over three months. The prosecution’s case was led by Diana Kaulesar and assisted by Stacy Goodings. Defence Counsel Roger Yearwood, who was absent from Friday’s sentencing, represented Mark Williams, called “Smallie”; while Shaphier Husain, under protest in latter moments, represented Dennis Williams. (Guyana Times) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBREAKING: Two Bartica massacre accused sentenced to death by hangingFebruary 3, 2017In “Court”High Court trial commences for men accused of slaughtering 12 in BarticaOctober 12, 2016In “Court”Bartica Massacre trial resumes after two-week adjournmentDecember 6, 2016In “Crime” read more

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first_imgMongolia has chosen two coal mining giants, Peabody Energy form the US and China’s Shenhua Group, and a Russian-Mongolian consortium to jointly develop the keenly sought Tavan Tolgoi coking coal deposit in the Gobi Desert, according to AP and OfficialWire. A government statement says the companies agreed to build a 600 MW power station, coal-to-liquid fuel and coking fuel plants as well as north and southbound railways for the project. The decision was made at a special cabinet meeting on Monday. Shenhua will hold the largest stake in the project at 40%, with Peabody taking 24% and the consortium 36%, the government said.Tavan Tolgoi is estimated to hold 6,000 Mt of coal. It is one of several big projects Mongolia has been debating as it strives to ensure local interests are protected while tapping foreign expertise needed to develop the resources. The government said investors in the project will pay $500 million as a “direct payment” and another $500 million as an “advance payment” as well as taxes and fees. The coal will be subject to a 5% royalty fee due to Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, a state-owned company licenced to run the mine.It was unclear which companies would be joining the Russian-Mongolian consortium, though the statement said each side would hold half of its total 36% stake.The plan is due to be submitted to Mongolia’s National Security Council and its legislature on Wednesday.Tavan Tolgoi had attracted interest from nearly a dozen international mining companies, including Japan’s Mitsui & Co., a Russian consortium led by state-owned Russian Railways, and Australia’s BHP Billiton.Development of Tavan Tolgoi, which is 270 km from the Chinese border in the southern Gobi desert, has been delayed for years. It was discovered in the 1950s, when Mongolia was a Soviet satellite.The Mongolian Minister for Road, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development said in May that some $1.5 billion may be invested in infrastructure for the project. The remote location of the prospective coal mine will require over 1,000 km of road to be built to connect it to Choibalsan City via Sainshand, and then on to international destinations. Coal will be shipped via the Trans-Siberian railway to eastern sea ports, providing Mongolia with access to Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese markets.last_img read more

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In the semi-finals of the Scandinavia Open in Kristianstadt, both EHF EURO 2012 finalists, Serbia and Denmark won over their rivals. Serbia was better from Sweden 23:21, while Denmark had no problem with young Norwegians 35:22.SWEDEN– SERBIA 21:23 (10:8)SWEDEN:ANDERSON M.  AREN-1, GUSTAFSON, ANDERSON K.-1, KALMAN-2,  JERNEMYR,  EKBERG-2,  DODER-5, OLSON,  KARLSON-1,  JAKOBSEN-2,  SJOSTRAND, PETERSEN -2, EKDAL DU RIC-4, ZARISSON-1, NILSON.SERBIA           23MARJANAC, ŠEŠUM-1, VUJIN-5, NIKČEVIĆ-4, MANOJLOVIĆ, TOSKIĆ, STANIĆ (15 odbrana – 2 penala) ILIĆ -4 (3) , MARKOVIĆ, MILIĆ, PRODANOVIĆ-5, STOJKOVIĆ-1, RNIĆ, BELjANSKI, VUCKOVIĆ, ČUTURA-2, STANKOVIĆ-1.Final is on Friday at 20hrs ← Previous Story Kiril Lazarov about WCh 2013 draw – Group B: “It all depends on us!” Next Story → Maja Zebic new RK Zajecar player Denmark – SerbiaHandball scandinaviaKristianstadtScandinavia Open read more

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first_img By Órla Ryan File photo Image: John And Penny/Shutterstock Friday 15 Jun 2018, 4:14 PM Share121 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: John And Penny/Shutterstock 9,570 Views Motorists urged to slow down and be more aware of tractors this summer There have been a number of fatal road accidents in recent days. center_img https://jrnl.ie/4073403 81 Comments Jun 15th 2018, 4:14 PM Short URL THE ROAD SAFETY Authority (RSA) has advised motorists to slow down over the summer months.So far this year 72 people have been killed on Irish roads, including six people over the last three days. A number of others have been injured this week alone.A spokesperson for the RSA told TheJournal.ie the summer months “can result in more fatalities and serious injuries” than other times of the year as “many people are out of their usual routines”.They urged motorists to slow down and “drive at an appropriate speed” as well as always wear their seatbelt and ensure their passengers do the same.“Drivers, be on the lookout for other road users, especially vulnerable road users as there are many more pedestrians and cyclists making the most of the good weather.“The road is a shared space and we would urge everyone to respect each other’s right to be there.”The spokesperson added that pedestrians and cyclists “also have a responsibility to make sure they follow the rules of the road the same as everyone else”.Weather and farming Motorists were also advised to be aware of unexpected changes in weather conditions which can have an effect on the control of their vehicle.“For example, after a sunny period the roads may be greasy and may catch people by surprise,” the spokesperson said.The summer is also a very busy time for farmers, with silage cutting already under way – meaning the number of tractors and trailers on roads will increase dramatically.“As such, drivers should be on the lookout for tractors, trailers and other farm machinery exiting from fields and farmyards,” they added. File photolast_img read more

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first_img Kurt Angle part of WWE 2K18 pre-orderWWE RAW General Manager Kurt Angle revealed on Twitter on Thursday that he will be an official pre-order bonus as part of the new WWE 2K18 video game.WWE 2K18 also confirmed the announcement shortly afterwards.I do a lot of things prematurely, & tweeting is one of them. But it’s true! I’m the official pre-order bonus for @WWEgames #WWE2K18! 1/3 pic.twitter.com/fGDfuxwxfQ— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) June 29, 2017Ric Flair goes sneaker shoppingComplex passed along the following video with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair going sneaker shopping recently in New York City.“Flair caught up with the crew at Stadium Goods In New York City to talk partying with Michael Jordan and his thoughts on LeBron James being the greatest athlete of all time. And yes, he totally breaks down how expensive his outfit is.” 1 COMMENT Now Playing Up Next Cameron Huff Videos Articles Twitter Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles Kurt Angle Will Retire After WrestleMania June 30, 2017 at 8:02 am Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Google+ Kurt Angle’s wife Giovanna announces on social media they have adopted a son Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Now Playing Up Next Facebookcenter_img I KNEW IT! I wonder if there’s going to be two versions of Kurt Angle (one with hair and the other one bald)? Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Roman Reigns Kurt Angle: John Cena Is The GOAT Kurt Angle Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipKurt Angle Shares Message In Support Of Roman ReignsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:43/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 100.00%0:03Remaining Time -0:39 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list WWE celebrates Smackdown’s 20th anniversary on the first episode on FOX on October 4 WhatsApp Ronda Rousey To Make WWE Debut At WrestleMania Kurt Angle Shares Message In Support Of Roman Reigns WWE pulls Kurt Angle from scheduled WrestleCade appearance in Winston-Salem Pinterest Comments are closed.last_img read more

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first_imgIn the past two years, crude oil has become the top problem in terms of hazardous materials seeping from rail cars as trains haul commodities across U.S. and Canadian railroads, a federal official told the Port of Vancouver on Tuesday.However, the frequency of oil spills along railways remains very low, according to William Ellings, a hazardous materials specialist with the Federal Railroad Administration.While no one is happy with any discharge of hazardous material, Ellings said, “we’ve got a good handle on it.”Ellings made his remarks as one of three panelists who delivered data-filled presentations to the port’s Board of Commissioners after the board’s regularly held public hearing. The port brought them together for a workshop aimed at helping commissioners understand how railroad operators and regulators handle hazardous materials.The port held the workshop in light of the proposal by Tesoro Corporation and Savage Companies to build and operate facilities to store, load and unload crude oil at the port. The proposal — which the companies expect will take nine to 18 months to secure permits — prompted concern among environmentalists, several of whom testified to commissioners Tuesday.Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, community organizer for Columbia Riverkeeper, urged commissioners to expand opportunities for the public to weigh in on the proposal “before any contracts are signed.” She said Columbia Riverkeeper is concerned about the potential for oil spills in the Columbia River Gorge.last_img read more

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first_imgUS ambassador Earl R Miller pays tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Mausoleum at Gopalganj. Photo: UNBUS ambassador in Dhaka Earl R Miller visited Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s home district Gopalganj and paid rich tributes to him as the month of mourning began on 1 August.While visiting the Bangabandhu Mausoleum, Miller laid a floral wreath and observed a moment of silence. He visited Bangabandhu’s ancestral home and the adjacent museum to learn more about the life and legacy of Bangladesh’s founding father.Ambassador Miller was proud to recall that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a US International Visitor Leadership Program participant in 1952, said the US embassy in Dhaka on Friday.On his way back to Dhaka, Miller visited the Padma Bridge construction site to see one of the 10 ongoing megaprojects driving development in Bangladesh. He met the project director and reiterated that the US, as a development partner of Bangladesh, is supportive of this and other infrastructure projects that benefit Bangladesh and the region.Ambassador Miller also visited the Baniarchar Catholic Church in Gopalganj, where a bomb attack on 3 June, 2001 killed 10 people and wounded many others. He visited the graves of the victims on the church grounds.He reiterated US opposition to political and communal violence in conversation with the parish leadership and community. Miller applauded the efforts of Bangladeshis who are committed to inter-religious and inter-communal harmony.Ambassador Miller met the Gopalganj deputy commissioner and the district’s police chief and discussed the political dynamics of the district and its economic drivers, including the local agricultural and manufacturing industries.They also discussed the role of social and religious issues in the district and priority areas for district leadership.last_img read more

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first_imgBy MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated PressHOUSTON (AP) — George H.W. Bush, a patrician New Englander whose presidency soared with the coalition victory over Iraq in Kuwait, but then plummeted in the throes of a weak economy that led voters to turn him out of office after a single term, has died. He was 94.The World War II hero, who also presided during the collapse of the Soviet Union and the final months of the Cold War, died late Friday night at his Houston home, said family spokesman Jim McGrath. His wife of more than 70 years, Barbara Bush, died in April 2018.In this Jan. 7, 2009, file photo, President George W. Bush, center, poses with President-elect Barack Obama, second left, and former presidents, George H.W. Bush, left, Bill Clinton, second right, and Jimmy Carter, right, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Bush has died at age 94. Family spokesman Jim McGrath says Bush died shortly after 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)The son of a senator and father of a president, Bush was the man with the golden resume who rose through the political ranks: from congressman to U.N. ambassador, Republican Party chairman to envoy to China, CIA director to two-term vice president under the hugely popular Ronald Reagan. The 1991 Gulf War stoked his popularity. But Bush would acknowledge that he had trouble articulating “the vision thing,” and he was haunted by his decision to break a stern, solemn vow he made to voters: “Read my lips. No new taxes.”He lost his bid for re-election to Bill Clinton in a campaign in which businessman H. Ross Perot took almost 19 percent of the vote as an independent candidate. Still, he lived to see his son, George W., twice elected to the presidency — only the second father-and-son chief executives, following John Adams and John Quincy Adams.The 43rd president issued a statement Friday following his father’s death, saying the elder Bush “was a man of the highest character.”“The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad,” the statement read.After his 1992 defeat, George H.W. Bush complained that media-created “myths” gave voters a mistaken impression that he did not identify with the lives of ordinary Americans. He decided he lost because he “just wasn’t a good enough communicator.”Once out of office, Bush was content to remain on the sidelines, except for an occasional speech or paid appearance and visits abroad. He backed Clinton on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which had its genesis during his own presidency. He visited the Middle East, where he was revered for his defense of Kuwait. And he returned to China, where he was welcomed as “an old friend” from his days as the U.S. ambassador there.He later teamed with Clinton to raise tens of millions of dollars for victims of a 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean and Hurricane Katrina, which swamped New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005. During their wide-ranging travels, the political odd couple grew close.“Who would have thought that I would be working with Bill Clinton, of all people?” Bush quipped in October 2005.In his post-presidency, Bush’s popularity rebounded with the growth of his reputation as a fundamentally decent and well-meaning leader who, although he was not a stirring orator or a dreamy visionary, was a steadfast humanitarian. Elected officials and celebrities of both parties publicly expressed their fondness.After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Bush quickly began building an international military coalition that included other Arab states. After liberating Kuwait, he rejected suggestions that the U.S. carry the offensive to Baghdad, choosing to end the hostilities a mere 100 hours after the start of the ground war.“That wasn’t our objective,” he told The Associated Press in 2011 from his office just a few blocks from his Houston home. “The good thing about it is there was so much less loss of human life than had been predicted and indeed than we might have feared.”But the decisive military defeat did not lead to the regime’s downfall, as many in the administration had hoped.“I miscalculated,” acknowledged Bush. His legacy was dogged for years by doubts about the decision not to remove Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi leader was eventually ousted in 2003, in the war led by Bush’s son that was followed by a long, bloody insurgency.George H.W. Bush entered the White House in 1989 with a reputation as a man of indecision and indeterminate views. One newsmagazine suggested he was a “wimp.”But his work-hard, play-hard approach to the presidency won broad public approval. He held more news conferences in most months than Reagan did in most years.The Iraq crisis of 1990-91 brought out all the skills Bush had honed in a quarter-century of politics and public service.After winning United Nations support and a green light from a reluctant Congress, Bush unleashed a punishing air war against Iraq and a five-day ground juggernaut that sent Iraqi forces reeling in disarray back to Baghdad. He basked in the biggest outpouring of patriotism and pride in America’s military since World War II, and his approval ratings soared to nearly 90 percent.The other battles he fought as president, including a war on drugs and a crusade to make American children the best educated in the world, were not so decisively won.He rode into office pledging to make the United States a “kinder, gentler” nation and calling on Americans to volunteer their time for good causes — an effort he said would create “a thousand points of light.”It was Bush’s violation of a different pledge, the no-new-taxes promise, that helped sink his bid for a second term. He abandoned the idea in his second year, cutting a deficit-reduction deal that angered many congressional Republicans and contributed to GOP losses in the 1990 midterm elections.An avid outdoorsman who took Theodore Roosevelt as a model, Bush sought to safeguard the environment and signed the first improvements to the Clean Air Act in more than a decade. It was activism with a Republican cast, allowing polluters to buy others’ clean-air credits and giving industry flexibility on how to meet tougher goals on smog.He also signed the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act to ban workplace discrimination against people with disabilities and require improved access to public places and transportation.Bush failed to rein in the deficit, which had tripled to $3 trillion under Reagan and galloped ahead by as much as $300 billion a year under Bush, who put his finger on it in his inauguration speech: “We have more will than wallet.”Seven years of economic growth ended in mid-1990, just as the Gulf crisis began to unfold. Bush insisted the recession would be “short and shallow,” and lawmakers did not even try to pass a jobs bill or other relief measures.Bush’s true interests lay elsewhere, outside the realm of nettlesome domestic politics. “I love coping with the problems in foreign affairs,” he told a child who asked what he liked best about being president.He operated at times like a one-man State Department, on the phone at dawn with his peers — Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, Francois Mitterrand of France, Germany’s Helmut Kohl.Communism began to crumble on his watch, with the Berlin Wall coming down, the Warsaw Pact disintegrating and the Soviet satellites falling out of orbit.He seized leadership of the NATO alliance with a bold and ultimately successful proposal for deep troop and tank cuts in Europe. Huge crowds cheered him on a triumphal tour through Poland and Hungary.Bush’s invasion of Panama in December 1989 was a military precursor of the Gulf War: a quick operation with a resoundingly superior American force. But in Panama, the troops seized dictator Manuel Noriega and brought him back to the United States in chains to stand trial on drug-trafficking charges.Months after the Gulf War, Washington became engrossed in a different sort of confrontation over one of Bush’s nominees to the Supreme Court. Clarence Thomas, a little-known federal appeals court judge, was accused of sexual harassment by a former colleague named Anita Hill. His confirmation hearings exploded into a national spectacle, sparking an intense debate over race, gender and the modern workplace. Thomas was eventually confirmed.In the closing days of the 1992 campaign, Bush fought the impression that he was distant and disconnected, and he seemed to struggle against the younger, more empathetic Clinton.During a campaign visit to a grocers’ convention, Bush reportedly expressed amazement when shown an electronic checkout scanner. Critics seized on the moment, saying it indicated that the president had become disconnected from voters.Later at a town-hall style debate, he paused to look at his wristwatch — a seemingly innocent glance that became freighted with deeper meaning because it seemed to reinforce the idea of a bored, impatient incumbent.In the same debate, Bush became confused by a woman’s question about whether the deficit had affected him personally. Clinton, with apparent ease, left his seat, walked to the edge of the stage to address the woman and offered a sympathetic answer.Bush said the pain of losing in 1992 was eased by the warm reception he received after leaving office.“I lost in ’92 because people still thought the economy was in the tank, that I was out of touch and I didn’t understand that,” he said in an AP interview shortly before the dedication of his presidential library in 1997. “The economy wasn’t in the tank, and I wasn’t out of touch, but I lost. I couldn’t get through this hue and cry for ‘change, change, change’ and ‘The economy is horrible, still in recession.’George Herbert Walker Bush was born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, into the New England elite, a world of prep schools, mansions and servants seemingly untouched by the Great Depression.His father, Prescott Bush, the son of an Ohio steel magnate, made his fortune as an investment banker and later served 10 years as a senator from Connecticut.George H.W. Bush enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday in 1942, right out of prep school. He returned home to marry his 19-year-old sweetheart, Barbara Pierce, daughter of the publisher of McCall’s magazine, in January 1945. They were the longest-married presidential couple in U.S. history. She died on April 17, 2018.Lean and athletic at 6-foot-2, Bush became a war hero while still a teenager. One of the youngest pilots in the Navy, he flew 58 missions off the carrier USS San Jacinto.He had to ditch one plane in the Pacific and was shot down on Sept. 2, 1944, while completing a bombing run against a Japanese radio tower. An American submarine rescued Bush. His two crewmates perished. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery.After the war, Bush took just 2½ years to graduate from Yale, then headed west in 1948 to the oil fields of West Texas. Bush and partners helped found Zapata Petroleum Corp. in 1953. Six years later, he moved to Houston and became active in the Republican Party.In politics, he showed the same commitment he displayed in business, advancing his career through loyalty and subservience.He was first elected to Congress in 1966 and served two terms. President Richard Nixon appointed him ambassador to the United Nations, and after the 1972 election, named him chairman of the Republican National Committee. Bush struggled to hold the party together as Watergate destroyed the Nixon presidency, then became ambassador to China and CIA chief in the Ford administration.Bush made his first bid for president in 1980 and won the Iowa caucuses, but Reagan went on to win the nomination.In the 1988 presidential race, Bush trailed the Democratic nominee, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, by as many as 17 points that summer. He did little to help himself by picking Dan Quayle, a lightly regarded junior senator from Indiana, as a running mate.But Bush soon became an aggressor, stressing patriotic themes and flailing Dukakis as an out-of-touch liberal. He carried 40 states, becoming the first sitting vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1836.He took office with the humility that was his hallmark.“Some see leadership as high drama, and the sound of trumpets calling, and sometimes it is that,” he said at his inauguration. “But I see history as a book with many pages, and each day we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning. The new breeze blows, a page turns, the story unfolds.”Bush approached old age with gusto, celebrating his 75th and 80th birthdays by skydiving over College Station, Texas, the home of his presidential library. He did it again on his 85th birthday in 2009, parachuting near his oceanfront home in Kennebunkport, Maine. He used his presidential library at Texas A&M University as a base for keeping active in civic life.He became the patriarch of one of the nation’s most prominent political families. In addition to George W. becoming president, another son, Jeb, was elected Florida governor in 1998 and made an unsuccessful run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.The other Bush children are sons Neil and Marvin and daughter Dorothy Bush LeBlond. Another daughter, Robin, died of leukemia in 1953, a few weeks before her fourth birthday.___See AP’s complete coverage of George H.W. Bush here: https://www.apnews.com/tag/GeorgeHWBush___Graczyk retired from the AP in July 2018, after a 45-year career with the news service.last_img read more

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first_img (A) Mirkin predictions using the CCM and (B) predictions from GA using the forward CCM approach. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1316533110 (Phys.org) —Material design usually follows what is known as the Edisonian method, a traditional process characterized by trial-and-error discovery rather than a systematic theoretical approach. While this may be somewhat inaccurate – Edison made use of available theories and resorted to trial and error only when no adequate theory existed – a better alternative is an a priori approach in which desired properties are defined and corresponding structures designed. To that end, scientists at Columbia University – Department of Chemical Engineering and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) have recently created a design approach in which colloids grafted with single-stranded DNA self-assemble into desired structures. The researchers state that their methodology can be easily generalized, is fast and highly selective, accurately reproduces the parameters relevant to four currently realized crystals but also – surprisingly – elucidates four currently unobserved structures. While the scientists acknowledge that these structures need to be experimentally validated, they are confident that their methodology has broad potential applications. Comparison of conventional and proposed paradigms. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1316533110 © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. , Science Addressing these challenges was in itself no mean feat. “Our design problem is made complicated by the complex nonlinear relationships between colloid size ratios, the number of DNA linkers on each nanoparticle and the desired crystal structure,” Venkatasubramanian tells Phys.org. “This leads to a search space riddled with local minima which is difficult to explore using more conventional approaches such as trail-and-error, heuristics or mathematical programming methods.” The key innovation here is the inverse design framework that effectively exploits the knowledge from the CCM (also known as a forward model) by combining it with the genetic algorithm (which is more robust to local minima), thereby resulting in a very efficient and scalable design optimization procedure. “Genetic algorithms are how nature designed complicated molecules and organisms. We’re essentially creating situations where we allow the ‘gene pool’ of DNA-grafting parameters to evolve towards the desired – that is, ‘fittest’ – structure with each successive generation.”Kumar also points out that they introduced the very important analysis of cluster formation determination. “The CCM requires an initial input of crystal lattice parameters and thus assumes crystal formation given any DNA-grafting parameters. However, experimentally, there are large regions of cluster formation that result from the kinetic trapping of these particles in a metastable state during the self-assembly process. In order to prevent design falling within the boundaries of these cluster forming regimes, we performed a symmetry analysis of the model that accounts for unequal distribution of DNA linkers on particles.” In other words, by introducing a cutoff on this distribution, the scientists were able to identify the presence of amorphous and cluster regions that were observed earlier in experiments. “This then allows for future modifications of the framework to incorporate an additional parameter into the fitness function,” he adds, “such that it will recognize and avoid these ‘bad’ evolutionary paths.”Currently, by having a different objective compared to DNA hybridization, the team is including new parameters in the model to enhance the CCM with entropic contributions and repulsive interactions. “Preliminary experimental studies have shown that our refined model is in agreement with experimental results,” Srinivasan and Thi Vo note, “and a thorough analysis is currently being conducted to develop a model that will uniquely specify all 230 different crystal space groups, which will then be used along with the genetic algorithm approach for crystal lattice design. Our ultimate goal is to create the model in such a way that utilizes only the parameters defining the DNA-grafted particles.” The key point here is that this avoids the need for fitting constants while expanding our overall design capabilities, since the design parameters derived from the genetic algorithm framework will only involve factors that the researchers can experimentally control.One interesting and unexpected result was that that their findings elucidated four currently unobserved structures. “Among the crystal lattice library created using the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD), we were able to identify the parameters that could potentially lead to the formation of four new crystal structures along with those which have been observed experimentally,” Srinivasan and Vo recount. “These results are promising and play a key role in the design of DNA-grafted nanomaterials.” He adds that the framework is generic and can be extended to rational design of advanced materials – but with a caution that unlike molecular dynamic models, the forward path model should be computationally efficient while accounting for important aspects of the process. “We believe that our enhanced CCM approach should be able to help us design structures that could potentially scan the entire crystallographic space.”In terms of improving the current generic algorithm, Kumarsays that the current CCM has two continuous variables that are optimized for desired crystal structures. “However,” he points out, “with our planned CCM enhancements, this search space will become even larger, and as mentioned replete with local minima that could lead to ambiguous results. We plan to use hybrid genetic, algorithms that use GA in combination with traditional nonlinear optimization approaches to locate the global minima in the large search space of experimental parameters.”Moving forward, Kumar says that other innovations you might develop apart from having ssDNA grafted nanoparticles of spherical shape, the team’s collaborators from Brookhaven National Laboratory (and co-authors of the current work) have performed experiments introducing external motifs of different shapes and its effect on final crystal structure. “Different shapes will allow us to control the interaction range and size between particles, and thereby form crystal lattices that are currently inaccessible from using spherical particles. We’re already investigating these experiments and developing strategies that could be used in the design of various nanocrystal lattices,” he explains.”Our current research focuses on developing entropy-based models to uniquely define the crystal lattices that would explain the formation of DNA grafted nanomaterials,” Kumar continues. “Experiments will validate this model, which will then be used in rational design with the GA framework. In addition, we’re planning to extend this rational design strategy to crystal structures with external motifs that aid in self-assembly.” Addressing other areas of research that might benefit from their study, Venkatasubramanian says that the scientists need a new paradigm that increases the idea flow, broadens the search horizon, and archives the knowledge from today’s successes to accelerate those of tomorrow. “Our framework addresses this challenge, and in a sense, we’re leveraging how nature discovers new materials through the Darwinian model of evolution by suitably marrying it with computational methods. It’s Darwin on steroids! This approach can potentially revolutionize materials design,” he concludes, “impacting a broad range of products that affect our daily lives, from drugs and agricultural chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides to fuel additives, paints and varnishes, and even personal care products such as shampoo.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Prof. Venkat Venkatasubramanian discussed the paper that he, Prof. Sanat Kumar, Prof. Babji Srinivasan, Thi Vo from Columbia, and their co-authors, Dr. Oleg Gang and Dr. Yugang Zhang from BNL, published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Design of DNA-grafted nanoparticles is challenging because a number of experimental parameters can play a key role in self-assembly,” Venkatasubramanian tells Phys.org. “Parameter space size can therefore become very large, with a large number of local minima, making it very difficult – if not impossible – to efficiently search the space in an Edisonian trial-and-error fashion.” The researchers’ genetic algorithm inverse design framework searches the space more systematically, making the design process more effective. (A genetic algorithm, or GA, mimics the process of natural selection.) That being said, however, Venkatasubramanian adds that another challenge in their approach is that they require reliable forward models. “While detailed models of DNA-mediated self-assembly tend to be more accurate, they would typically require simulation times ranging from several hours to a few days, and thus would not be appropriate for coupling with the genetic algorithm for rational design.” The researchers therefore chose a simpler complementary contact model (CCM) based on the predictable and well-established properties of both DNA (persistence length, rise per base pair) and DNA-NPs (number of DNA strands per particle, the hybridization behavior of sticky ends)1. “CCM has been quite successful in capturing the majority of the experimental observations,” he adds, “and being fast, it allows for effective GA coupling, generating predictions of the required design parameters in a matter of minutes.”Kumar notes that experimental validation of their approach is another, and very important, challenge. “We decided to test our framework by first trying to predict nanocrystal structures that have already been observed experimentally. Next, we created a library of crystal structures – including those obtained experimentally – specifying the relevant experimental parameters, such as DNA linker ratio and the size of the DNA grafted nanoparticles. Then we ran the genetic algorithm for a desired crystal structure that has been observed experimentally, using the CCM as a forward model. We were pleased that the genetic algorithm correctly predicted the experimental parameters that were used in the formation of the observed structure.”center_img Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Express yourself: Scientists use genetic algorithm to design self-assembling ssDNA-grafted particles (2013, November 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-11-scientists-genetic-algorithm-self-assembling-ssdna-grafted.html Using genetic algorithms to discover new nanostructured materials More information: Designing DNA-grafted particles that self-assemble into desired crystalline structures using the genetic algorithm, PNAS November 12, 2013 vol. 110 no. 46 18431-18435, doi:10.1073/pnas.1316533110Related: 1Nanoparticle Superlattice Engineering with DNA, Science 14 October 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6053 pp. 204-208, doi:10.1126/science.1210493 Srinivasan, the paper’s other co-author, acknowledges that currently the forward CCM model used in the GA framework has certain limitations. “It assumes complete DNA hybridization within the contact areas between two DNA-grafted particles as being the driving force behind self-assembly,” he explains. “In essence, this restricts the analysis to purely attractive interaction effects. To provide a more complete enthalpic picture, we plan on building repulsive interactions between the non-complementary ssDNA linkers on the nanoparticles.” Enthalpy is a measure of the total energy of a thermodynamic system. “Furthermore,” Srinivasan continues, “entropy also provides a constraint on the actual number of hybridized linkers within the nanoparticle interaction area, as well as a cost on the configuration of particles within the lattice – both of which are currently being built into the model. In addition, the current CCM does not always uniquely define a crystal structure.” For example, he illustrates, the CCM cannot distinguish between the structures of CuAu (a copper/gold alloy) and CsCl (cesium chloride), since in the unit cell both crystals have the same number of nearest neighbors and particle distribution. “This gives rise to degeneracies that we plan to address by further refining the interaction types within a crystal lattice.”last_img read more

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