Facebook shares progress on civil rights audit We need to do more

first_img 2 Tech Industry Digital Media Politics Internet Services Tags Comments Facebook Facebook has released a progress report on its civil rights audit, which shows it’s made some significant changes like strengthening efforts to fight voter suppression and cracking down on fake accounts seeking to influence political views.The social network unveiled on Tuesday the results of the first six months of the audit (PDF), which it launched in May in response to demands from civil rights organizations. Laura Murphy, a civil liberties leader and longtime ACLU director, led the audit. After meeting with civil rights leaders and experts, Murphy said in the progress report, Facebook decided to focus the first phase of its audit on preventing voter intimidation and suppression ahead of the US 2018 midterm elections.The social network acknowledged that implementation took longer than expected but said it was able to make important changes on its platform including strengthening efforts against voter suppression; supporting voter engagement; bringing in voting experts to inform training and policy; adding ways for users to report incorrect voting information; creating channels for state election authorities to report potential voter suppression content; and tackling fake accounts. Facebook also highlighted its “war room” efforts to combat fake election news leading up to the midterms. “Facebook is committed to working with leading US civil rights organizations to strengthen and advance civil rights on our service. They’ve raised a number of important concerns, and I’m grateful for their candor and guidance,” Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said in a blog post. “We know that we need to do more: to listen, look deeper and take action to respect fundamental rights.” The social media giant plans to continue the audit in 2019, focusing on content moderation and creating a “civil rights accountability infrastructure” to make sure Facebook stays on the right track. Facebook will release another progress report on the audit next year, Murphy said. Share your voice Facebooklast_img read more

Vladimir Putins secret gymnast lover gives birth to twins in Moscow VIP

first_imgRussia’s President Vladimir PutinLUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty ImagesAlina Kabaeva, the 36-year-old ex-gymnast who is the secret lover of Russian president Vladimir Putin has given birth to twins, reports coming out of Moscow revealed. Even though there is no official confirmation from Kremlin or Kabaeva regarding the relationship, many believe that the Olympic gold medallist has long been associated with the Russian president.Sergei Kanev, an investigative journalist close to the Russian intelligence services revealed that the entire VIP fourth floor at the Kulakov Research Centre for Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatology was completely cleared earlier this month before admitting Kabaeva for delivery. Kanev claims that Federal Protective Officers conducted a thorough check in every corner of the maternity hospital before Kabaeva’s arrival.”Half of the medical team was kicked out of the delivery ward. A famous doctor from Italy was the key to helping the birth with the assistance of academician Gennady Sukhikh, director of the medical center. The mother was delivered of two boys. However, a C-section had to be performed,” said Kanev, the Sun reports.However, Kanev did not name the Italian doctor who reached Russia for Kabaeva’s delivery.It should be noted that Vladimir Putin was married to Lyudmila Shkrebneva, and the couple has two daughters, 34-year-old Maria, and 32-year-old Yekaterina. The couple who got married in 1983 parted ways in 2014, thus ending 31 years of togetherness.It was after his divorce that Kabaeva’s name started popping up with the president. Interestingly, Kabaeva appeared several times in front of the public with a seemingly wedding ring on her fingers, and this made many people believe that Putin has secretly married her.There are also claims that the couple had already given birth to their first son in 2015 from a Swiss Clinic. Several reports also allege that Kabaeva has a fleet of jets for her service, and she also enjoys top-category security with the protection of armed soldiers.last_img read more

US lawmakers protect work authorisation of H4 visa holders

first_imgTwo US lawmakers have introduced the H-4 Employers Protection Act in the US House of Representatives, a legislature that protects work authorisation of H-4 visa workers benefitting a large number of women including Indian-Americans.Since the rule was implemented, over 100,000 workers, mainly women, have received employment authorisation. Lawmakers Anna G. Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren have also made the newly formed legislature prohibited from revoking by the Trump administration.The news comes days after The Economic Times reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a notice for the proposed rule-making that will kick in public consultations to ban the H4 EAD (Employment Authorisation Document). The DHS had written that the American citizens would benefit “by having a better chance at obtaining jobs that some of the population of the H-4 workers currently hold”.However, in March 2018, Eshoo and Lofgren led 13 Members of Congress, in writing to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, urging her to reconsider DHS’s proposal to revoke eligibility for employment authorisation to H-4 dependent spouses.As the H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of women who are also high-skilled professionals from India were majorly affected by the US government’s immigration policies.The economic burdens of families of many H-1B workers, particularly those who live in high-cost areas like Silicon Valley on a single income as they await green card approvals created major anxiety among many Indian-Americans.The H-4 Employment Protection Act also prohibits the Trump administration from revoking the legislature as “H-4 visa holders deserve a chance to contribute to their local economies and provide for their families,” said Eshoo.According to an update in the United States Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs website on February 25, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a “class of aliens eligible for employment authorization”, labelling the move as “economically significant.””H-4 visa holders deserve a chance to contribute to their local economies and provide for their families,” Eshoo said.”This is a matter of economic fairness and this legislation ensures it will continue,” she addedH-4 visa holders had obtained work permits under a special order issued by the previous Obama administration in 2015. It allowed work permits to be given to spouses who otherwise could not be employed as the process for H-1B visa holders seeking permanent resident status would take a decade or longer for it to be officially sanctioned.Since the H-1B programme offers temporary US visas that allow companies to hire highly-skilled foreign professionals working in areas with shortages of qualified American workers, Indian-Americans were a major beneficiary of this provision.The United States Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs that falls under the Office of Management and Budget has oversight on all “Unified Agenda” policies to make sure they are cost effective. President Trump had provided the H-1B visa program back in 2017, a move that was perceived as a step towards his broader “America First” and “Buy American and Hire American” policies.Lofren stated that nobody benefits from this system, least of all the American economy when H-1B dependent spouses are prohibited from working. “Many of these are accomplished and qualified individuals whose skills we’ll lose to other countries unless the Administration finds a more sensible approach to immigration,” she said.(With inputs from news agencies)last_img read more

Man found dead

first_imgPolice recovered the body of a man from Sadar union of Nasirnagar upazila on Saturday morning.Locals spotted the body under the Dantmandal bridge around 9:30am and informed police, said Nasirnagar police station officer-in-charge Abu Jafar.Later, police recovered the body and sent it to Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy, said the OC, adding that the deceased is aged around 45.The body bore injury marks on the chest.last_img

Lina Hidalgo Meets With Emergency Officials Historic Backlog Plagues Immigration Courts And

first_img Share Thursday, December 20, 2018Top afternoon stories:Lina Hidalgo Meets With Harris County Emergency OfficialsTravis Bubenik/Houston Public MediaHarris County Judge-elect Lina Hidalgo (center).Incoming Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is gearing up to lead the county’s homeland security office. She was briefed Thursday by emergency officials as she assembles her administration’s team.Hidalgo sat down with the county’s top disaster response officials, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, county constables and others. Hidalgo praised the officials’ work building what she described as a highly-regarded emergency operations team.Hidalgo said she sees opportunities for streamlining, implementing best practices and cutting out redundancies across county government. She said she wants to build government that’s “better and costs less.”The 27-year old and first-time office holder was elected in November as part of a Democratic “blue wave” that swept the nation’s third-largest county. She takes offices January 1, 2019.Elizabeth Trovall/Houston Public MediaThis photo shows the outside of the detained courts at the ICE Houston Service Processing Center.Historic Backlog Plagues Immigration Courts In Texas, NationwideTexas saw a 30 percent increase in pending immigration cases over the last two years, reaching a backlog of more than 119,000 cases, according to a report by Syracuse University. That’s nearly 30,000 cases more than in September 2016.Since Trump took office, the number of cases pending nationwide grew nearly 50 percent to more than 809,000. The backlog means detained immigrants will spend months longer behind bars, even though detained cases are prioritized in the courts and tend to move much faster.Non-detained immigrants face even longer wait times, though they are given work permissions while they wait. Some court dates are scheduled as far out as 2022. Houston’s courts also saw an increased backlog, with the number of pending cases now over 53,000.Harris County Sheriff’s OfficeHarris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez (center).Sheriff’s Office Asks Victims Of Local Security Company To Come ForwardThe Harris County Sheriff’s Office is asking victims of a man who works for a local security company and that has been arrested for aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping to come forward.Sheriff Ed Gonzalez held a press conference Thursday to discuss the arrest of Pablo Munoz Garza, 39, owner of TexGuard Services Co.A joint task force of the Violent Crime Unit at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) arrested Munoz Garza for aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping for an incident that occurred in July of 2018.According to the investigation, on July 29, 2018, Garza and several of the security guards that work under him assaulted and robbed a 33-year-old Hispanic male at a club called La Oveja Negra. One of the security guards could be identified with the name “Cowboy.”HCSO lieutenant Jeff Stauber said that, based on their findings, investigators think there are other victims.last_img read more

Looney Tunes Battle Game on Deck From Warner Bros Scopely

first_img“The Looney Tunes are literally timeless, and the originators of over-the-top, animated slapstick comedy,” said Tim O’Brien, Scopely’s chief revenue officer. “‘World of Mayhem’ perfectly integrates that trademark contemporary humor into a mobile experience that gamers of all levels can pick up and play, while offering the deep multiplayer RPG combat and builder gameplay that will engage them for months and years.”For Warner Bros., the deal represents a new avenue to monetize the Looney Tunes intellectual property, and it’s banking on the game having appeal among adults who grew up watching the antics of Bugs Bunny and the rest of the crew.“Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem” is available for pre-registration on Google Play, and will be available as a free download on both iOS and Android this fall. The free-to-play game will include in-app purchases, which is a typical industry model.L.A.-based Scopely is now valued at more than $700 million, after it closed a $160 million Series C round. Investors include Revolution Growth, Greycroft Partners, Evolution Media, Greenspring Associates and Horizons Ventures. Hollywood execs who have invested in Scopely include Peter Chernin, Tom Staggs (former COO of Disney) and Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos.The company, founded in 2011, has produced several top-grossing games, including “The Walking Dead: Road to Survival,” an RPG based on AMC’s hit TV show; “WWE: Champions,” a puzzle-matching role-playing game; “Wheel of Fortune Free Play”; and “Yahtzee! With Buddies.” Get ready to do battle with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, Yosemite Sam, Tweety Bird and other Looney Tunes characters — complete with plummeting ACME anvils, exploding presents, and giant space lasers.Mobile game “Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem,” slated to be released this fall, will bring together more 70 characters from WB’s Looney Tunes franchise to wage prank-combat and cause other mischief. In the role-playing game, users collect and battle with characters that have ridiculous, unique abilities to fight against each other in different game modes. Players also can build personalized “Toon Towns” in the app.The game is being published by Scopely under a pact with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and it’s developed in partnership with Brazil’s Aquiris Game Studio. Popular on Variety center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Researchers discover a blazarlike narrowline Seyfert 1 galaxy

first_imgR band SDSS image of J2118-0732. Credit: Yang et al., 2018. Explore further Researchers have identified a new blazar-like narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy that emits gamma-ray radiation. The new galaxy, designated SDSS J211852.96−073227.5, could offer insights into formation and evolution of jets of radiation produced by massive galactic central black holes. The findings are reported January 11 in a paper published on arXiv.org. More information: SDSS J211852.96−073227.5: a new blazar-like narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy with flaring γ-ray radiation, arXiv:1801.03963 [astro-ph.HE] arxiv.org/abs/1801.03963AbstractWe report on the identification of a new γ-ray-emitting narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxy, SDSS J211852.96−073227.5 (hereafter J2118−0732). The galaxy, at a redshift of 0.26, is associated with a radio source of flat/inverted spectrum at high radio frequencies. The analysis of its optical spectrum obtained from the SDSS revealed a small line width of the broad component of the Hβ line (FWHM = 1590 km,s−1), making it a radio-loud NLS1 galaxy —- an intriguing class of AGN with exceptional multi-wavelength properties. A new γ-ray source centred at J2118−0732 was sporadically detected during 2009-2013 in form of flares by the {it Fermi}-LAT. Our {it XMM-Newton} observations revealed a flat X-ray spectrum described by a simple power law, and a flux variation by a factor of ∼2.4 in 5~months. The source also shows intraday variability in the IR band. The drop of the broad-band fluxes from the IR, optical to X-ray in 5 months can be modeled by a drop of both the non-thermal jet emission and the emission from an accretion disk, with a decrease of the Eddington ratio by several times, suggesting the coupling of the disk accretion and the jet launching. With the NLS1-blazar composite nucleus, the clear detection of the host galaxy and the synchronous variations in the multiwavelength fluxes and the disk component, J2118−0732 provides a new perspective on the formation and evolution of relativistic jets as well as the disk-jet coupling mechanism. 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. Citation: Researchers discover a blazar-like narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy (2018, January 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-blazar-like-narrow-line-seyfert-galaxy.html © 2018 Phys.org Narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxies are a class of active galactic nuclei (AGN) that have all the properties of type 1 Seyfert galaxies, but show peculiar characteristic like narrow Balmer lines, strong Fe II emission, and extreme properties in the X-rays.Astronomers and astrophysicists are specially interested in the radio-loud (RL) NLS1 galaxies, which usually showcase a compact radio morphology with a one-sided core-jet structure. Previous studies indicate that some RL NLS1, due to their blazar-like characteristics, produce relativistic jets—beams of ionized matter accelerated close to the speed of light.Therefore, finding and studying new RL NLS1s could help us improve our knowledge about complex phenomena like relativistic jets as the process of their formation and evolution is still not well understood.Now, a team of researchers led by Hui Yang of the Key Laboratory of Space Astronomy and Technology in Beijing, China, has detected new RL NLS1 galaxy emitting gamma-ray radiation. SDSS J211852.96−073227.5 (or J2118−0732 for short) was confirmed as a gamma-ray-emitting RL NLS1 galaxy by observations conducted with Large Area Telescope (LAT) onboard NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and with ESA’s X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton), as well as by analysis of data provided by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).”Here, we present our discovery of a new γ-ray-emitting NLS1–SDSS J211852.96−073227.5 by analyzing the SDSS spectrum, the Fermi-LAT and XMM-Newton observational data,” the scientists wrote in the paper.J2118−0732 was detected at a redshift of 0.26 and has an estimated black hole’s mass of about 33 million solar masses. According to the study, the galaxy’s Balmer and Fe II emission lines confirm its NLS1 nature. Furthermore, data obtained by LAT revealed the existence of gamma-ray emission from J2118−0732 at a relatively high state for about 4 years of observations. Moreover, XMM-Newton observations indicated that J2118−0732 is the brightest X-ray source in the field, exhibiting a large X-ray variability.The researchers noted that properties of J2118−0732 such as large radio loudness, with a flat and inverted radio spectrum and remarkably rapid infrared intraday variability of less than a day, confirm its blazer-like nature.In general, the authors of the paper concluded that the data presented in the study could shed new light on the formation and evolution of relativistic jets and jet-disk coupling.”The broadband SED (spectral energy distribution) can be well modeled by a one-zone leptonic jet model. And the synchronous variations in the multiwavelength fluxes and the disk component suggest the coupling of the disk accretion and the jet launching,” the researchers concluded. Astronomers discover 21 changing-look active galactic nucleilast_img read more

Rice lecture to focus on new political reality in US

first_imgShare1Rice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsNEWS RELEASEDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy McCaig713-348-6777amym@rice.eduRice lecture to focus on ‘new political reality’ in USHOUSTON – (Nov. 10, 2017) – The “new political reality” of the United States will be the focus of the third Scientia lecture Nov. 14 at Rice University at 4 p.m. in Duncan Hall’s McMurtry Auditorium.Rice political scientist Rick Wilson, the Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Political Science and professor of statistics and of psychology and director of the Scientia Institute, will examine this new reality, in which alternative facts are a meaningful part of political dialogue. He will also discuss the power of political conspiracies. Looking at former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate controversy and former President Richard Nixon’s Apollo 11 landing, Wilson will detail the underlying psychological principles driving believers and point to the rhetorical advantages gained by politicians for promoting conspiracies.Who: Rice political scientist Rick Wilson.What: Scientia 2017 Fall Lecture Series.When: 4 p.m. Nov. 14.Where: Duncan Hall’s McMurtry Auditorium on the Rice University campus, located at 6100 Main Street in Houston.Scientia is an institute of Rice University faculty founded in 1981 by the mathematician and historian of science Salomon Bochner. The lecture series provides an opportunity for scholarly discussion across disciplinary boundaries; its members and fellows come from a wide range of academic disciplines. For more on Scientia and upcoming events, visit http://scientia.rice.edu.Media are invited to attend the lecture, which is free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.For a map of Rice University’s campus, go to http://www.rice.edu/maps/maps.html.-30- This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials: Rick Wilson bio: http://rkw.rice.edu/Scientia website: https://scientia.rice.edu/Photo link: http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/11/rkw_office-203ybpu.jpgPhoto credit: Rick WilsonLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,879 undergraduates and 2,861 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview. AddThislast_img read more