Round-up: Bees joy, Fulham discuss loan deal, Conte on Kante & Fabregas, QPR linked with West Brom man

first_imgScott Hogan’s goal gave Brentford their second home victory in three days.Hogan scored in the first half – his first goal of the season – to give the Bees a 1-0 win against Nottingham Forest at Griffin Park.Bees boss Dean Smith was full of praise for Hogan and the rest of his players after their deserved victory.Fulham, on the other hand, were denied an away win by a last-minute Leeds United equaliser at Elland Road.Fulham were close to winning at Elland Road tonightWhites boss Slavisa Jokanovic was frustrated by the late goal, but nevertheless praised his side for what he saw as their best performance so far this season.Fulham are still looking to add to their squad and the club have held talks with Sporting Lisbon over a possible deal to sign youngster Wallyson Mallman on loan.Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has praised N’Golo Kante for the Frenchman’s performance on his debut against West Ham but has played down the significance of Cesc Fabregas’ omission.Fabregas has been linked with clubs in Italy and SpainThere has been speculation about Fabregas’ future, and in other transfer tittle-tattle, QPR have been linked with West Brom winger Callum McManaman.In cricket, Middlesex bowler Steven Finn has been ruled out for a month with a hamstring tear.But on a much brighter note, Hounslow badminton player Rajiv Ouseph produced one of the best wins of his career to move into the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games in Rio.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Raiders stink up the joint in second half of 33-13 loss to Rams

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceOAKLAND — A deadly combination of skunk afterglow and sewage fumes filtered throughout one side of the Coliseum well after everyone but media and stadium staff had left.People covered their noses and mouths, zig-zagging through the bowels of the stadium so their dinner stayed down. One security guard joked he had eaten a rotten burrito, but the stench was no joke. This was serious. It stunk. Real bad.But even as a …last_img read more

US officials consider new tool to combat mine spills Robots

first_imgDENVER – Crumbling mine tunnels awash with polluted waters perforate the Colorado mountains, and scientists may one day send robots creeping through the pitch-black passages to study the mysterious currents that sometimes burst to the surface with devastating effects.One such disaster happened at the inactive Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado in 2015, when the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally triggered the release of 3 million gallons (11 million litres) of mustard-colored water laden with arsenic, lead and other contaminants. The spill tainted rivers in three states.Now, the EPA is considering using robots and other sophisticated technology to help prevent these types of “blowouts” or clean them up if they happen. But first the agency has to find out what’s inside the mines, some of which date to Colorado’s gold rush in the 1860s.Wastewater containing toxic heavy metals has been spewing from hundreds of inactive mines nationwide for decades, the product of complicated and sometimes poorly understood subterranean flows.Mining creates tainted water in steps: Blasting out tunnels and processing ore exposes long-buried, sulfur-bearing rocks to oxygen. The sulfur and oxygen mix with natural underground water flows to create sulfuric acid. The acidic water then leaches heavy metals out of the rocks.To manage and treat the wastewater, the EPA needs a clear idea of what’s inside the mines, some of which penetrate thousands of feet into the mountains. But many old mines are poorly documented.Investigating with robots would be cheaper, faster and safer than humans.“You can send a robot into an area that doesn’t have good air quality. You can send a robot into an area that doesn’t have much space,” said Rebecca Thomas, project manager for the EPA’s newly created Gold King Superfund site, officially known as the Bonita Peak Mining District.Instruments on the robots could map the mines and analyze pollutants in the water.They would look more like golf carts than the personable robots from “Star Wars” movies. Hao Zhang, an assistant professor of computer science at the Colorado School of Mines, envisions a battery-powered robot about 5 feet (1.5 metres) long with wheels or tracks to get through collapsing, rubble-strewn tunnels.Zhang and a team of students demonstrated a smaller robot in a mine west of Denver recently. It purred smoothly along flat tunnel floors but toppled over trying to negotiate a cluttered passage.“The terrain is pretty rough,” Zhang said. “It’s hard for even humans to navigate in that environment.”A commercial robot modified to explore abandoned mines — including those swamped with acidic wastewater — could cost about $90,000 and take three to four years to develop, Zhang said.Significant obstacles remain, including finding a way to operate remotely while deep inside a mine, beyond the reach of radio signals. One option is dropping signal-relay devices along the way so the robot stays in touch with operators. Another is designing an autonomous robot that could find its own way.Researchers also are developing sophisticated computerized maps showing mines in three dimensions. The maps illustrate where the shafts intersect with natural faults and provide clues about how water courses through the mountains.“It really helps us understand where we have certainty and where we have a lot of uncertainty about what we think’s happening in the subsurface,” said Ian Bowen, an EPA hydrologist. “So it’s a wonderful, wonderful tool.”The EPA also plans to drill into mines from the surface and lower instruments into the bore holes, measuring the depth, pressure and direction of underground water currents.Tracing the currents is a challenge because they flow through multiple mines and surface debris. Many tunnels and faults are connected, so blocking one might send water out another.“You put your finger in the dike here, where’s the water going to come out?” Thomas said.Once the EPA finishes investigating, it will look at technologies for cleansing the wastewater.Options range from traditional lime neutralization — which causes the heavy metals dissolved in the water to form particles and drop out — to more unusual techniques that involve introducing microbes.The choice has consequences for taxpayers. If no company is found financially responsible, the EPA pays the bill for about 10 years and then turns it over to the state. Colorado currently pays about $1 million a year to operate a treatment plant at one Superfund mine. By 2028, it will pay about $5.7 million annually to operate plants at three mines, not including anything at the Bonita Peak site.The EPA views the Colorado project as a chance for the government and entrepreneurs to take risks and try technology that might be useful elsewhere.But the agency — already dealing with a distrustful public and critical politicians after triggering the Gold King spill — said any technology deployed in Colorado will be tested first, and the public will have a chance to comment before decisions are made.“We’re certainly not going to be in the position of making things worse,” Thomas said. “So when I say we want to take risks, we do, but we want to take calculated, educated risks and not worsen water quality.”___Follow Dan Elliott at http://twitter.com/DanElliottAP . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/dan%20elliott .last_img read more

Govt refuses to disclose details on RBI Governor’s appointment

first_imgNew Delhi: The Centre has refused to share details related to the appointment of RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das citing a clause in the transparency law which bars disclosure of information, including “records of deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers”. Replying to an RTI query, it declined to share the details, including names of short-listed candidates and file notings related to the appointment. Das was on December 11, 2018 named as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for three years. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal The appointment came after Urjit Patel abruptly resigned amid a face-off with the government over issues related to governance and autonomy of the central bank. The RTI application was filed by this correspondent with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) seeking details like copy of any advertisement or vacancy circular issued by the government on appointment of RBI Governor, names of all applicants who had applied for the post and those short-listed for the top post. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost The DFS was also asked to provide details on composition of search committee to short-list candidates and copy of minutes of meetings held on deciding the RBI Governor. In its reply, the DFS said the selection of Governor, RBI is done by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on the basis of recommendation made by the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee (FSRASC). The committee is headed by cabinet secretary as its chairperson and has additional principal secretary to Prime Minister and secretary of the department concerned besides three outside experts as its members, the DFS said, without giving the names of the experts. It had then forwarded the application to the cabinet secretariat. “In this regard, it is informed that the requisite information about appointment of Shaktikanta Das as Governor, Reserve Bank of India, being Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) related file notings/documents/records, is exempted from disclosure under Section 8 (1) (i) of the Right to Information Act 205,” the cabinet secretariat said in its reply to the RTI application. The section bars disclosure of “cabinet papers, including records of deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers”. The section, however, says that the decisions of council of ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over. Das, a 1980-batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, retired as Economic Affairs Secretary in May 2017 and was since appointed India’s Sherpa to the G-20 and a member of the Finance Commission. Urjit Patel, who initially appeared to have toed the government line on issues like demonetisation, clashed with the Finance Ministry last year over issues of liquidity, reserves of the central bank and lending norms. The face-off had led to the government invoking a never-used-before provision of the RBI Act to bring the Governor to the negotiating table on these issues. After Das’ appointment was announced, Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee flayed the government for appointing the retired bureaucrat as the RBI Governor. He also warned that the decision leaves a lot of “frightening” questions about governance issues at key public institutions. Banerjee, Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), had made a strong pitch for strengthening the credibility of all key institutions like the RBI. On Patel’s sudden resignation, he had said, “We should all worry if this is a sign of institutional stress.” Addressing a function a day after Das’ appointment, former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian said the central bank’s autonomy was “sacred” which should not be compromised.last_img read more

Rain & strong winds lash city, S Bengal districts

first_imgKolkata: Rain accompanied with strong wind lashed several parts of South Bengal districts, including the city, on Tuesday evening.The traffic in some areas of the city was affected due to the strong wind and rainfall. The Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore predicted thundershower along with strong wind in various North Bengal districts in the next 48 hours. According to the weather office prediction, various South Bengal districts are also likely to receive light to moderate rainfall in the next two days. Gusty wind accompanied with rainfall may lash some South Bengal districts during the evening on Wednesday and Thursday because of the cyclonic circulation. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSanjib Bandyopadhyay, the deputy director general of Regional Meteorological Centre, said there would be occasional thunderstorm and lightning in various parts of the state in April and May because of the Nor’wester. The temperature in South Bengal districts is expected to remain normal in the two months. The temperatures may fluctuate due to rain particularly in the evening. There is a possibility of rainfall in some Western districts of Bengal in the next 48 hours. Strong wind with a speed of 45-55 km per hour may hit the South Bengal. The intensity of the wind may be slight higher in the Western districts such Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum and West Midnapore. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAccording to a weather expert, the thunderstorm will occur due to impact of the Nor’wester, which is blowing in north-west direction. Similar weather conditions will prevail in North Bengal districts, which may get more rainfall than the South Bengal districts. A cyclonic circulation is witnessed over Bengal, Jharkhand and parts of Odisha. The districts such as Nadia, North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Hooghly, Howrah, East Midnapore and the city may also receive light rainfall and experience breeze. While, the districts such as Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Malda, North and South Dinajpur will receive heavy rainfall accompanied with thunderstorm. It may be mentioned here that a gusty wind accompanied by rain swept many parts of the city, including districts in South Bengal in the evening of April 5 and 6. Trees were uprooted at many places in the city because of strong winds. Six full-grown trees toppled in Southern Avenue, Prince Anwar Shah Road, Baroj Road, Fairlie Place, Kalighat Road and AJC Bose Road areas. Train services in various sections of Howrah Division were delayed due to heavy storm and rain.last_img read more

A bit surprised at Pant’s omission, says Gavaskar

first_imgNew Delhi: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar Monday said he is surprised at young glovesman Rishabh Pant’s exclusion from India’s World Cup squad given his “exceptionally” good batting form and “great” improvement in wicket-keeping skills. The 33-year-old Dinesh Karthik pipped Pant in the fight for the second wicketkeeper’s slot in India’s 15-strong squad for the World Cup, starting May 30 in England. Gavaskar said the move is surprising but backed Karthik as a better wicketkeeper. “A bit surprised, looking at his (Pant’s) form. He was batting exceptionally well, not only in the IPL but before that also. He was showing great improvement his wicket-keeping as well. He brings that left-handed option in the top-six which is very handy against the bowlers,” gavaskar told ‘India Today’. “The bowlers have to change their line (for a left-hander) and the captains have to do a lot of field arrangements. Pant has so far scored 245 runs in the ongoing IPL, compared to Karthik’s 111. Karthik was chosen over Pant despite an indifferent IPL campaign with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Gavaskar said there was some merit in the move. “On a morning when say, MSD (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) has a flu and can’t play, you want somebody who is a better wicket-keeper. I think Karthik’s wicket-keeping skills, more than anything, have won him this place,” Gavaskar said. Gavaskar said Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who made it to the squad for his “three-dimensional qualities”, will be a very useful player for the team. “He is a cricketer who has improved over the last one year. He has grown in confidence. Shankar is a very useful cricketer. He is a very very good batsman, handy bowler, and an outstanding fielder,” the batting great explained. Former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra said Pant’s elevation to the top tier of the central contracts had him believe that the youngster would make India’s World Cup squad. “Wasn’t Pant elevated to the top tier of the Central Contracts a few weeks back?? Not a certainty in two of the three formats,” Chopra wrote on his twitter page. “India has picked Shankar as #4 option. Without really knowing if it’ll work. DK will play only when Dhoni isn’t available. And no fourth seamer. Interesting choices. Hope it works. Good luck #CWC.” Former India medium-pacer R P Singh and star of India’s 2007 World T20 triumph said he hoped that the decision to pick experience over youth works in the team’s favour at the mega-event. “Clearly they’ve chosen experience and patience in the form of @DineshKarthik. Middle order will be very interesting to see @klrahul11/@DineshKarthik could be at number 4. Rest seems sorted with @JadhavKedar and @msdhoni at number 5/6,” Singh tweeted.last_img read more

Tabu wants to collaborate with Akiv Ali again

first_imgMumbai: Actress Tabu is impressed with director Akiv Ali, and says she would love to work with him again. Ali is making his directorial debut with rom-com “De De Pyaar De”. “Akiv is literally the most fun-loving, sweet and chilled out person. He has no airs about himself. He is totally opposite of how any director or a commanding director would come across,” Tabu said in a statement. “Apart from all the fun, he knows how the work needs to be done and what exactly he is looking for in every scene,” she added. “De De Pyaar De”, also starring Ajay Devgn and Rakul Preet, is written and co-produced by Luv Ranjan. It tells a story of how a 50-year-old falls for a girl much younger than him, and what happens when she meets his former wife. Tabu said it helped to have a director with a clear vision. “If ever I had questions and doubts in my mind, Akiv would answer them in a very clear cut-to-cut way and that speaks a lot about a director. You get the surety that the film is in great hands and the director’s vision is very clear. Akiv is so nice and extremely affectionate, I wish him all the love, luck and success in life. “I would love to work with him again in the future and hoping for him to be a successful director,” she added. “De De Pyaar De” is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Luv Ranjan and Ankur Garg. It is slated to release on May 17.last_img read more

Emily Dennis has spent hours if not days watchin

first_imgEmily Dennis has spent hours, if not days, watching mosquitoes buzz around her bare, outstretched arm. Carefully, she’s observed the insects land, stab their mouthparts through her skin and feed.But if her arm is slathered with DEET — shorthand for the chemical N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, the active ingredient in many insect repellents — mosquitoes stay away.”DEET works better than any other insect repellent, and despite it being around since the late 1940s, we still don’t really understand why,” says Dennis, a neuroscientist currently at Princeton University who endured many bug bites while studying how DEET repels insects en route to her Ph.D. at Rockefeller University.Those bug bites paid off. In a paper published Thursday in Current Biology, she and her colleagues show that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, common transmitters of diseases such as dengue and Zika, sense DEET through their feet, not their mouthparts. According to the authors, the finding narrows the path for future research that could potentially help scientists develop more desirable alternatives to DEET — for example, repellents that don’t need to be reapplied as often as DEET.”This is an exciting result and a very elegant study,” says Walter Leal, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the work. “It’s elegant because it relied only on simple behavioral experiments.”DEET works in at least two ways, according to Leslie Vosshall, a neurobiologist at Rockefeller and senior author of the study. “Mosquitoes are repelled by its smell and by its taste,” she says. Previously, Vosshall’s lab developed an experimental mutant variety of mosquito called orco that causes the mosquitoes to no longer be repelled by the smell of DEET.Orco mutants don’t smell DEET and will fly toward even the most DEET-steeped human, according to Vosshall. But once they land, they immediately fly away. “Not only that, but if you look deeply into their mosquito eyes, which I do all the time, it really seems like they’re really freaked out,” she says. This observation suggested to the researchers that mosquitoes taste DEET upon contact, either with their mouthparts or with their feet.Yes, their feet. “Insects do this crazy and psychedelic thing, which is they taste with their feet,” Vosshall says. So there were seven options for the researchers to test: six feet and the biting mouthparts.Dennis, who spent many hours watching orco mosquitoes land on her DEET-covered skin, had a hunch. “It really didn’t seem like they were touching me with their mouthparts,” she says. “That made me think the legs might be important.”To test this idea, Dennis covered her arm in a latex glove with a tiny hole exposed. “Anyone who has been camping knows that if you leave even a tiny patch of skin exposed, mosquitoes will find it,” she says. The opening was just wide enough for either the mouthparts or one of the legs to touch — but not both. If mosquitoes were tasting DEET with their mouthparts, they’d be repelled and wouldn’t keep digging their mouthparts into the skin to feed. So Dennis shouldn’t get any bites on that spot.But she did. This told her that the mouthparts weren’t tasting the DEET. Ergo: It must be the legs.To directly test the legs, Dennis undertook what seems like the most tedious job imaginable. She carefully painted mosquito legs with a special kind of glue that disabled the taste receptors. “It was painstaking work,” she says. “I enjoyed a lot of podcasts during that time.”If mosquitoes taste DEET through their legs, then smothering the legs with glue should cause orco mutants to feed on Dennis’ arm as though it were DEET-free. That’s precisely what happened: Dennis’ arm got covered in bites. This confirmed to Dennis that mosquitoes get freaked when DEET touches their feet.Further testing demonstrated that even one unglued leg was enough to deter mosquitoes from landing.”We had no idea how DEET was being perceived on contact, and now we do, because of simple behavioral experiments,” says Matthew DeGennaro, a neurogeneticist at Florida International University who studies mosquito genetics. He was not an author of the paper but was listed in the acknowledgments.DeGennaro says this work could help inform the development of more-tailored alternatives to DEET. “We’ve narrowed it down to a tissue. Now we just have to narrow it down to a gene,” he says.DEET itself was developed in the 1940s through brute trial and error as chemists cooked up combinations of molecules to see what might work as an insect repellent. If scientists can determine which receptors in a mosquito’s legs are sensing DEET, they could more easily design a DEET look-alike that repels bugs but also lasts longer or is less oily. That’s still a ways off, according to Dennis. “But we’ve generated a lot of data that should lead to a lot more research.”And if you forget to apply bug spray before a hike in the woods this summer, Dennis has some advice based on personal experience. “Run your itchy arm under hot water” to mitigate the itchiness, she says. “That’s what a lot of us mosquito researchers do.”Jonathan Lambert is a freelance science writer based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter @evolambert Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more