.An estimated 370,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in neighboring Myanmar since late August, a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, Vivian Tan, said on Tuesday.At least 457,000 hungry and traumatized refugees have sought refuge in Bangladesh since October 2016. They have joined many thousands of refugees from previous violent episodes in Myanmar.Here are details gathered from UN sources working in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh, on the Myanmar border, where many of the refugees end up.- The jump in the number of arrivals from Sunday to Monday was fueled by the movement of many refugees from so-called transit sites into new settlement areas, where they are counted.- Authorities have been broadcasting messages along crowded roads telling people to move to a proposed camp at a settlement called Kutupalong.- An area of about 1,500 acres (607 hectares) to 2,000 acres (809 hectares), north of Kutupalong, has been set aside for new arrivals.- A survey to identify children aged 4 to 14 has been started, so as to enroll them in learning centers.- People, in particular, children, are becoming susceptible to waterborne diseases due to an acute shortage of clean water and sanitation facilities, as well as the common cold and fever.- Facilities are improving gradually, for example, two 5,000-litre (1,100-gallon) water tanks have been installed at a settlement called Unchiprang.- Some rice is now being distributed, in addition to high-energy biscuits.- The World Food Programme (WFP) has provided more than 68,800 people with high-energy biscuits since Aug. 27 as they arrive seeking shelter in Cox’s Bazar.- About 77,600 people have received warm meals through community kitchens run by aid agency Action Contre la Faim. These kitchens provide meals for about 5,300 people a day.- The WFP is especially concerned about women and children arriving hungry and malnourished. Nearly 3,000 pregnant women, new mothers and children under five have received a special, high-nutrient porridge made of wheat and soya flour.- Some families have taken children out of school, fearing they will get lost in the throng of people, but teachers are trying to reassure them.
The NOvA experiment uses two detectors: a 222 metric-ton near detector at Fermilab and a much larger 15 metric-kiloton far detector (pictured here) in Minnesota just south of the U.S.-Canada border. Scientists will detect a small fraction of the neutrinos in a near-detector at Fermilab and in a larger far-detector in Minnesota looking for signals that the neutrinos are changing from one type to another on their trip. Citation: Fermilab documenting construction of NOvA—next generation neutrino experiment (w/ video) (2014, February 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-02-fermilab-documenting-novanext-neutrino-video.html More information: www-nova.fnal.gov/ Fermilab sends first neutrino beam to NOvA experiment Explore further Neutrinos are subatomic particles, electrically neutral and still rather mysterious. Scientists believe that studying them may help lead to fully understanding what everything in the universe is ultimately made of—may physicists believe that unlike other particles, neutrinos don’t get their mass from the famous Higgs boson . Another unique thing about neutrinos is that they don’t interact much with other regular matter, instead they tend to pass right through it—billions of them are passing through each of us every second.To better understand neutrinos, researchers would like to know what happens to them as they travel, that’s what’s behind NOvA—a project that has an international team of physicists, engineers, technicians and even students building a massive two part experiment. The first part is essentially a neutrino gun—located in Batavia, Illinois—it will create neutrinos and fire them at the second site located in Ash River, Minnesota—it’s over 500 miles away which means the neutrino beam will have to travel through portions of the Earth to get there. Upon arrival, the neutrinos will be captured by a very large (14,000 ton) piece of plastic that has been fashioned into liquid filled chambers, each with neutrino detecting gear.By all measures it’s a massive project, and Fermilab clearly wants the public to know where its tax dollars are being spent. They’ve hired video professionals to not only document the construction of the two facilities, but to interview many of the people involved in the effort, from physicists, to site managers to students volunteering to help. (Phys.org) —Fermilab, run by the U.S. Department of Energy is going to great lengths to document and make known the work that is being done to build the country’s next generation neutrino experiment—a twin campus endeavor known as NOvA that will shoot neutrino’s from one site to another located over 500 miles apart. In documenting the project, Fermilab is opening a window into the vast network of people and processes that are needed to undertake building a modern physics research facility. It also helps explain why it’s so expensive, even when there is a lot of free labor provided by students.The basic equipment at both sites is expected to be completed and installed sometime this spring—the electronics will be put in later this summer. © 2014 Phys.org 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.
A global debate regarding the sale of facial recognition tech to the government has been ongoing for quite some time now. It is largely over the concern that government tracking public’s every move will hamper public privacy and develop a constant fear of being watched among the citizens. It will also provide the government an unfair ability to target immigrants, religious minorities, people of color & ethnicity. Giant tech firms such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have already gone under the scanner due to the opposition faced by rights groups and public rights organizations. These groups have been urging tech companies to reconsider the consequences that can emerge after selling the facial recognition tech to the government. Although it still remains a debate between the U.S. tech firms, government, and the citizens, it appears to be set in action across China. China apparently is using facial recognition tech to keep a track on around 11 million Uighurs, a Muslim minority, for the purposes of ‘search and review’. China has already been chastised globally for detaining nearly one million members of these Muslim ethnic minorities in indoctrination camps in its western region Xinjiang. Paul Mozur, Asia tech correspondent with the New York Times, published an article, shedding light on the harsh reality of this privacy-hampering practice. It’s the first known example of facial recognition being used intentionally by a government to racially profile and a massive ethical leap for A.I”, writes Mozur. The facial recognition tech looks out for Uighurs on the basis of their appearance and keeps a tab on their day to day activities. This practice which was earlier only ongoing in the west Xinjiang (home for Uighurs), to track people’s DNA, is now being implemented in other parts of China. Earlier this year, law enforcement in the central Chinese city of Sanmenxia had a facial recognition system that tracked whether its residents were Uighurs or not about 500,000 times in a month. Also, law enforcement at the central province of Shaanxi aimed to acquire a smart camera system in 2018 that would identify Uighur/non-Uighur attributes. Generally, facial recognition tech tracks people on the basis of skin color and face shapes. However, China’s facial surveillance, with the help of tech startups, have managed to classify people based on ‘social definition’ of race or ethnicity with the new ‘minority recognition’ feature. Chinese AI companies to aid with the software include Yitu, Megvii, SenseTime, and CloudWalk. With the help of machine learning, engineers feed thousands of labeled images of Uighurs and non-Uighurs to train the systems to recognize the pattern, which in turn, helps distinguish between different ethnic groups. Claire Garvie, an associate at center on privacy and tech at Georgetown Law, told New York Times, “If you make a technology that can classify people by ethnicity, someone will use it to repress that ethnicity.” Additionally, a face-image database has been set up for people with criminal records, mental illnesses, history of drug abuse, and those who have petitioned the government over grievances. A national database of criminals includes about 300,000 faces, and people with a history of drug use totals 8,000 faces, in the city of Wenzhou. Just last month, an analyst at Tencent & WeChat, Matthew Brennan, tweeted a video of a facial recognition kiosk at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in the People’s Republic of China that went viral. The video showed kiosk giving Brennan personalized flight information after scanning his face within a fraction of seconds. According to Jonathan Frankle, an A.I. researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this practice by China is a major threat to its democracy and an ‘urgent crisis’. Critics have labeled China negatively for its gladiatorial show of tech-enabled authoritarianism and power over Uighurs. Read Next Alarming ways governments are using surveillance tech to watch you Chinese tech companies don’t want to hire employees over 30 years of age ‘Developers’ lives matter’: Chinese developers protest over the “996 work schedule” on GitHub
MONTREAL — Air Canada and Transat A.T. Inc. have announced a deal valued at $520 million that should see Air Canada buy Transat A.T. Inc., however some of Transat’s biggest shareholders have indicated they’re not happy with the $13 per share offer.Meanwhile Transat President & CEO Jean-Marc Eustache is advising passengers that they can continue booking their flights and packages “with complete confidence, as all bookings will be honoured before and after the closing of the transaction.”News broke early Thursday morning that the two companies concluded a definitive Arrangement Agreement that provides for Air Canada’s acquisition of all issued and outstanding shares of Transat and its combination with Air Canada.The binding agreement was unanimously approved by Transat’s Board of Directors.“We are delighted to have reached this definitive agreement to combine Transat with Air Canada to achieve the best possible outcome for all stakeholders,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer at Air Canada. “For shareholders of Transat and Air Canada, this combination delivers excellent value, while also providing increased job security for both companies’ employees through greater growth prospects.”Rovinescu also noted that Air Canada intends to preserve the Transat and Air Transat brands and maintain the Transat head office and its key functions in Montreal.“Travellers will benefit from the merged companies’ enhanced capabilities in the highly competitive, global leisure travel market and from access to new destinations, more connecting traffic and increased frequencies,” he added. “The Quebec economy will derive maximum advantage of having a Montreal-based, growth-oriented global champion in aviation, the world’s most international business.”More news: War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upEustache added: “We are very pleased to join forces with such a successful player in our industry. The combination with Air Canada will give Transat new perspectives of growth, with the support of a strong network offering many options for connecting traffic. This fully-funded cash transaction is the ideal platform for Transat’s presence and jobs in Montreal, and therefore represents the best option for all our stakeholders: employees, suppliers, partners and shareholders.”While the deal got unanimous approval by Transat’s board, some of the company’s major shareholders remain dissatisfied with the price.Letko, Brosseau and Associates and PenderFund Capital Management, which jointly own a 21.1% stake, have said they would vote against the agreement if the purchase price remained at $13 per share.The agreement requires approval from two-thirds of Transat shareholders to go through. Quebec’s Fonds de solidarite FTQ, Franklin Templeton Investments, and the Caisse – Quebec’s pension fund manager – are also among the top five investors, collectively holding a 26.18 per cent stake.Air Canada and Transat’s combined 60% hold on the transatlantic market from Canada will also prompt an assessment from Canada’s Competition Bureau.On May 15, Air Canada and Transat entered negotiations toward a possible deal, giving them 30 days to finalize the details. In early June, Quebec-based real estate developer Groupe Mach announced that it too had entered a bid for Transat for $14 per share, which was turned down.The Air Canada deal includes a break fee of $15 million payable by Transat if it accepts a superior proposal. Air Canada must pay a reverse break fee of up to $40 million if the deal is cancelled because regulatory or governmental approvals are not obtained, subject to certain conditions.More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”If regulatory and shareholder approvals are obtained, the transaction is expected to be completed in early 2020.With a combined Air Canada – Air Transat, “prices will go up for Caribbean/Mexico and Europe”, says Niche Travel Group owner Faith Sproule in Dartmouth, NS. “If there is a destination city that has direct competition with WestJet, we may see the same prices (e.g. Gatwick, Paris, Dublin, Glasgow, Barcelona). I think that if Air Canada and Transat each have a flight and WestJet doesn’t do that route (Toronto to Lyon, for example), we will go down to one option and prices are going to jump.”She adds: “It looks like a good idea and good for the consumer on paper, but the prices will go from $1,100 to $1,400. I think we are looking at higher prices with everything if this merger happens.”Asked if he sees the deal as a positive move for the industry, Nexion Travel Group – Canada President Mike Foster says the answer is neither clear nor simple: “While the combined strengths of each company can lead to synergies and in turn a stronger company, there may indeed be an effect on pricing, route and loads. But I also believe that the natural forces of a free-enterprise economy means that new entrants could come in if the marketplace warrants or needs more competition.” Share Thursday, June 27, 2019 Posted by Travelweek Group Tags: Air Canada, Transat << Previous PostNext Post >> With file from The Canadian Press Potential snags & industry reaction: Air Canada set to buy Transat for $520 million