MOOSE RIVER GOLD MINES, NOVA SCOTIA, – Amid the dull claystone of a tube-shaped sample of rock, the gleaming, pulse-quickening swirl of gold is unmistakable.“It’s quite a special specimen of gold — it’s by far the best visible section of gold we’ve ever intersected,” said Tim Bourque, a geologist with Atlantic Gold Corp, cradling the metre-long sample in his arms.The rock was gathered last fall at the firm’s Fifteen Mile Lake property, one of four deposits it owns in Nova Scotia’s old gold districts.The discovery of the precious metal in such unremarkable hunks of stone is helping to revive a dormant industry — and Bourque hopes it will keep the company’s Moose River Consolidated Project flourishing after its initial Touquoy mine starts up here in September.The company says Touquoy will stamp out 87,000 ounces of gold in its first year — each ounce currently worth over US$1200 each — an indication of the potential riches that have drawn Atlantic Gold (CVE:AGB) and other miners to the interior of the province’s Eastern Shore region.The number of provincial exploration licences shot up from 259, covering 35,000 hectares, to 417 licences covering almost 97,000 hectares last year. Those include other minerals, but the Department of Natural Resources says “gold is a target for many.”Another mining company, Newfoundland-based Anaconda (TSX:ANX), has purchased a gold mine in Goldboro, 185 kilometres northeast of Halifax, with plans to mine and ship ore from the site to its central processing site in Newfoundland within three years.Nova Scotia’s 21st century gold industry differs from the era of underground shafts at Moose River Gold Mines, the site of a world-famous 1936 cave-in that trapped three men and led to the live broadcast of a dramatic rescue that was heard across the continent.Geologists are now seeking tiny flecks of the precious mental in the folds of ordinary, “host” rock that held the quartz, rather than exclusively in the quartz veins that characterize underground gold mines.The new Moose River mines are open pits the size of multiple football fields, using daily explosions to extract tonnes of ore along with a mass crushing and leaching to draw out tiny amounts of gold.The concept relies on massive volumes of ore, a standardization of crushing methods that keep costs down, close proximity to ports and cities — Halifax is less than 90 minutes away — and a relatively strong gold price.John Wightman, executive director of the Nova Scotia Prospectors Association, says the old-timers who ran the underground mines in places like Moose River, Caribou or Goldboro in the last century never would have imagined the scene unfolding near their idled shafts.“We’re looking at deposits for the most part that are disseminated gold, which means the grade is low compared to traditional mines,” he said.At the Touquoy site, pits have been blasted deep into the ground.During a tour, chief operations officer Maryse Belanger says about 25,000 tonnes of ore will start to be moved around the grounds each day this fall.Some will go to build the dam being erected in the distance, other portions go into construction on the site and about a quarter will be put through a processing plant being built on higher ground.“Open pit mining here in Nova Scotia is part of redefining what the (Canadian) industry can do,” she said, as she stands in front of grey rock face where the first ore will be blasted into 15-centimetre chunks.She says after her firm assembled a series of properties in 2014 in the centre of the province, it was able to raise about $150 million in investment.Those funds pay for a processing plant built by Australia’s Ausenco firm, where massive quantities of ore will be pulverized. The flecks of gold that gravity and crushing can’t extract is drawn away by cyanide flowing through tanks.Each tonne of rock averages about 1.45 grams of gold — roughly the equivalent of a few paper clips next to an adult elephant.The gold will be stored in a windowless, three-storey building where furnaces are to create the bullion bars before they’re stored in a thick cement vault currently under construction.As Belanger gives the tour, heavy trucks lumber around the property, building holding areas for a pond where water from the project is stored before being returned to the environment.This discarded water is among the environmental concerns raised by some residents of the region.Retiree Barbara Markovits says nitrogen in the effluent — in part from the explosives — may lead to unnatural enrichment of surrounding waters, leading to potential fish kills.“We remain concerned about the ongoing water quality of the effluent when that mine starts,” said Markovits, a member of the Eastern Shore Forest Watch, who suspects open-pit gold mining may prove to be a temporary industry that’s highly dependent on keeping costs low.The company responded in an email that nitrogen levels can be controlled through proper selection of explosives that won’t produce the residues and are highly insoluble in water.Markovits said her group also wants effluent-quality test results to be placed online within “days or hours.”As well, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is demanding further information on the impacts of the second open pit, the Beaver Dam project, which would have trucks carrying ore over rural highways to Touquoy.Belanger says the company’s response to the issues will be posted “in the coming weeks,” and that its proposed hauling route “does not pass by any existing homes.”But amidst environmental concerns, there are also Nova Scotia mining professionals grateful for the chance to return home for work.The Touquoy site alone is expected to result in 200 new jobs in the area.For geologists and hard-rock miners who grew up in the province, the gold industry means a return home and a chance to prove open pit mining will have a net benefit.Douglas Keating, the son of an Eastern Shore fisherman, spent decades travelling the globe, including time working in Africa with Belanger.“I’ve been in this industry for 35 years and it’s nice to come back home … I’d like to bring a lot more people back here as well,” the chief assayer said during a tour of his lab.
America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth, will honor five extraordinary leaders with the Promise of America Award, its highest honor, at its annual Promise Night Gala in New York City on April 18.The gala will follow Recommit to Kids | The Summit for America’s Future, a daylong convening of business, philanthropy, nonprofit, government, education and faith leaders in NYC focused on a national push to refocus the nation on the needs of young people.Promise Night honorees exemplify how leaders from business, entertainment, government, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector each have a role in improving the lives of America’s youth.“There is no better investment of time and money than that which we make in children,” said Alma J. Powell, chair, America’s Promise. “We thank our Promise of America honorees for their extraordinary work on behalf of children and youth and ask others to join us as we recommit ourselves and our work to helping all children reach their American dream.”“Each honoree represents the best in his or her field, and each makes time to better the lives of children,” said America’s Promise President & CEO John Gomperts. “America’s Promise is proud to stand with such a committed group. Their work and advocacy on behalf of young people is exactly what we need to help more young people stay on a path to adult success.”This year’s Promise of America honorees include: • Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO, American Express Company • Common, hip-hop artist, actor, film producer, and founder of the Common Ground Foundation • Arne Duncan, managing partner, Emerson Collective • Bryan Stevenson, executive director, Equal Justice Initiative • Dorothy Stoneman, founder, YouthBuildThe Promise of America Awards honor champions who have answered the call of every American president for the past 40 years to fulfill the Five Promises for children and youth: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to serve.Audra Day, along with the Boys & Girls Harbor Choir, and Kenny G will perform during the evening event.Last year’s Promise of America Award recipients included Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target Corporation; Dr. Angela Diaz, director of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center; Patricia de Stacy Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and Magic Johnson, chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises.America’s Promise will present additional awards on April 18th, including the People of Promise, Promise Heroes and the Powell Legacy Awards, which recognize young adult leaders, community leaders and organizations creating change for young people, respectively.To learn more about the 20th anniversary events, please visit www.Recommit2Kids.org.
Megan Walker has been lobbying police for 10 years to release names of people who buy sex. (Submitted photo)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsWhen the Winnipeg Police Service revealed results of it sex-buying crackdown last week one thing was missing – the names of 34 men they arrested.“We’re unable to release the names,” said Const. Rob Carver, a media spokesperson.“It’s not public and we couldn’t do it.”Carver made the comments while revealing the results of Project Guardian, which targeted pursuers of underage sex between June 16 and August 31.He said 34 men – between the ages of 22 and 83 – were arrested for “street sexual exploitation” and charged with obtaining sexual services for consideration.The average age of the girls selling sex was 13.But Carver wouldn’t identify the buyers.He said privacy provisions were at play because the men were “released on what’s called a promise to appear or an appearance notice.”He said the names would appear on the court docket in about three weeks once charges were officially laid.Red dresses have come to symbolize Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. (APTN file)That has the head of an Ontario women’s shelter crying foul.“We release the names of drunk drivers, we release the names of those who download pornography, we release the names of those who break into banks,” said Megan Walker, executive director of the London Abused Women’s Centre.“But when it comes to the lives of women and girls, we’re just going to say, ‘OK, we’re not giving you that information?’”Walker said men who buy sex are “sexual predators” who don’t care if girls are under-age or trafficked into the sex trade against their will.She argues they’re just as dangerous as drug dealers and murderers.“These women and other women are at great risk of future harm if we don’t name these men.”Yet, it took Walker a decade to win over her police service.“It took me 10 years – it took our agency 10 years – to get them to wake up and recognize this was sexual violence,” she said.It was last February when then-London Police Chief John Pare agreed to change the naming policy.“Our agency fought really hard, along with many other agencies like NWAC (Native Women’s Association of Canada) and ONWAC (Ontario Native Women’s Association of Canada), to advocate for criminalizing men who purchase sexual services,” Walker said.The Minnesota Ramsey County sheriff’s office released these photos of men charged in an underage sex sting earlier this summer.The move made London only the ninth city in Canada to no longer withhold the names of those charged with purchasing sex.Pare noted London – like Winnipeg – is a major hub for human trafficking and sexual exploitation. And his force should use every tool to protect girls and women.Walker couldn’t agree more, noting each police chief in Canada has the power to make the names public.“Every single police chief across this country has the authority to make decisions around whether names will be released or not,” she said.“That is within the Police Services Act. So we had a great chief. Finally.”Yet her battle to smash “the patriarchy” is not over.Walker said London media outlets have refused to publish the now-available names and hold sex buyers to the same level of accountability as those accused of other crimes.“Every time it comes to the lives of women and girls: we are dismissed, we don’t count, women and girls are disposable and we are commodities,” she added, noting her agency has taken it upon itself to post the names on social media.“And the media and police and many organizations across the country believe those men need to be protected.”The Winnipeg Police Service withholds names of men arrested for buying sex from minors. (APTN file)However, Sgt. Rick McDougall, of the Winnipeg Police counter-exploitation unit, said more than just privacy is at play.He said first-time sex buyers are given the option of attending an education program instead of being prosecuted – so it’s not fair to release their names in advance.He noted in exchange for spending a day at Winnipeg’s Prostitution Offender Program with counselling by members of The Salvation Army – similar diversion programs exist across Canada – men leave without a criminal record.“Once the offenders go through that, and they get exposed to the true harms that they’re inflicting on these people…the deterring effect is huge,” said McDougall, noting the program boasts “a less than one per cent recidivism rate.”But Alaya McIvor, an Indigenous survivor of sexual exploitation and advocate for those at risk, wonders why sex buyers deserve this special treatment.“They’re exploiting a child in need of protection,” she said in an interview. “It should be a crime – it is a crime – to buy sex from minors.”McIvor testified about her cousin who was murdered in 2011 at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. She also organizes an annual memorial walk in Winnipeg on Mother’s Day.“Why do guys get to go to a room for one day…when they just damaged a young kid for the rest of their lives?” she asked.“They need to publish those names; they need to be held accountable.”Under Project Guardian, McDougall noted a further 38 men were stopped and questioned at special checkstops. Five more were arrested from online sexual exploitation.READ Project Guardian press firstname.lastname@example.org@katmarte
WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump and General Motors (all times local):2:40 p.m.President Donald Trump is saying he’s “very disappointed” in General Motors closing plants — and he says the White House is “looking at cutting all subsidies” for the auto giant.Trump tweeted his warning Tuesday, a day after GM announced it would shutter five plants and slash 14,000 jobs in North America.He blasted GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, “for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland” even though “nothing” was “being closed in Mexico & China.”Trump angrily referred to the 2008 federal auto bailout by adding that “the U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!”The president floated the idea of cutting subsidies for GM’s electric cars program.White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not elaborate as to what cuts could be enacted.___2:15 p.m.The White House is expressing “great disappointment” in General Motors after the automobile giant announced it would be cutting thousands of jobs.National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said Tuesday the White House’s reaction was “a tremendous amount of disappointment maybe even spilling over into anger.”Kudlow met with GM CEO Mary Barra on Monday after the company announced it would shutter five plants and slash 14,000 jobs in North America. Kudlow says it felt as though GM “kind of turned” its back on President Donald Trump by closing the plants in the Midwest.Kudlow says he didn’t see a recession in the offing and didn’t rule out that the White House may take action against GM.General Motors Co. says it’s abandoning many of its car models and restructurings to focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.The Associated Press
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today that the future of thousands of Sierra Leonean children who once fought one of the world’s most vicious civil wars has now been thrown into doubt by a shortfall in funding for on-going education re-integration programmes.The agency’s two-year long educational courses for former child soldiers in Sierra Leone had scored many notable successes before donor support began to dwindle, UNICEF said, stressing the need for almost $1.4 million immediately and another $2.5 million in the near future.“We are now going to close these courses less than half-way through. We will have thousands of youth on the streets, many of whom have toted guns, who have had a taste of success in school, and to whom we are handing the bitter pill of failure,” UNICEF Representative to Sierra Leone Aboubacry Tall said from the capital Freetown.A total of almost 100,000 children would be affected by the pending cuts, a setback to the promises made during the 2000 peace settlement to make education a cornerstone of the demobilization process. “If we can’t show proof of the dividends of peace to children, how can we prove the dividends of peace to adults?” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said. “We’re faced this month with literally shutting down re-education and re-training programmes, and disengaging with thousands of young people who trusted us to deliver.”Ms. Bellamy warned that this was a dangerous development for peace in West Africa as a whole. “Many of the children who fight in these armies join because their parents have been killed, and they have no alternative survival structure,” she said.The warning comes at a time when a spate of fresh attacks in recent months, involving the use of child soldiers, has emerged in sub-Saharan Africa. UNICEF said the phenomenon is not limited to that region alone – some 300,000 children involved as soldiers, guerrilla fighters, porters and spies are embroiled in conflicts in 30 countries around the world.
Yesterday, Assistant High Commissioner Kamel Morjane met with representatives of the Ecuadorian Bishops’ Conference, the main partner of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ecuador, a spokesman for the agency said in Geneva.Mr. Morjane then visited the premises of the Bishops’ Conference Committee for Refugees – the largest refugee and asylum seeker reception centre in the country. There, he met Colombian asylum seekers as they waited to be interviewed. Since January 2000, Ecuador has received more than 21,000 asylum seekers and has granted refugee status to almost 7,000 individuals, mostly from Colombia.Later yesterday, Mr. Morjane travelled to Lago Agrio in the northern province of Sucumbios, close to the Colombian border. “He said he was struck by the seriousness of the plight of Colombian refugees, but was heartened to see a number of small-scale activities that are benefiting both refugees and local residents,” spokesman Kris Janowski said, hailing a women’s initiative to produce fruit jam and preserves for the local market, supporting community health promoters and organic home farming initiatives in the process.Mr. Morjane arrived in the Ecuadorian capital Quito on Wednesday, where he visited the Office for Refugees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He then met with the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, Patricio Zuquilanda. During their talks, the UN official thanked Ecuador for its tradition of hospitality to refugees and urged the Minister to continue to receive Colombian refugees in the same humanitarian spirit.The Assistant High Commissioner also stressed the need to distinguish between people with genuine protection concerns from people engaged in illegal activities, and assured the minister of UNHCR’s continued support to Ecuador in the task of providing protection and assistance to refugees, according to the spokesman.
Following his first visit to the country, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, said that technical and vocational education and training, and collaboration with industry and enterprises “must be strengthened to ensure that the Seychellois acquire the skills and competencies needed to build the nation.”He noted a lack of dedicated, training teachers, a trend he called “very alarming” and said that the profession “is not attractive enough” for the quality education needed.“If the quality of education is to improve, measures must be taken to restore the esteem of the profession, as well as teaching conditions, to ensure the best students are attracted to teaching,” Mr. Singh said, warning that recent gains made in education are at risk if the crisis in teaching recruitment is not urgently addressed. During his eight-day visit to the Seychelles, which started on 14 October, Mr. Singh met with President James Michel and other senior Government officials, as well as representatives of civil society, teachers, and students.“The active participation of all sectors of civil society, including teachers, students, their parents and communities, is vital for a well-functioning national education system,” the UN independent expert said during visits to primary and secondary schools and public universities on the main island of Mahé.Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes. Mr. Singh will present his report to the Council in June 2014.Among the recommendations expected in his report will be continued support for the President’s National Renaissance Program.“This program provides a blueprint on how the serious social issues being faced by children at home and in schools can be addressed, but it can only succeed if parents and communities are actively engaged in dialogue and actions to find solutions together,” said Mr. Singh.“Strengthening personal, social and civil education in schools, and enhancing discipline in schools, are important means of addressing this challenge.”
Viroj Sumyai, who presented the Board’s Annual Report on 6 July to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), urged Member States to integrate gender perspectives in the elaboration of their drug policies to address this discrepancy.According to the report, drug-related harms to women and the resulting consequences for communities are often “sorely under-studied,” and gender-disaggregated data on drug use are rarely collected.“There are also inadequate budget allocations by Member States for the specific prevention and treatment of drug dependence and substance use disorders among women, who often do not have access to any assistance and suffer in silence,” the report pointed out.In this context and to learn more about the work of the INCB, as well as the challenges before the international drug control regime, UN News spoke to Mr. Sumyai, a national of Thailand, during his recent visit to UN Headquarters.Parts of the interview have been edited for brevity and clarity.UN News: Can you tell us about the work of the INCB?Viroj Sumyai: The board is composed of 13 members, elected in their personal capacity, by the Economic and Social Council. We are based in Vienna, Austria. Our primary responsibility is to monitor the compliance by the States parties to the three international drug control conventions: the 1961 Convention; the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances; and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. VIDEO: President of the International Narcotics Control Board, Viroj Sumyai, calls on governments to facilitate treatment for women dealing with substance abuse.UN News: Women and drugs was a key subject in the Board’s latest annual report. What were the major concerns that you identified and how can they be addressed?Viroj Sumyai: The biggest problem we see is the disproportionate impact on women in being able to access treatment facilities for substance use disorder. According to the data, only one in five women addicted to drugs are going to treatment facilities.There are no specialized facilities for women to seek treatment. This creates a major obstacle both for them as well as their families, especially children that depend on women for care.Looking at it from a sustainable development perspective, when governments are looking at issues such as livelihoods for their populations, they need to look at this issue too. It is also the right of women to seek treatment for substance use disorder.And this is my main goal as the President of the INCB: I want to tackle the problem of lack of access to treatment for women who are addicted to drugs.UN News: What are your thoughts on the abuse of opioid medications? Viroj Sumyai: Over prescription of opioid medication, happening primarily in high-income countries like the US, Canada, countries in Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, is creating a lot of problems. However, at the same time, there is the lack of access to these medications in low- and middle-income countries which in itself is causing a lot of issues. This is a major concern.UN News: What are the biggest challenges for the international drug control system and how can they be overcome?Viroj Sumyai: The biggest challenge, in my view, is for the people in the middle- and low-income countries who suffer from the lack of access to controlled medications due to misconceptions on the part of the State party, who feels that very strict controls over narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances is good and that it stops diversion of these drugs into illicit markets.This is resulting in medical practitioners and health officials becoming reluctant to prescribe such medications – like morphine – to people who are in need and are suffering from deadly diseases and require the medicines to alleviate their pain. Similarly, persons with psychological illness are also suffering because they cannot avail psychotropic medicines they need.IRINDespite eradication and education efforts, drug use, especially heroin, remains rampant in parts of Myanmar.UN News: Can you share some good practices on tackling drug-related offences while also upholding human rights?Viroj Sumyai: Many officials in law enforcement have raised the issue of overcrowding in prisons of those incarcerated on drug-related offences. According to the 1961 Convention, drug-abuse offence is a minor offence, and rather than incarcerating the drug user, getting them to treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration could be a better option. This would be a very good practice to follow.UN News: Can you tell us about the collaboration between the INCB and other UN entities?Viroj Sumyai: We are working closely with the UN World Health Organization (WHO) as well as with UNAIDS (the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS), particularly to address the problems of those suffering with HIV and AIDS and are at the end stages of their lives, especially as they need morphine to lessen their pain.With WHO, given their work with health professionals, we collaborate on building capacity regarding proper prescription of opioid medication and to ensure that these medicines are not over-prescribed. We also work with WHO in programmes on building capacities of national authorities on procurement of various types of medications.UN News: What message would you like to convey to UN Member States?Viroj Sumyai: I urge UN Member States, especially those that have the financial resources at their disposal, to support the INCB project building the capacity of national officials in low- and middle-income countries to tackle the problem of low access to opioid medication.UN Photo/Staton WinterA staff member of the Liberia National Police Anti-Drug Squad reviews the municipal dump outside Monrovia, Liberia.UN News: Is there anything you would like to add?Viroj Sumyai: One of the problems we are encountering is some Member States not acting in a manner consistent with the 1961 Convention on issues regarding the legalization of non-medical use of cannabis. The 1961 Convention allows Member States to use schedule one substances for medical and scientific purposes. The time has already passed for the traditional use of cannabis or coca leaf because when this Convention was ratified there was a grace period of 25 years for each Member State to abolish the traditional use of cannabis or coca leaf, such as chewing the leaf.This time period has already passed. We need to look towards the future and not go back to old practices or we will have to solve problems such as [those associated with] the problem of tobacco. Right now, a lot of money is wasted on trying to solve health problems associated with smoking. So if we go back to old habits of smoking marijuana, at the end we will find ourselves facing the problem not different from the problem of smoking.INCB is an independent, quasi-judicial expert body established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. It comprises 13 members, each elected by the UN Economic and Social Council, in their personal capacity to serve as independent experts.
“The physical, mental, and emotional injuries inflicted by ISIL are almost beyond comprehension. If victims are to rebuild their lives, and indeed those of their children, they need justice and they need redress,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a press release.Victims have been subjected to rape and sexual assault, forced displacement, abduction, deprivation of liberty, slavery, forced religious conversion, and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. Women from the Yazidi and other minority communities have been especially vulnerable to abuses of human rights and violation of international humanitarian law.The report notes that the Iraqi Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government have taken some positive steps to promote women and children’s rights and to address the needs of those who have suffered abuses at the hands of ISIL.However, the report says, the criminal justice system largely fails to ensure the appropriate protection of victims, requiring significant legislative and institutional changes to facilitate access to justice and to ensure the care and protection of victims in such proceedings.The situation of hundreds of children born to women in ISIL-controlled areas without birth certificates or whose ISIL-issued documents are not accepted by the Government of Iraq or the Kurdistan Regional Government is also deeply troubling, the report says. Birth registration requires the parents to present proof of marital status and two witnesses must confirm the circumstances of the child’s birth – exceedingly difficult in the case of children whose parents may be dead or missing; where the father’s identity is not known; where a child has been abandoned due to stigma or for those who live in IDP camps where no civil status offices or courts operate.“Children who were born in ISIL-controlled areas have the same legal rights as any other Iraqi citizen and the Government must ensure they are protected from marginalisation and abuse, neither exposed to discrimination through references on their birth certificate that they were born out of wedlock or have a father linked to ISIL, nor left unregistered and at risk of statelessness, exploitation and trafficking,” the High Commissioner stressed.The report makes several recommendations on access to justice; provision of support and care for victims; information and counselling services to reunite separated families, and the importance of birth registration.
What opponent would you least want to see on your favorite NFL team’s schedule? Most of you, I’d guess, would want to avoid Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. But after that?The Seattle Seahawks, despite their 3-3 record, remain a perfectly reasonable answer to this question. When our NFL Elo ratings come out later this week, they’ll have Seattle in third place — just slightly behind New England (and further behind Denver) and just slightly ahead of Dallas, Indianapolis and San Francisco. You could argue these cases — are you more afraid of the Seahawks defense or Colts quarterback Andrew Luck? Are you sure you’d rather play Seattle than Denver when the Seahawks already beat the Broncos this season — and demolished them in last year’s Super Bowl?It’s not as though Seattle’s season has been a disaster. The Seahawks have outscored their opponents by 18 points against a very tough schedule. Jeff Sagarin’s ratings at USA Today have them as the third-best team in football based solely on their performance this year.Our Elo ratings carry over performance from previous seasons, which helps Seattle some. This usually yields more reliable estimates of team strength, especially early in the season (six games is a small sample size). You could argue against accounting for prior years’ performance when a team is old or when its roster had turned over substantially. But Seattle’s hasn’t. It has brought its core back from last year, when it was the third-youngest team in football. Quarterback Russell Wilson is just 25, an age when most QBs are still improving.Nonetheless, the Elo ratings have the Seahawks as underdogs to make the playoffs. In the simulations we ran after Sunday night’s games, Seattle made the playoffs just 46 percent of the time.The Seahawks are harmed by playing in the NFL’s toughest division, in a deep conference and against a very tough schedule. A league-average team playing Seattle’s schedule this year would be expected to go 7-9 based on each opponent’s Elo ratings, so the schedule costs the Seahawks about one win.Seattle will also need to finish with an 11-5 record or better to be assured of making the playoffs. In simulations where Seattle finished 9-7 — its most likely record according to Elo — it made the playoffs just 23 percent of time, well below the historical average for 9-7 teams of about 50 percent.Nor may a 10-6 record be good enough. In our simulations, Seattle won the NFC West only 27 percent of the time with that record. More often, a 10-6 Seattle team made the playoffs as a wild card. But the NFC playoff picture is crowded. Seattle would have to compete for two wild card slots along with whichever team finishes second in the NFC East (probably Philadelphia or Dallas), whichever team finishes second in the NFC North (probably Detroit or Green Bay) and whichever other NFC West team (San Francisco or Arizona) also misses out on the division title.And while an 11-5 record was almost always good enough for Seattle to make the postseason, it only earned the Seahawks a division title 60 percent of the time. That means they’d start their playoffs on the road — depriving them of the benefit of the NFL’s biggest home-field advantage.Perhaps the Seahawks don’t have much right to complain — it was only four seasons ago when they made the playoffs as a 7-9 team in an awful NFC West. But the trend toward smaller divisions in sports makes odd outcomes like this more likely. If Seattle makes the playoffs, it will certainly have earned it.
On Monday, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer addressed the media for his weekly press conference to reflect on the Buckeyes’ first loss of the season against Michigan State while also looking forward to the season finale against Michigan. Here are three notes from what he said.All eyes on ElliottThe whole college football world was talking about OSU’s loss, but more specifically, a lot of the attention was centered on Ezekiel Elliott’s postgame interview. The junior running back put the coaching staff on blast about his low usage and confessed he spent time in the hospital with a leg infection, while also announcing he would be bolting for the NFL after this season. As expected, Meyer addressed Elliott’s comments heavily on Monday. “He’s a very well-thought of junior, and he gets a microphone stuck in his face, and obviously, we do not condone that and encourage that,” Meyer said. “Our rule is always talk about your teammates and move on. And he came to see me. We had a very long discussion — he’s great — and he apologized and he said, ‘You know, they didn’t have the whole interview in there.’”But Meyer said he is not planning on listening to the rest of Elliott’s interview because they “squashed it as a team.” Many thought Elliott’s frustration about only getting 12 carries in a game that was conducive to running football because of the weather was warranted, even if it was not the right time or place. Meyer agreed with the substance of Elliott’s remarks but, as expected, was not happy with the way they were delivered. “I couldn’t disagree with him, his comments, that he should have got the ball a little bit more but that’s not the place to do it,” he said. “That’s why I always like to decompress for at least a few minutes, because I’ve said some things I’m not very proud of, and I’m not saying that (Elliott’s comments are) not true, I’m just saying that’s not the forum to have those conversations.” Meyer said he would have welcomed a conversation in private with Elliott about his carries, but the way Michigan State was crowding the line of scrimmage factored into the play-calling.The coach acknowledged that he has to “do better” in that regard. When asked if the running back’s comments were alarming and made him question Elliott’s character, Meyer was quick to knock it down. Meyer said it was a “very isolated incident,” while noting that he feels Elliott is one of the most selfless football players he has ever been around. In hindsight, the coach said he needed to feed Elliott a little more, but with a talented Michigan team on the horizon, Meyer wants to put it in the rearview mirror.“I know I’m probably going to get another 64 questions on it, but it’s done,” Meyer said. “We’ve got a really good team coming up that we’re playing and we’ve got to move forward.” Early exitsAnother hot-button issue that has developed as of late was the issue of players with eligibility remaining discussing their future plans. During the week leading up to the game, junior defensive end Joey Bosa all but announced he would be turning pro after the 2015 campaign came to an end. That was widely assumed, as the defensive end is considered one of the best prospects in next year’s draft. However, hearing Bosa be so open about his future plans did turn some heads. Then, after the loss to Michigan State, Elliott said there was “no chance” he would be back for his senior season. Redshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones added oxygen to that flame after the game when he posted photo of him walking into Ohio stadium before kickoff on Twitter saying how it was his last time walking on the steps into the ‘Shoe. On Monday, Meyer was asked if he was concerned about the negative effects that players being so open about their future endeavors and how he balances that within the locker room.Meyer pointed to his time at Florida in 2009 when a dozen players sent in paperwork to the NFL to inquire about the possibility of their draft stocks.He admitted it causes “a little anxiety” for the coaching staff, but he said when so many players are talented enough to leave for the NFL early, it is a testament to the type of recruiting going on.Players discussing their future plans causes concern in two areas, Meyer said. The first is staying focused on the task at hand, which with Michigan on the horizon, “is playing a very good team.” The second is dealing with filling those voids in the recruiting department. Meyer said it can be a “nightmare” at times, but the coach maintained that it was a good problem to have because if none of his players were good enough to get drafted, that would be a bigger problem. Everything considered, Meyer said “it’s not easy” dealing with players leaving, but his job remains the same.“I have to just make sure we’re staying focused,” he said. “The good thing is, they’re really good guys … But there’s human nature out there, too.”Uneasy feelingsWhen the players came to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Sunday, Meyer said he held a team meeting. As imagined, the coach said there was a “knot” in everyone’s stomach after the loss. But Meyer said that is a good thing. “I would be really disappointed if it wasn’t there,” he said. “Today, you like to assess most of the guys … They are moving on. And it’s always good.” Meyer said he is trying to not be overly dramatic, but for him, Saturday “was a sleepless night.” When he got back into the facility on Sunday and started to see the players showing up, Meyer said it made him start to feel better. The coach recognized the challenges that await his squad with the Wolverines, as Meyer had nothing but praise for coach Jim Harbaugh’s team. But, even so, Meyer seemed to have no concerns about whether or not his players would respond against their archrival. OSU coach Urban Meyer walks off the field at Ohio Stadium following the Buckeyes’ 17-14 loss to Michigan State on Nov. 21. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor
Flexco is now manufacturing its urethane belt cleaner blades at its Grand Rapids, Michigan location. The investment in the equipment and resources gives Flexco the opportunity to generate new, innovative products, it says.“We spent more than a year testing over 100 formulations in the laboratory, in the field, and internally to ensure that we put the highest quality urethane blades on the market,” Ryan Grevenstuk, Senior Product Manager at Flexco, said. “We continue to invest to ensure we’re creating products that withstand the most demanding applications.”In-house and in-field tests were conducted by Flexco specialists until it was determined that the blades met Flexco’s quality standards. The success of the blades has encouraged Flexco to continue innovating with other custom urethane products.“These capabilities will speed the time it takes to bring innovative products to market in terms of development and delivery, continually enhancing the quality we put into every product we make,” Grevenstuk said. “We continue to make investments in our manufacturing capabilities in the US and around the world to ensure our products can be delivered to local markets in a timely and consistent manner.”Flexco also recently invested in two new side-by-side incline conveyors to expand the testing and R&D capabilities on heavy-duty Flexco products at the Michigan location. The new conveyor loop gives Flexco engineers the chance to conduct internal testing that mirrors realistic conditions in the field and augments current laboratory, field, and other conveyor testing performed on Flexco products.“This new conveyor system is allowing our engineers to test the performance of our products in a realistic mining environment. The control we have over the test variables with this equipment allows us to investigate and understand the science behind our products, and we then use that knowledge to enhance our products’ performance and value to our customers.” Carl Hessler, BCP Engineering Manager for Flexco, said.
The Polish striker is the hottest player in the Italian Lega Serie A having scored 14 goals in his last 10 competitive matchesPolish forward Krzysztof Piatek recently joined Genoa in the Italian Lega Serie A.The footballer has only played 7 matches, where he has scored 9 goals for his club.And there have been many rumors of him leaving Genoa soon, but there’s nothing official.“Many clubs have contacted us, but there has been no formal offer,” Piatek’s agent Szymon Pacanowski was echoed by Football Italia.“Many clubs have contacted us over the last few weeks, but I won’t name them.”“However, there has been no formal offer from any club, including Napoli,” he added.Serie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“His value has certainly risen over the three months in Serie A, but right now we are happy to remain at Genoa.”📋 – Straight off the training ground!Take a look at how Krzysztof Piatek gave Poland the lead against Portugal…Watch Poland v Portugal live on Sky Sports Football Red Button or watch in-game clips and highlights here: https://t.co/orKC8PgnPR pic.twitter.com/vlh1GWtWlC— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) October 11, 2018
COCONUT CREEK, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are searching for a group of men who, they said, broke into three homes in Coconut Creek, early Sunday morning.Surveillance video from a doorbell camera captured the perpetrators as they broke into one of the homes, located near Northwest 45th Avenue and 60th Court, at around 4:30 a.m.Detectives said all the homes were equipped with front door electronic keypad lock systems. The footage shows the thieves testing the sensors before entering.Police said they managed to take several items while the homeowners were sleeping.Investigators said two of the suspects appear to be in their early 20s and the third appears to be in his late teens. One of them has a tattoo on his upper chest.If you have any information on this burglary, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Since Buccaneer Energy arrived on the scene in Alaska in the summer of 2011, it has seen a few victories and a host of unexpected problems.Thanks to incentives passed by the Alaska State Legislature and investment of taxpayer dollars in new oil and gas exploration in Cook Inlet, the Australia-based company had big plans for Alaska.A key part of the plan was the 400-foot-tall jack-up rig Endeavor, which arrived in Kachemak Bay in August of that year with the intention of getting right to work on several leases the company held throughout the inlet.Endeavor jack-up rig. Photo by Bill SmithIt wasn’t long, however, before Endeavor became the first of many problems for Buccaneer. While the 30-year-old rig sat idle at the Homer Deepwater Dock, it was discovered that it needed many repairs. The company had to scrap plans to drill at Tyonek and the Cosmopolitan Unit while Endeavour awaited permits and inspections at the Homer harbor.Then, during a massive windstorm in September, the Endeavor damaged the Deepwater Dock and was forced to extend its legs into 18 feet of mud in Kachemak Bay in order to stabilize the rig. Officials with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game eventually decided that the presence of the Endeavor – even with its legs extended – did not violate provisions of the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area.In the spring of 2013, as Buccaneer prepared for a busy summer drilling season, the company’s relationship with the Homer community, which had not seen any oil and gas activity since the 1970s, suffered a setback. The City of Homer accused the company of falling more than six weeks behind in its dock payments, owing a total of more than $75,000.At the same time, a group of local workers who had been repairing the Endeavour rig walked off the job, saying they had also not been paid in weeks. Buccaneer eventually settled its debt with the city and blamed the labor dispute on a subcontractor. That argument quickly found its way into the court system.The Endeavour rig did eventually drill at Cosmopolitan Unit last summer, finding a gas deposit at a depth of about 4,300 feet and flaring a well at that location.Meanwhile, Buccaneer saw some success with its onshore project at Kenai Loop, near the Kenai Wal-Mart, although the company is now locked in a legal battle with Cook Inlet Region Incorporated over whether that project was conducted properly. The two sides will go back to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for another hearing next month.While the company struggled to meet deadlines for its work in and around Cook Inlet, Buccaneer also found itself under fire at home in Australia. An attempted board of directors’ coup was fought off last July and company CEO Curtis Burton kept his job. But the message was clear that many of Buccaneer’s shareholders were not happy with the company’s direction.A series of capital raising efforts and selling of assets followed, with Buccaneer giving up much of its stake in several Cook Inlet leases and onshore projects.Last December, as the company prepared to move its onshore Glacier drilling rig from Kenai to Homer, to begin work on its West Eagle project out East End Road, the shakeups continued at Buccaneer. Alaska President Jim Watt was fired, as was Vice President Allen Huckabay and Alaska Spokesperson Christina Anderson.2014 began with Buccaneer selling off its remaining 25 percent share in the Cosmo Unit and half its interest in Kenai Offshore Ventures, the partnership between a Singapore-based investment firm and Alaska taxpayers that helped fund the purchase of the Endeavor rig.With new loans secured, the company began work at West Eagle in January. A few weeks later, however, the company faced its latest hurdle when the only well it drilled at the location came up dry and it was forced to abandon the project.Now, with Buccaneer Energy’s stock on the Australian Stock Exchange sitting at less than a penny per share, some shareholders are calling for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to conduct an investigation of the company’s activities.The State of Alaska will be on the hook for much of the cost of Buccaneer’s efforts in the area.In his latest quarterly report, Burton said the company has so far recovered $30.5 million from the state through ACES, with another $24.5 million co-invested in the Endeavor jack-up rig through the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.
JORGE FERRARI/AFP/Getty ImagesSome weeks ago, Sachin Tendulkar made a major revelation. He informed the cricket world that after India’s forgettable experience in the 2007 World Cup, he was seriously considering retirement from the game. What stopped him from hanging up his boots was advice from Sir Vivian Richards and his elder brother. What happened afterwards is, as they say, history.But here is an interesting and stimulating question: what if Tendulkar had gone ahead and retired? This bit of counter-factual history is worth exploring. Would he still have been regarded as the greatest Indian batsman of all time? Would he have still been considered among the greatest batsmen in the history of the game? Let’s try and imagine that scenario.If Sachin had called it quits in 2007, his record would have been something like this: 135 Tests, 10668 runs, 54.70 average and 35 centuries. In ODIs, the record would have been: 384 matches, 14847 runs, average of 44.05 and 41 hundreds.Needless to say, the record would still have looked mighty impressive. But cricket isn’t only about numbers and stats. The way a batsman has scored his runs matters as much, if not more, in the game. If Sachin had called it a day in 2007, he would have been seen as a batsman who debuted in 1989, dominated the 1990s, continued his good form in the early years of the new century but started to fade away from 2002. Some of Sachin’s finest moments came after 2007PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty ImagesHe would also have been remembered as a player who could tear the bowling attacks apart but chose to become the team’s sheet anchor and play within himself in later years. Besides, there would have been no first ODI double hundred, no World Cup victory, no century in the final of the tri-series in Australia, no famous hundred at Chennai in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks, and no high-quality duels with Dale Steyn, etc.What happened after the World Cup was the resurrection of Sachin Tendulkar. He not only regained his appetite but also starting achieving the sort of things which he hadn’t earlier. The post-2007 period also saw the flair returning to the game of the Little Master. He was once again showing that dominant streak that characterised his batting in 1990s and made him a superstar.But if he had retired in 2007, he would have ended his career with much less sheen. Yes, Sachin would still have been a legend and counted among the best, but he wouldn’t have reached those unique heights of success that, to some extent, define his career. As Indians, let us all be grateful to Sir Viv for persuading him to continue playing cricket.
Indian men watch the live broadcast of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi address to the nation on televisions displayed in an electronic store, in Amritsar on 27 March 2019. Photo: AFPIndia said Wednesday it destroyed a low-orbiting satellite in a missile test that proved the nation was among the world’s most advanced space powers.In a rare address to the nation just weeks out from a national election, prime minister Narendra Modi said India had joined the United States, Russia and China in accomplishing the feat.A missile fired from a testing facility in Odisha, eastern India, downed the satellite at around 300 kilometres (185 miles) in “a difficult operation” that lasted around three minutes, Modi said.”This is a proud moment for India,” the prime minister added, in his first televised national address since late 2016.”India has registered its name in the list of space superpowers. Until now, only three countries had achieved this feat.”It comes a month after Indian and Pakistani fighter jets engaged in a dogfight over the disputed border in Kashmir — a serious military escalation between the nuclear-armed rivals.An Indian jet was shot down and a pilot captured by Pakistan, which had launched retaliatory air raids after Indian planes bombed Pakistani territory for the first time in decades.Modi said the anti-satellite missile test was peaceful, and not designed to create “an atmosphere of war”.”I want to assure the world community that the new capability is not against anyone. This is to secure and defend… fast-growing India.”But analysts said the test would not go unnoticed in China and Pakistan, India’s chief rivals in the nuclear-armed region, and could be interpreted as a show of New Delhi’s advancing military capabilities.”This is less about shooting down satellites and more about proving high-altitude ‘hit-to-kill’ proficiency, which is the core competency required to get good at a range of things — including defence against nuclear-capable ballistic missiles,” Ankit Panda, of the Federation of American Scientists, told AFP.”This is how the message is going to be perceived in Islamabad.”A spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry said countries that had “strongly condemned” the demonstration of similar technologies in the past should work towards preventing the militarisation of space.”Boasting of such capabilities is reminiscent of Don Quixote’s tilting against windmills,” the spokesman said.Star warsThe United States and the former Soviet Union carried out their first successful anti-satellite missile tests in 1985, and China in 2007.All are now said to be working on so-called Star Wars laser weapons to destroy satellites.With satellites increasingly important because of their intelligence gathering role — and major nations seeking to gain a foothold in space — the United States in 2014 rejected a Russian-Chinese proposal for a treaty to ban weapons in space, saying it was “fundamentally flawed” because of the lack of weapons verification measures.India’s foreign ministry said the country “has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space”.”We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes,” the ministry said.”At the same time, the government is committed to ensuring the country’s national security interests and is alert to threats from emerging technologies.”Modi said the test did not violate any international treaties and was for the betterment and safety of India’s 1.3 billion people.The announcement comes ahead of a national election in which Modi — whose Hindu nationalist party stormed to power in 2014 — is seeking a second term in office.Voting starts 11 April and will last nearly six weeks, with close to 900 million Indians eligible to vote in the world’s largest election.Under election laws in force, the government is forbidden from announcing new policies or other major developments that could benefit the ruling party.”The timing and the manner of the announcement, with elections around the corner, will certainly lead to speculation,” Dhruva Jaishankar, Delhi-based fellow in foreign policy with Brookings India, told AFP.Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi congratulated India’s scientists on the feat but also wished Modi “a very happy World Theatre Day” — referring to celebrations also marked around the globe on 27 March.Finance minister Arun Jaitley defended the announcement, saying for “a deterrent of this kind there is no better than the prime minister to inform the world”.India has made giant strides in its space journey in recent years. It launched a record 104 satellites in a single mission in 2017, and has also built a reputation for low-cost space exploration and science missions.
A massive, very young clump in a disk galaxy at z = 1.987. Credit: Nature 521, 54–56 (07 May 2015) doi:10.1038/nature14409 (Phys.org)—An international team of space scientists has identified and observed the early stages of the creation of a star-forming clump, the first ever observed. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how they analyzed imaging and spectroscopy from the Hubble Space telescope to identify the clump, which they believe is likely to one day form a star. © 2015 Phys.org Citation: Researchers report first observation of early stages of creation of a star-forming clump (2015, May 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-05-early-stages-creation-star-forming-clump.html As the team reports, star forming clumps come about in dense clouds of gas and dust which are known as dark nebulae—in such clouds, particularly in dense portions, the materials tend to coalesce due to gravitational attraction, into clumps—these clumps eventually evolve into proto-stars, and then finally stars. The galaxy under observation (in the cluster CL J144910856) was calculated to have come into existence approximately three billion years after the Big Bang—making it less than ten million years old. Dark nebulae that produce stars are known informally as star factories and the team suggests that they are responsible for the formation of the central bulge in spiral galaxies. They estimate the clump they have been studying has up to a billion bits of material and note that it was only because of the very high resolution offered by the Hubble telescope that they were able to make the discovery at all. They also suggest that their observations indicate that star formation regions are rare, but when they do exist, tend to have a very long lifespan. Thus far, they report, they have studied 68 galaxies in the cluster for signs of rapid star formation.It is hoped that the finding by the team will lead to a better understanding of star formation and by extension, galaxy formation, particularly in the early years of the universe. The clump under observation in this latest observation is believed to be very young, which could offer clues as to its initial state—currently the process by which clumps start to form is not really understood.The researchers suggest that many more such clumps, particularly larger samples, will need to found and studied before true insights into the nature of early star formation can be gained. Image: Hubble eyes galactic refurbishment 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. More information: An extremely young massive clump forming by gravitational collapse in a primordial galaxy, Nature, 521, 54–56 (07 May 2015) DOI: 10.1038/nature14409 . Arxiv: http://xxx.tau.ac.il/abs/1505.01290AbstractWhen cosmic star formation history reaches a peak (at about redshift z ≈ 2), galaxies vigorously fed by cosmic reservoirs are dominated by gas and contain massive star-forming clumps, which are thought to form by violent gravitational instabilities in highly turbulent gas-rich disks. However, a clump formation event has not yet been observed, and it is debated whether clumps can survive energetic feedback from young stars, and afterwards migrate inwards to form galaxy bulges. Here we report the spatially resolved spectroscopy of a bright off-nuclear emission line region in a galaxy at z = 1.987. Although this region dominates star formation in the galaxy disk, its stellar continuum remains undetected in deep imaging, revealing an extremely young (less than ten million years old) massive clump, forming through the gravitational collapse of more than one billion solar masses of gas. Gas consumption in this young clump is more than tenfold faster than in the host galaxy, displaying high star-formation efficiency during this phase, in agreement with our hydrodynamic simulations. The frequency of older clumps with similar masses, coupled with our initial estimate of their formation rate (about 2.5 per billion years), supports long lifetimes (about 500 million years), favouring models in which clumps survive feedback and grow the bulges of present-day galaxies. Explore further Journal information: Nature
(Top) The TRES RV measurements of KELT-20b with the best fit model shown in red. The residuals to the fit are shown below. (Bottom) The RV measurements phase-folded to the global fit determined ephemeris. The predicted RM effect is shown at 0.25 phase. The residuals are shown below. Credit: Lund et al., 2017. Citation: New ‘hot Jupiter’ with short orbital period discovered (2017, July 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-07-hot-jupiter-short-orbital-period.html ‘Hot Jupiter’ transiting a rapidly-rotating star discovered © 2017 Phys.org More information: KELT-20b: A giant planet with a period of P~ 3.5 days transiting the V~ 7.6 early A star HD 185603, arXiv:1707.01518 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1707.01518 (Phys.org)—An international team of astronomers reports the discovery of a new “hot Jupiter” exoplanet with a short orbital period of just three and a half days. The newly detected giant planet, designated KELT-20b, circles a rapidly rotating star known as HD 185603 (or KELT-20). The finding was presented in a paper published July 5 on arXiv.org. Explore further The new planet was identified by a group of researchers led by Michael Lund of the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The astronomers observed HD 185603 using the KELT-North telescope in Arizona to identify the initial transit signal of a potential planet. The observations were made as part of the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) survey, which is dedicated to searching for transiting exoplanets around bright stars.The observational campaign was carried out from May to November 2014, and allowed the scientists to identify KELT-20b as an exoplanet candidate. Afterwards, the researchers analyzed archival data and conducted follow-up observations and high-resolution imaging of the object, which resulted in confirming the planetary status of KELT-20b.”We identified the initial transit signal in KELT-North survey data. Archival and follow-up photometry, the Gaia parallax, radial velocities, Doppler tomography, and adaptive optics imaging were used to confirm the planetary nature of the companion and characterize the system,” the authors wrote in the paper.According to the study, KELT-20b has a radius of about 1.73 Jupiter radii and a maximum mass of 3.5 Jupiter masses. It orbits its host every 3.47 days at a distance of approximately 0.05 AU. The planet’s equilibrium temperature is about 2,261 K.The derived parameters of KELT-20b indicate that is belongs to group of planets known as “hot Jupiters.” These exoworlds are similar in characteristics to the solar system’s biggest planet, with orbital periods of less than 10 days. They have high surface temperatures, as they orbit their host stars very closely.The researchers emphasized that the newly discovered planetary system is extraordinary in several ways and that the planet itself is unusual when compared to other “hot Jupiters.””The KELT-20 system represents one of the most extreme transiting hot Jupiter systems, and indeed, one of the most extreme transiting exoplanet systems yet discovered by several measures. The host star is both exceptionally bright (V ∼ 7.6), and exceptionally hot (Teff ~ 8,700 K). It is only the sixth A star known to host a transiting giant companion. The planet itself is on a relatively short period orbit of P ~ 3.5 days, and thus receives an extreme amount of stellar insolation, resulting in an estimated equilibrium temperature of ∼ 2,250 K,” the team concluded.They added that KELT-20b is a great example of a “hot Jupiter” suffering from extreme stellar irradiation, particularly in ultraviolet wavelengths. Therefore, the planet is an excellent target for detailed follow-up observations and characterization. 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.
Information Exchange Mortgage data Mortgage Lenders 2016-12-07 Seth Welborn The Focus on Exchanging Information in Real Time in Daily Dose, News, Origination December 7, 2016 588 Views Kim Weaver is Director of Product Strategy, Lending Solutions, Fiserv. She is responsible for the strategic direction of the digital lending solutions offered by Fiserv. She has been in mortgage banking and related industries for over 20 years, performing and managing origination, processing, underwriting, secondary marketing, closing, loan delivery, insuring and servicing. Weaver recently spoke with MReport about trends in lending for 2017, including the challenges associated with sharing information in real time among all parties during the origination process.How can lenders manage the data exchange and ensure accuracy and transparency in that process?It’s been a great opportunity for moving the industry forward from a digital perspective. From the regulators to the customer experience perspective, everybody is now used to knowing something happens at the same time that it happens. It’s real-time all the time, whether it’s data or payments. That’s the expectation.The first opportunity is to get the data directly from its source and keep it in an electronic format so there’s not any mistakes in re-keying it or understanding what the original data was. Trying to keep data in its original form, if you can get it electronically straight from the source, and then being able to reconcile it if you can’t get it right from the source or if you have gotten it from the source, but maybe it came through another party such as the broker or wholesaler, but being able to compare that data with other sources as well is part of reconciling it. Certainly the MISMO standards for data have helped tremendously for this, especially with the 3.X with one common data dictionary. I think that’s really been a huge catalyst for this data exchange. It’s certainly been the centerpiece of the GSEs’ programs for uniform mortgage data.Kim WeaverWe have regulations, such as TRID or HMDA, and the GSE requirements for more data, so using the common data language is very helpful, but not everything is necessarily going to be in that language at this time. So how can they still source that data where applicable but also try and use that same investment that they’re making to make the data exchange faster and more reliable in terms of accuracy? How can they use that as a way to really rethink their customer experience? One of the things we’re seeing is, between HMDA and particularly the uniform closing data set collection requirements, how to rethink the closing process—what information is being provided by whom, and trying to get them to provide it in electronic means, preferably in the same MISMO language. But at minimum, just enabling the electronic exchange of that information, including the borrower in that exchange of information, and then certainly that lends itself toward revisiting the e-closing, e-mortgage process, which is something that Fiserv has been involved in since 2005.More and more data has to be provided. You don’t want it on paper if you can help it—you want it to be electronic, and then it’s how can you use whatever investment you’re making to improve the borrower experience.How much of a challenge is it to provide this information in real time?That is still a challenge in some aspects of the overall origination process, and sometimes even the servicing process. Our servicing system processes everything in real time, and that’s where the industry is definitely going. But I think that expectation of a change occurs, whether you got the appraisal in on the origination side, or the closing has happened, all the docs are signed, and you’re ready to be funded for an escrow state closing, or the servicing payment was made. The lender, servicer, and all other parties expect to know what has happened immediately. That’s where there’s a lot of system upgrades being done if they’re not already real time in terms of being able to publish out to integrate systems to know when activities and events occur. It’s not just the information itself that events or triggers have occurred, but it’s also the money movement, and that’s another area where we’re been paying a lot of attention—certainly seeing the ACH (automated clearing house), but also looking ahead to true real-time payment systems. That, to me, is going to be another catalyst in changing the mortgage lending experience whether it’s at the closing table, which you could e-sign everything and then be able to immediately trigger the money movement that would really affect the escrow or the dry closing model. In the Western states, really being able to do that has completely changed that—having the visibility into that money and where it’s going for potential fraud mitigation opportunities, servicing the loan, or giving the borrowers greater flexibility to make payments wherever they are, whether that’s online, mobile, at the branch, or even in retailers. Being able to support that funds exchange and having that immediate posting and immediate confirmation back is also something we focus on,Home equity lines of credit are really coming back into use, particularly for those borrowers who have regained equity with the improving economy. Looking at how to enable the management and access the funds that the customers can have from home equity lines of credit is a more frequently used finance mechanism. Share