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posted by takyon on Wednesday August 16, @05:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the pressure-relief dept.

Following a number of CEOs pulling out of President Trump's American Manufacturing Council and Strategic and Policy Forum, President Trump tweeted that the initiatives have been ended:

Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!

The CEOs of Merck, Intel, 3M, and other companies had already left:

3M Co. Chief Executive Officer Inge Thulin stepped down from the White House's manufacturing council, adding to the corporate exodus as the backlash grows to President Donald Trump's ambivalent response to racially-charged violence in Virginia over the weekend.

Thulin joined the White House panel in January "to advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth -- in order to make the United States stronger, healthier and more prosperous," the CEO said Wednesday in a statement tweeted by 3M. "After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals."

Update: The members of the Strategic and Policy Forum reportedly disbanded the group before President Trump's tweet:

The quick sequence began late Wednesday morning when Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the Blackstone Group and one of Mr. Trump's closest confidants in the business community, organized a conference call for members of the president's Strategic and Policy Forum. On the call, the chief executives of some of the largest companies in the country debated how to proceed. After a discussion among a dozen prominent C.E.O.s, the decision was made to abandon the group altogether, said people with knowledge of the details of the call.

Also at Bloomberg:

Trump made the announcement on Twitter, less than an hour after one of the groups was said to be planning to inform the White House that it would break up. [...] Trump appeared to be making an effort to get ahead of the news as the councils began to disintegrate. The strategy forum, which is led by Blackstone Group LP's Stephen Schwarzman, planned to inform the White House Wednesday before making the announcement public, according to another person familiar with the matter, who wasn't authorized to discuss the news publicly.


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Sunday July 16 2017, @06:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-about-the-companion? dept.

The new Dr Who has been announced....
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40624288
I'll get the popcorn..

Jodie Whittaker has been announced as Doctor Who's 13th Time Lord - the first woman to get the role.

She was revealed in a trailer that was broadcast on BBC One at the end of the Wimbledon men's singles final.

The Broadchurch star succeeds Peter Capaldi, who took the role in 2013 and leaves in this year's Christmas special.

Whittaker, 35, said it was "more than an honour" to become the Doctor. She will make her debut on the sci-fi show when the Doctor regenerates in the Christmas Day show.

Here are Jodie Wittaker's entries on Wikipedia and IMDb.


Original Submission

posted by NCommander on Wednesday July 12 2017, @09:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the bit-late-to-the-party dept.

We're a bit late to the party, but for those who haven't seen on the Internet, today is a protest day for Net Neutrality, where sites across the internet are disrupting their normal operations to get the word out and get people to send a message. Ars Technica already has a fairly decent summary of who's doing what, and we stand with them and the rest of the Internet.

Due to real life issues, I was late on getting this together, but for the rest of the day, this article will remain on the top of the page and we will be blacking the theme of the site in protest [Technical issues among others precluded our doing so today --martyb].

If you're a US citizen, and want to get the word out, check Battle for the Net, and get the word out. In addition, there are long discussions going on reddit and other sites throughout the internet

Let's get the word out!

~ NCommander

posted by takyon on Saturday June 17 2017, @01:20AM   Printer-friendly
from the 7th-fleet's-bad-week dept.

A U.S. Navy vessel has collided with a container vessel southwest of Yokosuka, Japan:

Seven U.S. sailors are unaccounted for after a Navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, early Saturday local time, a U.S. official and the Navy said.

Some flooding was reported aboard the USS Fitzgerald, a 505-foot destroyer, after the collision with a Philippine container vessel at approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday local time (1:30 p.m. ET Friday), about 56 nautical miles of Yokosuka, the U.S. 7th Fleet said.

Also at Reuters.

mrpg wrote in with another story about a U.S. Navy sailor who was reported missing and presumed dead after a search by the Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and Japan's Coast Guard. He was found days later, hiding in one of the engine rooms.


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Wednesday June 14 2017, @04:15PM   Printer-friendly
from the no-baseball-jokes dept.

A gunman opened fire at U.S. Congressmen and others who were gathered at a practice this morning for the Congressional Baseball Game. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and at least four others were reportedly injured. The gunman, who has been identified by unnamed sources as James T. Hodgkinson III, was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries:

A gunman unleashed a barrage of gunfire Wednesday at a park in Alexandria, Va., as Republican members of Congress held a morning baseball practice, wounding at least five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La.).

The suspected gunman is James T. Hodgkinson III, 66, from Illinois, according to multiple law enforcement sources. President Trump announced that the gunman, who was wounded in a shootout with officers, has died at an area hospital.

The wounded also included two Capitol Police officers and a congressional aide, according to one law enforcement official and witness accounts.

Congressman Scalise was shot in the hip and is in stable condition.

Hodgkinson's motive may have already been identified by the media:

A Facebook page belonging to a person with the same name includes pictures of Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, and rhetoric against President Trump, including a post that reads: "Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co."

Charles Orear, 50, a restaurant manager from St. Louis, said in an interview Wednesday that he became friendly with Hodgkinson during their work together in Iowa on Sanders's campaign. Orear said Hodgkinson was a passionate progressive and showed no signs of violence or malice toward others.

Also at LA Times, Reuters, The Atlantic, The Hill, and CNN.


Original Submission

posted by n1 on Sunday June 04 2017, @03:25AM   Printer-friendly

Armed police respond to serious incidents at London Bridge and Borough Market – with members of the public urged to reach areas of safety.

Since late yesterday evening [Saturday, 3 June], the Metropolitan Police Service has been responding to incidents in the London Bridge and Borough Market areas of south London. We are treating this as a terrorist incident and a full investigation is already underway, led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

[...] Six people have been killed in terror attacks on London Bridge and at Borough Market.
Three male suspects have been shot dead by police.
Canisters seen around the body of at least one of the suspects have been “established to be hoaxes”, police said.
Police believe all of those directly responsible for the attack have been killed.

[...] Since March there has been the Westminster attack by Khalid Masood, who mowed down pedestrians near parliament and stabbed a policeman, resulting in six deaths, including his own: and the Manchester bombing two weeks ago that killed 22. And now London again.

[...] An editor in the Sun’s London Bridge Street office says police confirmed that a number of blasts heard [...] were controlled explosions.

Source: The Guardian

An investigation into the foreign funding of extremist Islamist groups may never be published, the Home Office has admitted.

The inquiry commissioned by David Cameron, was launched as part of a deal with the Liberal Democrats in December 2015, in exchange for the party supporting the extension of British airstrikes against Isis into Syria.

But although it was due to be published in the spring of 2016, it has not been completed and may never be made public due to its "sensitive" contents.

It is thought to focus on Saudi Arabia, which the UK recently approved £3.5bn worth of arms export licences to.

Source: The Independent

posted by martyb on Friday June 02 2017, @12:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the catch-the-wave dept.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced an observation of the merger of two black holes observed on 2017-01-04 having masses of approximately 31 and 19 times the mass of our sun (M) at a distance of approximately 880 Mpc (megaparsec) or approximately 2.8 billion light years.

From the full open access report (pdf) which was published in Physical Review Letters, by the American Physical Society (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.221101):

We describe the observation of GW170104, a gravitational-wave signal produced by the coalescence of a pair of stellar-mass black holes. The signal was measured on January 4, 2017 at 10:11:58.6 UTC by the twin advanced detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory during their second observing run, with a network signal-to-noise ratio of 13 and a false alarm rate less than 1 in 70,000 years. The inferred component black hole masses are 31.2+8.4
−6.0
M and 19.4+5.3
−5.9
M (at the 90% credible level). The black hole spins are best constrained through measurement of the effective inspiral spin parameter, a mass-weighted combination of the spin components perpendicular to the orbital plane, χeff = −0.12+0.21
−0.30
. This result implies that spin configurations with both component spins positively aligned with the orbital angular momentum are disfavored. The source luminosity distance is 880+450
−390
 Mpc corresponding to a redshift of z = 0.18+0.08
−0.07
. We constrain the magnitude of modifications to the gravitational-wave dispersion relation and perform null tests of general relativity. Assuming that gravitons are dispersed in vacuum like massive particles, we bound the graviton mass to mg ≤ 7.7 × 10−23 eV/c2. In all cases, we find that GW170104 is consistent with general relativity.

[...] The first observing run of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) [1] identified two binary black hole coalescence signals with high statistical significance, GW150914 [2] and GW151226 [3], as well as a less significant candidate LVT151012 [4,5]. These discoveries ushered in a new era of observational astronomy, allowing us to investigate the astrophysics of binary black holes and test general relativity (GR) in ways that were previously inaccessible [6,7]. We now know that there is a population of binary black holes with component masses ≳25M⊙ [5,6], and that merger rates are high enough for us to expect more detections [5,8]. Advanced LIGO’s second observing run began on November 30, 2016. On January 4, 2017, a gravitational wave signal was detected with high statistical significance. Figure 1 shows a time-frequency representation of the data from the LIGO Hanford and Livingston detectors, with the signal GW170104 visible as the characteristic chirp of a binary coalescence.


B.P. Abbott et al. (Full author list appears at the end of the linked journal article).

Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI.

Once again, no visual confirmation. This time possibly due to technical issues with one detector:

The event candidate was not reported by the low-latency analysis pipelines because re-tuning the calibration of the LIGO Hanford detector is not yet complete after the holiday shutdown. This resulted in a delay of over 4 hours before the candidate could be fully examined. We are confident that this is a highly significant event candidate, but the calibration issue may be affecting the initial sky maps.

See also:
https://dcc.ligo.org/LIGO-P170104/public


Original Submission

posted by n1 on Tuesday May 23 2017, @02:49AM   Printer-friendly

The Guardian reports:

At least 19 people were killed and more than 50 injured after an explosion in the foyer area of a crowded Manchester concert hall, which left hundreds of people fleeing in terror. [...] Police said they were dealing with a possible terror incident and counter-terrorism officials were assessing what caused the explosion. Investigators from the police and the domestic security service MI5 were part of the investigation.

Greater Manchester Police statement:

I can confirm the details of events tonight that we currently know. At around 10.33pm last night we received reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena in the city centre. It was at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert.

Currently we have 19 people confirmed to have died and around 50 people injured.

The injured are being treated at six hospitals across Greater Manchester. My thoughts are with all those who have been affected and we are doing all we can to support them.

[...] We are currently treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise. We are working closely with the national counter-terrorism policing network and UK intelligence partners.

Unnamed sources, who have not been directly quoted are widely reported as suspecting this incident was a suicide bombing.

Multiple senior U.S. law enforcement officials briefed by British authorities told NBC News that forensic evidence at the scene — including a body found at the blast site — indicated a suicide attack. British and U.S. law enforcement officials said they believed they had tentatively identified the bomber.

U.S. officials said initial reports indicated that some of the casualties might have been caused by a stampede of concert-goers.

Sky News reports:

Officers carried out a controlled explosion at nearby Cathedral Gardens shortly after 1.30am, but have since confirmed the item they found was abandoned clothing and not suspicious.


Original Submission