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07-29-2016 Politics
Hillary Clinton's challenge: Igniting excitement

Philadelphia (CNN)Hillary Clinton's allies did everything in their power to set up her big moment Thursday night.

Now it's up to her to deliver. As she takes center stage, Clinton faces a critical task: persuading Americans that she understands their frustration and economic anxiety at a time when many of them still do not trust her. The pressure is intense because the race is much tighter than most expected at this juncture, particularly among white working class voters in rust belt states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. With her sometimes-wooden demeanor and workman-like delivery, the former first lady has never shown the natural political talent that her husband had for reading and matching the mood of the electorate. And though President Barack Obama's popularity has rebounded to 56% in a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, Clinton also faces the historically difficult challenge of running for a third Democratic term in a year when the electorate has demonstrated hunger for change.

In that sense, Clinton takes the stage tonight in a vulnerable position. Up to this point, she has not been able to generate the kind of passion among her supporters that Donald Trump has among his by so effectively channeling Americans' anger about the direction of the country. While Clinton and Obama have argued that ISIS is on the run, the economy is on the upswing, and Americans are safer than they have been in years, they are struggling to rebut the dark image that Trump has painted of a nation in decline, chaos and disorder. Obama presented a powerful case for hope Wednesday night. But the positive rhetoric of the Democrats has so far been a less powerful tool than Trump's ability to stoke voters' fears about the string of terror attacks in Paris and Nice, as well as the rogue attacks on police in cities like Baton Rouge and Dallas. That has been the main challenge for Clinton as she has worked on her speech in recent weeks, a careful search to find the right tone -- at once uplifting and positive, but also empathetic and reflective of the dark mood of the electorate. The former Secretary of State faces four formidable challenges tonight: unifying the Democratic Party at a time when many Sanders supporters insist they will not fall in line; assuaging concerns about her trustworthiness; convincing independent voters that that Trump is unfit to be commander-in-chief; and generating excitement about her own campaign during a year of intense negativity.



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Source: CNN

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07-29-2016 Science&Technology
Alexa steps into security with an August lock skill

For better or worse, you can now give Alexa the keys to your kingdom. Starting today, using the new August skill on your Alexa app, you'll be able to tell Amazon's digital assistant to lock your smart August deadbolt.

To make use of the skill, you'll need an August Connect Wi-Fi bridge in addition to the company's Bluetooth lock -- the skill works with both the first- and second-generation August Smart Lock. Then, if you have an Amazon device with Alexa built-in, such as the Amazon Echo, you can give voice commands such as, "Alexa, tell August to lock the front door."

Cautious steps

The skill marks a first for Alexa. Introduced as part of the always-listening Amazon Echo, Alexa's smart home capabilities seem to grow daily. But until now, Amazon's assistant couldn't do much in the way of security, and this August skill is the first time you can use Alexa to directly control a lock.

Since it's a skill -- basically an app for Alexa -- instead of a direct integration, you have to use the extra language "tell August" when commanding your door. And as of now, you can't unlock your door with the Echo, you can only lock it and check the status. So this first step towards giving Alexa control of your locks isn't seamless as far as convenience is concerned.

Prioritizing privacy

Amazon and August's caution on this front is understandable, given that the always listening Echo can be controlled by anyone within shouting range. I chatted with Jason Johnson, the CEO and co-founder of August, who assured me that direct integration and unlocking capabilities were in the works, but Amazon and August first need to find a way to add appropriate security to that command.

I also asked Johnson how much data August would share with Amazon. "We don't give them your August account ID. We don't give them information about individual users," he said. "But certainly as you do an action through an Alexa device, they know that you've done the action...but we also don't do any kind of association of address." Johnson elaborated that August doesn't even track your physical address in its own app. All it knows is what you call your properties and what you name your various locks. All geofencing information is stored locally on your phone.

An Amazon representative discussed the same topic in an email. "We take privacy very seriously at Amazon and designing Alexa skills is no different," she said. "Voice recordings are stored in the cloud in order to make the product better for our customers...Importantly, you can view and delete each utterance one at a time, or all at once."

Source: CNet

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07-29-2016 Environment
World's deepest blue hole found in South China Sea

A new exploration of a legendary blue hole in the South China Sea has found that the underwater feature is the deepest known on Earth.

According to Xinhua News, Dragon Hole, or Longdong, is 987 feet (300.89 meters) deep, far deeper than the previous record holder, Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas. (That blue hole measures about 663 feet, or 202 m, deep.) According to Xinhua, local legend holds that Dragon Hole is mentioned in the Ming dynasty novel "Journey to the West," in which a supernatural monkey character gets a magical cudgel from an undersea kingdom ruled by a dragon.

The findings have yet to be confirmed or reviewed by scientists in the field, but if they hold up, the measurements peg Dragon Hole as far deeper than Dean's Blue Hole, said Pete van Hengstum, a marine geologist at Texas A&M University at Galveston, who conducts research on blue holes and sinkholes throughout the Caribbean region. [See Photos of 8 Amazing Sinkholes]

Underwater wonders

Blue holes are water-filled sinkholes that form in carbonate rock such as limestone. Over long periods of time, the carbonate rock dissolves in the subsurface to form caves or cavities, van Hengstum told Live Science.

"Eventually, the process of dissolution causes the cave to reach very close to the Earth's surface, and if the cave ceiling collapses, a blue hole or sinkhole is formed," he said.

Some blue holes, like Dragon Hole, open up to the marine environment, while others are inland.

It's something of a mystery why blue holes form precisely where they do and what factors influence their development. Chemical reactions at the interface of saltwater and freshwater can create weak acids that eat away at limestone and other carbonates, said Lisa Park Boush, a geoscientist at the University of Connecticut who studies blue-hole sediments in the Bahamas. As a result, rising and falling sea levels can influence when and where blue holes form. [In Photos: Stunning Blue Holes from Around the World]

"There is also a group of researchers looking into microbial processes," Boush told Live Science. In some cases, she said, microbe activity might help to dissolve bedrock and contribute to the formation of blue holes.

In addition to microbes, other organisms also call these jaw-droppingly gorgeous holes home.

Blue-hole life

"It's interesting to see what actually lives in these blue holes," said Boush, who called the environment of blue holes "cryptic."



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Source: Cbs News

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07-29-2016 Politics
Merkel, Despite Attacks and Critics, Renews Vow to Integrate Migrants

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel doubled down on Thursday on her pledge that Germany would achieve what she called the “historic” task of integrating hundreds of thousands of migrants, while defending freedom and democracy against the hate sown by terrorists.

“Today, as in the past, I am convinced that we can do it — to live up to our historic task, which is a historic test in the age of globalization,” she said, in an attempt to reassure the nation after three recent violent attacks, two of them linked to the Islamic State. “We can do this.”

Ms. Merkel, who had been on vacation in her summer home in the lake district north of Berlin, returned to the capital to give her annual summer news conference and laid out a nine-point plan that she said would strike the right balance between security and freedom.

She deplored two recent attacks by men who had claimed allegiance to the Islamic State: an ax and knife attack in Würzburg by a 17-year-old refugee who said he was from Afghanistan, and a suicide bombing in Ansbach by a 27-year-old Syrian who had sought asylum in Germany. The two attacks “mock the country that took them in,” the chancellor said.

“All of this puts a great test before us,” the chancellor said of the attacks in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. “It tests our way of life, our understanding of freedom and democracy.”

Ms. Merkel vowed that authorities would carry out thorough investigations into the attacks, figure out who was behind them and take the necessary measures to improve security where it was found to be needed. Those would include adding police officers, allowing the army to be involved in response to possible terrorist attacks, seeking to tighten European weapons laws and increasing the exchange of intelligence with the United States.

Ms. Merkel acknowledged that the recent violence in Germany — including a shooting rampage on Friday in Munich, the capital of Bavaria — had contributed to a climate of fear.

“The general feeling of uncertainty is dreadful,” she said, acknowledging that people were worried about their safety. “The state must live up to its task of restoring the greatest possible trust. And that’s what we are working on.”

Ms. Merkel emphasized that “we are not in a war or in a fight with Islam.” She added: “We fight against terrorism, also Islamic terrorism.”

Asked by reporters whether she would seek a third term, Ms. Merkel, the chancellor since 2005, said she would announce her decision “at the appropriate time,” adding, “Today, this is not the moment.”



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Source: The New York Times

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07-29-2016 Science&Technology
Orangutan's Vocal Controls Could Hold The Secret To The Origins Of Human Language

An orangutan has displayed the ability to make vowel-like calls, mimicking the tone and pitch of sounds made by researchers — a development that could provide insight into the origins of human language.

In the scientific community, it has been an established fact that speech is a learned behavior — one that evolved through the mastery of our own vocal cords. As such, since apes hadn't demonstrated the ability to learn new vocalizations, scientists concluded that spoken language evolved after we split from the apes.

Now, thanks to Rocky, an 11-year-old orangutan from the Indianapolis Zoo, scientists have a lot to reconsider.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, details how researchers attempted to teach him new sounds without disrupting his environment or schedule by engaging him in copycat games, where he was challenged to mimic new vocalizations that varied greatly in tone and pitch in order earn snacks.

Much to their surprise, Rocky was able to move his vocalizations up and down in pitch and tone to match researchers, as well as make calls that resembled both consonants and vowels. This wasn't a fluke, either, as the scientists compared Rocky's exclamations against a database of more than 12,000 hours of various orangutan calls and found that none of them matched, meaning they were entirely new.

The results were clear: apes are able to achieve levels of voice control that is comparable to those in humans.

"Instead of learning new sounds, it has been presumed that sounds made by great apes are driven by arousal over which they have no control, but our research proves that orangutans have the potential capacity to control the action of their voices," Adriano Lameira, an anthropologist at Durham University, said in a news release. "This indicates that the voice control shown by humans could derive from an evolutionary ancestor with similar voice control capacities as those found in orangutans and in all great apes more generally."

Rocky's performance in the game suggests that voice control isn't limited to specific species and is likely indicative of broader capabilities among all orangutans — and potentially all great apes. Until now, it had been assumed that their cognitive abilities far outstripped their vocal ones, but these results suggest both abilities are equally sophisticated.

"[This opens] up the potential for us to learn more about the vocal capacities of early hominids that lived before the split between the orangutan and human lineages to see how the vocal system evolved towards full-blown speech in humans," Lameira concluded.

Source: Tech Times

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07-29-2016 Science&Technology
Apollo Astronaut Study Reveals Greater Heart Risk for Deep-Space Travelers

NASA astronauts on the Apollo missions to the moon, flown in the 1960s and 1970s, are the only humans to have flown beyond the protective magnetic shielding of Earth — and a new study shows that exposure to deep-space radiation may have taken a toll on their hearts.

The research compared Apollo astronauts' fates with those of unflown astronauts — who never made it into space — and those who lingered in low-Earth orbit, and found an increased level of death from cardiovascular problems in the deep-space adventurers. In a study with mice, the researchers also found a long-term effect on heart health from radiation exposure.

The International Space Station is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2024, and nations (and private companies like SpaceX) are turning their sights to the moon and Mars, said Michael Delp, a researcher at Florida State University and lead author of the new study. And with that comes exposure to deep-space radiation, which we know little about. [The Human Body in Space: 6 Weird Facts]

"With deep-space radiation, really, the 24 Apollo astronauts that went to the moon are the only astronauts that have really been exposed to this, because all the others — cosmonauts and astronauts — have stayed in low-Earth orbit," Delp told Space.com.

While there have been a few previous studies looking at astronauts' causes of death, this was the first to compare astronauts with other astronauts rather than the general population, Delp said — the study's control population included astronauts assigned to Apollo, Gemini and space shuttle missions that were ultimately canceled, among others. Those astronauts were selected but never made it to space, so they should have the same baseline health as those that did. (The researchers selected unflown astronauts who were chosen at close to the same time as the Apollo astronauts, Delp said, and although the astronauts who stayed in low-Earth orbit were selected slightly later, the ages at death for all the astronauts considered were comparable.)

"This was really the first indication that travel into deep space might have some health consequences, particularly on the cardiovascular system," Delp said.Delp's group considered seven Apollo astronauts, 35 later astronauts who reached low-Earth orbit and 35 astronauts who never flew, and found that the proportional deaths due to heart disease were equivalent for the astronauts who never flew and the ones who stayed in low-Earth orbit, but for Apollo astronauts those deaths were four to five times more common. (Three out of the seven died from cardiovascular disease.)



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Source: Space.com

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07-29-2016 Cars
Lexus flagship spotted testing in the desert

Most of the Lexus line-up has been updated with the company's unique design language. Whether you love it or hate it, most of the company's cars are impossible to confuse for something else. But during this time of transformation, the flagship LS sedan has lingered with a very mild, sedate shape. These spy photos show the LS has gone under the knife.

That being said, we can't really say how different the LS is going to look for sure because Lexus has employed some impressive camouflage. If we didn't know better we'd say it looks like the LS is going retro with round reflector headlights and some rear tailfins. But we do know better, so don't look for those features to make it to the production model.

What we can make out is the lower half of the Lexus "spindle" grille. The camouflage wrapping is pressed up against a trapezoidal shape at the front reminiscent of what we've seen on other Lexus models. It looks like a large version of it as well. This Lexus seems to still be quite long, and based on where the rear passenger is in the photos, it still seems to have loads of space for rear passengers. It's difficult to tell if this is a long wheelbase model or a standard one, but if it is long wheelbase, it's proportioned quite nicely. It looks like there will be quite a large C-pillar on this LS too.

Our spy photographer expects this car to be revealed next year as a 2018 model available with a V8 and possibly a hydrogen powertrain. So if you want one of the last low-key LS models, you'll want to get the current version because its days are numbered.

Source: Auto Blog

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07-29-2016 Science&Technology
Updated Yahoo Messenger Lands on Desktop (With Snapchat-Like 'Unsend'

Yahoo in December resurrected its Messenger platform, offering Web and mobile users the ability to send (and unsend) messages, photos, and GIFs. Now it's available as a desktop app for Windows and Mac.

The program will look familiar to regular users, with some elements of Flickr, Tumblr, and Yahoo's Xobni smart address book. One handy new feature, though, is bulk photo sharing. Users can send hundreds of images at once, and they will appear to everyone in the conversation almost instantly.

The new Messenger also allows access to searchable and shareable GIFs, and lets folks "like" any comment, photo, or GIF in a one-to-one chat or group message.

Perhaps most exciting is the Snapchat-like feature that lets you kill off messages you'd rather not relive.

Sent a message too soon or caught a last-minute typo? Now you can take back the remark, no matter how long it's been or who else has replied. Simply long-press a chat bubble, then tap "Unsend," and the offending message will vanish from the conversation for everyone.

It's not a foolproof plan, though: Notifications of new messages aren't taken back, and unsend doesn't work with friends who are still using the previous version of Yahoo Messenger. (Those still using an old version of the program should update by Aug. 5, when the legacy app will be discontinued.)

"Unsend as soon as you can," the Yahoo Help page said, warning that anyone can screenshot content (including photos) before it disappears.

The Yahoo Messenger desktop app is available to download now.

Source: Pc Mag

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07-28-2016 Science&Technology
Tim Cook finally confirms Apple has augmented reality plans

Apple high

“We have been and continue to invest a lot in this,” he said. “We are high on AR for the long run, we think there’s great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.”

He also discussed this season’s smash hit in AR, Pokemon Go, which is expected to generate $3 billion for Apple over the next two years:

“The number one thing is to make sure our products work well with other developers’ kind of products like Pokemon, that’s why you see so many iPhones in the wild chasing Pokemons,” he said.

No surprises

It wasn’t unexpected.

“Don’t be surprised when Apple hints about its own headset in the next few months,” I wrote in January this year. A few months have now passed…

Look and you’ll see that Apple has a great infrastructure for third party AR/VR. Not only are there around a billion actively used iOS devices, but most of these are already using 64-bit processors, which are available in iPhone 6, 6S and iPhone SE series devices, and the latest iPads. Its platforms are set to become even more powerful later this year with iPhone 7.

Those processors deliver more than enough horsepower to fully exploit iOS’ hardware-accelerated graphics API, Metal, as well as core technologies such as QuickTime, OpenGL, OpenCL, Core Audio, Quartz Composer, Core Video, Core Animation. Add great camera technologies and superior displays and you can see why Pokemon Go players have become addicted to iOS.

Years of investment

All the same, beyond the mainstream media this confirmaton of Apple's interest in AR isn’t really news.

We know the company has been exploring the space for years, since way before Google’s Eric Schmidt quit Apple’s board and way before Google Glass was a twinkle in Sergey Brin’s eye. “iPodfather”, Tony Fadell led Apple’s VR efforts for years.

There is plenty of additional evidence to support the notion Apple has been quietly investing in the space for years.

The company holds numerous VR-related patents and last year won another for a virtual reality device that turns your iPhone into some form of VR headset.

In 2015 it purchased augmented reality firm Metaio. More recently it purchased Flyby Media, and has acquired Faceshift and Emotient.

There are multiple recruitment ads on its jobsite seeking engineers who are “comfortable with VR and AR concepts.” It has been hiring people with these skills since at least last year.

The FT recently claimed Apple has hundreds of staff “from a series of carefully targeted acquisitions” working with others “poached from companies that are working on next-generation headset technologies.”



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Source: ComputerWorld

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07-28-2016 Religion
Pope Francis says the world is at war, but not a war of religions

Pope Francis leaves for Poland with an Alitalia flight from the Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Pope Francis has departed for Krakow, where he will join World Youth Day, a major gathering of Catholics. (Credit: Telenews/ANSA via AP Photo.)

On his way to Poland for World Youth Day on Wednesday, Pope Francis told journalists on the papal plane that the world is at war, but it's not at heart a religious conflict. He also gave Crux a short video for young pilgrims, saying, “Dear volunteers, greetings from me ... Go on, and pray for me… and don’t get lazy!”

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE- On his way to Krakow to participate in World Youth Day, a week-long Catholic celebration that’s often labeled as the religious version of Woodstock, Pope Francis denounced what he described as a worldwide war. “But it’s a real war, not a religious war,” Francis told journalists travelling with him to Poland. “It’s a war of interests, a war for money. A war for natural resources and for the dominion of the peoples. Some might say it’s a religious war. Every religion wants peace. The war is wanted by the others. Understood?” he said. The pope spoke twice during the short flight from Rome to Krakow. First, as soon as the plane took off, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi asked him to give a few words to reporters, adding that he might want to address “what’s going on in the world today, what happened yesterday.” Francis readily agreed, saying that when the world talks about “unsafety” the actual word that should be used is “war.” He also referred to the murder of French priest Jacques Hamel, slain on Tuesday by two Islamic terrorists as he was saying Mass. “This holy priest who died in the very moment he was offering a prayer for the whole Church, is [only] one, but there are so many Christians, so many innocents, so many children … let’s think about Nigeria … ‘But it’s Africa’ … But it’s war!” “Let’s not be afraid to say the truth. The world is at war, because it’s lost its peace!” The pope also said that this might not be as “organic” as other wars, mentioning the two world wars by giving their dates and other “big wars.” However, he said, the one going on now is “an organized” one. Francis has often spoken about a “piecemeal war,” but this time he avoided this expression, describing the current global situation with armed conflicts in several regions, such as in the Ukrainian border with Russia, and terrorist attacks perpetrated by Islamic terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Boko Haram not only in the Middle East or Africa, as well as violence in many Western countries such as the United States, France and Brussels.

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Source: Crux

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07-28-2016 Politics
Clinton nomination puts 'biggest crack' in glass ceiling

Philadelphia (CNN)Democrats on Tuesday made Hillary Clinton the first woman to head a major party ticket -- and during an emotional night, her family and supporters asked voters to give her a second look.

At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, just three miles from Independence Hall where the nation was born, a sense of history is palpable -- as is Clinton's willingness to finally enjoy it. "What an incredible honor that you have given me, and I can't believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet," Clinton said via satellite after a video montage showed the faces of all 44 male presidents before shattering like glass to reveal Clinton waiting to address the convention from New York. "This is really your victory. This is really your night," Clinton told the cheering crowd. "And if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say I may become the first woman President. But one of you is next."

The Clinton campaign hoped the day would build momentum and goodwill to repair the deep divides that still linger after her bitter primary duel with Bernie Sanders. The goal is to reshape national perceptions of a candidate with negative approval ratings and who was lambasted last week at the Republican National Convention as a criminal and liar. Former President Bill Clinton weaved a parable of Clinton's work for children, the sick and the disabled into the story of their relationship. More than two decades after Hillary Clinton became a fixture in national politics, Bill Clinton's folksy, sometimes meandering testimony was aimed at revealing a softer side of the Democratic nominee to a nationwide television audience.

'Best darned change-maker' The 42nd President hailed his wife as "the best darned change-maker I have ever known" as he sought to debunk Republican nominee Donald Trump's claim that Clinton is the epitome of the status quo. Bill Clinton framed the election as a choice between the flattering picture he painted of his wife and the damning portrait the GOP laid out in Cleveland last week.

"One is real, the other is made up. You just have to decide which is which, my fellow Americans," Clinton said. "Earlier today, you nominated the real one." Hillary Clinton's historic status was confirmed earlier in a roll call vote of the states -- one of the great traditions of American politics.

Rebecca Wininger, 49, a Clinton delegate from Arizona, had tears streaming down her face as the convention floor erupted with applause when Clinton formally went over the top and secured the necessary delegates to become the nominee.



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Source: CNN

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07-28-2016 Cars
The Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 may be gone sooner than we thought

With no production partner, FCA is expected to put small sedans out to pasture later this year

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been unable to find a partner to produce the Chrysler 200 and the Dodge Dart, with the two models likely to exit production in a matter of months, Automotive News reports. Earlier in the year, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne indicated the automaker would cease production of the two small sedans if it were unable to find another manufacturer to build them in the U.S. or abroad, as FCA has other plans for the factories that make them.

The Dart is slated to end production in September with the factory in Belvidere, Illinois, scheduled to start production of the Jeep Cherokee. The Chrysler 200, meanwhile, will stay in production through December at the Sterling Heights, Michigan, plant, which will then be retooled to produce the 2018 Ram 1500 pickup.

Sales of the two small sedans have been tepid, despite the duo still being relatively fresh. Earlier this year, Marchionne had some harsh words for the designers of the 200, whom he criticized for its particularly snug rear door frame and roof line, which makes ingress and egress difficult.

Earlier in the year, Marchionne sounded hopeful that FCA would find another manufacturer to produce the two, though capacity is at a premium across the board.

"Who would want to commit to that capacity in their own plant when they didn't sell well when they were new?" Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific, told Automotive News.

Given the soft demand for the two sedans, it appears very likely that by the end of the year Dodge and Chrysler dealers simply won't have a small sedan on the menu; the much larger and older Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger will soldier on. Buyers' loyalty to models from Japanese brands in this segment is seen as one of the main obstacles that the two small sedans never overcame.



Source: Autoweek

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07-19-2016 General
Police tighten security after 3 officers killed in Baton Rouge

(CNN)Officers Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola were killed Sunday after being ambushed and shot by a lone gunman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Their deaths have kept the spotlight on a region where the July 5 shooting death of Alton Sterling at the hands of police began what has been two weeks of national turmoil. "We as a nation have to be loud and clear that nothing justifies violence against law enforcement," President Barack Obama said after Sunday's attack. "Attacks on police are an attack on all of us, and the rule of law that makes society possible." Now police across the country are taking precautions. The New York Police Department is doubling up all foot patrols and security posts, according to a memo obtained by CNN. Officers are also being instructed to take all meals and personal breaks in pairs. In Cleveland, the police union is asking Gov. John Kasich to restrict the state's open carry laws temporarily for the Republican National Convention in light of the events in Baton Rouge. To better protect its officers, the Boston Police Department is requiring that two officers be in every patrol unit. Although Baton Rouge is "hundreds of miles away from Boston, the pain and suffering caused by the loss of these officers in the line of duty is felt deeply by the men and women of the BPD," Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said Sunday. "This all too common trend we are seeing of violence against law enforcement officers who are out there each day serving and protecting neighborhoods across the country is alarming and disheartening." Obama urged a stop to the bloodshed. "Only we can prove, through words and through deeds, that we will not be divided," the President said Sunday. "And we're going to have to keep on doing it again and again and again. That's how this country gets united."

'No talking, just shooting'

The shooting Sunday took place around 8:40 a.m. (9:40 a.m. ET) in the city of about 230,000 people, already tense after the high-profile police shooting of Sterling, an African-American man. On Sunday, police received a call of a "suspicious person walking down Airline Highway with an assault rifle," a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. Killer Gavin Long "ambushed" the officers, said Col. Michael D. Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police. Long's "prey was those police officers," Edmonson said Monday morning on CNN. "He drew them to the scene." After the first set of officers were attacked, more responded to the scene and killed Long, authorities said. He had been carrying an AR-15-style, semi-automatic rifle, law enforcement sources told CNN.

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Source: CNN

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07-19-2016 Sports
Brennan: Russia must be kicked out of 2016 Rio Olympics

We now know it's not just Russian track and field. It’s not just Russian winter sports.

Russian summer sports are dirty to their core too – “the vast majority of summer and winter Olympic sports” – according to an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report issued this morning by Richard McLaren.

Russia just won the gold medal for doping: systemic, long-term, state-sponsored doping. This is Lance Armstrong times 100. Perhaps 1,000. The McLaren Report says Russia and its athletes are not to be trusted, that instead of promoting clean sport, as Russia signed on to do as a major player in the Olympic world, it has become the new East Germany.

The International Olympic Committee now has to step up and do what it won’t want to do, but must: Russia has to be kicked out of the Rio Olympic Games. Not just the Russian track and field athletes, who, with the exception of two athletes, already are.

Everyone must go, except for any athletes who can prove in quick appeals to their international sports federations that they have undergone thorough, real, non-Russian-style testing in the past year, just as the two track and field athletes have.

Otherwise, to allow them to compete in Rio is to taint the entire Olympic Games. If the IOC and the Olympic Games stand for anything, the Russian flag must not fly in Rio.

How bad is the cheating in Russia? It’s everywhere. It’s weightlifting. It’s the Paralympic sports. It’s wrestling. It’s canoeing. It’s cycling and swimming and soccer and rowing and judo and volleyball and boxing and handball and ...

That’s what McLaren found in his devastating investigation. His report confirms what the international sports world has surmised for months: that Russian government and sports officials, working in concert, diabolically altered and switched urine samples to allow cheating athletes to not test positive for doping but instead win medals, many medals, for the glory of Russia.

McLaren gave this a wonderful name: “The Disappearing Positive Methodology.” It was “the state’s failsafe strategy,” he said. It was bureaucratic, working up and down the Russian chain of command to cover up positive tests.

And then there was Sochi. Athletes’ urine was taken and tested well before their competition, confirmed to be clean and stored in a freezer. Then, at the Olympics, when the time came, the dirty urine sample provided by the cheating athlete at the competition was switched out for the clean one from the freezer.

To make sure that it appeared to be a fresh sample, the Russians even added table salt and distilled water. These are world-class cheaters who do their homework.



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Source: Usa Today

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07-18-2016 Politics
Arrest warrant issued for Erdogan's top military aide in crackdown, Turkish media report

The Turkish government on Sunday ratcheted up its crackdown on alleged plotters of the botched coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, issuing an arrest warrant for his top military aide while rounding up as many as 6,000 opponents of the regime, according to government officials.

Turkey's armed forces said they were at the command of the state and Turkish people, national broadcaster NTV reported. It wasn't immediately clear what role, if any, Erdogan's military aide Col. Ali Yazici played in the failed coup that started late Friday.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said in a television interview that "the cleansing (operation) is continuing. Some 6,000 detentions have taken place. The number could surpass 6,000."

Detention orders were filed for 53 more judges and prosecutors while 52 military officers were rounded up for their alleged roles in the plot, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Separately, Gen. Bekir Ercan Van, the commander of Incirlik air base, used by U.S.-led coalition jets fighting the Islamic State, was detained along with 10 other soldiers and a police officer, a Turkish government official told The Associated Press. The Turkish private DHA news agency showed footage of Van handcuffed and pushed into a van outside a courthouse.

Bozdag also said he was confident that the United States would return Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen to Turkey. The Turkish president has blamed Gulen and his followers for the failed military coup on Friday night, but Gulen has denied any involvement in or knowledge about the attempted coup. The U.S. says it will look at any evidence Turkey has to offer against Gulen, and judge accordingly.

Bozdag says "the United States would weaken itself by protecting him, it would harm its reputation. I don't think that at this hour, the United States would protect someone who carried out this act against Turkey."

Erdogan spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the failed coup, Turkish officials told reporters.

Putin said Moscow stood by "Turkey's elected government" and expressed his good wishes to Turkey's people, a Turkish government statement added.

It said the two leaders -- who recently patched up relations following Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane -- also agreed to meet face-to-face next month.

The reports Sunday followed an intense crackdown against the judiciary and the military in the wake of the botched coup Friday night.

The government has also dismissed nearly 3,000 judges and prosecutors from their posts, while investigators were preparing court cases to send the conspirators to trial on charges of attempting to overthrow the government.



Read full story

Source: Fox News

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07-18-2016 Science&Technology
Developer Shows Fantastic Pokemon Go Demo For Microsoft Hololens Mixed Reality Glasses

Take a stroll outside to any just about any area and you're likely to run into people playing Pokemon Go on their smartphones.

It's the hottest thing right now, surpassing Candy Crush as the biggest mobile gaming the U.S. of all time, and iPhone users are spending more time playing Pokemon Go than updating their Twitter statuses or logging into Facebook and Snapchat. It's a remarkable use case scenario for augmented reality and the potential audience that's out there, but could you imagine if Pokemon Go existed for Microsoft's Hololens headset? You don't have to imagine it—a development studio in Amsterdam already did and built a pretty awesome demo.

That studio is Capitola VR, a division of Capitola Digital that's absolutely obsessed with virtual reality. It's stated goal is to create VR experiences for a wide variety of purposes. A team of 20 designers and developers work continuously on VR projects of all shapes and sizes, including campaigns for its clients and generating tools, services, and entertainment solutions. Given Pokemon Go's immense popularity, it was only natural that Capitola VR would be drawn to it. The Pokemon Go demo it cooked up is playable on Hololens. Like the mobile version, Pokemon characters appear, only instead of spotting them in a GPS generated map of your surroundings, you're seeing them in your home office, living room, and other real life locations as you wander about wearing Microsoft's headset.

"We were actually amazed how easy it is to launch an app for this device and create and optimize the mechanics and interaction," David Robustelli, Head of Digital at CapitolaVR, told Upload VR through email. "The build was created in Unity with the HoloLens SDK."

The prototype is a little rough around the edges, but it successfully shows the kind of immersive experience that's possible today. As currently implemented, randomly generated Pokemon appear in a person's surroundings, and to catch them the player makes a pinching gesture with their fingers. Doing so flings a Poke ball at the character with some rudimentary graphics effects. In a finished product, we'd like to see this evolve into actually throwing a virtual Poke ball.

To be clear, Capitola VR isn't planning to work with Niantic to port Pokemon Go over to Hololens. That's not really the point. The bigger picture here is that AR and VR have arrived, there's already an incredibly fun use case scenario in the mobile world, along with tons of untapped potential on hyped hardware like Hololens. Needless to say, the future of gaming in AR, VR, and mixed reality looks bright, folks.

Source: Hothardware

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Top 100 World Newspapers (*)

No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country
1 The New York Times / United States 2 The Guardian / United Kingdom 3 The Daily Mail / United Kingdom 4 The Wall Street Journal / United States
5 The Washington Post / United States 6 The People's Daily / China 7 The Daily Telegraph / United Kingdom 8 USA Today / United States
9 Los Angeles Times / United States 10 El Mundo / Spain 11 La Repubblica / Italy 12 The Times of India / India
13 Bild / Germany 14 Corriere della Sera / Italy 15 The Examiner / United States 16 The Independent / United Kingdom
17 El País / Spain 18 The Financial Times / United Kingdom 19 The Sydney Morning Herald / Australia 20 Daily News / United States
21 Chicago Tribune / United States 22 Le Monde / France 23 Marca / Spain 24 Hürriyet / Turkey
25 Die Welt / Germany 26 Asahi Shimbun / Japan 27 The Sun / United Kingdom 28 New York Post / United States
29 The Age / Australia 30 Gazeta Wyborcza / Poland 31 The Philadelphia Inquirer / United States 32 The Washington Times / United States
33 Die Zeit / Germany 34 Yomiuri Shimbun / Japan 35 The New Zealand Herald / New Zealand 36 The Onion / United States
37 Milliyet Gazetesi / Turkey 38 Il Sole 24 Ore / Italy 39 The Chicago Sun-Times / United States 40 Al-Ahram / Egypt
41 Le Figaro / France 42 Süddeutsche Zeitung / Germany 43 The Hindu / India 44 Houston Chronicle / United States
45 The Seattle Times / United States 46 Libération / France 47 The Globe and Mail / Canada 48 De Standaard / Belgium
49 The Irish Times / Ireland 50 The Toronto Star / Canada 51 Le Nouvel Observateur / France 52 Mercury News / United States
53 The Australian / Australia 54 The Denver Post / United States 55 The Christian Science Monitor / United States 56 The Dong-a Ilbo / Korea
57 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / United States 58 Aftonbladet / Sweden 59 Kommersant / Russia 60 Bangkok Post / Thailand
61 Star Tribune / United States 62 The Hollywood Reporter / United States 63 Daily Mirror / United Kingdom 64 Dawn / Pakistan
65 El Universal / Mexico 66 The Miami Herald / United States 67 Mladá fronta Dnes / Czech Republic 68 DNA - Daily News & Analysis / India
69 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / United States 70 Sports Nippon / Japan 71 L'Equipe / France 72 Die Presse / Austria
73 Detroit Free Press / United States 74 Neue Zürcher Zeitung / Switzerland 75 Clarín / Argentina 76 Chosun Ilbo / Japan
77 The Sacramento Bee / United States 78 China Daily / China 79 Nihon Keizai Shimbun / Japan 80 AS / Spain
81 The Baltimore Sun / United States 82 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Germany 83 La Gazzetta dello Sport / Italy 84 Mainichi Shimbun / Japan
85 Boston Herald / United States 86 The Dallas Morning News / United States 87 The Times / United Kingdom 88 Newsday / United States
89 Orlando Sentinel / United States 90 St. Louis Post-Dispatch / United States 91 Taipei Times / Taiwan 92 The Hindustan Times / India
93 The Economic Times / India 94 Kompas / Indonesia 95 The Observer / United Kingdom 96 Jornal de Notícias / Portugal
97 South Florida Sun-Sentinel / United States 98 ABC / Spain 99 Le Soir / Belgium 100 The Kansas City Star / United States

(*) Selected by 4International Media & Newspapers


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