What is fog computing and what does it mean for IoT?

first_imgJoachim Brathen The Ultimate Checklist on Ways to Prevent IoT D… Tags:#driverless cars#edge computing#Fog computing#fog vs. edge#Internet of Things#IoT#self-driving cars How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … 5 Industries Destined for Technological Disruptioncenter_img Related Posts How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… The Internet of Things is projected to grow to as much as 20-30 billion connected devices by 2020. The amount of data being created and subsequently sent to the cloud is therefore set to increase exponentially as a new set of devices achieves connectivity.Storage and computing power increases according to Moore’s law, that is they double about every 18 months, yet bandwidth is increasing at a far slower pace. Some estimates place bandwidth growth at less than 40% per year. The implication is of course that there will be more data wanting being sent to the cloud then there will be bandwidth. Enter the fog computing paradigm.See also: How does fog computing differ from edge computing?Fog computing refers to decentralized computation at the edges of the network, as opposed to being centralized in data centers. By distributing computing to the edges, the results will be sent to the cloud, not the raw data itself. This shift in paradigm will tremendously reduce the need for increased bandwidth and computational power in the cloud.Centralized computing in the cloud has provided several benefits for enterprises. Scalability, easy pricing schemes and minimal upfront cost are among the big ones. However cloud computing have certain disadvantages. Foremost latency and delay jitter, as well as there being a higher probability for security breaches when large amounts of data is moved through networks.Fog computing greatly reduces the amount of data being sent to and from the cloud, reducing latency as a result of local computation while minimizing security risks.Companies using cloud computing for analytics often need it fast. The most relevant data is often the most recent data, and most companies need to be able to act on that insight in real time. You will not need to wait for data to be sent around the globe, analyzed in the cloud then sent back. We should then ask what computations can be done closer to home, and what should be in the cloud.What data do we actually need?Airplanes are equipped with important sensors that are meant to prevent system failure. These sensors can produce up to 40TB of data per hour of flight. If we multiply that with the numbers of flight hours per day the data generated by the industry is staggering. These sensors serve important functions in flight, but the data not being used for analytics on fuel savings and other efficiencies would not benefit from being aggregated in the cloud. Not to mention the amount of data we can expect a fleet of self-driving cars to generate. See also: 4 common mistakes customers make in transitioning to cloud computingSo, in addition to making us think about what computations should be done by the device, it also forces us to think about what data is really useful, and what data is essentially useless after its shelf time has expired, which for many applications is short.As the fog computing paradigm continues to evolve and an exponentially increasing amount of devices achieve connectivity we will see more choices being made regarding what data should be used where and subsequently stored. The cloud has given us us several advantages in terms of scalability and cheapness, but we will now need to make more decisions on how we treat the exponentially growing amount of data we are generating for IoT infrastructure to perform optimally.last_img read more

AI and Blockchain Tech Are The Future of Successful Trading

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… Reuben Jackson Ruben is a blockchain security consultant currently living in New York City. He helps organizations fundamentally redesign experiences to create new sources of value also digitally reinventing company’s operations for greater efficiency. In the past five years, the global financial industry has experienced major disruptions thanks to innovative technologies in AI, Machine Learning, and Blockchain. The rate at which supercomputers are taking over the financial sector is leaving no doubt that the future of finance will largely depend on computer scientists and big data experts rather than the traditional financial advisors and traders.It is no wonder that the world top financial institutions are now hiring more quantitative analysts and computer scientists than the traditional financial analysts and investment advisors. The CFA Institute, the provider of the world most prestigious professional designation for financial analysts, has realized that it is no longer business as usual in the industry and is now including AI, Big Data, and Machine Learning in its Curriculum.On the other hand, Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies, is also having its fair share in the industry with analysts predicting that it will do to the financial system what the internet did to the media. Cryptocurrencies as an investment asset have seen explosive popularity since 2016 with Bitcoin the mother of all cryptocurrencies soaring above 1,500% in 2017 before crumbling 63% in the first month of 2018. Other cryptocurrencies (as of now there are over 2000 of them) are seeing the same level of growth and volatility, creating massive investment opportunity on the one hand and big risk on the other.As the amount of data on these digital currencies continues to pile up, crypto-traders are finding it hard to find investment insights manually. This has prompted the emergence of AI and Machine Learning driven solutions. The application of computer algorithms driven by AI and Machine Learning to analyze big data and execute stock trades is not something new in the mainstream financial markets.AI and Machine Learning can be applied in the crypto markets in similar ways to the way it’s used for data analysis. The key advantages of algorithm-driven investment decisions include speed and accuracy, which are the two most vital elements to success in the highly volatile crypto markets.  Also, machine-driven trading does not require the trader to have specialized skills in a certain discipline or to have insider information to compete.For instance, Signals, a blockchain platform launched on the Ethereum Network, seeks to utilize Machine Intelligence in order to enable crypto traders to make smarter and faster trading decisions and maximize trading profits. With the Signals platform, both the experienced and inexperienced crypto traders can access trading algorithms ranging from traditional technical analysis to the sophisticated machine learning techniques.Another example is Robo Coin Advisor, a platform that has been work in progress since 2014. The projects, which claims to be the first robo-advisor for cryptocurrencies, combines AI with cryptocurrencies and blockchain to provide investors with daily forecasts and statistics relating to cryptocurrencies and their tokens.But how can we be assured that the trading algorithms are accurate and will make the right call when subjected to a lot of varying data? The answer can be found in back-testing. The process involves subjecting the algorithm to historical data in order to determine how it would perform in various scenarios. Platforms such as the Quantopian have been providing back-testing avenues for stock-trading algorithms and some are now offering such solutions for crypto trading.Another aspect of algorithmic investing that is bound to benefit crypto traders is market scanning for tradable news. In high-frequency trading, Computer algorithms equipped with Natural Language Processing are taught to scan and identify tradable news as it develops and execute trades instantly. This approach can be very helpful in crypto-trading given the crypto-markets volatility and sensitivity to emerging issues.For instance, in the recent past, news on regulatory crackdowns has proven to have a very big impact on the price movement of cryptocurrencies. With an algorithm that is trained to identify regulatory crackdown news as they emerge and instantly execute trades, traders can profit on their crypto holdings both on the bull and bear markets.As blockchain and cryptocurrencies continue to gain traction in the mainstream society, the amount of data generated from related activities and transactions will keep growing. Long-term investors and day traders must, therefore, be ready to embrace cutting-edge technology if they are to remain competitive in this industry. Tags:#AI#analytics#Blockchain#Trending What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Total Force Fitness and Military Families Learning Network: Family Development Early Intervention

first_imgIn this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will continue our exploration of the resources and programming that Military Families Learning Network provides to support Total Force Fitness with our Family Development Early Intervention (FDEI) team.FDEI and Total Force FitnessSupporting military families who have children ages birth to five years old or who may be at risk of developmental delays or disabilities requires a holistic approach, like that of Total Force Fitness. Therefore, you will find that the programming provided by FDEI incorporates multiple Total Force Fitness domains in order to assist service providers in supporting these families.FDEI’s current series, Sunrise Through Sunset: Supporting Children with Autism Through Their Day, is a four-part webinar series that addresses concerns for families with children who have autism or related disorders. Information in these four webinars will assist service providers supporting young children with autism and their families. The series focuses on common concerns and issues faced by families with a young child with autism such as limited diet, outings, and being included in childcare, school, and other group settings. Webinar participants can expect to learn useful strategies to strengthen and support a family’s behavioral, social, environmental, and nutritional fitness.Check out FDEI’s previous series on early communication and the importance of play, both of which also address multiple domains of Total Force Fitness. Overall, FDEI’s programming is a great example of how addressing multiple domains of Total Force Fitness provides the best support for military families.Additionally, keep an eye out for next week’s blog post about MFLN Nutrition and Wellness as a part of Total Force Fitness. MFLN Nutrition and Wellness provides high-quality continuing education for military providers, VA, and extension dietitians. As a preview, you can view previous blog posts from Nutrition and Wellness that cover topics from how to avoid burnout to planning a safe picnic.Additional Resources from FDEIFDEI’s programming aims to improve the professional capacity of service providers who work with military families who have children ages birth to five years old or who may be at risk for disabilities and developmental delays. FDEI provides webinars and timely blog posts as a part of their programming.last_img read more

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Video Review

first_imgThinking about getting a Blackmagic Cinema Camera?  This video review breaks down some of the camera’s strengths and weaknesses and concludes if it is a good or bad investment for the video production professional.Video production pros Ben and Ian of Panvista Productions recently analyzed the Blackmagic Cinema Camera to determine if it was a worthwhile investment for their business.When the camera was introduced at NAB 2012 it was an absolute shocker.  At first glance, the Cinema Camera looks like an incredible deal – 2.5k sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range and a price that’s affordable to many pros (MSRP $2,995).  For the product announcement and more specs see our earlier post here.Could this be the camera to revolutionize the video production industry?All of these impressive specs for a low price sound like a bargain, but how practical is the Blackmagic Cinema Camera in a professional video production environment?  Can you affordably shoot a feature film with it?  How does it stack up to others for commercial and online video work?  How does the Cinema Camera workflow effect post?  Ben and Ian set out to answer these questions and determine if the BCC is as practical as it is impressive:last_img read more

11 Must-Read Video Production Articles (June 2016)

first_imgHere are the top news articles, rumors, and announcements from the world of video production for you to enjoy at your leisure while soaking up some summer rays.Top image via Blackmagic DesignSummer is heating up, which usually means video production news is cooling down. However, fresh on the heels of (an albeit disappointing) NAB and with some exciting announcements from Canon, Blackmagic and DJI, June has had its fair share of exciting news bits already.So, before you trade in your cameras and lights for beer koozies and swim trunks, check out these must-read articles for June.1. Major Camera Rumors from CanonCanon Rumors reports that a new Canon 5D Mark IV is currently being tested by photographers in the field ahead of an August or September announcement. There have also been whispers of an all new Canon C700 to compete with the ARRI AMIRA, along with a new Canon EF 1000mm f/5.6 IS DO lens. Stay tuned on this one. Read about the rumored Canon camera specs here.2. Werner Herzog to Teach Online Filmmaking Class This SummerIndieWire writes about Werner Herzog‘s new online film school launching this summer through Master Class. The online program features twenty video lessons and over five full hours of learning documentary and narrative feature filmmaking from the eccentric master.3. Frame.io for IOSFrame.io, the collaborative video sharing and review platform, has jumped into your phone, now allowing you to upload, review and share with collaborators from anywhere, anytime. The app, available in the App Store, utilizes some of the nifty iPhone perks like TouchID and 3D touch for Peek and Pop support.4. Blackmagic Design Releases URSA Mini 4.6K Test FootageOriginally set to be released last year, the new URSA Mini 4.6k has been delayed to get it up to functioning at full capacity. Well, looks like those issues have been fixed and Blackmagic is shipping the URSA Mini 4.6k pre-orders. Watch the test footage here.5. 5 Tips for Picking the Right Trailer MusicRed Shark News Staff puts together a helpful list of five tips to use when picking music for your film trailer. #4 is our favorite, but they’re all good! Give it a read over at Red Shark News.6. GoPro Needs a HeroSean O’Kane delves deep for The Verge in an interview with GoPro CEO Nick Woodman about the company’s less than spectacular 2015 and raising expectations for a new focus on software and editing. With recent layoffs of 7 percent of the GoPro team, the profile piece couldn’t be more timely.7. Tips for Working With LogosCaleb Ward breaks down some basic tips and tricks for working with logos when editing your next corporate video. Removing backgrounds, converting to vector art, and some simple animation tricks will help give your video that next-level shine. Try it out on The Blast at RocketStock.com.8. DJI and Film Riot Launch an Online Film SchoolDJI and Film Riot’s Ryan Connolly have decided to join forces to help you make more kick-butt films. The mini-sessions show you all the practical behind-the-scenes magic that goes into the completion of an original short film shown at the beginning of the class. As with all their teachings, you’ll enjoy the ride. Watch the first three episodes.9. Cannes 2016: What Cameras Were Used to Shoot This Year’s FilmsCurious to know what some of the best up-and-coming films were shot on at this year’s Cannes Film Festival? You’re in luck. IndieWire reached out to all the directors and DPs to find out and compile a neat little article.10. The Difference Between Color Correction and Color GradingTo some, the terms “color correction” and “color grading” are one and the same. To others, they are distinctively different parts of the coloring process. Shutterstock’s Footage Blog breaks down the definitions more thoroughly.11. Sadly, This Happened Hope those were as informational and enjoyable to read as they were for us to compile. Look out for an updated list next month and keep shooting!Have any other articles you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

This DIY Roger Deakins-Style Ring Light Costs Less Than $150

first_imgFilmmaker extraordinaire Roger Deakins often uses homemade ring lights. Here’s how to take a page from his playbook and build one yourself — for cheap.Here at PremiumBeat, we write about Roger Deakins a lot.For good reason. He’s easily one of the greatest working cinematographers, and his consistency from project to project — and the variety of styles he can pull off — is unmatched.Another of Roger Deakins‘s admirable qualities is how forthright he is with information and insight into his process. He has done quite a few pieces in American Cinematographer Magazine, and what’s more, he has a website where you can hop on the forums and just ask him about his techniques in specific scenes.As an aspiring cinematographer myself, and someone who has read just about every piece of information I can find about his techniques, one thing I’ve seen time and time again was his use of homemade ring lights featuring various tungsten light bulbs.So I decided to make one of my own. This is how I did it.*NOTE: One thing that I didn’t mention specifically in the video and wish I had: make sure you use at least 16-gauge lamp cord. This is rated for up to 1,560 watts, roughly. That will accommodate 25x60watt light bulbs. If you want to do more, you need an ever higher gauge cord.What You’ll NeedThe supplies that I used will provide room and wiring for a 4′-diameter hoop and 25 lamp holders. You can obviously scale this down or make it bigger if you desire.If I were to make this again, I’d probably try to get a slightly lighter piece of wood — or even try to build a version out of some aluminum (Deakins appears to use aluminum relatively often). It can get a bit heavy on a C-stand and would be safest suspended via some speed rail.Another nice thing is that once you’ve cut your main hoop of plywood, you have a nice little smaller hoop already in the making. So, if you want, you can go ahead and make another smaller ring light right off the bat.Supply List:4’x4′ square of plywood (approx. $12)2 boxes 60-watt tungsten bulbs (approx. $30)25 lamp holders (lamp sockets) (approx. $50)Extension cord or power tool cord replacement Kit (approx. $8)~35″ of black lamp cord (approx. $15)3/4″ Screws (to screw lampholders in, approx. $4)OptionalCross beam woodBaby Pin wall plate (approx. $12)Dimmer switch (Watch how to build one here)When building, be careful and make sure you use the right gauge lamp cord and the correct wattage of bulbs. You don’t want to overload circuits or overload your cords in the fixture with too much current. This could create fire hazards or cause power issues on location. As I said before, and now again, just for good measure: make sure you use at-least 16-gauge lamp cord.How to Use Your Ring LightThese ring lights produce some amazingly soft and dreamy light.There are many ways that you can use them, but one of my favorite so far is in a space light configuration. This means using it as a top-light over your scene. This works great as a tabletop setup or for lighting large spaces.I added command strips around the sides of my light to accommodate fabric (preferably duvetyne) around the edges, which I attached as a skirt to control the light.You will also find that the light is capable of a lot of output at its full brightness (25x 60 watt light bulbs equals 1500 watts), and if you want to use it as Deakins tends to, you’ll want a dimmer switch. The light that this rig creates is most beautiful (in my opinion) when it’s dimmed down to around 30 percent of its full output. This creates a beautiful, soft, warm light, somewhere around 2700k, that fills your scene with some nice ambience.When used as a key, in a Rembrandt-style setup, these lights are nearly unmatched in terms of skin tones. Undiffused, just placed right to the side of your subject, the softness and wrap you can get with the flip of a switch is just fantastic. Top Image via American Cinematographer.Looking for more video production tips and tricks? Check these out.4 Iconic Music Video Production Effects You Need to KnowDocumentary Filmmaking Tips for Shooting Subjects in MotionRoundup: 5 Budget Zoom Lenses for Beginning FilmmakersWhy Dual Native ISO Should Be the New Industry StandardWhat Else Can You Do with Your 360° and VR Video Footage?last_img read more

Winning Sales: How To Win When You Have an Hour to Present

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now The following strategy is for salespeople who are asked to present to a prospect by a broker or agent. Here is how to win when you have an hour to present to a prospect you haven’t met. You might want to read this primer on Value Creation before you read this post.The Temptation to SellThe temptation when asked to present is to establish your credibility by sharing information about your company. Because the prospective client doesn’t know you or your company, you need to start by providing your bona fides. Following this line, you show your potential client the logos of the companies that make up your client list. The more impressive the logo, the better your company, so the thinking goes. Once you’ve established your credibility, you move onto the other things you believe your prospective client needs to see.How is it possible for your prospect to choose you over the two or three other companies in this beauty pageant if you don’t explain your solution? You plow forward with your solution, providing careful details over the course of, say, 100 slides, to ensure the prospect understands your approach. You believe sharing the solution allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. The truth is that it’s more likely you and your competitor could swap your company logos on your respective logos without much trouble.Making sure your end on a high note, you share testimonials and case studies to prove you can produce the results your prospective client needs. I recently heard of a situation in which two competing companies both shared a testimonial from the sales client. Awkward.) If you succeeded for these other companies, you would surely succeed for your prospective client.If this approach isn’t the one you would take in the first meeting with a prospect you developed, why would you choose this approach when invited to present to a prospect from a broker or agent?One of the biggest problems with this plan is that your approach to the client is no different from your competitors. Here is how to turn the tables and create a preference to work with you.Creating a Preference in One HourYou have an hour to create a preference to work with you and your company. If the approach above isn’t likely to achieve that outcome, what is a better approach?Generally, the way we have thought about the way buyer’s buy is that they become unhappy with something or discover some need. Later, they explore and evaluate their options, seek consensus, and resolve their concerns. There are buying more complicated journeys, but the orienting generalization above provides enough guidance for an effective strategy. Because you have had no discovery meeting, you enter this meeting with the prospect at the “evaluating options” phase of their process. The process has deprived both you and your client of the most valuable part of the sales conversation, something we call discovery.If you want another view of the buyer’s journey from a practical, tactical B2B sales approach, see my second book, The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales.No more pushy sales tactics. The Lost Art of Closing shows you how to proactively lead your customer and close your sales. To create a preference, you need to treat this hour-long meeting as a discovery. You need to help your prospective client with a better process for getting than the broker or agent’s boilerplate RFP. Fortunately, the buyer wants what they want, and they are trying to decide who is going to make sure they get it.Disrupting the Process without Being DisruptiveInstead of going straight to your slide deck, the first thing you might do to distinguish yourself is to ask well-placed questions. You want to ask questions designed to cause your prospective client to recognize that there are factors and choices they haven’t considered. You want to ask a question that causes your prospect to discover something about themselves, that something about which they are going to have strong opinions. You want your questions to expose how they are going to get what they want with you as their partner.These questions should be strategic and prove you are consultative. Your questions prove you know things that will be useful in helping them get what they want. A disruptive question might be something like, “What are the most strategic changes you are planning to make over the next 18 to 24 months to improve your result in this area?” You might also ask a question like, “Of three different models companies in our space operate, have you decided which model makes the most sense for you now?” If you want to expose a knowledge gap, you might ask a technical question like, “What was your overall cost per transaction and what changes have you already made to lower your cost structure?”If you want to be a trusted advisor, you need trust and advice. Your questions prove you have the business acumen and situational knowledge to provide the guidance. Your questions also move you back to discovery, where you have an excellent chance to reframe how your prospect is thinking about their decision.What Do They WantIf there is one thing I know to be true about prospects and dream clients, it is that they want you to hear them. They want someone to listen to them, to understand them, to understand their needs, and to care enough to help them get what they want. If you are talking about your company and your solution, you are depriving your prospect of the opportunity to tell you what they want and why they want it.You can very easily ask a single question like, “Can you share with me how you are thinking about the outcome you need and what you are going to need from a good partner?” There are many ways to ask this question, but whatever the words, giving your prospective client a chance to say the words out loud to a person who is paying attention, taking notes, and sharing a little about how they might be able to help produces a better result than an approach that we might call “desperate proof providing.”Taking Control of the AgendaYou are better served by asking questions than making statements about you and your company. I once had a meeting with a decision-maker who asked me to share with him information about my company. I told him it would be the least interesting conversation we could have in our short time together. When he insisted, I said, “The best way to describe my company is to tell you some of the things we are thinking about and what they mean to our clients.” Instead of sharing anything about my company, I shared trends in the industry and asked him to share his thoughts as a way to elicit what he wanted.For more on this approach, see Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition.Win customers away from your competition. Check out Eat Their LunchIf you have been asked to provide an overview of your company, you can be creative about how you share something more meaningful than your company history and accolades (proof that tends to be more valuable later in the sales process). Your slide deck likely already has answers to the questions your dream client has about how they get their results. It’s a much better approach to let to support the conversation with slides than to supplant the discussion with an hour-long monologue.If you have a single hour, make sure you put it to good use in serving your prospect’s real needs in a way that creates a preference to work with you.last_img read more

Those opposing Padmavati should see the film: Union Minister

first_imgThe censor board has a job which it should be allowed to do, the Centre said on Tuesday even as the row over Padmavati raged on with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claiming that director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was no less guilty than the fringe groups extending threats to him and actor Deepika Padukone.Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said: “The CBFC has been formed for a purpose. Let it do its job,” responding to questions by reporters. Another senior Union Minister, Birender Singh, said those opposing Padmavati should first watch the film.Striking a different note, Mr. Adityanath told reporters: “Nobody has the right to take the law into his or her own hands. Be it Sanjay Leela Bhansali or anybody else. If those issuing threats are guilty, Bhansali is no less guilty …”BJP legislator from Goshamahal, Raja Singh, has threatened to burn down theatres if Padmavati is released in Telangana. Mr. Singh has written to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, requesting him to impose a ban on the film. The movie, however, continued to receive support from Bollywood personalities. Actor Ranveer Singh, who plays Alauddin Khilji in the flick, said he was “200 per cent with the film.” In another development, as many as 42 people belonging to the Rajput community from Rajasthan were taken into preventive custody for staging a demonstration against the film’s release in the State.(With inputs from Omar Rashid)last_img read more

Peaceful polling in crucial Jokihat seat

first_imgWith 53% turnout and amid tight security, the Assembly by-poll in Jokihat passed off peacefully on Monday. Barring four booths where voters boycotted the poll over local issues, no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the constituency.With deployment of police and paramilitary forces at all 331 polling booths, the district administration ensured free and fair election in the constituency. At booth nos 215, 215(A), 216 and 216(A) under Mahalgaon police station limits, people did not vote, demanding construction of road and bridges damaged in their area during floods last year. The by-poll was necessitated after the sitting MLA Sarfaraj Alam vacated the seat to contest the Araria Lok Sabha by-poll. The Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after the death of Mr. Alam’s father and RJD MP Mohd Taslimuddin. Earlier, Mohd Taslimuddin had represented the Jokihat Assembly seat five times while his second son Sarfaraj Alam had bagged the seat four times.The ruling party JD(U) fielded former village head Murshid Alam while the Opposition put up Shahnawaj Alam, younger brother of Sarfaraj Alam in the constituency.Independent MP from Madhepura, Pappu Yadav’s party Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) fielded Ghousul Azam for the seat. 9 candidates in frayA total of nine candidates were in the fray but the main contest was between the RJD and JD(U).Nearly 70% of the voters in the constituency are from the minority community. Among the rest Hindu voters from the OBC (Other Backward Class) Mandal and Yadav castes are dominant. Banking on its traditional M-Y (Muslims and Yadav) voters and his family’s political legacy, the RJD candidate Shahnawaj Alam appeared confident of winning the seat while, the JD(U) candidate, despite his criminal past, is banking on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s development agenda to bag the seat. The result will be out on May 31. Leader of the Opposition and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav alleged that Mr. Nitish Kumar was “playing all dirty tricks to influence the elections but still will face defeat.”53% in TharaliOver 53% polling was recorded in the bypolls to the Tharali Assembly seat in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. By the end of the day, 53.43% voters had cast their votes, District Information Officer in charge of the election control room, G.S. Bisht, said. Though largely peaceful, the bypoll was boycotted at Devsari village in the Dewal area by voters to protest against their demand for a road not being fulfilled, he said. Polling for the reserved (SC) seat went at a slow pace initially. Only 26 per cent voters had cast their votes by 1 PM. However, it picked up a little late in the afternoon with 40.5 poll percentage recorded by 3 PM, Bisht said.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Modi’s next stop in U.P.: Shahjahanpur

first_imgAfter reaching out to voters in Azamgarh, Sant Kabir Nagar, Mirzapur and Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s next destination in Uttar Pradesh is Shahjahanpur district in the central region of the State.He is scheduled to address a farmers rally, Kisan Samman Rally, in the district on July 21. The outreach to farmers comes on the heels of the Union Cabinet increasing the minimum support price for kharif crops. In the rally too, the BJP has indicated that Mr. Modi would highlight the hike in MSP as one of the major achievements of his party with respect to farmers.Security measuresChief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who visited Shahjahanpur on Tuesday to take stock of the security arrangements for the public meeting at the Roza grounds, said the decision to hike the MSP was an “unprecedented step” taken by Mr. Modi.“This is the first time such a thing has happened since independence. It is a big revolutionary move,” Mr. Adityanath said.The hike in MSP will benefit farmers in U.P. the most as the State has the highest number of farmers and largest production of foodgrain, said Mr. Adityanath.Shahjahanpur, located 175 km from the State capital, has one of the largest foodgrain mandis in U.P. and that is a reason why it was picked for Mr. Modi’s rally.Mobilisation of farmersThe BJP plans to mobilise farmers from 9-10 neighbouring districts to attend the rally.This will be the fifth public address by Mr. Modi in U.P. in a span of three weeks, indicating the BJP is already in election mode as 2019 Lok Sabha polls come closer.last_img read more

Hizbul Mujahideen man came to Assam for recruitment

first_imgThe Assam Police on Sunday said Qamar-uz-Zaman, an alleged member of Hizbul Mujahideen arrested in Kanpur last week, had come home in the State for buying arms and recruiting people for the outfit.Director-General of Police Kuladhar Saikia said three of Qamar’s associates detained since September 14 had revealed the Hizbul Mujahideen’s plans for tapping “radicalised” youth in certain pockets of Assam. The three are Omar Farooq, Shahnawaz Alam and Saidul Alam.“From Farooq, our men got to know that Qamar-uz-Zaman visited Assam in August for recruitment of new cadres,” Mr. Saikia said.Omar is said to have told the police that he had worked for Qamar for the money offered. Qamar’s trip, the police said, was also to purchase arms.last_img read more

Cyclonic storm ‘Daye’ crosses Odisha coast, rains to continue till Saturday

first_imgCyclonic storm ‘Daye’ crossed the coast near Gopalpur in Odisha early Friday, triggering heavy downpour accompanied by high velocity wind in several parts of the state.The cyclonic storm “Daye” over northwest Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestward with a speed of about 23 kmph and crossed south Odisha and adjoining Andhra Pradesh coast close to Gopalpur in the early hours of Friday, Director, Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar, H.R. Biswas said.The cyclonic system then lay centred over south Odisha, about 40 km west-northwest of Gopalpur and about 150 km east-southeast of Bhawanipatna, he said.Mr. Biswas said it would continue to move west-northwestward and weaken gradually into a deep depression.Also Read Of cyclones and their naming  As the cyclonic storm made a landfall, it brought heavy to very heavy rainfall in some places in Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts of the state, officials said.Under its impact, heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to lash several places in Rayagada, Kalahandi, Koraput and Nabarangpur districts till Saturday, the MeT centre said.Heavy to very heavy rainfall is also likely to occur at some places in Balangir, Bararh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts till the morning of Saturday, it said.The MeT centre also warned of gale wind with speed reaching 60-70 kmph and gusting up to 80 kmph along and off south Odisha for a few hours.The impact of the cyclonic storm was felt more in Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Nayagarh and Puri districts.The State government has instructed officials in coastal districts and various departments to be alert to tackle any emergency situation, official sources said.Danger signs with signal number 3, which warns of surface winds clocking 40-50 kmph, have been hoisted at all ports of Odisha, officials said.Earlier on Thursday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held a review meeting and directed the officials to keep a close watch on the situation and take steps to ensure no loss of life. He also asked them to arrange adequate relief materials.The cyclone warning division’s (CWD) advisory said the sea will be very rough over central and north Bay of Bengal and off Odisha, West Bengal and north Andhra Pradesh coasts.last_img read more

Two killed as bus falls into gorge in Shimla district

first_imgTwo persons were killed and six others injured when a bus fell into a 50-metre deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla district, police said on Monday. The accident occurred in Mancholi area when the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus was on its way to Khadar village from Chaupal on Sunday, they said. The bus fell into the gorge as the retaining wall constructed besides the road collapsed. The deceased have been identified as Priyanka (28) and Vidya Dutt (52) of Khaddar village, they said, adding that Priyanka’s husband Sudesh (38) and their two daughters Sanvi (3) and Yuaana (2) are among those who sustained injuries.All the six injured have been referred to Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMC) at Shimla.last_img read more

‘We are in a good position to win LS, Assembly polls’

first_imgReturning to power in the State after a gap of 15 years in 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Maharashtra administration completes four years in office today. While the party is gearing up for next year’s Assembly and general elections by striving to retain blow-hot, blow-cold ally Shiv Sena on its side, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis exudes confidence that the BJP will come back to power, irrespective of whether the Assemly elections are held in tandem with the Lok Sabha polls or not. He also speaks about the emerging political equations in the State and his government’s performance in an interview with The Hindu. Edited excerpts:What would you consider the key milestone of your government in last four years?The Jalyukta Shivar movement is one remarkable project that we initiated. This has actually become a people’s movement and the credit goes to people, not the government. Today, we can say with surety that this has led to a 45% increase in the State’s farm production. Maharashtra’s irrigation sector, that was marred by allegations of massive corruption, has seen a clean-up. What is going to be your priority in this election year?We have undertaken a number of infrastructure projects of roads, metros, bridges and housing. All these projects are at different stages. Our priority is to complete them. But above all, the first quarter of 2019 is going to be busy in tackling the drought that is now looming large. We are following the Centre’s manual on drought. We have already announced a drought-like situation and it is being validated by the Centre.Before 2014, you criticised the State government for financial indiscipline. But even today, the government is always found struggling on big ticket expenditure items such as implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission or reducing taxes on fuel…In the last four years, we increased expenditure on every government scheme, and made huge off-budget investments such as the Metro, Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi highway, railway projects through Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). Despite all this, the overall budget has been balanced. We are a developing State and cannot be a profit-making one. We have limited resources and it is important to deploy them correctly. Despite all odds, we became a ₹2,000 crore revenue surplus State after 15 years. We are the best State in the country in terms of financial health.Despite all your claims, your party seems to be losing the perception battle among people. Have the trappings of power affected leaders or have they become too lazy to approach people?Not really. (It is) the Opposition (that) is in a desperate position right now. They spread lies. They are not answerable for any of their lies, but we are left with (providing) explanations. We were (also) using social media (in the Opposition), but now it is being misused. When there is no credibility, you can spread as many lies as possible. But people who are being benefited are with us and they will stand with our agenda of development.In the Opposition, you had alleged previous ministers of being complicit in the corruption in the irrigation department. But you could not put any of them in jail in last four years, so have you not found any scam there?The scam that we alleged exists. It has been proven. FIRs have been filed, charges heets prepared and action has been taken. It proves there was widespread corruption. Eventually, the involvement of the minister (Ajit Pawar) will also be exposed. Looking at the scale of the irrigation scam, there can only be two conclusions. Either the minister is involved or he is incompetent so could not realise the scam (in his department). The verdict will prove whether he is guilty or incompetent, the courts will decide that.You claim to have achieved so much in four years, but your ally Shiv Sena does not seem to think so. Do they trouble you with decision making?Never. We have taken all the decisions unanimously in the last four years. Wherever we had two opinions, we stopped, discussed and found a way out. We are two different parties and we cannot have similar goals or policies. There is difference of opinion but not different ideology.Do you see Uddhav Thackeray raking up the Ram temple issue as the first step in setting the stage for an electoral alliance? We welcome him raising this issue. We have been constantly raising this issue for many years now. It will be only beneficial, if Shiv Sena now wants to join in. He (Mr Thackeray) is going to Ayodhya and we will be welcoming him on his return for sure.Are you confident of winning the next polls? Yes. We did an overall survey and we are in a good position to win both Lok Sabha and State elections. We will be number one.In a bid to retain your current alliance, will you be ready to give the CM’s post to the Shiv Sena?Every party wants to win the CM’s post, but political reality decides the outcome. And in any election, the party which wins highest seats gets the post. Last time (in 1995), they had won more MLAs. This time, we did. Any party which will have the highest number of MLAs will get the CM’s post. I think we and the Sena will contest both the polls together.Despite your claims of several Congress and NCP leaders being in touch with you, your own party has lost two leaders from the Vidarbha region to the Congress?Those two (Nana Patole and Ashish Deshmukh) had, anyway, come to us on rent. We will be paying them back with interest. The Congress and NCP will go helter-skelter when we decide to start taking in their leaders.Will the general and Assembly elections be held simultaneously?No. Delhi has left it upon us to decide whether we want both the polls together or not. But we will surely have an alliance with the Sena in both the elections. There is no problem in Lok Sabha seat sharing, and problems in Assembly seat sharing will be solved. Political problems will have political solutions. There is no deadline (for negotiations) till the communication line is dead. Hindutva has been the bonding agent between us and since Mr. Thackeray has shifted back to it, this is good for us.But even the Opposition parties are tilting towards Hindutva, by visiting temples and offering prayers…They have realised that abusing Hindus and misleading minorities will not give them votes. They would have to show that they are representatives of Hindus and should do work for minorities. In his temple visits, Rahul Gandhi should seek a stable government in the country. That will keep Narendra Modi as our PM for the next 10 years. In the last four years, you seem to be overshadowing your ministers. Do you think they are not competent enough?A Government is a team effort and all my colleagues are doing great work. Unlike the last government, we have no infighting. Because of that, certain rumours like these are being spread.What is holding you back from a cabinet expansion which has been on the cards for two years now? Will Eknath Khadse be brought back?There are joint reasons, both from Delhi and the State, which is holding back the expansion. It will happen, hopefully, before this winter session. I cannot comment on who will come in and go out. But Eknath Khadse is our senior leader and a decision would be taken soon. The Maratha and Dhangar reservation issues are pending even after four years.We will ensure Maratha reservation. A TISS report on Dhangar reservation is not adverse, but the decision will be taken by the Central government.Recently, you arrested several activists terming them as ‘urban Maoists.’ Many of them were arrested earlier as well, but acquitted later. Why arrest them again?Earlier, the government could not gather evidence. We have collected huge evidence that will prove our point. Pseudo liberals may want to allege us as anti-democracy, but Supreme Court sided with us. Had we not given any evidence, the Court wouldn’t have supported our claim. What they did was not (about) the Right to Speech, but a plan to pit two communities against each other.last_img read more

Odisha announces drought relief package for 9 districts

first_imgThe Odisha government on Thursday announced a drought relief package for framers who suffered 33% and above crop loss in nine districts.“Agriculture input subsidy will be provided to small and marginal farmers who have sustained crop loss of 33% and above at the rate of ₹6,800 per hectare in rainfed areas, ₹13,500 per hactare in irrigated area and ₹18,000 per hactare for all types of perennial crop,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announcing the package here. There will be 100% remission in respect of cess on land revenue and compulsory basic water rate for the affected farmers. Short-term kharif loans in affected areas during kharif 2018 having crop loss of 33% and above would be converted into medium-term loan, Mr. Patnaik said.The government also said that the Centre would be requested to provide interest subsidy of 3% for medium-term loans at par with crop loans for prompt paying farmers.Moreover, tuition fees and examination fees in government and aided schools and colleges in drought-affected areas would be waived. About 2,33,173.8 hectares of cropland in 5,633 villages in Bargarh, Balangir, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts sustained crop loss of 33% and above. The State government declared drought in these villages. “The district administration will keep a close watch on money lenders and other unscrupulous elements causing financial hardship to the farmers. Police will initiate tough action against such elements under Odisha Money Lenders Act and various sections of the IPC,” the Chief Minister said.Moreover, tuition fees and examination fees in government and aided schools and colleges in drought-affected areas would be waived.One lakh input pulse mini-kits, 30,000 oilseed mini-kits and 20,000 vegetable mini-kits would be supplied to affected farmers during Rabi season 2018-19.last_img read more

Bulandshahr violence: 38 face charges

first_imgA Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Sunday filed a chargesheet against 38 people in the Bulandshahr district court in connection with the killing of a police inspector. Out of the 38, five people have been arrested under 302 (Punishment for murder) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code, while 33 have been held under 307 (attempt to murder) and other relevant sections of IPC.Superintendent of Police Atul Srivastav said: “Of the 38 chargesheeted, five have been charged with murder.” On December 3, Subodh Kumar was killed in the violence after carcasses of 25 cattle were found in the forests close to a police station.last_img read more

Assam man assaulted for selling ‘beef’

first_imgThe police in north-eastern Assam’s Biswanath district picked up five people after a mob assaulted a 68-year-old man for allegedly selling beef at his restaurant.The incident happened on Sunday afternoon but came to light on Monday after a video of the assault was uploaded on social media. The man, identified as Shaukat Ali, sustained injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.“We picked up five people, including two market committee leaders, in a bid to disperse the mob. They were allowed to go after signing a good behaviour bond under Section 107 of Code of Criminal Procedure,” a district administration official said. He added that some locals had been warning Mr. Ali not to sell what they believed was beef. Things came to a head when a group went to inspect his eatery on Sunday. Mohammed Sahabuddin, the brother of Mr. Ali, later filed an FIR at the local police station.last_img read more

The Moon—Wet and Dry

first_imgWhen the Apollo 11 astronauts took humanity’s first otherworldly steps into the Sea of Tranquility, they traversed oceans of dry, powderlike rock, not water. The moon’s interior was thought to be bone dry until 2007, when water molecules were first discovered in lunar rocks. Since then, additional studies have found evidence of H2O and its building blocks hydrogen and hydroxide in lunar meteorites and Apollo-era rock samples. Online this week in Nature Geoscience, a team of researchers examines these studies and reports that water molecule concentrations vary by a factor of up to 100 between rock types, suggesting that the moon’s innards contain wet and dry patches. The most waterlogged rocks, such as the glass beads pictured above, contain only as much water as the driest part of Earth’s mantle, the team found. The researchers suggest that the lunar water’s scarcity and uneven distribution arose during the moon’s formation from a hot mess of gas and molten rock 4.5 billion years ago. They believe further lunar rock studies could help scientists better understand how the moon formed and why it’s so arid compared with Earth.last_img read more

A rare observation of teaching in the wild

first_imgTeaching isn’t often seen in animals other than humans—and it’s even more difficult to demonstrate in animals living in the wild rather than in a laboratory setting. But researchers studying the Australian superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) in the wild think the small songbirds (a male is shown in the photo above) practice the behavior. They regard a female fairy-wren sitting on her nest and incubating her eggs as the teacher, and her embryonic chicks as her pupils. She must teach her unhatched chicks a password—a call they will use after emerging to solicit food from their parents; the better they learn the password, the more they will be fed. Since 1992, there’s been a well-accepted definition of teaching that consists of three criteria. First, the teacher must modify his or her behavior in the presence of a naive individual—which the birds do; the mothers increase their teaching (that is, the rate at which they make the call) when their chicks are in a late stage of incubation. Second, there must be a benefit to the pupil, which there clearly is. Scientists reported online yesterday in Behavioral Ecology that the fairy-wrens also pass the third criteria: There must be a cost to the teacher. And for the small birds, there can be a hefty price to pay. The more often a female repeats the password, the more likely she is to attract a parasitical cuckoo, which will sneak in and lay its eggs in her nest. From careful field observations, the scientists discovered that at nests that were parasitized, the females had recited their password 20 times an hour. But at nests that were not parasitized, the females had called only 10 times per hour. Superb fairy-wrens thus join a short but growing list of animal-teachers, such as rock ants, meerkats, and pied babblers.last_img read more

Marine reserves get a big boost at U.S. conference

first_imgThe Bahamas will significantly expand its marine protected area (MPA) system from 3% to more than 10% of its waters by the end of this year. They have also committed to expanding the system to 22% by 2020 and plan to use MPAs as a catalyst for the development of a “blue economy.” Chile is putting forward a new national policy to prevent and deter against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. It’s been a good few days for marine conservationists.On Monday, the island nation of Kiribati announced that it will soon end commercial fishing in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), a biologically-rich, California-sized swath of the Central Pacific.Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced that he will take steps to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific. The protected area now covers 225,000 square kilometers, but White House officials suggest it could expand to cover some 1.8 million square kilometers, making it the largest reserve on the planet. And a number of other nations announced that they will create new reserves, expand protections for existing ones, or take other steps to protect marine life.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The bevy of announcements, which came during an “Our Ocean” conference organized by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C., are drawing positive reactions from marine scientists and activists.”Even those of us who are jaded by all of the talk over many years that hasn’t been followed up by action are seeing something different here,” says marine biologist David Guggenheim, president of Ocean Doctor, a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C.Among the actions highlighted at the conference yesterday:Palau is creating the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, which will provide full protection to 80% of Palau’s exclusive economic zone by ending all industrial-scale fishing and exports. The 500,000-square-kilometer sanctuary will be equivalent to the size of Texas. Norway is allocating $1 billion to climate change mitigation and adaptation abroad, including substantial contributions to the Green Climate Fund; $150 million to promote sustainable fisheries abroad; and $1 million for studies on pollution involving plastic trash. The Cook Islands will expand its noncommercial fishing zone from 19 kilometers around each island to 80 kilometers and has pledged to include its northern islands in a marine park.Obama’s plan to expand the Pacific Islands reserve was greeted with relief. “Many of us in the marine community have been anxiously awaiting something from this administration that takes ocean conservation to a new level, and I think we’re seeing it right now,” Guggenheim says.The move “follows on 15 years of presidential attention on the oceans, starting with President [Bill] Clinton in 1998 with the National Oceans Conference,” notes Jason Patlis, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in Silver Spring, Maryland. “We saw it with President [George W.] Bush, and now we’re seeing it with President Obama, and it’s really great news to have this kind of leadership from the U.S. on behalf of the ocean.”The Obama administration’s move in the Pacific remote islands aims to build on protections first established in 2009 by President George W. Bush, who created the reserve under the 1906 Antiquities Act, which gives the president the authority to restrict the use of territory owned by the federal government. While the Bush administration gave protection to the 50 nautical miles surrounding the seven U.S. islands in the area, the Obama administration is moving to extend protections out 200 nautical miles from shore, to the edge of the U.S. exclusive economic zone. The action would increase the size of monument 10-fold.“The rationale for expanding these monuments from 50 to 200 nautical miles from the shoreline is not simply that big is better,” said Joshua Reichert, executive vice president of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ global environment program, in a statement. “Looked at as a whole, the expanded area is considered to harbor some of the most biologically diverse populations of marine life and intact ocean habitat in the world.” Pew has been a major force behind the creation of the Pacific reserves, working first with the Bush administration and now Obama to create and expand them.The reserve is home to a rich array of wildlife, including large predatory fishes such as commercially valuable tuna, swordfish, and marlin; five species of sea turtles; 22 species of protected marine mammals; and several million seabirds of 19 species. The reefs surrounding two of the islands—Kingman and Palmyra—are believed to contain the greatest known biomass of fish, and representation of apex predators, of any studied coral reef system on earth, according to Pew. (Palmyra is also home to a prominent marine biology research station operated by a coalition of foundations, museums, and universities.)The region is also home to countless species that scientists have yet to discover and describe. With the expansion of the monument, an estimated 241 seamounts—submerged mountain peaks—are expected to be under protection. Each one typically harbors many new species that are new to science.The reserve expansion wasn’t the only marine-related move the Obama administration announced in recent days. The White House also announced a plan to combat black market fishing by requiring that all seafood in the United States be sustainable and traceable. The initiative, which will include stepped-up labeling and inspection efforts, is aimed at ending illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, which is estimated to account for 20% of the value of world catches. Economists estimate the black market in fish produces between $10 billion and $23.5 billion in economic losses.The administration has also announced that is reopening to the public the process for proposing new U.S. marine sanctuaries. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the U.S. sanctuary program, blocked public nominations in 1995, saying it didn’t have the resources to keep up. (Members of Congress and others could still nominate places they’d like to see protected.)In statement released yesterday, the White House also highlighted other initiatives, including a new white paper on the impacts of ocean acidification and a National Strategic Plan for Federal Aquaculture Research to provide a framework for coordination and collaboration across agencies.last_img read more