Tuesday, March 26, 2019

சிறப்பு/Special

America Is Coming Back Bigger And Better: Donald Trump

0

WASHINGTON, Jan 19 – America is coming back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, President Donald Trump has said as he highlighted the benefits of the recently passed tax reform bill to the country.

President Donald Trump visited H&K Equipment, an industrial equipment company in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

“I’ve come to the great city of Pittsburgh to stand with people to show the world that America is back, and that we are coming back bigger and better and stronger than ever before,” Trump said in his address to workers of the company.

At the centre of America’s resurgence are the massive tax cuts, he stressed.

The tax cuts, he said, are the most significant reforms in American history, with tremendous tax relief for working families, for small businesses, for big businesses that produce jobs.

The sweeping overhaul of the US tax system was signed into law by President Donald Trump just before Christmas.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will see corporate tax rates falling from 35 per cent to 21 per cent.

Alongside new restrictions on shifting profits abroad, the cut is likely to lead to a major repatriation of US business profits that are at present being sheltered offshore.

Individual taxes will also be cut, but more modestly. He also said his administration has created nearly 2.2 million jobs since the election.

The unemployment rate is at, now, an 18-year low and the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits just hit a 45-year low, he said.

More than two million American workers have already received a tax-cut bonus from their employers, pay raises, more money for retirement, he said.

“And because of our business tax reforms, Apple has just announced that they are bringing USD 350 billion, and putting it into investment into our country,” he said. – NDTV

2017 Sees Warmest Ocean On Record: Chinese Academy Of Sciences

0
Xanadu Beach, Bahamas...warmest bluegreen water I've seen anywhere

BEIJING, Jan 19 – The temperature of oceans in 2017 reached a record high, putting the marine ecosystems in jeopardy, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said.

Compared to 2015, the extra heat in the upper two kilometres of sea water across the globe in 2017 was 700 times the energy China’s electricity used in 2016, the CAS said in a report.

The Atlantic and Antarctic oceans warmed up the fastest, as warming has already taken place in most of the other seas, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.

The marine ecosystems remain in jeopardy as a result, with coral reefs and the creatures that live on them threatened, researchers at the institute said.

The expansion caused by warming contributes to rising of sea levels, while more sea ice and ice shelves will melt and ocean currents will be affected.

The heat content of the ocean is a key indicator of climate change. Due to its high specific heat capacity, sea water contains the main signals, as it stores 90 percent of the energy for global warming, it said. – NDTV

In Proposed US Criteria For Immigrants, Why India Has An Edge

0

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 – The Trump administration has no qualms admitting immigrants who are skilled, employed and can speak English, a top official has said, while giving insight into what its merit-based system would look like.

Such individuals could be from any part of the world given that they fulfil the requirements, the official said. If such a policy is developed and implemented, it could benefit individuals from countries like India, the majority of whom meet the criterion.

The Trump administration wants to reform the immigration system to serve the US’ national interest, the official said. “And so, our position, is that a system that prioritise individuals based on their individual skills and merit will certainly produce better results than the system we have now,” said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“We want to bring in individuals, wherever they may be from, who love this country, who love its people, who have skills, who have talent, who have — who speak English, who are committed to supporting our values and our very way of life,” said the official.

The official said some of the existing programmes for immigrants ignored such requirements which are important for individuals to succeed in the United States.

“So, what we have with the Diversity Lottery Program or through chain migration is that in these cases there are identified examples of individuals who were not selected to come to the United States based on their love of this country, skills, merit, and individual attributes that will lead them to their success,” the official said.

“We would like to admit individuals from all backgrounds or any place in the world, based on their own individual merit and their likelihood of success, into the US,” the official said.

The admission of any foreign national who goes on to commit a terrorism-related offense or who conspires to support terrorists is simply an unacceptable outcome for the US, no matter what, the official said. “Our goal is to eliminate terrorism in all of its forms, wherever it may emanate from,” the official said. – NDTV

America’s Fastest Spy Plane Could Be Back – With Top Secret Changes

0

Jan 17 – For years, Lockheed Martin has been developing a successor to one of the fastest aircraft the world has ever seen, the SR-71 Blackbird, the Cold War reconnaissance craft that the U.S. Air Force retired almost three decades ago. Lockheed officials have said the hypersonic SR-72-dubbed the “Son of Blackbird” by one trade journal-could fly by 2030.

But a rather curious talk last week at an aerospace conference by a Lockheed Skunk Works executive implied that the SR-72 might already exist. Referring to detailed specifics of company design and manufacturing, Jack O’Banion, a Lockheed vice president, said a “digital transformation” arising from recent computing capabilities and design tools had made hypersonic development possible. Then-assuming O’Banion chose his word tense purposely-came the surprise.

“Without the digital transformation the aircraft you see there could not have been made,” O’Banion said, standing by an artist’s rendering of the hypersonic aircraft. “In fact, five years ago, it could not have been made.”

Hypersonic applies to speeds above Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. The SR-71 cruised at Mach 3.2, more than 2,000 mph, around 85,000 feet.

Computer processing power and new tools allow for three-dimensional design of a scramjet engine, O’Banion said at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ annual SciTech Forum near Orlando. (Scramjet refers to engine combustion occurring at supersonic speeds, which adds to the engineering complexity.) Adding a little Hollywood to an engineering presentation, O’Banion likened the digital advances in 3D-design to the build process Tony Stark employs in the film “Iron Man.”

“We couldn’t have made the engine itself-it would have melted down into slag if we had tried to produce it five years ago,” O’Banion said. “But now we can digitally print that engine with an incredibly sophisticated cooling system integral into the material of the engine itself, and have that engine survive for multiple firings for routine operation.” The aircraft is also agile at hypersonic speeds, with reliable engine starts, he said. A half-decade before, he added, developers “could not have even built it even if we conceived of it.”

Of course, none of the Skunk Works executive’s talk confirmed that Lockheed Martin is preparing to turn over to the Pentagon a top-secret hypersonic aircraft, nor does it reveal how far the project may have progressed. It’s also unclear if such an aircraft would carry pilots or operate as a drone. (Skunk Works is the name of Lockheed’s 75-year-old advanced development programs division, based in California.)

Lockheed declined to address O’Banion’s comments. The defense contractor “continues to advance and test technologies which will benefit hypersonic flight,” spokeswoman Melissa Dalton said in an email. “A Reusable Hypersonic System (RHS) is a far term solution that will be made possible by the path-finding work we are doing today.”

An Air Force spokesman, meanwhile, said only that that the military has no information on the project “at this time.”

Talk about Lockheed’s hypersonic program isn’t new. In fact, executives discussed the program’s status to such an extent last June that defense reporter Tyler Rogoway called it “highly peculiar.” (His article was headlined “What’s the Deal with Lockheed’s Gabbing About the Secretive Hypersonic SR-72?”)

“There’s probably a big distance between prototype development and actual operational capability,” said Richard Aboulafia, a defense analyst with Teal Group. And the military has a history of publicly revealing new advanced aircraft many years after their prototypes were delivered.

Nevertheless, the SR-72 work could be an entirely digital exercise to date, funded by ample “black budget” appropriations stretching into the billions of dollars over time, Aboulafia said. It’s also possible that any hypersonic capability may well be incorporated into a new type of long-range missile before an actual aircraft.

The basic physics of hypersonic flight have been understood for decades, with the Air Force and NASA flying the rocket-powered X-15 in the 1960s above Mach 6 and the X-43A hitting Mach 9.6 in 2004. More recently, Boeing Co. flew an experimental craft, the X-51 WaveRider, to Mach 5.1 in May 2013.

Still, there are myriad design challenges involved with hypersonic projects, Aboulafia said, likening scramjet engineering hurdles to “the proverbial lighting of a match in the hurricane.” This is one reason no hypersonic aircraft are in military service today-although U.S. officials have expressed concern about Chinese and Russian ambitions employing the technology.

For the Pentagon, such speeds would represent a new form of strategic deterrence in the sense that a hypersonic bomber could penetrate an enemy’s airspace, fire and depart before that nation had time to react. Aboulafia noted, however, that such a capability could also be considered a destabilizing development if a U.S. adversary decided to react preemptively to such an aircraft’s existence.

The specific need is also unclear, given advances in satellite surveillance capabilities and the planned B-21 Raider, a precision bomber from Northrop Grumman Corp. expected to replace the Air Force’s aged fleet of B-1 Lancers adn B-52s. The B-21 could cost as much as $97 billion for production and maintenance of at least 100 planes, with the first expected in the mid-2020s. – NDTV

11 Dead In Gun Battle Outside Mexican Beach Resort Favoured By Hollywood Stars

0
i24NEWS DESK | 11 dead during gun battle at Mexican beach resort | Sunday, January

MEXICO CITY, Jan 08 – The aftermath of a gunfight on the outskirts of the Mexican seaside resort of Acapulco that pit residents of a small town against members of a local, self-appointed community police force has left 11 dead, state officials said on Sunday.

The exchange of gunfire took place in the farming community of La Concepcion, just south of Acapulco, after elements of the community police detailed a young man for disorderly conduct during town festivities early Sunday morning.

Eight local residents were killed in that exchange.

After Army soldiers and state police later moved into the town, three members of the community police were shot dead after resisting them, Roberto Alvarez, a state security official, told reporters.

Another 30 members of the local police, which had been authorized by state officials to operate in the small town, were arrested in the operation.

Acapulco is the biggest city in the southern state of Guerrero, one of Mexico’s most lawless and a center of opium poppy production.

Violence in the state has also been fed by turf wars over the distribution of drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine.

The beach resort is one of Mexico’s most famous and for decades served as a playground for Hollywood stars.

In recent years, however, Acapulco has been roiled by vicious gang warfare and is now ranked one of the most murderous cities in the world. – NDTV

SpaceX Launches Secretive Zuma Mission

0
SpaceX's Top Secret Zuma Mission Set to Launch

MIAMI, UNITED STATES, Jan 08 – SpaceX on Sunday blasted off a secretive US government payload known as Zuma, a mission whose nature — and the agency behind it — remains a mystery.

“Three, two, one, ignition and liftoff,” said a SpaceX commentator as the Falcon 9 rocket launched under cover of darkness from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 8:00 pm (0100 GMT Monday).

The launch was initially supposed to take place in November but was postponed so the California-based company could take a closer look at potential problems with the fairing, or the nose cone part of the rocket that protects the payload.

Just what exactly needed such special protection and secrecy is still unknown.

Northrup Grumman, the maker of the payload, said it was for the US government and would be delivered to low-Earth orbit, but offered no other details.

SpaceX and the Pentagon did not respond to requests for comment about the nature of the mission.

SpaceX has launched national security payloads in the past, including a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, and an X-37B space plane for the US Air Force.

The company’s live webcast did not show video coverage of the Zuma spacecraft after it separated from the first stage of the rocket, but confirmed that the fairings deployed and the payload was well on its way to low-Earth orbit.

After launch, SpaceX returned the tall portion of the Falcon 9 rocket to an upright landing at Cape Canaveral.

Cheers erupted at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California as the rocket glided seamlessly down to ground.

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk’s goal is to perfect the technique so that rockets can one day become just as reusable as airplanes, thereby lowering the cost of space travel. – NDTV

US Could Become World’s Oil King This Year: Report

0

WASHINGTON, Jan 03 – The United States could become the oil world’s new king in 2018 as it was poised to ramp up crude oil production by 10 per cent to about 11 million barrels per day.

The report by research firm Rystad Energy on Wednesday said surging shale oil output should allow the US to dethrone Russia and Saudi Arabia as the planet’s leading crude oil producer.

The US has not been the global leader, nor ahead of both Russia and Saudi Arabia, since 1975.

“The market has completely changed due to the US shale machine,” said Nadia Martin Wiggen, Rystad’s vice president of markets.

The prediction shows how the fracking revolution has turned the US into an energy powerhouse — a transformation that President Donald Trump vowed to accelerate by cutting regulation.

This long-term shift has allowed the US to be less reliant on foreign oil, including from the turbulent Middle East.

COMMENTSUS oil production slipped but did noy completely collapse after Saudi-led OPEC launched a price war in 2015 aimed at reclaiming market share lost to shale and other players.

A massive supply glut caused crude to crash from around $100 – NDTV

First Blue Moon Total Eclipse In 150 Years To Occur This Month

0
First Blue Moon total eclipse in 150 years to o

Jan 03 – A rare total lunar eclipse that involves the second full moon of the month – popularly referred to as a Blue Moon – is set to take place on January 31 for the first time in over 150 years.

This will be the first eclipse of 2018. For the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the eclipse will already be underway as the Moon rises.

The Pacific Ocean will be turned towards the Moon at the time and the eclipse will take place during the middle of the night.

Central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and most of Australia will get a fine view of this Moon show in the evening sky.

Alaska, Hawaii and northwestern Canada will see the eclipse from start to finish. Moonset will intervene for the rest of North and Central America, however.

The duration of the total phase is 77 minutes, with the moon tracking through the southern part of the Earth’s shadow.

During totality, the Moon’s lower limb will appear much brighter than the dark upper limb, ‘Space.com’ reported.

After this year, the next time that a Blue Moon passes through Earth’s umbra will be on December 31, 2028, and, after that, on January 31, 2037. Both of these eclipses will be total.

Before 2017, there was an eight per cent partial eclipse on December 31, 2009, but the last total eclipse of a Blue Moon happened all the way back in March 31, 1866. – NDTV

UN Security Council Mulls Call For US Jerusalem Decision To Be Withdrawn

0

UNITED NATIONS, DEC 17 – The United Nations Security Council is considering a draft resolution that would insist any decisions on the status of Jerusalem have no legal effect and must be rescinded after U.S. President Donald Trump recognised the city as Israel’s capital.

The one-page Egyptian-drafted text, which was circulated to the 15-member council on Saturday and seen by Reuters, does not specifically mention the United States or Mr Trump. Diplomats say it has broad support but will likely be vetoed by Washington.

The council could vote early next week, diplomats said. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Britain, Russia or China to pass.

Mr Trump abruptly reversed decades of U.S. policy this month when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from Palestinians. Mr Trump also plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

After the decision, Arab foreign ministers agreed to seek a U.N. Security Council resolution. While the draft is unlikely to be adopted, it would further isolate Mr Trump over the Jerusalem issue.

The U.S. mission to the United Nations declined to comment on the draft. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has praised Mr Trump’s decision as “the just and right thing to do.”

The draft U.N. resolution “affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

It calls upon all countries to refrain establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

Israel considers the city its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there.

“No vote or debate will change the clear reality that Jerusalem” is the capital of Israel, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said in a statement.

Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.

The draft council resolution “demands that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognise any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”

A U.N. Security Council resolution adopted in December last year “underlines that it will not recognise any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

That resolution was approved with 14 votes in favor and an abstention by former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration. – NDTV

Now, Saudi Arabia Allows Women To Drive Trucks, Ride Motorcycles

0
New Saudi Arabia Women Dress For Pinterest

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA, DEC 17 – Saudi Arabian women will be able to drive trucks and motorcycles, officials have said three months after the kingdom announced a historic decision to end a ban on women driving.

In September, King Salman issued a decree saying women will be able to drive from next June as part of an ambitious reform push in the conservative kingdom.

The Saudi General Directorate of Traffic gave details of the new regulations that will follow the lifting of the ban on the official Saudi Press Agency late on Friday.

“Yes, we will authorise women to drive motorcycles” as well as trucks, it said, adding that the royal decree stipulates that the law on driving will be “equal” for both men and women.

There will be no special licence plate numbers for female-driven cars, it said.

But women involved in road accidents or who commit traffic violations will be dealt with at special centres that will be established and run by women.

Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to impose a ban on women driving and its maintenance was seen around the world as a symbol of repression in the Gulf kingdom.

Its historic decision to allow women to drive from next June has been cheered inside the kingdom and abroad — and comes after decades of resistance from female activists, many of whom were jailed for flouting the ban.

Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women.

Under the country’s guardianship system, a male family member — normally the father, husband or brother — must grant permission for a woman’s study, travel and other activities. – NDTV

- Advertisement -
Loading...

Must Read