Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle (D) is calling for a congressional hearing to investigate potential groundwater contamination at more than 600 sites at former and active military installations across the country stemming from chemicals in firefighting foam.In a written statement, Boyle acknowledged that DOD is assessing groundwater samples from affected sites for perfluorinated compounds and beginning voluntary remediation.“However, despite the serious health risks posed by prolonged exposure to and accumulation of PFOS and PFOA in potable water sources on these sites, the response has lacked the urgency I believe is necessary to address this public health threat. These investigation and cleanup efforts are seriously undermined by a lack of urgency on the part of the DOD,” Boyle said.The first term congressman’s Philadelphia-area district includes two former installations — Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster — where elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds were found in about 100 public and private wells in 2013 and 2014.“Concern among Horsham’s residents has significantly increased since the EPA tightened its health advisory guideline for these contaminants in our drinking water,” Boyle said. In May, EPA released new lifetime exposure health advisories for PFOS and for PFOA, reported the Intelligencer.Boyle sent his request for a hearing to the chair and ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, of which he is a member.“While I appreciate the EPA’s heightened scrutiny of these contaminants and the Navy’s commitment to monitoring wells and taking implicated wells offline, I believe officials have thus far failed to present adequate information to the public regarding the latest science and known health risks posed to our community,” Boyle said. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
India’s largest mortgage lender, HDFC, has reduced its lending rate on housing loans by 25 basis points to 9.65%.The new rate, which is applicable to both existing and new customers, will be effective from Tuesday. Women borrowers are eligible for an additional 5bps cut in home loan rates, HDFC said.Following the cut, the effective home loan rate for female customers now stands at 9.60%.HDFC’s rate cut move comes in the wake of last week’s 50bps reduction in repo rate by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Soon after the central bank’s rate cut decision, many banks like the State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of India and Andhra Bank announced a reduction in their base rate.While the country’s largest lender, SBI, slashed its lending rate by 40bps, Andhra Bank reduced its base rate by 25bps. Private sectors banks like Axis Bank and ICICI Bank have reduced their benchmark lending rate by 35bps each.With the latest cut, the RBI has slashed the repo rate by 125bps to 6.75% so far this year. The central bank, however, kept the cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4%.However, transmission of RBI rate cuts by banks to end users did not keep pace, as lenders remained sceptical about credit uptake even after large base rate cuts.Prior to RBI’s September meeting, the banks had cut the base rate by just 30 bps on an average compared to 75bps cut in the central bank’s repo rate, Business Standard reported.Bank credit growth, a major indicator of economic growth, slowed to a two-decade low in the fiscal year ending March 2015. In 2014-15, credit growth was up 9.52%, down from an increase of 13.83% in 2013-14.
The domestic e-commerce market is estimated to grow by 67% to $38 billion (Rs 2.51 lakh crore) in 2016 from over $23 billion (Rs 1.52 lakh crore) last year, boosted by a rise in Internet and mobile users, according to a study by an industry body.With buying trends during 2015 witnessing a significant upward movement due to aggressive online discounts, rising fuel price and wider and abundant choice will hit the e-commerce industry in 2016, Assocham said in a statement.”Increasing Internet and mobile penetration, growing acceptability of online payments and favourable demographics has provided the e-commerce sector in India the unique opportunity to companies connect with their customers,” it said.India’s e-commerce market was worth about $3.8 billion in 2009. It went up to $17 billion in 2014 and to $23 billion in 2015, said D S Rawat, Secretary General Assocham.”The customer is connected 24×7 through their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, which is leading to a gradual evolution of e-commerce into mobile commerce, and there is an issue of convenience which also leads to impulsive buying,” said Rawat.Shopping online through smartphones is proving to be a “game-changer”, and the top players in the sector expect m-commerce to account for 70% of their total revenues, it said.It noted that with browsing trends, which have broadly shifted from the desktop to mobile devices in India, online shopping is also expected to follow suit, as one out of three customers currently makes transactions through mobiles in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities.According to Rawat, 78% of shopping queries were made through mobile devices last year, compared to 46% in 2013.Among the various segments, apparel shopping recorded the highest growth of 69.5% in 2015, followed by electronic items, baby care products and beauty care products at 62%, 53% and 52%, respectively.”The most important contributing factor to the rapid growth of digital commerce in India is the increase in the use of smartphones. Mobiles and mobile accessories have taken up the maximum share of the digital commerce market in India,” said the chamber.It revealed that Mumbaikars have left behind all other cities in India in shopping online in 2015.
Tawakkol KarmanTawakkol Karman, Nobel peace prize winner from Yemen will address Asian University for Women in Chattogram in May, reports Times of Oman.Karman, an activist, journalist and politician will give the keynote address during the Sixth Commencement Ceremony of AUW on 12 May, 2018, adds the English-language daily of Oman.Karman is the first Arab and second Muslim woman to win a Nobel peace prize. At the time of receiving the award, Karman was also the youngest person to ever receive it.Two hundred women are expected to graduate from AUW on the occasion. AUW will also honour Ismail Serageldin, founding director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt with a doctorate of arts, honoris causa, according to Times of Oman.“In order for women to play active roles in society and be able to overcome policies that marginalise and weaken them, their education and qualification are an unavoidable option,” said Tawakkol Karman.“AUW is deeply honoured that Nobel peace prize laureate Tawakkol Karman will share her insights and outstanding efforts toward advancing human rights in Yemen at the Sixth Commencement Ceremony.“I am confident that the exceptional young women graduating on that day will be emboldened by such a courageous role model,” said vice chancellor of AUW, professor Nirmala Rao.
March has again descended into madness — with first-round upsets in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament putting the hurt on millions of fans’ brackets from the get-go.After the first 16 games of the Round of 64 concluded on Thursday, just 6,306 brackets remained perfect in the ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge game. That’s 0.036% of the 17.3 million total brackets entered.The biggest bracket-busting upset: Arizona, the No. 4 seed in the South Region, was soundly defeated by No. 13 Buffalo — and Arizona had been picked to win the whole tournament by 4.9% of all ESPN bracket players. Only 10% picked a Buffalo win against the Arizona Wildcats.In addition, No. 11 Loyola-Chicago defeated No. 6 Miami on a buzzer-beater, also in the South Region. Just 36% of ESPN’s users predicted Miami would lose in the first round. ESPN is promoting its March Madness digital fan-engagement even though the sports programmer doesn’t have broadcast or media rights to the live games. Those are held jointly by CBS and Turner, which is carrying the games on TBS, TNT and TruTV. NCAA March Madness games also are available via streaming, mostly to authenticated pay-TV subscribers.Meanwhile, for the 2018 tourney, the University of Michigan has been most socially engaged team so far followed by West Virginia University, according to marketing-analytics firm 4C Insights. Michigan so far has had 323,847 engagement across Facebook and Twitter, followed by WVU (175,652), Duke University (172,676), Purdue University (135,051) and the University of Tennessee (130,377).Moving into the second round, according to ESPN, 47.5% of brackets correctly predicted an Alabama-Villanova matchup in the East Region; only 4.9% predict an upset by No. 9 Alabama over No. 1 seed Villanova.Also in the East Region, 41.3% of participants predict that No. 3 Texas Tech will beat No. 6 Florida in the Round of 32 and 26.2% pick Florida to prevail against Texas Tech.No. 5 Kentucky held off No. 12 Davidson to advance in the South Region, keeping title hopes for the Wildcats alive and the 2% of players who picked them to win it all. Kentucky is one of just 13 schools picked to win the title in more than 0.9% of brackets, and the only one of those that is not a top-four seed.Pictured above: Arizona forward Deandre Ayton (13) reaches for a loose ball during a first-round game against Buffalo in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, in Boise, Idaho. Buffalo won 89-68. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety
One of the costs associated with training military personnel is in the constant replacement of targets. To get around this problem, the DoD sent out a request for development of a system that would allow for shooting at “off-sets” – positions that are close enough to the target to measure hits versus misses, without damaging the actual target. To achieve good results in such a system, a trainee would need to see not just where the shells he’s firing are landing, but the trajectory they take in getting there. Such information helps in plotting where to send the next rounds so as to move ever closer to the intended target, improving accuracy in the process.To address the problem, engineers from Cambridge Consultants designed an entirely new kind of radar; one that uses 3D technology to create a realistic holographic image in real time that shows the trajectory of rounds fired as well as where they burst in the air or when they hit a target; all of this in a 360° image. More information: www.cambridgeconsultants.com/news_pr304.html Citation: New holographic radar system can track high speed shells (2011, September 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-holographic-radar-track-high-shells.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — The British firm Cambridge Consultants has announced the successful test of its new 3D holographic radar system that can track fired shells traveling up to 1000 miles per hour. The new system called the Land and Surface Target Scorer (LSTS) and developed for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), is expected to help lower the cost of training and hopefully defend against small high speed enemies. GPS-Based Fuze Expected To Triple Cannon’s Accuracy The biggest hurdle the team faced was in differentiating the shell it was tracking from surrounding “noise.” In real world environments, everything from moving water to other projectiles to debris fragments can produce radar hits making it difficult to discern what is what. The new system had to have a way of clearing all the other stuff away to allow the person manning the gun to see very clearly where his round was going. And that’s just what the recent demo of the system showed, an ability to track 5 inch shells being fired at a rate of one every three seconds.In addition to saving money on targets, such a system should also lower the cost of ammunition as it appears such a system would reduce training time. The DoD is also hoping to employ the new technology to help in tracking small fast moving targets, such as terrorists in a rubber dingy out to blow up portions of a ship as was done with the USS Cole in 2000. Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.com
Poignant photos capturing the essence of Udaipur, its beautiful heritage buildings, natural beauty and particularly the expressions of religion by people of different faiths, are currently on display in Strasbourg, France.Clicked by French photographer Albert Huber, the photos are part of a month-long exhibition of pictures that showcases the sacred in the cities of Udaipur and Strasbourg.Titled ‘Seeking the Sacred’, the exhibition is the outcome of an exchange pact inked between the two cities. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘In the historical Udaipur, I am the happy photographer. I photographed the narrow streets and living and the baroque palaces in their bountiful natural beauty,’ says Huber.The photographer who was in Udaipur in April this year says, ‘I photographed the extraordinary royal palace, the women in a temple, the Protestants celebrating Good Friday in church and Muslims offering prayers at a mosque.’ Juxtaposing Huber’s pictures are those by Anuradha Sarup who photographed the sacred rituals of people in Strasbourg. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘The city is one of France’s most vibrant and culturally rich cities. I captured on film the Pre-Easter ceremonies. I also shot the mosque there, which is the second largest mosque in France,’ says Sarup.The lenswoman who spent 10 days in the French city says it was a challenge for her to capture the ‘sacred’ through the historical cultural and religious identities of its people.‘Like Udaipur Strasbourg, an ancient European settlement has a living heritage. The city and its people have adapted beautifully to changing times,’ says Sarup. The photo exhibition is an activity under the Joint Co-operation Programme (JCP) signed between Indian Heritage Cities Network Foundation, UNESCO, the Udaipur Municipal Council, the city of Strasbourg and Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF), Udaipur for three years from 2011.The pact aims to strengthen Udaipur’s knowledge base, develop a framework and undertake activities to preserve its heritage and develop international collaboration and partnerships for heritage-based projects in the Rajasthan city.‘The exhibition will open new avenues of understanding between people and provide access to various artists of different faiths. It will inspire creativity and stimulate international research digital knowledge exchange,’ says Mayank Gupta, Deputy Secretary, MMCF.The photo exhibition is part of a festival, which celebrated sacred music from over the world. The three-day ‘Sacred Days of Strasbourg’ inaugurated on May 23 with Hindu and Buddhist chants saw performances from 10 countries.After the exhibition closes on June 18 in Strasbourg it is scheduled to travel to Udaipur later this year and be showcased at the City Palace Museum there.Meanwhile, French photographer Huber says, ‘There is a lot I received in Udaipur and a lot more calls me back.’
Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers presented ‘Shyam Sundar Co Sarvottam Samman’ at the seventh edition of ‘Behala Classical Festival’ to the Classical Vocalist Par Excellence Begum Parveen Sultana. The felicitation ceremony of Begum Parveen Sultana for her immense contribution to Indian Classical Music was done by Bakul Saha, Bela Saha and Rupak Saha from Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers.The felicitation was followed by the mesmerising performance of the classical vocalist, Also Read – Add new books to your shelfaccompanied by Abhijit Bandopadhyay (Tabla) and Jyoti Goho (Harmonium). Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers, who presented the inaugural day of the festival, also had the honour to felicitate Pandit Birju Maharaj on the same day.’Sarvottam Samman’ – a lifetime achievement award – was instituted by Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers to honour living legends who have excelled in their spheres of life and have risen to great heights– inspiring younger generations to rise and shine. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSpeaking at the occasion Rupak Saha, Director, Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers said, “Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers is honoured to extend the Sarvottam Samman to a living legend who has spent a lifetime dedicated to his/her passion and has become an institution by himself/herself. Last year we extended the Sarvottam Samman to Ustad Amzad Ali Khan, a living legend who is dedicated to his passion. This year we are really honoured to present it to Begum Parveen Sultana.” A versatile singer with a classic voice, the Padma Shri and Padma Bhusan awardee Begum Parveen Sultana, while accepting the honour said, “I am overwhelmed to receive the Shyam Sundar Co Sarvottam Samman. I am thankful to God that I got the chance to achieve such a title of excellence in my lifetime. This is a sign of the love of people of Kolkata towards me. I have received many awards in my life and this is so special for me as them. It will always motivate me to push a little harder in my life. I also thank the people of Kolkata for their love and affection.”‘Behala Classical Festival’, presented by Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers, is a four day cultural affair (January 6 – 9) which would showcase the participation of Begum Parveen Sultana, Violinist L Shankar, Classical Vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty, Tabla Maestro Yogesh Samsi, Musician Satish Patri, Flautist and Singer Rasika Shekhar, Classical and Fusion Musician Niladri Kumar, Folk Singer Malini Awasthi along with Sarod Players Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangashy.