WILMINGTON, MA — WCTV volunteer Jim Buckley visited We’re One Wilmington’s Festival of Trees earlier this month and captured many of the beautiful trees and some wonderful performances from The North Atlantic Theatre (Nutcracker Sweets), WHS Soundscape, WMS & WHS Strings Attached, Jennifer Perkins, and John Loretz & Anne Sandstrom.—Video Playerhttps://objects-us-east-1.dream.io/wilmington/d/a/c/c/e/0/dacce048-2393-4ad8-9feb-3f1c16f6437a1544564186.029%2B49346885.073%40castus4-wilmington%2B15446358321544634083165649.vod.720p.20181212-The-Festival-of-Trees.mov.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://objects-us-east-1.dream.io/wilmington/d/a/c/c/e/0/dacce048-2393-4ad8-9feb-3f1c16f6437a1544564186.029%2B49346885.073%40castus4-wilmington%2B15446358321544634083165649.vod.720p.20181212-The-Festival-of-Trees.mov.mp4?_=100:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWOW Releases Entertainment Schedule & Non-Profit Partners For This Weekend’s Festival Of TreesIn “Community”VIDEO: Watch Some Highlights From Wilmington’s 2017 Festival Of TreesIn “Videos”News & Notes From WCTV: WCTV Executive Director Shaun Neville Answers YOUR QuestionsIn “Community”
Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India earned Rs. 11,000 crore profit in financial year 2015-2016 from stock market investments. The information was revealed by a senior official of the state-run life insurer Thursday, PTI reported.”We saw some profit booking opportunities during the fiscal and have made a profit of Rs. 11,000 crore through our equity investments in the recently concluded FY16,” Pravin Kutumbe, LIC executive director for investment operations, said at a press conference in Mumbai. LIC, also India’s largest domestic institutional investor (DII), deployed Rs. 65,000 crore in the stock markets during the year, more than its target of Rs. 60,000 crore, he added. Kutumbe told reporters that the banking sector, burdened by bad loans and consequently low profit, offered a good investment opportunity. The gains need to be seen in the context of benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty falling about nine percent in financial year 2015-2016.Read: Sensex, Nifty slump 9% in FY16, but post biggest monthly gains in 4 years LIC often comes to the rescue of the government when stake sale in public sector undertakings (PSUs) evokes a lukewarm response. In the past six years, about 37 percent of stake sale proceedings have come from LIC, according to a BusinessLine report.The daily said that between 2011-2012 and 2015-2016, LIC bought shares worth at least Rs. 36,866 crore, constituting about 37 percent of the Rs. 97,620 crore the Indian government raised through disinvestment.The statistics prompted an analyst to say that this was the not the best way of divesting public sector assets. “This is not the best route for disinvestment. Sale of shares can be done to LIC through a private deal also, why does the government have to do a public offer,” said Prithvi Haldea, founder and chairman of Prime Database, the BusinessLine reported.Besides participating in the disinvestment process, LIC also directly acquires stakes in state-run enterprises.Read: Indian Overseas Bank to issue 8.6 crore shares to LICLIC now owns 14.37% stake in IDBI Bank after new preferential issue
A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on 21 February, 2018 shows Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman gesturing as he attends a graduation ceremony for the 93rd class of cadets of the King Faisal Air Academy in the capital Riyadh. ý Photo: AFPSaudi Arabia announced plans Thursday to spend billions on building new venues and flying in Western acts, in a total overhaul of its entertainment sector that would have been unthinkable not long ago.Long known for its ultra-conservative mores, the kingdom has embarked on a wide-ranging programme of social and economic reforms driven by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.At a glitzy press conference in Riyadh, General Entertainment Authority (GEA) chief Ahmad bin Aqeel al-Khatib told reporters the kingdom is set to invest $64 billion in its entertainment sector over the coming decade.”We are already building the infrastructure,” Khatib said, adding that ground had been broken for an opera house.Khatib said hundreds of new companies have sprung up over the past year, registering for licences to take advantage of the budding sector.”God willing, you will see a real change by 2020,” the entertainment chief said, adding that more than 5,000 events were planned for the coming year.The funding for new infrastructure and entertainment offerings will come from both the government and the private sector, he said.Behind Khatib, a screen teased the names of international acts like Maroon 5, Andrea Bocelli and Cirque du Soleil.Neither a breakdown of how the money would be spent nor a schedule for the cultural programme were provided.But it follows a series of events in recent months including concerts, a Comic-Con festival and a mixed-gender national day celebration that saw people dancing in the streets to thumping electronic music for the first time.Authorities have also announced plans to lift a decades-old ban on cinemas this year, with some 300 expected to open by 2030.Senior GEA official Faisal Bafrat said the past year had already seen exceptional development in the entertainment sector with more than 2,000 events involving 100,000 volunteers and 150 small and medium businesses organised in 2017.- ‘Don’t travel’ -The newfound openness, which includes plans to allow women to drive from June this year, has been hailed by some as a crucial liberalisation of Saudi society.Critics have pointed to continued restrictions however, especially on women who remain under a strict “guardianship” system that gives male relatives significant control over their lives.Yet even that could be changing.With the lifting of the driving ban on the horizon, Riyadh announced Sunday that women can now open their own businesses without the consent of a husband or male relative.The reforms are part of Prince Mohammed’s ambitious “Vision 2030″ programme, which seeks to diversify the Saudi economy as it reels from a slump in energy prices, with the entertainment sector seen as a key potential source of growth.Saudis splurge billions annually on movies and visits to amusement parks in the neighbouring tourist hubs of Dubai and Bahrain, which is accessible by a land causeway.Khatib vowed turn around that trend.”I went to Bahrain. The bridge is being reversed,” he said, adding that Bahraini nationals were now coming to Saudi Arabia for events — accounting for 10 per cent of ticket sales in recent months.The goal to keep Saudis — more than half of whom are under 25 — spending their disposable income at home is part of a wider campaign called “Don’t travel”.Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, has been struggling to cope with persistent budget deficits that began in 2014 when crude prices plummeted.The kingdom withdrew around $250 billion from its financial reserves in the past four years.Authorities have also increased fuel prices, introduced a value-added tax and cut subsidies in an effort to reduce costs and boost non-oil revenues.The shift has been a painful one for many Saudis accustomed to a generous welfare system.In December, the government announced a budget with record spending as it seeks to stimulate growth.
Ministers and officials including Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif arrive for a family picture after the last plenary session at the United Nations building in Vienna. Photo: ReutersThe European Union said Monday its members would set up a payment system to allow oil companies and businesses to continue trading with Iran in a bid to evade sanctions after the US withdrew from a nuclear agreement.Iran and the European Union announced their defiance towards US president Donald Trump’s administration after high-level talks at the United Nations among the remaining members of the accord.The countries said in a statement that they were determined “to protect the freedom of their economic operators to pursue legitimate business with Iran.”With the United States and the dollar dominating so much of global trade, the statement said the new mechanism would “facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports (including oil) and imports, which will assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business with Iran.”EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, speaking at the United Nations alongside Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, said the countries were still working out the technical details.”In practical terms, this will mean that EU member states will set up a legal entity to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran in accordance with European Union law and could be open to other partners in the world,” she told reporters.She said that the remaining members of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — would also maintain their commitments to support Iran on civilian nuclear energy.”The participants recalled that these initiatives are aimed at preserving the JCPOA, which is in the international interest,” she said.Pressure on Iranian economyIn line with findings of UN inspectors, Mogherini reiterated that Iran has been in compliance with the nuclear agreement — under which Tehran drastically scaled back its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions.The agreement was sealed in 2015 in a signature achievement for then US president Barack Obama.Trump pulled out of the agreement in May, describing it as a “disaster” and quickly moving to reimpose sanctions on Iran.Despite the protests of the European Union, a number of business including French energy giant Total and carmakers Peugeot and Renault as well as Germany’s Siemens and Daimler have already suspended operations in Iran for fear of triggering US sanctions.With Iran’s economy already feeling the pinch, US national security adviser John Bolton earlier Monday vowed to impose “maximum pressure” on Tehran, while insisting that Washington was not pushing for regime change.US Arab allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well as Israel have long sought for Washington to work to curtail non-Arab and predominantly Shiite Muslim Iran’s influence in the Middle East, including in war-torn Syria.The EU move comes a day before Trump and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani separately address the UN General Assembly, with the US leader expected to take a hard line on Iran.
Share This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/07/07/federal-judge-dismisses-ut-professors-attempt-overturn-campus-carry/.The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Bob DaemmrichStephanie Odam of Austin marches in a campus carry protest in Austin, Jan 8, 2015.A federal judge has dismissed a longshot lawsuit filed by three University of Texas at Austin professors seeking to overturn the state’s 2015 campus carry law, which allows people to carry concealed handguns inside most public university buildings. District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote in his decision that the professors — Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter — couldn’t present any “concrete evidence to substantiate their fears” that campus carry would have a chilling effect on free speech. The professors claimed, among other arguments, that the law violated their First Amendment rights, since the possibility of a gun being in their classrooms might make them hesitant to discuss controversial issues. In dismissing the suit, Yeakel said the professors didn’t have standing to sue. But Renea Hicks, the attorney representing the three UT professors, said the specifics of the ruling leave the case’s future uncertain. While Yeakel threw out the case entirely, he only only addressed one of the legal arguments, the question of a First Amendment violation. “We had other claims in the lawsuit beyond that — a Second Amendment claim, an equal protection claim. The order accompanying his dismissal doesn’t seem to address those issues,” Hicks said in an interview Friday. “So there’s a bit of confusion on our part.” Hicks, who had not yet conferred with his clients when reached Friday, said he is not sure what course of action he and the plaintiffs will take. They have 28 days from July 6 to ask Yeakel for clarification, and 30 days to file an appeal to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling was issued late Thursday, exactly one year after the original lawsuit was filed. On Friday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose office defended the state in the case, praised the decision. “The court’s ruling today is the correct outcome,” Paxton said. “The fact that a small group of professors dislike a law and speculate about a ‘chilling effect’ is hardly a valid basis to set the law aside.” Campus carry became law in 2015, but didn’t go into effect until Aug. 1, 2016. It stirred up widespread opposition among faculty and many students — especially on the UT-Austin campus. But so far, there have been no major incidents and protests on campus have all but disappeared. Emma Platoff contributed to this report. Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.
SVF, East India’s largest entertainment company, has yet another reason to feel elated as Apple’s iTunes recently released its first ever Bengali music playlist, where all the songs are from SVF Music. The collection features 25 ultimate Bengali hits that will keep anyone hooked for two hours non-stop.iTunes’ Bengali Music features hits from films like Bolo Dugga Maiki, Yeti Obhijaan, One, Bojhena Shey Bojhena, Gangster, Besh Korechi Prem Korechi, Love Express, , Bindaas, Haripada Bandwala, Tomake Chai, Shona Bondhu, Zulfiqar and Yoddha. Some of the top artists featured are Arijit Singh, Shalmali Kholgade, Shreya Ghoshal, Vishal Dadlani, Shaan, Neha Kakkar, Anupam Roy and Jeet Gannguli, among others.Mahendra Soni, Co-Founder and Director, SVF, said, “We at SVF have the vision to put Bengali Film industry on the global map. It feels great that Apple’s iTunes, in its inaugural playlist dedicated to Bengali songs, has chosen all songs from the SVF music catalogue.”
Yesterday, Realtime Robotics announced in a guest post in the IEEE spectrum that they have developed a new processor called ‘RapidPlan’ which tackles the bottleneck faced in a robot’s motion planning. Motion planning determines how to move a robot, or autonomous vehicle, from its current position to a desired goal configuration. Although the concept sounds simple, it is far from the same. Not only does the robot have to reach the goal state, but it also has to avoid any obstacles while doing so. According to a study, this process of collision detection- determining which edges in the roadmap (i.e., motions) cannot be used because they will result in a collision- consumed 99 percent of a motion planner’s computing time. Traditionally, motion planning has been implemented in software running on high-performance commodity hardware. The software implementation, however, causes a multiple second delay, making it impossible to deploy robots in dynamic environments or environments with humans. Such robots can only be used in controlled environments with just a few degrees of freedom. The post suggests that motion planning can be sped up using more hardware resources and software optimizations. However, the vast computational resources of GPUs and sophisticated software maximize performance and consume a large amount of power. They cannot compute more than a few plans per second. Changes in a robot’s task or scenario often require re-tuning the software. How does RapidPlan work? A robot moving from one configuration to another configuration sweeps a volume in 3D space. Collision detection determines if that swept volume collides with any obstacle (or with the robot itself). The surfaces of the swept volume and the obstacles are represented with meshes of polygons. Collision detection comprises of computations to determine whether these polygons intersect. The challenge is titime-consumings each test to determine if two polygons intersect involves cross products, dot products, division, and other computations, and there can be millions of polygons intersection tests to perform. RapidPlan overcomes the above mentioned bottleneck and achieves general-purpose, real-time motion planning, to achieve sub-millisecond motion plans. These processors convert the computational geometry task into a much faster lookup task. At the design time itself, the processors can precompute data that records what part of 3D space these motions collide with, for a large number of motions between configurations. This precomputation— which is offline and based on simulating the motions to determine their swept volumes— is loaded onto the processor to be accessed at runtime. At runtime, the processor receives sensory input that describes what part of the robot’s environment is occupied with obstacles. The processor then uses its precomputed data to eliminate the motions that would collide with these obstacles. Realtime Robotics RapidPlan processor This processor, was developed as part of a research project at Duke University, where researchers found a way to speed up motion planning by three orders of magnitude using one-twentieth the power. Their processor checks for all potential collisions across the robot’s entire range of motion with unprecedented efficiency. RapidPlan, is retargetable, updatable on-the-fly, and has the capacity for tens of millions of edges. Inheriting many of the design principles of the original processor at Duke, the processor has a reconfigurable and more scalable design for the hardware for computing whether a roadmap edge’s motion collides with an obstacle. It has the capacity for extremely large roadmaps and can partition that capacity into several smaller roadmaps in order to switch between them at runtime with negligible delay. Additional roadmaps can also be transferred from off-processor memory on-the-fly allowing the user to, for example, have different roadmaps that correspond to different states of the end effector or for different task types. Robots with fast reaction times can operate safely in an environment with humans. A robot that can plan quickly can be deployed in relatively unstructured factories and adjust to imprecise object locations and orientations. Industries like logistics, manufacturing, health care, agriculture, domestic assistants and the autonomous vehicle industry can benefit from this processor. You can head over to IEEE Spectrum for more insights on this news. Read Next MIPS open sourced under ‘MIPS Open Program’, makes the semiconductor space and SoC, ones to watch for in 2019 Arm releases free Cortex-M processor cores for FPGAs, includes measures to combat FOSSi threat Microsoft Azure reportedly chooses Xilinx chips over Intel Altera for AI co-processors, says Bloomberg report