Sunday, May 26, 2019


Cocos Islands: a paradise covered by 977,000 shoes and 373,000 toothbrushes

Cocos Islands

A study published in the Scientific Reports magazine has revealed the situation that crosses the beaches of the Cocos Islands (Australia): it is estimated that on its coasts there are approximately 414 million pieces of human waste, mostly plastics. The researcher Jennifer Lavers of the University of Tasmania, who has directed the analysis, has calculated that in these islands located in the Indian Ocean there are accumulated 238 tons of plastic, including 977,000 shoes and 373,000 toothbrushes.

 It is not the first study carried out by this research team, since in 2017 they estimated that an uninhabited island in the South Pacific, Henderson Island, had 37.7 million plastic residues piled up on its beaches, equivalent to 671 rubbish per year. square meter in the most affected areas. These results accounted for the highest level of localized contamination in an area of ​​the uninhabited planet.

"It is increasingly urgent that we act"
 "Our estimate of 414 million pieces with a weight of 238 tons in Cocos is conservative, since we only sampled to a depth of 10 centimeters and could not access some beaches known as hot spots. waste on a global scale, "says Professor Lavers, who stresses that" more and more urgent that we act "because the amount of garbage in these uninhabited places tells us the amount of plastics that accumulate in the ocean. "Unlike Henderson Island, where most of the identifiable debris was related to fishing, the plastic on the Cocos Islands was largely consumer items for single use, such as bottle caps and straws, as well as a large amount of shoes and straps, "Lavers reported.

For his part, Annett Finger, co-author of the study and professor at the University of Victoria, explained that the global production of plastic increases gradually, "approximately 12.7 million tons of plastic entered our oceans only in 2010, with around 40% of plastics accessing the waste stream in the same year they are produced ", he points out. In addition, "as a result of the growth in single-use consumer plastics, it is estimated that there are now 5.25 billion pieces of plastic waste in the ocean." Plastic pollution is a well-documented threat to wildlife and its impact Potential in humans is a growing area of ​​medical research, "says Professor Finger.

 "It is currently not possible to clean our oceans

"The scale of the problem means that currently it is not possible to clean our oceans, and clean the beaches once they are contaminated with plastic because it is time consuming, expensive and must be repeated regularly, as thousands of new pieces of plastic appear every day ", "The only viable solution is to reduce the production and consumption of plastic and, at the same time, improve waste management to prevent this material from entering our oceans," he said in the same article published by the University of Tasmania.


War: Huawei vs Apple

Huawei vs Apple

What can APPLE lose in the war of HUAWEI vs the United States?

Google's veto of Huawei, followed by new slamming of other US companies, such as Intel or Qualcomm, tightened the rope in the technology industry. The inclusion of Huawei in the blacklist of United States prevents the companies of this country to sell hardware and software to the Chinese firm.

The trade war waged by both countries has been an intermittent give-and-take over the past year. Could China's next move target the iPhone? In China Huawei is a company that makes the country's brand internationally. The same as Apple for the United States, so it would not be unreasonable for the Chinese Executive Power to seek retribution on Apple's smartphone.

In a fictional exercise, in which the Chinese government prevented domestic companies from doing business with Apple, the manufacture of the iPhone would be affected. The US multinational publishes a list detailing the suppliers it works with, more than 200, from 43 different countries.

Within this list there are Chinese and Taiwanese companies, which have forged their business starting to build factories in special economic zones, created by the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the 80s. Although Apple does not reveal which work on the iPhone or what specific components contribute.

One of the companies that provides the batteries of the iPhone is Sunwoda Electronic, based in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, although Samsung also provides this component. BYD Electronic, a "spin off" of the Chinese car manufacturer BYD, produces parts for mobiles and figures among the companies that serve Apple.

Little known names such as AAC Technologies (manufacturer of receivers, miniaturized speaker modules, microphones), Cathay Tat Ming Precision Metal Products (metal production), Chengdu Homin Technology (battery contact parts, protection element) or China Circuit Technology (circuitry) are other examples of Chinese companies that serve Apple.

At the same time, Taiwanese companies work on the iPhone, which they manufacture in China and could be subject to restrictions by Beijing. The A-series chips are designed by Apple, but are produced by TSMC, the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer. Its factories are in China and in Taiwan.

The iPhone assembly is done by Foxconn. Apple works with another Taiwanese company, Pegatron, which in the wake of the trade war has moved some of its factories to Indonesia.

As for software, in the United States and Europe, hardly any Chinese applications are used on the iPhone. Only some are popular among users, such as AliExpress, Chinese giant Alibaba, or TikTok, the social network of music videos that rages among the youngest, belonging to ByteDance, a Chinese Internet company.

But China could cut it off if it wanted to. If Trump has prevented the sale of Huawei devices in the United States, Xi Jinping could do the same. Only Huawei is not present in the American market.

Apple, however, obtained in 2018 more than 15% of its turnover in the Asian giant. Google, Facebook and Amazon are banned in the Asian country. Apple is, in fact, one of the exceptions to the rule.

Software is the most delicate part. Huawei and Honor terminals (the second manufacturer's brand) will have to abandon Android. Trump has given an extension of three months, from which Google will stop updating the system for Huawei.

American applications are a vital part of Huawei's phones. Neither the suite of Google applications (Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Calendar, Drive, the search engine) nor Facebook (along with Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger), Netflix, Twitter, Amazon, Skype would be allowed in the terminals of the Chinese brand.

It remains to be seen if Huawei manages to build a platform that allows to run all these applications developed for Android. There are precedents that make this assumption possible, such as the Sailfish OS system.

What users will not be able to do is use Google Play to download these applications, because Google can prevent its operation on Huawei devices.

In the hardware plane, Huawei terminals are also highly dependent on US imports. The Chinese manufacturer, which designs its own processors, claims to have stored components to stock their factories in the coming months. But sooner or later you will notice the absence of the Qualcomm and Broadcom antennas and, above all, the memories of Micron and Western Digital.

The US Skyworks and Qorvo sell modules with network capabilities, 3G and LTE, to Huawei. Corning provides the Gorilla Glass for the screen.

Thursday, May 16, 2019


Pat Robertson: Alabama abortion bill has gone too far

Pat Robertson

Televangelist Pat Robertson said he thinks Alabama went "too far" with a controversial abortion bill that could punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison. CNN's Joan Biskupic discusses the likelihood of the law making it before the Supreme Court.


Tapper calls out Trump's pardons: There's no sense of shame

Black, 74, was convicted of fraud and obstructing justice in 2007 and jailed for more than three years in the US.

A White House statement described him as an "entrepreneur and scholar".

Canadian-born Black, who has British nationality, was released in 2012. Last year he published the book Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other.

The British peer once ran a media empire that included the UK's Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post.

"Lord Black's case has attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character," a White House statement announcing the pardon said.

It said he had made "tremendous contributions to business, as well as to political and historical thought" and that, "in light of these facts", he was "entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency".


United Airlines CEO: By the time you sit on our planes, 'you're just pissed at the world'

United Airlines

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz acknowledged key pain points customers face when traveling today, including airlines' increasingly shrinking seat sizes.

"I think we are nearing a point certainly that we can't do that anymore," Munoz told ABC News. The interview was conducted prior to the U.S. grounding of the Boeing 737 Max.

He said that air travel used to be a thrilling experience but has turned into a laborious process.

"It's become so stressful," he told the outlet, "from when you leave, wherever you live, to get into traffic, to find a parking spot, to get through security."

Munoz added: "By the time you sit on one of our aircraft ... you're just pissed at the world." He also said that the experience won't be improved by something like coffee or a cookie.

The airline announced new branding for its planes on Wednesday, though not everyone on Twitter thought the airline stuck the landing.

Blacklisting Huawei takes the US-China trade war to a dangerous new level


Resolving the trade war between the United States and China just got harder. Much harder.

Negotiations between Washington and Beijing were already on rocky ground following new rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs. Then, on Wednesday, the United States dramatically escalated its fight against Huawei, the world's largest telecoms equipment maker and one of China's national champions.
That could scuttle an agreement entirely.

"It could potentially put the entire economic relationship up for grabs," said Scott Kennedy, director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

An 'openly hostile act'
The US government has long argued that Huawei equipment poses a national security threat, and could be used by Beijing for spying. It's lobbying allies to exclude Huawei from next-generation 5G wireless networks. And earlier this year, the Trump administration filed criminal charges against Huawei, claiming that the company stole trade secrets from T-Mobile (TMUS) and violated US sanctions on Iran.

The barrage reached a new level of intensity on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring US companies from using telecoms gear from sources the administration deems a national security threat. That action is seen as targeting China and Huawei, a leader in 5G technology and a global business with revenue of more than $100 billion.

The Trump administration also added Huawei to the so-called Entity List of companies it says undermine American interests. That means US companies may need a license to continue supplying Huawei with crucial components.

The details of the designation and exactly what it means for Huawei still need clarification. But the action serves as a threatening reminder: The United States could sever vital supply lines.

Doing so would kneecap the tech giant, which relies on US companies such as Qualcomm (QCOM), Micron (MICR) and Intel (INTC) for crucial parts. Without them, both the company and its network of customers in 170 countries would be at risk, according to analysts.

"China will view this as an openly hostile act and a major provocation," Paul Triolo, head of the geotechnology practice at consultancy Eurasia Group, said in a note to clients.

Trade risk
Much hangs on how China responds.

Despite higher tariffs announced in the past week and fraying trust, trade negotiations between the world's two largest economies haven't been abandoned entirely. Trump could meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at a G20 summit next month.

A resolution would relieve pressure on the Chinese economy, which this week exhibited fresh signs of weakness, and companies on both sides. Walmart (WMT) just announced it's hiking prices because of the tariffs.

But China can't just ignore the sharp escalation in the offensive against Huawei.
"The Entities List action potentially challenges Huawei's ability to produce equipment and service existing customers," Kennedy said. "That's an essential challenge to China's most successful company."

Nationalist sentiment in the country is already hardening, Triolo warned.
The detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada, where she faces possible extradition to the United States on charges related to the Iran sanctions case, has already whipped up significant anger.

"Beijing is unlikely to continue serious trade negotiations when it feels held hostage by the US," Triolo said.

If negotiations do move forward, it's unlikely that Beijing will make significant concessions to the United States, especially on the tech issues at the center of the dispute, he added.

The United States has demanded that China end the forced transfer of technology from American companies, and has pushed back on Beijing's bid to dominate the technologies of the future.
The potential for China to retaliate against American companies operating in the country has also increased, according to experts.

China could make life harder for American firms with hurdles like customs delays and heightened scrutiny by regulators. Big brands like Boeing (BA), Nike (NKE), Tesla (TSLA), General Motors (GM) and many others are all hugely dependent on the Chinese market.

"The risks are monumental, for China and for the United States as well," Kennedy said. "This isn't an incremental action."


Prince Harry accepts 'substantial' damages after helicopter photos forced royal couple from their home

Prince Harry has accepted "substantial damages" and an apology from a picture agency that used a helicopter to take photos of the home he shared with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Buckingham Palace said Thursday.

Harry and Meghan were forced to leave their home after the photos were published in outlets including The Times newspaper, a royal source familiar with the case has told CNN.
Splash News chartered a helicopter in January to take images of the couple's private home in the Cotswolds region of England, which Buckingham Palace said put the pair's safety at risk.
"The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of the Duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property," the palace said in a statement.

"The helicopter flew over the home at a low altitude allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area and dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom," it added.
"The Duke of Sussex acknowledges and welcomes the formal apology from Splash News and Picture Agency."
Harry and Meghan's official residence is Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, near London.
The couple, who welcomed their first baby earlier this month, have asked for privacy from the British press on numerous occasions.
In 2016, Kensington Palace released a rare statement on Harry's behalf criticizing media coverage of the couple and noting that "his girlfriend Meghan Markle has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment."
In a statement sent to Britain's Press Association news agency, Splash said it has "always recognised that this situation represents an error of judgement and we have taken steps to ensure it will not be repeated. We apologise to the Duke and Duchess for the distress we have caused."
CNN has contacted Splash for comment.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


The final of the Libertadores Cup between Boca and River will finally be played at the Real Madrid Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu


The final decision was postponed because there is a lack of green light: that of Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, who was in flight yesterday to Buenos Aires to participate in the G20. The election of the venue and the date of the final was subject to the ruling of the Conmebol discipline court, which is expected for today.

Doha, Medellin and Miami were ruled out by different issues. The capital of the organizing emirate of the 2022 World Cup was always the strongest option for economic reasons. It offered an irresistible package of incentives for clubs and Conmebol. The distance with South America and the logistical difficulties made the proposal fall. Miami, which at one time was the favorite, was not approved by US Soccer, the soccer federation of that country. "Carlos Cordeiro (the president of US Soccer) did not want to," was the response that Conmebol used to explain the rejection of Miami.

Medellín, on the other hand, was the closest offer. In addition, the president of the Colombian Federation, Ramón Jesurún, is a strategic ally of Alejandro Domínguez, the Paraguayan who runs the Conmebol. And the mayor of that Colombian city, even, had made himself available for the organization of the party.

In addition to its stadium and the close relationship between Alejandro Domínguez and Florentino Pérez, Madrid has a large colony of Argentines and the airport with the largest number of connections with Latin American countries.

Article: Ovacion

Friday, September 28, 2018


China retaliates after US imposes new tariffs on goods

The United States has announced fresh tariffs on $200 billion (€171 billion) worth of Chinese goods, spooking markets worried about an escalating tit-for-tat trade war between the world's largest economies.

The Trump administration said Monday that tariffs would start at 10 percent next week and increase to 25 percent starting January 1.

Washington has already imposed 25 percent duties on $50 billion of Chinese goods over what it alleges are unfair trade practices. With the new tariffs, about half of China's imports to the United States are covered by punitive trade measures.


President Donald Trump: Ford's testimony was very compelling

Ford's testimony was very compelling

President Donald Trump said Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony about her alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was “very compelling,” calling her a “very credible witness.”

“I thought her testimony was very compelling and she looks like a very fine woman to me, very fine woman,” Trump said of Ford while speaking to reporters on Friday. “It was an incredible moment I think in the history of our country,” he continued. “But certainly [Ford] was a very credible witness. She was very good in many respects.”


Senator Jeff Flake calls for delay in Kavanaugh floor vote

Senator Jeff Flake

Republicans won the key committee vote, bringing Kavanaugh to the brink of becoming a supreme court justice.

Kavanaugh’s nomination to the nation’s highest court now advances to the full Senate.

There is an informal potential roadblock, however, which is that Flake has asked for the vote to be delayed for a week, though this is not something the committee can decide.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell schedules the vote, and is not on the judiciary committee.

Flake is saying he will vote no unless an FBI investigation takes place, which would give McConnell reason to delay the vote.

Friday, December 1, 2017



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