continue reading » To: Federally Insured Credit Unions NCUA headquarters Subject: Operations Dear Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer:The NCUA recognizes COVID-19 will impact credit unions and their members to varying degrees. I want to assure you that the NCUA is doing all we can to address the situation.The health and safety of all NCUA staff, credit union staff, and credit union members are our paramount concern. We plan to take every step to ensure that our agency’s critical mission of protecting the safety and soundness of the credit union industry will continue to be executed as effectively and efficiently as possible.In addition, it is important to ensure credit unions can continue to meet, to the extent possible, the financial needs of their members. I encourage you to review previously issued NCUA guidance that addresses business continuity, hurricane, disaster, emergency, and pandemic planning and preparedness. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
(Visited 379 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A SETI leader thinks the label has outlived its usefulness and does not reflect what SETI scientists actually do.Jill Tarter, a 35-year leader of the Center for SETI Research (part of the SETI Institute), wants to ditch SETI – the name, at least. According to Space.com,At a recent meeting of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Astrobiology Science Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe, held here at the University of California, Irvine, Tarter explained that the phrase “search for extraterrestrial intelligence” generates an incorrect perception of what scientists in this field are actually doing. A more appropriate title for the field, she said, would be “the search for technosignatures,” or signs of technology created by intelligent alien civilizations.“We need to be very careful about our language,” Tarter said during a presentation at the committee meeting on Jan. 18. “SETI is not the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. We can’t define intelligence, and we sure as hell don’t know how to detect it remotely. [SETI] … is searching for evidence of someone else’s technology. We use technology as a proxy for intelligence.“[The acronym] ‘SETI’ has been problematic in history, and we should just drop [it] and just continue to talk about a search for technosignatures,” she said.As reported often here since 12/03/05, SETI is de facto intelligent design science. Its practitioners are to a large degree atheistic naturalists, believing that everything, including life and intelligence, emerged from a physical big bang. They are often adamant in their denunciations of creationism and intelligent design. And yet, curiously, their mission has depended on the ability to differentiate intelligent causes from natural causes, which is the core aim of intelligent design. Can they escape the conundrum by rebranding their work? What could cause a ‘technosignature’?Through a convoluted chain of reasoning, with detours into the mystical realm, Tarter tries to equate technology with nature:Science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke wrote that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” which would mean that alien technology could be as mysterious and unexplainable to humans as technologies that appear in science-fiction TV shows and movies. That opens up a dauntingly large range of possibilities for what technosignatures might look like. What if an alien civilization were communicating via a mechanism that Earth-based scientists haven’t discovered yet? Would humans immediately recognize these “magical” technosignatures, or would we not see them as unnatural?Tarter said she prefers to focus on a slight alteration of Clarke’s prediction written by the futurist Karl Schroeder: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from nature.“If advanced civilizations have reached technological nirvana, she says, they will have no wastage and “appear natural” to us. She advocates, therefore, looking for civilizations that have “not yet reached that level of sophistication.” Insufficiently advanced technologies will be wasteful, like that of humans, she thinks. Maybe we could find fellowship at that level.“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from nature.“Tarter, whose work inspired the main character in the movie Contact, says that old SETI looked for direct communication. New SETI tries to identify ‘technosignatures’ by eavesdropping on internal communications of aliens. One way to do it is to identify planets that appear to have modified their natural environments. An example she points to is the recent interest in a possible alien megastructure around Boyajian’s Star. Further investigation by the Breakthrough Listen project falsified those hopes, finding a natural explanation.So is there a difference between old SETI and new SETI? Basically, Tarter has encapsulated technology within nature, saying that it may look designed by intelligent beings because it is mysterious to us. But this explanation begins to unravel when you reflect these ideas back on herself. Is she intelligent? Did she uses intelligent causes, or natural causes, to propose the philosophical ideas in this article?The rebranding proposal is self-defeating. If alien technology that leaves technosignatures is not caused intentionally by intelligent minds, then our own human minds reduce to natural causes, and nothing we do has any purpose or direction. Technology just ’emerges’ magically. Stuff Happens.
The Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association (BMTA) Mustangs featured on popular children’s show Totally Wild this week. The Mustangs’ Under 16 Girls and Under 14’s Boys teams featured in a story titled ‘Metro Mixed Touch Football’.To view the video, please click on the link below:http://ten.com.au/video-player.htm?movideo_m=218740&movideo_p=41457 Related LinksTotally Wild
Man Utd loanee Mitchell: Boys tell me they’re loving Solskjaerby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United loanee Demetri Mitchell has spoken about the recent managerial change at Old Trafford.The youngster, who was given his debut by Jose Mourinho, has has mentioned how happy the players seem under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.United have won all six games since Solskjaer took over the job.Mitchell, who is on loan at Hearts, said to the Daily Record: “It’s all change at Old Trafford now and the boys are telling me they are enjoying it. Everyone has smiles on their faces and you can see that with the way they’re playing.”You can see Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford playing fluidly and smiling. It’s all good when you are playing football with a smile on your face. Ole is doing a good job.”I’m at Hearts and I’m trying to make an impact and show what I can do here as much as possible.”There are people at United who look after the players who are out on loan. They give you constructive criticism on all games. They use Wyscout and I’m sure Hearts also send them the footage as well.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 07: An ‘SEC’ logo is seen on an end zone pylon before the Missouri Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)Through six weeks of the college football season, the field is wide open. Some normal powerhouses, like Auburn and Oregon, are performing way below expectations, while teams like Michigan and Utah have exploded onto the scene, and are real threats to win their leagues. There are surprises everywhere in the sport this year, and they have shifted how we view the individual conferences, and the divisions within them. The Pac-12 South, which has been competing with the SEC West for top billing in recent years, isn’t quite what we thought it’d be, while a strong Michigan does a ton to raise the profile of the Big Ten East. Which divisions have thrived this season, and which are lagging behind? Which group has the deepest and most talented roster of teams, so far in 2015? Here is our ranking of college football’s divisions this season.9. ACC CoastalDespite their last-place ranking here, the ACC Coastal could legitimately place six teams in bowls this season. The problem is, at this point, it’s hard to tell if anyone in the division is anything more than above-average on a national scale. Outside of Virginia, which is yet to beat an FBS opponent, every team looks okay, but only one is ranked.Blue Devils make their first AP appearance of the year – No. 25 this week for #Duke https://t.co/C3JZdX8k91— Duke Football (@Duke_FB) October 11, 2015Duke continues to impress under program savior David Cutcliffe. At 5-1, its only loss was against a very good Northwestern team. The signature win thus far is probably the one over Georgia Tech, which is a major problem for the division as a whole. Georgia Tech was supposed to be the standard bearer for the Coastal and a trendy pick to take down Florida State and Clemson for the ACC crown before the season. Instead, the Yellow Jackets have been extremely disappointing, opening 2-3, also losing to middling UNC and, most recently, in a blowout to Clemson. Pitt and Virginia Tech are fine, but have been ravaged by injuries to their best players, while Miami looks about as average as it usually does under Al Golden. Duke is a good team and a fine story, and outside of the Cavaliers, there are no outright bad teams here, but there are no good ones either, which is a major problem.Next: No. 8 Pac-12 North >>>Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9
Freshii Inc.’s founder defended the eatery’s decision to withdraw its outlook through its 2019 financial year after falling short on several measures in its most recent quarter, while the company’s stock plummeted nearly 30 per cent.“We didn’t have enough confidence to revise the numbers again with conviction,” said Matthew Corrin, the company’s CEO, during a conference call with analysts Thursday morning — a day after the company released its third-quarter results.The decision was mainly due to the fact that the company missed its projected net new store openings, he said, due to a number of things outside management’s control.The Toronto-based eatery opened 10 net new stores in its third quarter, ending Sept. 30, as it opened 18 locations and closed eight.The company had expected to have 730 to 760 stores by the end of its 2019 financial year. It had previously anticipated having at least 810 stores by that time, but lowered its expectations in September 2017.It is now scrapping the revised figures.Predicting the timeline from signing a franchisee partner to when the store will open is difficult, Corrin said, due to the increasing number of markets in which Freshii operates. The eatery can be found in more than 35 states and provinces, he said, and 17 countries.Nuances between each location create unpredictability, he said.The company has also formalized a process to either change franchisee ownership or close locations that fall in the bottom 10 per cent based on an internal algorithm, he said, which accounts for the higher number of store closures this quarter.Still, Corrin assured analysts that the development pipeline remains healthy as Freshii has 175 stores in what it calls the active opening process.The company also experienced challenges in achieving its forecasted sales, expenses and earnings.Sales for restaurants open at least a year, a key retail metric, decreased 0.8 per cent compared with a same-store sales growth of 5.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.That marks the company’s first negative result for that metric in 22 quarters, Corrin said, adding the more years a company produces positive same-store sales, the more challenging it becomes to beat those results.The decision to scrap its outlook through the 2019 financial year will allow Freshii’s franchise partners and team at headquarters to focus on making decisions that are in the long-term interest of the company and its shareholders, he said.“We further believe that this increasingly long-term focus on the health of our network will allow us to better maximize shareholder value.”The company’s shares fell $1.08 or 27.14 per cent to $2.90 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.One day earlier, the company announced plans to buy back up to 10 per cent of its 25.6 million shares over the next year, believing that its share price doesn’t fully reflect its value.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:FRII)
It is not likely for an autonomous body of such reputation as the Election Commission of India (ECI), which is “always open to bringing about any improvements that would further the cause of free and fair elections”, to resist the prayers regarding more VVPAT verifications. However, in the affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court of India following the petition filed by 21 political leaders of India, naturally belonging to the opposition parties, ECI has stated that the present method adopted by the body for counting and verification of votes is the “most suitable”. ECI elaborated on how the Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) works, stating that VVPATs are used in conjunction with the EVMs. The VVPAT exposes the printed slip to the voter for a duration of seven seconds through a transparent window and thus, as per ECI, counting of these slips will only be necessary in case of a discrepancy between the results shown by the EVM and that reflected on the printed paper slip. ECI further responded on the specific prayer of cross verification of 50 per cent EVMs by stating how the average time required to undertake such verification would be “six days”; with some constituencies having more polling stations it may take up to 8-9 additional days, delaying the results of the elections. Complimenting this obstacle with an additional requirement of extensively trained personnel and large halls to undertake such an activity, ECI justified its resistance to the petition’s prayer. To provide the apex court with a little aid in its verdict, ECI also stated how similar concerns had arisen earlier and that the court had found ECI’s proceedings regarding VVPATs to be satisfactory. ECI cited a cent per cent accuracy of VVPATs during the 2017 assembly polls as well as the recent assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh. Statistically, a 50 per cent sample to adequately match VVPAT tallies with those of EVM is not necessary as per the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. Its report on possible and appropriate VVPAT counts to the EC states that a sample verification of 479 EVMs would bring the level of confidence in the process to 99.9936 per cent. The current process of counting only one booth per constituency in each state is due to the presence of 10.35 lakh polling stations and 4,125 Assembly constituencies in the country. While ECI, logistically, may be stating the unadulterated version of its response but in a democracy, many may still argue the 50 per cent cross-verification process’ feasibility. In all likelihood, a delay of six days on an average is something that the petitioners might settle for owing to their desperation to eradicate any margin for error. Displaying strong determination to prevent BJP from a second term, and having confidence in the voters to register a victory, it is certain that these opposition leaders don’t want to leave any stone unturned in their pursuit. With the introduction of VVPAT which was specifically brought for an additional layer of accountability to the electoral process, ECI’s argument for more manpower and days might not convince the petitioners and the general public. However, an increase in the counts might be the most likely solution. Even the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi strongly urged the deputy election commissioner present in the court that ECI should consider increasing the number of VVPAT verifications to enhance the purity and credibility of the democratic exercise. The matter is to be heard today in the apex court. While the opposition parties are strongly supporting the prayer to make the counting process more transparent, there is not a word from the ruling BJP. In front of an entire term of a government which will be decided based on the results of the mandate, a delay of the result by few days is completely justifiable. In fact, ECI should deduce, if not 50 per cent, some percentage which satisfies the apex court. This would increase ECI’s credibility in front of people who may have concerns regarding ECI’s resistance to the prayer. The process of vote counting is supposed to be sacrosanct and as such must be done with everyone’s satisfaction to remove even an iota of doubt regarding any tampering – which is not impossible in case of EVMs. The very purpose of VVPATs is to ensure transparency, then why not exercise it?
New Delhi: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which was asked to look into the death of a man who died allegedly due to medical negligence while on a honeymoon at a Maldives resort in 2016, has told the Delhi High Court that he died as a result of acute onset of high levels of fat in the blood.An eight-member medical board of the AIIMS, set up on the high court’s direction, has placed before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani a report which said the deceased suffered from hypertriglyceridemia, that indicates high levels of fat in the blood. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The board members have “unanimously concluded” that the “cause of the death was cerebro pulmonary oedema secondary to heart failure with associated hypertension”. “…death is due to acute onset of the disease and its complication, an unexpected natural cause of death,” it has said. The board, in its report, has also recommended “strengthening the medical case set up in such island resorts”. The report was filed after the high court on April 4 had asked the AIIMS to set up a panel to examine the forensic and post-mortem report of the deceased. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe direction had come on the plea by the deceased’s father, Chelakara Ramaswamy, who has contended that his son died due to medical negligence of the doctor — Dorjee Khandu — who treated him for food poisoning while he was staying at the resort at the Vilu Reef Island, which is more than 100 km away from Male, capital of Maldives, and can be reached only by sea planes. He has also alleged that the J J Hospital at Mumbai, where the post-mortem was carried out, did not follow the procedure properly and gave a “sham report”. He has further claimed that the Final Cause of Death Certificate, issued by the J J Hospital was not in terms of the Maharashtra Registration of Births and Deaths Rules, 2000. The court on April 4 had also issued directions to the forensics department of the Maharashtra government, which had carried out the post-mortem of the deceased and analysis of tissue samples, to find out how the viscera samples in the case had disappeared. The state government, in its report, has told the court that the viscera samples “got destroyed unknowingly”. It has said that the official in-charge of the samples was transferred and the acting in-charge had given the order to destroy all analysed viscera samples as a routine process. The acting in-charge was unaware about the instant case, the state government has claimed in its report.
Haldia (WB): TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu has termed Rahul Gandhi a “good leader who has concerns for the nation” and asserted that unlike 1996, non-BJP parties won’t commit the mistake of keeping the Congress out if such an alliance forms a government at the Centre.In an interview to PTI on the sidelines of a poll meeting in East Midnapore district’s Haldia in support of TMC candidates, he claimed the BJP is on its way out, and batted for a coalition government saying, “It’s better to have checks and balances.” On the contentious issue of prime ministerial candidate of a non-BJP front, Naidu, who has been rallying regional parties to form such a coalition, said the constituents “will reach a consensus after tallying the number of seats each party gets”. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghHe claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become desperate on realising that he is losing the Lok Sabha elections. “There is anti-incumbency. PM Modi tried his best, but he has no achievement. Because of that, he started talking about Pulwama (terror attack) and (Balakot) air strikes. In every meeting he is accusing and abusing opposition leaders,” the incumbent chief minister of Andhra Pradesh alleged. “If you go through Modi’s campaign you will see he is getting weaker and more desperate. Earlier also he was weak but he managed the media. He threatened all politicians so that no one raises their voice,” Naidu claimed. On whether a coalition of regional parties will include the Congress in government formation or keep it out if such an opportunity arises, he said, “You cannot have such restrictions. You need the magic figure (272 seats) to form the government. Restrictions will ultimately break the unity.” Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad”All of us will sit together and reach a consensus to build the future of this country,” Naidu said. He lauded the Congress president by terming him a good leader, but evaded a direct reply to the question whether Rahul Gandhi’s name could be proposed as prime ministerial candidate, saying if he names someone others might get hurt which will break the opposition unity. “He (Rahul Gandhi) is a good leader. He has concerns for the nation, unlike Narendra Modi, who is hollow and never listens to anybody. Modi tries to rule by threatening others,” the TDP supremo said. Naidu’s comments comes just days after his meeting with Gandhi to discuss the post-poll scenario. The Telugu Desam Party president, who was the convener of the United Front government from 1996-1998, said time the experiment failed because the Congress was kept out of the government.
Bangui (Central African Republic) — French troops on Monday began disarming fighters in the Central African Republic after a swell in sectarian violence that has claimed hundreds of lives and terrified inhabitants.But Paris warned the task would be difficult as former Seleka rebels who seized power in a March coup shed their combat gear to avoid detection, and clashed sporadically with soldiers dispatched to quell violence in the unstable country.Announcing the beginning of the disarmament, the army’s general staff said the process was going smoothly for the moment, despite a brief shoot-out Monday morning between soldiers and armed men near the airport. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned that the disarmament would not be “an easy task”.“The problem is that many of the former Seleka (rebels) have traded their uniforms for civilian clothes… and it is difficult to identify individuals,” he said on France Inter radio.France is deploying 1,600 soldiers to its former colony, which has plunged into chaos since the Seleka rebels seized power, with reports of widespread rape and public killings taking place.Fabius said former Seleka rebel leader turned interim president Michel Djotodia had appealed to his former fighters to give up arms, but some have gone rogue and imposed a reign of terror in the countryside.The capital Bangui has also been the scene of bloodshed over the past three days, and nearly 400 people have been killed in the violence, Fabius said.“We have explained to everyone by radio and through other available media that they should bring back weapons,” Fabius said.“If this does not yield sufficient results, force will be employed,” he said.French President Francois Hollande, who sent troops into the west African country of Mali earlier this year to stop Islamists and Tuareg rebels from advancing on the capital Bamako, has said France cannot turn a blind eye to the massacres perpetrated in the Central African Republic.But the military intervention has prompted criticism from the public over its cost at a difficult time for the French economy.France says deployment costs ‘minimum’Fabius on Monday said the cost of the deployment was “minimal” as the French troops were drawn from bases in other African countries.“If we did not intervene quickly it would have cost much more,” he said.“If in place of a few hundred killed, there had been tens of thousands of deaths we would have had in any case to intervene in a country that was totally destroyed.”France has also been anxious to avoid charges of medding in its former African colony for political or economic reasons.It has repeatedly emphasised that it troops are being dispatched to the CAR to reinforce a 2,500-strong African Union peacekeeping mission and that it is ultimately Africa’s responsibility to tackle the various crises on the continent.There have been no major incidents since the French deployment. French troops came under fire near the airport on Sunday and Monday, but there were no indications of casualties.France has more than 5,300 troops stationed in a string of bases across western and central Africa, according to defence ministry figures.The UN childrens’ agency UNICEF told AFP in Bangui that nearly 480,000 people — mostly women and children — had been displaced since the country of 4.6 million people plunged into chaos after the March coup.But the deadly attacks witnessed before the French troops rolled in have ceased and life in Bangui is slowly returning to normal.Djotodia, the first Muslim leader of the CAR, disbanded Seleka when he took power, but while some militiamen remained loyal to him, others wreaked havoc.Local Christians responded by forming vigilante groups and the government was never able to assert its authority over the Christian-majority country.Reports have highlighted a series of horrors, with security forces and militia gangs raping with impunity, carrying out public killings and razing entire villages.Djotodia has accused forces loyal to the exiled former president Francois Bozize, whom he had toppled, of being behind the vigilante groups.London-based rights group Amnesty International has said that many involved in the latest violence are child fighters recruited by the former rebels. It said some were reportedly armed with axes and iron bars.