Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes #tcibudgetdebate2018 #hurricaneirma #hurricanemaria #seanastwood Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppGrand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands – February 7, 2018 – Budget cuts to accommodate new spending demands were painful as government projects and departments had to fiscally re-calibrate in order to accommodate important costs associated with repatriation of illegal migrants and the September 2017 hurricanes.Deputy Premier, Hon Sean Astwood aimed to roll back the curtain on what was happening behind the scenes as the PDM Administration led the re-organization of the already passed 2017-2018 National Budget.The Government has been heavily criticized as having had a slow response to reconstruction in the aftermath of the ferocious storms. However, the Deputy Premier, also the Border Control Minister disagrees with that characterization.“We have heard how this country has bounced back to our new normalcy in record time, and we have also heard how many – not just the political opposite – but many have tried to discredit the works of this Government and our direct involvement in making sure that persons who can now sit at home in the comforts of air condition, who can now pick up their mobile cell phones and WhatsApp any derogatory criticism or comment that they may decide to make – I would like for all of them to stop for just one second Mr. Speaker and take a full assessment of what it took to restore such comforts back to them.”Almost four months to the day of the dismal encounter all of the Turks and Caicos Islands with Hurricane Irma, the Border Control Minister during House of Assembly debate on the changes to the budget, shared his experience while visiting another territory smashed by Irma: Antigua and Barbuda. Barbuda was so badly damaged in the historic hurricane, which measured well above 200 mph wind speeds, that it remains evacuated, completely inhabitable.“Two weeks ago I went to Antigua and Barbuda for a Summit on 21st Century Governance. Mr. Speaker the island of Barbuda is still a disaster zone. One cannot enter the island without direct government permission because of the current state of that island. Yet we here in the Turks and Caicos, we moan and we groan when the wind don’t blow, when the sun is too hot, when it rains the extra day, when the phone calls drop for a second, Mr. Speaker, we ought to be careful. This supplementary is a response to all that I have just mentioned, it is a response of this Government to set new priorities to deal with the new realities.”Hon Astwood said the Supplementary, which includes a $600,000 increase to his Ministry for illegal migrant repatriation expenditure is a response to the needs of the country, evidence that the PDM Administration is paying attention and rightly responding to hurricane reconstruction and border protection.“My same ministry would have gotten cuts in other areas and it hurts… to lose even a dollar we don’t want to lose it but we understand the needs and overall objective of the Ministry of Finance. We know they did not just sit down and arbitrarily decide to get rid of a project, to cut spending by ‘x’ percentage that is not an easy decision to make. I don’t think that the Premier, her PS or anybody, the Budget Director – anyone sits down having a good time in that exercise. So for persons to characterize this as some simple exercise, some ‘willy-nilly’ approach to governance where decisions are being made that affects the lives of our people, Mr. Speaker I don’t understand how anyone could think that’s a trivial matter that somehow the politics of things is more important than the lives of our people…. Mr. Speaker this supplementary is no politics.”The Deputy further exposed that there were professional rows between ministers, permanent secretaries and departments as the country re-prioritised spending to pay for three exceptional areas of expense, namely: hurricane Irma and Maria clean up, overage in health care abroad costs and the budget busting repatriation of illegal migrants.“I am sure the Permanent Secretary of Finance was hearing from other PSes that, ‘you can’t so that, you can’t take this from me!’ because that is what Ministers were saying to the Premier, you can’t take this from me, I need that. But collectively Mr. Speaker, with prudent leadership and a focus on where this country is now and where it needs to go we are here today in full support of the premier and her ministry of this Supplementary.”Deputy Premier Astwood wrapped up his contribution on with a declaration of support of the proposed budgetary changes, making the statement that the PDM Administration is not only working hard, but producing.“This supplementary is a short term measure to get us through the rest of this financial year and I commend the Premier and her staff for doing a good job.”The Budget Supplementary passed through the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly on Tuesday February 6, 2018 on the eve of the four month anniversary of Hurricane Irma. Related Items:#magneticmedianews, house of assembly, Pdm, sean astwood TCI Premier blasts Opposition side for “slop” information, sets it straight in HOA Only Doug and Ralph and Ruth can fit, that’s why
U.S. News & World Report has become the latest magazine to be distributed on the Amazon Kindle.The title joins 15 other titles available on the digital reader, including Newsweek, Time, the Atlantic and Slate.The news comes a week after the title announced its plans to shift from a weekly to bi-weekly frequency starting in 2009. U.S. News’ ad pages fell about 37.5 percent and ad revenue dropped 34.8 percent during the first quarter, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The city of Concord for the second time in two weeks has postponed a meeting of the city council to discuss the selection of a master developer for the former Concord Naval Weapons Station in northern California, after the apparent suicide of the city attorney who had been investigating allegations that one of the two competing firms improperly lobbied the city.The city first postponed the council’s discussion late last month after Catellus Development Corp. requested the city investigate its accusations that Lennar Urban had violated the negotiating agreement both finalists had signed. Catellus also asked why city staff failed to recommend a preferred master developer as expected.At the time of his death last week, city attorney Mark Coon was preparing a report on his investigation. It is not clear if Coon finished the report or when the city plans to release his findings, reported the Contra Costa Times.While the city council’s five council members have said Lennar did not lobby them, Concord Mayor Tim Grayson last month returned $12,600 in donations to his state Assembly campaign from companies or individuals linked to Lennar. Kofi Bonner, president of Lennar Urban, vigorously defended his firm’s conduct after Catellus’ accusations came out.The city council had been scheduled to meet Oct. 15 to discuss the selection of a master developer; the city has not yet rescheduled that meeting.The reuse plan for the 5,046-acre weapons station site calls for residential, commercial and office use clustered around the North Concord BART station with greenways and parks separating neighborhood villages. Almost 70 percent of the property would be open space and recreational facilities.————Image Source
WILMINGTON, MA — According to the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds, 37 properties were sold in Wilmington during May 2019: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 firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related40 Properties Sold In Wilmington In AugustIn “Business”42 Properties Sold In Wilmington In JulyIn “Business”44 Properties Sold In Wilmington In JuneIn “Business”
Close Ever since the advent of the smartphone, it has grown to become an extension of the body. In any city, you can’t find a person with a head down glued to the phone screen and they take everywhere and use it even in the loo. Did you know smartphone screen are said to be more than three times dirtier than a toilet seat; though it’s very hard to believe, it’s actually true. Now, American technology giant Google has good news at least for the Android mobile users, as it has launched a revolutionary Screen cleaner feature that keeps your phone squeaky clean.Google’s innovative Screen cleaner feature makes use of the advanced sensors on Android phones and smudge detector API to identify imperfections using geometric dirt models and haptic micromovement generator to dislodge dirt, smudge and other anomalies off the display, making the phone hygienic inside out. Google has launched screen cleaner feature for Android phonesGoogle/YouTube (screen-grab)The new Screen cleaner is now available on Files app and whenever you want to get rid of the dirt on the mobile display, just tap the ‘Activate’ button on the former. You can see the Screen cleaner in full action on Google’s YouTube channel.Sounds too good to be true, well, don’t fall for it, as this is an April Fool’s day prank pulled by Google on YouTube.Google’s new screen cleaner feature for Android phones.Google/YouTubeSnakes on Google MapsIn a related development, Google has introduced snake game on its popular Maps app on both the iOS and Android versions. Google has launched Snake game on its Maps appGoogle Blog (screen-shot)”Starting today, you can play a twist on the snake game in different locations across the world—including Cairo, London, San Francisco, São Paulo, Sydney and Tokyo–right from Google Maps. To start playing, simply open the Google Maps app, tap on the menu icon on the top left corner, then select “Play Snake” to get your daily dose of 90s nostalgia (boy bands, fanny packs and slap bracelets not included),” Google said in a statement.Like the classic snake game, your train will grow longer over time, as passengers hop in to from stations placed on international locations such as Big Ben, the Great Sphinx of Giza to the Eiffel Tower. This game will be available for the users to play on Google Maps for the rest of the week. 10 Crazy Facts About Google IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:06/1:41Loaded: 0%0:06Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:35?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …
US job openings surged in December and the number of Americans voluntarily quitting work hit a nine-year high, pointing to labour market strength despite a slowdown in economic growth.The signs of a robust jobs market could ease concerns about the health of the economy, which were underscored by other reports on Tuesday showing a drop in small business confidence in January to a two-year low and further declines in wholesale inventories.”If the labour market is tightening, can the economy really be faltering?” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.Job openings, a measure of labour demand, increased 2,61,000 to a seasonally adjusted 5.61 million in December, the Labour Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (JOLTS). It was the second highest reading since the series started in 2001.The so-called JOLTS report is among the data watched by Federal Reserve officials to get a pulse on both the labour market and inflation.The increase lifted the jobs openings rate to 3.8 percent from 3.6 percent in November. The hiring rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent, indicating that employers were having trouble finding qualified workers for vacant positions.A total of 3.1 million Americans quit their jobs in December, the highest number since December 2006. That pushed the quits rate, which the Fed looks at as a measure of confidence in the jobs market, to 2.1 percent — the highest level since April 2008.The dollar pared losses against the yen after the data, while US stocks briefly reversed losses. Prices of long-dated US Treasuries were trading higher.The report came ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony to Congress on Wednesday. A raft of weak economic reports, plummeting oil prices and a stock market sell-off have raised doubts as to whether the US central bank will hike interest rates this year.The Fed raised its overnight benchmark interest rate in December, its first hike in nearly a decade. The economy, however, has been undermined by a strong dollar, sluggish global demand and an effort by businesses to sell off inventory.Ongoing capital spending cuts by energy firms also are weighing on growth.SLACK BEING REDUCED”Skeptics may argue that these (JOLTS) numbers are backward looking, and that spillovers from tighter financial conditions or the energy slump will curb labour market dynamics in the months to come,” said Harm Bandholz, chief US economist at UniCredit Research in New York.”This is certainly a risk and one important reason why the Fed is currently sitting back and waiting. But why should this happen now when it hasn’t over the past several months? After all, oil prices started to fall in mid-2014, and most of the adjustment occurred in the first half of 2015.”The number of unemployed job seekers per open job, a measure of labour market slack, fell to 1.4 in December, the lowest level since March 2007 and down from 1.5 in November.”Diminishing labour market slack has led to a modest increase in wage growth, evident across several measures of worker compensation,” said Jesse Hurwitz, an economist at Barclays in New York. “We expect that wage growth will continue to move up gradually, helping core inflation return toward target once the headwinds from lower import prices subside.”While a separate report from the National Federation of Independent Business showed its Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.3 points to a two-year low of 93.9 in January, businesses continued to report tightening labor market conditions.Small businesses reported a shortage of qualified workers to fill job openings, prompting some to start raising wages to attract and retain them. The share of small businesses raising compensation increased to its highest level since 2007.”The combination of more job openings and more people quitting could result in pay increases, and we have seen a few other signs that wages have increased as the labour market has tightened,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.Wage growth, which has been frustratingly slow, picked up significantly in January. Still, growth in average hourly earnings is yet to break above 2.5 percent on a year-over-year basis. Economists say wages need to grow between 3 percent and 3.5 percent to lift inflation near the Fed’s 2 percent target.In a third report on Tuesday, the Commerce Department said wholesale inventories dipped 0.1 percent in December after dropping 0.4 percent in November.The weak inventory data added to soft December construction spending and factory orders reports in suggesting that fourth-quarter GDP growth could be revised down to an annual rate of about 0.4 percent from the 0.7 percent pace reported last month.The government will publish its second GDP growth estimate later this month.
Deputy General of Police D Roopa has demanded a probe by the Anti-Corruption Bureau against retired Director General of Police H N Sathyanarayana Rao on November 29, following the latter’s Rs 20 crore defamation suit against her on Monday.The suit is with regard to a report submitted by Roopa in July to then DGP Rao alleging that the DGP is involved in giving preferential treatment to AIADMK leader VK Sasikala and her relative Ilavarasi at Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara Central Prison.Sasikala and two of her relatives are serving a four-year jail term for corruption since February.Roopa’s allegations against Rao Roopa as DIG (prisons) submitted the detailed report against the DGP claiming the latter’s involvement in irregularities in the jail premises. The report was leaked to the media.A video also surfaced in the media in August matched Roopa’s allegations. It reportedly showed Sasikala and her relative walking around in the open inside the Bengaluru central jail.Roopa was quoted by PTI as saying, “There was a talk that Rs 2 crore had exchanged hands to give preferential treatment for Sasikala and there were bribery allegations against him (Rao) also.”A special probe was ordered by the Karnataka government into Roopa’s allegations. Roopa was also transferred by the state government after she and Rao’s public spat. IPS officer D RoopaTwitterRao’s Rs 20 crore defamation notice to RoopaRao slapped Roopa with a defamation suit of Rs 20 crore claiming that the junior officer’s allegations are “absolutely false, baseless and wild and legal action will be taken against her.”Rao’s lawyer Puttige Ramesh told PTI that the defamation case was filed on November 27.Ramesh said that Roopa has framed the DGP under false allegations to gain publicity for a film based on herself. “We came to know that a movie on Roopa is in the making. In order to gain publicity for the movie, she prepared the defamatory report on my client (Satyanarayana Rao).”The lawyer alleged that Roopa had violated norms and leaked her findings to the media before disclosing it to the jail authorities.Ramesh pointed out that, “The report was submitted on July 11 this year, but a day later the report was published in the media. It is very clear that the officer leaked the information to the media.”What now?After demanding a ACB probe against Rao, Roopa denied receiving any defamation notice. She said, “I have not received any defamation notice. If I receive it, I will answer in court. As it is, there is no defamation made out, that is the first thing.”Speaking to IBTimes India on Wednesday, Roopa said, “In the complaint I had filed earlier against DGP Rao, I said he was also involved in corruption which was not considered by Vinay Kumar. Now the ACB probe will perform a detailed investigation and should file corruption charges against him (Rao) under Section 13 (1) (c) of Indian Penal Code.”The officer stands by her earlier statement on irregularities in Bangalore jail and stressed that, “The report submitted by Vinay Kumar has confirmed that irregularities did take place in the jail and special privileges were given to select prisoners.”Roopa added, “It is now important to find out why privileges were given and that can be probed by the ACB. I stand by my statements and insist that the ACB probe the matter.” Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … IPS Officer exposes Sasikala’s “royal treatment” in a Bengaluru Jail
Flood victims including women and children moving to shelter centres as flood situation worsens in Faridpur’s Sadar upazila. Photo: AlimuzzamanA humanitarian crisis is unfolding across large areas in South Asia, with more than 16 million people affected by monsoon floods in Nepal, Bangladesh and India, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Friday, reports XinhuaThe agency cited local authorities as saying that flood levels have already reached record highs in Bangladesh, and water of major rivers such as the Jamuna has surpassed warning levels set in 1988, the deadliest floods the country has ever faced, China’s official press agency adds.”This is fast becoming one of the most serious humanitarian crises this region has seen in many years and urgent action is needed to meet the growing needs of millions of people affected by these devastating floods,” the IFRC said in a statement Friday, citing its staff for Asia Pacific region.According to the statement, more than one third of Bangladesh and Nepal have been flooded, and the humanitarian crisis could get worse in the days and weeks ahead.In Nepal, the IFRC said, many areas remain cut off after recent destructive floods and landslides, and many villages and communities are stranded without food, water or electricity.”This tragic flooding in Nepal has claimed at least 128 lives and 33 people are still missing,” Dev Ratna Dhakhwa, secretary general of the Nepal Red Cross Society, was cited as saying.In Bangladesh, the IFRC said, over 3.9 million people have been affected by the rising flood waters, and floods are likely to get much worse as swollen rivers from India pour into the low-lying and densely populated areas in the northern and central parts of the country, says Xinhua news agency.In India, over 11 million people are reportedly affected by floods in four states across the north of the country. What’s more, India’s meteorological department is forecasting more heavy rains for the region in the coming days.
Momena Shoma. File PhotoA young Bangladeshi woman who stabbed an Australian man in the name of the Islamic State has lifted her niqab veil in court to plead guilty to intentionally engaging in a terrorist act, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.Momena Shoma, 25, refused to stand in the dock when Australian Supreme Court justice Elizabeth Hollingworth entered the court on Thursday, but lifted her facial covering when the judge asked to confirm her identity.She then pleaded guilty to engaging in a terrorist act, after she stabbed Roger Singaravelu on 9 February, as he napped next to his five-year-old daughter in the rumpus room of his Mill Park home.Singaravelu woke when he felt piercing pain in his neck and was able to wrestle the kitchen knife off Shoma, before he dashed out of the room with his daughter and got help in the street.Momena, a Bangladeshi national who came to Australia to study at La Trobe University only met Singaravelu the night before she attacked him, having moved into his family’s home to lodge, according to the New South Wales-based English-language daily.She arrived in Australia at the start of February and spent her first week at another family’s home.Momena was also charged with attempted murder but that charge was withdrawn.Documents released by the court say she intentionally engaged in a terrorist act, with the motive of ‘‘advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, namely violent jihad’’.She refused to stand when justice Hollingworth left the court and was remanded in custody to return to court for a plea hearing in January.She put the veil back over her face after entering her plea.Singaravelu was in court on Thursday, the Australian newspaper adds.The day after the stabbing, Momena told police she attacked Singaravelu ‘‘because of, ah, the order of the Islamic State’’, according to a record of interview that was among documents released last month by Melbourne Magistrates Court.She told detectives the terror organisation was calling on ‘‘everyone, even the woman. So I just felt obligated, and it was like a burden on me. Yeah, I just had to do it.‘‘I had to do it … it could have been anyone, it’s not specifically him. He just seemed like a very easy target since he was sleeping, so yeah, and I had to push myself. I wouldn’t even hurt a rat. This, I just felt like if I don’t do it I will be sinful, I will be punished by Allah.’’Singaravelu told police he was having a nap next to his daughter on a mattress when he felt pain in his neck, and saw the woman he knew as Suma pushing a knife into him.‘‘I thought that I was dreaming as I felt a sharp pain in my neck. I woke up and started screaming,’’ he said.‘‘I saw Suma right next to me, she was on her knees with both of her hands on a knife that was in my neck.‘‘Suma had such an intense look. Her eyes were so intense. She was saying ’Allah Akbar’, she kept on saying this over and over.’’ Singaravelu was later treated for a one-centimetre wound to his neck and cuts to his fingers.He told police he heard a friend went inside the house and found Momena standing in the kitchen, where, according to the friend, she claimed ‘‘it was a mission and that she had to do what she had to do’’.Momena told police she bore Singaravelu no personal grudge, but felt a ‘‘little bit burdenless’’ after the attack. She prepared for it by slashing a pillow at the other family’s home, and in the hours before the stabbing watched Islamic State propaganda videos which featured beheadings.Asked by a detective whether she travelled to Australia to study or hurt someone in the name of Islamic State, she replied, ‘‘The later one.’’
This file photo taken on 4 April 2017 shows an unconscious Syrian child receiving treatment at a hospital in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack. AFPUnited Nations investigators on Thursday blamed a sarin gas massacre on Bashar al-Assad’s regime, as the United States renewed its warning that he has no role in Syria’s future.The expert panel’s report and tough remarks by US secretary of state Rex Tillerson overshadowed the announcement that UN-sponsored peace talks will resume next month.More than 87 people died on 4 April this year when sarin gas projectiles were fired into Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the Idlib province of northwestern Syria.Images of dead and dying victims, including young children, in the aftermath of the attack provoked global outrage and a US cruise missile strike on a regime air base.Syria and its ally Russia had suggested that a rebel weapon may have detonated on the ground but the UN panel confirmed Western intelligence reports that blamed the regime.“The panel is confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Sheikhun on 4 April 2017,” the report, seen by AFP, says.The report will increase pressure on Assad’s regime just as Washington, in the wake of battlefield victories against the Islamic State group, renews calls for him to step down.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments to reporters came during a visit to Geneva in which he met UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, who is trying to convene a new round of peace talks next month.The secretary said US policy has not changed, but his remarks represented tougher language from an administration that had previously said Assad’s fate is not a priority.“We do not believe there is a future for the Assad regime, the Assad family,” Tillerson said.“I think I’ve said it on a number of occasions. The reign of the Assad family is coming to an end, and the only issue is how should that be brought about.”Russia, which is running a parallel peace process with Iran and Turkey in a series of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, reacted coolly to Tillerson’s remarks.“I think we should not pre-empt any future for anybody,” said Moscow’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who on Tuesday had vetoed a US attempt to extend the gas attack probe.British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the UN panel’s report had reached a “clear conclusion” and urged the “international community to unite to hold Assad’s regime accountable.”“I call on Russia to stop covering up for its abhorrent ally and keep its own commitment to ensure that chemical weapons are never used again,” he said.Civil warDe Mistura hopes to convene an eighth round of Syrian peace talks between Assad’s regime and an opposition coalition in Geneva from 28 November.These will be focused on drafting a new constitution and holding UN-supervised elections in a country devastated by several overlapping bloody civil conflicts.Assad’s regime has been saved by Russian and Iranian military intervention and he insists that he will not stand down in the face of what he regards as “terrorist” rebels.But Western capitals, the opposition and many of Syria’s Arab neighbors hold Assad’s forces responsible for the bulk of the 330,000 people who have died in the conflict.In addition to chemical weapons attacks against his own people, his government is accused of overseeing the large-scale torture and murder of civilian detainees.The previous US administration often said that Assad’s days were numbered, but then president Barack Obama decided not to use force to punish his chemical weapons attacks.His successor, President Donald Trump, did order one missile strike on a Syrian air base in response to a chemical attack.But US policy has otherwise focused solely on the defeat of the Islamic State jihadist group, driving it out of its last bastions in eastern Syria’s Euphrates valley.Tillerson said, however, that he hopes a way to oust Assad will “emerge” as part of de Mistura’s UN-mediated talks.‘Moment of truth’He argued that the UN Security Council resolution setting up the peace process already contains a procedure to hold elections that Washington does not think Assad can win.“The only thing that changed is when this administration came into office, we took a view that it is not a prerequisite that Assad go before that process starts, rather the mechanism by which Assad departs will likely emerge from that process,” he said.Earlier, de Mistura had told the UN Security Council that with the defeat of the Islamic State, the Syrian peace process had reached a “moment of truth.”“We need to get the parties into real negotiations,” the envoy said.Seven rounds of talks have achieved only incremental progress toward a political deal, with negotiations deadlocked over Assad’s fate.The opposition insists any settlement must provide for a transition away from Assad’s rule but, as government forces make gains, there is little likelihood of a breakthrough.
Citation: Using tellurium nanoparticles to achieve plasmonic-like and all-dielectric properties when exposed to sunlight (2018, August 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-tellurium-nanoparticles-plasmonic-like-all-dielectric-properties.html As the search for renewable resources continues, some in the field have turned to studying the possibility of adding materials to water to make it easier to produce steam for driving a turbine. Several years ago, one team of researchers discovered that adding nanoparticles to water could cause it to produce steam when exposed to sunlight. Since that time, scientists have continued experimenting with adding nanomaterials. Meanwhile, other experiments have suggested that plasmonics could play a role in photothermal conversion. In this new effort, the researchers have found a material that allows nanoparticles to offer the benefits of both approaches.The work by the team in China was straightforward. They created nanoparticles made out of tellurium and then mixed them into a container filled with water and tested the result to see what changes it might have wrought.The researchers report that adding the nanoparticles improved the evaporation rate by a factor of three. Testing showed that they could raise its temperature from 29°C to 85°C in just 100 seconds by shining sunlight on it. The researchers found that this improvement was possible because the nanoparticles behaved like plasmonic nanoparticles—but only when smaller sized nanoparticles (less than 120 nanometers) were involved. Nanoparticles that were larger than 120 nanometers behaved like an all-dielectric. Mixing nanoparticles of both sizes into the same container of water allowed the sample to take on both characteristics—the team claims the resultant material is the first to demonstrate both properties.The researchers acknowledge that commercialization of their technique would be problematic because of the difficulty in manufacturing the different sized nanoparticles in sufficient quantities. They note that they are looking into ways to make them using another approach. But they also note that if they succeed, the concept has other applications, such as creating new kinds of extremely small antennas or sensors. © 2018 Phys.org Explore further More information: Churong Ma et al. The optical duality of tellurium nanoparticles for broadband solar energy harvesting and efficient photothermal conversion, Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aas9894AbstractNanophotonic materials for solar energy harvesting and photothermal conversion are urgently needed to alleviate the global energy crisis. We demonstrate that a broadband absorber made of tellurium (Te) nanoparticles with a wide size distribution can absorb more than 85% solar radiation in the entire spectrum. Temperature of the absorber irradiated by sunlight can increase from 29° to 85°C within 100 s. By dispersing Te nanoparticles into water, the water evaporation rate is improved by three times under solar radiation of 78.9 mW/cm2. This photothermal conversion surpasses that of plasmonic or all-dielectric nanoparticles reported before. We also establish that the unique permittivity of Te is responsible for the high performance. The real part of permittivity experiences a transition from negative to positive in the ultraviolet-visible–near-infrared region, which endows Te nanoparticles with the plasmonic-like and all-dielectric duality. The total absorption covers the entire spectrum of solar radiation due to the enhancement by both plasmonic-like and Mie-type resonances. It is the first reported material that simultaneously has plasmonic-like and all-dielectric properties in the solar radiation region. These findings suggest that the Te nanoparticle can be expected to be an advanced photothermal conversion material for solar-enabled water evaporation. 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. Journal information: Science Advances Typical morphology and structure characterization results of Te nanoparticles prepared by ns-LAL. Credit: Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aas9894 How gold nanoparticles could improve solar energy storage A team of researchers at Sun Yat-sen University in China has created a material with dual solar properties by adding tellurium nanoparticles to water—it showed both plasmonic-like and all-dielectric properties when exposed to sunlight. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their material and its possible uses.