Long-haul space travel could soon be a reality

•April 15, 2019 • 4 Comments

http://abtamag.com/2019/03/21/long-haul-space-travel-could-soon-be-a-reality/

UBS analysts report that long-haul travel via space could soon become mainstream, with spaceships carrying passengers from New York to Shanghai in half an hour by the end of the decade.

The Swiss bank believes that long-haul travel via space will soon be worth £15 billion a year, ending the era of long-haul flights that take ten hours or more. It also believes that the space tourism industry will be worth £2.3 billion by 2030, with major international hotel chains running orbiting hotels in space stations.

UBS analysts Jarrod Castle and Myles Walton said: “Although some might view the potential to use space to service the long-haul travel market as science fiction, we think there is a large market.”

Companies including SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are pioneering advances in space travel. SpaceX plans to fly up to 100 people at a time around the world within minutes aboard its Starship rocket. Passengers would travel by boat to a launchpad at sea.

Starship would carry passengers from New York to London in 29 minutes, and Sydney to London in 51 minutes.

UBS reports that more than 150 million passengers take a flight of more than ten hours each year.

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“Although some might view the potential to use space to service the long-haul travel market as science fiction, we think there is a large market.”

its not really space though.. 🙂

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India election 2019

•April 12, 2019 • 1 Comment

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-47878085

Indians will head to the polls on Thursday to vote in the first phase of a general election that is being seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Tens of millions of Indians across 20 states and union territories will cast their votes in 91 constituencies.

The seven-phase vote to elect a new lower house of parliament will continue until 19 May. Counting day is 23 May.

With 900 million eligible voters, this is the largest election ever seen.

Mr Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a historic landslide in the last elections in 2014.

The Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament has 543 elected seats and any party or coalition needs a minimum of 272 MPs to form a government.

The BJP has been campaigning to retain a commanding majority, but faces challenges from strong regional parties and a resurgent Congress party, led by Rahul Gandhi.

Mr Gandhi’s father, grandmother and great-grandfather are all former Indian prime ministers. His sister, Priyanka Gandhi, formally joined politics in January.

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a big election..do we expect a surprise?..i dont think so..but the ghandi name is like the kennedy name in the usa..is that enough to lift them to a win against the odds?

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New York measles emergency declared in Brooklyn..roll up your sleeves or get a fine

•April 12, 2019 • 38 Comments

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47872952

New York’s mayor has declared a public health emergency following a measles outbreak.

The emergency warning covers certain postcodes in Brooklyn. All residents in the affected areas have been told to get vaccinated or face a fine.

There have been 285 cases in the area since 30 September. Of those infected, 246 were children, New York health commissioner Oxiris Barbot said.

It is the largest measles outbreak in the city since 1991.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can result in serious health complications, such as pneumonia and swelling of the brain.

In a press conference, Dr Barbot said that of the 285 reported cases, 21 people have been hospitalised and five had been admitted to an intensive care unit.

No deaths have been reported.

Under the order, any person living in the affected areas who has not been vaccinated must be immunised within 48 hours.

Parents of children older than six months must get them vaccinated or show proof of immunisation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters: “I want everyone to understand how serious this is and how quickly it spreads. The bottom line is to recognise that this is something that has now become even more urgent.

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this is a really significant event..

hows the billboards around de blasio?

this is a government decree by law that you must get jabbed..or be fined..next will be jail..and next will be a widening of the same sort of laws..look for copycats in other states and countries..

“Under the order, any person living in the affected areas who has not been vaccinated must be immunised within 48 hours.”

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The Sudan coup is on

•April 11, 2019 • 5 Comments

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/11/sudan-omar-al-bashir-protests-could-descend-chaos-anarchy-collapse-law-order-experts-warn

The Sudanese army will make an “important statement soon,” state television and radio announced on Thursday morning, as thousands of protesters camped outside the military headquarters in Khartoum demanding the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir.

“The Sudanese army will issue an important statement soon. Wait for it,” a television anchor said.

State media offered no further details, as the rally outside the army complex entered its sixth day. A Reuters reporter said military vehicles were deployed on key roads in the capital.

As people waited for further word, state television and radio played patriotic music, reminding older Sudanese of how military takeovers unfolded during previous episodes of civil unrest. “People are coming in droves,” said one onlooker.

The news of an announcement from the army came as analysts warned Sudan could descend into anarchy if its political crisis is not resolved peacefully and rival factions within the security establishment fight for power.

The country, one of Africa’s biggest and most strategically important, has been paralysed by months of protests against the 30-year rule of its autocratic president, Omar al-Bashir.

Since Saturday, thousands of people have camped on a crossroads in the centre of the capital, Khartoum, calling for Bashir to step down.

Attempts by security forces to break up the demonstration have killed at least 22 – including five soldiers, who organisers said were defending the protesters – and injured more than 150.

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interested to see who gets the nod and who they are connected to..

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Saudi Arabia has almost completed its first nuclear reactor site

•April 11, 2019 • 15 Comments

https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/saudi-arabia-has-almost-completed-its-first-nuclear-reactor-site-satellite-images-reveal/news-story/64346c4fbf0906ee7c2ddb3b95541c4d

Saudi Arabia has nearly completed construction of its first nuclear reactor, sparking fears about the country’s quest for nuclear power.

New satellite images, first published by Bloomberg, show construction on the building site has made significant process over the past three months.

The three images below show the rapid developments on the site between April 2017 and today.

The images show the construction of a 10-metre high steel vessel, which would contain nuclear fuel, and construction work on the surrounding concrete building.

The facility is located in the southwest corner of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Riyadh.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry said its purpose was to “engage in strictly peaceful scientific, research, educational and training activities in full compliance with international agreements”.

It also said the reactor was being built with transparency and was open to visitors, and that the kingdom has signed all international non-proliferation treaties.

Robert Kelley, a nuclear expert and veteran of the US Department of Energy, said the reactor could be completed in “nine months to a year”.

He said the construction appears to be small in size and intended for research and training purposes.

Mr Kelley also said that, before the kingdom can insert nuclear fuel into the reactor, it would have to abide by international agreements.

He said it had been surprising to him “how non-transparent” the kingdom had been in the process of building the reactor and “how they seem very cavalier about modifying their arrangements with the IAEA”.

Mr Kelley was referring to agreements the kingdom has signed. The kingdom agreed to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty three decades ago. In 2005, it signed an agreement with the IAEA known as the “small quantities protocol” that allowed countries with negligible nuclear programs to be exempt from regular inspections or nuclear monitoring.

However, once nuclear fuel was brought into the country to operate this small reactor, inspections by the IAEA would be required, Mr Kelley added.

“It’s simply that they’re crossing a threshold in terms of their requirements,” he said, explaining the significance of the construction of the reactor, which is much smaller than the ones the kingdom has said it wants to build for energy purposes.

The type of reactor being built now, according to the satellite images Mr Kelley identified, is used by technicians for learning and training purposes.

“The reactor’s at the bottom of an open tank filled with water 10 meters high. It’s very, very small,” Mr Kelley said, adding that the core of the reactor is about the size of a gallon-sized paint can.

He said the Saudi reactor was being built by the Argentinian government-owned company INVAP. Before Argentina brings nuclear fuel to Saudi Arabia for the reactor, the IAEA agreement in place that exempts Saudi Arabia from inspections would need to be rescinded, Mr Kelley said.

“I think it’s a 100 per cent certainty that Argentina is not going to supply uranium fuel to a country that doesn’t have a safeguards agreement in force,” he added.

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does this stand as a completion date we should be watching like when irans was completed?

“the Saudi reactor was being built by the Argentinian government-owned company INVAP. Before Argentina brings nuclear fuel to Saudi Arabia for the reactor, the IAEA agreement in place that exempts Saudi Arabia from inspections would need to be rescinded,”

argies eh?

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This mans got a long history of touching women inappropriately

•April 11, 2019 • 4 Comments

https://joebiden.info/

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/29/18241598/joe-biden-lucy-flores-touching-women-media-history-explained

Democrat Lucy Flores was preparing to give one of her final stump speeches in a race for lieutenant governor in Nevada when she felt two hands on her shoulders. She froze. “Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?” Flores wondered.

Flores recounts her experience with Joe Biden in a first-person essay for New York Magazine, describing an incident in 2014 where Biden came up behind her, leaned in, smelled her hair, and kissed the back of her head.

“Biden was the second-most powerful man in the country and, arguably, one of the most powerful men in the world. He was there to promote me as the right person for the lieutenant governor job. Instead, he made me feel uneasy, gross, and confused.”

New York Magazine reached out to a Biden spokesperson, who declined to comment. After the story ran, a Biden spokesman Bill Russo said the vice president and his staff do not recall the incident Flores described.

Flores’s experience isn’t unique. It is no secret in Washington that Biden has touched numerous women inappropriately in public. It’s just never been treated as a serious issue by the mainstream press.

Biden’s been caught on camera embracing a female reporter from behind and gripping her above her waist, just below her bust. At a swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Biden put his hands on the shoulders of Stephanie Carter, Carter’s wife, and then leaned in and whispered into her ear. (He’s whispered into many women’s ears.) He’s also touched women’s faces and necks during other photo ops. Once at a swearing-in ceremony for a US senator, he held the upper arm of the senator’s preteen daughter, leaned down and whispered into her ear, as she became visibly uncomfortable. Then he kissed the side of her forehead, a gesture that made the girl flinch.

It’s all out in the open. News outlets wrote about these incidents. But the stories ran under light-hearted headlines like, “Photo of famously friendly Joe Biden goes viral” or “Here’s Joe Biden being Joe Biden with Ash Carter’s wife” or “Joe Biden: Sex symbol?,” a piece that I edited and now regret.

Ideological media outlets did write some critical pieces during the Obama era. At the Federalist, Mollie Hemingway questioned whether liberals would tolerate the same conduct from a conservative. At Talking Points Memo, Alana Levinson criticized liberals for giving him a pass.

But, overall, Biden got a pass from the political media.

Times have changed. Reporters now would look twice at a new politician who is handsy on camera. They’d ask questions about it and likely look into his private conduct. And women like Flores are taking big risks and speaking out.

Biden avoided scrutiny in the past, but if he wants to be the next president he’ll face pressure to account for his actions.

The Onion satirized Biden in 2009 in a viral article that cemented Biden’s image of a lovable everyman.

Real Biden remembers his working-class Scranton roots. Onion Biden washes his Trans Am on the White House lawn. Real Biden is handsy with women. Onion Biden is a womanizer: ‘Hey, hot stuff, looking good,’ [Onion] Biden told a passing aide. ‘Would you know where I could get a little bucket and sponge action? My mean machine needs to be cleaned.’

The images bled together over the years into the persona of Uncle Joe. When he dropped an F-bomb on a live mic, it was a classic Joe moment. When he made one of his many gaffes, it got added to numerous lists written in good fun. And when he did kind of creepy things to women at public events, well, that was just Joe being Joe, too.

All of those frames made appealing pitches just a few years ago. Editors would be happy to get a “lovable Uncle Joe strikes again” story. The environment is not the same now. Certainly the media is not nearly perfect when it comes to covering gender and power. But in the era of #MeToo, there is far less appetite for a story that makes light of a candidate behaving badly toward women.

As Flores writes, this conduct matters. “I’m not suggesting that Biden broke any laws, but the transgressions that society deems minor (or doesn’t even see as transgressions) often feel considerable to the person on the receiving end. That imbalance of power and attention is the whole point — and the whole problem.”

This is especially true in a context where Biden will be running against several women as well as defending a decades-long record of policymaking that’s involved past positions at odds with current Democratic Party orthodoxy.

Democrats are conflicted about what to do about this category of behavior. It’s not the same as what other men of the #MeToo movement have bee accused of, but it’s also not what liberals want to endorse. Sen. Al Franken’s resignation is still controversial for this reason. Some Democrats feel the party is putting itself at a disadvantage against Republicans, who let the president get away with far worse than any accusation Franken faced.

Flores confronts the issue of whether some bad behavior is okay, forcing us to consider what these seemingly small incidents are really like. “The vice-president of the United States of America had just touched me in an intimate way reserved for close friends, family, or romantic partners — and I felt powerless to do anything about it.”

The Democratic Party is more than half women. More women than ever in history ran as Democrats in the 2018 elections — and won. They outperformed their male peers. They were central to Democrats retaking the House. Women are leading the sustained resistance to Trump. The party should be committed to making sure that women and girls participate in government and politics to their fullest potential. The party needs them.

The question is whether the party needs a president who disrespects them.

———–

any other politician with this collection of repeated touching and kissing of young girls would have been thrown out of office years ago and in the current #MeToo era its incredible he has survived till now..just watch the video.. #CreepyJoe2020

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Netanyahu and Gantz both declare victory..then Gantz concedes

•April 11, 2019 • 3 Comments

https://www.rt.com/news/456049-israel-election-exit-polls/

Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz claimed victory for their parties in tightly contested elections to the 21st Knesset.

Preliminary exit polls by Israel’s Channel 12 put Gantz’ Blue and White party on track to take 37 seats, with Netanyahu’s Likud taking 33. Another poll by Channel 13 puts Netanyahu and Gantz neck and neck, with their respective parties both claiming 36 votes, while Channel 11 reports Netanyahu taking 36 seats to Gantz’ 37.

However, 120 seats in the Knesset are up for grabs, and Netanyahu can likely count on the support of other right-wingers to form a coalition.

Both Netanyahu and Gantz have prematurely declared victory. Netanyahu claimed that the results show a “clear” victory for Likud and its allies, while Gantz put out a celebratory joint statement with running mate Yair Lapid.

“These elections have a clear winner and a clear loser,” he said. “Netanyahu promised 40 seats and lost. The president can see the picture and should call on the winner to form the next government. There is no other option!”

Definitive results will not be available until Wednesday morning, and the path to power is still far from certain for both leaders. The Likud leader took almost two months to build a coalition after his party won 30 seats in the 2015 elections, and courted the support of four other right-leaning and Orthodox Jewish parties to secure the bare minimum of 61 seats.

This time around, Netanyahu has taken to courting the support of some of Israel’s most radical right-wing voices, including the Jewish Power Party, a group described as “racist” and bent on remaking Israel as a “theocracy.” Netanyahu also pressed the Jewish Home Party into merging with Jewish Power Party, a move likely intended to stop the fringe right from siphoning too many votes away from Likud.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/world/middleeast/israel-election-netanyahu-gantz-winner.htm l

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in position to win a fourth consecutive term on Wednesday, with nearly all of the votes counted. By Wednesday evening, the rival Blue and White alliance led by Benny Gantz had conceded the race, though ballots were still being counted.

• After the final tally, it will be up to President Reuven Rivlin to choose the party leader he believes has the best chance of assembling a parliamentary majority. But Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud bloc had a strong numerical advantage in being able to form a governing coalition.

• Regardless of the final result, the election illustrated the deep divisions under Mr. Netanyahu, 69, who has led Israel for a decade of relative security and prosperity. More than a million Israelis voted for Blue and White, a record for a new party, placing it in the position of being the main alternative to Israel’s right wing, a spot held for decades by the Labor Party.

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bibi still in control but it was close..not that it matters who wins..

“More than a million Israelis voted for Blue and White, a record for a new party, placing it in the position of being the main alternative to Israel’s right wing”

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