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James J. Williams

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James is a professor in Science. His writing skills brought him to BelleNews. He enjoys writing articles for the Science and Technology category. James often finds himself reading about the latest gadgets as the topic is very appealing to him. He likes reading and listening to classical music.

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According to recent reports, President Donald Trump is set to reverse the Obama-era policies promoting diversity in universities, known as affirmative action.

On July 3, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked 24 guidance documents, many involving race in schools and affirmative action recommendations.

The move comes as Harvard University faces a discrimination lawsuit alleging it limits admissions for Asian-Americans.

In 2016, the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of affirmative action.

Meanwhile, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the 2016 opinion, announced his retirement from the top Supreme Court last month.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s departure gives President Donald Trump a chance to appoint a justice who more closely matches the administration’s views on taking race into account in college admissions.

The Trump administration is expected to tell schools not to consider race in the admissions process, discontinuing the policy former President Barack Obama adopted to promote more diversity at colleges and high schools.

Academic affirmative action, which involves favoring minorities during the admissions process in order to promote campus diversity, has long proved controversial in the US.

The lawsuit against Harvard currently filed by the Students for Fair Admissions alleges that the college holds Asian-American applicants to an unfairly high admissions standard.

The DoJ is also currently investigating Harvard over racial discrimination allegations.

In April, the DoJ called for the public disclosure of the Ivy League college’s admissions practices.

Harvard argues it “does not discriminate against applicants from any group, including Asian-Americans”.

According to the university website, Asian-Americans currently make up 22.2% of students admitted to Harvard.

Image source Wikimedia

Michelle Obama once dated Treasury Department Inspector General J. Russell George at Harvard Law School

The guidelines, jointly issued by the education and justice departments under President Barack Obama, encouraged universities to promote diversity on campuses.

The guidance reads: “Learning environments comprised of students from diverse backgrounds provide an enhanced educational experience for individual students.

“By choosing to create this kind of rich academic environment, educational institutions help students sharpen their critical thinking and analytical skills.”

It features ways to encourage diversity, including granting admission preferences to students from certain schools based on demographics and considering a student’s race “among other factors in its admissions procedures”.

The Obama-era policy replaced the Bush-era view that discouraged affirmative action.

The Bush-era guidance had been removed from the government website during the Obama administration, but it has since reappeared.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told the Associated Press she would not debate or discuss the matter of race and college admissions.

According to a Pew Research Center study, 71% of Americans surveyed in October 2017 have a positive view of affirmative action.

Affirmative action, or the idea that disadvantaged groups should receive preferential treatment, first appeared in President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 executive order on federal contractor hiring.

It took shape during the height of the civil rights movement, when President Lyndon Johnson signed a similar executive order in 1965 requiring government contractors to take steps to hire more minorities.

Colleges and universities began using those same guidelines in their admissions process, but affirmative action soon prompted intense debate in the decades following, with several cases appearing before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has outlawed using racial quotas, but has allowed colleges and universities to continue considering race in admitting students.

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Orthodox Christians from around the world have celebrated Easter in overnight services and with holy fire from Jerusalem, commemorating Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

This year’s Orthodox Easter falls on April 8, seven days after Catholic Easter, due to the difference in calendars followed by both churches.

The day is known as Pascha and is the most important celebration from all the Christian holidays, celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. The day of Easter was declared to be the first day of the full moon following the Spring Equinox that occurs on March 21. The Eastern and Western Churches still ended up with a difference in celebration due to the use of the Gregorian calendar at first and later the Julian calendar.

Image source kremlin.ru

Easter 2018: Pope Francis Calls for End to Syria Carnage during Urbi et Orbi Address

Some years, both Orthodox and Catholic Churches will celebrate Easter on the same day.

On the Great and Holy Saturday, Orthodox clerics from around the world transport the holy flame from Jerusalem by plane and it’s then flown to other churches around their countries. According to tradition, the holy flame appears each year at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and is taken to other Orthodox countries.

The celebration of Pascha is the most important celebration for the Orthodox Churches. It is the center of the Christian faith, the belief that Jesus Christ, after his death on the cross in Jerusalem, was resurrected.

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Relations between the United States and South Korea had their beginnings at the end of World War ll in 1945 when the US occupied the south end of the peninsula and the Soviet Union took the north end pending planned national elections. The two sides could not agree on the type of government (Washington was for a democracy and Moscow favored communism;) hence, an election never took place, resulting in the United Nations recognizing South Korea (Republic of Korea) as the legitimate government.

In 1950, North Korea invaded the ROK and the US sent its military to South Korea to help them fight against the communist invasion. By 1953, the war ended in a stalemate, but the US troops remained, and in 1954, both countries signed the ROK/US Mutual Security Agreement, a pact to defend each other in case of foreign attacks. In reality, this was more of a one-sided agreement. South Korea feared another invasion from North Korea and the presence of the US military hindered such plans.

Post-Korean War, the ROK was ravaged. Its per capita GDP plunged to $64, lower than the African nation of Congo, which was then the poorest. Millions of people were injured, killed and separated from their families. The United States was its single biggest contributor, giving its Asian ally a total of $64 billion in grants, aids, and loans from 1948 to 1978. Its economy grew rapidly in the 1960s and today, it is the fourth biggest economy in Asia, and is a member of the OECD and the G20.

Image source Wikimedia

The ties that bind Seoul and Washington have remained strong. Trade between the two countries reached an estimated $144.6 billion in 2016, and Korea is the US’ sixth biggest goods trading partner. Seoul has the second largest contingent of US military personnel, numbering around 23,500 troops.

But 2017 brought in new leaders for the two nations. President Trump took office in January and President Moon Jae-in in May, and one is as different from the other as night is from day. Trump has shown himself to be a racist, misogynist, and favoring isolationism. Moon is a former student activist and human rights lawyer.

Already, some issues are possible areas of contention. While Trump is aggressively hostile against North Korea and threatens to attack it, Moon, a champion of human and civil rights, prefers the soft approach by engaging in talks to reach an agreement.

On the US’ bilateral trade agreement, Trump wants a renegotiation of the KORUS Free Trade Agreement to reduce US’ trade deficit. He has been quoted as saying that the US is losing $40 billion a year on ROK in trade. The White House Chief Executive has also demanded cost sharing on defense spending with Asian allies and talks on the Special Measures Agreement have begun. During his campaign period, Trump was quite vocal in his criticism of the nation’s expenses for the US troops stationed in allied countries.

South Korea’s show of independence from its benefactor was evident in the High Court’s ruling on the lawsuit that former comfort women brought against the ROK government. The women, now in their 70s, claim that they were forced into prostitution for the US military with the tacit consent of their officials. They won their case and Seoul’s court has ordered the government to pay them damages. While the United States was not a party to the suit, and embassy officials would not comment on it, this is the first official acknowledgment that American soldiers are not as faultless as they are portrayed to be.

What hasn’t changed is its arrogance towards Japan. Japan has taken to heart its war crimes and the atrocities its army has committed against the comfort women of World War ll. It has given billions in aid and compensation and offered numerous apologies to the women. But South Korea’s leaders, past and present, never stop asking for more.

The recent case involving their own government selling their own women to US soldiers should make them realize that they should clean up their own backyard instead of throwing garbage on to other countries.

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According to this year’s World Happiness Report, Finland overtakes Norway as the world’s happiest country.

The annual UN report measures “subjective well-being” – how happy people feel they are, and why.

According to the survey, Burundi was the least happy, taking over from the Central African Republic.

Burundi was thrown into crisis when President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for re-election to a third term in 2015 sparked protests by opposition supporters who said the move was unconstitutional.

Image source Max Pixel

World Happiness Report 2017: Norway Overtakes Denmark as Happiest Country

World Happiness Report 2016: Denmark Is World’s Happiest Country

World Happiness Report 2015: Switzerland Is World’s Happiest Country

Nordic countries regularly appear in the top five, while war-hit countries and a number in sub-Saharan Africa regularly appear in the bottom five.

The 2018 report by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network also features data about the happiness of immigrants in their host countries, with Finland also coming top as home to the happiest immigrants.

The World Happiness Report ranks some 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 by the happiness of their immigrants.

Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland are in the top five. The US came in at the 18th place.

Togo is seen to be this year’s biggest gainer, moving up 17 places, while the biggest loser is Venezuela, which dropped 20 places to 102nd.

Visionary British physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.

His family confirmed that he died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of March 14.

The world renowned scientist was famed for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.

At the age of 22, he was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease being given only a few years to live.

The disease left him in a wheelchair and largely unable to speak except through a voice synthesizer.

Prof. Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said in statement: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”

They praised his “courage and persistence” and said his “brilliance and humor” inspired people across the world.

A book of condolence is due to be opened at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge, where Stephen Hawking was a fellow.

Image source Wikimedia

New attempts to convert Prof. Stephen Hawking’s brainwaves into speech

iBrain, the NeuroVigil device that may be able to read thoughts, tested on Prof. Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics.

He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing – a phenomenon that would later become known as Hawking radiation.

Through his work with mathematician Roger Penrose Stephen Hawking demonstrated that Einstein’s general theory of relativity implies space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes.

Prof. Hawking gained popularity outside the academic world and appeared in several TV shows including The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons and Red Dwarf.

He was portrayed in both TV and movie – recently by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, which charted his rise to fame and relationship with his first wife, Jane.

Eddie Redmayne paid tribute to him, saying: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

“My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.”

In his 2013 memoir Stephen Hawking described how he felt when first diagnosed with motor neurone disease: “I felt it was very unfair – why should this happen to me.

“At the time, I thought my life was over and that I would never realize the potential I felt I had. But now, 50 years later, I can be quietly satisfied with my life.”

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal has unveiled his plans to end US funding for the International Space Station (ISS) by 2025 with the aim of putting it into private hands.

He also wants to increase NASA spending by 3% next year.

However, the budget proposal includes $150 million to “encourage commercial development” at ISS to replace American payments.

The space station is scheduled to operate through 2024.

Image source Wikipedia

Second Shutdown 2018: Congress Votes to Pass Two-Year Budget

The White House proposal, which was released on February 12, says: “The budget proposes to end direct US financial support for the International Space Station in 2025, after which NASA would rely on commercial partners for its low Earth orbit research and technology demonstration requirements.”

According to the document, the US government would create a $150 million program to help prepare private companies to take over space station operations over the next seven years.

The budget requests $19.6 billion for NASA in 2019, an increase of $500 million from this year.

According to a NASA review, it also calls for $10.5 billion for “an innovative and sustainable campaign of exploration” leading to “the return of humans to the moon for long-term exploration and utilization followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations”.

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Image source Getty Images

Romania’s ex-King Michael I has died in Aubonne, Switzerland, aged 96.

Last year, the former monarch was diagnosed with cancer.

King Michael of Romania ruled the country twice, from 1927 to 1930 and then from 1940 to 1947, before the communist government ended the monarchy.

The monarch was one of the last surviving World War Two leaders, but lived much of his life in exile.

King Michael, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, is best remembered for his role in making Romania change sides, from the Nazis to the Allies, in August 1944.

His death was announced by his family at his home on the shore of Lake Geneva on December 5.

The former king had been ill for some time and was unable to attend the funeral of his wife Queen Anne, in Romania in 2016.

He was just five when he ascended to the throne for the first time in 1927. His father Carol had renounced his rights to the throne and left Romania several years earlier amid a scandal over a love affair.

His father returned in 1930, and replaced King Michael as monarch.

However, King Carol II was ousted in 1940 by a military government led by general Ion Antonescu and his son once again took the throne.

Queen Anne of Romania Dies Aged 92

In 1944, at the age of 22, King Michael became involved in a coup against Ion Antonescu and sided Romania with the Allies.

After World War Two, King Michael was forced to abdicate by the country’s communists, who ruled until the revolution of 1989.

The communist leaders threatened to carry out mass executions if he refused to go.

Michael went into exile until the 1990s when he returned to Romania after the fall of the country’s communist leader, Nicolae Ceausescu.

The Romanian royal family settled near Geneva in Switzerland, and Michael had to find work.

In 1948, he married Anne of Bourbon-Parma, whom he had met at the wedding of the future Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in London in 1947.

King Michael got back his Romanian citizenship in 1997.

Tesla’s mega-battery has begun dispensing power into an electricity grid in South Australia.

The world’s largest lithium ion battery was officially activated on December 1.

The 100-megawatt battery had in fact provided some power since November 30 due to demand caused by local hot weather.

South Australia has been crippled by electricity problems in recent times.

Tesla founder Elon Musk famously vowed to build the battery within 100 days – a promise that was fulfilled.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said on December 1: “This is history in the making.”

Image source Flickr

Elon Musk and Tesla to Build World’s Biggest Lithium Ion Battery in South Australia

The battery would prevent a repeat of a notorious incident last year where the entire South Australia lost power, Jay Weatherill said.

Elon Musk has described it as three times more powerful than the world’s next biggest battery.

The idea began when Elon Musk was asked on Twitter if he was serious about helping to resolve South Australia’s electricity woes.

Tesla boss said he was – adding that if the battery wasn’t built within 100 days, South Australia would receive it for free.

The countdown began on September 30 after a plan was approved by the state government and regulators. Tesla finished the battery in about 60 days.

Located near Jamestown, about 125 miles north of Adelaide, the battery is connected to a wind farm run by French energy company Neoen.

When fully charged, the battery can power up to 30,000 homes for an hour. However, it will mostly be used to support and stabilize existing electricity supplies.

The mega-battery is comprised of a grid system that runs on the same technology that powers Tesla’s cars.

In a statement, Tesla said the completion of the battery “shows that a sustainable, effective energy solution is possible”.

Mexico has created a huge marine park around a group of islands home to hundreds of species including rays, whales and sea turtles.

The Revillagigedo Archipelago is a group of volcanic islands off Mexico’s south-east coast.

With a protection zone of 57,000 square miles, it has become the largest ocean reserve in North America.

The move will mean all fishing activity will be banned, and the area will be patrolled by the navy.

The Mexican government is hoping the move will help populations hit by commercial fishing operations in the area recover.

The park was designated by a decree signed by President Enrique Pena Nieto. It will also forbid natural resources being extracted from the land or the building of new hotel infrastructure.

Image source Flickr

Australia creates world’s largest marine reserve ahead of Rio+20 Earth Summit

4 Places In The Southern Philippines That Have Amazing Secrets

Gran Canaria and Beyond: A Place for You and Me in The Canary Islands

The area, which is about 250 miles south-east of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula has been described as the Galapagos of North America, because of its volcanic nature and unique ecology.

Sitting on the convergence of two ocean currents, the islands are a hub for open water and migratory species.

It has hundreds of breeds of ocean wildlife, including humpback whales that use the shallow and coastal areas around the islands for breeding.

In 2016, the Pacific Ocean site was named as a UNESCO world heritage area.

According to local media, María José Villanueva – the director of conservation of WWF in Mexico – described the move as an “important precedent” to the rest of the world.

It follows a similar move by Chile, which created an even bigger ocean reserve in 2015.

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According to provisional figures from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2017 is “very likely” to be in the top three warmest years on record.

The WMO says 2017 will likely be the hottest year in the absence of the El Niño phenomenon.

The scientists argue that the long-term trend of warming driven by human activities continues unabated.

They say many of the “extraordinary” weather events seen during 2017 bear the hallmarks of climate change.

Image source Wikimedia

WMO report: 2014 to become the hottest year on record

On the opening day of this year’s key UN climate talks, researchers from the WMO have presented their annual State of the Global Climate report.

It follows hot on the heels of their greenhouse gases study from last week which found that concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere were the highest on record.

While the new study only covers January to September, the WMO says the average global temperature was 1.1C above the pre-industrial figure.

This is getting dangerously close to the 1.5 degrees threshold that many island states feel temperatures must be kept under to ensure their survival.

The analysis suggests that 2017 is likely to come in 0.47C warmer than the 1981-2010 average.

This is slightly down on 2016 when the El Niño weather phenomenon saw temperatures that were 0.56C above the average.

According to the WMO, 2017 vies with 2015 to be the second or third warmest mark yet recorded.

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The 2017 World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report has suggested that the equality gap between men and women would take 100 years to close at its current rate.

It is the first time that data from the WEF has shown a year-on-year worsening of the gender gap since it began charting it in 2006.

The report ranks 144 countries by economic opportunities, education, political participation and health.

Women are measured as having 68% of the chances and outcomes that men have.

This is slightly down from the 68.3% measured last year.

The WEF predicts that it would take a century to close all areas of equality it monitors globally, well up from the 83 years predicted in 2016.

Gender parity is closest in areas of health and education, it says, but significant gaps in economic participation and political empowerment continue to endure across the world.

The figures suggest that women will have to wait 217 years before they earn as much as men and are equally represented in the workplace.

Image source Wikimedia

Global Gender Gap Report 2013: Iceland is the best place to be a woman

The Link Between Gender And Medical Honesty

Richest 1% to own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016

Nordic countries remain among some of the world’s best for overall equality with Iceland topping the list with a 12% gender gap across all the WEF’s measures. Norway, Finland and Sweden are all in the top five.

Rwanda came fourth in the list for overall gender equality with a gap of 18%. It has the highest share of women in parliament in the world – they occupy three in every five seats.

Nicaragua, Slovenia, Ireland, New Zealand and the Philippines also made the top 10 on the Global Gender Gap rankings.

Women in the Middle East and North Africa fared the worst, with war-torn Yemen coming last on the list with a gender equality score of just 52%.

The WEF report shows women in the world earn less not just because of gendered salary differences, but because women are more likely to do unpaid or part-time work than men.

Women also generally tend to work in lower-paid professions and are less likely to be in highly-paid senior roles in companies.

Slovenia has the smallest gap in gender earnings – with women there on average earning 80.5% of the male national average.

The WEF report says that if the economic gender gap was totally closed:

  • China could add $2.5 trillion to its GDP
  • The US could add $1.75 billion
  • France and Germany could add more than $300 billion each

Both Canada and France saw improvements to their political empowerment measures after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron added more women in ministerial positions within their governments.

The US saw a marked drop in this area, with female political empowerment at its lowest rate in 10 years. It came 96th in this area.

The WEF report blames a significant decrease in female ministerial positions for the fall – a Freedom of Information request in March revealed that only 27% of all jobs within the Trump administration were taken by women.

Overall the US fell four places to take 49th position.

Other countries that improved overall included Bangladesh, which now ranks 47th in the world and the highest in South Asia after increasing female employment in professions.

Sub-Saharan African countries made marked improvements in women’s health. Nine countries from the region are in the world’s top 20 for high female labor force participation.

They are larger than a television tower and can carry twice the weight of the Eiffel Tower. The top 10 largest and strongest cranes in the world are simply incredible. We introduce you to the ranking published by the online marketplace Machineseeker.com and go beyond your imagination.

Image source machineseeker.com

The crawler-type crane Liebherr LR 13000 exceeds the world’s highest church tower – the Ulm Cathedral (162m) – by as much as 86 metres. This makes it the world’s largest mobile crane. Inconceivable: By combining the 120 m long main mast with the 126m long luffing jib, the monstrous lattice mast system achieves an impressive 246 m.

Image source machineseeker.com

“The crane can be assembled on site from several individual parts in no time at all and is immediately ready for use”, explains Thorsten Muschler of Machineseeker.com, the world’s leading online marketplace for used stationary machinery. Unbelievable: The monster can carry up to 3,000 tons of ballast at a tare weight of just over 600 tons – more than ten large trucks. This makes it the largest crawler crane in the world.

The most powerful crane in the world is the Thialf – with a length of 200 metres and a width of 90 metres, the floating crane is as large as two football pitches in a row. In addition, the giant has room in its cabins for up to 736 people, as much as two passenger aircrafts.

Image source machineseeker.com

Incomprehensible: Due to its enormous carrying capacity, the monster can carry up to 14,200 tons of ballast. That’s the weight of an average submarine. The Dutch manufacturer HMC Heerema carries the world record for the highest load-bearing capacity.

The used machine marketplace Machineseeker.com has put together a photo gallery of these monstrous machines for you. Have fun clicking through.

Machineseeker is the world’s leading online marketplace for used stationary machines. More than 5,000 dealers currently offer more than 140,000 machines on the platform. As a global marketplace, the company is available with its domains Machineseeker and Maschinensucher in more than 60 countries. Used machines worth more than 700 million euros are inquired every month.

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This year’s Nobel Prize for Economics has been awarded to American economist Richard Thaler, one of the founding fathers of behavioral economics.

Prof. Richard Thaler, of Chicago Booth business school, co-wrote the global best seller Nudge, which looked at how people make bad or irrational choices.

Judges said Richard Thaler, 72, had demonstrated how “nudging” – a term he coined – may help people to exercise better self-control.

He will receive 9 million Swedish krona from the committee.

“I will try to spend it as irrationally as possible!” Richard Thaler said.

Image source Wikimedia

2017 Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

2017 Nobel Prize In Literature Awarded to English Author Kazuo Ishiguro

One of the Nobel prize judges, Per Stroemberg, said Prof. Richard Thaler’s work had explored how human psychology shaped economic decisions.

“Richard Thaler’s findings have inspired many other researchers coming in his footsteps and it has paved the way for a new field in economics which we call behavioural economics,” Per Stroemberg said.

The panel said Prof. Richard Thaler’s insights helped people to recognize marketing tricks and avoid bad economic decisions.

In particular, his work looked at how to “nudge” people into doing more long-term planning, such as saving for a pension.

Richard Thaler also made a cameo appearance in the Hollywood movie, The Big Short, explaining the complex financial instruments that led to the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008.

It is the final Nobel to be announced this year, after prizes for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace were awarded last week.

The economics prize is the only Nobel not created by Alfred Nobel, and was instead launched in 1968, long after the philanthropist’s death.

To date the US has dominated the prize, with American economists accounting for roughly half of laureates since it started. Between 2000 and 2013, American academics won or shared the prize every year.

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The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Geneva-based group was formed in 2007 and inspired by a similar campaign to ban the use of landmines.

As a coalition of hundreds of NGOs from across the world, they have highlighted the humanitarian risk of nuclear weapons.

The group’s 10 years of advocacy helped pave the way for the introduction of a UN treaty banning the weapons, which was signed this year.

While 122 countries backed the treaty, the talks were notably boycotted by the world’s nine known nuclear powers and the only NATO member to discuss it, the Netherlands, voted against.

Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair, said: “We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time.”

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Tensions between President Donald Trump and North Korea have been mounting for several months over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

President Trump is also threatening to withdraw from an agreement which monitors and limits Iran’s nuclear development.

In a statement posted on Facebook, ICAN said the prize “shines a needed light on the path the ban treaty provides towards a world free of nuclear weapons”.

“This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror,” the statement read.

“If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now.”

The number of nuclear weapons worldwide has been steadily decreasing since the 1980s, but none of the world’s nuclear powers have fully disarmed – an ambition set out in the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Nuclear armed nations boycotted the latest talks because they favor working within the NPT’s original framework to reduce stockpiles.

Unlike the NPT, the 2017 treaty explicitly bans nuclear weapons. It calls for signatories not to develop, test or threaten to use the weapons. It also forbids nations from having weapons tactically stationed in their countries from allied partners.

However, so far it has only been acceded to by 53 of the world’s countries including Cuba, Ireland and New Zealand.

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The 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to the English author Kazuo Ishiguro.

Kazuo Ishiguro, 62, was praised by the Swedish Academy as a writer “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”.

His most famous novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were adapted into highly acclaimed films. The novelist was made an OBE in 1995.

Kazuo Ishiguro said the award was “flabbergastingly flattering”.

The author has written eight books, which have been translated into over 40 languages.

Image source Wikimedia

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Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954, he moved to England with his family when his father was offered a post as an oceanographer in Surrey.

He read English and philosophy at the University of Kent after a gap year that included working as a grouse beater for the Queen Mother at Balmoral.

Kazuo Ishiguro studied an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, where his tutors were Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.

His thesis became his critically acclaimed first novel, A Pale View of Hills, published in 1982.

Kazuo Ishiguro won the Booker Prize in 1989 for The Remains of the Day.

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In fact, the exam is a competition, or you can even say a fight between a person who wants to say something on this topic and the other side, which is all so tired of spitting and gone, but the rigid frameworks do not allow this to happen. And no writing essay service here will help. The student taking the exam is like a gladiator going out to the arena. If a student knows the material firmly enough, then he will not be afraid of anything. A teacher with an experienced ear will hear familiar notes in the story and will understand that this student knows something.

How to prepare cribs?

Worse, when the student knows only the name of the subject. In this case, you can be safe, prepare a crib or other tool that carries the necessary information. Preparing cribs are better for yourself, with thesis writing anything in memory is set aside. When applying for a written exam, auxiliary tools help you better than oral, as you work in writing, and go from the audience.

When passing the exam of any kind, oral or written, you can use the technical means of communication, the benefit of them is now very much. The headset is inserted into the ear, it is not visible from the outside. You just need to have at least a minimum of artistic inclinations, so that a teacher who does not keep up with the trends of the time and watches for the novelties, did not see the behaviour, he is getting ready or listening to something.

Image source Th Blue Diamond Gallery

How to behave on an exam?

With an oral exam, the case goes worse. The main rule of the student at the oral exam is not to lose self-control. There is no such thing as not knowing anything. Any germinal knowledge or general erudition should allow the examiners to enter a conversation with the examiner, prove something to him, talk about this topic and next to the topic. The basic rule of conduct is not silence. Some custom essay writing can sometimes help. They say that the truth is that silence is gold, but no one has grown rich from this. If the examiner started responding to the conversation, you can carefully go back to the home or political theme. It is necessary to try to make the conversation a bit delayed. For the exam, clear timeframes are defined, they can be stretched out, but there are limits, the exam is made up of several people. With the examiner you can and must argue, defend your point of view, it is respect for the interlocutor. Psychologically, it is very difficult to put an unsatisfactory person, with whom you speak on all sorts of topics. It is possible, of course, to stumble upon an impregnable teaching, but this is already an element of failure. The next time it is not worth taking an exam to this type.

You can usually use the old as a world way, to try to cry in the waistcoat teacher, they say, the aunt or woman is ill, some kind of cataclysms in the family and the material remained uneducated. But it rarely works.

There is still the same old way – money. To offer a bribe to the teacher is simply stupid, you can get the effect of a boomerang. It is best to study the environment, and senior students can tell from which side to approach such an issue. There will always be a lively assistant or assistant at the department that will help solve the problem.

All of the above apply to university exams. Examination of a different kind is simply necessary to give it up to itself and without blessing, because from this in the future life depends not only on one’s own. So, it is very important to prepare for the exam during the entire academic semester, since the guarantee of whether you will be able to read it or not will not give anyone. And writing thesis at lectures will help prepare him later.

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When you are writing a research paper or course work, you need to perform a very important task first. It is to research the requirement of the paper. The requirement refers to the need of the examiners. If you are eyeing high grade, it is essential that you give the examiners whatever they are looking for. Or else, you will have to find a professional service to buy research paper from.

Effective coursework writing is following a method. You would have to begin with the purpose of writing the paper. Without stating this, you will not be able to drive the writing to the desired conclusion. Making the writing clear is another important factor which you will have to keep in mind. Spell error or grammatical error might ruin the entire paper and this is why you must make it a point to pay attention to the errors. Apart from these, you will have to obey the rules of writing a course paper.

The Purpose

One of the great trick to attract attention of the examiners is to getting started with clearly written purpose. The readers must be able to know why you are writing the paper. The starting should be strong. A weak start will ruin the impact of the paper and will weaken your chance of scoring high.

Introduce Properly

You have only a few seconds to impress the examiners or the readers. This is why the first line must be a grabber. The first line of the introduction or the beginning of the paper will decide the fate of your writing. Make sure to put all your effort in writing a strong introduction which will grab attention immediately. Weak first paragraph will not get you high score because the examiners will lose interest.

The Body

A strong introduction does not mean that you will ignore the body of the paper. It is important that you write a smooth body which will hold the strength of the introduction. This will ensure that you succeed in getting the respect and the attention of the examiners. One thing you need to remember, don’t repeat words or lines. This will ruin the effect. To avoid being repetitive, you will have to go for in-depth research.

Balance

To get high grade, you will have to find a balance in your written content. It should be relevant, legitimate and accurate. Absence of one of these three elements might lead to weakness. Thus, while writing you need to ensure that these elements are present. If possible, have an expert to look at your paper or have an expert to write the whole thing.

Clarity and Conclusion

You need to find both clarity and conclusion if you want to score high.  The writing should be to the point. Elaborated pieces will not do you much good if you cannot categorize the content in clear subheading. Additionally, you need to go for the correct conclusion as well. This too needs to be clear and to the point. You must think like an examiner while writing the paper.

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10 tips we are going to talk about do not typically concern paper or legit essay writing. We are talking specifically about formal writing, which includes business and academic types of work.

If the information presented below is not enough, you can always apply to a professional paper writing service as another source of credible information.

So, let’s get started.   

10 Steps to Better Formal Writing

  1. Forget about contractions. Never use contractions in formal writing, especially in essays and research papers. For example, «don’t», «can’t», «isn’t» must be replaced with «do not», «cannot», and «is not». Write out all words in full.
  2. Passive Voice or Active Voice? Passive voice is inappropriate for most academic writings. Yes, you can use passive (but don’t too much) if you are in the sciences. But in other cases, use the active voice instead. Passive voice makes sentences sound weak. In academic writing, we want only strong sentences.
  3. Strong verbs over weak verbs. Academic essay requires strong verbs only. For example, «objected» over «made an objection», «audited» over «did an audit», etc.
  4. Ask a question. Ask a question and think over the answer. When you figure out what you think the answer is, write it down. This automatically leads you to the thesis of your future essay. The thesis is the answer to your question. It has to be strong and contain a precise idea. Thus, you will know what you want exactly to write about and the readers will understand it too. So, a stated thesis is the core of the whole essay.
  5. Create an introduction first. When writing an introduction, put your thesis inside of it. This makes essay interesting, so the readers want to read more. If you create a good intro, your whole essay will be easier to write.
  6. Do not focus on the length of your paper. If you constantly focus on the number of pages you have to write, you will not avoid the pressure and stress. Pay your attention to the quality of the essay rather to its length. Do not think about how long it has to be and how many sentences you need to fill all papers. In case, you have nothing to write about, check other sources and make your opinions based on someone else’s research. But use it smartly. The citation is a good way to add length to your writing. The most important thing is to be giving your own thoughts about ideas you put in your essay or paper.
  7. Small breaks. Even a 5-minute break is important when writing a paper. If you are getting stuck in writing, give yourself a little time to focus on other things. Refresh your head and sit down to think about the topic and where you need to go with it. Or break your paper into several parts, and give your brain little breaks after each part. Small rewards are also a good idea.
  8. Divide your writing time. Evaluate the period you have for an essay and divide it into several parts. Give 5-10% of your time for thesis, 15-20% – for writing an outline of arguments, 20-30% – research, 40-45% – actual writing, and 10% — polishing (proofreading+editing). Adjust the time as needed.
  9. Edit, edit, and edit. Polishing up your essay is as important as an actual writing. Make sure that the sentences flow smoothly from one paragraph to another. Check grammar and punctuation. Eliminate excess.
  10. Give your paper to a friend. It is the best way to check if the readers are into your writing or not.

 

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Brazil has abolished a vast national reserve in the Amazon to open up the area to mining.

The area, covering 17,800 sq miles, straddles the northern states of Amapa and Para, and is thought to be rich in gold, and other minerals.

The Brazilian government said nine conservation and indigenous land areas within it would continue to be legally protected.

However, activists have voiced concern that these areas could be badly compromised.

President Michel Temer has issued a decree to abolish a protected area known as the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca).

The protected area’s size is larger than Denmark and about 30% of it will be open to mining.

The mining and energy ministry says protected forest areas and indigenous reserves will not be affected.

Image source Flickr

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The ministry said in a statement: “The objective of the measure is to attract new investments, generating wealth for the country and employment and income for society, always based on the precepts of sustainability.”

However, opposition Senator Randolfe Rodrigues denounced the move as “the biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years”, O Globo newspaper reported.

Maurício Voivodic, head of the conservation body WWF in Brazil, warned last month that mining in the area would lead to “demographic explosion, deforestation, the destruction of water resources, the loss of biodiversity and the creation of land conflict”.

According to the WWF report, the main area of interest for copper and gold exploration is in one of the protected areas, the Biological Reserve of Maicuru.

There is also said to be gold in the Para State forest, which lies within the area.

The WWF says there is potential for conflict too in two indigenous reserves that are home to various ethnic communities living in relative isolation.

WWF’s report said that a “gold rush in the region could create irreversible damage to these cultures”.

Watching a total solar eclipse is a rare and memorable experience. However, without the right precautions, it can also be dangerous.

The Sun’s rays are so intense you can feel their warmth from 150 million km away. That’s why looking at the Sun directly, even for a few seconds, can seriously damage your eyes. It allows ultraviolet (UV) light to flood in and burn the light-sensitive cells – causing potentially permanent blurry vision and blind spots.

Watching an eclipse with normal sunglasses provides virtually no protection. In fact, they trick your eyes to let in more light, so they can cause even more damage. But there are three easy ways to view an eclipse safely that can be set up in a few minutes.

Build a pinhole projector

The safest way to view a solar eclipse is to project it onto a piece of paper. Using a cardboard box, you can make a pinhole projector.

You will need:

A long cardboard box, a sheet of white paper, some aluminum foil, a craft knife, scissors, a drawing pin, duct tape and glue. If you can’t find a long box then try taping two smaller boxes together.

Safety measures:

Remember: DO NOT look directly at the Sun without appropriate protection, such as special eclipse glasses. Children should get an adult to help build and use this projector. Take extra care when using sharp tools like craft knifes and scissors.

What will you see?

A bright beam of sunlight will project onto the paper at the far end of the box. This is the Sun’s disc. When an eclipse occurs you’ll see an image of the Moon’s disc sweeping across your projection. The size of the image will be about one hundredth of the length of the box – so the longer the box, the bigger the projected image.

Image source Wikimedia

Using binoculars safely

Pinhole viewers are cheap and easy to make. However, with a bit more time you can get a much better image by projecting the Sun with binoculars. The advantage of this method is that you can watch the eclipse with others as the projected image is much bigger.

You will need:

A pair of large binoculars (a telescope works just as well), a tripod (or another sturdy object you can securely fix the binoculars to), a sheet of white paper, a large piece of cardboard, scissors, some duct tape and some large plain paper or a flip-chart.

Safety measures:

Binoculars and telescopes concentrate sunlight, so never directly look at the Sun with them, as you will permanently damage your eyes. Don’t look directly at the Sun without appropriate protection, such as special eclipse glasses. Keep the binoculars lenses covered until you are ready to use them as this will avoid them getting hot. Children should get an adult to help build and use this projector. Take extra care when using sharp tools like scissors.

What will you see?

As sunlight shines through the binoculars, an image of the Sun will be projected onto your flip-chart. Adjust the distance between the binoculars and the flip-chart until your image is about the size of a small plate. If it’s blurry, focus your binoculars until it becomes sharp. While you wait for the eclipse to happen, look out for dark specks and patterns in your projection – these are sunspots.

Looking directly at the Sun

Watching an eclipse directly is possible – but it’s vital to protect your eyes with the correct equipment.

Never look at the Sun unless you are wearing a pair of special eclipse glasses. Check they meet required safety standards.

Test their condition by putting them on as you’re looking away from the Sun. You shouldn’t be able to see anything. If any light is entering through the glasses, this could mean that they are scratched and won’t provide the right protection. When you’re satisfied the glasses aren’t damaged, turn to look at the Sun. This should be the only thing you can see – a big, orange globe surrounded by a black sky.

Don’t look at the Sun through a pair of binoculars or a camera, as they will concentrate the Sun’s powerful rays into your eye. If you want to use equipment like this, you need a professional solar filter that fits tightly onto the front lenses.

The US is preparing for the spectacular sight of a total solar eclipse.

The Moon is set to pass in front of the Sun, casting a deep shadow that will sweep over the US from Oregon in the west to South Carolina in the east.

It is the first such event since 1918 where the path of darkness crosses both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

It is also the first total solar eclipse to make landfall exclusively in the US since independence in 1776.

People lucky enough to be directly in the path of deepest shadow (“totality”) – and blessed with a clear sky – will witness the Sun’s light blocked out for up to two minutes and 40 seconds.

Those who stand off to the side will experience a partial eclipse, which on this occasion will encompass all of North America and northern parts of South America.

There are even parts of Western Europe that will snatch a sight of the Moon’s disc taking a bite out of the Sun just as it sets.

Image source Wikipedia

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Wherever people watch the total solar eclipse, they are urged to take care. Looking directly at the Sun with the naked eye can be dangerous.

Many commentators believe August 21 eclipse will prove to be the most observed, most photographed, and best documented such event in human history.

It will certainly challenge the numbers that saw the 2009 eclipse that swept across India and China.

More than 12 million people live in the 70 mile-wide path of totality. Nearly four times that many live within a two-hour’s drive, and over 200 million live within a day’s drive.

State and local authorities have been preparing for August 21 as if they were about to confront the fallout from some natural disaster.

Carbondale in Illinois has billed itself as the “Eclipse Crossroads of America” because it is in the path of darkness both on August 21 and when the next US eclipse occurs in 2024.

Given this status, Carbondale authorities anticipate a huge influx of visitors. Its regular population numbers 26,000 people, but for August 21 more than 60,000 extra car parking spaces have been organized.

It is not just urban settlements that will be stretched; the National Park Service has been bringing truck loads of portable toilets on to its lands.

Many skywatchers will be waiting until as late as possible before deciding where to go, based on up-to-date weather forecasts. Many of those who planned ahead will have consulted historical weather data.

This information suggests the highest probability of clear skies will be in the northwest. Madras in Oregon is a favorite.

The time of year and its position leeward of the Cascade Mountains mean it would expect a more than 70% chance of an unobstructed view of the eclipse. In contrast, the further east along the path of totality, the higher the historical probability of cloud.

The “eclipse show” for land-dwellers begins on the Oregon coast at 09:05 local time when skywatchers will see the Moon start to traverse the Sun. Totality is reached at 10:16 and, assuming none of the region’s famous coastal fogs are in attendance, people will get one minute and 59 seconds of full darkness.

The Moon’s shadow then races across the continent through 13 more states (less than two square kilometers of the extreme southwest of Iowa is in the path) – a journey that will take roughly 90 minutes.

The place that will experience the longest period of totality (2 minutes and 40 seconds) is about 6 miles south of Carbondale, Illinois.

The last region in the path of deepest shadow is South Carolina. The Atlantic coastal city of Charleston experiences its eclipse at 14:47 local time.

It is around this time that Europeans will be catching their partial view of the event.

Ireland, Northern Ireland, northern England and Scotland see a full partial eclipse.

This year’s Perseid meteor shower will peak over the weekend, giving stargazers the opportunity to spot scores of shooting stars in the sky.

According to astronomers, hundreds of meteors will streak across the sky in a display that may be visible around the world.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs every July and August as the Earth passes debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet.

Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.

Image source Flickr

The meteor shower’s actual peak is around 1PM EDT August 12, which means that the night before and the night after will both have good rates. The show would be slightly better in the predawn hours of August 12, but that there’d be a decent show both nights.

However, experts say the Perseids could be harder to see this year as the Moon will be three-quarters full.

Earth will pass through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle from July 17 to August 24, with the shower’s peak — when Earth passes through the densest, dustiest area — occurring on August 12. That means you’ll see the most meteors in the shortest amount of time near that peak, but you can still catch some action from the famed meteor shower before or after that point.

The moon will be three-quarters full during the peak. Since the moon will rise late in the evening (around roughly 11 p.m.), there will be some interference from its light that will make it more difficult to see meteors.

You can see the Perseid meteor shower best in the Northern Hemisphere and down to the mid-southern latitudes, and all you need to catch the show is darkness, somewhere comfortable to sit and a bit of patience.