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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.

Education is about knowledge gain. Knowledge is the most essential tool used for personal growth. There is no doubt that good education has the power to change lives. One should be educated to have a happy and prosperous life by gaining respect from society and obtain a successful career.  However, when you look at the bigger picture, education also helps countries to grow economically and cherish with prosperity. As governments have understood the importance of offering education solutions to their citizens to sustain a bright future for future generations, they are investing more than ever before for it. Education is important for children as they are the future of the world and represent the pillars a nation develops on. It is the most powerful tool to make the world a better place.

Yet, the biggest challenge for education policymakers is to provide access and ensure the process of education in unprivileged areas. Developing countries are dealing with poverty and isolation which eliminates any chance for young and older individuals to have access to education. Those areas have kids who do not even know what it is like to step inside a classroom leading to lack of written communication skills and poor intellectual baggage.

Poverty and education are strongly linked leading to a vicious circle. Individuals living in poor areas do not attend schools so they can work and earn money or essentials for survival. The extreme disparities in educational opportunities among different schools, areas, or students develop into serious social and economic tensions and an unequal world.

Educational specialists suggest using technology to reduce the education gap between poor and wealthy areas around the world. Some people believe that there are a lot of drawbacks of technology, but there is no doubt that when it comes to education, it offers huge potential. Nowadays, the digital revolution which we live in has offered access to the internet and electronic devices to billions of individuals from all over the world. Young generations from today are born in a world where social media, mobile technology, and other online communities are essential for learning, communicating, and developing. As technology is a powerful development tool, it should be used in the global battle for uniformizing educational opportunities around the whole globe.

How poverty affects education

In underdeveloped areas, where individuals are struggling with poverty and low resources of any type, the cycle of poverty has tremendous long-term effects. The education system is usually for free almost in every corner of the world. However, the additional costs linked to education seem to be the problems that lead to the lack of educational opportunities. Costs for uniforms, books, transportation, and even the salaries of professors eliminate the chance for poor areas to have access to proper education.  

The fact that public education is less available influences the lives of numerous individuals who are unable to broaden their horizons and develop into well-shaped adults. Also, by analyzing the cycle of poverty and education, we are able to notice that areas where access to education is limited tend to remain poor. Societies lack educated individuals who can invest and find solutions for the problems of their communities as they do not have the knowledge and skills necessary for it.  Poor communities remain undeveloped as they lack the leaders who can make changes for modernization and growth.

Technology to overcome the education gap

While for some students going to school or university seems like a normal thing, others from unprivileged areas do not even understand the concept of education. Educators from all grade-levels have realized the ways education can benefit from technology in the classroom. The rise of educational technology might be the best chance to help individuals from developing countries to have access to knowledge.

Reducing or even eliminating the education gap between wealthy and poor communities has become a global challenge that more and more people, companies, and organizations are joining. Several tech companies have launched global initiatives to increase access to technology for individuals who live in poor areas. Nonprofit organizations are encouraging individuals to join their cause and travel to those areas to help young generations get educated. A global community of teachers, parents, students, governments, institutions, and businesses work together to find the best solutions for helping learners with low possibilities to gain access to quality education.

Technology brings individuals into contact with the broader world by opening new doors to education and vocational training. Moreover, the use of online education is a cost-effective one which makes it a great tool to help developing areas educate their young generations for a brighter future. Technological solutions such as the internet, artificial intelligence, electronic devices, and online learning classes help students from all over the world to get in contact with specialists who can share their knowledge and skills. Moreover, individuals from poor areas would no longer be limited to traditional concepts of education. By being able to study any subject they are interested in such as finances, history, chemistry, or foreign languages, they will also be able to make their own career choices for their future. The rise of technology and the outstanding increasing presence of both students and courses online combined with the low costs for online education can help developing countries to ensure educational opportunities for all their individuals.

New technology and new learning models are offering unthinkable possibilities to students and educators from all over the world. Low resource, poor, rural, and isolated communities need help and guidance for gaining equal education opportunities and technology is a promising solution for it.   Education has a significant role in fighting poverty in underdeveloped areas. By educating the young generation, children are given the power to dream of a better future and confidently invest in it as they no longer feel embarrassed for being uneducated. Developing countries deal with serious social and economic problems such as malnutrition, low standards of health, and gender inequality. Education is the key to escape the cycle of poverty by empowering individuals with culture, education, human emotions, and life values.

The SpaceX has launched the Dragon capsule designed to carry people from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission is uncrewed for this flight, but if it goes well, NASA is likely to approve the system for regular astronaut use from later this year.

The company’s founder Elon Musk said this could be the first step towards opening space travel to commercial customers.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon crew capsule lifted off from Kennedy’s historic Pad 39A at the precise planned time of 02:49 EST.

The 11-minute ascent put the Dragon on a path to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) on March 3.

Because this is just a demonstration, there are no astronauts aboard – but there is a “test dummy”.

Dressed in a spacesuit and sitting next to a window, this anthropomorphic simulator is fitted with sensors around the head, neck, and spine.

It will gather data on the type of forces that humans will experience when they get to ride in the spacecraft.

SpaceX has nicknamed the dummy “Ripley” – after the Sigourney Weaver character in the Alien movies.

Dragon CRS-10: SpaceX Successfully Launches New Mission Carrying Cargo Ship for ISS

For the SpaceX, this mission is a key milestone in its short history. Elon Musk, a technology entrepreneur and engineer, set up the organization with the specific intention of taking people into space.

Elon Musk told reporters immediately after the launch: “It’s been 17 years to get to this point, from 2002 to now. To be frank, I’m a little emotionally exhausted because it was super stressful.

“Our focus has been on serving NASA’s needs but once Dragon is in regular operation, I think we will seek commercial customers of which the NASA administrator, and NASA in general, has been very supportive.”

He said those customers could include private citizens going to the ISS, just as they have done on Soyuz vehicles in the past.

Separately, Elon Musk is developing a much bigger system – which he calls the Starship and Super Heavy rocket – to transport people to the Moon and Mars.

The Dragon crew capsule is a variant on the ISS cargo freighter flown by SpaceX.

Upgrades include life-support systems, obviously; and more powerful thrusters to push the vessel to safety if something goes wrong with a rocket during an ascent to orbit.

It also has four parachutes instead of the freighter’s three to control the return to Earth.

Dragon crew capsules will splashdown in the Atlantic not far from Kennedy.

NASA is essentially now contracting out crew transport to SpaceX.

Whereas in the past, NASA engineers would have top-down control of all aspects of vehicle design and the agency would own and operate the hardware – the relationship with industry has been put on a completely new footing.

Today, NASA sets broad requirements and industry is given plenty of latitude in how it meets those demands.

After being taken to orbit, the Dragon makes its own way to the station using onboard thrusters.

One of the big differences between this mission and standard cargo flights is the mode of approach and attachment to the ISS. Freighters come up under the orbiting lab and are grappled by a robotic arm and pulled into a berthing position.

ISS astronauts will be watching closely to see that the capsule behaves as it should.

The Dragon is expected to stay at the station until March 8. The current plan has it undocking, firing its thrusters to come out of orbit, and splashing down at roughly 13:45 GMT.

China has announced it successfully landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, the first ever such attempt and landing.

According to state media, at 10:26 Beijing time, the un-crewed Chang’e-4 probe touched down in the South Pole-Aitken Basin.

The Chang’e-4 probe is carrying instruments to analyze the unexplored region’s geology, as well to conduct biological experiments.

The landing is being seen as a major milestone in space exploration.

There have been numerous missions to the Moon in recent years, but the vast majority have been to orbit, fly by or impact. The last crewed landing was Apollo 17 in 1972.

The Chang’e-4 probe has already sent back its first pictures from the surface, which were shared by state media.

With no direct communication link possible, all pictures and data have to be bounced off a separate satellite before being relayed to Earth.

Jade Rabbit: China’s First Moon Mission Shuts Down After 31 Months

Ebb and Flow gravity satellites end their mission to the Moon

Previous Moon missions have landed on the Earth-facing side, but this is the first time any craft has landed successfully on the unexplored and rugged far side.

Some spacecraft have crashed into the far side, either after system failures, or after they had completed their mission.

The Chang’e-4 was launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China on December 7; it arrived in lunar orbit on December 12.

The mission was then directed to lower itself toward the Moon, being careful to identify and avoid obstacles, Chinese state media say.

The Chang’e-4 probe is aiming to explore a place called the Von Kármán crater, located within the much larger South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin – thought to have been formed by a giant impact early in the Moon’s history.

A newly discovered amphibian that buries its head in the sand has been named after President Donald Trump, apparently in response to his comments about climate change.

The Dermophis donaldtrumpi, which was discovered in Panama, was named by the head of a company that had bid $25,000 at auction for the privilege.

EnviroBuild said it wanted to raise awareness about climate change.

The company’s co-founder Aidan Bell in a statement: “[Dermophis donaldtrumpi] is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and is therefore in danger of becoming extinct as adirect result of its namesake’s climate policies.”

The small, blind, amphibian is a type of caecilian that primarily lives underground, and Aidan Bell drew an unflattering comparison between its behavior and President Trump’s.

He wrote: “Burrowing [his] head underground helps Donald Trump when avoiding scientific consensus on anthropomorphic climate change.”

The amphibian is not the first creature to be named after Donald Trump.

Neopalpa Donaldtrumpi: California Moth Becomes First Creature Named after Donald Trump

In 2017, Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, was discovered by biologist Vazrick Nazari in a collection of moths from the Museum of Entomology, at the University of California. Vazrick Nazari said the moth’s unique head coloring reminded him of President Trump.

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According to a government report, unchecked climate change will cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars and damage human health and quality of life.

The 4th National Climate Assessment says: “Future risks from climate change depend… on decisions made today.”

The NCA 2018 report says climate change is “presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth”.

The warning is at odds with the Trump administration’s fossil fuels agenda.

The world’s leading scientists agree that climate change is human-induced and warn that natural fluctuations in temperature are being exacerbated by human activity.

The report – compiled with help from numerous US government agencies and departments – outlines the prospective impacts of climate change across every sector of American society.

Image source Wikipedia

US Issues First Written Notification on Paris Climate Change Agreement Pullout

G20 Final Agreement Acknowledges Donald Trump’s Withdrawal from Paris Climate Change Deal

Barack Obama: Paris Climate Deal Is World’s Best Chance

The assessment says: “With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century – more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many US states.”

It also notes that the effects of climate change are already being felt in communities across the country, including more frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events.

However, the report says that projections of future catastrophe could change if society works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and “to adapt to the changes that will occur”.

Last month, President Donald Trump accused climate change scientists of having a “political agenda”, telling Fox News he was unconvinced that humans were responsible for the earth’s rising temperatures.

After taking office, President Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, which commits another 187 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels.

At the time, President Trump said he wanted to negotiate a new “fair” deal that would not disadvantage US businesses and workers.

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If you are a student who has suddenly come across an urgent assignment of an assignment to be composed and submitted overnight, you might be in a fix. Most students pursuing career-oriented courses often find themselves burdened with a large amount of coursework. On the other hand, many take on additional courses as well as might be working on temporary job assignments to support their college education costs.

In such a scenario, people faced with an arduous task such as assignment writing might just drive one up a wall. In such a case, it is best to resort to online resources. There are different ways to online resources can help, especially if you approach a reliable essay writers’ portal like essayyoda.com. This is a portal like several that have several conveniences on offer for students who wish to get help with their college or postgraduate level essays.

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Find essays on any topic

Any comprehensive assignment paper portal would have a large database of essays to download or purchase. Most well laid out essay websites offer topic wise search among database options. Many have the searches sorted as per academic level, topic, the writing style and so forth. You could even search out essays as per language preferences.

Download free samples

Those, who are not ready to pay for a full written assignment or a customized service can still find several essay samples online. Many are offered for free, and they provide helpful assistance in structuring any essay of any topic or academic level. Simply searching for the right academic level of the essay and on the topic, you are writing about would provide several helpful samples for free.

Get a well-written assignment

Many students who are appearing for college admissions or need to submit an assignment paper for such a purpose often find themselves short of the fluency and style in the language in which the assignment needs to be written. For such reasons, the professional essay writer portals or services come to the rescue.  Getting a well written, professionally constructed essay will boost one’s confidence and help increase the chances of getting one’s application shortlisted or an assignment well rated.

Get customized service

If you have time in hand and need to get a professionally written assignment with your own thoughts and inputs, it is best to seek out the services of an essay writer. Many assignment service portals advertise their writers and their writing styles so that customers can choose whom they wish to get their essay written by. From seeking assignment writing samples from different writers to getting personal attention from an essay writer for one’s essay to be professionally composed, all this can be obtained with a nominal fee that is paid for membership at such a service.

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Customized essays do require time in hand, but if it is well planned out, and the right writer chose for the assignment, it can lead to an essay written exactly in the style and adherent to the thought processes of the student. Hence, the student can feel more confident submitting such an essay that is customized as per their requirements.

The above points showcase the different options available for students who require help in composing professional level essays. There is no need to depend on the assistance and help from others since the same can be easily accessed in confidence at a reliable and professional assignment writing service. Assignments can be finished in time and composed well to gain the best grades in subjects that students are not confident in.

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If you have a school or college assignment to finish an essay, ideally you should allocate adequate time for the same. Indeed, essays need considerable thinking, putting together ideas in a formative manner and then putting the thoughts and ideas together in a well-constructed format. However, with a fast paced student world and curriculum that are often compressed to be concluded in a short time span, students might find themselves with the dilemma of having to finish an assignment within a short time period.

Here are some tips to help you get started fast

  • Get your thoughts in order

This is crucial in order to get started in the right way besides opting for essays for sale. If you are panicking and are feeling overwhelmed about finishing the assignment, then you might get into a writer’s block with no thoughts coming in for planning the essay and starting on it. It is necessary to set time aside to think out what to write organize the points and then get started in a calm and collected manner.

  • Switch off from all distractions

This is necessary to get your thoughts collected and in order. It is best to switch off from browsing social media sites, get those alerts switched off that distract you and then put your thoughts on planning the essay format and inputs.

  • Start typing

Today most youngsters can type faster than they can write and it would also make an assignment look neat and legible. One would save more time by typing out an essay than by writing it down. The first step could be a rough document where you plan the structure of the assignment, paragraphs, content and word count. Once these points are in place, one can get started with the actual essay writing.

  • Understand the subject

The essay you construct would aim to answer a certain question or would be on a certain topic. Hence, plan your assignment around the topic or the question being asked. There might be key points that you need to address such as analyses or comparisons as are asked in the assignment question. Focusing on what the question is about will help you frame assignment content around that accordingly.

  • Get your research ready

Most essays are given to students to help them apply certain data or study materials. Once the objective of the essay is understood, it is necessary to refer books and reference materials. Plan what books you need to refer to or Google any subject you need to look up. If you need to visit a library or get the books from somewhere else, get them in place before you start to write so that your flow of essay writing is not interrupted.  At the same time, when you have limited time, it is best to keep your reference material concise. Too many books and notes would jumble up your thought process which would reflect in your essay as well.

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  • Plan flow of essay ideas

Before you start, plan out how your argument would show through the essay. Hence, from the introduction to the main paragraphs and finally the conclusion, these aspects should be well thought out. The more time you spend planning out the essay construction and material to include in it, the faster will your actual essay get done.

Conclusion

Essays written overnight or in a short time span need not be compromised on quality if the above tips are kept in mind. However, it is necessary to allocate adequate and quality time to the work at hand.

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As parents, it’s a proud day when your kids go off to college. As well as their academic development, university offers them an opportunity to meet new people, enjoy exciting experiences, and enrich their lives.

It can also be quite a stressful time for your child. Even though they’re adults, the transition from high school to college involves more than choosing classes; there’s often a big move involved, plus the pressure of managing their finances and starting over without friendships already established.

That’s why it’s so important for college-age kids to have the support of their parents. In this article, we’ll look at five key ways that you can help them out.

Image source Wikimedia Commons

Be Involved in the Application Process

Applying for college is a pretty involved procedure. As it’s such an important step of their burgeoning academic career, offer to help your child wherever it’s appropriate. For example, there might be a lot of administration involved in pulling their applications together. Ask them what they need and take on those tasks, leaving your child more time and space to focus on the aspects of applying that need their undivided attention. You’ll also be a helpful source of advice over which course or major they should choose.

Help Them to Pick a Dorm

Make sure to attend all of your child’s visits to prospective colleges, and check out the accommodation while you’re there. When it comes to picking out dorms, help your son or daughter to choose the dorm that offers them the best balance of fun and function. It’s not all about partying, after all!

Travel With Them to Their New Home

The move to college is often an emotional time for the whole family. Your child might not always show it, but they’re going to miss you! The shock of moving away can be dampened simply by going with them as they travel to college. If you’re able to drive there, it also helps on a practical level! But whether they’re moving to the next town or across the country, be by their side.

Offer Financial Support Where You Can

College is expensive. As well as fees and accommodation, your child will need to find the money to purchase books, buy groceries, and pay for extra-curricular activities. Of course, there is an expectation that fending for yourself while away at college presents an opportunity to grow and take on more responsibility, but the reality is that transitioning from the sweet life at home to the conflicting demands of adulthood can be quite the reality check! If you have the means, help your kid out where you can. It’s now easier than ever to simply ping some funds over to their bank account, and they’ll be super grateful for the financial support!

Always be Available by Phone

The most important step is to remind your kid that you’ll always be there for them, even if they’re hundreds or thousands of miles away! Keep the lines of communication open, and maintain an interest in this exciting new chapter of life!

How do you support your child while they’re at college? Let us know in the comments below.

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There are probably few students who would love to sit down and compose a lengthy assignment. In this world of fast-paced projects and assignments, essay compositions are long and arduous tasks that many students wish to ignore. However, essays become a crucial aspect in contests like scholarship program applications, college admissions and so forth. Essays being elaborate discussions sought on topics and debates showcase the thought process and analytical abilities of students. Hence, it often becomes crucial that a student is able to constructor buy an essay that would be help them get past a certain evaluation criterion.

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Here are some tips that can help a student ace such a task

  • Plan the assignment topic

if a student has to freedom to pick an assignment topic amongst alternatives given, it would be best to choose one that a student has personal experience about, has studied on the topic and hence, would know what to write about it. Even if a professional assignment writing service is employed for the task, the essay writers need to be told how a student wants to write the assignment, the points he or she wishes to include along with which the professional essay writer will provide their inputs as well.

  • Planning an assignment design approach

In an assignment, a topic can be approached in different ways; there are diverse styles of essay writing that can be adopted based on the topic, nature of the assignment as well as level of complexity of ideas and content that needs to be incorporated. Even if one employs a professional writer for the task, it is necessary to discuss the approach for the assignment so that it gets the personal touch and the student can easily talk or discuss it if required.

  • Style of writing

Essays at different academic levels have different structure and composition styles. General school assignments are a lot different from essays that are required for college admissions or thesis papers. Again, if one does not have a strong command over the language in which the assignment has to be written, it is best to stick to a simple, direct flow or structure of the essay.

If a professional writer is being engaged for writing an assignment on behalf of a student, it is best that he or she is shared the style of writing that that student can provide. There should be conformity in how the student would construct an essay and his or her composition style and what is submitted for college admission or as an assignment paper.

  • Get help from online resources

It is always best that a student composes an assignment by themselves but they can always seek help from online resources. Even if customized writing services are not sought, one can download free samples from online sources. These can help set up guidelines or provide ideas on how an assignment should be written.

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  • Keep adequate time in hand

Since essays are time-consuming projects, it is best to plan ahead and keep adequate time for research and typing it out.

Indeed, assignment writing for college or higher academic levels is no mean feat. In this day and age of long composition styles disappearing from the most academic curriculum, many students often become unprepared for writing the right level of quality essays that are required for college admissions. For such reasons seeking online help and resources can provide the assistance that one requires which is fast and at hand as and when required. From research materials to essay structure or customized essays, all kinds of assistance can be found from reliable essay paper portals.

Technologies of oil and gas extraction are developing every day. Due to the need of new methods and innovations the world of power electronics is designing more and more equipment that will make the process of extraction more comfortable and productive.

Over past 20 years, Triol Corporation produces equipment which has all the advantages for your business to deliver the best results in a small period of time. And one of them is Variable Frequency Drive.

Variable Frequency Drive is designed to control pumps, fans and general industrial machinery. The drive provides a soft start, motor speed regulation, prolong work at rated speed, reversing and braking of induction and PMM motors, as well as maintaining throughout the range of the nominal operating frequency characteristics for the selected type of motor.

VFDs are successfully operating in a wide range of areas: fuel and energy sector, housing and utilities, infrastructure, mining industry, construction industry, cement production and metallurgy.

Triol Variable Frequency Drive provides operation and protection of drive mechanisms, as well as automatic control, remote and local startup and shutdown.

Triol VSDs has one but big advantage above all the rest manufacturers and it’s the following:

  • Triol VFDs are universal for all the existing types of motors (induction, PMM, PCP, Linear).
  • There’s a possibility to install the Triol downhole measuring system if needed. If the customer wants to install his own ESP gauge it’s also can be performed by our company. We are paying attention to your requests and wishes.

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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

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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.

Mexico has 67 national parks and protected natural areas that occupy 0.73% of the territory of Mexico. Among these are San Lorenzo Marine Archipelago National Park, Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano National Marine Park and popular tourist hotspots such as the Marine National Park of Cozumel along with Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park (see this useful guide from Fun Sun Mexico.)

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.