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Found 30 results

  1. SEOUL: China and Russia pushed Tuesday for talks to defuse the "confrontational spiral" between the US and North Korea after Kim Jong-Un stepped back from a planned missile strike near Guam. The North Korean leader said he would wait and see how the United States behaved before deciding whether to execute the planned launch of four missiles over Japan towards the tiny US territory in the Pacific. Some analysts suggested Kim was opening a possible path to de-escalating tensions, which spiked dramatically with recent bellicose exchanges between US President Donald Trump and Pyongyang. The North´s official KCNA news agency said Kim was briefed on the "plan for an enveloping fire at Guam" during an inspection on Monday of the Strategic Force command in charge of the nuclear-armed state´s missile units. But it said Kim would "watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees" before executing any order. "In order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean peninsula, it is necessary for the US to make a proper option first," he added. His remarks prompted joy in Guam, where officials described themselves as "almost ecstatic that Kim Jong-Un has backed off". China said Tuesday that the North Korean nuclear crisis had reached a "turning point" and it was time to enter peace talks. Beijing, which is Pyongyang´s main diplomatic ally, has repeatedly called on the United States and North Korea to tone down their rhetoric in recent days. "We now hope that all the concerned parties, in what they say and what they do, can contribute to extinguishing the fire, rather than adding fuel to the fire," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday in a telephone conversation focused on "ways to get out of the confrontational spiral on the Korean peninsula", according to the Russian foreign ministry. A ministry statement said both countries had "stressed the lack of any alternative to a political and diplomatic resolution" and called for "all the sides involved -- with the support of the global community - to move towards setting up dialogue". De-escalating US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington was "interested in finding ways to get to dialogue" but stressed the ball was in Kim´s court. The US has long maintained that the North must show some tangible commitment to denuclearisation before official talks can begin - a pre-condition rejected by Pyongyang. Kim´s remarks about future US conduct were seen as a clear reference to large-scale military exercises held every year by South Korea and the United States that are expected to kick off later this month. The North has always denounced the drills as provocative rehearsals for invasion and has in the past offered a moratorium on further nuclear and missile testing in exchange for their cancellation - a trade-off promoted by Beijing, but repeatedly rejected by Washington and Seoul. Some analysts said Kim was seeking a similar quid-pro-quo this time around, using the Guam missile threat as leverage. "This is a direct invitation to talk reciprocal constraints on exercises and missile launches," said Adam Mount, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. John Delury of Yonsei University in Seoul said Kim was "de-escalating, putting Guam plan on ice" - at least for now. The United States and South Korea insist their annual joint exercises are purely defensive, and cannot be linked to the North´s missile programme, which violates a host of UN resolutions. Fire and fury Tensions have been mounting since the North tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month, which appeared to bring much of the US within range. Responding to the tests, President Trump warned Pyongyang of "fire and fury like the world has never seen", while the North responded with the Guam threat. South Korean President Moon Jae-In weighed in on Tuesday, saying Seoul would avoid a second Korean War at all costs and stressing that "no one may decide to take military action without the consent of the Republic of Korea".
  2. Trade tensions between the United States and China heated up on Tuesday as Beijing warned that it "will not sit idle" if a US probe into its intellectual property practices leads to sanctions. President Donald Trump's decision to order the investigation comes on top of strains between the two nations over how to handle Beijing's ally North Korea. Trump on Monday signed a memorandum directing US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine whether Chinese policies hurt American investors or companies - with retaliatory measures a possible outcome. "We will stand up to any country that unlawfully forces American companies to transfer their valuable technology as a condition of market access. We will combat the counterfeiting and piracy that destroys American jobs," Trump said. "Washington will turn a blind eye no longer," Trump said, vowing to safeguard copyrights, patents and other intellectual property that are "vital to our security and to our prosperity". The president said the US would no longer tolerate Beijing's "theft" of US industrial secrets, long a concern of major foreign corporations seeking a share of the huge Chinese market. "We will engage in a thorough investigation and, if needed, take action to preserve the future of US industry," Lighthizer said. China's commerce ministry issued a statement voicing "serious concern" and warning that any US trade protectionism "will definitely harm bilateral trade relations". "If the US side take actions that impair the mutual trade relations, disregarding the facts and disrespecting multilateral trade rules, China will not sit idle," the statement said. The ministry said the country "is definitely going to adopt all appropriate measures to vigorously defend the lawful rights and interest of China." The United States is China's second-largest trading partner after the European Union, but Washington and Beijing have seen their relations grow increasingly fraught since a promising summit between Trump and China's Xi Jinping in April. Multiple trade disputes The new intellectual property inquiry joins numerous investigations launched by Washington into Chinese trade practices, notably those concerning steel and aluminum and their national security consequences, which the Trump administration began earlier this year. However, the start of a US probe will not immediately result in open confrontation. Lighthizer will first need to reach a preliminary finding of unfair practices by China before opening a formal investigation, which could take as much as a year, administration officials said. The Chinese commerce ministry said the country has "always been paying high attention to intellectual property right protection, continuously perfecting the legislation", and that the progress it has made on that front is "obvious to all". Yang Zhao, chief China economist at Nomura research firm, said a US tariff penalty would only cause minor impacts on the Chinese economy and fall short of a full blown trade war. "The decision to launch this probe may raise the risk of tit-for-tat trade protectionism," Zhao said in a note. "But we believe the Trump administration's strategy is more likely to be one that looks to raise its bargaining power to reach a better longer-lasting solution over the start of, or the threat of, a real trade war." Since launching his successful run for the White House and then taking office, Trump has frequently accused China of undermining the US economy. The bilateral US trade deficit with China approached $350 billion in 2016, and Trump has repeatedly blamed Chinese imports for gutting employment in US sectors such as steel. Last week, Washington announced preliminary sanctions against Chinese imports of aluminium foil. But so far, the US has not imposed heavier trade measures on Chinese goods. North Korea a bargaining chip? On Thursday, Trump reiterated the suggestion that he could soften his position on trade if Beijing were to do more to help rein in nuclear-armed North Korea. China said it would halt iron, iron ore and seafood imports from North Korea starting Tuesday, in accordance with new UN sanctions that Beijing voted to approve. US administration officials, however, have denied any link between the latest trade action and Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. Beijing echoed this view Monday, with the foreign ministry saying the two matters were "totally different." Despite Monday's expected action, Trump has so far refrained from making good on threats of retaliatory trade measures against China. This includes in particular concerns over Beijing's requirement that foreign companies establish local joint ventures. According to Washington, this can mean surrendering technological know-how to Chinese partners.
  3. Dragon cargo ship blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. -AFP MIAMI: SpaceX on Monday blasted off its unmanned Dragon cargo ship toward the International Space Station, carrying a host of science experiments and the most powerful computer ever sent into orbit. "Three, two, one, and liftoff," a SpaceX commentator said as the white Falcon 9 rocket climbed into the blue sky over Cape Canaveral, Florida at 1631 GMT. Three minutes after launch, the rocket separated as planned, with the long, tall portion - known as the first stage - arcing back toward Earth and the second stage continuing to propel the cargo ship to space. The first stage of the rocket then powered its thrusters and operated its grid fins to set itself down on solid ground at Cape Canaveral for a controlled, upright landing at Landing Zone 1. Clouds of brown dust encircled the rocket as it touched down. "X marks the spot for yet another picture perfect landing," a SpaceX commentator said. The California-based company, headed by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, has successfully landed multiple rockets on land and on ocean platforms, as part of its ongoing effort to re-use costly rocket components instead of jettisoning them into the ocean. Moments later, SpaceX confirmed that the Dragon had safely arrived in the correct orbit around the Earth. It will arrive at the ISS on Wednesday. The mission is the 12th of 20 supply trips under a $1.6 billion SpaceX contract with NASA to send supplies to the astronauts living at the space station. The cargo ship is packed with 2,900 kilograms of supplies, including a sophisticated super-computer made by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), called The Spaceborne Computer. The goal is to test the computer for one year to see if it can operate in the harsh conditions of space, about the same amount of time as it would take for astronauts to arrive at Mars. If it survives the intense space radiation, such computers could help crew operate on long-duration missions to deep space. NASA has said it hopes to send the first astronauts to Mars by the 2030s.
  4. Apple now has an official account on Instagram. The company has been advertising their products on the popular social media platform but the company is now going to up the ante by sharing their own posts on their own account. The account is currently winning many hearts as it is sharing photos and videos taken on iPhones as part of its 'Shot on iPhone' campaign. © Instagram The Apple Instagram account has the handle you would expect because you know the company will never settle for less. You can follow them @apple (https://www.instagram.com/apple/) on Instagram, and it also verified for its authenticity. Even though Apple is a firm believer of dictating their message through their own channels, the company has now started embracing Social media, although they still need to Tweet something. © Instagram The account is currently posting a set of images and galleries taken by various photographers using iOS/Apple equipment. Apple has also been sharing interviews with some of the artists who are behind these amazing images and uses it as a voiceover track. © Instagram The description of their account is rather straight forward, it includes quotes by the photographers of the featured images in each post. Apple is also giving credit to Instagram accounts of photographers so that the world can be exposed to their work. © Instagram Apple has also invited their fans and users to share their own iPhone photography on Instagram and use the apt hashtag i.e. #ShotoniPhone. Apple had a great relationship with Instagram until the social media giant came to the Android platform. Phil Schiller abruptly shut down his account as soon as the application was available for Android smartphones. A look through the lens of iPhone users around the world. Tag #ShotoniPhone to take part. - Words and images by @koci, @itsreuben, @danilo, @_xst, @subwayhands, @marcelonava, @brockdavis, @lanadeathray, @thesdcowgirl, @inomad, @_yaisyusman_, @dawn_denfeld, @pauloctavious, @jeremysnell, @laurazazanis, @ryanpernofski, @abstractconformity, @mirafilm, @joez19, @daniil, @oli_op, @fotombo, @j9ryl, @tertiusalio, @maggiefortsonphoto, @trevorpaulhus, @rodrigomartinezfotos, @louiegraphy, @vmiura, @lfleischer, @vasjenkatro, @stevenxuex, @ianteraoka, @easonhsiung, @omidscheybani, @tamon_, @jaywilliamsphotography, @holephoto, @bigheadtaco, @mamacaxx, @aconica, @joshuakissi A post shared by apple (@apple) on Aug 7, 2017 at 5:15am PDT
  5. GENEVA: Qatar filed a wide-ranging legal complaint at the World Trade Organization on Monday to challenge a trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, Qatar´s WTO representative Ali Alwaleed al-Thani told Reuters. By formally "requesting consultations" with the three countries, the first step in a trade dispute, Qatar triggered a 60 day deadline for them to settle the complaint or face litigation at the WTO and potential retaliatory trade sanctions. Qatar is also raising the boycott at a meeting of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization on Monday, al-Thani said.
  6. Japan on Monday launched a national exercise to encourage tens of thousands of commuters to work from home, in a bid to ease rail and road congestion before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and reform the country's workaholic culture. About a quarter of the population of 127 million live in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures. The congested megalopolis thus faces a serious need to ease rush-hour crowds to accommodate tourists for the Olympics. The public-private "Telework Day" involved some 60,000 workers at more than 900 companies, organisations and government offices, according to the internal affairs ministry. They worked from home, skipping their usual habit of commuting in notoriously packed trains or driving personal cars to the office. The ministry had no figures to break down participation by region but most of those involved are believed to be in Tokyo. The idea followed a teleworking effort at the time of the 2012 London Olympics. Japan will repeat the exercise on the same date over the next two years in the run-up to the opening of the Summer Games on July 24, 2020. The plan is also part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to rethink Japan's workaholic tradition, where mostly male workers are routinely expected to spend long hours in the office and have little time with their families. The government earlier this year unveiled its first-ever initiative to limit overtime in a bid to tackle "karoshi", or death from overwork. It hopes that once the Olympics are over, more people will telecommute as a lasting legacy. "Teleworking can be one solution" to heavy traffic congestion in the Tokyo metropolitan area, said a government official in charge of the campaign. "Some people may say they felt some effect (on reducing congestion) this morning, while others say they felt no difference. "This is a small start but we'd like it to trigger companies as well as workers to start thinking about a different work style," he told AFP .
  7. RAWALPINDI: Inter Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor held a press conference on Sunday. Addressing the media, he said a follow-up operation, Khyber-4, has been launched in Khyber Agency's Rajgal Valley today. The ISPR DG said the area, next to the Afghan border, is being used by Daesh and other local militant groups. A division-plus size force will take part in the operation, he informed, hoping they plan to unilaterlly secure the int border, eliminate hideouts, and complete physical hold on Khyber Agency. The army spokesperson also gave a country-wide breakdown of the operations taken as part of Operation Raddul Fasaad (RuF), stating that the security situation of the country has improved after the launch of RuF. Talking about the situation on the Line of Control, he said so far 580 ceasefire violations have occurred to-date this year ? the highest in any year. "This indicates the Indian aim of diverting attention from political upheaval in Indian Occupied Kashmir," he claimed. The ISPR DG lamented that the Indian army has the choice of opening fire on civilian areas whereas the Pakistan Army cannot do that to Kashmiris across the LoC. "There will never be any foreign boots on our ground," said Maj Gen Ghafoor when talking about collaborative efforts against terrorism on the Pak-Afghan border. Referring to the ongoing phase-1 of fencing the Pak- Afghan border, he said on average there is a fort or check post every 1.5 kilometres. Talking about the military courts, he said at present 40 cases are under process at the moment. Regarding the 17 terrorists nabbed in Parachinar, he said there case in the military court will be fast-tracked. He ended the presser by relaying a message from the army chief: We are building peace in our country, brick by brick. Replying to a question on the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, DG ISPR said the army chief is reviewing the proceedings of the case and will take a decision on his appeal on merit. When asked to comment on reports that the army is part of a conspiracy to remove the government, he said "I don't think it merits a response. I have shown you what the army is doing". In response to another question, Maj Gen Ghafoor stressed that there is no organised Daesh infrastructure in Pakistan and nor will one be allowed. ?However, Daesh is getting stronger in Afghanistan but is still far from making a base the way it did in the Middle East.? He added that splinter groups of TTP adopting the bandwagon of Daesh in Pakistan are already being taken care of by the security forces. ?It is the duty of every Pakistani to ensure the supremacy of the law and Constitution,? he said when asked about the ongoing political crisis in the country.
  8. An imaging satellite and 72 micro-satellites were launched into orbit Friday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Russian space agency Roscosmos and research centre Glavcosmos announced. The Soyuz 2-1A rocket successfully lifted off at 0643 GMT with the satellite payload, Roscosmos said in a statement. According to Russian news agencies, Glavcosmos, charged with putting the satellites into orbit, later reported that by 1441 GMT all the satellites had successfully separated. They were released into three different orbits. "For the first time in the world, such a complex and large mission has been developed and implemented," said Glavcosmos. The primary payload, the Kanopus-V-IK satellite, is to provide wide-angle images of the Earth and will be used especially to detect forest fires or to update the topography of maps. The 72 small satellites include those made by Japan, Germany and Canada along with 62 nanosatellites known as CubeSats, developed by the United States.
  9. Huawei launched the Honor 8 Pro in India today and the company revealed their mid-range smartphone that has a dual camera setup, a massive 4,000 mAh battery and 6GB of RAM. The retail box of the Honor 8 Pro can also be used as a makeshift VR headset. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The smartphone will be available in two colours i.e. Navy Blue and Midnight Black. The smartphone has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and has 128 GB of internal storage. The Honor 8 Pro will be launching in India for Rs 29,999 and will be competing directly with the OnePlus 5. The OnePlus 5, with a similar configuration, is priced at Rs 32,999 which is significantly higher when compared. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Honor 8 is going to be sold exclusively on Amazon.in and will be available to buy exclusively for Amazon Prime members starting July 10th at 6:00 PM. Open sales will commence on 12:00 AM on July 13th and HDFC cardholders can avail 15 percent cash back as well. Launch offers also include 45GB of free data for Vodafone users and other benefits such as no-cost EMI options. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The device has a dual camera setup with 12-megapixel sensors where one is RGB and the other is for monochrome shots. The front-facing camera has an 8-megapixel sensor and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with Huawei's EMUI 5.1 on top. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The 4,000 mAh battery is believed to give users up to 1.4 days of battery life with excessive use and 2 days with moderate/normal use. The smartphone has an accelerometer sensor, ambient light sensor and a gyroscope sensor on board. The smartphone weighs 184 grams and its dimensions measure 157x77.5x6.97mm. The Honor 8 Pro will face some stiff competition from companies like Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Vivo and Oppo and hopes to break the barrier with their latest dual-camera smartphone.
  10. China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd launched on Wednesday a cut-price voice assistant speaker, similar to Amazon.com Inc's "Echo", its first foray into artificially intelligent home devices. The "Tmall Genie", named after the company's e-commerce platform Tmall, costs 499 yuan (56.77 pounds), significantly less than western counterparts by Amazon and Alphabet Inc's Google, which range from $120 to $180. These devices are activated by voice commands to perform tasks, such as checking calendars, searching for weather reports, changing music or control smart-home devices, using internet connectivity and artificial intelligence. China's top tech firms have ambitions to become world leaders in artificial intelligence as companies, including Alibaba and Amazon, increasingly compete for the same markets. Baidu, China's top search engine, which has invested in an artificial intelligence lab with the Chinese government, recently launched a device based on its own siri-like "Duer OS" system. The Tmall Genie is currently programmed to use Mandarin as its language and will only be available in China. It is activated when a recognised user says "Tmall Genie" in Chinese. In a streamed demonstration on Wednesday, engineers ordered the device to buy and deliver some Coca Cola, play music, add credit to a phone and activate a smart humidifier and TV. The device, which comes in black and white, can also be tasked with purchasing goods from the company's Tmall platform, a function similar to Amazon's Echo device. Alibaba has invested heavily in offline stores and big data capabilities in an effort to capitalise on the entire supply chain as part of its retail strategy, increasingly drawing comparisons with similar strategies adopted by Amazon. It recently began rolling out unstaffed brick-and-motor grocery and coffee shops, using QR codes that users can scan to complete payment on its Alipay app, which has over 450 million users. Amazon launched a similar concept of stores in December.
  11. File North Korea launched a missile on Tuesday that may have landed in Japan´s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Japan´s NHK public television said, quoting the defence ministry. The launch would be the latest in a series by North Korea since the start of the year and comes just after US President Donald Trump spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the issue.
  12. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a special midnight session of parliament to launch the new goods and services tax (GST) which he called "good and simple." Photo: AFP India on Saturday launched its biggest ever fiscal reform with the government promising a stronger, less corrupt economy while businesses are nervous about the new tax. The goods and services tax (GST) replaces more than a dozen levies imposed nationally and by the 29 states. It aims to transform the nation of 1.3 billion people and its $2 trillion economy into a single market. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a special midnight session of parliament to launch GST which he called "a good and simple tax." "With GST, the dream of one India, great India, will come true," the prime minister said. "GST is a simple, transparent system which prevents generation of black money and curbs corruption," said Modi who jolted the country last year by withdrawing more than 85 percent of India's bank notes from circulation in a clampdown on under-the-table dealings. "The system gives opportunity to honesty and people who do honest business." But the prime minister, who has put huge efforts into the economy as he targets re-election in 2019, acknowledged that it would have teething problems. Jammu and Kashmir state has refused to sign onto the one tax regime. And GST has sparked protests by traders, while the main opposition Congress Party boycotted the launch ceremony. - Tax rules confound - Businesses are nervous about the imposition of GST, which sets out four different rates of between five and 28 per cent instead of the one originally envisioned. The GST rule book runs to more than 200 pages and last-minute changes were still being made late Friday. Textile traders and other sectors went on strike ahead of the launch and many businesses say they are unclear about what to charge. The Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal, a national traders association that claims 60 million members, called a one-day strike Friday to protest the GST. Many are worried because while returns have to be filed by computer, they do not have or do not understand computers. "Since August last year we have put forward our demands on GST but the government has never responded," national secretary general Vijay Prakash Jain told AFP. "We told the government, either fix this, or we will strike." Most economists agree the reform -- first proposed in 2006 -- is long overdue, but warn the initial shock to the economy is likely to drag, rather than stoke growth, as businesses adjust. Credit Suisse managing director Neelkanth Mishra warned that "the next few months will be a period of uncertainty in which no company would want to invest, that slows down the investment cycle and acts as a drag on the economy." Rating agency ICRA said that while GST would lead to an increase in compliance in some sectors, it would also reduce the competitiveness of the informal businesses who are expected to lose out to the formal and organised players. "Although it is still far from perfect, we realise how much better it is than the myriad taxes we've been subjected to over the last several decades," said Pratik Jain, Partner and Leader Indirect Tax, PwC India. "The old India was economically fragmented. The new India will create one tax, one market for one nation," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
  13. PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a technology visa for start-up founders employees and investors to create world-leading companies, reported CNBC. The visa will make it easier for foreign talent to work in France while the new regulation will also support start-ups with money. The fast-tracked procedure will allow individuals to obtain a residence permit in France know as the "Talent Passport". The permit will be valid for four years and will be extended to immediate family members. "I want France to attract new entrepreneurs, new researchers, and be the nation for innovation and start-ups," Macron told CNBC on the sidelines of the Viva Tech conference in Paris. "I want this country to become a country of unicorns," the French President added later during a keynote speech on Thursday, according to a translation. The French president added that talent often leaves France as the environment in the country is not attractive enough. "The key is training and keeping talent in the country." Macron also proposed a European Venture Fund that can support start-ups as they grow. Venture capital investment in France hit $1.6 billion in 2016, while it was $1.7bn in 2015.
  14. TEHRAN: Iran has targeted militants in Syria with missiles in retaliation for deadly attacks in Tehran. Late Sunday, the elite Revolutionary Guards launched six missiles from western Iran into Syria´s mostly Daesh held Deir Ezzor province, hitting their command base, the Guards said. The strike was "revenge" for twin attacks in Tehran on June 7 that killed 17 people in the first Daesh claimed attacks inside Iran, a Guards spokesman added. As well as punishing "terrorists", it was intended to show that Iran is capable of projecting military power across the region, officials and experts said. Sunday´s strike was the first known missile attack launched from Iran into foreign territory since the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88. "The missile attacks were only a small part of Iran´s punitive power against terrorists and enemies," Guards spokesman General Ramezan Sharif said Monday. "International and regional supporters of the terrorists must realise the warning message of the missile operation." Iran has long accused the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia of backing "terrorists". US President Donald Trump meanwhile accuses Iran of backing terrorism, a charge it denies and has threatened to tear up a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers.
  15. China successfully launched on Thursday its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts, state media reported. A Long March-4B rocket carried the 2.5-tonne telescope into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gobi Desert at 11:00 am (3:00 GMT), according to the official Xinhua news agency. The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), named Insight, will allow Chinese scientists to observe magnetic fields and the interiors of pulsars and better understand the evolution of black holes. It will also help scientists search for gamma-ray bursts corresponding to gravitational waves and study how to pulsars can be used for spacecraft navigation, Xinhua said. "We are looking forward to discovering new activities of black holes and studying the state of neutron stars under extreme gravity and density conditions, and physical laws under extreme magnetic fields," Xinhua quoted HXMT lead scientist Zhang Shuangnan as saying. "These studies are expected to bring new breakthroughs in physics," Zhang added. The telescope will seek out new black hole activity by repeatedly scanning the Milky Way for active celestial bodies that emit X-rays. Black holes are usually undetectable, but when matter falls into a black hole, it is accelerated and heated, emitting X-rays in the process, Zhang explained. Compared with other countries' space telescopes, HXMT has a larger detection area and broader energy range -- providing advantages in finding black holes and neutron stars that emit bright X-rays -- and making scanning the galaxy more efficient, according to Zhang. Very bright objects have a large number of photon particles, which can result in image over-exposure, but HXMT designers solved the problem by diffusing photons instead of focusing them. "No matter how bright the sources are, our telescope won't be blinded," chief designer Chen Yong said. Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space programme as a symbol of its rise and of the Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation. In April, China's first cargo spacecraft successfully docked with an orbiting space lab -- a key development toward China's goal of having its own crewed space station by 2022. Last month, China opened a "Lunar Palace" laboratory on Earth to simulate a moon-like environment and house students for up to 200 days as the country prepares for its long-term goal of sending humans to the natural satellite.
  16. Russia on Wednesday launched an unmanned Progress cargo ship carrying supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. "The Soyuz-2.1A booster rocket with the Progress MS-06 cargo ship launched successfully from Baikonur cosmodrome at 12:20 Moscow time (0920 GMT)," Russian space agency Roscosmos said in a statement on its website. The cargo ship, carrying more than two tonnes of essential supplies including fuel, air and equipment and parcels for astronauts, is due to dock with the ISS on Friday at 1142 GMT. The last successful launch of a Progress ship was in February, coming after a similar craft crashed back to Earth in December last year. A commission appointed to investigate the malfunction concluded in January that it was caused by the break-up of the Soyuz third-stage rocket engine, either due to "foreign materials" getting inside or an "assembly fault".
  17. At a press event today, Samsung announced the Galaxy J7 Pro and J7 Max for release in India and the two smartphones are priced at INR 20,990 and INR 17,900 respectively. The Galaxy J7 Max will be available starting June 20th whereas the Galaxy J7 Pro will available in mid-July 2017. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Both smartphones have a metal unibody design and come with Samsung Pay mini and a “Social camera”. Samsung Pay mini is a lighter version of the full blown iteration that supports digital wallets and other mobile payment services. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Galaxy J7 Pro and J7 Max both sport a 13MP rear camera with f/1.7 aperture and a 13-MP front facing camera with f/1.9 aperture. The camera app on the smartphone also has direct sharing to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The camera also comes with Snapchat-like filters, similar to the Galaxy S8. "Samsung J series holds a leadership position in the mass-mid segment smartphone market and continues to witness a healthy demand from Indian customers. At Samsung, we listen to our consumers and bring out meaningful innovations that help enhance people's lives. Considering the increasing market demand in the mid segment, we have launched two new models, Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro. The superior specifications along with disruptive innovations of Samsung Pay and Social Camera on these devices will further consolidate our leadership position," Sumit Walia, Director, Mobile Business, Samsung India said. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Galaxy J7 Pro has 5.5-inch Super AMOLED full HD display and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. The J7 Pro is powered by an octa-core Exynos 7870 chipset clocked at 1.6Ghz. The J7 Pro has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage to compliment the SoC and has a battery capacity of 3,600 mAH. Samsung Galaxy J7 Max Specifications: © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Display -5.7” FHD TFT Camera - 13MP (Flash) + 13MP (Flash) Memory - 4 GB/ 32GB (3 slots) Dimension - 8.1mm Battery - 3,300mAH Processor - 1.6 Octa Mediatek Connectivity - 4G Cat4 OS - Android 7.0 Nougat Colour Variants - Black & Gold Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro Specifications: © Samsung Display - 5.5” FHD sAMOLED Camera - 13MP (Flash) + 13MP (Flash) Memory - 3 GB RAM/ 64GB (3 slots) Dimension - 7.8mm Battery - 3,600mAH Processor - 1.6 Octa Exynos Connectivity - 4G Cat6 OS - Android 7.0 Nougat Colour Variants - Black & Gold
  18. When Twitter is not busy cracking jokes or creating hilarious memes, it spends it’s time rescuing people from difficult situations and we Indians know it better than anyone else, thanks to Sushma Swaraj. Our beloved External Affairs minister is always at the forefront when it comes to ensuring that the people in need get the required help and assistance from the government. She doesn’t need any introduction because her work speaks for itself and it won’t be wrong to say that Swaraj is breaking the age-old stereotype that Indians politicians don’t work. © Reuters Almost everyone knows that Swaraj is one of the most active and loved politicians on social media and this time around, she has won our hearts not with her work but with sarcasm and wit. There is no dearth of trolls on the Internet and this chap tried his hand at trolling aka grabbing Swaraj’s attention asking her to help him since he is stuck on Mars. He further asked ISRO and Swaraj when is Mangalyaan II being sent as the food from Mangalyaan I is running out. @SushmaSwaraj😎 I am stuck on mars, food sent via 🇮🇳Mangalyaan (987 days ago), is running out, when is 🇮🇳Mangalyaan-II being sent ? @isro — karan Saini (@ksainiamd) 8 June 2017 While he did get a slice from the cake of fame, it came at a price of him being trolled in an epic way by Swaraj and we simply love her for that. Swaraj who is known for helping people with their Visa problems, proved that messing with her is not easy at all. Even if you are stuck on the Mars, Indian Embassy there will help you. https://t.co/Smg1oXKZXD — Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) 8 June 2017 Twitter was left in splits after reading her response and one of them even said that she should be the next President of India. Some were praising and lauding her for her sarcasm and wit. And Mam Sushma Ji will continue to bedazzle us all with her wit, passion & energy to serve Indians wherever they are. You're an inspiration — Monica Jasuja (@jasuja) 8 June 2017 There are new lessons in commitment to work, sincerity & ability to delight the served I draw from you daily. — Sushil Kedia (@sushilkedia) 8 June 2017 Sorry for barging into your mentions as you rescue Indians stranded abroad, but I had to tell you you are awesome! -your fan. — Nirwa Mehta (@nirwamehta) 8 June 2017 Priceless tweet — pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) 8 June 2017 A hardworking dedicated woman who has a sense of humour - what's not to love! 🙏🏽 — Prateeka (@PrateekaKamath) 8 June 2017 bravo ! that called celestial diplomacy !! — vimal yogi tiwari (@yogivimal) 8 June 2017 Spoken like try Boss. pic.twitter.com/ep2OjUn6X2 — Praetor Maximus (@RangaTheDude) 8 June 2017 After reading Swaraj’s response and the tweets that followed, we are sure that guy wouldn’t dare to post such things on Twitter. But, on a brighter note, he at least got a response from her. How many of us can say that?
  19. Motorola has launched their first premium offering for 2017 and it comes in the form on their latest modular smartphone, the Z2 Play. The smartphone will be available to purchase from 15th June onwards on Flipkart and offline stores. The smartphone is priced at Rs 27,999 and the company has updated some of the designs aspects from the predecessor. It has a metal unibody design which is made of aluminium and is lighter/thinner than the previous model. The smartphone will be available to purchase in two colours i.e. Fine Gold and Lunar Grey. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla As expected, the smartphone has a 5.5-inch Full HD display and has a 12-MP camera with f/1.7 aperture lens. The front facing camera has a 5-MP module with f/2.0 aperture lens for better selfie photography. The smartphone has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 626 chipset under the hood with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage which can be further expanded via a microSD card up to 256 GB. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Moto Z2 Play has a USB type-C port and has support for USB 3.1 which translates to faster data transfer and charging speed. The device has a 3,000 mAh battery capacity and runs Android Nougat out of the box. The smartphone also has FM radio support which is a breath of fresh air since most smartphones tend to ignore the feature as online streaming has taken over. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla Users can now use the fingerprint sensor to carry out certain tasks which were limited to navigation keys on the screen earlier. Users can simply swipe left or right to go back or fire up the multi-tasking feature. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The smartphone also has updated the Moto Mod connector which enables users to attach additional accessories for extending their experience. The company announced five new mods such as the JBL SoundBoost 2, a Turbo Power pack which has a 3490 mAh battery, a new gamepad Moto mod, style shells with support for wireless charging and the Hasselblad Moto mod for optical zoom photography.
  20. LONDON (via Thomson Reuters Foundation): Facebook on Wednesday launched disaster maps ? an initiative aimed at helping humanitarian organisations save lives in emergencies. "When there's a flood, earthquake, fire or other natural disaster, response organisations need accurate information quickly about where people are in order to save lives," founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Facebook. "When traditional communication channels like phone lines are down, it can take too much time to figure out where people need help," the social media giant's chief added. The maps will reflect the movements and location of people before, during and after disasters to help aid agencies work out where they should deliver food, water and medical supplies. Zuckerberg said the new maps would "help organisations understand who's in danger, who's safe, and where to send resources", and build "safe communities". The company worked with the UN children's agency UNICEF, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the World Food Programme, among others, to identify what data would be most useful. They would all have immediate access to the new maps, with other agencies to follow. Facebook said it would provide three types of maps: Location density maps will show people's location before, during and after a disaster. Movement maps will illustrate flight between neighbourhoods or cities over several hours. Safety check maps will show when users let their family and friends know they are out of harm's way.
  21. While the Indian cricket team just gave us a lot to gloat about by demolishing Pakistan in their Champions Trophy encounter yesterday, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) just gave us another reason to be proud of our country. They just launched their most powerful rocket, the GSLV Mk III (Fatboy), which laid a very strong foundation for future space projects. It was carrying the heaviest satellite of the country, the GSAT-19. Here’s the entire launch. Skip to 37:00 for the launch: It took just 16 minutes for the rocket to place the satellite in geosynchronous transfer orbit which we’re sure is some sort of achievement. Congratulations came pouring in for ISRO from all quarters including the President and Prime Minister of our country. Heartiest congratulations to ISRO on the historic launch of GSLV-Mk III #PresidentMukherjee — President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) June 5, 2017 Congratulations to the dedicated scientists of ISRO for the successful launch of GSLV – MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 5, 2017 Telugu media went as far as calling this the ‘Baahubali’ of rockets. Here are some other famous names that praised this achievement on Twitter: Congratulations @ISRO for launching #GSLVMK3. It will usher new frontiers in an era of self-reliance for future geosynchronous missions. pic.twitter.com/RQyShINS7e — Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) June 5, 2017 Congratulations @isro on the successful launch of #GSLVMK3. Hope #India will soon launch its astronaut into space — Rajat Sharma (@RajatSharmaLive) June 5, 2017 .@isro keeping our flag flying high,yet again!Congratulations for the successful launch of #GSLVMK3 — Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) June 5, 2017
  22. MIAMI: SpaceX on Monday launched a communications satellite for Inmarsat, marking its first launch for the London-based mobile broadband company. The Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite, built by Boeing, blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 7:21 pm (2321 GMT). "We´ve had confirmation of spacecraft separation," said a SpaceX commentator about 30 minutes after launch, signaling that the satellite was successfully deployed to a distant, geostationary orbit. "We´ve had good orbits, good separation, all you can ask for today." The satellite is the fourth in the company´s Global Xpress (GX) constellation, aimed at providing high-speed mobile broadband service. "Inmarsat, the only operator of a global Ka-band network, created the GX platform to enable communities across the world to benefit from the emerging digital society," said a company statement. SpaceX, which is headed by Elon Musk, did not attempt to bring the first stage of the rocket back to Earth for an upright landing following the launch. The payload weighed some 13,500 pounds (6,100 kilograms), and the force needed to propel it to orbit would not leave enough fuel for the rocket to maneuver back to Earth.
  23. NEW YORK: Comcast Corp launched a new cloud-based service on Monday that allows users to control and monitor their WiFi usage as the largest cable provider in the US looks for ways to boost consumer loyalty in its broadband business. The service, called XFi, allows users to set up their home WiFi, shut off children's devices at bedtime, and troubleshoot problems from an application on their mobile phones, website or television. It is now available for free to 10 million of Comcast's Xfinity Internet customers with compatible WiFi devices. Comcast is trying to improve the home WiFi experience at a time when its customers are connecting a growing number of devices. The Philadelphia-based company says that by 2020, Americans will have an average of 50 connected devices in their homes. Its efforts come at a time when broadband subscribers are outnumbering video customers as more consumers drop their cable packages or never subscribe in the first place. In 2016, Comcast had 24.7 million high-speed Internet customers and 22.5 million video customers, according to a filing. On the company's post-earnings conference call, Chief Executive Brian Roberts said last month that "we have more broadband customers than we do video, and the rate of that growth is pretty exciting in broadband". Comcast's broadband business grew 10.1 percent in the first quarter ended March 31. In creating XFi, the company hopes to reduce churn or customer defections. Chris Satchell, chief product officer, said in an interview that half of the customer complaints Comcast receives about Internet service are actually about WiFi. "We want the connectivity in the home to be as good as connectivity to the home," Satchell said.
  24. Samsung India announced a new range of QLED TVs for India, which consists of five models Q7, Q7F, Q8, Q8C, and Q9 - priced between Rs. 3,14,900 and Rs. 24,99,900. These television sets will be available to purchase later this month. © Samsung The company also announced that they will be launching their “Frame TV” later this year which was an award-winning television set from CES 2017. Samsung has not elaborated on any further details such as price, specs, refresh rate or even a concrete launch date. However, the “Frame TV” will be making its way to India and might utilise QLED technology as well. It is unclear whether it will have 4K support, however, it seems very likely. © MensXP Samsung has worked out a solution to make their latest range of televisions blend seamlessly with your room with a new transparent “Invisible Connection cable”. This cable removes the need of attaching countless cables to different HDMI ports, instead, a single connection from a box to the TV would allow a cleaner and more seamless look. This box will have multiple HDMI input ports where all third party devices such as a gaming console or a DVD player will connect to. © MensXP Apart from the Frame TV, the QLED TVs i.e. Q7, Q8, Q8C, and Q9 will be available in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch panel sizes while the Q7F will only come in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes. © MensXP Mr Rajeev Bhutani, Vice President, Consumer Electronics Business of Samsung India said “QLED, powered by Samsung's quantum dot technology, provides true-to-life images that no other TV can match. It empowers you to think about the television in a new way, bringing art and entertainment into new plans of your home. The QLED TV is as beautiful when turned off as it is when iťs on and will help us grow the demand for premium TVs as well as our market share in India even further, " © Samsung These new TVs will have a new Smart TV interface, which will additional features like voice control, support for Samsung Smart View, Streaming from Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube and other services. We can’t wait!
  25. Akshay Kumar just launched a website and a mobile app for the families of the soldiers who gave up their lives fighting for the country. At the launch of the event he said, “This website has been made exactly in two and a half months. About three months, this idea came in my mind, while watching a documentary film on terrorists, which showed how terror leaders financially support the families of the terrorist who carry out terror acts.” © Twitter Akshay Kumar launched the mobile app ‘Bharat ke veer’ with Union Minister Rajnath Singh. The actor lauded the Government of India for making his dream come true and providing a platform for everyone to help the next of the kin of slain soldiers financially. © Twitter Akshay was recently honoured with the National Award for Best Actor for his film ‘Rustom’, and was had tears in his eyes during the launch, which took place in Delhi. A Day I Found Hard To Hold Back My Tears...Support the families of our Bravehearts ❤ #BharatKeVeer Now LIVE --> https://t.co/wCPFZOYV7g pic.twitter.com/8wKGcaRYdD — Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) April 9, 2017 Such an Honour to Garland the sacred soil of the Sardar Post on #ValourDay. Launching my dream, #BharatKeVeer as we speak!! Jai Hind pic.twitter.com/JbJUoNbq5i — Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) April 9, 2017 A heartfelt thank you to hon. @rajnathsingh,Shri. Rajiv Mehrishi and @paramiyer_ for making #BharatKeVeer possible ?? pic.twitter.com/U0iOGicMp9 — Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) April 9, 2017 “Everybody wants to connect to people in uniform in their pain. It was a small dream and to fulfill this dream, our government really helped us. I want to thank everybody with my folded hands. My father was in Army and I am here as his son. Thank-you everyone,” Akshay added.