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An astonishing discovery was made by Uppsala University researchers in Sweden recently, according to which they found Arabic characters woven into funeral clothes of the Viking graves. The words were ?Allah? and ?Ali?. The recent findings have opened a gateway of questions regarding the civilisation and the influence of Islam on the Vikings, whose age spanned from late 8th century to the mid-11th century. The clothes, belonging to the 9th and 10th century, were left ignored as they were considered as conventional Viking grave clothes. The researchers were trying to reconstruct textile patterns for an upcoming exhibition at the museum of Enkoping when the Kufic character patterns were discovered on the silk clothes. Annika Larsson, a researcher in textile archaeology at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University, spoke to Swedish science portal Forskning and said: ?Presumably, Viking Age burial customs were influenced by Islam and the idea of an eternal life in Paradise after death". She said that the possibility of the graves being of Muslims cannot be ruled out. The team is now collaborating with the university's department for immunology, genetics and pathology to ascertain the geographic origins of the bodies inside those graves.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogSpanish police on Friday detained a man they said had a close relationship with a number of those involved in last month?s attacks in Barcelona when militant used a van to hit pedestrians and carried out a follow-up attack, killing 16. The Moroccan man, 24, is a resident in Spain and had connections to a cell which took part in the attack, especially the imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. Police are looking at the man?s part in the acquisition of materials, specifically hydrogen peroxide, which was used in the manufacture of some 100 kilos of TATP explosives, the ministry said. The cell had accumulated around 120 canisters of butane gas at a house in a town south of Barcelona with which, police said following the attacks, it had planned to carry out a larger bomb attack. A blast that destroyed the house in the town of Alcanar on Aug. 16, the eve of the Barcelona attack, was accidentally triggered by the cell, police say. Satty, said to be the leader of the militant group, died in the explosion. Six of the suspects were killed by police during the attacks and four have been arrested, with two held in prison. Spanish police have arrested 201 people they claim are associated with militant Islamists since raising the alert level to 4, the second highest, in June 2015.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogPakistan's Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi. Photo: File The second day of a three-day conference of Pakistani envoys kicked-off on Wednesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad. According to media reports, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi will attend the conference via video link. The envoy conference is being held to deliberate on key foreign policy issues following US President Donald Trump?s new Afghan policy, Kashmir and regional situation. Prime Minister Shahid Khawan Abbasi and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif have addressed the inaugural session of the conference. Envoys in various countries, including the United States, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Afghanistan, Iran, and India are participating in the conference. PM Abbasi will also chair concluding session of the conference. Earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said that the military and civil leadership are on the same page that Pakistan has to make a clean break from its past. ?We need to tell our friends that we have improved our house. We need to bring our house in order to prevent facing embarrassment on the international level,? the minister said while speaking on Geo News programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath. Khawaja Asif remarked that countries shouldn?t put pressure on countries they share a close relationship with. He accepted that Pakistan had made some mistakes in the past, adding that the country should not have participated in the proxy war in Afghanistan during Ziaul Haq?s tenure as well as the war on terror.?We need to break our false image. We have no stake but there is baggage. We need to accept the history and correct ourselves,? he said. The minister also said that he doesn?t get why people are so surprised over the terrorist names included by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in the list. Those organisations are also banned in Pakistan. During Eidul Azha, specific instructions were issued that no hides would be given to these banned organisations, he added.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogToyota Motor President Akio Toyoda and Mazda Motor President Masamichi Kogai shake hands at a joint news conference in Tokyo, Japan August 4, 2017. Photo: Reuters TOKYO: Toyota Motor Corp and Mazda Motor Corp plan to build a $1.6 billion US assembly plant, the two said on Friday, as part of an alliance that will also see the Japanese automakers jointly develop electric vehicle technologies. The two will take small stakes in each other as part of the tie-up: Toyota, the world's second-largest automaker by vehicle sales last year, will take a five per cent share of Mazda, extending its dominance in Japan's auto sector. Mazda will take a 0.25 per cent share of its larger rival. The plant, something of a surprise at a time of overcapacity in the US market, will be a boost to US President Donald Trump, who campaigned on promises to increase manufacturing and expand employment for American autoworkers. The plant will be capable of producing 300,000 vehicles a year, with production divided between the two automakers, and employ about 4,000 people. It will start operating in 2021. Trump welcomed the move in a tweet, terming it a 'great investment': The electric vehicles cooperation, meanwhile, comes as the tightening of global emissions regulations prompts more automakers to develop battery powered cars, as the industry struggles with hefty research costs and intense competition from technology companies over technology like self-driving cars. As part of the agreement, Toyota and Mazda will also work together to develop in-car information technologies and automated driving functions. Toyota, Japan's biggest auto company, has been forging alliances with smaller Japanese rivals for several years, effectively engineering a loose consolidation of the Japanese auto sector. It already owns a 16.5 per cent stake in Subaru Corp, Japan's No. 6 automaker, with which it also has a development partnership. Toyota is also courting compact car maker Suzuki Motor Corp to cooperate on R&D and parts supply as Toyota seeks to tap its smaller rival's expertise in emerging Asian markets. A stake in Mazda may also prevent future incursions by tech companies, one analyst said. "For a technology company which lacks the expertise in making cars, Mazda could look like a very interesting acquisition. They're very good, they're not too expensive. Maybe Toyota realises this," CLSA managing director Chris Richter said. "By buying a five per cent stake, Toyota takes Mazda off the table rather than having it sit out there like a free agent which could someday be used against them." Mazda car mechanic works at a garage affiliated with its dealership in Tokyo, Japan, February 16, 2017. Photo: Reuters Corolla production shift Mazda stands to gain from a deal that gives the small automaker a production foothold in the United States. At the moment, Mazda ships all vehicles sold in the country, its biggest market, from its plants in Japan and Mexico. It also gets a boost in electric cars. With an R&D budget of around 140 billion yen ($1.27 billion) this year, a fraction of Toyota's 1 trillion yen, Mazda has said that it lacks the funds to develop electric cars on its own, a view shared by Subaru and Suzuki. "Mazda needs electrification technology. In the past they've pooh-poohed EVs, they've felt that they can make internal combustion engines more efficient, but the bottom line is that globally you need to have this technology," said Janet Lewis, head of Asia transportation research at Macquarie Securities. Mazda, whose annual global vehicle sales are one-eighth that of Toyota, caters to a specific audience largely in North America with its design-conscious sedans and SUVs, and has been focusing on developing more fuel-efficient gasoline engines. The automakers plan to produce Toyota Corollas and a new Mazda SUV crossover at the new plant. Toyota initially had been planning to produce Corollas at its new $1 billion plant currently under construction in Mexico, but this will shift to the United States, and the automaker will instead produce its Tacoma truck model in Mexico. Toyota has set a goal for all of its vehicles to be zero emission by 2050. Last year it established a division to develop full-sized EVs, shifting gears after long favouring EVs only for short-distance commuting given their limited driving range and lengthy charging time.
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogLONDON: Children exposed to antidepressants during their mothers' pregnancies seem to have a slightly higher risk of autism than children whose mothers had psychiatric disorders but did not take antidepressants while pregnant, a study has found. But publishing their findings on Wednesday, researchers said the results should not cause alarm since the absolute risk of a child developing autism remains very small. Depression is common in women of childbearing age. In Europe, experts say that between 3 and 8 percent of pregnant women are prescribed antidepressants. Several previous studies have suggested associations between antidepressant use during pregnancy and autism in offspring, but researchers say it is not clear whether this is due to the illness itself, the antidepressants, or other unknown factors. A Canadian study published late in 2015 found that women who take antidepressants while pregnant may be more likely to have children with autism ? but it also noted that the overall risk is very low. For this research, a team led by Dheeraj Rai at the Britain's University of Bristol analysed data from more than 254,000 children living in Stockholm, Sweden, aged between 4 and 17. Their mothers were either women with no mental illness who had not taken antidepressants, women who'd had a disorder and taken antidepressants while pregnant, or women with psychiatric disorders who had not taken antidepressants during pregnancy. Of the 3,342 children exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy, the study found that 4.1 percent were diagnosed with autism, compared with 2.9 percent of the 12,325 children not exposed to antidepressants whose mothers had a history of a mental illness. The researchers stressed, however, that the absolute risk was small: More than 95 percent of women in the study who took antidepressants during pregnancy did not have an autistic child. They estimated that, even if the association between antidepressant use and autism is causal, only 2 percent of cases would be prevented if in future no women with psychiatric disorders took antidepressants when pregnant. In a commentary on the findings, published in the BMJ British medical journal, Diana Schendel at Denmark's Aarhus University said the findings "should be viewed through the kaleidoscope of possible causes of autism". She said the small apparent increased risk of a child developing autism "must be carefully weighed against the substantial health consequences associated with untreated depression."
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogPolice said they arrested a man outside London's Paddington Station on Monday but added that the incident was not terrorism-related, a few hours after a van ploughed into worshippers near a mosque in the British capital. "Officers have arrested a man outside Paddington for public disorder and possessing an offensive weapon. The incident is not terror related," British Transport Police said in a statement. Video footage posted on Twitter showed officers restraining a shirtless man outside the station before taking him away. Police have said the earlier attack at the mosque, which injured 10 people, appeared to be a terrorism-incident which would make it the fourth such attack in three months in Britain.
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogCyber security researchers have found technical evidence they said could link North Korea with the global WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday. Symantec (SYMC.O) and Kaspersky Lab said on Monday that some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry software had also appeared in programs used by the Lazarus Group, which researchers from many companies have identified as a North Korea-run hacking operation. "This is the best clue we have seen to date as to the origins of WannaCry," Kaspersky Lab researcher Kurt Baumgartner told Reuters. Both firms said it was too early to tell whether North Korea was involved in the attacks, based on the evidence that was published on Twitter by Google security researcher Neel Mehta. The attacks, which slowed on Monday, are among the fastest-spreading extortion campaigns on record. The research will be closely followed by law enforcement agencies around the world, including Washington, where President Donald Trump's homeland security adviser said on Monday that both foreign nations and cyber criminals were possible culprits. The two security firms said they needed to study the code more and asked for others to help with the analysis. Hackers do reuse code from other operations, so even copied lines fall well short of proof. U.S. and European security officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity that it was too early to say who might be behind the attacks, but they did not rule out North Korea as a suspect. FireEye Inc (FEYE.O), another large cyber security firm, said it was also investigating a possible link. "The similarities we see between malware linked to that group and WannaCry are not unique enough to be strongly suggestive of a common operator," FireEye researcher John Miller said. The Lazarus hackers, acting for impoverished North Korea, have been more brazen in pursuit of financial gain than others, and have been blamed for the theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank, according to some cyber security firms. The North Korean mission to the United Nations was not immediately available for comment. Regardless of the source of the attack, investors piled into cyber security stocks on Monday, betting that governments and corporations will spend more to upgrade their defenses. The perpetrators had raised less than $70,000 from users paying to regain access to their computers, according to Trump homeland security adviser Tom Bossert. "We are not aware if payments have led to any data recovery," Bossert said, adding that no U.S. federal government systems had been affected. WannaCry demanded ransoms starting at $300, in line with many cyber extortion campaigns, which keep pricing low so more victims will pay. Still, some security experts said they were not sure if the motive of WannaCry was primarily to make money, noting that large cyber extortion campaigns typically generate millions of dollars of revenue. “I believe that this was spread for the purpose of causing as much damage as possible,” said Matthew Hickey, a co-founder of British cyber consulting firm Hacker House. The countries most affected by WannaCry to date are Russia, Taiwan, Ukraine, and India, according to Czech security firm Avast. The number of infections has fallen dramatically since Friday’s peak when more than 9,000 computers were being hit per hour. Earlier on Monday, Chinese traffic police and schools reported they had been targeted as the attack rolled into Asia for the new work week, but no there were no major disruptions. Authorities in Europe and the United States turned their attention to preventing hackers from spreading new versions of the virus. Shares in firms that provide cyber security services rose sharply, led by Israel's Cyren Ltd (CYRN.O) and U.S.-based FireEye (FEYE.O). Cisco Systems (CSCO.O) closed up 2.3 percent and was the second-biggest gainer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as investors focused more on opportunities that the attack presented for technology firms than the risk it posed to corporations. Morgan Stanley, in upgrading the stock, said Cisco should benefit from network spending driven by security needs. Beyond the immediate need to shore up computer defenses, the attack turned cyber security into a political topic in Europe and the United States, including discussion of the role national governments play. In a blog post on Sunday, Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) President Brad Smith confirmed what researchers already widely concluded: The attack made use of a hacking tool built by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) that had leaked online in April. He poured fuel on a long-running debate over how government intelligence services should balance their desire to keep software flaws secret - in order to conduct espionage and cyber warfare - against sharing those flaws with technology companies to better secure the internet. On Monday, Bossert sought to distance the NSA from any blame. "This was not a tool developed by the NSA to hold random data. This was a tool developed by culpable parties, potentially criminals or foreign nation-states, that were put together in such a way as to deliver phishing emails, put it into embedded documents, and cause infection, encryption, and locking," Bossert said. Russian President Vladimir Putin, noting the technology's link to the U.S. spy service, said it should be "discussed immediately on a serious political level." "Once they're let out of the lamp, the genius of this kind, especially those created by intelligence services, can later do damage to their authors and creators," he said.
HYDERABAD: The rail link between Karachi and Hyderabad is expected to be reopened soon after the collision of two trains near Kotri on Saturday morning. Officials said rescue operations are still under way to clear the debris from the railway tracks. Two goods trains collided between the Bholari and Meeting Pul near Kotri early Saturday morning; with no casualties reported. The incident halted rail traffic to and from Karachi; with reports coming in on Saturday that over seven trains have been halted at the Hyderabad and Kotri railway stations. The Karachi-Hyderabad route will take at least one day to be restored and reopened for trains, railway officials said on Saturday. Two trains were dispatched to the crash site in order to help with the clearing operations. On Saturday, officials of the Pakistan Railways had stated that the tracks could be reopened by night. However, that has claim has been proved false as clearing and repair work is still under way and the rail route blocked. Giving details of the accident, Railways DS Nisar Memon had said around 23 bogies were derailed after a goods train transporting containers to Lahore crashed into the rear side of another train carrying oil to Multan.
HYDERABAD: The rail link between Karachi and Hyderabad is yet to be reopened despite the passage of more than 24 hours since the collision of two trains near Kotri. Officials said rescue operations are still under way to clear the debris from the railway tracks. Two goods trains collided between the Bholari and Meeting Pul near Kotri early Saturday morning; with no casualties reported. The incident halted rail traffic to and from Karachi; with reports coming in on Saturday that over seven trains have been halted at the Hyderabad and Kotri railway stations. The Karachi-Hyderabad route will take at least one day to be restored and reopened for trains, railway officials said on Saturday. Two trains were dispatched to the crash site in order to help with the clearing operations. On Saturday, officials of the Pakistan Railways had stated that the tracks could be reopened by night. However, that has claim has been proved false as clearing and repair work is still under way and the rail route blocked. Giving details of the accident, Railways DS Nisar Memon had said around 23 bogies were derailed after a goods train transporting containers to Lahore crashed into the rear side of another train carrying oil to Multan.
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogTesla Inc founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk said his latest company Neuralink Corp is working to link the human brain with a machine interface by creating micron-sized devices. Neuralink is aiming to bring to the market a product that helps with certain severe brain injuries due to stroke, cancer lesion etc, in about four years, Musk said in an interview with website Wait But Why. "If I were to communicate a concept to you, you would essentially engage in consensual telepathy," Musk said in the interview published on Thursday. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will create computers so sophisticated and godlike that humans will need to implant "neural laces" in their brains to keep up, Musk said at a tech conference last year. "There are a bunch of concepts in your head that then your brain has to try to compress into this incredibly low data rate called speech or typing," Musk said in the latest interview. "If you have two brain interfaces, you could actually do an uncompressed direct conceptual communication with another person." The technology could take about eight to 10 years to become usable by people with no disability, which would depend heavily on regulatory approval timing and how well the devices work on people with disabilities, Musk was quoted as saying. In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that Musk had launched a company through which computers could merge with human brains. Neuralink was registered in California as a "medical research" company last July, and he plans on funding the company mostly by himself.
We are changing the existing Profanity Filters feature to become the new Word Filters feature. This change will allow you to define words that will initiate a moderator review before content is posted. With creative use of this new feature you can actually have the Suite self-moderate certain posts. Right now the Profanity Filters are pretty basic. If you enter "stopword" you can have it change to *****. That's fine for basic profanity but sometimes you want to do other actions with a word. Perhaps someone might mention a competitor, you see common spam words, or you run a site targeted to children and want fine control over what is posted. There are a lot of reasons a simple replace word with *** might not be what you want. Word Filters introduce an option to let you say "stopword" places a post in moderation queue. Word Filters So now you can define a list of words that are not necessarily profanity but are words you want to review if they are posted. We have also extended this logic to the URL Filters which are now just called Links in the AdminCP configuration. You can now disallow all links and have a post go to approval if someone does post a link. This is also useful for sites where you need really tight control on content either for security or privacy reasons. Link Options With the new Links feature you can also set allow/disallow list of allows links and if someone posts a link outside those lists (depending on your mode) the post will go into review. We hope these features allow you to introduce a bit of automatic moderation to your community and you can come up with creative ways to capture posts that need review either for security, privacy, or just keeping things in order. This change will be in version 4.1.17 which is scheduled to be released in early December 2016. View the full article