Jacksonville Jaguars: Team president apologizes for anthem display

Jaguars president Mark Lamping has apologized to the city of Jacksonville’s director of military affairs chief for the decision of several players to kneel during the national anthem prior to the team’s game in London on Sept. 24.

Lamping wrote in a letter sent to Bill Span, the city’s director of military affairs and veterans department, that the organization did not fully consider the emotions resulting in the decision to kneel for the national anthem.

The Jaguars’ players who knelt prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens were Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler. The Jaguars’ entire team stood for “God Save The Queen.”

Spann forwarded the letter to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Monday afternoon. Curry, who attended the game at Wembley Stadium, had released a statement on Sept. 26 that referenced the players’ decision to kneel during the anthem as “stupid.”

Lamping offered the following apology:

“It bears repeating that we were in remiss in not fully comprehending the effect of the national anthem demonstration occurring on foreign soil has had on the men and women who have or continue to serve our country. Similarly, we today can better appreciate how standing for ‘God Save The Queen’ may have been viewed negatively by our armed forces here in Jacksonville and beyond.

“As covered during our conversation on Thursday, this was an oversight and certainly not intended to send a message that would disparage you, our flag or our nation. The notion never entered the minds of our players or anyone affiliated with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but today we can understand how the events in London on September 24 could have been viewed or misinterpreted. We owe you an apology and hope you will accept it.”

Curry, who is a known Jaguars fan, said that the team’s players have the right against standing during the anthem, but believes they should.

“I stand and cover my heart for the pledge and the anthem,” Curry’s statement read. “I think it’s stupid to do otherwise. The U.S. Constitution protects the right for a lot of people to do a lot of stupid things. I am a Constitutional Conservative, so I respect the wisdom of our Founders.”

The Jaguars’ game in London was two days removed from President Donald Trump‘s comments during a political rally in Huntsville, Ala. Trump said players that do not stand for the national anthem should be fired.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Sports_News/NFL/2017/10/17/Jacksonville-Jaguars-Team-president-apologizes-for-anthem-display/9261508264688/

George Soros transfers nearly $18B to his foundation

Oct. 17 (UPI) — George Soros, the multi-billionaire hedge-fund manager, has transferred nearly $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations, making it one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations.

Soros, a major contributor to liberal and Democratic causes, founded Open Society Foundations in the United States in 1993.

It is the second-largest private charity in the United States behind the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with an endowment of $40.3 billion, including grants of $4.6 billion in 2016.

“It’s an ongoing process of migration from a hedge fund toward a pool of capital deployed to support a foundation over the long term,” committee member Bill Ford told The Wall Street Journal.

Laura Silber, a spokeswoman for the foundation, told the Los Angeles Times the money comes from Soros’ personal wealth.

Forbes listed Soros’ personal net worth at $23 billion.

Soros, 87, who lived through the Nazi occupation in his native Hungary, has given away $14 billion since 1979 and founded his first foundation in 1984 in Hungary.

Open Society’s 2017 budget of $941 million includes funding for early childhood and other education programs, human rights movements and institutions and justice reform.

Some, including many conservatives, have criticized his funding in recent years.

He supports Planned Parenthood and criminal justice issues advocated by the Black Lives Matter movement. In 2014, the foundation gave $1.4 million for efforts to pass California’s Proposition 47, which reduced drug possession and minor theft charges to misdemeanors.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/10/17/George-Soros-transfers-nearly-18B-to-his-foundation/3151508262849/

Expect a shakeup of China’s military elite at the 19th Party Congress

Oct. 17 (UPI) — On Wednesday, the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will begin, and China’s military will be in the spotlight.

As well as laying out the nation’s direction for the next five years and appointing its top political leaders, it’s expected that the Congress will confirm the wholesale change of China’s military elite that has been underway for the past several years.

This comes as the People’s Liberation Army undergoes its most sweeping and comprehensive set of organizational reforms since the 1950s. These reforms and leadership changes are intended to give China military muscle commensurate with its growing political and economic influence.

A changing of the guard

Since assuming power in 2012, General Secretary Xi Jinping has established his control over the military by purging some of the top brass while promoting allies.

Xi’s anti-corruption drive has claimed several high-level scalps, including Gens. Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou. These two men, as former vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission, were the two of the most powerful uniformed military leaders in China.

More recently, two other CMC members, Fang Fenghui and Zhang Yang, reportedly came under investigation for corruption and disciplinary issues. Fang headed the powerful CMC Joint Staff Department, and was a front-runner for CMC vice chairmanship. Zhang served as the director of the CMC Political Work Department, which looked after ideological education within the military.

This process has intensified in recent months. In 2017 alone, the four service heads (Army, Navy, Air Force and Rocket Force) and the commanders of three of the five military Command Theatres (Southern, Northern and Central) have been replaced. The top leaders of nine of the CMC’s 15 departments have also changed.

Promoting a new generation

As well as the purges, Xi has sought to tighten his hold on the military by promoting a generation of younger leaders.

Better educated and more familiar with advanced technologies and modern military thinking than their predecessors, we should assume that they are more adapted to the demands of modern warfare with its focus on information and joint operations.

Indeed, with some estimates suggesting that 87 percent of the military’s delegates to the Congress will be participating as first-timers, there will be plenty of new faces, voices and ideas at the top of the PLA and in the CCP Central Committee.

Capacity overhaul

No matter who makes up China’s new military leadership, they will need to operate in an environment of significant ongoing reforms and challenges.

In recent years, Xi has pushed forward an ambitious agenda that aims to overhaul the military and improve its combat effectiveness. Most importantly, the responsibilities and relationships between the CMC and subordinate groups, including the five joint Theatre Commands (Eastern, Southern, Western, Northern, and Central), have been redefined to enhance coordination and joint operations. It may be years before this new system can operate as effectively as intended.

In addition, in late 2015, China established the Strategic Support Force to oversee military operations in space, cyber, electromagnetic and information domains. This highlights the importance of advanced technologies, information and connectivity to Chinese military planners in any future conflict.

Video explainer: China’s 19th National Party Congress.

Looking ahead

What will the Congress’ outcomes tell us about China’s changing military?

Most importantly, the structure and makeup of the CMC will be a strong indication of Xi’s hold over the military. It can also give clues to China’s military priorities.

Unverified reports suggest possible reform of the current 11-member CMC. One possibility sees Xi adding two vice chairs to the CMC while cutting away regular members. This would likely strengthen Xi’s position by concentrating military power in fewer hands.

Another indicator to watch is the PLA’s representation on key Party bodies, especially the Central Committee and the Politburo. However, given the Party’s recent strong insistence on the “Party controling the gun,” it is unlikely that the military’s political power will expand through increased representation.

Moreover, if Xi is able to push through key personnel appointments on the CMC and on other key bodies in favor of candidates aligned with him, he will go into his second term in a very strong position.

Ultimately, the new military leadership unveiled during the Congress will send a number of important signals to China’s political elite, to the PLA, and to the world. It will offer clues on Xi’s standing within the Party, the state of Party-military relations, and likely priorities in the ongoing effort to fully modernise the Chinese military.

Looking ahead, expect Xi and the CCP to continue tightening their political control over the PLA while demanding advances in military capability, readiness, and professionalism.

The ConversationXi’s military reforms are wide-ranging and daring. If successful, they will increasingly enable China to compete with the United States and its allies for military predominance in Asia.

Bates Gill is a professor of Asia-Pacific security studies at Macquarie University. Adam Ni is a research assistant at the Strategic and Defense Studies Centre at Australian National University.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Top_News/Voices/2017/10/17/Expect-a-shakeup-of-Chinas-military-elite-at-the-19th-Party-Congress/1411508248941/

Scientists explain world’s largest mud eruption

Oct. 17 (UPI) — Scientists now know why boiling hot mud continues flow from vents on the Indonesian island of Java.

Researchers detailed their explanation for the “most destructive ongoing mud eruption in history” in a new paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.

In 2006, a combination of mud, water, rocks and gas began to spill from a number of newly formed vents on Java. The hot mud flows threatened villages and rice fields, forcing evacuations and requiring the construction of levees. Dubbed Lusi, the eruption is ongoing.

Eleven years after it began, Lusi vents continue to spill 3 million cubic feet of mud every day. Occasionally, the vents expel geyser-like plumes of gas and rock debris.

Now, thanks to new imaging technology, scientists have a better understanding of the unique underground volcanic plumbing responsible for the ongoing mud flows.

Images of Lusi roots show the vents and mud flows are linked through a system of faults with the magma chamber of the nearby Arjuno-Welirang volcanic complex.

Over time, the volcanic system’s magma has been baking the earth beneath the Lusi vents. The process, which produces an excess of gas, has built up a tremendous amount of pressure beneath Lusi. An earthquake in 2006 offered the opportunity for Lusi to release this pressure.

“We clearly show the evidence that the two systems are connected at depth,” Adriano Mazzini, a geoscientist at the University of Oslo, said in a news release. “What our new study shows is that the whole system was already existing there — everything was charged and ready to be triggered.”

Mazzini and his colleagues used a series of seismometers installed two years ago to image the contours of the sediment and rocks beneath Lusi. Their observations revealed a tunnel stretching from Lusi to the magma chamber beneath Arjuno-Welirang. The tunnel allows magma and hydrothermal fluids to flow from the mantle and mix with sediment beneath Lusi, building up pockets of highly-pressurized gas over time.

“It’s just a matter of reactivating or opening these faults and whatever overpressure you have gathered in the subsurface will inevitably want to escape and come to the surface, and you have a manifestation on the surface, and that is Lusi,” Mazzini said.

Java is part of a chain of islands formed by volcanoes, and the movement of magma beneath Lusi may represent the migration of the volcanic arc northward.

“It looks like this might be the initial stages of this march forward of this volcanic arc,” said Stephen Miller, a professor of geodynamics at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. “Ultimately, it’s bringing all this heat over toward Lusi, which is driving that continuous system.”

While mud flows are fairly common on Java, Lusi is a unique hybrid — the combination of a mud volcano and hydrothermal vent. Unlike other mud volcanoes, Lusi has a more massive thermal engine in the form of a large magma chamber.

“So what it means to me is that Lusi’s not going to stop anytime soon,” Miller said.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2017/10/17/Scientists-explain-worlds-largest-mud-eruption/2961508256211/

Le ciel jaune sur l’ouest de la France intrigue les internautes

En images

En Bretagne et en Normandie, de nombreux internautes ont photographié, lundi, le ciel jaune au-dessus de ces régions. En plein après-midi, la luminosité était plus basse que la normale. Certains y ont vu la couleur de la fin du monde. D’autres ont, plus sérieusement, simplement contemplé ce phénomène climatique qui n’a rien de mystérieux.

Les teintes jaunâtres du ciel ont pour origine la fin de la tempête Ophelia. Ses vents charrient des grains de sable du Sahara mais aussi les fumées des incendies espagnols et portugais.

LE MONDE

منبع مطلب : http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/video/2017/10/17/le-ciel-jaune-sur-l-ouest-de-la-france-intrigue-les-internautes_5202169_3244.html

Le ciel jaune sur l’ouest de la France intrigue les internautes

En images

En Bretagne et en Normandie, de nombreux internautes ont photographié, lundi, le ciel jaune au-dessus de ces régions. En plein après-midi, la luminosité était plus basse que la normale. Certains y ont vu la couleur de la fin du monde. D’autres ont, plus sérieusement, simplement contemplé ce phénomène climatique qui n’a rien de mystérieux.

Les teintes jaunâtres du ciel ont pour origine la fin de la tempête Ophelia. Ses vents charrient des grains de sable du Sahara mais aussi les fumées des incendies espagnols et portugais.

LE MONDE

منبع مطلب : http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/video/2017/10/17/le-ciel-jaune-sur-l-ouest-de-la-france-intrigue-les-internautes_5202169_3244.html

Astronomy group denies mysterious fireball was meteor as stargazers left baffled (VIDEOS)

Social media users took to Twitter to share images and videos of the blazing object, which puzzled many in the almost-80 seconds it set the sky alight.  

With stargazers perplexed at the sight, the Dubai Media Office was on hand to allay any fears that the end of the world was nigh, stating it was a meteor.

This was later refuted, however, by the Dubai Astronomy Group, which confirmed that it was “falling space debris of the [Russian] Progress module which is used to supply ISS [International Space Station] regularly.”

“Yesterday at around 19:30 UAE time, many people witnessed and captured images of falling space debris of the Progress module,” the group said.

“The space craft disintegrated in the upper atmosphere and broke up into smaller chunks and burned like fireworks,” it added.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/news/407025-dubai-mysterious-fireball-night-sky/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Astronomy group denies mysterious fireball was meteor as stargazers left baffled (VIDEOS)

Social media users took to Twitter to share images and videos of the blazing object, which puzzled many in the almost-80 seconds it set the sky alight.  

With stargazers perplexed at the sight, the Dubai Media Office was on hand to allay any fears that the end of the world was nigh, stating it was a meteor.

This was later refuted, however, by the Dubai Astronomy Group, which confirmed that it was “falling space debris of the [Russian] Progress module which is used to supply ISS [International Space Station] regularly.”

“Yesterday at around 19:30 UAE time, many people witnessed and captured images of falling space debris of the Progress module,” the group said.

“The space craft disintegrated in the upper atmosphere and broke up into smaller chunks and burned like fireworks,” it added.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/news/407025-dubai-mysterious-fireball-night-sky/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS