World

An asteroid strike on Earth is very likely, say experts.

An asteroid strike on Earth is just a matter of time, a leading astrophysicist from Queen’s University Belfast has warned, reports said on Tuesday. It is more a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than if it will happen, said Professor Alan Fitzsimmons from the University’s Astrophysics Research Centre.

The warning comes ahead of Asteroid Day, which is on June 30. A small asteroid had exploded over Tunguska in Russia’s Siberia on that day in 1908. The asteroid had levelled trees and burned ground covering over 2,000 square kilometres, the report said.

This year, discussions and presentations will be streamed live from Luxembourg on June 30. Experts including Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart and International Space Station astronaut Nicole Stott will answer questions from people on social media.

“It is important to know that scientists and engineers have made great strides in detecting Near-Earth Asteroids and understanding the threat posed by them. Over 1,800 potentially hazardous objects have been discovered so far, but there are much more waiting to be found,” Professor Fitzsimmons said.

He said that a major city could be destroyed in a similar unexpected strike in today’s world. A larger asteroid could be far more dangerous, he warned.

“Astronomers find Near-Earth Asteroids every day and most are harmless. But it is still possible the next Tunguska would take us by surprise, and although we are much better at finding larger asteroids, that does us no good if we are not prepared to do something about them,” he said.

The sixth Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia was held in Amritsar last December. The key elements of the conference was to challenge terrorism in the heart of Asian region, especially Afghanistan. The elements included countering extremism, exploring cultural and civilisation similarities, cooperation in the educational sector and providing connectivity to Afghanistan for its development

An aircraft packed with 60 tonnes of Afghan plants with medicinal uses marked the opening of the first air cargo corridor between Afghanistan and India today. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has received the plane. The cargo, worth about $11 million dollars, was the first in what officials from the two countries hope will be many flights allowing Afghan and Indian companies to bypass Pakistan, which strictly limits the shipment of goods by land between India and Afghanistan often as part of border disputes.
Afghanistan depends on the Pakistani port of Karachi for its foreign trade. It is allowed to send a limited amount of goods overland through Pakistan into India, but imports from India are not allowed along this route.

The new air corridor aims to boost trade between India and Afghanistan from $ 350 million to $ 1 billion in three years. While it bypasses Pakistan, necessary overflight permissions have been taken, though it allows the possibility of Islamabad acting as a spoiler if it wants.

Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the air corridor between India and Afghanistan.

Next week, the second flight to India is scheduled to depart from the southern city of Kandahar, carrying 40 tonnes of dried fruit.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani first proposed the air corridor in September last year in a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi; details were worked out when both attended a regional summit in Amritsar in December.

The first flight in this corridor from Delhi to Kabul yesterday exported 100 tonnes of Indian goods. There will be five flights every week from Kabul and Kandahar to India.

The cargo service aims to improve landlocked Afghanistan’s links to markets abroad and boost the growth prospects of its agricultural and carpet industries while it battles a deadly Taliban insurgency, Indian officials have said.

“We will continue to assist you in various ways as this corridor expands and grows into a network of cargo flights as per the demand of the market,” India’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Manpreet Vohra, told President Ghani.

The ocean is becoming more acidic, but what does that really mean? On a pH scale of 1 – 14, 1.0 is strongly acidic and 14.0 is strongly alkaline or basic; typically ocean waters are slightly alkaline and fall around 8.0-8.1 on this scale. Over the past hundred years, the pH of seawater has decreased, dropping 0.1 pH units. This is due to ocean acidification, a process that occurs when seawater absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air.

Ocean acidification research till date has looked at the effects of elevated CO2 and reduced pH on those organisms that form calcium carbonate (CaCO3) shells and skeletons, such as corals, molluscs, and coralline algae.More than a quarter of the carbon dioxide we release by burning fossil fuels is absorbed by the ocean where it reduces ocean pH and alters seawater carbonate chemistry. If we do not act to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, these changes in ocean chemistry could have a devastating impact on many shell-forming organisms, such as corals and some planktons, and marine ecosystems as a whole.

Ocean acidification represents a key threat to coral reefs by reducing the calcification rate of framework builders. In addition, acidification is likely to affect the relationship between corals and their symbiotic dinoflagellates and the productivity of this association. However, little is known about how acidification impacts on the physiology of reef builders and how acidification interacts with warming.

So what can be done about ocean acidification? The obvious solution is to slow and eventually eliminate carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and to develop approaches for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Unless there is a dramatic change in our fossil fuel use, projected human-driven ocean acidification during this century will be larger and more rapid than anything experienced by marine life for tens of millions of years. And the problem will be with us for a long time because it takes centuries to thousands of years for natural processes, primarily mixing into the deep-sea and increased dissolution of marine carbonate sediments, to remove excess carbon dioxide from the air.

Although there will be biological winners as well as biological losers, it is likely that the ocean of the future under high carbon dioxide levels will look quite different within the lifetimes of today’s children if we continue on our current course.

More than one in 10 people worldwide are now obese and 2.2 billion are believed to be overweight. 30% of population in the world is either obese or overweight.

The study was based on the latest data provided by the Global Burden of Disease study which tracks the impact of more than 300 types of pathology and injury in 133 countries.

Obesity numbers have more than doubled in 73 countries and surged elsewhere around the world since the launch of the study in 1980. Even though obesity rate remained lower in children than among the adults, it had grown at a faster rate during the study period.

Excess weight is linked to sharply increased rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. Four million deaths in 2015 were linked to having Body Mass Index of over 24.5 indicating a person is overweight or of 30 or more indicating obesity.

Of the world’s most populous countries the rate of obesity among children and young adults was highest in the United States at 13% while Egypt had the highest rate of obesity among adults at 35% of the population.

China and India had the highest number of obese children – 15.3 and 14.4 million respectively.

Overweight and obesity are largely preventable. Supportive environment and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices by making the choice of healthier foods and regular physical activity, the easiest choice and therefore preventing overweight and obesity.

People can :

  • Limit energy intake from total fats and sugars.
  • Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains amd nuts.
  • Engage in regular physical activity.

Individual responsibility can only have its full effect where people have access to healthy lifestyle.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and while that might not be the case for every invention out there, most of the cool inventions definitely qualify as useful. The cool thing about new inventions is that they combine all sorts of simple products we know and use every day into new convenient combinations.

Invented over 30 years ago, the 3D printer has been considered by many to be a novelty item. Every day, it has been updated with different and advanced technologies. It’s an emerging technology that is an alternative to the traditional tooling and machining processes used in manufacturing. 

  • The latest one is shoes from recycled water bottles. Two weeks ago, a new shoe was made from three plastic water bottles. After ground-up bottles are turned into recycled filament fibre and delivered to a factory, a San Francisco-based startup uses a proprietary process to 3D-knit the fibre into a seamless, essentially waste-free shoe. The knitting process takes just six minutes!

  • At the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, a little known Arizona-based car maker created a media sensation by manufacturing a car at the show. It was a full-scale, fully functional car that was 3D printed in 44 hours and assembled in 2 days.
    The car is called a “Strati”, Italian for layers, so named by its automotive designer Michele Anoè because the entire structure of the car is made from layers of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (A.B.S.) with reinforced carbon fibre into a single unit.

  • Coming to bones and organs, researchers at Washington State University have been able to print off replacement bones for patients needing orthopaedic or dental procedures. When the structures are placed surgically next to the actual bone, they act as a bridge, helping the bone repair itself and then dissolving with “no apparent ill effects”. This is especially useful for people who’ve fractured bones in a car crash or perhaps chipped a tooth on a frozen banana.

 

  • By the printer method, researchers have been able to use digital cameras to capture the likeness of an injured area, along with the patient’s skin tone, to create a digital model of the needed part before sending it off to a Z Corp Z510 colour 3D printer. This costs about the same as a handcrafted prosthetic, but because the parts often become damaged over time, replacements can be made quickly for only about $150.

  • When it says Pizzas and Cookies it really is edible. Imagine a future in which someone made a doughnut just for you — with just the right amount of calories and maybe some extra fibre for good measure. Except that someone is a machine, and the doughnut is 3D printed based on the personal health data you’ve given it. Researchers at Cornell University’s [email protected] lab demonstrated a printer that did something similar with cookies. Two people fed information about their height, weight and BMI into the printer, which baked two deceptively identical-looking snowflake-shaped cookies that actually comprised different ingredients based on each person’s nutritional requirements. NASA debuted a pizza printer at Austin’s SXSW Eco in September. They’re still working on getting the recipe right — the pizza they baked at the expo was made of dough topped with ketchup and cream cheese. Almost, but not quite, guys. A heated plate bakes the dish as it comes out.
  • The space agency is particularly interested in 3D printers, considering how much easier it would be to send one of those into space along with dehydrated ingredients instead of bulkier prepared foods. Long-distance space travel requires food with 15-plus years of shelf life, and the printer ingredients could last up to 30 years. So, the first human beings to set foot on Mars could very well celebrate with a pizza party, and that’s awesome.

In a nutshell, 3D modelling creates efficiencies and saves “risk money.” You know, that money that you have to spend to determine if your idea makes business sense.  By saving risk money you conserve resources, keep the project under budget and don’t needlessly waste money chasing an idea that could have early on been proven to be one that should have been passed on in favour of others.  We all know investors are creative people with plenty of other projects in mind, so whenever you can save and conserve while responsibly moving forward you are ahead of the game by a long shot.

Dubai becomes the world’s first country to introduce the system of “paperless passport”. The UAE residents entering the Dubai international airport will now be allowed to use their mobile phone as their passport. It is called the UAEwallet and comes in the form of an app.

The residents of Dubai will access the e-gate to enter Dubai’s International Airport. They are required to register their personal details, passport information, Emirates ID and further details in order to use the official app. They are also required to register their finger print so that there won’t be any confusion in e-gate. This technology has gone through various process and the developers officially announced that it is impossible to hack or misuse.

“The Smart Wallet will save passengers’ time and also protect their documents and passport. Passengers will only need to use the smartphone at the smart gates and scan their fingerprint with ease,” deputy chairman of police.

Technology has indeed changed our lives. Dubai has made paperless passport turn into reality. You no longer have to worry about anything, just carry your mobile and go ahead. One of the biggest issue of passport was making the “duplicate copy” of it. If every country adopts this method, then not only Dubai, but every country will be free from the issue of duplicate copy. Indeed a good change! 

Yemen said to be the poorest country of Middle East, is in a state of losing its country. When, the Houthi (allied Zaidi tribes in Sa’dah) tried to capture most of the cities in Yemen there was an air campaign launched by Saudi Arabia against the rebels in the year 2015. Since then, Yemen is torn apart, more than 10,000 people were killed, 40,000 injured, and people were forced to leave their house. Houthis have managed to control the cities they own but the cities from which Houthis were forced out by the Saudis are partially returned to Al-Qaeda control. And what do Al-Qaeda​ terrorists do to Yemen – they trapped Yemeni army soldiers in Dowan district and blew up a police station, and now they are hiding and planning deadly attack on military facilities.

“The crisis in Yemen is not an accident, it’s the result of a failed peace process. The international community’s inability to secure political solutions to the conflict has left the population fighting for their survival; not only from war but now from starvation too” – Mohamed El Montassir Hussein, Yemen country director at the International Rescue Committee.

The two year war between Houthi insurgents and the government has poisoned the country. Yemen is affected by a waterborne deadly disease called Cholera. According to the World Health Organization, Cholera is spreading like fire and has affected more than 1,00,000 people resulting around 40 deaths. Many hospitals have been damaged due to the attack, and this is the reason people are not getting proper treatment and other medical facilities.

17 million people are threatened by food shortages and require urgent humanitarian support, 6.8 million people are in a state of emergency, children under 5 are malnourished, the war has obstructed food import and damaged the livelihood of Yemen. What else can happen in Yemen to make things worse?

Al-Akhali said “Yemen was already the poorest country in the Middle East region even before the war started. As the conflict has escalated, the small economy that existed has crumbled.”

Conflict and insecurity are the main drivers of the situation in Yemen. If this ends, Yemen can be saved. International access of humanitarian aid can be a challenge to many. But if you like to donate some money or provide a kitchen set to enable a family to prepare food, you can visit this site.

https://donate.unhcr.org/int-en/yemen/inr/

In UK, it’s time of general elections. Conservatives are said to be the largest party with expectation of 316 seats and Labour 261 seats. Labour has won a handful of seats from the Tories.

As per the latest declaration, Labour has won Enfield Southgate. The Lib Dems have won Oxford West and Abingdon from the conservatives. Caroline Lucas won Brighton pavilion. SNP election ends in Hung Parliament.

Theresa May said “If we get Brexit right, we can build a Britain that is more prosperous and more secure. A Britain in which prosperity and opportunity is shared by all. A Britain where it’s not where you come from or who your parents are that matter, but the talent you have and how hard you are prepared to work. The greatest meritocracy in the world.”

Theresa May is likely to lose after her election campaign for Brexit. The Conservatives are the largest party but they don’t hold enough majority to win the election. Theresa loses her majority seats. Her campaign included the Brexit issue. But didn’t seem pretty well for people as they believe that she is a recipe for survival not stability. This move has proved advantageous for the opposition party, Jeremy Corbin. He has strengthened​ his points for Brexit negotiation for UK’s better and stable economy.

Distressed on this election result, Theresa May now seeks to form a new government either as a minority or as a coalition with other parties and if the permission is granted, she will have to survive a motion of confidence in House of Commons after Parliament opens on June 19. If MAY fails to survive in the House of Commons cannot be the Prime Minister and should give her resignation letter to Queen Elizabeth II. Queen will then invite the opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn to form his government. If he also fails to survive, then fresh elections would be held.

The similar situation happened on 12 May 2010 where David Cameron formed a coalition part with liberal democratic party which lasted full five year term.

Theresa May is planning to form a new coalition government with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. She will start the negotiation with the party to gain majority.

5th June, World Environment Day is organized to encourage people to get outdoors(out of their comfort zones) and appreciate the beauty of our planet and promote awareness among our future generation about the significance and protection of healthy environment.

But an integral question is: Is 5th June just a day to turn our attention towards cleaning our planet or planting saplings?

Maybe it is. Because we are too reluctant with our environment and too busy with our daily hectic schedule that we don’t get time to focus our attention towards the environment. So, June 5th is not just a day to read about the problems affecting the countryside instead it is a day which makes us get off from our place to do something that helps to preserve nature like litter picking outing, hiking in your local park, planting trees etc.

The World Environmental Day is also celebrated to inculcate new seeds of thought and opinion regarding our environment in the minds of people. We are living in smart era so, why not we promote the importance of healthy environment through our smart technologies like snapping some beautiful shots of the great outdoors and sharing them online.

This year is all about connecting people to nature. The theme was chosen by this year’s host country CANADA which will be the center of World Environment Day activities. Celebrating World Environment Day began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events. But this year the theme itself is so lively that it motivates the people to plant more trees, for cleaning up their neighborhoods and taking action against wildlife crimes.

Make your environment pollution free by planting saplings in your garden or in your nearest parks that directly links you up with nature. Don’t think much just go out of your house to your local parks and don’t enjoy the beauty by watching idly. Connect yourself with the nature by jumping straight into the lake. Get off your shoes and enjoy in the mud, let your feet and hands get dirty and sense the amaglamation of mud with water, and feel it’s pleasant smell. Decorate your home with beautiful fresh flowers at different places .

And all these steps are not only for 5th June, try to do this whenever you get time and feel aesthetic!

The son of an Indian doctor and an Irish nurse Leo Varadkar came out publicly as gay in 2015, has won the leadership race for the ruling party to become the country’s youngest ever and first homosexual Prime Minister of Ireland.

In the 2015 interview with RTE radio Varadkar said, “It’s not something that defines me, I am not a half Indian politician or a doctor politician or a gay politician, It’s just part of who I am, It doesn’t define me. It is a part of my character, I suppose.”

Varadkar faced a stiffer than expected challenge in the centre from his rival, Housing Minister Simon Coveney. Mr. Varadkar will officially take over as the Taoiseach, Republic of Ireland’s Prime Minister. He won majority of the votes and is declared as the 11th leader of the party as counting concluded at Mansion House in Dublin.

He worked as a general practitioner before winning a seat in the Parliament in 2007 and has rapidly risen through the party ranks, holding several ministerial portfolios including Minister for social protection and Minister for transport tourism and sports. He also compaigned for same sex marriage and liberalising abortion laws.

Kenny also gave full support to Leo by saying that, “It is a great honour for him and I am sure he will put all his efforts to work for the people to improve their lives. He also thanked Simon Coveney for a good and real contest.

After the final votes were counted Varadkar said, he was delighted, humbled and honoured to win. It is a sign showing how much Ireland has changed and moved on and no one really cares if he is gay here.