Comments Off on Kazakh parliament approves renaming of capital to Nursultan
ASTANA – The Kazakh parliament approved a bill to rename the capital of Kazakhstan a
fter former President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Wednesday at a joint meeting of its two houses.
The bill was passed in two readings and the decision was announced by Nurlan Nigmatul
in, speaker of the lower house of the Kazakh parliament, state news agency Kazinform reported.
At the initiative of the new interim president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, it was dec
ided to change the name of the capital from Astana to Nursultan without a referendum.
Earlier in the day, Tokayev took office as Kazakhstan’s interim president following the sud
den resignation of Nazarbayev, who had served as the country’s president for nearly three decades.
After the inauguration, Tokayev proposed to rename the Kazakh capital in honor of the former president.
RIA Novosti news agency quoted Kazakh Justice Minister Marat Beketayev as saying
that the bill has yet to be signed into law by the president in order to become effective.
Comments Off on Purrfect! A smart shelter powered by AI keeps stray cats warm in
A constant temperature of 27 degrees, a water bowl that never freezes, a comfy mat, and no dogs allowed.
Those are the amenities for felines in a neighborhood in Beijing’s Sh
unyi district, where stray cats can loll around contentedly all winter, nibbling food and sipp
ing water, safe from the weather and provided with love through an artificial intelligence platform. It is purrfection.
Wan Xi, an engineer at Baidu Brain－the open AI platform of Baidu－had the idea of build
ing a smart shelter for strays when he found a kitten huddled on his car tire in the winter of 2017.
Winter is rough for stray animals, as they require extra calories to stay warm. Only around 40 perc
ent of stray cats find enough food and shelter to make it through the harsh temperatures.
Although volunteers offer water, food and even heating pads to stray animals, Beijing’s freezin
g winters can turn a bowl of water into ice before a cat can drink. Many stray cats don’t live more than two ye
ars. Those that are not neutered or spayed face more health problems and spawn more homeless cats.
Comments Off on Wan said the facial recognition system was developed
on Baidu’s EasyDL platform, a no-code tool that helps users build customized mac
hine learning models. The system was “trained” with thousands of images of cat faces.
The temperature inside the smart cattery is maintained at 27 degrees, at which cats feel most comfortable and relaxed.
It also has a ventilation system that monitors the air inside in real time.
Wan said stray cats in the neighborhood are more nervous at first and just wander aro
und curiously. After one brave mongrel made the first visit, others followed.
Stray cats are often emotionally sensitive, so the door will not close the minute a cat enters. The anima
l will have time to get used to the cattery without being jittery. Seven or eight cats come to rest in the shelter every day.
Comments Off on Indian billionaire arrested in London over alleged $2B fraud
K police have arrested India’s billionaire diamond dealer Nirav Modi
in London over his alleged involvement in a bank fraud that could be worth $2 billion.
Modi was arrested Tuesday on “behalf of the Indian authorities,” acco
rding to a statement from London’s Metropolitan Poli
ce, and is set to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court Wednesday.
Punjab National Bank, one of India’s largest, reported fraudulent activity at one of its branches more than a year ago.
India then issued an Interpol Red Notice for Modi’s arrest and London authorities were asked to pr
oceed with it, said a spokesperson for India’s Enforcement Directorate. The Indian foreign ministry sai
d in a statement it welcomed the arrest, and would seek to extradite Modi as soon as possible.
Comments Off on Six people arrested in Kenya after seizure of fake $20 millio
Police in Kenya have arrested six people in connection with the seizure of counterfeit notes worth more than $20 million.
The fake banknotes were found in a personal safety deposit box of a Barclays Bank bran
ch in the capital Nairobi, Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations said on Tuesday.
“Six people were arrested… by DCI detectives in connection with fake currency a
mounting to slightly over $20 million at Barclays Kenya Queensway Branch,” the statement read.
6 People were arrested today evening by @DCI_Kenya Detectives in conn
ection with Fake currency amounting to slightly over 20Million US Dollars @Ba
rclays_Kenya~Queensway Branch. The fake notes in 100 Dollar denominations were recovered from the Bank’s
“The fake notes in $100 denominations were recovered from the bank’s safe room.”
Those arrested include two bank officials, DCI said, adding that a person who woul
d have been defrauded by the suspects was cooperating with the police in the investigation.
Barclays Kenya confirmed on Tuesday that the police arrested a customer who had kept counterfeit dollar notes in a safety deposit box at the branch.
Comments Off on On Tuesday Ardern hinted at major changes to come in light
of the terror attack, especially when it comes to New Zealand’s gun laws.
New Zealand Prime Minister says, ‘Our gun laws will change’
The Prime Minister had previously announced that a government inquiry will look into the circumstances leading up to Friday’s attack.
The inquiry will investigate what agencies knew — or should have known — about th
e gunman’s access to weapons or any impediments into the sharing of information, she said.
Australian Brenton Harris Tarrant, 28, was charged with
murder on Saturday. He is believed to be the only person responsible for the attacks.
Tarrant lived in New Zealand’s southern city of Duned
in, around 225 miles from Christchurch. Officials said he had no criminal history in New Zeala
nd or Australia and had not drawn the attention of the intelligence community for extremist views.Tarrant is esco
rted into Christchurch District Court on Saturday. The judge ruled pictures of the suspect in court must have his face blurred.
Comments Off on Big breakthroughs at major events enshrine a generation of
players, especially when they happen at home. I hope that 10 years la
ter this team of players will still be remembered for what they did at the World Cup.”
Around 8,000 spectators packed into the arena to witness the draw, whi
ch was conducted by Chinese pop star Yang Chaoyue, a member of the idol group Rock
et Girls 101, and NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and was staged in conjunction with FIBA’s global partner Tencent Sports.
After going 0-5 at the 2016 Rio Olympics and failing to qualify for the last World Cup, in 2
014 in Spain, Asian Games champion China is under heavy pressure to deliver an improved performance at home.
Should China emerge from Group A, it will face one of the top two
teams from a tougher-looking Group B, which features Argentina, Russia, South Korea and Nigeria.
Comments Off on We are not here to deliver the Cup and leave. We are here
to stay by making big investments,” said the 38-year-old Greek.
“Of course our sport is very popular in China and organizing the Cup will make it even more popular. A good perfo
rmance by the national team will give it an extra boost. We are harnessing our potential under the leadership of Yao Ming.”
FIBA’s footprint in China has become more noticeable in recent ye
ars. Last June, the governing body unveiled plans to build a “one-of-a-kind” basketball aca
demy in Beijing in conjunction with Beijing Enterprises Group Company Limited to foster young Chinese talent.
And, in collaboration with the CBA, the first-ever FIBA World Basketball Summit was held in Xi’an, Shaanxi province in October.
President Xi Jinping on Monday presided over a symposium in Beijing for teachers of ideological and political theory.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee
and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered an important speech at the symposium.
Comments Off on While China is already the world’s biggest gas importer, with
billion cu m of gas shipment last year, a
year-on-year increase of 31.7 percent, it has only 26 gas stora
ge sites with just 8 billion cu m in storage as of 2018, contributing 3 percent of the country’s total gas consumption.
Analysts believe insufficient infrastructure, including underground gas storage an
d natural gas pipelines, is standing in the way of a more open and liberalized domestic gas sector in the country.
Li Li, research director at energy consulting company ICIS China, also suggested that the government should encourage the construction of gas storage ta
nks to prevent future gas shortages during cold snaps, considering the country’s high dependence on oil and gas imports.
To ensure sufficient gas supply, the country’s national oil majors are also ramping up loc
al oil and gas output, adding thousands of wells at oil basins, shale rocks and deepwater fields nationwide.
Comments Off on It (political apathy) has seeped into their minds because
of the kind of politics the parties do. Going forward, it is important to restore confidence in the electoral system we have,” Simte said.
”The moment we restore that confidence, there will be a social and political tran
sformation. More people will come out and vote, more people will stand for elections.”
Mumbai-based student Kutty believes “voting gives you the right to critique the government.”
”If you want to make a change, you cannot just complain about it — you do your part and you vote,” she said.
Kulshrestha, from New Delhi, wholeheartedly agrees.
”It is absolutely pertinent that every citizen exercises their right. It is very easy to later sob about the policies of the govern
ment and the socio-political climate of the country if you haven’t actively done anything to change it,” she said.