Months After Summit With US, North Korea Tests “High-Tech Weapon”: Report


Seoul, South Korea: 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has supervised the testing of a “high-tech” new weapon, Pyongyang’s state media reported Friday according to Yonhap news agency.

“Kim Jong Un inspected the testing of a newly developed high-tech tactical weapon at the Academy of National Defence Science,” Yonhap cited the North’s state broadcaster as saying. 

It said the test was successful but did not specify the type of device involved.

The “high-tech tactical weapon” had been developed over a long period and “builds impregnable defences of our country and strengthens the fighting power of our people’s army”, it added.

Pyongyang’s suspension of nuclear weapon and ballistic missile tests has been key to this year’s rapid diplomatic developments and North Korean-US negotiations, and has been repeatedly praised by President Donald Trump.

Trump and Kim met in a historic summit in Singapore in June, where they signed a vaguely-worded document on denuclearisation of the peninsula.

Progress has since stalled as Washington and Pyongyang spar over the meaning of the document, and a return to testing would cast grave doubts over the future of the process.

“That pit of dread you felt in your stomach when you read this is your reminder that the DPRK missile test pause is voluntary, partial, and can fail without notice if it isn’t explicitly codified,” Adam Mount of the Federation of American Scientists tweeted in response to the report, using the country’s official acronym.





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Down Under…. India has won just 5 Tests in India, still Seeking the first series win


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Aaron Finch Deserves To Open Against India In Tests, Says Australian Captain Tim Paine


The 33-year-old Paine also said that Finch is their best batsman in all formats of the game along with Usman Khawaja.

Paine believes that Finch can bat anywhere from one to six and that will be a real positive for the hosts heading into the series against a formidable Indian side.

“I think Finchy deserves that spot,” Tim Paine was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“He got picked on weight of runs in all formats of the game and in Dubai he was our best batsman, apart from Usman.

“I think he’s earned the right to open the batting. But going forward, who knows? We know Aaron can bat anywhere from one to six so that’s a real positive for us and for him,” the right-handed batsman added.

Finch has maintained an average over 45 in Test cricket. In One-Day Internationals (ODIs), the hard-hitting batsman averages 37.85 with a high score of 148.

In the shortest format of the game, where Finch is one of the key batsman for the Australia, he averages just over 41 with two centuries to his name.



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Pakistan Include Teen Pacer Shaheen Afridi For New Zealand Tests


The sensational pace bowler emerged on the scene last year, taking 8-39 in an innings in his first class debut, the best-ever figures by a Pakistani bowler in his first match.

Pakistan and New Zealand play the first Test in Abu Dhabi from November 16 to 20. The second match will be in Dubai November 24-28 while the final Test is also in Abu Dhabi December 3-7. A squad for the final Test will be announced later.

“Shaheen has been included in the squad keeping into account his current form,” said chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq Inzamam. “He has impressed with his bowling.”

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir is still sidelined after his recent poor form while another paceman Wahab Riaz was dropped after being wicket-less in the first Test against Australia last month.

Also left out of the squad is opener Fakhar Zaman who made his debut in the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi last month, scoring 94 and 66 — apparently to rest his knee injury.

Left-hander Saad Ali was selected again after his fighting hundred for Pakistan ‘A’ against New Zealand ‘A” in Abu Dhabi this week but there was no place for Shan Masood who hit centuries in each innings of the first side game between the “A” teams in Dubai last month.

Squad:

Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Saad Ali, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza.



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Uber Wants To Resume Self-Driving Tests in Pennsylvania


The crash raised significant questions about the performance of Uber’s software.




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Uber has been testing self-driving cars in manual mode on public streets.

Uber Technologies Inc has asked Pennsylvania for permission to resume self-driving car testing on public roads and has improved the autonomous vehicle software, the company said on Friday, more than seven months after it suspended testing following a deadly crash in Arizona. The company disclosed in a report to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it would resume testing with two employees in the front seat, enable an automatic braking system at all times, and more strictly monitor safety employees. Uber has been testing self-driving cars in manual mode on public streets.

In June, police in Tempe, Arizona, said a back-up driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber was distracted and streaming a television show on her phone right up until about the time the car struck and killed a pedestrian walking across a street, deeming the crash that rocked the nascent industry “entirely avoidable.”

The crash was the first death attributed to a self-driving vehicle and was seen as a significant setback for the industry, which is racing to get vehicles into commercial use.

Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement Friday the company would resume road tests only after implementing “improved processes.”

Uber said it now has real-time third party monitoring of back-up safety drivers, sets limits on the time drivers can work per day and has improved training. In July, Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation said it was issuing new guidelines asking companies to submit details about testing, and that it expected companies would comply. A spokeswoman for the agency said Friday it had received the application and would review it.

The state said it would send companies an authorization letter after approving their submissions. Uber said it would not resume testing in Pittsburgh until it received that letter. Alphabet Inc’s Waymo unit plans to launch a commercial ride-hailing service in Arizona this year, while General Motors Co is on track to roll out a similar service next year with vehicles without steering wheels or brake pedals.

Authorities in Pittsburgh, where Uber debuted its self-driving vehicles in 2016, have said they welcome the cars back on city streets.

“I think we have increased confidence,” said Karina Ricks, director of the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, citing the addition of a second employee in cars being tested and more transparency from Uber. Following the Tempe accident, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto balked at allowing Uber to resume autonomous driving before a full federal investigation of the crash.

“One of the problems with Uber was they appeared to be moving just a bit too fast,” Ricks said. “They got a little cocky about their technology.”

The crash raised significant questions about the performance of Uber’s software.

Uber said a key recommendation of an internal review after the Tempe crash was to improve the self-driving vehicles’ “overall software system design.” Uber said in its safety report released Friday the vehicle had improved “system latency,” allowing it to detect objects and actors sooner and execute safe reactions faster.

uber

The NTSB said the vehicle had registered the pedestrian who was walking a bike across the road first as an unknown object 

The National Transportation Safety Board, which has an ongoing investigation, said in May that Uber registered observations of the pedestrian about six seconds before impact, but the system did not determine that emergency braking was needed until 1.3 seconds before impact.

The NTSB said the vehicle had registered the pedestrian who was walking a bike across the road first as an unknown object, then a vehicle and lastly a bicycle. Uber said it had a new approach to “handling uncertainty within the self-driving system.” Uber also has a new separate systems engineering testing team and plans a self-driving safety advisory board of outside experts. If a vehicle is uncertain about something in its view the software is now better positioned to “reason over many possible outcomes to ultimately come to a safe response,” it added.

The NTSB also said Uber had disabled an manufacturer-installed automatic emergency braking system in the 2017 Volvo XC90 while the car was under computer control in order to “reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior.”

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That braking system is now active whenever Uber is testing on public roads, it said on Friday. It has also filed a voluntary safety assessment with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on its self-driving efforts and made public a report from an outside law firm that reviewed the safety culture at Uber. The agency has an ongoing probe of the Tempe crash.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Is Your Mawa Or Khoya Adulterated? Check With These 3 Simple Tests


The countdown to Diwali 2018 has begun, and Indians all over the world are getting ready to celebrate the festival of lights with full gusto. Diwali is incomplete without unbridled indulgence in sweets of all kinds- from barfis to halwas, cookies, cakes, chocolates, macarons, candies and all other confectionaries. People don’t just buy sweets for their families and to serve to guests, but also spend on gifts full of various different kinds of traditional and modern sweets for their relatives and acquaintances. A number of sweets that are typically eaten during Diwali are made from khoya or mawa. This is a dried whole milk residue that is added to a number of Indian sweets prepared during a number of festivals like Deepavali, Rakshabandhan, Holi, etc. During these festivals, a number of halwais and sweet shops may buy and use adulterated mawa to bring down their cost of raw materials.

Mawa or khoya used in Diwali sweets may be adulterated with a number of foreign ingredients like fine flour, starch, suji or semolina or even blotting paper. While these three are the relatively tame adulterants, there are some things added to mawa which are potentially harmful when consumed, including urea, palm oil or detergent! Some dairies also add foreign fat in mawa and milk to make these products taste ‘richer’. Mawa, along with milk, is one of the most adulterated items during festival times. When people consume sweets made from these adulterated dairy products, their health may be affected.

Also Read:Diwali 2018: How To Spot Adulterated Sweets And Their Ingredients? A Quick Guide

How To Test Mawa For Presence Of Adulterants

To make consumers aware of the rampant adulteration of this very commonly used ingredient in sweets, there are some mawa testing kits available for people to use on their mawa samples during Diwali. But if you can’t get your hands on one of these kits, you can simply use iodine to test the purity of your mawa.

Here are 3 other methods to test mawa for signs of adulteration:

1. The Food Standards and Safety Authority (FSSAI) had also suggested a simple trick to find out if your khoya is adulterated with starch. All you need to do is take a little bit of the mawa you have recently bought from a store and put it in some hot water. Add a little bit of iodine to this water and if the mawa turns blue after coming in contact with the iodine, it has starch in it. If not, then it’s good to go.

2. Another simple test is one which involves checking a sample of mawa at the time of purchase itself. Pure, fresh and unadulterated mawa has an oily and grainy texture, tastes slightly sweet and leaves a trail of grease, when rubbed on your palm. So before you buy it, all you need to do is to take a pinch from the stock and rub it in palm, to check for sweetness or tartness. If it tastes odd, that is probably because it is adulterated with foreign substances.

3. You can also use sulphuric acid to test presence of certain chemicals like formalin (a preservative) in milk or mawa. Take a bit of sample in a container and add some concentrated sulphuric acid to it. If there’s formation of a bluish or violet colour in the sample, then it may be adulterated with formalin.

Have a Happy and Safe Diwali 2018!





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5-Year-Old Halloween Trick-Or-Treater From US Tests Positive For Meth


No one has been arrested in the drugging, and investigators have not identified a suspect

Ohio, US: 

The appointed time for trick-or-treating in Galion, Ohio, is from 2 to 4 p.m. on the last Sunday of October – during daylight hours that make it easier for parents and police to keep costumed kids safe.

This year, rain fell during that two-hour window in the northern Ohio city. Afterward, as Braylen Carwell peeled off his costume and prepared to dive into his haul, he thought his sudden shaking was related to the cold, wet weather.

“I was putting my socks on and then I started to shiver,” the 5-year-old told CBS affiliate WBNS. “And then I couldn’t move my arm or my fingers.”

The child’s father rushed him to a hospital. But by then, “the left side of his face was just droopy and then he fell and then he couldn’t move his left arm,” his mother, Julia Pence, told the station. “And he didn’t know where he was, he didn’t know what he was doing.”

Braylen’s parents thought it was a seizure.

But a urine test revealed the real cause: methamphetamine.

His father, Cambray Carwell, told investigating officers that he had taken his children trick-or-treating on the city’s west side, according to a police report. When they got home, Carwell told police, the children removed their costumes – and Braylen “fell over having a seizure of some sort.”

Braylen had only eaten a couple pieces of candy, his father said, but had placed fake vampire teeth into his mouth before he started shaking.

Carwell said he threw the candy into the trash, and police drove to the father’s house to book the child’s Halloween haul into evidence. Carwell and Pence did not immediately return calls from The Washington Post seeking comment.

No one has been arrested in the drugging, and investigators have not identified a suspect, Galion Police Chief Brian Saterfield told The Washington Post.

“We know that the child tested positive for methamphetamine but we don’t know what kind,” he said. “The average person that sees the headline automatically thinks crystal meth, but we don’t know if it was an illegal drug, a prescription drug or what.”

In the United States, for example, the prescription drug desoxyn (methamphetamine hydrochloride) has been approved by the FDA for treating obesity and ADHD.

Police posted a warning on their Facebook page, though no other child in Galion has turned up with similar symptoms, said Satterfield, the department’s chief.

Braylen was hospitalized for seven hours but is expected to make a full recovery.

The thought of nefarious strangers sliding tainted candy into the pails of unsuspecting trick-or-treaters is an urban legend that refuses to die.

It has roots that date back to Halloween deaths decades ago.

On Oct. 31, 1974, Ronald Clark O’Bryan laced his 8-year-old’s Pixy Stix with cyanide. The boy complained of searing stomach pain, then died on his way to a hospital, The Post reported.

O’Bryan’s goal, investigators learned, was collecting $20,000 in insurance money. To cover his tracks, he placed the cyanide-laced candy in bags belonging to his own children – and to those of other kids in the neighborhood.

He was executed a decade later, but not before other condemned prisoners gave him a villainous nickname that has endured for more than 40 years: the Candy Man.

Several years before the Pixy Stix killing, 5-year-old Kevin Toston’s family said he died after snacking on tainted trick-or-treat candy while staying at his uncle’s house. Authorities later determined that the child had gotten into his uncle’s poorly-hidden stash of heroin, eaten it and died, according to Aaron Carroll, who’s written a book on urban legends.

In both instances, the victims were related to the people responsible for their deaths. But national stories about children who died after eating tainted candy transformed Halloween inspections from something only paranoid people did into standard Parenting 101 behavior.

Statistically, though, there are bigger dangers for children on Halloween, such as an increased likelihood of getting hit by a car, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Still, law enforcement agencies have issued warnings after finding drugs made to look like candy. And as marijuana legalization spread, law enforcement agencies warned parents about the dangers of THC-laced candy in Halloween bags, although those fears never materialized, The Post reported.

Turning meth into lollipops is usually done to make the drugs more palatable to adults, and less risky to transport, Bill Piper, the senior director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, told The Post last year.

“It’s easy for people to fall for this marketing to children because there’s this misconception that drug dealers are standing on the street corner handing out free drugs,” said Piper, whose nonprofit organization promotes drug-law reform. “Adults don’t want nasty-tasting stuff either. We especially find in the flavored meth, a lot of that turned out to be flavoring for adults.”

In Ohio, Saterfield, the Galion police chief, said his investigators are keeping an open mind about what happened to Braylen.

The boy’s mother told WBNS that she and Braylen’s father are recovering drug addicts, but that both have been clean for years. She denied that her son could have come into contact with the meth via a family member.

“I’m not covering up the truth,” she told WBNS on Monday. “I’m just speaking the truth of what happened to my son yesterday. Nobody in my family or [Braylen’s] dad’s family would drug my children.”

“It’s your duty to protect your children from everything,” she added. “You can’t protect them from everything. You just have to be aware and do the best that you can.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Zika Outbreak Spreads To Gujarat, 1 Tests Positive In Ahmedabad


The state has rallied hundreds of doctors to perform emergency screenings for Zika (Representational)

New Delhi: 

Zika outbreak is spreading in the country, with officials saying Sunday that the mosquito-borne virus has been detected in Gujarat after nearly 150 cases were reported this year in neighbouring Rajasthan.

Health authorities in Gujarat said a woman tested positive for Zika and was treated at a state hospital in Ahmedabad, the first confirmed case outside Rajasthan this year. 

“Only one case has been found so far. We are taking all precautions,” Gujarat Commissioner of Health, Jayanti Ravi, told AFP on Sunday.

The state health department has rallied hundreds of doctors and medical personnel to perform emergency screenings for Zika, including more than 250 pregnant women with fevers.

Gujarat, which borders Rajasthan to the south, has been fumigating public areas in an effort to kill the mosquitos that carry the diseases.

Health authorities in Rajasthan have detected 147 cases of Zika since September, officials say. Almost 440,000 people were under surveillance in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur last month.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries Zika and other viruses like dengue fever, is widely prevalent in the country.

The first Zika cases in India were reported in January 2017 in Gujarat but the latest case is the first in the state this year.

Since Zika erupted on a large scale in 2015, more than 1.5 million people in more than 70 countries have been infected, with most in South America. 

In rare cases, if pregnant women contract the virus their babies can develop brain defects. 

Zika was also detected in Tamil Nadu in July 2017. The World Health Organization has said no vaccine is likely to be available until 2020.





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Sanjay Bangar Bats For KL Rahul After Poor Run Of Form In Tests


Indian batsman KL Rahul’s prolonged bad patch in Test has been the talking point among fans on Twitter but batting coach Sanjay Bangar has come out in defence of the opener and said that he has been a consistent player. KL Rahul scored a duck in the first Test against the Windies and in the second Test, he was dismissed for 4 off 25 balls. Speaking about KL Rahul’s performance, Bangar said, “There are various voices (at this point of time) and then you start doubting your own methods. For us, he has been a very consistent player. So when such a patch comes, it is very important for the team and also from my point of view, that his mind is not clouded quite a lot.”

Bangar said that Rahul may need a change in approach to his batting to return to form in Tests.

“That can happen pretty soon a lot at this level when you start to doubt your abilities and methods. So I have to convince him that “yes your methods have been correct. Maybe he can get away from his approach or batting plan a bit,” Bangar said at the post-match conference.

But Bangar refused to acknowledge that Rahul has a technical problem even though he has been either bowled or has been dismissed leg before wicket on most occasions.

“Don’t think there is too much of a technical fault. But maybe, when gets past that initial phase, he expects the ball to be pitched on stump line. We have been speaking a lot on that,” Bangar said.

The coach also couldn’t provide a solid explanation when asked if Rahul fails in Adelaide too (India’s next Test) they may have to bring an under-prepared reserve opener (Mayank Agarwal).

“Well, you need to look at where the player is and you need to keep an eye on the future. Whatever runs he (Rahul) scored for the Indian team, his contributions have come overseas and his contributions even in India has come in tougher times,” Bangar said.

“You remember the series against Australia (2017), which probably was the most hard-fought series in the domestic calendar in the last couple of years. He was very consistent (six fifties) so for a player of that quality you sort of and where he is at this moment, he has got a long career ahead of him,” Bangar further added.

Just like bowling coach Bharath Arun, Bangar also echoed that Rahul is a long-term investment. “He is somebody who is part of all other formats as well, so I think that from a team management point of view we will back players who are capable of winning matches and who are impact players for us and who can change the course of a match,” Bangar remarked.

(With PTI Inputs)



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For India’s Second Moon Mission In 2019, ISRO Tests Cryogenic Engine


The super cooled engine operates on gas generator cycle using liquid oxygen and hydrogen (File)

Bengaluru: 

India successfully tested the cryogenic engine for the heavy rocket that would launch the country’s second moon mission on January 3, 2019, the space agency said on Friday.

“The cryogenic engine of the Geo Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV MK-III) in the upper stage has been tested for the Chandrayaan-2 Mission,” said the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in a statement here.

The crucial test was conducted on Thursday for 25 seconds at the space agency’s propulsion complex in Tamil Nadu’s Mahendragiri, 685km southwest of Chennai.

“The upper stage of the heavy rocket is powered by cryogenic engine, which develops a nominal thrust of 186.36 kN (kilo Newton) with a specific impulse of 442 seconds in vacuum,” noted the statement.

The super cooled engine operates on gas generator cycle using liquid oxygen and hydrogen (LOX & LH2) or oxidizer.

“The test demonstrated steady state operation of engine,” said the statement.

The flight acceptance hot test of the cryo was performed at the high-altitude test facility in the complex.

“The performance of all engine subsystems was observed to be normal during the hot test,” added the statement.

The second lunar mission will be launched from the rocketport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90km northeast of Chennai, with a lander and rover a decade after the first moon mission in October 2008 around its orbit.





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