Beijing castigates US for South China Sea sailby

September 3, 2019
first_imgChina on Friday scolded the United States for sending naval vessels close to disputed islands in the South China Sea where Beijing has built military installations. The US and its allies have in recent times sent planes and warships to the area for `freedom of navigation` operations, intended as a signal to Beijing of their right under international law to pass through the waters claimed by China.China on Friday scolded the United States for sending naval vessels close to disputed islands in the South China Sea where Beijing has built military installations.The US and its allies have in recent times sent planes and warships to the area for “freedom of navigation” operations, intended as a signal to Beijing of their right under international law to pass through the waters claimed by China.The USS Chancellorsville guided missile destroyer on Monday entered waters off the Paracel Islands, known as Xisha in Chinese, said People’s Liberation Army Southern Theatre spokesman Li Huamin in a statement.Aircraft and warships were scrambled, sending out warnings for the American vessel to leave the area.”We urge the US to strengthen the management of its vessels and aircraft that pass by Chinese territory to prevent unexpected events,” Li said.China has also lodged a diplomatic complaint with the US, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during a regular press briefing, calling on the US to “immediately stop such provocative actions that violate China’s sovereignty”.The Paracels are claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.China claims nearly all of the South China Sea though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it.Further angering those countries, and the US, Beijing has moved aggressively to build up reefs into artificial islands capable of hosting military planes.It was the second US naval operation to irk China this week.On Wednesday, two US ships sailed through the Taiwan Strait — which China considers its territory but the US and others see as international waters open to all — prompting a furious Beijing to send warships and fighter jets.This was the third such operation this year, including one last month which prompted a diplomatic protest.The naval tensions come just ahead of scheduled talks between US president Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina this weekend aimed at softening trade tensions.last_img

Mayors son arrested for raping college girl

September 3, 2019

first_imgProthom Alo illustrationPolice on Sunday arrested the son of Zanjira municipality mayor Yunus Bepari for allegedly raping a college girl, reports UNB.Masud Bepari, 27, was picked up around 2:30am after the matter came to the fore, said officer-in-charge of Zanjira police station Belayet Hossain.He said the victim, a student of a local college, used to work at a clinic in Zanjira municipality on part-time basis.On Saturday night, Masud, a distant relative of the victim, took the girl to their under-construction building and ‘raped’ her there.As she fell sick, he took her to a hospital secretly for treatment.However, locals noticed the matter and informed police.Later, law enforcers rushed in and arrested Masud from his house around 2:30am, the OC said.The victim appeared at the police station at noon and filed a case against the youth.last_img read more

India PM Modi stays with Varanasi Shah in fray from Gandhinagar

September 3, 2019

first_imgIndian prime minister Narendra Modi pays his respects in front of the body of former chief minister of Goa and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar during his funeral in Panaji on 19 March 2019. Photo: AFPIndian prime minister Narendra Modi will fight to retain his Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (UP) seat while BJP president Amit Shah will make his debut in Lok Sabha polls from Gandhinagar, Gujarat, BJP leader JP Nadda announced on Thursday.The Gandhinagar seat is currently held by veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani, who has been winning the seat consecutively from 1998.Among the prominent leaders announced in BJP’s first list, which had 184 names across 20 states, were union ministers Rajnath Singh, who will contest again from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur, Maharshtra, V K Singh from Ghaziabad, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Jaipur Rural), Satyapal Singh from Baghpat, UP, and DV Sadananda Gowda from Bengaluru North.All are sitting MPs from these seats.Textiles minister Smriti Irani will again face Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, while film actress-turned politician Hema Malini will contest from her Mathura seat.Union minister Babul Supriyo will fight to retain his Asanol seat of West Bengal, where he will face Trinamool Congress’s Moon Moon Sen. The BJP has also fielded Bengali film actress Locket Chatterjee from Hooghly, West Bengal.BJP’s Kerala strongman Kummanam Rajasekharan, who recently quit as Mizoram governor, will fight against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvanthapuram, while Union minister KJ Alphons will contest from Ernakulam.The BJP also fielded its Tamil Nadu unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan from Thoothukudi from where DMK’s K Kanimozhi is contesting.Nadda, who had announced that India’s state minister for home affairs Kiren Rijiju will contest from Arunanchal East, later corrected himself, saying he would be contesting from Arunachal West.The BJP also fielded Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, who had quit Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal to join it, from Kendrapara.Nadda also announced that candidates for all the 17 seats it will contest in Bihar have been cleared by the party’s Central Election Committee and sent to the state election panel.last_img read more

Madrasa teacher detained for sexualassault attempt on student

September 3, 2019

first_imgPolice have detained a madrasa teacher in Fatulla of Narayanganj city for allegedly trying to sexually assault a student, reports UNB.The detainee is Nizam Uddin, 25, a teacher of Ramarbagh Hafizia Madrasa.The victim’s mother said Nizam tried to commit sexual assault on the boy, 12, on Saturday and Sunday when he was asleep at night.He disclosed the matter to his mother when she went to visit him on Monday.Following a complaint, police detained the madrasa teacher around 10:00pm, said sub-inspector Fazlul Haque of Fatulla model police station.However, Nizam denied the allegation, saying the student fabricated the story as he asked him to study attentively.last_img

Evangelicals issue principles on benefits challenges of artificial intelligence

September 3, 2019

first_img Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Tagsartificial intelligence ethics Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission evangelicals homepage featured principles Russell Moore technology,You may also like News News • Photos of the Week Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,WASHINGTON (RNS) — Artificial intelligence may allow technology to help people make wise decisions and work more efficiently.But it is not morally neutral, argues a group of Southern Baptist and other evangelical leaders in a new declaration about technology and ethics.“We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability,” according to the statement titled “Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles.”“While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.”Dozens of people gathered Thursday (April 11) at an event hosted by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for a discussion about the implications of artificial intelligence on topics ranging from faith to foreign policy.ERLC President Russell Moore said the technological innovation could lead to new ways of sharing translations of the Bible with people across the globe who have yet to hear the gospel, and it already allows blind believers to listen to a smart speaker recite portions of the Bible.But he said it is crucial to raise spiritual questions about the use of AI.“For many years I have grappled with the issue that many of our people in my community seem to think that the most pressing cultural issues are those items being debated on Facebook right now,” he said, “when in many cases the most pressing cultural issue is Facebook itself and how we relate to all of these emerging technologies.”Jason Thacker, ERLC’s creative director, developed the five-page statement with the assistance of experts in theology, technology, law and medicine.Jason Thacker, creative director of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, speaks in Washington, D.C., as his agency releases a statement on artificial intelligence on April 11, 2019. RNS photo by Adelle M. BanksThe statement aims to help evangelicals proactively navigate their use of technology like smartphones and virtual assistants such as Siri or Alexa from a scriptural perspective that focuses on the ethics of human dignity.“I believe that AI presents one of the greatest opportunities for human flourishing in our lifetime, but it also presents one of the greatest threats to human dignity that we’ll ever face,” said Thacker, author of a forthcoming book titled “Technology & the Future.”Thacker compared modern technology to the story in the biblical book of Exodus where Egyptians created and worshipped a golden calf.“If we don’t think about what we’re creating with artificial intelligence,” he said, “we’re going to fall prey to the same temptation to worship the creation rather than the creator.”RELATED: As Facebook reels, Silicon Valley dabbles in ethicsTaylor Barkley, program officer for technology and Innovation at the libertarian Charles Koch Institute, said he “couldn’t agree more” with the statement’s declaration that “human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.”Barkley, an advocate of “permissionless innovation,” said he appreciated the statement’s aim of diminishing fears about the future of technology and said “concerns should be addressed as we arrive at them rather than throwing darts at whatever may come.”The statement urged that AI should be used to “identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.” But data should not be used to benefit the powerful or harm the weak.“We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI,” it says. “No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.”The signatories also condemned using AI for what they consider inappropriate sexual purposes, including objectifying of human beings.“AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage,” they said.RELATED: Should we live to be 500? Christians and secularists come together over transhumanismThe statement also affirmed the value of work as “part of God’s plan for human beings” and said technology should be used to enhance it rather than replace it.“Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities,” the statement says.In an interview after the event, Moore said the ERLC is planning to develop curricula and other resources for churches as parents, clergy and Sunday school teachers grapple with whether or how to use smartphones and tablets in worship.“The number one question that I get right now in terms of personal ethics is about technology,” he said. Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Adelle M. Banks Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.,Load Comments,‘We need to inspire the new, not just curse the darkness’ Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw Share This! Catholicism Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Conservative rabbinical group selects new leader By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw Share This! Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This!last_img read more

Reverse Commuters to The Woodlands Are Getting A New Bus Service

September 2, 2019

first_img Share 00:00 /01:08 – / 3Woodlands Express is a commuter bus service that’s operated by The Woodlands Township, with the help of a federal transit grant. About 2,700 riders a day use the service to get from The Woodlands to downtown Houston. It also stops in the Med Center and Greenway Plaza. But when the buses head back to Montgomery County, they’re empty. To fill those seats, The Woodlands Township Board of Directors has approved a new reverse-commuting program. The Woodlands Director of Community Relations Nick Wolda says the buses will now start carrying people from Houston to the suburbs.“There’s really no risk on our part as far as the financial risk because these are buses already coming back,” says Wolda.  But once you get riders to The Woodlands, how do you get them to the places where they work? Wolda says they plan to discuss that with some of the area’s major employers. “Those are things we’ll be working through over the next few weeks,” adds Wolda. “And we plan to launch this service once we develop and work out a lot of these details.” Woodlands Express is planning to start the reverse commuting program after the first of the year. The fare for a round-trip is currently $13. Listen X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

Funeral Homes Health Care Providers Prepare for Unclear Consequences of Fetal Burial

September 2, 2019

first_img Share MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR. / KUTAs health care providers prepare for a new Texas rule requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains, some funeral homes wonder how the rule will apply to them and express concern over the rule’s implications.Abortion providers are hoping to stop a new rule that would require health care facilities to cremate or bury fetal remains from miscarriages and abortions, regardless of the gestation time or a woman’s wishes.Filed on Monday, the federal lawsuit brought by Whole Woman’s Health and others claims the new rule, which is set to go into effect on Dec. 19, is unconstitutional.Gov. Greg Abbott has supported the rule, though, and has said fetal remains shouldn’t be treated like medical waste.However, health care providers – and even funeral homes – are worried the implications of this rule are unclear and possibly costly. Darryl Thompson runs the Weed-Corley-Fish funeral home on the edge of UT Austin’s campus. He says for years now he’s worked with a local Catholic hospital as part of a community service. Sometimes he’s asked to deal with the fetal remains of a miscarriage for families.Usually, he says, the hospital chaplain arranges a funeral at a local cemetery. Other times, he’s asked to step in.“Families are certainly given the opportunity to make disposition of their family members and, if they elect not to, then the hospital will call us and we will take care of that process,” Thompson explained. “Now, this is one specific group.”Catholic hospitals do things this way because they believe life begins at conception, but not all health care providers are Catholic—or even religious.However, the State of Texas is soon going to require all health care providers to deal with fetal remains this way. That includes remains from abortions and miscarriages. This means Thompson could go from doing this work once every three months – like he does now – to doing it way more often. How often, though, Thompson says, he has no idea.“We haven’t been provided with any information other than this rule will take effect on the 19th of December,” he said. While he doesn’t have an opinion on the rule itself, he says the fact that there’s so much uncertainty is what bothers him.Because this was an agency rule – not a bill –stakeholders like Thompson didn’t have as much input. There was a public comment period and some hearings, but not much came of that. The rules moved forward despite the fact that the medical community – including the Texas Medical Association and Texas Hospital Association – has significant issues with this.LISTEN: KUT’s Ashley Lopez reports“I really feel this was a very rapid, quick decision,” Thompson said. “I don’t think that all the implications were considered.”But not everyone thinks this was haphazard. Amy Hagstrom Miller is the CEO of a chain of abortion providers in the state called Whole Woman’s Health. She says state leaders introduced this rule after her group bested the state in a court battle over another set of restrictive abortion regulations.“Texas put forward these proposed rules just four days after our June victory in the Supreme Court, and I think there is a direct connection,” she said. “And I think this time, once again, Texas has really gone too far.”This is why Miller is going back to court. This week, Whole Woman’s Health, and others, filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas.Part of what they’re arguing is that the law is really vague and it’s hard to figure out what compliance with the rule would actually look like.  JORGE SANHUEZA-LYON / KUTDarryl Thompson, director of the Weed-Corley-Fish funeral home on North Lamar Boulevard.Then there are the costs.Funerals are thousands of dollars, which would make them prohibitively expensive for most women. Cremation, Miller says, is just another hurdle. “To date, we have only found one crematorium in the entire state of Texas that is willing to work with the abortion care providers, and that is not a path to compliance,” she said. “That’s a very obvious bottleneck that’s going to put services at risk throughout the state for the women who need us.”Texas responded to a lot of comments – mostly concerns – about this rule. Among the responses, the state says that these new rules quote “do not unduly burden individuals seeking abortions.” But Miller’s lawyer, David Brown with the Center for Reproductive Rights, disagrees with that.“What an undue burden means, in the words of the Supreme Court, is a law that imposes pointless burden without a benefit at all,” he said.The Texas Department of State Health Services also says it estimates the costs for health care facilities will be low enough to be covered by their operating costs.Some providers are saying that’s just not true either.Thompson says he likely won’t bear the brunt of this rule like health care facilities will, but even he thinks no one really knows what this will cost everyone – including him.“Hopefully, it will not impact families financially,” he said. “And I can perhaps see how that could happen, and I guess, as the adage goes, we will see.”Plaintiffs suing the state are hoping to get a federal court here in Texas to stop the law from going into effect on Dec 19. Indiana had a similar measure in place, but it was struck down by a federal court this past summer.Copyright 2016 KUT-FM. To see more, visit KUT-FM.last_img read more

List Of MultiService Centers Tuesday

September 2, 2019

first_img Share Al Ortiz | Houston Public MediaShelter set up at The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, in Houston. Aug. 28th, 2017.The City of Houston website released a list of available multi-service centers providing food and safety to those in need in the wake of Harvey’s devastation:Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center 6402 Market Street Houston Texas 77020 832.395.0895Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center 4014 Market Street Houston, Texas 77020 832.393.3800Sunnyside Multi-Service Center 9314 Cullen Houston, Texas 77051 832.395.0069Third Ward Multi-Service Center 3611 Ennis Street Houston, Texas 77004 832.393.4051West End Multi-Service Center 170 Heights Blvd Houston, Texas 77007 832.393.5950The following Centers are open:John Peavy Senior Center 3814 Market Street Houston, Texas 77020Kashmere Gardens Branch Library 5411 Pardee Houston, Texas 77026The following non-profit partners have offered to assist in staging survivors until they can moved to a shelter:Fallbrook Church 12512 Walters Houston, Texas 77014Lyndale United Church 503 Reeid Houston, Texas 77002MD Anderson YMCA 705 Cavalcade Houston, Texas 77009Trotter Family YMCA 1331 Augusta Drive Houston, Texas 77057Community of Faith Church 1024 Pinemont Drive Houston, Texas 77091List of available Multi-Service Centers provided by City of Houston’s website https://t.co/qlAL6bjUCr @fema #Harvey pic.twitter.com/Hpk8QyQS2B— Alicia Barrera (@AliciaBarreraTV) August 28, 2017last_img read more

Harvey On Track To Dominate 2019 Legislative Session

September 2, 2019

first_imgRyan Poppe | Texas Public RadioThe Texas Capitol in Austin.Harvey could dominate much of the next Texas legislative session. House Speaker Joe Straus has told key committees to start working on long-term solutions to Harvey-related problems. He wants lawmakers ready to act the moment the Legislature convenes in 2019.Top priorities for Straus include flood control and other infrastructure investment. That’s not only to fix damage from Harvey, but also to prepare for future disasters. In addition, the speaker wants help for schools Harvey damaged and students the storm displaced.“The recovery from this thing is, it’s going to be long at best,” says State Rep. John Zerwas of Fort Bend County, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, “and it could be even more prolonged if we aren’t stepping in and making sure we understand what the resources that are available to us and making sure that the communities and ultimately the citizens will benefit from those things.”Zerwas says 2019 may seem like a long way off, but lawmakers will have to work out the framework of the budget by next summer. He plans to bring the Appropriations Committee to Houston in October for its first public hearing. 00:00 /00:56 X Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Sharelast_img read more

Artist Tony Paraná Layers Vibrant Brazilian Themes Upon A Bayou City Backdrop

September 2, 2019

first_img Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /08:19 Michael HagertyHouston artist Tony Paraná is a Brazilian native who’s the featured artist at the 2017 Bayou City Art Festival Downtown.The annual Bayou City Art Festival Downtown is Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 14-15, 2017). The festival showcases the work of numerous local artists, including Tony Paraná, a Brazilian artist who now calls Houston home.He recently unveiled a new piece inspired by his adopted hometown, and it will be the featured artwork for the downtown festival.The painting features Houston’s skyline in the background, blended with a scene of children playing around water fountains at Discovery Green. It also features some elements of his home country: the children are practicing capoeira – a Brazilian form of martial arts – and there’s a favela visible between skyscrapers – those are cramped, often impoverished neighborhoods seen in Brazilian cities.Paraná tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty about his work, about life growing up in a favela, and the piece that will be showcased at the festival.– / 6 center_img Listen X Tony ParanáA painting inspired by Houston and Brazil, created by artist Tony Paraná as the featured artwork for the 2017 Bayou City Art Festival Downtown. Paraná is the event’s featured artist.last_img read more