Jepsen reports 23 issues in Dgraph including multiple deadlocks and crashes in

first_imgIn the distributed systems verification of Dgraph 1.0.2 through 1.0.6, Jepsen has found 23 issues including multiple deadlocks and crashes in the cluster, duplicate upserted records, snapshot isolation violations, records with missing fields, and in some cases, the loss of all but one inserted record. Dgraph is an open source, fast, distributed graph database which uses Raft for per-shard replication and a custom transactional protocol, based on Omid, Reloaded, for snapshot-isolated cross-shard transactions. Dgraph has a custom transaction system to provide transactional isolation across different Raft groups. Storage nodes, called Alpha, are controlled by a supervisory system, called Zero. Zero nodes form a single Raft cluster, which organizes Alpha nodes into shards called groups. Each group runs an independent Raft cluster. Jepsen test suite design Jepsen is a framework to analyze distributed systems under stress and verify that the safety properties of a distributed system hold up, given concurrency, non-determinism, and partial failure. It is an effort to improve the safety of distributed databases, queues, consensus systems, and more. To verify safety properties of Dgraph, a suite of Jepsen tests was designed using a five node cluster with replication factor three. Alpha nodes were organized into two groups: one with three replicas, and one with two. Every node ran an instance of both Zero and Alpha. Many operations were tested, out of which some are listed here: Set: Inserting a sequence of unique numbers into Dgraph, then querying for all extant values. Finally, check if every successfully acknowledged insert is present in the final read. Upsert: An upsert is a common database operation in which a record is created if and only if an equivalent record does not already exist. Delete: In the delete test, concurrent attempts were made to delete any records for an indexed value. Since deleting can only lower the number of records, not increase it, it was expected to never observe more than one record at any given time. Bank: The bank test stresses several invariants provided by snapshot isolation. A set of bank accounts were created, each with three attributes: type: It is always account. We use this to query for all accounts. key: It is an integer which identifies that account. amount: It is the amount of money in that account. Issues found in the Dgraph Here are some of the issues found by the test: Cluster join issues: Race conditions were discovered in the Dgraph’s cluster join procedure. Duplicate upserts: In the bank test, it was discovered that test initialization process concurrently upserts a single initial account resulting in dozens of copies of that account record, rather than one. Delete anomalies: With a mix of upserts, deletes, and reads of single records identified by an indexed field key, several unusual behaviors were found. Unusual results were found like values disappeared due to deletion, get stuck in a dangling state, then reappear as full records. Read skew: With a more reliable cluster join process, a read skew anomaly in the bank test was discovered. Lost inserts with network partitions: In pure insert workloads, Dgraph could lose acknowledged writes during network partitions. While performing set tests, which insert unique integer values and attempt to perform a final read, huge number of acknowledged values could be lost. Write loss on node crashes: When Alpha nodes crash and restart, the set test revealed that small windows of successfully acknowledged writes could be lost right around the time the process(es) crashed. Dgraph also constructed records with missing values. Unavailability after crashes: Despite every Alpha and Zero node running, and with total network connectivity, nodes could return timeouts for all requests. Read skew in healthy clusters: A bank test revealed failures without any migration, or even any failures at all. Dgraph could still return incorrect account totals, or records with missing values. The identified safety issues were mostly associated with process crashes, restarts, and predicate migration. Out of 23 issues, 4 still remain unresolved, including the corruption of data in healthy clusters. This analysis was funded by Dgraph and Jepsen has documented the full report on their official website. Read Next 2018 is the year of graph databases. Here’s why. MongoDB Sharding: Sharding clusters and choosing the right shard key [Tutorial] MongoDB going relational with 4.0 releaselast_img read more

TimescaleDB 10 officially released

first_imgOn Tuesday, the team at Timescale announced the official production release of TimescaleDB 1.0. Two months ago, the team released its initial release candidate. With the official release, TimescaleDB 1.0 is now the first enterprise-ready time-series database that supports full SQL and scale. This release has crossed over 1M downloads and production deployments at Comcast, Cray, Cree and more. Mike Freedman, Co-founder/CTO at TimescaleDB says, “Since announcing our first release candidate in September, Timescale’s engineering team has merged over 50 PRs to harden the database, improving stability and ease-of-use.” Major updates in TimescaleDB 1.0 TimescaleDB 1.0 comes with a cleaner management of multiple tablespaces that allows hypertables to elastically grow across many disks. Also, the information about the state of hypertables is easily available which includes their dimensions and chunks. It’s important to have a robust cross-operating system availability for better usability. This release brings improvements for supporting Windows, FreeBSD, and NetBSD. TimescaleDB 1.0 powers the foundation for a database scheduling framework that manages background jobs. Since TimescaleDB is implemented as an extension, a single PostgreSQL instance can have multiple, different versions of TimescaleDB running. TimescaleDB 1.0 manages edge cases related to the schema and tablespace modifications. It also provides cleaner permissions for backup/recovery in templated databases and includes additional test coverage. TimescaleDB 1.0 supports Prometheus Prometheus, a leading open source monitoring and alerting tool, is not arbitrarily scalable or durable in the face of disk or node outages. Whereas, TimescaleDB 1.0 is efficient and can easily handle terabytes of data, and supports high availability and replication which it makes it long-term data storage. It also provides advanced capabilities and features, such as full SQL, joins and replication, which are not available in Prometheus. All the metrics recorded in Prometheus are first written to the local node, and then written to TimescaleDB. So, the metrics are immediately backed up, in case of any disk failure on a Prometheus node, would be still safer. What’s the future like? The team at Timescale says that the upcoming releases of TimescaleDB will include more automation around capabilities like automatic data aggregation, retention, and archiving. They will also include automated data management techniques for improving query performance, such as non-blocking reclustering and reindexing of older data. Read more about this release on Timescale’s official website. Read Next Introducing TimescaleDB 1.0, the first OS time-series database with full SQL support Cockroach Labs announced managed CockroachDB-as-a-Service PipelineDB 1.0.0, the high performance time-series aggregation for PostgreSQL, released!last_img read more

NET 5 arriving in 2020

first_imgYesterday, on the first day of Microsoft Build 2019, the team behind .NET Core announced that .NET Core 3.0 will be .NET 5, which will also be the next big release in the .NET family. Now there will be just one .NET going forward, and users will be able to use it to target   Linux, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, tvOS, watchOS and WebAssembly and much more. .NET Core team will also introduce new .NET APIs, runtime capabilities and language features as part of .NET 5 along with the first preview, which is expected in November 2020. .NET 5 takes .NET Core and the best of Mono, runtime for .NET Core, to create a single platform that you can use for all your modern .NET code. This release will be supported with future updates to Visual Studio 2019, Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio for Mac. What is expected in .NET 5? Switch build in runtimes .NET Core has two main runtimes, namely, Mono which is the original cross-platform implementation of .NET and CoreCLR which is primarily targeted at supporting cloud applications, including the largest services at Microsoft. Both runtimes have a lot of similarities, so, the team has decided to make CoreCLR and Mono drop-in replacements for one another. The team plans to make it easier for users to choose between the different runtime options. .NET 5 applications In this release, all the .NET 5 applications will be using the CoreFX framework which will work smoothly with Xamarin and client-side Blazor workloads. These .NET 5 applications will be buildable with the .NET CLI, which will ensure that users have common command-line tooling across projects. Naming The team thought of simplifying the naming as there is only one .NET going forward, so there is no need of clarifying term like “Core”. According to the team, .NET 5 is a shorter name and also communicates that it has uniform capabilities and behaviors. Others ways in which .NET 5 project will improve are: This release will produce a single .NET runtime and framework which has a uniform runtime behaviour and developer experiences and can be used everywhere. This release will also expand the capabilities of .NET by reflecting the best of .NET Core, .NET Framework, Xamarin and Mono. It will also help in building projects out of a single code-base that developers can work on and expand together. Also, the code and project files will look and feel the same no matter which type of app is getting built. Users will continue to get access to the same runtime, API and language capabilities with each app. Users will now have more choice for runtime experiences. This release will come with Java interoperability for all the platforms. In this release, Objective-C and Swift interoperability will be supported on multiple operating systems. What won’t change? NET Core will continue to be open source and community-oriented on GitHub. It will still have cross-platform implementation. This release will also support platform-specific capabilities, such as Windows Forms and WPF on Windows, etc. It will support side-by-side installation and provide high performance. It will also support small project files (SDK-style) and command-line interface (CLI). A glimpse at the future roadmap Image source: Microsoft The blog reads, “The .NET 5 project is an important and exciting new direction for .NET. You will see .NET become simpler but also have a broader and more expansive capability and utility. All new development and feature capabilities will be part of .NET 5, including new C# versions. We see a bright future ahead in which you can use the same.” To know more about this news, check out Microsoft’s blog post. Read Next Fedora 31 will now come with Mono 5 to offer open-source .NET support .NET 4.5 Parallel Extensions – Async .NET 4.5 Extension Methods on IQueryablelast_img read more

Security scare leads to Frankfurt Airport evacuation

first_imgTags: Frankfurt BERLIN — Police evacuated part of a terminal at Germany’s biggest airport this morning over concerns that at least one person might have gotten through the facility’s security area without being screened.Federal police stopped boarding flights in area A of Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1 around midday and cleared the security area. The precautions were lifted about two hours later.Police spokeswoman Julia Thiel told The Associated Press that “there were indications that at least one person” entered a secure area without being checked so the area had to be cleared.It wasn’t immediately known how many people were affected.Police tweeted after about two hours that “the affected areas are open and operations are in progress again.”Police later said on Twitter that the midday evacuation was prompted by a security assistant mistakenly allowing the French family of four into the secure area even though they were supposed to be subject to a secondary screening. Share << Previous PostNext Post >> By: The Associated Press Tuesday, August 7, 2018 Security scare leads to Frankfurt Airport evacuationlast_img read more

Costa Rica to host worlds largest coffee research conference

first_imgNo related posts. The 24th conference of the Association for Science and Information on Coffee will be held in Costa Rica next November.The “Coffee Research Conference” is the world’s largest event of its kind and aims to provide a platform for reporting the results of the latest scientific research related to coffee, such as pests and debris, according to a press release.Ronald Peters, executive director of the Costa Rican Coffee Institute, said specialists from 30 countries will attend the conference, which will be held in a Central American country for the first time. He also confirmed Costa Rican experts will be presenting two studies, one on the “Ojo de Gallo” plague — a damaging fungus — and another on waste water in coffee mills.The conference will take place Nov. 11-16 at the Hotel Ramada Herradura in the capital San José. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Nicaragua defies international court says Costa Rican minister

first_imgSpeaking at the United Nations on Monday, Costa Rican officials condemned Nicaragua for its alleged refusal to obey measures outlined by the International Court of Justice in an ongoing border dispute along the San Juan River, reported.Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo said in a to the U.N. General Assembly that “Nicaragua has ignored the order” handed down from the world court in March 2011, which included a series of preventive measures regarding the ongoing border dispute. The court ordered both countries to stop sending personnel to the region.“The Nicaraguan government has ignored the [world court] order and continues sending personnel into the [disputed] territory. They have made clear their defiance of the court,” Castillo said, according to the General Assembly, Castillo said Costa Rica is “a small country, democratic, unarmed and civil,” and that its only means of defense is a pledge to peace and international rights.The minister also noted that what makes the situation difficult for the two countries is their location between countries of drug production to the south and “the big market” of illicit narcotics to the north, which is causing growing problems in the region.“We are victims of a problem of which our control is minimal and our recourse is less,” he said.  For this reason “Costa Rica considers it necessary to have a more active connection with the United Nations,” in the design and application of international strategy against drug trafficking.According to Castillo, “it is necessary that drug traffickers begin to be seen as a real threat to international peace and security.”However, he stressed that Costa Rica “has evaded the dangerous mention of ‘war’” in the fight against drugs, and rather has combined political action in preventing consumption, as well as providing assistance for illicit drug users.  Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

President Ortega celebrates anniversary Costa Rica opens shelters

first_img Facebook Comments Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega flashes the V-sign during the commemoration of the 39th Anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution at “La Fe” square in Managua on July 19, 2018.Thursday marked the 39th anniversary of the Sandinista revolution’s victory that first brought him to power; celebrations took place after Ortega intensified a deadly crackdown on protesters demanding he step down, and as Costa Rica opened shelters for Nicaraguans fleeing the violence in their country.Read more tomorrow on Costa Rica’s response to the Nicaraguan crisis as the situation worsens. Related posts:Nicaragua clashes leave eight dead including baby: rights group Music and migration: The struggles of Ceshia Ubau Nicaraguan resistance group speaks out, refutes Nicaragua pointing finger at Costa Rica for attacks U.S. Congress looks to condition loans to Nicaragua on political changescenter_img Nicaragua forces triumphant after storming opposition strongholdlast_img read more

Politicians disappearance fuels Bangladesh crisis

first_imgHe was briefly arrested, later elected to Parliament and then swept out in 2008 by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party.The opposition, which suspended its street protests in a gesture of goodwill during Clinton’s visit, has vowed to resume strikes if Ali is not found.His family wonders if he is even alive.“We have left his fate to Allah,” said Ali’s teenage son, Abrar Elias, “The Almighty is our last resort.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help The abductions of Ali and his driver as they returned home from meeting supporters at a hotel April 17 also has highlighted an increasing number of disappearances that Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have blamed on security forces.At least 22 people have disappeared this year, according to a local human-rights group, Ain-o-Salish Kendra. Odhikar reports that more than 50 people have disappeared since 2010. Many of the disappeared were politicians.During her visit to Bangladesh last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton raised Ali’s disappearance and the killing of labor leader Aminul Islam with the government, reflecting international concern over the issue.Islam, who recently led a campaign for higher wages for the country’s 3 million garment workers, was found dead along a highway April 5. His family blames the killing on law enforcement agencies.Even before Ali’s disappearance, tensions were high between Hasina and Zia over the conduct of the general election due in 2014.Hasina has scrapped a constitutional provision requiring the government to step down before polls and transfer power to a neutral caretaker administration to oversee the voting within 90 days. The government says it acted to comply with a court ruling that the caretaker provision was undemocratic, but it means Hasina will be overseeing the next balloting. Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Associated PressDHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) – The night watchman was dozing in a wooden chair just after midnight on a deserted Bangladeshi street when he was startled by a scream. A group of men were pulling two people from a car and forcing them into a black microbus; “The two guys were shouting, ‘Save us,’” before the car pulled away, Lutfar Rahman said.The abductions of an opposition politician and his driver last month have sparked Bangladesh’s biggest crisis in years, raised hostilities between the most prominent leaders of its fragile democracy and highlighted dozens of seemingly political disappearances. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Zia has refused to take part in any election overseen by Hasina, fearing fraud. The government says it is open to discuss alternatives, but the opposition says they will sit across the table only if the previous sytem will be restored. The government rejects that.A similar dispute in 2006 prompted the powerful military to declare a state of emergency that remained until the 2008 election. Both Hasina and Zia were put behind bars during the emergency rule.Many businessmen also were jailed pending tax evasion and fraud trials, and some fled to avoid arrest. But the cases were withdrawn or not heard when the political government took office.“We don’t want to return to any emergency rule,” said A.K. Azad, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Commerce and Industry. “What we want is our leaders to work together so there is no more strikes and clashes.”Ali, 50, has lived dangerously since becoming a student at Dhaka University, considered a breeding ground of Bangladesh’s politicians.He was recruited into a student political group by the country’s last military dictator Hussein Muhammad Ershad, according to friends. He then joined a group allied with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, sparking feuding and occasional gunfights among rival factions of Zia’s party. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center The opposition has blamed the government, launched nationwide strikes and fought with police in street clashes that have killed five people and injured scores. Homemade bombs have exploded on the streets of Dhaka, including one inside a compound housing government ministries. The government has charged 44 top opposition leaders in connection with the violence.On Wednesday, the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party vowed to resume demonstrations across the country along with 17 allied parties..No one has claimed responsibility for Elias Ali’s abduction, and no ransom has been demanded, the usual practice of criminal gangs in Bangladesh.Security forces told the High Court this week they had no role in Ali’s disappearance, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina accused the opposition of hiding Ali to create an excuse to cause mayhem.Hasina, however, later pledged to do everything possible to find Ali, when his wife and children met her seeking her intervention.“The conflict is pushing Bangladesh toward a dangerous situation,” said Adilur Rahman, secretary of Odhikar, a rights group.Hasina and her archrival Khaleda Zia have alternated in power since a pro-democracy movement ousted the last military regime in 1990. Zia leads Ali’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party.last_img read more

Special investigator dies in Palestinian custody

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories According to the suspicions, Mansour pocketed money given to him by the Palestinian Authority for sting operations meant to catch land dealers or to buy back properties whenever possible, al-Aidi said.As a former senior member of the security service, Mansour was being held in a regular room and not in a cell at the Military Intelligence building, said al-Aidi, head of the military judicial system in the West Bank.On Sunday, Mansour was told his matter would be referred to a special court for corruption cases, al-Aidi said.“He took a shower, shaved and smoked a cigarette,” al-Aidi said. Mansour told the guards he was thirsty and was told to go to the kitchen for a glass of water, the investigator said, adding that the detainee was not handcuffed or accompanied by a guard.“He went to the kitchen, opened the window and jumped,” al-Aidi said. He said a security camera captured the fatal fall, and that the footage would be made public.Al-Aidi said he did not know how much money Mansour was suspected of embezzling.However, relatives of Mansour, speaking on condition of anonymity at the advice of the family lawyer, said they doubt he committed suicide. They said he was upbeat when they visited him Friday. Top Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) An autopsy is set for Tuesday at Israel’s premier forensics institute, presumed to be independent, relatives said.Mansour’s death is training a spotlight on the murky world of secret West Bank land deals. Israeli settlers routinely try to buy Palestinian-owned land in the West Bank and east Jerusalem to strengthen their hold on territories the Palestinians want for their state.Those convicted of selling land to Israelis face the death penalty from the Palestinian judiciary. In at least one case, such a sentence was handed down but was not carried out, court officials say. They say at least 141 Palestinians are being held in West Bank prisons for selling land to Israelis.Palestinian society views such acts as treason because it weakens their quest for an independent state in the occupied lands.Mansour retired from the intelligence service, and then he was assigned to the attorney general’s office in 2009 to investigate land sales, said family members who would not give their full names on advice of their lawyer.Mansour was arrested more than three weeks ago on suspicion of corruption, said Abdel Latif al-Aidi, an official leading the investigation into Mansour’s death. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Shahwan Jabareen of the Palestinian human rights group al-Haq said the autopsy must be done in the presence of an independent doctor. “Usually, when someone dies in custody, that raises our suspicions, but we are waiting for the autopsy,” he said.At least five Palestinians, including Mansour, have died in West Bank lockups in the past five years. Human rights groups have accused the Palestinian security forces of mistreatment of detainees under interrogation.As part of its crackdown on political rival Hamas, the Palestinian self-rule government in the West Bank has also become increasingly authoritarian, on occasion attempting to stifle dissent.Land deals between Palestinians and settler groups in the West Bank and east Jerusalem are usually done in secret because of the danger to the lives of the Palestinians involved.Scams are commonplace. Sometimes, Palestinians sell land they don’t own, or take the money without turning over the property. Other times, settlers falsely claim they’ve purchased Palestinian land and produce fraudulent documents.After successful sales, Palestinians often relocate abroad for fear of possible vigilante attacks against them. Four benefits of having a wireless security system Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Associated PressRAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) – A senior Palestinian official suspected of embezzling public funds fell to his death from the third-floor kitchen window of a West Bank security compound where he was being interrogated, officials said Monday.He was involved in tracking land sales to Israelis, considered treasonous by Palestinians.The official investigating the incident said Osama Mansour jumped, and that there is security camera footage to prove it. Members of Mansour’s family said he was cheerful when they visited him last week, and they suspect he was killed. Comments   Share   last_img read more

Italian premier says Iran sanctions are effective

first_imgThe West suspects that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. Israel has repeatedly hinted it might strike the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment facilities. The West hopes sanctions will force Iran to back down before that would be necessary.Monti said the Israeli approach was “slightly different” but complimentary to Europe’s.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Top Stories JERUSALEM (AP) – Italy’s premier says stepped up European sanctions against Iran are proving effective.Speaking Thursday alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mario Monti said the sanctions were “inflicting the pain” on Iran. He said they were being rigorously applied and enforced.Last week the European Union expanded its sanctions against Iran to include financial, trade, energy and transport sectors. It imposed asset freezes and trade restrictions on additional companies, notably those in the oil and gas industry. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Parents, stop beating yourself up Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Mexican marines free dozens of kidnapped migrants

first_img Sponsored Stories MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican marines have freed 104 kidnapped Central American migrants who were being held in a house in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, authorities said Sunday.A statement from the Secretary of the Marines said the 102 Hondurans and two Salvadorans, including 13 women, had been held captive for four days.It said the rescue operation came after authorities received a tip that vehicles were seen arriving at the house in Tamaulipas state and armed men were then seen violently unloading people from them. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 3 international destinations to visit in 2019center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The statement didn’t say if the migrants were trying to cross Mexico in hopes of reaching the United States, but it is common for Central American migrants trying to reach the U.S. to be kidnapped and ransoms demanded from their families.According to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, each year about 150,000 migrants, mostly Central Americans, cross Mexico trying to reach the United States.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

Japan executes 2 inmates 5 put to death this year

Iraq says IS demolishes ruins to cover up looting operations

first_img 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Men’s health affects baby’s health too Top Stories On Wednesday, Egypt, together with the Antiquities Coalition and the Washington-based Middle East Institute will be holding a conference in Cairo entitled “Cultural Property Under Threat” to come up with regional solutions to the plundering and sale of antiquities.This isn’t the first time, of course, that Iraq’s antiquities have fallen victim to current events. There was the infamous looting of the museum in 2003 and reports of widespread plundering of archaeological sites in the subsequent years, especially in the south. U.S. investigators at the time said al-Qaida was funding its activities with illicit sales of antiquities.What appears to be different this time is the sheer scale and systematic nature of the looting, especially in the parts of Syria controlled by the Islamic State group. Satellite photos show some sites so riddled with holes they look like a moonscape.The G-7’s Financial Action Task Force said in a February report that the Islamic State group is making money both by selling artifacts directly — as probably would be the case with material taken from the museums — or by taxing criminal gangs that dig at the sites in their territory. After oil sales, extortion and kidnapping, antiquities sales are believed to be one of the group’s main sources of funding. Sponsored Stories “I do believe that dealers are willing to warehouse items for a long time and that they may be receiving some ‘financing’ to do this from well-heeled collectors or other dealers operating outside of the Middle East,” she said. “It is relatively unlikely that a major piece would be plausibly sold on the open market with a story that it was in a private collection for a long period of time.”Mesopotamian sculptures, jewelry and stelae sold legally have commanded stunning sums, up to $1 million in some cases, but the looters would be selling them to dealers for a fraction of that cost — with the profit margin coming from the sheer number of artifacts being sold.Iraq has sent lists to the International Council of Museums, the U.N. and Interpol detailing all the artifacts that might have been looted from the museum in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city overrun by IS last June. Harder to stop, however, is the sale of never-before-seen pieces that have been newly dug up and never registered.There is new legislation going through the U.S. Congress to tighten controls on illicit trafficking of materials from the Middle East, though Albertson contends that the laws are less important than the manpower devoted to enforcing them. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 0 Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “A new resolution is just another well-intentioned piece of ineffective paper,” she said.The Iraqi government is now rushing to document the remaining sites in the country, especially in the disputed province of Salahuddin, just south of the Islamic State stronghold in Nineweh province. Nineweh itself is home to 1,700 archaeological sites, all under IS control, said Rashid of the antiquities department.As a number of experts point out, though, most sites in Iraq have not been completely excavated and there are likely more winged bull statues and stelae waiting to be found under the earthen mounds scattered throughout this country — assuming the Islamic State group and its diggers don’t find them first._____Associated Press writer Sinan Salaheddin contributed to this report from Baghdad.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “According to our sources, the Islamic State started days before destroying this site by digging in this area, mainly the palace,” he told The Associated Press from his office next to Iraq’s National Museum — itself a target of looting after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. “We think that they first started digging around these areas to get the artifacts, then they started demolishing them as a cover up.”While there is no firm evidence of the amount of money being made by the Islamic State group from looting antiquities, satellite photos and anecdotal evidence confirm widespread plundering of archaeological sites in areas under IS control.Nimrud was also the site of one of the greatest discoveries in Iraqi history, stunning golden jewelry from a royal tomb found in 1989, and Rashid is worried that more such tombs lie beneath the site and have been plundered. He estimated the potential income from looting to be in the millions of dollars.Experts speculate that the large pieces are destroyed with sledgehammers and drills for the benefit of the cameras, while the more portable items like figurines, masks and ancient clay cuneiform tablets are smuggled to dealers in Turkey. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement FILE – In this file photo taken on Sunday, March 15, 2015 People observe ancient artifacts at the Iraqi National Museum after its reopening in the wake of the recent destruction of Assyrian archaeological sites by the Islamic State group in Mosul, as they visit the museum in Baghdad. The videos of Islamic State militants destroying the ancient artifacts in Iraq’s museums and blowing up temples and palaces are chilling enough, but one of Iraq’s top antiquities officials said it is all a cover for an even more sinister activity _ the wholesale looting and selling of the country’s cultural heritage. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File) In February, the United Nations passed a resolution recognizing that the Islamic State group was “generating income from the direct or indirect trade,” in stolen artifacts, and added a ban on the illicit sale of Syrian antiquities to the already existing one on Iraqi artifacts passed in 2003.While Iraq contains remains from civilizations dating back more than 5,000 years, the hardest hit artifacts have come from the Assyrian empire, which at its height in 700 B.C. stretched from Iran to the Mediterranean and whose ancient core almost exactly covers the area now controlled by the Islamic State group.The looted artifacts most likely follow the traditional smuggling routes for all sorts of illicit goods into Turkey, according to Lynda Albertson, head of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art. From there, the most common route is through Bulgaria and the Balkans into Western Europe. Britain and the United States remain the biggest markets for antiquities, though wealthy collectors are emerging in China and the Gulf — especially for Islamic-era artifacts.International bans make the ultimate sale of illicit antiquities difficult, but not impossible. So far, there have been no reports of major, museum-quality pieces from IS-held territory appearing in auction houses, so the artifacts must be going to either private collectors or they are being hoarded by dealers to be slowly and discretely released onto the market, said Patty Gerstenblith, Director of the Center for Art, Museum and Cultural Heritage Law at DePaul University. BAGHDAD (AP) — The videos of Islamic State militants destroying ancient artifacts in Iraq’s museums and blowing up 3,000-year-old temples are chilling enough, but one of Iraq’s top antiquities officials is now saying the destruction is a cover for an even more sinister activity — the systematic looting of Iraq’s cultural heritage.In the videos that appeared in April, militants can be seen taking sledge hammers to the iconic winged-bulls of Assyria and sawing apart floral reliefs in the palace of Ashurnasirpal II in Nimrud before the entire site is destroyed with explosives. But according to Qais Hussein Rashid, head of Iraq’s State Board for Antiquities and Heritage, that was just the final step in a deeper game.last_img read more

Cholera infects 3000 Burundian refugees UN calls for help

first_imgUNHCR and its partners appealed for help Friday, saying $207 million is needed to respond to the humanitarian crisis and assist some 200,000 Burundians who have taken refuge in Tanzania, Congo and Rwanda.The refugee agency said the number of people fleeing Burundi could double in the next six months.Between 500 and 2,000 Burundians are arriving daily in Kagunga — many more than the population of the tiny fishing village on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.The World Health Organization has warned that a “severe humanitarian crisis” is unfolding in Tanzania with refugees overwhelming health and sanitation facilities in the border area.Cholera is a fast-developing, highly contagious disease that causes diarrhea, leading to severe dehydration and possible death. It is caused by contaminated food and water. Cases of acute diarrhea have also been confirmed among the refugees, who include many women and children.Demonstrators in Bujumbura, Burundi’s capital, say they will continue to protest until President Pierre Nkurunziza steps down at the end of his second term. Police have been using live ammunition and tear gas to disperse crowds of angry protesters, and observers have urged the government not to launch revenge attacks in the aftermath of a failed attempt by some military officers to force Nkurunziza out. Sponsored Stories U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is encouraged by U.N.-guided political talks in Burundi among representatives of the government, political parties and others, but he has expressed concern about the refugees and urged the Burundi government to “create conditions for their return,” his spokesman’s office said in a statement.___Associated Press writer Cara Anna at the United Nations contributed.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — An outbreak of cholera has infected 3,000 people in a Tanzanian border region where refugees fleeing political unrest in Burundi have massed, the U.N. Refugee Agency said Friday.Some 300 to 400 new cases of cholera are being reported daily. At least 31 people — 29 refugees and two Tanzanians — already have died of the disease, according to UNHCR.More than 64,000 Burundians have fled to Tanzania in recent weeks, UNHCR said, escaping the unrest sparked by their president’s bid for a third term that many say is unconstitutional. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Patients with chronic pain give advice Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top Stories Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

House committee chairman Spin off air traffic control

first_img New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Controllers are keeping an open mind on the proposal but want to see the details, said Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.“The details really do matter,” he said.Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, the senior Democrat on the committee, said he has “a number of serious concerns about the constitutionality, the national security implications, and the logistical challenges of separating the system.”Airlines have been heavily lobbying Congress to give them a greater say in air traffic operations and how they are paid for. The non-profit corporation would be run by a board that would include airlines, private plane owners, and labor unions, among others.The FAA would still set safety standards and be responsible for enforcing them.Currently, air traffic control operations are financed through a series of taxes and fees on airline tickets and aviation fuels. Airlines have long wanted to move to a “user fee” system based on takeoffs and landings, but have been opposed by private plane owners who fear such a system will require them to pay a larger share of the costs for operating the $10 billion annual air traffic control system. Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Private aircraft owners have also expressed concern that the board would be dominated by big airlines and the large airports that service them. They say they fear that with air travel increasing, private planes will be pushed out of large and medium-sized airports in large metropolitan areas to make room for more airline flights.Shuster also said the bill, to be introduced this month, will require the FAA to delegate more responsibility to aircraft, engine and other aviation manufacturers for safety oversight of their products’ design and manufacture. Some manufacturers have complained of long delays in getting the FAA’s approval to make their products. FAA approval is required for every aircraft design and the manufacture of each plane and piece of equipment. The agency already delegates a lot of that responsibility to designated employees of the manufacturer who are overseen by regulators.Earlier this year, Shuster acknowledged having “a personal and private relationship” with an airline lobbyist and said he never considered recusing himself from the panel’s work on aviation legislation.___Follow Joan Lowy on Twitter at http://www.twitter./AP_Joan_Lowy Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Since the dawn of aviation, the U.S. has moved more people and goods by air than any other nation, “but I believe we’re on the brink of losing our lead,” he said. “It’s questionable whether our (air traffic) system is capable of just sustaining current demands — delays already cost passengers and the economy $30 billion a year. But, there’s no question whether this system can handle the growth that’s coming. It can’t.”The Federal Aviation Administration has been hampered in recent years by government-wide budget cuts. Two years ago, air traffic was snarled at airports across the country for days after budget cuts resulted in the furlough of some controllers.The FAA has also been working for 10 years on transitioning from a radar-based air traffic control system to one based on satellite technology, but there’s no completion in sight, Shuster said. A Government Accountability Office survey of airline and other aviation industry officials found that very few believe the agency is capable of achieving its goals for a new air traffic system.Privatization “will make flying and the time it takes to get from one place to another much better than it is now because it will give us a modern air traffic control system,” said Nick Calio, head of Airlines for America, a trade association for major airlines. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House transportation committee said Monday he’ll introduce a bill that takes control of air traffic operations away from the government and places it under the control of a non-profit corporation run by airlines and other segments of the aviation industry.Keeping air traffic operations under government control would be “the surest road to failure,” Rep. Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican, told a Washington Aero Club luncheon.last_img read more

Pope Francis on home turf urges defense of poor and planet

first_img New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help How do cataracts affect your vision? Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies In a speech in front of President Rafael Correa, Francis signaled some of the key themes for the visit, which will also take him to Bolivia and Paraguay: the need to care for society’s most marginal, guarantee socially responsible economic development and defend the Earth against profit-at-all-cost development that he says harms the poor the most.“From the peak of Chimborazo to the Pacific coast, from the Amazon rainforest to the Galapagos Islands, may you never lose the ability to thank God for what he has done and is doing for you,” he said from the tarmac. “May you never lose the ability to protect what is small and simple, to care for your children and your elderly who are the memory of your people, to have confidence in the young and to be constantly struck by the nobility of your people and the singular beauty of your country.”It’s a message that is particularly relevant for Ecuador, a Pacific nation of 15 million people that is home to one of the world’s most species-diverse ecosystems and the Galapagos Islands, which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. While oil has brought Ecuador unparalleled revenues in recent years, the accompanying deforestation and pollution have stained its vast swaths of Amazonian rain forests where many indigenous peoples live. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Travel agency worker Veronica Valdeon called the Argentine pontiff “a light in the darkness.”“We are living difficult moments in our country, and Francis brings a bit of joy,” Valdeon said.The “slum pope” chose to visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay specifically because they are among the poorest and most marginal nations of a region that claims 40 percent of the world’s Catholics. He’s skipping his homeland of Argentina, where he ministered to the poorest slum-dwellers while archbishop, to avoid papal entanglement in this year’s presidential election.While Francis visited Portuguese-speaking Brazil in 2013, this is his first trip to Spanish-speaking South America since being elected pope.The schedule for Monday is relatively easy, to help the 78-year-old pontiff get acclimated. He will fly an hour south to Ecuador’s steaming Pacific port city of Guayaquil, where more than 1 million people are expected to attend his first public Mass. Before returning to Quito, he’ll have lunch with two dozen Jesuits at a Jesuit school where he used to send his own Argentine seminarians to study.Francis’ stops later in the week include a violent Bolivian prison, a flood-prone Paraguayan shantytown and a meeting with grass-roots groups in Bolivia, the sort of people he ministered to in the slums of Buenos Aires. Falling world prices for oil and minerals, though, is now threatening to fray the generous social safety net woven by Correa, who has been buffeted for nearly a month by the most serious anti-government street protests of his nearly nine years in power. Along Francis’ motorcade route into Quito, some onlookers shouted “Correa out!” and gave a thumbs down gesture.Standing by Correa’s side at the airport, Francis pledged that the Catholic Church was ready to help meet the challenges of the day by encouraging a respect for peoples’ differences, “fostering dialogue and full participation so that the growth in progress and development already registered will ensure a better future for everyone, with particular concern for the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.”Correa, for his part, echoed many of Francis’ own themes about the “perverse” global economic system that keeps the poor on the margins while the rich get richer, exploiting the Earth’s natural resources in the process.“Holy Father, the global order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral,” Correa said.The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Francis wasn’t worried about the protests against Correa. He estimated 500,000 people lined the route that took Francis to the Vatican ambassador’s residence. Many in the crowd said they hoped the pope would have a calming effect on the country’s tense political situation. Sponsored Stories In this June 7, 2015 photo, tourists take pictures with a life-size cutout poster of Pope Francis after attending Mass celebrating the feast day of Corpus Cristi at the Basilica of the Virgin of Caacupe in Caacupe, Paraguay. On July 11, Francis will celebrate Mass in the square in front of this basilica, in part to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz) Crowds are expected to be huge. While the countries themselves are small, they are fervently Catholic: 79 percent of the population is Catholic in Ecuador, 77 percent in Bolivia and 89 percent in Paraguay, according to the Pew Research Center.Before leaving Rome, Francis did some hometown ministering: Lombardi said Francis welcomed 10 homeless people into the Vatican___Associated Press writers Gonzalo Solano and Maria Jose Sanchez contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Latin America’s first pope returned to Spanish-speaking South America for the first time Sunday, stressing the need to protect the poor and the environment from exploitation and to foster dialogue among all sectors of society.Children in traditional dress greeted Francis at Mariscal Sucre airport outside Ecuador’s capital, the wind blowing off his skullcap and whipping his white cassock as he descended from the plane following a 13-hour flight from Rome. He greeted and kissed several indigenous youths waiting for him on the side of the red carpet.last_img read more

Myanmars democracy leader runs in Nov 8 polls to keep seat

first_img 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Patients with chronic pain give advice Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to homecenter_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies THANLYIN, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday registered for November elections to keep her seat in parliament and challenge the ruling military-backed party.Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy will contest almost all the 498 parliamentary seats in the Nov. 8 polls, and expects heavy gains, according to party spokesman Nyan Win. He said the party will announce the first batch of candidates on Wednesday. Suu Kyi submitted her papers amid flag-waving, cheering supporters who shouted “Long live Mother Su,” at Thanlyin township for the Kawhmu constituency, a poor district south of Yangon, which she also represented during the 2012 by-election.In the by-election, she and 42 other party members won all but one of the seats, which nonetheless represented a small bloc in a parliament dominated by a pro-government party.“We have to support Aunty Suu as she is the only leader who can change our country,” said Daw Yee, one of more than 100 supporters who had waited for hours to catch a glimpse of the democracy icon.Parties have until Aug. 8 to submit their candidates.The 70-year-old Nobel Peace laureate is still unable to run for presidency after lawmakers recently turned down efforts to amend the constitution, which grants the military a quarter of the parliamentary seats, ensuring it has veto power over amendments.The upcoming polls will be the second since Myanmar ended a half-century of brutal military rule and handed power to a nominally civilian government in 2011.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Asia budget carriers set to go the distance

first_imgLow-cost carriers such as Scoot and Cebu Pacific are poised to join AirAsia X and Jetstar in catering to the long-haul market.At the close of 2012 there will be approximately fifty budget airlines operating throughout Asia, with the above four incorporating the long-haul business model.“The long-haul low-cost market is the latest fad, as a very small portion of long-haul flights are operated by LCCs, (low cost carriers). “This is a sector which has tremendous growth potential,” Brendan Sobie, Senior Analyst at CAPA – Centre for Aviation said.Scoot plans to launch flights to Australia and other international destinations, within a ten hour distance from Singapore, later this year.Philippines’ budget carrier, Cebu Pacific is vying for the Middle East market, containing a strong population of Filipino immigrants.“There is a rock-solid demand base [for us],” Cebu CEO, Lance Gokongwei said. Although AirAsia X was the first of the low-cost airlines to explore long-haul flights, they have since cancelled routes to Europe and India due to a decrease in demand and rising taxes.An executive from an undisclosed full-service European airline hinted at this withdrawal as a setback for the Asian long-haul market.“Air Asia X experimented with something new and had to pull out. “Don`t know whether passengers are ready to fly long haul on budget,” the senior executive said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img

Accor opens four new Mercure properties in Pacific

first_imgAccor has announced four new Mercure hotels joining the group from the Pacific, increasing the number of Mercure hotels across Australia and New Zealand to 49.The Ballarat Lodge & Convention Centre will be rebranded to Mercure Ballarat Hotel & Convention Centre in March 2015.The 71-room hotel is located opposite Sovereign Hill and boasts two restaurants, 24 meeting and conference rooms of multiple configurations, a Day Spa and swimming pool.Hotel Launceston in Tasmania will be rebranded to Mercure Launceston in April 2015, complementing Accor’s other Tasmanian property, The Sebel Launceston.The 74 room Best Western Goulburn in New South Wales will join the Accor network in March 2015 and be rebranded as Mercure Goulburn.In New Zealand, the Abel Tasman Hotel in Wellington will rebrand to Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman as of March 2015.The hotel exists of 73-room hotel is located in the heart of Wellington’s business and entertainment district, and is within walking distance of Lampton Harbour.Accor Pacific chief operating officer Simon McGrath, said the addition of four Mercure hotels will strengthen the existing footprint in the Pacific.“We are thrilled to have a presence in the local communities of Ballarat, Launceston, Goulburn and Wellington and by bringing internationally branded hotels into these areas we look forward to fostering and growing tourism in these regions as a result,” Mr McGrath said.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Twothirds of Gold Coast families support cruise ship terminal

first_imgTwo-thirds of Gold Coast residents have shown their support for a proposed AUD$7.5 billion cruise ship terminal and resort planned for Wave Break Island in Broadwater.The Sunday Mail reported details of a poll in which 6,900 people were surveyed over four months to determine the amount of community support for the project.Of those involved, 65 per cent of Gold Coast families were supportive of the resort and cruise ship terminal.The ASD Consortium hopes Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will give the proposal a second chance following her dismissal of the plans after environmental groups campaigned against the project.Project director Tim Poole told The Sunday Mail environmental issues can only be determined once they are given approval to conduct an environmental impact study (EIS).“We have demonstrated enough support to go to the next stage,’’ Mr Poole said.“The key trends that emerged from these interactions are that the majority of the Gold Coast is supportive of the project, or are positive if an EIS allows it to proceed.“There is also around 15 per cent of the community who are ‘neutral’.“They need detailed information that can only be provided by undertaking the detailed EIS study.”Supporters of the project are aware that up to 15,200 jobs would be created if the plans are approved.Mr Poole said those opposed to the project may be concerned about environmental impact, negative changes to the Broadwater area, traffic congestion and parking.“A lot of opposition is based on perceptions rather than facts,’’ he said.“We believe these issues can be addressed through proper planning assessment.”Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

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