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World powers agree Syria deal, US eyes post-Assad regime

News4u-News Desk- World powers agreed to a plan for a transition in Syriathat could include current regime members, but envoy Kofi Annan doubted if Syrians would pick leaders “with blood on their hands”.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear thatWashington did not see any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the new regime, even though there was no explicit call for him to cede power.

“Assad will still have to go. He will never pass the mutual consent test,” said Clinton in Geneva on Saturday.

While Annan did not name names and said it was up to the Syrians to decide who they want in a unity government, he added: “I would doubt that Syrians… would select people with blood on their hands to lead them.”

The deal came despite initial pessimism from participants about the prospects of the Geneva talks due to deep divisions between the West and China and Russia on the future of Assad.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said following the meeting that Moscow had convinced other parties to accept that the transition would be decided by Syrians and that no party should be excluded from the process.

“How exactly the work on a transition to a new stage is conducted will be decided by the Syrians themselves,” he said.

“There are no demands to exclude from this process any one group. This aspect had been present in many of our partners’ proposals. We have convinced them that this is unacceptable,” Lavrov said.

A long-time Syria ally, Russia is loathe to cast Assad aside, even as relations between Moscow and Damascus have cooled.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also stressed that “outsiders cannot make decisions for the Syrian people.”

As divisions threatened to scupper talks earlier Saturday, Annan had warned at the opening of the meeting that history “will judge us all harshly” if world powers failed to bridge their gaps on how to end the bloodshed in Syria and chart a transition.

World powers agree Syria deal

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Google teaching computers to mimic human brain

News4u-Business Desk-Google has said it was dabbling with getting computers to simulate the learning process of the human brain as one of the unusual projects for researchers in its X Lab.

Computers programmed with algorithms intended to mimic neural connections “learned” to recognise cats after being shown a sampling of YouTube videos, Google fellow Jeff Dean and visiting faculty Andrew Ng said in a blog post.

“Our hypothesis was that it would learn to recognise common objects in those videos,” the researchers said.

“Indeed, to our amusement, one of our artificial neurons learned to respond strongly to pictures of… cats,”the researchers continued.

“Remember that this network had never been told what a cat was, nor was it given even a single image labeled as a cat.”

The computer, essentially, discovered for itself what a cat looked like, according to Dean and Ng. The computations were spread across an “artificial neural network” of 16,000 processors and a billion connections in Google data centers.

The small-scale “newborn brain” was shown YouTube images for a week to see what it would learn.

“It ‘discovered’ what a cat looked like by itself from only unlabeled YouTube stills,” the researchers said. “That’s what we mean by self-taught learning.”

Google researchers are building a larger model and are working on ways to apply the artificial neural network approach to improve technology for speech recognition and natural language modeling, according to Dean and Ng.

“Someday this could make the tools you use every day work better, faster, and smarter,”the researchers added.

Dean and Ng conceded that there is a long road ahead, since an adult human brain has around 100 trillion connections.

Google X Lab headed by company co-founder Sergey Brin is known for its work on innovations such as a self-driving car and “Terminator” film style glasses that provide Internet information about what is being seen.

Google

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Sudents hijack drone for $1,000 bet

News4u - News Desk :TEXAS: On a dare, Texas college researchers hacked into and hijacked a drone of the US Homeland Security before the eyes of the officials operating it. Using a technique called ‘spoofing’ where a signal from hackers imitates the one sent to the drone’s on-board GPS, the researchers managed to take control of a small but powerful drone in mid-air .

During the experiment conducted at theUniversity of Texas stadium, the small red drone soared into the sky following a clear set of commands entered into its computer. Shortly after, the aircraft veered to the side, making it obvious that it was no longer following its original orders.

Then, the drone hurtled toward the ground as if given a self-destruct command and was saved in the last moment.

And the hijacking was just for a $1,000 wager. But the incident has unnerved Homeland security officials, as the spoofing has made it possible for anyone with a $1,000 and a plan to turn a harmless UAV into a missile and crash it into a building.

The hijackers team led by professor Todd Humphreys at Austin Radio-navigation Laboratorysaid his team was able to build the most sophisticated spoofing system yet that tricked the drone into following a new set of commands . “Spoofing a GPS receiver on a UAV is just another way of hijacking a plane,” Humphreys said.

The stadium display was not the first time government officials witnessed spoofing in action. Last Tuesday, officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Homeland Security watched as Humphreys’ team repeatedly hijacked a drone from a remote hilltop in New Mexico.PTI

US Drone

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Nexus 7 tablet computer unveiled

News4u-Business Desk- Google  unveiled its own branded Nexus 7 tablet computer designed to challenge Apple’s iPad and be a window into its online shop for films, books, movies and more.

The seven-inch tablet powered by the latest generation of Android software was made for Google by Taiwan-based Asus and weighs about as much as a paperback book, according to Android team head Hugo Barra.

“We wanted to design a best-of Google experience optimized around the content available at Google Play,” Barra said during a presentation opening the Internet titan’s annual developers conference in San Francisco.

Nexus tablets were available for order in Australia, Canada, Britain, and the United States at the Google Play store at a price of USD 199 and would begin shipping in mid-July, Barra said.

The tablets come with a USD 25 coupon for Google Play content.

Google also Introduced an Android-powered Nexus Q device for wirelessly streaming films or music to televisions or speakers.

Nexus 7 tablet

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BCCI takes stern action against spot-fixing : 5 banned

News4u-Sports Desk-MUMBAI: Cracking the whip on cricketers caught in a IPL spot-fixing scandal, the BCCI on Saturday imposed a life ban on pacer TP Sudhindra but handed lighter punishments to four other domestic players who were also exposed in the TV sting operation.

The decision to ban the players for varying degrees was taken by the BCCI’s disciplinary committee, headed by its president N Srinivasan, which met to discuss the report submitted by Ravi Sawani on the matter.

While the 28-year-old Sudhindra was the worst hit as his career seems all but over, Shalabh Srivastav was banned for five years. Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali were banned for a year each, according to BCCI sources.

The television sting operation had claimed that they agreed to shadowy deals in the Indian Premier League and other matches.

Three of the five players — Sudhindra, Mishra and Bali — were attended the meeting on Saturday to present their points of view before the panel whose other members are Board vice-presidents Arun Jaitely and Niranjan Shah.

Five uncapped Indian cricketers were alleged to have been caught indulging in corrupt practices, including spot-fixing, by a TV channel which conducted a sting operation during this year’s IPL.

BCCI had asked its anti-corruption unit chief Ravi Sawani to conduct a probe in the matter and he submitted his report to Srinivasan a few weeks back.

The five players were suspended with immediate effect after the sting operation was aired.

Television channel India TV had claimed to have blown the lid off “murky deals” in the IPL among players, organisers, owners and big guns of Indian cricket.

According to the channel, its operation revealed that spot-fixing is not only prevalent in IPL but also that first class matches are fixed and women played an important role in match-fixing.

Four of the five players suspended had previously played in the rebel Indian Cricket League.

Medium pacer Sudhindra, who had played for Delhi Giants in the ICL, helped Madhya Pradesh gain promotion to Ranji Trophy’s Elite Division in the 2010-11 season.

He surprised everyone in his first season in the big league, ending the 2011-12 season as its highest wicket-taker and earning himself a contract with the Deccan Chargers in the IPL.

Madhya Pradesh middle-order batsman Mishra too played for the Delhi Giants in the rebelIndian Cricket League before gaining amnesty form the BCCI. Signed by Deccan Chargers in 2010, 28-year-old Mishra moved to the newly-formed Pune Warriors in 2011.

Uttar Pradesh left-arm seamer Srivastava was India’s highest wicket-taker at the victorious Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka in 2000. After severing ties with ICL team Delhi Giants, Srivastava was signed up by Kings XI Punjab in 2011.

The 22-year-old Yadav, an all-rounder, bats right-handed and bowls off-spin for Goa. He has played 14 first-class matches, scoring three half centuries and taking 41 wickets at 23.75. Yadav was on Kings XI Punjab’s roster but hasn’t made his IPL debut yet. PTI

 

BCCI takes stern action against spot-fixing : 5 banned

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Maximum (Movie-Review)

News4u-Entertainment Desk-  Two encounter specialists get into a ruthless, head-on battle for maximum power and control; and are willing to go any extent to up the ‘headcount’ to fuel their selfish ambitions.

Mumbai! Yeah, sure! The city of dreams and disasters. Traffic and terrorism. Slums and skyscrapers. Bollywood and bhais. Corruption and ‘cop’ulation. Cutting chai and ‘cut-pieces’. The city of extremes. It’s maxed out - Mumbai.

It’s raging war against the underbelly of the city. Two daredevil encounter cops, Pratap Pandit (Sonu Sood) and Arun Inamdar ( Naseeruddin Shah) are on a mission to shoot-at-sight. Ready to gun down anything (pointlessly) - but their power, ego and mean motives. Pandit, the young, fiercely ambitious and brutally brave cop (oh yes, he boasts of 150 medals, for a ‘hit’ rate that beats the count of tab tak chappan. No comparison with Nana please), is embroiled in a series of conspiracies, contract killings and suspicious criminal connections. Inamdar, a much senior and silently devious cop (with as many grey shades as grey hair), has a personal vendetta against Pandit, and has vowed to out-trigger his ‘body-count’ (even if it means throwing in some farzi encounters). The brief is simple, shoot-at-sight-as-you-like. The gritty drama sees a dash of glamour with a slightly-short-of-sizzle item number (Hazel Keech), and fleeting emotional moments between Pandit and his patni ( Neha Dhupia), his pretty pillar of strength.

This no-holds-barred game of ‘shoot-to-success’, happens while a conniving neta, Tiwari (Vinay Pathak), plots his own political ambition; and a diligent reporter, Ashwin (Amit Sadh), who believes in nothing but sach befriends the sharp shooters (over beer and kheema pau), breaks sensational news as it’s happening - from the cops’ mouth. Eventually, Mumbai’s ‘clean-up’ act turns into an unwarranted bloody affair, the dirty power-play turns into a death trap, and there’s no way anyone can ‘cop-out’.
In his first lead role, Sonu Sood, gets his chance to play a Chulbul Pandey, (minus the comedy, though in true Dabangg style). With ample confidence and flair, he displays a gamut of moods and emotions that his chequered character demands.

Naseeruddin, as the vengeful, angry old cop, stranger to sympathy, doesn’t belt out his usual knock-out performance. For an actor of his stature and skill, his role is partially sketched, and he’s left with no choice but to bite the bullet.

The usually comical Vinay Pathak puts up believable act as a sly politician, with wise-cracks and disposable gyaan. Neha Dhupia plays the wifely act to the tee, and pleasantly breezes through the role.

Director Kabeer Kaushik, has a good force of actors here and a gripping premise (with strong references to prominent encounter cops from recent past), but he doesn’t quite lead the way. There are scenes where he triggers good performances, but with the inclusion of too many facts, figures and case files, it loses entertainment value. And gradually the plot fades into dark gullies of our big, bad Maximum city. courtesy toi…

Maximum

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UPA out to gag free opinion on Sonia, Rahul on internet: RSS

News4u-News Desk-NEW DELHI: The RSS has alleged that theUPA government is out to gag people’s free opinion on the net, especially those regardingSonia Gandhi and son Rahul, through requests to sites like Google to remove content and by seeking users’ data and account details.

“The government of India is seeking to gag the voice of the public, expressed most freely on the net. It has sent 96 requests to the Google site alone from June to December 2011 of removal of content,” RSS mouthpiece Organiser said in the editorial of its latest edition.

It maintained that according to Google, there has been a 49% rise in the number of requests for removing the contents in India, the highest in the world.

“It may be recalled that HRD minister Kapil Sibal had growled in exaggerated fury over a cartoon regarding the Prime Minister. The UPA government is being lampooned, criticized and chided by angry citizens,” the editorial said, adding that this is the role of the media but since it has failed to do so the people have chipped in.

Organiser alleged that as per newspaper reports the government investigative agencies are also engaged in finding the physical location and identity of several IP addresses from the US, which have posted material not “palatable to the Gandhi family”, particularly Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul.

Citing Google, the editorial said most requests for removal are regarding political comments.

“Google received 2,207 requests for user data and 3,427 requests regarding users and accounts between July and December 2011. It complied with 66% of the requests,” the editorial said, adding that Pakistan has made only two such requests.PTI

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi

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Serena wins marathon, Rosol’s dream Wimbledon ends

News4u-Sports Desk- Four-time champion Serena Williams clinched a marathon triumph over China’s Zheng Jie to reach the Wimbledonlast 16 on Saturday as Lukas Rosol, the conqueror of Rafael Nadal, returned to anonymity.

Sixth-seed Williams, playing in her 13th Wimbledon, saw off 25th-seed Zheng, a semi-finalist in 2008, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 9-7 and will tackle Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan for a place in the quarter-finals.

“It was good to win that. I needed a tough match and she’s always playing me incredibly well,” said Williams.

Wildcard Shvedova will go into Monday’s fourth round tie having made history as the first woman at a Grand Slam to achieve a Golden Set.

Shvedova won 24 points and conceded none in a first set 6-0 wipeout of Italian 10th seed, and French Open runner-up, Sara Errani on her way to the last 16 for the first time.

Shvedova, who won 23 points in succession at the Memphistournament in 2006, took the second set 6-4.

“Today I laid a golden egg,” the Kazakh later tweeted.

Czech world 100 Rosol had caused one of the greatest upsets in the history of the sport when he beat world number two Nadal in five sets in the second round under the Centre Courtroof on Thursday.

But on a windswept Court 12 on Saturday, normal service was resumed as German 27th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Nadal on grass at Halle two weeks ago, eased to a 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) win and a first appearance in the last 16.

Kohlschreiber, who claimed victory on a fourth match point, will tackle American qualifier Brian Baker for a place in the quarter-finals.

Baker’s fairytale return hit a new high when he enjoyed a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over France’s Benoit Paire.

Baker lost six years of his career to an assortment of injuries that left him needing five different operations on a hernia, left and right hips and right elbow.

The 27-year-old, who started the year ranked 458, will rise to at least 78 after his performances at Wimbledon.

“It’s been unreal,” said Baker, who took a job as a college tennis coach to maintain his feel for the sport during his lengthy lay-off.

“On court I still have nerves when you know what’s on the table and what you have accomplished. It’s crazy.”

Defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova wasted little time moving into fourth round as the Czech took just 53 minutes to crush America’s Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 6-0.

The 22-year-old Kvitova, who has lost just 13 games in her three matches, blasted 15 winners and forced the out-classed Lepchenko to make 38 errors in a brutal demolition on Court One.

Kvitova, seeded fourth, will play former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone for a place in the quarter-finals.

“I’m feeling better with every match I play here. The third round today was much better than the first round,” Kvitova said.

Former world number one Ana Ivanovic, the 14th seed, reached the last 16, coming from behind to clinch a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win against Germany’s Julia Goerges.

Ivanovic will play second seed Victoria Azarenka, a semi-finalist in 2011, who put out Slovak qualifier, and world number 178, Jana Cepelova, 6-3, 6-3.

Also going through was Austria’s Tamira Paszek, the first round conqueror of former number one Caroline Wozniacki.

Paszek enjoyed a 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 win over Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer and will face Italian 21st seed Roberta Vinci who defeated Croatia qualifier Mirjana Lucic in two tie-break sets.

Later Saturday, British fourth seed Andy Murray takes on Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus while three-time runner-up Andy Roddick faces Spain’s David Ferrer.

Serena Williams

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Most services to come under tax net from today

News4u-News Desk- All services except those which are in the negative list will become expensive from tomorrow with the implementation of the new service tax regime.

With the exception of 38 services, which figure in the negative list, all other activities would attract 12% tax. The government had earlier decided to implement the negative list from July 1.

Services like metered taxis, auto rickshaws, betting, gambling, lottery, entry to amusement parks, transport of goods or passengers and electricity transmission or distribution by discoms have been kept in the negative list.

Other important services which will not attract the tax include funeral, burial, mutate services and transport of deceased.

Coaching classes and training institutions will come under the net, though the tax will not be levied on school, university education and approved vocational courses.

However, confusion prevails with regard to the imposition of service tax on rail freight and passenger fares from tomorrow.

Railway Minister Mukul Roy has said railways will not introduce service tax on freight and fare from July 1 and has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is now looking after the Finance portfolio, in this regard.

The government has widened the definition of ‘Services’ to bring in more activities under the tax net. Till now, 119 services that come under ‘positive list’ are subject to the levy.

The new approach to taxation of services is intended to take the country and the economy a step closer towards the introduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST).PTI

Tax

Tax

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Islamist Mursi sworn in as Egypt’s President

News4u-News Desk- Mohammed Mursi was sworn in on Saturday as Egypt’s first freely elected President bringing his Muslim Brotherhood to power after 84 years of struggle, even as the military seemed determined to retain control.

Mursi, who was the winner of the presidential run-off, was officially sworn in before Egypt’s High Constitutional Court as Egypt’s first civilian president.

“I swear by the Almighty God to sincerely preserve the republican order and to respect the constitution and law, and completely care for the people’s interest,” 60-year-old Mursi said at the ceremony in the Constitutional Court.

“We aspire to a better tomorrow, a new Egypt and a second republic,” Mursi said.

He became Arab world’s first freely elected Islamist president and Egypt’s fifth head of state since the overthrow of the monarchy some 60 years ago.

In his first public speech at Cairo University after the oath, Mursi said, “God is greatest, above everyone” and pledged that Egypt would not reverse its new democratic course after Hosni Mubarak’s fall.

Egypt’s president stressed on a Pan-Arab policy and also announced his support for the Palestinians until they “regain all their rights” and called for an end to bloodshed in Syria.

“I announce from here that Egypt, its people and presidential institution stand with the Palestinian people until they regain all their rights,” Mursi said.

“We support the Syrian people. We want the bloodshed to stop,” he added.

Mursi thanked the military for seeing through the presidential elections but pointedly mentioned the “elected parliament” several times, in the address.

“The elected bodies will resume their functions and the army will return to their barracks, to their original role of protecting the borders,” Mursi said sending a veiled message to military’s leader Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi who was among the audience. (ST-30/06)

As the families of those who died during this year of revolution cheered for Mursi, holding pictures of their children, the president addressed them, saying: “It’s because of the sacrifice your children made that we have all of this.”

Mursi promised to bring justice for the martyrs and injured, for many have neither received any benefits from the state nor have they seen their murderers given jail sentences.

Mursi also expressed his appreciation to the role played by judges, the armed forces and police officers for supervising and securing the elections process and ensuring its transparency.

“Egypt will not break away from the Arab and Islamic nation,” said the president, stressing that from now on Egypt will not tolerate any violations against any of the Arab countries.

Attempts by any country to intervene in Egyptian affairs will be rejected, and confirmed that Egypt will respect “international treaties and agreements,” which might be an indirect reference to treaties such as the Camp David Accords.

The president reached out to both Muslims and Christians in “drawing a better future for Egypt and in fulfilling the goals of the revolution: freedom, social justice and dignity.”

“It’s time to look forward to a prosperous future for Egypt,” said the president before leaving the podium amidst cheers.

Earlier today he took his oath before the general assembly of the High Constitutional Court, composed of 18 top judges, lead by Farouk Sultan.

The ceremony was broadcast live by state television, after an apparent change of plans: state television had earlier announced the ceremony would be recorded and aired at a later time.

The national anthem played to mark the beginning of the ceremony, with Mursi sitting between Sultan and his deputy judge, Maher El-Beheiry.

Farouk Sultan congratulated Mursi on behalf of the judges’ general assembly in an opening speech ahead of the oath-swearing.


Mohammed Mursi

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