Category: hnwqflyp

 

Sunny morning in Delhi heat wave forecast

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi woke up to a hot Wednesday morning, with the maximum temperature expected to hover around 44 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature settled two notches below the season’s average at 24.1 degrees Celsius, said a MeT department official. “Heat wave conditions are expected in some pockets of the city with temperature soaring up to 45 degrees. Such conditions exist when the maximum temperature goes up five degrees above the season’s average,” said the official. According to the Safdarjung weather station forecast, considered representative of the city, the maximum temperature is expected to hover around 44 degrees Celsius. Dry conditions are also setting in with rise in temperatures. The relative humidity at 8.30 AM was 34 percent, said the official. The city recorded a high of 41.8 degrees Celsius and minimum 23 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.last_img read more

 

In the news today Feb 14

first_imgSeven stories in the news for Wednesday, Feb. 14———MURDER SUSPECT MCARTHUR DUE IN COURTAlleged killer Bruce McArthur will appear in a Toronto court today via video. He faces five first-degree murder charges linked to the disappearances of men believed to have had ties to the LGBTQ community. Investigators have said they expect to lay more charges against the 66-year-old in the coming days.———SENTENCING TODAY IN ALBERTA TRIPLE MURDERAn Alberta judge is expected to decide today whether two men who murdered three family members and burned their bodies should spend at least 75 years in prison. Jason Klaus, 42, and Joshua Frank, 32, were found guilty last month on three charges of first-degree murder. The bodies of Klaus’s father and sister were found in a burned-out farmhouse in 2013 — his mother’s body was never found.———BYELECTION TODAY FOR EX-PREMIER’S B.C. SEATVoters head to the polls in Kelowna, B.C., today to replace former premier Christy Clark. She left politics last summer, quitting as Liberal leader and resigning her seat in Kelowna West. Five people are vying for the job, including B.C. Liberal Ben Stewart, who won the riding in the 2013 election, but bowed out to allow Clark to run after she lost the Vancouver-Point Grey riding to the New Democrats.———FEDERAL BUDGET COMING FEB. 27Finance Minister Bill Morneau will table his next budget on Feb. 27 as the country faces persistent uncertainty on trade. Economists generally agree that he should proceed with caution given the still-unknown impacts of the drawn-out renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the U.S. move to slash corporate taxes.———VERHEUL: TRUMP HAMSTRINGS U.S. SIDE IN NAFTA TALKSThe effort to rescue NAFTA has made limited progress because U.S. bargainers find themselves hamstrung by the Trump White House and the fact talks are taking place too quickly, Canada’s chief negotiator says. Steve Verheul also says the U.S. strategy is to strengthen its position by weakening Canada and Mexico — a tactic that could end up having dire consequences for all three countries.———MISSING ONTARIO FIREFIGHTER FOUND IN CALIFORNIAA Toronto firefighter who was the subject of a six-day search at a New York ski centre has been found safe in California, leaving officials mystified as to how the 49-year-old managed to get across the country. Constantinos (Danny) Filippidis was reported missing Feb. 7 at Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid during a ski trip. The search ended Tuesday when Filippidis was found near Sacramento.———FEDS TO STUDY POT HABITS BY TESTING SEWAGEThe federal government is taking a somewhat noxious approach to studying just how much pot Canadians are consuming: researching our sewage. Statistics Canada will spend up to $600,000 a year for a contractor to regularly test waste water from 15 to 20 municipalities across the country for traces of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and other drugs.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— The family of Colten Boushie will make a statement in Ottawa accompanied by Sen. Kim Pate.— The Senate human rights committee will hold a special meeting focusing on Black people in federal prisons.— The Alberta government will hold a session to hear from survivors of the ’60s Scoop.— The Canadian Taxpayers Federation releases its annual Teddy Waste Awards.—last_img read more

 

Cat Deeley Visits Building Young Futures Program In India

first_imgEarlier this year, UNICEF UK Ambassador and global TV personality, Cat Deeley, travelled to India to witness how the futures of adolescent girls are being transformed by the Building Young Futures programme.Cat Deeley travels to India to witness how the futures of adolescent girls are being transformedCredit/Copyright: UNICEF UKThe programme is a Barclays and UNICEF initiative which is empowering young people to fulfil their potential by equipping them with the confidence and financial and business skills they need to build a stable future for themselves and their families.Almost a quarter of the world’s youth are unemployed; and this is clearly seen in India with rising youth unemployment figures significantly higher than adults.Life can be particularly hard for young women as they face the challenge of limited opportunities of employment teemed with discrimination, early marriage, violence and poverty.Cat visited young women in the urban slums of Mumbai and rural villages of Chandrapur to see how the Building Young Futures programme, locally known in India as Deepshikha, is teaching young women that they are equal to men, whilst providing them with the skills they need to overcome the daily challenges and become strong, financially independent women.The programme, which has so far reached 65,000 young women in India, is a collaboration between UNICEF and Barclays. Barclays funds and helps manage the programme whilst their staff help train young women in business and financial skills.In addition, young women, known as prerikas, are equipped with the knowledge they need to run their own training programmes with other girls in their communities, empowering even more young women with the skills and confidence to become financially independent.Find out more about the Building Young Futures programme amd read about Cat Deeley’s visit to India here.Source:UNICEF UKlast_img read more

 

OPP officer cleared of assault charge stemming from incident with Aroland First

first_imgBy Donna Sound APTN National NewsOPP officer cleared of assault charge stemming from incident with Aroland First Nation manAn Ontario judge also found OPP Const. Brian Bellefeuille not guilty of public mischief.The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Special Investigations Unit( SIU).Gary Megan, who alleged he was manhandled by the officer, said still wants to see justice done.“I want him to be held accountable for him slamming me to the floor for no good reason,” said Megan after the verdict came down May 3.“I was grounded to the cement floor of jail cell while my hands were handcuffed behind my back,”  he said.Megan also does not want anyone else to go through what he did.Megan, 42, was arrested for public intoxication outside The Blue Lagoon bar in Geralton, Ont., as he was waiting for a cab home.Megan was injured and had to be taken to hospital.Megan testified in court that “he was knocked out.”Megan had to return to the hospital a second time where he had to get a CT scan and it was discovered he had a serious injury to his face and bone around his eye.“The next day my eye is swollen shut, my face is purple and my eye and my cheekbone is cracked,” Megan said.Megan said this incident has really affected him. Now, if he sees a police officer, he will wait unit the officer leaves before he gets out of his vehicle.“I will never feel the same towards cops, I am scared for my wife and kids now too.  I almost feel like they will be targeted now as a result of complaining to the SIU,” he said.Megan said he thinks the incident stems from an obscene gesture he gave to another officer.During the April 8 trial Bellefeuille, who pleaded not guilty, defended his actions saying Megan resisted arrest.“He absolutely did not resist arrest,” said his wife Delia Okees.She also said there is video to prove this.Megan is from the Aroland First Nation in northern Ontario.Aroland First Nation Chief Sonny Gagnon said he’s not happy with the outcome.“I am appalled by this matter.  Our First Nation has major concerns about what happens when First Nations people call 911 for help,” he said.The SIU is the agency that probes incidents involving police where serious allegations against them are called.Gagnon is calling for a system-wide review of police services because of the rising number of serious complaints in Northern Ontario.The OPP has confirmed to APTN National News that constable Bellefeuille had been suspended, with pay. It is likely he will be reinstated to his duties now that he has not been found guilty of the charges against him.dsound@aptn.calast_img read more

 

928 elephants died unnaturally since 2009 including 565 due to electrocution alone

first_imgNoida (UP): As many as 928 elephants have died since 2009 due to reasons like train accidents, poaching, or poisoning while electrocution alone caused over 60 per cent of these deaths, revealed a data obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.Since 2009 till December 31, 2018, 565 elephants have died due to electrocution, according to the data by the Project Elephant Division of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Another 151 elephants died to train accidents, while 150 were poached and killed, the ministry stated in a written response. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Poisoning too claimed the life of 62 elephants, the response added. Noida-based lawyer Ranjan Tomar had sought an year-wise data from the ministry on the number of elephants who have died due to various reasons since 2009. “The total budget outlay for financial year 2018-19 under centrally sponsored scheme ‘Project Elephant’ to protect elephants, their habitat and corridors, to address issues of non-elephant conflicts and welfare of captive elephants is Rs 30 crore, the RTI response stated. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KHowever, the death figure of elephants due to poaching (150) differs from those of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB). The WCCB, responding to an RTI query from Tomar, had stated in January that 429 elephants have been poached and killed since 2008 in the country. Tomar, also a wildlife and rights activist, said the difference was probably because the Project Elephant figures are limited to reserves, while the WCCB data is for the entire country. Project Elephant (PE) was launched by the government in 1992.last_img read more

 

Denver voters decide on magic mushroom decriminalization

DENVER — Voters on Tuesday could make Denver the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin — the psychoactive substance in “magic mushrooms” — and add a new chapter to the city’s role in shaping wider drug policy.A citizen initiative on the ballot has followed the same tack taken by marijuana activists to decriminalize pot possession in 2005 in the city. The move was followed by statewide legalization in 2012. A number of other states followed and broadly allow marijuana use and sales by adults.Psilocybin campaign organizers say their only goal is to keep people out of jail for using or possessing the drug to cope with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and other conditions.Kevin Matthews, director of the Decriminalize Denver campaign, said psilocybin has helped him deal with depression for years.“This is not something you have to take every day,” the 33-year-old Denver native said. “It provides a lot of lasting benefits, weeks and months after one experience.”Psilocybin has been outlawed in the U.S. since the 1960s, and some researchers warn that it should only be used under medical supervision and can prompt paranoia and anxiety.The federal government classifies psilocybin as a Schedule I drug, with no medical purpose and a high potential for abuse.For decades, that status has stymied research into medical uses of psilocybin, but small, closely supervised studies in recent years have found that it can help treat anxiety and depression in cancer patients. Participants have described seeing vivid colours and geometric patterns, and experiencing powerful spiritual connections and emotions.Magic mushrooms have been used in religious practices for decades due to their powerful effect on perceptions and spiritual experiences. Those same effects have appealed to recreational users dating back to the counterculture of the 1960s.A California effort to decriminalize psilocybin failed to qualify for the statewide ballot in 2018. Organizers in Oregon are trying to gather enough support to put an initiative to a statewide vote next year.It took the pro-psilocybin organizers in Denver three tries to develop language approved by city officials for the ballot. They collected more than 8,000 signatures to qualify for Tuesday’s election.Denver Mayor Michael Hancock opposes the initiative along with District Attorney Beth McCann, but there has been no organized campaign against it.The election has largely been focused on a six-way race for mayor and a heated effort to end Denver’s “urban camping” ban that affects people without housing and has pitted activists against well-financed business and development groups.Supporters of the psilocybin initiative have done door-to-door canvassing, documentary screenings and leafletting at community events or outside Coors Field before Colorado Rockies’ games.The initiative would effectively decriminalize use or possession of psilocybin by people 21 and older, making it the lowest enforcement priority for police and prosecutors.The proposed ordinance also would prevent city funds from being used to pursue criminal penalties on possession or use and create a panel to study the effects of the change.The measure does not legalize psilocybin or permit its sale by cannabis businesses.“Nobody should be penalized for this substance,” Matthews said. “One arrest is too many. No person deserves this kind of treatment for a substance this safe.”Kathleen Foody, The Associated Press read more

 

Media religion must overcome rampant mistrust between cultures – Ban Kimoon

“In our age of satellite television and jet travel, distances have collapsed but divisions have not,” Mr. Ban said at the start of the Assembly’s two-day programme entitled Civilizations and the Challenges for Peace: Obstacles and Opportunities, which will feature prominent academics, commentators and political leaders exploring causes and solutions to the problem.“Instead, our proximity has heightened longstanding suspicions of ‘the other’ – the other religion, the other ethnicity, the other nationality,” he noted. “In response, we need to reassert the truth that diversity is a virtue, not a threat,” maintained Mr. Ban, who recently named former Portuguese president Jorge Sampaio as the first UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, the international initiative set up in 2005 to promote reconciliation between religions, cultures and nations.At today’s Assembly session, Mr. Ban said that the media can shape people’s views and influence their actions, educating, informing and demystifying, even while it entertains. “It can promote the message that what unites humanity is much stronger than what superficially separates us,” he said. Similarly, he said that religion can have a tremendous positive influence if people of faith stress their common ideals – compassion, solidarity, respect for life and kindness towards others – and urge their fellow believers to treat others as they themselves would wish to be treated.In opening the programme, Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa agreed that religions were the key. “We must put a stop to the misuse of religion in contemporary society, and reject extremist ideologies that severely threaten peace and understanding among nations and peoples,” she said.In general, she said, “It is our obligation to act quickly to put an end to preconceived ideas and to mutual fears. Only then will we rise above our differences and together build a better future for all.”It is also necessary to acknowledge and act on the causes of instability in the world, she said, listing poverty, disease and armed conflict, as well as intolerance and cultural clashes.In a series of round-tables during the event, panellists will include Amre Moussa, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and Ghassan Salame, Professor of International Relations at Sciences Po University and Former Minister of Culture of Lebanon. Karen Armstrong, a prominent author of texts on comparative religion, is also expected to participate, along with Mohamed Arkoun, Emeritus Professor of the History of Islamic Thought at the Sorbonne, Robert Thurman, Department of Religious Studies at Columbia University, Manish Kasliwal, National Chairman of the Young Jains of India, Karen Brooks Hopkins, President of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Paul LeClerc, President and CEO of the New York Public Library. 10 May 2007With an epidemic of mistrust of the “other,” along with rising terrorism and other inter-group violence, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the General Assembly today called on the media, religions and individuals to work for mutual respect as a major conference on co-existence opened in New York. read more

 

Google parent company chairman Eric Schmidt touts Canadas AI strategy

The chairman of Google’s parent company says Canada is smart to quadruple down on artificial intelligence.Alphabet Inc. chairman Eric Schmidt calls out Canada specifically in a tweetstorm and lauds its efforts in AI among government, universities, large companies and startups.Canada is smart to “quadruple down” on AI with 1) gov’t, 2) universities, 3) large co’s, 4) startups https://t.co/TvrY9tITEI 4/8— Eric Schmidt (@ericschmidt) October 26, 2017The former Google CEO’s social media comments come weeks after Ottawa released its short list of nine superclusters, as part of its strategy to bring together academia and industry to spur innovation in various areas including AI.It also comes one week after one of Google’s sister companies announced it would help build a high-tech neighbourhood on the Toronto Waterfront.The Android of cities: Alphabet’s smartphone-inspired vision for Toronto’s waterfrontAlphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs won the competition to partner with Waterfront Toronto to develop the project as part of the Quayside neighbourhood.Schmidt says he will be speaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau next week at its annual Go North technology conference in Toronto.The Canadian Press read more

 

Lack of funding shuts NRC

Within this broader framework, two programmes now remain in Sri Lanka: Shelter and ICLA. The shelter programme is currently implemented in the districts of Jaffna, Killinochchi and Mullaitivu, focuses on providing transitional shelters and latrines. The ICLA programme provides information, civil documentation and legal aid services to IDPs, former IDPs and return refugees through its field offices in Kalmunai, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Puttalam. “Sadly, due to funding constraints NRC is no longer in a position to continue supporting the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to address these needs and will officially leave the country in June 2013,” the agency said. (Colombo Gazette) The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is to leave Sri Lanka by June this year owing to funding constraints, the humanitarian agency said.The Secretary General of NRC, Ms Toril Brekke will be visiting Sri Lanka next week to host a farewell function. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has been engaged in humanitarian activities in Sri Lanka since 2004 providing assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Southern, North-Western, Northern and Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka. read more

 

Court fines 40 householders

The police also warned 42 householders in the area saying their environments could help dengue mosquitoes breed if not cleaned.The 42 householders were given 3 days to clean the area. (Colombo Gazette) Those found as having dengue mosquito breeding grounds were produced in court today and fined. The Gangodawila Magistrate today imposed a Rs. 5000 fine on 40 householders in the Kohuwala area after the police charged them with having dengue mosquito breeding grounds, the police media unit said today.The police said that a special search operation for dengue mosquito grounds was carried out on 1560 houses in the Kohuwala area. Police officers attached to the Mount Lavinia police and health officers of the Mount Lavinia Municipal Council were involved in the operation. read more

 

Support must continue during Iraqs political transition Security Council told

Video of Council meeting [52mins] With the Security Council poised to act soon on a draft resolution on Iraq, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi today urged the international community to continue support for the county, and its new interim government, as it deals with challenges during “a new phase of the political process” – the return of sovereignty on 30 June. “All of the work that needs to be done now, especially with respect to security, must be focused on the objective of creating the conditions for genuine and credible elections to be held by January 2005,” Mr. Brahimi said in an open briefing to the Council on the political transition process in Iraq. Speaking at the outset of the session, the Secretary-General said he was confident that, “through the talent of its people and the natural resources it enjoys, Iraq will soon be able to resume its rightful place among the family of nations.” “I appeal to the Security Council and the international community at-large, Iraq’s neighbours in particular, to respond favourably and generously to the interim government’s request for assistance and support,” he said. Mr. Annan stressed that security remained the primary obstacle and constraint, and expressed hope that, “through our combined efforts, we can help promote a political process with a credibility that has a positive impact on the overall security environment, and reverses the logic of violence on all sides.” Adding his voice to the Secretary-General’s, Mr. Brahimi said in order to create the right conditions for elections, as well as to face the enormous challenges before them, the people of Iraq urgently needed the help of the international community. “Iraq needs the clear and united support of its neighbours. Iraq needs the generosity of its creditors. Iraq needs the patient, strong and sustained support of this body, the Security Council, and that of the United Nations as a whole,” he said. Mr. Annan also recalled the process of consultation undertaken by Mr. Brahimi and his team on the formation of an interim government, as well as the work of a UN electoral team headed by Carina Perelli to assist Iraq with preparations for elections, and paid tribute to their efforts. “Their determination to help the people of Iraq is eloquent testimony to the idealism that continues to motivate so many of our staff around the world,” he said. After hearing from the two speakers, the Council adjourned to hold consultations on the latest draft – the fourth in two weeks – of a resolution submitted by the United Kingdom and the United States on Iraq. read more

Baseballs Top Staffs Have Come Around On The HighSpin Fastball

Los Angeles Dodgers+1.12– But how can a player — or a whole team — develop high spin rates? Some players have high fastball spin rates innately, and others don’t — changing grip on a breaking ball can change spin rate, but it’s difficult to throw a fastball differently. Unlike velocity, which can be trained, a pitcher’s fastball spin ratio is thought to be extremely difficult to alter naturally.The unnatural solution is for a pitcher to apply a foreign substance. In May, Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer drew the ire of the Houston Astros when he addressed the subject of sticky substances and their effect on performance.“There is a problem in baseball right now that has to do with sticky substances and spin rates,” Bauer said. “We know how it affects spin rate and we know how spin rate affects outcomes and pitches and movements that have a big difference in a game, a season and each individual player’s career.”“The people who choose not to do it are at a competitive disadvantage.” Chicago White Sox-0.80– Cleveland Indians+0.34– Major league rules state that no pitcher may apply “a foreign substance of any kind to the ball,” but the rule is rarely invoked — you’ll often see MLB pitchers tugging at their caps or touching their nonthrowing arms on the mound. When the rule is enforced, the offense is usually egregious — like in 2014 when Yankee Michael Pineda was ejected and ultimately suspended for putting pine tar on his neck and then on the baseball.We reached out to the MLB Commissioner’s Office last week, but it declined to comment on whether the league is investigating high spin rates.Opposing teams can ask umpires to check for substances, but that’s a rare occurrence. Indians manager Terry Francona actually apologized to Hinch in May for the spin-talk controversy on social media.“You’ve never seen me go out and challenge anybody because, if I feel like somebody is trying to grip the ball, I’m glad,” Francona said. A firmer grip might increase spin, but it also might prevent a pitcher from beaning a batter. “Yeah, they might make a better pitch, but there would not be a worse feeling than, as a hitter, knowing that this guy might let this one fly … What happens sometimes is when guys do stuff blatantly, it puts everybody in a tough spot, because it’s a rule, but he’s just trying to hold the ball.”Baseball has a long history of living with some common forms of rule-bending, such as sign stealing, scuffing baseballs and neighborhood plays. Even Bauer agrees that enforcing the rule isn’t the answer.“Allow it. I don’t see that there’s a way to enforce it,” he said in May. “So pick a substance that’s sticky … and just put it on the back of the mound.”MLB might have its own solution down the road: a tackier ball that is in development. The Indians were among the teams that tested the new ball this spring.“ I just hope that at some point, maybe we can morph into that,” Francona said, “because I think maybe it could be really helpful.”Of course even a tacky ball could always be tackier. Players and teams will probably always be looking for an edge, particularly now that they can quantify the power of spin.Check out our latest MLB predictions. Pittsburgh Pirates+0.54– New York Yankees+1.47– Seattle Mariners+0.46– San Diego Padres+0.33– * 2018 data through Sept. 20Source: Baseball savant Boston Red Sox+0.63– Houston Astros+0.90– When a thrown ball departs from a straight path, it’s because the speed of its spin creates a pressure differential. The ball moves toward the direction of lower pressure. In baseball, this phenomenon — known as the Magnus Effect — combines with the orientation of the ball’s spin axis to force a curveball to break downward and a slider to move more laterally. More spin equals more movement. The Magnus Effect forces a four-seam fastball in another direction: up.Just about every four-seam fastball is thrown in a similar manner, with the index and middle fingers of the throwing hand last making contact with the ball. Bauer, who’s known for taking a scientific approach to pitching, explained that to increase spin on four-seam fastballs, the pitcher’s fingers must maintain contact longer to form a more acute tangential angle with the ball. Bauer believes this is largely an innate trait — unless a sticky substance helps the fingers adhere to the ball for a fraction of second longer.University of Illinois physics professor Alan Nathan, an MLB consultant, agreed with Bauer’s theory.“It’s probably pretty hard to change that [fastball spin] ratio for an individual,” Nathan said of naturally changing spin rate. “I can see that you could do it for a curveball because a curveball involves some technique whereas a fastball is pure power. There is no finesse.”It seems like Bauer tried to prove his point with an on-field experiment. During the season, Bauer ranked 164th out of 495 pitches in average spin rate at 2,322 rpms. But in one inning of an April 30 start in Texas, Bauer’s average spin rate surged while his velocity remained steady. He came close to hitting 2,700 rpm with a fastball — more than 300 rpms above his average. Philadelphia Phillies-0.17– Minnesota Twins+0.28– Arizona Diamondbacks+0.55– St. Louis Cardinals+0.52– Miami Marlins-0.16– Tampa Bay Rays-0.17– Baltimore Orioles-0.14– San Francisco Giants-0.08– Atlanta Braves+0.22– Kansas City Royals-0.40– Detroit Tigers+0.22– Chicago Cubs+0.32– Colorado Rockies+0.53– Washington Nationals-0.06– New York Mets+0.78– Milwaukee Brewers+0.84– Oakland Athletics-0.62– Los Angeles Angels+0.37– Which MLB teams are prizing spin?MLB teams by change in average rate of four-seam fastball revolutions per minute/miles per hour between 2015 and 2018* When baseball welcomed the new Statcast technology to every major league stadium in 2015, the system’s Doppler radar began tracking an underlying pitching skill: spin rate. Teams and players were suddenly armed with new data to study and optimize. They were able to quantify long-held beliefs about pitch characteristics, like “late life” and “rise,” and challenge established practices, like always keeping the ball down as a pitcher.As batters have adjusted their swings lower to crush the sinking fastball, more and more pitchers have sought to go up in the zone, above uppercut swing planes, with elevated fastballs. In every year of Statcast pitch tracking, the average height of four-seam fastballs upon reaching the plate has increased. And adding spin to the four-seam fastball is what makes it a bat-missing weapon. The teams that harness those high-spin pitches seem to have an advantage in getting to October: The Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians are the top four teams in spin rate on four-seam fastballs, and the Boston Red Sox are ninth.Leaguewide batting averages offer a snapshot into the importance of spin. When pitchers threw fastballs between 93 and 94 mph with an average spin range of 2,240 to 2,300 revolutions per minute, hitters posted a .279 average this season. But against the same velocity range with an increased spin of 2,540 to 2,600 rpms, batting average declines to .255. The more spin a fastball has, the more it appears to rise and resist gravity, and that creates more swings and misses, as demonstrated by Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs. Cincinnati Reds-0.99– Texas Rangers+0.88– TEAMChange in average Fastball RPM/MPH, 2015-18 Teams can acquire known high-spin pitchers, but whether individual teams and players can improve their spin ratios is another question. If a team or individual can learn how to alter fastball spin naturally, they would have a major competitive advantage. (Driveline Baseball’s Kyle Boddy wrote on Twitter earlier this year that one way to increase fastball spin without substance would be to throw a hybrid four-seam/cut fastball.)Eno Sarris found for The Athletic that pitchers joining the Astros have enjoyed small spin gains on average, but not every pitcher has made gains. FanGraphs found that the Blue Jays, Yankees, Rockies, Tigers and Astros added the most spin to new arrivals, often modest gains.Gerrit Cole of the Astros and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers are elite pitchers who have made significant gains in spin. Only Jorge De La Rosa had a greater year-to-year Bauer Unit improvement on his fastball (+2.31 rpm/mph) than Cole (+2.01 rpm/mph), according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis of Statcast data through Sept. 20. Since 2015, Kershaw has added the most spin relative to velocity. His spin rate has increased from 2,217 rpms on average in 2015 to 2,388 this season despite his average fastball velocity falling from 94.2 mph in 2015 to 90.7 this season. That helped Kershaw rank fourth in vertical fastball movement among starters, or average rise, with 10.9 inches this season.Cole has always had one of the top fastball velocities in the game. The pitch averaged 96.6 mph for him this season1Through Sept. 20. after he posted a 95.9 mph mark last season. But his average spin increased from 2,164 rpms last season to 2,374 this season. Cole ranks 34th in rise (9.7 inches vertical inches) among 176 starting pitchers to have thrown 200 fastballs this season and ninth in whiffs per swing (29.3 percent). Cole ranked 127th in vertical rise on his fastball last season (8.8 inches) and 37th in whiffs per swing (21.6 percent), among 189 qualified pitchers.In May, Cole told me that he learned to release the ball differently after working with Verlander, changing the pitch’s spin axis by looking for “true rotation and hop” and “staying behind the ball better.” Cole said the Astros also worked with him on pitch usage and location.Astros manager A.J.Hinch said in a radio interview that Cole is throwing fewer two-seamers, a lower-spin pitch that is sometimes mislabeled by Statcast, and that Cole has made “subtle tweaks.” Cole did record several high-spin fastballs in Pittsburgh that seemed to be outliers, so baseball blogger Saul Forman suggested that the Astros might have simply identified an untapped skill. Cole finished this season fifth in baseball in pitching wins above replacement.Statcast technology is imperfect. Hinch is right in saying that Statcast doesn’t label every pitch correctly. And its Doppler radar doesn’t read spin axis,2Rapsodo tracking technology does that. which means that Statcast does not differentiate between transverse spin — which is sensitive to Magnus Effect — and gyrospin, which is not. Transverse spin is front spin (for a curveball or slider) or backspin (for a fastball) that rotates around an axis that is perpendicular to direction of motion. Gyrospin is like that of a bullet or football thrown in a spiral. A gyrospin axis is in line with the direction of motion. Most pitches have an element of each type of spin. Still, of all pitches, the four-seam fastball has the most consistent spin axis, Nathan said, so it should be most accurate to evaluate via Statcast. Bauer was asked after the game if he had used a foreign substance in that inning, and he said simply, “No comment.” He did acknowledge testing different substances in the lab at Driveline Baseball in Kent, Washington, where he trains and researches in the offseason.“I’ve melted down Firm Grip and Coca-Cola and pine tar together,” Bauer told reporters in May. “I’ve tested a lot of stuff. At 70 mph, when we were doing the tests, spin rates jumped between 300-400 rpm while using various different sticky substances. The effect is slightly less pronounced at higher velocities … but still between 200–300 rpm increase.”Driveline Baseball has tried to make it easier to measure spin rate. It released a metric in November 2016 called “Bauer Units,” a measure for spin divided by velocity. That allows us to look across teams and isolate which players might be generating spin more than others. And some of the most analytically driven teams seemed to valued spin more as soon as Statcast began measuring.Raw spin rate generally increases with velocity, but it’s the spin-to-velocity (rpm-to-mph) ratio that is so crucial to determining pitch movement. For instance, a high-velocity fastball with just average spin will not have as great of a rise effect as a lower-velocity, higher-spin fastball will. The ideal fastball is high-spin, high-velocity, like that of Justin Verlander. The Astros ace ranks second in baseball in vertical movement of his fastball, at 11.2 inches, with an average velocity of 95 mph. His fastball generates 29.4 percent whiffs per swing, seventh in baseball. It’s that rpm-to-mph ratio that is considered difficult to improve in fastballs by those who, like Bauer, have experimented in lab settings.In recent seasons, the Astros added spin outliers in Verlander and Ryan Pressley, who rank fifth and 10th in raw fastball spin rate and fifth and 16th in Bauer Units. (Bauer ranks 162nd out of 348 pitchers in Bauer Units.) The Yankees acquired Aroldis Chapman and Sonny Gray. The Dodgers made a significant investment, three years and $48 million, in elite spin-rate artist Rich Hill after the 2016 season despite his lengthy history of injury and inconsistency.The Dodgers, Astros and Yankees rank first, third and fourth in Bauer Units this season. And since 2015, those same three teams lead in Bauer Units added, suggesting that they better prize and/or teach the skill. All three teams declined interview requests on how they evaluate and develop spin. Toronto Blue Jays+0.07– read more

 

816 WWE Results Bemidji Minnesota Triple Threat Match

first_img Cesaro Hopeful WWE Will Reunite The Bar Pinterest Videos Articles Facebook Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+ Shawn Michaels WWE Female Superstars Get Green Light To Bounce Between Brands Videos Articles 8/16 WWE Results: Bemidji, Minnesota1. WWE Tag Team Champions The Prime-Time Players def. The New Day2. Sheamus def. Fandango3. Damien Sandow, Curtis Axel & Zack Ryder def. Los Matadores & Bo Dallas4. Cesaro def. Rusev5. Charlotte & Becky Lynch def. Brie Bella & Alicia Fox6. Neville def. Stardust7. WWE World Champion Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose & Kevin OwensSource: PWInsider.comRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipWWE Lists The Shields Top 10 WinsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 100.00%0:04Remaining Time -0:26 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Netflix announces season three of GLOW set to premiere Friday, August 9 WWE Lists The Shields Top 10 Winscenter_img Now Playing Up Next Twitter Now Playing Up Next Charlotte Flair And Becky Lynch Involved In Brawl At An Unlikely Location Now Playing Up Next Are Becky Lynch And Seth Rollins Dating? WhatsApp Seth Rollins Ronda Rousey Asuka says she only hit her back and is okay after injury scare at WWE live event Match announced for next week’s 205 Live, 8-Man Elimination from TLC PPV in 2015 Videos Articleslast_img read more

 

Stock indexes rally as Chinas president eases trade fears

first_imgNEW YORK — Stocks jumped Tuesday after Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing would reduce tariffs on imported cars and improve intellectual property protection, steps that could ease trade tensions. Facebook climbed as CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Senate about the company’s privacy scandal.Xi’s proposals could help the U.S. and China resolve their differences and avert a trade dispute that slows down global commerce. The dialing back of tensions helped send the price of crude oil up 3.3 percent.“The market’s increasing expectation is that the two sides will sit down now,” said Paul Christopher, head of global market strategy for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, although stocks could bounce around as those negotiations proceed. “There’s still a lot at stake because you have a global supply chain that could be interrupted because of tariffs.”Facebook, Twitter and Snap rallied as Senators questioned Mark Zuckerberg about the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal that has engulfed the company over the last four weeks. Technology companies have stumbled as investors wondered if the government will implement tighter regulations on technology companies, and those worries eased Tuesday. Zuckerberg will testify before the House of Representatives Wednesday.The S&P 500 index surged 43.71 points, or 1.7 percent, to 2,656.87. The Dow gained 428.90 points, or 1.8 percent, to 24,408. Shortly before noon it rose as much as 532 points. The Nasdaq composite added 143.96 points, or 2.1 percent, to 7,094.30. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks advanced 28.97 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,543.43.last_img read more

Allegri We need to think ahead like Ronaldo

first_imgMax Allegri praised his players after beating SPAL but wants them to emulate  Cristiano Ronaldo who thinks ahead of the next moveGoals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic were enough to wrap up three points for the current defending Champions.“It wasn’t easy, as we had only 20 points in the last 10 games after a break for international duty,” the Coach told Football Italia.“We struggled more in the first half than the second, whereas we changed a few things with Douglas Costa behind Ronaldo and Mandzukic, so that helped the team both on and off the ball.“Douglas Costa had a bit of a rough period due to injuries and other issues, but he put in a good performance this evening, above all in terms of personality.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“Rodrigo Bentancur has improved a great deal, although he still needs a little step forward when on the ball, as he has to pick the right pass. Timing is very important in these situations to find your teammate in a good position.“Miralem Pjanic and Bentancur had to stay fairly static in midfield, otherwise we’d risk SPAL going on the counter-attack.“Ronaldo moves and thinks so quickly, he saw Douglas Costa coming out the corner of his eye and pulled the pass back. We need to all improve in that sense, being able to think ahead to the next move.“I do look at the characteristics of the opponents, but I make my choices above all based on motivation and determination. Every now and then, a spell on the bench is good for players, especially if they play all the time and can get a bit sleepy.“It’s a very competitive squad. Daniele Rugani is a very good defender, but we have five excellent defenders. Medhi Benatia played against Milan because it was his kind of game, he had to get the crosses in the box.”last_img read more

Even under indictment Congressman Duncan D Hunter is the favorite

first_img AP Even under indictment, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter is the favorite Posted: August 22, 2018 AP, ALPINE, Calif. (AP) — The indictment of U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife that alleges they illegally converted his campaign account into a household checkbook reorders his re-election contest, giving Democrats a suddenly stronger hand in a district that for decades has embraced Republican candidates.But even with charges shadowing him, it will be an upset if Hunter loses.Two months ago Hunter coasted through the June primary despite the ongoing FBI investigation that produced the 60-count indictment. His 30-point, first-place finish made him a strong favorite to win a sixth term in November.The 50th Congressional District east of San Diego is the most Republican in Southern California. The party holds a nearly 15-point registration edge over Democrats, and President Donald Trump won the district by the same margin while losing statewide by more than 4 million votes in 2016.The Hunter name is very well known — his father was elected to the seat in 1980 and held it until his son won in 2008. Hunter’s Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, 29, has never held elective office. He won just over 17 percent of the votes in June but that was good enough for second place in the state’s primary where the top-two vote-getters advance to the general election regardless of party.A day after Hunter and his wife were charged with looting his campaign funds to finance family vacations, boozy restaurant binges and shopping sprees, voters in Hunter’s rural hometown of Alpine were sharply divided on what it all means. Some are shocked, some outraged, and some are rising to defend Hunter and his claim of being pursued by politically motivated prosecutors eager to see one of Trump’s early supporters in Congress fall.Sandy Hintz, 75, said she has supported Hunter in the past but needs more information before making up her mind about him in November.RELATED STORY: Campaign of Congressman Duncan D. Hunter issues statement in response to indictments“I was really shocked, wow. How could that happen?” she asked. “He had seemed like a good guy.”Chris Wilmot, 47, a Republican and longtime Hunter supporter, said he was rethinking the race. To Wilmot, Hunter “has talked like a politician,” and the certified public accountant has been put off by “the way he dresses, and his ego.”“I wonder what else they will get on him,” Wilmot said outside a coffee shop near the town’s business strip, where pickup trucks rolled by feed stores, diners and gun shops.Austin Bodger, 21, who works in a feed store in Alpine, said he intend to vote for Campa-Najjar but acknowledged the candidate faces an uphill fight.In the rural district with a large military presence “there are a lot of conservative Republicans who vote only Republican,” Bodger said. “A lot of people don’t think the charges are real. They think they are trumped up to take him down.”The district is near Camp Pendleton, the largest Marine base in the West, and has many active duty and retired military who feel a kinship with Hunter, a Marine who saw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his father, an Army Ranger who won the Bronze star during the Vietnam War.Prior to the indictment, Hunter’s race was not among the top targets for Democrats in California, a state where the party hopes to flip a series of GOP-held seats this year as part of a strategy to seize the House.In a televised interview Wednesday, Hunter, 41, said he’s not worried about the indictment and is eager to go to trial. He referred to the U.S. Justice Department as “the Democrats’ arm of law enforcement” and said the FBI and the department are “a politically motivated group of folks.”“This is modern politics and modern media mixed in with law enforcement that has a political agenda. That’s the new Department of Justice,” he told reporters in San Diego.California is a Democratic bastion, where the party controls every statewide office and both chambers of the Legislature. Republican registration in the state has been dipping for years.Hunter’s district has been changing demographically, but it remains something of a holdout, where Republicans remain politically powerful.The indictment “has changed everything,” said Republican John Dadian, a lobbyist and consultant long involved in area politics, though he still gives Hunter an edge based on the district’s generous GOP registration numbers.The charges have brought new attention to Campa-Najjar, a former Obama administration Labor Department official whose father is a Palestinian Muslim and mother a Mexican Catholic. He was born in San Diego County but spent part of his childhood in Gaza.Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat and potential 2020 presidential contender, used Twitter on Tuesday to urge her supporters to donate to his campaign. Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist working for Campa-Najjar, said the campaign has seen a spike in fundraising and volunteers.Speaking with reporters in San Francisco, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called Campa-Najjar a great candidate but was noncommittal about diverting party funds to a district whose voters still “may decide their desire for a tax cut overcomes everything else.”Hunter and his wife were charged by a federal grand jury with using more than $250,000 in campaign funds to finance family trips to Italy and Hawaii, golf outings, school tuition, theater tickets — even fast food purchases — and attempting to conceal the illegal spending in federal records.The indictment depicts a couple freely dipping into campaign cash for years to bankroll their personal lifestyle, while their household budget was awash in red ink. The spending ranged from the banal to the lavish, from movie tickets to a $6,288.74 family vacation at a resort in Lahaina, Hawaii.House Speaker Paul Ryan called the charges “deeply serious” and said Hunter will be removed from his committee assignments.Nick Kriticos, a retired salesman from El Cajon who has volunteered for the Campa-Najjar campaign, said he doesn’t see Democrats flipping the district, even with Hunter’s legal trouble.“It’s still very much Trump country here,” he said. August 22, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Duncan D. Hunter FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

 

Damolition under way at Condit

first_imgIt’s been nearly five months since a blast of dynamite breached Condit Dam, releasing the White Salmon River and draining Northwestern Lake in barely an hour. Dam owner PacifiCorp is now working toward its ultimate goal — dismantling the dam itself, piece by piece, and helping the area find its new natural state.Tom Hickey is a project manager for the Portland-based utility. Watching the work happen week to week, he doesn’t show the same excitement some outside observers have. He sounds more like a man with a job to do.“It’s interesting,” Hickey said. “Good to see progress.”On Friday, crews working under general contractor JR Merit continued a slow and steady process. Using a “hoe ram” machine perched atop the dam, workers pounded away at solid concrete one pulse at a time. A large portion of the structure was already gone, including the gate house on top. A pile of rubble collected on a platform below.“Other than having a big canyon and a river behind it,” said PacifiCorp spokesman Tom Gauntt, “it’s sort of spectacularly unspectacular.”Beyond the damCrews began the dismantling process in earnest in January, but the job extends well beyond the location of Condit Dam itself. Workers are also tearing down a mile-long flow line that once carried water from the reservoir to a powerhouse where electricity was generated. Most of that line — a 13-foot-wide wooden pipe running alongside the river — is gone. A path of pulverized wood lies in its place, serving as an impromptu access road for equipment driving over it for now.PacifiCorp plans to remove that wood and take it to a landfill later this year. That will make room for the 35,000 cubic yards of concrete the utility expects to pull from the 125-foot-tall Condit Dam. Workers will simply spread the small chunks of concrete where the flow line used to run, Hickey said, covering it with dirt and fill. Crews will also remove a large surge tank near the end of the line. The defunct powerhouse, will be closed and sealed but remain in place.last_img read more

 

Matt Hall wins Yukon Quest race just in time for lunch

first_imgMatt Hall pulls into the Yukon Quest finish line in Fairbanks (Photo: Molly Rettig, KUAC)The Yukon Quest has a winner! Matt Hall, a Two River musher, had to overcome adversity and have a little luck along the way.Hall mushed into a crowded finish chute and under a golden banner in downtown Fairbanks Tuesday (Feb. 14), just in time for lunch. For the first time in ten days, he didn’t look tired. Neither did his ten dogs. To get there, they had traveled nearly 1,000 miles together, through jumble ice, rocky summits and 70 degree temperature swings.Listen nowThey passed the remote Yukon village where Hall grew up and the town where he lives today.At 25 years old, Hall is the second youngest musher to win the Yukon Quest in its 34-year history. That’s partly because he’s been mushing since he was four. His parents have a homestead six miles downriver from Eagle where they run a trapline and do dog tours. Hall was on a sled by age two and was driving his own dogs a couple years later.At the end of the chute, Hall’s parents, Wayne and Scarlett, with pride shining on their faces. They had found someone to take care of their 50 dogs so they could fly to Fairbanks and see their son finish.“It was just one of those things where you have to make it happen,” Wayne Hall said. “It was a close call but we made it happen.”The Quest is a family tradition. His dad ran the race three times, and his mom has run the checkpoint in Eagle for twenty-some years. Hall used to sleep in a box of T-shirts during race-time.“He’d look out the windows til the teams came, then he’d race out and do whatever little chores they’d give him to do,” Scarlett Hall said.Hall learned to mush on trapline trails along the Yukon River, and he wasn’t ALWAYS interested in racing. When he was a teenager, his dad recruited him to do 100 mile training runs. “And he’d say I’m never gonna do this,” Wayne said. Matt Hall holds his mushing dogs after winning the 2017 Yukon Quest (Photo: Molly Rettig)There was another family member waiting for him too, a soft tricolor dog named Keeper who Matt has built his entire team around.“Awww Keeper, there he is,” Matt Ryan said. He dropped the eight-year-old dog in Dawson because he couldn’t quite keep up, and handed the team over to a lanky orange and white dog named Anchor. Who led him to victory. “Everything he’s seeing right now is a new adventure for him and just with his mentality and drive to be up there, that is turning him into an incredible lead dog,” Hall said. Hall beat three former Yukon Quest champions this year, making a big run in the middle of the race to take the lead. He was neck and neck with Eureka musher Brent Sass as they crossed from Canada into Alaska. But Sass scratched outside Central when two dogs collapsed unexpectedly, leaving Hall alone at the front of the pack, six hours ahead of the next musher, which was quite a surprise for him. “This is my fourth quest. I expected to get a little close and closer each year, but didn’t expect a slingshot out front,” Hall said. Hall said he was ready for lunch and, eventually, a long sleep.last_img read more

Midterm Elections Are Facebook Twitter Doing Enough to Stop Misinformation and Fraud

first_imgThe company said it has taken down dozens of accounts, pages and groups linked to Iran and Russia that were targeting U.S. users with divisive political messages, as part of its efforts to demonstrate it’s doing all it can to stop election meddling.According to Facebook, it’s been the single-biggest spender on political advertising on its own services — about $13.8 million — from May through Oct. 27. That was followed by Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democrat running against Sen. Ted Cruz, who spent $6.35 million over the same time frame; and Donald Trump’s campaign organizations, which have spent $5.2 million on Facebook ads.Facebook says it has set up a war room in Menlo Park, Calif., staffed with two dozen employees, to look for and stop election interference in “real time.” That “builds on almost two years of hard work and significant investments, in both people and technology, to improve security on Facebook, including during elections,” Samidh Chakrabarti, director of product management, civic engagement, wrote in an Oct. 18 blog post. “We’re committed to the challenge.”Twitter, in a Nov. 1 blog post, highlighted its steps to “safeguard the integrity of conversations surrounding the U.S. elections.” It cited ongoing efforts to eliminate spammy and fake accounts as well as its release of research about all accounts and related content associated with potential information operations it has found on our service since 2016. On Friday, Twitter said over the last two months it had deleted more than 10,000 bot accounts that were falsely registered to look like they were from Democrats, which had been posting messages discouraging people from voting on Nov. 6.But the swamp of misinformation online has proven extremely hard to drain. After Twitter last week launched a dedicated page with info related to the U.S. midterm elections, BuzzFeed News found that it initially aggregated tweets from well-known conspiracy theorists.Facebook and Twitter deserve credit for at least trying to rectify the problems, said Nihal Krishan, a political journalist currently on staff at the New Republic. To be sure, social-media firms didn’t invent the dark art of political misinformation. Led by President Trump, “The Republican Party today has become a vast repository of conspiracy theories, fake news, false accusations and paranoid fantasies,” Fareed Zakaria wrote in a Washington Post column last week.But critics say social networks, given their vast reach and the ease with which falsehoods and hoaxes can still promulgate across their systems, still aren’t doing enough — and that there are still big holes in their tools and strategies for eliminating fraud and misinformation aimed at swaying voters.Vice News and Business Insider last week separately published results of tests they ran to place bogus political ads on Facebook. The social-media giant ran the fake ads as submitted, including Vice News’ ads on behalf of all 100 sitting U.S. Senators (which it submitted, but did not actually purchase) and BI’s U.K. ads that purported to be from Cambridge Analtyica, the now-defunct political consultancy that had improperly obtained data on millions of Facebook users.On Friday (Nov. 2), Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) released a letter addressed to Zuckerberg saying in part, “We write to express concern about significant apparent loopholes in Facebook’s ads transparency tool and to urge you to promptly address this issue.”Facebook said the fake political ads from Vice News and BI violated its policies, but the company couldn’t explain how the ruses successfully evaded detection.“At this point, it should be clear that asking Facebook to do better is about as useful as asking water to flow uphill,” said Sarah Miller, co-chair of Freedom From Facebook, a coalition of progressive advocacy groups including Open Markets Institute, Demand Progress, MoveOn and the Communications Workers of America. “The FTC has the authority to rein in Facebook today, if it wanted to — and it’s a scandal that they have not yet taken meaningful action to do so.”Facebook this past May launched its political ad-labeling initiative, which is intended to provide clear disclosures about who’s purchased an ad on Facebook and Instagram. It set up an archive (at facebook.com/politicalcontentads) that lets anyone search ads with political or issue-oriented content run in the U.S. on its platforms for up to seven years. Facebook and Twitter were hauled before Congress to explain how their platforms were weaponized in the 2016 U.S. election by Russia-linked trolls to try to sway the results.Since then, they’ve pledged to clean up their platforms. Leading up to the pivotal Nov. 6 midterm elections in the U.S., Facebook and Twitter have publicized their efforts to eliminate bogus accounts and misinformation posted by nefarious actors and provide better transparency about political ad spending. The internet companies also are trying to burnish themselves as good corporate citizens by promoting get-out-the-vote campaigns.It’s a far cry from two years ago, when Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg argued after Donald Trump’s presidential victory that “the idea that fake news on Facebook… influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea.” “Overall, the intentions are very much in the right place by Facebook and Twitter, to try to disclose more and have more transparency in the past few months,” he said.But despite their efforts, it remains early days. “It’s still kind of amateur hour,” said Krishan, adding that it will probably be a year before the platforms’ ad-transparency reporting features are mature enough to be useful to ordinary people. “There are still plenty of flaws in their transparency tools and new problems are being found constantly.”center_img Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more