#AceWorldNews – Nov.30: #ThruVision was originally developed to map the Earth’s ozone layer, but will now be used to detect hidden weapons and explosives as well as smuggled contraband.
#AceWorldNews – Nov.30: In Croatia, many volunteers need no prompting to feel empathy for the desperate people passing through their country, but resources are running low
It’s a few degrees above freezing in a refugee camp in eastern Croatia, and an Afghan father thrusts his baby daughter towards a Red Cross worker. Her eyes are teary, his eyes are desperate – and they both shiver in the cold. “Please,” the father says. “Have you got a shirt for my daughter? She only has one layer.”
Jasminka Janković hurries inside her tent and emerges 30 seconds later with a baby’s onesie, a donation from the public. The father thanks her repeatedly, but Janković has already moved on to the next person in the long line – a toddler without any shoes. Janković has to move fast. At this very moment, there must be 30 refugees crowded here, each holding up an underdressed child, hoping that the Red Cross volunteers will have something in their tent to stop their children’s shivering.
Another group of parents will be along in a few minutes – and the flow will continue all night.
#AceWorldNews – Nov.30: Former bassist claims he has lost more than £2m after the remaining three members licensed the group’s name to a new company.
Peter Hook is suing his New Order ex-bandmates for “many millions of pounds” in the high court, accusing them of secretly “pillaging” the group’s name and starving him of cash.
The bassist says he is already £2.3m out of pocket owing to his “former friends” in the group. He claims they have asset-stripped the New Order name, keeping him in the dark about what they were up to until the move became a “fait accompli”.
#AceWorldNews – Nov.29: A high-profile performance in Iran by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra was cancelled at the last minute because it was due to feature female musicians.
A file picture taken on March 16, 2015 shows Iranian conductor Ali Rahbari (center) and the Tehran Symphony Orchestra greeted by the audience after performing at the Vahdat Hall in Tehran.-AFP
A high-profile performance in Iran by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra was cancelled at the last minute because it was due to feature female musicians, its furious conductor said yesterday. Ali Rahbari said he was told 15 minutes before the orchestra was scheduled to play at a major sporting event that they could not. “The chairs were laid out and everything looked fine,” he said, referring to the World Wrestling Clubs Cup competition which opened in the Iranian capital on Thursday. “But before performing the national anthem, all of a sudden they announced women cannot play on stage.”
Neither Rahbari or the ISNA news agency, which reported his comments, detailed who “they” were. “I was offended and said it was impossible for me to accept such an insult,” Rahbari added. “We either play all together or we leave”. Efforts to resolve the issue failed. “It’s absolutely impossible for women to play musical instruments on stage,” Rahbari quoted organizers of the ceremony as saying. Banned from singing solo in public since the Islamic revolution of 1979, female Iranian musicians have repeatedly complained of having been stopped from performing, particularly outside Tehran.
But Thursday’s refusal, according to ISNA, was the first time a performance by the Symphony Orchestra, one of Iran’s oldest, had been cancelled because of its female members. “They invited us themselves and yet they disrespected us,” Rahbari said. “Why shouldn’t they be allowed to perform the national anthem of their country?” The issue of music in public has resurfaced in the past year with artists repeatedly complaining they have been stopped from performing at short notice despite having official authorization. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate elected in 2013, has said that as long as artists and musicians have a permit from the culture ministry then no one should stop them from working.
But many concerts have been cancelled regardless with little explanation. Religious leaders have spoken out against them and conservatives claim music can “excite and cause deviation” among the country’s youth. Since 1979, state television has rarely shown musical instruments on screen. Recent concert cancellations have been viewed by some Iranians as a tactic used by the country’s ultraconservative establishment to push back against Rouhani’s government. Rouhani has urged moderation and he was the political driving force behind a July deal with six world powers, led by the United States, on Iran’s nuclear program.
But that agreement was followed by warnings from Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the country must protect itself against American “infiltration”. At the wrestling competition at Tehran’s Azadi stadium, two Iranian clubs took first and third place. The Titan Mercury Wrestling Club from the United States, who entered the stadium with an Iranian man carrying the US flag, came second.-AFP
#AceWorldNews – Nov.29: The most outstanding innovation leaders in Central and Eastern Europe were announced on 26 November 2015 and four Croats are among them. A proud moment for Croatia – indeed! Matija Kopic, Jan Jilek, Valent Turkovic and Miroslav Vrankic have all made the list of the Top 100 innovators from Central and Eastern Europe who are changing the world and improving people’s lives with ideas that scale up in the digital world.
The Warsaw-based journal Res Publica, Google, the Visegrad Fund, and the Financial Times selected the top 100 list of these superb professionals and thus recognised their courage for innovation, expertise in emerging technologies, unique skills and social outreach that are having a global impact in today’s world.
Here is a bit about the Croats who made the list
Jan Jilek – is a pioneer of online advertising in Adria region. He started his online advertising career in 2002 in Httpool – the first online advertising network in Croatia. After a year of learning about online advertising and in cooperation with biggest Slovenian search engine Najdi.si he started full-text search engine in Croatia Pogodak.hr, later sold to Slovenian Telekom. After Pogodak.hr he started first Croatian contextual intext advertising network Xclaim.hr and in 2008 sold it to biggest Polish Internet Company Internet Group S.A. He also started online advertising network ad-net and adOps company Adserver.hr which he sold to Austrian adOps Company in 2015.
His newest adventure is big data internet audience measurement startup Dotmetrics.net. Few months ago Dotmetrics started operations in Croatia and it is already present in Serbian and Bosnia and Hercegovina, but also some bigger CEE countries are in a pipeline. Because of the need for funding of his newest startup adventure, which lacks in Croatia, he started the 1000startupsEU movement. He is trying to understand growth problems which European startups are facing in EU. The goal of the project is to gather more than 1000 EU startups who will together push for structural reforms and building of pan-EU startup infrastructure.
He is also president of IAB Croatia and a member of IAB Europe brand advertising committee and research committee. AB Europe’s mission is to protect, prove, promote and professionalise Europe’s online advertising, media, market research and analytics industries. As IAB Croatia president, Jan assembled and managing Croatia’s leading Internet media and digital agencies and rendered the association the leading body in the field of interactive marketing in Croatia.
Matija Kopic– is CEO of Farmeron, a web data service that farmers can use to aggregate information about their animals: diet, health, reproduction, milk production and medicine or drug dosage. Matija created a single, unified database that they can use. By bringing farmers and their production data online, Farmeron is rethinking how agriculture must meet the newest global challenges – of feeding more and more people with more than ever scarce resources.
Miroslav Vrankic – is a professor of electrical engineering at University of Rijeka and founder and a CEO of E-GLAS.
When still at University studying engineering, he once read a poster that said “Merge your skills with your ideals”. Instantly reaching his heart, those words became his life’s motto. After completing his PhD in Engineering in 2008, he decided it was time to put his life’s motto into practice. Finding his life’s mission in helping people, he founded E-Glass, a university-based start-up company. Its main product is Servus, a voice-controlled assistant that helps people with special needs to perform simple home-based tasks, that are otherwise out of their control. The little silver box, about the size of an external harddrive, allows its users to put on the lights, open the doors, turn of the radio or log on the internet. Servus is designed to be speaker independent, which is why Miro and his team are traveling and recording hundreds of voices – so even if the user has a cold, the system will recognize the voice and execute the demands. The device is multi-language, operating in English, German, Italian, Dutch, Croatian and Slovenian.
The idea of Servus came to Miroslav while he was doing his first volunteer assignment, helping a person in a wheelchair. Seeing how challenging simple tasks like turning on the lights or operating a computer can be for people with disabilities, he set his heart on developing an electronic system, which would allow them to regain at least a little bit of their independence, improving not only their lives, but the lives of their families as well. “Seeing the happiness in their eyes makes everything worth it,” says Mr. Vrankic.
Valent Turkovic – launched Projekt Otvorena mreža (Project Open Net) in Croatia in 2009 to promote the ideas of independent internet infrastructure and the internet as a public good. Based in Osijek, Croatia, Mr. Turkovic has a degree in electrotechnical engineering. He volunteered for Multimedia Open Laboratory in Osijek and for Multimedia Institute (Multimedijalni Institut) in Zagreb. He also blogs at kernelreloaded.com.
In the autumn of 2015, Otvorena mreža answered to the wave of refugees entering Croatia in a remarkable way. The activists set up human WiFi beacons, mobile hot spots carried in backpacks to small border towns where refugees lack internet access. The initiative has since then expanded to Slovenia, and an interactive map allows for keeping track on its development. Otvorena mreža provides internet access also to refugee camps, and have recently installed 12 hostpots in Slavonski Brod refugee camp under the auspices of the Minister of Interior Affairs of Croatia and Croatian Army Forces.
Valent Turkovic makes Free WiFi for hundreds of thousands
of refugees passing through Croatia possible
Photo: Otvorena Mreza
Congratulations to Jan, Matija, Miroslav and Valent – love your work and dedication to advancements for the betterment of the human race and its life. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)
#AceWorldNews – Nov.29: Hundreds of refugees fought each other on Sunday in a mass brawl at a Berlin shelter and more than 100 police were called in to restore order, in an episode underlining the challenges Germany faces in handling hundreds of thousands of migrants.
Although violent incidents in such centres are frequent, the chaos in the shelter at Berlin’s disused Tempelhof airport, which erupted as lunch was being served, was worse than normal.
“There were apparently many hundreds of people involved,” a spokesman for the police told Reuters TV. Police made an unspecified number of arrests.
Michael Elias, who is in charge of the shelter, said that 830 people were housed at the facility and that between 20 and 30 started the disruption.
“It’s the simple fact that there are a lot of young men travelling alone here. We withdrew … because the situation simply exploded. It was a complete blow-out.”
Earlier on Sunday morning, police were called to another shelter in Berlin, where similar violence forced 500 inhabitants to flee the building.
Such scenes feed scepticism among the German public about accepting refugees. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity has slumped, a sign of the public’s cooling attitude towards the influx of people fleeing conflict in countries like Syria.
Earlier this year, Germany’s police union and women’s rights groups accused the authorities of playing down reports of sexual assault and even rape at refugee shelters because they feared a backlash against asylum seekers.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has called on Germans to avoid succumbing to blanket suspicion of migrants, of whom up to a million are expected to arrive this year.
(Reporting by Gabi Sajonz-Grimm, writing by John O’Donnell; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
#AceWorldNews – Nov.29: Russia seems bent on revenge as airstrikes continue to pound Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria, while the United States’ efforts appear lukewarm in comparison.
Russian warplanes have carried out over 134 sorties since Wednesday, when Turkey shot down the Russian bomber, and hit more than 449 targets in Syria near the Turkish border. Russian airstrikes concentrated on ISIS oil trucks and infrastructure which is a point of contention between Russia and Turkey. Russia has accused Turkey of purchasing oil from ISIS, thereby funding terror.
“In this respect there is a special UN Security Council resolution banning the direct purchase of oil from terrorists, because these barrels, that they supply, it is not just oil, there is the blood of our citizens, because from the money, terrorists buy weapons, ammunition, and then conduct bloody actions,” Russian President Vladmir Putin said in a press conference on Thursday.
“Russian aviation continues to strike refining facilities in the territories controlled by ISIS terrorist organization,” defense ministry spokesman General-Major Igor Konashenkov told a media briefing on Wednesday. In the past few days Russian aircraft have destroyed oil trucks, refineries, and oil storage facilities in the provinces of Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa.
The US led coalition carried out 18 airstrikes against ISIS on Thursday, hitting five tactical units, four buildings, and one vehicle. Other targets were reported to have been hit as well.
The discrepancy is so glaring that a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Newshour report was unable to find any videos of US attacks on ISIS oil supplies and were forced to splice Russian Defense Ministry’s videos into their report. Nonetheless, the PBS voiceover stated, “For the first time, the US is attacking oil delivery trucks.”
The subterfuge was discovered by the Moon of Alabama website, which noted the American government’s claim to have hit 116 oil tankers was unsubstantiated, while the Russian claim to have hit 500 was accompanied by ample video proof.