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Federal court denies Noem’s Mount Rushmore fireworks appeal

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Federal Court Denies Noem’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Appeal


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in her lawsuit that attempted to overturn the National Park Service’s denial of the state’s application to hold a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore to celebrate 2021’s Independence Day.

The Eighth Circuit of Appeals found that South Dakota’s objections to the Park Service’s decision were moot because it was in the past and the federal government was within its rights to deny the state from shooting off fireworks at the national memorial.

“The bottom line is that we cannot change what happened last year, and South Dakota has not demonstrated that deciding this otherwise moot case will impact any future permitting decision,” Judge David Stras wrote in the court’s opinion. “Any controversy has, in other words, fizzled out.”

The Republican governor, who has positioned herself for a 2021 White House bid, has used the fireworks celebration as a political rallying point. She hosted former President Donald Trump at the 2020 celebration, and the patriotic display, held during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, figured largely in her rise to national prominence. It was also the first time fireworks had been held at Mount Rushmore in nearly a decade.

Noem blamed President Joe Biden for the permit denial and insisted that the court erred in its ruling.

“Unfortunately, the Biden Administration ran out the clock, blocking both our celebration and any serious judicial review,” she said in a statement. “The Court should have ruled on the merits to set a standard for future fireworks celebrations.”

South Dakota has paid nearly $230,000 to Consovoy McCarthy, a Virginia-based law firm that has taken up Republican causes across the country, including working for Trump, to represent the state in court.

The court’s decision left open the possibility of the Park Service allowing a pyrotechnic display in the future, and Noem has already applied for a permit for next year. The Park Service denied Noem’s 2022 application for fireworks, citing objections from Native American tribes, wildfire risks and other environmental concerns.

The Park Service declined to comment on the ruling.

The National Parks Conservation Association, an independent organization that had filed an amicus brief in the case to support the Park Service, praised the ruling.

“The adverse effects from previous firework displays are well-documented, including threats to water quality and public health and safety, and to the very resources the park was designated to celebrate and protect,” Christine Goepfert, the association’s Midwest Associate Director, said in a statement.

Noem had also argued that the Park Service’s decision was politically motivated as well as one that should only be made by Congress.

But Stras and the two other judges who issued the opinion disagreed: “Nobody has a right to shoot off fireworks on someone else’s land, whether it be a neighbor; an area business; or as is the case here, a national park.”



Stock futures fall as China’s economy slows

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Stock Futures Fall As China'S Economy Slows

U.S. equity futures and commodity prices fell as slowing growth in China raised concerns about the global economy and demand from the world’s biggest consumer of commodities.

Data on industrial production, investment, consumer spending and real estate, among other indicators, showed China’s economy stumbled in July, prompting the central bank to cut interest rates. The slowdown comes on top of pressure on the global economy resulting from the war in Ukraine, high energy prices in Europe, financial strains in several emerging market economies and rising interest rates in states. -United.


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India can grow 10% in the next 20 years if it builds strong domestic financial institutions: Sanjiv Bajaj

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India Can Grow 10% In The Next 20 Years If It Builds Strong Domestic Financial Institutions: Sanjiv Bajaj

Prime Minister Modi has called on all citizens to commit to India becoming a “developed nation” within the next 25 years.

In his Independence Day speech marking the 75th anniversary, the Prime Minister listed 5 promises to make the dreams of freedom fighters come true when India marks its 100th anniversary as a free nation. The first was to make India a developed nation, the second was to erase all traces of bondage, the third was to be proud of India’s heritage, the fourth was to focus on the strength of unity and the fifth was the honesty of all citizens in the performance of their duties. including those in high office.

The Prime Minister singled out corruption and nepotism as the big challenges facing India at this juncture.

The Prime Minister also launched a pitch for “Make in India”. In fact, for the first time, locally developed Howitzer guns were used for the ceremonial 21-gun salute. The Prime Minister has called on private businesses to embrace the idea of ​​Make in India more fervently.

Highlighting India’s digital revolution, the Prime Minister also said that this decade would be a “techade” for India. He also made an addition to the famous slogan Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan by Lal Bahadur Shastri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee added Jai Vigyaan and Prime Minister Modi today added Jai Anusandhan to highlight the need for research and innovation.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman of CII, Chairman and CEO of Bajaj Finserv, believes that India has a golden opportunity to grow by 8-10% over the next 20 years if it builds strong domestic financial institutions.

“India has a golden opportunity over the next 10-20 years to grow 8-10% as an economy. However, to achieve this, we must continue to focus on building a strong set of national financial institutions,” Bajaj said.

According to Chandrajit Banerjee, CEO of CII, the Prime Minister has created the ambitious mood in India to achieve the goals.

“The Prime Minister has clearly defined the ambitious mood in India with the goals that we have to look at. There would still be an unfinished agenda that needs to be done in the next 25 years for us to achieve all of this.

Banerjee thinks India needs faster reforms in the land, labor and energy sectors. He added that the country must focus on sectors like AI, the technology of the future.

“India still needs faster market reforms such as land, labor and energy reforms – progress has been made but we need to see implementation in states. Education and health is very important for us to get a place on the high table, agriculture needs a lot of attention.

Sanjiv Puri, Vice President of CII, President and Managing Director of ITC, said India has huge opportunities in the agricultural sector. He believes companies need to step into the agricultural stack to transform the sector through digitalization.

“According to estimates, by 2050, global food production must increase by 59-98% and this must be done in a situation where natural resources are depleting. India has the largest arable land and so we have a huge opportunity to improve productivity and quality. Companies must therefore enter the agricultural sector to digitize and bring the power of technology to agriculture.

Watch the video for the whole discussion.


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The congressional effort on climate change is a good effort. Hope it works

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The Congressional Effort On Climate Change Is A Good Effort. Hope It Works

Colorado residents are probably wondering what to make of the Inflation Reduction Act. Is this a reckless tax and spending scheme that includes teeth in the form of 86,000 new IRS agents, or is this a fiscally responsible way to save us from the deepening crisis of global warming ?

First of all, yes the headline is ridiculous – it is unlikely to reduce inflation significantly, although it will reduce health insurance costs for those who buy their plans on the ACA market with a continuation of increased subsidies.

A much more accurate title would be the Renewable Energy Incentives and Tax Reform Bill.

The bottom line is that the legislation will do demonstrable good in helping the United States move away from fossil fuels, and we don’t think you need to worry too much about additional IRS funding…unless it there is something big in your tax record that you’d rather the IRS didn’t know about, bunch of offenders.

In addition, the bill is paid with a minimum tax of 15% on companies whose profits exceed 1 billion dollars. This means that even though some of America’s largest corporations have found clever ways to cut their tax bill well below the 21% rate, they will still pay a minimum of 15% (with some caveats and deductions).

The net bill reduces the annual deficit (by how much our $30.6 trillion national debt grows each year) by about $300 billion. Much of this reduction comes from Medicare finally being able to negotiate drug prices, so these are theoretical savings for now.

Compare that cut, however, to the reconciliation bill of 2017, Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and almost immediately caused a huge increase – from 3% of GDP in 2016 to 4.6% in 2019 – in the federal deficit, long before COVID wreaked havoc on our economy and federal spending. Today, our deficit stands at an unhealthy 12.1% of GDP, higher even than spending during the last economic crisis.

The bill attempts to reduce carbon emissions to slow global warming with a three-pronged approach: incentives for makers of solar panels, wind turbines and other green technologies; incentives for families to reduce their carbon footprint; and an excise tax (read penalty or fine) on methane emissions that trap 25 times more heat in our atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, who helped keep negotiating lines open with the necessary Democratic retainer vote, Sen. Joe Manchin, said the bill would be a watershed.

“The objective of this bill was to use the power of the market to drive a transition. We’re going to call it the big transition day, and we’re going to look at 2021-22 as the tipping point,” Hickenlooper said in a meeting with the Denver Post on Wednesday. “We’re going to scale when you look at $100 billion in incentives for wind and solar. We will attract large investment companies. We are talking about huge amounts of clean energy at lower cost.

Hickenlooper’s optimism is contagious. He speaks of a bipartisan revival in the Senate with such hope — Senator Mitt Romney came to his rescue when he and his wife, Robin Pringle, needed a place to quarantine during their battle with COVID. Manchin’s demands for the bill were entirely reasonable, as Hickenlooper says, including common-sense measures like putting a revenue cap on tax incentives for electric vehicles and fuel efficiency improvements. home efficiency.

However, while we would like to be sure that the $100 billion donated to green energy manufacturing efforts will be used effectively by corporate America, we have seen too much fraud and corruption with corporate incentives to celebrate with too much. of enthusiasm. We still remember Obama’s $80 billion investment in green energy, which suffered so many failures, including the collapse of Solyndra after receiving a $500 million loan guarantee, that it has eclipsed all successful businesses.

Whether or not the bill is a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money or whether it ushers in a new green economy will largely depend on who gets the incentives, how honest they are and how successful their company is in cutting costs. and improving green energy technology.

We also recognize, however, that Congress needed to do something, and doing something has not been Congress’ strong point of late.

Hickenlooper has done well to get the ball rolling, and perhaps corporate America will rise to the task of using our taxpayers’ money wisely and efficiently. We hope because there is no alternative to hope.

Ultimately, we hope that Coloradians view the bill as a fiscally responsible step in the right direction for a government that has been unable to take a step in many years.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit it online or see our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.


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“I was very disadvantaged”

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Bryce Dallas Howard And Chris Pratt

Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt at the premiere of “Jurassic World Dominion” in Los Angeles.Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

  • Exclusive: ‘Jurassic World’ star Bryce Dallas Howard was paid ‘so much less’ than Chris Pratt.

  • Howard told Insider that reports that she was paid $2 million less than Pratt for the 2018 sequel were inaccurate.

  • Howard explained that she was “at a huge disadvantage” when she signed on for the film trilogy.

‘Jurassic World’ star Bryce Dallas Howard exclusively told Insider that she was paid “so much less” than co-star Chris Pratt for the film franchise than reports originally indicated.

Pratt and Howard co-directed all three films in the “Jurassic World” trilogy. However, in 2018 Variety reported that Howard was paid $2 million less than Pratt for the second film, “Fallen Kingdom”, earning $8 million while Pratt took home $10 million.

In an interview with Insider to mark the home entertainment release of “Jurassic World: Dominion,” Howard said the pay gap between her and Pratt was, in fact, bigger.

“The reports were so interesting because I was paid so much less than the reports said, so much less,” Howard told Insider exclusively. “When I started negotiating for ‘Jurassic,’ it was in 2014 and it was a different world, and I was at a huge disadvantage. And, unfortunately, you have to sign up for three movies and so your deals are done. .”

Howard added that she discussed the pay gap with Pratt and that he lobbied for the actor to receive equal pay on other franchise opportunities that weren’t already contracted, such as spin-off video games and theme park rides.

Jurassic World Dominion Bryce Dallas HowardJurassic World Dominion Bryce Dallas Howard

Howard as Claire Dearing in “Jurassic World: Dominion”.Universal Studios

“What I will say is that Chris and I discussed it, and whenever there was an opportunity to move the needle on things that hadn’t been negotiated yet, like a game or a ride , he literally said to me, “You guys don’t even have to do anything. I’m going to do all the negotiating. We’re going to be paid the same and you don’t have to think about it, Bryce,” Howard recalled.

The actor continued, “And I love him so much for doing that. Really, because I got paid more for this stuff than I ever did for the movie.”

In recent years, the issue of pay gaps between men and women in Hollywood has become more of a public issue.

In 2019, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Ellen Pompeo told Variety that she almost quit the show after hearing that her costar Patrick Dempsey was being paid almost double what she was when the show started. .

That same year, Michelle Williams said she was “paralyzed by feelings of futility” after it was revealed that her ‘All the Money in the World’ bandmate Mark Wahlberg had won $1.5 million for reshoots of the film, when she only earned $1,000.

“Jurassic World: Dominion” is available for digital rental or purchase on Blu-ray or DVD on August 16.

Read the original Insider article


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Meet Balkiz, a bear cub in Turkey who got high on hallucinogenic honey

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Meet Balkiz, A Bear Cub In Turkey Who Got High On Hallucinogenic Honey
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Like a real Winnie the Pooh, a brown bear in Turkey wolfed down some honey last week. But unlike the beloved children’s book character, the little one rode as high as a kite on the sweet golden treat.

The reason? It was hallucinogenic ‘crazy honey’, known in Turkish as ‘deli bal’.

Turkey Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said the young bear was rescued on Thursday after being found unconscious in the country’s northwest Duzce province, about 210km east of Istanbul. Apart from the bad trip, the female was in good condition following a visit to a veterinary care center.

Somehow the bear got its paw on an excessive amount of charcuterie, which has been cultivated by beekeepers in the Black Sea and Himalayan region for centuries. The substance – also known as bitter honey for its pungent taste – is the result of bees feeding on pollen from rhododendron flowers. The brightly colored plants contain a natural neurotoxin called grayanotoxin which, when consumed, can induce euphoria, hallucinations and intoxication – as the bear quickly learned.

A video shared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry showed the bear in its fully shelled state. In the back of a pickup truck, she was sitting face down with her limbs stretched out in what can best be described as a vertical sploot. His mouth was slightly open. His eyes widened. For a few seconds, she squirmed, dazed and confused.

The clip quickly turned the little one into a local celebrity. After soliciting citizens for name ideas, the government agency introduced her on Friday as ‘Balkiz’ – which means ‘darling girl’ or ‘darling girl’ in Turkish – with a picture showing the bear now sober posing on top of a branch with half an eaten watermelon on the ground.

Although Balkiz is the latest to suffer from the symptoms of a mad honey binge, she’s not the first to do so. Thousands of poisoning cases have been reported across the world throughout history.

What does ‘splooting’ mean? And why do New York squirrels do it?

According to research by the late Texas A&M anthropology professor Vaughn Bryant, one of the earliest records of mad honey came from Xenophon of Athens, who was a student of the philosopher Socrates. The Greek historian wrote that a Greek army fell on the substance in 401 BC as troops were returning from the Black Sea after a victory over the Persians.

“They decided to feast on local honey stolen from nearby hives. A few hours later, the soldiers began to vomit, had diarrhea, became disoriented and could not stand. the next day the effects were gone and they continued on to Greece,” Bryant recounted. in a 2014 press release.

Other troops weren’t so lucky. Some 334 years later, Roman soldiers led by Pompey the Great came across a honey trap planted by the Persian army, who “gathered jars full of local honey and left them for Roman troops to find,” Bryant said. “They ate the honey, became disoriented and couldn’t fight. The Persian army returned and killed over 1,000 Roman soldiers with few casualties.

Centuries later, Union troops encountered hallucinogenic honey near Appalachia during the Civil War era. Just like the Greeks and Romans before them, Americans were buzzed and sick, Bryant said.

However, Mad Honey is incredibly hard to come by, the Guardian reported. The rhododendrons that produce the necessary neurotoxins are found in few places and are most prolific in the mountainous regions of the Black Sea and the foothills of the Himalayas. Foragers have to go to great lengths to acquire the red-tinged goop – wedging tall trees and cliffs and often fending off one of the largest bee species in the world. The returns from these risks are, however, significant. A pound of crazy honey can cost nearly $170, Bryant said. In Turkey, a pound of potent, high-quality sausage can sell for up to 2,000 lira, or about $111, making it one of the most expensive honeys in the world, the Guardian noted.

TikTok’s viral beekeeper is causing a lot of… buzz

The price also reflects the medicinal value that some people attribute to bitter-tasting honey. It is often touted as a natural remedy for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, arthritis, and sore throats. Some even use it as an aphrodisiac or as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, according to a 2018 report published in the scientific journal RSC Advances.

But too much honey can land people — and bears — in hospital. Only bees that produce mad honey are immune to the high. For all other animals, the substance may produce disorienting effects, although these usually last less than 24 hours.

On Friday, Balkiz was released into the nearby forests of the Balkans – a region whose name translates to “Land of Honey and Blood”.

“Hello to the beautiful girl who has conquered the hearts of all of us,” Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirisci wrote on Twitter. An accompanying video showed the little brunette frolicking on a grassy hill.

“May she eat everything in moderation, even honey,” Kirisci added.


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Mobot secures capital to grow its fleet of bots that test mobile app bugs – TechCrunch

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Mobot Secures Capital To Grow Its Fleet Of Bots That Test Mobile App Bugs – Techcrunch

Mobile apps need to be tested on countless devices to make sure they work as expected. Users don’t look kindly on bad experiences – 88% say they’ll abandon apps based on minor glitches, according to software testing provider Qualitest (which admittedly has a horse in the running). Testing is a time-consuming and expensive process, with 31% of app development companies in a survey estimating spending between $5,000 and $10,000. And for some outfits, the highest quality testing just isn’t available, either for logistical reasons or for relentless reasons to reach release.

Eden Full Goh hopes to change that – and make some money doing it. She’s the founder of Mobot, a startup that’s building what Goh claims is the first “infrastructure-as-a-service” platform that lets developers use physical bots to automate application testing on devices. . Bucking the macro trend, Mobot this week closed a $12.5m Series A funding round led by Cota Capital with participation from Heavybit, Uncorrelated Ventures, Bling Capital, Primary Venture Partners, Y Combinator and Newark Venture Partners, bringing the company’s total to $17.8 million.

Previously a product engineer at Palantir and medical device company Butterfly Network, Goh came up with the idea for Mobot after seeing what she describes as “bottlenecks” in the mobile app testing process. Most companies — including her former employers — hire third-party employees or contractors to perform manual testing, which tends to be inefficient, expensive and error-prone, she says.

“There are tools developed by companies like Applitools, and others that take advantage of existing emulated test frameworks to automate testing for mobile apps. However, the sad reality is that many defects often escape emulated software-based testing because they do not accurately represent testing on real hardware,” Goh told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Currently, Mobot is not positioning itself as a competitor or replacement for emulators and automated testing. Rather, our goal is to replace the inevitable manual quality assurance that everyone still has to do and will have to do more and more as that device fragmentation will increase over the next five to ten years.

Picture credits: mobot

It may sound new, but robotics has been used for some time to test software for mobile devices. Japan Novel Corp., based in Tokyo, has already come up with a robot that can simulate the process of flicking and tapping on a smartphone’s touchscreen over and over again. T-Mobile built a similar robot in-house, dubbed Tappy, to test different phones and tablets before they hit the carrier’s outlets.

However, these types of machines tend to require a high initial investment, according to Goh, not to mention robotics expertise.

In contrast, Mobot abstracts maintenance and upkeep, allowing customers to set up a test case simply by recording a video of the app and the device (or devices) under test. A Customer Success Manager helps develop a test flow and integrate Mobot’s analytics into development tools such as Jira, then a fleet of over 200 bots leveraging computer vision will run the aforementioned test case – tapping, swiping and rotating devices running apps, as well as connecting devices to Bluetooth devices, making them receive push notifications and more.

Once the tests are complete, the Mobot team logs the results. Customers can view reports side-by-side using a self-service tool.

“As far as we know, very few companies focus on physical QA, because the technology stack is quite different from their core proposition for web-based and browser-based testing,” Goh said. “Our biggest competitors are actually outsourced, outsourced manual testing services offered by companies like Applause, Infosys, and Qualitest, because manual testing is most similar to the automated physical testing that Mobot does…Mobot protects the whole mobile app customer journey, which is impacted by missed bugs – user acquisition (e.g. deep links, sign-up flow, onboarding), retention and engagement (push notifications and crashes) to monetization (payment and in-app purchases).

Mobot claims to have run thousands of test cycles since its inception in early 2018, collecting millions of screenshots from tested apps. Early adopters include big names like Citizen and Mapbox, as well as Branch, Radar, Persona and about 45 others, according to Goh.

There are competitors, like Finnish company OptoFidelity, which offers robot-assisted testing for touchscreens and infotainment systems. But Mobot does not plan to stop at applications. Over the next few years, the goal is to use the data the company has collected to provide customers with product information and “exploratory testing features,” Goh says. Beyond that, Mobot is building a testing framework to evolve with technological advances in augmented reality headsets, smartwatches, and yet-to-be-released products like smart contact lenses.

Is robotics-based testing a scalable idea? Robots break down, after all, and Mobot is keeping his finances close to his chest for the time being. (Much of the company’s operations are shrouded in secrecy, apparently for competitive reasons; Mobot’s public website does not show images of its robots.) But Goh gives the impression that she genuinely believes to the model, especially as the market for peripherals like head-up displays is about to grow.


Picture credits: mobot

“Over the next two to five years, software will become increasingly mobile-centric and connected,” Goh said. “We envision autonomous robot warehouses in the middle of nowhere – where real estate is affordable – filled with thousands of robots capable of testing any physical action a human would do on a product: tapping, swiping, shaking a device, pressing on buttons. , scanning a QR code, taking a photo, listening, speaking and more.

In the shorter term, Mobot will use the proceeds from the last funding round to expand its sales, marketing and engineering teams, increasing the overall headcount from 42 employees today to 50 by the end of the year. year. As the tech industry implements hiring freezes and downsizing, it helps that Mobot is a “counter-cyclical” company, Goh says. She says the demand for QA testing in the mobile space hasn’t diminished as companies continue to ship new apps and updates to existing apps.

“The [is no] offering in the market to democratize physical testing for the everyday software engineering team who would never have the expertise to build a fleet of robots on their own,” Goh said. “Mobot is a strategic and cost-effective solution for streamlining a technology company’s product development process.”


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