Two women brutally punched in homophobic attack after refusing to kiss on

first_imgGay couple that was attacked while onboard a night bus in London on May 30TwitterIn a yet another glaring homophobic attack in London, a gay couple was physically assaulted and suffered severe facial injuries after they refused to kiss while travelling on a London bus on May 30. Melania Geymonat and her partner Chris were on board a bus in West Hampstead when a gang of teenagers aged between 15 and 18 attacked the couple.The couple was reportedly asked about sexual positions and gestures when the boys suspected they were gay. “They surrounded us and started saying really aggressive stuff, things about sexual positions, lesbians and claiming we could kiss so they could watch us,” Geymont told BBC. The couple said that they initially took the matter as a joke and acted calm, but soon the situation went out of hand. “My partner Chris even acted as if she were sick and they started throwing coins and next thing I know, they are punching her in the face,” she added.Geymont said that as soon as she tried to help Chris, even she was physically assaulted and suffered injuries. She said that she had earlier suffered verbal abuse due to her sexuality, but a physical assault on the couple had not happened ever.Attackers arrested as the incident sparks outrageThe police have arrested four teenage boys who were found involved in the homophobic crime as the incident has sparked national outrage over the recurring attacks on the LGBT community in London. “This was a sickening attack and my thoughts are with the couple affected. Nobody should ever have to hide who they are or who they love and we must work together to eradicate unacceptable violence towards the LGBT community,” President Theresa May said while condemning the incident. Sexual minorities are vying hard for equal laws in India. [In File: Lesbian couple hold hands during the annual Gay Pride rally, on June 8, 2007 Tel Aviv, Israel’s most cosmopolitan city]David Silverman/Getty ImagesThe official reports suggest that during the period between 2014 and 2018, the number of homophobic crimes in London alone has doubled from 1,488 to 2,308. The increase in the crime rate has visibly increased fears among the LGBT community, who even avoid holding hands in public.Geymont said that she is not afraid to show her real self to the people but still is disappointed as London which is one of the most modern cities in the world is still not come to terms with different sexualities. Even as the June is being celebrated as the month of gay pride and one of the largest LGBT festivals is currently underway in the city, the bus attack has served as a grim reminder on how the reforms and security are still needed to address the concerns of LGBT community.last_img read more

Yet another BASIC Bank forgery revealed

first_img-State-owned BASIC Bank, which earned notoreity for loan forgery involving billions of Taka in recent years, has lost Tk 760 million on the pretext of purchasing office space for the bank.This scam has been revealed by a finance ministry investigation that also found the bank’s controversial former chairman, Abdul Hye Bachchu, involved.For purchasing a building for the BASIC Bank head office, it paid Tk 760 million although the building was on a disputed plot of land, according to the investigation. Still, the bank has not been handed over a single floor of the building.Seven years ago, BASIC Bank had signed a deal with a certain Sinku Akramuzzaman for the purchase of 12 floors of a building opposite Bangladesh Bank and Sena Kalyan Sangshta for Tk 810 million. The bank paid money and construction begun accordingly.Now the finance ministry sees the deal has no legal bindings. Even the land on which the building has been constructed, is abandoned property. There is a case in court regarding the land, shows the record.According to the rules, permission must be taken from the president (presently the prime minister) for the construction of a new building for a state-owned bank or financial institution, or for the extension, renovation and maintenance of an old building for the purpose.The government issued directives twice in this regard, in 1985 and in 1998. But, as it is found, BASIC Bank did not comply with the procedure.After the meeting of the cabinet committee on purchase this Thursday, finance minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith was asked about this scam which took place during the tenure of Abdul Hye Bachchu.The finance minister said to Prothom Alo that all his (Abdul Hye Bachchu) dealings in BASIC Bank were sheer robbery. “And it is not just one incident,” he added.Secretary of the financial institutions division of the finance ministry Mohammed Yunus Rahman, while talking to Prothom Alo before Eid, also said, “We’re extremely concerned about this. It is unfortunate that the contract isn’t registered. I blame the authorities of the bank at that time for such a large sum of money going out of the bank.”This beginning of this underhand deal transpired three months after Abdul Hye Bachchu joined BASIC Bank as its chairman in September 2009. In the minutes signed by him of the 261st board meeting of the bank held on 13 December 2009, it was stated that he had expressed surprise at the meeting that the bank did not have its own building after 20 years. A decision was adopted at the meeting for the bank to have its own building.On 1 April 2010, BASIC Bank signed a contract with Sinku Akramuzzaman to purchase space of 51,500 square feet in Motijheel of the capital city Dhaka. This tripartite deal stated that BASIC Bank would give Tk 810 million to Akramuzzaman and he would construct a 15-storey building, of which 12 floors would be given to BASEC Bank. The building would be named Zaman BASIC Bank Tower.The finance ministry now finds that Akramuzzaman himself was two of the three parties involved in the deal. His company, Business Resources Limited, was constructing the building.Recent communication between BASIC Bank and the financial institutions division revealed that the bank paid Akramuzzaman Tk 400 million on the very day that the deal was signed. Then, in instalments, the bank paid him another Tk 360 million. In 2013 a structure of the building was somehow completed.Despite having paid Tk 760 million, not a single floor has been handed over to the bank as yet. As for Akramuzzaman, he has fled abroad.Akramuzzaman has purchased a home in Malaysia and has settled there with his family, according to persons in the bank who have knowledge of the matter. It was not possible to get him over the cell phone. He has not replied to repeated emails either.It was at the behest of Abdul Hye Bachchu that half the payment was handed over on the day that the deal was signed.Foul play is suspected here too.At the time, none of the board members spoke up. The bank’s managing director (MD) at the time, AKM Sajedur Rahman, was kept behind the scenes of the matter.In the meantime, in a spate of unprecedented irregularities between April 2012 and March 2013, the board under Abdul Hye Bachchu pilfered over Tk 34.93 billion through loans to various persons.Bangladesh Bank had investigated the matter and observed that it would not be possible to recover these loans. And indeed, the loans are yet to be recovered.The BASIC Bank officials point out that there are further complications pertaining to the building. For example, they say, Akramuzzaman constructed seven more floors on the building and has been pressuring the bank to purchase those too. He estimated the cost to be Tk 1.62 billion with the seven new floors and demanded an advance of another Tk 810 million. The bank did not agree.The financial institutions division on 7 August this year issued a letter to the present chairman of BASIC Bank, Khandakar Mohammed Iqbal, asking for a detailed explanation about the purchase of the building without government approval.The government in July 2012 dissolved the BASIC Bank’s board of directors due to rampant corruption and irregularities which had swamped the bank.But Abdul Hye Bachchu took the liberty to submit his resignation to the finance minister a day before the term of the board expired. The government then revamped the board and appointed the bank’s previous MD Alauddin A Majid as the chairman.The financial institutions division also wanted to know why there had been such a long delay in revealing the matter of this large financial involvement despite the board being in place for three years now. The division was not satisfied with the explanation submitted by the MD on 21 August.In his explanation, MD Khandakar Mohammed Iqbal said that the land was abandoned property since 1989. There was a case as to whether the government or Akramuzzaman was the proprietor of the land. Last year the verdict was passed in Akramuzzaman’s favour, but the problem remained unresolved due to his stubborn attitude.BASIC Bank chairman Alauddin A Majid told Prothom Alo this was just one incident in many. The present board is having to bear the brunt of this incident which took place seven years ago.During a recent visit to the site in Motijheel, this correspondent saw the structure of a 22-storey building, with a signboard, ‘Zaman BASIC Bank Tower Bhaban’.Along with Abdul Hye Bachchu, on the bank board at that time were the present vice chairman of the Export Development Bureau (EDP) and joint secretary at the time Bijoy Bhattacharya, former DG of the prime minister’s office Nilufar Ahmed, chairman of BSCIC chairman at the time Siddiqur Rahman, chairman at the time of Kushtia Islamic University’s accounting and information systems department Kazi Akhter Hossain and others.Though AKM Sajedur Rahman was the bank’s MD at the time, he had gone abroad on medical treatment. The acting MD was Sheikh Manzur Morshed. Bijoy Bhattacharya then left for Switzerland due to his job and the present commerce secretary Subhashish Basu took his stead.Bijoy Bhattacharya told Prothom Alo, he had stopped attending board meetings towards the end as he was fed up. Subhashish Basu said it was not possible for the board to verify the details of the land. That was basically the responsibility of the management.Several attempts to contact Abdul Hye Bachchu over phone have failed. He did not reply to any SMS either. The supervisor at his house in Banani DOHS said he was out and does not always stay at this house.The finance minister even in parliament had held Abdul Hye Bachchu responsible for the corruption in BASIC Bank.However, the Anti-Corruption Commission has done nothing in this regard. The finance minister has not lost hope and told Prothom Alo, “I think ACC is doing something about the matter.”According to Bangladesh Bank, BASIC Bank’s default loans stand at 53 per cent (Tk 73.9 billion), higher than the default loans of any other bank in the country.*The article, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabirlast_img read more

Houstons Lawson Craddock Keeps Racing With Injury In Tour De France Donations

first_img X Lawson Craddock continues his race to Paris.The Tour de France cyclist from Houston is fighting a broken shoulder blade that he suffered during a crash early on but refuses to give up.With a week left in the Tour de France, Craddock remains last in the overall standings but he said the pain from his injury is getting more manageable. “Pretty happy about how the injury is progressing,” he said on the phone from the French Alps. “And I really hope that I can keep going this way and maybe do something in the final week of the race.”Meanwhile, donations from fans are pouring in.Craddock is raising money for the Alkek Velodrome in west Houston.The Velodrome suffered bad losses during Harvey. It’s where Craddock got his start as a cyclist more than 15 years ago.His initial goal was to raise $2,100.As of Friday evening, his GoFundMe page registered more than $114,000. 00:00 /00:41 Sharecenter_img CABS Chamalieres MercerDuring the first stage of the Tour de France, Lawson Craddock suffered a fractured shoulder blade and a bad cut above the eye. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

Maxwells demons may drive some biological systems

first_imgConventionally, the switching mechanism was thought to operate in equilibrium, where the switch changes between clockwise and counterclockwise motor rotations in a balanced way. An earlier experiment showed that the time interval a flagllear motor spends in a given state (either clockwise or counterclockwise) follows a peaked distribution. Based on Tu’s work, this peaked interval time distribution indicates that the switch operates out of equilibrium. In order to achieve this fast and accurate switching, the switch must be extremely sensitive to the CheY-P concentration. In the non-equilibrium model, Tu shows that this high sensitivity can be explained by the presence of two Maxwell’s demons, which act as the switch’s sensors for the CheY-P. “The easiest way to explain the work of these two Maxwell’s demons is that they are two coincidence counters,” he said. “Each switch can have up to 34 CheY-P regulators bind to it. One of the demons will count the number of bound CheY-P, and if the number is greater than some threshold, say 22, it will switch the motor from CCW to CW; another demon works the opposite way with a low threshold, say 12. If the number of CheY-P bound is less than 12, this demon will switch the motor from CW to CCW.”These “demons” consume energy to do their work, in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics. The more energy the demons use, the more sensitive the switch is. Tu determined the exact amount of energy used per switch cycle, and discovered that it is roughly equal to the work done by one or two protons moving through the membrane near the flagellar motor. Based on this finding, he predicts that the switch may be powered by protons passing through the membrane. This possibility would agree with earlier observations that the average switching frequency depends on the proton flux.As Tu explains, viewing the flagellar motor switch in the framework of a non-equilibrium model could help scientists understand the switching mechanism as an integrated part of the motor system. In biology, many systems operate out of equilibrium, and Tu’s model could help scientists detect interesting non-equilibrium effects. Besides the flagellar motor, he predicts that a similar non-equilibrium mechanism, driven by Maxwell’s demons, could be responsible for a variety of other cellular processes.More information: Tu, Yuhai. “The nonequilibrium mechanism for ultrasensitivity in a biological switch: Sensing by Maxwell’s demons.” PNAS, August 19, 2008, vol. 105, no. 33, 11737-11741.Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. (PhysOrg.com) — According to the second law of thermodynamics, entropy always increases. For example, two bodies of different temperatures, when brought into contact, will eventually mix together to result in a uniform temperature. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. But, as the physicist James Clerk Maxwell famously suggested in 1871, what would happen if a theoretical demon could stand at a doorway between the two bodies, and only allow high-temperature particles to pass through one way, and only low-temperature particles to pass through the other? The tiny doorman would prevent the two temperatures from mixing, and theoretically prevent entropy. Of course, the demon would use energy to do this job, thus creating entropy itself, and so the second law would not be violated.While Maxwell’s demon was originally considered a thought experiment, similar mechanisms have been discovered for various applications. One example is a Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube, which is a pneumatic device that separates hot and cold air by spinning hot and cold molecules in different directions.Now, a recent study shows that a similar mechanism may drive a motor switch in the bacteria Escherichia coli, and may be responsible for many other signaling systems in biology. Researcher Yuhai Tu at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, explains how E. coli’s Maxwell’s demons work in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“There are two related contributions made in this paper,” Tu told PhysOrg.com. “First, a general non-equilibrium mechanism for making a highly sensitive switch (i.e., how Maxwell’s demons can be used to increase sensitivity). Second, a general result on dwell-time statistics (how long a system should stay in a given state before it switches to other states). This result can be used as a diagnostic tool to detect the existence of these demons (or non-equilibrium effects) in an unknown system.”The bacterium contains flagellar motors that drive its motion. A flagellar motor has a switch (a shift gear) whose job is to sense the concentration of a regulator called CheY-P, and then control the rotational direction of the motor to be either clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise (CCW), accordingly. “The purpose of the CW and CCW switch is to control the motion of the cell,” Tu said. “The CheY-P level is the signal (red/yellow/green light) which affects the switch (stop/slow/move). In a very loose sense, CCW results in movement and CW results in switching direction. The bacterium cell needs to control these two types of motions to navigate towards (away from) favorable (toxic) environments.” Video games are a ‘great equalizer’ for people with disabilities Citation: Maxwell’s demons may drive some biological systems (2008, September 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-maxwell-demons-biological.html Explore furtherlast_img read more