Moldova’s Degrading Sovereignty Amid Coronavirus Spike

first_imgMoldova’s Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Cristina Lesnic held an ad hoc videoconference, on July 14, with Richard Tibbels, the European Union’s representative in the 5+2 talks on the Transnistrian settlement process (Radio Chisinau, July 15). In their conversation, the Moldovan official shared Chisinau’s rising concerns regarding the illegal installation of 37 checkpoints in the Security Zone, manned by “border guards” of the Moscow-backed separatist Transnistrian regime. Lesnic emphasized that these checkpoints violated the existing agreements on the conflict resolution process, backed by the EU, and they could not be viewed as “sanitary [i.e., meant to stop the spread of COVID-19],” as invoked by the Transnistrian representatives.The Moldovan authorities apparently are unable or unwilling to take any effective measures to discourage or impose costs on such violations, which are becoming routine. Following a phone conversation between Moldova’s pro-Russian President Igor Dodon and the separatist leader in Tiraspol, Vadim Krasnoselski, the latter declared that “the sanitary checkpoints” will not be removed due to the epidemiological situation (Radio Chisinau, July 13). Critics of President Dodon and the government he controls increasingly question the authorities’ genuine willingness to protect Moldova’s interests against Russia. The growing exasperation among many Moldovans has already resulted in the mobilization of veterans of the 1992 war with Russia over the Transnistrian region. The veterans’ group has declared that if the new checkpoints are not removed soon, they will block the main roads connecting Moldova with the Transnistrian region, which has effectively been under Russian military control for the past three decades (TVR Moldova, July 14). The Moldovan veterans claim their actions will block the ongoing passage of trucks loaded with contraband products, metal and cement, which are part of criminal enrichment schemes benefiting people in power on the both sides of the Dniester River.A series of recent developments has collectively served to confirm many of the most serious above-mentioned criticisms regarding the authorities’ failures to defend Moldovan sovereignty. For instance, at the Kremlin’s request (and despite Moscow then being one of the major global hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic), President Dodon attended the June 24 military parade on Red Square and brought with him a 75-man Moldovan honor guard unit (Zgd.md, June 14). The last time Moldovan soldiers ceremonially marched in the middle of the Russian capital was in 2010.In another instance, the Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI) posted a communique on its webpage criticizing the actions of the Operational Group of Russian Forces (OGRF) stationed in and de facto controlling Moldova’s Transnistrian region. The source of the complaint stemmed from the fact that the OGRF had reportedly recruited another several children from the breakaway region into the Russian defense ministry’s youth organization Yunarmiya (“Young Army”), which has been growing in number in Transnistria (Mil.ru, June 16). In the same communique, the MFAEI reconfirmed Chisinau’s demand for the unconditional withdrawal of Russian military units and ammunition from Moldovan territory (Diez.md, June 15). But without explanation, the whole communique disappeared shortly thereafter from the foreign ministry’s website (Mfa.gov.md, June 15; TVR Moldova, June 16).This self-censoring of the Moldovan diplomatic institution seems to be the result of Russian pressure, applied via Moldova’s own presidential administration. Indeed, not long after the MFAEI’s statement calling for the withdrawal of the OGRF from Transnistria, the Russian ambassador to Chisinau, Oleg Vasnetsov, assured Russian media that there are “conscious politicians” in the Moldovan capital—meaning President Dodon—who understand well that Russia cannot simply pull its 1,500 military forces from Moldova, because “they create conditions for peaceful negotiations” (TASS, July 8). Such indirect Russian control over the Moldovan leadership threatens to transform this small East European country into a satellite-state. But in fact, the Kremlin’s actual influence extends beyond Moldova’s political leaders and institutions: as illustrated by the Yunarmiya recruitment drive, Moscow has taken a long-term perspective and is focusing on the ideological indoctrination of Moldova’s younger generations.In the Transnistrian region, the Russian Ministry of Defense has recruited over 1,600 children, ranging from the age of 10 to 18, into its youth-focused militarized organization since 2017 (Law-civilsociety.com, March 30, 2018). Over 75,000 minors were recruited this way by the Russian military throughout the territories under the responsibility of the Western Military District command (Vpk.name, August 20, 2018), which also oversees Moldova’s Transnistrian region. To join Yunarmiya, children take an oath and then undergo routine military training, including at summer camps, that consists of “patriotic” education, physical training, small arms training and instruction in other military disciplines (Novostipmr.com, July 19, 2019).In addition to this, the separatist regime in Transnistria—a de facto proxy for the Russian government—has been recruiting both right- and left-bank Moldovan minors into two militarized boarding schools funded by the separatist ministry of interior and ministry of defense, respectively. The former institution annually recruits some 300 minors in total and the latter, personally opened by then–deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin in 2017, accepts 200 youths every year (Moldova.org, April 8, 2018). Military training and “patriotic” indoctrination are the key elements of the curriculum at both academies. Notably, some 20 children from Moldova’s Gagauz region are reportedly being trained yearly at the militarized boarding school financed by the separatist defense ministry. Considering that the Transnistrian regime is itself heavily funded by the Russian government, these costs are ultimately borne by the Russian military, which also provides the school’s instructors.It is hardly coincidental that the creation of the Yunarmiya, on October 29, 2015, overlapped with the huge problems that the Russian defense ministry confronted when scores of Russian soldiers refused to go fight in Ukraine and Syria (Reuters, May 10, 2015). The “young army” organization is, thus, likely the Russian state’s solution—every year creating a crop of ideologically indoctrinated and Western-hostile potential troops for Moscow’s military operations in the coming years. Despite the fact that the recruitment of children below the age of 15 into military activities is prohibited under international humanitarian law (Un.org, accessed July 15), neither the Moldovan government nor its international partners have so far looked closely into this alarming issue.last_img read more

Trey Anastasio To Perform On ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’

first_imgTrey Anastasio will serve as the musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday, August 11th. The performance comes as Anastasio promotes his recently-released solo album, Lonely Trip, recorded at his Rubber Jungle home studio in New York City while in quarantine.The Tonight Show recently went back to taping at its normal home, NBC Studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, but it’s unclear whether the Trey Anastasio performance will take place there, pre-recorded at Trey’s home, or elsewhere, as has been the norm throughout this spring and summer.Although fans have been treated to a steady stream of content from the Phish guitarist over the course of the last few months in isolation, this marks the first scheduled Trey Anastasio “performance” since the shutdowns began—and that’s enough to get us excited.The episode will air on Tuesday, August 11th at 11:35 p.m. ET—just after the usual end time of Phish’s ongoing archival webcast/cooking series, Dinner and a Movie. The details for Tuesday’s Dinner and a Movie have yet to be announced.Last time Anastasio took the stage on The Tonight Show, he did so with Phish as they promoted their then-new album, Big Boat, on October 10th, 2016. The music that night, however, was not what grabbed the headlines but rather the floral Gucci shirt Trey wore onstage. So many internet jokes and memes followed that Trey even referenced the hilarity during “Carini” at Phish’s Halloween show a few weeks later, changing the lyrics to “everyone was screaming when they saw the shirt.” Whatever he wears and whatever he plays, this is enough to have us excited for Tuesday night.last_img read more

Moulton tosses no-no in Sportco Kick-Off Classic

first_imgMoulton tosses no-no in Sportco Kick-Off Classic Betsy HelfandFebruary 13, 2012Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrint In her first season with the Gophers, Sara Moulton put together an impressive résumé.Saturday she added a no-hitter to her list of accomplishments. Moulton was sixth in the Big Ten with a 2.06 ERA, she holds the single-season win record for Minnesota with 28 and pitched 32 complete games including 14 shutouts. She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year last year and was also named to the All-Big Ten Second Team.Now a sophomore, Moulton has continued where she left off. The latest impressive clip on her résumé is just the 15th no-hitter in Gophers history. It was the first since Briana Hassett’s on April 24, 2007.Moulton struck out nine in the effort. She walked two and had two hit batsmen.Freshman Tyler Walker backed Moulton offensively. The shortstop hit her first collegiate home run, stole a base and scored both of the team’s runs in the game.That game was the first of four that Minnesota played in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Sportco Kick-Off Classic to open its season.Moulton pitched in all four games and was the pitcher of record in three of them (2-1).The Gophers’ second win came when they defeated Weber State 8-0 in just five innings, when the mercy rule took effect.Minnesota took advantage of three Weber State errors and scored two runs on wild pitches — and five total unearned runs — in the win. Moulton pitched just three innings but had eight strikeouts.Freshman Erica Meyer went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two runs in the game.Kaitlyn Richardson, also a freshman, contributed three RBIs to the effort. Richardson’s two RBIs in the fifth inning pushed the score to 8-0, which induced the mercy rule.The team’s third win of the tournament featured another offensive outpour, when it defeated Cal State-Bakersfield 10-0.Catcher Kari Dorle went 4-for-4 with two homeruns and three RBIs.Richardson contributed another three RBIs. She and Hannah Granger both hit their first collegiate home runs in the shellacking.Minnesota’s only loss came in its second game of the tournament, a 2-1 loss to host UNLV.Moulton pitched six innings of three-hit, two-run ball, but Minnesota struggled offensively and was only able to generate one run in the game. Sara DuPaul drove in the lone run.The team will travel to Tempe, Ariz., to participate in the Littlewood Classic next weekend. No. 1 Arizona State, the defending champions, will host the tournament.The Gophers will play five games against four different teams, including ASU, in the three-day tournament.last_img read more

Air Products sees signs of improvement

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

Seward Joins National Project to Raise Awareness

first_imgThere are no additional plans for the wall this summer but some regularly scheduled Seward activites may include it. McDivitt: “To raise awareness actually on underage drinking and drug use, domestic violence and suicide, alcohol related accidents, bullying and stuff like that and we’re asking people before they make comments on the wall what they want to do before they die to keep in mind the people who have been lost to those different addictions and battles they faced everyday.” FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享An eight by twelve wall has been installed in Seward’s Harbor as part of a national project which invites people to reflect on their lives and bring awareness to a variety of social issues. The “Before I Die” walls are part of a national project that was created in New Orleans by artist Candy Chang who created the first wall on an abandoned house in her neighborhood after losing a loved one and going through a deep depression. The wall was installed at 1:30 pm on Monday and by 6:30 pm the wall of 70 plus lines was full. McDivitt said the huge response was all positive.center_img The walls are black with the phrase “Before I die I want to *blank*” stenciled on repeatedly and more than 200 walls have sprung up in over 15 languages and in over 40 countries, including Kazakhstan, Argentina, China, Italy, Israel, Thailand, and South Africa.McDivitt partnered with Seward Prevention Coalition Coordinator Katie Cornwell and Lt. Doreen Valadez of the Seward Police Department to contact the project, order the kit, and create the space. McDivitt: “We’re really excited that it’s taken hold like this and embraced it, we’re going to try to get out this week and try to interview some people putting comments on the wall to try to get their opinions on it.” Dawn McDivitt is the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coordinator at SeaView Community Services in Seward.last_img read more

Delhis first woman auto driver saves money to buy new vehicle gets

first_img CCTV Footage Shows Hopeful Thief Stealing Package That Turns Out To Be Full Of Worms IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:00/0:23Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:23?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis 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. COPY LINKAD Loading … Closecenter_img [Representational Image]ReutersDelhi’s first woman auto-rickshaw driver went through a traumatic incident in Ghaziabad on Tuesday when she was robbed of Rs 30,000 by another auto-rickshaw driver.Sunita Choudhary, 40, had withdrawn the money from her bank account to buy a new auto as her vehicle is 15 years old and needs to be replaced.The incident occurred when Sunita was returning from her hometown in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. She had gotten off a bus at Mohan Nagar and was searching for an auto to reach home when an auto driver offered a ride.Sunita got into the auto and asked the driver to drop her at Anand Vihar. A passenger sitting in the front wanted to sit in the rear seat and requested Sunita to keep her bag with the money in the storage area at the back and she obliged.”I was told to keep my bag behind. Going ahead, the auto suddenly stopped near Vasundhara. The driver told that there was some fault in the engine,” Sunita told Hindustan Times.She added, “I also got off the auto and tried to help out. After several minutes the passenger on the rear seat handed me my bag and asked me to take another auto instead. I started looking for another autorickshaw. Soon, the driver got the autorickshaw running again and drove away suddenly without asking me to get on board.”Surprised at the turn of events, Sunita checked her bag to discover that her savings of Rs 30,000 in cash was missing. She tried chasing the auto but failed. Sunita then went to Sahibabad police station and filed an FIR under section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code.”I had deposited all my savings to my bank account and took it out before coming to Delhi. I have a commercial license and was planning to get a new permit by depositing Rs 10,000 as security and later buy an autorickshaw. Now, I am left with no option but to hire an auto on daily rent for Rs 300. It is difficult nowadays to get rented autos,” a heartbroken Sunita said.The police said that this is not the first incident in the area of auto drivers robbing passengers. There have been four incidents in the past with the same modus operandi.”The gangs in previous cases resorted to violence with passengers. They were arrested. This could be some new gang that fled with cash from a woman’s bag. We have registered an FIR and are also trying to trace them from any CCTV footage available. Inquiries will also be made with local auto drivers,” Sholk Kumar, the superintendent of police, told HT.last_img read more

TensorFlowjs Architecture and applications

first_imgIn a paper published last month, Google developers explained the design, API, and implementation of TensorFlow.js, the JavaScript implementation of TensorFlow. TensorFlow.js was first introduced at the TensorFlow Dev Summit 2018. It is basically the successor of deeplearn.js, which was released in August 2017, and is now named as TensorFlow.js Core. Google’s motivation behind creating TensorFlow.js was to bring machine learning in the hands of web developers who generally do not have much experience with machine learning. It also aims at allowing experienced ML users and teaching enthusiasts to easily migrate their work to JS. The TensorFlow.js architecture TensorFlow.js, as the name suggests, is based on TensorFlow, with a few exceptions specific to the JS environment. This library comes with the following two sets of APIs: The Ops API facilitates lower-level linear algebra operations such as matrix, multiplication, tensor addition, and so on. The Layers API, similar to the Keras API, provide developers high-level model building blocks and best practices with emphasis on neural networks. Source: TensorFlow.js TensorFlow.js backends In order to support device-specific kernel implementations, TensorFlow.js has a concept of backends. Currently it supports three backends: the browser, WebGL, and Node.js. The two new rising web standards, WebAssembly and WebGPU, will also be supported as a backend by TensorFlow.js in the future. To utilize the GPU for fast parallelized computations, TensorFlow.js relies on WebGL, a cross-platform web standard that provides low-level 3D graphics APIs. Among the three TensorFlow.js backends, the WebGL backend has the highest complexity. With the introduction of Node.js and event-driven programming, the use of JS in server-side applications has grown over time. Server-side JS has full access to the filesystem, native operating system kernel, and existing C and C++ libraries. In order to support the server-side use cases of machine learning in JavaScript, TensorFlow.js comes with a Node.js backend that binds to the official TensorFlow C API using the N-API. As a fallback, TensorFlow.js provides a slower CPU implementation in plain JS. This fallback can run in any execution environment and is automatically used when the environment has no access to WebGL or the TensorFlow binary. Current applications of TensorFlow.js Since its launch, TensorFlow.js have seen its applications in various domains. Here are some of the interesting examples the paper lists: Gestural Interfaces TensorFlow.js is being used in applications that take gestural inputs with the help of webcam. Developers are using this library to build applications that translate sign language to speech translation, enable individuals with limited motor ability control a web browser with their face, and perform real-time facial recognition and pose-detection. Research dissemination The library has facilitated ML researchers to make their algorithms more accessible to others. For instance, the Magenta.js library, developed by the Magenta team, provides in-browser access to generative music models. Porting to the web with TensorFlow.js has increased the visibility of their work with their audience, namely musicians. Desktop and production applications In addition to web development, JavaScript has been used to develop desktop and production applications. Node Clinic, an open source performance profiling tool, recently integrated a TensorFlow.js model to separate CPU usage spikes by the user from those caused by Node.js internals. Another example is, Mood.gg Desktop, which is a desktop application powered by Electron, a popular JavaScript framework for writing cross-platform desktop apps. With the help of TensorFlow.js, Mood.gg detects which character the user is playing in the game called Overwatch, by looking at the user’s screen. It then plays a custom soundtrack from a music streaming site that matches with the playing style of the in-game character. Read the paper, Tensorflow.js: Machine Learning for the Web and Beyond, for more details. Read Next TensorFlow.js 0.11.1 releases! Emoji Scavenger Hunt showcases TensorFlow.js 16 JavaScript frameworks developers should learn in 2019last_img read more

Make your friends green with envy with Hotelscoms hilarious new Instagram travel

first_imgTags: Funny, Hotels.com, Instagram, Statistics Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Share TORONTO — We all love to hate on social media, liking friends’ incredible travel posts while secretly hating the fact that they’re there and you’re, well, anywhere but.But now there’s a way to stop ‘hate-liking’ and be hate-liked, thanks to Hotels.com’s hilarious new lineup of Instagram props.The Hate-Like Boutique, which the company describes as “your one-stop shop for buying your friends’ envy”, includes everything from a Hair Flip Wig (US$8.99), perfect for those iconic water whip shots, to Latte Screens ($2.99) that transform boring pics of average beverages to fancy cups of joe featuring mind-blowing designs. There’s even a Love Lock Fence screen ($4.99) that makes it look like you’re at any one of the cities that participate in this popular tradition. Wednesday, May 1, 2019 Travelweek Group “You know when your friend posts a pic from her beach vacay on an oversized swan floatie with #nofilter? And you ‘like’ it, even though you kinda hate it? That’s called a Hate-Like,” said the company in an official release. “We all do it. So we created a line of products to help you stop Hate-Liking and start getting Hate-Liked.”More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsProducts were based on Hotels.com’s recent survey that revealed that 30% of 18- to 34-year-olds say they tap ‘like’ on other’s social media posts every day even though they’re envious of the content, with 29% of people indicating they do it multiple times a day.A total of 27% of respondents said they wake up at 5 a.m. to achieve the best lighting and avoid crowds to get the perfect vacation photo, while 14% said they pay for a friend’s half of the trip to get the perfect snap.Meanwhile, 40% of people thing #blessed is the most annoying and overused caption, and 36% of people are sick of seeing ‘legs by the pool’ photos.Finally 39% of people choose a vacation location that offers lots of photo opportunities for social media.All props on www.HateLikeBoutique.com are free right now with promo code HATELIKE at checkout and are available while supplies last. Make your friends green with envy with Hotels.com’s hilarious new Instagram travel propslast_img read more