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Oil falls to near $99 as radiation leak at Japanese nuclear plant spooks investors

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Tom Lehman chipped in from 45 feet on the 18th hole to finish the first round at three-under 67. There had never been so many co-leaders after the opening round of the event.     Dr. Ruddle, one of the first scientists to map genes’ locations on specific human chromosomes, helped lay the groundwork for the Human Genome Project.A study suggests that in families at high genetic risk of having a child on the autism spectrum, placentas were significantly more likely to have abnormal folds and creases.     The year 2023 could find more use of solar power, wind and natural gas, and the United

States could be a major oil exporter.     Ed Miliband contrasts David Cameron's defence of bankers' bonuses with plans to cut housing benefit at PMQsHundreds of thousands of disabled people will lose an average of £700 a year under the government's so called "bedroom tax", Ed Miliband claimed at prime minister's questions.David Cameron, who tried to shift the terms of debate by saying the government was simply ending a "spare room subsidy" in social housing, rejected Miliband's claims by saying that anyone in need of 24-hour care would be exempt.The
prime minister defended the change on the grounds that the government needs to reduce the £23bn housing benefit bill as it repairs the public finances in the wake of the financial crash, which, he said, occurred when Miliband was serving as the "croupier in the casino".Miliband sought to intensify the pressure on the prime minister by contrasting his decision to defend bankers' bonuses during EU negotiations with the cutting-back of housing benefit for disabled people. The Labour leader said that hundreds of thousands of disabled people will lose an average of £700 a year as the government reduces housing benefit for most people in social housing who have spare bedrooms.Miliband
said that a £25m hardship fund for disabled people would not make up for the £306m that will be taken from them, and asked the PM: "Will he admit that the vast majority of disabled people who are hit by his bedroom tax will get no help from his hardship fund?"Cameron said it was wrong to say that disabled people were worse off under his government because the amount spent on disability allowance will have increased from £12.4bn in 2009-10 to £13.3bn by 2015. The prime minister added: "He is completely wrong because anyone with severely disabled children is exempt

from the spare room subsidy. Anyone who needs care

round-the-clock is exempt from the spare room subsidy."The prime minister also rejected a claim by the Labour MP Derek Twigg that the bedroom tax was "callous".
Cameron said: "Pensioners are exempt, people with severely disabled children are exempt, people who need round-the-clock care are exempt.
Those categories of people are all exempt."But there is a basic issue of fairness.
How can it be fair that people on housing

benefit in private rented accommodation do not get a spare room subsidy whereas people in social housing do? That isn't fair and we are putting that right."Miliband opened his exchanges with the prime minister by highlighting the government's decision to speak out against EU proposals to impose a cap on bankers' bonuses.The Labour leader said: "I would like to ask the prime minister about an individual case that has been raised with me. John works in east London and is worried about what is happening to his living standards.
His

salary is £1m and he is worried that under proposed EU regulations his bonus may be capped at just £2m. Can the prime minister tell us what he is going to do for John?"Cameron replied: "What I would say to John and everyone like John is under this government bonuses are one quarter of what they were when he was in the Treasury. I will take lots of lectures from lots of people but I don't have to listen to the croupier in the casino when it all went bust."DisabilityHousing benefitCommunitiesHousingBenefitsWelfareDavid CameronEd MilibandNicholas Wattguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds A Spanish-language Obama ad misrepresents John McCain’s record on the immigration issue and his relationship with Rush Limbaugh. Truth is stranger than fiction in “Genius on Hold,” in which an inventor works with bookies and his son becomes a thief. As a kid, I recall shutting my eyes beneath hardly pressed fingers during a very serious game of hide-and-seek and thinking, if I can't see him, he can't see me. Of course, I was promptly tagged and have since grown up and now know that childhood maxim doesn't hold true in the real world.
Read full article >>When seawater freezes, it leaches salt, which mixes with deeper waters to create a dense, briny ocean layer. The overlying ice is fresh and light in comparison, with very little salt in its composition. As ice melts in the spring, it creates a freshwater layer on the ocean surface, setting up ideal conditions for sea ice to form the following winter. Heimbach and Fenty constructed a model to simulate ice cover, thickness and transport in response to atmospheric and ocean circulation. In a novel approach, they developed a method known in computational science and engineering as “optimal state and parameter estimation” to plug in a variety of observations to improve the simulations. A tight fitThe researchers tested their approach on data originally taken in 1996 and 1997 in the Labrador Sea, an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean that lies between Greenland and Canada. They included satellite observations of ice cover, as well as local readings of wind speed, water

and air temperature, and water salinity. The approach produced a tight fit between simulated and observed sea-ice and ocean conditions in the Labrador Sea — a large improvement over existing models.The optimal synthesis of model and observations revealed not just where ice forms, but also how ocean currents transport ice floes within and between seasons.
From its simulations, the team found that, as new ice forms in northern regions of the Arctic, ocean currents push this ice to the south in a process called advection.
The ice migrates further south, into unfrozen waters, where it melts, creating a fresh layer of ocean water that eventually insulates more incoming ice from warmer subsurface waters of subtropical Atlantic origin.Knowing
that this model fits with observations suggests to Heimbach that researchers may use the method of model-data synthesis to predict sea-ice growth and transport in the future — a valuable tool for climate scientists, as well as oil and shipping industries. “The Northwest Passage has for centuries been considered a shortcut shipping route between Asia and North America — if it was navigable,” Heimbach says.
“But it’s very difficult to predict. You can just change the wind pattern a bit and push ice, and suddenly it’s closed. So it’s a tricky business, and needs to be better understood.”Martin
Losch, a research scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, says the feedback mechanism identified by the MIT group is important for predicting sea-ice extent on a regional scale.
“The dynamics of climate are complicated and nonlinear, and are due to many different feedback processes,” says Losch, who was not involved with the research.
“Identifying these feedbacks and their impact on the system is at the heart of climate research.”As part of the “Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean” (ECCO) project, Heimbach and his colleagues are now applying their model to larger regions in the Arctic. This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA. Stephon Marbury reached an agreement to play for a professional team in China.Although investing is a subtle and complicated endeavor, everyone can benefit from a simple set of rules and principles. One of my favorite portfolio managers, Thomas K.
Brown, chief executive of Second Curve Capital, a New York hedge fund that specializes in financial stocks, recently sent clients a little booklet called "My Ten Rules," guidelines for building "a long-term successful track record." Join a video chat with experts about what scientists are learning about the spreading virus; NOTE: Special Time 10 a.m.
Blame the Olympics: there's a rash of movies in which London is being smashed to smithereens, in breathtaking detailFor the briefest of moments, you might have assumed that the new Thor: The Dark World trailer was a sweet little St George's Day gesture from Marvel.
After all, the first shot – the very first snatch of footage that anyone has seen of this much-anticipated sequel – is a beautiful aerial shot of London.
Not Asgard. Not that weird little desert town from the first movie.
London. Thanks, Marvel.Except,
no. Nobody actually thought that, did they? Because this was a shot of London in a film from 2013, which could only ever really mean one thing: imminent destruction. And, sure enough, our payoff came just 23 seconds later – a shot of the Old Naval College in Greenwich being irreparably smashed up by a giant flying crystal or something. A load of oblivious Londoners even get blinded, let's assume permanently, by shards of exploded glass. Oh Marvel. You guys.This shoddy treatment shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone. The hottest new fad in Hollywood seems to be destroying London. Where once an action film wasn't complete without a offensively gratuitous parkour sequence, now it isn't complete unless at least one London landmark gets battered into oblivion by a bomb or a superhero or a space crystal or whatever. Just last month, GI Joe: Retaliation shot a laser out of a satellite and blew London bandy.
The early signs are that London – albeit a futuristic London that's 90% greenhouse – will meet a similarly sticky end in Star Trek 2. I haven't seen any of The Great Gatsby yet but, if this pattern is any indication, there's bound to be a scene where a monster farts on the Gherkin until it falls over.It's happened before, of course. The Millennium Bridge was taken out by Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The London Eye fell into a sinkhole in Fantastic Four 2. Big Ben ended up being riddled with dragons in Reign of Fire. Even back in 1967, Quatermass and the Pit all but destroyed London – taking out, if the sound effects are to be believed, over 30 dinner plates in the process. But now it's happening much more frequently. Perhaps we should blame the Olympics for bringing London to everyone's attention, or the London Eye for being an immediately recognisable landmark that US audiences can use as shorthand for a large yet safely distant metropolis.Whatever the reason, we probably shouldn't take this wanton destruction personally. For one, the London getting blown up in all of these films isn't actually real London. It's tourist London. The South Bank, for example, tends to bear the brunt of most of this devastation, which leads me to believe that most of these egomaniacal despots responsible are simply a bit narky about street entertainers.
And who can blame them? Street entertainers are awful. Perhaps this is proof that even dictatorial maniacs are human after all.And because none of the parts of London where anyone actually lives – the fringes of the north and south where property is still just about affordable – ever get destroyed in these films, it's just as much a thrill for us as it is for anyone else. More so, even. Over the years I've watched gleefully as office buildings that I've toiled in, pubs that I've had bad dates in and train stations where I've been repeatedly smacked in the face with a copy of ShortList have been reduced to rubble onscreen. It's all the joy of crushing a matchstick city underfoot without the bother of actually having to build it yourself.So, whether it was meant as one or not, I'm taking Thor's clumsy treatment of the

capital as a compliment.
In fact, more films should try and total London. They all should. And if any director wants to specifically blow up the branch of Pret that slightly shortchanged me once three years ago, they're more than welcome to. Who's with me?Action and adventureLondonStuart Heritageguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content

is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds U.S. stocks rose last week, lifting the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index to its biggest gain in three weeks, boosted Life? Hype? Science breaks it down Barely 48 hours after seeing his sizable legacy compromised by a report he tested positive for steroids, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez makes a full and at times emotional confession.A glass-sheathed 4,700-square-foot condominium was created by combining three apartments, and soundproofed.     The wartime writings of a Marine who invaded Iraq make up part of an exhibit at the Bronx Documentary Center.Microsoft has already received several vulnerability reports that qualify for monetary rewards as part of the company's bug bounty program launched in June for the preview version of Internet Explorer 11.     Facing federal and internal investigations of its maintenance practices, Southwest Airlines grounded 38 jetliners for fuselage inspection Tuesday night. Tracker devices like Fitbit and Up keep you aware of your inactivity and lack of sleep, and motivate you to put your life onto a healthier track.     The death of Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan leader, of sent a ripple of sadness and uncertainty across Cuba, which has long relied on Venezuela’s hefty oil subsidies.
HOUSTON - Authorities say a woman accused of fleeing the country after a fire at her Texas day care facility killed four children has returned to the U.S. following her capture in Nigeria.
With a steep decline in violence and a new mayor taking office, there is a guarded sense of a new beginning in a region plagued by crime.Adam Aron stepped down as the chief executive of the Philadelphia 76ers and was replaced by the former Madison Square Garden Sports president Scott O’Neil.     The British-born dancer and ballet master, who performed into his 90s, was known for his stylistic versatility and inexhaustible energy.    MUMBAI, India -- India hiked key interest rates by a quarter point Thursday - its eighth hike in a year - warning that rising oil prices will aggravate already high inflation in Asia's third-largest economy.
Parkwood, a neighborhood

of 1940s and 1950s houses where Kensington meets Bethesda, has benefited greatly from what has been built around it over the decades. Pakistani schoolgirl who survived Taliban assassination attempt speaks at UN headquarters on day named in her honourMalala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, delivered a powerful address to the United Nations in New York on Friday, calling on governments around the world to provide every child with free education and denouncing the terrorists who attacked her.Malala, who was ambushed on a bus in Pakistan's Swat valley after promoting girls' access to education, said that she would not be silenced and instead stepped up her campaign to eradicate illiteracy and poverty.Speaking to a delegation of more than 500 young people, Malala said: "On the night of 9 October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead.
They shot my friends, too. They thought the bullet would silence us, but they failed."She criticised the Taliban for their interpretation of Islam in their attack on girls' education.
"They

think that God is a tiny, little conservative being who would send girls to the hell just because of going to school. The terrorists are misusing the name of Islam and Pashtun society for their own personal benefits," she said.Malala called for women around the world to be "brave" in their struggle to fight back. "Let us arm ourselves with the weapon of knowledge and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness," Malala said.In November, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon declared 12 July, her birthday, Malala Day. While introducing her on Friday at the UN headquarters in New York, Ban said that by targeting Malala, "extremists showed what they fear most: a girl with a book."In her speech, Malala dedicated the day to women around the world.
"Malala Day is not my day: today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights," Malala said.She delivered her remarks from a raised platform and said she was wearing a shawl belonging to the late Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto."Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions injured, I am just one of them," Malala said. "So here I stand, here I stand, just one girl among many."She said she was at the UN to speak for the education of every child and that she believes peace is necessary for education. "This is what my soul is telling me, be peaceful and love everyone," she said."So today, we call upon the world leaders to change their strategic policies

in favor of peace and prosperity," Malala said. She then called on all governments to offer free education, to fight against terrorism and protect children from violence. "We are really tired of these wars," she said.Malala called on women to take up the fight, and not expect men to do it for them.
"I am focusing on women's rights and education because they are suffering the most. There was a time when women asked men to stand up for their rights, but this time we will do it for ourselves."She said this was not a call for men to step away from women's rights but that she wanted to focus on encouraging women to empower themselves. "We can not all succeed when half of us are held back," she said.Former British prime minister Gordon Brown, who escorted her to the UN meeting, described Malala as "the most courageous girl in the world".Malala
was sent to a British hospital for rehabilitation after the assassination attempt and now attends Edgbaston high school for girls in Birmingham. She also set up the Malala Fund to direct money to education efforts for young women in Pakistan and around the world.A Unesco and Save the Children study (pdf) released to coincide with the speech shows that 57m children around the world are out of school.The study shows that the amount of primary school age children who are not attending school has fallen from 60m in 2008, but the number of children in conflict-affected countries who are not in school rose from 42% to 50%.A Unesco report released last month warned that efforts to reduce the number of children out of school has hit a "virtual standstill."The data also shows a 6%

drop in international aid for basic education between 2010 and 2011 and an 11% drop in aid for secondary education. Six of the top 10 world donors – Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and the US – have cut spending.Malala YousafzaiUnited NationsTalibanBan Ki-moonUnescoPakistanAidUniversal primary educationAmanda Holpuchguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds     Former congressman Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) is mourning the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today, praising Chavez as someone who made a difference for poor people. Kennedy told the AP that Chavez

helped 2 million Americans through a heating assistance program that the two men worked on together through Kennedy's Citizen's Energy charity. Kennedy said Chavez donated 200 million gallons of heating oil over eight years. Read full article >> Miniature robot completes first controlled flight On its surface, operating a military drone looks a lot like playing a video game: Operators sit at workstations, manipulating joysticks to remotely adjust a drone’s pitch and elevation, while grainy images from the vehicle’s camera project onto a computer

screen. An operator can issue a command to fire if an image reveals a hostile target, but such adrenaline-charged moments are few and far between.
Instead, a drone operator — often a seasoned fighter pilot — spends most of his shift watching and waiting, as automated systems keep the vehicle running. Such shifts can last up to 12 hours, as is the case for operators of the MQ-1 Predator, a missile-loaded unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

used by the U.S. Air Force for overseas surveillance and combat. “You might park a UAV over a house, waiting for someone to come in or come out, and that’s where the boredom comes in,” says Mary “Missy” Cummings, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT. “It turns out it’s a much bigger problem in any system where a human is effectively babysitting the automation.”Cummings says such unstimulating work environments can impair performance, making it difficult for an operator to jump into action in the rare instances when human input is needed.
She and researchers in MIT’s Humans and Automation Lab

are investigating how people interact with automated systems, and are looking for ways to improve UAV operator performance.In a study to be published in the journal Interacting with Computers, Cummings’ team found that operators working with UAV simulations were less bored, and performed better, with a little distraction. While the study’s top performer spent the majority of time concentrating on the simulation, the participants with the next-highest scores performed almost as well, even though they were distracted nearly one-third of the time.
The findings suggest that distractions may help avoid boredom, keeping people alert during otherwise-tedious downtimes. “We know that pilots aren’t always looking out the window, and we know that people don’t always pay attention in whatever

they’re doing,” Cummings says. “The question is: Can you get people to pay attention enough, at the right time, to keep the system performing at a high degree?”Keeping boredom at bayThe researchers set up an experiment in which participants interacted with a UAV simulation in four-hour shifts. During the simulation, subjects monitored the activity of four UAVs, and created “search tasks,” or areas in the terrain for UAVs to investigate. Once a UAV identified

a target, participants labeled it as hostile or friendly, based on a color-coded system. For hostile targets, subjects issued a command for a UAV to fire, destroying a target, and earning points in the simulation. The researchers videotaped each participant throughout the experiment, noting when an operator was engaged with the system, and when he or she was distracted and facing away from the computer screen.
The person with the highest score overall was the one who paid the most attention to the simulation.
“She’s the person we’d like to clone for a boring, low-workload environment,” Cummings says — but such a work ethic may not be the norm among most operators. Cummings and her colleagues found that the next-best performers — who scored almost as high — were distracted 30 percent of the time, either checking their cellphones, reading a book, or getting up to snack. The team also found that while the simulation only required human input 5

percent of the time, most people “made themselves busy” in the simulation for 11 percent of the time — an indication that participants wanted more to do, to keep from getting bored.Cummings
says creating busywork or distractions once in a while may, in fact, be good for productivity, keeping an operator engaged when he or she may otherwise lose focus. Personality complexCummings says personality may also be a consideration in hiring UAV operators. In the same experiment, she asked participants to fill out a personality survey that ranked them in five categories: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience. The group found among the top performers, conscientiousness was a common personality trait. Cummings says conscientious people may work well in low-taskload environments such as UAV operation — although she says they may also hesitate when the time comes to fire a weapon.“You could have a Catch-22,” Cummings says.
“If you’re high on conscientiousness, you might be good to watch a nuclear reactor, but whether these same people  would be effective in such military settings is unclear.”“It’s an aphorism that ‘war is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror,’” says Lawrence Spinetta, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and a former Predator squadron commander.
“That's true in spades for unmanned aircraft combat operations.”Spinetta says the success of UAV missions depends on keeping operators alert — a challenging task when missions

can run for months at a time without a day of rest.“A mission may be to watch a suspected location where a terrorist is hiding for days, weeks, or even months,” Spinetta says. “Attention to detail is required for success. That can go out the window when boredom sets in. Thus analyzing ways to overcome, address and analyze boredom, which is the thrust of this paper, is critical to mission effectiveness.”Cummings’ group is continuing to run experiments to tease out conditions that may improve performance and discourage boredom: For example, periodic alerts may redirect an operator’s attention. The group is also looking into shift duration, and the optimal period for operator productivity.“We need people who can monitor these systems and intervene, but that might not be very often,” Cummings says. “This will be a much bigger problem in five to 10 years because we’re going to have so much more automation in our
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