Navjot Singh Sidhu accepts invite for Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony as Pakistan PM

first_imgPunjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has said that he would be attending the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, slated for August 11Terming the invite by Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as a great honour for him, Mr. Sidhu said that he will accept the invitation.“It’s an honour and I accept the invitation. Men of genius are admired, men of power are feared, but men of character are trusted. Khan Sahab is a man of character and can be trusted,” Mr. Sidhu said in a statement.Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party had on Wednesday said it will send formal invitations to former Indian cricketers Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan for the ceremony.last_img read more

De Boer fired by impatient Palace after only 4 games

first_imgFrontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Facing yet another fight to avoid relegation from the world’s richest league, Palace seems destined to lurch back to survival mode. That likely means regressing to the style of play that Allardyce and Pulis developed, namely being more obdurate at the back and hitting teams on the break.The well-travelled Hodgson does not have a definitive preferred playing style, although his time with England from 2012-16 was marred by dull and cautious performances at major tournaments. He hasn’t coached since leaving the England job after the country’s elimination by Iceland at last year’s European Championship, and his last job as a club manager was at West Bromwich Albion from 2011-12.Arriving on a three-year deal , De Boer had ambitions of making Palace entertaining to watch and integrating more youth-team players. Parish and the club’s American owners — David Blitzer and Josh Harris — backed this bold vision.They have acted decisively, though maybe prematurely, in removing De Boer. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League soccer match against Burnley at Turf Moor, Burnley, England, Sunday Sept. 10, 2017. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)The impatience and short-term thinking in modern-day soccer was highlighted Monday when Frank de Boer was fired by Crystal Palace only four Premier League games into his task of changing the ingrained playing style of the English team.Hours after Palace chairman Steve Parish called for “some sense” regarding the speculation surrounding De Boer’s position, the club’s board decided to end the Dutchman’s 77-day stint in charge and thanked him for his “dedication and hard work.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Palace has lost all four of its league matches under De Boer, without even scoring a goal. The last team to make such a start in England’s top flight was Preston in 1924.Still, it was undeniable that De Boer needed time to implement a more expansive and entertaining style of play requested by the club’s hierarchy, which is a giant leap from the pragmatism, directness and counter-attacking favored by two of Palace’s three most recent managers — Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIn terms of games played, De Boer’s tenure is the shortest of any permanent manager in Premier League history.Palace lost to Huddersfield, Liverpool and Swansea before the international break, and then 1-0 to Burnley on Sunday despite an improved display at Turf Moor which showed that De Boer’s methods might be starting to take effect. De Boer spoke after the game of having “hope for the future,” but he won’t be part of it. British media reported that former England coach Roy Hodgson, who is 70, was in line to take over at a club where he was a youth-team player in the 1960s.While De Boer was gaining plenty of sympathy for his plight, critics of the decision to fire him placed the blame on those who hired him in the first place. Why ask a manager to implement a new playing approach and not give him a decent opportunity to see the change through, especially after only one transfer window when De Boer was unable to bring in the kind of attacking players to suit the new style?“You try to ask a bit of time for your work,” Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said Monday, when asked about Palace’s decision. “To finish this experience after only four games, I’m sorry for him.”De Boer was in charge of Inter Milan in his previous job for just 84 days before being fired early last season. He didn’t even last that long in his first foray into English soccer.As a former player and coach at Ajax and also a former Barcelona player, De Boer is wedded to a philosophy of possession and fluidity generally favored by the Dutch. It got results at Ajax — he won four straight league titles — but he has found it difficult to transfer that abroad.ADVERTISEMENT Surprising start to season: Madrid struggles, Barcelona thriveslast_img read more

9 months agoEx-Real Madrid GM Valdano: Isco must do some soul searching

first_imgEx-Real Madrid GM Valdano: Isco must do some soul searchingby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Real Madrid GM Jorge Valdano says Isco needs to “do some soul searching”.Valdano recognises Isco is on the outer of coach Santiago Solari’s plans.He said, “A year ago, Isco and Asensio were the great sources of hope at Real Madrid; [now] one has lost his way and the jury is out on the other.”Everyone knows something’s up, but nobody knows what; it has to be resolved in private. Today, [B-team striker] Cristo played ahead of Isco, [so] the issue has clearly developed into a very serious one. I imagine it’s something they’re discussing within the club. Isco needs to do some soul-searching.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Columbia neuroengineers create new system to translate thoughts into speech

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 29 2019In a scientific first, Columbia neuroengineers have created a system that translates thought into intelligible, recognizable speech. By monitoring someone’s brain activity, the technology can reconstruct the words a person hears with unprecedented clarity. This breakthrough, which harnesses the power of speech synthesizers and artificial intelligence, could lead to new ways for computers to communicate directly with the brain. It also lays the groundwork for helping people who cannot speak, such as those living with as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or recovering from stroke, regain their ability to communicate with the outside world.These findings were published today in Scientific Reports.”Our voices help connect us to our friends, family and the world around us, which is why losing the power of one’s voice due to injury or disease is so devastating,” said Nima Mesgarani, PhD, the paper’s senior author and a principal investigator at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. “With today’s study, we have a potential way to restore that power. We’ve shown that, with the right technology, these people’s thoughts could be decoded and understood by any listener.”Decades of research has shown that when people speak — or even imagine speaking — telltale patterns of activity appear in their brain. Distinct (but recognizable) pattern of signals also emerge when we listen to someone speak, or imagine listening. Experts, trying to record and decode these patterns, see a future in which thoughts need not remain hidden inside the brain — but instead could be translated into verbal speech at will.But accomplishing this feat has proven challenging. Early efforts to decode brain signals by Dr. Mesgarani and others focused on simple computer models that analyzed spectrograms, which are visual representations of sound frequencies.But because this approach has failed to produce anything resembling intelligible speech, Dr. Mesgarani’s team turned instead to a vocoder, a computer algorithm that can synthesize speech after being trained on recordings of people talking.”This is the same technology used by Amazon Echo and Apple Siri to give verbal responses to our questions,” said Dr. Mesgarani, who is also an associate professor of electrical engineering at Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaTo teach the vocoder to interpret to brain activity, Dr. Mesgarani teamed up with Ashesh Dinesh Mehta, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon at Northwell Health Physician Partners Neuroscience Institute and co-author of today’s paper. Dr. Mehta treats epilepsy patients, some of whom must undergo regular surgeries.”Working with Dr. Mehta, we asked epilepsy patients already undergoing brain surgery to listen to sentences spoken by different people, while we measured patterns of brain activity,” said Dr. Mesgarani. “These neural patterns trained the vocoder.”Next, the researchers asked those same patients to listen to speakers reciting digits between 0 to 9, while recording brain signals that could then be run through the vocoder. The sound produced by the vocoder in response to those signals was analyzed and cleaned up by neural networks, a type of artificial intelligence that mimics the structure of neurons in the biological brain.The end result was a robotic-sounding voice reciting a sequence of numbers. To test the accuracy of the recording, Dr. Mesgarani and his team tasked individuals to listen to the recording and report what they heard.”We found that people could understand and repeat the sounds about 75% of the time, which is well above and beyond any previous attempts,” said Dr. Mesgarani. The improvement in intelligibility was especially evident when comparing the new recordings to the earlier, spectrogram-based attempts. “The sensitive vocoder and powerful neural networks represented the sounds the patients had originally listened to with surprising accuracy.”Dr. Mesgarani and his team plan to test more complicated words and sentences next, and they want to run the same tests on brain signals emitted when a person speaks or imagines speaking. Ultimately, they hope their system could be part of an implant, similar to those worn by some epilepsy patients, that translates the wearer’s thoughts directly into words.”In this scenario, if the wearer thinks ‘I need a glass of water,’ our system could take the brain signals generated by that thought, and turn them into synthesized, verbal speech,” said Dr. Mesgarani. “This would be a game changer. It would give anyone who has lost their ability to speak, whether through injury or disease, the renewed chance to connect to the world around them.” Source:https://zuckermaninstitute.columbia.edu/last_img read more

HBP scientists argue why brain simulations are indispensable for neuroscience

first_imgJun 6 2019Simulations of large-scale networks of neurons are a key element in the European Human Brain Project (HBP). In a new perspective article scientists from the HBP argue why such simulations are indispensable for bridging the scales between the neuron and system levels in the brain. The authors describe the need for open general-purpose simulation engines that can run a multitude of different candidate models of the brain at different levels of biological detail. Comparing predictions derived from such simulations with experimental data will allow systematic testing and refinement of models in a loop between computational and experimental neuroscience.The article has been published as a featured perspective in the leading journal Neuron and can be read here in full: https://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(19)30290-9A wide variety of experimental techniques are used in neuroscience today to gain insight into neural function from measured brain signals. But to understand the complex nonlinear dynamics at play in the brain and to explain how the underlying activity gives rise to the signals, computational modeling is required. Simulations provide the crucial link between data generated by experimentalists and these models, a multi-author team, all affiliated with the European Flagship Human Brain Project, now writes in the new article “The scientific case for brain simulation”.The basis for such simulations has been created on the HBP’s Brain Simulation Platform, a part of the projects Research Infrastructure for brain science that is openly accessible to the neuroscience community. The platform provides a set of continously improved brain network simulators and has driven the construction of computational models and simulations at various scales, from single neurons, to large-scale brain-wide networks.As the terms can easily be confused, the researchers emphasize that simulation and model are not identical. While mathematical models can embody many different hypotheses about how the brain works in equations and experimental parameters, “brain simulators can be viewed as ‘mathematical observatories’ to test various candidate hypotheses. A brain simulator is thus a tool, not a hypothesis, and can as such be likened to tools used to image brain structure or brain activity”, the scientists write. Simulation in this context means using sophisticated software tools to set complex models of the brain that represent large numbers of interconnected neurons into motion – and to observe what testable predictions emerge from them. This then serves to enable a systematic “biological imitation game” where models that provide the best predictions of experimental data “win”.To illustrate the point, Einevoll draws an analogy to the history of physics: “Our project can be compared to Isaac Newton’s development of a new branch in mathematics. Newton needed to develop a type of mathematics called calculus to check whether his proposed law of gravitation of how masses such as planets attract each other was correct or not. With it he could calculate the planetary paths in his model and verify that his theory was consistent with observations. With the simulation infrastructure we have developed, we can similarly test whether our candidate network models provide predictions that are consistent with brain measurements. This workflow will be important for further scientific progress, says Einevoll.Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustWhile the creation of detailed mathematical model has to integrate and generalize a wide range of data provided by experiments, the foundations of the network simulators are simpler and well established, the paper explains – “biophysical principles of how to model electrical activity in neurons and how neurons integrate synaptic inputs from other neurons and generate action potentials. These principles […] are the only hypotheses underlying the construction of brain network simulators. […] This is the reason why many models can be represented in the same simulator and why it is possible to develop generally applicable simulators for network neuroscience.”“Over the past few years brain network simulators have matured tremendously and so have their scale and applications”, says co-author Markus Diesmann, a computational neuroscientist at Jülich Research Centre and one of the developers of the simulation engine NEST (Neural Simulation Tool). Within the HBP simulation engines like NEURON, Arbor, NEST or The Virtual Brain provide the backbone to address different levels of resolution and biological detail (see below). Each offers specific advantages depending on the question.”These well tested simulators play an important role in increasing the reproducibility of research by digitized workflows. Making progress here is crucial to be able to build on each other’s work”, says Sonja Grün, a data analytics expert at Jülich co-authoring the study. “What’s more is that it really creates a new culture of large-scale collaboration across experimental and theoretical neuroscience which we did not have until now”, Diesmann adds.This collaborative approach, which is well-established in disciplines like physics or astronomy, is a crucial step in approaching the staggering complexity of the brain, the scientists emphasize in their paper:“Newton said that he had seen further than others because he was ‘standing on the shoulders of giants.’ Likewise, we argue that we need to find a way to stand on the shoulders of each other’s mathematical models to hope to gain a detailed understanding of the functioning of brain networks.”Source:Human Brain ProjectJournal reference:Schürmann, F. et al. (2019) The scientific case for brain simulations. Neuron. doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2019.03.027. The simulation does not represent the goal itself, but serves as a powerful new way for testing competing hypotheses about the brain.”Gaute Einevoll, Professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and lead author of the paperlast_img read more

Treasury Pulse

first_img Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Forex 08 Jul 2019 Ringgit extends losses against US$ on strong US jobs data Treasury Pulse Economy 11 Jul 2019 Wall Street touches new highs after comments by Fed’s Powell Related Newscenter_img Economy 11 Jul 2019 Fed’s Powell signals rate cut as trade war outweighs strong job market Tags / Keywords: Global Forex MarketTHE dollar started the week on a strong footing due to the better-than-expected labour market data which tapered expectations for a 50bps rate cut in July’s FOMC meeting. However, the dollar’s strength was short-lived after both the minutes of the FOMC meeting and the Fed Powell’s congressional testimony took an outright dovish turn, reigniting expectations of a 50bps cut in July. During his testimony, Powell signalled his willingness to cut interest rates by the end of the month, citing “uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the US economic outlook”, and there’s “a risk that weak inflation will be even more persistent than we currently anticipate”. Nevertheless, the dollar remained muted despite core inflation data posting a strong reading of 0.3% month-on-month (m-o-m) in June, the largest increase since January 2018 compared with 0.1% m-o-m in May, and beating market expectations of 0.1% as the market continued to bet on July’s rate cut. By the end of the week, the dollar depreciated by 0.24% to 97.05. In the commodity space, Brent crude oil rose 3.6% to US$66.52/bbl partly after the EIA crude oil stockpiles announced a drastic drop of 9.5 million barrels for the week ending July 5 from a smaller supply cut of 1.09 million barrels in the week prior, and as major producers evacuated their rigs in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of an expected storm. On another note, Opec forecast a slower global oil demand in 2020 to 29.27 million bpd, down 1.34 million bpd this year. As Opec crude rivals pump more, this will point to the commodity surplus albeit the full-blown progress by the cartel to restrain supplies.The euro appreciated by 0.26% to 1.125 largely underpinned by a weaker dollar. However, the broad sentiment in the euro remains weak following a slew of negative news that include: (1) the European Commission trimming the eurozone growth forecast for 2020 to 1.4% from 1.5% previously while maintaining 2019’s growth at 1.2%, citing uncertainty over the US trade policy as it poses a major risk to the bloc; and (2) Deutsche Bank’s announcement on cutting 18,000 jobs as part of a radical reorganisation. The pound managed to recover losses, closing at 1.252, the same as in the week prior. It was seen under pressure earlier this week due to rising fears over the strength of the British economy as a no-deal Brexit looms. However, the pound recovered towards the end of the week largely supported by a weaker dollar, added with the release of BoE’s Financial Stability Report which suggests that UK banks hold enough capital to cope with the simultaneous risks of a no-deal Brexit and a global trade war. The Japanese yen closed marginally weaker by 0.03% to 108.5 owing to lack of demand for safe haven assets. The yen was also partly weighed down by weaker economic release which includes: (1) May machinery orders recording a decline of 3.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) from a gain of 2.5% y-o-y in April; (2) May wage growth continuing to post a negative growth of 0.2% y-o-y from -0.3% y-o-y in April; and (3) June machine tools order contracting by 38.0% y-o-y compared with -27.3% y-o-y in May. The majority of Asian ex-Japan currencies strengthened against the dollar save for the Philippines peso, Indian rupee and South Korean won. The Indian rupee weakened marginally by 0.03% to 68.4 underpinned by sustained foreign selling in the equity market, recording an outflow of US$310mil for the week. In contrast, the Singapore dollar appreciated by 0.18% to 1.357 amid 2Q2019 GDP estimate slowing down significantly to 0.1% y-o-y from 1.1% y-o-y in 1Q2019. The Malaysian ringgit came in as the best performer among its Asian ex-Japan peers, closing higher by 0.49% at 4.115 after the dollar’s strength tapered amid Bank Negara keeping its benchmark interest rates unchanged at 3.00%, in line with expectations. The FBM KLCI fell 0.2% to 1,677 but it still recorded a net foreign inflow of RM214mil during the week. US Treasuries (UST) Market The UST curve bear steepened with the long end part of the curve rising 9–13bps after both the labour market and inflation data came in better than expected. While the headline inflation rose at the same pace as May’s by 0.1% m-o-m, the core inflation accelerated by 0.3% m-o-m in June: the largest increase since January 2018 following four straight monthly gains of 0.1%. Though both data tempered market expectations for a rate cut in July, the release of FOMC minutes and Powell’s congressional testimony which took an outright dovish turn managed to keep July rate cut expectations alive. As at Friday noon, the 2-, 5-, 10-, and 30-year benchmark UST yields stood at 1.85%, 1.88%, 2.12%, and 2.64%, respectively.Malaysian Bond MarketThe local bond market started the week with some profit-taking activities as expectations of the Fed delivering a large rate cut dwindled ahead of Powell’s testimony. However, the local bond yields rallied with investors beginning to reload their portfolios after Powell kept the rate cut expectations in July alive. The focus of the week was Bank Negara’s MPC meeting. As widely expected, it held the OPR rate unchanged at 3.00%. Although the overall tone was less dovish, the central bank is still cautious on growth. Meanwhile, this week saw the 7Y GII auction; in which the RM3.5bil issuance, including private placement, gained a strong BTC of 2.874x. As of Friday noon, the 3-, 5-, 7-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year benchmark MGS yields settled at 3.29%, 3.43%, 3.55%, 3.62%, 3.80%, 4.00% and 4.29%, respectively.The Markit iBoxx ABF Malaysia Bond Index, an index comprising the MGS, GII and GG, returned 0.12% in the week from July 5-11 as the index yield fell from 3.57% to 3.56%. In the same period, the ABF Malaysia Bond Index Fund , an ETF which tracks the index, returned 0.093% as the fund yield was unchanged at 3.62%. Month-to dae, the fund returned 0.406% versus the index’s return of 0.432%.Flows for local govvies dropped 40% to RM13.8bil from last week’s RM23.0bil. Activities in the MGS shrank 31% w/w to RM9.4bil from RM13.4bil, accumulating 68% from the total volume traded. Meanwhile, interests in the GII contracted 55% to RM4.1bil from RM9.1bil, contributing 30% of the week’s flows. These were followed by the PDS’ performance that saw bearish flows, falling 3% to RM3.3bil from last week’s RM3.4bil with the GG/AAA segment occupying 64%; AA 32% and others 4%.Flows were focused on the GG/AAA segment that saw DanaInfra Nasional Bhd’s 2024–2049 tranches topping the list with RM695mil traded between 3.500% and 4.371%. Next were Lembaga Pembiayaan Perumahan Sektor Awam (LPPSA) 2024–2036 papers which gathered RM305mil with yields closing 3.516%–3.028%. Meanwhile in the AA segment, Sunway Treasury Sukuk Sdn Bhd 2022 issuances accumulated RM340mil over the week, changing hands between 4.151% and 4.153%. Besides, WCT Holdings Bhd 2020–2026 tranches traded at 4.386%–5.301% amounting to RM108.9mil.MYR Interest Rate Swap (IRS) Market The IRS curve flattened this week with the front end rising 0.5bps while the belly to back fell 1.5–2.0bps. Besides, the five-year IRS was seen crossing below the three-month Klibor’s 3.46% by 0.1bps. Elsewhere, the 5-year CDS rose 1.5% to 51.13bps.For enquiries, please contact:ambank-fx-research@ambankgroup.com or bond-research@ambankgroup.comlast_img read more