September 10, 2019

Pokemon Go adds more AR photo options

first_img Share your voice My Lugia checks out the bandstand at London’s Arnold Square. Sean Keane/CNET Niantic added a more robust photo mode to Pokemon Go that’ll let you feel like you’re playing a sequel to Pokemon Snap. (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York should be pleased.)The Go Snapshot feature, which was added to the Android version last week and the iOS one over the weekend, lets you take photos of Pokemon you’ve already caught, using the mobile game’s AR+ mode. img-4095Raichu wanders in CNET’s London office. Sean Keane/CNET “Select a Pokemon and tap on the screen to throw its Poke Ball to that spot. Once your Pokemon is situated in the ideal spot, you can then move around it to find the best angle for your photo,” Niantic said in a statement Feb. 12.”Is your Pokemon distracted or looking the wrong way? Brush across it to get its attention, and it will be sure to face you.”So you can basically get the Pokemon you’ve caught to do your bidding beyond battling, by having them pose for photos. The shots you take will be automatically saved to your device.”We’ve been inspired by the incredible photos Trainers have taken in AR+ mode and exploring new ways to further bridge the digital and physical worlds through Niantic’s enhanced AR technologies” Ryuta Hiroi, Niantic’s product manager, said in the statement. The augmented reality game was released in July 2016 and has been adding features ever since. It grossed more than $68 million in January, according to Sensor Tower. In September, it hit $2 billion in in-app purchases. Niantic on Tuesday is also adding the ability to switch teams. You’ll be able to purchase a Team Medallion from the in-game store for 1,000 Pokecoins to change between Team Instinct (yellow), Team Mystic (blue) or Team Valor (red, clearly the best).First published Feb. 12 at 10:04 a.m. PT.Update Feb. 25 at 7:22 a.m. PT: Reflects that the feature’s been added and highlights the team-switching features.CNET en Español: Get all your tech news and reviews in Spanish.Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports. Tags Video Games Phones Post a comment 0 Pokemon Go Nintendolast_img read more

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September 10, 2019

In a Texas border town a church on the edge and wildlife

first_img Aug 6 • President Trump wants social media to catch shooters before they strike. It’s going to be hard He and his family are already battling the federal government in court over their land. But their prospects of winning the case don’t look good.Anzaldua says he’s also opposed to the wall because he sees this region of South Texas and Northern Mexico as one community, as have the generations of his family who came before him. He doesn’t like the idea of dividing it with a barrier.”We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us,” Anzaldua says. “I’m not giving up to the last minute, until it’s all done. Then we’ll have to work to tear it down.”The river’s endThe Rio Grande is the fourth longest river in the US. It originates in the Colorado Rockies, then bends and winds its way through New Mexico and along the edge of Texas to eventually empty into the Gulf of Mexico, 1,896 miles later. After traveling hundreds of miles along this river, I had to see its end.I drive my rental car toward the gulf, past cabbage, melon and grapefruit farms, to the dunes and salt flats of Boca Chica State Park. When the road ends at a long, desolate beach, I park and walk. It’s about three miles to the mouth of the river. A cool, thick fog hangs over the ocean as small waves tumble onto the shore.borderlands-8797Where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Dara Kerr/CNET Behind me, a lifted black Ford pickup comes driving down the beach. I still have a ways to go, so I give a wave and ask for a ride. It’s a couple from Missouri wintering in Texas. A pop country station plays over the radio. Like me, they want to see where the river disappears into the sea. We slowly crawl down the beach until we make it to the mouth of the Rio Grande.The land out here is open and rugged. It’s only about 30 feet across to Mexico. The US side is empty, but on the Mexican side, a handful of fishermen in fluorescent green waders stand shin deep, casting their nets. Herons, gulls and pelicans look on.As I’m taking it in, I’m reminded of a plaque I saw at the Butterfly Center engraved with a quote from the writer Wallace Stegner:”Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed. … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”A small, black SUV pulls up to the water’s edge across the river in Mexico. A family of four gets out to take in the view, just the same as us. The dad looks over at me, standing here on the US side. He smiles and waves.Tall Order: Building the Border Wall is our Texas border series exploring what a wall and tech alternatives might mean to the people, communities and law enforcement agencies living in its shadow. Read the first story here: Trump wants a border wall. Texas may want a smarter alternative, and the second story here: At Texas border, tech can’t keep pace with immigrant influx. Tags 2:09 Tall order: Building the border wall Jul 28 • Apple’s Q3 earnings are all about the iPhone 11 hints Along with historic sites and wildlife refuges, the Trump administration is also looking to build the wall across residents’ private property. Throughout Texas, more than 1,000 landowners are going to be potentially impacted by property seizures, says Rep. Will Hurd, a Republican whose district covers more than 800 miles of the Texas-Mexico border and who opposes a wall along the entire southern boundary.In the Rio Grande Valley, the government has been sending letters to dozens of property owners over the past few months asking to survey their land for the wall. If the landowners refuse, these matters typically end up in court with the government making a case to seize the property under eminent domain. The Butterfly Center and La Lomita had cases against the federal government over the use of their land, and both cases have been dismissed. The Butterfly Center appealed that decision.”The messiness of all these takings has become a real burden for people,” says Peter McGraw, a lawyer with the nonprofit legal assistance firm Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.Mission area resident Reynaldo Anzaldua (left) and the mayor of Mission, Armando O'Caña.Mission area resident Reynaldo Anzaldua (left) and the mayor of Mission, Armando O’Caña. Dara Kerr/CNET Reynaldo Anzaldua’s family has lived in the Mission area since before the US was even a country. He’s a descendent of the Spaniards who settled on both sides of the river in the 1750s. His extended family owns plots of land throughout the region and even has a land grant dating back to 1767. Now the government aims to build the wall through about 70 acres of his family’s property.Anzaldua, who’s soft-spoken with thin, gray hair and wire-rimmed glasses, is a retired customs officer and Vietnam War vet. He says he’s opposed to Trump’s wall because he doesn’t think it’s needed or will work.”One thing I do know about is smuggling. They need to look at the root causes of things,” Anzaldua says. “This is about demand for drugs and demand for illegal immigrant labor. If you reduce demand, you reduce violence in Mexico, you reduce problems here.” The messiness of all these takings has become a real burden for people. Peter McGraw, lawyer for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid reading • In a Texas border town, a church on the edge and wildlife at risk Trump wants a border wall. Texas may want a smarter alternative At Texas border, tech can’t keep pace with immigrant influx Politics Security Clear-cutting isn’t the only side effect the wall will have on South Texas’ wildlife, Sánchez-Navarro says. It’ll also cut off access to water and migratory routes for animals. And the 36-foot-tall barrier will exacerbate wind flow, light pollution and trash and debris buildup.Flooding may be a serious issue too. South Texas is prone to what locals call “rain events,” when a sudden storm pours down massive amounts of water. When this happens, the Rio Grande tends to flood very quickly.”With the wall there, animals would get trapped and drown,” Sánchez-Navarro says. “They don’t have a way to escape.”story-003-nature4Enlarge ImageThis map shows where the border wall will be built in the Mission, Texas, area of the Rio Grande Valley. Amy Kim/CNET Customs and Border Protection says it’s waived various environmental laws to build the wall, including the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. But it also says it’s working with federal, state and nongovernmental organizations to identify the potential impact on wildlife.”To the greatest extent practicable, CBP will incorporate design considerations to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any potential impacts that are found,” the agency says.A couple miles west of the Butterfly Center, Customs and Border Protection’s excavators have already uprooted brush and cleared about eight acres in a tract of land called La Parida Banco, which is in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. This is the first location in Hidalgo County to get Trump’s new border wall.”It is happening next door to us, but not to us,” Wright says. But if Trump’s agenda continues, she says, “they will eventually build the wall through us.”‘We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us’After mass, Father Snipes offers to take me on a boat tour down the Rio Grande on his 50-year-old Kenner ski barge. He puts on his cowboy hat and Texas A&M jacket, towels the morning dew off the boat’s seats and gets the old barge’s motor going.”And we’re off like a band of turtles,” he jokes.The river is wide and calm here, flanked by palms and swamp grass. As Snipes steers the boat downstream, he points to Mexico with its riverside houses and a tidy park full of picnic tables. On the US side, Border Patrol surveillance towers watch over the water. An aerostat hovers in the distance.20190215-084456Father Roy Snipes steers his Kenner ski barge down the Rio Grande. Dara Kerr/CNET “It’s hard to see any signs of a crisis,” Snipes says, as he scans the empty river. “The crisis is demonizing and despising your neighbors.”Snipes took his final vows as a priest at La Lomita in 1980 and he’s been here ever since. He’s had hundreds of parishioners from both sides of the river, including Border Patrol agents and Mexicans who entered the US without papers. The church sits just below the levee, which means it’s inside the 150-foot enforcement zone. Snipes says he hasn’t heard talk of demolishing La Lomita, but being in a deforested area next to a 36-foot-tall concrete and steel wall will change the church.”It’s such a serene and peaceful place to pray, and if you have a militarized zone right there, it would desecrate the atmosphere,” he says. “Couldn’t we find something better than a 15th century wall?” The crisis is demonizing and despising your neighbors.  Father Roy Snipes, parish priest for La Lomita Border wall dividing homes and habitat • Now playing: Watch this: Aug 6 • Trump says he’s watching Google ‘very closely,’ slams CEO Sundar Pichai Adobe Donald Trump More than 100 pilgrims quietly make their way into La Lomita Chapel and slide onto the wooden pews of the 120-year-old Catholic church. As one man sits down, he hangs his cowboy hat on a post near the pulpit. The one-room adobe chapel is lit only by a table of flickering votive candles. It’s a cool February morning in Mission, Texas, and the sun has yet to rise.”We pray for ourselves,” Father Roy Snipes says with a Texan lilt, holding a flashlight as he reads his sermon. “But we also pray for our oppressors.” Enlarge ImageThis is the third story in our Texas border trilogy, Tall Order: Building the Border Wall. Click here for the first story and click here for the second story. Amy Kim/CNET Snipes, who’s tall with a slight stoop and combed white hair parted on the side, has served at La Lomita Chapel for nearly 40 years. As he continues his sermon, he turns to a topic his parishioners are familiar with: the border wall.La Lomita sits directly in the path of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall. The tiny white church is situated in a grassy park less than a block from the dark green Rio Grande — the international boundary between Texas and Mexico. That has turned this historic landmark into a symbol of what might be lost once the wall is built. And it’s turned Snipes, who’s locally known as the “cowboy priest” and has been described as “Mr. Rogers with a Stetson,” into an unlikely symbol of protest against the physical barrier the Trump administration just started building in Texas last month.”In the long run, it’s going to be a real sad chapter in our history, that wall,” Snipes says. “It’s a shame they couldn’t think of something better than that with all of the tech we have.” It’s going to be a real sad chapter in our history, that wall. Father Roy Snipes, parish priest for La Lomita The US Border Patrol has blanketed the nearly 2,000-mile-long US-Mexico border with technology, most of it geared toward surveillance. The agency relies on a network of sensors, cameras and drones equipped with lidar and radar to spot people, boats and vehicles crossing the border into California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Watchdog groups warn that this mass surveillance could have serious privacy implications. But a wall, say the dozens of Texans living along the border who granted me interviews, may be even worse.If all goes according to Trump’s plans, roughly 550 miles of wall will be built along the US-Mexico border as soon as possible. Most of that new construction is expected to happen in Texas. Unlike California, Arizona and New Mexico, which already have about 60% of fencing or walls at their borders, Texas only has around 20% because of its natural barrier with Mexico — the Rio Grande. Aug 7 • Trump’s emissions and fuel economy rollbacks will cost Americans money, study says Neema Singh Guliani, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, says, “A lot of us would have objections to surveillance infrastructure in our communities that could track everywhere we went, every time we went to a doctor’s office or a place of worship.”Still, many people who live in South Texas say all that surveillance is better than a physical barrier.”You don’t have to build the wall; you could increase border security, you could increase technology,” says Susan Keefer, an avid birder and part-time resident of Mission. “In some places a wall might be best, but it sure isn’t right here.”Trapped between the river and the wallThe National Butterfly Center sits on 100 acres of riverside property that’s thick with vegetation. Within that tangle of bushes and trees, it’s teeming with wildlife. Kids on a field trip are learning about local butterflies, like the zebra heliconian and southern dogface. And birders walk the grounds, stopping to fix their binoculars on a small gray screech owl sleeping in a tree and a flock of bright green jays that jump branch to branch.The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most biodiverse habitats on the continent. It’s home to 1,200 plant species, 300 butterfly species and 520 bird species, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. And at least 18 threatened or endangered animal species live here.”We’re at the crossroads of the subtropical and tropical Americas,” says Marianna T. Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center. “If you’re doing a Venn diagram, the Rio Grande Valley is that sweet spot in the middle.”Animals of the Rio Grande Valley, including a zebra longwing butterfly, an Altamira oriole, an ocelot cub and a javelina.The Rio Grande Valley is home to hundreds of species of birds, butterflies and animals. Clockwise from the top left: zebra longwing butterfly, Altamira oriole, ocelot cub, javelina.  The United States Fish and Wildlife Service Down the road from the Butterfly Center in a flat, dusty lot enclosed by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire, a completely different scene started taking place on April 16. Flatbed 18-wheelers began hauling in truckloads of massive steel bollard panels. Bright orange tractors unloaded the oversized metal planks, placing them in several 10-foot-high stacks across the lot. These are the panels for the border wall.”We’re getting a 36-foot-tall barrier that no terrestrial wildlife will be able to cross,” Wright says. “That means trapped between the river and a wall, there will be increased competition for resources, for mating territory, for food, for shelter, for breeding.”So far, the majority of construction on Trump’s wall has been replacement of existing barriers. That’s about to change.Along with more funding for border technology, Congress’ spending measure authorized $1.375 billion for 55 miles of steel fencing in the Rio Grande Valley. The measure also said, however, the wall couldn’t be built in four protected areas: the National Butterfly Center, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and La Lomita Chapel. But the day after Trump signed the measure, he announced a national emergency at the southern border, arguing that the US is struggling with an “invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country that we stop, but it’s very hard to stop. With a wall, it would be very easy.”img-2441Marianna T. Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center, stands with football players Demario Davis and Josh Norman in front of a stack of steel bollard panels that’ll be used to build the border wall. The National Butterfly Center That move lets him tap into more than $6 billion in additional funds, diverted from other government reserves. It also lets him waive environmental assessments and override the no-wall provision for those four protected areas.While Trump is facing several lawsuits and a congressional challenge to the national emergency, his order stands and construction on the wall moves forward.Along with the 55 miles of wall authorized by Congress in February, an additional 33 miles of steel barriers in the Rio Grande Valley were funded by Congress in March 2018. Of this, 25 miles of nearly continuous wall are slated for Hidalgo County, where the Butterfly Center and La Lomita are located, according to a July 2018 letter that Customs and Border Protection sent to a nongovernmental organization and that was seen by CNET. Customs and Border Protection didn’t respond to a request for comment on the contents of the letter.The wall in Hidalgo County will be 36 feet tall — nearly as high as a four-story building. It’ll start at the foot of the levee with an 18-foot base of reinforced concrete and be topped with 18 feet of steel bollards, according to the letter. Detection and surveillance tech will be incorporated into the wall, along with floodlights. All trees and brush will be excavated 150 feet south of the wall toward the river to clear an area called the “enforcement zone.” If you’re doing a Venn diagram, the Rio Grande Valley is that sweet spot in the middle. Marianna T. Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center See All I set out to travel the length of the Texas-Mexico border, about 1,200 miles, starting in El Paso and ending here at the southern tip of the state in the Rio Grande Valley. While much of the border is remote and desolate, South Texas is different. It’s peppered with numerous towns whose inhabitants live on both sides of the river. It’s also one of North America’s top biodiversity hotspots for birds, insects and animals, such as the endangered ocelot and Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.Building a wall in the middle of such a wildlife corridor will harm the hundreds of different species that live here, say scientists and conservationists across Texas. It also puts at risk the future of La Lomita.Father Roy Snipes, the parish priest at La Lomita chapel, holds a dawn mass in Mission, Texas. Father Roy Snipes, the parish priest at La Lomita chapel, holds a dawn mass in Mission, Texas.   Dara Kerr/CNET As Snipes finishes mass at the chapel, birds chirp awake and a hawk hovers in the nearby field. Through the church’s windows, the sky over the levee is cast in red, peach and bright turquoise. In the other direction, a low fog lifts off the river. Overhead, a Border Patrol helicopter buzzes.”They think they’re going to build a wall and it’ll solve all of our problems,” Snipes says. “I think it’s going to cause more problems than it’s going to solve.”Surveillance stateThe Rio Grande Valley isn’t actually a valley, it’s a river delta. It’s flat, dry and hot. Along Highway 83, one-stoplight towns sell tacos and barbecue brisket out of roadside trailers, and broken-down gas stations are a mainstay. Through the dense and thorny brushland filled with sweet acacia, Texas ebony and mesquite trees, the Rio Grande drifts in and out of sight.Every few dozen miles, a white blimp floats 5,000 feet in the sky. Called aerostats, or tethered aerostat radar systems, these apparatuses look like a cartoon version of an airplane, with a softly rounded nose and curved puffy tail wings. They’re one of the surveillance tools US Customs and Border Protection uses to monitor the border.An aerostat used by US Customs and Border Protection along the Texas-Mexico border.An aerostat, used for border surveillance, gets lowered to the ground in rainy weather. Dara Kerr/CNET Each balloon is attached to the ground by a nylon cable that can be extended and reeled in. When in the air, the unmanned aerostats monitor the terrain below. Using radar, along with infrared and electro-optical cameras, they can “see” approximately 20 miles and pick up the movement of people and vehicles, according to Customs and Border Protection.The Border Patrol has six tactical aerostats in the Rio Grande Valley. Each blimp’s radar and camera feeds are monitored 24 hours a day by government contractors and a Border Patrol agent, according to Jose A. Martinez, assistant chief patrol agent.”It has greatly assisted us,” Martinez says. But, he adds, “The aerostat has its limitations because it’s only operational 60% to 70% of the time due to weather and maintenance.”Aerostats are just one of the Border Patrol’s surveillance tools. To detect potential illegal immigration and drug trafficking, the federal agency uses everything from surveillance towers equipped with high-powered cameras to military grade drones to a complex system of sensors, including seismic, magnetic, acoustic, infrared, radar, microwave and photoelectric. The Border Patrol is also testing innovations such as machine-learning AI software and facial recognition tech.The federal government is pouring money into border technology. A congressional spending measure, passed Feb. 14 and signed by Trump, awarded $100 million in technology funding to the Border Patrol, with an additional $112 million for aircraft and sensor systems.US Border Patrol boat in the Rio GrandeBorder Patrol agents keep watch on the Rio Grande in Mission, Texas. Dara Kerr/CNET But some people aren’t happy with the indiscriminate surveillance. A group of 28 tech and human rights organizations, led by digital rights group Fight for the Future, has been pushing Congress to stop funding border surveillance tech.”It’s sickening to see both Republicans and Democrats add significant funding for invasive surveillance technologies to trample on millions of people’s basic rights at a mass scale,” Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement after Congress passed its spending measure in February. “The US government’s mass surveillance programs are already out of control.”Civil liberties groups and some think tanks are also opposed to added border surveillance. Libertarian think tank Cato Institute says the tech “intrudes on law-abiding Americans’ privacy” and it’d “be naive to believe that Border Patrol surveillance equipment won’t be turned on Americans going about their days.” You don’t have to build the wall, you could increase border security, you could increase technology. Susan Keefer, part-time resident of Mission, Texas Environmentalists say this could deal a devastating blow to South Texas’ already compromised ecosystem. Agriculture and urban growth have destroyed almost all of the Rio Grande Valley’s native brushland, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Less than 5% of this habitat remains — and what’s left is mostly along the banks of the Rio Grande. This is where birds nest, butterflies lay their eggs, and animals hunt and burrow.”This tiny strip of wildlife along the river is now in jeopardy because of the border wall,” says Paul Sánchez-Navarro, senior representative for advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife. “We’re talking over 50,000 acres of deforestation.” US Tech Policy US Tech Policylast_img read more

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September 3, 2019 Newly released letters shine light on McCarrick allegations

Newly released letters shine light on McCarrick allegations

first_img Catholicism Hospital chaplains stick to the heart of the job amid health care industry changes Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Jack Jenkins Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News • Photos of the Week Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Share This! News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — A series of leaked emails has revived a long-simmering scandal involving defrocked Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, providing new evidence that the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., was disciplined after allegations of sexual misconduct but was nevertheless allowed to travel and work under both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.The emails appear to confirm some of the claims made last year by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former Vatican diplomat to the U.S., but do not appear to corroborate allegations that Pope Francis was aware of the restrictions placed on McCarrick after he was accused of sleeping with seminarians.Last year, the pontiff took away McCarrick’s rank of cardinal and banned him from ministry in the wake of a separate allegation that McCarrick abused a minor decades before.This 1974 photo provided by a man who agreed to be identified only by his first name, James, shows him in California with Theodore McCarrick, a Roman Catholic priest who eventually became a cardinal. James says he was sexually abused for about two decades by McCarrick, who was removed from public ministry in June 2018 over separate child abuse allegations. (Family photo via AP)In one August 2008 message to Italian Archbishop Pietro Sambi, then the pope’s representative in the U.S., McCarrick said he was “ready to accept the Holy Father’s will in my regard.” He was referring a request from Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re that McCarrick cancel his speaking engagements and move to a monastery. He contested the latter, suggesting that his sudden departure would cause “publicity,” which he said was “precisely what Cardinal Re is hoping to avoid.”The documents are the latest salvo in what at least one expert described as an internal “fight” over what happened in Washington, with a bevy of leaks, letters and reports painting an increasingly convoluted picture of who knew what, and when. It also puts additional pressure on Pope Francis, whose papacy has come under fire after the resurgence of the Catholic sex abuse scandal over the past year and a half.According to news first reported Tuesday (May 28) by the website Crux and by CBS News, Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo, a priest in Newark, N.J., who previously served as McCarrick’s secretary, revealed the letters and emails he said McCarrick wrote from 2008-2017. McCarrick served as Washington’s archbishop from 2001-2006.The correspondence provided by Figueiredo, who also served as McCarrick’s “go-between” and aide during trips to Rome for years, includes McCarrick fervently denying some of the allegations against him.“I have never had sexual relations with anyone,” McCarrick allegedly wrote in one letter to a senior Vatican official. McCarrick did, however, acknowledge that he shared his bed with seminarians, an act he called “an unfortunate lack of judgment.”“As the problems of sexual abuse began to surface, I realized this was imprudent and stupid and it stopped,” he wrote.Other 2008 emails from McCarrick to Figueiredo — which Crux reportedly confirmed originated from McCarrick’s account — include him describing how Re told the archbishop to resign from all positions in Rome or with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and barred him from making any public appearances without permission.In this Sept. 23, 2015, file photo, Pope Francis reaches out to hug former Cardinal Archbishop emeritus Theodore McCarrick at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via AP)But the documents suggest McCarrick began to defy prohibitions as time wore on, traveling to Rome (something he was also initially told not to do) on numerous occasions as well as countries around the world — particularly after the election of Pope Francis in 2013, when McCarrick traveled on behalf of the church.Francis has repeatedly denied that he knew anything about the Washington cleric’s situation before spring 2018, saying as much in a new interview published the same day as the documents.“I said it many times, I knew nothing, no idea,” Francis told Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki.Massimo Faggioli, historian and theologian at Villanova University, said the documents do not indicate that Pope Francis was aware of the restrictions reportedly placed on McCarrick by Benedict.Faggioli said Francis’ willingness to make bold public statements regarding the scandal stands in stark contrast to other Vatican officials involved. He pointed out that Pope Benedict published a lengthy letter last month addressing the uptick in the sex abuse crisis but has not as of yet spoken out about the McCarrick incident.Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, left, chats with his predecessor, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, before an ordination Mass at Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in 2007. RNS photo by Jay PremackThe letters appear to suggest that Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who replaced McCarrick as archbishop of Washington, was involved in implementing restrictions against McCarrick, despite initially denying to the media that he knew about the abuse charges at all. (Wuerl later backtracked, calling it a “lapse in memory.”)“What’s clear is that they are still fighting over Washington, D.C.,” Faggioli said. “The appointment of Wilton Gregory (who became archbishop of Washington earlier this month) has not put to rest the issue, because it seems to me they are still going after Cardinal Wuerl.”Meanwhile, the Vatican continues to conduct its own investigation into the matter. But Faggioli suggested that any final report from the church is unlikely to be comprehensive and that the real power to investigate likely lies with American journalists.“I would not expect the equivalent of the Mueller report on the McCarrick case,” he said. Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,Citing inclusion of LGBT clerics, Anglican bishops in Africa to shun Lambeth Conferenc … By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkinscenter_img By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Share This! Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This! TagsCarlo Maria Viganò clergy sexual abuse homepage featured Pope Benedict Pope Francis Theodore McCarrick Top Story Vigano,You may also like Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Jack Jenkins jackmjenkinslast_img read more

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August 31, 2019 Could fast radio bursts be produced by collisions between neutron stars and

Could fast radio bursts be produced by collisions between neutron stars and

first_img(Phys.org)—Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are short bursts of radio emissions from the sky lasting only few milliseconds. However, their origin is still unknown, perplexing astronomers for years since the discovery of the first FRB in 2007. According to various studies, these peculiar radio bursts could be a product of a supernova, two black holes colliding, a spinning neutron star, or they could be related to hyperflares of magnetars. Now, astronomers from the Nanjing University in China are offering another explanation for this puzzling question, asking if collisions of asteroids with neutron stars are producing FRBs. Artist impression of a fast radio burst reaching Earth. Photo credit: Jingchuan Yu, Beijing Planetarium Explore further Detected radio bursts evidence of ‘exotic phenomena’ © 2015 Phys.org More information: Collision between Neutron Stars and Asteroids as a Mechanism for Fast Radio Bursts, arXiv:1512.06519 [astro-ph.HE] arxiv.org/abs/1512.06519AbstractAs a new kind of radio transient sources detected at ∼1.4 GHz, fast radio bursts are specially characterized by their short durations and high intensities. Although only ten events are detected so far, fast radio bursts may actually frequently happen at a rate of ∼103 —- 104 sky−1 day−1. We suggest that fast radio bursts can be produced by the collisions between neutron stars and asteroids. This model can naturally explain the millisecond duration of fast radio bursts. The energetics and event rate can also be safely accounted for. Fast radio bursts thus may be one side of the multifaces of the neutron star-small body collision events, which are previously expected to lead to X-ray/gamma-ray bursts or glitch/anti-glitches. A paper, detailing the latest finding, co-authored by Yong Feng Huang and Jin-Jun Geng, was published online in the arXiv journal on Dec. 21.The authors of the paper, using the data from about ten FRBs, obtained key parameters that could help solve the mystery of these radio bursts. FRBs were generally discovered through single-pulse search methods by using archive data of wide-field pulsar surveys at the multi-beam 64-meter Parkes radio telescope in Australia and the 305-meter Arecibo telescope, located in Puerto Rico.FRBs are usually detected by large radio telescopes at 1.4 GHz. These events are of extremely short duration, typically lasting for less than a few milliseconds, but are detected with high intensity. The researchers noted that there are four main stages of detecting fast radio bursts.”First, the radio telescopes are uniformly pointing toward the sky at the time of the detections. Second, for the multi-beam receiver system, usually the signal was recorded only in very few beams, typically less than four, especially by adjacent beams. Third, FRBs are characterized by large dispersion measure (DM) values, significantly larger than terrestrial sources of interference. Fourth, the observed behaviors of time delay and frequency evolution of FRBs strongly indicate that cold-plasma dispersion should have been engraved in the radio signal,” the scientists wrote in the paper.The astronomers noted also that FRBs cannot be quickly followed up to catch the counterparts in other wavelengths, as they are generally screened out from archive data, as was done by Huang and Geng in their latest research. Thus, the absence of counterparts poses great difficulties in understanding the true nature of FRBs.The authors of the paper insist that the explanations offered by previous studies are unsatisfactory when it comes to the origin of these radio bursts. They imply that a very strong electromagnetic outburst or multi-band afterglow would be triggered and should be observed tin association with the FRB event. However, non of these phenomena have been observed.The new hypothesis, presented in the study, can account for many of the observational characteristics of FRBs, such as the duration, the energetics and the event rate. They suggest that the collision between asteroids and neutron stars can reasonably explain many of the observed features.Scientists have expected that the collision of small bodies with neutron stars can give birth to some kinds of X-ray bursts or some special gamma-ray bursts. The new research accounts for the possibility that these collisions are behind fast radio bursts.”Our model can naturally explain the millisecond duration of FRBs. It can also well account for various other aspects of FRBs,” the scientists wrote.They hope that the future Chinese 500-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), which is expected to be ready for observations in late 2016, can contribute to the study of the multidimensionality of such collisions and will reveal new insights into the nature of FRBs. 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. Citation: Could fast radio bursts be produced by collisions between neutron stars and asteroids? (2015, December 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-fast-radio-collisions-neutron-stars.htmllast_img read more

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