A small tropical reef fish was able to recognize itself in a mirror, scientists said on Feb. 7 in a finding that raises provocative questions about assessing self-awareness and cognitive abilities in animals. The study involved experiments in which the fish species Labroides dimidiatus, called the bluestreak cleaner wrasse, was given a mirror self-recognition test, a technique developed in 1970 for gauging animal self-awareness. When a transparent, rather than brown, mark was applied, the fish never tried to remove it. Jordan, however, questioned whether the test represents a reliable measure of animal cognitive abilities. “I don’t claim that fish lack self-awareness, but rather that the minimal required explanation for the behaviors we observe in the mirror test does not require invocation of self-awareness, self-consciousness, or theory of mind,” Jordan said.
February 16, 2019 16:02 UTC
However, smaller firms across several industries are not racing to diversify just yet. “If I have kinnars [transgender women] and [gay] men walking around, I will lose all my customers. They are not ready for such things,” Bhoshne said, adding that his restaurant is most frequented by truckers, farm workers and local villagers. If there is an effeminate boy, he’s in big trouble, and they won’t employ trans [people] for heaven’s sake,” Kavi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. India is home to nearly 56 million LGBT+ adults, according to Paris-based Out Now Consulting, a marketing company that helps businesses target gay clients.
AFP, SAN FRANCISCOSamsung Electronics Co on Friday announced that it plans to open three US retail stores to promote its Galaxy line of smartphones as the South Korean giant sets to launch an updated flagship handset. It made the move after feedback from customers, Samsung said in a statement. Samsung is on Wednesday holding a product launch in San Francisco amid speculation it might launch a folding smartphone, which would make it the first of the major handset makers in the segment. Samsung has previously opened pop-up stores in the US and has a center showcasing its technology in New York City. “Our new Samsung Experience Stores are spaces to experience and see Samsung technology brought to life, to empower people to do what they never thought was possible before,” Samsung Electronics America president Y.H.
AP, MUNICHThe response by the US to China detaining two Canadians in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese Huawei Technologies Co (華為) executive has not been strong enough, US Senator Lindsey Graham said on Friday. It was just grabbing two Canadians,” Graham said. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, who appeared on the panel with Graham, mouthed the words “thank you” to Graham after he said it. Some analysts have said the US response to China’s arrests of the two Canadians has been muted. Trump has not commented on the Canadians, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has, saying that China ought to release them.
Everything from the cactus — once considered sacred by the ancient Aztecs — can be transformed to yield nutritional and medical benefits, except for its prickly spines. A 2017 study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) concluded that prickly pears could be the answer to much of the world’s food security woes and prevent soil erosion. In Sidi Fredj, once an impoverished town in the Souk Haras Province bordering Tunisia, Gueldsami, like his father and grandfather before him, farms prickly pears. Although Algeria — where most of the fertile land is free of pesticides — has no organic certification body, oil from Sidi Fredj obtained an “organic” label from European agencies and is sold as such abroad. In Sidi Fredj, the Gueldsami family and others have seen their revenues increase thanks to farming and selling of the prickly pears.
The institute, which is affiliated with the Ministry of National Defense, said that it would present the results of its most recent research: the Land-Based Air Defense Missile System that is paired with a command-and-control system, which it also researched and built. The institute said that it briefed the ministry on the air defense system at the 2017 Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition and has lobbied for it to place orders. The institute said that it hopes to ride a wave of interest and offers of cooperation from the previous show, as well as realize its goals of breaking into the international defense market. In addition to promoting products made by the nation’s defense industry, the institute said that it has included environmentally friendly technology as part of its display this year: a rotary kiln incinerator. The device was designed to dispose of small-caliber ammunition, particularly ordnance expended during battle, it said.
AFP, BRUSSELSThe EU’s trade surplus with the US reached a record level last year, data showed on Friday, increasing the risk that US President Donald Trump’s anger could reignite a trade war. Trump is a furious critic of Europe’s high trade surpluses, accusing the EU — and especially Germany — of unfair practices against US workers, much as he does with China. Last year, the EU trade surplus with the US reached 139.7 billion euros (US$157.81 billion), 20.1 billion more than in 2017, Eurostat said. Imports from the US also increased to a total of 266.7 billion euros, but the increase was significantly lower, which is why the EU trade surplus climbed to the fresh record. “I won’t interpret any figures ... but trade relations are much more than trade surpluses or trade deficits,” the spokesman said.
AFP, WASHINGTONResearchers this week announced they had developed an automatic text generator using artificial intelligence (AI) that is very good — so good, it is keeping the details private for now. That software developed by OpenAI could be used to generate news stories, product reviews and other kinds of writing that could be more realistic than anything developed by computer before. “Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology, we are not releasing the trained model,” OpenAI researchers said in a blog post on Thursday. The news suggested a potential breakthrough in efforts to develop computer-generated text that could be believable, but also potentially dangerous. “The public at large will need to become more skeptical of text they find online, just as the ‘deepfakes’ phenomenon calls for more skepticism about images,” the researchers wrote, referring to AI-manipulated videos, which have been on the rise.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterAbolishing military conscription while wishing for Taiwanese independence shows how politics is overriding professional decisionmaking, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. “In international politics, we still have to honestly face the problem of how to be strong enough [to assert our interests],” he said. China can choose to be relentless and bully Taiwan, but Taiwan must be wise and not overexpress certain ideologies, Ko said. Ko said he heard a US Department of Defense official ask whether Taiwan had the capability to withstand the first two days of a Chinese attack. “Taiwan has abolished military conscription and young people are not willing to join the military, so how can we withstand two days of an attack?” Ko said.
Staff Writer, with CNAA 24-year-old Taiwanese man and a 75-year-old Englishman yesterday tied the knot in a ceremony at a train station in Miaoli City. His family not only supported the union, but offered to help him prepare for the big day, Chao said. After dating for about two-and-a-half years, the two decided to get married, although yesterday’s event was purely ceremonial, because same-sex marriage has yet to be legalized in Taiwan. The couple plans to register their marriage in England, where they plan to live. Chao said that he hopes to register their union before October, when he is to begin graduate school.
By Stacy Hsu / Staff reporterThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday pledged to continue to deepen ties with like-minded nations, while expressing gratitude to a former Australian deputy defense minister who called on Australia to join the US in countering China should Beijing mount a major attack on Taiwan. Australian National University strategic studies professor Paul Dibb, who served as the Australian deputy secretary for strategy and intelligence from 1988 to 1991, made the call in a Feb. 6 article on the Strategist, the Web site of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a Canberra-based think tank. “It is in our interest to stand up for the defense of a successful democracy of 24 million people living on an island. If Taiwan is not worth defending, why would anyone come to Australia’s defense?” he said. “Taiwan will continue cooperation with like-minded nations in defending our shared values of freedom and democracy, and maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the ministry said.
By Han Cheung / Staff reporterFeb. 18 to Feb. 24Until 1985, Taiwan’s amateur (ham) radio scene consisted of one person: Tim Chen (陳實忻), who held the country’s only license due to Martial Law era restrictions. “Think about it, now there’s at least 70,000 or 80,000 people in the world who know me,” Chen said. Chen established BV2A in 1960, drawing quite a stir around the ham world. He tells Commonwealth Magazine that since enthusiasts are drawn to remote and obscure locations, they jumped at the chance to speak to the first and only operator in Taiwan. When they were denied entry into the UK, two British radio enthusiasts showed up to serve as guarantors.
Other eggs from the farm tested on Thursday were not tainted, so the council lifted its ban, Hsu said. In a worldwide scare in mid-2017, millions of fipronil-tainted eggs were found across Europe and Asia, with 45 of Taiwan’s 1,459 egg farms found to have produced tainted eggs that year, council data showed. Over the past year, the council has tested 459 egg samples and 560 chicken meat samples, but only Shun Hung Farm samples failed initial testing, Hsu said. The council plans stricter oversight of farms in Changhua County, where one-third of the nation’s egg farms are located, he added. The incident is an isolated case, and the eggs sold in markets are safe, COA Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said.
Ambroise had used one at a photocopy shop, while the other three had a sibling who owned one. In Benin, the digital divide is not just a concept, but a reality, BloLab founder Medard Agbayazon said. Among these, almost everyone (96 percent) used a mobile phone for accessing the Web, the report said. These are the conditions that spawned the idea for a mobile classroom furnished with desks, as well as fans to ward off the tropical heat. One rule of the mobile classroom is that all the software used must be free to the public.
AP, WASHINGTONUS President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency along the border with Mexico and predicted that his administration would end up defending it all the way to the US Supreme Court. The act requires a US president to notify Congress publicly of the national emergency and to report every six months. The law also says the president must renew the emergency every year, simply by notifying Congress. Beyond that, the law does not say what constitutes a national emergency or impose any other limits on the president. The broad grant of discretion to the president could make it hard to persuade courts to rule that Trump exceeded his authority in declaring a border emergency.