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Pentagon: Russia is flying close to U.S. aircraft

The U.S. Pentagon claimed that a Russian fighter jet flew within 10 feet of one of its aircraft.

The American aircraft was performing reconnaissance over the Black Sea at the time of the incident.

“[The conduct of the Russian jet was] dangerous and unprofessional, ” claimed U.S. officials on Wednesday when describing the incident involving the SU-27 jet.

An unnamed U.S. Defence official told the AFP news agency that the Russian aircraft flew within 30 feet of the American vessel before just buzzing by at 10 feet.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the U.S. plane violated international law by approaching Russian territory and the Russian jet was totally within international guidelines.

“After the Russian fighters got close to the spy planes for visual confirmation and to determine their wing numbers, the American aircraft changed course sharply and flew away,” read a statement from the Russian Defence Ministry. “The Russia pilots acted in strict accordance with international rules for flights.”

Russia also claimed that the American plane was heading for Russian territory with its transponder signal turned off so that it could not be identified.

According to U.S. Pentagon spokesperson, Captain Jeff Davis, the U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft was following routine operations in international airspace when the Russian committed its maneuver.

“These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions, and could result in a miscalculation or accident,” said Captain Davis.

The Russian Defence Ministry also confirmed that Russia is carrying out military exercises in the Black Sea.

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Nearby exoplanet Proxima b may be life-supporting

The closest star to our sun, Proxima Centauri, hosts an Earth-like planet that may be able to support life.

National Geographic reports that data collected by a telescope in Chile confirmed the presence of an Earth-size planet called Proxima b which may be able to harbor liquid water.

Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star that lies just 4.24 light-years away from our solar system.  The star is part of a triple system called Alpha Centauri, viewable in the southern constellation Centaurus.

Due to its relative proximity to Earth, the Alpha Centauri system is considered the most likely destination for human resettlement, should humanity ever vacate the solar system.

“A habitable, rocky planet around Proxima would be the most natural location to where our civilization could aspire to move after the sun will die, five billion years from now,” Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said.

The signal captured over 54 nights of data collection confirmed Proxima b’s position in orbit around its red host star.  The discovery follows a false alarm when a planet-like signal detected around the star Alpha Centauri B turned out to be radio noise.

Proxima b might not be the only planet in the system, so the research team will continue to gather data on the Alpha Centauri system using HARPS and other telescopes.

Another data-collecting mission called Breakthrough Starshot intends to send a fleet of tiny cameras to the star system in the coming decades to start amassing more close-up information on the stars and any exoplanets located there.

To zoom in on Proxima b, the team used data collected by the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) to determine that Proxima b is 1.3 times Earth’s mass and orbits its star every 11.2 days.

Proxima b is a warm planet but it is unknown whether it has a sufficiently protective atmosphere to support life.  Because the planet lies so close to its star, it may be locked into a tidal orbit, with one side always facing the star and one side facing open space.

“Life, if it exists, probably had a rougher start than life on Earth,” Lisa Kaltenegger of Cornell University said.  “But that is exactly why it is so exciting to study these other worlds.  They are just a bit different and can unveil an amazing diversity of life we can’t even imagine yet.”

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Bank of America drops jobs in Charlotte

Bank of America eliminated tech jobs in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday.

Some released employees informed the Charlotte Observer of their being let go and the Bank of America confirmed the releases, claiming that it is a cost-cutting strategy.

Bank of America spokesman, Dan Frahm, explained that the cuts are the result of efficiency efforts and says that the let go employees are encouraged to apply for other open positions with BOA.

Bank of America has been cutting jobs at an alarming rate.

During the 2016 second quarter, the company announced it had eliminated over 2,600 jobs, the largest reported quarter to quarter drop in one year.

According to the Bank of America, less than 30 positions were eliminated and most of them in the global banking and markets units.

Bank of America CEO, Brian Moynihan, has reportedly been attempting to streamline the company under a program called Simplify and Improve, which was enacted in 2014.

Moynihan became Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America in 2010 and since then has sought to reduce the expenses of the company.

Moynihan has achieved this by eliminating tens of thousands of jobs through automation, attrition, layoffs and sales of business units.

Last month, BOA, reportedly the second largest bank in the United States of America, announced a new expense reduction goal.

According to the announcement, BOA plans to reduce its annual noninterest expenses by over $3 billion.

“These notifications have been ongoing and reflect our previously announced efforts to simplify our company for our customers and clients,” explained Frahm.

 

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New study supports Hawking’s black hole theory

Physicist Stephen Hawking predicted decades ago that black holes are not entirely absorbent.  Hawking proposed that black holes emit small amounts of radiation, causing them to gradually lose mass and eventually evaporate entirely.

Gizmodo reports that a group of Israeli scientists have produced evidence of the phenomenon – known as “Hawking radiation” – in laboratory experiments.

Traditional thought had it that black holes have such a powerful gravitational force that not even photons (particles of light) could escape the pull of the black hole.  Any particle, no matter how small, would be captured by the black hole as soon as the particle passed the so-called event horizon – the edge, as it were, of the black hole, past which no escape is possible.

Hawking’s theory holds that some particles would actually escape the black hole’s clutches under the right circumstances in line with the properties of quantum physics.  On the quantum scale, particles constantly pop in and out of existence so quickly that they are considered “virtual particles,” and can appear in sets of two.  If one particle in such a pair appears past a black hole’s event horizon while its twin does not, the black hole would appear to be emitting an escaped photon.

Scientists tested the idea by creating a black hole analog that could display absorption of particles in a manner similar to what would be observed along a black hole’s event horizon.  The team produced a supersonic flow in a sample of rubidium atoms chilled to near absolute zero, which causes atoms to coalesce into a quantum state.

Such a black hole analog would be expected to behave somewhat like a black hole in terms of capturing partial pairs of particles and emitting something like Hawking radiation.  In the case of a supersonic black hole analog, the captured and emitted particles would be phonons – quantized units of sound vibration, treated as particles for experimental purposes.

Scientists at the Israel Institute of Technology have been perfecting the acoustic black hole analog since 2009, and have observed phonons being emitted by the supersonic flow.

Further study to confirm the results could lead to the breakthrough in physics that could help unify the theory of general relativity with quantum mechanics – a task which has eluded physicists for decades.

The study was published in the journal Nature Physics.

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Irish boxer Conlan accuses Russia and Olympic judges of cheating

Irish Olympian boxer, Michael Conlan, accused the Olympic judges and Russia of a conspiracy theory.

Conlan faced Vladimir Nikitin of Russia in the quarterfinals of the 56 kilogram division. He seemed to win the match, but the judges overseeing the match gave the decision to Nikitin.

The judge decided events at the Olympics have a long history of conspiracy theories and boxing is an event rich with controversy.

Most infamously, American boxing legend, Roy Jones Jr., appeared in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he seemed to clearly defeat South Korean boxer, Park Si Hun in the title bout.

The judges awarded Park Si Hun the gold medal and, according to Jones Jr., the South Korean athlete later apologized to him personally for the unjust decision.

Even the 2016 Olympic games have seen their share of controversy in the boxing events.

American Gary Russell also seemed to have been cheated in a disputed decision.

“[Russell had] clearly been robbed,” remarked Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was in attendance to root for the American athletes.

After his defeat, Conlan went on an explosive laden rant and flipped off the judges.

“AIBA (International Boxing Association) are cheats,” remarked Conlan. “They’re (expletive) cheats. I’ll never box (under) AIBA again. They’re cheating bastards. They’re paying everybody. I don’t give a (expletive) that I’m cursing on TV. My dream has been shattered now, but you know what, I have a big career ahead of me. They’re known for being cheats. They’ll always be cheats. Amateur boxing stinks from the core right to the top.”

 

 

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Former England international gets jail time

Marcus Bent a former England international assaulted two officers when they came to his apartment after receiving a 911 call from him. The former striker opened the door and attacked the two officers with a knife in each hand. The police described his state as delusional and enraged.
Bent, who played for Ipswich and Everton retired from soccer and sort to cocaine. After taking ‘three or two lines’ of the drug his delusion skyrocketed. He said he heard footsteps and saw his front door handle go up and down. He quickly phoned the police and armed himself with chef knives.
On the police arrival, they knocked, but no one opened. A few minutes later an enraged Bent flung the door open and attacked one of the officers with the knives. The police managed to contain him without anyone getting hurt or damage to property.
As a result He pleaded guilty to the charges as he said he was not himself and was truly sorry to the police and the court. He got a 12 month sentence and paid each officer $700 in damages. He also paid the court $1700 in fines and received 200 hours community service. “Prior to these proceedings you were a man of good character, you have lost that good character and it may well be that you have lost a good deal of self-respect,” said the judge. “”You were self-medicating, unquestionably abusing illegal drugs. There may have been difficulties in your life as a much younger man or as a child, but that in no way enables the court to condone the use of class A drugs.”

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Taylor Fritz starts of career in an assuring fashion

Teenage sensation Fritz,  playing only his third ATP tournament did far better than anyone, not even himself could envision. He is the youngest tennis player to get to the finals and took the shortest time doing it. Many now consider him the future of tennis. It took world number one Novak Djokovic 24 attempts and Roger Federer 21 times to get to the finals.
It took world number seven Kei Nishikori to knock the young American out of the final. And it was a hard fought battle as the high ranking Kei Nishikori won it 6-4, 6-4. The veteran tennis player has four titles of the tournament under his belt, but was still impressed by Fritz skill.

The young player has beaten some regular names on his way to the finals, including Benjamin Becker and Ricardas Berankis, who many believed had high hopes of progressing in the tournament this year. Fritz, as a result, has risen by over 800 places ranking 103rd from 937th.
“I really just wanted to win a match, get my first victory. After that first win, I felt the pressure was off me, so I was able to play more freely and make it to the final.” Said Fritz to ESPN after the game. “The last game didn’t go my way, but I am happy with how the week went and how my game came together.”
Fritz was also asked about his goals, and he said his primary objective was to break into the top 100 players and stay there. He also acknowledged that that is a difficult thing to achieve, and his strategy was to play each game as it came.

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City downed by an energetic Spurs team

Man City succumbed to lose yet again to their London rivals. City has now picked only one point from fellow title rivals this season. On the other hand, Spurs are second, two points adrift title leaders and level on points with Arsenal.

City started the brighter of the two as they pinned back Tottenham for long periods of the first half. Aguero was especially dominant and rampaged the Spurs backline. However, as the game preceded City tired and Spurs grew in confidence.
In the second half, Spurs were awarded a penalty after Kolarov appeared to handle the ball in the penalty area. Kane fired home the penalty putting Tottenham ahead. Their lead did not last long as substitute Nigerian striker leveled city with a thunderous effort.
In the dying minutes of the game Erikson was put clear through on goal and he took his chance well. “We are not getting carried away with this victory,” said Kane, the Spur striker. “There are still a lot of matches left to play, and we need to take each game at a time.”
Meanwhile, City is now six points away from the lead leaders with 12 games to go. City has been unable to change up their gears this season as they have produced inconsistent results. The Foxes lead the way as they keep the pace in the league when everyone is waiting for them to implode. Spurs and Arsenal are the other two title contenders as many believe the two North London clubs both have very realistic chances to win the league.

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Serge Aurier Apologies for his racist remarks

The Ivory Coast international made some of the most outlandish and racist remarks a few days on Periscope. He was recorded looking intoxicated and blowing away what appeared to be Shisha smoke.
The Defender went on to make racist remarks, especially towards his Coach and the French national team coach Laurent Blanc. He went as far as make comments towards his teammates, including Ibrahimovic and Cavani. The senior players have as a result refused to train with him.
The club has suspended him indefinitely, and the president said blankly that the 23-year-old career was as good as finished. He will consequently miss the Champion League game on Tuesday night.
“I made a terrible mistake, and I am here to say sorry to the coach, the club and my teammates, and to the supporters because they are the most important people,” he said. “I will accept any sanction the club imposes on me regarding this incident. I made a mistake, and it was unforgivable, and I am ready to face all the consequences.”
PSG and its president also apologized to the fans. The president, Al-Khelaifi stated that it was not going to take the comments lightly and that the board and he were in full support of Laurent Blanc.
His talent in undeniable and he has been a permanent fixture on the team list. However, his antics are not new as even with his former team he has his share of scuffles with the players and coach. This was the main reason many top flight teams were hesitant to have his signature.

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David Beckham’s Miami Club close to being a reality

Beckham seeks to partner with PSG in making the Miami-based club an elite MLS club by 2018. He plans to sell equity to the French club as he seeks partners and international football links to make his team an impeccable brand.
He described the move as a way to light the load as he looks for means to quickly make the club a reality. However, he suggested that partnering with PSG was always in his plans. He also insisted that he will look to partner with more classic soccer outfits.

Beckham played for the Qatar-owned club towards the end of his career and was one of the first superstars that signed for it. He then moved to end his career in America playing in the MLS. Beckham has played in almost every major soccer league in the world. He now looks to use these connections to make the David Beckham Club a success. “David Beckham, Simon Fuller and Marcelo Claure are evaluating these possibilities, with the goal of bringing additional resources and international expertise that draws players, staff and fans from around the world,” read a statement from the club. Any potential partner will share our team’s vision of creating a team that makes Miami and MLS proud.”
The greatest obstacle for the club is getting a stadium. The stadium for the potential club is set to be modern and big enough to accommodate the potential broad fan base. The search for funds and sponsors has been hard, but with PSG on board, many expect others to join now.