March 29th, 2012
Seneca police said they arrested six men Wednesday in connection with the beating of a Franklin, NC, man outside a restaurant earlier this month.
The attack happened just before 1 a.m. on March 17 in the parking lot of Applebee's at 696 Bypass 123.
According to an incident report, police arrived to find a man lying face down in the parking lot.
The report said that a woman told police that there were several black men attacking the 32-year-old white man, whose identity was redacted.
"Upon exiting the restaurant he was jumped by a mob of individuals, and severely beaten about the head and torso," said John Covington, the Seneca police chief. "The report was that racial slurs were being used toward the victim."
The man told police that he didn't know what happened, didn't remember coming to the restaurant and didn't know why he was attacked, according to the report.
The report said an anonymous witness told investigators the white man was overheard inside the restaurant, making racial comments about black people and using the "N" word. However, Covington said that investigators have not been able to confirm that.
"The person refused to give their name or a statement," Covington said. "Therefore, it remains uncorroborated."
On Thursday, police said they arrested 18-year-old Teryn Robinson, 19-year-old Tray Holland, 20-year-old Justin Alexander, 22-year-old Derick Williams, 25-year-old Kino Jones and 22-year-old Montrez Jones in connection with the attack.
SLIDESHOW: Police arrest 6 in beating by mob
Police said all six men were from the Seneca area and that they were each charged with assault and battery by mob.
Precious Smith, who said she was at the restaurant the night of the attack and is related to three of the suspects, said all of this has been blown out of proportion. She said whatever was said did not cause the fight.
"We are very open-hearted people," Smith said. "We are not going to mess with anybody unless they mess with us. We have all kinds of friends. I am not racist, and by their acquaintances, I don't think they're racist."
Police said their investigation determined that the attack may have been racially motivated. They said their findings have been sent to the FBI to determine if it should be investigated as a hate crime under federal law.
South Carolina does not have a hate crime law.
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March 29th, 2012
The parents of two British students murdered in Florida have criticised President Barack Obama for his lack of compassion over their son's deaths.
His failure to respond to three letters sent to the White House was because there was no "political value" and not worthy of a few minutes of his time.
They spoke out as teenager Shawn Tyson began a life sentence after being found guilty of the murder of James Cooper and James Kouzaris last April.
The 17 year old, who shot the men as they begged for their lives, will die in prison.
His conviction of first degree murder carries an mandatory life sentence without the chance of parole.
The powerfully built teen even looked bored as emotional DVD presentations about the dead men prepared by their grieving parents were shown in court.
Tyson, who has the word 'Savage' tattooed across his chest didn't show a flicker of emotion, slumping in his seat as he was forced to watch a montage of photos showing the victims from early childhood to young men.
Two close friends of the dead men who had attended the eight day trial in Sarasota, Florida. had also delivered highly emotional impact statements to the court prior to the sentencing.
Paul Davies and Joe Hallett spoke of the "living hell" they and others who knew the men had suffered since the murders.
During the eight day trial they had been shown graphic crime scene and autopsy photos shown in court.
Later speaking after Tyson was jailed Davies and Hallett lashed out at Mr Obama saying the deaths of their friends was "not worthy of ten minutes of his time."
Davies said:"We would like to publicly express our dissatisfaction at the lack of any public or private message of support or condolence from any American governing body or indeed, President Obama himself.
"Mr Kouzaris has written to President Obama on three separate occasions and is yet to even receive the courtesy of a reply.
"It would perhaps appear that Mr Obama sees no political value in facilitating such a request or that the lives of two British tourists are not worthy of ten minutes of his time."
The rebuke follows Mr Obama's personal intervention into the shooting in Florida of a young black teenager by a white-Hispanic neighbourhood watch captain.
The death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin has sparked nationwide protests with his supporters claiming he was victim of a racist attack.
Mr Obama entered the controversy last week by saying if he had a son he would have looked like Martin.
The alleged assailant in Martin's death has not been charged with any crime having claimed he was attacked first and used Florida's 'stand your ground' law to shoot in self defence.
The criticism of the US President was made on behalf of the Cooper's parents Stanley and Sandy, from Warwicks, and Peter and Hazel Kouzaris, from Northampton by Davies in a statement read outside the courtroom.
The parents of the two victims did not attend the trial but they had access to the proceedings from a live video feed.
The filmed interview of the Kouzaris's was played to the court while a message from Sandy Cooper was read out by the prosecutor.
The victims close friends delivered an emotional impact statement with Hallett telling Tyson he hoped he would be haunted by his actions.
He told him: "Imagine them being killed. Now try to imagine that they died because someone creept up on them and shot them numerous times for no good reason. Welcome to our world. Every night you go to sleep, every morning you wake up, I want you to think of my friends who you murdered. Their images will be imprinted on your conscience up until your very last breath in life."
March 29th, 2012
Cleveland News / CNN
(CNN) — A new era in computing that will see machines perform at least 1,000 times faster than today’s most powerful supercomputers is almost upon us.
By the end of the decade, exaFLOP computers are predicted to go online heralding a new chapter in scientific discovery.
The United States, China, Japan, the European Union and Russia are all investing millions of dollars in supercomputer research. In February, the EU announced it was doubling investment in research to €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion).
What is an exaFLOP?
Computer scientists measure a supercomputer’s performance in FLOPS, an acronym for FLoating Operations per Second, while “exa” is a metric prefix which stands for quintillion (or a billion billion). An exascale computer could perform approximately as many operations per second as 50 million laptops.
“It is the next frontier for high-performance computing,” says Dimitrios Nikolopoulos, professor at the School of Electronics at the UK’s Queen’s University of Belfast.
How fast are today’s supercomputers?
Today, the fastest supercomputers operate at the petaFLOP level says Nikolopoulos, performing in excess of one quadrillion (or a million billion) operations per second.
The first computer to break through the petaFLOP barrier was IBM’s Roadrunner in 2008. But its reign as the fastest computer in the world didn’t last long, with the Cray Jaguar installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States becoming the quickest with a performance of 1.75 petaFLOPS in 2009.
Today, the crown is held by is Japan’s K Computer developed by Fujitsu, according to TOP500 — a project that tracks trends in high-performance computing.
The machine, installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, in Kobe, Japan, currently operates at over 10 petaFLOPS. It is more than three times faster than its nearest rival, China’s NUDT YH MPP computer (2.57 petaflops).
How big are they?
“The kind of space that you need is similar to that of a football field. You’re talking about many, many lanes of computer racks and thousands of processors,” says Nikolopoulos.
The K Computer contains a mind-boggling 88,128 computer processors and is made up of 864 refrigerator-sized cabinets.
Physically, exascale computing won’t get any bigger, says Nikolopoulos, and might even get a little smaller. But the amount of processors will rise substantially to anywhere between one million and 100 million.
What are the challenges of reaching exascale?
Nikolopoulos says “severe technology barriers” remain, the most important being power. “Power consumption of supercomputers in general is not sustainable,” he says.
“The current projections suggest that power consumption of exascale computers will be 100 megawatts. It’s impossible to build a suitable facility and have enough power.”
Historically, a computer’s processor has used the most power (around 40-50% of the total) Nikolopoulos says, but memory is rapidly catching it up.
“Changing materials and also the architecture of processors and memories is critical to exascale’s success,” he says.
“We are beginning to understand the challenges of exascale in terms of hardware, software and applications. We are at the stage where we can make mental projections and set up directions for research.”
What benefits could exascale computing bring?
It will enable discovery in many areas of science, says Nikolopoulos. “Aerospace engineering, astrophysics, biology, climate modeling and national security all have applications with extreme computing requirements,” Nikolopoulos said.
Bill Cabbage, public information officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, says exascale will attempt to tackle very serious challenges in energy supply and sustainability.
“These are very difficult problems and will require the development of new forward-thinking technologies to deal with them,” Cabbage said.
“We are bringing all our resources to bear on these problems,” he added.
Social sciences could also profit, says Nikolopoulos.
>“More and more people are interested in understanding the behaviors of societies as a whole. These require simulations — how people interact, communicate, how they move. That will require exascale computing,” he said.
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March 29th, 2012
(Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Thursday it would expect hundreds of thousands of layoffs across the defense industry if lawmakers did not take action to avert an additional $500 billion in defense budget cuts that could take effect in January 2013.
Frank Kendall, the Defense Department's acting undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the cuts would force the Pentagon to break many hard-won contracts with industry, including a multibillion dollar deal with Boeing Co for development of a new refueling plane.
The Navy's contracts with Lockheed Martin Corp and Australia's Austal Ltd for littoral combat ships would also be vulnerable if the mandatory cuts, known as sequestration, took effect as planned, Kendall told the Senate Armed Services Committee at a confirmation hearing to stay in the job.
Kendall said the defense industry would face fairly deep cuts applied indiscriminately, rather than on a targeted basis, given the way the Budget Control Act was worded.
The Pentagon last month unveiled a budget proposal for fiscal 2013 that would begin to implement $487 billion in spending cuts that the White House and Congress agreed to make, spanning the next decade. If lawmakers did not come up with $1.2 trillion in other deficit-reducing measures, the Pentagon would have to cut its proposed funding by another $500 billion.
Kendall said there was a good chance that President Barack Obama would use a legal clause to exempt the personnel accounts from the cuts -- which would increase the burden that would fall on spending for new weapons, research and development programs and upgrades for older weapons.
"A lot of the work that we're done over the last couple of years to try to make more efficient acquisition decisions and get better contract structures would be broken," he said.
Kendall said the cuts would ripple through all tiers of the defense industry, hitting small and medium-sized businesses particularly hard.
He said some of the biggest companies in the sector had already approached him with concerns about having to provide advance notice of potential layoffs given the uncertainty caused by the current budget situation.
Committee Chairman Carl Levin asked Kendall to provide a report by May 10 on the impact of the current budget cuts on small and medium-sized businesses. The Pentagon has been studying the defense industrial base on a sector by sector, tier by tier basis to better understand the impact of budget decisions on those companies.
In written responses to questions from the committee, Kendall vowed to focus heavily on reining in cost overruns on many major weapons programs, and said he would do everything in his power to eliminate them.
The committee said nearly half of all major weapons programs had exceeded cost growth standards established by the Nunn-McCurdy law. Kendall conceded that nearly all programs had some cost growth.
He said the department had been setting affordability targets for major programs for the past year as another tool to ensure that programs remained focused on costs.
(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)
March 29th, 2012
Now, how much has the President thrown away again in his bankrupt "clean energy" loans?
Remember Solyndra and several others, now nearly forgotten to the tune of billions in bankruptcies?
At least the oil companies have something beyond bankruptcy court proceedings to show for their investments, not to mention Americans gaining valuable use from the oil companies' products, as opposed to the Federal Government's main product which is unimaginable debt.
The other thing to remember is that these oil companies' profits are taxed at the highest rate of any country in existence. Therefore, if the oil companies are making billions in profit, this means the US government is making hundreds of millions in tax revenue. Well, unless your one of those crony capitalist companies ala' GE who got money back from the Government after a $ 4 billion dollar profit.
The point,however being, that Obama should be just giddy with excitement when he notes any company making billions in profits simply because these profits help Govco by increasing tax revenue. Or maybe Obama doesn't necessarily want more tax revenue?
The Caucus BlogBy HELENE COOPER and JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Obama called on Congress to end $4 billion in tax subsidies for oil and natural gas companies on Thursday, casting the issue as a choice between plumbing scarce resources versus investing in clean energy research.
“That’s the choice facing Congress today,” Mr. Obama said, before the Senate voted on repealing the tax breaks. “They can either vote to spend billions of dollars on oil subsidies that keep us trapped in the past. Or they can vote to end these taxpayer subsidies so that we can invest in the future. It’s that simple.”
The president made his remarks in the Rose Garden as gas prices across the country have soared, becoming an issue that could hamper his re-election bid. Administration officials said in an e-mail to reporters that the three largest oil companies in the United States have made a combined profit of more than $80 billion last year, or $200 million a day.
“Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour,” Mr. Obama said.
“The biggest oil companies are raking in record profits — profits that go up every time folks like these pull into a gas station,” Mr. Obama said, flanked by a cast of ordinary Americans who administration officials said have been hurt by rising gas prices.
“But on top of these record profits,” Mr. Obama said, “oil companies are also getting billions a year in taxpayer subsidies — a subsidy they’ve enjoyed year after year for the last century.”
“It’s like hitting the American people twice,” Mr. Obama said.
“I don’t want folks like these back here and the folks in front of me to have to pay more at the pump every time there’s unrest in the Middle East,” Mr. Obama said. “I don’t want our kids to be held hostage to events on the other side of the world. I want us to control our own destiny.”
Soon after the president finished his remarks, the Senate voted 51 to 47 to end the subsidies, several votes short from the majority needed to pass the measure.
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