Tokyo, Oct 3 (AP/UNB) — A German-French observation device safely landed on an asteroid on Wednesday after a Japanese spacecraft released it as part of a research effort that could find clues about the origin of the solar system, Japanese space officials said.
The Japan Space Exploration Agency said the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, or MASCOT, was released from the unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa2 and successfully landed on the asteroid Ryugu.
The spacecraft went as close as about 50 meters (160 feet) to the asteroid's surface to release the box-shaped lander. Hayabusa2 has been stationed near the asteroid since June after traveling 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth.
About an hour after the separation, the space agency, known as JAXA, said it had received signals from MASCOT, an indication of its safe landing.
JAXA's Hayabusa project manager, Yuichi Tsuda, confirmed the landing at a news conference. JAXA collaborated with the German Aerospace Center and France's Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales in the MASCOT project.
The lander's deployment follows the successful landing last month of two MINERVA-II1 observation rovers that have transmitted a series of images showing the asteroid's rocky surface.
Hayabusa2 dropped MASCOT on the opposite hemisphere from the rovers so they don't interfere with each other's activity, JAXA said.
It took more than three years for the Hayabusa2 spacecraft to reach the asteroid's vicinity. Hayabusa2 will later attempt to briefly land on the asteroid itself to collect samples to send back to researchers on Earth.
The two successful landings of the probes provide a boost of confidence ahead of the upcoming landing of Hayabusa2, though that will be a greater challenge, Tsuda said.
The lithium battery-run MASCOT can operate 16 hours — while the asteroid revolves twice — to collect and transmit data, including temperature and mineral varieties. After its observation activity at the initial landing spot, it will bounce to a second location to collect another set of samples there.
According to JAXA, MASCOT is carrying a wide-angle camera on its side to capture images of its surroundings. A spectroscopic microscope on the bottom is designed to examine minerals on the asteroid's surface. MASCOT will also measure the magnetic force and temperature on the asteroid.
Stockholm, Oct 3 (AP/UNB) — The Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to two researchers in the United States and one in Britain.
Half of the 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize was designated for Frances Arnold of Caltech in Pasadena for work that has led to the development of new biofuels and pharmaceuticals.
The other half of the prize will be shared by George Smith of the University of Missouri and Gregory Winter of the MRC Laboratory in Cambridge. They were honored for "phage display of peptides and antibodies."
Houston, Oct 3 (AP/UNB) — A human trafficking survivor from Texas sued Facebook this week, alleging the social media platform provides human traffickers an unrestricted way to "stalk, exploit, recruit, groom ... and extort children into the sex trade."
The lawsuit was filed Monday in Houston against Facebook, the shuttered classifieds site Backpage.com and the owners of two Houston hotels.
The suit seeks at least $1 million in damages on behalf of a woman identified as "Jane Doe," who was 15 years old when she was sexually assaulted in 2012 after being allegedly targeted and recruited by a sex trafficker on Facebook.
Facebook did not immediately return an email seeking comment on Tuesday. An attorney for Dallas-based Backpage.com didn't immediately return a phone call.
According to the lawsuit, Facebook should be held liable for the conduct of sex traffickers because the social media site has become the "first point of contact between sex traffickers and these children. Facebook not only provides an unrestricted platform for these sex traffickers to target children, but it also cloaks the traffickers with credibility."
Annie McAdams, an attorney for the woman who filed the suit, said her client was befriended by another Facebook user who gained her trust and promised her a job as a model.
But, McAdams said, the other person forced her into sex trafficking within hours of meeting her. She was raped and beaten by people who had paid the trafficker, the attorney said.
McAdams alleged Facebook has not done enough to ensure that users aren't able to hide their identities from unsuspecting minors who may be targets of traffickers or to warn minors of the dangers posed by traffickers and how they can operate online.
"It was not just because a pimp did something that Jane Doe was trafficked. That pimp is not able to traffic Jane Doe unless Facebook allowed him access to her," McAdams said.
The lawsuit comes after President Donald Trump in April signed a new law aimed at curbing sex trafficking. The law weakens a legal shield for online services that host abusive content, including sex trafficking.
The legislation was focused more on classified-ad sites like Backpage.com, which had claimed they aren't the publisher of questionable content but are merely transmitting posts by others.
Backpage.com was shut down by federal authorities earlier this year after the company's co-founders and other employees were arrested in what authorities say was a scheme to publish ads for sexual services, some of which involved children.
"Facebook has the technology to be able to potentially develop algorithms to look for the indicators and the red flags of potential (trafficking) exploitation and abuse," said Tony Talbott, director of Abolition Ohio, a University of Dayton group that works to combat human trafficking.
Maya Simek, co-director of the Human Trafficking Law Clinic and a lecturer at Case Western Reserve University's School of Law in Cleveland, points to a lack of ID verification and a lack of advertisements or other outreach efforts to offer help for victims as some of the problems social media sites face in combating human trafficking.
"I don't think they're doing as much as could be done," Simek said.
Talbott said he thinks the Houston lawsuit will have a difficult time proving that Facebook knowingly facilitated sex trafficking, as the company could show that traffickers are simply exploiting the site.
Dhaka, Oct 2 (UNB)- The world’s leading technology and smartphone manufacturing company Huawei was celebrating 'October Festival' offering with special discounts, cashback and bundle of internet for Huawei's smartphone customers.
A handful of models of Huawei phones were under the purview of October Festival offer.
Among them, Huawei Y5 Prime 2018 smartphone with Tk 1,000 discount, will be available at Tk 10,590 while Huawei Y6 Prime 2018, with Tk 1,500discount, will sell at Tk 12,490.
The purchase of a Huawei Y9 2018 smartphone will entitle the customer to a cashback up to Tk 10,000 while a minimum cashback of Tk 1,000 is guaranteed.
Moreover, each purchase of all Huawei smartphones available will be provided with free internet bundle offers from telecom operators.
Anyone purchasing the selected models of Huawei phones from any Huawei brand shop or authorized mobile outlet across the country by October 31, 2018 will enjoy the offers.
Dhaka, Oct 2 (UNB)- Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) recently inaugurated its Agent Banking outlet in Kharkhari Bazar of Boalia in Rajshahi.
Hasne Alam, Deputy Managing Director of the Bank inaugurated the outlet as chief guest.
Presided over by Md Kawsar-ul-Alam, Executive Vice President of the Bank and Head of Rajshahi Zone, the program was addressed by Md Mahboob Alam, Executive Vice President and Head of Agent Banking Division as special guest.
Mohammad Nurul Karim, Vice President of the Bank and Head of Rajshahi Branch addressed welcome speech where local businesspersons, professionals and dignitaries were present on the occasion.