Keel laid for Australia’s first Arafura-class OPV

first_img View post tag: Royal Australian Navy Authorities Keel laid for Australia’s first Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel Back to overview,Home naval-today Keel laid for Australia’s first Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel May 10, 2019, by View post tag: OPV The Royal Australian Navy’s Arafura-class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) program reached a new milestone on Friday as the keel for the lead ship in the class was laid at at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, RAN positioned a coin to commemorate the laying of the keel for the first vessel to be named Arafura.“The keel laying ceremony represents a great naval tradition and I am honoured to be joined today by the two youngest shipbuilders in the Osborne shipyard in placing the commemorative coin under the keel,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.This project will see the delivery of 12 OPVs to the Royal Australian Navy to replace the Armidale-class patrol boats.The class is named for the Arafura Sea between Australia and Indonesia, acknowledging the importance placed on the coastal regions around Australia and their significant role in the nation’s security and economic prosperity.“I would like to thank our defence industry counterparts and Defence’s Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group for their collective efforts to get us to this point on time and budget,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.Prime contractor Luerssen Australia along with shipbuilding sub-contractor ASC started construction of the first vessel on 15 November 2018.The first ship will be launched in 2021, with the second ship to be launched from the Osborne shipyard in 2022.Construction of the third vessel will move in 2020 to the Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia, where the remaining 10 vessels will be constructed.Photo: Luerssen View post tag: Arafura-class navaltoday View post tag: Luerssen Australia Share this articlelast_img read more

Carlos Martinez injury update: Cardinals P unlikely to make opening day roster

first_img Related News This isn’t news Cardinals fans wanted to hear, but it likely was expected.St. Louis’ 2018 opening day starter Carlos Martinez is not expected to be on the team’s roster to start the 2019 season, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Tim Tebow among Mets’ spring training cuts, will start season in Triple-A Carlos Martinez no longer expected to make #STLCards opening-day roster. Trending toward DL. Meets w/ team tomorrow to discuss return to throwing and his role (starter/relief). There’s an argument to be made for super ‘pen theory: Miller, Hicks, Reyes, Martinez, Gant or Hudson.— Ben Frederickson (@Ben_Fred) March 12, 2019He likely will start the season on the IL as he tries to overcome right shoulder weakness. He showed up to camp earlier this spring in a sling after being shut down.Martinez was supposed to be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks after that, but has yet to throw an inning. St. Louis is not sure what role he will assume when he comes back from injury. He could work out of the bullpen as he did for the end of the 2018 season.Martinez went 8-6 with a 3.11 ERA in 33 appearances (18 starts) last season. He is 54-38 with a 3.37 ERA in 816 1/3 career innings.The Cardinals likely will go into the season with Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha and Daniel Ponce de Leon in its starting rotation. That isn’t set in stone, but with Martinez most likely out, the bottom of the rotation now becomes a bit of a question mark.last_img read more

Magical Season Continues…Harrison homers, Pirates slip by Marlins 4-3

first_imgPittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Harrison, second from right, is greeted by teammates as he crosses home plate after hitting a walk-off solo home run off Miami Marlins relief pitcher Mike Dunn during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. The Pirates won 4-3. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) PITTSBURGH (AP) – The last time Josh Harrison hit a walk-off homer, he was a high school senior in Cincinnati. The game was played in front of a few dozen people on a spring afternoon. Still the only homer of his prep career remains ingrained in Harrison’s memory.Now it’s got company.The Pittsburgh Pirates utility infielder sent a fastball from Miami reliever Mike Dunn into the first row of seats in right-center leading off the ninth, the improbable homer lifting the Pirates to a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night.“I knew it had a chance,” Harrison said after his second home run of the season. “I knew it wasn’t caught off the bat. I was running watching (Giancarlo) Stanton’s reaction. I knew he wasn’t going to catch it. I saw him pull up and it didn’t kick back, I knew it was gone.”Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle sent Harrison out to leadoff the inning modestly hoping Harrison could find a way to get on base. Instead, Harrison provided another signature moment in a season that is starting to stockpile them for the first-place Pirates.A marvelous diving grab by centerfielder Andrew McCutchen with two on in the seventh saved two runs and reliever Vin Mazzaro narrowly escaped a bases-loaded jam moments when a liner from Jeff Mathis landed inches foul. Mathis eventually flied to left on a night Miami left 11 runners on base.Minutes later Harrison was getting the creampie to the face treatment.“Those are little things that happen that make you go ‘Yeah, something’s going on,’” Hurdle said. “There’s no doubt the more feel good you get, the more you feel good.”The NL Central-leading Pirates have won three straight to move a season-high 24 games over .500 (68-44).Dunn (2-3) bailed Chad Qualls after Qualls loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth. He struck out Pedro Alvarez and got Russell Martin to hit into a double play but couldn’t get the best of Harrison, a bench player who has spent most of the season shuttling between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis.“Initially, I didn’t think it was high enough to go out but it carried and it was a home run,” Dunn said. “It was a good job on his part.”Bryan Morris (5-4) pitched a perfect top of the ninth for the victory. Neil Walker had three hits for the Pirates. McCutchen had two hits, including a two-run double, for Pittsburgh.Donovan Solano went 3 for 5 for the Marlins but baseball’s lowest scoring team left runners on base in six of the first seven innings.“We couldn’t get that hit to give us a little breathing room,” Miami manager Mike Redmond said.Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke has been one of baseball’s biggest surprises, the 25-year-old soaring from fringe starter to All-Star. He’s had trouble working deep into games since returning from his trip to New York for the midsummer classic, and for a while it appeared he was headed for another early exit after lasting just four innings against St. Louis in his last start.Miami turned three singles – none of them sharply hit – into a run in the second then added two more in the third behind four straight singles to start the inning. The Marlins, however, couldn’t pile on and Locke eventually settled down. The left-hander allowed three runs on nine hits in 5 2-3 innings, walking three and striking out four as his ERA ticked up to 2.47.“There are lessons to be learned for him,” Hurdle said of Locke. “He’s always got to be the predator and the aggressor. We’re into August. We’re into September. Everybody that gets that ball, you’ve got to be throwing aggressive punches off the mound with intent and conviction.”Locke left two runners on in the sixth. He also left with a no decision as Mazzaro retired Ed Lucas with two runners on to end the inning.Henderson Alvarez handcuffed the Pirates in their previous meeting, limiting Pittsburgh to just two hits in six innings of a victory two weeks ago. The Pirates, however, briefly figured him out in the third. McCutchen doubled off the wall to drive in two runs and Pedro Alvarez followed with his first triple of the year to tie it.The Pirates never threatened against the Miami starter again, and Alvarez left after seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out six while not issuing a walk.That left it up to the bullpens and Pittsburgh’s “Shark Tank” continued its dominance. Mazzaro survived the seventh and the Marlins went meekly in the eighth or ninth before Harrison stepped to the plate.“I’ve never been around a group of guys that fights this hard the entire game,” Locke said. “We load the bases in the eighth and Pedro comes up and we don’t score and you see who comes up with nobody on and walks off. It’s funny how the game works like that.”NOTES: Hurdle said LHP Francisco Liriano deserves to be in the NL Cy Young conversation. Liriano is 12-4 with a 2.02 ERA in 16 starts and was named the NL Player of the Week after picking up two victories between July 29-Aug. 4 … The series continues on Wednesday when Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton (3-3, 4.07 ERA) faces Tom Koehler (3-6, 4.34). Morton gave up five runs in six innings of a loss to St. Louis in his previous start. Koehler pitched six shutout innings against the Mets in a win last Thursday.last_img read more

More Court Challenges Expected For Trumps New Travel Ban

first_imgAPJohn Wider holds up a sign becoming Muslims in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, June 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. A scaled-back version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban took effect Thursday evening, stripped of provisions that brought protests and chaos at airports worldwide in January yet still likely to generate a new round of court fights. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)A scaled-back version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban is now in force, stripped of provisions that brought protests and chaos at airports worldwide in January yet still likely to generate a new round of court fights. The new rules, the product of months of legal wrangling, aren’t so much an outright ban as a tightening of already-tough visa policies affecting citizens from six Muslim-majority countries. Refugees are covered, too. Administration officials promised that implementation this time, which started at 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT), would be orderly. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Dan Hetlage said his agency expected “business as usual at our ports of entry,” with all valid visa holders still being able to travel. Still, immigration and refugee advocates are vowing to challenge the new requirements and the administration has struggled to explain how the rules will make the United States safer. And in Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced the partial reinstatement of the travel ban as a “truly shameful exhibition of blind hostility to all Iranians” — and argued that the measure will prevent Iranian grandmothers from seeing their grandchildren in America. Zarif, who has persistently assailed the travel ban, wrote on his Twitter account that the “U.S. now bans Iranian grandmothers from seeing their grandchildren, in a truly shameful exhibition of blind hostility to all Iranians.” Under the temporary rules, citizens of Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen who already have visas will be allowed into the United States. But people from those countries who want new visas will now have to prove a close family relationship or an existing relationship with an entity like a school or business in the U.S. It’s unclear how significantly the new rules will affect travel. In most of the countries singled out, few people have the means for leisure travel. Those that do already face intensive screenings before being issued visas. Nevertheless, human rights groups girded for new legal battles. The American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups challenging the ban, called the new criteria “extremely restrictive,” ”arbitrary” in their exclusions and designed to “disparage and condemn Muslims.” The state of Hawaii filed an emergency motion Thursday asking a federal judge to clarify that the administration cannot enforce the ban against relatives — such as grandparents, aunts or uncles — not included in the State Department’s definition of “bona fide” personal relationships. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer met with customs officials and said he felt things would go smoothly. “For tonight, I’m anticipating few issues because, I think, there’s better preparation,” he told reporters at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday night. “The federal government here, I think, has taken steps to avoid the havoc that occurred the last time.” Much of the confusion in January, when Trump’s first ban took effect, resulted from travelers with previously approved visas being kept off flights or barred entry on arrival in the United States. Immigration officials were instructed Thursday not to block anyone with valid travel documents and otherwise eligible to visit the United States. Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, said the rules “would slam the door shut on so many who have waited for months or years to be reunited with their families.” Trump, who made a tough approach to immigration a cornerstone of his election campaign, issued a ban on travelers from the six countries, plus Iraq, shortly after taking office in January. His order also blocked refugees from any country. Trump said these were temporary measures needed to prevent terrorism until vetting procedures could be reviewed. Opponents noted that visa and refugee vetting were already strict and said there was no evidence that refugees or citizens of those six countries posed a threat. They saw the ban as part of Trump’s campaign promise to bar Muslims from entering the United States. Lower courts blocked the initial ban and a second, revised Trump order intended to overcome legal hurdles. The Supreme Court on Monday partially reinstated the revised ban but exempted travelers who could prove a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity. The court offered only broad guidelines. In guidance issued late Wednesday, the State Department said the personal relationships would include a parent, spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States. It does not include other relationships such as grandparents, grandchildren, aunts and uncles. On Thursday, the State and Homeland Security departments had both expanded the range of bona fide relationships to include fiancés. Business or professional links must be “formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading” the ban. Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the U.S. would be exempt from the ban. The exemption does not apply to those who seek a relationship with an American business or educational institution purely for the purpose of avoiding the rules. Refugees from any country will face similar requirements. But the U.S. has almost filled its quota of 50,000 refugees for the budget year ending in September and the new rules won’t apply to the few remaining slots. With the Supreme Court set to consider the overall ban in October, the rules could change again. The travel ban may have the biggest impact on Iranians. In 2015, the most recently available data, nearly 26,000 Iranians were allowed into the United States on visitor or tourist visas. Iranians made up the lion’s share of the roughly 65,000 foreigners from the six countries who visited with temporary, or non-immigrant visas that year. The new regulations are also affecting the wedding plans of Rama Issa-Ibrahim, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. She is Syrian-American and had planned to get married this fall. While her father in Syria may be able to get a visa, her aunts and uncles may well be blocked. “I would love for them to be at this wedding, and unfortunately, they aren’t going to be able to be here,” she said, adding that the ceremony would be postponed. Sharelast_img read more

Ubers new family of AI algorithms sets records on Pitfall and solves

first_imgUber’s AI research team introduced Go-Explore, a new family of algorithms, capable of achieving scores over 2,000,000 on Atari game Montezuma’s Revenge and an average score of over 21,000 on Atari 2600 game Pitfall, earlier this week. This is the first time when any learning algorithm has managed to score above 0 in Pitfall. Go-explore outshines the other state of the art algorithms on Montezuma’s revenge and Pitfall by two orders of magnitude and 21,000 points. Go-Explore uses the human domain knowledge but isn’t entirely dependent on it. This highlights the ability of Go-Explore to score well despite very little prior knowledge. For instance, Go-Explore managed to score over 35,000 points on Montezuma’s Revenge, with zero domain knowledge. As per the Uber team, “Go-Explore differs radically from other deep RL algorithms and could enable rapid progress in a variety of important, challenging problems, especially robotics. We, therefore, expect it to help teams at Uber and elsewhere increasingly harness the benefits of artificial intelligence”. A common challenge One of the most challenging and common problems associated with Montezuma’s Revenge and Pitfall is that of a “sparse reward” faced during the game exploration phase. Sparse reward refers to few reliable reward signals or feedback that could help the player complete the stage and advance within the game quickly. To make things even more complicated, any rewards that are offered during the game are usually “deceptive”, meaning that it misleads the AI agents to maximize rewards in a short period of time, instead of focusing on something that could make them jump the game level (eg; hitting an enemy nonstop, instead of working towards getting to the exit). Now, usually, to tackle such a problem, researchers add “intrinsic motivation” (IM) to agents, meaning that they get rewarded on reaching new states within the game. Adding IM has helped the researchers successfully tackle the sparse reward problems in many games, but they still haven’t been able to do so in the case of Montezuma’s Revenge and Pitfall. Uber’s Solution: Exploration and Robustification According to the Uber team, “a major weakness of current IM algorithms is detachment, wherein the algorithms forget about promising areas they have visited, meaning they do not return to them to see if they lead to new states. This problem would be remedied if the agent returned to previously discovered promising areas for exploration”. Uber researchers have come out with a method that separates the learning in Agents into two steps: exploration and robustification. Exploration and Robustification Exploration Go-Explore builds up an archive of multiple different game states called “cells” along with paths leading to these states. It selects a particular cell from the archive, goes back to that cell, and then explores from that cell. For all cells that have been visited (including new cells), if the new trajectory is better (e.g. higher score), then its chosen to reach that cell. This helps GoExplore remember and return to promising areas for exploration (unlike intrinsic motivation), avoid over-exploring, and also makes them less susceptible to “deceptive” rewards as it tries to cover all the reachable states. Results of the Exploration phase Montezuma’s Revenge: During the exploration phase of the algorithm, Go-Explore reaches an average of 37 rooms and solves level 1 (comprising 24 rooms, not all of which need to be visited) 65 percent of the time in Montezuma’s Revenge. The previous state of the art algorithms could explore only 22 rooms on average. Pitfall: Pitfall requires significant exploration and is much harder than Montezuma’s Revenge since it offers only 32 positive rewards that are scattered over 255 rooms. The complexity of this game is so high, that no RL algorithm has been able to collect even a single positive reward in this game. During the exploration phase of the algorithm, Go explore is able to visit all 255 rooms and manages to collect over 60,000 points. With zero domain knowledge, Go-Explore finds an impressive 22 rooms but does not find any reward. Uber AI Labs Robustification If the solutions found via exploration are not robust to noise, you can robustify them, meaning add in domain knowledge using a deep neural network with an imitation learning algorithm, a type of algorithm that can learn a robust model-free policy via demonstrations. Uber researchers chose Salimans & Chen’s “backward” algorithm to get started with, although any imitation learning algorithm would do. “We found it somewhat unreliable in learning from a single demonstration. However, because Go-Explore can produce plenty of demonstrations, we modified the backward algorithm to simultaneously learn from multiple demonstrations ” writes the Uber team. Results of robustification Montezuma’s Revenge: Robustifying the trajectories that are discovered with the domain knowledge version of Go-Explore, it manages to solve the first 3 levels of Montezuma’s Revenge. Now, since,  all levels beyond level 3 in this game are nearly identical, Go-Explore has solved the entire game. “In fact, our agents generalize beyond their initial trajectories, on average solving 29 levels and achieving a score of 469,209! This shatters the state of the art on Montezuma’s Revenge both for traditional RL algorithms and imitation learning algorithms that were given the solution in the form of a human demonstration,” mentions the Uber team. Pitfall: Once the trajectories had been collected in the exploration phase, researchers managed to reliably robustify the trajectories that collect more than 21,000 points. This led to Go-explore outperforming both the state of the art algorithms as well as average human performances, setting an AI record on Pitfall for scoring more than 21,000 points on Pitfall. Uber AI Labs “Some might object that, while the methods already work in the high-dimensional domain of Atari-from-pixels, it cannot scale to truly high-dimensional domains like simulations of the real world. We believe the methods could work there, but it will have to marry a more intelligent cell representation of interestingly different states (e.g. learned, compressed representations of the world) with intelligent (instead of random) exploration”, writes the Uber team. For more information, check out the official blog post. Read Next Uber becomes a Gold member of the Linux Foundation Uber announces the 2019 Uber AI Residency Uber posted a billion dollar loss this quarter. Can Uber Eats revitalize the Uber growth story?last_img read more

Windstars Star Perks Event coincides with launch of 15 new itineraries

first_imgWindstar’s Star Perks Event coincides with launch of 15 new itineraries SEATTLE – New ports in Asia and Arabia, plus new sailings in the Caribbean are just some of the highlights of Windstar Cruises’ 2017-2018 Winter Voyage Collection.The small ship cruise line has announced eight new itineraries visiting exotic ports in Asia and Arabia, including: ‘Best of the Philippines & Borneo’ (14 days); ‘Marvels of China & the Japanese Islands’ (14 days); ‘Splendors of Japan & South Korea’ (14 days); ‘Grand Japan’ (10 days); ‘Singapore & Thai Treasures’ (14 days); ‘Icons of Southeast Asia’ (14 days); ‘Wonders of Arabia (18 days); and ‘Pearls of the Indian Ocean’ (16 days).New yachting adventures that explore Caribbean coves and Central America’s top beaches include: ‘Adventures in Panama & Costa Rica’ (11 days); ‘Caribbean Legends’ (7 days); ‘Saints of the Caribbean’ (7 days); ‘Gems of the Leeward Islands’ (10 days); ‘Southern Caribbean Sweep’ (7 days); ‘Sailing the Caribbean’ (7 days); and ‘Caribbean Collection’ (14 days).More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckTimed to coincide with the opening of reservations for the 15 new itineraries, the line has launched the Star Perks Event, offering cruisers a choice of free pre/post hotel, beverage or Wi-Fi package, or up to US$1,000 shipboard credit.The Star Perks Event includes nearly 300 Windstar sailings and 40 new ports of call to almost all the line’s worldwide destinations in 2017 and 2018, aboard five of six yachts. Cruises include all new Asia and Arabia itineraries aboard the 212-passenger Star Legend. Also featured are all tropical Caribbean, Costa Rica and Panama Canal cruises, and all destination-immersive Europe itineraries including popular Iceland and Croatia voyages, as well as transatlantic crossings in 2017.“With 15 new itineraries in our 2017-2018 Winter Voyage Collection, this is one of the most robust additions of new cruises and ports in our history,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “It’s particularly exciting to couple our expanding global deployment with the comprehensive Star Perks Event, offering impressive vacation values on hundreds of cruises. We’re returning to Asia bigger than ever before – longer cruises from the right embarkation ports like Singapore and Hong Kong, and sailing further north. The lovely Star Legend yacht lets discerning travelers explore the wonders of Asia in Windstar’s classy, casual style.”More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksThe 2016 Star Perks Event runs through Dec. 9 and early booking is recommended. For more information go to Travelweek Group Posted by <> Share Thursday, November 17, 2016 last_img read more