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Toyota 'not completely ready' for WRC return, says Mikko Hirvonen

World Rally Championship event winner Mikko Hirvonen is not convinced Toyota is ready for its return in Monte Carlo this weekend

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Ex-Haas F1 driver Gutierrez talking with 'top team' about test role

Esteban Gutierrez says he is in talks with a “top team” about returning to a test driver role in Formula 1 this year

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Scientists Acknowledge That Many Aspects Of Zika Are Not Well Known | Tucson Mosquito Control

Scientists Acknowledge That Many Aspects Of Zika Are Not Well Known | Tucson Mosquito Control

Since the outbreak of Zika over a year ago, scientists are still trying to answer some key questions. It is now commonly known that the Zika virus causes birth defects, as the virus is able to penetrate the womb. However, top Zika researchers are at odds over the question of how often Zika infects the fetus of pregnant women. For example, one medical journal reported that forty two percent of pregnant women infected with Zika will give birth to babies with birth defects, whereas another journal reported the rate of birth defects as being only six percent.

This month two different high profile medical journals reported contradictory data about the frequency of fetal Zika infections. Some experts believe that the plethora of medical studies, which will be released during the next few months, will bring about even more confusion regarding the biological workings of the Zika virus. According to an epidemiologist working for the Pasteur Institute in Paris, all of the medical researchers experimenting with the Zika virus are using different methodologies, which result in different answers to many of the same questions about Zika. This disparity in results is likely a natural consequence of several studies being released at the same time for the first time. After a few more years of research, experts will have developed more absolute and sophisticated ideas regarding the nature of the Zika virus.

Do you think that funding for the Zika virus should be spent solely on searching for a vaccine?






The post Scientists Acknowledge That Many Aspects Of Zika Are Not Well Known | Tucson Mosquito Control appeared first on Arizona Pest Control.

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Video: Through the Khumbu Icefall on Everest in the Winter

At the moment, Spanish mountaineer Alex Txikon is attempting a winter ascent of Everest – a rare feat to say the least. During this time of the year, the mountain is abandoned, which leaves Alex and his team to do all of the work themselves, including building a path through the dreaded Khumbu Icefall. In this video, we get to see that hard work taking place, as the squad carefully puts a series…

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Mark Zuckerberg will testify in a $2 billion lawsuit that claims the VR startup he bought was based on stolen tech (FB)

mark zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify in court on Tuesday, January 17 for a potentially explosive lawsuit that claims the Oculus VR startup he acquired for $2 billion was based on stolen technology.

The more than two-year-old suit against Facebook by game maker Zenimax has culminated with a public trial by jury in a Dallas court that began on January 9. Zenimax is seeking $2 billion in damages against Facebook, which is the amount the social networking giant initially paid to buy Oculus in 2014.

Representatives for Zenmiax confirmed to Business Insider that Zuckerberg will take the stand on Tuesday, followed by Oculus cofounder Palmer Luckey later in the week. The trial began on January 9; Oculus CTO and former Zenimax employee John Carmack was the first to testify on January 10.

Facebook tried to argue that Zuckerberg shouldn’t have to answer questions about his acquisition of Oculus, but the case’s judge overruled the request. Luckey’s testimony will be his first public appearance since he admitted to secretly funding a political group that created anti-Hillary Clinton memes in September.

“One of the biggest technology heists ever”

john carmack

At the center of the lawsuit is Oculus CTO John Carmack, who previously ran a video game company within Zenimax called id Software and is best known as the mastermind behind video games like “Doom” and “Quake.”

Zenimax has accused Oculus executives of knowingly stealing its software and trade secrets through the hiring of Carmack and five of his employees from id Software. It claims that Carmack violated his employee agreement with Zenimax by sharing confidential information that Oculus then used as the basis for its VR software.

A lawyer representing Zenimax, Tony Sammi, went so far as to call Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus “one of the biggest technology heists ever” during opening remarks to the jury on January 10.

Facebook contends that Zenimax’s claims are without merit, and that Zenimax only filed the lawsuit because it passed on investing in Oculus before Facebook bought the company for $2 billion and an additional $800 million in employee retention payouts.

“Oculus and its founders have invested a wealth of time and money in VR because we believe it can fundamentally transform the way people interact and communicate,” an Oculus spokesperson told Business Insider. “We’re disappointed that another company is using wasteful litigation to attempt to take credit for technology that it did not have the vision, expertise, or patience to build.”

Zuckerberg, Luckey, Iribe, and other key Oculus employees are scheduled to testify during the remainder of the three-week trial. They will be asked about how Facebook came to acquire Oculus, the details of how the Oculus Rift headset was invented, and whether Carmack violated his contract with Zenimax. Prior to these testimonies, most of the case’s proceedings have been kept secret and under seal by the court.

SEE ALSO: Facebook no longer has a CEO of Oculus VR

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NOW WATCH: Facebook’s new Oculus headset will make you feel like you’re floating in space

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David Sims Shoots a Series of Mesmerizing Portraits for Valentino’s Spring 2017 Campaign

Each season, there’s always one campaign that has us head over heels, and Valentino has managed to stand out once again after a truly epic Fall 2016 campaign. With Maria Grazia now heading up Christian Dior, Pierpaolo Piccioli‘s first campaign as solo creative director is sublime. Ditching Steven Meisel in favor of David Sims, Piccioli tapped models Christy Turlington, Liya Kebede, Fei Fei Sun, Julia Ratner, Mali Koopman, Blesnya Minher and Lorena Maraschi for a series of mesmerizing portraits.

Valentino S/S 2017 by David Sims


Members of our forums were full of praise for the Spring 2017 campaign. “Oh yeah, this is going to be good,” confessed GERGIN after seeing the first campaign image.

“VERY quickly becoming a fan of Pierpaolo. I will say I usually enjoy Valentino’s campaigns but never collection AND campaign. Valentino should thank the Gods they retained the superior of the duo,” voiced VogueDisciple93.

Sharing the same thoughts was TaylorBinque: “This. Pierpaolo has definitely proves himself to be a great creative director and both the collection and campaign reflect it very well. He lets the work speak itself.”

“Weird how splitting up a duo could give a brand more energy. Valentino felt so stale for so long. This is a step in the right direction,” pointed out RedSmokeRise.

Valentino S/S 2017 by David Sims


“Amazing campaign, Christy looks gorgeous,” raved burbuja8910.

Apple liked the diverse casting too: “This is already my favorite campaign of the season. The cast is a dream: the super Christy, the iconic Liya and Fei Fei, the gorgeous newcomers Lorena and Ratner. They all represent feminine but strong beauty in my opinion so they are perfect for this collection. The close-ups are simply stunning and timeless.”

“I think this is my favorite campaign this season. The portraits are timeless,” heralded a more than satisfied mathiaskatz.

Valentino S/S 2017 by David Sims


See more from Valentino’s Spring 2017 ad campaign and join the party here.

The post David Sims Shoots a Series of Mesmerizing Portraits for Valentino’s Spring 2017 Campaign appeared first on theFashionSpot.

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'Skin in the game': Venezuela's Socialist Party is losing its influence but tightening its grip on power

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds a book with a photo of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez as he talks to the media during a news conference after the 17th Non-Aligned Summit in Porlamar, Venezuela September 18, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello

The Socialist Party of Venezuela, first under Hugo Chavez and now under Nicolas Maduro, has held the country’s presidency for 18 years, since Chavez swept into office at the end of 1998.

But recent years have been tumultuous for the PSUV, the Socialist Party’s initials in Spanish.

Since Maduro took over by winning a special election after Chavez’s death in early 2013, Venezuela has been buffeted by economic crises spurred on by poor policy and the decline of the price of oil, from which Venezuelan draws the vast majority of its export earnings, as well as by political tensions stoked in part by Maduro’s efforts to maintain power.

While Chavez maintained some level of popularity — a 2009 survey put his approval at 54% to 45% disapproval, and a survey soon after his death in 2013 found 55% of respondents wanting his policies to continue — Maduro has seen his popularity steadily decline.

A spring 2015 survey found the current Venezuelan president with a 68%-29% approval-disapproval rating, and more recently he has seen his popularity fall below 20%. Now support for Maduro’s Socialist Party appears to be feeling the same decline.

A recent survey of political leanings by Venezuelan pollster Datanálisis found that the PSUV is no longer the dominant political force in the country.

Opposition supporters take part in a rally against President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela, October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

“The independents are at 45% while the opposition [is] around 27% and the PSUV only amounts to 18%,” said Datanálisis director Jose Antonio Gil, according to Globovision. “The big news is that the PSUV lost from 2004 to now the primacy as the principal party in the country.”

When Chavez died from cancer in 2013, 40% of Venezuelans identified with the PSUV, but Maduro’s administration “has lowered it to less than half” that number, Gil said.

Gil, who didn’t specify the period over which the survey was taken, added that in terms of political self-definition, 47% of respondents identified with the opposition, and only 20% aligned with the governing socialists. Those saying they were “neither nor” were 33%.

Those who are “neither nor” reject both the government and the opposition, Gil said. “They want dialogue and peace, they are fed up with the conflict between the government and the opposition. For these people sitting at the dialogue table was a positive opportunity.”

Jesus Torrealba (R), secretary of Venezuela's coalition of opposition parties (MUD), talks to the media during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello

The Socialist Party’s unpopularity was demonstrated in December 2015, when it was drubbed in a national legislative election that saw the opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), take a commanding majority.

Since then, despite widespread popular distaste, PSUV leadership has mostly held together and maintained control over four of the five branches of government. The party has also pursued other means to maintain political control.

It contested some of those legislative elections, seeking to deny the opposition a supermajority. Over the last several months, Maduro’s government has stymied opposition efforts to mount a recall referendum that could have removed him from office and triggered a new election.

Maduro’s efforts to block the recall were aided by other government bodies, the national electoral council and the supreme court in particular, that dragged their feet on official decisions and blocked moves by the opposition-controlled legislature to check Maduro’s power and bring on the recall vote.

The window has closed on the period during which a recall would have ousted Maduro and led to a new election; at this point, Maduro’s vice president would take over should a recall vote him out of the presidency.

Opposition leaders have been divided on how to proceed.

Deputies of the Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties (MUD) Romel Guzamana (L), Julio Ygarza (2nd R), Nirma Guarulla (R), and the governor of the Amazonas state Liborio Guarulla (2nd L) attend to a meeting at the Supreme Court in Caracas January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Some have called for a new round of street protests, while others want to continue Vatican-mediated dialogue with the government. The MUD’s leader has ruled out further talks. (Divisions within the MUD have hindered its ability to present a cohesive response to Maduro, and in turn hamstrung its efforts to win popular support.)

In the National Assembly, the opposition has mounted other efforts to condemn Maduro.

This week, opposition lawmakers adopted a resolution declaring that Maduro had abandoned his office, saying that while he regularly appeared on television (and hosted a salsa show) for hours a day, he had “failed to perform the basic duties of governing.”

Socialist Party leadership dismissed the resolution, saying the assembly had acted disobediently and that the opposition legislature’s political trial would amount to nothing.

Maduro himself called the measure a “coup d’etat” and said he was launching an “anti-coup commando squad” made up of hardline senior security officials. In recent days, police acting under orders of that new squad have arrested three opposition politicians on weapons charges and accusations of plotting a coup.

“President Maduro has not resigned and he will not resign,” Socialist Party Vice President Diosdado Cabello said before the vote. “He has not abandoned his post, and we have not recognized nor will we recognize a disobedient legislature.”

“The truth is Maduro will continue as president,” Cabello said after the resolution passed.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro Diosdado Cabello

Recent moves by Maduro have demonstrated how high his administration views the stakes in its struggle for political survival in Venezuela.

Earlier this month, he appointed former Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami as vice president. El Aissami, like other recent government appointees, has been linked to US drug-trafficking investigations.

Bringing El Aissami and other Venezuela officials who could face charges abroad into his inner circle “is not simply an attempt to slap the US in the face, but rather a rational move for Maduro, since he knows [they] will now fight to the end,” David Smilde, senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America, told Business Insider in August last year.

“There is also a perverse logic whereby anybody with an indictment or subject to sanctions suddenly has extremely high exit costs” if they were to oppose the Maduro administration, Smilde said at the time. “This makes them extremely attractive to the Maduro government as core defenders.”

Venezuela grocery store shelves

The Venezuelan military — already cited by both sides as a possible “king-maker” in Venezuela — has been brought further into the government’s fold.

In summer last year, Maduro put the military in charge of distributing food and medicine, both of which are in short supply for much of the country. An Associated Press report indicates this control has led the military to develop trafficking and bribery schemes, which add to accusations military personnel are heavily involved in the drug trade.

“By allowing the military to oversee food distribution in Venezuela, Maduro has made the armed forces a direct stakeholder in permanence of the regime,” Geoff Ramsey wrote this month for WOLA’s Venezuela Politics and Human Rights blog. “In effect, military officials have enough ‘skin in the game’ to side with the government instead of the people if there is social upheaval.”

The military’s leadership seems cognizant of these ties. Earlier this month, in a rebuke to new National Assembly President Julio Borges, the Venezuelan armed forces restated their “absolute loyalty and unconditional support” for Maduro.

SEE ALSO: Venezuela’s embattled government hikes minimum wage by 50% — the 5th increase in a year

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NOW WATCH: ‘You are fake news’: Watch Trump attack a news reporter during his first press conference as president-elect

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THE Most Popular Products From 13 Top Makeup Brands

Here’s a scenario every person who’s obsessed with makeup encounters: Walking into Sephora to pick up a concealer or a mascara and suddenly getting lost in the myriad of choices. Sure, you know that Make Up For Ever and NARS make some of the best products out there, but is it best to get a foundation from Make Up For Ever and a concealer from NARS? Or should it be the other way around?

There’s really no way to make a definitive list of the best products from every makeup brand (after all, the same product could work in many different ways for a bunch of different people), but there is a way to get closer to knowing what the best choices are from each brand. We stumbled upon a Reddit thread that found users listing the one product they would choose from the biggest makeup brands out there and we also cross-checked each user favorite with the best-selling products on Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta and other popular retailers. Behold, the best makeup and most popular products from 13 of your favorite beauty brands.

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Police in Peru took down an international drug ring hiding cocaine in vegetables

Peru police drug raid bust cocaine package shipment

Peruvian police found a little over 4,508 pounds of cocaine hidden in packages of asparagus destined for Amsterdam on Wednesday.

Upon searching the property, authorities found pallets of cans of asparagus ready for shipment. Hidden behind the cans were packages of cocaine.

Members of the Peruvian National Police’s Anti-drugs Office arrested six people, among them a Serbian man and five Peruvians suspected of running a smuggling operation from a gourmet food business that canned fruits and vegetables for shipment, authorities said on Thursday.

Police raided the property late on Wednesday night, after intelligence and surveillance work indicated criminal activity, police and the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

The men arrested ranged in age from 24 to 49.

Authorities reportedly put the value of the shipment at $4 million in Peru and $174 million at its destination.

Two 4×4 SUVs, $75,000 in cash, computer and communication equipment, and a Glock pistol were also seized in the raid on the property of the exporter, Fresh Aromas of Peru Corporation, which is located in the district of Ate on the eastern outskirts of Lima.

Peru asparagus cocaine drug bust raid

According to a local prosecutor, the group arrested was part of a international drug-trafficking network that shipped cocaine to European countries. The shipment intercepted at the property was ready for transport to Peru’s main port, west of Peru on the Pacific Ocean, from where it would head to Amsterdam.

The investigation began in November, when prosecutors focused on organized-crime activity began gathering evidence on the group’s leaders, who were allegedly acquiring cocaine from the Huallaga region, located in the northern part of Peru’s Amazon rainforest, then transporting it to Lima to be concealed and shipped.

The final state in the investigation involved telephone intercepts and an extended period of surveillance and monitoring, according to RPP Noticias. Authorities moved in on the property at 9 on Wednesday night.

Three suspects were detained there and the other three, who had left the building prior to the raid, were apprehended soon after in neighboring districts of the city.

Peru police drug bust raid drug trafficking ring

Peru is virtually tied with Colombia as the world’s biggest cocaine producer. Peru is also among the world’s largest producers of asparagus, quinoa, avocado, and artichoke.

Authorities there have warned about the growing presence of drug traffickers, and there is extensive evidence that the criminal organizations involved in the drug trade have infiltrated or, at times, bought off parts of Peru’s political and law-enforcement apparatus. Some officials have warned the country is closing to becoming a full-fledged “narco state.”

Drug trafficking from Peruvian ports is believed to have risen since a new law authorizing the military to shoot down drug-smuggling aircraft in the jungle was passed in 2015. The movement of drugs through Peru’s ports has been aided in recent years by efforts by criminal organizations to recruit dock workers to help conceal and transport drug shipments.

(Reporting for Reuters by Mitra Taj; editing by Sandra Maler)

SEE ALSO: US border agents seize $30 million in cocaine in the heart of a resurgent smuggling zone

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NOW WATCH: The Secret Service seized $30 million in fake money in its biggest bust ever

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Paraprobiotics: Next functional food frontier?

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