Athens: Dozens of firefighters Tuesday battled a major wildfire that forced the evacuation of a monastery on the Greek island of Evia as smoke from the blaze reached as far as Athens, authorities said. Authorities also placed on alert two villages threatened by the blaze on the island, Greece’s second largest after Crete and located northeast of Athens. The fire started at about 3 am (0000 GMT) at the side of a road and was quickly spread by strong winds through the dry and dense vegetation in the centre of the island, the semi-official news agency ANA said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe monastery of Panagia Makrymallis was evacuated as a precaution and residents of the villages of Kontodespoti and Stavros were told to be ready to leave also, TV SKAI said. “Everything is ready in case it is necessary to evacuate the villages. The evacuation can be done in a few minutes. We are totally prepared,” Fani Spanos, the governor of central Greece who was coordinating the operations, told SKAI. He warned the fire was not yet under control and was spreading in an area that was inaccessible overland. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsAround 80 firefighters were fighting the blaze backed by some 40 fire trucks and two water-bombing helicopters and a plane. The strong winds blew the smoke from the blazing pine forest north toward the Magnesia region and south to the Attica peninsula and Athens. ANA said the pine forests on Evia are part of the “Natura 2000” European network of protected areas and habitats. Greece has been hit by a spate of wildfires since the weekend amid gale-force winds and temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 F). On Monday, a major forest fire threatening homes in Peania, an eastern suburb of Athens, was brought under control.
Comment Preview • The HP Omen X Desktop is for gamers on the edge 1 Review • HP’s PC gaming flagship turns PC gaming on its side The hardware in Metro Exodus’ menu system is practically life size on this monitor. Lori Grunin/CNET Gaming monitor manufacturers love to throw around the term “immersive” when referring to their products — the bigger and curvier it is, the louder the proclamations get. Well, no monitor to date can hold an immersive candle to the HP Omen X Emperium 65. It swallows you whole. I’m lucky it let me out long enough to get this written.It’s also $5,000 (about £3,830 or AU$7,000). So the most frequent question we get is “How is it better than a good 65-inch TV, which costs half as much?” The answer, at least for most people, is it’s not. But for a tiny subset of PC gamers, it’s more fun than a battle royale of monkeys.The Emperium was first announced at CES 2018 as part of Nvidia’s BFGD (Big Format Gaming Display) initiative, but HP is the only manufacturer from the group to have actually shipped a monitor. It feels like a Frankenstein’s monster of features: There’s a 65-inch Nvidia Shield smart HDR TV-slash-monitor that supports Nvidia’s G-Sync adaptive refresh technology and integrates Google Assistant. (So if you value your privacy, you may think of it as a personal-data-collecting portal of doom.) 22 Photos Mentioned Above HP Omen X CNET may get a commission from retail offers. HP Omen X News • HP Omen X 2S gaming laptop sports a second screen HP’s Omen X Emperium 65 and more gaming goodies come to CES 2019 See it Share your voice HP Nvidia $3,199 Gaming Accessories Monitors Tags Despite wanting to throw myself across it and plead with HP to let me keep it a while longer, it’s hard to recommend it as an actual purchase. Partly because pieces of it are bound to obsolesce within the next couple of years and partly because you’re probably better off spending less and putting the money you save into better-performing hardware and more games, at least until gaming figures out where it’s heading — the cloud, your phone, next-gen consoles or someplace as-yet unimagined.And she’ll have fun, fun, funConnected to a PC, the Emperium’s a jumbo-sized equivalent of a great 27-inch HDR (technically, HDR10) monitor like the Acer Predator X27, with similar specs but really, really big. I hooked the Emperium to a Falcon Northwest desktop equipped with an overclocked (to 4.9GHz) Intel Core i9-9900K and dual Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti cards. That’s pretty much the configuration you need to really appreciate all aspects of the Emperium simultaneously — the 4K, HDR and G-Sync.I didn’t see any artifacts, no matter what frame rate I threw at it, whether I went far beyond its native 120Hz (or 144Hz overclocked) or well below it — because 4K at ultra-everything including ray tracing still drops to unplayable frame rates. In this respect, it was one of the best G-Sync monitors I’ve used.While a 27-inch HDR monitor looks great, at 65 inches it really wows. The size alone ramps up Resident Evil 2 from scary-if-you-play-in-the-dark to leave-the-lights-on terrifying.Each game handles HDR differently. And because you’re looking at computer-generated graphics and not the real world depicted in movies, you don’t have the frame of reference to tell you whether a game’s colors look “correct” or the control you need to fine tune them. You just go with what appeals most and make sure the shadows aren’t so dark that you can find the object you’re looking for and won’t get ambushed by a mutant or a zombie. The otherworldly glowing reds and eye-searing brights in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice lend it that extra touch of surreality, so who cares if her face paint probably isn’t the correct shade of blue?The on-screen display. (Aside: Dear Google, can you please suggest “try searching for ‘how to make Google stop suggesting things'” instead? Thanks!) Lori Grunin/CNET I didn’t run a full suite of tests in the short time I had with the monitor, just enough to confirm that it hits the most important marks. In HDR mode it covers 97 percent of the P3 D6500 color gamut — that’s close to one of the best OLED TVs we’ve tested, which hits 98.4 percent (95 percent in SDR). It’s got a typical black level of 0.009 nits (minimum is 0.001). So it’s not OLED-level black, but it’s visibly impressive. It seems to overshoot peak brightness to roughly 1,100 nits and then gradually decline, outputting over 1,000 nits in 5 percent, 10 percent and 25 percent windows.The VA-IPS panel has 384-zone local dimming with no edge bleed that I could spot. It has typical off-axis viewing for the technology, so all but the most oblique angles look good.The soundbar that comes with the Emperium is an aesthetically pleasing, well-built and aurally balanced 2.1 system that fits snugly under the display and can be controlled by the Shield remote. But it connects to the monitor with a surprisingly low-end analog cable. It does have a DSP input.Enlarge ImageOne nice design touch is the automatic lighting strip and illuminated labels. Lori Grunin/CNET There’s a solid selection of connections on the Emperium:Four USB-A (two on each side)One DisplayPort 1.4Three HDMI 2.0 (1 ARC)SPDIFGigabit Ethernet802.11ac Wi-FiBluetoothYou should be able to connect peripherals, such as external storage or wired keyboard and mice via the USB ports, to use with the Shield — that’s what the menus imply. But I couldn’t get it to recognize any USB devices. Even if that’s just a bug, you can’t use the ports as a hub the way you can on a desktop monitor because there’s no upstream USB connection from the PC to the display.Nor did the monitor like our 5GHz network — it kept saying that the signal was weak and refusing to connect, even after I moved the monitor into the same room as the router. A keyboard, mouse and controller all connected through Bluetooth, but the controller especially tended to be too laggy, even for simply navigating Steam.Not ready for the futureIf you take the monitor capabilities out of the equation, the Emperium’s just a pretty good, overpriced Shield TV with the same annoying remote. All non-PC gaming, whether you’re using a console via HDMI or cloud via GeForce Now (GFN), is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and generally delivers the frame rate to match that, so you don’t need the refresh-rate versatility of the Emperium. Nor do you need a TV this high-end to play games over GFN. In fact, the broad tonal range of the display ends up emphasizing the artifacts — color contouring, desaturation and blockiness — of the compressed stream delivered by cloud-based games. GFN and the Google universe, including Android apps, Play games, streaming and video, adds value to the package, but you can get a box for $180 and attach it to a $2,500 OLED TV for the same capabilities. The sound bar should probably be optional.The Emperium offers fast refresh, but only connected to a PC with an Nvidia graphics card over DisplayPort. The HDMI connection is fixed at 60Hz for 4K. There’s a 1080p/120Hz option in the menu that I didn’t try, but HD on a 65-inch monitor has a pixel pitch you could drive a truck through (you sit much closer while gaming than you would just watching movies) and while it’s nice, it certainly isn’t worth five grand. 60Hz over HDMI is fine for now because console output is fixed there, too. But we’re expecting new consoles from Sony and Microsoft within the next couple of years, and you can bet they’ll have HDMI 2.1 connections to support variable or adaptive refresh technologies.So the Emperium won’t be able to take advantage of one of the most significant technology improvements to come to consoles in a while. And any gamer who’s going to plonk down this much for a monitor probably has a couple of consoles in addition to a power desktop, especially in the age of exclusives.It’s usually unwise to buy the first generation of anything — I’m looking at you, 5G and foldable phones — and while this is a good and polished one, the Emperium 65 is definitely a first-gen product.
Reliance Industries Ltd.’s (RIL) telecom arm Reliance Jio Infocomm has delivered big gains to RIL shareholders. The announcement of Reliance Jio’s 4G services may have dragged the shares of rivals such as Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel down substantially, eroding investors’ wealth, but RIL shareholders are gaining big time.The RIL stock hit a new 52-week-high of Rs 1,093.25 on Friday before closing at Rs 1,075.65, raising its market capitalisation by more than Rs 20,000 crore in two weeks ended 16 September. Based on the closing prices of Friday, RIL emerged as the biggest gainer on the bourses in terms of market capitalisation, adding Rs 10,361 crore during the week ended 16 September, after gaining Rs 10,004 crore in the preceding week.Though the Mukesh Ambani-owned company lags far behind IT services exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), its market capitalisation has gone up by Rs 20, 365 crore in two weeks, after losing Rs 4,800 crore in the week ended 2 September.In sharp contrast, TCS gained merely Rs 1,704 crore during the week ended 16 September after an erosion of Rs 31,723 crore in the previous week as a result of the company suggesting a bleak earnings outlook for the second quarter.HDFC Bank also gained for the second week in a row, adding Rs 1,906.75 crore, after gaining Rs 1,550 crore last week (ended 9 September).Other scrips that gained during the week included cigarette manufacturer ITC and IT services exporter Infosys, while public sector enterprises State Bank of India (SBI), Coal India Ltd. (CIL) and energy company ONGC saw an erosion in their market capitalisation.FMCG company Hindustan Unilever was the sole private company among India’s top 10 most-valued companies to lose in terms of market capitalisation during the week when the Sensex ended at 28,599, down marginally from the 9 September closing of 28,797.
Police collect evidence at the site of a shooting on early Friday in the city of Basel, north-west Switzerland. AFP photoTwo men shot dead two people and seriously injured a third on Thursday at a cafe in Basel, north-west Switzerland, police said as they hunt for the suspects.“Two men came into Cafe 56” around 8:15 pm local time (1915 GMT) “and fired several rounds of shots,” police said in a statement, without providing information on a possible motive.“Two customers were killed. Another is in a critical condition.”The assailants were on the run following the shooting, according to police, who said they had headed in the direction of the railway station after the attack.“The reason behind the attack is not yet known and will be investigated,” the Basel prosecutor’s office said in a statement.Police have asked anyone with information regarding the incident to come forward.The road next to the cafe has been cordoned off and traffic redirected.A bullet hole was visible in one of the windows of the establishment, a small cafe in a residential neighbourhood.An AFP photographer at the scene saw police dressed in white forensic garb collecting evidence at the site.“Cafe 56 doesn’t have a bad reputation,” a neighbourhood resident told local newspaper Basler Zeitung.“It was previously an establishment known for its links to the drug world, but since the owner changed several years ago it became an ordinary cafe,” the paper quoted another resident as saying.Gun crime is infrequent in Switzerland, even though the country has one of the highest rates of firearm ownership in the world.Citizens are allowed to keep their army-issue weapons at home outside periods of mandatory military service.This right has been controversial as sometimes weapons are used at home in domestic incidents.The number of weapons held at home is believed to be two million for a population of eight million, according to Swiss press.In January, a man clad in military clothing shot and injured two police officers as they searched his home in northeast Switzerland for a suspected cannabis plantation.The gunman fled but was eventually cornered and after a standoff lasting several hours, which included negotiations over the telephone, he shot himself dead.Police searching his home found gun publications.
Kolkata: The West Bengal State University (WBSU) in Barasat is all set to offer complete waiver of tuition fees for physically-challenged students pursuing post graduation in the varsity.The university will also be providing the same benefits to another 50 students, who are meritorious but under financial constraints to continue their studies . The university is hopeful that the step will encourage them in pursuit of higher studies. “The measure is in accordance with our new ideas of inclusivity in the university. We are roping in corporate houses, who are interested to provide funds to the university under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The money they are providing will be used for similar exercises of inclusivity in education,” said Basab Chaudhuri, Vice-Chancellor of WBSU. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA leading corporate organisation at Woodburn Park in Kolkata has already given Rs 2 lakh as part of their CSR to WBSU. Some other houses have also verbally agreed to give funds to the university which will be utilised to encourage meritorious students of weakfinancial background to carry out their higher studies. During the 2017 convocation held in the university , Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi while awarding degrees to two students learnt about their financial stringency to pursue further education. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe Governor later gave them Rs 10,000 each for continuing their studies and also urged the varsity to take measures to provide fellowship for needy yet meritorious students. There were around 800 students who had enrolled in the university for post graduation in 2018. The university is introducing PG degree in Urdu from the current academic year. “We had Urdu department since 2008 but could not start offering PG degree because there were no teachers. We have recruited teachers and have already released notification regarding commencement or Urdu in PG from this year,” a senior university official said. WBSU has 46 affiliated colleges in North 24-Parganas under its aegis with an average enrolment of nearly 55000 students. The university accounts for a huge number of first generation learners with more than 90 percent of such students in its affiliated colleges located at Basirhat and Chadraketugarh. Even in its affiliated college Ramkrishna Sarada Mission at Nagerbazar there is 60 percent first generation learners. “I have reached out to a number of our affiliated colleges in remote areas and have found out that students opt out in the middle of their study as they have to take the burden of their family,” Chaudhuri said.