England Captain Harry Kane has revealed he was making final preparations for his club’s fixture against Southampton when he learned of the award.The Tottenham striker who had an incredible year for both club and country said he received messages from his fiancee Kate urging him to get in touch just prior to Tottenham’s Premier League game against Southampton on December 5.Harry Kane was in good form at the world cup and won the World Cup Golden Boot with six goals in the team’s run to the semi-finals.,Kane who has now scored a total of 156 goals in all competitions for Tottenham told Spurs TV via Belfasttelegraph:Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“We got a letter to the house, Kate opened the letter…it was before the Southampton game.“Normally we’d talk a little but she would never call me just before the match. I had a missed call and she texted me ‘could you answer?’.“I thought something was wrong! But Kate was excited and told me that we’d had a letter from the Queen saying we’d get an MBE.“I’m proud for her as well and the whole family. It’s not just for me. We’re part of a journey together. It shows that the hard work has paid off.”
Citation: Physicists Investigate Controversy over Room-Temperature Ice (2008, August 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-08-physicists-controversy-room-temperature-ice.html (PhysOrg.com) — By confining water in nano-sized spaces, physicists from Leiden University in the Netherlands have turned water into ice at room temperature. While it’s not the first time scientists have created room-temperature ice, Dutch physicists K. B. Jinesh and Joost Frenken hope that their findings will put the controversial subject of water under nanoscale confinement in a new light. Explore further “The ice that forms in the confinement is normal ice; most probably, ice with a hexagonal lattice, which is the form of the most common crystalline ice seen in nature,” Jinesh said. The physicists also observed a few other ice formation traits. They found that, at higher humidities, ice appeared only to form under lower tip-scanning speeds compared to at lower humidities. This difference may be because high humidity causes the water film to be thicker, so that the molecules require more time for ordering, and need to be confined under the tip for a longer time.The researchers also observed evidence for static friction between the tip and the substrate, due to the ice formation. When the tip briefly paused, the ice had more time to become completely ordered, which made the tip “stick” more at that point in its stick-slip motion. “It is difficult to foresee an application at this level of invention,” Jinesh said. “The foreseeable difficulty is that in MEMS and NEMS, where the contact areas are shrinking in dimensions, ice formation could be a big problem that causes immediate failure of the devices. On the other hand, to increase friction wherever necessary, this technique could be employed, but it is so far a fiction, I would say!”More information: Jinesh, K.B. and Frenken, J.W.M. “Experimental Evidence for Ice Formation at Room Temperature.” Physical Review Letters 101, 036101 (2008).Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Compared with other liquids, water behaves in strange ways. When under extreme confinement – such as when squeezed between two surfaces in an area of less than 10 molecular diameters (or 1 nm) – most liquid molecules become highly ordered, acquiring a solid-like structure. But in the case of water, several factors theoretically oppose the molecular ordering under confinement. For one thing, water is the only liquid that expands when it freezes, making it difficult for water to turn into ice when confined to a small space. Some physicists have proposed that water’s unique characteristics cause it to remain a liquid under confinement, while others argue that water solidifies under confinement, with each water molecule sharing hydrogen bonds with its neighbors. “Some simulations and even experiments have shown that water retains its liquid state and bulk viscosity even under extreme confinement, down to 0.1 nm,” Jinesh told PhysOrg.com. “At the same time, some other experiments have shown that the viscosity of water changes under confinement. This experimental controversy is the difficulty existing in literature to explain how water would behave as a lubricant under various situations.”In their recent study published in Physical Review Letters, Jinesh and Frenken have demonstrated direct experimental evidence for water transforming into ice at room temperature when confined between two objects. By scanning the tungsten tip of a high-res friction force microscope over a graphite surface, the physicists showed that the water trapped in between due to capillary condensation rapidly transforms into ice due to confinement. The current study builds on the team’s initial demonstration of ice formation under confinement in 2006, but with more solid information about the structure of the ice formed. “Our experiment undoubtedly demonstrates that water crystallizes at room temperature, under confinement,” Jinesh said. “This is a strong step towards resolving the existing controversy of whether or not water would change its bulk property due to confinement.”Here, the physicists investigated how scanning speeds and changes in relative humidity affected the tungsten tip’s scanning motion, as measured by a friction-sensitive Tribolever cantilever on the tip. At low scanning speeds and modest humidity, the tungsten tip exhibited stick-slip motion, alternately stopping and sliding. The physicists explained that this motion occurs because of the subsequent breaking and resolidification of the ice that is firmly attached to the tip and to the graphite. Only the molecules between the tip and graphite are solid ice, while everywhere else the molecules remain in a liquid water state. Dust storms swirl at the north pole of Mars
Kolkata: Murshidabad district police have nabbed two persons and seized Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) worth Rs 7 lakh from Farakka.According to police, on Thursday night sleuths got a tip-off that a good number of FICN denominations will be smuggled through Farakka. After a while police came to know from sources that two persons from south India whose whereabouts seemed suspicious were staying in a hotel near New Farakka crossing. Based on the information, on the wee hours of Friday, police raided the room number 33 of the hotel and detained two residents of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. During search sleuths found 350 FICN of Rs 2000 denomination. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseImmediately, the duo identified as Raghunand Naidu and Rajesh Dewala was arrested. Later, during interrogation they said that they were acting as a carrier of FICN. A person from Baishnabnagar in Malda had delivered the FICNs to them on Thursday. They were about to leave for Chittoor on Saturday. They also confessed that previously they tried to get hold of FICN but failed to get right contact. Sleuths suspect that a racket in Andhra Pradesh is trying to smuggle in FICN there. The Superintendent of Police (SP) of Murshidabad, Sri Mukesh said: “The rate of FICN is Rs 1 lakh for FICN worth Rs 2 lakh. We are trying to identify the person who came from Malda to deliver the FICNs.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to police, last year Murshidabad District Police had nabbed 84 persons and seized FICN worth Rs 1 crore 28 lakh. This year till Friday, 10 persons have been arrested and approximately Rs 10.28 lakh have been seized. Malda for long has a prominent hub for counterfeit currency trade. According to an estimate by Bengal CID, this year, various security agencies have seized counterfeit currencies worth Rs 1.75 crore from across the country and every seizure had the familiar Malda link.
Chapter 2: Humbling the Oligarchs For a national leader wishing to cement a hold on power—especially a would-be autocrat—nothing beats war. Turning the children of the common folk into soldiers and sending them to do battle with a feared or hated enemy tends to unite those folk in support of whoever is in charge, no matter what the actual reason for the fighting. It works in any country. So it was with Putin and Chechnya. Although the breakaway republic wasn’t exactly a foreign country, to most Russians it might as well have been. So they fell right in line behind their aggressive new president and his Chechnya campaign. Putin is always ready for the next move, the zag after the zig. He recognized that as quickly as war wins the population over to your side, the advantage can just as quickly be lost. The longer a war goes on, the more likely people are to turn against it. Lose a war, and everyone decides they were against it all along. So to gain from a bloody conflict, a leader needs a swift, decisive victory. The First Chechen War had left Russians with a sour taste in their mouths. It went on for two years and ended with their well-equipped, modern army failing against a posse of back-country guerrillas—a replay of Afghanistan in Russia’s own backyard. No one was in the mood for more of the same. The people rallied behind Putin because they detected his willingness to do whatever it took to get the job done. What else would you expect from an ex-KGB officer? Predictably, Putin went at the Chechens with maximum firepower and subdued them with minimum loss of Russian lives. After that, Russia’s lingering troubles with the republic hardly mattered. The war had ended quickly, and it had ended in victory, a demonstration of Putin’s strength for all to see. No more wishy-washy leaders in the Kremlin. A real man was back at the helm. The people cheered. Disposing of an outside threat was important as a first step toward Putin’s goal of reestablishing Russian might, with himself as the revered leader. It was the relatively simple part, however. Next, he had to deal with his political enemies. Some were easy to identify. The drifting policies of the Yeltsin years had fostered a small class of crafty and often violent billionaires, a wild bunch known as the oligarchs. In the words of a former deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank: “All Russian oligarchs are fiendishly ingenious, fiendishly strong, malicious, and greedy—tough customers to deal with.” Land of Opportunity During the 1990s, the country was struggling to adopt the ways of a free-market society. After 70 years of enforced collectivism, suffocation by central planning, and the quashing of individual initiative, Russia’s freedom makeover wasn’t going smoothly. The transition from centralized command and control to free markets was hindered by a massive flight of domestic capital, foreign investors deserting the country, a sharp rise in unemployment, widespread failure to meet payrolls for those who actually held jobs, and a precipitous drop in the foreign-exchange value of the ruble (which hit its all-time low in late 1993). Before the early 1990s, there wasn’t even a stock market. Three generations of Russians had toiled under the threat of communism’s gulags and been trained to look to Moscow for decisions in all matters. And that was after three and a half centuries of submission to czarist rule. Suddenly, people were thrown into a situation they weren’t prepared for and had no experience with. That they were overwhelmed by their first whiff of freedom was hardly a surprise. Most were utterly lost, but not all. As state control of enterprises withered, a few crafty individuals saw they could exploit what was happening. Some were already wealthy, whereas others simply seized the opportunity to start a fortune. What they all had in common was an aptitude for business that was in such short supply in Russia. The best that can be said of the oligarchs is that they were ready for economic freedom when almost no one else was. They certainly helped with the transition to a market economy. But in a society where cronyism, bribery, extortion, and murder for hire are normal, it would be a stretch to argue that these newly minted billionaires came by their fortunes in an honest way. They were utterly ruthless. But they would soon learn that someone else was even more so: Vladimir Putin. Nailing Khodorkovsky Putin realized early on that the key to Russia’s rebirth was its vast wealth of natural resources. Oil, gas, uranium—the country had them all in abundance. All figured into his master plan. And because of their importance, energy companies could not be allowed to fall under the control of foreign investors, no matter what. Even domestic private owners would have to answer to the state or, more to the point, to Putin. The oligarchs mattered to Putin not merely because of their wealth but because energy was precisely the industry in which they were most prominent. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the richest and most powerful of them, with a fortune of $18 billion. In his struggle with the oligarchs, Putin’s contest with Khodorkovsky was the decisive battle. When it ended—with Khodorkovsky and others stripped of their wealth and imprisoned, exiled, or dead—there was no doubt that Putin would be the overlord of Russia’s energy sector. And he would be thanked for what he did. As with Chechnya, attacking the oligarchs was a hit with the public, who resented both their great wealth and how they had gotten it. Seeing them humbled amped up Putin’s popularity yet again. The Khodorkovsky match was not the only front in Putin’s war with the oligarchs. But it was the splashiest, and it best illustrates his methods. Like Putin, Khodorkovsky had spent his childhood in a shabby communal apartment and, also like Putin, he had ambition to spare. After working as a leader in Komsomol, a communist youth organization, he opened the Youth Center for Scientific and Technological Development. Later he founded an import/export firm. As he transitioned from communist to capitalist, Khodorkovsky came to believe that the new Russian economy should be centered on high-tech industries rather than on natural resources. That put him in conflict with Putin’s notion that resources are the natural engine for Russia’s economic progress. Khodorkovsky became a prominent advocate for a free market. In 1993, he published the Russian capitalist manifesto, The Man with the Ruble. In it he wrote: “It is time to stop living according to Lenin! Our guiding light is Profit, acquired in a strictly legal way. Our Lord is His Majesty, Money, for it is only He who can lead us to wealth as the norm in life.” Khodorkovsky’s compliance with the law was noticeably far from strict. But that was the norm at the time. Several of his early millionaire colleagues had gotten so closely involved with criminals that they eventually had to flee the country to save their lives and the lives of their families. Shootings in public view were common, as were kidnappings of women and children. It was all part of the cost of doing business. That Khodorkovsky’s import/export company was known to violate dozens of laws surprised no one, and by comparison with many others he was a goody-goody. It was entering the financial arena that put Khodorkovsky on track to join the billionaires’ club. And it was through Bank Menatep that he positioned himself to become the richest man in the new Russia. Vouchers Bank Menatep, which Khodorkovsky established in 1989, made significant profits, reportedly enhanced by diverted state funds. The bank also operated a lucrative market for trading state privatization vouchers, which turned out to be more than just another profit center. Though it seems crazy now, the voucher program must have made sense to Boris Yeltsin at the time. He initiated it in 1992 on a day when, perhaps, he was heavily into the vodka. Yeltsin proposed that every man, woman, and child in Russia be issued a voucher that could be exchanged for shares in one of the state enterprises undergoing privatization. That way, Yeltsin was convinced, every citizen would gain a stake in the emerging capitalist economy. However, consistent with capitalist principles, everyone would be free to trade or sell his or her voucher if one chose to. The voucher idea had been imported to Russia by consulting economists from the United States. It made good sense in a textbook kind of way. But it made no sense at all if the vouchers were going to be issued to people who didn’t understand what the pieces of paper represented. Over 140 million Russians participated in the grand voucher program, the great majority of them cash poor and lacking even a rudimentary comprehension of capital markets. Most chose to capture a little cash immediately by selling their vouchers. That played right into the hands of anyone with a bit of investment sense—especially the oligarchs. They were ready and able to accommodate the millions of Russians who knew nothing about the vouchers except that they could be turned into instant cash. Buying on the very cheap, they gained control of formerly state-run companies, which concentrated an astronomical amount of wealth and power in the hands of a very few. Khodorkovsky topped the list of those who made the people’s ignorance his gain. Through Bank Menatep and a separate holding company, he took control of a string of companies for mere kopecks on the ruble. It wasn’t quite theft, but it was a process in which informed consent played no role whatsoever. In 1995, Group Menatep moved on Yukos, a major petroleum conglomerate. Yukos had been assembled by the Russian government in 1993 to roll up dozens of state-owned production, refining, and distribution assets, including one of the most productive oil fields in western Siberia. Like most other Russian companies struggling to adapt to a market economy, its performance had been dismal. Oil production rates were declining, employees were months behind in getting paid, and financial controls were haphazard. Khodorkovsky set out to grab Yukos and fix it. He captured Yukos in two bold moves and in so doing demonstrated that he was a wily businessman, someone to be reckoned with. Vladimir Putin—at the time still working for the mayor of St. Petersburg, but with his eye on higher office—took notice. Perhaps, given his dispassion in separating ends from means, he even admired how Khodorkovsky operated. It happened this way: First, knowing that the Yeltsin administration was strapped for cash, Bank Menatep participated in the ill-fated “Loans for Shares” program. Under the arrangement, Yeltsin’s government pledged shares in several of Russia’s most profitable companies as collateral for loans from oligarch-controlled banks. The value of the collateral was several times more than the value of the loans secured. If the state defaulted—and its debilitated condition made that likely—the lending bank was supposed to auction off the shares. But the auctions that actually took place were rigged. Everything was carefully planned to exclude anyone who might outbid the lending bank. In this instance, Bank Menatep lent the Kremlin $159 million under conditions that virtually ensured default. For collateral, the Kremlin pledged 45 percent of Yukos, which at that point was worth over $3 billion, or some 20 times the size of the loan. Then, when the government indeed defaulted, Khodorkovsky effectively swapped the IOU Bank Menatep was holding for nearly half of Yukos. Days later, to gain full control, Menatep purchased another 33 percent of Yukos from Yeltsin’s desperate government for just $150 million, or about 15 cents on the dollar. Over the next several years, Khodorkovsky brought the company back to health. In 2002 Yukos became the first Russian oil company to pay dividends to its shareholders, and by 2003 it was accounting for 20 percent of all Russian oil production and 2 percent of the world’s. It had become the country’s second-largest taxpayer, covering 4 percent of the Russian federal budget. This was quite a high standing for a company about to be smashed. Whether Putin could have succeeded in moving on Khodorkovsky in a different political and economic climate is difficult to judge. But he clearly made savvy use of the man’s past. You’ve just read an excerpt from Marin Katusa’s new book, The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp. Click here to order your copy now.
Higher costs for oil, industrial metals and other materials have emerged as a headwind during US earnings season, amplifying inflation worries at the same time the labor market is tightening. “Ultimately, these companies that are calling out rising input costs have a choice: They can either eat those costs at the expense of their profit margins or they can choose to pass those costs onto their customers,” O’Hare said.”If they pass them along, then their customers choose to pass them along to their customers and so on, and so you get more generalized price inflation.”Raw material price increases are trending well above expectations at the industrial conglomerate 3M, especially for oil-linked materials and transportation and logistics. But the company expects those trends to be more than offset by strong demand across its markets, including in consumer goods and home care, allowing it to raise prices.”For the year, we’re still expecting our stronger price growth to more than offset the raw materials,” said chief financial officer Nicholas Gangestad.More inflation ahead?But companies are also monitoring commodity prices to see if prices continue to rise. A report last month from the World Bank concluded that commodity prices were set to grow “more than expected” in 2018, pointing to increases across oil, metals and grains.In a May 1 investor note, Goldman Sachs also highlighted commodities as being in a “bull tilt” in part because of low inventories after a long period of under-investment. But the report also noted that many investors were “skeptical” of the outlook, in part out of fear of buying at the top of the commodity cycle.Parker of American Airlines said the company’s response would partly depend on what happened in the oil market, saying the carrier would lift ticket prices if it concludes high fuel prices are here to stay.”As the cost of production goes up, the cost of the product generally follows,” Parker said. If fuel prices stay high, “I would expect you would see higher fares to consumers over time.”Ford has estimated that materials costs will be $1.5 billion over last year’s, which had already seen a jump.”It will be two years of pretty sharp increases,” said Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks, adding that the estimate did not include tariffs on metals announced by the Trump administration in March.Ford believes the risk of tariffs “has essentially already been priced in by the market,” Shanks said. Companies from across the US economy cited the drag from supply costs in conference calls, in some cases reporting lower first-quarter profits or cutting their outlook.Arconic, a spin-off from Alcoa that focuses on aviation and auto clients, slashed its outlook due to a “steep increase” in aluminum prices, said chief financial officer Ken Giacobbe.Prices of the metal have risen further after US announcements of tariffs on imported aluminum and sanctions on Russian aluminum company Rusal.American Airlines Chief Executive Doug Parker rued that oil prices had risen “very quickly” and the company cut its forecast range for full-year profits. Executives at Kraft Heinz also reported cost pressures for freight, packaging and oil, although the elevated prices have not affected forecasts, while Mondelez International, another food giant, also confirmed its profit outlook despite higher cocoa costs.’Risk is building’Worries about inflation have been a preoccupation of policymakers and money managers all year because of the fear a sudden jump in prices would prompt the Federal Reserve to accelerate interest rate increases, potentially shocking the global economy.The Federal Reserve this week acknowledged that inflation had moved closer to its target of two percent. The statement, while not expressing alarm at pricing trends, kept the central bank on track to keep lifting interest rates this year.Jim Corridore, an analyst at CFRA Research who covers industrial companies, said inflation was “not something we’re overly concerned about.” Companies managed to turn in solid profits due to higher overall sales and the lift from US tax cuts.”At this point it’s not any more concerning than we expected it to be but it’s certainly something you have to keep an eye on,” Corridore added.Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare said “the risk of a pickup in inflation pressures is building,” in part because of rising labor costs.On Friday, the US Labor Department reported that wages increased only modestly in April even as unemployment hit a 17-year low of 3.9 percent. Still economists believe wage inflation could soon pick up, perhaps by a lot. American Airlines 1Q profits hit by higher fuel costs Citation: US companies weigh price hikes as material costs rise (2018, May 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-companies-price-hikes-material.html Explore further © 2018 AFP Prices of aluminum have risen further after US announcements of tariffs on imported aluminum This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.