Purrfect! A smart shelter powered by AI keeps stray cats warm in

A constant temperature of 27 degrees, a water bowl that never freezes, a comfy mat, and no dogs allowed.

Those are the amenities for felines in a neighborhood in Beijing’s Sh

unyi district, where stray cats can loll around contentedly all winter, nibbling food and sipp

ing water, safe from the weather and provided with love through an artificial intelligence platform. It is purrfection.

Wan Xi, an engineer at Baidu Brain-the open AI platform of Baidu-had the idea of build

ing a smart shelter for strays when he found a kitten huddled on his car tire in the winter of 2017.

Winter is rough for stray animals, as they require extra calories to stay warm. Only around 40 perc

ent of stray cats find enough food and shelter to make it through the harsh temperatures.

Although volunteers offer water, food and even heating pads to stray animals, Beijing’s freezin

g winters can turn a bowl of water into ice before a cat can drink. Many stray cats don’t live more than two ye

ars. Those that are not neutered or spayed face more health problems and spawn more homeless cats.

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Chinese netizens have dubbed Wan Xi-he doesn’t give his

real name-”the most hardcore cat lover” for building the AI cat shelter.

The wooden box, 165 centimeters tall, is cozy with a small entry. Inside is a multil

evel cat den with a scratching post, plush resting places, dangling toys and hideaways.

The access control system features AI facial recognition technology. A high-definition camera on top can identify 174 kinds

of cats and let them enter or exit as they wish. It has night vision to let in any ginger toms or gray tabbies wandering by at night.

The camera can check cats for four common feline diseases, including inflammation of the mout

h and gums, skin problems and trauma. It can identify a neutered cat by spotting its ear tag within 300 milliseconds.

Once a sick or non-neutered cat is identified, volunteers get an alert on their cellphones and come to help.

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Wan said the facial recognition system was developed

on Baidu’s EasyDL platform, a no-code tool that helps users build customized mac

hine learning models. The system was “trained” with thousands of images of cat faces.

The temperature inside the smart cattery is maintained at 27 degrees, at which cats feel most comfortable and relaxed.

It also has a ventilation system that monitors the air inside in real time.

Wan said stray cats in the neighborhood are more nervous at first and just wander aro

und curiously. After one brave mongrel made the first visit, others followed.

Stray cats are often emotionally sensitive, so the door will not close the minute a cat enters. The anima

l will have time to get used to the cattery without being jittery. Seven or eight cats come to rest in the shelter every day.

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Six people arrested in Kenya after seizure of fake $20 millio

Police in Kenya have arrested six people in connection with the seizure of counterfeit notes worth more than $20 million.

The fake banknotes were found in a personal safety deposit box of a Barclays Bank bran

ch in the capital Nairobi, Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations said on Tuesday.

“Six people were arrested… by DCI detectives in connection with fake currency a

mounting to slightly over $20 million at Barclays Kenya Queensway Branch,” the statement read.

6 People were arrested today evening by @DCI_Kenya Detectives in conn

ection with Fake currency amounting to slightly over 20Million US Dollars @Ba

rclays_Kenya~Queensway Branch. The fake notes in 100 Dollar denominations were recovered from the Bank’s

“The fake notes in $100 denominations were recovered from the bank’s safe room.”

Those arrested include two bank officials, DCI said, adding that a person who woul

d have been defrauded by the suspects was cooperating with the police in the investigation.

Barclays Kenya confirmed on Tuesday that the police arrested a customer who had kept counterfeit dollar notes in a safety deposit box at the branch.

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But Bercow ruled that, according to parliamentary proc

  edure, the government could not repeatedly put a motion before lawmakers if it had been previously rejected in the same session.

  May’s deal suffered a second, crushing defeat last week when it was rejected by 149 votes.

  ”What the government cannot legitimately do is resubmit to the House the same pr

oposition — or substantially the same proposition — as that of last week, which was

rejected by 149 votes,” Bercow said in an unannounced statement on Monday.

  Third time lucky for Theresa May’s Brexit vote?

  Bercow said that, in his view, the first two motions on May’s Brexit deal were sufficiently different not to have broken parliamentary convention.

  The speaker did not set out what tests the government would have to meet if it was to succ

essfully submit its deal for a third vote, saying only it would have to be “fundamentally different.”

  In response, a Downing Street spokesperson said, “We note the speaker’s statement. This is a statement that requires proper consideration.”

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hina craving World Cup breakthroughyant and Yao Mi

China has urged its young guns to play their part in making this year’s FIBA World Cup

a tournament to remember after the host nation discovered its group-stage opponents over the weekend.

Saturday’s star-studded draw ceremony at Shenzhen Bay Arena, where the 32 teams were assigned to eight groups, heig

htened anticipation levels for the event, which will be staged from Aug 31-Sept 15 in eight Chinese cities.

Rising forces such as Spain and Argentina are expected to pose a stiff challenge to t

wo-time defending champion the United States, but after being drawn in a relatively easy Group A with

Cote d’Ivoire, Poland and Venezuela, Team China is also planning to make its mark.

“After the dust settles, I would love to hear from our players that they’ve done their utmost and they’ve made their coun

try proud,” said Yao Ming, chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association, at the ceremony.

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Information consumption vital to China’s economythe US inte

Information consumption has become a new engine for China’s economy, playing a vital role in d

riving domestic demand, creating jobs and pushing forward industrial upgrades, People’s Daily reported.

Last year, China’s information consumption rose 11 percent year-on-year to

5 trillion yuan ($745.39 billion), accounting for 6 percent of the GDP, according to the Internet Society of China.

To further boost information consumption, the Ministry of Industry and Inform

ation Technology and the National Development and Reform Commission unveiled an action plan in August.

According to the plan, by 2020, China’s spending on information consum

ption is expected to be 6 trillion yuan, with average annual growth of more than 11 perce

nt. Information technology is estimated to drive 15 trillion yuan in related consumption.

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The country has also launched various measures to enha

ce the efficiency of financing services, shortening the approval time from two to three months to five to seven working days, according to Zhu.

To increase financial support for small and micro firms, the country also vows to strengthen control and su

pervision of counter-cyclical adjustment, urge banks to provide better loan services, and improve the financial service enviro

nment, Zhu added.China should step up the construction of underground gas storage facilities to meet increasing dema

nd during the peak consumption period in winter, according to Zhang Mingsen, former deputy chief engineer of the Beijing Research Institute of Che

ical Industry under the State-owned oil giant China Petroleum and Chemical Corp.

The government should provide fiscal and tax subsidies for the construction of underground gas stor

age facilities and improve the pricing mechanism for natural gas to achieve a more open gas market system, said Zhang in his sug

gestions to the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

China consumed 280.30 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2018, u

p 18.1 percent year-on-year, according to the National Development and Reform Commissi

on, the nation’s top economic regulator. The increase is in line with the country’s aim to encourage the use of gas instead of coal to combat air pollution.

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Well, I think he’s got a lot of hand movement. I’ve never see

  so much hand movement. I said is he crazy or is that just the way he acts.”

  ”Study it, I’m sure you’ll agree,” Trump told reporters.

  The jab at O’Rourke was not just a throwaway. It was a return to the forensic targ

eting of political opponents that helped Trump dismantle the Republican primary field in 2016.

  Mocking O’Rourke’s gestures might seem a frivolous at a time of national political angst and wi

th a heavy duty policy debate already under way. But Trump is an expert at trivializing and belittli

ng opponents, to detract from the gravity of their arguments and to feed the conservative media machine.

  His diagnosis of Jeb Bush’s “low energy” four years ago established a narrative about the former Florida govern

or’s campaign that hinted at a grain of truth. The one-time GOP front-runner could never recover.

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He also repeated the untruth that he predicted the result of

  when he flew into his Turnberry golf course in 2016. In fact, Trump

arrived on the west coast of Scotland hours after the result of the referendum was announced.

  Whether the President knows he’s lying, or has convinced himself of the truth of his a

lternative reality, is unclear. But his continued use of a discredited fact is a core element of his political technique.

  Trump also put Varadkar on the spot — asking h

im to comment on Brexit, threatening to expose their differences on the issue.

  Then Trump interrupted Varadkar, who watched with a bemuse

d look as the President savaged the EU alongside one of its national leaders.

  ”The European Union treats us very, very unfairly,” Trump said, i

n a screed that included another characteristic political device — a flagrant threat.

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