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Meet the T-72MJ: A Tank with Russian and Western DNA

T-72MJ: A Tank with Russian and Western DNA

One of the strongest industries of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) was its defense industry. During the Cold War, the SFRY flirted with both the West and the East, procuring and developing indigenous weapons based on technology from both sides. Perhaps one of the more interesting success stories was the success of the SFRY’s armor industry and its ultimate product, the M-91 Vihor Main Battle Tank.


The story of the Yugoslavian tank industry begins in the late 1940s, following Tito’s spat with Stalin.

Due to the Soviet Union blocking exports of it’s then-current tanks to the SFRY, while also threatening to invade, Tito himself asked workers at the Petar Drapšin factory if they could make a tank. The workers agreed, and the factory was able to produce a few tanks (around half a dozen) based on a modified T-34/85 design, called Tip (Type) A.

However these were not enough, so the Yugoslavians struck a deal with the United States for military aid. They acquired a number of M4A3E4 Shermans, M47 Pattons, M18 Hellcats, and M36/M36B1 Jacksons. Tito then made amends with the USSR in the 1950s. This allowed the SFR to acquire T-55s, T-54As, SU-100s, and T-34 Obr. 1960s. These were replaced by the newer T-55As which were donated by the Soviet Union to replace  the earlier models that the SFRY shipped to Egypt during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

This deal laid the foundations of good relations with the USSR for the purchase of the T-72, but this deal didn’t go smoothly. Czechoslovakia and Poland received licenses to produce the T-72 before Yugoslavia, and in the end, the license granted limited them to ten years of production or one thousand tanks, whichever came first and locked them into a purchase of a set number of T-72M and T-72MKs.

Factories from every Yugoslav republic contributed to the production of the Yugoslavian T-72, called the T-72MJ. The first T-72MJ rolled off the production line in 1983 and differed from other T-72Ms in that it featured a fully digital fire control system.

courtsy:

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/meet-t-72mj-tank-russian-and-western-dna-90306

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Chicago Cubs to hire former catcher David Ross as next manager, per report

Chicago Cubs to hire former catcher David Ross as next manager, per report

The Cubs will hire former catcher David Ross as their new manager, Jon Heyman reported Wednesday. Ross, 42, had been working in the Cubs’ front office and will replace Joe Maddon, who recently agreed to manage the AngelsAstros bench coach Joe Espada had also been a finalist for the Cubs’ job, but the Cubs reportedly will go with the familiar hand in Ross, who has been long rumored to be Maddon’s replacement. 

Former Yankees and Marlins manager Joe Girardi, bench coach Mark Loretta and former infielder Mark DeRosa had also reportedly been candidates to replace Maddon. 

Ross has no managerial or coaching experience, but teams in recent years have shown a willingness to go with inexperienced candidates. Ross spent parts of 15 seasons as a big-league catcher, the last two of which came with the Cubs. In his final season of 2016, when the Cubs won the World Series, Ross split time at catcher with Willson Contreras and Miguel Montero. Ross homered in Game 7 of the World Series against the Indians that year. 

In addition to being a key member of that championship squad, Ross endeared himself to the Cubs’ young core at the time with his leadership skills and clubhouse presence. Given that many of those young players are still in place, Ross’ hiring will surely be popular in the clubhouse. Among his challenges will be managing a number of players who not so long ago were teammates. 

Ross inherits a talented roster that includes the likes of Kris BryantJavier BaezAnthony RizzoKyle Schwarber, Contreras and others. While the Cubs endured a disappointing 2019 season that saw them finish in third place in the NL Central, they’re not far removed from a 2015-18 run that saw them average almost 97 wins and make the playoffs four times. Ross’ challenge will be getting that still talented roster to find its level and return to the postseason while also distinguishing his leadership style from Maddon’s, which by most accounts had grown stale this past season. 

As for what else the Cubs need to do to make a resurgence happen, our own Matt Snyder provided his offseason blueprint not long after they were eliminated in the NL Central race

courtsy:

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/chicago-cubs-to-hire-former-catcher-david-ross-as-next-manager-per-report/

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The Cubs Make Managerial Choice In David Ross

The Cubs Make Managerial Choice In David Ross

It appears that the Cubs have made their choice, David Ross will be the next manager. Word broke early Wednesday that after a thorough interview process, Ross is the man for the job.

First to report the news was ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers, who said on local radio Tuesday that he expected the hire to be announced this week, and then on Wednesday morning, NBC Chicago’s David Kaplan shared that a source had confirmed the rumors. Later on, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand chimed in with further confirmation.

No official word from the Cubs has come and probably won’t until at least a World Series off day. There’s no rule against announcing news like this as the series is happening, but in the past, teams have generally tried to avoid upstaging the World Series. That means that Thursday or Monday are possible days for the team to acknowledge the rumors officially.

At any rate, Ross’s name has been on the lips of baseball punditry to replace Joe Maddon for at least since the team declined to renew Maddon’s contract after the 2018 season or even negotiate during the course of the past year.

Before landing on Ross, the Cubs appear to have done their diligence in interviewing internal candidates Mark Loretta and Will Venable as well as bringing in Joe Girardi and Joe Espada. The latter seemed a strong candidate, especially after word came that he had been invited back for a second interview, but ultimately the job has gone to the man expected to get it all along.

One element of the interview process that might have helped sway things was the ability to interact with media. According to Craig Mish, a radio host in Florida, Ross and Espada were asked to give mock press conferences and speeches to the team, and that’s where Ross stood out above Espada. That’s not a surprise, given what’s already known about Ross’s personality and charisma. Chicago can be a tough media market, and Maddon’s are very big shoes to fill, but Ross seems equal to the task.


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Taylor’s Testimony Goes Way Beyond Quid Pro Quo

It demolishes Republican excuses for Trump’s extortion.

Taylor’s Testimony Goes Way Beyond Quid Pro Quo

On Tuesday, Bill Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told Congress about President Donald Trump’s extortion campaign against that country. Taylor testified that Trump used two weapons—a proposed White House meeting with Ukraine’s president, and the threat of withdrawing military aid—to press Ukraine to investigate Trump’s Democratic opponents. But Taylor’s testimony establishes more than a quid pro quo. It destroys Republican excuses for the president’s behavior, and it details the administration’s maneuvers to cover up what he did.
Here are Taylor’s key revelations.

The first quid pro quo: a meeting. Text messages between Taylor and his colleagues, released on Oct. 3, document the administration’s efforts to extract—through the offer of a meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—a pledge by Ukraine to pursue two investigations that would help Trump. One investigation would look into the debunked idea that Ukraine colluded with Democrats in 2016 and somehow framed Russia for hacking the Democratic National Committee. The other investigation would target Burisma, a company whose board once included Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Taylor’s testimony, detailed in a 15-page chronology, confirms that this was a quid pro quo. He describes a July 19 phone call in which two officials—Alex Vindman, the National Security Council’s director of European Affairs, and Fiona Hill, who was then the NSC’s senior director for European and Russian Affairs—recounted a July 10 meeting at the White House. In that meeting, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, “connected ‘investigations’ with an Oval Office meeting for President Zelenskyy.” Taylor reports that several weeks later, in a Sept. 1 phone call, Sondland “told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelenskyy to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.” In this call, according to Taylor, Sondland confirmed that he had told Ukrainian officials “a White House meeting with President Zelenskyy was dependent on a public announcement of investigations.”

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Trump’s latest explanation for withholding Ukraine aid is as nonsensical as his previous ones

Trump’s latest explanation for withholding Ukraine aid is as nonsensical as his previous ones

President Donald Trump’s latest defense against the impeachment inquiry is that while congressionally approved military aid may have been withheld to pressure Ukrainian leaders to investigate Joe Biden and his son, withholding that money was not wrong, because Ukraine didn’t know it was happening. However, not only is that defense thin, it also not supported by sworn testimony or recent reporting.

The president endorsed this defense, made by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) on Fox & FriendsWednesday, in a tweet quoting the Congress member. “Neither [Bill Taylor] or any other witness has provided testimony that the Ukrainians were aware the military aid was being withheld,” Ratcliffe said on the show. “You can’t have a quid pro quo with no quo.”

This defense does not make much sense. The fact Ukrainian officials weren’t initially sure why the security assistance had been delayed does not mean it wasn’t withheld. Trump himself has said it was held back, and has cited corruption as the reason. Notably, he did not use his latest tweet to deny that he held up the aid, and it’s clear he privately and publicly called for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

On his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump responded to a Ukrainian request for weapons by asking for a “favor” — an investigation into Democrats, and later on the call an investigation into the Bidens.

The testimony Ratcliff cites was delivered to Congress Tuesday by William Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine. Taylor said he was told by US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, an ally of Trump’s, that “everything” the Ukrainians wanted from the US (including a White House visit and the military aid) depended on Ukraine announcing it was opening a corruption investigation that included an inquiry into Burisma, a company that employed Joe Biden’s son.

Taylor also testified that while Ukrainian officials initially did not understand why the money had not yet come though, they began to realize what they needed to do to get the money. This was especially the case, Taylor said, after “Ambassador Sondland told [Zelensky aide] Mr. Yermak that the security assistance money would not come until President Zelenskyy committed to pursue the Burisma investigation.”

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Selena Gomez lets the world in on a rough romance with ‘Lose You to Love Me’

LOS ANGELES — Ever since she released “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” which served as a half-humbled, half-defiant apologia about her relationship with Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez has managed to otherwise successfully avoid the subject, at least in song, of the troubled coupling that fascinated so much of the world. Five years later, she’s returned to the scene of the crime, damaged but deeply hopeful, in “Lose You to Love Me,” a single and video that got a lot of instant love as a midnight release late Tuesday night.

Gomez doesn’t go quite as far as old friend Taylor Swift traditionally has in dropping highly specific details that make it clear to the attentive who and what sparked a song. But one lyric alone establishes a timeline that leaves no doubt that the ballad is a product of some dark days this calendar year. “In two months, you replaced us / Like it was easy / Made me think I deserved it / In the thick of healing,” she sings in the second verse — and few pop fans will have to Google her 2019 to do the math on how long it was from her reported breakup with Bieber before he was seen out and about with his fiance-to-very-shortly-be.

The black-and-white video by director Sophie Muller seems potentially designed to act as a bookend to the similarly monochromatic clip for “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” too. What’s different this time is that Muller has Gomez facing the camera head-on from start to finish in this one, as opposed to the tellingly averted gazes of 2014. Within that limited visual scheme, Gomez gets to do a whole actor’s exercise in shifting moods, appearing alternately heartbroken, distressed, distracted, pissed, prayerful and finally — with the slightest upturn of her mouth serving as the video’s climax — contented.

“This song was inspired by many things that have happened in my life since releasing my last album,” Gomez said in a statement accompanying the clip. “I thought it was important to share the music, as I know mans co-writers Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter; the Swedish producer-writer team of Mattias Larsson and Robin Fredriksson, aka Mattman & Robin; and someone newer to her team, and to the world of pop collabs in general, Finneas, of Billie Eilish fame (who’s credited with additional production).

lose you to love me lyrics, Lose You to Love Me, Hailey Baldwin, selena gomez new song,

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The Quiet Strength of Selena Gomez’s ‘Lose You to Love Me

The Quiet Strength of Selena Gomez’s ‘Lose You to Love Me

You want everyone you care about to stick around forever, but the universe has other plans. People have other plans. Unexpected hardships happen, faults and failings we could never plan for. People flip, ghost, and flake. People change, and you can either work through your differences or around them. You either decide that your friend, your loved one, or your significant other is worth the trouble they put you through and fight to keep them in your life, or you fight for yourself, insisting that others treat you the way you deserve to be treated, on penalty of never seeing you again. Selena Gomez’s new single “Lose You to Love Me” is a song about the process of figuring out that it’s time to go, and locating the strength to act on your marching orders. Much will be made of who it’s almost certainly about.

That harsh “In two months, you replaced us / Like it was easy” in verse two points to Justin Bieber, who proposed to his ex Hailey Baldwin three months after breaking off his and Gomez’s on-again, off-again romance last year. That makes the timing of the new single absolutely brutal. Hailey and Bieber haven’t been married a month. All’s fair in love and pop songs though: Bieb dropped Purpose during their last break and wrote Selena’s name in the scribbles in his arty video for “Where Are Ü Now,” a song about lifting someone up and feeling abandoned when they leave.

Getting caught up in the timeline maybe loses sight of her song’s quiet strength. It’s not your typical accusatory breakup song. It’s a rearview assessment of two people drifting apart that assigns blame to both parties: “I saw the signs, and I ignored them.” “Lose You to Love Me” is also a noteworthy change of pace for Gomez’s music. Recent singles like “Wolves” and “Back to You” tried folk-pop on for size, and this year’s killer musica urbana jam “I Can’t Get Enough” paired her with Benny Blanco, Tainy, and J. Balvin. “Lose You to Love Me” is naked honesty, lyrically and musically.

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Selena Gomez’s new song lyrics have people convinced Bieber inspired it

Selena Gomez's new song lyrics have people convinced Bieber inspired it

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber arrive at the American Music Awards, in Los Angeles, California, on November 20, 2011.

CNN)Justin Bieber is a married man, but that hasn’t stopped people from talking about him and Selena Gomez.Yes, “Jelena” still lives on some levels in the hearts and minds of those who follow them and Gomez’s newest song has people all abuzz.”Lose You to Love Me” traces a toxic relationship with some pointed lines that have fueled speculation that the tune is Gomez purging her heartbreak over Bieber.

“You promised the world and I fell for it,” the song begins. “I put you first and you adored it.”A few lines later finds Gomez singing “Set fire to my purpose/And I let it burn.”Bieber’s last album was released in 2015 and titled “Purpose” with a single of the same name.

Bieber, 25, and Gomez, 27, had an on-again off-again relationship from the time they were teens and were even spending time together a few months before he reunited with another former girlfriend, model Hailey Baldwin.Baldwin and Bieber got engaged to in July 2018 and he confirmed in November 2018 that they were married.Gomez also sings in her new song “In two months, you replaced us / Like it was easy / Made me think I deserved it.”While some Bieber fans were not thrilled, Gomez received plenty of support on social media after the song dropped Tuesday.

“If Selena wants to write about Justin Bieber, LET HER. She can heal however she needs to and wants to,” one person tweeted. “Everyone deals with their own pain in different ways. Goodbye.””Lose You to Love Me” is the first single off of Gomez’s forthcoming album which will be her first since 2015’s “Revival.”

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You can stay at a real Barbie Dreamhouse for $63 per night

You can now stay at a real Barbie Dreamhouse for just $60 per night. Read on to know more details.

You can now stay at a real Barbie Dreamhouse for just $60 per night. Read on to know more details.

f you are a Barbie girl who always wanted to live in Barbie world, there’s good news! Don’t keep calm, because Airbnb has just thrown open a real-life Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse for rent, where you can head with your girl gang for the weekend.

Barbie is celebrating its 60th anniversary this week, and for that purpose, it has opened the Malibu Dreamhouse for a maximum of four guests, from October 27 to 29. If this is not enough, the cherry on the cake is that you can stay here for USD 60 per night

This ‘Barbie dream’ will kickstart right when you arrive at the airport, where the car service will escort you to this life-sized doll’s house at Malibu, California. This two-bedroom, two-bathroom property is spread over three floors. The uber luxurious house features a sports court, an infinity pool, a meditation space, a personal theatre, a hobby studio, a fully-equipped and fully-stocked kitchen that overlooks the ocean.

The interiors of the house are just what comes to mind when you hear ‘Barbie’, in shades of pink and white. Take a look:

“For the first time ever, my Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse is on Airbnb! Available for a one-time, two-night stay, but I promise the memories will last a lifetime. Booking opens at 11:00am PDT on October 23, so set your alarm to book your stay from October 27 – October 29. Remember, this is a once in a lifetime chance, which means the Dreamhouse will only be booked once. My Dreamhouse is the perfect place to be inspired and learn new things. I hope it will feel like your Dreamhouse, too,” reads the description on the Airbnb page.

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Google say they have achieved ‘quantum supremacy’

BERLIN (Reuters) – Researchers at Google say they have achieved ‘quantum supremacy’, in which a computer harnessing the properties of sub-atomic particles did a far better job of solving a problem than the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

Given the task of finding a pattern in a seemingly random series of numbers, Google’s quantum computer produced an answer in 3 minutes and 20 seconds. It estimates that the Summit supercomputer here at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee would take 10,000 years to complete the task.

According to Google, such a huge win fulfils the accepted definition of supremacy. Simply put, this entails solving a computing task that a conventional computer would struggle to, or never, complete.

But what does that actually mean in the research context, and when will quantum computing affect us? Here’s an explainer:

WHAT IS ‘QUANTUM SUPREMACY’?

Quantum supremacy is a holy grail for researchers in the field: It’s when the superior potential of quantum computing is finally achieved in practice – effectively superseding existing forms of computing.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT QUANTUM COMPUTING?

Conventional computers use ‘bits’ – or ones and zeroes – as the basis of their calculations. In simple terms these represent ‘yes’ and ‘no’, or ‘on’ and ‘off’. In combination, bits can be used to handle logical tasks.

Quantum computing makes use of a property of sub-atomic particles in which they can simultaneously exist in different states. A quantum bit, or qubit, can thus be both one and zero at the same time. In the jargon, this is called superposition.

WHAT MAKES QUANTUM COMPUTERS SO POWERFUL?

Another property of sub-atomic particles is for them to become ‘entangled’ – meaning that they can influence each other’s behavior in an observable way.

Combining entanglement with superposition leads to exponential increases in computing power with each additional qubit.

The Sycamore processor designed by Google, a unit of Silicon Valley technology giant Alphabet, had 54 qubits arranged in a two-dimensional grid. In the experiment only 53 could be made to work – still enough to produce a successful result.

coourtsy:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alphabet-quantum-explainer/explainer-google-hails-quantum-supremacy-but-dont-chuck-out-your-pc-just-yet-idUSKBN1X21ZP

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