Shooting for gold

first_imgCape Town archer Karen Hultzer has booked her ticket to London. She is the only South African archer that will represent the country at the 2012 Olympic Games. (Image: Johan Steyn) MEDIA CONTACTS • Johan Steyn   CSIR  +27 12 841 4473 RELATED ARTICLES • BMX – the cool factor • Running into the history books • Team SA gets rhino mascot • SA loses punching power, not hope Wilma den HartighCape Town archer Karen Hultzer has been included in South Africa’s team that will represent the country at the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this month.Hultzer, who is a landscaper by profession, never thought that her interest in shooting arrows would land her a spot in Team South Africa.Her entry into archery was entirely by chance, and although she’s only been competing for four years, she doesn’t want to do anything else. “I clearly remember driving past the shooting range on my way to clients, and one day I decided I will give it a go,” she recalls.Now the self-admitted adrenalin junkie, who has tried just about every extreme sport there is, thinks that her personality and the requirements of archery are a good match. “A complete calmness comes over me when I am shooting. You feel like you are in a bubble.”Since she’s secured her place on the team going to London, her day job has taken a back seat. Hultzer is putting in extra time to perfect her skill before taking on 64 of the world’s best archers in London, and some of these athletes shoot arrows for a living.Although she is looking forward to the Games – this is her first time at the Olympics – she doesn’t want to become too competitive.“I always want to remember the joy of shooting, and not get too wrapped up in scores and results. One has to enjoy the sport,” she says. “Just going to the Olympics is a major achievement.”Her coach and manager, Johan Steyn, a seasoned archer who has been playing the sport since the age of nine, says that waiting for confirmation from the South African Sports Confederation and Olympics Committee was nerve-wracking.“We knew that there was a 90% chance that we would qualify for the Olympics,” Steyn says. “It never crossed my mind that one day I will represent my country at the Olympics. I was in shock the whole day.”Training for the big dayHultzer says that she is training as much as she can before flying out to London, but she also has to be careful not to train too much. “I am trying to shoot as many arrows as I can to keep up my condition,” she says.She explains that training for archery is somewhat different to other sports. “With this type of sport, although you are not running, you want to make sure that you keep your pulse steady,” she says. “Once the adrenalin starts pumping you can’t be calm and your bow starts moving.”This is where Steyn’s expertise in laser technology comes in handy.The coach, who is a senior laser technologist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is building a pointing device – similar to a laser pointer – to help Hultzer with her form and accuracy during training.In archery the correct body posture is critical. “Archery is not a power sport, it has everything to do with skill and aiming,” he says.At a glance archery might look easy, but it is a very difficult sport to master.“You need arm strength, back strength and perfect alignment,” he says. “You would think that arm strength is important but it is actually back strength that is needed. “According to Steyn there is room to use laser technology in many other sporting disciplines, if only more coaches would realise its potential to help athletes improve their game.“My work involves coming up with creative applications for lasers – and this is one of them,” he says.The benefit of training with lasers is that archers can immediately identify weak areas.“What I am developing is a laser that hooks onto the belt to point out if there is any hip movement,” he explains.Steyn first saw how effective lasers can be when he observed renowned archery coach Pascal Colmaire, World Archery Federation coach and development officer, train in Morocco. “He was using the technology so I thought I could develop a similar application,” he says.He says laser technology helps athletes to correct errors in posture or technique while they are training, instead of playing back a video of their performance.“Athletes get feedback in the moment and they can make adjustments immediately,” he explains. “Using a laser is an excellent tool to show what you are doing wrong, or right.”CSIR National Laser Centre manager Dr Ndumiso Cingo says Steyn’s foresight to apply lasers to archery is a great achievement for the council. “We are even prouder that he also utilises laser technology in his coaching techniques – just another thing that lasers can do well,” Cingo says.Promoting archery in South AfricaBesides coaching, both Steyn and Hultzer are involved in developing archery in South Africa.Steyn says that the upcoming Olympics is the ideal platform. “Karen’s participation in the Olympics can be a big inspiration for other archers in South Africa to improve their skills and perhaps also have a go at qualifying for the next Olympics,” he says.Hultzer, who is also a part-time archery coach, says that children can benefit greatly from taking up archery, particularly those who struggle to concentrate in class or have learning disabilities.“One of the amazing things about this sport is that it helps kids who are struggling at school,” she says. “With this sport, kids can learn how to focus, it builds self-esteem and some children have even seen their school marks improve.”When the Olympics is overHultzer may have found her niche in archery. As much as she loves landscaping, the sport is taking up so much of her time – between coaching and training for the Olympics – that she is considering making it a fulltime career.Currently she coaches people of all ages, from six to as old as 78, and she believes that through archery she can make a difference in people’s lives. “I find that with my students they always just want to see what the score is – but it is what you do that is more important,” she says. “Archery is not about instant gratification. It is a journey.”• Slideshow image courtesy of Meriden Archery Clublast_img read more

Pattern: A Bundle of Data Mining Modules for Python

first_img7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Pattern consists of six main modules:pattern.web: A toolkit that includes APIs for various Web services, including Google, Gmail, Bing, Twitter Wikipedia and Flickr. It has its own HTML parser and Web spider.pattern.table: A module for working with tabular data, used for storing data from the pattern.web module.pattern.en: A natural language processing toolkit for English.pattern.search: A module containing a search algorithm.pattern.vector: A module containing various tools for analyzing the text of a document.pattern.graph: A module for data visualization using Canvas. Tags:#hack#Tools Why You Love Online Quizzes Pattern is a collection of open source (BSD license) web mining modules for Python from the Computational Linguistics and Psycholinguistics Research Center. It contains tools for data retrieval, text analysis and data visualization and comes with over 30 sample scripts. klint finley Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Insulating Mechanical Pipes

first_imgSTEP 7: INSULATING MECHANICAL PIPESCode: N1103.3 Mechanical-system piping capableof carrying fluids above 105°F (41°C) or below 55°F (13°C) must be insulated to a minimum of R-3.What it means to you: Although this might clear up an inconsistency between previously stated requirements of 1-in. insulation (which is approximately R-4), it at least raises the required insulation values from R-2 to R-3 as a compromise. Remember, though, that this code focuses on mechanical pipes, which could carry fluids such as glycol, not potable-water pipes.The 2009 building codes reflect practices that not only increase energy efficiency—air-sealing measures and increased insulation, for example—but also address sustainable building practices, such as moisture control.Other segments of this series:Part 1: Air SealingPart 2: InsulationPart 3: LightingPart 4: Programmable ThermostatsPart 5: Insulating Mass WallsPart 6: Efficient WindowsPart 7: Insulating Mechanical PipesPart 8: Exceeding the Energy CodePart 9: Vapor Retarders 9 Steps to A Greener CodeNew homes built using the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) or International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will be more energy efficient than ever. As a consequence, a builder’s world may become a bit more complex and, in some cases, a bit more expensive. last_img read more

Tata makes worker safety wearable available to competitors

first_imgOther industrial companies will be able to purchase Tata Group’s own wearable for factory workers, in a new move to boost the Indian giant’s hardware sales.Last year, Tata launched a wearable for its own workers to reduce accidents. It is able to track heart rate, temperature, movement, fall detection, and ambient gasses in the vicinity.See Also: Is Nokia growing into contender in emerging tech?Even though workers and unions were worried about Tata’s ability to snoop on workers at the start, both eventually caved in and the device is now quite popular in the factories, according to Tata.The wearable has watch functionality—apparently a popular feature for low-paid factory workers—and is built to sustain damage. It doesn’t do much outside of the workplace apart from show the time.A whole new revenue stream?The firm is hoping that with its almost ubiquitous brand identity in India, it will be able to sell the units to smaller factories. Miners and freight companies are two major industries targeted by Tata with the wearable. Although some targeted client industrial players may compete with the Indian conglomerate, the wearables focus could be an untapped revenue stream.“For these programs, we are looking at potential revenue of $1 billion and a profit of $100 million is possible,“ said Tata Group technology chief Gopichand Katragadda to the Economic Times. “Right now, our partner for go-to-market is Tata Communications. We are working on the pricing model. What might work in a B2B model is a monthly subscription rather than a certain price.“Industrial wearables and IIoT devices are starting to become more prevalent, as owners start to look for ways technology can reduce accidents and improve productivity. Related Posts The Ultimate Checklist on Ways to Prevent IoT D… David Curry 5 Industries Destined for Technological Disruptioncenter_img Tags:#factory#industrial#smartwatch#Tata Group#wearable How IoT Will Transform Cold Chain Logistics For… Electronic Design is Utilizing AI-Enabled Solu…last_img read more

What Makes Markelle Fultz An NBA Draft Favorite

If early reports turn out to be accurate, Markelle Fultz is headed to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers traded the third pick in this year’s draft and a protected first round pick in either the 2018 or 2019 draft to the Boston Celtics. It’s a mammoth deal for both teams, and it has ramifications for the long-term outlooks of both. But lost in the commotion of assets changing hands and the deal’s implications on other big-ticket trades are the particulars about the player at the heart of the deal: Fultz himself.Playing in the Pacific Northwest on a nontournament team (and missing a chunk of time because of injury) made Fultz one of the most anonymous presumptive No. 1 picks in living memory. Just about every argument about the Washington Huskies guard is phrased in the subjunctive — a theoretical commodity more than a concrete set of skills. But dig down into what actually makes his game so good and it becomes obvious in a hurry that Fultz is a monster.Fultz has been billed as a pick-and-roll playmaker, which is true but vague. He doesn’t sit up high and find long, surprising passing lanes like James Harden does, nor does he feint and jab on a defense until it cedes ground like Chris Paul does. Fultz’s game is built around his jumper and his handle. He’s a strong shooter off the dribble and a strong enough dribbler to operate in tight spaces and get to the rim, where he’s an excellent finisher. This means defenses have to crowd him wherever he is on the floor, whether it’s 25 feet from the rim or having turned the corner on a pick and roll. And if a defense sends help, he’s a willing passer to the open man, even if that means a 40-foot, cross-court pass.The Huskies scored 109 points per 100 plays1Per Synergy Sports Technology when Fultz passed out the pick-and-roll, including 115 points per 100 on passes to spot-up shooters. To get a sense of how much the team relied on Fultz, consider those numbers in their full context. On spot-up jumpers that weren’t set up by a Fultz pick-and-roll or taken by Fultz himself (101 points per 100 plays), the Huskies managed just 82 points per 100 plays. That’s dreadful. That would have ranked 333rd out of 351 D-I schools. But Fultz was able to draw so much attention and create such good shots for his teammates that they went from one of the worst-shooting teams in the country to one of the best when he set them up.Not just any player commands the sort of defensive attention Fultz saw — even when he is by far the best player on his team. And what makes Fultz special is how good he is shooting off the dribble in traffic. On all pull-up jumpers, he scored 102 points per 100 plays, which is already very good. But when he was working out of the pick and roll, that number shot up to 118 points per 100 plays, as Fultz took advantage of the little bit of daylight created by the screen to get a slightly better look or to a better spot on the floor.Having a god-tier pull-up jumper is an increasingly critical skill for NBA guards, but so is finishing at the rim. Being a genuine threat on the drive is the reason the pick-and-roll offense works — it’s what makes James Harden and Russell Westbrook nightmares for opponents and what powers the LeBron Offense in Cleveland. And Fultz scored 130 points per 100 plays when going to the rim out of pick-and-roll plays. He has a tight (though not exactly dazzling) handle — aided by a nice little hesitation/head-fake move that freezes defenders who have to respect that pullup — and he uses it to get into the lane at will.All that said, the most spectacular offense in the league can’t do much for you if you’re giving up points at the other end. The Huskies were abysmal on the defensive end — they ranked 250th of 351 D-I men’s teams in defensive SRS — and Fultz’s personal numbers aren’t much better. He ranked in the bottom third of all D-I men’s players while defending all but one shot type, according to Synergy. But the defense Fultz plays in the NBA will be much different, mainly because the Huskies spent a lot of time in zone, and that asks players to do very different things to contest shots and deny space than pro-style defenses. But defense should still be a concern. Fultz has good physical tools — he averaged 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per game — and he was actually quite good the few times he was isolated in man-on-man situations, but his attention away from the ball will need the same improvements as most rookies.Fultz is a top overall prospect because he’s very, very good at things that are fundamental to the pro game — pick-and-roll playmaking, pull-up shooting, finishing at the rim. He has fewer jaw-dropping highlights as fellow prospects Lonzo Ball or De’Aaron Fox do (though he does have a few); but he has fewer holes in his game, as well. If there’s one thing that could unravel his game as a pro, it would be his shot not translating. It’s not exactly the same species of skepticism as the concern trolling over Ball’s shooting form, but there’s at least some reason to wonder if Fultz will be as lights-out from deep in the NBA. His range doesn’t extend far beyond the college line, and his release is on the slow side. Just as concerning, he shot 64.9 percent on foul shots, which ESPN Insider’s Kevin Pelton pointed out is a slightly better predictor of NBA 3-point shooting ability than college 3-point percentage on its own — and Fultz wasn’t overwhelming enough from 3 (41.3 percent) to make up for the free throws.But the way Fultz had to manufacture his offense should also be taken into account: He practically never had an open shot he didn’t create himself. He scored 116 points per 100 plays coming off of screens, but that was largely because of the same things that make him good in pick and rolls, not effective screens. Fultz’s Washington teammates didn’t set great screens, but this is an area where he needs to improve as well. If Fultz is going to play off the ball in the NBA he’ll have to improve his feel for how to angle his runs to get the screener between the defender and the spot where he wants to catch the ball.This of course leads back to the question of how Fultz will fit in with the Sixers. Given that early reports suggest forward Ben Simmons, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, will play a de facto point guard role for Philadelphia, an ideal fit for Fultz might be as a sort of über-Bradley Beal. John Wall handles the majority of playmaking for Washington, and Beal runs off of flare screens and other off-ball actions to free himself up for jumpers. But when Wall doesn’t have the ball, Beal runs a fair bit of pick and roll himself (despite being a weak dribbler) and generally controls the offense. A similar division of labor between Simmons and Fultz would make a lot of sense for Philly.But that’s deeper into specifics than we need to go for now. Teams tend to find ways to make things work with players who can dribble, pass and shoot. For now, Fultz is a perfect fit for a Philly roster that needs ballhandling and shooting, and just as important, a perfect fit for the directions the NBA game is headed. read more

Lego Movie 2 not as awesome as the first but its pretty

first_imgCulture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.Movie Magic: The secrets behind the scenes of your favorite films and filmmakers.  2019 movies to geek out over Post a comment 2:14 1:46 Movie reviews Lego Tags TV and Movies Now playing: Watch this: 77 Photos 0 Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice The characters and sets still come complete with scarred and pitted texture on their surfaces, just like real plastic, for an authentic stop-motion look. But whether it’s a space battle between various kinds of Lego or a vampire DJ with the voice of Noel Fielding or a startling detour into crayon, the humour is completely unfettered by such boring adult concerns as logic or physics. The result is a trippy treat for kids and adults.In the first film, everything was awesome for a young boy playing in his basement with Lego bricks. But now everything’s been ruined by the arrival of his sister and her Duplo blocks. Anyone with kids will recognise the younger one’s unstoppable urge to be up in the older sibling’s business, and the ructions that can cause. The older brother asserts himself against his sister’s childish ways by adopting a tough, cynical tone, complete with dark, gritty brooding — so much brooding. Batman, voiced by Will Arnett, loves this darker tone, but it’s clear all is not right in Lego world.Enlarge ImageChris Pratt, who starred alongside velociraptors in Jurassic World, encounters familiar chums in The Lego Movie 2. It’s just that kind of flick. Eric Charbonneau The only ray of sunshine in this blasted heckscape is Emmet, the perennially cheerful hero of the first movie with the bouncy voice of Chris Pratt. His fellow adventurer, Lucy Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks) has taken to the darker tone like a goth to mascara, but Emmet won’t give up his sunny disposition. Until sinister aliens kidnap his friends, that is, and he blasts off into space determined to toughen up and get grim ‘n’ gritty too.lego-movie-2-rev-1-lg2-t2-2707-high-res-jpegEnlarge ImageBatman, Wyldstyle and the gang return. Eric Charbonneau Right from the off, the action is as colourful and epic as the first movie. It’s dizzyingly kinetic, zapping along at breakneck speed as hilarious gags fly thick and fast. None of the songs quite measure up to the first movie’s earworm anthem “Everything is Awesome” — even the self-consciously needy “This Song’s Gonna Get Stuck Inside Your Head” — but they’re upbeat and fun. And if in all the chaos you miss a joke, or a song doesn’t connect, there’ll be another one along in about a millisecond.In his quest to break through the Stairgate to the Systar system, Emmet is aided in his quest by Rex Dangervest, an action hero so masculine his crew are velociraptors and his spaceship is shaped like a literal fist. Unlike Emmet, Rex doesn’t build — he breaks. And Emmet begins to think he’ll have to break stuff to save the day.lego-movie-2-rev-1-lg2-fp-0097r-high-res-jpegEnlarge ImageRex Dangervest, action hero, gives Emmet a new role model. Warner Bros. He’s wrong, of course, which might be a level of dramatic irony too far for younger viewers. But this is one semiotically complex movie. In the past, you might have a kid getting sucked into Lego world and trying to get back. But this is 2019, where movies operate on a whole other level of meta-textual sophistication. The Lego Movie 2 works as a meta-narrative switching between the “real” world and the Lego world, which also includes characters from other pop culture narratives, who are both unaware of the real world and yet somehow also aware of their position in the zeitgeist. And it’s a musical. With time travel. On top of that, the film is based on a real-life children’s toy, and then the characters and vehicles created for the film become real-life toys, in shops now.Seriously, the whole endeavour is a crazy moebius strip of postmodern recursive metatextuality. With songs.Jeez, just because kids can work an iPad at six months old, apparently they’re expected to get Baudrillardian simulation theory. But whether the youngsters parse the postmodern juxtaposition or just dig the tunes, there’s also a pretty clear message about getting along with people and staying positive even when things look bleak. As the young boy from the first movie ages into a teenager, it’s suggested he should resist cynicism. In fact, you don’t have to squint very hard to see the film address boys on the verge of being radicalised into cynical or extremist beliefs. Listen to the Lego Movie, kids, and don’t swallow the red pill. Life lessons, jokes, celebrity cameos — it’s all here. The Lego flick schtick is such catchy pop fun you’re guaranteed to have a great time. Sure, the Lego Movie 2 might not be as innovative as the first part, but it never lets you catch your breath long enough to realise that. Yup, this is how you build a sequel. Lego Movie 2: Everything to know The Lego Movie 2 builds a dizzying, gloriously silly… Remember when everything was awesome? The first Lego Movie from 2014 was a colourful — well, mostly yellow —  and giddy explosion of enthusiasm, humour and spectacular animation. Now The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part has arrived, and things are a lot more complicated.One thing the first movie had was novelty. Five years and two spin-offs later, the sequel doesn’t pop with quite the same freshness. It doesn’t help that the opening act is set in a parody of Mad Max: Fury Road, which isn’t the freshest gag in the world. But The Second Part does have the trademark Lego movie combination: It’s exuberant, dynamic, eye-popping and, above all, gloriously, unrestrainedly bonkers.last_img read more

Kit Haringtons shocking reaction when Game of Thrones ending revealed

first_imgKit Harrington aka Jon Snow in Game of ThronesFacebook/ Game of ThronesHBO’s Game of Thrones will stop airing in May 2019 and it will leave millions of fans in a dizzy asking for some more drama. Filming the last episodes were also not easy for the cast and crew of this acclaimed fantasy TV series. Kit Harington recently talked about his feelings and how he cried after reading the last pages of the script.Game of Thrones season eight entered into production a long time ago. Several stars of the show have talked about their feelings towards the end of it and how much they are going to miss playing their respective characters. As it turned out, Kit Harington was apparently the last person to read the end. He recently told Stephen Colbert on his show, The Late Show that he apparently was too lazy to read the script but when he did, he cried a lot.”We had a table read and I was the one person who hadn’t read the episodes,” Kit explained. “Everyone else had them like, three days before and read them and… I think I told everyone it was because I didn’t want to know what happened but I think it was just laziness that I didn’t read them.”Kit Harington further revealed that when he got to read the script, the showrunners were pretty excited to know his reactions. After reading Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6’s script, Kit, who plays Jon Snow, was pretty shocked and surprised for the change in the events.”And then I blubbed my eyes out. I cried. I cried, yeah,” he added.Kit Harington also talked about having a child and extending his family. He and his GoT co-star Rose Leslie got married last year. The couple met during season three and have been together ever since. While talking to The Sunday Telegraph’s Watch via DailyMail, Kit talked about his future family as his work with Game of Thrones is finally over. Actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie attend the premiere of HBO’s ‘Game Of Thrones’ season 7 at Walt Disney Concert Hall on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images”I met my wife in this show so, hopefully, it gave me my future family and my life from here on in.” Kit added: “It has changed my life completely. You could not ask for a better job than to be an actor in Game of Thrones.”Kit Harington will return as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones season 8 in April.last_img read more

Japan restarts second reactor at Sendai nuclear plant

first_img Japan restarted a second reactor at the Sendai nuclear plant on the southwestern island of Kyushu on Thursday (15 October), as the government pushes ahead with an unpopular return to atomic energy in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.The restart of the Sendai No 2 unit marks progress for Japans utilities, which have been hit by huge losses after being forced to shut down nuclear plants for safety checks.Weve actively implemented various safety measures including disaster prevention schemes to never let anything like the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident happen again, chief manager of Sendai nuclear plant Rei Sudou said, after his staff switched on the dormant reactor No 2 at 10.30am.The unit will begin power generation on 21 October and is expected to enter commercial operation from around mid-November. Kyushu Electric Power Co restarted the No 1 unit at the Sendai plant in August after approval from the countrys atomic regulator came following two years of reviews and equipment checks.Anxious to cut fuel bills, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants atomic power to account for 20-22% of the countrys energy mix by 2030, but the goal is widely seen as unrealistic and opposition to nuclear power remains widespread. Opinion polls have consistently shown strong opposition to nuclear power among the public, even as electricity bills surged following the switch to expensive fossil fuels.We will continue to restart nuclear reactors that meet whats called one of the most strict safety standards in the world, respecting the judgement of the governments nuclear authority, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said during a regular news conference on Thursday.The government is unchanged with its determination that we should restart nuclear reactors that meet the safety standards as were currently relying on old fuel generators that are forcedly put into operation, Suga added. Closelast_img read more

Jamaat to face harsh response Quader

first_imgObaidul Quader. FIle PhotoRoad transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Wednesday said construction of the Dhaka Metro Rail will be visible in next six months, reports UNB.The minister said this while inspecting the construction work of the 20 km-long metro rail project in capital’s Uttara on Wednesday.“At least 10-12 percent work of the Metro Rail project has been already completed. After the militant attack in Holey Artisan the project work remained suspended for six months but now it’s running again in full swing,” he said.The minister was hoping that the first phase of the project from Uttara to Agargaon will be completed in 2019 and the whole route will be open for commuters in 2020.Regarding the Jamaat-sponsored hartal on Thursday, Quader warned that Jamaat will face a harsh response if they commit any anarchy in the name of hartal.Construction of the Dhaka Metro Rail project financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) started in mid 2016.last_img

Thousands flee fighting on Myanmars border with China

first_imgThousands of people fled heavy fighting on Myanmar’s northern border with China overnight, activists said Wednesday, as the government blocked a senior UN official from visiting the area.Clashes between the army and ethnic minority militias in Myanmar’s borderlands have intensified in recent months, undercutting Aung San Suu Kyi’s vow to bring peace to the country since her party took power in March.Dozens have been killed and thousands displaced since fresh fighting erupted between the Myanmar military and the ethnic minority Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in November.The unrest has rippled across Shan and Kachin states, threatening the next round of peace talks between the government, military and ethnic groups scheduled for February.Dashi Naw Lawn, secretary of the Kachin Network Development Foundation, said the army launched airstrikes near the border town of Laiza on Tuesday.“There was a big fight yesterday and the Myanmar army used planes to attack the area around Laiza,” he told AFP on Wednesday.“The fighting is getting worse and worse.”Kachin activist Khon Ja said some 3,600 people had fled from two IDP camps overnight to escape the violence.She cited testimonies from escapees saying around a third had crossed a river into China, while the rest were stranded on the Myanmar side.The UN’s relief agency said this week that 2,700 displaced people had been moved to new camps because of the clashes, warning there was not enough shelter to protect them against dropping temperatures.Myanmar’s army said its troops have killed seven KIA rebels and seized several bases over the weekend.The growing crisis comes as UN special rapporteur Yanghee Lee was barred from visiting the conflict area this week as part of a 12-day trip to probe escalating violence in the country.“She was not allowed to travel to Hpakant and Laiza,” said her spokesman Aye Win.On Friday she is expected to visit Rakhine state to probe claims the army has been carrying out severe human rights abuses against the Muslim Rohingya minority—allegations the government has denied.last_img read more