The Latest: IOC to conduct annual meeting by video link

first_imgThe Russian agency issued staff with disinfectant wipes and face masks before the stoppage and also offered athletes masks to wear while being tested.___The Turkish soccer league plans to resume on June 12, finish its season by the end of July and host the Champions League final in Istanbul in August.Turkey suspended its soccer, basketball and volleyball leagues because of the coronavirus outbreak on March 20.Turkish soccer federation president Nihat Ozdemir says “we are aiming to end the season on July 26 by playing seven weekends and one weekday game.” Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The International Olympic Committee will hold an annual meeting through video conferencing on July 17. The teams have been allowed to do so under a strict set of guidelines, including testing players and staff.___The Green Bay Packers are teaming with American Family Insurance to provide $20,000 worth of ready-made meals to northeast Wisconsin’s front-line workers in the fight against the new coronavirus. Packers officials said the meals will be delivered to hospitals May 6-12 for Nurse Appreciation Week and will go to police and fire stations May 10-16 as part of Police Appreciation Week.The Packers also have provided $1.5 million in grants through the Packers Give Back COVID-19 Community Relief Fund. The school announced the creation of the Helping Heels Fund on Wednesday. It is designed to receive gifts to directly aid athletes and their families with expenses as permitted by NCAA rules. Those expenses could include groceries, medical bills and technology needs for online classes or remote learning.The fund is designed to supplement the school’s existing Student-Athlete Assistance Fund for the same issues. UNC has more than 800 student-athletes in 28 varsity sports.Athletics director Bubba Cunningham says many people have reached out seeking to help school athletes amid the pandemic that has shut down college sports while displacing athletes from campuses and team facilities. He says the new fund “is an opportunity to offer resources beyond what our department is currently able to provide.”The school’s compliance office will vet any funds provided and no money will go directly from a donor to an athlete.___ Ozdemir says the games will be played without spectators and the Turkish health ministry and its scientific advisory council will determine the conditions and guidelines under which the games will go ahead.___Inter Milan has postponed the return of its players to the training field because not everyone on the team has been tested for the coronavirus.Serie A players are set to resume practice this week under a strict set of guidelines amid the pandemic and Inter was slated to restart on Wednesday.But Inter’s Suning Center remains closed and is now expected to reopen at the end of the week. Tiley is the Australian Open’s tournament director. He says organizers have “modeled everything” and tells AAP “our best-case scenario at this point is having an AO with players that we can get in here with quarantining techniques and Australian-only fans.”More than 30 sanctioned tennis tournaments have been postponed or canceled so far because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The French Open was moved from May to September and Wimbledon was called off entirely for the first time in 75 years.A decision on this year’s U.S. Open is expected in June.___German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Bundesliga can resume this month amid the coronavirus pandemic. No teams will be relegated but the top two from the second division will be promoted.There will be no relegation in the third and fourth divisions but the promoted clubs will come from the winners of playoff matches played without fans.___The head of the Australian Open says various contingency plans are being considered for the Grand Slam tournament scheduled for January 2021. They include scrapping it altogether because of the coronavirus pandemic or allowing just spectators from the host country.Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley tells the Australian Associated Press that the “worst-case scenario” is no tournament at all next year. — Reporting by David Ginsburg in Baltimore___Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the NBA team is going ahead with plans to open its training facility on Friday so players can individually work out.Bickerstaff said the team has been in contact with local and Ohio health officials to make sure it is following safety guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team’s year-round facility in Independence, Ohio has been closed since mid-March.Bickerstaff, who took over the Cavs when John Beilein stepped down in February midway through his first season, said the league has advised that any player and coach remain 12 feet apart while on the floor together. May 6, 2020 ___Juventus has announced that forward Paulo Dybala has recovered from the new coronavirus.Juventus issued a brief statement Wednesday saying that Dybala’s two latest tests came back negative for COVID-19. The club says Dybala has “therefore recovered and will no longer be subjected to the home isolation regime.”It was reported last week that Dybala was still positive for the disease after several weeks of tests.Juventus and most of the other Serie A clubs are resuming training this week on an individual basis before full team training restarts on May 18. The Russian anti-doping agency plans to resume testing this month.CEO Yuri Ganus says testing will start again in the last 10 days of May with a “balanced, selective and focused” approach as the agency tries to make up for a lengthy stoppage.Testing was suspended at the end of March when Russian President Vladimir Putin asked people to stay home unless they were working in designated essential sectors.Ganus says that during the stoppage “we have been carrying out all the work of a national anti-doping agency except for the testing.” That covers areas such as education, investigations and planning for future tests.Anti-doping work worldwide has come to a near-standstill during the coronavirus pandemic. That has raised fears that some athletes could take advantage and cheat. Orioles outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. is eager to get back on the baseball diamond, though not until he can be sure it’s in a safe environment.Speaking Wednesday on a teleconference call from his home in Peachtree City, Georgia, Smith said he doesn’t want to return until there’s no threat of contracting the new coronavirus.“There’s a definitely a concern about that,” Smith said. “We want to make sure it’s 100 percent safe. When they give us the go — if they do — to start back up again, we don’t want to contract that virus and then pass it around to others amongst ourselves and get other people sick and just continue that pandemic.“Whenever they give us the go, when it’s like a really safe time to go back, I think that would be the best opportunity.”Smith has been passing the time during the quarantine with his family, but he made time to participate in a video game challenge with other big leaguers. Playing MLB The Show 19, Smith went 19-10, finished fifth and was named Players League Best Manager. The Latest: IOC to conduct annual meeting by video link Also, the R&A says it has postponed until next year the inaugural Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship. It was scheduled for Sept. 3-6 in Buenos Aires. It now is scheduled for Sept. 2-5 in 2021.___The Spanish soccer federation is proposing an end to this season’s women’s league because of the coronavirus pandemic.The proposal is expected to be approved by the federation’s board on Thursday.Barcelona was leading the competition at the time it was suspended in March and will be declared champion. The meeting of around 100 members, known as the IOC Session, had originally been scheduled to be held in Tokyo before the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics.The one-year postponement of the Tokyo Games because of the new coronavirus, and global restrictions on travel and large gatherings of people, have left video conferencing as the best option.The IOC says its executive board will discuss the Session agenda and a secure voting protocol. The board is due to meet remotely next week, on May 14.___North Carolina says it’s launching a crowdfunding campaign to allow fans to help provide financial assistance to school athletes facing “extreme hardships” amid the coronavirus pandemic. ___The New Jersey Devils are donating 10,000 tickets for next season to health care workers with RWJBarnabas.The Devils also promised to donate two extra tickets for every season ticket member and plan holder who use credits they earned this year for next year.The NHL team plans to use social media to honor front-line workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in New Jersey and across the country. The tribute is called “Stick Taps at 7” and will be broadcast at 7 p.m. It will include videos of players, alumni, coaches, management, front office staff and others saluting doctors, nurses and health care workers.RJWBarnabas Health is a sponsor of the Devils. The owners of the team previously donated money and medical supplies to the RWJBarnabas Health Emergency Response Fund. Josh Harris and David Blitzer are the managing partners of the Devils.___Two more international golf tournaments for amateurs have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The International Golf Federation says the World Amateur Team Championships for men and women — scheduled over two weeks in October in Singapore — have been scratched. The tournament dates to 1958. It was moved in February from Hong Kong because of social unrest.The World Amateur Team is held every other year. The IGF decided not to postpone it until 2021 because of the effect it would create with scheduling problems. It next will be played in France in 2022. Associated Press Merkel announced a loosening of a range of containment measures after meeting with the country’s 16 state governors. Pressure to relax the rules had been growing as the rate of daily infections in the country has dropped.Soccer in the country’s top two divisions will be able to resume without spectators and with a range of other conditions designed to prevent another outbreak. Players will be tested and teams will also have to spend time in quarantine before games can restart.The earliest the league can resume is May 16. The German soccer league is to hold a general meeting with the country’s 36 professional clubs in the top two divisions via video link on Thursday.The Bundesliga was suspended with nine rounds remaining on March 13. The clubs had committed to finishing the season by the end of June.___ Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes says all sporting competitions in the country will remain suspended until July 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic.The Belgian soccer league says it will respect the national security council’s decision. The league recommended last month ending its season with the current standings declared final.The league says “the working group’s proposals will be presented to the Pro League clubs at the general assembly on May 15.”Club Brugge stands to be awarded the title and qualify for next season’s Champions League if the advice is confirmed. Brugge is currently 15 points ahead of second-place Gent with one game to go before the season-ending playoffs.___ He said coaches will be required to wear masks and gloves. Bickerstaff said the workouts are voluntary and “no one is being pressured to do anything.”___Torino has announced that a player has tested positive for COVID-19 after the first run of medical tests were carried out on the team as it begins the return to training.The club has not named the player but says he is asymptomatic and has been placed in quarantine.Most Serie A clubs are resuming training this week on an individual basis before full team training restarts on May 18. Inter’s team doctor was one of three Serie A physicians who were hospitalized with the virus.Most of the other Italian league clubs are resuming training on an individual basis this week before full team training restarts on May 18.___The Croatian soccer federation says it wants to restart the season on May 30 with the cup semifinals.The country’s 10-team league is set to resume with all games in empty stadiums on June 6 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Croatian federation is led by former player and UEFA executive committee member Davor Suker. It says final approval must come from public authorities. Lower-level leagues will not be completed.Dinamo Zagreb leads the league by 18 points over Rijeka with 10 matches remaining.Four clubs are in contention for the runner-up spot and a place in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Professor’s research contributed to iPhone X

first_imgEmily Smith | Daily TrojanUpon its debut, facial recognition was among the iPhone X’s most talked-about features. USC assistant professor of computer science Hao Li was one of the developers who brought this idea to life, as he conducted research on facial motion capture that later contributed to the iPhone X’s animated emoji, or “Animoji,” feature.Li’s contribution began in 2015 when Apple acquired Faceshift, a tech startup he co-founded in 2011. Faceshift is a facial motion capture software that uses Microsoft Kinect’s depth-sensing technology to capture movements in real time.“One of the most appealing features [of Faceshift] was markerless facial performance capture,” Li said.Two seminal components were conducive to the technology behind Animoji: facial tracking using structured-light 3-D scanners and non-rigid registration.Non-rigid registration is a concept that uses an algorithm to smooth out the deformations in depth scans so it matches the person’s movement as much as possible.“These two components were sort of key,” Li said. “They evolved to all real-time facial things that we see nowadays — for sure the features on the iPhone X.”Li joined USC three years ago as an assistant professor to start a research lab. He said a university setting was his best choice for creating something “foreign and long-term” because there was no pressure to turn his research into a product.Li also prefers working with graduate students because of their passion and energy for getting things done.Li began researching facial models and markerless performance capture about seven to eight years ago, when he earned his doctorate in computer science in Zurich.In addition to being a professor, Li is also the director of the Vision and Graphics Lab at the USC Institute of Creative Technologies.The aim of his early research was to revolutionize traditional motion capture methods that used dots or markers.“The thing with the face is that if you put dots, you can only get very sparse motion so everything looks very rigid and you can’t get the subtleties of the face,” Li said.Through Faceshift’s depth-sensing technology with the $100 Kinect, Li demonstrated the accessibility of human digitization.“That’s something super powerful because what it means is that everyone can generate interesting content,” Li said. “You don’t need an animator.”“In movies, that has always been the Holy Grail, like ‘How can we create a real-looking visual character?’” Li said. “Anything that advances that is really interesting to me.”He has used his technology in films such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Star Trek Into Darkness and Furious 7, where he used facial tracking technology to animate and map Cody Walker’s face onto a digital Paul Walker.Li is now focused on his tech startup Pinscreen, which aims to change online communication via user-generated and personalized 3-D avatars.“We are trying to develop an algorithm using [artificial intelligence] and deep learning where we can create a complete copy of a person with just a single reference picture,” Li said.last_img read more