Latest imaging techniques look inside a python w Video

first_img This is an MRI video image of an alligator’s anatomy. The scientists can use contrasting agents to highlight specific organs using the MRI and CT techniques. Credit: MR Research Center, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. The study has already produced internal images of other species, including alligators, turtles, frogs, bearded dragons, and swamp eels. © 2010 PhysOrg.com By choosing the right settings for contrast and light intensity during CT scanning process, the scientists are able to highlight specific aspects. A: low absorbance settings visualizing soft tissue B: CT, medium absorbance settings visualizing bones and contrast agent filled blood vessels. C: High absorbance settings visualizing bones only. Credit: MR Research Center, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. 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. Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Researchers from Denmark have used CT scans and MRIs to see inside a python after it has swallowed a rat whole.center_img Citation: Latest imaging techniques look inside a python (w/ Video) (2010, July 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-latest-imaging-techniques-python-video.html Mr Lauridsen said the heart’s increase in size was probably related to the energy required for the digestion. Since the snake is a “sit and wait” predator that can go for long periods without eating, when it does eat the intestinal system must be restarted quickly.The study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology in Prague, Czech Republic, enabled the scientists to see inside the snake without dissecting it, and thus avoided the sometimes subjective or misleading interpretations obtained from dissection. Dr Hansen also pointed out that dissection can induce changes, such as the collapse of lungs as a turtle shell is opened.Since the study used a live snake, it could be studied “over and over again.” The images obtained should prove invaluable for future studies of anatomy of animals. Feast and famine: MRI reveals secrets of animal anatomy The scientists from the Department of Zoophysiology and MR Research Center at Aarhus University in Denmark, Henrik Lauridsen and Kasper Hansen, carried out computer tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of a 5 kg Burmese python starting an hour after it had swallowed a whole rat. Contrast agents were used to highlight particular organs and show them in different colors. The snake was anesthetized before the scans.The Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) is the largest sub-species of the Indian python, and is native to Southern and Southeast Asia. It fasts for months and then eats a large meal that can take several days to be fully digested. The meal can represent up to half of the snake’s own body weight. Wild pythons can reach over five meters in length and large snakes can consume animals as big as a deer.The MRI study revealed how the python’s internal organs changed during digestion of the rat, which took 132 hours in total. As the body of the rat gradually disintegrated the snake’s gall bladder reduced in size, while the intestines expanded and its heart grew 25 percent larger.last_img read more

Japans maglev train runs test at over 310 mph w Video

first_img(Phys.org) —Moving toward its goal of building a high-speed magnetic levitation (maglev) train line between Tokyo and Osaka, Central Japan Railway Co has resumed testing of its L0 (L Zero) train—demonstrating speeds just above 310 miles per hour (500 km per hour). That makes it the longest and fastest maglev train in the world. © 2013 Phys.org New 311mph maglev train in Japan passes initial tests The train does have wheels—it rides on them when the train is at low speed—then rises up above the track when it reaches approximately 93 mph. On the test run, the train reached its peak speed just three miles into the trip, which would suggest riders would feel pushed back into their seats, but those on board reported no such sensation. The test run also marked the resumption of testing after the track was made longer. Also, by bringing reporters aboard for the initial trial, the train’s developers expressed their confidence in the train’s performance, it’s suitability as a mode of mass transportation and it’s safety. Passengers were allowed to move about the rail cars during all parts of the trip. And though much of the trip occurred underground, they also reported that looking out the window when aboveground offered little more than blurs for landscapes near the train, but beautiful imagery of more distant objects as the train sped along. Explore furthercenter_img Maglev trains are able to travel very fast all while using less energy than conventional trains because they allow the train to ride on a cushion of air—friction from the wheels on the track is eliminated. Most in the field expect they will require less maintenance costs as well. But what’s still not clear is if the lower operating costs will make up for the dramatically greater installation cost. The line between Tokyo and Osaka is expected to cost approximately $90 billion and it won’t be completed until 2045 (an initial line is expected to begin operating between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027 reducing travel time from 95 to 40 minutes).In the test, a five car train carrying reporters made its way around a 26.6-mile track in approximately nine minutes. Riders were able to track their speed via overhead video screens. Those onboard reported a smooth, reasonably quiet ride. Those witnessing the test standing near the track, on the other hand, reported feeling a shockwave and a deafening noise as the train passed. It’s that second group that has the train developers worried—before track can be laid, the train must pass environmental impact studies. Citation: Japan’s maglev train runs test at over 310 mph (w/ Video) (2013, September 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-09-japan-maglev-mph-video.html 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.last_img read more

Quantum dots used to convert infrared light to visible light

first_img Tandem solar cells are more efficient (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at MIT has succeeded in creating a double film coating that is able to convert infrared light at modest intensities into visible light. In their paper published in the journal Nature Photonics, the team describes their film, how well it works and the possible uses for it. One way to make a solar cell more efficient would be to increase the amount of light energy that is able to be captured and converted by it to electrical energy, and one of the ways to make that happen would be to find a way to capture and use photons that are below their normal bandgap. To accomplish that goal the team at MIT sought to upconvert photons in infrared light to visible light.Their approach was to use two films placed on top of a clear plate of glass. The film layer on the bottom was made using a type of quantum dot—an inorganic semiconductor lead sulphid which had been coated with a single layer of fatty acids to make the surface passive. The top film layer was crystalline and made of rubrene, an organic molecule.In the two film approach, the top film absorbs infrared light, and the energy from it is then transferred to the bottom film. That energy, which exists in the form of excitons is then diffused as it passes through the rubrene—a process called triplet–triplet annihilation. They tested the films by shining an infrared laser at the finished product and found it glowed with visible light—it works, the team notes, because the collision of two low-energy excitons create high-energy excitons, i.e. singlets, which can emit visible light. The team reports that the films are quite efficient at converting the infrared light to visible light.Besides the possible use in solar cells the films might also be used in cameras, allowing, for example, a visual representation of what is going on in the fog covering a roadway, or in creating better night-vision goggles. The team has plans to improve their film approach, hopefully optimizing it to make it more efficient and perhaps allowing for converting longer infrared wavelengths. Explore further Schematics of nanocrystal-sensitized upconversion via triplet-triplet annihilation. Credit: (c) 2015 Nature Photonics (2015). DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2015.226 Citation: Quantum dots used to convert infrared light to visible light (2015, December 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-quantum-dots-infrared-visible.htmlcenter_img Journal information: Nature Photonics © 2015 Phys.org 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. More information: Mengfei Wu et al. Solid-state infrared-to-visible upconversion sensitized by colloidal nanocrystals, Nature Photonics (2015). DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2015.226AbstractOptical upconversion via sensitized triplet–triplet exciton annihilation converts incoherent low-energy photons to shorter wavelengths under modest excitation intensities1, 2, 3. Here, we report a solid-state thin film for infrared-to-visible upconversion that employs lead sulphide colloidal nanocrystals as a sensitizer. Upconversion is achieved from pump wavelengths beyond λ = 1 μm to emission at λ = 612 nm. When excited at λ = 808 nm, two excitons in the sensitizer are converted to one higher-energy state in the emitter at a yield of 1.2 ± 0.2%. Peak efficiency is attained at an absorbed intensity equivalent to less than one sun. We demonstrate that colloidal nanocrystals are an attractive alternative to existing molecular sensitizers, given their small exchange splitting, wide wavelength tunability, broadband infrared absorption, and our transient observations of efficient energy transfer. This solid-state architecture for upconversion may prove useful for enhancing the capabilities of solar cells and photodetectors.last_img read more

Searching for water in the atmosphere of a Neptunemass exoplanet HATP26b

first_img Explore further (Phys.org)—HAT-P-26b is an inflated, Neptune-mass exoplanet located about 437 light years from Earth, which orbits its parent star HAT-P-26 every 4.23 days. The planet has a relatively low surface gravity that is well suited for atmospheric characterization. However, we still know very little about the gas layer around this distant alien world. A team of astronomers led by Kevin B. Stevenson of the University of Chicago wants to change that, presenting new insights on the atmosphere of this celestial body. This artist’s concept depicts a planetary system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech © 2016 Phys.org Citation: Searching for water in the atmosphere of a Neptune-mass exoplanet HAT-P-26b (2016, January 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-atmosphere-neptune-mass-exoplanet-hat-p-26b.html More information: A Search for Water in the Atmosphere of HAT-P-26b Using LDSS-3C, arXiv:1511.08226 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1511.08226AbstractThe characterization of a physically-diverse set of transiting exoplanets is an important and necessary step towards establishing the physical properties linked to the production of obscuring clouds or hazes. It is those planets with identifiable spectroscopic features that can most effectively enhance our understanding of atmospheric chemistry and metallicity. The newly-commissioned LDSS-3C instrument on Magellan provides enhanced sensitivity and suppressed fringing in the red optical, thus advancing the search for the spectroscopic signature of water in exoplanetary atmospheres from the ground. Using data acquired by LDSS-3C and the Spitzer Space Telescope, we search for evidence of water vapor in the transmission spectrum of the Neptune-mass planet HAT-P-26b. Our measured spectrum is best explained by the presence of water vapor, a lack of potassium, and either a high-metallicity, cloud-free atmosphere or a solar-metallicity atmosphere with a cloud deck at ~10 mbar. The emergence of multi-scale-height spectral features in our data suggests that future observations at higher precision could break this degeneracy and reveal the planet’s atmospheric chemical abundances. We also update HAT-P-26b’s transit ephemeris, t_0 = 2455304.65218(25) BJD_TDB, and orbital period, p = 4.2345023(7) days. New milestone in the search for water on distant planets In research dedicated to determining the composition of HAT-P-26b’s atmosphere and finding traces of water vapor in it, the scientists made use of data provided by the Low Dispersion Survey Spectrograph 3C (LDSS-3C) instrument and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. LDSS-3C is an optical imager and (multi-) slit spectrograph on the 6.5m Magellan II (Clay) telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The results, based on LDSS-3C and Spitzer data, were published on Dec. 24 in the arXiv pre-print server.The researchers observed the primary transit of HAT-P-26b with LDSS-3C on Apr. 16, 2015 for nearly five hours, using the multi-object technique developed to probe exoplanet atmospheres. They acquired 502 science frames using 20 second integrations. Thanks to Spitzer, the scientists were able to observe two transits of the planet in April and September 2013. The science observations using NASA’s spacecraft lasted approximately 4.5 hours and acquired 8,128 frames, utilizing two-second frame times. To place the results into a broader context, HAT-P-26b was compared to other exoplanets with similar temperatures and surface gravities like HAT-P-12b and HAT-P-19b.Stevenson and his colleagues have found the evidence of water and lack of potassium in HAT-P-26b’s atmosphere. They also found out that the planet’s gas layer could be cloud-free with a high-metallicity. However, it could also have a solar metallicity atmosphere, according to the research.”Targeting the Neptune-mass planet HAT-P-26b, we find tentative evidence for water and a lack of potassium in its transmission spectrum. (…) We conclude that HAT-P-26b is likely to have a high-metallicity, cloud-free atmosphere or a solar metallicity atmosphere with cloud deck at about 10 mbar. Although more high-precision data are needed to break this degeneracy, a 100 times solar-metallicity atmosphere is consistent with expectations based on Uranus and Neptune’s similar metallicities. Alternatively, since HATP-26b has a similar equilibrium temperature and surface gravity to that of HAT-P-12b, it is conceivable that the smaller HAT-P-26b simply has lower altitude clouds and, thus, a metallicity that is closer to solar,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The scientists note that understanding the prevalence of clouds and hazes is one of the major outstanding issues in exoplanetary atmospheres. Temperature and surface gravity are thought to play a significant role in the production of clouds and hazes, but much work is needed to fully understand this mechanism.”To advance our knowledge, we need to obtain precise transmission spectra of targets that have a variety of physical characteristics and continue investigating potential correlations,” the paper reads.In addition to characterizing HAT-P-26b’s atmosphere, the research also updated the planet’s transit ephemeris and orbital period.The astronomers believe that pending Hubble Space Telescope observations and future studies of HAT-P-26b will provide the necessary precision to make a definitive detection and potentially distinguish between a high-metallicity or a solar-metallicity atmosphere. They recommend performing follow-up observations of this curious exoplanet using one or more instruments at overlapping wavelengths. 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.last_img read more

Three luminous blue variable candidates found in the galaxy NGC 4736

first_img LBVs are rare and unstable, evolved massive stars at one of the final evolutionary phases. They exhibit strong photometric and spectroscopic variability related to transient eruptions. Studies of LBVs and eruptions taking place in these objects could provide more insights about stellar evolution of massive stars.To date, only about 40 LBVs are known in our Milky Way galaxy and in the galaxies of the Local Group. Notably, searching for LBVs in the galaxy is difficult due to high extinction in the galactic plane and uncertain distance measurements, while finding such stars in nearby galaxies could be easier, since the distances to them are determined more reliably.With the aim of detecting new LBVs, a team of astronomers led by Yulia Solovyeva of Special Astrophysical Observatory in Nizhnij Arkhyz, Russia, conducted a search for the presence of hydrogen-alpha emission in blue point-like star objects in the NGC 4736 galaxy. Discovered in 1781, NGC 4736 (also known as Messier 94) is a star-forming spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici, located some 1.3 million light years away from the Earth.Solovyeva’s team studied archival images obtained by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to identify three new LBV candidates. Afterward, they analyzed the spectral and photometric variability of these objects using various ground-based telescopes, including the BTA-6 telescope at the Special Astrophysical Observatory in Russia. This allowed them to find that all the three sources have spectra similar to the spectra of the known LBVs.”We have found three new LBV candidates in the star-forming galaxy NGC 4736. They show typical well-known LBV spectra, broad and strong hydrogen lines, He I lines, many Fe II lines, and forbidden [Fe II] and [Fe III],” the researchers wrote in the paper.According to the study, the candidate designated NGC 4736_1 has an absolute magnitude of –10.2 mag, a bolometric magnitude of –11.5 mag, and a bolometric luminosity of about 6.5. Moreover, this source showcases a significant brightness variation. The properties of this object allowed the astronomers to conclude that it is indeed an LBV star.”Based on its spectrum typical of the LBV, the characteristic bolometric luminosity and considerable brightness variations, we conclude that NGC 4736_1 is actually the LBV star,” the paper reads.Other candidate – NGC 4736_2 – was found to have lower limits of the absolute and bolometric magnitudes of –8.6 and –10.0 mag respectively. The bolometric luminosity of this source was calculated to be at a level of at least 5.9. However, given that NGC 4736_2 exhibits a relatively small brightness variation, it puts into question its LBV status.When it comes to NGC 4736_3, it has the absolute and bolometric magnitudes of –8.2 and –8.4 mag respectively, and a bolometric luminosity of around 5.3. However, insufficient photometric data does not allow the researchers to estimate brightness variation of the source, leaving NGC 4736_3 classified as an LBV candidate. Russian astronomers have identified three new luminous blue variable (LBV) candidates in the star-forming galaxy NGC 4736. While one of the three newly found candidates was confirmed to be an LBV, the nature of the remaining two remains uncertain. The discovery is presented in a paper published January 16 on arXiv.org. Explore further Images in HST/F555W: (a) NGC 4736 1, (b) NGC 4736 2, and (c) NGC 4736 3. The circles mark the central objects (a) with the radius of 1.1”, it is the maximum seeing on the ground-based images, the 1” slit is shown. Credit: Solovyeva et al., 2019. New eruptions detected in two luminous blue variables More information: Y. Solovyeva et al. New Luminous Blue Variable Candidates in NGC 4736. arXiv:1901.05277 [astro-ph.SR]. arxiv.org/abs/1901.05277 © 2019 Science X Network 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. Citation: Three luminous blue variable candidates found in the galaxy NGC 4736 (2019, January 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-luminous-blue-variable-candidates-galaxy.htmllast_img read more

Im an admirer and fan of Rituparno Ghosh

first_imgI have known Rituparno right from his early days as a filmmaker and his very first feature film Heerer Angti (1992) made me sit up and take notice. He took me to the theatre with him to watch the film and its brilliance surprised me. I realised in that moment itself that a great filmmaker  of the next generation had arrived. Barring the last few films made by Rituparno, I have watched almost all of his works and we were in touch with each other throughout. I am an admirer and a fan of his talent and his cinema. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’My wife and I shared a deep love for Rituparno till the very end. From what he said about me and what I said about him, it is clear that we had a deep respect for each other. The loss is personal so far as we are concerned.I’d rate Rituparno as one of the most important Indian film makers of our  times.  Audiences, though, know him for his popular and national award-winning films like Dahan, Utsab, Dosor,The Last Lear, Shob Charitro Kalponik and Abohoman Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix. But almost all his films were remarkable.For audiences outside Bengal, Rituparno was known for getting Aishwarya Rai to pay the female lead for his films like Chokher Bali and Raincoat. Chokher Bali based on Tagore’s novel, also starred Prosenjit and Raima Sen and the film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali while Raincoat featuring Ajay Devgn won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi that year.If I remember right, Rituparno had won the Special Jury award at the National Film Awards this year for Chitrangada, a film based on the story of Chitrangada from the Mahabharat, who struggles with his sexual identity. He was making a new film, Satyanweshi, but left us  before completing his last work.Sen, 90, is an ambassador of parallel cinema in India. He spoke to Nandini Guha.last_img read more

Man held for wifes murder in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: A man was arrested on Sunday on charge of killing his wife, whose body was found on the railway tracks in West Bengal’s Malda district, police said. Padmabati’s body was found in the morning in Rangamatia area where the couple lived.”When we raided accused Sishir Mondal’s house, blood stains were found on the balcony. It seems he killed his wife and threw the body on the tracks to make it look like an accident,” a police officer said.Police quoted neighbours as claiming that Mondal often came home drunk and beat up his wife.last_img read more

Baby dumped minutes after being born rescued

first_imgKolkata: A new born baby who was dumped on the road side in Dum Dum on Wednesday morning, was later rescued by an elderly couple in the locality.According to local sources, the infant, who was given birth a few hours ago, was kept on a pile of sand on the road side. Chobi Majumdar, an elderly woman who was passing through the area along with her husband noticed the new born laying on the road side. She rescued the infant and took her to a nearby hospital for treatment.Incident created a sensation in the area on Wednesday morning. Locals suspected that the new born was dumped in the area a few minutes before she was rescued by the couple. Majumdar couple was going to a hospital where their pregnant daughter had been undergoing treatment. The woman stepped up to the baby and picked her in her arms and rushed her to the hospital.After being informed, the local police reached the spot and started a probe in this regard. According to the police, the infant is stated to be stable now. Police have started a probe to ascertain the identity of the baby or the whereabouts of her mother who dumped the infant on the street.After rescuing the new born, the woman said her life could have been in a jeopardy had she been laid there for any longer. There were some dogs in the area but they did not harm the new born. After being instructed by the higher authorities, the local administration has decided to take the responsibilities of the infant, if her mother is not identified. The state government would take the responsibility for bringing up the baby. The locals also expressed their happiness after coming to know the decision taken by the district administration in this regard.last_img read more

Teacher held for abusing minors in Darjeeling

first_imgDarjeeling: A teacher was arrested for sexually harassing minor students of his school. He was produced at the Siliguri Court on Monday charged under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO.)On April 20, parents of a class 4 student had complained against the teacher for allegedly sexually harassing their daugther. However, Bablu Singh had vehemently denied.Later similar complaints started coming in from parents and guardians of multiple students. The incident occurred in a school in Darjeeling.last_img read more

Digambarpur bags national award for involving local people in making plans

first_imgKolkata: Digambarpur Gram Panchayat under Patharpratima block in South 24-Parganas has bagged the national award in making plans that have involved local people. The contest was held among 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats in the country.Subrata Mukherjee, state minister for Panchayat and Rural Development, along with Dibyendu Sarkar, Commissioner, Panchayat and Rural Development, Samir Jana, local MLA, C M Jatua, local Trinamool Congress MP and Subhasish Chakraborty, Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP, had visited the GP and felicitated it. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe Panchayat and Rural Development department had sent the plans taken up by five GPs for the competition.After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had stressed on the construction of rural roads, along with drinking water and development of other infrastructure. As a result, the scenario in rural Bengal has experienced major changes over the past seven years.She also held a two day Panchayat conference at Netaji Indoor Stadium and urged all the Panchayats to come up with new plans and execute them properly. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPDigambarpur Gram Panchayat has taken up a unique plan to provide drinking water to 600 families. With the help of an NGO, an overhead tank has been constructed to store water. It is then purified and then supplied to individual families with the help of pipelines.The local people are contributing on a monthly basis for maintenance of the project. The Panchayat has also asked the local people to get in touch when there is fall in the quality of water, if the taps are found to be not working, in case of leaks in the pipelines, etc. The Panchayat has also taken up a leading role in solid waste management. The waste is segregated at source. The Panchayat has successfully made plans involving the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) by women.The Kanyashree brigade has played a leading role in creating awareness among women, particularly in the field of health and hygiene.South 24-Parganas has been declared as a Open Defecation Free (ODF) district and the Panchayat members, along with local people, had organised an intense campaign urging people not to litter in the open.Digambarpur is also playing a key role in crab cultivation and has helped people to become self reliant. Pan cultivation and raising of ducks have also helped them to regain their financial health. The Panchayat has taken up schemes involving the villagers and their opinions are being considered to make plans.last_img read more

Opportunity always comes masked Sagarika

first_imgShe made the crowd go crazy with her performance in Chak De! India. But now Sagarika Ghatge will be seen on the silver screen with Arshad Warsi-Naseeruddin Shah starrer Irada. Recently, she made her debut in the Punjabi film Dildariyaan and she says that a person is more interested in what is happening in their neighbourhood, and regional cinema is a representation of the diverse social, cultural and political ethos of the country.You are doing a Bollywood film after three years. Tell us about your role in the Arshad Warsi-Naseeruddin Shah starrer Irada.  Also Read – A fresh blend of fameIt’s a very strong character that I’m essaying. My role is that of an independent woman with a strong viewpoint. It’s the journey of a woman through the ups and downs of existence who fights tooth and nail for the truth. I play the lead and I’m not romantically paired with either Arshad or Naseeruddin. In fact I’ve always wanted to work with them. You have done a Marathi film and a Punjabi film, are you interested in doing a film in the southern regional languages like Tamil, Telugu etc.?  Also Read – Martin Freeman confirms ‘Black Panther’ returnI never say no, an opportunity always comes masked; it’s how well you master it.  Regional cinema is where the heart of a common Indian lies and some of the best films have come out of the regional film industries, spread across the country. Generally, a person is more interested in what is happening in their neighbourhood, and regional cinema is a representation of that diverse social, cultural and political ethos of the country. I think of regional cinema as a specialty restaurant, offering authenticity and variety from Bollywood’s multi-cuisine mishmash. Regional films can be escapist and illogical. But they are also often more personal, courageous and unpredictable. The “big” size of Bollywood market is primarily responsible for its popularity. But when it comes to winning accolades and awards at international podium, regional cinema has always made us proud. Do you think that it is safe for an actor to begin his/her career by doing supporting roles because there are chances that doing a lead role can make or break one’s career? I say don’t let anyone else tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. If your instincts are telling you to do something, then go ahead and do it. Only by doing things and getting results, either good or bad, will you know what is right for you. Your life and career are not the same as anyone else’s, so you have to do things for yourself and not take other people’s words for it. An actor should know there’s nothing more important than playing moments. Whatever the character or style is, there must be an authenticity, which is only possible when the performer is totally present. To be present is to have your attention on the most important things happening around you, and an ever deeper connection to what those things mean. I feel most actors fail because they don’t know their job. Most actors mistakenly feel that acting is a job in which they do not have to know anything and acting just happens by fate. But they don’t realise that acting is also a craft like carpentry, sculpting, painting and there are disciplines which have to be learnt. We saw you in Khatron Ke Khiladi season 6. Do you have any plans to make a comeback on TV? Television is something I’d love to experiment with, provided the opportunity compliments my personality. I won’t do a reality show just for the moolah or the recognition.  After Chak De I was offered a lot of opportunities to take on reality shows and daily soaps but as a person I’m very conscious of the decisions I take because I owe my family a responsibility for every step I take. I’m not fussy, I’m just guarded if I have to be honest with you.  In the show business it’s all about perception, one wrong move and critics are quick to discard you. Fortunately the universe has been kind and things are shaping out just fine. Do you think an actor can have a brilliant career in both mainstream cinema and TV?There is not a huge difference between theatre, film and television. Good acting is good acting, whether on stage or in cinema. As far as the acting is concerned there is not much difference as it is made out to be. All the great film actors in the world are from the stage. Acting isn’t about “me,” it’s about “us.” I fell in love with acting as a child because I was raised in a very generous performing environment. I wish actors understood the power of generosity. That is much more powerful than an individual working for his own notoriety. Remember that synergy makes powerful individuals become a more powerful whole. I think all actors are self taught. Their level of learning varies with the kind of influences they encounter. If you have encountered nothing but Hindi cinema, you are going to become a certain kind of actor. Similarly if you are from the theatre you will become a certain kind of actor. If you have a certain kind of awareness then you will become a different kind of actor. It varies according to the influences you’ve been exposed to. I feel today acting is more synonymous with how well you Botox yourself rather than how well you know the art. To act in a masala flick you need to have a good body, you need to know how to dress, how to dance, how to fight, how to laugh, how to cry and you don’t need to have an understanding of human psychology or anything because these movies do not contain any of that.last_img read more

Benefits of fasting which you should know

first_imgFasting, if done for all nine days can detoxify body, provided that good amount of fruits, vegetables, milk products and unsweetened beverages are included. It can also improve cardiovascular function, blood composition, and blood pressure, say experts. Here are some of the benefits of fasting that one can have on their body, mind and soul,Drinking a lot of liquids such as coconut water and herbal tea help aggressively in flushing out toxins from the body and maintaining electrolyte balance. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAnother benefit of fasting is that it brings self-discipline and keep us away from eating unnecessary food.Following the pattern of the traditional and Satvik diet that includes fruits, lassi (Buttermilk), lemon water, sendha namak, etc eases the digestive system, which helps in preventing constipation and dehydration.Ketosis, or the fat-burning, is reached by fasting. It helps in burning the fat reserves. Excessive central fat stored around organs, like your liver and kidneys, interferes with organ function. Fasting, helps in reaching ketosis and hence improves the organ function.Leptin, which is the “satiety” hormone, also increases thyroid hormone production. Due to fasting, leptin sensitivity increases and this in turn increases the rate of metabolism in case of sluggish thyroid.Due to fasting, body secretes less insulin because there is not enough and steady doses of sugar coming into the body. So, these lower levels of this hormone lead to increased sensitivity in those with insulin resistance.last_img read more

HC refuses to quash charges against Bikram over Sonikas death

first_imgKolkata: Calcutta High Court on Wednesday turned down actor Bikram Chatterjee’s plea to quash the charges brought against him in the case of model Sonika Chauhan’s death.Previously, Chatterjee had appealed for the same in the lower court, which was rejected. Following that he moved to Calcutta High Court, praying for dismissal of the charges brought against him. In November last year, the Calcutta High Court had ordered the investigating agency not to take any coercive action against him. On Wednesday, after completion of the hearing, Justice Shivakant Prasad passed an order turning down the appeal by Chatterjee to quash the charge of 304 IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) brought against him. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseIt was also ordered that the charge framing process should be done soon at the lower court. After this order, the investigating agency now has no bar on taking any action against Chatterjee. In April 2017, Chauhan died in a car accident where the vehicle was being driven by Chatterjee. It was alleged that he was driving the car in drunken condition. Later, Chatterjee was arrested and had to spend several days behind bars. In July 2017, Chatterjee was granted bail by the Alipore Court against two bonds worth Rs 25,000 each. He was also ordered not to leave Kolkata without permission of the officer-in-charge (OC) of Tollygunj police station. Later in 2018, he appealed before the Alipore Court to relieve him from the case, which was eventually turned down by the court.last_img read more

Centre must give befitting reply to those responsible

first_imgKolkata: The family members of two CRPF personnel from Bengal who were among the 42 martyred in a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday, demanded that the Centre must give a befitting reply to those who had carried out the dastardly act.What has heightened the tragedy for Bengal is the fact that the body of one of the victims is yet to be found. A search operation is being carried out in this regard. The two martyrs from Bengal were Bablu Santra and Sudip Biswas. Santra was a head constable with CRPF’s 35 Battalion, while Biswas was a constable with the 95 Battalion. Santra hailed from West Rajbangshipara village in Howrah district. His mortal remains are likely to reach Kolkata on Saturday. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseSantra’s wife Mita broke down in tears as the news of his death arrived at his locality on Thursday evening. A pall of gloom has descended on the family members, as well as their neighbours. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called up the family members of Santra and assured them of all necessary assistance. She also directed the local MLA to keep in touch with the family. Santra’s wife has urged the Centre not to spare the terrorists who have masterminded the atrocious incident. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBiswas hailed from Hanspukur village of Tehatta in Nadia. Sanyasi Biswas, the martyr’s father, echoed the words of Santra’s wife saying that the Centre must take stern steps against those who had caused the tragedy. “Our jawans have laid down their lives in previous terror attacks as well. The Centre must take stern action against those responsible,” Biswas said. His son had joined the CRPF around five years ago. The family members said that he was supposed to visit his home in a few days. The family members were also looking for a bride for him. “I talked to my son two days ago on phone. During the conversation, he told me that his leave has been granted and he would soon come back to us. He will never return,” said the bereaved father in tears. His body, which remains untraceable, is suspected to have been mangled with the debris of the vehicle that was blown up by the suicide bomber. Defence ministry authorities have said that search is being conducted to trace the mortal remains of Biswas. The Chief Minister has sent some of the state ministers to the houses of the martyrs. A search is on to find out the ‘standard operating procedure’ and the ID card which is generally kept within the bulletproof cap of the soldiers. The rescue team has been looking for the ID card to identify the body of Biswas. A special prayer was organised at the headquarter of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at Mayapur, for the martyrs of Pulwama.last_img read more

Four women and various shades of womanhood

first_imgAt a recent evening in the Capital, famous Kathak dancers, Guru Shovana Narayan and her disciples Shruti Gupta Chandra, Kartika Singh and Mrinalini, together presented existing pieces from their guru’s repertoire along with pure dance pieces set to teen taal, dhamar and 11 beats.Guru Shovana Narayan manifests a philosophical turn to a woman. She questioned life, her existence and the meaning thereof. She asked – Who am I? This quest for a deeper meaning to life itself culminates in a joyful bouquet of colours – “Bahurang”. Bahurang was a dance show which celebrated many varied shades of a woman – her strength and her delicacy, her fortitude and her sensitivity, her resilience and her feminity. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShruti Gupta Chandra explored a new colour of a woman, that of a mother. Through the story of Yashodhara, wife of Gautam Budha, she explores the intrinsic strength of a woman who even lets go of her most prized love, her child. Shruti Gupta Chandra said, “That particular fact was unknown to me and also absolutely irrelevant. I just knew I had to learn. It was a fascinating introduction into the world of Kathak.”The second colour of a young woman, aware and buoyant revels in her own feminity. Kartika Singh embodies this young woman facing the struggle of maturity. A woman, in the first stages of girlhood, is a colour brought forth by Mrinalini. She dances with her dreams alive and waits for a glorious tomorrow with full energy.last_img read more

Three including student killed in mishaps

first_imgKolkata: Two persons were killed in a road accident after a private car collided with a bus after it was hit by a speeding truck on Friday morning at Kolaghat in East Midnapore. In another incident, a school student was killed in Bolpur after she was hit by a bus. According to local residents, on Friday morning, a few persons, including a child were going towards Kharagpur riding a car. Near Deulia Bazar area, a truck driving dangerously hit the car on its back at a high speed. As a result, driver of the private car lost control over the car and rammed into a bus in front of it and got wedged under the bus. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSeeing the accident people rushed to the spot and started rescuing the injured. Kolaghat police station was also informed. But before police could rescue all of them, two persons reportedly died on the spot. Rest, including a child has been admitted at a local hospital. Till Friday night their identities could not be established. In another incident a school student identified as Ankita Pal died after a bus hit the cycle which her mother was riding. He mother Piu was riding the cycle. Locals alleged that the driver of the bus was driving dangerously and recklessly. Near Jambani in Bolpur, the bus hit the cycle from behind. As a result, Piu and Ankita fell on the road and the wheels of the bus went crushed Ankita. Later agitated people set the bus on fire. Immediately fire brigade went to the spot and put out the fire within a short period of time.last_img read more

Vidyasagar College principal lodges complaint against Shah

first_imgKolkata: Three complaints have been lodged against BJP national president Amit Shah and a few party workers for allegedly provoking violence and vandalising Vidyasagar College on Tuesday and till Wednesday evening 58 persons were arrested in this connection.Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi expressed his concern over the vandalism at the Vidyasagar College on Wednesday. In a statement he said: “As the chancellor of the Calcutta University, I am greatly pained by the desecration of Vidyasagar statue. The real culprit behind the incident must be traced and suitably punished. Efforts should be made by the Calcutta University at the earliest to install a new statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at the same place.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataTwo complaints were lodged on Tuesday night by students of Calcutta University (CU) and Vidyasagar College whereas the third complaint was lodged by the principal of the college on Wednesday evening. Students of CU and Vidyasagar College lodged complaints again Shah and BJP workers at Jorasanko and Amherst Street police stations. Based on the complaints, police have initiated FIRs and arrested 58 persons. One of the complainants, who is a student of Vidyasagar College, said in the complaint that during the rally some hooligans provoked by Shah attacked and ransacked Vidyasagar College. They beat up students, set motorbikes on fire which were parked on the college premises and the statue of Vidyasagar was reduced to pieces. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBased on the complaint an FIR was initiated on charges of rioting, unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons and under sections of Prevention of Damage to Public Property (PDPP) Act. In this connection, 35 persons have been arrested. In the second complaint lodged at the Jorasanko police station, the complainant said that women were molested and students were beaten up by hooligans supported by the BJP on the CU campus. Based on the complaint, the FIR was initiated on charges of trespassing, assault on woman with intent to outrage her modesty and assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty. In this case, 23 persons have been arrested. On Wednesday, Goutam Kundu, principal of Vidyasagar College lodged a complaint at the Amherst Street police station in connection with the Tuesday’s incident. Also, on Wednesday the Governing Body (GB) meeting was called urgently. Following the GB meeting, the principal meet the teachers of the college who later took out a silent protest rally from Vidyasagar College to College Square. Apart from teachers, students also sat on protest against the hooliganism by the BJP supporters and workers which took place on Tuesday.last_img read more

New Town streetlights to get converted into intelligent lighting systems

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) will convert all 6,971 street lights in New Town into sensor-based, LoRA (Low Power Long Range Wireless Area Network) connected intelligent lighting systems. This will enable the Hidco authorities to monitor the lights from a central dashboard or even through a smartphone app.”We have directed the engineering wing of Hidco and New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) to prepare Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) based on pilot experience. LORA connected through internet cloud network is already functioning near Clock Tower. Lights can be dimmed or brightened, and on or off status of lights can be checked. In all 2,978 out of 6,971 street lights use energy efficient LED lights in New Town,” a senior official of Hidco said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe decision was taken in a meeting where Hidco made an internal review of Green City initiatives in New Town. “A process for taking a consultant on board for upgrading the Gold Ranking of New Town for Green City has started,” the official added. Hidco has already installed solar panels with net metering on rooftop organic market, Rabindra Tirtha, Hidco Bhavan and NKDA office. Floating solar panels are functioning in Smritibon. Link canal pathway lighting has been done without any grid connection, using maintenance-free batteries and solar panels. Twelve electric vehicle charging stations are in operation already. Three electric AC buses are running for the past several months and has already had 1.39 lakh footfalls. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateSolar powered traffic signal near Akankhshya More has been functioning. Solar power worth Rs 92 lakhs has been produced from the 500 KWp solar canal-top installation near street number 786 in the last 4 years. Other green initiatives include vertical gardens at metro pillars, Eco Park and other places. Cycle tracks have been made often with grade separation to encourage non-motorised transport. Magnetic embedded sensor based triggers are being used to reduce light usage after 10 pm in some streets. Motion sensors switch off certain lights in a pilot study in Hidco Bhavan when no person moves in a room for a certain period of time. Waste segregation at source had started with e waste bins and used clothes bins placed in NKDA corner at Eco Park. Composting machines had been installed in two NKDA markets. An air pollution monitoring station has also been installed in Hidco Bhavan.last_img read more

Avoid lastminute wedding disasters

first_imgWedding preparation is a hectic task but with proper planning, time management and help, you can ease the burden a little. Here’s how. Experts in the field have suggested things you can keep a check on to avoid last-minute glitches on one of the most special days of your life: Money Matters: Follow your budget calendar You’ll always find reasons to spend more money on the function, so deciding on the budget early in the planning is a must. It is always better to chalk out in advance a list of things where most of your money will be spent. Make sure you prioritise and figure out which matter to you the most as a couple. Some may decide to spend lavishly on the outfits, while others may feel that they want to have a lovely destination wedding. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAlso, it is always better to design the budget by making your families agree on combining the functions of both the bride and the groom. Keep a check on your guest list One of the trickiest tasks during wedding preparations is creating a guest list. The guest list governs most of the other elements of your wedding — from the catering bill to the ceremony seating arrangement. To make your planning easier, you may take help of guest list managing applications, where you can categorise the guests under ‘maybe’ or ‘surely’ and ‘finalise later’. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive Book your dream destination/venue on time Avoid any last minute hassles or dissatisfaction regarding your wedding venue by being the early bird. Advance bookings should be done way prior to your wedding day especially if your date is during the peak ‘wedding season’. It is ideal if the couple plans and decides on the wedding venue mutually, taking into account the convenience of both the families. Your wedding outfit Choosing a perfect outfit for your wedding can be daunting. For the latest trends, surf online but do not forget to raid the offline markets too. The time of the wedding function should also be an important factor impacting your attire choice, especially the colour of the outfit. Choose your vendors sensibly Behind every fantastic well-planned wedding, there is a team of hard-working vendors who make it happen. Do thorough research about the vendors, their past work, reputation and track records before you finalise them. If you cannot afford to get in touch with all the vendors yourself, hire a wedding planner and let them spearhead all the functions. Making a detailed contract document and incorporating all deadlines, quality, quantity, and expectations is also a must-do. Avoid any vendor disagreement at the time of wedding and save yourself from last-minute blunders. Check on the weather Weather is one of the things you can’t control. An ideal weather is obviously subjective, but most of us look forward to having a dry and sunny day for a perfect function. Decide early between an indoor or an outdoor set-up and prepare accordingly. In case you choose an outdoor setting, make sure your property vendor provides canopies. Backup plans are a must as added protection serves well. So consider getting an event insurance if possible. You can’t predict weather and disasters but you can surely prepare for them. Make travel arrangements We all have significant number of friends and families living out of town. And it is obvious for the ‘out-of-towners’ to go through a lot of effort and expense to come for your wedding. Right management of transportation is very crucial especially in a destination wedding where all the guests need transportation throughout.last_img read more

Best and worst fabrics for summer

first_imgSummer is the time when humid weather and sweat often makes you uncomfortable, that too when you are out for the whole day working. And, according to the fashion experts, it is important to take a closer look at the fabrics you opt to wear in this season – for comfort and style. Experts from fashion industry share with you a perfect guide of which fabric to pick in summer: Cotton: Pile up on pretty cotton dresses, shirts and skirts and flared skirts which allow air to circulate and move freely through the fabric, absorbing moisture. Easy breezy light-weight cotton chinos work best when it comes to bottoms, go for a lycra blend for added comfort. Opt for lighters colours to beat the heat. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfLinen: This fabric has a relaxed vibe. These days you can find linen and cotton blends that makes them even more affordable. It will effortlessly complement any look while keeping you cool. A loosely woven fabric which allows heat to escape from the body and dries quickly. It crumples easily, which is the only thing you need to be wary off. Pair a crop top or t-shirt with linen pants. Khadi: Handwoven, it is primarily spun with cotton and sometimes, wool and silk. Even without any added embroidery, it has an unusual appeal. Whether as a Nehru style jacket, kurta or sari, this fabric adopts a versatile look. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsivePolyester: Athleisure and sportswear highly works with polyester. This fabric is highly durable and water resistant and therein lies its biggest flaw. It traps sweat and becomes a sweaty person’s nightmare. While it is low-cost and remains relatively wrinkle-free through numerous uses, polyester outfits are best kept in your wardrobe for summer workouts and swimwear. Denim: Summer is the time for denim shorts, skirts and dungarees galore. It’s actually a highly impractical choice. It is not breathable and the fit is fairly restrictive, making it a bad choice for the summer. A useful tip is to stick to chambray, which looks very much like denim but is lightweight and breathable unlike denim. Flowy fabrics: Certain flowy silks like light chiffons and georgettes are great for evenings as these fabrics naturally adjusts to your body temperature. However, breezy summer wear is more than just choosing the right fiber; even the colour should be considered. Opt for pastel shades with subtle prints instead of dark and deep hues.last_img read more

The Most Beloved and Highest Paid Dog in Golden Age Hollywood

first_imgHe was one of the most acclaimed and charismatic actors of his day. An adoring public sent him piles of fan mail each week. Hollywood’s leading ladies fell hopelessly in love with him. Yes, years before Lassie was lapping up attention at MGM Studios, Skippy, a precocious wire-haired terrier, was top dog — appearing dozens of films during the 1930s and stealing scenes from the likes of Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.He made his first appearance at only three months, in a Three Stooges movie. But it was 1934’s detective comedy The Thin Man that would make Skippy a household name, playing “Asta,” the precocious pup owned by hard-drinking society sleuths Nick and Nora Charles.William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Skippy in The Thin Man (1934).In his very first scene, Asta makes a memorable entrance, pulling Loy, who’s struggling with a pile of Christmas packages — causing her to fall flat on her derriere. Audiences were delighted and studio execs ecstatic, knowing full well what they had in the dog.In the next Thin Man installment, Skippy/Asta got major billing, as well his own subplot (centered around “Mrs. Asta,” his terrier wife with a wandering eye).Cropped screenshot of Asta from the trailer for After the Thin Man.Following the Thin Man movies, Skippy was cast in the 1937 screwball comedy The Awful Truth, as “Mr. Smith,” the subject of a nasty custody dispute between Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. (Listen closely, during a playful scene between the pooch and his co-star Grant, and you’ll catch a delightful slip-up from Grant, who calls the dog by his real name “Skippy.”)In his next film, 1938’s Bringing Up Baby, Skippy stretched his acting chops, playing “George,” a dinosaur bone-stealing pup, who leads Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn on a giddy goose chase.Irene Dunne, Skippy, and Cary Grant in The Awful Truth (1937).Little wonder Skippy would be dubbed “The Laurence Olivier of Dogs.” Trained by brothers Frank and Rudd Weatherwax and their assistant Frank Inn, whose Studio Dog Training School put many of Hollywood’s big-name barkers through their paces (Toto from The Wizard of Oz and generations of Lassies, among them), Skippy had a number of tricks in his repertoire: doing back flips, playing hide and seek, fake drinking from a water bowl, singing (okay, howling), and hiding his eyes with his paws during co-stars’ kissing scenes. Motivation came from a favorite toy, a rubber mouse named Oslo.Skippy with Wendy Barrie on the set of It’s a Small World (1935).Skippy would become the highest paid animal star of his day, earning $250 per week, a nifty sum compared to the $3.50 a day that most canine actors were getting. He scored his own dressing room. (His human co-stars weren’t allowed entry to play between takes, for fear he’d be distracted when the cameras started rolling.)Every Day Items Used As Movie PropsTo keep his coat silky and his energy level up, he was fed a special mix of veggies and got no less than twelve hours of snooze time a night. He even had his own publicist, who landed stories in the day’s popular periodicals. The American Magazine detailed Skippy’s life in an August 1938 profile, titled “A Dog’s Life in Hollywood”: Movie actresses stroke Skippy lovingly.Skippy with owner and trainer Henry East (from Griswold’s 1936 A Dog’s Life in Hollywood).They coo at him and murmur endearing terms in his ears. He takes it all in his stride, because, what with contracts, options, and exacting work before the movie cameras, he hasn’t much time for the attentions of Hollywood’s most beautiful stars. But if he’s paid for it and given the proper cue he will snuggle in the arms of the loveliest of stars, gaze into her limpid eyes, and, if necessary — howl.Lobby card for After the Thin Man (1936).Myrna Loy said she never became friends with Skippy (he actually nipped her once), but she adored the critter nonetheless. In her autobiography, “Being and Becoming,” Loy wrote, “Not one day in my life passes, without someone asking about Bill (William Powell) or Asta.”Promotional photograph for the film The Thin Man starring Myrna Loy and William Powell, with Skippy as Asta.The pooch’s popularity led to a big demand in wire-haired terriers. Everyone, it seemed, wanted their own Asta — including his Thin Man co-star, William Powell, who tried to buy the dog from his owners, MGM property master Henry East, and his wife, former silent screen comedian Gale Henry.Read another story from us: Cue the Laughter! How the Laugh Track Changed TelevisionAlas, they couldn’t part with their pup. Today, he lives on in TCM movies, as well as in newspapers: Asta is a frequent answer in The New York Times crossword puzzles, for clues such as “Thin Man dog” or “Dog star.”Barbara Stepko is a New Jersey-based freelance editor and writer who has contributed to AARP magazine and the Wall Street Journal.last_img read more

These Elderly Sea Women are as Close as it Gets to RealLife

first_imgJeju Island in South Korea is known for its volcanic landscape of craters, cavelike lava tubes, and the beach resorts, and it is without doubt one of the country’s most beautiful destinations. The island also has the Haenyeo: real-life mermaids. The haenyeo, or “sea women” are elderly women, some in their 80s, living on the island who regularly dive up to 34 feet under the sea to gather shellfish such as abalone, conch, sea urchins, and octopus with the help of oxygen masks.‘Haenyo’ means Sea Women. Photo by Mijoo KimAlthough it might sound just as easy as an enjoyable scuba dive, the tradition existed before the diving equipment was available, and the haenyeo never used any breathing equipment.This fascinating tradition on Jeju Island can be traced back to 434 AD. Originally, it was considered a male profession but by the 18th century most, if not all, divers were women. There are a few explanations of how this tradition turned from a male to a female activity.Haneyo dive without oxygen tanks. Photo by Mijoo KimOne suggestion in the historical records is that during the 17th century many men died at sea due to war and fishing accidents, so women had to take over the diving.Another explanation is that although men were conscripted into the king’s army, women were still required to pay steep taxes. Left with no choice, Jeju women turned to diving in order to support their children and pay the taxes. Even pregnant women would dive in the freezing waters.Korean ‘mermaid’. Photo by Mijoo KimFinally, there it is because they are more able to tolerate the cold water than men due to the higher percentage of body fat.In the past, the Jeju haenyeo used to hold their breath for two minutes for every dive, up to seven hours a day, 90 days in the year, making a unique verbal sound when resurfacing.Sea Women. Photo by Mijoo KimFor years, the haenyeo dived in the freezing ocean waters protected only by homemade cotton suits. When wetsuits became available in the 1970s, their work was made easier and they could also dive deeper, spend more time underwater, thus increasing their incomes.The sea women have a great knowledge of the sea and marine life. To sink faster, they wear lead weights strapped to their waists.Many of them are 70-years-old. Photo by Mijoo KimA flotation device called a “tewak” is left on the surface of the water with a net hanging beneath the tewak where they store the harvest. Many of them use various tools to dig conch and abalone from crevices on the sea floor.Haenyo. Photo by Mijoo KimBefore a dive the sea women say prayers to Jamsugut, the goddess of the sea, asking her for safety and an abundant catch.Haenyo. Photo by Mijoo KimThe Jeju divers are categorized into three groups according to their level of experience: Hagun are the beginners, Junggun are the intermediate, and Sanggun are the experts who offer guidance to the others.Haenyo. Photo by Mijoo KimMijoo Kim, a New York-based photographer from South Korea, took a wonderful series of photos of the haenyo and named it “The Mother of the Sea,” portraying them and their work. She says that this profession is certainly not for the weak, hence the Korean saying: “Haenyos do the work of the dead in the land of the living.”As reported by the New York Times, about 21 percent of the Jeju’s women were professional divers in the early 1960s.Korean mermaid. Photo by Mijoo KimFor years, the tradition was handed down in local fishery cooperatives, schools, and in families from mother to daughter, but since the work is both hard and dangerous, young women prefer to work in hotel resorts instead of diving in the sea.Haenyo. Photo by Mijoo KimThe number of sea women has dwindled to about 4,500, from 26,000 in the 1960s, with 84 percent of them aged 60 or older.Haenyo. Photo by Mijoo KimThe Jeju government continues its struggle to save this tradition and a few years ago they requested that UNESCO add the haenyeo to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list, but if this trend continues there will be no haenyeo at all in near future.Read another story from us: The Mermaid Myth and why Columbus was Convinced he had Encountered Them“Most of the haenyeo will be gone in 20 years unless we have new recruits,” said Yang Hi-bum, a Jeju government official.last_img read more

George W Redding 90 of Hudson

first_imgHudson – George W. Redding, 90, of Hudson, passed away peacefully Aug. 20, 2019 at Rose Monahan Hospice, surrounded by his loving family, after a period of declining health. He is reunited in heaven with his beloved wife of 39 years, Dorothy (Poole) Redding, who predeceased him in 1991.George was born May 27, 1929 in Brighton, one of four children of the late James A. and Frances G. (Lenoir) Redding. George graduated from Brighton High School in the class of 1947 and shortly after enlisted in the United States Army, honorable serving from 1951 until 1953, during the Korean War. He married the love of his life Dorothy (Poole) Redding on March 1, 1952, embarking on a 39-year marriage together, eventually settling in Hudson in 1969, where he still currently resided.George had a long and successful career as a Dairy Manager for A&P Supermarkets, retiring after forty years of dedicated hard work. Following his retirement, he continued working part time as a custodian for ATM Banks.George became an avid golfer after retiring from A&P Supermarket. A true Bostonian, he was a fierce Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan and also enjoyed his western movies. Above all else he was a true patriarch to his family and a loving and caring father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. His generosity, encouragement and support for his family was unmatched; especially with his son, whom he helped open Hudson Appliance in 1972.George is survived by his son, Arthur Poole Redding, and daughter-in-law, Donna L Redding, of Hudson; his granddaughter, D.J. Collins and her husband, Thomas Scott Collins, also of Hudson; and three great-grandchildren, Alicia Kathryn Collins, Morgan Lizabeth Collins, and Thomas Scott Collins, Jr. He also leaves behind his longtime companion, Sue Ferguson.All services will be held privately. Tighe Hamilton Regional Funeral Home is honored to be assisting with the arrangements.In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Rose Monahan Hospice Home, in memory of George W. Redding to support patient care at VNA Care, Fund Development, 199 Rosewood Drive, Suite 180, Danvers, MA 01923 or via www.vnacare.org.last_img read more

Von Miller is taking his Broncos contract beef to Instagram

first_imgVon Miller in’t happy about his contract situation with the Broncos, and he’s not shy about voicing his displeasure.  Following a dominant post season and Super Bowl run, the Super Bowl 50 MVP thinks he’s in line for a long term contract extension that would make him the highest paid pass rusher in the league.Because Miller is only a restricted free agent, the Broncos have the leverage of slapping Miller with the one year franchise tag,  The sides are currently miles apart on the terms of a long term deal. Miller reportedly just turned down an eye popping 6 year, $114 million offer from the Broncos, and the PR fight has poured onto social media.On Instagram today, Miller posted there is, “”No Chance” I play the 2016 season under the franchise tag.” It’s not Miller’s first Instagram post throwing shade at the Broncos. He cropped Team President John Elway out of a group picture that was taken during the team’s White House visit earlier this month.  It remains to be see whether Miller will hold out overt the contract, but the battle lines have clearly been drawn. Get your Instagrammed picture of some popcorn ready.last_img read more

VIDEO Cavs vs Warriors Finals promo set to the Family Matters opening

first_imgThe Cavs and Warriors are set to meet for the 4th straight year in the NBA Finals and in honor of the latest edition, the internet has blessed us with a fantastic Finals promo using the opening credits from the 90’s sitcom Family Matters to introduce the “main characters” from the Cavs and Warriors.The internet can be a cesspool, but it also occasionally justifies its existence with stuff like this. Well done by the CBS Sports social media team for coming up with this little piece of gold. Steve Urkel would be proud.“Season 4 of Cavs vs. Warriors was recorded in front of a live studio audience.” pic.twitter.com/xQJOdJAHSl— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) May 29, 2018last_img read more

Colin KDDraymond beef is the beginning of the end for Golden States

first_imgIn the NFL, aside from the Patriots, championship teams get torn apart by losing coaches and coordinators, but in the NBA it’s usually due to competing egos.Colin thinks the Draymond Green/Kevin Durant beef is a perfect example the short shelf life of big egos co-existing and marks the beginning of the end for the once seemingly invincible Golden State dynasty. In football, the team and system is always greater than the player, and even good players can easily be cut and replaced. In the NBA, the players have all the power, but the downside is they constantly need to be validated and need to get credit.The Draymond/Durant drama is a perfect example of how NBA dynasties crumble, and it’s starting to come apart at the seams.“In college football we got a 10-year dynasty, in the NFL we have an 18-year dynasty. These guys have played together two years, it’s already coming apart at the seams.”@ColinCowherd on the state of the Warriors pic.twitter.com/kCOVqxZk6j— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) November 14, 2018 Advertisementlast_img read more

Innovative Event Aims to Merge the Worlds of Fashion and Technology

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Over 300 designers, coders and idea people came together this past weekend in New York’s Garment District for Decoded Fashion’s hackathon, a two-day event designed to create an app that will assist the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in its mission to promote the American fashion industry around the world.Participants registered and formed teams in advance on the website Hacker League. After hearing from industry experts about the fashion industry’s pain points, each team brainstormed an app to help American fashion brands grow in the marketplace.Liz Bacelar, founder of Decoded Fashion, during a rare quiet moment at the hackathon she organized on Feb. 3, 2013.Photo courtesy of Margarita Corporan / Decoded Fashion”It’s not just fashion needing tech. It’s tech needing to understand fashion,” says Decoded Fashion founder Liz Bacelar, who organized the event along with her partner Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. Entrepreneurs won’t be able to build relevant companies in the space unless they understand the industry’s needs, she says. The hackathon aimed to foster dialogue and collaboration between the two worlds.According to designer Rachel Roy and other speakers, those needs include analytics tools to measure the success or failure rate of products and sophisticated ways to get the right product in front of the right customer at the right time. More industry professionals are realizing the potential of technology to solve these issues. Fashion GPS, an inventory management system, is now in use by many designers, including Marc Jacobs and Chanel. February 5, 2013center_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Related: Social Engagement Boosts Quirky Clothing LineWhile hackathons in other industries are predominantly male, 40 percent of the hackers at Decoded’s event were women. The international mix of participants led to a wide range of projects, from a social dashboard for brick-and-mortar stores to a “Pandora for outfits” — a virtual closet that would combine your own clothes with complementary designer items available for purchase online. For the second day of the event, the pitches were refined into two-minute presentations for a panel of judges whose members included Style.com editor-in-chief Dirk Standen and Tumblr’s Valentine Uhovski.On Saturday night, the hacker teams pitched their ideas to Bacelar and other mentors, including Andy Hagerman of design-education startup The Design Gym and Mike Caprio, one of the founders of experiential startup competition StartupBus. They gave the hackers a mix of broadly applicable startup wisdom and advice unique to the fashion space. “You have to be either first, or better, or cheat,” Christopher Kennedy, the second-place winner of TechCrunch Disrupt 2012, told one team that was pitching a service similar to one that already exists.Bacelar gave the aspiring entrepreneurs lessons using existing fashion tech startups as examples, such as EDITD, a trend forecasting company that tracks which products sell and when; Maker’s Row, a marketplace that democratizes the manufacturing process; and visual search engine Snap Fashion, which connects shoppers with products they truly want. Snap Fashion took home the $65,000 top prize at Decoded Fashion’s pitch competition in London last fall. Each company solves a problem for the industry, and winning hackathon pitches would do the same, she said. A fashion-related idea was not enough.The judges chose five finalists out of 78 projects. Among them were Coveted, a Tumblr-enabled ecommerce platform that allows merchants to provide one-click sales through shareable purchase links, and SWATCHit, a web and mobile app to connect designers with skilled artisans in emerging markets. The others were Fashion Dashboard, Avant Garde and 42.The finalists will buckle down to fleshing out their ideas over the next 10 days. On Feb. 14, they will present their concepts at an event during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, and the winning team will receive a $10,000 cash prize and a launch supported by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.Editor’s note: A previous version of this story gave Christopher Kennedy’s quote as “You have to be either first or better or cheaper.”Related: How a Trio of Apps Helped a Custom Menswear Shop Thrive min readlast_img read more

Amazon Music Storage subscriptions are being retired

first_imgAmazon Music Storage subscriptions are being retired by Martin Brinkmann on December 20, 2017 in Companies, Internet – Last Update: January 04, 2018 – 9 commentsAmazon announced recently that the company’s Amazon Music Storage subscription plans are being retired.The service allowed Amazon customers to upload music to the company’s cloud infrastructure. Free users could upload up to 250 titles using the Amazon Music application for PC or Macintosh devices.Paid subscribers could upload up to 250,000 songs to Amazon instead for $24.99 per yaer.Amazon accepts new subscriptions to Amazon Music Storage until January 15, 2018. Free users of the service cannot upload music anymore already (the deadline was December 18, 2017); Amazon removed the ability to upload music to the company’s cloud infrastructure.Music that was uploaded to the service prior to the date can still be played and downloaded. Amazon will shut down that option for free users in January 2019.Nothing changes for paid subscribers in the immediate future. Amazon notes that paying customers retain the ability to upload music and renew the subscription.Customers who decide not to renew the subscription cannot restart it at a later point in time. The upload functionality is removed at that point, and access to songs is reduced to 250 (the free song limit). Amazon will remove songs over the limited automatically,Users can play and download these 250 songs for a year after the subscription expires. The songs are removed automatically after the year.Free and paying customers of Amazon Music Storage can access the subscription settings on the Amazon Music Settings page.Closing WordsAmazon Music Storage customers who invested time and money in importing their music library to Amazon may want to renew the membership to retain access to the music on Amazon’s servers. It seems likely that Amazon will retire the service for good for subscribers.As far as “data in the cloud” is concerned, it is termination of services like this one, or Microsoft’s recanting of unlimited traffic on OneDrive, that makes me wary about any cloud-only based solution when it comes to storage.It is the customer who is at the receiving end whenever a company decides to shut down or retire a cloud-based storage service. Amazon gives paying customers a way out this time; as long as they renew the subscription, they retain access to their music.Amazon did shut down the unlimited Drive storage plan earlier this year already.Now You: are you affected by the shut down? Do you upload your files to the cloud?SummaryArticle NameAmazon Music Storage subscriptions are being retiredDescriptionAmazon announced recently plans to retire the company’s Amazon Music Storage subscription plans (both free and paid).Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Why RealTime Reporting Is Important in Civil Aviation

first_imgCivil aviation is one of the most performance-critical industries in the world. Everything—from the integrity of the aircrafts’ physical bodies and the reliability of their flight control systems to the operational precision of the world’s air traffic control networks—are taken into account to ensure the safety of passengers everywhere.These days, there are more than 9,700 civilian aircrafts flying at any given time. These marvels of modern engineering carry upwards of 1.27 million people at any moment—the most since the Wright Brothers flew the first powered heavier-than-air machine in 1903.Never before has keeping aircrafts safe in the air become more important, and one essential process that makes this possible is flight planning. As the name suggests, flight planning is the process of creating flight plans, which define the routes or flight paths that aircrafts will take before they launch to the skies.Flight planning mainly involves two life-critical missions. First, flight plans need to take into account how much fuel an aircraft needs to ensure that the plane will have enough to power itself through to journey’s end. Secondly, flight plans must meet the requirements of ground-based air traffic controllers, whose primary goals are to prevent midair collisions, to properly regulate air traffic, and to provide any important information to pilots.The Challenge of Real-Time Reporting in Flight PlanningBy taking advantage of flight planning services—which are often provided by third-party service providers—airline pilots can determine the most effective flight routes in terms of operational costs and time spent on air. By ascertaining the best flight paths to take, airline companies can ensure the safety of their passengers while also gaining additional income through savings on fuel and manpower requirements. Furthermore, by minimizing the occurrences of flight delays and safety problems, these same companies can boost their reputation among passengers and the general public, resulting in the better patronage of their brand in the future.However, processing the data required for effective flight planning can be challenging. In order for the system to work, the data required for real-time flight planning must be replicated to the central data repository of the flight planning service provider. Afterwards, optimized plans are then replicated back to the target airlines’ databases.To do this, flight planning service providers use an efficient database replication software that can bi-directionally replicate between the central source and the numerous target databases of customer airlines anywhere in the world. Such software is able to provide real-time updates to a principal data source typically by using data integration techniques like change data capture, which is used to identify changes made to databases. This ability to pinpoint changes is vital to the process of synchronizing the central database with the target databases.Log-Based Change Data CaptureThere are different types of change data capture approaches, but one of the most preferable for IT service providers—including those in the airline industry—is log-based change data capture. Software products that offer log-based change data capture capabilities allow data to move efficiently between sources and targets, thereby making real-time reporting a breeze.One characteristic of transactional databases is that they keep all changes in a transaction log so that the committed state of the database becomes recoverable in the event that the database crashes by happenstance. Log-based change data capture is able to make the most of this quality of transactional database by reading the changes from the stored transaction log.Change data capture supports the many benefits that real-time reporting affords airline companies that take advantage of flight planning services. These include the reduction of overloading in online transaction processing, the ability to process huge volumes of data, being able to speed up queries, and easy integration of different types of databases and transactions.Indeed, real-time reporting is a key process that helps keep aircrafts safe—whether it is already taxiing on land or just beginning to take to the skies. With modern technological tools such as these working in the background, travelers all over the world can rest easy knowing that it’s not just the four forces of flight that are helping keep their planes flying in the air.last_img read more

How this AI platform is taking over the business world

first_imgImage: genpactBy Mashable Brand X2018-04-23 02:36:11 UTC Despite the pop culture fiction that artificial intelligence is a far-away puzzle just waiting to be unlocked, the truth is that AI is already a tool that most use often, some of us even every day. Just think about it: every time you stop to ask Siri or Google Home or any of our friendly neighborhood pocket assistants for directions or help finding the nearest coffee spot, you’re interfacing with an elegant example of easy-to-use AI. For businesses, using chatbots as the first line of defence against customer complaints is now common, providing a handy way to triage queries and customer needs. Again, AI is already an efficient solution to an everyday problem. And while it’s easy to imagine moments where the lives of everyday people intersect with artificial intelligence, and even find examples of our interactions with AI within smaller businesses, for global enterprises the reality of large-scale AI has yet to unfold. Enter Genpact. This global professional services firm looks to do just that: leverage artificial intelligence, at potentially massive scale, to ultimately bring us closer to making that future a reality. In this effort they’ve unveiled Genpact Cora, an interconnected platform of best-in-class technologies that span from robotic automation to advanced data visualization to artificial intelligence.  What global business hasn’t dreamed of a future where artificial intelligence can realistically help solve challenges, at a scale? Just think about it: in the same way that we use virtual assistants in our daily lives to help us navigate a busy schedule or find quick solutions to our everyday problems, there could be tech just on the horizon that helps businesses operate more smoothly, in much the same ways. There’s a key difference between Genpact Cora and the helpful virtual assistant in your pocket, however. Nitin Bhat, Senior Vice President at Genpact, explains that because Cora is built on AI and other advanced technologies, it can learn and prescribe what actions are needed for business clients to improve their processes and improve their competitive position in the market.The implications of this are huge. For businesses eager to bring AI into the fold, it’s not about flashy new products and dazzling tech, but more importantly about using those tools work harder to meet businesses’ goals and prove out the value inherent to the tech itself. While AI continues to fundamentally change the way businesses at the enterprise level engage with both customers and other businesses, the truth is that it is largely an unmet need. Genpact estimates that more than 70 percent of enterprise processes can be can be automated, for example, by robotic process automation or through machine learning and intelligent automation. More than 70 percent of enterprise processes can be can be automated.While this type of technology is readily available, adoption depends a lot on a company’s culture and DNA. So many functions may be ready for AI-driven automation, while others would benefit more greatly from robotic automation, for example. “With the explosion of new digital technologies and solution options, leaders are struggling to determine how to best exploit these disruptive digital innovations in a pragmatic, industrialized (at scale) and risk-mitigated manner,” Bhat says. Just like with the virtual assistants we use in our daily lives, businesses too must rely on the harmony between machine and humans to ensure that things run smoothly.  “Math, science and data analytics will still have a huge role to play, but as machines do more of that work, it will have little value without the human connection of creativity, emotion, judgment, and relationships,” Bhat says. Ultimately, a command and control center that is led by humans and powered by AI can reduce risk of possible errors in how these tools are used. There’s still so much remaining to be discovered in the future of AI, but Genpact believes it is on the cutting edge of the industry, being the first to combine automation, analytics, and AI engines in one platform that is designed to bring humans and machine together. As with many new tech tools, there’s still a lot of hype and unrealistic expectations of what the technologies can do, but AI adoption at the large-scale enterprise level is now more real than ever, and Genpact is leading the charge in that effort. “Digitization, AI, and other emerging technologies are forcing companies to refresh the way they serve their customers. Just like what we’re seeing in the Twitter universe with real time, the most successful companies are the ones who adjust their strategies in real time to reflect current needs and upcoming trends,” Bhat says. Find out more about the implications of AI and Genpact Cora here.last_img read more

Riot the film about the first gay Mardi Gras is the history

first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Artwork celebrates 40 years of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras‘Corrupt and ugly’: Original rioters reflect on 40 years since the first Sydney Mardi GrasPolice chief says sorry for LGBTI brutality, promises it will never happen againRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/riot-film-first-gay-mardi-gras-history-lesson-need/ There was a scene in the new Australian telemovie, Riot, that I was dreading to watch and spent most of the film tense waiting for it to happen. Riot is an Australian telemovie about the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. | Photo: Supplied center_img It was the scene of a young gay activist, Peter Murphy, being viciously beaten – almost to death – by members of the New South Wales Police Force.His fellow activists who’d been hurled into small cells near him were forced to listen to his screams of pain as he was being viciously attacked.I knew this scene was coming because I’ve met Peter Murphy, and he told me what happened. I’ve also had other ’78ers’ describe to me what it was like hearing Murphy’s screams of pain.The 78ers were the men and women who on a fateful night in June 1978 were cornered by police while trying to hold a street party for gay righs, detained and beaten.Xavier Samuel (L) and Damon Herriman star in Riot. | Photo: SuppliedSydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi GrasThat street party was the first ever Sydney Mardi Gras. It’s now about to celebrate its 40th anniversary and is one of the biggest LGBTI festivals in the world.Riot is a telemovie which screened on national broadcaster, ABC, and produced by Screen Australia.It tells the story of the gay rights movement from 1972-1978 as the community for social and policy changes.The film is an almost accurate representation of the fight for the decriminalization of homosexuality, parental rights and anti-discrimination laws.Riot depicts the police harassment gay rights activists faced, even showing the heartbreaking scene where police stormed the home of main protagonist, Lance Gowland, and threatened to remove his special needs daughter.It’s a gripping, amusing and harrowing tale of how hard it was to fight for equality.The fateful night of the first Sydney Mardi Gras as show in the film Riot. | Photo: Supplied As a journalist who has worked in queer media for a very long time, who has heard these stories firsthand from the 78ers and knows my LGBTI history I felt Riot really captured the early struggles of the movement.But, perhaps unforgivably, it erased the experiences of trans and intersex people. This may have been accurate for its time, but I think the often forgotten members of our community should have been acknowledged.The writers also claimed that ‘drag queens’ stood on the front line and started the riots at Stonewall in New York, when we know it was beloved trans woman of color, Marsha P Johnson that threw the first brick.A trade union in Australia became the first in the world to back gay rights. | Photo: SuppliedKnow your historySpeaking at the world premiere of Riot, some 78ers said the film didn’t get everything right, but it got what they wanted across.That was that there was a long, exhausting and often violent fight for the rights we may take for granted today.I have often argued that it is really important to know your queer history. Not only so you can acknowledge and thank your LGBTI elders for their struggle, but so that you can appreciate how good you’ve got it.That fact seems to be lost on some of our younger generations.It’s also important to know your history because not all LGBTI people around the world enjoy the same rights that we do. Therefore, we could work to help get equality for everyone.But there was a sweet – albeit cheesy – moment at the end of the film when Gowland confronts police who are giving him a parking ticket.He wants to bet the homophobic police officer that not only will the gay Mardi Gras go on for years but that one day they police will be marching in the parade.Forty years later, he couldn’t have been more right.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading…last_img read more

Christian groups ambush Senate to protest LGBTI antidiscrimination bill

first_imgShare this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… No need to change the constitution of the majority for the minority .Philippines is a nation of God #fightforwhatisRight#NotoSOGIEbill pic.twitter.com/HLG1vMK1GU— Miss (@DannaMarie21) March 7, 2018Same old, same oldLGBTI groups in the Philippines spoke out against the Christian groups’ protest.‘The recent remarks of certain religious organizations during an ambush protest in the Senate is a testament that morality can never be measured through faith and belief,’ the Mujer LGBT organization told Gay Star News.‘The passing of the SOGIE Bill is not a discriminatory bill to non-LGBT believers, but rather, it is a move towards advancing and strengthening the protection of the underprivileged and most commonly abused members of the society elsewhere.’The Iloilo Pride Team from the colonial city of Iloilo said Christians were hurting LGBTI people in their own families.‘”Abomination”, “sin”, “destroys the fabric of the society and family” are words that we have heard countless times as LGBTQ people,’ the Iloilo Pride Team said.‘Words of hate, discrimination and prejudice from people who are closest to us. Our very own family and religious community.  Words uttered because of the lack of SOGIE education.’Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Thousands of Christian protestors have converged on the Philippines’ to protest an anti-discrimination bill that would protect LGBTI people. GAYSTARNEWS- Politicians have been working on versions of the SOGIE Equality Act for 20 years and last year it passed the Congress last year with a unanimous vote. SOGIE stands for sexual orientation and gender identity.But now the bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate after passing so easily in Congress.Observers are unsure whether it will pass and become law because Senators opposed to the bill have employed delaying tactics to avoid voting on it.The Coalition of Christians for Righteousness, Justice, and Truth (CCRJT), headed up by Jesus Is Lord (JIL) movement turned up to the Senate on Wednesday to protest the bill.Thousands of members of various Christian groups troop to the Senate to protest the SOGIE bill. The House already approved it. pic.twitter.com/EIBgGdsfZ5— Camille Elemia (@CamilleElemia) March 7, 2018‘Same-sex marriage is an abomination to God,’ JIL founder Brother Eddie Villanueva told media.‘The Bible is so clear about the man marrying another man. This will invite kinds of curses that we cannot contain in our generation.’The Christian groups said the bill discriminates against people who are against the LGBTI community and is unconstitutional.center_img Two more cities in the Philippines are protecting LGBTI from discriminationPeople Power: hundreds hit Philippines’ streets to fight for LGBTI equalityPhilippine lawmaker seeks probe after bar discriminates LGBTI comedianRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/christian-groups-descend-parliament-protest-lgbti-anti-discrimination-bill/ Christian protesters at the Philippines’ Senate who oppose an anti-discrimination Bill for LGBTI people. | Photo: Twitter via @JustineDelvalle eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)last_img read more

Puerto Rican designer creates new Pride flag to include trans and people

first_img “We need to always keep progress moving forward in all aspects of our community.” UPDATE JUNE 7th: Many have asked how they can get there hands on this flag, and I’ve started a Kickstarter to fund everything. Please check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/danielquasar/progress-a-pride-flag-reboot Flag Description: Background: LGBT 6 full sized color stripes representing life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), harmony/peace (blue), and spirit (purple/violet) Hoist: 5 half sized stripes representing trans identity (light blue, light pink, white), marginalized POC communities (brown, black), as well as those living with AIDS and the stigma, and those no longer living (black). Explanation: When the Pride flag was recreated in the last year to include both black/brown stripes, as well as the trans stripes, I felt there needed to be more thought put into the design and emphasis of the flag to give it more meaning. The 6 stripe LGBT flag should be separated from the newer stripes because of their difference in meaning, as well as to shift focus and emphasis to what is important in our current community climate. The main section of the flag (background) includes the traditional 6 stripe LGBT flag as seen in its original form so as not to take away from its original meaning (seen above). The trans flag stripes and marginalized community stripes were shifted to the Hoist of the flag and given a new arrow shape. The arrow points to the right to show forward movement, while being along the left edge shows that progress still needs to be made. DESIGNER: Name: Daniel Quasar, quasar.digital Pronouns: he/him, xe/xem ID: queer non-binary demiguy please feel free to share, and credit me on my tumblr (@kueezaa), my instagram (@myfairsaturn) or on my FB page (@quasardigital.pdx) Thanks! USE: Sharing with no alteration for non-commercial purposes is currently permitted. Any commercial use is not permitted. #pride #pridemonth #prideflag #lgbtq #trans #transpride #representationA post shared by DΔΠΙΞL ϘUΔSΔR (@myfairsaturn) on Jun 5, 2018 at 6:01pm PDT Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Julia Feliz, a Puerto Rican and LGBTI community member approached the LGBTI trans community and people of color to design a flag for them.Feliz’s Pride flag features the trans flag intersecting the original rainbow flag while centering black and brown people of color, in honor, memory, and acknowledgment.The new flag created by Julia Feliz in response to Quasar’s flag. | Photo: Julia Feliz/KickstarterThe flag is a response to a previous Pride design created by Daniel Quasar.Quasar, who identifies as a ‘queer non-binary demi-guy’, introduced it to the world in an Instagram post last June. A new Pride flag has been created to promote inclusivity for trans and people of color. Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . The new flag created by Julia Feliz in response to Quasar’s flag. | Photo: Julia Feliz/Kickstarter Quasar’s flag maintains the usual rainbow background but features another set of stripes on the hoist.This part, in fact, presents five half-sized stripes. They represent ‘trans identity (light blue, light pink, white), marginalized POC communities (brown, black), as well as those living with AIDS and the stigma, and those no longer living (black)’.Quasar’s flag attempted to promote inclusivity across the community. However, the designer has now been accused of exploiting the LGBTI people of Puerto Rico.Is Quasar’s flag exploiting the Puerto Rican LGBTI flag?Amanda ‘AC’ Baker, a non-binary trans person, feels the flag might be cultural appropriation.Quasar’s flag has the same design as the Puerto Rican flag. The latter consists of five equal horizontal bands of red alternating with white and a blue triangle on the hoist side bearing a five-pointed star in the center.The Puerto Rico Pride flag is modeled upon the country’s flag and was designed and copyrighted in 2000.The Puerto Rico Rainbow flag. | Photo: dhgate.comThere are some similarities to Quasar’s flag.‘Quasar claimed to be honoring black and brown trans people with his design,’ said AC Baker.‘But he has not, to our knowledge, given any money or credit to the black and brown trans people of Puerto Rico, who are still, along with their communities, struggling with the devastation caused by the callous exploitation and wilful neglect of the USA towards all the people of Puerto Rico after last year’s Hurricane Maria.’‘This cultural and financial theft from the LGBTI community of Puerto Rico is an act of white supremacy,’ Baker also added.GSN has reached out to Daniel Quasar for comment.You can download Feliz’s Pride flag for free here. Reproduction for commercial use is possible provided 50% of profits go towards supporting trans people of color. You can also support the new flag through Kickstarter.Read more from Gay Star News:Trolls are using the rainbow flag on a pedophile flyer and this needs to stopcenter_img GAYSTARNEWS- Might this become the new Pride flag?17 of the most colorful pictures of this year’s Nepal Pride‘I crawled under my bed and screamed’: Friend’s devastation at the passing of gay flag designer Gilbert BakerRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/new-pride-flag-trans-people-of-color/ Rainbow flag removed from police station, then culprits send terrible homophobic letter Republicans want to ban rainbow flags flying at US embassies eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)last_img read more

Home invader arrested on Isla Mujeres after reports police say citizens will

first_imgIsla Mujeres, Q.R. — A man who has been arrested by police for alleged home thefts may be released since citizens have not come forward to file an official complaint.Members of the preventive police of Isla Mujeres have arrested a man after receiving an emergency call that someone aboard a motorcycle was entering homes and committing robberies. However, since his arrest, no individual citizens have come forward to file an official complaint.Jaime Ongay Ortíz, general coordinator of Public Safety explained that despite the complaints made on social networks, so far no one has wanted to make an official complaint. He explained that the arrest happened Sunday when an emergency call was received about a subject on board a rented motorcycle entering several homes to steal.As a result of this denunciation, an operative was mounted and the suspect was arrested, unfortunately the person who made the call does not want to file an official complaint which he says, is a basic principle “so that the person can be subject to a criminal process,” he explained.The police chief made the invitation for people to understand the necessity to file complains which would result in more criminals behind bars. He said that it is not enough to only complain about things and report them on social media because a corresponding complaint must be filed and thus prevent these people from committing crimes again.The police chief says the man arrested is 47 of Belizean origin who has been suspected of committing similar crimes in other municipalities. He was taken into custody for 36 hours and will likely be released unless someone comes forward to file a complaint.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Pregnant woman stabs herself in the stomach

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! A pregnant woman attempted to commit suicide this morning (Friday) by stabbing herself in the stomach in Murchison Street.The woman, believed to be in her early 20s, was walking along the street when she suddenly stabbed herself in the upper area of her abdomen.It is believed that her boyfriend was with her at the time. It is unknown why she decided to stab herself in the middle of the street.Members of the public raised the alarm by contacting emergency services.Horrified bystanders could do nothing but watch as blood and other fluids poured out of the woman’s stomach.Sharaj Ambulance Services responded to the scene. When paramedics arrived, they found the woman in a standing position. She was stabilised before being transported to hospital.A source at the hospital confirmed that the woman and her unborn child both survived and are doing well.last_img read more

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first_img Videos | Breast Imaging | July 28, 2017 VIDEO: Personalized Breast Screening and Breast Density Nancy Cappello, Ph.D., executive director and founder of Are You Dense Inc. and Are You Dense Advocacy, explains how read more News | MRI Breast | May 09, 2019 Screening MRI Detects BI-RADS 3 Breast Cancer in High-risk Patients When appropriate, short-interval follow-up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to identify early-stage breast… read more Videos | Breast Imaging | December 05, 2017 VIDEO: What is New in Breast Imaging Technology Stamatia Destounis, M.D., FACR, associate professor, University of Rochester School of Medicine, attending radiologis read more News | Mammography | May 15, 2019 Managing Architectural Distortion on Mammography Based on MR Enhancement High negative predictive values (NPV) in mammography architectural distortion (AD) without ultrasonographic (US)… read more Breast Imaging Discussion With Stamatia Destounis M.D.SharePlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 12:53Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -12:53 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsdefault, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.Caption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. October 27, 2008 – Aurora Imaging Technology will unveil a breast MRI solution, AuroraEDGE, which is designed to enhance image resolution, at the RSNA annual meeting this year.Exclusive to the Aurora 1.5 Tesla Dedicated Breast MRI System, this technology is designed to improve image resolution and reduce common breast MRI artifacts, resulting in the production of crystal clear images of both breasts, axillae, chest wall and mediastinum in a single bilateral scan. Steven E. Harms, M.D., medical director, Aurora Imaging Technology, explained that, “aliasing or wrap-around artifacts are produced when areas outside the field of view are folded back into the image. This problem has become more severe with the widespread adaptation of parallel imaging on whole body MRI systems. The new acquisition efficiency of AuroraEDGE is used to oversample in both in-plane dimensions to avoid aliasing in those dimensions.“Wrap-around artifacts also can occur in the slice dimension,” added Dr. Harms. “Whole body MRI manufacturers attempt to avoid aliasing in this direction with slab selection. This technique is not very effective for T1 weighted images where the slab edges can often contribute more signal than the center. The increased efficiency of AuroraEDGE on the Aurora Breast MRI System allows oversampling of image data in the slice direction to virtually eliminate slice wrap.” Motion artifacts from cardiac and respiratory movement often significantly impair visualization of the axillary tail of the breast and axillary regions on most whole body MRIs. Motion also can affect the quality of breast imaging. The unique pulse sequence and image acquisition system used in AuroraEDGE minimizes the effect of cardiac and respiratory motion on the images. The result of this new technology is the production of pristine anatomic detail of the axillary tail, axillary nodes, chest wall and mediastinum. “The clean display of breast anatomy allows more effective depiction of subtle lesions for better characterization and differentiation from benign lesions,” added Dr. Harms. The image specifications with the new AuroraEDGE are as follows:- 3D Image Matrix 512x512x250 slices- 0.7 mm slice thickness, no gap between slices- Acquires a true 3-D volume, offering isotropic true 0.7 mm resolution in all three planes- Less than three minutes per scan (18 minutes total patient scan time)- Post-contrast time points obtained at intervals of 90 seconds, 4.5 minutes, 7.5 minutes and 10.5 minutes – Suppression of in-plane and slice wrap effects- Suppression of cardiac motion effectsFor more information: www.auroramri.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Breast Imaging | April 06, 2018 ACR/SBI Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Reclassify African-American Women as High-Risk New American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) breast cancer screening guidelines are the… read more Videos | Breast Density | April 26, 2018 VIDEO: Developments in Breast Density Legislation and Screening Guidelines ITN Editorial Director Melinda Taschetta-Millane speaks to DenseBreast-info Executive Director JoAnn Pushkin read more News | Breast Imaging | March 29, 2018 ACR Recommends More Aggressive Breast Cancer Screening for Higher-Than-Average-Risk Women The American College of Radiology (ACR) released new breast cancer screening guidelines recommending all women,… read more center_img News | Mammography Reporting Software | April 04, 2019 Ikonopedia Introduces Automated Combined Reporting Package at SBI Ikonopedia will introduce its new Automated Combined Reporting package at the 2019 Society of Breast Imaging/American… read more News | October 26, 2008 New AuroraEDGE Aims to Improve Breast Imaging Personalized Breast ScreeningSharePlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 12:07Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -12:07 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsdefault, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.Caption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. 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News | MRI Breast | October 31, 2017 Study Finds Women With High Breast Cancer Risk Declining MRI Screening Some women, because of genetic predisposition, personal or family history, have a higher than average lifetime risk of… read more Breast Density Legislation and Screening SBISharePlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 6:30Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -6:30 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsdefault, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.Caption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Related Content News | Breast Imaging | June 22, 2017 MRI Plus Mammography Improves Detection of New Breast Cancer After Surgery A new article published by JAMA Oncology compares outcomes for combined mammography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI… read morelast_img read more

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first_imgNews | August 27, 2011 FDA Grants Fast Track Designation to Bayer Compound Pierre Qian explains radiotherapy to ablate VTVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:34Loaded: 2.19%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:34 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2019 Varian Showcases Cancer Care Systems and Software at AAPM 2019 Varian showcased systems and software from its cancer care portfolio, including the Identify Guidance System, at the… read more News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications Related Content News | Proton Therapy | August 06, 2019 IBA Signs Contract to Install Proton Therapy Center in Kansas IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) recently signed a contract and received the first payment for a Proteus One solution… read more News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. News | Radiation Oncology | July 31, 2019 Laura Dawson, M.D., FASTRO, Chosen as ASTRO President-elect The members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) elected four new officers to ASTRO’s Board of… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | August 02, 2019 ASRT Supports Radiopharmaceutical Reimbursement Bill The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) announced its support for House Resolution (HR) 3772, a measure… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more August 25, 2011 — Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to its investigational compound, radium-223 chloride, exclusively licensed from Algeta ASA. The compound is for the treatment of castration-resistant (hormone-refractory) prostate cancer in patients with bone metastases.Radium-223 chloride is an investigational agent and is not approved by the FDA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or other health authorities.Fast Track Designation in the United States Fast Track is a process designed to facilitate development and expedite review of drugs to treat a broad range of serious diseases and fill an unmet medical need. The designation must be requested by the drug company and can be initiated at any time during the development process. Once a drug receives Fast Track designation, early and frequent communication between the FDA and a drug company is encouraged throughout the entire development and review process. The frequency of communication assures questions and issues are resolved quickly, often leading to earlier drug approval and access by patients.About Radium-223 ChlorideRadium-223 chloride is an investigational pharmaceutical containing an alpha-particle emitting nuclide in development for cancer patients with bone metastases. In September 2009, Bayer signed an agreement with Algeta ASA (Oslo, Norway) for the development and commercialization of radium-223 chloride. Under the terms, Bayer will develop, apply for global health authority approvals, and commercialize radium-223 chloride globally. Algeta will retain an option for up to 50/50 co-promotion and profit-sharing in the United States.About CRPC and Bone MetastasesProstate cancer is the most common cancer among men in northern European countries and the United States. In 2008, an estimated 903,000 men had prostate cancer and 250,000 died from the disease worldwide.Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) was formerly known as hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC). The majority of men with CRPC have radiological evidence of bone metastases. Once the cancer cells settle in the bone, they interfere with bone strength, often leading to bone pain, fracture and other complications that can significantly impair a man’s health. In fact, bone metastases are the main cause of disability and death in patients with CRPC.For more information: www.pharma.bayer.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Videos | Radiation Therapy | July 30, 2019 VIDEO: Use of Radiotherapy to Noninvasively Ablate Ventricular Tachycardia Pierre Qian, MBBS, read morelast_img read more

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first_imgNews | June 03, 2015 Mirada Medical and Nautilus Medical to Co-Market PET/CT Viewer Capabilities Mirada’s PET/CT viewer will be provided to Nautilus Medical customers for CD/DVD DICOM distribution systems News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | July 26, 2019 NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes Awarded $30 Million by U.S. Department of Energy NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC has been awarded $15 million in a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of… read more News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | July 16, 2019 NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes Completes Construction on Beloit, Wis. Molybdenum-99 Processing Facility NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC  announced completion of construction on its 20,000-square-foot molybdenum-99 (Mo-… read more News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | August 02, 2019 ASRT Supports Radiopharmaceutical Reimbursement Bill The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) announced its support for House Resolution (HR) 3772, a measure… read more June 3, 2015 – Mirada Medical and Nautilus Medical have announced their agreement to provide the portable Mirada PET/CT viewer to existing and future Nautilus Medical customers for their CD/DVD DICOM distribution systems.Hospitals and imaging centers worldwide are recognizing the need for a positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) viewer to be added to their CDs and DVDs going to referring physicians and specialists. Now they can have this opportunity with any Nautilus system.In addition, many sites currently using the Mirada Medical workstations for diagnostic review will have congruency with their viewers by using a Nautilus system. For more information: www.mirada-medical.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | July 01, 2019 Bracco Imaging Acquires Blue Earth Diagnostics Bracco Imaging S.p.A. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Blue Earth Diagnostics, a molecular imaging company… read more News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more News | Remote Viewing Systems | July 16, 2019 Anatomage Releases Anatomage Cloud Platform Anatomage Inc. released an update to the Anatomage Cloud platform that allows medical and dental professionals to… read more Technology | Information Technology | June 20, 2019 DOSIsoft Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for Planet Onco Dose Software DOSIsoft announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market Planet… read more News | PET-CT | August 15, 2019 United Imaging Announces First U.S. Clinical Installation of uExplorer Total-body PET/CT United Imaging announced that its uExplorer total-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) system… read more News | Information Technology | June 25, 2019 Barco Launches Smart Solution for Remote Radiology Reading Barco’s new remote radiology reading solution ensures dependable imaging when radiologists are working outside the ho read more News | Interventional Radiology | July 31, 2019 International Multidisciplinary Group Publishes Recommendations for Personalized HCC Treatment With Y90 TheraSphere New consensus recommendations for personalized treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with BTG’s TheraSphere have… read more Related Contentlast_img read more

HIMSS 2019 Thursday Siemens Showcases Development of Virtual Organs

first_img News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019 Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical’s Transpara AI Solution Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint’s Transpara… read more Blog | Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant | Information Technology| February 14, 2019 HIMSS 2019 Thursday – Siemens Showcases Development of Virtual Organs Related Content Siemens featured digitalization and the prospect of a “digital twin” in its HIMSS19 booth. Photo by Greg Freiherr Information As Foundation For Care Siemens has long contended that information is the cornerstone of healthcare. But it was the HIMSS show environment that brought digitalization into the spotlight.Digital twins bridge the worlds of physicality and data. In concept, such a “twin” would exactly replicate a person’s anatomy and function, creating the opportunity to simulate therapy. Virtual reality reconstructions from CT and MRI scans are already in use. But these have been anatomical, creating the opportunity to plan and rehearse surgeries, such as those of the brain.The digital twin envisioned by Siemens would go beyond VR to simulate the functionality of an organ, such as the heart. And it need not involve just the heart. Smart algorithms could “learn” the function of virtually any organ in the body, potentially by mining data from patient images and the electronic medical record.  The development of virtual organs expresses “a vision to represent the electronic health record into a longitudinal physiological model of the patient potentially acting as a preventive health coach in the future,” Aumueller told ITN. If MRI and electrocardiography data were derived, for example, from an individual patient, the digital twin’s heart could exactly mirror the behavior of the patient’s real heart, displaying the same electrical activity, contraction, ejection fraction and pressure dynamics. This would allow for the digital rehearsal of not only the placement of a pacemaker, for example, but also assessment of the device after placement.The increasing pressure on healthcare to deliver value — defined as better quality care at lower costs — would seem ideally suited to such digitalization, as digital twins promise the delivery of improved patient outcomes and avoidance of unnecessary surgeries. A digital simulation of the entire patient could allow illnesses to be predicted weeks or months ahead. So also might the digital twin of a patient be used to predict the patient’s response to different therapies. Just as this might revolutionize the practice of medicine, so is it highly speculative.  Digital representations of a whole patient would require the gathering and interpretation of data on an unprecedented scale, requiring not only functional but cellular and even genomic information. News | Artificial Intelligence | August 08, 2019 Half of Hospital Decision Makers Plan to Invest in AI by 2021 August 8, 2019 — A recent study conducted by Olive AI explores how hospital leaders are responding to the imperative read more At its booth on the exhibit floor of the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS19) meeting, Siemens Healthineers called on visitors to meet their “digital twin.”This twin, illustrated by virtual organs, was part of the company’s theme at the HIMSS meeting of “Digitalizing Healthcare,” one made possible by the venue, which emphasizes “IT and data understanding,” said Joerg Aumueller, Siemens head of Digitalizing Healthcare and a marketing vice president. The annual HIMSS meeting is “about the target groups, like the chief information officers, that are interested in how can we use (patient data) and derive values to be more precise or transform care.”According to Aumueller, the digitalization effort shown at HIMSS addresses “how you opertionalize the value of data and also how we connect the care teams and patients better.”A digital twin of the kind envisioned by Siemens would allow caregivers to digitally “try out” treatments, then — theoretically — choose the treatment likely to achieve the best outcome. Industry Interest In Digital TwinsSiemens is not alone in its R&D of a digital twin. Both GE and Philips are known to be developing similar digitalizations. At HIMSS19, however, only Siemens chose to highlight it as a centerpiece of digitalization. Its “twinning” efforts were displayed in the context of broader AI efforts.One, Siemens’ AI-Rad Companion platform, was described as an intelligent software assistant for radiology. Its derivative applications — the first being Chest CT (computed tomography)  component, which is pending FDA clearance — will model specific  anatomies and how diseases change them. High priority organs and structures include the lungs, heart, aorta and coronary arteries. Output will be quantitative reports.Similarly, Siemens’ AI-Pathway Companion, a works-in-progress, is being designed as a clinical decision support system for providers when making diagnoses and choosing therapies. It incorporates clinical guidelines so as to optimize processes, making patient management more efficient and consistent. Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant Greg Freiherr has reported on developments in radiology since 1983. He runs the consulting service, The Freiherr Group. Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | August 13, 2019 The Challenge of Pediatric Radiation Dose Management Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more Feature | August 05, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor Most Popular Radiology and Radiotherapy Topics in July 2019 August 5, 2019 — Here is the list of the most popular content on the Imaging Technology New (ITN) magazine website fr read more FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more News | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 06, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Improves Heart Attack Risk Assessment When used with a common heart scan, machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence (AI), does better than… read more The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. Related content:VIDEO: Example of How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Patient CareSiemens Healthineers Debuts AI-Rad Companion Chest CT The top piece of content in July was a video interview explaining how Princess Margaret Cancer Center is using machine learning to create automated treatment plans. This was a hot topic at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting in July.  News | Artificial Intelligence | August 05, 2019 Montefiore Nyack Hospital Uses Aidoc AI to Spot Urgent Conditions Faster Montefiore Nyack Hospital, an acute care hospital in Rockland County, N.Y., announced it is utilizing artificial… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more last_img read more

JavaScript async programming using Promises Tutorial

first_imgJavaScript now has a new native pattern for writing asynchronous code called the Promise pattern. This new pattern removes the common code issues that the event and callback pattern had. It also makes the code look more like synchronous code. A promise (or a Promise object) represents an asynchronous operation. Existing asynchronous  JavaScript APIs are usually wrapped with promises, and the new JavaScript APIs are purely implemented using promises. Promises are new in JavaScript but are already present in many other programming languages. Programming languages, such as C# 5, C++ 11, Swift, Scala, and more are some examples that support promises. In this tutorial, we will see how to use promises in JavaScript. This article is an excerpt from the book, Learn ECMAScript – Second Edition, written by Mehul Mohan and Narayan Prusty. Promise states A promise is always in one of these states: Fulfilled: If the resolve callback is invoked with a non-promise object as the argument or no argument, then we say that the promise is fulfilled Rejected: If the rejecting callback is invoked or an exception occurs in the executor scope, then we say that the promise is rejected Pending: If the resolve or reject callback is yet to be invoked, then we say that the promise is pending Settled: A promise is said to be settled if it’s either fulfilled or rejected, but not pending Once a promise is fulfilled or rejected, it cannot be transitioned back. An attempt to transition it will have no effect. Promises versus callbacks Suppose you wanted to perform three AJAX requests one after another. Here’s a dummy implementation of that in callback-style: ajaxCall(‘http://example.com/page1’, response1 => { ajaxCall(‘http://example.com/page2’+response1, response2 => { ajaxCall(‘http://example.com/page3’+response2, response3 => { console.log(response3) } })}) You can see how quickly you can enter into something known as callback-hell. Multiple nesting makes code not only unreadable but also difficult to maintain. Furthermore, if you start processing data after every call, and the next call is based on a previous call’s response data, the complexity of the code will be unmatchable. Callback-hell refers to multiple asynchronous functions nested inside each other’s callback functions. This makes code harder to read and maintain. Promises can be used to flatten this code. Let’s take a look: ajaxCallPromise(‘http://example.com/page1’).then( response1 => ajaxCallPromise(‘http://example.com/page2’+response1) ).then( response2 => ajaxCallPromise(‘http://example.com/page3’+response2) ).then( response3 => console.log(response3) ) You can see the code complexity is suddenly reduced and the code looks much cleaner and readable. Let’s first see how ajaxCallPromise would’ve been implemented. Please read the following explanation for more clarity of preceding code snippet. Promise constructor and (resolve, reject) methods To convert an existing callback type function to Promise, we have to use the Promise constructor. In the preceding example, ajaxCallPromise returns a Promise, which can be either resolved or rejected by the developer. Let’s see how to implement ajaxCallPromise: const ajaxCallPromise = url => { return new Promise((resolve, reject) => { // DO YOUR ASYNC STUFF HERE $.ajaxAsyncWithNativeAPI(url, function(data) { if(data.resCode === 200) { resolve(data.message) } else { reject(data.error) } }) })} Hang on! What just happened there? First, we returned Promise from the ajaxCallPromise function. That means whatever we do now will be a Promise. A Promise accepts a function argument, with the function itself accepting two very special arguments, that is, resolve and reject. resolve and reject are themselves functions. When, inside a Promise constructor function body, you call resolve or reject, the promise acquires a resolved or rejected value that is unchangeable later on. We then make use of the native callback-based API and check if everything is OK. If everything is indeed OK, we resolve the Promise with the value being the message sent by the server (assuming a JSON response). If there was an error in the response, we reject the promise instead. You can return a promise in a then call. When you do that, you can flatten the code instead of chaining promises again.For example, if foo() and bar() both return Promise, then, instead of: foo().then( res => { bar().then( res2 => { console.log(‘Both done’) })}) We can write it as follows: foo().then( res => bar() ) // bar() returns a Promise.then( res => { console.log(‘Both done’)}) This flattens the code. The then (onFulfilled, onRejected) method The then() method of a Promise object lets us do a task after a Promise has been fulfilled or rejected. The task can also be another event-driven or callback-based asynchronous operation. The then() method of a Promise object takes two arguments, that is, the onFulfilled and onRejected callbacks. The onFulfilled callback is executed if the Promise object was fulfilled, and the onRejected callback is executed if the Promise was rejected. The onRejected callback is also executed if an exception is thrown in the scope of the executor. Therefore, it behaves like an exception handler, that is, it catches the exceptions. The onFulfilled callback takes a parameter, that is, the fulfilment value of the promise. Similarly, the onRejected callback takes a parameter, that is, the reason for rejection: ajaxCallPromise(‘http://example.com/page1’).then( successData => { console.log(‘Request was successful’) }, failData => { console.log(‘Request failed’ + failData) } ) When we reject the promise inside the ajaxCallPromise definition, the second function will execute (failData one) instead of the first function. Let’s take one more example by converting setTimeout() from a callback to a promise. This is how setTimeout() looks: setTimeout( () => { // code here executes after TIME_DURATION milliseconds}, TIME_DURATION) A promised version will look something like the following: const PsetTimeout = duration => { return new Promise((resolve, reject) => { setTimeout( () => { resolve() }, duration); })}// usage:PsetTimeout(1000).then(() => {console.log(‘Executes after a second’)}) Here we resolved the promise without a value. If you do that, it gets resolved with a value equal to undefined. The catch (onRejected) method The catch() method of a Promise object is used instead of the then() method when we use the then() method only to handle errors and exceptions. There is nothing special about how the catch() method works. It’s just that it makes the code much easier to read, as the word catch makes it more meaningful. The catch() method just takes one argument, that is, the onRejected callback. The onRejected callback of the catch() method is invoked in the same way as the onRejected callback of the then() method. The catch() method always returns a promise. Here is how a new Promise object is returned by the catch() method: If there is no return statement in the onRejected callback, then a new fulfilled Promise is created internally and returned. If we return a custom Promise, then it internally creates and returns a new Promise object. The new promise object resolves the custom promise object. If we return something else other than a custom Promise in the onRejected callback, then a new Promise object is created internally and returned. The new Promise object resolves the returned value. If we pass null instead of the onRejected callback or omit it, then a callback is created internally and used instead. The internally created onRejected callback returns a rejected Promise object. The reason for the rejection of the new Promise object is the same as the reason for the rejection of a parent Promise object. If the Promise object to which catch() is called gets fulfilled, then the catch() method simply returns a new fulfilled promise object and ignores the onRejected callback. The fulfillment value of the new Promise object is the same as the fulfillment value of the parent Promise. To understand the catch() method, consider this code: ajaxPromiseCall(‘http://invalidURL.com’).then(success => { console.log(success) },failed => { console.log(failed) }); This code can be rewritten in this way using the catch() method: ajaxPromiseCall(‘http://invalidURL.com’).then(success => console.log(success)).catch(failed => console.log(failed)); These two code snippets work more or less in the same way. The Promise.resolve(value) method The resolve() method of the Promise object takes a value and returns a Promise object that resolves the passed value. The resolve() method is basically used to convert a value to a Promise object. It is useful when you find yourself with a value that may or may not be a Promise, but you want to use it as a Promise. For example, jQuery promises have different interfaces from ES6 promises. Therefore, you can use the resolve() method to convert jQuery promises into ES6 promises. Here is an example that demonstrates how to use the resolve() method: const p1 = Promise.resolve(4);p1.then(function(value){ console.log(value);}); //passed a promise objectPromise.resolve(p1).then(function(value){ console.log(value);});Promise.resolve({name: “Eden”}).then(function(value){ console.log(value.name);}); The output is as follows: 44Eden The Promise.reject(value) method The reject() method of the Promise object takes a value and returns a rejected Promise object with the passed value as the reason. Unlike the Promise.resolve() method, the reject() method is used for debugging purposes and not for converting values into promises. Here is an example that demonstrates how to use the reject() method: const p1 = Promise.reject(4);p1.then(null, function(value){console.log(value);});Promise.reject({name: “Eden”}).then(null, function(value){console.log(value.name);}); The output is as follows: 4Eden The Promise.all(iterable) method The all() method of the Promise object takes an iterable object as an argument and returns a Promise that fulfills when all of the promises in the iterable object have been fulfilled. This can be useful when we want to execute a task after some asynchronous operations have finished. Here is a code example that demonstrates how to use the Promise.all() method: const p1 = new Promise(function(resolve, reject){ setTimeout(function(){ resolve(); }, 1000);});const p2 = new Promise(function(resolve, reject){setTimeout(function(){resolve();}, 2000);});const arr = [p1, p2];Promise.all(arr).then(function(){console.log(“Done”); //”Done” is logged after 2 seconds}); If the iterable object contains a value that is not a Promise object, then it’s converted to the Promise object using the Promise.resolve() method. If any of the passed promises get rejected, then the Promise.all() method immediately returns a new rejected Promise for the same reason as the rejected passed Promise. Here is an example to demonstrate this: const p1 = new Promise(function(resolve, reject){ setTimeout(function(){ reject(“Error”); }, 1000);});const p2 = new Promise(function(resolve, reject){setTimeout(function(){resolve();}, 2000);});const arr = [p1, p2];Promise.all(arr).then(null, function(reason){console.log(reason); //”Error” is logged after 1 second}); The Promise.race(iterable) method The race() method of the Promise object takes an iterable object as the argument and returns a Promise that fulfills or rejects as soon as one of the promises in the iterable object is fulfilled or rejected, with the fulfillment value or reason from that Promise. As the name suggests, the race() method is used to race between promises and see which one finishes first. Here is a code example that shows how to use the race() method: var p1 = new Promise(function(resolve, reject){ setTimeout(function(){ resolve(“Fulfillment Value 1”); }, 1000);});var p2 = new Promise(function(resolve, reject){ setTimeout(function(){resolve(“fulfillment Value 2”); }, 2000);});var arr = [p1, p2];Promise.race(arr).then(function(value){ console.log(value); //Output “Fulfillment value 1”}, function(reason){ console.log(reason);}); Now at this point, I assume you have a basic understanding of how promises work, what they are, and how to convert a callback-like API into a promised API. Let’s take a look at async/await, the future of asynchronous programming. If you found this article useful, do check out the book Learn ECMAScript, Second Edition for learning the ECMAScript standards to design your web applications. Read next Implementing 5 Common Design Patterns in JavaScript (ES8) What’s new in ECMAScript 2018 (ES9)? How to build a weather app using Kotlin for JavaScriptlast_img read more

How to build topic models in R Tutorial

first_img1 1981 1 0.286 2 1981 2 0.01633 1981 3 0.09234 1981 4 0.118 5 1981 5 0.07776 1981 6 0.411 Topic 1 is a close second in the topic race. If you think about it, this means that more than six topics would help to create better separation in the probabilities. However, I like just six topics for this tutorial for the purpose of demonstration. In this tutorial, we looked at topic models in R. We applied the framework to the State of the Union addresses.  If you want to stay updated with expert techniques for solving data analytics and explore other machine learning challenges in R, be sure to check out the book ‘Mastering Machine Learning with R – Third Edition’. Read Next How to make machine learning based recommendations using Julia [Tutorial] The rise of machine learning in the investment industry GitHub Octoverse: top machine learning packages, languages, and projects of 2018 Topic models are a powerful method to group documents by their main topics. Topic models allow probabilistic modeling of term frequency occurrence in documents. The fitted model can be used to estimate the similarity between documents, as well as between a set of specified keywords using an additional layer of latent variables, which are referred to as topics (Grun and Hornik, 2011). In essence, a document is assigned to a topic based on the distribution of the words in that document, and the other documents in that topic will have roughly the same frequency of words. In this tutorial, we will look at a useful framework for text mining, called topic models. We will apply the framework to the State of the Union addresses. In building topic models, the number of topics must be determined before running the algorithm (k-dimensions). If no prior reason for the number of topics exists, then you can build several and apply judgment and knowledge to the final selection. There are different methods that come under Topic Modeling. We’ll look at LDA with Gibbs sampling. This method is quite complicated mathematically, but my intent is to provide an introduction so that you are at least able to describe how the algorithm learns to assign a document to a topic in layperson terms. If you are interested in mastering the math associated with the method, block out a couple of hours on your calendar and have a go at it. Excellent background material can be found here. This tutorial is an excerpt taken from the book ‘Mastering Machine Learning with R – Third Edition’ written by Cory Lesmeister. The book explores expert techniques for solving data analytics and covers machine learning challenges that can help you gain insights from complex projects and power up your applications. Talking about LDA  or Latent Dirichlet Allocation in topic modeling, it is a generative process, and works in the following manner to iterate to a steady state: For each document (j), there are 1 to j documents. We will randomly assign a multinomial distribution (Dirichlet distribution) to the topics (k) with 1 to k topics, for example, document A is 25 percent topic one, 25 percent topic two, and 50 percent topic three. Probabilistically, for each word (i), there are 1 to i words to a topic (k); for example, the word mean has a probability of 0.25 for the topic statistics. For each word (i) in document (j) and topic (k), calculate the proportion of words in that document assigned to that topic; note it as the probability of topic (k) with document (j), p(k|j), and the proportion of word (i) in topic (k) from all the documents containing the word. Note it as the probability of word (i) with topic (k), p(i|k). Resample, that is, assign w a new t based on the probability that t contains w, which is based on p(k|j) times p(i|k). Rinse and repeat; over numerous iterations, the algorithm finally converges and a document is assigned a topic based on the proportion of words assigned to a topic in that document. The LDA assumes that the order of words and documents does not matter. There has been work done to relax these assumptions in order to build models of language generation and sequence models over time (known as dynamic topic modeling or DTM). Applying Topic models in State of the Union addresses We will leave behind the 19th century and look at these recent times of trial and tribulation (1965 through 2016). On looking at this data, I found something interesting and troubling. Let’s take a look at the 1970s: > sotu_meta[185:191, 1:4]# A tibble: 7 x 4 president year years_active party 1 Richard M. Nixon 1970 1969-1973 Republican2 Richard M. Nixon 1971 1969-1973 Republican3 Richard M. Nixon 1972 1969-1973 Republican4 Richard M. Nixon 1972 1969-1973 Republican5 Richard M. Nixon 1974 1973-1974 Republican6 Richard M. Nixon 1974 1973-1974 Republican7 Gerald R. Ford 1975 1974-1977 Republican We see there are two 1972 and two 1974 addresses, but none for 1973. What? I went to the Nixon Foundation website, spent about 10 minutes trying to deconflict this, and finally threw my hands in the air and decided on implementing a quick fix. Be advised that there are a number of these conflicts to put in order: > sotu_meta[188, 2] sotu_meta[190, 2] sotu_meta[157, 2] sotu_meta[166, 2] sotu_meta[170, 2] sotu_meta[176, 2] sotu_meta[195, 2] sotu_meta[197, 2] sotu_meta[199, 2] sotu_meta[201, 2] An email to the author of this package is in order. I won’t bother with that, but feel free to solve the issue yourself. With this tragedy behind us, we’ll go through tokenizing and removing stop words again for our relevant time frame: > sotu_meta_recent % dplyr::filter(year > 1964)> sotu_meta_recent %>% tidytext::unnest_tokens(word, text) -> sotu_unnest_recent> sotu_recent % dplyr::anti_join(stop_words, by = “word”) As discussed previously, we need to put the data into a DTM before building a model. This is done by creating a word count grouped by year, then passing that to the cast_dtm() function: > sotu_recent %>% dplyr::group_by(year) %>% dplyr::count(word) -> lda_words> sotu_dtm Let’s get our model built. I’m going to create six different topics using the Gibbs method, and I specified verbose. It should run 2,000 iterations: > sotu_lda sotu_ldaA LDA_Gibbs topic model with 6 topics. The algorithm gives each topic a number. We can see what year is mapped to what topic. I abbreviate the output since 2002: > topicmodels::topics(sotu_lda)2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 We see a clear transition between Bush and Obama from topic 2 to topic 4. Here is a table of the count of topics: > table(topicmodels::topics(sotu_lda)) 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 7 5 18 14 5 Topic 4 is the most prevalent, which is associated with Clinton’s term also. This output gives us the top five words associated with each topic: > topicmodels::terms(sotu_lda, 5) Topic 1 Topic 2 Topic 3 [1,] “future” “america” “administration”[2,] “tax” “security” “congress”[3,] “spending” “country” “economic”[4,] “government” “world” “legislation”[5,] “economic” “iraq” “energy” Topic 4 Topic 5 Topic 6 [1,] “people” “world” “federal”[2,] “american” “people” “programs”[3,] “jobs” “american” “government”[4,] “america” “congress” “program”[5,] “children” “peace” “act” This all makes good sense, and topic 2 is spot on for the time. If you drill down further to, say, 10, 15, or 20 words, it is even more revealing, but I won’t bore you further. What about an application in the tidy ecosystem and a visualization? Certainly! We’ll turn the model object into a data frame first and in the process capture the per-topic-per-word probabilities called beta: > lda_topics ap_top_terms % dplyr::group_by(topic) %>% dplyr::top_n(10, beta) %>% dplyr::ungroup() %>% dplyr::arrange(topic, -beta) We can explore that data further or just plot it as follows: > ap_top_terms %>% dplyr::mutate(term = reorder(term, beta)) %>% ggplot2::ggplot(ggplot2::aes(term, beta, fill = factor(topic))) + ggplot2::geom_col(show.legend = FALSE) + ggplot2::facet_wrap(~ topic, scales = “free”) + ggplot2::coord_flip() + ggthemes::theme_economist_white() The output of the preceding code is as follows: This is the top 10 words per topic based on the beta probability. Another thing we can do is look at the probability an address is related to a topic. This is referred to as gamma in the model and we can pull those in just like the beta: > ap_documents We now have the probabilities of an address per topic. Let’s look at the 1981 Ronald Reagan values: > dplyr::filter(ap_documents, document == “1981”)# A tibble: 6 x 3 document topic gammalast_img read more

US ski resorts delay openings due to warm weather

first_imgU.S. ski resorts delay openings due to warm weather << Previous PostNext Post >> CHEYENNE — Ski resorts in Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah have been forced to delay opening for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend or have few ski runs open because unseasonably warm weather limited their ability to produce man-made snow.In Wyoming, the Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole Mountain resorts were not predicting Wednesday when they would open but the resorts were hoping snowfall forecast for Wednesday night and CThursday might help them do so.Snowpack in Colorado’s mountains is at its lowest level in 30 years and the Beaver Creek resort pushed back its opening day from Wednesday to Friday.The snow woes for Rocky Mountains ski areas contrasted with early skiing in California, where resorts have enjoyed solid dumps of snow recently following drought conditions in recent years. The state’s Mammoth Mountain opened for skiers and snowboarders on Nov. 10.The opening delay for Grand Targhee Resort came after it got nearly 60 inches of snow in October that ended up melting on the lower mountain slopes during a warm and dry November, said spokesman Ken Rider, forcing the ski area to delay the start to its season for the first time since 1998.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyIn recent years, many Rocky Mountains resorts started opening by Thanksgiving.Sun Valley Resort in central Idaho said only one run will be open on Thursday and likely through the holiday weekend.“They tried making snow for two or three days but it got to 50 to 55 degrees and that hurt,” said Jake Hanson, a ski resort ticket salesperson.But workers were making snow Wednesday morning and natural snow was falling, giving some hope for skiers arriving for the long holiday weekend.“It’s snowing right now and they’re working hard to get snow up there,” Hanson said. “They’re going full blast.”In Utah, Brighton Resort announced Wednesday it would start operating two ski lifts Friday because of fresh snowfall and man-made snow it managed to produce this week.A ski resort in southern New Mexico won’t be able to open on Thanksgiving due to warm temperatures and minimal precipitation.Ski Apache spokesman Justin Huffmon said the resort tried to make snow, but it has not been enough so far. Share The Canadian Press Posted by Thursday, November 24, 2016 last_img read more

Passenger dumps trash in the middle of the aisle and the Internet

first_imgPassenger dumps trash in the middle of the aisle and the Internet loses it Share Posted by Travelweek Group Not surprisingly, this elicited outrage on Reddit, with users comparing the passenger to animals.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programs“And here I thought animals had to ride with the cargo,” one user wrote.On Instagram, users pondered his behaviour at home, with one person saying, “I would hate to see what his home looks like.” Others weren’t so diplomatic. @lawlovesmar wrote: “Jackass! He should be banned for ever flying that airline ever again!”No word as to who eventually cleaned up the mess, or whether the man in question ever apologized. Hopefully, he’s been shamed into being a more courteous passenger and seatmate on future flights! Tags: WTF Thursday, November 23, 2017 TORONTO — Last week, we told you about a pig being removed from a US Airways flight for being disruptive. This week, we’re putting the spotlight on a particularly filthy air passenger who, unlike the pig, was able to remain on his flight despite causing discomfort to fellow passengers.According to The International Business Times, an unidentified male airline passenger is being shamed on social media after a photo of a pile of trash he left in the middle of the aisle went viral. The photo was shared on Reddit’s ‘Trashy’ forum as well as on Instagram account @passengershaming, which is used by the public to call out particularly vile passengers.In the picture, the man, whose face remains hidden, can be seen reading a book as his trash – dirty napkins, a food tray, plastic wrap and discarded food – is scattered next to his feet, directly in the aisle. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Nudists take over Paris museum for one night

first_imgNudists take over Paris museum for one night Share << Previous PostNext Post >> “The naturists’ way of life is to be naked,” Julien Claude-Penegry, communications director of the Paris Naturists Association told Reuters. “Today, the mentality is changing. Naturists…are pushing past barriers, taboos or mentalities that were obstructive.”More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthNaturist events are gaining in popularity in Paris and elsewhere. Those in the buck have launched similar initiatives in the French capital, including a dedicated nudist zone in the Bois de Vincennes last year. It proved to be so popular that the space recently reopened in time for the busy summer season.What’s next on the naked agenda? A possible nudist clubbing night in Paris planned for later this year. Tags: Museums, Paris Thursday, May 31, 2018 PARIS – Several portraits and sculptures got an eyeful recently when the museum they call home opened its doors to a bunch of nudists.According to Reuters, the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art museum in Paris hosted a one-off naturist event earlier this month, granting nudists special off-hour access to an exhibit. A total of 160 attendees, all wearing nothing but their birthday suits, participated, a fraction of the estimated 2.6 million naturist practitioners in France. Posted by Travelweek Group last_img read more

Violence in Rio ahead of World Cup leaves 1 dead

first_imgRelated posts:Most Brazilians don’t want to host the World Cup World Cup upsets focus fans on football instead of protests Underdog Costa Rica will try to crush the Oranje in the Ticos biggest challenge yet World Cup couch potatoes hurting retail sales RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – One person was shot and killed as violent protests erupted Tuesday in Rio’s famed Copacabana beach district following the death of a dancer allegedly at the hands of police, less than two months before the World Cup.Two main thoroughfares were closed after angry demonstrators from a slum set ablaze barricades of tires and hurled glass bottles to protest the death of the dancer, 25, who Brazilian media say was killed after police mistook him for a drug trafficker.In the resulting protests, a 30-year-old man died after being shot in the head in the slum, which is just a stone’s throw from Copacabana beach, media quoted city hall officials as saying.Many in economically booming Brazil are outraged at the huge footprint of poverty here. Critics are furious that billions of dollars have been spent on World Cup infrastructure instead of public housing, roads, more aid for the poor and ending violent crime.The protesting victim was taken to a hospital but was dead on arrival, broadcaster Globo’s G1 web portal quoted health authorities as saying. It was not immediately clear who shot him.Trouble began in the early evening in the Pavão-Pavãozinho favela, which nestles above the well-heeled tourist centers of Copacabana and Ipanema, before quickly spreading, witnesses said.“It started around 5:30 p.m. There was smoke everywhere, shots in the street and people racing for their homes,” said a young man living just next to the favela, or slum.“A number of police special unit trucks have just gone up into the favela. We are stuck at home — we can’t go out,” he added, as helicopters flew over.Another resident said electricity supplies had been cut in the area and the situation remained tense. G1 meanwhile reported violence had spilled over into Ipanema as some youngsters went on the rampage there, pursued by police. A Brazilian Police Special Forces member takes position as a woman walks past with a beach chair during a violent protest in a favela near Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 22, 2014. Christophe Simon/AFP‘Don’t come’Police have been cranking up efforts in recent months to clear favelas in thrall to violent criminals before the month-long World Cup kicks off on June 12.Although a huge slum “pacification” program was launched six years ago and gradually has been rolled out to improve security in a city that will also host the 2016 Olympics, the gangs have been fighting backFriends of the dancer, Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira, said he was beaten to death after attempting to take refuge in a school in the slum, where a Police Pacification Unit (UPP) was set up in December 2009 as part of efforts to smash organized crime.“The circumstances surrounding the death of Douglas are under investigation. An on-site report indicates Douglas’ injuries are compatible with a death caused by a fall,” police told AFP in a short statement.“Witnesses and residents will be called upon to give evidence,” the statement added.The dead man’s mother said: “He died at 1 in the morning. More than 12 hours afterwards we got to see the body. He was in a defensive posture, all beaten up.”“There were no signs of gunshot wounds,” she added, saying that her son had gone to the favela to visit his 4-year-old daughter.One resident of Pavao-Pavaozinho, Daizy Carvalho, who works for a human rights group, said of Douglas: “He was a mirror for youngsters, who are in revolt. What kind of World Cup is this?” she asked.“The people from the favelas need to unite and come out onto the street,” she told AFP, calling on tourists “not to come to the Cup.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Watch Costa Rican midfielder José Luis Cordero score an incredible 45meter goal

first_imgJosé Luis Cordero impressed football fans worldwide with his superbly lofted long-distance goal in a Costa Rica league match over the weekend. A.D. Belén’s Cordero took aim from almost 50-meters out to nail the perfect golazo right over the outstretched arm of the Herediano goalkeeper.The goal put Belén up 1-0 against Cordero’s old team. The 27-year-old had left Herediano after playing for them during the summer season. Cordero signed with A.D. Belén for the winter season that began in August. Herediano, always one of the league’s best teams, achieved a 2-2 draw with A.D. Belén despite Cordero’s bomb from midfield.Cordero’s play was highlighted by the U.K.’s Daily Mirror as well as French, Belgian and Italian publications. Facebook Comments Related posts:Watch Bryan Ruiz’s historic goal against Italy from 3 different angles Watch this awesome video compilation showing fans reacting to Costa Rica’s win over Greece GIF: Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz knocks in goal against Greece as Ticos strike first Costa Rica competes, fights poverty at Homeless World Cuplast_img read more

US to spend 750 million to attack Central America poverty woes

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – As unaccompanied minors have again crossed the southwest border in growing numbers in recent months, experts have agreed that the root causes of the surge lie in Central American violence and poverty that is driving people north.Now, the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration are trying to do something about it.The year-end spending bill that passed Congress on Friday contains $750 million to help the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras fight poverty and gang violence, improve security and reform their governments, far more than the Senate and especially the House had initially allocated. Though the administration had asked for $1 billion, senior officials hailed the money they did get as a big win, saying it will aid their efforts to keep children from those countries at home.In October and November, more than 10,500 children crossed the U.S.-Mexico border by themselves, the vast majority from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, according to Department of Homeland Security data analyzed by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. The surge, a 106 percent increase over the same period last year, has sparked concerns that the new influx of children could eventually approach the levels that last year prompted the Obama administration to declare a humanitarian crisis.See: Raising fears of new crisis, unaccompanied children crossing US border in greater numbers again“The security and prosperity of Central America are inextricably linked with our own,” said Vice President Joe Biden, who has traveled to the region and helped lead the administration’s push for what became the $750 million. “This decision by Congress to invest $750 million in Central America demonstrates that we honor our commitments and believe in a future where the Western Hemisphere is middle class, democratic, and secure.”Added Peter Boogaard, a spokesman for the National Security Council: “We are pleased Congress has taken action on the Administration’s request to fund the Strategy for Engagement in Central America. The Strategy will support security, good governance, and prosperity – three critical pillars to making longer-term progress in the region and in stemming the flow of Central American migrants across the Southwest border.”The numbers of minors headed north are still far below the peak period last year, when more than 10,600 unaccompanied minors crossed the border just in the month of June, swamping federal resources. But experts are concerned that numbers will keep growing, especially because some of the same conditions that drove last year’s surge, including gang and drug-related violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle, have grown even worse. El Salvador’s homicide rate, for example, is now at its highest since the country’s civil war ended in 1992, after a truce between two prominent gangs broke down last year. Loved ones weep after eight people were killed at a Honduras bus station in Choloma, north of Tegucigalpa, on Nov. 24, 2015. Eight people were killed and at least two injured when alleged gang members opened fire at the bus station because drivers failed to pay a “war tax” — a daily nightmare for bus drivers in Honduras. Hugo Díaz/AFPWendy Young, president of Kids in Need of Defense, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that represents unaccompanied minors in deportation proceedings, called the new funding for Central America “definitely a significant step forward. Ultimately, the solution to the crisis is in the region and addressing the root causes that are forcing kids to flee their home countries.”The $750 million will be distributed by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, with some going directly to the three governments and other funds to organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank that will help implement the administration’s strategy in the three countries.The final legislative language contains restrictions: Some of the funds will only be obligated, for example, after the Secretary of State certifies that the three nations are taking steps to improve border security and to inform their citizens of the dangers of journeying to the United States.But the final amount was an increase of $445 million over what the House initially advocated and $75 million more than what the Senate initially wanted. Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., ranking member of the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, said in an interview that he was pleased with the outcome.“I think it’s all well and good that we make smart investments to secure our border,” said Carper, who had urged support for the administration’s request, “but it’s also important and I think smart to say, why does all these people want to come?”The Washington Post’s Joshua Partlow contributed to this story.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:White House seeks emergency funds to handle rush of young immigrants Central American leaders offer plan to slow child migrant surge New immigration program seeks to reunite Central American families in US Bernie Sanders: Central American refugees should not be ‘cast out’last_img read more

Letters from the trail Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica Part 4

first_imgRelated posts:Letters from the trail: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 1) Letters from the trail: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 2) Letters from the trail: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 3) Letters from the trail: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 5) Earlier this year, we told you about Camino de Costa Rica, a 280-km hike from Costa Rica’s Atlantic to its Pacific coast. Garry Wallace recently completed the Camino de Costa Rica, and he wrote a series of stories recounting the experience. Read: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 1)Read: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 2)Read: Hiking the Camino de Costa Rica (Part 3) Below is Part 4: ***The best of all worldsIt feels amazing to truly get away from civilization — way off the beaten path. The peace, the quiet at night, no radios, no TV, no traffic noises. Time to reflect, time to think, time to dream.People away from towns and cities seemed glad to see someone enjoying their little piece of heaven. They honked and waved when they drove past us, giving thumbs-up and encouragement.  Sometimes they offered a cold drink or asked where we were going, thinking that we must be lost. Photo by Garry Wallace.I enjoyed all sections of El Camino, and it’s hard to pick a favorite, because they all had elements I loved. But if forced to choose one, I would pick high in the mountains — coffee plantation country.The air is dry and cool, perfect for hiking.  The people are the friendliest, because they rarely get travelers in that area. The mornings usually off start with a mist gently watering the coffee that burns off to a crystal-clear day where you feel you are on top of the world and can see forever.  Often, we walked along a road cut into the top edge of a ridge which allowed 360-degree views for miles and miles. Photo via Garry Wallace.My favorite picture was this one (taken by our great guide Jorleny, who has completed El Camino five times in the last 13 months), taken mid-morning at about 6,000 ft. Photo by Garry Wallace.My favorite lunch was this one, put together by Jose, our jungle guide, after a three-hour slog uphill in muddy conditions. Curried chicken, rice, salad, and root vegetables. It was so welcome as well as delicious. We were all famished after that morning! Photo by Garry Wallace.I appreciated meeting Bradley, pictured here standing on his porch. I stopped to say hello as I passed his beautifully crafted Caribe home. He proceeded to give me the story of how his father had purchased it 75 years ago and how Bradley (now 74) had grown up in it. His mother still lives there.Bradley was wonderful to talk to, and he insisted that I take home some of the nutmeg he grows on the property, which he was drying that day. Interactions like this absolutely make the Camino the amazing trip it is.My favorite sighting was watching an adult male Resplendent Quetzel preen itself for 10 minutes at the top of a tree in the jungle.  Our guide, Sergio, spotted it through a small hole in the canopy. I’ll never figure out how he did it, but wow!No shortage of memories were stored away from this hike. Memories to last a lifetime.Stay tuned for Part 5 tomorrow! Garry Wallace is a managing partner at Serenity Boutique Hotel in Quepos, Puntarenas.  Learn more at www.serenityhotelcostarica.com.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

4K golden vibrator stolen in armed Brazil heist

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates And she notes the robber didn’t take the vibrator’s charger.She says: “I really don’t know what he’ll do. I’ll leave it up to his imagination.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories center_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) – An armed man in Brazil has heisted an 18-carat gold-plated vibrator selling for $4,000 at a luxury sex shop.Police say he walked into the Erotica Luxo store in Brasilia, tied up a clerk and took the item from its display case. He stole nothing else.It’s high season for erotic shops in Brazil as the nation celebrates its own Valentine’s Day in less than two weeks.Store owner Vanessa Baldini tells the G1 news website the robber might get no satisfaction from Wednesday’s theft. She says the Swedish-made vibrator has a stainless steel core, making removing any gold plating extremely difficult. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Egypt Contaminated water causes illness protests

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA said the number of sick people reached more than 400.During a visit by Health Minister Mohammed Mustafa and Gov. Ashraf Helal to the hospital Tuesday, angry family members held up bottles of brackish-looking water and chanted, “drink it.” Then they locked the two officials in a room.After an hour, the two were released with police intervention. Mustafa ordered closure of illegal and unlicensed sources of water. Helal suspended government employees responsible for the village’s main source of tap water.Kandil said a medical team collected samples of the water the villagers say is polluted, in order to determine whether it was the cause of the sickness.Water and food poisoning are common in Egypt, mainly because of poor oversight, deteriorating public services, and mushrooming slums and residential buildings outside government control across the country.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   center_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes CAIRO (AP) – Villagers briefly locked the Egyptian health minister and a provincial governor inside a hospital room Tuesday after allegedly contaminated water caused hundreds of residents to fall ill, officials said.A hospital in the Nile Delta province of Menoufia, 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of Cairo, admitted dozens of people with severe cases of diarrhea, vomiting and high fevers, Health Ministry official Amr Kandil said. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

Wildfire kills 1 as it rages near Spanish resort

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressMADRID (AP) – A wildfire fanned by strong winds devoured hillsides around the wealthy Mediterranean resort city of Marbella in Spain on Friday. At least one person died, two sustained burns and more than 4,000 others were forced to evacuate their homes.A dry winter followed by a scorching hot summer has left much of southern Spain tinder dry and susceptible to fires. About 1,500 square kilometers (580 square miles) of land in Spain has burned in nearly 12,000 wildfires so far this year. Parents, stop beating yourself up Comments   Share   4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Grinan said if the suspicion of arson is proven true, it would be “a criminal act.”Marbella, with its leisure craft port of Puerto Banus, is one of Europe’s most luxurious seaside destinations. Its normally green hillsides are studded with mansions and palaces belonging to aristocrats, the rich and the famous.High profile residents have included Scottish actor Sean Connery, the king of Saudi Arabia and descendants of wealthy European families such as the Bismarcks and Rothschilds.The wildfires have challenged the capacities of several countries in Europe this summer.Bosnia’s government said Friday it was considering asking for international help after a blaze around the southern mountain of Prenj, which has burned continuously for three weeks, has left the area resembling a smoking volcano.___Ciaran Giles contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Sponsored Stories Other European nations, including Greece, Portugal and Bosnia, also have faced blazes spawned by similar conditions.In Spain, regional Interior Ministry official Jose Luis Ruiz Espejo said the latest fire started outside the mountainside town of Coin, northeast of Marbella, and that authorities suspect arson as the cause.All the residents of the nearby town of Ojen were forced to evacuate as flames swept through their valley. Most spent much of the night sheltered in sports centers in Marbella.Fernando Fernandez, mayor of the popular whitewashed hillside tourist destination town of Mijas, said many of its residents had been evacuated, but strong east winds had “fortunately for us, swept the fire westwards, toward Marbella.”Andalucia’s regional government said a 78-year-old British man’s charred body was found Friday “in a tool shed” near Ojen. Local police found the body while searching through the burnt embers of a house, the statement said.Two 58-year-old people were in critical condition with burns covering more than 60 percent of their bodies, according to a regional government statement.Jose Antonio Grinan, the regional president, said two people were being treated for burns and bruises. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img read more

Former Falklands governor Rex Hunt dies at 86

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How do cataracts affect your vision? Top Stories LONDON (AP) – Sir Rex Hunt, who was governor of the Falkland Islands at the time of the Argentine invasion in 1982, has died. He was 86.Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that Hunt “should be a hero to everyone in Britain” for his service during the war, in which Britain successfully reclaimed the contested islands, called the Malvinas by the Argentines.“He gave years of dedicated service to this country and to the Falkland Islands,” Cameron said. “Faced with invading forces in Port Stanley in April 1982, his courage, resolve and judgment fired the spirit of the Islanders and the British people to stand up to aggression and to defend the rights and freedom of the Islanders. My thoughts are with his family and friends as they mourn him today.” Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories center_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Hunt’s government said the former governor, who died at a hospital in his country on Sunday, will be remembered “for his courage and dignity” at the time of the Falklands conflict.Hunt was taken captive by Argentine forces and expelled to Uruguay. He returned to the islands after British forces defeated the invaders, and resumed serving as governor until 1985. He also served for many years as chairman of the Falkland Islands Association and as president of the UK Falkland Islands Trust.The cause of Hunt’s death was not given.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The vital role family plays in society Men’s health affects baby’s health toolast_img read more

Helen Wong takes tours to TV

first_imgHelen Wong Tours launches new ad campaign. Helen Wong Tours has launched a new ad campaign, which includes a new television and cinema ad.Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard last night at the group’s trivia night, Helen Wong Tours marketing manager Kevin Du explained new ads were six months in the making and were designed to increase brand awareness among the Australian public.Mr Du explained, with over 26 years operating in Australia, the brand is generally well known among Australian travellers, but new ads will likely refresh the group’s image.As part of the campaign, the group launched its first ever cinema ad two weeks ago – airing during blockbuster hit, Iron Man 3.Meanwhile, the group’s television campaign has already commenced airing in Perth and Brisbane, and plays on the old tale of ‘digging your way to China’, with a man shoveling dirt in his backyard while his wife sits on their suitcases – a terracotta warrior [resembling the group’s China brochure image] then appears to the man and says ‘there’s a better way to get to China’.Additionally, the group has also launched new print ad campaigns across the country.In terms of new products and tours, Mr Du said to keep an eye out, because the company has a few “exciting” announcements on the way.For more information on Helen Wong Tours, click back onto e-Travel Blackboard tomorrow, otherwise click here to see images from last night’s trivia night. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: NJlast_img read more

NTCB corral convention crowd

first_imgTotal Event Services’ Framelock Structures has been named as a finalist in the annual Australian Event Awards, while the Hilton brand has opened four properties in the Territory in mid-2013. “It can be an introduction to the Territory for the uninitiated and also provides an invaluable update for those who have already recognised the NT’s many assets as a destination for Business Events.” SKYCITY Darwin recently won the award for ‘Best Redeveloped Hotel Accommodation’ at the Australian Hotels Association Awards for Excellence, positioning the property as a serious contender in the Australasian luxury accommodation market. Eleven industry operators, including three Northern Territory convention centres, were represented at this year’s roadshow, displaying a range of different products and options for potential business. “The annual Meetings Muster road-show provides a fantastic opportunity for meeting and incentive planners to meet face-to-face with our industry operators in a casual and relaxed environment,” Northern Territory Convention Bureau director of Business Events Scott Lovett said. Image: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia NT Meetings Muster 2013 brought together the Alice Springs Convention Centre, Australia’s Outback Journeys, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin Turf Club, Fusion Exhibition & Hire Services, Great Southern Rail, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, SKYCITY Darwin, Toga Hotels, Total Event Services and Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia. The popular networking forum was first in Brisbane and will also travel to Melbourne, while more intimate ‘Roundup’ roadshows have already been staged in Canberra, Adelaide and Perth. The Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB) held its annual NT Meetings Muster in Sydney this week, showcasing the strength and commitment of the growing industry. The NT Business Events sector has been estimated to generate AU$89 million in annual expenditure for the state’s economy. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

Thierry Henry announced as Bookingcoms official ambassador

first_imgThierry Henry announced as Booking.com’s official ambassadorToday Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, announced world-renowned footballer Thierry Henry as the company’s official ambassador for the 2016 Summer of Sport.Given the energy and excitement surrounding the upcoming sporting extravaganzas in France and Rio de Janeiro, this summer provides an epic opportunity for Booking.com and Henry to inspire people everywhere to explore their passion for sport as the impetus to discover and experience the world through travel. Perfectly matching people’s unique interests with the best destination and accommodation to help them live their passion this summer, it’s time to get booking.“My love of football opened up the world to me,” comments Henry. “I followed my passion to every corner of the globe and was lucky enough to spend time in destinations I only dreamed of visiting as a kid. That’s the real power of following where your heart leads you. The unusual places I’ve stayed, the amazing people I’ve met, the incredible food that I’ve eaten—these are all experiences that have changed my life and memories that I’ll cherish forever. It’s exciting to partner with Booking.com and to share this message with the world.”“We are so thrilled to be working with Thierry,” said Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com. “Like sport, travel has a special power to transform lives. We want to spark people’s imagination with possibilities they might not have considered before and Thierry is the perfect person to help us amplify and deliver on that mission. Especially this summer with the buzz around such inclusive and captivating sporting events, there are so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences just waiting to be had. Whatever you’re interested in, pursue it, travel for it—the world is yours to discover.”Henry has a cameo role in Booking.com’s latest TV commercial – ‘Get in the Game’ – which is part of the brand’s multi-faceted, global campaign that continues to inspire people, whoever they are and whatever they are into, to find their perfect accommodation with Booking.com.Next to that, he is collaborating with Booking.com on a number of additional initiatives, sharing his experiences and motivating everyone to follow their passions. Further information and details to follow. Booking.comLook at the Destination Finder Source = Booking.comlast_img read more

World Travel Awards partners with Vietnam Airlines

first_imgVietnam Airlines has been appointed Airline Partner to the upcoming World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2016.The event is scheduled to take place at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort on October 15th, with the Vietnam flag-carrier now set to play a pivotal role in the event.As the national flag carrier of Vietnam, headquartered in Hanoi, Vietnam Airlines operates 91 routes to 20 domestic and 29 international destinations with an average of 400 daily flights.The airline operates a young fleet of 89 modern aircraft, including modern aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Airbus A350-900 XWB, Airbus A330, Airbus A321 and Boeing 777.Last year, Vietnam Airlines underwent a dramatic transformation, launching its new corporate identity, improving in-flight service to four-star standards, and beginning a major fleet-wide upgrade – becoming the first Asian airline to operate both next-generation aircraft Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and A350-900 XWB at the same time.Vietnam Airlines has been a member of IATA since 2006 and a member of the SkyTeam Alliance since 2010.“We are honoured to bring Vietnamese culture to the world, providing warm hospitality with traditional touches – from the classically Vietnamese Ao dai uniforms of our cabin crew, to the Golden Lotus logo which embodies our identity,” explained Le Hoang Dzung, spokesperson, Vietnam Airlines.World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.Each year World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective successes within each key geographical region.“It is a pleasure to welcome Vietnam Airlines to the World Travel Awards fold,” World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke said.“I am sure our Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony will prove to be the hospitality highlight of the year in the region and I look forward to welcoming our nominees to the destination.” World Travel AwardsSource = World Travel Awardslast_img read more

Muslim Advocates Urges Marriott International

first_imgMuslim Advocates Urges Marriott InternationalMuslim Advocates Urges Marriott InternationalMuslim Advocates released a letter previously sent to Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson urging him to cancel the hotel chain’s scheduled commitment to host an October 2 -3, 2017 national convention for the nation’s largest anti-Muslim hate group, Act for America. The hosting of this hate group gathering comes on the heels of Marriott’s recent launch of its “golden rule” marketing campaign and advertising buy, which features the company’s stated commitment to treat all people with dignity and respect.As the letter states, “Marriott clearly and proudly states on its website that ‘diversity and inclusion is fundamental to our core values and strategic business goals.’ We believe that hosting this anti-Muslim convention is antithetical to this otherwise clear commitment. Act for America’s held almost 30 anti-Muslim protests during Ramadan—some of the protesters were armed and marched directly in front of mosques. The official Facebook page of this event was filled with repeated calls to kill and commit acts of violence against Muslims….Declining to host ACT for America would help to ensure that Marriott International does not fall behind other companies and would be true to your company’s stated commitment to inclusivity.”According to Scott Simpson, Public Advocacy Director of Muslim Advocates, “There should be no room for hate at Marriott hotels. Marriott’s glossy ‘golden rule’ campaign trumpets its commitment to dignity for all people, so why is it hosting the nation’s largest anti-Muslim gathering? This is clearly incompatible with the values of our nation, of Marriott’s customers, and of Marriott’s own stated commitment to inclusion. Marriott should cancel this event immediately.”Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.Source = Muslim Advocateslast_img read more

Radisson makes its debut into Phu Quoc Vietnam

first_imgSource = Radisson Hotel Group™ Radisson makes its debut into Phu Quoc, VietnamRadisson Hotel Group™, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups, has continued to expand its footprint in Vietnam with the signing of the country’s first Radisson resort, located on the paradise island of Phu Quoc.Radisson Phu Quoc is nestled on Truong Beach, on the island’s sunset-facing west coast with its long stretches of powder-soft sand, lapped by warm turquoise seas. Complementing this tropical location, the hotel will feature 218 spacious sea-facing rooms and suites, with private balconies or terraces.During the day, guests will be able to soak up the sun on the pristine beach, cool off in a choice of outdoor swimming pools, or simply stroll in the shade of the resort’s landscaped gardens.The hotel will also feature a spa that will offer a selection of body treatment and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Additionally, the kid’s club will keep younger guests entertained while their parents relax.A selection of dining options will also be available with the all-day-dining restaurant which serves international cuisine, a specialty restaurant and lobby lounge, making it an ideal destination for memorable evening meals and special occasions, while the hotel’s bar is a sophisticated space to unwind.“We are delighted to debut our internationally renowned Radisson brand in Vietnam. The introduction of Radisson Phu Quoc, alongside the upper-upscale Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc, will provide guests with two wonderful vacation options in this up-and-coming destination. Moving forward we will continue to seek opportunities to expand our presence across this beautiful country,” said Katerina Giannouka, President, Asia Pacific, Radisson Hotel Group.“Phu Quoc is fast becoming an idyllic tourism destination for both international and domestic travelers. With its spectacular scenery, year-round tropical climate and relaxed visa regulations, this island is now attracting visitors from across the globe, “Katerina added.Located in Kiên Giang province, just off Vietnam’s south coast, Phu Quoc is the country’s largest island and an increasingly popular tourism hotspot. The island welcomed more than three million visitors in 2017, including many international tourists.Radisson Phu Quoc will be located within a mere five-minute drive from Phu Quoc International Airport, which was recently expanded and now welcomes long-haul international flights from Europe.“Radisson Phu Quoc is a world-class resort providing outstanding upscale amenities and superb service to guests from across the globe,” said Nguyen Thi Xuan Loan, Vice Chairman, Hoa Giang Phu Quoc Joint Stock Company. “Radisson Hotel Group is a leading hospitality company and I believe the partnership is set to bring this exceptional resort to reach its full potential. Together, we aim to create mutually beneficial successes and memorable experiences for every guest.”ABOUT RADISSON HOTEL GROUPRadisson Hotel Group™ (formerly Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group) is one of the world’s largest hotel groups with eight distinctive hotel brands, more than 1,400 hotels in operation and under development around the world. The Radisson Hotel Group portfolio includes Radisson Collection™, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites® by Radisson and prizeotel. Guests can benefit from the newly rebranded Radisson Rewards™ (formerly Club Carlson SM), a global rewards program that delivers unique and personalized ways to create memorable moments that matter to our guests. Radisson Rewards offers exceptional loyalty benefits for our guests, meeting planners, travel agents and business partners. Radisson Meetings™ offers a variety of fully-equipped meeting and event venues featuring fast free Wi-Fi, A/V technology and on-site contacts designed to make every event unique. More than 95,000 global team members work for the Radisson Hotel Group and at the hotels licensed to operate in its systems.LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/radisson-hotel-group/Instagram (Employees): https://www.instagram.com/radissonmoments/Instagram (Hotels): https://www.instagram.com/radissonhotels/Twitter (Corporate): https://twitter.com/radissongroupTwitter (Hotels): https://twitter.com/radissonhotelsFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/radissonhotelsYouTube: https://www.youtube.com/radissonhotelgrouplast_img read more

Club Med redefines corporate events with Worktainment program

first_imgSource = Club Med Club Med redefines corporate events with Worktainment programClub Med redefines corporate events with Worktainment program, offering the perfect balance between work and leisureClub Med, the leading pioneer of premium all-inclusive holidays, is bringing corporate events a notch higher as it perfectly blends work and leisure with its new Meetings & Events positioning, Worktainment. Crafting all-in-awe experiences, meetings & events at Club Med ensures guests bring home a new kind of work, play and wonder.“Corporate meetings and events need to bring out the best in people, especially in times when disconnecting from the daily grind becomes a need in a world of hectic schedules and deadlines. Club Med’s Meetings & Events programme, is holistic, all-rounded and covers all aspects of work and play in inspirational settings. Worktainment provides that balance of productivity-driving settings, great and one-of-a-kind activities, as well as meaningful sharing and bond building between team members. Our only goal is for our guests to return home ready to innovate and inspire,” commented Xavier Desaulles, CEO of Club Med – East and South Asia Pacific.#WORKTAINMENT AT CLUB MEDClub Med brings people together in a space that stimulates the mind and encourages the open exchange of ideas in the spirit collaboration. The newly launched Worktainment concept by Club Med brings the best of business and leisure together. Worktainment focuses on five pillars to ensure that all guests are empowered to create memorable and productive experiences.The Worktainment journey begins in Club Med’s idyllic surroundings that spur Inspiration. Whether surveying a breezy beach on a private island or an invigorating powdery slope high atop a mountain, guests will be spoiled for choice with 70 different resorts in amazing locations around the world with each providing spectacular views and creating a unique ambiance with dedicated areas of cocktail receptions coffee breaks and meeting spaces.Guests are meticulously looked after by Club Med’s iconic G.Os who will curate every corporate stay’s experience according their needs, from A-Z. From organising unique team bonding activities to prepping sports facilities and safety equipment and creating group cohesions, the highly trained staff will assist corporate guests in pursuing happiness by providing a fun, seamless and hassle-free experience at the resort.The wide range of sports and other exciting activities will ensure that guests Soar to greater heights and create stronger team bonds during their Club Med stay. Guests can select from over 60 sports and activities that will ignite their passion. Each Club Med resort also offers a range of adrenaline-pumping one-of-a-kind experiences such as archery, snowboarding and the flying trapeze.As the leading pioneer of all-inclusive holidays, guests can also look forward to comprehensive All-In meetings and events offerings that provide guests with a Bespoke experience, where each event is tailor-made according to every guest’s needs. This allows meeting planners to plan and choose from a variety of in-resort activities, entertainment, accommodation, meetings & events facilities, as well as food & beverage options to suit their needs, all at an-inclusive price. Organisations need not go through a tedious process in communicating with third parties and instead have a one-stop solution at Club Med.Club Med also offers corporates with the opportunity to rent an entire resort of their choice when hosting an event. This arrangement, great for group sizes between 100 and 1,000, offers guests with an exclusive, all-inclusive and a fully customised experience. A full service of dedicated G.Os will be at available on the ground to personalise and execute a stress-free planning process.SPECIAL OFFER BY CLUB MED – LAST DAYS!In early November 2018, Club Med Officially launch of Worktainment with a familiarisation trip for close to 100 meeting & events leaders from Asia Pacific to Club Med Bali. The event revealed the newly revamped meeting rooms all while the guests immersed in true work-and-entertainment experiences at Club Med.As part of the celebration, Club Med is having a limited-time-only offer for organisations who book now until 31 March 2019.This exclusive offer is in its final days and includes the following benefits: 5% off the best rate in the market per person per night 1 in 20 room upgrade – where applicable15% off at the resort boutique on Club Med collection10% off Excursions and Spa for all resorts in South East AsiaThe offer is applicable for all group bookings, with an open stay by date and available for all premium all-inclusive Club Med resorts in Asia.For Resources to sell the Club Med Meetings & Events Worktainment offer, please find sales tools and resources HERE  For more general details on meeting & events by Club Med, please CLICK HEREABOUT MEETINGS & EVENTS BY CLUB MEDMeetings & Events by Club Med delivers world class service in nearly 70 dream locations that spark innovation and inspiration. From a corporate meeting, exotic incentive programme, unique wedding to, sports groups and school trips, the dedicated Meetings & Events team provides intuitive services, and premium all-inclusive packages to ensure a memorable event. The meetings & events experts ensure a flawless gathering so event planners can focus on what are most important, the team and guests.ABOUT CLUB MEDClub Med, founded in 1950 by Gérard Blitz, invented the all-inclusive holiday club concept, adding in activities especially for children with the creation of the Mini Club in 1967. Led by its pioneering spirit, Club Med seeks out exceptional destinations and sites. Today, Club Med is the world’s leading provider of upscale, all-inclusive holiday packages with a French touch for families and working couples. Club Med operates nearly 70 resorts, of which 85% are rated Premium & Exclusive Collection. Present in 30 countries around the world, the Group employs more than 23,000 Gentils Organisateurs (GOs) and Gentils Employés (GEs), and representing 110 nationalities.last_img read more

Ismail A Hamid Amer

first_imgIn OTM Mumbai business prospects are promising, and it is a very important market for us. OTM is well organised and is one of the biggest travel marts in India. For the first time, we are not only promoting the classic tours, but also the Red Sea destinations, and expecting to have bigger number of travellers than last year.last_img

AccorHotels wins Gold for Excellence in CSR Strategy

first_imgAccorHotels has been presented with the Gold Award for Excellence in CSR Strategy for Planet 21: Acting for positive hospitality and the Silver Award for Excellence in Mature Workforce Programmes at the 2016 Human Resources Excellence Awards held in Singapore. “We are honoured to be recognised for Planet 21, our community and environmental programme. The full participation and support of our employees, partners and guests has taken Planet 21 to where it is today,” said Gaynor Reid, VP Communications & CSR AccorHotels Asia Pacific. “We remain committed to putting CSR initiatives at the very core of our business and to protecting the planet and its people.”“We are proud to receive this recognition for Mature Workforce Practices as we believe that talent is ageless. We welcome mature workers to join the AccorHotels team by implementing initiatives to aid these workers in adapting to the work environment. With an ageing population across most countries in the region, Age-Friendly Programmes are even more critical today,” said Patrick Ollivier, Chief Talent & Culture Officer of AccorHotels Asia Pacific.“More importantly, the integration and retention of our mature workforce has reinforced the essence of our values and helped create a nurturing work environment,” he added.AccorHotels, between 2011 and 2015, raised awareness and participated in initiatives on local and global scales. For example, AccorHotels Asia Pacific hotels made significant progress in the areas of child protection, well-being in the workplace, biodiversity, water and energy consumption management and responsible food and beverage with almost all hotels banning endangered seafood products like shark’s fin. In five years, water consumption has been cut by over 9%, energy consumption by 5.4% and carbon emissions by 6.4%.AccorHotels, with more than 20 years’ commitment to sustainability, is a leader in CSR in the tourism and hospitality sector. The group remains committed to continuing to improve its sustainability credentials, with bold new five-year targets set earlier this year.last_img read more

World Masters Games 2017 welcomes 28000 participants

first_imgNew Zealand has welcomed 28,000 participants to the World Masters Games (WMG) 2017 filling Auckland’s Eden Park with a spine tingling Māori cultural performance, great Kiwi music and the biggest laser light show ever seen in the country.On this occasion in New Zealand’s most celebrated sports venue, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Bill English declared that the world’s largest multi-sport event open heralding an action-packed 10 days for 25,000 athletes from 100 countries competing in 28 sporting disciplines.The World Masters Games Opening Ceremony at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand showcased Maori culture. Dancing lights, fire and drifting smoke, with the occasional burst of fireworks, brought the colours of the Pacific to life as waves of colour washed over the stadium, setting the scene for lyrical, high energy performances by some of New Zealand’s renowned Māori culture performers.“The event has been four years in the planning and the aim is to deliver the best World Masters Games in history. With 25,000 athletes competing in 28 sports across 48 venues it’s been a massive logistical challenge but we are ready and we couldn’t be more excited as we look forward to the next 10 days,” informed Jennah Wootten, Chief Executive, World Masters Games 2017.Around 75% of participants hail from outside of the host city and the organisers have promised a warm welcome from locals who will have free admission as spectators to any of the 48 competition venues.“One of the unique attractions of World Masters Games is the social side of the event and there is a great history of lifelong friendships being formed at previous Games. As the host city in 2017, Auckland is embracing that tradition and laying on a feast of culture, performance, music and food on our waterfront,” said Wootten.last_img read more

Atlantis The Palm launches the Wedding Lounge

first_imgAtlantis makes it even easier to plan a wedding with a dedicated weddings teamWell renowned as a world-class destination for weddings, Atlantis, The Palm launched the Wedding Lounge that will provide couples to create their dream wedding.Wedding bookings saw an increase of 30% in 2017, compared to 2016 and with couples from India making up 40% of weddings in 2017, Atlantis, The Palm continues to offer the ultimate destination for those looking to get married abroad.One of the Middle East’s most iconic wedding and honeymoon destinations, Atlantis, The Palm is capable of hosting celebrations of all sizes and styles. Couples choosing to tie the knot at Atlantis, The Palm will have a dedicated planner on hand to perfectly orchestrate every last detail of their special day. With such a diverse selection of venues on offer, Atlantis is a collection of seven individual venues, each with its own character.In addition, Atlantis, The Palm also provides the perfect location for pre-wedding activities, including pampering hen nights, sangeet and cocktail parties and fun-studded bachelor parties in the run-up to the big day. With an iconic location and award-winning facilities, Atlantis also makes for the perfect honeymoon destination.last_img read more

Jet Airways introduces 28 new flights in September to enhance domestic connectivity

first_imgThe airline introduces 9 industry-first routes Continuing its focus on growing its domestic presence, Jet Airways is set to introduce 28 new flights in September. Being a network carrier, Jet Airways’ new services – including industry-firsts as well as a mix of non-stop and one-stop flights will strengthen the airline’s footprint, enabling it to meet the rising demand for domestic and international air travel in emerging cities. The new services will also help connect guests with other cities including metros as well as the airline’s global network via its hubs in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. In a series of industry-firsts, Jet Airways will introduce daily flights from Indore, connecting the ‘largest city in Madhya Pradesh’ to Jodhpur as well as to Vadodara. In other notable firsts, Jet Airways is also set to commence flight operations between Chandigarh and Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Jodhpur as well as Vadodara and Jaipur. Jet Airways will be the only airline in the country operating these routes which will improve connectivity between north India and central as well as western India.The airline is also introducing additional frequencies on key existing routes, expanding non-stop capacity between Mumbai-Guwahati and Delhi-Bagdogra and providing additional one-stop connectivity on the Mumbai-Bagdogra and New Delhi-Guwahati routes.Among other network enhancements, the schedule will see Jet Airways launch non-stop flights connecting Bengaluru with Lucknow, Indore with Kolkata, Kolkata with Chandigarh, Coimbatore with Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam with Mumbai and Delhi, reflecting the growing demand for its services to facilitate the travel aspirations of its guests.The airline’s focus on Indore is evident, given that the city is fast shaping up as a key pillar in its pan-India network due to its central location and expanding infrastructure. Jet Airways is all set to deepen it’s connected with Indore by offering services to 14 cities across the country. In fact, the airline will be the only one providing non-stop connectivity from Indore to emerging markets and mini metros such as Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Vadodara, Jodhpur, Allahabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Nagpur and Pune. Jet Airways will also provide non-stop connectivity from Indore to metros such as Kolkata and Hyderabad as well as its hubs in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru channelising network traffic seamlessly to its international network. The airline’s latest service to Kolkata will finally link it to the main commercial and financial hub of East.The airline’s new services such as Indore-Vadodara and Indore-Jodhpur will promote travel and stimulate business and economic activity in each of the cities, especially for the small and medium enterprises located in and around Vadodara as well as Jodhpur. The new and existing flights will also enable Jet Airways’ guests to avail the airline’s day-return services from Indore to Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Nagpur. Further, guests from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata will now have additional connectivity to Jodhpur, Allahabad, Vadodara and vice versa via Indore.Raj Sivakumar, Sr. Vice-President, Worldwide Sales and Distribution, Jet Airways said, “As air travel gains prominence in emerging cities across India such as Indore, Jodhpur, Guwahati, Visakhapatnam and Vadodara, there is an increasing need to introduce connectivity solution for these cities. This will also benefit small and medium enterprises as well as corporate travellers who will be able to enjoy day-return flights. I am sure our new flights will reinforce Jet Airways’ as the preferred airline and will boost connectivity, trade and development in each of these cities.”last_img read more

Hamilton Financial Index Shows Strength Improving

first_img March 2, 2012 414 Views Hamilton Financial Index Shows Strength Improving in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-03-02 Abby Gregory “”Hamilton Place Strategies””:http://www.hamiltonplacestrategies.com/ has released findings from its analytics initiative, the “”Hamilton Financial Index””:http://www.hamiltonplacestrategies.com/our-firm/. The company releases its examination of the state of the U.S. financial services industry on a semi-annual basis, and Hamilton conducts the study on behalf of the “”Partnership for a Secure Financial Future””:http://www.ourfinancialfuture.com/.[IMAGE]To create the index, Hamilton evaluates the systemic risk and capital levels of the nation’s financial institutions, offering a look at how the industry is addressing risk. In an official statement, Hamilton noted that the study’s current findings showed increasing strength in the financial sector.As of the fourth-quarter of 2011, Hamilton’s index was valued at 1.15, representing a 15 percent improvement over historical expectations. However, the totals still reveal a decline off of numbers seen in the second quarter of the year, when the index stood at 1.24. Key results from Hamilton’s index included the all-time high demonstrated among commercial banks’ Tier 1 common capital levels. The company also found that the ratio of loans to deposits has declined by 20 percent since 2007, establishing a foundation for higher levels of lending.Data from the index showed that consumer loans increased dramatically to end 2011, while business loans continue to lag. In the private sector, companies reduced their outstanding debt by 17 percent off of highs recorded during the peak of the crisis to end 2011 on a more positive note.Commenting on Hamilton’s recent index results, company partner Matt McDonald, said, “”The Hamilton Financial Index reinforces what a large stream of data continues to show: the financial services industry is more safe and sound than at any time during or before the financial crisis. Whether we look at capital levels, liquidity, asset quality, or exposure to risk, the accepted benchmarks for the financial industry have been improving dramatically across the board.””As a participant in the Partnership for a Secure Financial Future, Hamilton works alongside companies including the “”Consumer Bankers Association””:http://www.cbanet.org/, “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/, “”Financial Services Institute””:http://www.financialservices.org/, and the “”Financial Services Roundtable””:http://www.fsround.org/. The organization defines its mission as raising “”awareness of the vital role the financial services industry plays in growing our nation’s economy, creating new jobs and supporting small businesses ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô alongside our commitment to ensure our industry is strong, sound and able to withstand the ebbs and flows of economic challenges.””Steve Bartlett, president and CEO for the Financial Services RoundTable, spoke out on Hamilton’s index recently, stating, “”The data in the Hamilton Financial Index report reflects what we are seeing across the industry – financial institutions have done a great deal to become more safe and sound today. We are taking strides to ensure a stronger environment for our customers and businesses. With higher capitalization levels and a reduction in outstanding debt, it is clear that financial institutions continue to play a vital role in our economic recovery.””last_img read more

LoanSifter Reports New Performance Benchmarks for Speed Reliability

first_img Share LoanSifter Reports New Performance Benchmarks for Speed, Reliability Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2012-10-30 Tory Barringer “”LoanSifter, Inc.””:https://www.loansifter.com/index.aspx, announced it has set new performance benchmarks for speed, accuracy, and uptime for LoanSifter, its flagship product and pricing engine (PPE).[IMAGE]According to officials representing the Appleton, Wisconsin-based company, the average search on the PPE fell to 1.29 seconds in 2012, down from 2.22 seconds in 2011. In addition, LoanSifter’s real-time loan pricing and product eligibility information has an accuracy level of 99.998 percent between 2011 and 2012.On top of that, system availability over the last two years has stayed above 99.97 percent, meaning few service interruptions for users.LoanSifter detailed these metrics in a new service level report made available to its clients. In a release, the [COLUMN_BREAK]company said these voluntary reports hold it to a “”standard of performance that is unparalleled in the industry today.””””Hundreds of lenders, large and small, trust us to provide technology that drives some of their most vital functions-marketing loans, locking rates and securing the best possible pricing. So earlier this year, we challenged ourselves to find out exactly how good LoanSifter could be,”” explained LoanSifter president Bruce Backer.””While there may be no official scorecard in our market, we know of no competitor that comes close to our performance. We don’t just say we have strong performance. We stand behind it as a core principle of this business, and have the metrics to back it up,”” he said.Backer explained he was first inspired to raise the bar on LoanSifter’s standards when a flood of pricing and rate lock requests hit the market in August 2011 following a sudden change in mortgage rates. The high level of traffic created a strain on most loan pricing engines. While LoanSifter weathered the storm without an outage, Backer said the need for higher standards was apparent.””For lenders in particular, business continuity and reliability are paramount,”” he said. “”Loan officers rely on a lot of information and often run a borrower’s loan scenario through many different investors at many points throughout the life of a loan. Consumers need to know their options quickly, or they will quickly go to another lender.””center_img October 30, 2012 419 Views in Origination, Technologylast_img read more

President Appoints New FDIC Chairs

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FDIC Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-12-04 Tory Barringer Share December 4, 2012 464 Views President Appoints New FDIC Chairscenter_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing President Obama has appointed two new chairs to lead the “”FDIC’s””:http://www.fdic.gov/ board of directors, the agency announced.[IMAGE]Martin J. Gruenberg is the board’s new chairman. Gruenberg has served on the FDIC’s board of directors since August 2005 and has served as the acting chairman from November 2005 to June 2006 and from July 2011 to the present. Prior to joining the board, he served as senior counsel to Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-Maryland) on the staff of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. He also worked as staff director of the Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on International Finance and Monetary Policy.Thomas M. Hoenig, the new vice chairman, served recently as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was a member of the Federal Reserve System’s Federal Open Market Committee from 1991 to 2011. During his 38-year tenure at the Fed, he held a number of leadership roles, serving as the president of the Kansas City Fed starting in 1991.The Senate confirmed the men for their respective positions in mid-November. President Obama signed the orders shortly thereafter, making the confirmations official. Both men were confirmed by the Senate for six-year terms as members of the board in March 2012.””I am deeply appreciative of the President’s action to designate Tom Hoenig as Vice Chairman and me as Chairman of the FDIC,”” Gruenberg said. “”The FDIC’s mission of maintaining public confidence in the financial system has never been more important. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead this great public institution.””Hoenig expressed his own gratitude, as well.””I am honored to serve as the Vice Chairman of the FDIC at such a pivotal time for our country’s banking system and look forward to working with my colleagues at the FDIC and other banking agencies,”” he said.last_img read more

Homeownership Rate Declines to Lowest Level Since 1995

first_img Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing The number of households owning homes fell 698,000 to 74,511,000 in the first quarter, the first decline in almost two years, according to a “”Census Bureau””:http://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/files/qtr113/q113press.pdf report Tuesday. At the same time, the nation’s homeownership rate fell to 65 percent (seasonally adjusted), the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 1995.[IMAGE] The homeownership rate peaked at 69.2 percent in the second quarter of 2004. The rate measures the proportion of households owning their primary residence, computed by dividing the number of household that are occupied by owners by the total number of occupied homes. A year ago and in the previous quarter, the homeownership rate stood at 65.4 percent. The Census Bureau also reported the homeowner vacancy rate rose to 2.1 percent in the first quarter from 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter. The homeowner vacancy rate is the proportion of the homeowner inventory that is vacant for sale.The Census data paints a grim picture for the home sales market, which has already been struggling against mortgage restrictions and weak inventory. The Census report suggests homeownership may have lost its place in the “”American dream”” as a new generation of potential homebuyers may have become wary of homeownership as a result of the wave of foreclosures in the last several years.[COLUMN_BREAK] The number of housing units for sale in the first quarter, Census reported, was 1,609,000, up from 1,498,000, in the fourth quarter but down from 1,653,000 one year earlier. The report confirmed assertions by the National Association of Realtors of weak inventories. The number of housing units held off the market in the first quarter, though was 7,609,000 up from 7,299,000 in the fourth quarter and but down from 7,633,000 a year ago.The weak homeownership rate combined with an increase in homes for sale suggests opportunities for home sales. At the same time, the profile of homeowners, by age, is changing.The homeownership rate for older Americans–65 and over–dipped in the first quarter to 80.4 percent, the lowest level since the second quarter of 2010 when it was also 80.4 percent. The rate was 80.7 percent in the fourth quarter.The homeownership rate for those under 35 fell to 36.8 percent in the first quarter from 37.1 percent in the fourth quarter. The homeownership rate for those under 35 was as high as 43.0 percent in Q3 2006. According to the quarterly report, the number of housing units in the first quarter was 133,082,000 up from 132,961,000 in the fourth quarter and from 132,596,000 one year earlier. According to the Census Bureau, 18,439,000 units were vacant, up from 17,927,000 in the fourth quarter but down from 18,474,000 a year earlier. Regionally, the homeownership rate rose only in the Midwest, up to 70.0 percent from 69.7 percent in the fourth quarter. The homeownership rate fell to 62.5 percent in the Northeast from 63.9 percent in the previous quarter–affected in part by Superstorm Sandy. In the South, the rate fell to 66.5 percent from 67 percent and fell to 59.4 percent from 59.5 percent in the West._Hear Mark Lieberman Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 8:45 a.m. Eastern._ Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau Demand Existing-Home Sales For-Sale Homes Home Sales Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman National Association of Realtors Processing Realtor Association Service Providers 2013-04-30 Mark Liebermancenter_img April 30, 2013 436 Views Homeownership Rate Declines to Lowest Level Since 1995last_img read more

Business Declines for Fifth Straight Month at Freddie Mac

first_imgFreddie,Business Declines for Fifth Straight Month at Freddie Mac Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Delinquency Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Loan Modification Mortgage-Backed Securities Refinance Service Providers 2013-12-31 Krista Franks Brock December 31, 2013 445 Views Sharecenter_img in Secondary Market After posting its greatest pace of decline so far this year in October, Freddie Mac’s book of business declined at its slowest rate since July last month. Freddie Mac’s total book of business decreased at an annualized rate of 2 percent in November compared to an annualized rate of 6.4 percent in October, according to the GSE’s latest “”monthly volume report.””:http://www.freddiemac.com/investors/volsum/pdf/1113mvs.pdf [IMAGE]Nonetheless, November marks five consecutive months of decline, bringing Freddie’s book of business down from $1.92 trillion to $1.91 trillion. Year-to-date, Freddie’s book of business has declined at a rate of 2.4 percent. [COLUMN_BREAK]Total purchases and issuances for the month came to $22.7 billion, down from $22.4 billion the previous month. Fifty-three percent of the GSE’s single-family mortgage purchases or issuances in November were refinances, totaling $11 billion based on unpaid principal balance. Relief refinances made up 40 percent of Freddie Mac’s single-family refinance volume in November. Freddie Mac also took on $2 billion in new business in the multifamily sector, bringing its total multifamily activity this year to $22.1 billion, based on unpaid principal balance. The delinquency rates for Freddie Mac’s single-family and multifamily portfolios both declined in November. The single-family delinquency rate in November was 2.43 percent, down from 2.48 percent in October. Among the multifamily portfolio, the delinquency rate was 0.05 percent, down from 0.06 percent the previous month.Freddie Mac completed a little more than 8,000 loan modifications in November, bringing the year-to-date total to 76,457.last_img read more

Housing Growth Remains Sluggish in Most Markets

first_img On Wednesday, Freddie Mac released its monthly Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) showing mixed signals for the U.S. housing market, with most markets struggling to improve at a pace faster than a slow crawl.Despite declining mortgage delinquencies, improving local employment, house price gains, and attractive mortgage rates, most housing markets remain weak due to weak home purchase mortgage applications.MiMi assesses the health of each single-family housing market relative to its own long-term stable range by looking at home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, proportion of on-time mortgage payments in each market, and the local employment picture. The indicators combine to create a composite MiMi value for each market. Anything below -2.0 is considered “weak” and anything above 2.0 is considered to be growing too quickly to be sustainable.Currently, the national MiMi value stands at -3.01 points, indicating a weak housing market overall, with only a slight improvement from March to April and a three-month trend improvement of 0.07 points.The outlook looks better compared to last year. On a year-over-year basis, the U.S. housing market has improved by 0.65 points, signaling that the market trajectory is moving in a positive direction. The nation’s all-time MiMi low of -4.49 occurred in November 2010 when the housing market was at its weakest.”With the latest release of MiMi we’re seeing very slow improvement on the housing front with most markets still trying to move beyond stall speed. The MiMi indicators that are improving across the board show the local jobs picture getting better and seriously delinquent rates continuing to come down,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Both indicators are critical to decreasing distress in local markets, but that’s also putting more pressure on markets with thinning inventory, especially where short sales have fallen off dramatically.”There are some bright spots to point to: Nationwide, 10 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia are in their stable range, with North Dakota, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, and Alaska ranking in the top five.Four of the top 50 metro areas are in their stable range: San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and New Orleans.  Metro areas in the Lone Star State now hold the top three spots in the nation.”Texas is clearly a standout with three of its metros claiming the top five MiMi spots. However, states like South Carolina, Rhode Island and Ohio have showed marked improvement since just the beginning of the year,” said Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. “In fact, those metro areas that are closest to joining the handful of markets that have already achieved their stable range of housing activity are Pittsburgh and Oklahoma City, as is the state of Oklahoma. And solid jobs gains, attractive mortgage rates and good affordability will help this trend spread to even more markets. However, income growth and greater inventory is just as important if we’re going to sustain any type of meaningful housing recovery.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Housing Growth Remains Sluggish in Most Markets June 26, 2014 461 Views center_img Share Delinquency Freddie Mac Jobs MiMi Purchase Loans 2014-06-26 Derek Templetonlast_img read more

Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Cut Mortgage Mod Rate to Lowest Level Ever

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Servicing Fannie Mae Freddie Mac mortgage Standard Modification Interest Rate 2015-11-09 Staff Writer November 9, 2015 504 Views Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Cut Mortgage Mod Rate to Lowest Level Evercenter_img Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently announced that the standard mortgage modification interest rate will be under 4 percent for the first time ever since the benchmark was established in January 2012.According to similar releases from the GSEs, starting on November 13, 2015, Fannie Mae will lower its standard modification interest rate from 4 percent to 3.875 percent. Meanwhile, Freddie Mac will lower its standard modification interest rate by the same amount beginning on November 5, 2015.This will be the lowest the rate has ever been at 3.875 percent.”By adjusting the interest rate from time to time, you will have the ability to provide borrowers with a rate that aligns more closely to current market conditions,” Freddie Mac said in its Standard Modification FAQs.Last month, the GSEs lowered the standard modification interest rate to 4 percent from 4.25 percent, where the rate had been from July 2015 to September 2015.Servicers must use the current Fannie Mae Standard Modification Interest Rate when evaluating a borrower for a conventional mortgage loan modification, excluding Fannie Mae HAMP Modifications.Servicers must use the Freddie Mac Standard Modification interest rate when determining the terms of a Standard Modification Trial Period Plan, Freddie Mac Streamlined Modification Trial Period Plan or a Capitalization and Extension Modification for Disaster Relief Trial Period Plan.Freddie Mac’s Guidelines to Using the Interest Rate:Visit this Web page on or after the fifth business day of every month for the new interest rate.Implement the new interest rate on the tenth business day of the month, but no sooner.Use the interest rate that is in effect and posted on Freddie Mac’s website when evaluating a borrower until the mandatory effective date of the new interest rate.Ensure the interest rate used to determine final modification terms is the same fixed rate that was used when determining eligibility for the Trial Period Plan and calculating the Trial Period payment – even if the interest rate that must be used for new Trial Period Plan evaluations subsequently changes.Click here to view Fannie Mae’s Standard Modification Interest Rate.Click here to view Freddie Mac’s Standard Modification Interest Rate. Sharelast_img read more

Home Prices Rising Twice as Fast as Inflation

first_img Share November 24, 2015 752 Views Even with the housing market slowing down due to seasonality, home prices still showed year-over-year gains in September, and are even rising twice as fast as inflation.Home prices rose 4.9 percent over the last 12 months in September 2015, up from the 4.6 percent increase in August 2015, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (HPI) released Tuesday.“Home prices and housing continue to show strength with home prices rising at more than double the rate of inflation,” said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The general economy appeared to slow slightly earlier in the fall, but is now showing renewed strength.According to the data, the 10-City Composite rose 5.0 percent year-over-year from January to September 2015, while the 20-City Composite increased 5.5 percent.The indices determined that the national HPI rose 3 percent from September 2014 to September 2015 after adjusted for the CPI core rate of inflation.Among the 20 cities with double-digit increases, San Francisco, California (11.2 percent), Denver, Colorado(10.9 percent), and Portland, Oregon (10.1 percent) had the highest year-over-year gains in home prices. In addition, the report showed that 17 cities had higher price increases in the year ending September 2015 compared to the year ending August 2015.The index experienced a gain of 0.2 percent month-over-month in September prior to seasonal adjustment, while after adjustment, the index increased 0.8 percent. According to the report, the 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite both rose 0.2 percent month-over-month before adjustment, while after adjustment, these composites both rose 0.6 percent.“The strength seen in home prices since the bottom in 2012 led some to wonder if we’re entering a new bubble,” Blitzer noted. “While bubbles can only be reliably identified in hindsight, one useful measure compares the increase in home prices to the change in rents.”He continued, “Another question raised by consistent real (or inflation adjusted) home price increases is whether the prices are squeezing people out of the market…affordability is more than adequate for a median income buyer now but has slipped a bit recently.”Blitzer also touched on the highly anticipated Fed rate hike, noting that most analyst expect the Fed to raise its Fed Funds target range to 25 to 50 basis points. This will mark the first increase in nine years.”While this will make news, it is not likely to push mortgage rates far above the recent level of 4 percent on 30 year conventional loans,” Blitzer explained. “In the last year, mortgage rates have moved in a narrow range as home prices have risen; it will take much more from the Fed to slow home price gains.”Click here to view the full report. Home Prices Rising Twice as Fast as Inflationcenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News Home Prices Inflation S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices 2015-11-24 Staff Writerlast_img read more

Texas Capital Completes First eClosing

first_img Texas Capital Bank has successfully completed its first eClosing via DocMagic’s digital mortgage platform, eClose. This makes Texas Capital one of the largest warehouse lenders in the industry to accept and fund eNotes.Texas Capital, which provides warehouse credit facilities for mortgage lenders and originators, recently funded its first eNote, a technology that allows servicers to speed up the closing and loan sales process.According to a release from Texas Capital, the eNote was “instantly delivered to the bank, registered with MERS, and securely stored in DocMagic’s eVault.” It was completed electronically and delivered to Fannie Mae within minutes.Total eClose is a DocMagic platform that offers a digital, paperless closing process. According to Texas Capital EVP Donnie Martine, the technology has been a game-changer for the bank.“DocMagic’s eClosing and eMortgage solutions have provided Texas Capital Bank with the tools necessary to incorporate the funding of eNotes into our everyday operational procedures,” Martin said.  “We believe the digital mortgage revolution and acceptance of eNotes will continue to grow. We are pleased to have partnered with DocMagic to build out the infrastructure needed to support the eNote funding process at the bank, which in turn supports the trend towards digital mortgages.”DocMagic’s President and CEO Dominic Iannitti praised Texas Capital for its move toward more digital solutions.“It’s very rewarding to support Texas Capital Bank as they move forward and break ground as an eWarehouse leader,” Iannitti said. “In this industry, it’s forward-thinking, tech-savvy organizations like this that thrive, set the pace and reach their goals. They understand the fundamental role that advanced technology plays in their—and the industry’s—progress. We look forward to collaborating further as we help drive true end-to-end eMortgage adoption.” April 25, 2017 620 Views HOUSING Lending technology 2017-04-25 Aly J. Yale Texas Capital Completes First eClosingcenter_img in Headlines, Technology Sharelast_img read more

What Happened to the Financial Market

first_img Bank of America Citigroup JPMorgan Chase PNC Wells Fargo 2017-07-14 Joey Pizzolato Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase all reported their second quarter financial earnings on Friday before the market opened in the morning; but, despite reporting earnings and total revenue greater than initial market expectations, the financial market took a broad hit.JPMorgan Chase reported a record quarter, which Fortune contributes to the Fed’s three separate rate hikes. In terms of income, the bank’s numbers rose to $1.82 per share, significantly higher than the expected earnings of $1.57 cents per share. Total revenue was over 4 percent above the forecast: $26.4 billion instead of $24.8 billion. Profits were up 13 percent to 7.03 billion. The bank elected to keep dividends at $0.50 per share, despite go-aheads for higher payouts after successfully completing the recent stress test.Wells Fargo also reported higher than expected earnings for the second quarter, at $1.07 per share, five cents above the expected $1.01 per share earnings, and a 5 percent increase year-over-year. Their revenue report, however, did not live up to expectations, falling shy of the forecasting $22.5 billion and coming in at $22.2 billion.Citigroup reported greater numbers than expected in both revenue and price per share. While it was expected to report $1.21 per share earnings, the bank reported $1.28 per share, which is a five-cent increase since Q2 of 2016. It also reported a revenue of $17.9 billion when it was only expected to report $17.3 billion.At time of press, Bank of American showed a -2.01 percent change, while Wells Fargo was down 1.93 percent. PNC’s stock fell 1.20 percent, and Citigroup was down 0.88 percent, whereas U.S. Bancorp took a hit at as well, at 0.69 percent.Bank of America will report their Q2 earnings on Tuesday, July 18. Share July 14, 2017 554 Views center_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, News What Happened to the Financial Market?last_img read more

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Del Rey sees amazing opportunity in Peru

first_img Del Rey sees amazing opportunity in Peru … You might also be interested in July 19 , 2019 Brazil starts orange season, forecasts 36% rise in … U.S.: Arizona raises concerns over termination of … center_img Giddings Fruit offers cherry growers a competitive … The Australian bourse said earlier today that it has launched an investigation into the mass resignations of directors at two Australia-listed Chinese agricultural companies, in one case, over a rumored probe of criminal connections to its plantations in China, says Reuters.One of the firms recently seeing directors step down is citrus grower Dongfang Modern Agriculture Holding Group Ltd (DFM.AX), which saw abrupt resignations of almost its entire board in June.Dongfang reportedly had given no explanation when the resignations occurred, which also included its CEO and company secretary, but attributed them to the rumors in a letter responding to the exchange’s queries late on Thursday.The letter added that the rumors were false. “There are similarities with the query letter sent to another Chinese company recently,” Reuters quoted Australian Stock Exchange (ASX.AX) spokesman Matthew Gibbs saying in a statement.He pointed out that Bojun Agriculture Holdings (BAH.AX), a manufacturer of processed fruit products, was the second company being investigated.Bojun Agriculture told the exchange in a letter on Tuesday that its two Australian directors and company secretary had resigned following the departure of its auditor in June last year. It claimed the resignations had been over “miscommunication” between directors.Regardless of the provided reasons, the abrupt departures at both companies have raised corporate governance questions, says the publication.They’ve also cast a cloud over the practice of numerous Chinese companies seeking listings in Australia in order to avoid regulatory hurdles at home, it adds.Read the full story herelast_img read more

Virtuoso head honcho Matthew D Upchurch Chairma

first_imgVirtuoso head honcho, Matthew D. Upchurch (Chairman and CEO) will be in Australia later this month to attend the second annual Virtuoso Travel Week on Tour – Cruise Show.“Australia and New Zealand has the highest per capita ratio of cruising in the world, and the region is seen as a highly important market for Virtuoso’s cruise partners,” Upchurch said ahead of his visit.“Over the past 12 months, Virtuoso has seen growth of more than 20 percent in its luxury cruise market and the incredible success of our cruise program in this region can be attributed to the high quality of our travel agency members and advisors.”The global luxury network’s Cruise Show is taking place in Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Sydney from October 16 through 19, bringing together eighteen luxury and expedition cruise companies who will present their latest product to approximately 350 luxury advisors from Virtuoso’s Asia Pacific network. “Virtuoso is recognised as a key ingredient to success in the luxury travel industry and both our members and partners have acknowledged this value with the Virtuoso Travel Week on Tour Cruise Show a complete sellout,” added Upchurch.Mr. Upchurch said Virtuoso has worked with its cruise partners to expand its Virtuoso Voyages program, delivering hundreds of Virtuoso escorted departures that feature exclusive upgrades and experiences from the network’s destination experts around the world. These strong investments are moving market share towards the world’s best cruise experiences.According to Upchurch, people are looking for more flavour in their life and are seeking avenues that provide selective products that meet their particular desires and tastes. “Niche products need niche specialists to help clients find the travel experiences they crave, and Virtuoso advisors are masters in recognising their client’s passion points and giving them the product that speaks to their individual desires.”Steve Odell, SVP & Managing Director Asia Pacific at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises & NCL), concurs, saying luxury travellers, particularly cruisers, are becoming increasingly discerning.“As the Australian cruise industry continues to go from strength to strength, the importance of Virtuoso’s network of local advisors will only heighten as key connectors for industry to this growing customer base, helping our market-leading brands stand out from the rest.”Managing Director, Silversea Cruises Asia Pacific, Amber Wilson, says the Virtuoso network has been instrumental in the growth and development of the Expedition product for Silversea.“Our discerning guests are not interested in simply visiting the same places in an ordinary way, they want the opportunity to take the time to fully immerse themselves in each destination. It is Silversea’s mission to unlock new territories and invite our guests to go deeper in their travel experience.“In 2018 alone we have added 178 new ports of call and our expedition cruises, visiting remote ports that are often not accessible otherwise and spanning the globe from the Arctic, Antarctic, Galapagos, Russian Far East, Asia and South Pacific.”IMAGE:Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch cruiseluxuryupcoming eventsVirtuosolast_img read more

appointmentsSeaLink

first_imgappointmentsSeaLink SeaLink Travel Group has appointed Damien Gallacher as General Manager of SeaLink South Australia, responsible for the management and leadership of the South Australian operations including Kangaroo island ferries, Murray Princess accommodated cruises, coach touring and charters in Adelaide and on Kangaroo Island and Vivonne Bay Lodge accommodation and bistro.Prior to joining SeaLink South Australia, Mr Gallacher was employed with Discovery Parks Pty Ltd as Head of Asset Management & Property Development. He brings over 15 years of management and leadership experience to the role.“I look forward to growing the SeaLink brand and portfolio in South Australia, particularly on Kangaroo Island and enhancing the overall operating performance by improving productivity,” Gallacher said. Mr Gallacher replaces Donna Gauci, who has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer for the SeaLink Travel Group.last_img read more

Flying a lowcost carrier can be worrying as the a

first_imgFlying a low-cost carrier can be worrying as the age oldsaying “you get what you pay for” conjures up thoughts of broken aircraft, seatswith little room, chickens in baskets sat next to you and worse.Truth is though, you get what you pay for is actually a goodthing. If you only want to get from A to B without all the bells and whistles,then why should you pay for that?AirAsia and its subsidiaries Indonesia AirAsia, ThaiAirAsia, Philippines AirAsia, AirAsia X, Indonesia AirAsia X, Thai AirAsia X,AirAsia Japan and AirAsia India are flying to, as of February 2019, more than165 destinations spanning 25 countries. For AirAsia itself, it has 180 flightsdaily, not including its subsidiaries airlines. While for AirAsia X itself, ithas 21 flights daily.Its main hub is klia2, the low-cost carrier terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia. Kate Webster recently flew to SriLanka with Air Asia. Here is the verdict.DETAILSFlight: D7 207 Gold Coast (OOL) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL)connecting AK 47 to Colombo (CMB)When: 9 December 2018 / 10 DecemberAircraft: Airbus A330-343 / Airbus A330-300 Class: Economy / EconomyConfiguration: 3-3-3 / 3-3-3Flight time: 6hr 12min OOL-KUL / 3hr 30min KUL-CMBCHECK INAirAsia allows an online check-in on flights 14 days before departure to 1 hour before scheduled time of departure. AirAsia X flights allows online check-in on flights 14 days to 4 hours before scheduled time of departure. Alternatively, international flight guests can check-in at the airport 3 hours prior to departure with check-in closing 1 hour prior to departure. These are strict times so do adhere to them or you will risk missing your flight. I opted for the check-in at the airport so I could request my seat choice. The staff at check in at both Gold Coast and Kuala Lumpur airport were friendly and welcoming which is always a nice way to start your journey.THE SEATI was pleasantly surprised to find the plane was new and not fully booked up which allowed room to spread out. I was lucky enough to have a window seat and a spare seat beside me to stretch out and have a comfortable flight. AirAsia have a choice when it comes to seating, all of which can be pre-paid at time of booking.  Standard Seats have a pitch of at least 31inches and width of at least 16 inches. Hot Seats offer at least 17.5inches of legroom so you will have more than enough space to stretch out, as well as offering boarding first. For those travellers who seek a little peace and quiet, there is the Quiet Zone seats. These offer minimal noise with no disturbances, no kids below 10, soft ambient lighting and your meals will be served faster. Then of course is the Premium Flatbed Seats with a 59inch pitch and 19inch wide seat, located in the Premium Flatbed cabin, which converts to a full flatbed when desired, as well as other features that ensure your utmost comfort on board.FOOD AND WINEMeals and meal/drink packages can be purchased at time of booking or through the website at least 24 hours before the scheduled flight departure. If you miss both of these opportunities and decide in-flight that you are hungry, you can purchase meals and drinks at a higher price. There is so much to choose from for these meals, it is impossible to list. You can view the latest menu here. I purchased my meal on board as after I smelt everyone else with their meals, I got hungry. I chose the Chicken Teriyaki with rice which was actually quite tasty and filled me up.Meals and meal/drink packages can be purchased at time of booking or through the website at least 24 hours before the scheduled flight departure. If you miss both of these opportunities and decide in-flight that you are hungry, you can purchase meals and drinks at a higher price. There is so much to choose from for these meals, it is impossible to list. You can view the latest menu here. I purchased my meal on board as after I smelt everyone else with their meals, I got hungry. I chose the Chicken Teriyaki with rice which was actually quite tasty and filled me up.ENTERTAINMENTOnce again, if you want to access the in-flight entertainment this is a paid add on. For MYR49 pre-booked or MYR59 onboard purchase, you can access hours of movies, TV series, music, games, and magazines on the Xcite Tab. Pre-loaded with high definition content and approximately six (6) hours of battery life, Xcite Tab offers a seamless viewing experience from the comfort of your seat. Being the savvy traveller I am, I took my own tablet loaded with movies and a book to read, which kept me occupied.THE VERDICTApart for the delayed flight departing Kuala Lumpur to Colombo, the overall experience with AirAsia was a pleasant one. I could not fault the service and on-board offering. You have to keep in mind that it is a Low Cost Carrier so you pay for what you want/need. A handy tip, if you have a long layover in Kuala Lumpur between connecting flights, do check out the Tune Hotels on offer. There is one located right at the airport and offer some great deals on day-use and layover rates. I was a massive fan of the Tune klia2 Airport Hotel.THE DETAILSFor more on AirAsia visit www.airasia.comContact Phone: +61 2 8188 2133 – 9am – 6pm (GMT +10) – Mondayto FridayTravel Agent Log-in – https://www.airasia.com/my/en/login/travel-agent.page AirAsiaFlight Reviewlast_img read more

Indaba

first_imgIndaba The 2019 Africa’s Travel Indaba will take place from 2-4 May 2019 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.This means that Indaba has been brought forward by four days.Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa, announced in his state of the nation address that the national election will take place on 08 May 2019. This would have coincided with Indaba.Indaba is the African continent’s biggest travel exhibition show.Last year over 7 000 delegates attended from 80 countries.Registrations for buyers and exhibitors are still open.last_img read more

Accor HotelsbaliHotel ReviewSofitel Bali Nusa Dua

first_imgAccor HotelsbaliHotel ReviewSofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort The beach resort area of Nusa Dua has an incredible collection of luxury hotels facing a pristine beachfront. These white sand beaches make Nusa Dua an idyllic place for a getaway in Bali.Located 20 to 30 minutes by car from the international airport and within easy access to the Kuta area (20-30 minutes) and Jimbaran (15 minutes), everything is still relatively close by. The name Nusa Dua means two islands (nusa ‘island’, dua ‘two’), because there are two islands in the bay. On the southern side lies Peninsula Island, and on the northern side lies Nusa Dharma Island.Although Nusa Dua is Bali’s most developed resort area, you can still find cultural attractions here. These range from temples, a museum housing arts and artefacts from Indonesia and the Pacific, and unique natural landmarks around its scenic peninsula.The ResortThe Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort offers a beachfront retreat with French-inspired luxury, making it a gem for couples looking for romance in Bali. The 5-star resort is set on tropical gardens that intertwine around the massive pool, offering up plenty of secluded spaces to have a private getaway. Arriving at the resort, you can be quite overwhelmed with its sheer size. From check in to check out, you are spoilt with those little touches that make you feel special. The dedicated check in lounge, a feast of sugary delights in your room at check in and the staff knowing your name after first meetings all adds to the service.The RoomsThe pick of all rooms at this resort has to be the Luxury Pool Access Room , that leads directly out to a pool that winds its way around the lush tropical gardens. It is like you have your own private oasis. Couples will relish in the romance of the secluded setting and luxurious room features including the oversized bed, large bathtub and rain shower. Stepping out of the room and into the pool, it was time to first explore the resort via the waterways. The pools link up to the main pool which extends the length of the resort straight down the middle. Other room types at the resort include Luxury Rooms with Garden View to the larger Suites and the top level Luxury Pool Villas.Manarai Beach HouseLocated at the Sofitel is the very hip and vibing Manarai Beach House. Encapsulating the cool new trend in Bali of the beach club, entry is free, not only for hotel guests but everyone. This is one place where guests can enjoy the afternoon turn into evening within a social buzzing scene. The blend of Balinese tradition and modernity flows throughout the venue where two swimming pools are lined with day beds stretching down to the beach. Enjoy a menu of unique tastes of international and local Balinese cuisines and whimsical cocktail selections.The DiningBreakfast is the epitome of variety at Kwee Zeen. The interactive boutique dining with authentic market feel makes breakfast an adventure around the world. The thematic cuisine at Cucina makes for a special night out for dinner. This white table option brings a unique Mediterranean wining and dining experience with Italian Al Fresco amidst the finest decadent Italian cuisine. For a more relaxed vibe, head beachside to Toya Beach Bar and Grill. Here the atmosphere is more leisurely, serving up traditional Balinese favourites, slight snacks, a seafood barbecue buffet and cocktails.ConferencingWith 12 function rooms in a variety of sizes, Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort is one of Bali’s premier event and conference hotels. The Kecak Grand Ballroom provides impeccable setting for corporate and social function events for up to 600 guests. Located seaside with magnificent ocean views, the Gamelan Ballroom offers sheer opulence and grandeur, hold up to 420 guests. Sofitel’s Magnifique Meetings offer highly personalized services, from a team of experts who are committed to ensuring every detail is in concord and every moment is flawlessly designed, a passion for excellence, and is dedicated to making every event an unforgettable success.To BookLot N5, ITDC Tourism Complex, Nusa Dua, Badung, Bali, 80363, NUSA DUA, INDONESIAPhone: +623618492888Email: H9078@SOFITEL.COMlast_img read more

With the fifth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft the Ari

first_imgWith the fifth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select…Von Miller, linebacker, Texas A&M.“It would be a blessing to go out to Arizona and play for you guys,” Miller told Sports 620 KTAR’s Gambo and Ash Tuesday. Miller, projected by many to be Arizona’s choice in April, is a pass rush specialist who tallied 33 sacks in his four-year college career, 28 of which came during his junior and senior seasons. His addition could help a Cardinals team that had just 33 sacks last season, good enough for 18th in the NFL. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories In the NFL, Miller will be expected to not only rush the quarterback, but drop back in coverage, too. Though he will be a first rounder because of his ability to get to the QB, the 22-year-old says he has the ability to be a well-rounded linebacker.“I feel comfortable in my skill that I can get it done,” he said. 0 Comments   Share   center_img Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocationlast_img read more

Next on the list of Cardinals is Larry Fitzgerald

first_imgNext on the list of Cardinals is Larry Fitzgerald.Slot receiver: Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals)Redemption, thy name is Fitzgerald. He looked like his best years may be behind him after last season, but nothing has been further from the case in 2015. It’s telling that Carson Palmer has a 154.9 rating when throwing the ball his way.The veteran wide receiver is having one of his best seasons yet. He ranks third in receiving yards and yards per game with 432 yards on the season and an average of 108 yards per game. Fitzgerald leads the league with five touchdown receptions and ten receptions of more than 20 yards — three more than any other player.The next Cardinal to make PFF’s list plays on the other side of the ball, Tyrann Mathieu.Slot cornerback: Tyrann Mathieu (Cardinals)We do like our versatile defensive backs, and Mathieu is just that. There may not be another defensive back who contributes in as many facets of the game as the Cardinal, who has positive grades for his work in coverage, run defense, and rushing the passer.Through four games, Mathieu has a forced fumble and two interceptions, not to mention a defensive touchdown. The 33-yard touchdown, coming off of an interception against the 49ers, marked the first pick-six of Mathieu’s collegiate or professional career. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) celebrates his interception against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments   Share   center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Last but not least, PFF selected Justin Bethel as the special teams player and the final Cardinal on their All-Pro Team through Week 4.Special teamer: Justin Bethel (Cardinals)Bethel remains the gold standard on special teams, particularly on punts.So far this season, Bethel has an interception, a forced fumble and a touchdown. Like Mathieu, Bethel’s touchdown came after picking off Colin Kaepernick in the Cardinals’ 47-7 victory over the 49ers in Week 3. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling We’re now through Week 4 of the NFL season, and with that comes a lot of too-early but highly enjoyable speculation about how the season will end up. As the Cardinals sit atop the NFC West standings with a record of 3-1, ProFootballFocus took notice and included four Cardinals on their All-Pro Team through Week 4.Leading the way for the group of Cardinals honored is none other than quarterback Carson Palmer.Quarterback: Carson Palmer (Cardinals)It was close, and it’s arguable that if Big Ben didn’t get hurt, he was in pole position. But he did, and it opened the door for Palmer to squeeze through in front of Rodgers. He’s worked wonders behind a line that isn’t always the most helpful.Through four games, Palmer has thrown for 10 touchdowns, second to only 2014 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. Palmer also joins Andy Dalton as the only quarterbacks with 20 completions of 20 yards or more so far and ranks fourth in total yards with 1,155.last_img read more

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson 3 sc

first_imgSeattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles as Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) But who have the Cardinals played?That’s the question many pundits have asked, pointing to the Cardinals’ six wins versus teams with a combined 14-35 record.“Last time I checked, they’re all good (teams) in this league,” head coach Bruce Arians said. “Some records are different, but they’re all good.”Added Mathieu, “We beat two Super Bowl quarterbacks, MVPs (New Orleans’ Drew Brees and Baltimore’s Joe Flaco). We played somebody.”Still, the sentiment among many players inside the locker room is that the game against the Seahawks, especially in Seattle, provides the Cardinals with their first true test of the season.“This is a chance for us to really go out there and see how good we really are against a team that we’ve struggled with in the past,” defensive tackle Calais Campbell said. “I feel like it’s a good chance for us to really that show we belong as true contenders.”The Cardinals were swept by the Seahawks last season and have lost four of five overall in the series. Their one win came two years ago in Seattle, 17-10, with a healthy Carson Palmer at quarterback.Palmer missed both meetings a year ago.“We’re playing a big division game on the road. To win division games on the road, they’re huge,” Arians said. “This is our defending champs and we have a chance to go up there and win again.” “We want what they got,” cornerback Jerraud Powers said.“As of now, the road goes through the Seahawks,” linebacker Alex Okafor added. “Everybody knows (the division) goes through them, and we just got to step up to the plate.”The Cardinals take their first swings at the Seahawks coming up Sunday with the entire league watching on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.Seattle (4-4) has won the NFC West each of the past two seasons—on their way to a pair of Super Bowl appearances—and three times since 2010, the year after the Cardinals run of back-to-back championships.The Cardinals (6-2) enter the matchup carrying a two-game lead on their closest competitors.“We’re just at a point in the season right now where those guys are kind of in our way,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said following practice Tuesday, the team’s first of the week after a five-day break with the bye. “We want to go somewhere and we have to go through those guys.”The Cardinals went through the first half and put up some incredible numbers.For starters, their offense has scored more points than any team not named New England thanks to 32 touchdowns, the most in the NFL.Their defense is ranked third in total yards (312.8) and second in points allowed (19.1). Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Despite their slow start, the Seahawks have won two in a row; and while their offense remains a work in progress, their defense has not allowed a touchdown in the past two weeks and is tied with Minnesota for the fewest points allowed (17.5) in the NFL.“When we get down there (inside the red zone) a lot of time we’re going to have to get seven instead of getting three points, that’s the type of game this is,” running back Chris Johnson said. “We’re going to have to execute on a lot of the plays in order for us to get the win.”It’s been five years since the Cardinals last won the NFC West.The goal is for that drought not to reach six.“You don’t really like to ‘X’ out anybody, but I’m pretty sure the division is going to come down to one of us,” Mathieu said, referring to the Cardinals and Seahawks. “We have to be ready. Our big playmakers have to make big plays. We have to score points, and we have to tackle.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact TEMPE, Ariz. – To add an NFC West Championship banner next to the two that currently hang inside University of Phoenix Stadium, the Arizona Cardinals don’t have to beat the reigning titleholders, they need to beat them.Certainly winning the division can be done without a victory over Seattle, but there’s a famous saying that goes, “to be the man, you gotta beat the man”; and right now, and until proven otherwise, the Seahawks fly the highest within the division. 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

In an era in which minority hiring was shameful D

first_imgIn an era in which minority hiring was shameful, Denny Green projected strength & confidence & consistently thrived. He will be missed. Still, Green’s legacy goes far beyond what happened in the desert. He coached the Minnesota Vikings for 10 seasons, compiling a 97-62 record along with four NFC Central titles and eight playoff berths. He also spent time on the sidelines in college, guiding Dayton, Iowa and Stanford.So, it’s safe to say Green impacted many different people along the way, and after he passed away Friday from cardiac arrest, many from around the sports world offered their respects on Twitter.There are those with Cardinals ties: Can’t believe this… I was gonna speak on him this coming Monday. I still will, thanks a lot coach😔🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/PuRCT58wfY— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) July 22, 2016 Coach I’m crushed to hear of your passing! God bless your wife and children! Thank you for what you did for me. #rip pic.twitter.com/U3iOzEuBva— Bertrand Berry (@btrain92) July 22, 2016 0 Comments   Share   Devastated by the news of Coach Denny Green’s passing. Loved him as a coach, even more as a person. Great teacher and mentor. God Bless!— Sean Salisbury (@SeanUnfiltered) July 22, 2016 Just got the news of the passing of Denny Green. He did so much for me. Was looking forward to saying thanks at HOF. Tomorrow not promised. RIP Denny. This man gave me my first real chance to be an @NFL player. Taught me a lot. #footballfam 😢🏈👊🏾 pic.twitter.com/90C9APcf2V— Jeremy Bridges 🏈🎙 (@uknomeBIG) July 22, 2016 Cardinals President Michael Bidwill on the passing of Dennis Green: pic.twitter.com/5dpTYZDNkC— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) July 22, 2016 Denny Green was a great coach and a great man. He treated us like true professionals. Thank you… https://t.co/cULGwMUa4u Denny Green did so much for me but the best thing was allowing his Asst coaches to have time with their families. pic.twitter.com/HcUGP6wUAv— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) July 22, 2016 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires My heart goes out to family of my former coach Denny Green – we lost a good man way too soon!— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) July 22, 2016 — Matt Leinart (@MattLeinartQB) July 22, 2016 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Tough day. Huge loss. I can’t imagine what my life would have been if not for the opportunity to work with Denny. RIP, Coach.— Brian Billick (@CoachBillick) July 22, 2016center_img Dennis Green lasted just three seasons in Arizona, as the coach compiled a 16-32 record from 2004 to 2006.He was the coach when the Cardinals moved into University of Phoenix Stadium, and he played a role in building the Super Bowl team that included Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett, Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle and Antonio Smith, all of whom were drafted under Green’s watch.Green also had his fair share of missteps, which is why he was ultimately let go with one year left on his contract. — Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) July 22, 2016 Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact — Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) July 22, 2016 Rest in peace Denny. I lost my mother in April, I feel like I just lost father.— robert smith (@Robert26Smith) July 22, 2016 We lost a good man today. I loved playing for Denny Green at Stanford. My thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace Coach.— Ed McCaffrey (@87ed) July 22, 2016 Denny Green open doors gave opportunity to many players/coaches/others who would have gotten short end of stick #RIP pic.twitter.com/01QrNBMVcB— Greg Coleman (@gregcoleman8) July 22, 2016 Covered Dennis Green’s Vikings for last 4 seasons in the ’90’s. Always interesting times and teams. Know this: His players loved him. RIP.— Don Banks (@DonBanks) July 22, 2016 So sad to hear about the passing of Denny Green. He had a positive impact on so many people. My condolences to his family.— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) July 22, 2016 RIP to my former coach, employer & mentor Dennis Green. I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for me.🙏#FFF™ pic.twitter.com/LztkLgKUwi— Marcus R. Fitzgerald (@ProfessorMFitz) July 22, 2016A colorful personality, the folks who covered Green throughout his career were also at a loss. Sad day with the loss of Dennis Green, a great coach and a great person.— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) July 22, 2016 Very sad to hear about the loss of fmr @AZCardinals coach Dennis Green – he will always be remembered as a pioneer for sport of football— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 22, 2016Then there’s other people who were stung by Friday’s news.last_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Quarterback Matt Barkley and running back Kerwynn Williams were among 22 players cut by the Arizona Cardinals as the team got the roster to 53 players Saturday afternoon.Joining Barkley and Williams are center Taylor Boggs, cornerback Cariel Brooks, defensive tackle Red Bryant, wide receiver Marquis Bundy, linebacker Donald Butler, safety Chris Clemons, tackle Rob Crisp and safety Matthias Farley.The team also waived wide receiver Brittan Golden, cornerback Trevon Hartfield, wide receiver Chris Hubert, guard Antoine McClain, cornerback Harlan Miller, tight end Ifeanyi Momah, running back Elijhaa Penny, tackle Givens Price, linebacker Shaq Riddick, wide receiver Jaxon Shipley, tight end Hakeem Valles and cornerback Ronald Zamort. Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Barkley (9) throws under pressure from Denver Broncos outside linebacker Corey Nelson (52) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) In addition to the moves, the Cardinals also let go injured linebacker Tristan Okalaugo.Barkley, the former USC standout threw for 262 yards in the Cardinals 38-17 win over the Denver Broncos, completing 20 of 29 passes and tossed two touchdowns.Barkley was acquired by the Cardinals in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles a year ago for a seventh round pick.In three preseason games, Williams rushed 57 yards on 19 carries against Denver and ran for 19 yards on two carries in the Cardinals’ 19-3 loss to the San Diego Chargers.Last season Williams totaled 142 yards on 27 carries in six games including rushing for 34 yards in the Cardinals’ 40-17 win over Philadelphia in Week 15 and ran for 44 yards in a 38-8 win over Green Bay in Week 16. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 15 Comments   Share   Top Stories The Arizona Cardinals changed things up in the sixth round, picking a defensive player for the first time in the 2018 NFL Draft.The Cardinals selected cornerback Chris Campbell out of Penn State with the No. 182 overall pick (sixth round) on Saturday.In four years with the Nittany Lions, Campbell played in 44 games. He totaled 102 tackles and three interceptions. He also knocked down 21 passes.His best season came in his senior year. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Related LinksCardinals select running back Chase Edmonds in fourth round of NFL DraftCardinals select offensive lineman Mason Cole in third round of NFL DraftCards select Saguaro product Christian Kirk with 47th pick in NFL DraftCardinals trade with Raiders, select QB Josh Rosen in 2018 NFL DraftThe 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback registered 45 tackles, an interception and deflected 11 passes in 2017.He finished tied for eighth in the Big Ten in passes defensed per game with 1.0 and recorded a deflection in seven straight games.For his efforts, he was awarded honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors and the team’s Quarterback Club Award, which goes to the most deserving senior.Campbell joins quarterback Josh Rosen, wide receiver Christian Kirk, offensive lineman Mason Cole and running back Chase Edmonds as the selections made by the Cardinals in six rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.He is the first defensive player taken by the team.Arizona has just one more pick in this year’s Draft at No. 254. (AP Photo/Chris Knight) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter To celebrate the lau

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >To celebrate the launch of new pricing structure, ‘Go Big, Go Better, Go Best’ Celebrity Cruises is giving travel agents the chance to win a luxurious 12 night South Pacific and Fiji cruise for two on-board the Celebrity Solstice, plus six runners-up will take home a jeroboam of GH Mumm champagne.“It’s the little details that make the big difference with Celebrity Cruises. The grass is greener, the champagne is finer and now the benefits are greater with the launch of our new ‘Go Big, Go Better, Go Best’ travel agent incentive,” said Adam Armstrong, commercial director, Celebrity Cruises Australasia.Celebrity Cruises offer exclusive suites on-board – including the Reflection Suite, Penthouse Suite and Royal Suite – where guests can enjoy ocean views, butler services and much more.To enter, agents simply need to make one eligible ‘Go Big, Go Better, Go Best’ booking between now and 30 September 2015, register it at www.celebritycruises.com.au/tradecomp and tell us in 25 words or less why the grass is greener with Celebrity Cruises. Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Phukets first luxur

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Phuket’s first luxury resort is poised to once again become the island’s last word on luxurious beachfront escapes as the former Royal Phuket Yacht Club readies for its 16 January 2016 launch as THE NAI HARN.Following the legendary property’s sale in May 2014 to a private equity firm, an extensive 18-month remodelling programme has been underway to see the iconic resort regain its place atop Phuket’s luxury hotel rankings.THE NAI HARN will offer 130 luxurious guestrooms and suites with panoramic views over the soft white sands and graded azure and turquoise hues of the Andaman Sea, a bespoke luxury spa and a stunning new pool and food and beverage spaces.THE NAI HARN will provide authentic destination experiences, extraordinary culinary happenings and expertly curated connections to the best of island life and southern Thai culture. It is also the only hotel directly on the ocean at Nai Harn beach.THE NAI HARN COO, Christoph Berger, said: “We are delighted to have taken over such an iconic hotel. It is with a strong sense of responsibility we have done this and we will be respecting the heritage of the resort as well as looking to the future with design innovations that will make the most of its incredible location.“Importantly too we will be fully embracing Southern Thai art and culture and bringing it into the resort experience both inside and outside of the resort so that guests can feel relaxed, inspired and engaged by the history and natural context of the destination.”Freeform sculptural furniture and art pieces add rich textures throughout the resort while high ceilings and glass façades seamlessly work to integrate the beach and sea outside in a celebration of the environment.All oversized guestrooms overlook the Andaman Sea, dotted with islands and sailboats, and are designed to open up the whole room, including the bathroom space, to the view outside, with a decadent four-poster daybed on the terrace acting as a perfect scenic vantage point.Other key features include a total of 6 dining experiences for guests from the all-day dining restaurant to the rooftop deck and destination dining, intimate meeting facilities and wedding planning experts, and 5 treatment rooms at THE NAI NARN Spa.Launched in 1986, high-profile guests over the years have included Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince Henrik of Denmark, former French president Jacques Chirac, the late actor Sir Peter Ustinov, dance legend Rudolph Nureyev, US actor Forest Whitaker and Sir Roger Moore, who once fought Dr No on his famously eponymous James Bond Island off the coast of Phang Nga, a short speedboat hop away.THE NAI HARN will be offering an opening rate starting at THB8000 net per night until 31 October 2016.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Rosewood Hotels Resorts has revealed Asaya an i

first_imgRosewood Hotels & Resorts has revealed Asaya, an innovative, integrative wellness concept firmly rooted in the belief in both self-acceptance and self-discovery. The Asaya experience fuses alternative therapies, lifestyle and nutrition coaching, educational wellness programming, fitness activities, specialised healing treatments, a dedication to pure, authentic ingredients, and thoughtful design.Guests will discover their own true course to personal wellness while acquiring knowledge from visiting experts, local practitioners and Asaya professionals whose teachings will enable them to continue their commitment to wellness outside the Asaya environment.“Consciously and unconsciously, wellness is becoming more significant in our day-to-day lives, in the ways we work, eat, sleep and socialise,” says Niamh O’Connell, Group Vice President – Guest Experience and Wellness. “Recognising the gaps that exist in the luxury hotel spa arena, we created a concept that will help establish a foundation of wellbeing, offering fluid and flexible solutions to individual needs and evolve with the guest along their lifelong wellness journey.”Upon arrival at Asaya’s signature “Wellness Ateliers” the guest’s bespoke experience will begin by collaborating with lifestyle coaches, nutritionists and therapists to design tailored experiences to fulfil specific goals.Offering an opportunity to socialise through wellness, an uncommon feature of Asaya will be its private Signature Suites or Villas which will cater exclusively to small groups of friends with dedicated treatment areas, hydrotherapy zones, and indoor and outdoor social spaces.In addition to individual treatments, visitors who wish to extend the Asaya experience may choose to stay in an overnight Asaya Suite with separate sleeping, living and therapy areas.A seamless flow throughout Asaya will include specially designed spaces for relaxation and reflection and private changing areas akin to the indulgent experience of personal dressing rooms.In keeping with Rosewood’s A Sense of Place® guiding concept, locally inspired, culturally authentic treatments at each Asaya will incorporate traditional formulas, resurrected techniques and home remedies gleaned from the know-how of the past. Recipes will include indigenous botanicals and raw ingredients often freshly picked from on-property gardens.Two carefully chosen skincare houses will complement Asaya’s wellness philosophy: Maison Cauliéres and EviDenS de Beauté. Maison Cauliéres has for three centuries produced harvests of seeds and flowers in France’s Loire’s Valley, which today are transformed into nourishing and protective oils. EviDenS combines the sophistication of a French beauty brand with high-performance Japanese expertise. Its results-focused Triple Collagen formula is focused on anti-ageing, activating and boosting collagen formation to restore skin strength and elasticity.The Asaya experience will include a wide variety of both indoor and outdoor fitness endeavours, from yoga and tai chi to high impact activities such as spinning, boxing and bootcamp. Complemented by a partnership with Technogym, the fitness centres at Asaya will be both functional and social – gathering places to enliven the mind as well as exercise the body.A resort version of Asaya will debut at Rosewood Phuket, slated to open in April 2017. Other city and resort Asayas will be introduced at Rosewood properties around the globe in the following months, including the first city Asaya, at Rosewood Hong Kong, scheduled for a 2018 opening.last_img read more

Every week Skyscanner scours the net to find the

first_imgEvery week, Skyscanner scours the net to find the cheapest flights to the best destinations in Europe. Last week it was Family Holiday Summer Specials. This week it’s last minute beach breaks.What better way to unwind than spending a long weekend, listening to sound of waves lapping the shores of a white sandy beach, sipping on a Pina Colada and soaking up some UV? Take advantage of Skyscanner’s list of top flight bargains and jet off to one of Europe’s best beaches this summer.ALGARVELocated on the extreme tip of Portugal, facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Algarve boasts a wonderful climate with over 300 days of sunshine. With over 100 sandy beaches spread over the coastline, holidays in the Algarve offer a choice of beach resorts to suit everyone from party hungry hedonists to the romanic couple. If you fancy a little time away from the sand, try the marine aquarium in Albufeira, go Go Karting at Almancil or take a jeep safari through Carvoeiro.Travel: Get cheap flights to Faro from £183.70 (return, inclusive of tax)FRENCH RIVIERAThe towns on the Côte d’Azur, or French Riviera, are generally accepted as some of the most beautiful resort spots in the world. Nice, Cannes and St Tropez among others play host to huge crowds in summer but offer golden beaches all year round. If you want to be seen, head over to the more fashionable club beaches such as Moorea and Club 55 or take a stroll down by the marinas and gaze at the St-Tropez and Cannes waterfronts and luxury moored cruisers.Travel: Get cheap flights to Nice from £104 (return, inclusive of tax)MAJORCAMajorca has nearly 250 miles of coastline to explore and enjoy. If you fancy a family orientated resort, with wonderful beaches and an excellent mix of attractions and activities then why not try Alcudia. Meanwhile Cala D’or is a stylish and relaxing resort, home to beautiful beaches, chic cafes and a tranquil atmosphere. Majorca’s eclectic selection of beaches means the island is truly a beach holiday heaven. If you are looking to enjoy water sports, then your beach of choice may be Cala Tuent – great for snorkelling or Platja de Su Coma where you can indulge in a spot of windsurfing, sailing and water skiing.Travel: Get cheap flights to Palma from £121 (return, inclusive of tax)CRETEWith a great range of beaches, from hidden coves to sandy bays and an excess of water sports and places to dine, Crete is perfect for a relaxed seaside holiday. If you are looking for something less developed, head to the south coast for the wildly beautiful Paleochora and Plakias that provide vast sandy beaches and dramatic mountainous backdrops. Or why not get up close and personal with the local marine life with diving lessons and snorkelling available at Agia Pelagia, Amoudara (Heraklion) and Malia.Travel: Get cheap flights to Crete from £338 (return, inclusive of tax)All flight prices were correct at the time of publishing. Click here to find the best and latest cheap flights for summer holidays. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedBargains of the week: Faro | Malta | AlicanteBargains of the week: Faro | Malta | AlicanteBargains of the Week: Dubrovnik | Faro | BudapestBargains of the Week: Dubrovnik | Faro | BudapestSkyscanner’s Family Holiday Summer SpecialsSkyscanner’s Family Holiday Summer Specialslast_img read more

Half of all Brits booking cheap flights ahead of t

first_imgHalf of all Brits booking cheap flights ahead of their holiday would be prepared to enjoy their break by themselves.This is according to a poll by Leger Holidays, which found that this was true regardless of an individual’s relationship status.The survey also found that the majority of those who wish to travel alone opt for a short haul break – 42 percent travelled to European destinations, while 34 per cent preferred a domestic holiday.Despite the popularity of holidaying solo, two thirds of those who do (66 percent) would only do so for one week or less.Unsurprisingly, females are less likely than males to travel alone, with security and safety cited as their primary concerns.Meanwhile, parents embarking on family holidays are being encouraged to be aware of the potential risks facing their children.This comes after findings from the European Safety Alliance, which revealed that in some countries, almost three quarters (72 percent) of children admitted to hospital are foreigners.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedParents admit holidaying without kids is bestParents admit holidaying without kids is bestCredit crunch ‘fails to hit holidays’Credit crunch ‘fails to hit holidays’The Skyscanner travel glossaryDo you know your praycation from your bakecation from your laycation? A drug tourist from a death tourist?last_img read more

Related What would you do to beat the baggage char

first_img RelatedWhat would you do to beat the baggage charge? VOTE NOWWould you do any of the following to save a penny when flying?Free Flight Upgrade: have you ever had one? VOTE NOW!The free upgrade. It’s the golden ticket to a flight of luxuryChoosing a flight: what is most important to you? VOTE NOW!Choosing a flight: what is most important to you? VOTE NOW! Where there’s a will, there’s a way. What would you do to get upgraded from economy? Vote now!&amp;lt;a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/3570133/” mce_href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/3570133/”&amp;gt;What would you do to get a free upgrade on a flight?&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span style=”font-size:9px;” mce_style=”font-size:9px;”&amp;gt;&amp;lt;a href=”http://polldaddy.com/features-surveys/” mce_href=”http://polldaddy.com/features-surveys/”&amp;gt;survey software&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt; ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more

Related T5 welcomes first flights and soaring expe

first_img RelatedT5 welcomes first flights and soaring expectationsHeathrow’s long-anticipated Terminal 5 has opened to passengers today.Industry ‘tackling’ transfer baggage handling problems but ‘needs RFID’Mislaid suitcases at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 opening have dominated recent news.New look Heathrow Clubhouse unveiledNew look Heathrow Clubhouse unveiled A giant suitcase has been installed in Heathrow Terminal 5’s departures area in celebration of the 2010 Heathrow Travel Product Award.Over the course of October the suitcase, which is the same size as the bell inside Big Ben, will accommodate 2010’s 12 winning travel products including an Apple MacBook Pro, a Harrods Paddington Bear and a pair of Ray-Ban Black Suspended Lens sunglasses.Almost three metres tall and two metres wide, the suitcase has the potential to hold 83,000 UK passports, 21,000 pairs of underwear and 10,000 bottles of suncream.Brian Woodhead, Heathrow’s retail concessions director, said the reason behind the Travel Product awards is to highlight how many brands and products are available at the UK’s largest airport.”It’s great to see what our passengers really value when they travel – and the luxuries and essentials they just can’t live without,” he commented.On September 24th, clothing outlet Hackett opened its doors in Heathrow’s Terminal 4, with the first customers being treated to a complementary glass of champagne.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more

Related Best Debit Cards to use AbroadBest Debit C

first_img RelatedBest Debit Cards to use AbroadBest Debit Cards to use AbroadTips for using Credit Cards abroadTips for using Credit Cards abroadWhich is the best travel credit card?You’ve booked your flights, reserved a hotel, but how are you planning to pay for all those other expenses once you get there? If you’re opting for plastic then you’ll need to read this. We’ve got all the info on the best travel credit cards to take on holiday, including… Halifaxcredit£79.50 Nationwidedebit£40.60 Santander Zero (existing customers only)debit£0.00 Santander Zero (existing customerss only)credit£6.51 Notes:*Average spending was based on 2 x £20 transactions (i.e. lunch and shopping), 1x £35 transaction (i.e. dinner) and one cash withdrawal of £20 (i.e. taxis, drinks etc).• Credit and debit card fees were taken from moneysavingexpert, updated in August 2011.• For the purpose of this report APR was taken on annual basis but divided by 12 to represent a month’s spendReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map BankTypeFees for 14 days Halifaxdebit£141.58 NatWestdebit£134.58 Nationwide (1)credit£69.51 RBScredit£77.40 HSBCcredit£78.97 As the OFT calls for an investigation into currency fees, a study by Skyscanner has revealed that British holidaymakers could be paying hundreds in unnecessary ATM charges when using debit and credit cards abroad.A recent survey found that using credit and debit cards is the most popular method of using currency abroad with one in three travellers now relying on this option. But worryingly, almost half state that they used their cards as and when needed, rather than withdrawing lump sums, and thus could be racking up per transaction debit card charges.Skyscanner reviewed both credit and debit cards for the top UK banks and found not only was there a huge difference in the charges made between banks, but even customers banking with the same bank could be charged different amounts depending on which card type they use.The worst offender of the cards reviewed was found to be the Halifax/BoS which saw customers using their debit cards abroad charged over £70 for an average week’s spending*, making a whopping £140 for a traditional fortnight holiday. They also charged more in fees than any other credit card, however Halifax customers opting to use the Halifax Clarity credit card are charged as little as £3 for exactly the same fortnight’s spending.The Santander Zero debit card was the best option for savvy travellers with no fees charged at all, however Santander customers using a basic debit card would be charged over £130.It was also found that the highest charges for average spending habits tended to be with debit card use due to the per transaction charges – the top five charges were all debit cards and each was over £100 compared to around £80 for the highest charged debit card.Skyscanner’s money expert Carol Petrie says, “Our study shows the importance of doing your research before you go on holiday – otherwise you could be racking up some unexpected debts to greet you when you get home.”Consumers should check how much their bank charges or look at using a card where there is no interest rate charged on purchases made abroad, no foreign exchange fee and no ATM cost. The best card is one that offers a decent exchange rate and minimal fees – The Post Office offers a very good one.She continues, “If you do have to use a debit card be mindful of the fact you are charged every time you use it so if you can withdraw a couple of lump sums over the course of your holiday you will be far better off than using it on an ad hoc basis.”**Card charges – ranked in order of best to worst for average holiday spending***: Halifax Claritycredit£3.01 RBSdebit£134.58 Santanderdebit£134.44 Santander/Alliance & Leicestercredit£79.49 Lloyds TSBdebit£123.76 NatWestcredit£77.40 Lloyds TSBcredit£72.49 HSBCdebit£61.08last_img read more

7 Rio de Janeiro Brazil – Moonraker Roger Moore

first_img7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – MoonrakerRoger Moore really was just turning up to collect his pay cheque in Moonraker, but the film still boasts one of the most dramatic fight scenes in the whole franchise – Bond’s set-to with scary-as-a-shark Jaws on the cable car up to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio. Read our local’s city guide for more information on what to see and do in Brazil’s most famous seaside city. 8. Lake Pichola, India – OctopussyBond gets himself involved with Octopussy – played by the somewhat less exotically-named Maud Adams – on a romp around India, going back to her place – the Lake Palace on Lake Pichola in Rajasthan in for coffee and mints, and villain-busting action. Check out what else there is to take your fancy in Rajasthan in this article. 4. Istanbul, Turkey – From Russia With LoveBond returns to one of his favourite city break destinations, Istanbul, in Skyfall. While it mightn’t be wise to tour the Grand Bazaar on a scooter, you can re-create other 007 moments, including several from From Russia with Love, like taking in the view from the Bosphorus Ferry with a mysterious Russian lady called Tatiana. For other top spots the Tatiana, read more about Istanbul’s attractions here. The name’s Bond. As Spectre explodes on to the big screen this October, we present 12 places around the world where the most famous spy has wrestled with villains, hung around casinos and chatted up glamorous (Bond) girls.1. Shanghai, China – SkyfallIt mustn’t be a bad life being an employee of the secret service: you get to jet round the world, and most likely not in economy class. In Skyfall, Daniel Craig goes shopping for duty free after showing how tough he is among the bright lights of Shanghai. For top tips on what to see and do in Shanghai check out our city guide. 9. Jamaica – Dr. NoUnderneath the mango tree, my honey and me. Re-create the scene where Connery’s Bond meets the improbably-monikered Honey Ryder, played by Ursula Andress. You could do it at Clacton, but Crab Key, Jamaica would be truer to the film – find out where the best beaches, food and reggae bars are with this guide to the super chilled Caribbean island. 3. Hong Kong – Die Another DayHong Kong is a favourite location for Bond action. The dramatic setting of its harbour inspired Pierce Brosnan to take a break from chatting up Halle Berry and delivering wooden one-liners, and swing into a classic Bond action sequence in Die Another Day. 6. St. Andrews, Scotland – GoldfingerWhat? How did this get in here? Not the likeliest of locations for big Bond action, St. Andrews, the hallowed turf of its Old Course graced by Nicklaus, Palmer, Woods… and Harold Sakata’s Oddjob – the unhinged henchman who chooses the home of golf to demonstrate his skills with a killer bowler hat. Have a peek at this gallery of stunning Scotland in case you fancy going in search of Bond’s family estate in Glencoe, as seen in Skyfall. 10. Tokyo, Japan – You Only Live TwiceAs far as we know, you only live once, but Tokyo is one of those places that many of us would love to go to just once in our lives – get it right and follow our tips of the nine must-sees in the Japanaese capital. Sean Connery gets back in the action on the trail of his arch-nemesis, SPECTRE supremo, Donald Pleasance’s Blofeld, taking in Tokyo on a tour of Japan.center_img 2. San Francisco, USA – A View to a KillGrace Jones’s Mayday steals the show with her leap off the Eiffel Tower, while serial baddie Christopher Walken is on form with his 80s city boy gone wrong, Max Zorin. Roger Moore sorts him out good and proper in the skies over San Francisco‘s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. And what a theme tune from Duran Duran! See the bridge for yourself – take a trip to San Francisco and make sure you don’t miss out on any of the top sights with this handy guide. RelatedShaken not Stirred: where should 007 drink Martini on the next Bond film?Shaken not Stirred: where should 007 drink Martini on the next Bond film?San Francisco Bay Area, California: Staff FavouritesSan Francisco Bay Area, California: Staff FavouritesSneaky stopovers: how to get two holidays in one with Air New ZealandFancy combining a tropical beach holiday with a visit to a glacier? Or a luxury hotel with a spot of wild camping? 5. Khao Phing Kan, Thailand – The Man With the Golden GunThese days it’s known as James Bond Island, which is a bit tacky, but Khao Phing Kan, in Thailand‘s Andaman Sea, is pretty cool even without its association with one of the most gripping sequences of any Bond film – Roger Moore’s duel with Christopher Lee’s man with the golden gun, Scaramanga. Learn to duel like a pro, pro Muay Thai boxer that is, plus check out Thailand’s tigers and temples. Fancy seeing more of your favourite films brought to life? Check out these famous film and TV locations:Game of Thrones: 38 amazing locations in picturesGo Westeros! Prepare for the sixth season with our fact-filled tour of 38 places where it was filmed, from Malta to Iceland.Downton Abbey: 15 beautiful filming locations in the UKAs the sixth and final series of Downton Abbey hits the box this September, we invite you to take a tour of some of the TV show’s most memorable film locations – and help plan your pilgrimage to some of them.Mad Men: 10 retro filming locations in Los AngelesDon your sharpest get-up and go on location in LA to these stylish spots from the hit TV series.10 of the greatest movie car chases of all timeGet the story behind 10 of the most thrilling car chases in movie history and watch video clips.Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map 12. London, England – Goldeneye et al”For England, James?” “No, for me….” Fancy a cocktail (a Vesper Martinit of course) while you’re in town? We’ve got six swanky skyscraper restaurants in London for you to visit, suitable for any Bond fan or budding villain. 11. Key West, Florida, USA – Licence to KillThe much-maligned Timothy Dalton hangs out with drag queens and goes big game fishing for marlin off Key West. Well, not quite, but Bond liberally used his licence while jumping out of helicopters and fighting pelicans in the tranquil, tropical Florida Keys. For more fun ideas on how to holiday in the Sunshine State read more here.last_img read more

The top 5 festivals to add to your bucket list

first_img4. Independence Day, Brazil (7 September) – fly from £340 Search hotels in New York Photo credit: AdamParent Fly to Peru from £582 But first, start the day at Coney Island, where you can witness the world-famous Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. The current recordholder polished off 70 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Next, make sure to check out the ‘freaks, wonders and human curiosities’ at The Circus Sideshow. Finally, head back to get a good spot for the evening’s fireworks – either at a free viewing site on FDR Drive, from a sightseeing cruise (book these well in advance) or at the Riverpark Backyard Barbecue Bash, which has an all-you-can-eat buffet. Fly to South Korea from £421 Fly to New York from £306 Fly to Brazil from £340 3. Fiestas Patrias, Peru (28-29 July) – fly from £582 2. Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea (19-28 July) – fly from £421 Where to stay: plonk yourself just moments from the tourist hotspots of Donghuamen Night Market and St. Joseph’s Cathedral at the intimate six-room Palace Hotel Forbidden City in Beijing – a home-from-home during the family-focused festival. Rooms from £78. Download the Skyscanner app Which party invitation are you ready to accept? Start searching for flights and get ready to join the locals. There’s a mud pool, slides, mud skiing competitions and body painting, as well as a market along the seafront selling mud-based cosmetics (which are celebrated for their antibacterial and antiseptic properties) plus acupuncture, massages and other treatments. We recommend booking your visit to coincide with the final weekend, when festivities reach their peak. Expect K-Pop and EDM concerts on the beachfront stage, as well as parties at every venue in the area. Need to wash the mud off? The sparkling waters of the Yellow Sea are right in front of you.  There’s no better place to celebrate the signing of America’s Declaration of Independence, which took place on 4 July 1776, than New York City. Americans celebrate with parades and fireworks displays all over the country’s 50 states, but the biggest event of all is Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks. Thousands of shells are fired into the dark Manhattan skyline from seven barges on the East River. Rockets reach three times the height of the Statue of Liberty – that’s 279m, in case you were wondering! 1. Independence Day, USA (4 July) – fly from £306 Fly to China from £360 ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Find hotel dealsCheck-inCheck-outGuests12345678910Rooms12345Search hotels Where to stay: Hotel Mudrin is at the heart of the action at Daecheon beach, making it a perfect base for your mud-tastic stay. The private ocean-view balconies provide a lookout post for the goings-on below. Rooms from £92. Search for car hire Find hotels in Brasilia Get even more travel goodness straight to your inbox.Sign up  Where to stay: the high-rise Meliá Brasil is a stone’s throw from the Eixo Monumental main drag. You’ll be in safe hands thanks to its reliable internet, rooftop pool and tasty breakfast. Rooms from £47. Find hotels in Boryeong All flight and prices mentioned in this article are estimates of the cheapest prices based on Skyscanner’s flight search tools. These are subject to change and were correct at time of writing on 8 April 2019. Photo credit: filipefrazao Brazilians love to party, so join in the celebrations like a local: with a caipirinha in hand and swaying to samba in the sunshine. Outdoor concerts and picnics take place all over Brasília, and families gather on the city centre’s streets in the evening to wave streamers, sing in unison, and watch an enormous firework display. All over China, houses are decorated with red cloth and red paper cuttings are taped onto windows bearing messages of good fortune, because the colour red symbolises luck, happiness and prosperity. Firecrackers are set off with abandon, in celebration and (according to Chinese mythology) to ward off the dragon-lion monster Nian. In Beijing, it’s traditional to eat jiaozi dumplings, which symbolise prosperity. And the best place to dine? The miaohui temple fairs, filled with families chowing down on candied ham and chestnuts. All the while you’ll be entertained by Peking opera performances. Search hotels in Lima Photo credit: hxdyl If you’re travelling to China for Chinese New Year, don’t expect to be the only one. Some three million domestic travellers trek across the country to their hometowns – the largest annual human migration in the world – during the month-long period following the New Year. Brave the crowds, though, and you could be rewarded with one of the most culturally vibrant travel experiences of your life. Planning your trip to coincide with a national holiday can be a fast-track way of getting to the heart of a culture. You can try out your best samba in Brasília or get stuck into a plate of dumplings in Beijing because we’ve got the inside knowledge on how to celebrate national festivals like a local. Unless you’re a serial Glastonbury-goer, chances are you’ve never lived out that childhood dream of frolicking in mud. One other place on earth where it’s truly acceptable to do so is at the summer mud festival in Boryeong (a town around 200km south of Seoul, which is famous for its nutrient-rich sea mud). For two weeks every July since 1998, the festival has attracted millions of visitors to its ‘Mud Experience Land’ – a stretch of Daecheon beach that is covered in mud transported over from inland flats. 5. Chunjie, China (25 January 2020) – fly from £360 Where to stay: right around the corner from the Plaza de Armas – the main square and the centre of the festival’s activities – is the Hospedaje Santa Rosa, a pretty, historic hotel that’s walking distance from all of Lima’s top attractions. Rooms from £35. Peru’s independence from Spain was proclaimed on 28 July 1821 by Latin American liberator José de San Martín. Now, Fiestas Patrias is one of the most important celebrations in the country’s calendar. In Lima, proceedings begin at dawn on 28 July with a 21-cannon salute and flag-raising ceremonies, followed by a morning Catholic Mass and a presidential address to the nation. On 29 July, the Great Military Parade by the Peruvian Armed Forces and police travels through the streets, which are draped in the country’s flag for the duration of July. Once a colony of Portugal, Brazil gained its independence in 1822 before becoming a republic when its people overthrew the monarchy in 1889. The country’s liberation is celebrated with street parades, official speeches and flags raised throughout the nation. But the main events take place in the capital city, Brasília where a huge military parade marches down the Eixo Monumental, in front of some 30,000 spectators. Keep your eyes peeled for the aerobatic show from the Esquadrilha da Fumaça air squadron – it swoops over the balloons and banners that decorate the city. Find hotels in Beijing Photo credit: mariusz_prusaczyk Where to stay: nab a room at boutique Soho hotel The James New York and you won’t even need to venture into the crowds to see the fireworks, since the rooftop bar offers one of the best panoramic views in town. Rooms from £215. For a visitor, Lima is at its most vibrant during this July weekend. Arrive the night before to enjoy the huge fireworks display in the Plaza de Armas and the buzzing party in the Parque de la Muralla, where traditional folk dancing will take place to the sounds of Afro-Peruvian song, rock, and reggaeton. Upgrade your Pisco Sour to a Liberator’s Punch – it’s served hot and made from white and gold rum, stout, evaporated milk, cane sugar, and egg. RelatedDead weird: the World’s Top 5 Most Morbid Events5 festivals that celebrate the meeting with our maker5 places to party in style this New YearSkyscanner brings you these top tips for where to do and what to do to celebrate New Year in five European cities.10 of the world’s most amazing festivalsForget Hay-on-Wye. Ten of the craziest, most colourful festivals around the world… in glorious technicolour.last_img read more

Bangkok Thailand – Reported by Elite Traveler th

first_imgBangkok, Thailand – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineThe brand-new, nine-day culinary adventure, Flavors and Culture of Exotic Siam in Thailand, is the newest addition to Access Trips portfolio for this fall. Guests on this exciting journey will experience the depth of Thai culture from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and beyond.From a morning visit to Wat Po, where monks gather for an awe-inspiring morning chant, to an elephant ride through the Thai jungle, the captivating cultural highlights delight the senses. Master the art of preparing your favorite Thai specialties during intimate cooking courses featuring everything from Thai-style banana fritters to steamed fish with curry custard. No detail has been spared in crafting a tour that masterfully captures the diverse landscape, distinct customs and rich flavors of the land of the free.From tangy salads, to rich, hearty soups and delectable curries, guests can enjoy three extended cooking classes featuring some of Thailand’s most exotically spicy and delicious meals. This includes a traditional long-tail boat ride up the Chao Phraya River to chef Tam’s home in Bangkok. After a tour of the herb gardens, travelers have the opportunity to visit an open-air kitchen overlooking the breathtaking landscape where they will learn to prepare pad thai, coconut chicken soup, coconut pancakes and sumptuous wok-fried ground chicken with basil.The tour also offers scenic stops including a trip to the Golden Triangle, renowned for centuries as the center of the opium trade. The hilltop view is the mighty Mekong joining with the Ruak to form the actual triangle where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet.Despite the back-packer sense of travel, guests will be able to enjoy boutique luxury accommodations that blend the best of Thai style and hospitality to create a peaceful respite from busy days. From a five-star riverfront hotel featuring views of the legendary River of Kings to a small hotel inspired by the traditional wooden architecture of Chiang Mai, all accommodations feature comfortable and stylish rooms.Access Trips is the leading travel company specializing in exotic and edgy learning vacations to 13 countries worldwide. Always offering unparalleled access to each destination, this new Thai culinary adventure features the perfect balance of must-sees and magical secret spots.www.accesstrips.comlast_img read more

The 12th Annual FGI Rising Stars Award luncheon at

first_imgThe 12th Annual FGI Rising Stars Award luncheon at the Rainbow Room – FGI is an organization that honors and supports the creativity and acumen of the emerging young talents, destined to ensure the growth and future of fashion related industries. Twenty-six year old winner Christian Cota launched his impressive line in 2007; one which balances elegance with detail, blending organic forms and clean shapes for an edgier and expressionistic aesthetic. Cota’s passion for design is evident in his detail driven fabrics and innovative hand embroideries. Among the presenters this year were Philip Lim, Tory Burch and Jane Lauder.Last years women’s wear winner was Jason Wu, recently acclaimed for designing Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Gala gown. Cota will be presenting his Fall 09 Collection on February 13th 2009.www.christiancota.comlast_img read more

Marquis Jet unveiled a new website that offers enh

first_imgMarquis Jet unveiled a new website that offers enhanced content, dynamic functionality and a refined new look.Some of the many new website features include:-An innovative, interactive and user-friendly design for easy navigation. -An in-depth view of all ten aircraft types available, including interactive range maps for numerous major U.S. cities. -360-degree virtual tours of all ten aircraft interiors and visual depictions of baggage capacity and cabin amenities. -A robust section on NetJets® experience, infrastructure and commitment to safety and service. -Various educational elements on private aviation, among them white papers on safety, –Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) and detailed comparisons between the Marquis Jet Card program and alternative program types.Existing Card Owners will also be able to take advantage of the new Marquis Jet Card Owner Login section, where they can securely book flights online, adjust travel itineraries, review their account and update their Card Owner profiles.www.MarquisJet.comlast_img read more

ALBUQUERQUE NM — Today Eclipse Aviation® manufac

first_imgALBUQUERQUE, NM — Today Eclipse Aviation®, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), announced a reduction in workforce as a result of its operational excellence strategy introduced by CEO Roel Pieper at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., July 28, 2008. Eclipse is reducing its workforce by approximately 38 percent which includes temporary workers and people employed less than six months. The reduction is an effort to achieve financial stability as soon as possible. Eclipse is laying off approximately 650 employees affecting all departments and facilities including Albuquerque, N.M.; Gainesville, Fla.; and Albany, N.Y. Eclipse’s total employment remains at about 1,100. The impact of this action will be a slowdown in the production of Eclipse 500s through 2008. In 2009, Eclipse intends to increase production back to previous levels and higher.“In my effort to take Eclipse Aviation to the next level of growth and sustainability, I am 100 percent focused on operational excellence and a plan to achieve it,” said Pieper. “Financial stability is critical for this company and unfortunately, a reduction in workforce was necessary to achieve it. I am confident this action will set the company on the path to profitability so that we can continue to lead the very light jet category.”Eclipse will not be releasing any further information or conducting interviews surrounding this press release at this time.About Eclipse Aviation Eclipse Aviation® is the world’s leading very light jet (VLJ) manufacturer, producing innovative, affordable jets that are revolutionizing air transportation. The company created the VLJ category with the design, certification and delivery of the Eclipse 500® — the industry’s first VLJ. Eclipse applies advances in technology, manufacturing processes and business practices to create high-performance aircraft that provide the lowest cost of jet ownership ever achieved. By changing the value proposition for private jet travel, Eclipse is allowing more pilots to enter the world of jet-powered aviation and enabling a new generation of entrepreneurs to help business travelers move between cities on a quick, affordable and convenient basis. Contact Eclipse at www.eclipseaviation.com.last_img read more

Foxs new schedule for fall TV season

first_imgFox’s new schedule for fall TV season by The Associated Press Posted May 14, 2018 8:54 pm PDT Last Updated May 14, 2018 at 9:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Fox’s prime-time schedule for the fall:Monday8 p.m. — “The Resident”9 p.m. — “9-1-1”Tuesday8 p.m. — “The Gifted”9 p.m. — “Lethal Weapon”Wednesday8 p.m. — “Empire” 9 p.m. — “Star”Thursday8 p.m. — “NFL Football”Friday8 p.m. — “Last Man Standing”8:30 p.m. — “The Cool Kids”9 p.m. — “Hell’s Kitchen”Saturday7 p.m — “Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football”Sunday8:00 p.m. — “The Simpsons”8:30 p.m. — “Bob’s Burgers”9:00 p.m. — “Family Guy”9:30 p.m. — “Rel”last_img read more

FILE In this July 9 2018 file photo Harvey We

first_img FILE – In this July 9, 2018, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) by The Associated Press Posted Oct 9, 2018 10:56 am PDT Last Updated Oct 9, 2018 at 12:01 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Harvey Weinstein is due in court as a New York judge weighs his bid to have some or all of his sexual assault case thrown out.A court spokesman says Judge James Burke will deliver a partial ruling on defence motions at Thursday’s hearing. The disgraced movie mogul’s next court date had been scheduled for Nov. 8.Weinstein faces a six-count indictment covering allegations from three women. He has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault.His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has said prosecutors failed to inform the grand jury of evidence showing a friendly relationship between Weinstein and one accuser.He also asked the judge to dismiss an assault count because prosecutors didn’t pinpoint the date it happened.Prosecutors say they’re investigating the circumstances of that charge and that the other counts should stand.center_img Weinstein due in court as judge mulls motion to dismiss caselast_img read more

Related Stories Star of the upcomi

first_img Related Stories Star of the upcoming “The Sopranos” prequel reveals detailsJulia Roberts, more movie stars snare Golden Globe TV nods’Game of Thrones’ returning in April 2019 for final season FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2017, file photo, Sophie Turner arrives at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles. HBO announced Sunday night, Jan. 13, 2019, that the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” will begin on April 14. In a one minute and 44 second teaser released Sunday, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) are seen in the crypts of Winterfell. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File) by The Associated Press Posted Jan 13, 2019 7:02 pm PDT Last Updated Jan 13, 2019 at 9:10 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK — “Game of Thrones” fans, get ready.HBO announced Sunday night that the eighth and final season will begin on April 14. In a one minute and 44 second teaser released Sunday, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) are seen in the crypts of Winterfell.Related stories:Star of the upcoming “The Sopranos” prequel reveals detailsJulia Roberts, more movie stars snare Golden Globe TV nodsFans have eagerly awaited the six-episode finale of the show since Season 7 of the popular HBO show ended in August 2017.The fantasy series based on the George R.R. Martin novels has been one of HBO’s most successful shows.HBO isn’t getting out of the “Game of Thrones” business. A prequel created by Martin and writer-producer Jane Goldman is underway, with Naomi Watts set to star, and other spinoffs are possible.The Associated Press ‘Game of Thrones’ final season to debut on April 14last_img read more

by The Associated Press Posted Jul 21 2019 7

first_img by The Associated Press Posted Jul 21, 2019 7:04 am PDT Endangered birds halt Chicago beachfront music festival CHICAGO — A Chicago beachfront music festival set for August has been cancelled following concerns about its impact on endangered shorebirds.Organizers of Mamby on the Beach say the Aug. 23-24 festival was cancelled due to “circumstances beyond our control,” including two federally-protected piping plovers nesting on Montrose Beach.The Chicago Sun-Times reports the Chicago Ornithological Society says the two piping plovers nesting there have hatched at least three eggs. Up to 20,000 people were expected each day of the festival, which featured acts from various musical genres.The small shorebird is on a number of state endangered species lists and is listed as threatened at the federal level.Jill Niland of the Montrose Lakefront Coalition had pushed for cancellation. She says it’s “much better for the plovers.”Festival organizers say tickets will be refunded.___Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://chicago.suntimes.com/The Associated Presscenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

June 28 2002 Here is a sixway bamboo cane join

first_imgJune 28, 2002 Here is a six-waybamboo (cane) joint fabricated for an experimental shading structure.[Photo & text: RL] >>from left>> Ray Lam, Tristan Tollas, and Andy Bradshaw stand in the>>geodesic dome after hours of work. All materials were found on site.>>Total Cost: $0.00 This structure will be used in August at the>>Burning Man Festival. [Photo Yvonne Brook & text: RL] The whole geodesicdome comes apart into a bundle of bamboo length and a bit of an oldparashoot. Easy to travel. This wonderful piece of work was one of thelast projects by Ray and Andy while at Arcosanti. They will be missed.[Photo & text: SA]last_img read more

September 30 2003 HUMAN NATURE This dynamic dan

first_imgSeptember 30, 2003HUMAN NATURE: This dynamic dance group returns to Arcosanti for itseleventh year! In the Colly Soleri amphitheater this Saturday, Human Nature will present “The Last Door”, which is a blend of music, dance, poetry and theater.Back, from left, John Waddell, Delisa Myles, Francis Martineau, Ruth Waddell, Will Duncan, and Jill Roberts.Front, from left, Breanna Rogers, Paul Moore, and Jayne Lee.[Photo Ayano Atsumi & text: Kelli Huth] Members of Human Nature have spent the week at Arcosanti to prepare for the upcoming performance. The dancers take the stage to rehearse their routine.[Photo Ayano Atsumi & text: Kelli Huth]last_img read more

June 10 2009 Here are some of the Arcosanti re

first_imgJune 10, 2009 Here are some of the Arcosanti residents, staff, volunteers and workshop participants. This photo was taken on June 3. 2009. [upper row from left]: Carrie Krueger [guest services], Darina Trendafilova [archives – café volunteer], Dan Weeden [maintenance], Brent Scott [landscaping volunteer], Peter Lindgren [café], Silvia Motori [visitor], Vittorio Leone [work-study scholarship], Rocio Montefiori [workshop participant, archives], Frédérick Michaud [graphics intern], Justin Harris [volunteer agriculture, utilities, archives], Travis Neal [construction volunteer], Robert Graddy [workshop participant, construction], Scott Riley [utilities manager], Taylor Scott [foundry], Valentina Lucherini [graphics volunteer], Andrew Woodard [construction], Erin O’Rourke [agriculture volunteer], and Kyle Engpian [construction-maintenance]. [middle row from left]: Andy Chao [foundry], Colleen Reckow [ceramics], Laurence Chave [graphics intern], Matthew Blunderfield [workshop participant – landscaping], Brian Fritz [landscaping], Julie-Ann Ketchum [maintenance volunteer], Daniel Anderson [graphics volunteer], Induja Lakshmi [planning intern], Tanner White [work-study scholarship], Ricardo Campanella [workshop – construction, planning intern], Kwun Sau Chiu [workshop – maintenance, archive intern], Maria Cabrera [workshop – construction] and Sue Anaya [archives]. [lower middle row from left]: Gen Yamamura [construction volunteer], Ron Chandler [landscaping], Jeff Buderer [construction], Rick Peterson [construction volunteer], Erica Bazzini [workshop – construction, planning intern], and Alfonso Elia [graphics]. [front row from left]: Charlie Wicker, Tristan Tollas, Dave Tollas [construction], Murray Natkie [AIS], Paolo Soleri, baby Sasha Tollas and Nadia Begin-Tollas, Matteo Di Michele [Human Resources and Italian Project], Erin Jeffries [Public Relations], Youngsoo Kim [graphics-planning], Directors Mary Hoadley and Tomiaki Tamura. [Photo: Alfonso Elia & text: sa]last_img read more

September 21 2011We continue the reports from 91

first_imgSeptember 21, 2011We continue the reports from 9/12 to 9/19/2011.The Lean Linear City provides active interconnectivity of urban environment and natural environment. Since its building foot print is contained within a 200m x 200m limit, Lean Linear City minimizes land development.By doing so, protected land works as natural environment in the vicinity of urban environment to which inhabitants of Lean Linear City have access.Compared to conventional city development, this proximity of nature is an advantage of the Lean Linear design. By just observing the nearby natural environment, people can experience the natural changes within urban environment, for instance, the change of seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.This experience of nature in movement is culminated by an urban park located in the middle of Lean Linear City as seen in the renderings. The color of the city will be following the color of trees and flowers in the urban park while different social activities could also be encouraged by each season. This concludes this phase of reports on Paolo Soleri’s LEAN LINEAR ARTERIAL ARCOLOGY.The “Lean Linear City: Arterial Arcology” book by Paolo Soleri, in collaboration with the Arcosanti Planning Department, is scheduled to be published at the end of September. You can view earlier reports and images of the Lean Linear City in postings on 4/20/2005,from 2/6 to 2/8/2006,from 8/5/ to 8/14/2009, from 11/27 to 12/14/2010.[3D renderings & text: Youngsoo Kim]last_img read more

Bases road closures on Wednesday

first_imgOn May 10 between 4.30pm and 9.30m local roads will be closed in the area around the Curium Amphitheatre site within the Western Sovereign Base Area, it was announced on Monday.This is due to the closing ceremony for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development annual meeting and business forum.For security reasons, it will not be possible to drive through the Western Sovereign Base Area.  Drivers must go around the base by using the northern motorway, the British bases said.Local traffic will be very limited and road blocks will stop traffic heading east from the Episkopi military camp entrance and west from the outskirts of Episkopi village.You May LikeClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Sir Alan Duncan says Wednesday very important day in Cyprus talks

first_imgThe Conference on Cyprus in Crans Montana, Switzerland, enters its 7th day on Wednesday, with discussions on both negotiating tables.Meetings resume at 0900 local time with a discussion at table 2 on the five chapters, namely governance, EU matters, property, territory, and the economy, and at 1100 local time with security and guarantees at table 1.British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Sir Alan Duncan who left Crans Montana at the weekend, returned on Tuesday evening, from London, and will be participating in Wednesday’s talks on security and guarantees.Sir Alan Duncan pointed out that Wednesday will be a very important day in the talks to solve the Cyprus problem, and noted that everyone has to continue to work very hard.“I think today will be a very important day. We have all got to continue to work very hard,” Sir Alan said.“We are really doing our best and so is everybody. So, we have to keep working,” he added.Meanwhile, sources said on Tuesday evening that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will be returning to Crans Montana on Thursday. Departing from the Conference Centre, the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, said the announcement will be made by UN headquarters in New York.CNAYou May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Pet SupplementsAging Cat? Help Them Thrive By Doing This One ThingUltimate Pet Nutrition Pet SupplementsUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Airports braced for record number of visitors

first_imgA record number of flights is expected over the next two weeks according to airport operator HermesA total of 1,960 flights with about 320,000 passengers on board will travel to and from Larnaca and Paphos airports between Monday and Sunday, August 13.“On average, there will be 280 flights a day and approximately 45,000 passengers will travel,” said Hermes spokesman Adamos Aspris.“These are flights to and from the United Kingdom, Russia, Greece, central European countries and Israel. The second major wave of passenger traffic is expected to be recorded next week, during which another 300,000 passengers are expected to travel.”According to Aspris on August 6 a record number of flights was recorded, with a total of 347 flights in 24 hours, carrying about 60,000 people at both airports.“So far, everything is running smoothly at both airports without any problems or difficulties, and all services — governmental and non-governmental — are on alert and doing their best to serve the passengers,” he said.The majority of passengers have responded positively to Hermes’ appeal to get to the airport early and well prepared with all the necessary documents, which helps to avoid delays, he said.Meanwhile, latest statistics from northern Cyprus show that in the first six months of 2017, 811,571 visitors arrived, of which 62.16 per cent were tourists. The remaining 37.84 per cent stayed there as workers and students without a permit, according to the north’s tourism statistics.In a related report, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kibris on Monday referred to figures according to which 623,223 people who arrived in the north stayed in tourist accommodation and some 44.53 per cent remained in the area illegally.According to the figures, hotel occupancy increased by 12 per cent compared to the previous year, reaching 50.8 per cent.The highest occupancy is 76.7 per cent in hotels of Famagusta, while the lowest occupancy was recorded in Morphou hotels with a mere 1.9 per cent.Hotels with casinos were 65.7 per cent full and those without a casino just 49 per cent.A total of 9.5 per cent of Turkish Cypriots visited hotels in the north.The income from tourism in the region has steadily grown over the years, from €257 million in 2006 to €632.8 in 2015, according to statistics. Traditionally, the number of tourists peak in August, and in August 2015 the hotel occupancy was 75.3 per cent.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. New SUVs May Make You Want To Trade Yours In Today – See For Yourself!Yahoo SearchUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Euro area economy grows 22 in Q2 Eurostat says

first_imgThe euro area’s economy expanded a seasonally adjusted 2.2 per cent in the second quarter of the year against 1.9 per cent the previous quarter, the European Commission’s statistical office said citing a flash estimate.In the same quarter, the European Union’s economy expanded an annual 2.3 per cent, also seasonally adjusted, after growing 2.1 per cent in the first quarter, Eurostat said in a statement on its website on Wednesday. Both the single currency bloc’s economy expanded in the EU’s economy expanded a quarterly 0.6 per cent in April to June.The German economy, the euro area’s largest, grew the past quarter an annual 2.1 per cent compared to 1.9 per cent the previous quarter, while that of France, the second largest, expanded 1.8 per cent after a 1.1 per cent rise in the first quarter, Eurostat said. Italy’s economy, the third largest, also saw its growth accelerate to 1.5 per cent in April to June, from 1.2 per cent the previous quarter.The UK economy, which is facing uncertainty following last year’s Brexit referendum, grew 1.7 per cent in the second quarter compared to 2 per cent the previous quarter, Eurostat said. Compared to the previous quarter, it only expanded 0.3 per cent, marginally faster compared to the first quarter, which is the EU’s third smallest.The fastest growing economy in the euro area in the second quarter was that of Latvia, which grew an annual 4.8 per cent, followed by Lithuania with 3.9 per cent, and Cyprus with 3.5 per cent, Eurostat said. The fastest growing economy outside the currency bloc was that of Romania with a growth rate of 5.7 per cent, followed by the Czech Republic’s 4.5 per cent and Poland’s 4.4 per cent.The slowest growing economy in the EU was that of Belgium with 1.4 per cent, Eurostat said.You May LikeYahoo SearchMobility Reimagined – Research Stair Lifts Rowland Heights CaliforniaYahoo SearchUndoHepatitis | Search AdsEarly Signs Of Hepatitis C. Research Hepatitis C Prescription TreatmentHepatitis | Search AdsUndoDr. Marty3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. MartyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Social services defend actions in Frantzi abuse case

first_imgSocial welfare services on Wednesday said that a police investigation had found nothing against the social worker dealing with the woman who said she had been sexually abused by her priest-foster father when she was a child.The social welfare services have been forced on the defensive following the outrage, shock and indignation caused by the ordeal of 29-year-old Elena Frantzi who was found dead in her Nicosia home last Friday. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed.Maria Kyratzi of the social welfare services, speaking to state broadcaster CyBC television, said that the case had been thoroughly investigated by the police at the time but that no responsibilities were found attributable to the social workers handling the case.Frantzi had formally reported at the age of 20 that she had been sexually abused as a child by her foster father – Father Stylianos, a priest in Ergates village in the Nicosia district – and was also physically abused by his wife. She had been placed in their care at the age of four and was rehomed at 10. According to reports, she had first complained at the age of 10 that she had been sexually abused by the priest but had been ignored at the time.But when she made the allegations as an adult the case went to court and the priest was found guilty of sexual harassment but not rape – and served 18 months in prison.In a move that has shocked the public, he was reinstated as priest at a convent after he served his sentence.Lawyer and special adviser in preparing a national strategy to protect children from sexual abuse, Anastasia Papadopoulou, who publicised the issue after Elena’s death, said she believes  the 29-year-old had no sense of vindication.Kyratzi said that as soon as Frantzi reported at the age of 20 she had been raped by her foster father, an investigation was launched by the police.Included in that investigation were testimonies from the social welfare officials who were involved in the case.The official said that after Frantzi’s accusations no other children were placed in the care of the family. On Tuesday a woman who shared a room with Elena also as a foster child said that she is living still living there, along with another woman who had been placed there by social welfare services at the around the same time.Kyratzi said that these two children had been placed with the family, but this was years before the case was brought to light.Regarding reports that Frantzi had first brought up allegations of sexual abuse when she was still a child, Kyratzi said that there was no mention in the court case ruling that Elena had told any social worker she had been sexually abused back then.Kyratzi insisted that as soon as Elena revealed what had happened to her, at the age of 20, she had the full support of officials of the social welfare services who had encouraged her to speak up.The state legal services said in an announcement on Wednesday that according to the police, there was insufficient evidence against the social worker monitoring the family at the time to justify a criminal offence.It said, however, that there is a case pending in the Nicosia district court against the priest’s wife concerning assault and causing real bodily harm to Frantzis.It said that following Frantzi’s complaint, the investigating officers forwarded the case file to the legal service in June 2011 seeking the criminal prosecution of the foster father for indecent assault, that had reportedly taken place sometime between December 1993 and August 2000.“The police further recommended the prosecution of the accused’s wife, for the offences of assault and causing real bodily harm to Elena Frantzis, but the former attorney-general decided not to prosecute her on the basis of the collected testimony,” it said.It added that following the conclusion of the case against the priest, the case was reassessed, and the current attorney-general gave instructions for the prosecution of the priest’s wife for assault and causing real bodily harm. It said that the case is still pending before the district court.You May Likewww.TheDiabeticGuide.com10 Warning Signs of High Blood Sugarwww.TheDiabeticGuide.comUndoFoodeliciouzMost Beautiful African Actresses in HollywoodFoodeliciouzUndoViralScapeRight Before They Died, These Famous People Had One Last Thing To Say…ViralScapeUndo Famagusta municipality says Varosha entry goes against UN regulationsUndoHouse rejects presidential veto over repossession lawUndoCyprus’ Dothraki warriorUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Unions Coop agree to talk again on Thursday

first_imgA meeting held between unions of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank and the lender’s administration to discuss the implementation of the deal with Hellenic Bank on Tuesday produced no breakthrough, a union representative said.“At the previous meeting we held, we asked for clarifications which they didn’t give us today,” said Elysseos Michael, who represented SEK in the meeting, in a telephone interview. “They were not ready, so we decided to have another meeting in two days.”While a gap continues to separate the two sides concerning the financial specifics of a voluntary retirements scheme that will be offered to the Co-op’s 2,700 employees, more time was spent on practical questions the unions raised, Michael added.According to the deal that provides for the transfer of the Co-op’s operations to Hellenic Bank signed a month ago, Hellenic will have to take 1,100 workers of the state-owned bank while another 900 will benefit from the voluntary retirement scheme. The remaining workers will be staffing a government-owned body that will manage the Co-op’s non-performing loans. Under the terms of the deal, Hellenic will take over and continue to operate more than 120 Co-op branches, in addition to the more than 50 it operates now.“The workers need answers to specific questions of a practical nature before they can decide whether to apply for the scheme,” Michael said. “We asked them to clarify what qualifications will be required for those who will continue working for the non-performing loans managing body, and we have not received any answers yet.”“The same applies to the question about the branches that will be shut down or will be operated,” he said. “Will the closure affect the branch in Prodromos or in Akaki?”Michael added that while the unions insist that the voluntary retirement scheme will have to be ‘attractive’, the unions insist that Hellenic will have to honour agreements already struck with the Co-op.According to the Cyprus News Agency, the Co-op has already proposed to workers represented by SEK, PEO, PASYDY and ETYK minimum compensation for those who opt to retire of €20,000 per employee and a €170,000 cap.You May LikeCPAP | Search Ads2019 CPAP Masks Could Surprise YouCPAP | Search AdsUndoLotus CandlesCan your birthday candles do this? These amazing candles are delighting party guests everywhere.Lotus CandlesUndoNewsmax5 Social Security Changes for 2019 You Must KnowNewsmaxUndo Two days of music to dance toUndoClear winner in first round of Kition bishop voteUndoFrom space heroes to artists: women written out of historyUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Trial within a trial called in Focus case

first_imgBy George PsyllidesThe Nicosia criminal court ordered a trial within a trial on Thursday after the defence disputed the legitimacy of certain evidence in the Focus corruption case, which relates to the alleged bribery of a former central bank governor in exchange for his collusion in the takeover of Laiki Bank in 2006.The defence argued that certain evidence the prosecution was trying to submit constituted private communications that took place before a law was passed allowing authorities to monitor and gather written electronic communications of suspects, including emails, as well as messages exchanged on applications like Viber, Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook.The law came into force in December, 2015.The defence said any evidence collected before that was inadmissible, describing the prosecutors’ attempt to use the material as “arbitrary and illegal because it violates a protected human right.”The material in question can be found on an external hard drive seized by authorities from the personal computer of defendant Michalis Zolotas, a Greek shipowner accused of using his Focus Maritime Corp to transfer €1m to pay former central bank governor Christodoulos Christodoulou.The money was paid into the account of a consulting firm technically owned by Christodoulou’s daughter, and it is alleged that it was actually done on behalf of former Laiki strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos in exchange for the former governor’s collusion during the Greek financier’s 2006 takeover of Laiki.Laiki closed down in 2013.The trial within a trial will start on October 26.This will be the third such trial to examine defence objections over the evidence presented in the case. The two other processes were won by the prosecution.Apart from Christodoulou and Zolotas, the charge sheet includes the former governor’s daughter, Athina, her ex-husband Andreas Kizourides, former Laiki official Michael Fole, and companies A. C. Christodoulou Consultants Ltd, Marfin Investment Group (MIG), and Focus Maritime Corp.The defendants face a total of 24 charges including corruption, bribery, abuse of authority, abuse of trust, and money laundering.Zolotas faces a single count relating to money laundering.Vgenopoulos, widely considered as the protagonist in the collapse of the island’s banking system in 2013, died in November 2016. You May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoAngels And EntrepreneursRobert Herjavec Announce Venture Could Make You RichAngels And EntrepreneursUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Arrest after attempted burglary at bakery

first_imgPolice arrested a man in connection with an attempted burglary at a bakery in Trimiklini shortly after midnight on Friday.The 55-year-old owner of the bakery informed police that he heard noises in his bakery and suspected a break-in.Officers rushed to the scene where they spotted a man running towards the exit, trying to escape.The 30-year-old suspect was arrested and searched. Burglary tools, screwdrivers and small knives, were found in his possession and he was also carrying a hood.You May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoEditorChoice.comIf You Have Any Of These 20 Toys Around, You Just Became RichEditorChoice.comUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Health scheme on track minister says

first_imgBy Evie AndreouHealth Minister, Constantinos Ioannou, on Thursday dismissed as nonsense, claims that state hospitals have collapsed but admitting that problems do exist but were on the way to being resolved though hospital autonomy and implementation of the National Health Scheme (Gesy).“Problems do exist. The [hospital] autonomy and Gesy will solve these problems. Until then, we ought to, as government, to take steps to improve the everyday life of Cypriot patients,” he said. Over the last one and a half years, he said, “we have recruited 50 additional doctors in the public sector and two schemes have been approved, which have greatly improved waiting lists.”He added that 70 per cent of the population were beneficiaries of public hospitals but that existing infrastructure could accommodate only 50 per cent.“Therefore, this problem of the imbalance between demand and supply despite the measures we are taking, will be solved by the implementation of the Gesy that will decongest public hospitals,” Ioannou said.At the moment, there is understaffing problem in accident and emergency departments and intensive care units, he said, but that this is not due to inaction on behalf of his ministry.“We have proffered posts for both A&E’s and the ICU and gastroenterology in Nicosia, but with the money we offer as a public service, we cannot find doctors,” the minister said, adding that this problem will too cease to exist after hospital autonomy kicks in as doctors would be offered more attractive contracts.Ioannou on Thursday told the House health committee that the road map for the implementation of Gesy and the administrative and financial autonomy of state hospitals was on track.“There is no delay and we are proceeding with the implementation of the first phase of Gesy which is primary health care, on June 1, 2019,” Ioannou said after the committee meeting.He said that keeping to the timeframes set was also up to parliament and whether they approve regulations on staff, specialist doctors, pharmaceuticals and contributions that are to be tabled soon.He said that contributions to Gesy were approved by cabinet on Wednesday and are to be tabled to the next House plenum for a vote. “Therefore, it is up to parliament to vote them within the timeframes set,” he said.Contributions for phase one of Gesy will come into force in March with wage-earners, pensioners, income-earners, and state officials contributing 1.7 per cent of their income, employers 1.85 per cent, the state 1.65 per cent, and the self-employed 2.55 per cent.From March 1, 2020 – three months before phase two of Gesy kicks in with hospital treatment – wage-earners, pensioners, income-earners, and state officials will start contributing 2.65 per cent of their income, employers 2.9 per cent, the state 4.7 per cent, and the self-employed 4 per cent.As regards hospital autonomy, he said, there have already been announcements inviting express of interest by candidates to fill 17 managerial posts in the state health service organisation (Okyy) which is tasked with overseeing the implementation of hospital autonomy. Within the next two weeks, Ioannou said Okyy’s executive director and the chief financial officer are to be hired.As of January 1, 2019, all civil servants employed in state hospitals will be seconded to Okyy and will be given the option to either sign personal contracts with the organisation or remain as seconded staff.On whether state doctors will opt to sign the private contracts offered to them, Ioannou admitted that some specialties were underpaid but that they would be offered more attractive employment terms to remain in state hospitals.He added that those who will register as general physicians will be offered incentives.Ioannou said that the budget of his ministry for 2019 – to the tune of €650m – is the highest in the last nine years and provides tripling of the funding for equipment as well as extra nurses and doctors in case this is deemed necessary.On whether private doctors would be convinced to join Gesy, Ioannou said that consultations with the medical association (CyMA) and the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) continue and are expected to be completed within two to three months.A table top exercise prepared by the HIO was given to CyMA last week, he said, on how much 29 specialist categories earn now and how much they would earn under Gesy.“It appears through this exercise that in a Gesy environment all specialties will receive either the same or slightly increased earnings which is very encouraging,” Ioannou said.You May LikeYahoo SearchThe Early Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes. Search Type 2 Diabetes TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Dutch tourists visit the north ignoring political pressure

first_imgDuring the past nine years, there has been a surge of tourists from the Netherlands to the north which they consider to be a safe tourist destination, reports said on Sunday.According to Turkish Cypriot media, ‘Tourism Minister’, Fikri Ataoglu, who represented the breakaway regime at the Vakantiebeurs tourism exhibition in Utrecht in the Netherlands, said that during the past nine years, Dutch tourists ignore political pressure and choose the north for their holidays.Ataoglou said that the campaign to promote the north as a tourist destination in the Netherlands continues through both tourism exhibitions and the digital market.Every year, he said, large travel agencies in the Netherlands are transferring tourists to the north with chartered flights, and smaller agencies through scheduled flights. Ataoglu said that the Dutch consider the north a safe tourist destination.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoJob Posting Sites I Search AdsThese Job Opportunities Might Surprise You. Research The Best Job Posting SitesJob Posting Sites I Search AdsUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Nicosias push for casino bid

first_imgBy Jean ChristouNICOSIA yesterday launched its big push to secure the licence for the island’s first-ever casino resort, and like each of the other main districts, says the capital is the only location that makes the most business sense.The Nicosia Chamber of Commerce (EVEL) yesterday met with the city’s brass and other players to exchange views on how to boost tourism where it was decided to set up a steering committee to actively pursue the licence.Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis and his predecessors were also at the meeting, which was held at the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry building. Yiorkadjis said that currently, only five per cent of all tourist arrivals stay in Nicosia.All sides agreed that Nicosia was best placed to host a casino resort, the licence for which is expected to be ready in Spring 2015.EVEL president Costas Georgallis said the capital was best placed geographically, and being located in the centre of the island, Nicosia was the heart of the business and political communities and had the population to sustain a casino all year round.Also, Nicosia, he said, was only 20-25 minutes from Larnaca airport, “while in the event of a Cyprus solution, it would also be a stone’s throw from the ‘now illegal’ Tymbou-Ercan Airport,” he said.Georgallis said Nicosia had enormous potential for tourism development, with its rich museums, galleries, monuments and strong historical and religious heritage, dining, entertainment and a family environment. A casino would attract an entirely new type of tourist, one who would not come just for sea and sun, he added. Those tourists only filled a six-month period, he said.Having the casino in the capital would also discourage those Greek Cypriots who already travel north to gamble.Land prices to build in Nicosia would also be lower compared to creating a resort elsewhere.“Nicosia has lower rents compared with similar rentals in coastal areas with opportunities for increased profitability of such a project resulting in the ability and increased tax revenues for the government,” Georgallis said. “Therefore the investment in a non-coastal area, may be the most financially viable solution for creating a casino”.The steering committee’s first step will be to drum up finances for a feasibility study into hosting the casino in the capital.“We believe that Nicosia has the critical mass in terms of population that is needed,” said Yiorkadjis.The government said last month that the licences would be ready next Spring for an integrated resort in one district plus two more branches, or satellite casinos in two other districts.On coming to power last year, the government asked the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) to update a 2007 study into the creation of casinos to help them decide on the form they would take – whether they will be accompanied by other development projects.The original CTO study into developing casinos predicted annual revenues for the state of between €35m and €50m, as well as a significant boost in employment opportunities.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementCardiologist: This Is What Happens When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

President wants Brussels to expedite halloumi PDO

first_imgPresident Nicos Anastasiades has written to the European Commission president over the delays in registering halloumi cheese as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) more than three years after the application was submitted.Deputy government spokesperson Klelia Vasiliou confirmed the correspondence.“There is communication because the file concerning the PDO, the halloumi file, must progress and the government is undertaking all necessary actions,” she said.The European Commission published Cyprus’ official application to designate halloumi as a PDO at the end of July, 2015 but there has been little progress since.“Halloumi is considered traditional to Cyprus … it has played a very important role in the life and diet of the island’s inhabitants, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, since ancient times and knowledge of the production process has been handed down from one generation to the next,” the application published in the official journal of the European Union said.It added: “the proportion of sheep or goat’s milk or the mixture thereof must always be greater than the proportion of cow’s milk.”Called halloumi / hellim, the two names can be used together or separately and will fall under the administrative boundaries of the Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Famagusta, Paphos, and Kyrenia districts.On Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis blamed the lack of progress on political reasons, adding that the application had been linked with the Green Line Regulation and the Cyprus problem.A Commission spokesman said Wednesday the case was at the stage of examining objections but he could not say whether procedures would be expedited.The island’s bid received a boost in 2015 following the visit of Commission President Jean Claude Juncker to Cyprus during which the two divided communities came to an understanding over the issue.Until that time, Turkish Cypriot producers were concerned about inspections falling under the sole responsibility of the Republic of Cyprus leading to months of negotiations.It was also announced that the Green Line regulation would be amended to allow Turkish Cypriot producers to trade hellim through Cyprus’ legal ports.The halloumi woes however, do not end there. Last year, Cyprus shot itself on the back foot after losing the trademark in the UK because it had failed to respond to a challenge from a company with Cypriot roots.In its decision, the UK court stated that “evidence simply demonstrates that the [commerce] ministry was the author of its own misfortune”The ministry’s internal procedures were so disorganised that the letter enclosing the application was passed from official to official after receipt on February 9, 2018, but no action was taken, the court said.The ministry launched a probe into the debacle but its findings were deemed inadequate by the attorney-general who sent them back.A new investigating officer was appointed by the ministry to look into the additional issues raised by the AG.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

August deposits fall 07 to €46bn monthly says CBC

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesDEPOSITS in the Cyprus banking system fell 0.7 per cent in August to just over €46bn compared to the month before, and 4.3 per cent compared to a year ago as both deposits held by households and non financial companies continued their downward trend, the Central Bank of Cyprus said.The drop in deposits last month, which followed an increase in July, prolongs a downward trend triggered in October 2012 when negotiations with the troika on Cyprus’s bailout were dragging on and exacerbated in the first half of last year after the Eurogroup and the Cypriot government agreed on the terms of the bailout, central bank data showed.Total household deposits fell 0.6 per cent last month from July to €27bn, while companies saw their deposits fall 1.4 per cent to €11.3bn, the central bank said in a statement on its website on Wednesday. Deposits held by other financial organisations rose 0.2 per cent to €5.5bn, while those of insurance companies and pension funds fell 0.1 per cent to €2.1bn.The government, which must await a Eurogroup decision for the release of the next bailout tranche following a deadlock caused by the September 6 parliament vote on the foreclosure bill, saw its deposits held at private banks fall to €358.5m, which translates to a monthly 1.4 per cent, the statement said.The decrease in deposits by non-financial companies in August resulted mainly from a monthly 3.3 per cent slump to €5.1bn in the amounts held by companies domiciled in non-euro area countries, according to the central bank.Loans extended by Cypriot banks rose 0.2 per cent in August compared to July to €60.3bn, the central bank said.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Family hospitalised with carbon monoxide poisoning

first_imgA family of nine were rushed to Larnaca hospital early on Monday suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, the fire service said.Firefighters were asked by the ambulance service at 5.23am to examine the possibility of a gas leak at a home in a Larnaca village after nine people were rushed to hospital. Three were semi-conscious while the rest felt dizzy.They were rushed to Larnaca and Limassol hospitals for treatment.Following an investigation and taking into account the medical tests, the fire service said there had not been a gas leak at the home and that the family had fallen ill from carbon monoxide poisoning produced by the fireplace and a gas heater.Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste.Breathing it causes illness and could be lethal if a person is exposed to high levels.Carbon monoxide is the cause of death of many people around the globe each year.According to NHS UK, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are not always obvious, particularly during low-level exposure.A tension-type headache is the most common symptom of mild carbon monoxide poisoning while other people could also feel dizziness, nausea and vomiting, tiredness and confusion, stomach pain, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Agreement close for sale of Hilton

first_imgAn agreement seems to have been reached between Greece’s Marfin Investment Group (MIG) and real estate investment company NBG Pangaea for the acquisition by the latter of the Hilton Cyprus, report said on Tuesday.According to daily Phileleftheros, after months of negotiations Pangea and MIG are close to striking a deal as soon as some details are ironed out.MIG owns 75 per cent of the hotel’s shares with the rest owned by the Louis Group. Hilton Cyprus, that has around 300 rooms and suites, is not expected to carry on under the same brand name.Pangea also owns the hotel that used to be Holiday Inn, in the Nicosia centre, which it has leased to Zeus International. The hotel will reportedly be renovated and open under the name Wyndham.Hilton is Nicosia’s only five-star hotel at the moment, although the Hilton Park, also in the capital, has already launched the procedure to acquire its fifth star.The Hilton Park, owned by the Louis Group, said last year it was spending a total of €7m to make the necessary changes which are expected to be completed in May. The company is confident the hotel will then get the extra star.You May LikeCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityEarthquake coverage that comes with optionsCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Rep Howrylak joined by Troy firefighter at House

first_img11Sep Rep. Howrylak joined by Troy firefighter at House Rep. Martin Howrylak is joined by Troy “Firefighter of the Year”, Ryan Wolf at the House of Representatives 9/11 anniversary ceremony.State Rep. Martin Howrylak was joined today at the Capitol by Ryan Wolf, Troy’s Firefighter of the Year, as part of the annual House 9/11 anniversary ceremony.The ceremony observed the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11 as well as honored the eight military and first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty this year in Michigan.“September 11 is a day that changed our country’s history forever, and it will not soon be forgotten,” said Howrylak, “I am grateful to be a part of this day to remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day, and to recognize those who continue to put their lives on the line for us every day and I am honored to have Mr. Wolf join me today.”The ceremony included the presentation of the colors by a Michigan State Police Honor Guard, recognition of the service of all the first responders in attendance, followed by the reading and honoring of the names of Michigan’s military and first responders who died in 2012 and 2013. Categories: Howrylak News,Howrylak Photoslast_img read more

State House approves bills to phase out costly Venture Michigan Fund

first_img15Apr State House approves bills to phase out costly Venture Michigan Fund Categories: Iden News,McCready News Legislation ends future commitments, saves taxpayer moneyMichigan will stop gambling taxpayer money on risky investments thanks to legislation approved today by the state House.House Bills 4195, 4196 and 4365— sponsored by state Reps. Al Pscholka, Mike McCready and Brandt Iden—fast-track the end of the Venture Michigan Fund, which was originally enacted to spur venture capitalism at the start of the Lost Decade. The legislation halts future financial obligations of the fund, accelerates the end of the program and transfers any money remaining to the state’s general fund.“For the last four years I have worked for a state government that is efficient and accountable,” said Rep. Pscholka, R-Stevensville. “This is what the people of Michigan want, and what they deserve. The Venture Michigan Fund cannot promise any return on investment, and it isn’t sound policy.”Rep. McCready, R-Bloomfield Hills, said: “I feel strongly about helping entrepreneurs succeed, but we have accomplished this in other ways without spending millions of dollars in taxpayer money on a program with no real benchmarks for success.”“With all of the work that has gone into balancing the state budget over the last four years, it’s important we stay on this path toward stability,” said Rep. Iden, R-Oshtemo. “Risky investments paid for with taxpayer dollars have no place in Michigan’s long-term financial future.”In the 2000s, the Early Stage Venture Capital Investment Act used taxpayer dollars in the form of state tax vouchers, which backed loans to Michigan’s venture capital firms. To date, $450 million in vouchers have been used.last_img read more

Rep Lower to host October office hours

first_img09Oct Rep. Lower to host October office hours State Rep. Jim Lower of Cedar Lake today announced his October in-district office hours schedule. Rep. Lower will be available at the following times and locations:Friday, Oct. 13 from 9 to 10 a.m. at Tony’s Restaurant, 518 W. Washington St. in St. Louis;Monday, Oct. 16 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at McKenna’s Village Restaurant, 321 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lakeview; andMonday, Oct. 16 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Montcalm Community College, Les Morford Instructional Building-Room 211, 2800 College Drive in Sidney.“Making sure the residents of Gratiot and Montcalm counties are heard is my top priority as a legislator,” Lower said. “I welcome anyone with ideas or concerns to drop by.”No appointments are necessary. Those unable to meet during the scheduled times may contact Rep. Lower’s office at (517) 373-0834 or via email at JamesLower@house.mi.gov. Categories: Lower Newslast_img read more

Good for the Nonprofit Goose Bostons Olympic Quarrel Faces Donor Disclosure Issue

first_imgShare4TweetShare2Email6 SharesJuly 21, 2015; Boston HeraldIf you are going to call for disclosure of donors, then you should be willing to disclose your own. Or so says Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who has asked for disclosure from No Boston Olympics, a group opposing, you guessed it, the potential siting of the Olympics in Massachusetts. But all is not so straightforward.After a campaign to have them open their books, Boston 2024 has disclosed its donors “all the way down to $1000 or less.” But the No Olympics group has had only six donors over $500, and it says some donors fear the wrath of higher-ups at their workplaces or in their business environments if their contributions were to be made open. And indeed, the backers of Boston 2024 read a lot like a Richie Rich’s who’s-who in the area.“Mayor Walsh supports Boston 2024’s commitment to publicly release all salaries and contributions, regardless of the amount, on an ongoing basis and he expects any group from either side that is directly involved in the Olympics to do the same,” Walsh spokeswoman Laura Oggeri said in a statement yesterday.Chris Dempsey, who co-founded No Boston Olympics, said, “We’ve had supporters say their bosses support Boston 2024 and they fear retribution if they oppose the games.”“We think it’s appropriate to protect the little guy,” Dempsey said. “This is a David vs. Goliath situation.”And the relative size of the budgets of the two organizations may support that point of view: Boston 2024 has raised $2.88 million in the first quarter of 2015 against the $14,539 raised by No Boston Olympics. Dempsey said he figures the group will have raised “slightly more” in the second quarter than the first. But lest you think that this reflects popular support, polls have consistently run against a Boston siting for the Olympics. Still, Boston 2024’s contributions have averaged $75,000 dollars in comparison to the $87.58 average at its opposition group.“Fortunately,” he added, “Massachusetts voters are weighing the pros and cons, rather than just going with the side that has the bigger megaphone.”—Ruth McCambridgeShare4TweetShare2Email6 Shareslast_img read more

Nonprofits Must Care that the Public is Losing Trust in Institutions of

first_imgShare28Tweet23Share7Email58 SharesDemocracy / Thomas HawkJuly 3rd, 2017; NPRA recent poll by NPR, The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, and PBS NewsHour finds that both public trust in the nation’s institutions and the perceived civility of the nation’s public dialogue are decreasing rapidly under President Trump. The decrease has been noted by Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, but it’s little comfort to the public to realize this is a point of consensus for our nation’s lawmakers. Elected officials of all stripes have been calling out the President’s ill-considered public comments and have begged him to “Stop it!”There are many reasons nonprofits should be concerned about these poll numbers. As frequent partners with government in delivering services, building communities, and protecting democracy, nonprofits could end up being guilty by association. Certainly, increased scrutiny and skepticism of the sector in the last decade has shown that nonprofits themselves are not exempt from similar types of criticism. 1Source: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll ; Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPRIt’s interesting to note that while only 37 percent of adults polled reported trusting the Trump administration, an even smaller number (29 percent) reported trusting Congress. Members of Congress need to continue to call out the President’s hateful rhetoric and hold him to a higher standard, if only to distance themselves from his erratic behavior. Perhaps one of the reasons the public rated their trust in the Courts higher, at 60 percent, is that there are more publicly visible challenges to Trump’s policies from the judicial branch than from the legislative branch.Despite the president’s attacks on the CIA and the FBI for investigating his campaign’s alleged commingling with the Russians, the public demonstrated equally high levels of trust in the intelligence agencies. This may be due to career public servants, who tend to remain in key positions from administration to administration. Indeed, they may be our best hope to protect general government protocols and the rule of law.The president’s repeated verbal attacks on the media and the elections are having a clear effect. This is an area where the poll showed different perceptions along party lines; adults who consider themselves Democrats were more likely to report trust in these institutions than Republicans. This political divide showed up in other areas of civil rights as well: 44 percent of Democrats think that the right to vote has been restricted too much, but 25 percent think it has been expanded too much, something nonprofits may want to note in their advocacy efforts.But does the poll itself prove anything? Public opinion on even this issue varies significantly by party, says NPR:There’s similar distrust of public opinion polls, which just more than 6 in 10 Americans say, to some degree, they don’t trust. Half of Democrats, however, say they do, while just 28 percent of Republicans say they trust surveys. Thirty-four percent of independents say they trust public opinion polls, while 63 percent don’t have either much or any trust in them.Regardless, nonprofits should take note of this snapshot and not take public support for granted. Furthermore, we too must be mindful of how we talk about our partners in government and realize we are stronger together in meeting the public’s demands.—Jeannie FoxShare28Tweet23Share7Email58 Shareslast_img read more

French cable operator Numericable has passed the m

first_imgFrench cable operator Numericable has passed the milestone of 500,000 subscribers to its 100Mbps internet service, including direct customers and those who take the white label service offered under the Bouygues Telecom, Darty and Auchan brands.Numericable CEO Eric Denoyer told French journalists that no other French service provider could equal this total.Numericable had signed up 200,000 customers to its new set-top box, offered as part of a triple-play subscription, at the end of last year.Despite continuing investment in infrastructure, Denoyer said that the company’s debt was now no more than five times gross operating income, meaning that it was in better financial health than at any time since 2005.last_img read more

Sports entertainment channel Trace Sports is makin

first_imgSports entertainment channel Trace Sports is making its debut in Russia after signing deals with two of the country’s pay TV operators.The channel will launch this month in HD on Tricolor TV, reaching over 10 million subscribers. Trace has also signed a content deal with Interesnoe TV in partnership with distribution company Red Media Holdings.Trace Sports’ CEO Laurent Dumeau said: “With the ever-increasing demand for sports’ programs and the aspirational interest in outstanding people in Russia and in the CIS, Trace Sports is pleased to be entering one of the most promising pay TV markets in Europe thanks to its two major partners Tricolor TV and Interesnoe TV. On the eve of this year’s biggest sports event, Trace Sports will no doubt broaden the traditional offer of sports channels in Russia.”last_img read more

Virgin Media has extended its relationship with Sp

first_imgVirgin Media has extended its relationship with Spotify with the launch of a new app on the music streaming service.The new app offers playlists and album reviews curated by Virgin Media’s music editorial team. It is available in the Spotify app finder and can be used by non-Virgin Media customers.Nick Forward, editor in chief of digital entertainment at Virgin Media said, “We know our customers love entertainment and with a huge base of music fans, partnering with Spotify has given them a great way to enjoy the latest albums and tracks across all our services, be it online, on TiVo or on mobile. The Virgin Media app for Spotify goes one step further to give music fans even more content, driven by our expert editorial team to help users keep up with the latest albums, and find more of the music they love.”The UK cable operator has partnered with Spotify since October, offering its customers a three to six month subscription to Spotify Premium as part of various packages. In November, Virgin Media launched a Spotify service for its next generation TiVo platform, giving customers the ability to listen to playlists via their TV.last_img read more

European film channel Eurochannel has selected Eut

first_imgEuropean film channel Eurochannel has selected Eutelsat’s 16A satellite to support a pan-European expansion strategy.The channel has signed a five-year contract with Eutelsat for capacity and services that will enable it to deliver a number of new language versions, starting with a Serbian version offered by telco Telekom Srbija.Eurochannel broadcasts to 30 countries, including France and Portugal.Eurochannel chairman and CEO Gustavo Vainstein said: “When we looked at distribution across Europe the Eutelsat 16A satellite quickly emerged as the obvious choice for its high-power coverage and established audience, in particular in central Europe. Working with Eutelsat represents a major asset for Eurochannel because we can confidently pursue our mission to distribute European audiovisual production throughout the world, and in every language.”last_img read more

Satellite operator SE has announced that its Astra

first_imgSatellite operator SE has announced that its Astra unit has begun broadcasting the Swiss private channel 3 Plus from its orbital position 19.2° East.3 Plus is the first broadcaster based in Switzerland to use SES’s satellite capacities. The transmission will expand the reach of the channel by around 400,000 households.The reception of the encrypted channel requires a satellite receiver and the SRR Sat Access Card from the Swiss Broadcasting Organisation SRG. The SES subsidiary SES Platform Services near Munich provides the uplink and the encryption of the channel. 3 Plus is one of the leading Swiss broadcasters and reaches an average of 1.7 million viewers, which is about one third of the German-speaking Swiss population.“The decision of 3 Plus to partner with ASTRA for its satellite transmission is an important milestone in the development of the Swiss market,” said Wolfgang Elsässer, managing director of Astra Germany and also responsible for Austria and Switzerland. “3 Plus is a very popular channel and in addition to the Swiss channels of ProSiebenSat1 Media and RTL Group, satellite TV in Switzerland via Astra is now even more attractive.”last_img read more

Deutsche Telekom grew its German IPTV and satellit

first_imgDeutsche Telekom grew its German IPTV and satellite TV base by 18% year-on-year to end the first quarter with 2.036 million customers.Across its European subsidiaries, Deutsche Telekom passed three million TV customers for the first time, ending the quarter with 3.007 million customers, up 11.3% year-on-year, with 58,000 subscribers being added in the quarter to March.Telekom saw strong take up of its fibre fixed-access products in Germany, with 156,000 lines sold.Overall, Deutsche Telekom posted revenues of €13.8 billion for the quarter, down 4.5%, and adjusted EBITDA of €4.1 billion, down 4.3%.last_img read more

Intel is reportedly offering a premium of up to 75

first_imgIntel is reportedly offering a premium of up to 75% over standard cable rates to secure content for its planned pay TV service, but has yet to close a deal with any major content provider.According to a Reuters report, citing unnamed sources familiar with the talks, Intel is offering considerably more than standard US cable rates to secure programming and has reached agreement over some aspects of how content would be distributed on its service with CBS, News Corp and Viacom.The chipset giant is also in talks with Comcast-owned NBC Universal, but at a less advanced stage, according to Reuters.According to the sources, Intel has upped its offer significantly since negotiations began and is offering a premium of between 50-75%. With its service yet to launch, Intel would expect to pay a premium per-subscriber rate to secure deals with the studios.Intel has said it plans to provide a more flexible way of consuming content via its service. Head of media Erik Huggers told an AllThingsDigital event in February that he was confident the company would be in a position to launch a service this year.last_img read more

With IBC looming the UKs Royal Television Societ

first_imgWith IBC looming, the UK’s Royal Television Society (RTS) and the International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers (IABM) have separately named the winners of their respective awards for young technologists, prizes for which include financial support for attending the show. Arqiva business manager Daniel Cherowbrier has been named winner of the RTS Young Technologist Award for 2013.Cherowbrier previously previously managed the Feltham multiplexing centre housing the systems for thethree commercial multiplexes on Freeview and recently moved to the role of business manager at Arqiva Digital Platforms, which involves bridging the divide between traditional platforms and emerging technologies, according to the RTS.“The RTS Young Technologist of the Year recognises the potential future leaders in broadcasting and relatedtechnologies. The jury was impressed with Daniel’s technical know-how, drive and management skills as well as his entrepreneurial talents, and look forward to great things from him in the future,” said Terry March, chair of the RTS Young Technologist Award jury.The IABM meanwhile has named the winners of its 2013 Engineering Student Awards. This year’s winners are Zoe Wyeth of the University of Salford, Julian Theis of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, Adam Plowden and Amy Tinker of Kingston University, Pierre Hamme-Gerome and Antonin Morel of the Université de Valenciennes, Kathryn Savage of Southampton Solent University, Lennard Bredenkamp of HTWK Leipzig, and Evgenii Smirnov and Anna Nikolaeva of St Petersburg State University of Film and Television.“Once again, the IABM Engineering Student Awards recognise a remarkable group of young men and women and provides them with the resources to see the latest developments in broadcast and media technology, learn from senior industry figures, and perhaps even meet a future employer,” said Roger Crumpton, a founding director and trustee of the IABM Educational Foundation which funds the programme.last_img read more

The BBC has launched a new app for series three of

first_imgThe BBC has launched a new app for series three of singing competition show The Voice, which is due to begin airing next week. The free Voice UK app will feature an exclusive online spin-off series, called The Voice Louder, which will include summaries of the show, behind-the-scenes content and user-submitted pictures, tweets and videos. The Voice Louder will also be accessible through the BBC iPlayer.Other features of the Android and iOS app include a ‘HomeCoach Game’, which lets viewers listen to and judge previews of contestants’ blind auditions, winning points if the show’s judges give the same feedback. Users’ scores can also be shared on Facebook.“Last year’s Voice Predictor app was popular with fans, but this year we wanted to put the audience in the coaches’ chairs – make them HomeCoaches, give them a chance to rate performances,” said BBC Online Commissioning Editor, Sarah Clay.“The focus of the game has shifted from prediction to opinion – what would you do? How good a coach would you be? We wanted to make the experience feel more social (with Facebook and Twitter integration), richer and more immediate, with the addition of clips delivered straight to people’s devices. With over 55 million views to The Voice UK clips last series, adding clips to the app seemed like a must.”last_img read more

Some 71 of European pay TV subscribers believe it

first_imgSome 71% of European pay TV subscribers believe it’s important to have a “high quality news channel” in their TV package, according to a new study commissioned by BBC World News. The research, which polled 1,500 pay TV subscribers from five European countries with access to the BBC World News channel, found that two thirds of participants would be willing to pay for World News, rising to 75% in France and 80% in Germany.“This research shows that the appetite for international news on TV is really robust and that there is clear evidence of audience demand for it to remain as a core part of any pay TV offering,” said Colin Lawrence, director of distribution for BBC Global News.“Our audience tends to skew to affluent and upscale viewers and, although we know this important demographic has access to a number of other devices, big screen news content is still really important.”Some 84% said it was important to have BBC World News available on their TV subscription package and 77% of BBC World News viewers said they would consider changing their TV subscription if the channel was no longer available.However, 73% of respondents agreed that international news channels offer differing perspectives on global stories and 94% watch one of those for an additional view of major events.RSVP Research Ltd and Vision Critical conducted the research on behalf of BBC World News on viewers in France, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands and Belgium.last_img read more

Sandrine Dufour Belgacom has named SFRs EVP fina

first_imgSandrine DufourBelgacom has named SFR’s EVP, finance and strategy, Sandrine Dufour as its new chief financial officer, effective from April 1 next year.Dufour will join the Belgian telco’s management committee at the start of next year ahead of taking up her role as CFO.She replaces Ray Stewart, who is retiring after 17 years with the group.“With Ray’s departure and Sandrine’s arrival, an important page of the management of our Group turns, our story unfolds and a new breeze will blow, but in a consistent way. As to ensure continuity and guarantee a smooth succession, the first months of 2015 will be dedicated to the hand-over of responsibilities, as to enable Sandrine to entirely take over the reins of Group Finance in April 2015,” said Belgacom CEO Dominique Leroy.“Like Ray until now, Sandrine’s role will be of great significance for our long-term success: through leading, steering and organizing all activities within Group Finance, she will take up the responsibility to deliver correct consolidated financial accounts, optimally manage financial performance & flows, correct tax reporting and efficient internal services, sourcing & supplies. Through active participation in our Group decision making process as a member of the Management Committee, she will substantially contribute to the realisation of our strategy to safeguard our attractiveness to all major stakeholders. I look forward to leverage her experience, skills and strategic visions to further align all finance areas through our transformation process and the strategic repositioning of our mark.”last_img read more

Satellite operator SES and Samsung Electronics hav

first_imgSatellite operator SES and Samsung Electronics have this week teamed up to demo what they say is the first DVB transmission of High Dynamic Range UHD TV at the annual SES Industry Days in Luxembourg. The content is being transmitted via an SES satellite directly to a Samsung SUHDTV using the BBC’s Hybrid Gamma (HDR) technology.According to the pair, the move, using the BBC-developed technology, demonstrates for the first time how the TV industry can launch new High Dynamic Range UHD TV Services over DVB Broadcast Networks, while simultaneously providing high quality UHD TV Service to UHD Phase 1 Receivers already in the market.“High Dynamic Range will significantly enhance how consumers will experience television in the future,” said Thomas Wrede, vice-president, Reception Systems at SES. “An introduction of any HDR technology must be backwards compatible with existing DVB UHD 1 Phase 1 flat screen TVs that are already in consumers’ homes. SES and Samsung, with this transmission over the Astra satellite system, are demonstrating that this backwards compatibility is possible today.”John Adam, head of business development and industrial affairs at Samsung Research UK, said: “Samsung is delighted to participate in this demonstration of a monumental step forward for the broadcast industry. By delivering UHD TV services that can address the growing market of UHD Phase 1 TVs, while also providing the best experience to consumers who are investing in the next generation of TV, Samsung is ready to fully endorse the BBC Research & Development’s HDR technology as part of our overall drive towards the best consumer experience in UHD TV.”last_img read more

Simon BeresfordWylie UK broadcasting and communic

first_imgSimon Beresford-WylieUK broadcasting and communications infrastructure and services provider Arqiva has named Simon Beresford-Wylie as its new CEO, replacing John Cresswell. Beresford-Wylie, who will join Arqiva on August 1, was previously employed by Samsung Electronics, where he was based in Seoul, Korea as a special advisor, guiding a review of the strategy and operations of the company’s network business. Prior to joining Samsung, he was CEO of UK-based Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL) – known as At800 – the outfit responsible for mitigating interference problems that arise as a consequence of the co-existence of DTT television and 4G mobile in the 800MHz band.Cresswell announced this month that he was stepping down as Arqiva’s CEO after four and half years.“Simon brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise that will help to develop Arqiva’s strategy and his background fits perfectly with our lines of business. During my initial time at Arqiva it’s become clear that the business has a lot of opportunity and we’re on the cusp of some exciting developments. I’m looking forward to working with Simon to deliver these,” said Mike Parton, chairman of Arqiva.“Becoming CEO of Arqiva is the culmination of years spent working across a diverse range of sectors including telecoms, broadcast, engineering and smart metering,” said Beresford-Wylie. “Arqiva is a truly unique company in the breadth and diversity of its offerings. I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to help shape and guide its future development and to work in partnership with some of the UK’s leading companies which, of course, Arqiva also happens to count as valued customers.”last_img read more

Sky has pledged to make subtitling available for

first_imgSky has pledged to make subtitling available for “the most popular and best Sky on-demand content” on customers’ TVs by summer 2016.Announcing the plans, Sky director of product design and development, Ian Rosarius, said that currently more than 90% of linear content across 26 channels is available with subtitles, which can be recorded and played back with these services intact.However, he said “we understand that the way in which people watch TV is changing, and that the vast majority of on demand content is now downloaded over the internet.“While there are significant technical challenges to overcome when subtitling on that platform, my team, and others right across the business are determined to address this.”last_img read more

Stéphane Richard European telecoms stands on the v

first_imgStéphane RichardEuropean telecoms stands on the verge of a phase of cross-border consolidation, but there is a pressing need for a single European regulatory regime to enable this to happen, according to Orange CEO Stéphane Richard.In an interview with financial daily Les Echos, Richard said that the European telecom industry was in the process of moving on from the first stage of ‘in-market’ consolidation towards pan-European mergers and acquisitions. However, he said, this would not be viable with 28 separate sets of competition regulations and regulators. Richard said that giant web companies operated on a global scale while telecom operators were still restricted to operating within national territories.Richard said that Orange was well placed to act as an international consolidator but that the company had no need to participate in further consolidation in France.Richard also said that Orange did not intend to take part in price-cutting competition in France, which he said was already one of the most competitive markets in Europe. He said the company would focus on the quality of its network and services.last_img read more

Orange Moldova is to acquire local cable operator

first_imgOrange Moldova is to acquire local cable operator Sun Communications.Orange, which operates mobile services in Moldova, said that the acquisition would give the ability to prepare for convergence, providing pay TV, fixed and mobile internet and telephony services.Sun Communications operates in the capital Chisinau and the cities of Balti and Cahul with an offer that includes 172 TV channels, including 25 HD services. The company has about 100,000 active custoemrs. Sun also provides voice and internet services to 38,000 customers, offering internet speeds of up to 300Mbps.Orange Moldova is the country’s largest mobile player, with about two million customers and a 4G network that covers 84% of the population.The deal is subject to approval by the Moldovan competition regulator.last_img read more

Multiple private equity groups have expressed inte

first_imgMultiple private equity groups have expressed interest in acquiring TV technology group TiVo, according to a report in online news service The Street.According to The Street, citing an unnamed source, potential buyers have made offers to buy the technology outfit for over US$20 a share, representing a significant premium to TiVo’s share price, which jumped on the news.TiVo is set to make a presentation at the Citi 2018 Global TMT West conference on January 9.TiVo has been riding high on the back of a number of contract wins late last year, including an audience targeting deal with Discovery and a renewal of its licensing deal with Liberty Global.The company also renewed an IP licensing deal with Sony. Other deals included licensing agreements with Altice USA and AT&T.TiVo’s first-half results last year saw its advanced TV experience present in 23 million homes globally, with revenues up 67% year-on-year following its takeover by Rovi, which subsequently adopted the TiVo name.In November, TiVo named former AT&T Entertainment Group CTO Enrique Rodriguez as its new CEO, replacing Tom Carson.last_img read more

Orange has renewed CEO Stéphane Richards mandate

first_imgOrange has renewed CEO Stéphane Richard’s mandate as a board member ahead of granting him a new four-year term as the company’s chairman.Stéphane RichardThe board said it was “convinced by the solid results” achieved by Richard during his eight years at the helm of the telco, during which time he had “succeeded in restoring a positive working environment within the company and has overseen improved financial results despite strong competition in France and abroad”.The move comes as Orange posts solid revenue and EBITDA growth for the full year, with operating cash-flow growing for the first time since 2009.On the TV side, Orange had 9.065 million TV customers globally at the end of the year, up from 8.483 million a year earlier. The company had reported 8.92 million TV customers at the end of previous quarter.In France, Orange had 6.861 million TV customers, up from 6.609 million a year earlier, with a modest gain in the fourth quarter from the 6.84 million reported at the end of September.Elsewhere in Europe, Orange reported 2.147 million customers at the end of the year, up from 1.82 million a year earlier.In Spain the company had 626,000 TV customers at the end of December, up from 507,000 year-on-year, with Orange attributing growth in its Spanish fixed-line base both to its TV offering and to its success in marketing fibre. The number of TV customers in Poland grew from 766,000 to 848,000, while the number of TV subscribers in other central and eastern European countries grew from 507,000 to 567,000.Overall, Orange posted full-year revenues of €41 billion, up 1.2% on a like-for-like basis, which represented double the growth achieved in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA was up 2.2% to €12.8 billion.“2017 was a remarkable year for Orange in more ways than one. The group delivered an excellent commercial performance, driven by very high-speed broadband. We now have 4.7 million fibre customers and 46 million 4G customers across the Group. This performance has translated into solid financial results. Thanks to a strong fourth quarter, revenues in France returned to growth for the first time since 2009. Spain maintained its impressive growth, while our Africa and Middle East segment recovered strong momentum, with 3% revenue growth year on year,” said Richard.last_img read more

Chip Canter the former general manager of Verizon

first_imgChip Canter, the former general manager of Verizon’s millennial-focused Go90 video service, has joined Massive Interactive – a platform provider and user-experience specialist for the OTT market.Chip CanterCanter, who left Verizon in 2017, has joined Massive as global chief revenue officer and brings more than 20 years of strategy, business development, and product expertise to the role.Based out of Massive’s New York office he will focus on leading Massive’s global sales, business development and marketing growth strategy. He will also work closely with the product team on the company’s market offering.Before joining Verizon, Canter worked at NBCUniversal for more than a decade, holding several executive positions, including senior vice-president of product and business development for NBCU’s Digital Distribution Group. He also previously worked as an adviser to Shazam.“Few people understand our market landscape and technology environment like Chip does,” said Massive CEO, Ron Downey. “He has dealt with the pressures faced by OTT businesses and has first-hand experience working with global media companies. Chip joins us at a time of great growth and change and there’s no doubt he will prove to be a valuable asset in helping Massive double down on its recent success.”Canter said: “Massive has the best product proposition for helping broadcasters, content owners, mobile operators and telcos give their video customers what they want in more engaging packages, and the company’s approach to personalisation and flexible real time UX management has helped it go from strength to strength in recent years.”last_img read more

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first_imgShareTweet Daniel and Majella with the lovely family at their daughter Siobjan’s wedding in SpainMAJELLA and Daniel O’Donnell  jetted to Spain at the weekend to watch daughter Siobhan say ‘I do’ in sunny Spain at the weekend.The O’Donnells, who have just returned from a four-month world cruise, attended the wedding of Majella’s daughter Siobhan McLennan to fiance Gavin Shields on Friday.The young couple, who are in their late 20s and are parents to an adorable daughter Olivia, nine months, chose the luxury resort of Sotogrande in the Costa del Sol to celebrate their low-key nuptials with family and friends. And Daniel, 54, also kept Facebook followers up-to-date on the wedding day news.“What a fantastic day we had yesterday at our beautiful daughter Siobhan’s wedding,” he said.DANIEL AND MAJELLA’S DELIGHT AS DAUGHTER SIOBHAN SAYS ‘I DO’ was last modified: May 30th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: The bride looked simply stunning in a plain but elegant cream dress with lace bodice and round neck.The groom chose a smart navy suit, pale shirt, cream tie and brown brogue shoes. His brother-in-law Michael McLennan and country star father-in-law Daniel wore matching attire.A delighted Majella, 56, shared a photograph of the happy wedding party with her Twitter followers.“My beautiful daughter with her new husband Gavin on their wedding day. Fabulous location and very proud mum and dad,” she said. DANIEL AND MAJELLA’S DELIGHT AS DAUGHTER SIOBHAN SAYS ‘I DO’DANIEL O’DONNELLMICHAEL MCLENNANSIOBHAN MCLENNANSOTOGRANDElast_img read more

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first_imgShareTweet He added, “In a short space of time both these restaurants have established themselves as quality dining spots in the city.“I’d like to congratulate the restaurateurs and their staff on their awards. Your commitment to using local, seasonal food and passion for what you do is a real inspiration for others.“Derry and Strabane has firmly secured itself as a ‘go to place’ for food and drink lovers.“Having secured the runner up prize in the Foodie Town Ireland awards in 2016 and celebrated a number of recent major successes for the region at the NI Year of Food and Drink Awards earlier this year, we’re now firmly recognised as a ‘Destination Delicious’.“Following on from Council’s Year of Food and Drink campaign in the city and district throughout 2016, we remain committed to supporting and developing a lasting legacy of the year for the North West.“We have excellent food offerings as well as a vast amount of quality local producers and food providers. Both awards achieved by Walled City Brewery and Primrose on the Quay at these distinguished awards, add further stature to our overall standing as a ‘foodie place to go’. Congratulations one again to all involved.”Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) added:“Now in their ninth year, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to showcase the exquisite and admirable calibre of food available in our restaurants and pubs nationwide.“Online nominations have increased from 9,000 in 2013 to over 80,000 this year and with the increase in interest comes an increase in standards, making the judging process more difficult than ever.“Our small island boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastropubs, from the exotic taste explosions of world cuisine to the comfort of traditional dishes.“We have an appreciation for what we eat, for the journey of our food from farm to fork, and for the dedication of those working in the food industry to serve up Ireland’s finest food.”For further information on Council’s food and drink initiatives visit, www.derrystrabane.com.MAYOR CELEBRATES LOCAL RESTAURATEURS AFTER SUCCESS AT PRESTIGIOUS RESTAURANT AWARDS was last modified: June 29th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: Primrose on the Quay, having just claimed the North West Restaurant of the Year title at the Derry Chamber of Commerce awards, celebrated one again by winning the ‘Best Casual Dining in County Derry award. Primrose is also ran by a husband and wife team, Ciaran and Melanie Breslin.The pair launched their first premises back in 2013 – Primrose Café on Carlisle Road and the business has gone from strength to strength with Primrose on the Quay opening late in 2015.With meats supplied by Ciaran’s Butcher Company – Breslin’s Butchers and all bakery and patisseries on offer, created by Melanie and her team of bakers, local produce is very much at the core of their business.At a special Mayor’s reception at the Parlour this week, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh said it was a great accolade for the city and district and congratulated the restaurateurs and their staff for their commitment to making the North West a top foodie destination. TWO local restaurants have raised the city’s foodie destination profile a little higher by picking up prestigious awards at the recent Restaurants Association of Ireland Awards.Primrose on the Quay and Walled City Brewery are no strangers to achievements having already notched up 11 awards collectively to date. Adding two new awards to the their display – Walled City brewery won ‘Best Gastro Pub in Ireland’ and Primrose on the Quay celebrated winning the ‘Best Casual Dining Category’ in County Derry at the awards ceremony, which showcased the top talents of Ireland’s hospitality industry.The Walled City Brewery fought off strong competition from over 8,000 other licensed premises to claim the ‘Best Gastro Pub in Ireland’ title.Run by husband and wife team, James and Louise Huey, the Walled City Brewery opened in May 2015 and has carved a niche market for itself, priding itself on quality local produce and unique offerings of craft beer, created by Head Brewer James himself and complemented by a beautiful menu of local food. MAYOR CELEBRATES LOCAL RESTAURATEURS AFTER SUCCESS AT PRESTIGIOUS RESTAURANT AWARDSMAYOR MAOLIOSA MCHUGHPRIMROSE ON THE QUAYwalled city brewerylast_img read more

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first_img Linkedin Tumblr Google+ Pinterest SportsSports News Girls Sectionals – Midland Trail vs. Charleston Catholic By Matt DigbyFeb 22, 2017, 00:18 am 798 0 Mail Home Sports News Sports Girls Sectionals – Midland Trail vs. Charleston Catholic Oak Hill, WV (WOAY) – After first-round wins on Saturday, Midland Trail and Charleston Catholic met on Tuesday in a Girls Class A Region 3 Section 1 semifinal.The Lady Patriots opened the scoring with a three-pointer from Mickie Hypes, but the Lady Irish would score 20 straight points later in the first half, leading 20-4 after the first quarter. Midland Trail would continue to make plays throughout the night, but Charleston Catholic won 49-34.The Lady Irish return to Oak Hill Thursday to play Fayetteville in the Class A Region 3 Section 1 final. Twitter Next PostBeckley Police Meet With Residents Previous PostGirls Sectionals – Pocahontas County vs. Fayetteville Facebook Matt Digby Matt Digby is the Sports Director at WOAY-TV. He joined the station in January 2015 – right in the middle of Big Atlantic Classic Week. Read Morelast_img read more

I wouldnt want to be caught short in the precious

first_imgI wouldn’t want to be caught short in the precious metal markets for all the tea in China…and I’m still ‘all in’.As I mentioned in ‘The Wrap’ section of Friday’s column, there was no price activity worthy of the name during the Far East trading day…and very little during London trading, either.The usual rally that began shortly before the Comex open, was dispatched in the usual way by what I would suspect would be the usual group of not-for-profit sellers.The high tick of the day [$1,622.00 spot] came at 8:50 a.m. in New York…and immediately got sold down from there.Gold closed the Friday electronic trading session at $1,615.80 spot, up $1.10 from Thursday’s close.  Net volume was a tiny 82,000 contracts.Silver didn’t do much in Far East trading, either…and the several attempts it made to move higher during the London session didn’t get far.  Beginning shortly after 10:00 a.m. BST, silver got sold down to its London low, which came about fifteen minutes before the Comex open…1:15 p.m. BST.Like, gold it rallied higher before meeting the same 8:50 a.m. fate as gold.  It’s high tick at that point was $28.46 spot. From there, it got sold down to its absolute low of the day…$27.94 spot…which came around 12:10 a.m. in New York.  The price rebounded a hair from there…and then traded sideways into the close.Silver closed at $28.09 spot…down 13 cents on the day.  Net volume was a very small 19,000 contracts.Platinum and palladium were on fire yesterday for obvious reasons.  Platinum was up 2.37%…and palladium was up 3.95%.  Gold was up only 0.07%…and silver was down 0.46%.The dollar index opened just under the 82.40 mark…and chopped around until it set its low of the day [82.34 spot] at precisely 10:00 a.m. in London.  From there it rallied to is high…82.74…just shortly before 11:00 a.m. in New York.  Then it got sold down to its closing price of 82.54 at 5:15 p.m. in New York.  The index closed up a smallish 17 basis points when all was said and done.The rallies for both gold and silver that began before the Comex open in New York had nothing to do with any currency movements, which is obvious from the chart below.  But the rallies ended at the same moment that the dollar index began to rally…as if someone had hit the ‘buy the dollar/sell gold and silver button’.The gold stocks opened in slightly positive territory, but got sold off almost right away as it became apparent that the underlying metal was getting sold down as well.  The low for the stocks came at 10:50 a.m…the same instant that the rally in the dollar index topped out and gold hit its nadir.  The HUI finished down 0.85% on the day.The silver stocks finished mixed…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed down a smallish 0.27%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 182 gold contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday.  Morgan Stanley was the big short/issuer with 178 contracts…and the long/stoppers were the Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC USA…and Deutsche Bank.  On Tuesday, they will have 80, 66 and 36 contracts worth of gold delivered to them.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.The GLD ETF had another pile of good delivery bars delivered by an authorized participant yesterday.  This time it was 358,833 troy ounces worth.  In the last two days alone, GLD has received about 534,000 ounces of gold.  There were no reported changes in SLV.Over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank, they updated their gold and silver ETF inventories as of the close of business on Thursday.  They added a smallish 8,657 troy ounces of gold…but showed a decline of 140,756 troy ounces in silver.The U.S. Mint had a smallish sales report yesterday.  They sold 3,000 ounces of gold eagles…and 193,500 silver eagles.  Month-to-date the mint has sold 12,000 ounces of gold eagles…3,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 1,583,500 silver eagles.  Based on these figures, silver eagles sales are selling at a ratio of 102:1 to gold eagle/buffalo sales. That’s very high ratio.It was a big day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, as they reported receiving 2,391,780 troy ounces of silver…and only shipped 205,947 ounces of the stuff out the door.  Virtually all the action was at the Scotia Mocatta and JPMorgan warehouses.  The link to this activity is here…and it’s worth a peek.The Commitment of Traders report showed that the Commercial net short position in silver increased by 1,550 contracts…and if I’m reading reader E.F.’s charts right, it was a combination of the ‘big 4’ increasing their short position…and Ted Butler’s raptors selling long positions.  These weren’t the sort of numbers I was hoping for, but they are what they are.The Commercial net short position in silver increased by 7,750,000 ounces during the reporting week, which ended at the Comex close on Tuesday.  The Commercial net short position is now up to 117.0 million ounces…still bullish, but creeping ever higher…and a long way off its lows of earlier this year.The four largest traders on the short side in silver are short 171.6 million ounces of silver…33.7% of the entire Comex futures market on a net basis.  The ‘5 through 8’ largest traders are short an additional 36.7 million ounces…7.2% of the entire Comex futures market on a net basis.  So the eight largest traders are short 40.9% of the Comex silver market on a net basis…and those are minimum numbers.  If we could see [and subtract] the spreads from the Commercial category of the COT, I’d bet serious money that the ‘8 or less’ traders would be shown to be short well over 50% of the silver market on a net basis…and that’s precisely the reason that they don’t show them in the report.  Because if they did, you could figure out in a flash just how concentrated their actual short positions are…and what we can see is bad enough.With both JPMorgan and HSBC USA holding the lion’s share of that total amount, please explain to me how this is not a short-side corner on the market.There was another improvement in the short position in gold, albeit a small one.  The Commercial net short position declined by a very modest 2,478 contracts.  The Commercial net short position in gold is now down to 14.39 million ounces…and according to reader E.F…this is the smallest that the Commercial net short position has been since October 24, 2006 when gold was $578 the ounce…over $1,000 per ounce lower than it closed at on Friday.  It does appear that the JPMorgan et al may be edging towards the exit in gold.The short position of the four largest traders in gold currently sits at 8.15 million ounces…22.5% of the Comex futures market on a net basis…and the ‘5 through 8’ largest short holders are short an additional 4.62 million ounces…which is 12.7% of the Comex futures market on a net basis.  These eight largest traders are short 35.2% of the entire Comex gold market…and that’s a minimum number as well.Looking at it another way, the eight largest short holders in gold are short 12.77 million ounces of the stuff, or 88.7% of the Commercial net short position of 14.39 million ounces.  In silver, the eight largest short holders are short 208.3 million ounces of silver, which represents 178% of the Commercial net short position, which currently sits at 117.0 million ounces.  As I said last week in this space, the gold market is free and fair when stacked up against the obscene short position in silver.And as Ted Butler has said just about every week for the last ten years, the Comex futures market in all the precious metals are all controlled by a handful of traders working collusively.  It’s as simple as that.Here’s Nick Laird’s “Concentration of Traders in the CFTC COT Report“…which has been converted to ‘Days of world Production to cover Short Contracts’.  The red bar in the gold chart, the short positions of the four largest traders, is the smallest it has been since October 24, 2006 when gold was $578 an ounce.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s a pretty picture I stole from a marketwatch.com story that reader Scott Pluschau was kind enough to send me in the wee hours of yesterday morning…and I thought that eye candy like this was worth sharing.(Click on image to enlarge)I have the usual number of stories again today, a few of which I’ve been saving for Saturdays’ column…and I hope you can find the time in what’s left of your weekend to read through the ones that interest you.Gold is a treasure, and he who possesses it does all he wishes in this world, and succeeds in helping souls into paradise. But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain ’till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them. – Christopher ColumbusI heard this week’s ‘blast from the past’ when the announcer on CBC Radio 1 was taking about The Jersey Boys just a few days ago…and they played a bit from this particular song.I’m sure this group, that was formed under its current name back in 1960, had no inkling of the fact that their life stories were going to be the stuff of Broadway plays forty-five years later.  They were superstars during my high school years…and from 1962 to early 1964 [when The Beatles showed up for real], only the Beach Boys matched this group in record sales in the United States.My favourite of all their hits didn’t appear on the scene until 1975…and it’s just as popular and fresh-sounding today as it was when it first hit the airwaves way back then.  So turn up your speakers…and then click here.As platinum and palladium soared yesterday, the similar rallies that began in gold and silver at the Comex open were dealt with by the usual not-profit-sellers.  However, under the light volumes that existed during the trading day, that was not a difficult task.  But one can still fantasize on what might have been if the short sellers of last resort had put their hands in their pockets instead.The tragedy in South Africa underlines the fact that the poorly-paid miners are risking life and limb for peanuts…and the Mineweb‘s Lawrie Williams makes it abundantly clear that if this trouble spreads to South African gold mines, it’s possible that it could light a fire under the gold price that would be very difficult to put out.The law of unintended consequences is now stalking the mining landscape in that country…and I’m sure that JPMorgan et al…plus many other world players that are interested in keeping the gold price quiet, at least for now…are watching this situation with some fear and trepidation.But setting that aside for the moment, it’s obvious that we are still in the ‘summer doldrums’ in gold and silver…a situation being unscrupulously cultivated by ‘da boyz’.  But I just can’t shake the feeling that all the forces that now appear to be converging on the precious metal markets, both planned and unplanned, are about to come to a head in the not-to-distant future.But I’m also of the opinion, based on the latest Commitment of Traders Report, that the bullion banks have all the ammunition they need to smack gold and silver to the downside one more time before things start to come unglued to the upside.  There’s also the possibility that we could blast off right from here, as whatever plans the powers that be may have had, went up in smoke when the shooting started.But there’s not a soul out there that knows how this is all going to pan out, including this writer.  However, I wouldn’t want to be caught short in the precious metal markets for all the tea in China…and I’m still ‘all in’.If you’re so inclined, dear reader, the most famous of all gold conferences in North America is coming up later this year…and that’s the annual wiener roast in New Orleans…the New Orleans Investment Conference…which runs from October 24-27, 2012.  I’ve attended it many times…and it’s always a hoot.  New Orleans is a very interesting city as well…and this boy from Canada hasn’t got tired of it yet.  If you have any interest, you can find out more by clicking here.Enjoy what’s left of your weekend and I’ll see you here on Tuesday, but make that Wednesday west of the International Date Line. Sponsor Advertisement Pelangio Exploration Inc. (PX:TSX-V; PGXPF:OTC) announced the results of seven diamond drill holes totaling 1,574 metres from its ongoing drilling program at the Pokukrom East zone on the Manfo Property in Ghana.  Highlights of the results included:·        1.19 g/t gold over 113 metres, including 9.05 g/t gold over 7 metres; ·        2.60 g/t gold over 64 metres, including 11.94 g/t gold over 10 metres; and ·        16.72 g/t gold over 4 metres.The results continued to confirm a higher grade, shallow north plunging core of Pokukrom East zone with an open plunge of 600 metres from near surface in previously reported hole SPDD-088 (7.01 g/t gold over 19 metres) to 210 metres depth in the holes reported this week.  Warren Bates, Senior Vice President Exploration, commented: “These are our best holes on the Manfo Property to date. These holes represent the north-plunging core of higher grade mineralization at Pokukrom East, now demonstrating an open plunge length of 600 metres.” Please visit our website to learn more about the project and request additional information.last_img read more

Interviewed by Louis James Editor International

first_img(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)[Skype rings. It’s Doug, as expected.]L: Hi, Doug. I got the Alan Colmes article you sent. I can see why it got your goat – guess you’ve got a good rant in mind?Doug: I don’t approve of rants. It’s true that I have strong opinions, and I’m not afraid to express them – but a considered and defensible opinion, even if it’s delivered with conviction, is essentially different from an emotional outburst.L: Okay, sorry. No rants. But if the other side starts name-calling, we can be forgiven for a little emotion on our side – how does one answer a snarky dismissal of anyone who doesn’t agree with so-called progressives, labeling them “regressives”?Doug: I’m certainly not above delivering an appropriate and well-deserved insult. An insult is really all that the lame attempts of progressives to shame people into voting for Obama deserve. From a long-term perspective, it certainly doesn’t much matter who wins the coming election; Romney would be just as great a disaster for what’s left of America as Obama, just in slightly different ways, with different rhetoric.It’s interesting how certain breeds of statist are now re-labeling themselves as “progressives.” I guess they like the sound of the root word – progress – even though they only want progress towards collectivism. They used to call themselves “liberals,” a word which in America used to stand for free minds and free markets. But they appropriated it and degraded it – classical liberals had to rechristen themselves “libertarians.” World-improvers, political hacks, and busybodies in general are excellent at disguising bad ideas with good words, ruining them in the process.It’s said that “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” But that’s actually untrue; propaganda is a very effective weapon. As Orwell pointed out, if you control the language, you control people’s thinking; and if you control people’s thinking, you control their actions. So I despise the way these types manipulate words.As for the case at hand, one of the things that annoys me most about Colmes’ vapid article is his dishonest and misleading, albeit conventional, defense of the New Deal – America’s first great lurch towards socialism. He defends all the harm it’s done as a wonderful thing. He repeats the fiction that the New Deal rescued the economy from the last depression. It actually made the Depression deeper, and made it last longer.L: Do tell.Doug: Well, to start with, Colmes, a self-appointed whitewasher of American socialism, begins by resting his case on the claim that it is American socialism that has made America exceptional. It’s quite a bold assertion, since socialism as well as fascism are antithetical to everything that was good about America. He really is a cheeky bastard.L: He calls his socialism “liberalism.”Doug: Yes, but that too is an Orwellian perversion. As always, we should start with a definition. Around the world, you ask people what a liberal is, and they say something that at least relates to the word’s original meaning: liberals favor liberty. And that’s not just the civil liberties defended by the ACLU, but also economic liberty – meaning freedom to engage in free trade with others. The free market.But back in the 1930s, socialists like Norman Thomas started to realize that they were never going to persuade the majority of Americans to accept socialism outright, so they changed the name and embarked on a deliberate campaign to implement their agenda, one piece at a time, calling it liberalism. And who could be against that?L: I’ve read that most of Thomas’ 1932 platform has now become law in the US.Doug: I believe that’s true. Take a look at this Word document [it will download automatically]. Actually, the same is true of Marx’s Communist Manifesto. But back to today, Colmes’ claim is absolutely ridiculous. Social Security, Medicare, and progressive income taxes have not made America exceptional, but just the opposite; they’ve made it like all the other socialist and fascist countries that cover the face of the globe like a skin disease. They are burdens that have slowed the economy and distorted people’s incentives and ideas.These programs have, perversely, hurt the poor – the very people they’re supposed to help – the most. They’ve acted to corrupt them and cement them to the bottom of society. They’ve destroyed huge amounts of capital, which would otherwise have raised the general standard of living, redirecting it from production toward consumption. These coercive ideas all originated and were first implemented in Europe before so-called liberals foisted them on Americans, in the name of freedom. It’s quite Orwellian, the way they’ve twisted concepts to mean the opposite of what they once did.L: Some people would argue that things like Social Security liberate them – free them from fear of poverty in old age.Doug: That claim shouldn’t be worth answering – but it must be answered, because Boobus americanus believes it. It’s a classic “big lie.” Say it often enough, and people think it’s true. In fact, Social Security acts to impoverish the country, by destroying the incentive to save.L: How so?Doug: By taking almost 15% of a person’s wages right off the top, Social Security makes it much harder for a poor person to save money. Worse yet, it makes people think they don’t need to save for themselves; it gives them a false sense of security. Even worse is that the money never really belongs to the presumed recipient; it’s simply another unsecured obligation of a bankrupt government.Social Security payments should at least be set aside as discrete accounts in each person’s name, and become assets for them. If that money were placed in an individually owned pension plan, with just average management, the results would be many times what people now hope to get. And the plan wouldn’t be a burden to future taxpayers. Social Security is, in fact, just a gigantic Ponzi scheme, where the next generation of young people is forced to support the last generation of old people.Worst of all, the program causes people to be irresponsible. This is a disaster, because a free society can only exist when everyone takes personal responsibility seriously. It’s a swindle, and it corrupts everyone. No wonder parents can no longer rely on their own children to support them in old age. Maybe the Chinese will lend the US government the money it needs to pay its Social Security obligations…But the numerous practical failures of a program like Social Security are not the main problem.The primary problem with a scheme like Social Security is that it’s not voluntary; it’s coercive, which makes it unethical. You can’t force people to do what you think is right and then claim to be liberating them. Alleged freedom from fear of poverty in old age in exchange for theft of wages in the present – and the correct word for taking people’s money without their consent is “theft” – is not liberal in any defensible meaning of the world. It’s brute, “might-makes-right” power clothed in noble-sounding words.L: Colmes says that Social Security keeps 40% of seniors above the poverty line today, and “helps families with disabilities and those who have lost loved ones.” That’s a bad thing?Doug: No one seriously thinks they’ll be able to have a decent quality of life on Social Security retirement income alone. Why do you think so many senior citizens are working at Walmart or the like? Colmes is committing the same error Bastiat pointed out 200 years ago; choosing to value immediate, direct, and visible benefits, but ignoring the delayed and indirect costs, which only become obvious later.The long-term costs of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, food stamps, and so forth include bankrupting the country, among other economic consequences. But even more disturbing and damaging is the degradation of once self-reliant people to subservience and dependence, which is what happens when government assumes responsibilities that adult individuals should bear themselves.For example, Social Security disability benefits are being used as an alternate income source by the unemployed. As of August, 2012, there were about 10.8 million people collecting disability income – that’s a larger number than the entire population of most US states, and up from 8.1 million in 2007, when the Greater Depression began. It can be a great scam, claiming PTSD, unprovable back pain, or a mood disorder. There’s a whole class of ambulance-chasing lawyers that takes these cases on contingency.L: What about the individuals who try and can’t bear the responsibilities of adulthood?Doug: The programs exist and have not prevented that from happening; there are plenty of homeless people today. I would argue that most of them are in that position because they’ve developed bad habits. There would be a lot fewer of them if they didn’t get taught from childhood that assuring their own lives and well-being is really the state’s responsibility, not their own. The system is failing these people, but again, that’s beside the point; two wrongs don’t make a right. The whole idea of a government “safety net” is wrong, in principle and practice.Ideas have consequences in the physical world, and lies, twisted words, and self-contradictory, impossible claims can be extremely damaging. You can’t liberate people by putting them in financial chains.L: I understand the principles, but many people don’t – or just don’t care. People like Colmes see the parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the infrastructure built by the Works Progress Administration as unmitigated goods, the work given to all the millions employed by the government as life-saving, and the idea of helping those in need to be a moral imperative they don’t question.Doug: The average person has been handed this party line throughout his life, from teachers in government schools to talking heads on TV. He’s been discouraged from thinking critically or independently. We have two widely shared myths – that Roosevelt’s New Deal cured the Depression and Johnson’s Great Society cured poverty – although both beliefs are counterfactual. It’s pretty much as Will Rogers liked to say: “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble; it’s what we know that just ain’t so.”Now a new myth is being hatched, that Obama and Bernanke’s quantitative easing saved the economy. But that will never catch on; it will be totally debunked over the next few years as they destroy both the dollar and the economy.Colmes seems completely unaware that government programs have costs. The money used to pay the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration workers had to come from somewhere – where? It’s either forcibly taken from current taxpayers, who then can neither enjoy it nor invest it as they prefer – or it comes from taking on debt, which means future taxpayers, who are thereby turned into indentured servants. That money was redirected from whatever uses those who earned it had for it, and put to uses government employees deemed best.The political process, of course, has a perverse tendency to result in “pork” spending on the most useless, wasteful, and idiotic programs imaginable. It goes for things that are politically productive for the people who control the state, not necessarily economically productive for either society or the taxpayers. But again, this is all secondary to the ethics of the matter; that is vastly more important.Parks are nice, but should the money to build them have been taken from entrepreneurs struggling to build businesses in the 1930s? Or single mothers in, say, Harlem, struggling to feed their families? It’s the little people who can’t afford the lawyers and accountants needed to cut tax bills who suffer the most.Coercing people to do what politicians decide is simply unethical.L: What about the argument that it’s not coercion if the people voted for the politicians who passed the laws that created these programs?Doug: Essentially another big lie. In the first place, people vote for politicians – who rarely keep promises – not for laws at the federal level. None of these laws were enacted by the people. Second, unless you could get unanimous consent of every person affected, it would still be coercive to people who have committed no crime and want no part of it, and thus unethical.If 51% of the people vote to enslave 49% of the people, that doesn’t make that slavery right. If 99% vote to enslave 1% – something many of the ignorant, torch-wielding masses seem to be clamoring for these days – it’s still wrong. Ethics is not a matter of popularity contests.Anything that society wants or needs can, should, and will be provided by entrepreneurs working for a profit.L: Can you elaborate on that? It’s all fine to criticize stupid ideas, but unless you offer a constructive alternative, what’s the point?Doug: Indeed. We’re talking about products and services that people regard as necessary or beneficial for society as a whole, but which they say private enterprise wouldn’t provide adequately. Roads, schools, and post offices are frequently cited examples.Government post offices were a bad idea to begin with – even back in the 1800s when most people thought they were vitally important, a man named Lysander Spooner set up a private company to deliver mail – and do so for less than the government charged. This superior service upset the apple cart, and was outlawed and shut down. Today, everyone knows that UPS and FedEx do a better job than the post office; no sensible person trusts the government when it absolutely, positively has to get there. Between that and email, the post office should have been shut down, rather than propped up, long ago. It now costs taxpayers on the order of $12 billion a year.Similarly, there’s a history of private roads going back to previous centuries. The fist transcontinental highway, the old Route 66, was paved with private money. There are private roads in the US and around the world today. It’s simply not true that you need a government to build things that people actually need. You need government roads about as much as you need government cars.We’ve covered schools and education. The schools are absolutely the last thing the state should do…L: What about things like the military, police, and courts?Doug: Well, I would argue that even those should be handled by the private sector, but I understand that many people can’t get away from the idea that these services are core government functions that should not be privatized. That’s because they fear they would not be fair and impartial – though it’s a cruel joke to think that government courts today are fair and impartial. At any rate, I could live with it if government were limited to these core functions; but police and courts are only a tiny fraction of what government does today.There’s great danger in having the government do anything, quite frankly. But it could be better if more people like Ron Paul or my friend Marc Victor were in office. Check out Victor; he has the potential to be the next Ron Paul – on steroids.L: Understood: if no one can make a buck providing some good or service, how vital can it be? Anything people actually want will be provided by entrepreneurs, making a profit. And like you, I too like to start by asking what is right, before I ask how much it costs. But most people just don’t seem to think this way. That’s why I keep coming back to the practical arguments. It seems that, regardless of one’s politics, it should matter that the state’s coffers are empty.Colmes argues that by 2022 Obama’s Affordable Care Act “will provide coverage to 33 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured.” He doesn’t mention that mandated government spending and interest payments have already taken over the entire federal budget. Even now, with a $1.5 trillion deficit, most of the $700 billion for the military, the $227 billion for interest on the national debt and the $646 billion for regular government services is borrowed every year. The whole thing is an impossible pipe dream that absolutely ensures the bankruptcy of not just the US government, but American society itself.Doug: It seems insane – people wouldn’t believe us if we’d written this into a story some years ago.But you can see the scary truth in the news every day; people in Europe’s totally broke and failing economies protest violently in the streets for their governments to spend more money those governments don’t have and won’t be able to borrow. Colmes exhibits this same breathtaking unwillingness to face the facts. He talks about one in seven people being on food stamps, as though it were a good thing. He talks about how politicians voted to extend unemployment benefits with money they don’t have as though that’s an unquestionably good thing to do.L: So is Colmes an evil manipulator or a misguided dupe?Doug: I don’t see how any intellectually honest person can write a long article praising a whole alphabet soup of government agencies without ever once admitting their failure, asking how much they cost, or examining the ethical basis for their existence. So I suspect he’s both a knave and a fool.Colmes’ article encapsulates wrong-headedness and willful ignorance in exactly the same way that Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman invariably do. They’re all very destructive people. Since they don’t appear to be stupid – in the sense of having low IQs – I’m forced to assume they’re ill-intentioned.L: So… What’s in it for him to circulate such obviously biased and misleading opinions?Doug: Perhaps he’s simply a sociopath who gets pleasure from destruction. Or perhaps he’s just motivated by fame and money and has found a profitable gig. Despite being an apologist for socialism, the man hosts a talk show and writes books which make him money; he doesn’t do it pro bono. He has identified a market and is making money, pursuing his own self-interest, deliberately or unwittingly to the detriment of society.L: Just like a politician.Doug: He sees the government as the solution to every problem. But since government is pure coercion by its very nature, you can count on it to do the wrong thing – and often even the exact opposite of the right thing.L: It’s perverse.Doug: [Laughs] Took the words out of my mouth.L: Investment implications?Doug: Nothing specifically related to Colmes. He’s just another sign of the degradation of America, yet another data point supporting my view that the US is probably past the point of no return. The place that was once America is going through the wringer, and so is the rest of the world. And the way to deal with that is what we’ve been saying for some time now: rig for stormy weather.L: Liquidate, consolidate, speculate, create – and internationalize.Doug: Right.L: Okay, well, thanks for another interesting conversation. Maybe we can record another at the upcoming New Orleans investment conference – we’ll both be there.Doug: It’ll be fun. I love New Orleans and enjoy Brien Lundin’s annual extravaganza. I’ll be there for the whole three days. Let’s do it.last_img read more

Growing old beats the alternative

first_img Growing old beats the alternative. Somewhere around age 60, male grumpiness kicks in as testosterone levels begin to decline. That was the premise behind a recent article I read discussing why older men get so grouchy. I will soon be reaching the ripe old age of 73, so I feel qualified to weigh in on the subject. Aging brings about many physical and psychological changes for both partners in a marriage. Minor conflicts like clicker control and thermostat control can become sources of irritation for both spouses. The inventor of dual controls on an electric blanket was surely an elderly senior with full knowledge of the topic. We have friends who have morphed into “the Bickersons,” and it’s a real shame. While I do not want to dwell on the issue, my wife and I have concluded that if each spouse feels the other is truly working at compromise, things seem to work out. It’s when one spouse sees the other as inflexible that problems seem to arise. One point in the article really hit home for me. The author wrote: “Feeling that they no longer are useful, especially, if a man has held an important position in employment prior to retirement, ‘can result in severe depression at worst and general grumpiness at best,’ [book author Carol] Wyer said.” My biggest fear when I retired was boredom. What was I going to do all day? I used to ask my retired friends, “What happens at 10 a.m. when you cross the last item off your to-do list?” Most would laugh and say that within two years I’d be so busy that I’d wonder how I ever found time to work. For the most part they were correct. I took up hobbies like fantasy football and baseball. I bought a rifle and took up target shooting. My new hobbies kept me quite busy as each day presented new challenges. Now I can shoot targets from 100 yards away and consistently put five rounds inside one-half an inch diameter and many times within one-quarter of an inch. (Please keep those achievements in perspective: top military marksman can do the same thing from a half a mile or more.) But after a few years, I no longer felt as challenged as I had when I was regularly improving at my new hobbies. While I was busy, something was missing. My life changed radically in the fall of 2008. As I wrote about in my book Retirement Reboot, the banks called in all of our CDs, and I had to go from being a passive investor to a full-throttle, active one. I had to learn the new investment paradigm in order to protect our life savings. Almost overnight, I was subscribing to several investment newsletters, interacting and writing to heavy-duty financial people, just trying to figure out how to survive. I no longer had time for my old hobbies. I was in financial survival mode. I found myself reading financial publications for a good hour or more in the morning. Then I would print out the articles that came in during the day and read them after dinner. After that, I followed up with emails and phone calls asking for clarification or help. After several emails to David Galland at Casey Research, he challenged me to write my book and help my peers who were in the same situation. Several months into the project, I wrote David a personal note thanking him for giving me my life back. I have more energy, and I’m more focused. I’m also having more fun than I could have imagined, because I’m doing something necessary, useful, and productive. So here is my simple advice. Aging is a natural process, and many of its effects are beyond our control. However, our time, attitudes, and activities are still under our control. And there is one thing everyone can do to contribute to his spouse and family while feeling good about himself in the process. There are few things more important than making sure your life savings lasts so you do not become a burden on your family. I fought it at first. Then I had no choice but to take charge and learn. Seniors can no longer can take the easy way out and invest in safe, high- interest-bearing CDs and bonds. True inflation since the 2008 crash is exceptionally high. If the prices at the grocery store haven’t convinced you already, check out John Williams’ Shadow Government Statistics and my recent article, Paul Revere, the Fearmonger. Our life savings will not manage itself. The income of seniors and savers is being squeezed while inflation shrinks our nest eggs every day. This is a problem we can no longer ignore. I confess to being really grumpy when I first realized the task ahead of me. We have two cereal bowls in the cabinet. One says “Good Morning Sunshine!” and the other says, “Good Morning Grumpy!” I found my Cheerios served in the latter bowl too many times to suit me or my wife. I had much to learn and was very uneasy with the changes I saw around me. Nearly everyone on either side of the cusp of retirement has similar concerns. Now, a little over four years later, I feel my daily tasks are important. They are certainly much more critical than the hobbies I was getting bored with. Not only am I sharing experiences with our subscribers, but I’ve also found myself counseling my adult children. Looking back, I wish someone had these same sort of conversations with me when I was in their shoes. It’s a challenge to describe the joy of having your adult children come to you for advice, then listening, acting on, and thanking you for your help. I am sure many of you have experienced it. Hopefully we can make our children’s financial journeys a little easier by sharing what we’ve learned. There is a huge need for many families to take stock of where they are and what they need to do to make their respective nest eggs last. Better to embrace that challenge head on; it sure beats the heck out of watching soap operas… and maybe even fantasy football. Our subscribers are a pretty active bunch, and the regular emails and feedback we get tell me that there are plenty of folks who are taking the job of looking after their retirement nest egg seriously. Our growing subscriber base certainly confirms that. Let’s face it! We are all in the same boat, trying to figure out how to make our nest egg grow and last forever. I can tell you from personal experience that taking on that job, reading, and learning each day will give you a greater feeling of control, confidence, and self-worth than you can imagine. Let someone else be grumpy; we don’t have much time for that anymore.The Perils of Recommending a Tobacco Company Each week I encourage our readers to drop us a note if they have any feedback, positive or negative. Last week we received several emails criticizing our selection of Lorillard for the Money Forever portfolio. Several people took exception to the idea of investing in a tobacco company; some even questioned my honesty, integrity, and whether I had any values. I certainly understand their point of view. I too have certain companies I will not invest in based on my own beliefs. We each have to pick and choose investments that fit our own personal moral compass. One of the benefits of managing your own money is that you can do just that. In Don’t Be Blind to Your Investments, an article published in the Casey Daily Dispatch, our senior research analyst Vedran Vuk wrote about this very topic. I’d like to share an excerpt with our readers: At Casey Research, we often boast of our returns, but there are also non-pecuniary rewards to managing your own investments. You get to decide what’s in your portfolio. It doesn’t matter whether you’re pro-life, an environmentalist, anti-bailouts, or anti-war, if you’re holding a diversified mutual fund or ETF, I can almost guarantee that you’re holding a company that would make you want to puke. I’m serious… you might not want to look at all. Unfortunately, diversified funds are the exact things our employers and financial advisors throw us into. Trust me, your financial advisor is not going to ask about your ethical qualms when offering fund options. But aren’t there SRI (socially responsible investment) funds? Yes, but these have problems too. It can often be impossible to find a fund matching one’s exact beliefs. Many of them overlap various beliefs together. Take for example, something like the Ave Maria Rising Dividend Fund (AVEDX), a fund supporting pro-life Catholic values. Sounds great for a pro-life supporter, right? Yes, but suppose that one is both pro-life and an environmentalist. In that case, the Ave Maria fund wouldn’t work, as its top holding is ExxonMobil with a 4.1% allocation. The SRI funds can get one closer to an ideal portfolio, but it’s still hard to find an exact match. Now, many of readers might not care at all about this – and that’s all right. But if you’re the sort of person who can’t sleep at night knowing that you own shares of BP, Lockheed Martin, or Goldman Sachs, then there’s only one way to go. You’ll just have to manage your money yourself, as it’s almost impossible to avoid some morally troublesome company through a diversified mutual fund. If you’re a hardcore environmentalist, perhaps our energy and mining publications are not the biggest help. For everyone else, we can help better guide your investment decisions. You can make great returns without owning the bailout bandits and other thugs in your portfolio. If you’re uncomfortable investing in a tobacco company – or any other company for that matter – don’t do it. It’s your money, and you get to decide what to do with it. It’s my sincere hope that by providing our subscribers with many different investment options to choose from, they can stay in control of their own finances. I want to keep you in the driver’s seat! Perhaps we should have chosen a different company. If we offended anyone, please accept our apologies.On the Lighter Side Football fans had two games go down to the wire this weekend. It gives credence to the old saying, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” One game ended as time expired and the other in double overtime while fans were glued to their TV sets. Entertainment should take our minds away from our normal day-to-day concerns, and that they did. For those fans who are disappointed because their teams lost, I will say what Cub fans have been saying for over a century… “Wait till next year!” And finally… In the summer of 1959, I drove my boyhood pal Bruce King to the church to marry his high school sweetheart, Esther. They were kind enough to send me a list of truths important to marriage and longevity. Here are a few of the good ones: Forgive everyone everything. When in doubt, take a short step. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it every day. And the ultimate truth for young and old… when it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. —- They say money can’t buy happiness. I believe that’s true. But on the flip side, being worried about your income and the bills, especially during retirement, is a sure path to grumpiness. It may be a challenge to manage your own retirement savings, but you alone have the most to gain (or lose if you choose to ignore it). In a recent poll, one of the top challenges stated by Money Forever readers was having any plan at all for managing their investments during retirement. I invite you to take a look at the plan we’ve outlined with Money Forever and the research and tools we’ve put in place to help those on the cusp of retirement get started. Here’s the link to find out more. Until next week…last_img read more

In This Issue   The dollar is mixed this morni

first_imgIn This Issue. *  The dollar is mixed this morning. *  Swedes go to the polls this weekend. *  Scotland vote is a week away. *  Is A$’s seeing Central Bank intervention? And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Dollar Best Week In 10 months! Good Day! .  And a Happy Friday to one and all! Today couldn’t get here fast enough for me, as it’s been “one of those weeks” and I feel lucky each day to get through it. The cloudy, rainy, chilly temps outside could be a part of the reason I feel like death warmed over this week, and the weather is supposed to be better this weekend, so, maybe about the time Sunday night rolls around, I’ll feel better! HA! I don’t mean to carry on about my long week, I just started typing and this is where I ended up! It’s been a long week for the currencies and metals for sure! And it appears we’ll end the week with the dollar mixed, but up big against the Aussie dollar (A$), and down big against the Indian rupee! Funny, eh, that I spent a ton of time talking about the Indian rupee yesterday, and then have the rupee rally like this overnight?  On a sidebar, about 10 years ago, I had a dear reader, who used to send me emails, accusing me of “moving the markets” with my letter. I always got a huge laugh over those emails. As if! He should have been sending those emails to Goldman Sachs! The Russian ruble is getting whacked again this morning, as today is the day the U.S. is supposed to outline their latest set of sanctions on Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors…  The European Union announced their new sanctions earlier this week. From what I read, Russia is preparing a response.. You don’t think the Russians would target car import from the EU do you? Well, if I were mother Russia, I would do just that!  Look, I’m not taking sides here, I’m just saying that it’s a do onto you and you would do onto me. I really don’t like talking about that stuff because it borders on politics, but the thing to think about here is that car imports from the EU will affect Germany’s auto sector. And that’s really all I should be talking about. Another YouGov poll on Scottish Independence was published last night. This was the outfit (YouGov) that published the report over the weekend, last, that showed the 51% “yes” vote. and sent pound sterling to the woodshed. Well, the latest YouGov poll says that they have 50% “yes”, 45% “no” and 6% “undecided”.  OK, I know it’s been years since I took a math class in school, and since then they introduced “new math”. But even using the wimpification of American kids version of math, 50+45+6 = 101.   I don’t see how the YouGov numbers work, but the key here, after I spent a couple of minutes making a point that could have been made in 30 seconds, is that this latest poll wasn’t as harmful to pound sterling as the weekend, last, version. In fact, pound sterling is flat to up a shekel or two this morning. The Swedish krona is weaker again this morning, and this time I think I agree with the move, as the Swedes will go to the polls this weekend to elect a new Gov’t, so the “unknown” or “uncertainty” is hanging over the krona this morning like the Sword of Damocles.  The latest opinion polls have the old Gov’t getting thrown out on its ear, and a new Gov’t installed to see what they can do to turn the Swedish economy around. The same kind of “uncertainty” is hanging over the Brazilian real, as the Brazilian Gov’t election is now just a month away, and the polls are shifting back and forth with every print.  It has to be a case of “election blues” that’s causing the real to weaken this week, for Brazil and the real enjoy the best rate differential VS other currencies in the world! (OK, there could be a tiny country somewhere on a mountaintop that claims a better differential. you know what I mean here!)  I mentioned on the desk yesterday that Barclays had issued a research report where they say they are going overweight, reals. Ty responded that they must be basing that strictly on the upcoming election, and betting that the Rousseff Gov’t gets show the door.  I agree. And when you see reals getting pushed lower all week, you begin to salivate about the opportunity to buy them at a cheaper level! A headline on Bloomberg this morning says that the dollar will end the week with its best weekly performance in 10 months. Yes, it’s been a good week for the dollar, folks. But then, I think I rang the warning bell at least a month ago that we could be in for a bout of dollar strength. No, it’s not the way it should be, but we’ve seen these short-term dollar rallies come and go through the last 12 years, with the dollar always returning to the underlying weak trend. This particular dollar rally just might test a lot of investors’ resolve, because it’s going to carry out over several weeks, and the media will be gushing with strong dollar stories, so much so, that you might even begin to believe it. I suggest that you adopt the Paul Simon words to the great song, The Boxer, here. A man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest. The Shanghai Gold Exchange is all wound up and ready to spring next week. Since there has been no safety nets thrown to Gold’s decline by the Chinese institutional buyers the past couple weeks, as Gold has steadily dropped lower and lower, I would have to believe that these Institutional buyers are saving up for the opening of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) so that the SGE can make a HUGE splash!  The problem is that Gold has now fallen so low, that what the Chinese do next week might be a case of too little, too late. Speaking of China. China and Russia, are meeting with other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).. This is where China & Russia agreed to more cooperation in pricing the terms of transactions in their respective currencies, and dropping the use of dollars. the Russian First Deputy Prime Minister said, “we are not going to break old contracts, most of which were denominated in dollars. But we’re going to encourage companies from the two countries to settle more in local currencies, to avoid using a currency from a third country.” That’s kind of funny, that Russia’s Deputy Dawg referred to the U.S. as a “third country”. Hey! At least he didn’t refer to us a “third-world country”! On a sidebar regarding Russia. It appears to me that the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) will be hiking rates very soon. Inflation is rising in the country at a quicker pace than the CBR had anticipated. But isn’t that the way it goes all the time? A Central Bank invites inflation into their economy, and has the misguided feeling that they can control it. Then they find themselves behind the inflation 8-ball, and have to start raising rates quickly, but it’s too late, baby, now, it’s too late, though we really did try to make it. Al Stewart is playing: Time Passages on the IPod right now, so I’m going to take a short break, so I can sit back, relax, close my eyes, and listen to the song. Be back in a minute or two. OK, I’m back now. Did you miss me? HA! Well, Chinese leaders are busy this week, as they close the SCO, they headed home to Beijing to hold the China Gold Congress, with co-sponsor the World Gold Council (WGC). Again, I’ll repeat something I wrote about last week. The WGC is completely lost on what China holds in terms of Gold reserves. The WGC believes that China’s Gold accounts for one third of global demand. I do believe they are so far off base, that an old man like me could pick them off! Well, I mentioned above that the A$ is getting whacked again this morning. It just doesn’t make any sense to me, why this is happening. Nothing has changed in this past week, but a week ago, after the very disappointing U.S. Jobs report printed, the A$ rose to 94-cents. This morning, one week later, it’s trading around .9050. OUCH! I told you the other day about how the A$ had finally fallen below its 200-day moving avg., thus making it the last major currency to succumb to the U.S. dollar’s strength. Yes, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) could be behind this downward move, for they have not been a fan of the A$’s strength, mentioning that several times in the past couple of months. I would hope not, for I don’t like Central Bank intervention! I also mentioned above that the Indian rupee is stronger this morning. I was doing some research yesterday on India, as I have been assigned the Sunday Pfennig in a couple of weeks, and I’m going to talk about the BRICS. You know, it’ll be a preview for something related to the BRICS. I can’t divulge that info just yet, but I thought I would whet your whistle a little. But, getting back to India.. Did you know that India has the highest internal interest rates in Asia? Even higher than Indonesia!  So for foreign investment into India, they are treated nicely. And I was always taught that money goes where it’s treated the best!  I guess that’s why I spend so much money when I go to a baseball game! HA! No wait, that doesn’t make any sense, Chuck! Oh well, you get the point! The euro was on the rally tracks for a short-run yesterday, with the single unit climbing to 1.2950, but has given back 25 ticks this morning. I just don’t see this Russian sanction thing playing out well for the Eurozone and the euro, folks. I told the boys and girls on the trading desk yesterday, well, at least I said it to them, I can’t vouch for whether they listened to me or not, but I told them nevertheless that I believed the Russian / Ukraine conflict would be over soon, and things could get back to normal there, which means the sanctions would be allowed to be lifted. Hey! One can hope, right? The U.S. Data Cupboard finally has something to look at today that could move the markets. August Retail Sales is on the menu today. More on that in a minute, but first, yesterday’s offerings from the Data Cupboard. The weekly Initial Jobless Claims rose from 304,000 the previous week to 315,000 last week. And the U.S. Monthly Budget Statement for August printed at a deficit of $128.7 Billion!  The July deficit was $147.9 Billion. And we are supposedly spending less? Yes, from July to August it was less, but I’m talking about the big picture here folks. So, earlier this week I told you that the BHI had indicated that the August Retail Sales would be better than July’s flat performance, and after taking out car sales, which will be HUGE, core sales will be around +.2%…  Sure that’s better, but it’s simply not the stuff that strong economies hang their hats on. But, I’m sure the spin doctors, will spin this somehow to make the rate hike campers happy and begin dancing in the streets. We’ll also see the U. of Michigan Confidence report for September today. Remember these Confidence reports are all about the stock market, so figure a good showing today on this report. For What It’s Worth. Every day I receive an email from MarketWatch, that usually has at least one article I want to read. Yesterday was no exception. And the article plays well in the sandbox about my soapbox rant the other day about U.S. Consumer Credit (read debt!) exploding higher. Here’s a snippet from the MarketWatch article. “U.S. consumers may be relying too heavily on their plastic. Americans added $28.2 billion to their credit cards in the second quarter of 2014, the largest amount in the last six years and nearly 200% more than in the second quarter of 2009, when the economy emerged from the depths of the Great Recession, according to new research from personal finance website CardHub.com. After paying off $32.5 billion owed during the first quarter of 2014, consumers ran up roughly 86% more debt during the following quarter. The average household’s credit-card balance now stands at $6,802, up slightly from $6,628 in the first quarter, but still down from $8,431 at the end of 2008. By the end of the year, this figure is expected to exceed $7,000, reaching levels not seen since the end of 2010. U.S. consumers will be roughly $1,300 away from the credit card debt “tipping point,” where minimum payments become unsustainable and delinquencies skyrocket, the report says.” Chuck again. Yes, as I keep saying, we never learn anything, and. these people act like 2008 never even happened! I know ServPro advertises that saying, but they are talking about major cleanups that are needed!  Oh well, if you want to read the entire article you can by clicking here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-credit-card-debt-hits-new-highs-2014-09-11?dist=countdown To recap. The week will end with the dollar enjoying its best weekly performance in 10 months. The currencies are mixed today, but Gold and the other precious metals are all down to end the week. The A$ is worst performer overnight, Chuck suspects that some Central Bank intervention to weaken the A$ is in play here, and the Indian rupee is the best performer overnight. Sweden goes to the polls this weekend, and uncertainty has hit the krona. The latest Scottish Independence poll is spit. and Chuck questions their math! Currencies today 9/12/14. American Style: A$ .9065, kiwi .8170, C$.9055, euro 1.2935, sterling 1.6240, Swiss $1.0695,  . European Style: rand 10.9655, krone 6.3720, SEK 7.7505, forint 243.50, zloty 3.2445, koruna 21.3470, RUB 37.85, yen 107.25, sing 1.2605, HKD 7.7505, INR 60.65, China 6.1468, pesos 13.24, BRL 2.2975, Dollar Index 84.27, Oil $93.21, 10-year 2.56%, Silver $18.61, Platinum $1,362.50, Palladium $828.00, and Gold. $1,237.80 That’s it for today.. Well, I see on the internal calendar that today is one of my fave people’s birthday! Happy Birthday Kathy Glowski! Kathy and I have worked together off and on going back to 1982. WOW! That’s a long time, she must have just gotten out of high school at the time! She recently told me that she had fibbed to me in our interview but she got the job, and she was feeling guilty all these years! HA! Cardinals come limping home, going 4 & 4 on the 8 game road trip, for their last home stand of the year! I really wanted to go out somewhere last night, but then was tied to home with my bad stomach. UGH! Maybe tonight! Although right now, that doesn’t look good. My beloved Missouri Tigers play UCF tomorrow, they’ll need to show that they can play stronger defense in this game. Go Tigers!  And with that. I thank you for reading the Pfennig, and hope you have a Fabulous Friday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

Incredible Underwater Discovery Off the Coast of F

first_img Incredible Underwater Discovery Off the Coast of Florida February, 18 – A rare resource has been discovered just off the coast of southern Florida. At $58.9 million for an amount that barely fills a thimble, it may be the most valuable resource on the planet. One company has a monopoly over this resource, and their Managing Director just told us they’re planning to go public on the NASDAQ as soon as July 1. Click here to see how you could get in before their NASDAQ IPO. — •  Easy money hasn’t helped the “real” economy… The U.S. economy has grown just 2.2% since 2009, its slowest “recovery” in more than six decades. And the real median U.S. household annual income has fallen from $57,795 in 2008 to $55,218 today… Meanwhile, the S&P 500 surged 180% since March 2009. That’s far higher than the 136% average gain by U.S. bull markets since 1932. •  We recommend holding a significant amount of physical gold… Gold has held its value for thousands of years. It’s an excellent store of value because it is easily divisible, easily transportable, has intrinsic value, is durable, and has consistent form all around the world. No matter what happens to the economy, gold will hold its value. We also recommend holding a significant amount of cash. Holding cash will put you in a position to buy quality stocks when they get cheap. As stocks get cheaper, E.B. is watching for an opportunity to buy “Empire Assets” at bargain prices. That’s our nickname for strong businesses you can buy at a good price and hold for years. He’s watching one industry in particular… I’m waiting for once-in-a-decade prices on food stocks. When people can’t afford to eat out, they go to the grocery store more. I want to own the companies that stock the shelves…companies like cereal maker Post Holdings (POST) and B&G Foods (BGS), which sells the iconic Green Giant frozen vegetables. These aren’t fly-by-night companies; they’re consistent, solid, and trusted…but they could soon trade at fly-by-night prices. That’s when I’ll step in and buy them. Accumulating Empire Assets is a key strategy we use to build lasting wealth in The Casey Report. You can invest along with us by signing up for a risk-free trial of The Casey Report. Chart of the Day It’s never been cheaper to take out a car loan. Today’s chart shows the annual interest rate for 48-month new car loans. In 2007, the interest rate on an average car loan was 8%. Today, new car buyers pay an average rate of just 4%, which is an all-time low. Easy money policies have made it incredibly cheap for Americans to buy cars. With interest rates near all-time lows, even people with shaky finances can drive nice new cars. For now, the media isn’t talking about this much. But when the U.S. economy turns down, many subprime borrowers won’t pay back their car loans. The subprime auto industry could blow up…just like the subprime mortgage industry did in 2007. – Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida March 03, 2016 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to feedback@caseyresearch.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful.center_img It’s happening again… The government is blowing another subprime bubble. Longtime Casey readers know the U.S. government caused the housing bubble of 2007–08. In short, easy money policies caused housing prices to spike 46% in six years. Convinced that housing prices “never go down,” lenders began issuing mortgages to folks who couldn’t afford them. Many of these “subprime” borrowers defaulted on their loans. The housing bubble popped, causing a financial crisis. •  Auto loans are the new subprime… If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know that the government’s easy money policies have only gotten worse. The Fed has held interest rates close to zero since 2008. This has made it comically cheap to borrow money to buy things like stocks, bonds, commercial property, and cars. Americans have been buying a lot of cars recently. Auto sales have climbed six straight years. Last year, the U.S. auto industry sold 17.5 million vehicles: an all-time record. Folks are buying these cars with borrowed money. During the second quarter of 2015, 86% of new car buyers borrowed money. The average new car buyer today borrows $27,700. That’s about $3,000 more than in 2011. The length of loans has also increased. Today, new car buyers have almost 66 months, on average, to pay back their loans. In 2009, the average for new car loans was just over 59 months. •  U.S. auto loans have surged 50% since 2010… Last year, the value of U.S. auto loans reached $1 trillion for the first time ever. There’s now 47% more automobile debt in the U.S. than credit card debt. It’s never been cheaper to get a car loan. In 2007, the average interest rate for auto loans was 7.7%. It’s now 4.3%. It’s also never been easier to get a car loan. Investor’s Business Daily reports: About 11.5% of new-car buyers had credit scores below 600 (defined as “subprime” and “deep subprime”) in Q3 2015, the highest figure for Q3 since 2007, according to Experian data. They also accounted for 32.2% of used car sales in Q3, up from a year earlier but below levels during the recession and the early recovery years. •  The subprime auto loan market is showing signs of stress… Delinquency rates for subprime auto loans hit 4.7% in January. That’s a six-year high, according to Investor’s Business Daily. A loan is delinquent when a borrower falls 60 days behind on payment. The default rate for subprime auto loans hit a six-year high in January. •  The auto boom would die without easy money… According to a recent report by the New York Fed, a 1% rise in auto loan rates would cause auto production to fall by 12%. Sales would drop by 3.5%. •  E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, warns the auto boom will end badly… Almost no one actually buys their car. I did it last year and the dealership’s finance manager was confused why I wouldn’t want to take “the free money.” There are two ways to increase sales of big ticket items. Drop the price or lower the borrowing requirements. Car makers love easy Fed money. They’ve been able to raise prices and raise sales by pushing the “free money” onto customers. The pitch is compelling…nothing down and no interest, just sign and drive. E.B. predicts the auto industry will bust when the economy turns down… But money’s never free. Even the free money has to be repaid. That’s where the problems start popping up. That’s what you’re seeing in these delinquency rates and you’re going to see a lot more of it. Mark my words, we are in a recession right now. The government will later revise numbers showing we were in a recession around the turn of this year…who knew? In a recession, people lose their jobs and they have to make choices. They have to decide what bills to pay now, and what bills can wait. Food doesn’t wait. Believe it or not, neither does cable T.V. But the monthly car bill… •  Dispatch readers know signs of a recession are all around… Sales for Caterpillar (CAT), the world’s biggest machinery maker, have fallen 38 months straight. Last month, John Deere & Co. (DE), the world’s biggest agricultural equipment maker, warned of a slowing global economy. A.P. Møller-Maersk (MAERSK-B.CO), the world’s biggest shipping company, recently said the global economy looks worse today than it did in 2008. On Tuesday, CNN Money reported that the U.S. manufacturing sector shrank for the fifth straight month in February. The sector is now in its longest contraction since the 2009 financial crisis. Even the U.S. consumer, which had been a bright spot for the economy, is hurting. Wal-Mart (WMT), Kohl’s (KSS), Macy’s (M), and Sears (SHLD) are just a few major retailers that had awful holiday shopping seasons. Many major U.S. retailers are closing stores to cut expenses. Recommended Links Chart: Huge Trade Opportunity for 2016 In 1981, Jim Rickards met one of America’s great living legends who unknowingly helped him to create a powerful technical indicator. One that could help you identify the perfect moments to trade in and out of stocks for maximum gains right now… These seven charts prove what he’s talking about. And they point to what could be the #1 trade in 2016. Click here to see all the details.last_img read more

FOR MORE Tuscaloosa First Responders Looking at Op

first_imgFOR MORETuscaloosa First Responders Looking at Options for Coroner, Medical Examiner: April 10, 2018Tuscaloosa County’s desire for a coroner came up again at Wednesday’s Tuscaloosa County Commission meeting.Under state law, each county is required to have someone come out if someone dies unexpectedly outside a hospital to pronounce the death and rule out potential criminal activity.In Tuscaloosa County, that means when there’s a crime or accident ending in a fatality, someone assigned to Tuscaloosa County from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery must travel from there to Tuscaloosa.Until the coroner arrives, there’s nothing first responders can do besides cover the body and wait at the scene.Tuscaloosa County Probate Judge and County Commission Chair Hardy McCollum said he’s forming a group to look into potential solutions.“If we can’t get the state back involved and truly have a medical examiner’s office functioning and functioning properly, then I don’t think we are left with much of an alternative,” McCollum said. “Maybe there is a hybrid in there somewhere, but let’s get all the parties together and talk about a solution.”McCollum said he’d like to have a recommendation for the state within the next month.last_img read more

WVUA 23 NEWS REPORTER ALESSANDRA PONTBRIAND TUSCAL

first_imgWVUA 23 NEWS REPORTER ALESSANDRA PONTBRIANDTUSCALOOSA – Crowds of customers were lining the block, eager for the doors to open at Lavish Boutique on Black Friday.“We decided to do Black Friday a little bit bigger than what we did last year,” said Lavish Boutique Owner Crystal Williams Rosinsky. “We did not expect the response we got. I was ecstatic. People were already texting me last night saying that people were in line waiting at six o’clock. I was just, I can’t even, I was speechless.”Other stores like Soca Boutique and Academy Sports and Outdoors also had long lines of eager shoppers. Soca Boutique customers rushed into the store to get their hands on the prized jackets.“All the coats were gone within 30 seconds,” said Black Friday shopper Taylor Bonds. “And then there were people who came in right at nine and were, like, mad because they were gone. So it was like we camped out for two and a half hours. I don’t know what you thought.”Black Friday is the first day of the Christmas shopping season. Most people would go to a traditional mall but some decided on going to Midtown Village. People like Doff and Laurel Procter were able to buy gifts early for their children.“We were here waiting in line about an hour ahead of time the store opened,” said Laurel. “And everybody had fun.”last_img read more

Lisa Abramson says that even after all she has bee

first_imgLisa Abramson says that even after all she has been through — the helicopters circling her house, the snipers on the roof, and the car ride to jail — she still wants to have a second child.That’s because right after her daughter was born in 2014 — before all that trouble began — everything felt amazing. Lisa was smitten, just like she had imagined she would be. She would look into her baby’s round, alert eyes and feel the adrenaline rush through her. She had so much energy. She was so excited.”I actually was thinking like, ‘I don’t get why other moms say they’re so tired, or this is so hard. I got this,’ ” she says.Lisa wanted to be the perfect mom. She was ready to be the perfect mom. She and her husband lived in San Francisco, and Lisa had worked as a successful entrepreneur and as a marketing executive for a Silicon Valley tech company. When it came to starting her family, she was organized and ready to go. And that first week after her baby was born, everything was going according to plan. The world was nothing but love.Then the baby started losing weight, and the pediatrician told Lisa to feed her every two hours.Lisa started to feel like she couldn’t keep up.”It weighed on me as, ‘I’ve failed as a mom. I can’t feed my child,’ ” she says. “I needed to feed her — that was the most important thing. And my well-being didn’t matter.”She was barely sleeping. Even when she could get a release from what felt like breastfeeding purgatory, she couldn’t relax. As she got more and more exhausted, she started to get confused.Lisa thought going to a spin class would help. This was something she usually loved. But after 10 minutes, she fled the room.”The noises and intense volume of the spin class was really alarming to me,” Lisa says, “It felt like the walls were talking to me.”Then, back at home, she noticed police helicopters circling over their apartment. “There were snipers on the roof,” she remembers thinking, “and there were spy cams in our bedroom and everyone was watching me. And my cellphone was giving me weird messages.”Lisa waited for the police to burst in and take her away. But the next morning, she woke up in her own bed.The cops must have arrested the nanny instead, she decided. That was wrong, Lisa thought to herself. The nanny shouldn’t be punished for my crime.Lisa told her husband it wasn’t fair. She was going to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.And that was when her husband told her he was going to drive her to the police station himself.”It was like, ‘Oh, OK, he’s taking me in, and I guess I’m getting arrested,’ ” Lisa says.Her husband, David Abramson, remembers it as one of the worst days of his life.”I’m bringing my wife to the hospital and then checking her into an inpatient unit,” says David, explaining what really happened that day. “It was really, really challenging.”Not jail, but a psych wardThere had been no crime after all — and no snipers and no spy cams. The nanny hadn’t been arrested, and Lisa’s destination that day wasn’t a jail cell, but rather the general psychiatric ward at Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.The other patients were there for drug overdoses or alcohol withdrawal. People were screaming. One patient thought he was a dog and was crawling around on all fours, barking. To David, it didn’t seem like the right place for a new mom.”That was probably the most heart-wrenching thing, was having to leave her that night with the hospital staff,” he says. “You could see in her eyes and her body language that she was panicked.”For the first five days, Lisa says, she didn’t speak to anyone.”I don’t know if I couldn’t speak, or I wasn’t speaking,” she says, “but I was terrified enough of the environment that I decided I wasn’t going to answer anyone’s questions.”Lisa doesn’t remember any doctors or nurses telling her why she was there or what was going on. But she does remember, about a week into her hospitalization, her husband bringing a printout from online about postpartum psychosis.The article said elevated hormones from childbirth — plus sleep deprivation — can trigger confusion and paranoia. Lisa didn’t believe it — she thought her husband was tricking her and had spent hours using Photoshop to piece together a fake article.”I really was just like, ‘No. I’ve heard of postpartum depression,’ ” she says. “No! I have never heard that there’s postpartum crazy.”New data on moms who die by suicideBut postpartum psychosis is real. Studies suggest it affects about one or two women out of every thousand who give birth; some doctors now think even more women than that are affected, but go undiagnosed. Without proper treatment, some of those women end up dying — by suicide.California researchers just finished their first big study on maternal suicides. The state’s public health department hasn’t published the findings yet, KQED was able to review some of the data: 99 new moms in the state died by suicide over a 10-year period.The investigators determined that of those 99 suicides, 98 were preventable. The women might be alive today if the health care system in California had done a better job screening women, diagnosing their illness and treating them.”The work that we do here is less than 10 percent of what needs to be done,” says Dr. Nirmaljit Dhami, a psychiatrist at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Calif. She helped review the suicides but did not share data from the report with journalists.Dhami is an expert on postpartum mental illness and often treats cases of postpartum psychosis that OB-GYNs mishandled. Based on her clinical experience and observations, she says, a lot of doctors don’t know the early signs of postpartum psychosis and don’t know that the symptoms wax and wane.”A lot of times the patient will present very clearly, then at other times, will present with acute confusion and disorganization,” Dhami says.It’s what happened to Lisa Abramson — feeling like she was of sound mind one moment and then believing the walls were talking to her in the next.”This is a symptom that clinicians who are not trained in this field can easily miss,” Dhami says, “because when they see the patient in their office with the family, they can think that the patient is normal and is probably suffering from sleep deprivation — and discharge them home.”That’s how women can end up dead. In the U.S., mental health problems are one of main contributors to maternal mortality, according to a 2018 report from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiative called Building U.S. Capacity to Review and Prevent Maternal Deaths. On the report’s list of causes of death among new moms, mental health problems (which include drug overdoses) rank seventh — nearly tied with the complications of high blood pressure. For white women, mental health problems are the fourth leading cause of death.Even when new moms do get referred for psychiatric care in the days and weeks after their child’s birth, Dhami says, the care is often inadequate or inappropriate. Doctors prescribe the wrong medications. Insurance companies push patients out of psychiatric units before they are ready. And the staff of psych units, generally, are not trained in these illnesses, Dhami says, and may not be equipped to care for even the most basic physical needs of new moms.For example, when Lisa Abramson first arrived at the psych ward, her husband told the medical resident who admitted her that he thought Lisa had postpartum psychosis. The resident said to him, “Postpartum what?”Then, several days into Lisa’s stay, she complained of pain in her breasts. She had stopped breastfeeding when she left home, and it didn’t seem to occur to anyone that her breasts would become engorged.Her husband had to negotiate with the staff to bring in Lisa’s breast pump from home.She remembers that when she wanted to pump, she had to use a room with padded walls that looked like a solitary confinement chamber — “what you’d imagine from a terror movie,” Lisa says.But the worst thing of all was not being allowed to see her baby daughter. The inpatient unit has a strict policy: No infants or children on the ward. The hospital says this is intended as a safety measure for everybody.Her family lobbied on her behalf.”They said, ‘She’s a new mom and she needs to see her baby. That’s keeping this bond going, it’s important,’ ” Lisa recalls, tearing up. “That was the hard part, was not getting to see her.”About five days into her time there, Lisa’s family was able to negotiate permission for one-hour visits with her daughter, but they were supervised by a person who kept looking at his watch.Lisa’s family was so unhappy with her care at the hospital, that her husband decided he needed to get her out of there. They found Dhami and asked her to take over Lisa’s treatment.Dhami enrolled Lisa in a comprehensive outpatient program she runs at El Camino Hospital, called the Maternal Outreach Mood Services (MOMS) program, where the new mother can bring her baby along during appointments.California Pacific Medical Center declined to comment on Lisa’s case specifically, even though Lisa authorized the hospital to discuss her medical records. The hospital’s inpatient psychiatric medical director, Dr. Stephanie Wilson, says that breast pumps are now available to women who need them and that health care providers review new moms’ wishes to see their babies on a case-by-case basis.”We take into full consideration all of the circumstances and the details of that patient, of the infant — and really seeing what, if any, benefit or even potential harm, it could have to the mother,” Wilson says. “Once the symptoms of depression and psychosis start to get better, that’s when I would start to allow more visitations.”A different kind of care for momsThere’s plenty of research, dating back to the 1940s, on the ideal protocols for inpatient treatment of postpartum mental illnesses. The gold standard is to admit the mother and the baby into the hospital together, on a specialized mother-baby unit, where they’re treated as a pair.Part of the mom’s therapy in these units is getting guidance on how to read the baby’s cues and how to meet the baby’s needs — as well as her own. At night, the baby sleeps in a supervised nursery, so the mom can get uninterrupted sleep.In the United Kingdom, there are 21 of these mother-baby psychiatric units. In France, there are 15. They exist in Belgium and New Zealand and one in India.But in the U.S., there are zero.The closest approximation can be found in North Carolina, 3,000 miles from where Lisa lives, in the hospital at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.The perinatal psychiatric unit here is reserved exclusively for pregnant women and new moms.”There is a need for them to see other moms going through what they’re going through,” says Dr. Mary Kimmel, the psychiatrist who runs the unit. She wears a denim jacket and black suede ankle boots, and whenever a patient wants to know whether she’s a mom too, she says yes, she has two kids.Every room has a hospital-grade breast pump, Kimmel says, and there’s a lactation consultant who helps women with breastfeeding. The unit has a designated refrigerator for moms to store pumped milk.The most distinctive feature about the program is the visitor policy.”Babies can come to the unit, and we really encourage that,” Kimmel says. “We encourage older kids to also come to the unit.”Most afternoons, toddlers scurry around the day room or color, play with toys and play with each other. Women cradle their visiting newborns, rocking them, feeding them.The babies are not allowed to stay overnight though. Unlike the units in Europe, there’s no nursery here. The main reasons for that policy are the restrictions of U.S. insurance plans.Kimmel says no insurer in the U.S. would ever pay for a healthy baby to be admitted to a hospital.”That baby doesn’t have a distinct need to be admitted and so it’s not possible to bill for that baby being at the hospital,” she says. And without that, the hospital can’t afford to run a nursery.The days on the UNC unit are very structured, with a range of treatments. There’s one-on-one therapy and lots of group classes: parenting and time management lessons, for example, where women practice asking their partner for help; relaxation classes; and spiritual counseling.Alice Sarti says the moms unit at UNC was the first place that gave her hope as a new mother. After she gave birth to her son, she became engulfed by mania. She had dealt with depression many times before, she says, but never this.”Every minute I had to fill with a task: researching day cares, doing and re-doing my budget,” she remembers. “I’m not going to line up three bottles — I’m going to line up 17 bottles.”She loved how productive she was. She’s a business analyst and loves getting things done. But then, everything started to spiral.”There was a definite snap,” she says. “I started yelling about things that didn’t make sense. They made sense to me.”To her family, it was just an incoherent rage. They called the police and they took Alice to the nearest hospital that had an available bed — not the mom’s unit at UNC, but rather a general psych ward, several towns away.”You saw people that couldn’t speak, that could barely walk,” she says. “People were discharged in that condition.”Alice refused to take any meds, making her unpopular with the staff.”I did have a social worker tell me I was going to lose my child if I didn’t ‘pull it together,’ ” she says.During her three-week stay, she saw her son once, for 20 minutes.”I was not able to touch him on any level. He was in his car seat and I reached for him and I was yelled at,” she says.It’s hard for her to admit what it was like coming back to him, after she was discharged.”It felt like a burden, “Alice says. “It felt like, ‘How am I ever going to do this?’ I held him, I bathed him, and I did all the things — but the connection was not there. I lost time with my son and I’m never going to get it back.”Alice was treated at two hospitals, never feeling any better, before she ended up at the moms psych unit at UNC Chapel Hill.Finally, everyone seemed to understand what she was going through, she says — the pressure she was feeling and the guilt. She saw her son regularly, and staff helped her start to re-establish her bond with him.”It was this incredibly nurturing environment,” she says. “It changed the trajectory of my life, and my son’s life.”Yet, even in this seemingly perfect place, things can go wrong. By the time Alice was discharged, her mania had cleared. But then she slipped into the deepest, darkest depression she had ever known. She checked herself back into UNC, afraid she was going to kill herself.With Alice, and with other patients, doctors are under so much pressure to get moms home quickly that sometimes they overshoot on the medications, Kimmel explains. Some of that pressure comes from the moms themselves, who want to be with their kids, but it also comes from the insurance companies.UNC’s moms unit pays the bills like other hospitals — they take commercial insurance and Medicaid to cover the costs of care.But the longer a patient stays, the more an insurer has to pay, and that’s not good for its bottom line. Kimmel and other doctors say as soon as a patient comes off suicide watch, insurers start calling, asking when she can go home.”Our average length of stay runs from about one week to two weeks,” Kimmel says.And in Europe? “About 40 to 50 days is the average length of stay there,” she says.That means that some U.S. doctors may start their patients on new drugs but not have time to see if they work well. Or they have to start women on the most intense medications right away — medications that force her to stop breastfeeding — instead of slower-acting therapies that could allow a mother more time to feed her infant breast milk.It also means that patients like Alice can end up hospitalized four times before they get the right treatment they need to truly recover.Insurers insist the decision to discharge is not just about cost, but about what’s best for patients.Hospitals are not necessarily the ideal environment for making sure medications are stabilized, says Kate Berry, senior vice president of Clinical Innovation for America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group for insurers.”There are other settings where the care can continue,” she says, “such as a partial hospital or an intensive outpatient care setting that may be more supportive of having the mom and the baby together.”Alice Sarti says mental hospitals in the U.S. are just warehousing people. Only the mom’s unit felt like a place of healing.”It’s a different kind of place,” she says. “It’s the type of mental health care that everyone should have access to — not just mothers. That’s what mental health care in this country should look like. And it doesn’t come close.”Right now, UNC is the only hospital in the country that has a designated psych unit just for pregnant women and new moms. A hospital in New York has a women-only unit. And El Camino Hospital, where Dhami practices in California, will soon start construction on a women-only psych unit, with a special focus on the needs of new moms. It is slated to open in 2019.Ready to try againLisa Abramson is playing catch with her daughter Lucy.”Ready? Set? Go!” Lucy shouts, and Lisa rolls her a small rubber soccer ball.Lisa feels like she’s back to her normal self. But she has been thinking a lot about her experience with postpartum psychosis.Despite everything, she decided to have another baby.”That was the most courageous moment of my life,” she says. “Without knowing anything [about] how this is really going to work out, let’s try it again.”She was terrified, though, that the psychosis would come back.”They say there’s about a 50 percent chance,” she says. “I can try to set up a more optimal situation, but you also just don’t know — and it’s out of your control, which is hard.”The No. 1 thing she wanted to avoid was going back to the hospital.”The hospitalization was probably the most traumatic [aspect] of the whole experience,” Lisa says.These days, she loves being a mom, she says. Lucy is 5 now. Her second daughter, Vivian, is 18 months old.The psychosis did not come back after Vivian’s birth, in part because of all the precautions Lisa took. She made sure she got enough sleep. She gave herself permission to give up breastfeeding if it became too much.”We’ve got so many messages of just self-sacrifice,” Lisa says. ” ‘Do anything for your kids.’ ‘Drop everything. That’s what it means to be a good mom.’ And for me, that’s not what made me a good mom. That’s what made me fall apart.”I’m trying to put myself first — guilt-free — and know that that makes me a better mom.”This story is part of NPR’s reporting partnership with KQED, the California Report and Kaiser Health News. Copyright 2019 KQED. To see more, visit KQED.last_img read more

Spinal surgery made it possible for Liv Cannon to

first_imgSpinal surgery made it possible for Liv Cannon to plant her first vegetable garden.”It’s a lot of bending over and lifting the wheelbarrow and putting stakes in the ground,” the 26-year-old says as she surveys the tomatillos, cherry tomatoes and eggplants growing in raised beds behind her house in Austin, Texas. “And none of that I could ever do before.”For the first 24 years of her life, Cannon’s activities were limited by chronic pain and muscle weakness.”There was a lot of pain in my legs, which I can now recognize as nerve pain,” she says. “There was a lot of pain in my back, which I thought was, you know, just something everybody lived with.”Cannon saw lots of doctors over the years. But they couldn’t explain what was going on. She’d pretty much given up on finding an answer for her pain until her fiancé, Cole Chiumento, pushed her to try one more time.”It never improved. It never got better,” Chiumento says. “That just didn’t sound right to me.”So Cannon went to a specialist who ordered a scan of her spine. A few days later, her phone rang.”We found something on your MRI,” a voice said.The images showed that Cannon had been born with diastematomyelia, a rare disorder related to spina bifida. It causes the spinal cord to split in two.In Cannon’s case, the disorder also led to a tumor that trapped her spinal cord, causing it to stretch as she grew.In December 2017, a neurosurgeon opened up her spinal column and operated for several hours, freeing the cord.”I think it was Day 3 after my surgery I could feel the difference,” Cannon says. “There was just a pain that wasn’t there anymore.”As she recovered, Cannon saw lots of huge medical bills go by. They were all covered by her insurance plan. Almost a year went by after the operation.Then a new bill came.Patient: Liv Cannon, 26, of Austin, Texas. At the time of her surgery, she was a graduate student insured with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas through her job at the University of Texas.Total bill: $94,031 for neuromonitoring services. The bill was submitted to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, which covered $815.69 of the amount and informed her she was responsible for the balance. The insurer covered all of Cannon’s other medical bills, which came to more than $100,000, including those from the hospital, surgeon and anesthesiologist.Service provider: Traxx Medical Holdings LLC, an Austin company that provides neuromonitoring during spinal surgery. Neuromonitoring uses electrical signals to detect when a surgeon is causing damage to nerves.Medical service: Cannon was born with a rare spinal condition that had caused chronic pain and muscle weakness since she was a child. In December 2017, she had successful spinal surgery to correct the problem. Her surgeon requested neuromonitoring during the operation.What gives: Neuromonitoring made sense for the type of surgery Cannon had. The bill did not. Cannon should have been warned long before her surgery that the neuromonitoring company would be an out-of-network provider whose fees might not be covered by her insurer.At first, she was baffled by the billing information that Blue Cross sent her. “It was one of those things from the insurance company that says this is the amount we cover and this is the amount you might owe your provider,” she says.The statement listed four separate charges from the day of her surgery. Each was described as a “diagnostic medical exam.” Together, they came to $94,031.Blue Cross said the covered amount was $815.69 — minus a $750 deductible and $26.27 for coinsurance — and informed Cannon she might have to pay the balance — $93,991.58″I was shocked,” she says. Chiumento was outraged.”As soon as I saw that, I thought it was a scam,” he says.The bill had come from an Austin company called Traxx Medical Holdings LLC. Traxx did not respond to emails, phone calls and a fax seeking comment on the charge.The company’s website shows that Traxx provides a service called intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring, which evaluates the function of nerves during surgery. The goal is to help a surgeon avoid causing permanent damage to the nervous system.There is an ongoing debate about whether neuromonitoring is needed for all spinal surgery. But it is standard for a complicated operation like the one Cannon had, says Richard Vogel, president of the American Society of Neurophysiological Monitoring.On the other hand, a $94,000 charge for the service can’t be justified, Vogel says.”You’re not going to meet anybody who believes that a hundred thousand dollars or more is reasonable for neuromonitoring,” Vogel says.Most neuromonitoring companies charge reasonable fees for a valuable service and are upfront about their ownership and financial arrangements, he says. But some companies are greedy and submit huge bills to an insurance company, hoping they won’t be challenged, he adds.Even worse, “some neuromonitoring groups charge excessive fees in order to gain business by paying the money back to surgeons,” Vogel says.Last year, Vogel’s group published a position statement condemning these “kickback arrangements” and other unethical business practices.It is unclear whether Traxx, the company that provided neuromonitoring for Cannon, has any financial arrangements with surgeons. Cannon’s surgeon did not respond to requests for comment.The size of the fee for Cannon’s neuromonitoring was only part of the problem. The other part was that Traxx — unlike her hospital, surgeon and anesthesiologist — had no contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.As an out-of-network provider, the company could set its own fees and try to collect from Cannon any amount it didn’t get from her insurer.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas said it doesn’t comment on problems affecting individual members. But the insurer did offer a general statement by email about the problem:”Unfortunately, non-contracted providers can expose our members to significantly greater out-of-pocket costs. These charges often have no connection to underlying market prices, costs or quality. If given the opportunity, we will try to negotiate with the provider to reduce the cost.”One thing working against Cannon is that she is pretty sure that just before surgery, she signed a paper that authorized the out-of-network neuromonitoring.”It was 4:30 in the morning and you’re like, ‘OK, let’s get this over with,’ ” she recalls.Getting consent in the hospital may be legal, but it’s not reasonable, says Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., who directs the Health Policy Institute at the Texas Medical Center in Houston.For example, a patient might be having a heart attack, Garson says. “You got chest pain, you’re sweating, sick as you can be, and they hand you a piece of paper and they say, ‘Sign here.’ “The Texas Legislature passed a bill in May to protect patients from the sky-high bills this practice can produce. And Congress is considering similar legislation.These are small steps in the right direction, Garson says.”Asking the individual patient to make that decision even when they’re not sick, I think, is difficult,” he says, “and maybe we ought to think of some better way to do it.”The Texas legislation is expected to take effect later this year but affects only bills that occur after it becomes law. So that $94,000 figure is never far from Cannon’s mind, even as she and Chiumento plan their wedding.”Every time I go out and I collect the mail, I’m wondering, ‘Is this the day it’s going to show up and we’re going to have to deal with this?’ ” she says.The takeaway: Neuromonitoring during complex surgery involving the spine can help prevent inadvertent damage. But monitoring may be unnecessary for lower-risk back operations, like spinal fusion.It is strange that neuromonitoring is charged as a separate service, rather than part of the spine surgery. Cardiac monitoring is not charged separately during bypass surgery, for example.When considering spine surgery, ask your doctor whether neuromonitoring will be part of the procedure. If so, will it be billed separately? Try to find out the name of the provider and get an estimate of the cost beforehand.Check with your insurer to determine if the neuromonitoring provider is within your network and to make sure the estimated charge will be covered. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

City Winery on the Greenway opened for the season

first_imgCity Winery on the Greenway opened for the season on Wednesday, May 1 and will celebrate with a grand opening on Wednesday, May 15. The regular hours of operation are Wednesday and Friday 3:30 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. – 9 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.*Advertisement* Trillium Garden on the Greenway will open for its third season on the Greenway on Thursday, May 16. The regular hours of operation are Wednesday through Friday 2 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. City Winery will be serving their locally crafted wine on tap, including varieties of reds, whites, and rosé. In addition, they have partnered with Harpoon Brewery to offer locally-made craft beer and cider. There will be live music on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.center_img Summer is coming and with it, open-air beer and wine gardens on the Greenway! The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy has announced the opening dates for the returning Trillium beer garden at the corner of High Street and Atlantic Avenue, as well as a new wine garden run by City Winery at Dewey Square.last_img read more

BE Modern Man Meet Mr Custom Cleats Eric L

first_img BE Modern Man: Meet ‘Mr. Custom Cleats’ Eric L….Cleveland Clothing Company Designs ‘For6iven’ T…5 Life Insurance Wealth-Building Strategies for… There are some cool gadgets to hit the market, but we’re particularly interested in Agbara Life. The company creates highly functional and fashionable powered backpacks that feature a sleek matte black look complimented with gold or silver hardware and triple USB output power to keep you connected while on the go. Their Type-C with Power Delivery option allows you to charge the latest phones and laptops including the MacBook Pro.Other additional key standout features are that the backpack has super-durable YKK zippers; a rain cover; RFID Shielded Blacking protection; it’s TSA checkpoint, pocket-friendly; it’s housed in water-repellent PU leather; and it has amazing battery juice.(Image: Agbara Life)Currently, the pack comes in two options; the Cinchpack is 20% larger than its counterpart, the Daypack. The Cinchpack is said to be perfect for the traveler while the smaller version is perfect for the commuter. It’s interesting. There are several products on the market looking to tackle this space. One has yet to stick and I’m not sure why because this seems to be a no-brainer. The beauty is that the market is fairly new, so I look forward to seeing how the company operates on the product.Agbara Life was founded by Nigerian-American Tayo Adesanya, who says the name stands for power, strength, energy, and ability in Yoruba. His background is a far cry from retail. He was an NCAA All-American and Big Ten Champion at Purdue University, graduating from the Electrical Engineering Tech program. He also became a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. The tutoring and mentoring he did back then translates to his work now.We recently saw the bags at CES and it seems as though they are getting a lot of traction. The company has exceeded their Indiegogo campaign goal. If you are interested in checking it out, click here. be_ixf; php_sdk; php_sdk_1.4.18 https://www.blackenterprise.com/agbara-life-designs-powered-backpacks/ https://www.blackenterprise.com/agbara-life-designs-powered-backpacks/last_img read more

Accessories

first_img Accessories Latest From Our Partners Gloves More From Sale Timeline of Israel Adesanya’s Rapid Rise to UFC Contender Latest From Our Partners Greatest Highlights of Anderson Silva’s Career Brock Lesnar’s WWE Future After UFC Retirement ProMax 440 BJJ GI Top Contenders for Fight of the Year King Ryan Longsleeve Shirt Latest From Our Partners UFC on ESPN: Covington vs. Lawler fight card Gordon Ryan Competition Kit More: Most Underrated Fighters (BR) Top 10 Title Contenders (BR) Ranking the Gracies (BR) 75 Best Knockouts (BR) Lesnar’s Possible Foes (BR) Good Night Tee UFC 240: Fights to make White on Nunes-Cris rematch: ‘That’s the fight I want to make’ The co-main event of Saturday’s UFC 148 pay-per-view is the rubber match between the original TUFer Forrest Griffin and the official retirement bout for MMA legend Tito Ortiz. The main event features another rematch in the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen fight for the UFC middleweight championship.Before I relate my personal spin on the influential career of Tito Ortiz (16-10-1), let’s review a few historical accolades from his UFC.com profile:Currently holds six UFC light heavyweight title records (most successful LHW defenses (5), most successful consecutive LHW defenses (5), most LHW championship fights (9), most LHW championship fights won (6), most LHW championship fights lost (3), most LHW championship rounds fought (28))11 of 26 (42%) pro fights have been against nine UFC or PRIDE champions (Machida, Evans, Liddell, Griffin, Belfort, Couture, Tanner, W.Silva, F.Shamrock).There are also quite a few honors that don’t show up in the stats: Ortiz carried the UFC through the “dark years” when MMA’s heightening popularity was stunted by the “human cock-fighting” image and subsequently banished from major pay-per-view providers. Though Mark Coleman and Fedor Emelianenko are often mentioned first in the Pioneers of Ground and Pound category, Ortiz deserves mention for his vicious body-lock takedowns and willingness to filet opponents with scorching elbows from inside the guard. Finally, Ortiz was the first to remain steadfast in contract negotiations with the UFC, insisting way back in 2003 that premiere mixed martial artists deserved the “boxing-type money” that they’re closer to achieving today.More UFC 148 DissectionsSilva vs. Sonnen | Le vs. Cote | Kim vs. MaiaMendes vs. McKenzie | Menjivar vs. Easton | FX Prelims Forrest Griffin (18-7) shares credit with Stephan Bonnar for launching the sport to mainstream status after their monumental slobber-knocker at the TUF 1 Finale. The self-deprecating goofball retained his humility through earth-shattering upsets of Mauricio Rua and Quinton Jackson, the latter of which secured him the the UFC light-heavyweight championship in 2008.Griffin’s title run was ephemeral, as Rashad Evans buried him under a hail of ground strikes to assume the throne and Griffin’s gone a measly 2-4 in his last 6, though his level of competition has been consistently remarkable.Continued in the full entry.SBN coverage of UFC 148Their first two encounters provide a good expectation of the dynamics in the third: Forrest was successful when staying light on his toes and using his striking speed and footwork to pester Ortiz with crisp kickboxing while shucking off takedowns. Really, I think the constant factor is that Forrest will threaten to control the pace with that strategy or an improved version of it, and the onus is on Ortiz to prevent it. The money round for Ortiz was the ground-and-pound clinic he authored in the opening 5 minutes of their original encounter but he was forced to deal with Griffin’s stand up in most of the following rounds and, needless to say, was entirely less imposing.Forrest excels with his strong balance, circling and angles while uncorking strikes; his takedown defense, ability to react with counters and his kickboxing prowess overall. Ortiz, on the other hand, has always struggled to harmonize his striking and wrestling, even in his prime, and is prone to telegraphing his shots from a mile away with no set up.Throughout his career, my consistent critique of Ortiz is that he’s locked in either wrestling or boxing mode and never used one to complement the other and he almost refuses to pass guard in the top position. Back in the day, Tito’s elbows from the top were so devastating that he’d either finish from inside the full guard or opportunities blossomed when his opponent squirmed away to avoid the barrage and gave up a better position in the process. Unfortunately, the fight-changing wallop of his takedowns and elbows has seriously dwindled, with much of Ortiz’ mobility following suit.Ortiz has, however, advanced his stand-up technique by leaps and bounds. His average striking was inconsequential when he could rag-doll everyone to the canvas, but noticeable advancements were shown during the era of his feud with Ken Shamrock — first with the addition of Muay Thai knees and elbows to complement his rugged clinch game and later with boxing fluidity in open space. He competed well with Griffin in their past meetings, and Forrest owns some top-shelf striking performances over the likes of “Shogun” and “Rampage.”Ortiz’ submission upset of Ryan Bader was a simple and subtle example of evolution. It was more than a random lucky punch, as Ortiz distinctly dropped levels to mimic a takedown attempt but transitioned into a sweeping left hook and a monster right hand, and one that Bader couldn’t evade because his hands were down in anticipation of digging underhooks to defend the takedown. Twas a thing of beauty.Whether or not Ortiz can replicate that type of ploy again or show off any more new tricks should dictate his fate. If he doesn’t, he’ll be relegated to winning a kickboxing match where Griffin has the edge. Shooting double legs from far outside the perimeter with no set up — be that with footwork, feints or striking — will simply not work. Instead of single bursts consisting of either a takedown or short combination, Ortiz will benefit most from a gradual pressure of both elements combined. That way he can methodically steer Griffin into a corner before launching a double or increase the hit-rate of his striking by faking level drops.For any new readers or the uninitiated in general, my analysis of the match up and breakdown of the key factors are intended to be as unbiased and subjective as humanly possible. Those emotionless qualities are nowhere to be found in my final prediction, as picking a winner based on the cold, hard facts precludes me from the aspects of excitement and passion, which is what makes MMA the best sport on earth. With that disclaimer out of the way, I’m taking Tito Ortiz here for no other reason than corny nostalgia and the fact that he played a large role in my crack-like addiction to the sport.Thanks for the memories Tito.My Prediction: Tito Ortiz by TKO. Apparel Griffin x Ortiz Latest From MMA Warehouse Standard Ranked Rashguard Nightmare Matchup for UFC’s Biggest Stars Standard BJJ Gi Conor lashes out at Herb Dean, says Khabib was ‘riddled in panic’ during bus attack Lockdown duffle bag Robert Whittaker hails ‘Wonderboy’ the best ‘outside fighter’ in MMA White: McGregor didn’t like my comments about Masvidal being ‘too big’ for him Which is More Dangerous – MMA or Football? Bloody Elbowlast_img read more

Woburns Baldwin Sons Lands on Esquire 2017 Best Bars

first_img Sign up for The Feed. The latest on the city’s restaurants scene.* 5/25/2017, 10:37 a.m. Baldwin & Sons Trading Co. / Photo by Raul ZelayaRan Duan made a Colonial mansion in Woburn a drink-lover’s destination when he transformed a bar driven by scorpion bowls into a retro-modern tiki lounge, at his parents’ Chinese restaurant, Sichuan Garden II. The national media took notice, especially after Duan represented the U.S. in a couple global drink-making competitions. Today, Duan’s newest venture, an indulgent but elegant library on the mansion’s second floor, earns his latest praise.The Baldwin & Sons Trading Co. has landed on Esquire’s 2017 list of Best Bars in America. Writes Bostonian Luke O’Neil, a regular contributor to the magazine:Picture the best Chinese-takeout restaurant you’ve been to: dumplings and thick-cut bacon in garlic, ginger, and Sichuan peppers. Now put that inside a New England Colonial mansion built in 1661. When you tack on one of the best cocktail bars in Massachusetts, it’s almost an embarrassment of riches… Cocktails come in meticulously stage-dressed vessels: brown and bitter recipes in flasks served in cigar boxes, or a glass egg filled with Aperol, absinthe, and grapefruit served on a bed of flowers.Baldwin & Sons is the only Massachusetts representative on the latest list. It joins the pantheon of Boston-area Esquire Hall of Fame bars, like the Hawthorne, State Park, Drink, Eastern Standard, and the legendary Croke Park/Whitey’s.Elsewhere on this year’s list of 24 is the Magdalenae Room, tucked inside Providence’s Dean Hotel.“With its cloistered hum and crepuscular lighting and high-backed booths, this discreet refuge… welcomes you with a sort of film-noir nod that conveys, ‘Don’t worry, we won’t tell a soul,’” writes Esquire correspondent Jeff Gordinier.The 45-seat Baldwin & Sons Trading Co. is open Thursday-Sunday, and the 24-seat Baldwin Bar is open nightly. Reservations are highly encouraged, because Esquire writers and the like keep taking the seats.But don’t worry—Duan isn’t done. He’s still developing a rum bar, headed for his parents’ other Sichuan Garden restaurant in Brookline.The Baldwin & Sons Trading Co., 2 Alfred St., second floor, Woburn, 781-935-8488, thebaldwinbar.com.Ran Duan at the Baldwin Bar in Woburn. / Photo by Alex Lau for “Behind the Bar at Sichuan Garden II” Print 505center_img Woburn’s Baldwin & Sons Lands on Esquire 2017 Best Bars The library lounge above Ran Duan’s essential Baldwin Bar is the only Massachusetts winner this year. Devoted foodies and restaurant newbies love The Feed. Sign-up now for our twice weekly newsletter. By Jacqueline Cain· last_img read more

15 Healthy Things to Do This Week

first_img Read all about the latest gym openings, healthy events, and fitness trends in our twice weekly Wellness newsletter. Healthy Events 15 Healthy Things to Do This Week How will you stay fit this week? 7/16/2017, 5:00 a.m. 000 Printcenter_img Sign up for Health & Wellness newsletters. Everything you need to stay healthy and fit.* By Cynthia Fernandez· Daybreaker/Photo providedMonday, July 17Fit by the Field: Feel as much like a Patriot as possible at this outdoor yoga class at Patriot Place. Even better, it’s free.Free, 5 p.m. Patriot Place, 2 Patriot Place, Foxborough, facebook.com.Tuesday, July 18Yoga Around Town: How’s this for a good Tuesday? You’ll start your evening with an hour-long yoga class at the Reebok store, then flow right into Sweetgreen salads and vodka cocktails.$20, 6 p.m. Reebok, 655 Tremont St., Boston, eventbrite.com.Thursday, July 20Daybreaker Summer Camp: Dance your way to Faneuil Hall Marketplace for a summer camp-themed early morning rave and yoga class, courtesy of Daybreaker.$20+, 6 a.m. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 9 South Market St., Boston, daybreaker.com.Barre3 Mother and Daughter Class: Grab your mother or daughter and get ready to bond at the barre. The free class is hosted by Athleta.Free, 8:30 a.m. Athleta, 220 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, eventbrite.com.Spin and Sip with Truly: This is not your average cycling class. After your workout at Flywheel, sip on some Truly, a 100-calorie spiked seltzer.$15+, 6 p.m. Flywheel, 800 Boylston St., Boston, flywheelsports.com.Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: Let meditation instructors Samuel Johns and Matthew Hepburn convince you the practice is for you—even if you can’t stop fidgeting. (Read our tips, too.)$10, 6:30 p.m. Reebok, 655 Tremont St., Boston, eventbrite.com.Friday, July 21Hip Hop and R&B Flow: This beginner-friendly CorePower Yoga class will set you up for a weekend that’s all about that bass.$25, 5:30 p.m. CorePower Yoga, 305 Centre St., Newton, facebook.com.Saturday, July 22Photo by Corinna RaznikovMattapan on Wheels Bike-a-Thon: Bike the newly completed Neponset Trail during this seventh annual bike-a-thon hosted by the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition Vigorous Youth.Suggested $5 donation, 9 a.m. Walker Playground at Norfolk Park, 528 Norfolk St., Mattapan, eventbrite.com.Brunch Fit in Brookline: Brunch Fit is bringing the fun to Brookline. After a Barre3 workout, the class will walk over to Brother’s Restaurant for brunch and mimosas.$39, 11:30 a.m. Barre3 Brookline, 1624 Beacon St., Brookline, eventbrite.com.A Little Princess:  Tailored toward those who fall on the autism spectrum, this performance of A Little Princess will omit potentially frightening elements and allow families to speak and leave as they please.$5+, 2 p.m. Fuller Craft Museum, Oak St., Brockton, eventbrite.com. Yoga Dance: Join Jeff Costa and Life Time Athletic Chestnut Hill for “meditation in motion,” a workout that climaxes with cardio dance and cools down with relaxation.Free, 7 p.m. Life Time Athletic, 300 Boylston St., Newton, eventbrite.com. Ladies Who Lift photo courtesy of Steph Paulovich and Caroline Robinson SmithSunday, July 23Soulful Sunday at Ashmont Grill: Ashmont Grill’s patio will turn into a yoga studio for an hour-long class followed by mimosas.$25, 8:45 a.m. Ashmont Grill, 555 Talbot Ave., Boston, eventbrite.com. Eat Your Way to a Healthier You: This event, hosted by the National Parkinson’s Foundation, will teach attendees about good nutrition and allow them to sample a Parkinson’s-friendly meal.Free, 10 a.m. Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Boston, parkinson.org.Ladies Who Lift: Intimidated by weight lifting? Join this all-levels workshop at the YMAA, where you’ll learn how to safely lift and build muscle using kettlebells.$25, 10 a.m.YMAA, 5 Basile St., Roslindale, ymaaboston.com.Sunday Acro Funday: Learn the art of AcroYoga—a blend of partner yoga and acrobatics—at this YogaWorks class. Bring a partner or meet one there.$45, 11 a.m. YogaWorks, 364 Boylston St., Boston, yogaworks.com.last_img read more

On the Market A Residence in the Round

first_img 10/23/2018, 9:57 a.m. Print Photo via BH&G – The Masiello Group1809 Beaver Meadow Road, Vershire, VermontPrice: $765,000Size: 1,642 square feetBedrooms: 3Baths: 2Built as a hunting lodge in the ’60s, this rounded residence in Vermont was overhauled in the early aughts. Now, it’s a one-of-a-kind home that runs on solar power.To get there, its new owners will meander up long gravel road, where the house is tucked into a hillside overlooking a lake. The entire property stretches to a whopping 195 acres, or more than three times the size of Boston Common.Almost everything about the place is cozy, from its semicircular stone fireplace to its sauna and steam rooms. There’s a wood stove in one of the bedrooms, too, plus a cast iron tub in the master bath. The rounded great room comes with a bright-red spiral staircase leading to the second level, not to mention huge floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the surrounding woodland.For information, contact Mark Roden, BH&G, The Masiello Group, bhgre.com.Photo via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupPhoto via BH&G – The Masiello GroupThe Boston Home team has curated a list of the best home design and home remodeling professionals in Boston, including architects, builders, kitchen and bath experts, lighting designers, and more. Get the help you need with FindIt/Boston’s guide to home renovation pros. Sign up for our weekly home and property newsletter, featuring homes for sale, neighborhood happenings, and more. By Madeline Bilis· center_img Sign up for Home & Property newsletters. Design, real estate, and pretty things for living.* 001 On the Market: A Residence in the Round This circular abode is set on a whopping 195 acres in Vermont.last_img read more