One of US’s ugliest truths rears its head again

first_imgHad James Holmes, the man who shot dead 12 people and injured 70 in Denver on Friday, been a Muslim, he would inevitably have been called a terrorist. But, he is a nerdy, white Ph.D scholar who is now likely to be called insane more than anything else in the manner in which he associated himself with the principal villain in the Batman saga, the Joker.American politicians profess to be “shocked” by the event. But they shouldn’t be. The kind of laws that they permit on owning guns would only encourage such crimes. Even so, in the history of America’s mass killing episodes involving a shooter like Holmes, the Denver killings have set a record of sorts in the number of people killed or injured by a single gunman.Seven people were killed by a gunman at Oikos University in Oakland, California in April. And three students were killed by a fellow student in Chadron, Ohio in February. In April 2011, US House of Representatives member Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others were shot by a gunman who succeeded in killing six people in Arizona. According to anti-gun activists, guns claim 84 lives in the US every day and wound 200.Yet, American politicians not only refuse to pass gun-control laws but revel in the freedom that American citizens have to buy and possess guns.last_img read more

Mind Rocks today, with Arjun, Deepika and Yo Yo Honey Singh

first_imgFrom Arjun Kapoor to Deepika Padukone and Yo Yo Honey Singh to Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. The India Today Group Mind Rocks Youth Summit is back in Delhi with big Bollywood stars, the new brigade of young MPs and sports and music icons.So all through Saturday, get ready to speak and with your icons on at Siri Fort Auditorium.Like last month’s Mind Rocks Chandigarh edition, this one too promises to be as much fun and interesting. There will be music and songs and dance, along with some serious talk and some heart-to-heart chat.The day will open with a power talk by Piyush Goyal, India’s new power and coal minister.Next will be your chance to speak to Finding Fanny star Deepika Padukone, as she shares her takes on grit, glamour and guts.She will be followed by Arjun Kapoor, the new heartthrob on the block after the success of 2 States. Watch Bollywood’s Ishaqzaada speak about how he came into his own.The next session will see Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the Olympic medalist and a Lok Sabha MP from Rajasthan, share stage with AAP leader Manish Sisodia. They will speak on how the public office needs to be reinvented.Then it’s a date with India’s finest women cricketers and wrestlers. Stars of our women’s cricket team, Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj, and wrestling stars Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari will speak on making it to the big league.Also meet up close VJ Andy and actor-singer Sophie Choudry.Celebrity fashion designer Suneet Varma and Snapdeal’s young CEO Kunal Bahl will also be there, speaking about how to make the cut.advertisementAfter Chandigarh, Bhagwant Mann, the satirist who is now an Aam Aadmi Party MP, is back on popular demand. Hear him speak, in his inimitable style, why politics needs a sense of humour.Jive then to the soulful songs of Rabbi Shergill, the sardar of Sufi who regaled all at Mind Rocks in Shillong last year, and feel astounded at the courage and expertise of danseuse Shubh Kaur Ghumman.The day will wrap up with a bang, as Yo Yo Honey Singh, the new superstar rapper and the heart of all new Bollywood dance numbers, takes the stage.last_img read more

Germany coach Joachim Loew to stay on despite Euro disappointment

first_imgGermany’s Joachim Loew said he would stay on to lead the World Cup winners to their title defence in Russia in 2018 despite an initial hesitation on whether to continue after a disappointing semi-final defeat to France last week at the Euro 2016. (Griezmann double helps France sink Germany to reach Euro 2016 final)Loew, who has coached Germany for 10 years and to five straight semi-final appearances at World Cups and Euros, said in a statement on Tuesday he planned to continue, ending some speculation that the 56-year-old might step down. (Germany deserved more, says coach Joachim Loew)”Despite our disappointment, the team didn’t disappoint,” said Loew, who was Juergen Klinsmann’s assistant coach for two years before taking over the reins in 2006. (Full Euro 2016 Coverage)”It was the youngest team in the tournament and I continue to see great potential,” added Loew, referring to his team’s average age of 25.4 years, which was next to England – the youngest at the tournament. Italy had the oldest team with an average age of 29.4 years.”I’m sure that they’ll give us plenty of joy in the future and that’s why I remain enthusiastic about continuing to work with these players and accompany their developments going to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.”Loew had triggered speculation that he might step down right after Germany lost to France 2-0 in the semi-final when he was asked about his future.”I don’t know,” he told ZDF television just minutes after the final whistle. “It’ll take a while (to make a decision).”advertisementYOGI’S INCREDIBLE RECORDThose non-committal comments prompted a wave of support for Loew and an opinion poll by the Emnid polling institute for Bild am Sonntag newspaper showed that 84 percent of Germans wanted the man they call “Jogi” (pronounced ‘Yogi’) to continue.Also known as the “Bundestrainer”, Loew has led his team to at least the semi-finals in every tournament they have played in since he took over after the 2006 World Cup, where Germany under Klinsmann also reached the semi-final before losing to Italy.Loew also led Germany to the 2014 World Cup title — the country’s fourth after 1954, 1974 and 1990. Loew’s record stands at 137 matches with 90 wins and 23 defeats.Germany’s World Cup defence starts on September 4 with a qualifying match against Norway.Loew is one of the longest-serving national team coaches anywhere but ranks only third in Germany after 10 years at the helm. Sepp Herberger coached the national side for 20 years and Helmut Schoen served in the role for 12 years.last_img read more

Phils GM Sorry For Dissing Fans

first_imgNEW YORK — Embattled General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. apologized May 26 to Philadelphia Phillies fans for saying they “don’t understand the game” and the “process” that goes into constructing a team.Speaking before the Phillies lost 5-4 to the New York Mets in 10 innings at Citi Field, Amaro acknowledged his comments “caused a bit of a firestorm” in Philadelphia.“I’d like to apologize to the fan because I’m a fan myself and I understand. I understand the passion and the knowledge that our fans have for our game and the other major sports — all the sports in Philly,” he said.“So, I don’t think the comments were meant to disparage our fans by any stretch of the imagination. I probably used my words incorrectly or poorly. So I want to apologize for that.”Already criticized by fans eager to see the club rebuild following consecutive 73-89 finishes, Amaro told for a story published May 26 that he thinks the Phillies will be conservative in promoting top prospects Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin through the minors. Both are pitching well at Double-A Reading.As for fans who want to see the team be more aggressive?“They don’t understand the game,” Amaro said, according to “They don’t understand the process. There’s a process. And then they bitch and complain because we don’t have a plan. There’s a plan in place, and we’re sticking with the plan. We can’t do what’s best for the fan. We have to do what’s best for the organization so the fan can reap the benefit of it later on. That’s the truth.”Amaro acknowledged he spoke with team President Pat Gillick about those comments.“Am I worried about it for me now? I’m more worried about it for the organization because the organization shouldn’t have to suffer because I made a bad quote,” Amaro said. “It’s unfortunate, but I think it’s been taken out of context in some ways. Take the quote out and pull it out of (the) story and look at the length of the breadth of the story.”Philadelphia is fourth in the NL East at 19-29, and Amaro said he’s as excited as anyone else about seeing the organization’s best prospects in the big leagues.“But there’s a process they have to go through. There’s a process and a plan in place, and I think that was more the point,” he explained. “I understand why the fans would want — because we’re not having a ton of success at the major league level right now, why the fans would want to see these guys — but I think it’s incumbent upon the organization to make sure we do it at the right time and do it with the right plan in place.“As I said, there’s a rhyme to the reason,” Amaro added. “It may not jive with everybody, the way we’re doing it, but I think we’re doing it for the best interests of our club and the best interests of the player. There’s no reason — why would we hold players back? We want our players to perform (in) the big leagues as soon as possible, too.”(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Antonio Conte will not resign as pressure builds on Chelsea manager

first_imgAntonio Conte has no intention of resigning at Chelsea despite his team’s recent dismal run and expects to oversee the game against West Bromwich Albion next week, though the Italian has agreed to his players’ request for extra time off to recharge their batteries amid a draining schedule. The ailing champions endured a second successive three-goal defeat at Watford on Monday to leave the head coach, who was always expected to depart Stamford Bridge in the summer, battling to retain his position in the short term.Chelsea have denied reports in Spain that their director Marina Granovskaia has met the former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique about succeeding Conte and insist it remains business as usual at the club despite only two wins in 10 games since the turn of the year. Topics “We know that we can do better and know that we can improve. As a player all I want is to come back to the training pitch as soon as possible, to work hard and to get into Monday’s game against West Brom, to get the three points and to get our confidence back.”Conte signed improved terms at Chelsea over the summer but his deal runs only to 2019, with this season’s backdrop of discord fuelling suggestions that he will depart the club 12 months early. Carlo Ancelotti, who is living in London after his stint at Bayern Munich, and Luis Enrique would apparently be interested in taking up the reins at Stamford Bridge only at the end of the current campaign. The board’s instinct has always been to avoid upheaval mid‑season, particularly with the team still in the top four and with the Champions League and FA Cup ties ahead. Yet Roman Abramovich has traditionally wielded the axe when it appears his club’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League are in jeopardy.While the focus is naturally drawn towards the European ties with Barcelona, Chelsea face daunting league games at Manchester United and Manchester City in between the collisions with the Catalans. Tottenham, currently fifth, are due at Stamford Bridge on 1 April.Conte admitted his team had played “with fear” at Vicarage Road and rejected using injuries and fatigue as an excuse for their poor form. Yet, with that game their 41st of the season – they had played only 29 at the same stage last term – he has acknowledged an empty week is an opportunity to grant his players a rest.The Italian had originally scheduled preparations for the West Brom fixture to begin on Wednesday. However, he is understood to have granted his players’ request for a three-day break after discussions in the away dressing room after the match at Watford.Senior members of the squad had previously expressed concern at the sense they were being overworked in training, with the intensity of last year’s sessions apparently retained despite the increased number of matches.Conte suggested last week the team had actually been “working a lot less than last season” but, with eight players having succumbed to hamstring injuries to date and Marcos Alonso rested at Vicarage Road after suffering his own twinge before the match, something had to change given the significance of the games coming up.The head coach retains the backing of his players, with the likes of Gary Cahill, Thibaut Courtois, N’Golo Kanté and César Azpilicueta offering public shows of support. “Whatever is decided, the players have to take responsibility,” said Cahill.“The manager has done an absolutely unbelievable job. This is the worst I’ve felt for quite a while. Performance-wise at Watford I didn’t recognise us or myself. It was abysmal. We just need to keep strong. I’ve been here before at this club: it’s about staying calm. But it hurts a lot when you come off after a performance like that.”Azpilicueta added: “If you see the training sessions we all fight hard. We are the first to be disappointed with the way the last two games went. We are getting penalised in the bad moments we are having in the game. It’s not a long period but in this league, which is so tough, you get punished as soon as you drop a bit. Play Video Share on Twitter Read more Antonio Conte: Chelsea must decide my future, not me – video Share on Messenger Chelsea Share on Facebookcenter_img news Share on WhatsApp 1:11 Share on LinkedIn Antonio Conte running out of time as Tiémoué Bakayoko plays the fall guy Reuse this content Share on Pinterest Antonio Conte Share via Emaillast_img read more

Government Introduces Donkin Framework

first_imgNova Scotia will establish the legal framework for the opening of the Donkin mine and provide project developers with predictability from regulators. An Act to Facilitate the Effective Regulation of an Undersea Coal Mine in the Province was introduced today, March 29, by Mark Parent, Minister of Environment and Labour. “This act provides certainty to workers, Nova Scotians, Xstrata Donkin Coal Development Alliance, and our federal colleagues that we are committed to operating a safe and efficient mine,” said Mr. Parent. “It provides clarity and consistency when dealing with regulators. That’s good for safety and good for economic development.” Mr. Parent said both Nova Scotia and the federal government claim jurisdiction over the resource, but the two governments have put that question aside and focused on what’s required to operate a safe and efficient mine. The provincial and federal government have been working together to agree upon “mirror legislation” to regulate the Donkin mine. For the most part, the federal government will mirror existing provincial laws, to the extent possible, in the areas of labour, occupational health and safety, mineral, and petroleum development. These will be incorporated into federal law in place of the Canada Labour Code for the purposes of the mine. “The federal government will then delegate the administration of those laws to Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Parent. “The effect is to make it clear what the law surrounding the project will be, and who will be enforcing it. Today’s legislation creates the framework for this.” The bill will allow Nova Scotia to make, by regulation, changes needed for the mirror legislation. Licensing of coal and coal-gas operations would be as described in the province’s Mineral Resources Act and Petroleum Resources Act. Royalties for coal and coal gas will flow to Nova Scotia. The federal Canadian Human Rights Act will apply to the Donkin project. Occupational health and safety regulations that apply to the Donkin project and the underground mining regulations will be amended to include certain federal practices in the mirror legislation. “This is the result of excellent co-operation between the province and the federal government,” said Mr. Parent. “Both levels of government are committed to providing a stable and predictable regulatory environment for the Donkin mine.” Consultations will be held in April to seek comments on the specifics of the changes and how to best regulate the mine. Changes will be made through regulation or, if necessary, by amending the legislation in the fall.last_img read more

Meal replacement company Soylent has imports blocked in Canada

first_imgSoylent, the meal replacement drink that’s been called both “the future of food” in breathless headlines and “the end of food” by the New Yorker, can no longer be sold in Canada due to a failure to meet federal food regulations.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it advised Soylent earlier this month that the company’s drinks do not meet the compositional requirements for meal replacement products, and that imports would have to be halted unless regulations were met.But the agency is not recalling Soylent products as there’s no health risk to consumers.In a statement posted on Soylent’s website, CEO Rob Rhinehart says the company intends to comply with CFIA regulations, even though the company feels “strongly that these requirements do not reflect the current understanding of human nutritional needs.”He goes on to say that he doesn’t know how long it will take for Soylent to adapt to CFIA’s requirements, and that the company can’t yet estimate when their products will be available to Canadians. The company did not provide a spokesperson to comment, but said in a statement that they are “working hard to resolve the categorization issue.”Soylent, which offers meal replacement drinks both in bottles and in powder form, started when Rhinehart was working in Silicon Valley in 2013.The product is built around the idea that home cooking is unnecessarily time-consuming for busy people in a work-obsessed culture, and is often more expensive and less healthy than it could be.“It turns a full meal into a one-step process. It makes things a lot less complicated. And when you’re busy, it takes eating off your plate,” reads Soylent’s website.The product — which is designed to deliver a healthy ratio of carbohydrates, fat, and protein — is sold less as a drink and more as a lifestyle. The company’s branding and packaging similarly embrace efficiency over esthetics with stark labelling.Soylent offers users a subscription service and bottles purchased on its website aren’t offered in units smaller than 12 (each bottle is $3.75 for a 400-calorie portion). Soylent is not available in Canadian stores.The company recommends that consumers “ease into” incorporating Soylent into their diet and start with a single drink per week.“This will allow your body to adjust to this new food source. Once you are acclimated to Soylent, you can customize your intake to your liking,” the company’s website reads.Soylent launched with a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2013, raising over US$700,000, and the brand grew quickly. The company has been selling in Canada since 2015.This isn’t Soylent’s first run-in with food inspection agencies. Last October, parent company Rosa Foods recalled Soylent’s utilitarian-sounding “food bars” along with an earlier version of their food powder after customers complained about suffering gastrointestinal illness.“Fitting with our desire to err on the side of caution, we are reformulating Bar and Powder 1.6 to remove the likely ingredients. Turnaround should be fairly quick,” Soylent posted on its website at the time. The food bar has not yet returned to Soylent’s roster of products.Soylent’s website specifies that the company wasn’t named after the food-replacement wafers that famously turned out to be made of human flesh in the 1973 movie “Soylent Green,” but for its tamer counterpoint in the book that inspired the movie. In the 1966 science fiction novel “Make Room! Make Room!”, soylent is a harmless combination of soy and lentils.Steve Euser, a Toronto-based landscape architect, says he’s been a regular Soylent drinker since the product was made available in Canada. After his father suffered a spinal injury in the spring of 2015, the bulk of the workload at the design firm they run together fell to him.“I was working very, very long hours and eating healthy — actually, just eating — was a problem,” Euser says, adding that relying on Soylent for breakfast and lunch saved time and kept him from eating junk food.Once his father returned to health and his work life calmed, he cut down his intake: these days, he says he only replaces one meal a day with Soylent.“It’s frustrating,” Euser says of the CFIA decision to halt Soylent sales. “I can’t buy a product that I want to buy, that is available elsewhere, that is perfectly safe.”last_img read more

From mechanical engineer to UFC fighter Winnipegs Brad Katona living the dream

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter TORONTO — If fighting doesn’t pay off, Brad (Superman) Katona has a degree in mechanical engineering in his back pocket.But so far so good for the 26-year-old from Winnipeg.Katona, competing as a featherweight, won “The Ultimate Fighter Undefeated” reality TV show in July with a unanimous decision over Jay Cucciniello in Las Vegas. On Saturday, returning to his more familiar bantamweight division, Katona (8-0-0) faces American Matthew Lopez (10-4-0) on the undercard of UFC 231 at Scotiabank Arena.While Katona is new to fighting as a career, he is a veteran of martial arts. He took his first karate class at five — he and his brother were Power Ranger fans so chose karate over hockey — and got his black belt at 14. Their father, a UFC fan, then put them into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the Winnipeg Academy of Mixed Martial Arts.He continued his MMA studies during high school and his time as the University of Manitoba, hitting the books while punching opponents. His first pro fight was October 2014.“I definitely feel like sport helped me at school as well as getting that engineering degree helped me in sport,” said Katona. “An engineer knows how to solve problems and that’s what every day in the training room is.” “The sad part is you’re never quite satisfied,” he added. “But I’d rather be pushing the barrier on everything than sitting back completely 100 per cent satisfied.”After completing his degree in May 2016, he said the time was right to focus full-time on fighting.“I was reaching a point in my dream career of being a professional athlete that it didn’t make sense to hold off. If I didn’t make that attempt, it would be something I would regret for a long time.”Katona said he and his girlfriend Katie Saull, a fellow fighter, soon knew it was time to make a move and “step things up.”“Otherwise the game will pass you on. I wanted to be ahead of that curve and be training with (the) best team that I can be.”In November 2017, the five-foot-six 135-pounder and Saull pulled up stakes and moved full-time to Dublin to train at Straight Blast Gym Ireland under coach John Kavanaugh, who coincidentally also has an engineering degree. The gym is famous for being the home of Irish star (The Notorious) Conor McGregor.“They welcomed us in and it was just a right fit,” said Katona, who also has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.“It’s a big gym but it has also a small gym feel,” he added. “There’s a tight-knit community around the team members.”He appreciates Kavanaugh’s hands-on approach during training, rather than handing off to an assistant coach.Katona says he sees McGregor at the gym but doesn’t get to rub shoulders too much with the former featherweight and lightweight champion.“When you’ve made it to the level that he has, being a two-division champ and being the biggest superstar in the sport, you’re not doing the same practices as everybody else. But he still shows up for the team practice from time to time.”McGregor is also not above leading a class himself, Katona added.  Katona was soon on the move again, leaving Dublin for Las Vegas to try out for “The Ultimate Fighter.” He made the cut and spent six weeks on the show.Season 27 of the reality TV series featured 16 undefeated fighters — competing until the tutelage of then-heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and light-heavyweight title-holder Daniel Cormier for a featherweight and lightweight contract with the UFC.Living in a well-appointed house with 15 rivals was “one of the more alien experiences I could say I’ve done,” said Katona, who was part of Team Cormier.“But I tried to enjoy it. I tried to realize that I was waking up every morning in a mansion That’s pretty cool in itself.”But it was a grind always being on the edge of having to make weight and fight, he acknowledges.Katona was the first Canadian to win the show, other than “The Ultimate Fighter Nations,” which featured a Canada versus Australia format.These days, he and Saull enjoy living in Dublin“Everything’s different, everything’s slightly different … from grocery shopping to walking around,” he said.“It makes the little things exciting,” he added.The Winnipegger pushed “pretty hard” to get on the Toronto card, looking forward to fighting on home soil.“It’s also a big card so there’s going to be a lot of eyes, both in person and on TV.”He calls Lopez a difficult opponent — and a dangerous one after two straight losses.“I think he knows this could be make-or-break for him. If he loses this, the UFC could potentially cut him. So I’d expect him to put in the most work that he’s ever done for this fight to keep his job in the UFC.” read more

HS2 rail link will destroy irreplaceable ancient woodland

first_imgYou can’t achieve ‘no net loss of biodiversity’ if you’re destroying irreplaceable ancient woodland – it’s impossibleBeccy Speight, Woodland Trust Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The HS2 rail link will destroy irreplaceable ancient woodland that has been continuously wooded for hundreds of years, the conservation agency Natural England has warned.The Government agency published a review warning that areas that have been continuously covered with trees since 1600 was irreplaceable.It should be removed from a metric aimed at ensuring “no net loss” of biodiversity from the high speed rail project, as its inclusion “gives the impression that it is tradeable or replaceable”, the report said.It added that HS2 Ltd must be far more ambitious in compensating effectively for unavoidable losses of ancient woodland, creating 30 hectares of new woodland for every hectare lost. She added: “You can’t achieve ‘no net loss of biodiversity’ if you’re destroying irreplaceable ancient woodland – it’s impossible.”This report is clarification that HS2 has failed on its key objective of ‘no net loss of biodiversity’ and that this project will be to the detriment of the natural environment.”The Woodland Trust estimates around 900 hectares (2,200 acres) of new woodland will need to be created to replace 30 hectares of ancient woodland (74 acres) lost in phase one of the scheme, from London to the West Midlands.But the National Farmers’ Union raised concerns about the 30:1 ratio and its impact on farmland, and called for quality over quantity of new habitat.NFU vice president Guy Smith said: “High quality farmland should not be used to create low quality habitat and exacerbate our need to import food at potentially higher cost to the environment, or woodlands, abroad.”center_img A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We agree with the vast majority of the recommendations in the report.”However, Natural England admit that there is very little evidence to support the recommendation to create 30 hectares of woodland for every one lost in building HS2, and we therefore cannot accept it.”Compensating for unavoidable ancient woodland loss is vital and Natural England recognises that HS2 Ltd is doing as much, if not more, than has ever been done before.”He said the railway avoids ancient woodlands wherever possible and the Chiltern Tunnel extension would protect several more hectares of woods, whileHS2 Ltd was providing 150 hectares of new woodland and establishing a £5 million fund for woodland schemes. This is much higher than the metric which would lead to a ratio of around five hectares created for each hectare lost.But in its response to the report, the Department for Transport (DfT) rejected the findings, saying that “given the evidential basis is lacking, this part of the report should be seen as a stimulus for debate”.The Woodland Trust, which welcomed the findings by Natural England, responded angrily to the DfT’s statement.Beccy Speight, chief executive of the conservation charity, said: “For DfT to outright reject the findings of Natural England on the planting ratio of 30:1 is a very dangerous situation.”Natural England are the expert advisers to the Government on the natural environment, so it seems inappropriate that DfT should question the expertise and experience of the Government’s own statutory advisory body on matters of environmental protection.”last_img read more

Meet the solicitor whos changing the power balance in finding legal help

first_imgWHEN SEARCHING FOR a solicitor, people can sometimes find the experience overwhelming or intimidating.Some might think that a system where a person has to approach the solicitor with their query themselves could lead to a power imbalance – but one person who wants to bring an end to this is himself a solicitor.Dave Reilly is a practicing solicitor in west Cork, and came up with the idea for a service to help people anonymously search for legal help while he was doing a tender for legal services.“When you’re doing a tender like that they ask you your background experience, how much you charge – every question you imagine. By the time you are done with the tender, they know everything about you. It struck me – shouldn’t everyone be able to find this information quickly and esaily without having to trawl around solicitors’ offices?”He believed this could be done anonymously, given the sensitivities around needing a solicitor for legal cases.Soon, with the help of an Irish software company, was set up by Reilly, Tom Murray, an accountant, and Andrew Doyle, an IT specialist.How it worksThe solicitors are not openly bidding with each other on, and all communication is done privately. The solicitors are charged a flat fee to be included, while those searching on the site – whether businesses or individuals – can do so for free. If you need to look up services, you can apply for more information from your solicitor as well as a quote. You can then pick a quote and decide who suits you.Reilly said that most people are posting their legal requests late in the evening between 9 and 10pm, showing that convenience and privacy is a big factor. He has seen many people use the site for family law issues, while conveyancing has picked up and the area of wills is consistent.Reilly maintains that it is not just cost that people are curious about when it comes to solicitors – it’s also experience and whether it is easy to strike up a good relationship.Asked if he thinks that people are not informed about finding solicitors, he said: “I don’t think that they’re not particularly well informed – it’s just hard to get informed. It’s hard to get properly informed. There’s also a barrier there.”People might still be shy to say to a solicitor ‘how many years are you qualified?’ Even we ourselves would be shy. This way you can totally and quietly and anonymously take a look at their background and find that out.Balance of PowerReilly said that he believes – even as a solicitor himself – that the site “pushes the balance of power into the hands of the public”.“I’ll be honest with you – I was surprised at how well they embraced it,” he said of his fellow solicitors. “It comes down to one thing – they are running a business, they want new business.”The site is also “a huge leveller when it comes to transparency in legal fees”, said Reilly.Setting up his own website, particularly one that is a gamechanger for solicitors and their potential clients, means that Reilly is putting his own name on the line, as he readily admitted.But he said that he would not put together a service “if I didn’t feel it was everything I said it would be”.Though he is ‘crossing the rubicon’, he wants to make the process of finding a solicitor more egalitarian, and make it easier for people who might have a legal issue that is sensitive. This is particularly in the case of drunk driving or family law cases.The site has proved so successful that plans are underway for SolveMyAccounting, a similar service but for accountants.The bottom line with the site is putting the power back into the people’s hands, Reilly told “They might be very scared and feeling very vulnerable. It is much easier to ask solicitors anonymously through the internet ‘how can you help me?’.”Read: Call for limit on free legal aid for repeat offenders>last_img read more

8 minute walkthrough of Deus Ex Human Revolution

first_imgA new gameplay video has appeared for Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DEHR), and with it we get to see just how varied the gameplay is in this third title in the series.Gamers who’ve had previous experience in the Deus Ex universe will know the game is all about choice. That’s also the case with DEHR, and here we get to see the same scenario played out in three different ways. You can take the lethal approach where everyone dies, the stealthy approach where you just have to be careful not to get spotted, or the alternative approach that may take a little longer and requires exploration, but guarantees you stay away from the enemy.If nothing else it makes the game good value for money as you can play through 3 times and have a different experience each time. Add to that the extensive augmentations that have yet to be shown off in detail, and we are seeing a game developed here that’s more like the first than the second title in the series. I for one am very happy about that as I much preferred the approach of the first game.There’s still a few months to wait before we can actually play the game as it had an August release date confirmed earlier this month. I am hoping we get to see a few more of these walkthroughs, though, that give us a heads-up on more of the gameplay scenarios available to us.We also have to say that the game looks fantastic. The engine being used isn’t Unreal Engine or id Tech 4, this is the Crystal Engine originally from Crystal Dynamics and used to develop the Tomb Raider games, but heavily modified of course. That modification has certainly worked and so far this looks like a next-gen game.If you want to learn more about the game then visit the official website and check out Sal’s preview.via GameSpotlast_img read more

Belkys Nerey takes part in Hispanicthemed panel at FIU

first_imgGreat discussion today! #Hispa icsInTheMediaRoundtable #ThankYou— FIU Campus Life BBC (@CampusLifeBBC) October 12, 2016Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) – A member of the 7News family participated in a special roundtable in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Wednesday.7News anchor Belkys Nerey spoke at Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami. She discussed the importance and impact of Hispanics in the media.Students asked questions about Nerey and other Hispanic journalists’ role in the news business, public relations and marketing.last_img read more

Driver crashes into Miramar business no injuries reported

first_imgMIRAMAR, FLA. (WSVN) – No injuries were reported after a driver made a crashing stop into a business in Miramar.Rescue crews responded to the scene at Continental Pool Supplies, located near Southwest 64th Avenue near Miramar Parkway, at around 11:45 a.m., Friday.Cellphone video captured the blue Nissan Altima inside of the damaged store front.The driver of the car said she hit the accelerator instead of the brakes.It remains unclear if the driver will face charges.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Murkowski Sullivan Comment On Zinkes Departure

first_imgPresident Trump tweeted the announcement “Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation.” The president said he would name a replacement this coming week. U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan: “Over the past two years, Alaska has had no better friend than Ryan Zinke. He joins the ranks of Gov. Wally Hickel as one of the great Secretaries of Interior.“From assembling an all-star leadership team led by talented Alaskans, to unleashing American energy dominance — by reversing the previous Administration’s illegal lock ups of Alaska lands which hurt thousands of working men and women and their families, and approving the King Cove Road, Secretary Zinke’s impact at the Department of Interior has been immense. He epitomizes a federal government that is willing to work with Alaska, instead of creating obstacles.“I am very sad to see him leave. His service to our nation, including multiple combat tours as a Navy Seal, has been exceptional. I have no doubt his contributions to our country will continue.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Both of Alaska’s U.S. Senators reacted to the news that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will be stepping down at the end of the year. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski: “I was disappointed to learn that Secretary Zinke is stepping down. He has been a strong partner for western states and for Alaska, in particular. After years of frustration with the Department, he came in and took a very different approach – he listened to us, built a great team, and worked with us to advance our priorities. From responsible development in the 1002 Area and a life-saving road for the people of King Cove, to his efforts to secure energy dominance and eliminate the maintenance backlog at our National Parks, Secretary Zinke has accomplished a lot of good things for our country. We will miss him but wish him the best.”last_img read more

RDA Launching Two Titles in Under Two Months

first_imgEven as the pile of folded print magazines continues to grow, the Reader’s Digest Association is hedging its bets against a precipitous decline in ad revenue by launching two magazines in less than two months. The latest is Fresh Home, a quarterly home improvement title, which is set to hit newsstands February 27.With an initial print run of 300,000 and a $4.99 cover price, Fresh Home enters the ailing shelter magazine market targeting readers who are looking for affordable, do-it-yourself home decorating and designing information. Repurposing editorial from RDA’s Australian title The Family Handyman, and featuring advertisers like IKEA and Benjamin Moore, RDA says the magazine is “in tune” with budget-conscious consumers.“Fresh Home is a new take on the traditional shelter magazine because it approaches readers from a lifestyle standpoint, choosing to focus on value and simplicity while remaining in-tune with the consumer living in today’s economy,” Alyce Alston, president of RDA’s Home & Garden and Health & Wellness groups, told FOLIO:. As a whole, the shelter category has sustained several recent, major hits. Last month, Condé Nast said it plans to pull the plug on Domino and effective with the March issue, and Meredith closed Country Home. Late last year, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia shuttered fellow shelter magazine Blueprint.But RDA seems committed to the printed word. Late last month, in a previously announced partnership with Saddleback Valley Community Church pastor Rick Warren, the company launched the Purpose Driven Connection, a quarterly magazine as well as a multimedia platform including DVDs, downloadable discussion guides and a social networking Web site.RDA also is expected to launch Best You, a title modeled after Best Health, which launched in Canada last year.last_img read more

No joke A bear walks into a Lemon Creek liquor store

first_imgA bear likely was just following its nose when it walked into a Lemon Creek business on Friday.Listen nowBob Dilley is a community service officer supervisor with Juneau Police Department. He said a bear walking into a business doesn’t happen very often.“It’s fairly rare that they actually walk into a front door like that,” Dilley said. “It’s a matter of luck that they come by and the door’s open.”About 8:30 a.m., a Liquor Barrel store clerk posted a surveillance video on the Facebook page Juneau Bear Sightings. It shows a bear walking through the store’s front door. Dilley says he watched part of the video.“That place probably had some food in there that smelled so it wanted to check it out,“ Dilley said.At first glance, Roger Thibodeau, the clerk, says that from behind the counter it looked like a dog coming into the store, but then he saw its snout.“Oh my god,” Thibodeau thought. “I think that was the closest I’ve ever been to a bear, he said. I was basically kind of stunned when I saw it.”Thibodeau described the bear as a cinnamon-colored juvenile about the size of an adult malamute dog.In the video, the bear can be seen walking in the open front door, looking at the candy rack and standing upright while browsing his options.Thibodeau said a customer who was pouring his coffee began clapping his hands and shooed the bear out.A juvenile bear walked into the Liquor Barrel store in Lemon Creek on Friday morning, according to store clerk Roger Thibodeau. (Still from Liquor Barrel surveillance video)No joke: A bear walks into a Lemon Creek liquor storeThibodeau was worried the bear wasn’t alone.“It was very young I thought,” Thibodeau said. “There might be some other ones; a mama bear maybe close by and I didn’t want to get too close to it.The bear went next door to the Harri Plumbing & Heating, he said.Dilley has been a community service officer in Juneau for 19 years. In his duties, he regularly scares off curious bears that venture into residential areas in search of food.“Be aware that the bears are out. There’s quite a few running though different part so town,” Dilley said. “If you can keep the doors closed and keep the attractants away, that would probably best.”Dilley reminds residents that items like garbage or food can entice bears on to property.last_img read more

Rohingya repatriation process to begin soon Foreign minister

first_imgForeign minister AK Abdul Momen speaks at a workshop titled `The Rohingya Refugee Crisis and Its Impact on the Host Community` held at BRAC Centre Inn on Thursday, 25 Jul 2019. Photo: CourtesyForeign minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday reiterated his hope that Myanmar will soon start taking back its nationals from Bangladesh as global pressure on the neighbouring country is mounting, reports UNB.”I’m always optimistic. I’m hoping that the repatriation process will start soon,” he said, adding that initially there was less pressure on Myanmar but it is mounting on them now.The foreign minister was addressing as the chief a dissemination workshop titled “The Rohingya Refugee Crisis and Its Impact on the Host Community” held at BRAC Centre Inn jointly organised by Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI) and UNDP.Bangladesh is now hosting around 1.2 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Bangladesh since 25 August 2017. Momen said development projects both in Bangladesh and Myanmar will be affected if uncertainty prevails with pockets of possible radicalisation due to longer stay of Rohingyas in Bangladesh.He also said Bangladesh is asking the neighbours and international community to help resolve the Rohingya crisis as quickly as possible.The foreign minister also said the projects of Japan and China will also be affected if this problem remains unresolved and they, for their own interest, should ask Myanmar to take back their nationals.Terming Myanmar a friendly country, Momen said Myanmar took back their nationals in the past though not a single person has been repatriated this time.Referring to prime minister’s recent China visit, the foreign minister said China sees political will in Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya crisis and is willing to assist the repatriation process.”We’ve achieved many things through discussion and dialogue. Therefore, I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to repatriate Rohingyas,” he said mentioning that Bangladesh will not force anybody to leave.PRI chairman Zaidi Sattar said the global community must continue its pressure on the government of Myanmar to take back the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh. “These displaced people must be repatriated to their homeland on condition that their return is safe, secure and dignified,” he said, adding that the repatriation of 500-600 people a day could be a good beginning.PRI research director MA Razzaque presented the report. UNDP resident representative Sudipto Mukherjee and Research Initiatives Bangladesh (RIB) executive director Meghna Guhathakurta, among others, spoke on the occasion. Zaidi Sattar said Bangladesh is now hosting 4.7 per cent of the world’s refugee population with only 0.3 percent of global output. Talking about poverty impact, he said 2,500 households fell below the poverty line while 1,300 more turned vulnerable. Prof CR Abrar of Dhaka University international relations department said Bangladesh is a shining example of refugee management and their protection. According to a PRI survey, the prices of all essential food items have risen up to 50 per cent since the Rohingya influx.Myanmar DelegationMeanwhile, a Myanmar delegation, led by its permanent secretary of the foreign affairs ministry, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on Friday on a three-day visit, officials said.They will visit Cox’s Bazar on Saturday to talk to Rohingya representatives and brief them on the steps taken in Rakhine State.The delegation will also hold meeting with foreign ministry officials on Sunday.last_img

Software automatically transforms movie clips into comic strips

first_img 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. Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of ( — While some comics today are still drawn by hand, many modern cartoonists use a variety of digital tools to create comics. But even with the help of these tools, creating comics is a time-consuming task that requires many human hours of work. In a new study, a team of researchers has designed a program that can automatically transform movie scenes into comic strips, without the need for any human intervention. The researchers then conducted a user evaluation to see how well users understood and enjoyed the comics. They found that users had a slightly lower content comprehension of the comics compared with the original movie clips. Although some loss in comprehension is inevitable when converting to a different format, the script-face mapping errors also played a role. As for enjoyment, the user evaluations showed that enjoyment was highest when the comics included word balloons and effective layout and stylization. A comic page generated from a movie clip of “Titanic.” Image credit: Wang, et al. ©2012 IEEE Although the technique is capable of performing all steps automatically, the researchers noted that involving some human effort could lead to even better results. In such a scenario, the software would provide recommendations for each step of the transformation process, and humans could manually adjust the results much more quickly and efficiently than in pure manual methods. But the researchers also hope to improve the accuracy of the automated method.“We have two future plans,” Wang said. “One, improve the performance of each component, such as script-face mapping, and hope we can generate perfect clips without user interaction. Two, integrate speech recognition technology to generalize the software, such that we can generate comics without movie scripts (currently we need the script file of the movie clip, but by using speech recognition we can automatically transform speech to texts).” Explore furthercenter_img More information: Meng Wang, et al. “Movie2Comics: Towards a Lively Video Content Presentation.” IEEE Transactions on Multimedia. DOI: 10.1109/TMM.2012.2187181 A comic page generated from a movie clip of “The Message.” Image credit: Wang, et al. ©2012 IEEE Meng Wang, a professor at the Hefei University of Technology, China, and coauthors have published their study on the new software, which they call “Movie2Comics,” in a recent issue of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia.“The software can be useful for both professionals and hobbyists,” Wang told “Professionals can directly use the software to generate comics (or integrate their interaction to achieve more impressive results); hobbyists may have interests to try it to see what will be generated from different movie clips.”As the researchers explain in their study, previous programs have been developed to assist cartoonists in converting movies into comics, but the new method is the first fully automated approach. Without the need for any manual intervention, the method has the potential to significantly cut the time and expense associated with creating comics.The new cartoonization process involves several steps, including an automatic script-face mapping algorithm that identifies the speaking character in scenes with multiple characters, automatic generation of comic panels of different sizes, positioning word balloons, and rendering movie frames in a cartoon style. The researchers used the new method to transform 15 movie clips into comic strips. The clips came from three movies – “Titanic,” “Sherlock Holmes,” and “The Message” – and varied in length from 2 to 7 minutes. Although the method performed the transformation well for the most part, it sometimes put word bubbles next to the faces of incorrect characters. The script-face mapping algorithm had an accuracy of 85%, which the researchers hope to improve. Citation: Software automatically transforms movie clips into comic strips (2012, March 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from PHD Comics hits the big screenlast_img read more

Vajpayees ashes immersed at the confluence of Ganga Bay of Bengal

first_imgKolkata: The ashes of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee were today immersed at the confluence of river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal in West Bengal. The ashes were immersed at the confluence of Ganga and the Bay of Bengal after a puja was held in the presence of West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh, Mukul Roy and other senior party leaders at Gangasagar. Gangasagar is an island off the coast of West Bengal where the Ganga meets the Bay of Bengal. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The ‘asthi kalash’ was brought to Kolkata by Ghosh on Wednesday evening. A part of the content from the main ‘kalash’ (urn) has been distributed in four other urns. The main urn will be immersed at Gangasagar and the four others will be taken to north Bengal, Farakka, Bankura and Nabadwip, Jaiprakash Majumdar, vice-president of West Bengal BJP unit told PTI. Yesterday the state BJP unit took out the ‘Asthi Kalash Yatra’ from Kolkata with the ashes of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed Union minister Smriti Irani had also joined the rally in the morning. Irani said she was overwhelmed at the turnout of people, mostly women, along the roads, to pay respects to the former prime minister. The rally covered various parts of central and south Kolkata and then headed towards Gangasagar. That the people came out in large numbers for the ‘Asthi Kalash Yatra’ only goes on to show how much Vajpayee-ji was loved and revered, said Irani, who was part of the rally till Diamond Harbour. “Tributes were paid to the former PM just the way we pay our respects to elders in our family,” the Union textiles minister said. The BJP central leadership has decided to take out ‘Asthi Kalash Yatras’ in all districts and immerse the ashes in rivers across the country. Processions will start from the state capitals and pass through all blocks, party leaders said.last_img read more