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Top Mountie subpoenaed to testify at harassment trial against RCMP next month

first_imgKenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsOTTAWA – He began his career policing several Saskatchewan First Nations in the late 1990s, then he moved on to chasing terrorists and protecting prime ministers and now this accomplished Canadian police officer is about to face his next challenge – his employer – the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.It’s been about seven years since Sgt. Peter Merrifield first drew up his statement of claim to sue the RCMP for harassment and bullying he claims to have suffered for unsuccessfully trying to run for federal politics in 2005.The case is scheduled for trial next month in Newmarket, Ont.It didn’t get to this point easily.In fact, the RCMP has fought at every turn trying to get the courts to strike it.When the Superior Court of Justice ruled in Merrifield’s favour in 2008, the feds appealed it and lost again.The case then made its way to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2009 where Merrifield won the right to sue the RCMP.And as lawyers were making final preparations a few weeks ago for trial, Merrifield’s camp added another witness to call – Commissioner Bob Paulson.Paulson wasn’t commissioner when Merrifield alleges he was harassed by his superiors who were annoyed with his unsuccessful bid to run for the Conservative party in Barrie, Ont., in 2005.But the commissioner singled Merrifield out at a Senate hearing on June 3, 2013, and accused him of being a disgruntled union organizer.So, on Friday, Paulson was served with an order to appear at Merrifield’s trial as a material witness.Merrifield and his lawyers declined comment, but APTN National News has learned Paulson has been summoned to appear Nov. 17 and ordered to bring with him all notes in preparation of his appearance before the Senate on the date in question.APTN National News obtained an email sent to several senators last May where Merrifield outlined line-by-line his concerns with Paulson’s testimony following Merrifield’s own appearance before the same Senate committee. The letter can be read here.It points to what Paulson can expect to be questioned on if he is called to the witness stand.“The statements made by Commissioner Paulson served only to abuse and harass me publicly. The impact upon my family members was perhaps worse and has been a very negative experience for them over this past year,” Merrifield wrote to the SenatorsOne national newspaper characterized Paulson’s comments on Merrifield like this: “Paulson attacked Merrifield as an agitator who is ‘leading the drive in Ontario’ for unionization within the non-unionized force.”Merrifield is the former president of the Mounted Police Association of Canada that is fighting to unionize the Mounties in the courts.But Paulson also brought up other issues with Merrifield which are part of his lawsuit.“(Merrifield) is also upset we took issue with his commenting out of turn on national security matters,” Paulson told the committee.Merrifield said in his letter to the Senate that Paulson’s comment suggested he may have given up classified information.“This statement refers to a radio interview that I did as a private citizen (not identified as an RCMP member) discussing terrorism. Following that radio interview, I was contacted by a member of RCMP management and told I was under investigation for violating the Official Secrets Act,” Merrifield said. “No criminal sanction or even discipline was ever pursued, nor was there a basis for same.”Merrifield said the internal investigation was part of the “harassment adopted against me” for his political aspirations.Further, Merrifield obtained a 2006 internal RCMP memo about the disputed radio interview, which he partly included in his letter to the Senate.“During the summer of 2005, Cst. Merrifield participated in a radio talk show … Cst. Merrifield did not reveal any classified information or his affiliation with the RCMP,” said the memo sent to former Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli.Merrifield said in the letter he has been working to restore his reputation.“Commissioner Paulson’s comments could be understood to mean that I had wrongfully or even illegally disclosed confidential or sensitive information, which I did not do,” Merrifield wrote.Paulson also singled out two other members by name at the Senate committee.The RCMP’s internal staff relations representatives questioned Paulson’s comments to the Senate, according to an email.“We realize this may have a chilling effect on members wishing to raise workplace issues. It must not. We have raised these concerns directly with the commissioner,” said an internal email, dated June 7, 2013.Merrifield describes the treatment from the RCMP like being “betrayed” and that his career had been “hijacked.”In Merrifield’s statement of claim he alleges his superiors, particularly Supt. Jamie Jagoe and retired Supt. Marc Proulx, disliked his political interests and “proceeded to hound him through all available means with a new of subduing him or driving him from the force.”He said this allegedly included frivolous audits of his corporate credit card, removed him from certain investigations and national security units.The defendants Jagoe and Proulx, including the Attorney General of Canada, claim Merrifield’s run for the Conservative nomination was done in error as he never sought the necessary special leave required for members seeking or running for politics.They also claim the radio interview put him in a conflict of interest based on the fact Merrifield was part of the threat assessment group, a team within the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team in Toronto.His job, in part, was investigating threats against “VIPs and politicians.”He was the lead investigator who successfully tracked down a Brantford, Ont., man for making death threats against former Prime Minister Paul Martin and United States President George W. Bush in 2005 that lead to a conviction.He was removed from threat assessment team almost immediately after his political aspirations were questioned and bounced around units under orders from Proulx, according to the statement of claim.Merrifield joined the force in 1997.The RCMP didn’t respond to a call for comment.kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

ESPN reaches 284 million with football championship

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Alabama’s thrilling national football championship victory over Georgia drew 28.4 million viewers to ESPN on Monday night, the Nielsen company said.It was second only to the Ohio State-Oregon championship game in 2015 as the most-watched telecast ever on cable television, the company said. The game ended in overtime with a sudden-death touchdown for the Tide.The week before, the Georgia-Oklahoma college football semi-final was a more popular television event than the much-anticipated game between Clemson and Alabama. Nielsen said that a little more than 26 million people watched the Georgia-Oklahoma game on ESPN on New Year’s Day. It was a more competitive game than Alabama-Clemson, wihch reached 20.6 million.Meanwhile, NBC’s “Today” was the most popular morning news show on Hoda Kotb’s first week as co-host of the first two hours with Savannah Guthrie, just as it was before her appointment — when she subbed for the fired Matt Lauer.It’s the first time “Today” has beaten ABC’s “Good Morning America” for first place six weeks in a row since 2012, Nielsen said.NBC won the week in prime time, averaging 9.7 million viewers. CBS had 7.5 million, Fox had 5.7 million, ABC had 4.2 million, Univision had 1.5 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 750,000.ESPN dominated the cable landscape, averaging 4.73 million viewers in prime time. Fox News Channel had 1.97 million, MSNBC had 1.55 million, HGTV had 1.48 million and USA and Discovery tied with 1.36 million.With much of the country plunged in a deep freeze, the evening newscasts benefited with more viewers. ABC’s “World News Tonight” averaged 10.3 million viewers last week, NBC’s “Nightly News” had 10.1 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 7.5 million.For the week of Jan. 1-7, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: College Football Semi-final: Georgia vs. Oklahoma, ESPN, 26.05 million; NFL Wild Card: Atlanta at L.A. Rams, NBC, 22.82 million; College Football Semi-final: Alabama vs. Clemson, ESPN, 20.56 million; “Golden Globe Awards,” NBC, 19.01 million; “NFL Wild Card Post Game,” Fox, 18.64 million; “NFL Pre-Game,” NBC, 16.39 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 16.16 million; “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 14.7 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 14.11 million; “Bull,” CBS, 11.17 million.___ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.___Online:http://www.nielsen.comlast_img read more

Box Office Top 20 Solo drops to 294 million in week 2

first_imgLOS ANGELES, Calif. – Box office for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” tumbled to $29.4 million in its second weekend in theatres, bringing its North American grosses to $149 million.That’s still short of the $155 million opening weekend take for “Rogue One,” the other Star Wars spinoff film.“Deadpool 2” took second place in its third weekend with $23.2 million.It was followed by the new opener “Adrift,” a survival at sea drama that’s based on a true story. “Adrift” took in $11.6 million.Fourth place went to “Avengers: Infinity War,” with $10.5 million. The superhero pic has now grossed $643 million from North American theatres — second in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films only to “Black Panther,” which is now at $699.1 million.“Book Club” rounded out the top five with $7 million.The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theatres Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theatre locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:1. “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” Disney, $29,396,882, 4,381 locations, $6,710 average, $148,989,574, 2 Weeks.2. “Deadpool 2,” 20th Century Fox, $23,178,597, 4,161 locations, $5,570 average, $254,506,035, 3 Weeks.3. “Adrift,” STX Entertainment, $11,603,039, 3,015 locations, $3,848 average, $11,603,039, 1 Week.4. “Avengers: Infinity War,” Disney, $10,507,279, 3,570 locations, $2,943 average, $643,006,211, 6 Weeks.5. “Book Club,” Paramount, $7,039,033, 3,169 locations, $2,221 average, $47,555,781, 3 Weeks.6. “Upgrade,” OTL Releasing, $4,670,905, 1,457 locations, $3,206 average, $4,670,905, 1 Week.7. “Life of the Party,” Warner Bros., $3,504,625, 2,511 locations, $1,396 average, $46,350,255, 4 Weeks.8. “Breaking In,” Universal, $2,811,515, 1,682 locations, $1,672 average, $41,341,530, 4 Weeks.9. “Action Point,” Paramount, $2,390,164, 2,032 locations, $1,176 average, $2,390,164, 1 Week.10. “Overboard,” Lionsgate, $1,949,527, 1,228 locations, $1,588 average, $45,497,721, 5 Weeks.11. “A Quiet Place,” Paramount, $1,771,171, 1,156 locations, $1,532 average, $183,520,369, 9 Weeks.12. “Show Dogs,” Open Road, $1,527,370, 2,327 locations, $656 average, $14,602,851, 3 Weeks.13. “Veere Di Wedding,” Zee Studios International, $1,239,535, 118 locations, $10,505 average, $1,239,535, 1 Week.14. “RBG,” Magnolia Pictures, $1,060,087, 432 locations, $2,454 average, $7,835,946, 5 Weeks.15. “Rampage,” Warner Bros., $620,437, 502 locations, $1,236 average, $95,111,646, 8 Weeks.16. “First Reformed,” A24, $421,447, 91 locations, $4,631 average, $1,023,243, 3 Weeks.17. “I Feel Pretty,” STX Entertainment, $297,566, 315 locations, $945 average, $48,324,313, 7 Weeks.18. “Super Troopers 2,” 20th Century Fox, $281,771, 138 locations, $2,042 average, $30,318,666, 7 Weeks.19. “Ready Player One,” Warner Bros., $250,873, 271 locations, $926 average, $136,060,031, 10 Weeks.20. “Black Panther,” Disney, $246,901, 284 locations, $869 average, $699,129,850, 16 Weeks.—Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.last_img read more

Mauritanian President’s Reckless Maneuvers Take the Maghreb to ‘Brink of War’

Washington D.C. – Mauritania’s “positive neutrality” in the Western Sahara conflict has been the arrangement that underpins ties between Rabat and Nouakchott.However, Mauritanian President General Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz careless and irresponsible acts of provocations towards Morocco are undoing the years of relative calm in the region. The General’s ostentation and pomposity are nudging Algeria and Morocco closer to an armed conflict in the Western Sahara.Recent news reports of Moroccan troop movements closer to the Mauritanian borders to counter the activities of the Algeria backed Polisario guerilla in the no-man’s land in the Western Sahara are alarming. General Ould Abdelaziz strategy of sanctioning the Polisario separatist movement to counter Morocco’s diplomatic and economic expansion in Africa is pushing the Sahel and the Maghreb to the brink of war. Moroccan-Mauritanian relations have never been simple. From Moroccan nationalists’ territorial claims in Mauritania to the close connection between the current military government and the Polisario, several sensitive issues have marred the contacts between the two nations. This rocky relationship is set for more turmoil with General Ould Abdelaziz deliberate diplomatic and military provocations in the Western Sahara.General Ould Abdelaziz has been nipping at the feet of the Moroccan Monarch for months now. Feeling self-important, the Mauritanian leader cannot stomach that King Mohammed VI flies over his country to travel all over Africa but never stops to see him.What started as a nuisance is turning into a full-blown crisis with potentially lethal ramifications. Morocco can no longer dismiss Abdelaziz maneuvers as childish. His recent decision to let Algeria get access to the Atlantic Ocean thru the Western Sahara is a serious breach of the military and political understanding between the Kingdom and its neighbor to the South.Morocco will not negotiate its stance on Mauritania’s responsibilities in the Sahara. The General’s game of using his country’s location and close relationship with the Algerian military and the Polisario leaderships to hassle Morocco will eventually push the region into a war. The world should have “serious concern” about these developments.In his absurd race to compete with Morocco, the General has attempted some attention seeking tactics that have backfired ridiculing Mauritania and further weakening his position in the Arab and Muslim world.Form his laughable attempt to host the Arab summit when he knows that Nouakchott does not have enough hotels, to his absurd decision to withdraw from the COP 22 meeting in Marrakesh because of an Israeli delegation, the General has made a joke of his nation. In fact, no major Arab leader showed up for his summit and no one noticed his absence in the COP 22.However, Mauritania’ absenteeism in last weeks’ meeting on terrorism in the Sahel that was held in Senegal is a sign that the General is taking his gambits too far and endangering the stability and security in the region. It is time for France to reign in its “partner” in Nouakchot.It is not secret that Ould Abdelaziz, who came to power in a coup, has been ruling for this long because of France’s backing and support. The French military has given him the security cover to stay in government   and the General Directorate for External Security (French Intelligence agency) has pronged his reign in a country known for military rebellions.As Mauritania keeps using the Western Sahara as a means of pressure, Morocco will be forced to repost to these escalation by either moving its troops further South and  West or reaching out to its supporters within the Mauritanian military and civilian institutions for “action” before it is too late.Rabat’s policy needs recalibration. Moroccan can no longer ignore the Military maneuvers of General Ould Abdelaziz and his stooges. King Mohammed should put France, the real power behind the regime in Nouakchott, on notice over its indifference, because a war in the Western Sahara will undoubtedly hurt Paris.The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent any institution or entity. © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more

UN agency holding video contest to raise awareness about global hunger

21 November 2007The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is inviting filmmakers, students and other Internet users to take part in a new international competition called “Hunger Bytes” in which contestants are asked to make the best short “viral video” that raises awareness about the subject of global hunger. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is inviting filmmakers, students and other Internet users to take part in a new international competition called “Hunger Bytes” in which contestants are asked to make the best short “viral video” that raises awareness about the subject of global hunger.The five most compelling video clips of between 30 and 60 seconds in length that are submitted to WFP will be highlighted on YouTube, and the video that enjoys the most views by World Food Day on 16 October next year will be deemed the winner and then given the chance to visit and film one of the agency’s relief operations.Participants will be encouraged to boost their chances of winning by sharing the web links on blogs and on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.To give filmmakers an idea of what they can do, WFP has also produced its own 30-second video in which participants at a competitive eating contest are shown in slow motion wolfing down hot dog after hot dog before a message reminds viewers that “850 million go to bed hungry every night… Share.”Launching the contest today at WFP headquarters in Rome, the agency’s Director of Communications and Public Policy Strategy Nancy Roman said the concept was borne out of concern about how global hunger is often an ignored crisis.“For those of us doing the day-in, day-out, backbreaking work of getting food to hungry people, it’s sometimes discouraging how few people understand that hunger stalks and kills a child every five seconds,” Ms. Roman said.The agency is also calling on the world’s Internet users to help it in another way during the Thanksgiving holiday period in the United States, by clicking on an increasingly popular game in which a website donates the cash equivalent of 10 grains of rice to WFP for every vocabulary question answered correctly by participants.Since FreeRice.com began on 7 October, more than 3 billion grains of rice have been donated, enough to feed more than 150,000 people for one day. Yesterday it set a one-day record when over 218 million grains were donated. An Internet monitor also found that FreeRice was the most popular humanitarian website for the week ending Saturday, capturing one of every eight visitors to websites in that category.The website’s creator, the US fundraising pioneer John Breen, has already been able to give WFP a cheque for $100,000 that will be used to provide food rations for an estimated 26,000 refugees from Myanmar who are currently living in Bangladesh.FreeRice relies on payments from companies that place advertisements on the site to underwrite its donations to WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian agency. Last year the agency provided food to 88 million people, mainly women and children, in 78 countries. read more

Block on WhatsApp to be lifted tonight talks with FB tomorrow

Meanwhile the President’s Media Division said that the Government had taken steps to restrict access to social media tools temporarily during the last few days, in order to curtail the attempts to spread communal violence across the country, misusing the social media in a manner detrimental to the national harmony. The Government had taken steps to lift the temporarily restrictions imposed on Viber from last night. Furthermore, the President, based on further evaluation of the social media networks that are still denied access, has advised the lifting of restrictions on whattsapp service with effect from midnight of today (March 14), the statement said.However, the President has stressed on the importance of a guided mechanism to prevent the attempts to disturb the livelihoods of people through spreading  ethnic-hatred and racism and damaging the image of an individual through false allegations.“A meeting will be held under the patronage of Secretary to the President, Austin Fernando and the representatives of facebook at the Presidential Secretariat tomorrow (March 15). Through this discussion, the Government is working on to arrive at a method to ensure the necessary protection and surveillance and lift the temporary restriction on access to the  facebook site,” the statement said. “In a context where the impact that could be made by social media to expeditiously increase violent actions based on racism and religious extremism has been internationally proven, Sri Lanka was able to control the rapid spread of violence by temporarily imposing restriction on social media as an action to ensure the national and public safety of Sri Lanka,” the statement said.President Maithripala Sirisena, who is currently on a state visit to Japan, after evaluating the security situation of the country and implementing the necessary monitoring and surveillance methods, gave instructions to the Secretary to the President to allow access to Viber from yesterday’s night (13) lifting the temporary restriction imposed on it. The Government says the block on access to WhatsApp will be lifted from midnight tonight.The Government also said that a discussion will be held between officials from Facebook and the President’s Secretary Austin Fernando tomorrow before the restrictions imposed on access to Facebook is removed. The President has instructed the relevant authorities to take necessary steps immediately to bring normalcy in the country and ensure such disturbances would not recur and take legal actions against those who are responsible for those illegal activities. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Mylan launching cheaper generic version of EpiPen

Mylan launching cheaper, generic version of EpiPen The maker of EpiPens will start selling a cheaper, generic version of the emergency allergy shots as the furor over repeated U.S. price hikes continues — and looming competition threatens its near-monopoly.Despite its second move in five days to make EpiPens more affordable for consumers, maker Mylan N.V. still faces condemnation from critics who accused it of price-gouging. They note Mylan hasn’t reduced the $608 list price for a pair of EpiPen auto injectors or explained why it hiked the price more than 500 per cent from $94 after acquiring the product in 2007.“More must be done_and more quickly_to make this life-saving drug more affordable,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said in a statement Monday. “Myl?an may appear to be moving in the right direction, but its announcement raises as many questions as solutions_including why the price is still astronomically high, and whether its action is a pre-emptive strike against a competing generic.”Mylan, which mainly sells generic medicines, said Monday it will begin selling its generic version for $300 for a pair of EpiPens, in doses for adults or children, like the current EpiPens. That will still bring Mylan tens of millions of dollars while helping it retain market share against current and future brand-name and generic competition.“We need real competition to lower drug prices, not corporations offering generic versions of their own drugs for whatever price they want,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, wrote in a Twitter post Monday.EpiPens are used in emergencies to stop potentially fatal allergic reactions to insect bites and stings, and foods like nuts and eggs. People usually keep multiple EpiPens handy at home, school or work, but the syringes, prefilled with the hormone epinephrine, expire after a year.Some analysts have estimated that the tiny amount of epinephrine in an EpiPen is worth barely $1, and the auto-injectors might cost as little as $5.There’s currently little competition for EpiPen. Rival Adrenaclick carries a list price of $461, and there’s a generic version, but doctors typically prescribe EpiPen, originally launched in 1987, because it’s so well known.Parents doing back-to-school preparations encountered sticker shock at pharmacy counters this month and began protesting to politicians and on social media, leading to an uproar in an election year when drug prices already are a hot issue and other drugmakers have been blasted for astronomical price hikes.Last Thursday, Mylan offered more financial aid to patients getting EpiPens, including coupon cards covering up to $300 off patient copayments, triple the $100 discounts previously offered.Coupon cards are a standard pharmaceutical industry strategy, one that leaves employers and taxpayers still footing at least two-thirds of a big bill — and everyone facing higher insurance premiums eventually. And like other drugmakers that increase prices sharply when generic competition is on the horizon, Mylan has been taking bigger annual price increases on EpiPens the last few years.A generic competitor was expected in 2015 but has been delayed. Now that product and a couple rival brand-name ones could hit the U.S. market in mid- to late 2017. Then last Thursday the compounding pharmacy Imprimis Pharmaceuticals said it hopes to sell a version of the allergy shot in a few months for around $100 for two injectors.A chorus of politicians, consumer groups and others has been calling for hearings and investigations of EpiPen pricing, along with action by the Food and Drug Administration to speed approvals of any rival products.On Monday, Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Elijah E. Cummings, D-Maryland, heads of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote to Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, requesting documents and communications regarding Mylan’s revenues from EpiPens since 2007, manufacturing costs and how much Mylan receives from federal health care programs.Bresch has said the company only receives $274 of the total price for a twin-package while pharmacies and other middlemen divvy up the rest.Mylan hasn’t responded to Associated Press questions about its costs and income from EpiPen, its most profitable product.Last week, Mylan said it was doubling the limit for eligibility for its patient assistance program, so a family of four making up to $97,200 would pay nothing out of pocket for EpiPens. That assistance will also be offered to people getting Mylan’s generic EpiPens, but the $300 copay cards will only work with brand-name EpiPens.How much people pay for EpiPens varies with insurance coverage. People with high-deductible plans, who have to pay out thousands of dollars before insurance kicks in, could face the full price. On the other hand, customers of Express Scripts Holding Co., the nation’s largest prescription benefits manager, pay $73.50 on average.Shares of Mylan rose 19 cents to $43.22 in trading Monday, while broader indexes rose.___AP Business Writers Damian Troise and Michelle Chapman contributed to this report from New York. Johnson reported from Trenton, New Jersey, and Murphy contributed from Indianapolis. FILE – In this July 8, 2016, file photo, a pharmacist holds a package of EpiPens epinephrine auto-injector, a Mylan product, in Sacramento, Calif. Mylan said it will make available a generic version of its EpiPen, as criticism mounts over the price of its injectable medicine. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) by Linda A. Johnson And Tom Murphy, The Associated Press Posted Aug 29, 2016 4:34 am MDT Last Updated Aug 29, 2016 at 4:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

In Nigeria UN envoy reviews efforts to release schoolgirls meets with Malala

In Abuja, Said Djinnit, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, reiterated “the continued commitment of the United Nations to the unity and stability of Nigeria,” according to the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA).He held consultations with Government officials and the leadership of the National Assembly, as well as heads of defense and security services, to review progress made in efforts to rescue the schoolgirls seized on 14 April in Chibok, and to address the larger crisis resulting from Boko Haram activities. During the five-day visit, Mr. Djinnit also confirmed that the UN has started to implement an integrated support package that includes support for the Chibok girls, their families and their communities, in particular with psycho-social counselling and helping them reintegrate with their families and communities.While in Nigeria, Mr. Djinnit discussed the support package with Ms. Yousafzai, who was spending her 17th birthday in the country by “standing with my Nigerian sisters and their parents.” Ms. Yousafzai, whose Malala Fund reportedly donated $200,000 for education in Nigeria, offered to partner with the UN efforts to mitigate the impacts of the abduction and help the girls return to school. Citing examples of young female students being raped and killed in India, and forced into child marriage in Pakistan, Ms. Yousafzai called on the international community to protect girls around the world. “No child anywhere ever should be the target of conflict or violence,” she said.Turning to the armed group responsible for the mass kidnapping in Nigeria, Ms. Yousafzai had harsh words about their interpretation of Islam. “Stop misusing the name of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace. Islam allows every boy and every girl to get an education,” she spoke to applause. “I would request you lay down your weapons, release your sisters.” The Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes said she can relate to the Nigerian students.“This Malala Day is a day for education of every child, and is dedicated to my dear, dear and dear Nigerian sisters who are going through the same brutal situation which I suffered through in my past,” she said in reference to the unofficial holiday first marked on 12 July 2013, her 16th birthday. read more

Shipping Vale iron ore for 50 years

first_imgTubarão Complex, Vale’s operational site in Vitória, in southeast Brazil, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week. The complex is home to railway, pelletising and port operations, and it ships out around one-third of the company’s iron ore exports from Brazil.The complex’s history began in 1966, when Vale transferred its port activities from the Atalaia and Paul jetties in the neighbouring city of Vila Velha to a new site, able to meet growing demand for iron ore. The Port of Tubarão, connected to the Vitória-Minas Railway from the very start, has been the driving force behind Vale’s activities in the state of Espírito Santo and the springboard for the state to diversify from coffee growing into other industrial and commercial activities.Always ahead of its time, the Port of Tubarão had an unusually large capacity when it opened. It was designed to receive 150,000-t-capacity ships, although few vessels at that time had a tonnage of more than 60,000 t. The port has played a key role in transporting Vale’s growing output – rising from 2.9 Mt of iron ore in 1966 to 120 Mt of iron ore and pellets last year. It has earned an important place in the history of the company, Espírito Santo and Brazil. Tubarão now receives around 1,100 ships per year, including the world’s largest ore carriers, called Valemax ships, which are capable of carrying up to 400,000 t.When the first iron ore pelletising plant was installed in 1969, the port was transformed into Tubarão Complex. Besides handling iron ore, the complex also contains Praia Mole Terminal, which handles coal, coke and manganese; the Bulk Liquids Terminal, which imports fuels; and the Miscellaneous Goods Terminal, which handles grains and fertilisers.Covering 14 km, Tubarão Complex is also home to eight pelletizing plants and the Vitória-Minas Railway’s control centre, which manages the transportation of more than 60 kinds of products, including iron ore, steel, soybeans, coal and limestone, along 905 km of tracks, representing approximately 40% of Brazil’s entire railway cargo. Every day, Tubarão receives around 20,000 people, including employees, contractors, customers and suppliers. It works like a town, operating 24/7. In addition to the port, railway and plant operational facilities, there are also administrative buildings, five canteens (which serve roughly 7,000 meals per day), bank branches and a post office.Vale’s presence in Espírito Santo, and especially the construction of Tubarão Complex, helped to attract other companies to the state, such as pulp company Aracruz Celulose (now Fibria) and steelmaker Companhia Siderúrgica de Tubarão (now ArcelorMittal Tubarão) – indeed, Vale was directly involved in founding the latter company. The creation of Vitória Industrial Centre in Serra and the establishment of various other businesses are also the results of post-Tubarão Vale.The state’s economy nearly tripled in size in 20 years, from $3.89 billion in the 1970s to $10.5 billion in the 1990s.Vale also maintains some important social and environmental assets in Espírito Santo, such as the Vale Museum, the Vale Botanical Park, the Vale Natural Reserve, a passenger trains service, and a recreational and sports centre.last_img read more

Infirmiers ils inspirent davantage confiance aux Français que les médecins

first_imgInfirmiers : ils inspirent davantage confiance aux Français que les médecinsFrance – Selon un sondage de l’institut ViaVoice réalisé pour le Groupe Pasteur Mutualité, les Français font majoritairement confiance aux infirmiers, et les préfèrent même aux médecins généralistes et aux pharmaciens. Les Français ne seraient pas moins de 93% à faire confiance aux infirmiers. Ils seraient également 75% à déplorer leur effectif insuffisant, le manque de reconnaissance dont ces derniers sont victimes sur le plan professionnel (63%) et leur faible rémunération (60%).En seconde position, avec 91% d’avis positifs, les Français font ensuite confiance aux médecins généralistes, aux pharmaciens et aux médecins spécialistes. Les chirurgiens-dentistes ne récoltent que 89%, les sages-femmes 88% et les médecins hospitaliers 87%.Là où les pharmaciens semblent exceller, c’est au niveau de la disponibilité. 93% des Français ont ainsi relevé que ces professionnels de santé étaient les plus à l’écoute des patients, 84% apprécient la disponibilité des infirmiers et enfin, 77% celle des généralistes.Ces derniers seraient plus facilement joignables que les autres praticiens pour 60% des personnes interrogées. Le 26 mai 2010 à 13:27 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Game of the Year Star Wars 1313

first_img For too long the definition of “Game of the Year” has been unfairly narrow. How boring is it to see every website shower the same stale AAA games with praise at the end of each holiday season? So at Geek.com we’re doing what we can to put a stop to this in Game of the Year, a new column celebrating worthy alternative picks for the year’s greatest game regardless of genre, platform, year of release, or even quality. Here, any game can be Game of the Year!As people pre-order their tickets for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, already the time before perpetual Star Wars is beginning to seem like a rapidly fading memory. Between alternating annualized episodes and spin-offs, Star Wars will be with us, always. And because Disney/Lucasfilm now has a century of content to create, it seems impossible that they would ever abandon any precious Star Wars material. How many “new” Star Wars things use old ideas and names cut from the original movies because they were (at the time) not good enough?However, just as the existence of unused Harry Potter ideas shocked us, there are somehow still Star Wars projects that have never seen the light of day. One of the most heartbreaking Star Wars casualties is Star Wars 1313, a game that looked so ambitious and promising we’re giving this week’s Game of the Year award even though it’ll never actually come out.At E3 2012, LucasArts wowed the gaming world with the debut of Star Wars 1313. The gameplay players witnessed featured breakneck, Uncharted-style cinematic action and third-person shooting set in a seedier side of the Star Wars universe. The title refers to the game’s setting: the 1313th underground layer of city planet Coruscant where criminals and the mercenaries who hunt them thrive.Beyond the thrill of seeing a brand-new, big-budget Star Wars game, players were also taken aback by just how beautiful the demo looked. The game ran on the ubiquitous Unreal Engine 3, but the visual fidelity was clearly higher than what the PS3 or Xbox 360 could provide. At the time, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One hadn’t even been announced yet, but it was clear even then that this game, like the original Watch Dogs, was targeting those next-gen systems.However, we never learned the most exciting surprise detail of Star Wars 1313 until after the game had already been canceled. Star Wars 1313 wasn’t going to be about the two generic bounty hunters featured in the gameplay footage. No, in Star Wars 1313 you were going to play as Boba Fett. Boba Fett! This would’ve been the chance to prove to the masses that the character worked as something more than a cool costume who pops up for a few minutes. The game could’ve redeemed his embarrassing Sarlacc Pit death. LucasArts was able to scrape together a pretty good video game out of Jango Fett in 2002’s Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. Imagine what they could have done with modern, AAA Boba Fett game. It was the chosen one!So what chopped the head off of Star Wars 1313? Bad timing. Soon after the game’s announcement in 2012, a pretty big thing happened in the world of Star Wars. Disney bought the franchise and began its grand new everlasting plan for the future of Star Wars. The plan included great things like more movies and cartoons. Unfortunately, the plan did not include more video games from LucasArts. Like the similarly seedy Star Wars: Underworld live-action show, Star Wars 1313 was lost in the transition from George Lucas to Walt Disney. In April 2013 the game was officially scrapped.However, as I asked earlier, will anything Star Wars-related ever truly die? Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy has talked about how material generated for dead projects like 1313 and Underworld are too good to throw away. Meanwhile, as the new Star Wars video game overlords, one of the projects EA is working on is some kind of third-person action game from Amy Hennig, Jade Raymond, and Visceral Games. These are the folks behind Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed, and Dead Space, respectively. The game won’t be 1313 in name, but with that talent working in that genre, perhaps it will be in spirit.Like Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Hayden Christensen, Star Wars 1313 left this crude physical world to become a shimmering Force ghost smiling down on us. That sounds like a Game of the Year to me.Check back next week to read about the next Game of the Year! Stay on target Review: ‘Fantasy Strike’ Is A Fighting Game That Understands…Game of the Year: Jordan Minor’s Best Video Games of 2018 last_img read more

Thanks be to Grodd The Flashs Best Villain

first_img ‘The Flash’ Season 5, Episode 15 Recap: Kneel Before GroddGorilla Grodd Goes to ‘Nam on Legends of Tomorrow Recently announced to reappear on The Flash tv show, voiced by the amazing Keith David, Gorilla Grodd is a long running (no pun intended) villain of the Scarlet Speedster. A once normal gorilla living in the African jungle, affected by radiation, his intelligence grew exponentially, gifting him the abilities of super intelligence, telepathy, and telekinesis. Here, we at Geek.com take a look at everything that you need to know about the mastermind mammal.First appearing in The Flash #106 in April of 1950, Gorilla Grodd was created by writer John Broome and famous Flash artist Carmine Infantino. Originally gaining his powers from the radiation emitted by an alien spacecraft. With the help of the alien, and utilizing his newfound intelligence, Grodd led his gorilla brethren, including his intellectual peer Solovar, in creating the hyper-advanced Gorilla City in the middle of the African jungle. Eventually turning on the alien, Grodd planned a coup to take control of Gorilla City. Solovar reached out telepathically to Barry Allen, The Flash, for help in preventing the gorilla revolution. Since then, Grodd has constantly found himself at odds with Barry, no matter who is currently wearing the mask. The combination of his intellect, natural strength, and size has made him a formidable foe for the Flash over the past five decades.Since his first appearance, Grodd has fought the Flash countless times, while having also come into conflict with many of DC’s other heroes. One of the DC Universe’s most intelligent inhabitants, Grodd doesn’t show up often, due to the scale of his goals. His plans to rule Gorilla City, and eventually the world, have made him a force to be reckoned with in the DC Universe. Despite being a ridiculous Silver Age concept, he has somehow made it through till today, even appearing on CW’s Flash. Most recently, during Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato’s run on The Flash for the 2011 New 52 reboot, Grodd reappeared with a more primal, warrior culture vibe, tapping into the Speed Force that gives the Flash his powers. A prince in his culture, his rise to king is put to a halt with the arrival of the Flash, who appears to be part of an ancient Gorilla prophecy. Frustrated with the Flash’s constant interference, Grodd leads a gorilla army in an assault on Central City, the hometown of the Flash.Grodd stands above and apart from the rest of the Flash’s Rogues gallery, both literally and figuratively. Not beholden to the Rogues’ thieving sensibilities, or their code of honor, Grodd has his aims set higher, and on a global scale. Having recently made many appearances on the cartoons for Justice League Unlimited as a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, and also as an antagonist on Batman: Brave and the Bold, his most notable appearance has been the computer generated Grodd on the CW’s The Flash. Set to make his return in the coming season, Grodd has cemented himself as one of DC’s most notable villains. Stay on targetlast_img read more

Real Madrids new €400m Santiago Bernabeu set to become a reality

first_imgReal Madrid are reportedly set to begin the planning process of restructuring the Estadio Santiago BernabeuA meeting will be held at the Assembly of Members on Sunday where the accounts from the 2017/18 campaign will be officially declared with budgetary decisions for the current season to be approved by members.Marca reports that a budget for the redevelopment of the Bernabeu will also be discussed with Los Blancos aiming to elevate their stadium into the same category as Tottenham Hotspur’s highly anticipated new home ground.Real have been working carefully on the project and hope that their financial plans receive approval from the Board of Directors.The Madrid City Council will license the project with contractors already being contacted and arranged to oversee the reconstruction.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.A final building permit isn’t expected to be a problem, so Real believe that they can commence with their plans somewhere around next month.The final cost of the project is expected to reach €400m, although no sponsor is yet to be announced.pic.twitter.com/UJW9SWgTOl— Ben (@ben_crtrUCLan) September 17, 2018last_img read more

Gabriel Snyder Leaving The Wire for Mobile Startup

first_imgThe appointment of Golis is not a replacement for Snyder. A search is underway for a new editor. In the meantime, Elle Reeve, Dashiell Bennett and Joe Reid will head up The Wire’s coverage. Full memo: From: M. Scott Havens Date: Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 2:33 PMSubject: News about The WireTo: Everyone at The AtlanticGood Afternoon Team, I am writing to let you know of some upcoming changes at The Wire: Gabriel Snyder has decided it is time to jump headfirst into the “mobile revolution” and has accepted a position with a VC-backed mobile start-up. His last day will be January 23rd. Gabriel is one of the most entrepreneurial journalists I have worked with, so it doesn’t surprise me that he would seize an opportunity like this. While we are saddened by his departure, we are fortunate to have Andrew Golis in our ranks, who will be stepping into the newly created post of General Manager of The Wire.  I am deeply grateful for Gabriel’s tireless leadership these past three years as he helped guide The Wire’s impressive growth and evolution. He has led an extraordinary team that has taken the brand to new heights, editorially and in its reach. I look forward to continuing our friendship and rooting for his new venture to flourish. Earlier this winter, as you know, we relaunched The Wire with a refined mission, as well as a new name, URL, and look, and a mobile-first responsive design. The changes also represented a strategic business decision for us, formally establishing the site as an independent media brand in the marketplace. The second part of this plan has always been to invest dedicated business and technology resources to support the continued evolution of The Wire, which brings us to Andrew and his new leadership role.  In this new post—itself a reflection of our excitement about the future of The Wire—Andrew will be charged with crystallizing the site’s strategy, growing the overall team, and scaling the business. In just six months as The Atlantic’s entrepreneur in residence, Andrew has provided key strategic guidance to our Editorial and Digital Strategy teams, advising on our expanding video and paid-content initiatives, as well as several forthcoming new ventures. Before joining us, Andrew was the Director of Digital Media and a Senior Editor at Frontline, where he oversaw two departments: Digital, which included editorial, strategy, design, and product development; and Audience Development, which included promotion, broadcast and digital audience research, and long-term audience strategy. Previously, Andrew was the Editor of Blogging and a Politics Editor at Yahoo News, where he built a network of originally reported blogs for the biggest digital news audience in the country. Before that, he was the Deputy Publisher of Talking Points Memo, where he helped manage that company’s explosive editorial, audience, and business growth as it transitioned from a one-man blog to a fully staffed news organization. You can see why Andrew is such a perfect fit for the next phase of The Wire. As Andrew, James, and Bob search for The Wire’s new editor, Elle Reeve, Dashiell Bennett, and Joe Reid will lead the site’s editorial coverage. Individually and collectively, Elle, Dash, and Joe exemplify The Wire’s mission and sensibility, and the site is in good hands with them. We’ll have a proper send-off for Gabriel closer to his last day, but, in the meantime, please join me in thanking him for his many contributions to The Wire.  And please also join me in congratulating Andrew on his exciting new role. Scott More on this topic Why The Atlantic Hired an Entrepreneur-in-Residence The Atlantic Spins Off, Relaunches The Wire People On The Move | 6.13.13 Atlantic Wire Relaunches; Atlantic Premium Remains Sidelined People on the Move | 1.16.14 Bloomberg Media Plucks M. Scott Havens From Time Inc. as New Head of DigitalJust In Shanker Out, Litterick In as CEO of EnsembleIQ This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV Networks TIME Names New Sales, Marketing Leads | People on the Move BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the Move Bonnier Corp. Terminates Editor-in-Chief for Ethics BreachPowered by Gabriel Snyder is leaving his post as editor of The Wire, The Atlantic’s curated news and commentary site, to take a position at a mobile start-up. President of The Atlantic, Scott Havens, announced the change today to staff. Andrew Golis, who Havens hired last June as entrepreneur-in-residence, will be stepping in with the newly created title of general manager. Snyder’s last day will be January 23rd. Golis, says Havens, will “be charged with crystallizing the site’s strategy, growing the overall team, and scaling the business.”The move comes a few months after The Wire was spun off as an independent entity, following a strategy more in line with Atlantic Media sister brands Quartz and Defense One. last_img read more

Three seek Mat Su Borough mayors seat – Incumbent Larry DeVilbiss

first_imgIt’s breakfast time at a Palmer eatery, and Mat Su Mayor Larry DeVilbiss’s smartphone is buzzing relentlessly in his pocket.Download AudioThe shuttering of the Knik contract post office is the crisis du jour, and DeVilbiss, over hot chocolate, says he’ll personally contact the U.S. Postal Service about that. DeVilbiss, 71,a farmer and rancher, comes from a ’50s-era homesteading family. He’s got one more field of hay to harvest, and keeps one eye on the weather.“We’ve had a real light year for hay. Until last week when I cut my last field, I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough hay to get through the winter. But the last field, there’s a good yield of hay there.”He raises beef cattle, but despite his farming interests, he says he’s pro-development.“Three years ago, I was the brunt of a couple of thousand people who put all their efforts into getting me out of office because I supported the Usibelli coal mine permit. My drive and one of my main focuses on being mayor is to try to develop our local economy and bring it home. We have for many years been a bedroom community to Anchorage and to the North Slope. “He says he’d like to see at least some of the tax burden shifted from Borough homeowners to commercial interests. The Mat Su is different from Kenai, Fairbanks and Anchorage, he says, because those areas get almost a third of their tax base from commercial and oil interests.State assessors put the Borough’s entire worth at $9 billion. DeVilbiss says if the Borough’s Port MacKenzie expansion and a related railroad spur project are completed, LNG businesses could locate there.“On just a single leaseholder project is in the magnitude of a billion dollars. Well that immediately shifts one ninth of our tax load on to a property that is providing jobs.”DeVilbiss has been in the mayor’s seat since 2011, when he was appointed to finish out the term of the previous Borough mayor. He his next election and, if elected again, will term out after 2018.DeVilbiss has seen a lot of changes in the Valley, and in the representation on the Borough Assembly.“I think one of my traits of leadership is being able to work, even in a negative atmosphere, with congeniality.  Since I’ve been mayor, we’ve had a very good relationship working with the school board and the school administration.”He says he’s attempted to push out the boundaries of the mayor’s position as a figurehead and tie-breaker:“I spend a lot of time attending boards and commissions that mayors have never been to, I make the appointments to those boards, so I am responsible for them, so I try to show up as often as I can.”Despite his successful election bids, he’s met criticism for his liberal use of mayoral veto power.“…And most of my vetos either have to do with improper notice on issues that have come up, or on negative impact on the tax rate.”DeVilbiss says one of his future goals is making public meetings more accessible to Valley residents.“When my vision is complete, people in Talkeetna and Willow, instead of driving down here to testify for three minutes, will be able to get on a video teleconference line and speak to us directly.”The incumbent says he’s kept his promise of no more school bonds within five years , and points to the Borough’s improvements in new and old schools, transportation and improved fish runs during his term of office.last_img read more

This solar farm is built on oil industry money and some recycled

first_imgChris Colbert stands atop a ladder while installing parts at Alaska’s first commercial-scale solar projects in Willow, just north of Anchorage, on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz / Alaska’s Energy Desk)Alaska’s first commercial-scale solar farm is about to come online. Its builders say they want to move the world toward cleaner energy sources. But they’re not ready to renounce oil and gas just yet.Listen nowJenn Miller is the project’s chief executive. She was working on her 400-panel commercial solar project north of Anchorage last week, with black flies buzzing and her dog, Ralfie, wandering around with a chunk of moose bone.Miller was there with her husband, Chris Colbert. They both had drills and leather tool belts and were moving a ladder around, putting in some of the last few pieces before they can flip the switch. Miller said she’s excited about the outlook for solar power and its potential to slow global warming.“The cool thing is, I don’t think renewables have to be a charity case. I think they can be a business case,” Miller said. “And the more you get to that point, I think the faster we are able to address the climate issue.”The solar farm could power about 30 homes. The local electric utility, Matanuska Electric Association, will buy the power at wholesale rates. That could slightly reduce the use of natural gas in its existing power plant and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.In a lot of ways, Miller fits the stereotype of someone trying to fight global warming. She has solar panels on her house in Anchorage. She bikes to work. She’s been on a river-rafting trip in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.But here’s something you might not expect: Miller works at BP, the oil company.“When I went to go work for an oil company out of college, the way you hear about oil companies is like, everyone who works there is evil,” Miller said. But, she added, “they’re actually nice people and they’re pretty smart.”The solar project is personal — it’s not endorsed or paid for by BP. But Miller is a project manager at the company, and her three partners are all current or former BP employees.One is Sam Dennis. Dennis drives a Tesla, a pricey electric car. He thinks the future is in electricity. But he also has a pickup truck, and he thinks the future will be built on a foundation that the oil industry helped create.In an interview at the site, Dennis pointed out that the solar panels at the site stand on a foundation of recycled oil drilling pipe. And that’s not all.“The money came from our work with the oil industry. And our expertise in running projects came from our work with the industry,” Dennis said. “And I was thinking back, and I was like, how much of the development of oil 100 years ago was based on knowledge from coal?”Dennis said he thinks oil companies and their workers can help with the transition toward renewables. Just like the partners in this solar project, big oil companies have expertise building things. And they have a lot of money.It turns out that Dennis’ views aren’t that far off from the company he once worked for. Janet Weiss, BP’s top executive in Alaska, said her company has been boosting its renewable energy holdings after scaling them back following the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010.“What our company is doing is certainly taking some of the cash flow that’s been earned through the oil and gas and investing it into our renewables business,” Weiss said in an interview. “It’s a natural evolution of what we need to do here on the planet.”To be sure, BP still produces a ton of oil — about 4 percent of global production. Its renewable investments are also small in relation to the company’s overall portfolio.But BP last year announced it was investing $200 million in a British solar company. It also has a wind branch, and Weiss said a company wind executive, Laura Folse, is interested in a trip to Alaska to see if the state has potential for power generation.Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott talks in Sitka earlier this year. (Photo by Katherine Rose/KCAW)Officials drafting Alaska’s new climate policy have also enlisted the oil industry in tackling global warming. Weiss last year was named to the state’s climate leadership team, which is chaired by a Democrat, Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.“If the energy industry, as it exists now, is an opponent of dealing with climate change, we have a steep hill to climb,” Mallott said in an interview. “My belief is that they are a partner. They will continue to be a partner. But they must be held to account, as all of us must be.”Back at the solar farm, Miller was still drilling in parts, while Dennis fired up an excavator to fill in a trench. Miller said she wants people to understand that these climate change and energy discussions aren’t black and white.“I think a lot of times there’s an image that people who work for the oil industry are of certain political views or putting a box over their heads about climate change and don’t think it’s happening,” Miller said. “But I think humans are much more sophisticated than that. I think humans can hold a much bigger picture in their head.”The partners expect to get a 3 to 5 percent return on their investment, or roughly equivalent to bonds. Miller wouldn’t specify the exact cost of the project, but she said it’s in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.The project won’t generate much revenue in the winter — maybe $500 in the whole month of December. But some of the Alaska-specific challenges are offset by the high price that the project will get for its electricity, and the fact that solar panels actually operate more efficiently in cold weather.“We started looking at the numbers and started researching what you get for revenue for wholesale power, and then we started looking at what an installation would actually cost,” Dennis said. “And it was like, ‘Wow. Looks like it pencils out.’”Miller and her partners are already thinking about a second project. One option is to expand their existing site; another is to build a new one in a place with higher power costs than the Anchorage area, like Fairbanks.last_img read more

This Startup Aims to Lead the Drone Takeover at the Worlds Biggest

first_img Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 4 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globalcenter_img March 31, 2016 Some really smart people are putting a lot of money behind a new startup that makes it seamless for giant, Fortune 500 companies to integrate commercial drone technology into their corporate processes.   San Francisco-based Airware announced today that it has raised $30 million in a series C funding round led by prestigious venture capital firm Next World Capital and the 20-year CEO of software giant Cisco, John Chambers. Elite venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers are also participating in the round, according to a statement released by Airware today.“The commercial drone industry is poised to throw many markets into transition,” says Chambers in the written statement. In addition to investing in Airware, Chambers says he has agreed to take a seat on Airware’s board.Related: How Drones Will Change Your BusinessCommercial drones are being used to inspect bridges, roofs, towers and other previously out-of-reach infrastructure. The industries using drones include utilities, telecommunications and insurance companies, says Tom Rikert, a partner at Next World Capital, which invested in Airware.Image Credit: Airware“I’m shocked at the speed at which autonomous aircraft have developed into ‘sensors in the sky,’ able to digitize the world quickly, cheaply, accurately, and safely,” writes Rikert in a Medium post announcing his firm’s investment in Airware. “Drones, and more broadly autonomous connected devices, are a major new technology category, on par with the development of desktops, laptops, and mobile phones. Drones will change the way businesses engage with the physical world just as much as software has changed how they engage with the online world.”As more and more Fortune 500 companies begin to use commercial drones as part of their daily processes, the industry is expected to balloon to a worth of $6 billion by 2020, according to Rikert. (Do keep in mind, it’s in Rikert’s interest as an investor in a commercial drone startup to believe the industry is set to explode.)Image Credit: AirwareThe technology to power drones and analyze the data coming out of drones has, prior to Airware, been scattered, making it complicated for large corporations to get their hands around. Further, the regulatory environment surrounding drones is changing very rapidly. That’s even a lot for an enterprise-level company to keep up with.Related: FAA Predicts More Than 7 Million Drones Will Be in the Sky by 2020“Despite the massive promise that drone technology has for commercial use, enterprises won’t wade through a fragmented market of point solutions for each possible use case. There would be too much procurement overhead, varied support structures and duplicative training required to make it worth the investment,” writes Jonathan Downey, the founder and CEO of Airware, in a Medium post announcing the raise.That’s the motivation behind Airware’s suite of services for big businesses. The startup helps big businesses walks enterprise-size companies through every step of the process, starting with applying for regulatory approval all the way through analyzing and reporting data collected from commercial drones.Image Credit: AirwareIn addition to announcing the $30 million financing, Airware announced a partnership with the insurance giant State Farm. With commercial drones, State Farm will be able to inspect the roofs of properties more efficiently and safely than having people climb on top of buildings.Related: You Can Now Get a College Minor in Drone AviationUsing commercial drones will make State Farm claims inspectors more efficient, whether in a situation of a major disaster or a routine inspection, said Jack Weekes, the head of the innovation team at State Farm, in a conversation with Downey.To learn more about the ways that commercial drones will be used by large companies, have a look at the video, produced by Airwave, that’s embedded below.last_img read more

Matt Bomer and Adam Rippon spill tea share pic from Will Grace

first_img‘2018 is still wild’Meanwhile, Olympic figure skater Adam retweeted the cast photo originally posted by Debra Messing (who plays Grace), adding: ‘Been working on the @nbcwillandgrace set all week and in other news 2018 is still wild The whole cast and everyone on set is so beautiful and great. Also, how can you not love @mattbomer and @driverminnie.’ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . GAYSTARNEWS- Taking to Instagram, Magic Mike actor Matt said: ‘It’s difficult to describe how surreal it is to be on a set with this phenomenal cast that has been a part of my life for almost 20 years and done so much to shape the culture in a way that has affected my life profoundly. I’m happy to say that they don’t disappoint.’He furthermore added: ‘They are the warmest, kindest people you could hope to work with. @driverminnie and @adaripp Are both fantastic as well.’ eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)center_img Matt Bomer and Adam Rippon have been filming their Will & Grace cameos this week, and both took to social media to gush about the opportunity. As well as the show regulars, the guys are joined in the photo by Hollywood actress Minnie Driver.The fact they were on set the same week suggests they’ll cameo in the same episode or episodes. No other information about the characters they will play is currently available, but obviously they’d make a great on-screen couple!Minnie, who plays Karen’s stepdaughter Lorraine, is known for films like Good Will Hunting and The Phantom of the Opera.Will & Grace returned last year after originally bowing out after the eighth season in 2008. The comeback furthermore received positive reviews.The 10th season will comprise of 18 episodes. An 11th season has already been commissioned.David Schwimmer and Chelsea Handler have already been announced as guest stars on the next season.Madonna shaded Will & Grace star Sean Hayes and it was glorious Matt and Adam | Photos: Magic Mike XXL/Instagram/adaripp Colton Haynes would like to see this gay actor as the next SupermanAdam Rippon joining Will & Grace, along with these 2 starsWill & Grace’s Eric McCormack to get star on Hollywood Walk of FameRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/matt-bomer-and-adam-rippon-share-photo-tea-from-will-grace-set/last_img read more

Book Review South of Normal

first_imgNo related posts. At its heart, “South of Normal” is about two friends bonded by prison. The author, Norm Schriever, is free in every way – single, 40 years old, and newly arrived in Costa Rica. His friend, nicknamed “Pistol,” is imprisoned in every way – arrested for growing marijuana plants, awaiting trial and pilloried by his own hubris.Throughout the book, Schriever visits Pistol and consoles him, smuggling in money and news from the outside world. Schriever serves as a messenger between Pistol’s American family and the surreal Guanacastan prison. Their friendship is old and complex, and Schriever cannot voice his misgivings. After all, Pistol is guilty of a crime, and his hard-boozing life seemed doomed for a long time. Schriever is calmer and more conscientious than Pistol, but he also lacks Pistol’s chutzpah. Like most of the book’s relationships, these opposites attract.Otherwise, “South of Normal” is a typical romp through paradise’s underbelly, a satire soaked in alcohol and buzzed by cocaine, with some wacky local characters to boot. No Costa Rican will be surprised by its setting – Tamarindo – and the hijinks are exactly what you’d expect: thuggish hermanos, eager Ticas, and wisdom-spouting Rastas floating through the background. Schriever mocks U.S. tourists, but his own experiences are fairly quotidian; he struggles to install Internet, he accidentally sleeps with his semi-attractive roommate and he sidesteps the local hooligans.Aside from its typos and gee-whiz innocence (how did Schriever not know about the rainy season?) the book is a decent DIY addition to the screwy-white-guy-in-the-tropics genre. Schriever lovingly refers to his idols, from Hemingway to Kesey, but his style is most reminiscent to J. Maarten Troost and Andrew Gottlieb, gold-hearted guys who hurl themselves into weird locales and return with wild anecdotes. Schriever is clearly writing for an American audience – why else would he describe Costa Rica as “Third World” or transcribe all Tico dialogue in italics, even when they’re speaking in English? Schriever accepts himself as an outsider, a pilgrim of crisis, and Taramindo is his beachfront monastery.The book is a pleasant afternoon read, and thousands of expats will see hints of themselves in its pages, especially the short-termers of Tamarindo. But Schriever succeeds in unexpected ways: In the press material, “South of Normal” is described as “a gonzo blast of laughter and adventure,” but the book’s best parts are simply gonzo. Schriever writes about drug smuggling and prison life. He explores government corruption and the justice system. He describes the relationships between surfers and late-night hoods. These segments are thoughtful and closely observed, and they offer a counterpoint to Costa Rica’s utopian rep.Behind the outrageous veneer, Schriever is startlingly masochistic. He moves to Costa Rica to improve his health and escape “the hamster wheel” of U.S. life, but his generosity bleeds him dry. He wants to “help people,” but he doesn’t know exactly how, and freeloaders often stymy his efforts. He is too old to party, too beleaguered to date, and too frightened to raise real hell. In the end, Tamarindo drains Schriever dry, and nothing around him has changed. Yet Schriever resolves to finish his book, and “South of Normal” is that dream, nakedly come true.A stronger editor might have cloven chunks from Schriever’s manuscript. The relationship between Norm and Pistol is also the story’s backbone, and by traditional standards, the rest of the narrative is so much chum. But Schriever is an enthusiastic storyteller, and he wants us to know every last detail. Some might say he’s showboating. Others might call it generous. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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