La Loche trying to cope as alleged shooter makes first court appearance

first_imgJaydon Flett APTN National NewsThe northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche is still trying to cope from the mass shooting that took place there Friday.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising to visit and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says there will be financial support.As the community looks to make sense of the incident the alleged shooter made his first court appearance Monday.last_img

Quebecors cable subsidiary becomes partner in new Montreal comedy festival

first_imgMONTREAL – Quebecor Inc.’s cable subsidiary is becoming a partner of the new Montreal comedy festival that will be launched this summer.The director general of the Grand Montreal comedie fest, Diane Arseneau, said in a statement Monday that Videotron is an ambitious partner and that the agreement could open the door to other partnerships.The new festival was originally announced last November and was the idea of standup comedian Martin Petit. It will be held July 1-15.Monday’s announcement came three days after it was revealed that Quebecor had chosen to not exercise its right of first refusal in the sale of Just For Laughs.The comedy company is expected to now fall into the hands of ICM Partners, a Los Angeles-based talent and literary agency that has reportedly signed an agreement in principle to buy the controlling shares of Just For Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon.Rozon announced he would sell his majority stake in the company amid allegations last fall he sexually harassed and assaulted several women.He has denied the allegations and they have not been proven in courtCompanies in this story: (QBR.B)last_img read more

Libya proposes summit meeting on Security Council reform

The international community should convene a summit in the coming years on reform of the Security Council, bringing together national leaders from across the world to break the impasse on the issue, a senior Libyan official told the General Assembly today.Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation, said the UN has achieved its goals in a number of areas on the reform agenda, but there has been an absence of progress towards reforming the Security Council despite intensive consultations. A number of proposals were realistic, based on the principles of the sovereign equality of all nations, but other ideas “involve confirming control by the powerful of the organs of the United Nations and the concept that those with privileges in the Security Council hold fast to those privileges, while rejecting any active role for other actors in this respect,” he told the Assembly’s annual high-level debate.That attitude, he said, “cannot lead to any true reform which will contribute to the realization of the purposes embodied in the UN Charter.”Given the impasse, he proposed convening a meeting of top national leaders to address the issue. “There is an urgent need for a new world summit conference to push forward the reform process, bringing to an end the work which we began two years ago,” he said. The summit should be held at the UN Office at Geneva within the framework of the next session of the General Assembly in 2008 “dedicated to the reform process and the expansion of the Security Council.”Holding the meting in Geneva “will provide the opportunity for all world leaders to attend, to present constructive proposals and to participate in the decision-making process regarding this thorny issue – an issue with which the entire international community is concerned,” he said.Efforts to reform the Security Council should involve consideration of a new formula for permanent membership under which it would be awarded “to geographical blocs and not to specific countries,” he said.The African Union, he added, should be granted permanent membership on the Council “with all the privileges enjoyed by other permanent members, since Africa is the only continent which has no representative among the permanent members.”He said Libya supports the position adopted at the 2005 African Union Summit, held in Sirte, where countries agreed that the continent should be granted five non-permanent seats and two permanent seats. 1 October 2007The international community should convene a summit in the coming years on reform of the Security Council, bringing together national leaders from across the world to break the impasse on the issue, a senior Libyan official told the General Assembly today. read more

British childrens author named Artist for Peace by UNESCO

The author’s appointment comes in recognition of her commitment and support of Programme for the Education of Children in Need and she will be formally inducted to the post by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura at a ceremony in Paris on 12 December.Under a partnership launched earlier in the year, Ms. Child and her publisher, Hachette Children’s Books, agreed to donate three years of royalties from her best-selling book That Pesky Rat to UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need. The funds will finance various UNESCO-supported projects for children in need, such as those of the Renacimiento Foundation, which works for street children in Mexico City. Also part of the initiative is “My Life is a Story,” a campaign begun by Ms. Child to collect stories from children around the world, initially from those who are benefiting from UNESCO-supported projects, so that kids from differing backgrounds can compare their experiences. Several of these writings will be made available on line at www.mylifeisastory.org.UNESCO Artists for Peace are internationally renowned personalities who use their influence, charisma and prestige to help promote the agency’s message and programmes. The artists include Manu Dibango, a Cameroonian musician; Patricia Velasquez, Venezuelan actress; Gilberto Gil, a Brazilian musician; Miyako Yoshida, a Japanese dancer; Sumi Jo, a Republic of Korea soprano; and Valery Gergiev, a Russian conductor. 5 December 2008The prize-winning British children’s author and illustrator Lauren Child has been selected as the latest Artist for Peace by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the agency announced today. read more

Nations join forces with UN to stamp out rights abuses in conflict

Areas wracked by fighting “attract illicit enterprises who treat them as lawless zones,” John Ruggie, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, told reporters in New York.Even well-recognized firms can become involved in some of the most serious abuses, including complicity in forced labour and genocide, he added.The first meeting of the more than one dozen nations, to be held next month, will be an informal and off-the-record session to come up with practical administrative and legal measures Mr. Ruggie could then propose to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.The governments will “bring their experiences to the table and we will pick and choose from what makes the most sense,” he said.Countries that have agreed to take part include Brazil, China, Colombia, Guatemala, Nigeria, Norway, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom and the United States.On criticism over the actions of Chinese firms in Africa and Latin America, Mr. Ruggie likened their situation to that of North American mining companies when they first entered the Andean region.“Their operations were run by cowboys who thought they’d never left Denver or Calgary and they did a miserable job and made a mess of things,” but ultimately they were forced to change their practices, he said. “My aim in this project is to shorten the learning curve significantly and to make sure that everybody does learn.”The mandate of Mr. Ruggie, who was first appointed to his role in 2005, includes operationalizing a three-pronged framework which emphasizes the need for the State to protect against rights abuses by third parties; corporations’ responsibilities to respect human rights; and access to remedies, be they judicial or mediation services. 22 October 2009With the worst abuses of human rights by corporations taking place in areas of conflict, an independent United Nations expert today announced that a group of nations is joining forces with the world body to identify how to quash such violations in war zones. read more

No molecular evidence Vitamin E prevents cancer heart disease Brockled study

Vitamin E-rich foodsNutritionists have long debated the exact merits of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the body from the harmful effects of unstable molecules called free radicals.As we age, cellular damage from free radicals accumulates, possibly paving the way for certain cancers and heart disease. Past research had hoped that doses of Vitamin E could be used to actively prevent or delay cancers, heart diseases and other age-related conditions, but so far, without much success. This has led to alternate theories of what good Vitamin E does for us.But a new Brock University-led study hopes to put an end to that debate.“What we’re saying is that Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and the conventional wisdom is correct, and it is not more than that,” says physics professor Thad Harroun, one of the study’s researchers.The study – featured on the cover of the April 21, 2015 issue of Langmuir, the journal of the American Chemical Society – examines the molecular structure of Vitamin E to greater understand its properties as the body processes fats contained in the foods we eat.The research team, led by physics graduate student Drew Marquardt and assisted by chemistry professor Jeffery Atkinson, looked at the location of a Vitamin E component called alpha-tocopherol within a lipid bilayer, a membrane that form a continuous barrier around all cells.The team found that the portion of tocopherol most active in protecting cells against free radical damage is located near the membrane surface as a “first line of defense,” confirming its role as an antioxidant.But tocopherol’s “tail” does not extend deep into the membrane, suggesting that it does not get rid of free radicals that have managed to make it to the membrane’s centre.Harroun explains that the molecular evidence shows that taking in more tocopherol than we naturally do in our diet will not reverse damage to membranes’ centres,“We have the new, biophysical evidence that Vitamin E locates itself in cells’ membranes where it needs to be, among the parts of the membrane of our lipids that need protection from free radicals,” says Harroun. “It doesn’t move around a lot, it’s not affected by the composition of the cell, it really is a ‘vanguard’ against free radicals and protects our cells from attack.”Tocopherol is the second-most common component of Vitamin E in the North American diet and can be found mostly in wheat germ oil, sunflower, and safflower oils.Another component of Vitamin E – y-tocopherol – is the most common in the North American diet, found in corn oil, soybean oil, margarine, and dressings.Vitamin E is a “fat-soluble” vitamin, meaning that it is stored in the body for long periods of time. Harroun says most people get enough Vitamin E through a healthy diet that includes polyunsaturated fats found in fish, avocados, oils and some vegetables.He warns against consuming too much trans fat, mostly manufactured using a chemical process that transforms liquid oils into solids. Trans fats, found largely in processed foods such as margarines, crackers, cookies, French Fries and other fast foods, increase so-called “bad cholesterol” in the body that eventually can lead to heart disease and stroke. read more

Police 3yearold Kentucky boy fatally mauled by dogs

Mitchell said the dogs were taken by Louisville Metro Animal Services.He says an investigation is ongoing to determine what happened and whether any charges will be filed. Courtesy: WHAS LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Police say a 3-year-old child has been fatally mauled in Kentucky.Louisville police spokesman Dwight Mitchell told news outlets the boy was attacked Tuesday morning by two Rottweilers owned by his family. According to 911 audio, the attack happened in the family’s backyard.- Advertisement –

Got a Billion Dollars Buy the Clippers

UPDATE (May 29, 7:45 p.m.): The Los Angeles Times has reported that Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, will purchase the Clippers for $2 billion. Earlier this month Nate Silver wrote about team valuations in the NBA, and whether the Clippers were worth more than was commonly believed. The original piece is below.A billion dollars? For the Clippers?That’s the price my Grantland colleague Zach Lowe’s sources are saying the Los Angeles NBA team could fetch if its current owner, Donald Sterling, agrees to sell the franchise or is forced to do so. With stars from Magic Johnson to Floyd Mayweather, Jr., to Oprah Winfrey to Larry Ellison reportedly interested in a piece of the club, it’s not hard to see why league officials have starry-eyed visions about what the team could be worth.And yet, when Forbes Magazine published its valuations of the 30 NBA teams earlier this year, its figure for the Clippers was considerably more modest: $575 million.1It’s not as though the valuation doesn’t account for the Clippers’ recent on-court success. Two years ago, Forbes valued the Clippers at only $324 million. NBA officials, I’ve found in the past, aren’t fond of the Forbes figures. The league has incentives to underplay its financial performance when in the midst of a labor dispute, and to frame its finances in a more favorable light when it has a couple of franchises up for sale.In this case, however, there’s reason to think Forbes considerably undervalues the Clippers. You might describe why with the old real estate adage: location, location, location. It’s not breaking news that there are lots of people with lots of money in Los Angeles and its suburbs. What’s more interesting is that the number of billionaires in a given community historically has been a strong predictor of the degree to which its NBA franchise appreciates in value.Take a look at the annualized change in NBA franchise values from 2004 to 2014, according to the Forbes estimates. In the chart below, we’ve highlighted the teams that played in metro areas that had a gross domestic product of at least $250 billion as of 2004. You can see that there’s a relationship. The New York Knicks, despite their mostly poor play over the past decade, saw their franchise value appreciate by 13.3 percent per year, according to Forbes. The Lakers and Clippers saw theirs grow by 11.7 percent and 10.7 percent per year, respectively. Most other big-market teams, like the Chicago Bulls and the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, have also done well.There are also some exceptions to the pattern, the most obvious being the Seattle Supersonics, who saw their franchise value increase a lot after moving to Oklahoma City and becoming the Thunder.2This even though Oklahoma City is a considerably smaller and less wealthy market. The Miami Heat, despite playing in a mid-sized market, have seen a massive increase in franchise value. On the flip side, the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards have considerably underperformed the rest of the league despite playing in reasonably large markets.These differences partly reflect on-court success: Building a future around LeBron James is a much more attractive option than building one around Gilbert Arenas. But they also reflect the differences in the number of super-wealthy people in these cities. In 2004, there were 14 people from the Miami metro area3The Forbes lists do not specifically break out the list of wealthy people by metro area; I did this by hand. I tried to follow the Census Bureau’s definition of Metropolitan Statistical Areas as much as possible — however, there are some debatable cases. Those interested in using this data for rigorous research should double-check my work and ensure that it corresponds to the particular definition of urban areas that is most suitable for their project. on the Forbes 400 list of America’s wealthiest people, compared to eight from Washington and seven from Philadelphia. The differences have grown since then: On last year’s Forbes 400 list, whose threshold was about $1.3 billion in net worth, there were 26 really rich people in Miami, compared to eight in Washington and just three in Philly.4The Forbes 400 list includes data on the United States only. For Toronto, I’ve compiled data from other sources to reflect the number of Torontonians that would have made the Forbes 400 list if Toronto were in the U.S. The coefficient on the 2004 franchise value variable is statistically significant and negative. What that means is that a franchise can be overvalued by Forbes, and prone to seeing its value revert to the mean, when that value is out of line with the number of billionaires in the area.We can use this regression equation to create estimates of NBA franchise values that may be more reliable than Forbes’s. (The process for this is explained in the footnotes.9To do this, I used the regression equation to determine each team’s projected rate of return over the next 10 years, based on its current Forbes franchise value and the number of billionaires in its metro area. However, I assumed that rates of return in excess of the league average would be captured immediately and reflected in a team’s potential sale price. This is how a rational market would behave, unless the higher projected rates of return were associated with higher risk.) I calibrated the estimates such that the average value of an NBA franchise is the same as what Forbes lists — about $630 million. (The NBA would probably contend that Forbes’s estimates are low across the board — based on the recent sale prices of the Sacramento Kings and the Milwaukee Bucks, for instance — but our interest here is mainly in seeing how franchises are valued relative to one another.) Because the estimates are not all that precise, I’ve listed them as a range based on their standard error.For the Clippers, for instance, the range runs between about $580 million and $950 million. So the billion-dollar estimate might be a little high, but the Forbes valuation of $575 million is probably too low.There are two other teams whose Forbes valuations fall outside the recalibrated range. One is the Brooklyn Nets, which our formula estimates is worth between about $900 billion and $1.5 billion, and not the $780 million that Forbes estimates. Perhaps Mikhail Prokhorov knows what he’s doing in throwing his resources behind establishing the Nets as a major brand in New York. The number of billionaires in New York continues to skyrocket — so he’ll have plenty of people to sell the franchise to at a profit down the line.The other team that falls outside of the range is the Lakers. The formula implies that their Forbes valuation, at $1.35 billion, is a little too high.I personally don’t think the Lakers would have much trouble selling for something in that range if the team were put on the market today. But the logic behind the calculation is something like this: Sure, the Lakers have a much more powerful brand than the Clippers, but they don’t have much of an advantage apart from that brand. The two teams play in the same city, in the same arena. The Clippers have the better roster and a very good coach. The brand advantage can shift over time: At various points in the past 50 years, for instance, the New York Mets have outdrawn the New York Yankees. Another couple years of Blake and CP3 making deep runs into the playoffs while the Lakers struggle with the albatross of Kobe Bryant’s contract will erode some of the Lakers’ edge.Are the Lakers still worth more? Yes, but the formula implies that they should be worth 20 or 25 percent more than the Clippers — and not 135 percent more, as the Forbes valuations say. Perhaps that means the Clippers are undervalued and not that the Lakers are overvalued. If you’d consider buying the Lakers at the Forbes price of $1.35 billion, and would require a 25 percent discount to take the Clippers instead, that implies you’d pay about $1.1 billion for the Clips.The Clippers’ other big handicap, of course, has been Donald Sterling. But that problem resolves itself the moment he sells. He may be banned from basketball. He may have embarrassed himself and his franchise. But if he sells quickly — before doing further damage to the Clippers’ brand — he could have a billion-dollar check coming his way.Correction (May 3, 11:20 a.m.): An earlier version of the NBA Team Valuations chart misstated what the range in green indicated. It signifies a team’s valuation adjusted for number of billionaires in metro area. The correlation between the rate of increase in franchise value and the number of billionaires in a metro area has been reasonably strong,5The correlation coefficient is 0.53, or 0.67 without the Sonics/Thunder included. as I’ve mentioned, with the Sonics/Thunder representing the main outlier. This helps explain why the Golden State Warriors have seen their value increase so much, for instance. The San Francisco-Oakland metro area6By the Census Bureau’s definition, this MSA does not include San Jose, Calif., or most of Silicon Valley. ranks 11th in the U.S. in population and eighth in gross domestic product. But it has ranked second or third in billionaires, behind only New York and sometimes Los Angeles, depending on the year.Why do we see this relationship? Owners of sports franchises tend to hold onto their teams for a long time — the average NBA franchise last changed hands 14 years ago. In a period that long, the player roster will completely turn over, perhaps several times. The coaching and front office staff will very likely turn over, too. A team’s uniform might change; its nickname might change; it might move into a new arena. What’s a lot more permanent is a team’s home city. Franchises can move, but that doesn’t happen often. The Clippers’ greatest asset isn’t Chris Paul or Blake Griffin. It’s the City of Los Angeles and the billionaires who live there.We’ve seen evidence in other sports that franchise values are driven less by profits and losses — many player contracts are plainly irrational from that standpoint — and more by the extent to which a team can be resold to another billionaire or multimillionaire at a higher price down the line. There aren’t that many billionaires in the United States — about 500 — but there are far fewer NBA franchises. In a city like Los Angeles or New York or San Francisco, there will be several billionaires, perhaps even dozens of them, competing for sports franchises when one comes up for sale.7The limited supply of sports franchises may also explain why we don’t see much, if any, of a valuation penalty for NBA franchises that play in multi-team markets. The Lakers and the Clippers, like the Knicks and the Nets, compete with one another to some extent for fans. However, there’s an undersupply of NBA franchises relative to the number of billionaires in these large cities. If one of the 77 billionaires in the New York metro area buys the Knicks, there are still 76 billionaires left to buy the Nets.It’s also worth contemplating whether cities that attract hedge-fund billionaires and oil barons have an intrinsic advantage in recruiting multimillionaire NBA players. Compare Miami and Philadelphia, for example. Philadelphia’s gross domestic product is about 33 percent higher. But — and meaning no offense to Philadelphia — Miami is presumably a lot more fun for a really rich person. Miami will still have South Beach long after LeBron takes his talents to the next town. It will also have no state income tax.But if NBA franchises in billionaire-rich cities can be counted on to appreciate at a higher rate, shouldn’t the market account for that? In other words, shouldn’t they be selling at a higher value to begin with?Keep in mind that we’re looking at Forbes’s estimates of franchise values and not actual sale prices. It could be that Forbes is lowballing the values of big-market clubs. We don’t get all that many data points on actual sale prices because the rate of franchise turnover is low, and because the transactions are often complicated and involve other assets that are bundled with the sports teams. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers (along with some real estate assets) sold for $2 billion two years ago, a figure that far exceeded Forbes’s estimated value of the MLB team.Nonetheless, it’s plausible that the market will eventually catch up to the pattern, or that it already has to some degree. To check this, I ran a regression analysis that sought to explain the increase in NBA franchise values from 2004 to 2014 based on two variables: the number of people a team’s metro area had on the 2004 Forbes 400 list, and its Forbes franchise value in 2004 relative to the league average.8I included the Sonics/Thunder in the regression despite their having changed locations. Although NBA franchises change metro areas only rarely and face restrictions when seeking to do so, some of the value in purchasing an underperforming franchise consists of the potential to relocate the team. read more

OSU gymnast falls short at Olympic trials

Junior Sean Melton competes during the 2015 P&G Championships. Courtesy of OSU athletics“If you don’t want it, it’s not going to happen.”This mantra is what junior gymnast Sean Melton lives by. He said it applies to both his team play with the Ohio State Men’s gymnastics team and his personal endeavors to go for gold in Rio.Melton travelled to St. Louis this weekend for the first step in accomplishing his Olympic dream, to participate in the U.S. Olympic Trials. 18 participants were vying for the coveted spot to represent Team USA and to hopefully earn gold at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.With only five gymnasts named to the U.S. Olympic team, Melton’s quest for Rio came to an end Sunday when he finished 12th. Melton was disappointed about his finish.“Trials didn’t go as well as planned,” Melton said. “I wasn’t able to do all-around either day because I was battling with some shoulder problems throughout the year. It kind of just acted up at the wrong time.”Even with battling shoulder injuries, Melton managed to finish ninth in rings and tenth in floor exercise.He feels an Olympic berth is not far away.“I’m definitely headed in the right direction,” Melton said. “It comes between a couple of tenths to who makes the Olympic team and who doesn’t. I just need to get better on everything.”His accolades as a member of OSU’s gymnastics team is what got him to participate in the Trials. A six time All-American and five time Big Ten champion, Melton won 2016 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year. The 2015 team captain also led his team to a third place finish at the NCAA Championship in April.Looking back at his accomplishments this year, Melton said he feels like he has improved immensely.“I became more of a professional in the sport,” Melton said. “I really just dedicated my life to the sport because I know that is what it takes to get to this level and to make the Olympic team.”That same dedication is what fuels his leadership ability. Melton made an extra effort to become a more established leader for his college teammates.“I stopped talking as much and started doing what I thought was right,” Melton said. “They see me having success and they want success also. It made me train harder in the gym just knowing I’m doing it for 20 other guys and not just myself. It really just made me better in all aspects of the sport.”The team is Melton’s next focus after falling short of Rio.“I’m going right back to Columbus,” Melton said. “First, I’m going to get fully healthy again. Then I’m right back to training. Start preseason for college and get ready for the NCAA season.”As for his Olympic dreams, they are still alive and well. Melton now knows exactly what he needs to do to make that leap to Olympic glory.“I know I want it just as bad as everyone else if not more because now I have a taste of it and didn’t get it,” Melton said. “It’s definitely a huge learning process. I just need to take my gymnastics to another level now.” read more

Man dies after motorbike crashes into ditch in Dublin

first_imgA MOTORCYCLIST HAS died in a crash in Dublin.The man was riding a motorbike on Forest Road in Swords in north county Dublin when he lost control and crashed into a ditch at around 8pm last night.He was brought to Beaumont Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.A forensic examination of the road has been carried out by investigators.Gardaí in Swords have appealed for any witnesses to contact Swords garda station on 01 – 666 4700.The man is the 84th person to die on Ireland’s roads so far this year.last_img

HTC considers acquiring a mobile OS

first_imgMost of the mobile OS acquisition talk in the last two months has been about Samsung, whose misgivings about the Google-Motorola deal were thought to be sparking interest in an alternative to Android. An alternative besides its own Bada OS, which seemed somewhat unlikely. With Samsung flat out denying that it had any interest in acquiring an OS, the spotlight is now on HTC.Chairwoman Cher Wang has told reporters in China that the company had “given thought” to buying a mobile OS. That would line HTC up with the likes of RIM, Samsung, and now the Motorola Mobility/Google tandem.Which OSes was HTC considering? It’s safe to assume that HP’s webOS was most talked about, but Meego and Symbian could have been options as well. All three have been part of a swirling maelstrom of mobile uncertainty this year.But HTC is in no hurry to drop a ton of cash on an operating system. They did, after all, just shell out big bucks for a controlling stake in Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics to secure exclusive access to Beats Audio tech for their phones and tablets, and Wang feels that HTC’s strength currently lies in “understanding an OS.” She likely means the OSes they already ship: Android and Windows Phone.Wang states that HTC has the ability to differentiate on a “second or third layer,” meaning via software like HTC Sense and tech integration like Beats.More at Focus Taiwan and TNWlast_img read more

New voice for Greek Australians

first_imgGreek Australians in NSW have a new political voice with the establishment of the Hellenic Caucus. Membership of the Hellenic Caucus is open to Labor members and supporters who are interested in promoting issues concerning the Greek Australian community to all levels of government. Hellenic Caucus President George Houssos believes there is no better time for Greek Australian voices to be heard. “The Hellenic Caucus will make sure that the needs of Greek Australians are front and centre when it comes to political decision making while also providing networking and mentoring opportunities for our young activists.” “We want to create an organisation which will play an active role in shaping policy within the community and the Australian Labor Party even if that means standing up to the Labor Party when we think they have got it wrong,” Mr Houssos said. Australia and Greece share very deep historical, cultural and economic ties. Close to 400,000 Australians claimed Greek ancestry in the 2011 Census, and each year around 50,000 Australians travel to Greece for business or pleasure. “The challenges facing Greece are acutely felt by all Greek Australians. As good friends of Greece, we need to do our bit to see that Greece overcomes these challenges. “The Hellenic Caucus will look to play a role in the debate about the causes and consequences of the crisis facing Greece and we will work with the broader community to ensure our proud reputation is not diminished. “The need of establishing a one-stop-shop cultural centre for Greek Australians will be one of the first campaigns that the Hellenic Caucus will be focussing on over the coming months,” Mr Houssos said. Canterbury Councillor and Hellenic Caucus Vice-President , Esta Paschalidis-Chilas says that the Caucus provides a good opportunity to develop stronger ties between elected representatives of Greek heritage in Australia. “Dozens of Greek Australians proudly serve the community in public office. The Hellenic Caucus is a great opportunity for them to work together to provide progressive and effective outcomes for their communities and for Greek Australians,” Ms Paschalidis-Chilas said. For more information please contact; George Houssos 0418 655 682 Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Karnataka may head for spell of Presidents rule

first_imgGovernor Vajubhai ValaIANSKarnataka may have a spell of President’s rule till its Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar decides on the resignations of the 15 rebel legislators of the Congress and JD-S, as the BJP is not in a hurry to stake claim to form a government amid uncertainty, a party official said on Thursday.”If the Speaker takes longer time to accept or reject the resignations of the rebels, the Governor (Vajubhai Vala) may recommend President’s rule in the state, as we will not like to stake claim to power in such a situation,” BJP’s state spokesman G. Madhusudan told IANS.The party is also unclear about the Speaker’s decision on the disqualification the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) have recommended to apply on the rebels for defying their whip.Though the Supreme Court said in its July 17 order that the Speaker was free to decide on the rebels’ resignations as per the anti-defection law, the rebels abstained from the Assembly, as its three-judge bench also said they could not be compelled to attend the House, when their resignations were pending before the Speaker since July 11 when they re-submitted them on its July 10 directive.In case the Speaker takes more time to decide on their resignations, the rebels are likely to approach the apex court for its intervention, as their plea before it (court) since July 10 was for its direction to the Speaker to accept them forthwith, as the re-submitted the resignation letters were in order.”Till the resignations are accepted, the strength of the Assembly will remain 225, including one nominated, as the rebels are still members, with 113 as the halfway mark for a simple majority. Even with the support of two Independents, we will be still 6 short of the halfway mark at 107 (105 + 2) if we are asked to prove majority by the Governor after forming the new government.In case the Speaker accepts the resignations or disqualifies the members, the Assembly strength will reduce to 210, with 106 as the halfway mark, which the BJP will be able to win with the support of the two Independents.”As the decisions of the Speaker and the top court will take time, the Governor may recommend President’s rule and keep the Assembly in suspended animation till we are in a position to stake claim and form a stable government with our own majority,” added Madhusudan.If the rebels’ resignations are accepted or they are disqualified, by-elections in the 15 assembly segments will have to be held in six months of vacancy caused.last_img read more

Apple sees sharp rise in security requests

first_imgA 3D printed Apple logo is seen in front of a displayed cyber code in this illustration taken March 22, 2016. Photo: ReutersApple Inc (AAPL.O) has received more than four times as many national-security related requests from the U.S. government in the first half of this year versus a year ago, according to a company report on Thursday.Apple said it had received between 13,250 and 13,499 national security requests affecting between 9,000 and 9,249 users. That compares with a range of 2,750 and 2,999 requests affecting between 2,000 and 2,249 users in the first half of 2016.The requests come in the form of so-called National Security Letters, or NSLs, and requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. Apple and other companies report ranges because government rules prevent disclosing precise numbers.Apple declined to comment beyond the figures it released.The disclosures are voluntary, and firms like Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) have yet to report any figures for 2017. In the past, those companies have issued more detailed reports, for example separating FISA requests and NSLs. The government requires they wait six months to report that level of information.Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google said it had received between 0 and 499 National Security Letters requesting information on between 1,000 and 1,499 user accounts in the first half of 2017. A year previously, the number of requests was the same but the government asked about only 500 to 999 accounts, according to Google’s transparency report. Its 2017 FISA request numbers were not yet available.It was not immediately clear what drove the increase in requests to Apple. But Andrew Crocker, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that the number of government requests to technology companies has been increasing since 2014, when data first started to become available as part of a settlement between technology firms and the government.“There’s not a huge track record here, but you can start to make a simple graph. The trend does seem to be upward,” Crocker said.Crocker also said the higher requests to Apple could represent it coming in line with its peers. Despite Apple’s huge user base – it has sold more than 1.2 billion iPhones – the number of requests to it had been relatively low compared with firms like Google or Microsoft.National security letters are a type of government subpoena for communications data sent to service providers. They are usually issued with a gag order, meaning the target is often unaware that records are being accessed, and they do not require a warrant.last_img read more

Last Nights Better Call Saul was Jimmys First Real Fall into Saul

first_imgIf you were watching Better Call Saul to see the moment Jimmy McGill became Saul Goodman, last night was it. Until these last couple episodes, Jimmy at least tried to be a good guy. He conned people, but you could generally make the case that they deserved it. Or at least they were rich enough that it wouldn’t hurt much. He took shortcuts, but made sure his elderly clients weren’t taken advantage of. He falsified documents, but it was to help Kim. After last week’s episode featured the return of Slippin’ Jimmy, this week saw him morph fully into Saul.Bob Odenkirk said on the Better Call Saul Insider Podcast  last week that the difference between Jimmy and Saul is in the collateral damage they cause. Jimmy keeps himself blissfully unaware of the harm his schemes cause. Saul knows exactly who is going to get hurt and he doesn’t care. Saul is all about serving himself, and it doesn’t matter to him if people have to get run over along the way. That’s what makes last night’s episode our first true glimpse of Saul.Now that Jimmy has no more air time to sell, he needs to keep money coming in somehow. He can’t practice law, but he’ll still get paid 20 percent of the Sandpiper settlement. The only problem is class action lawsuits take a long time, and Jimmy needs money now. For the first little bit of the episode, it almost looks like we have the old Jimmy back. The sweet, smiling advocate for the elderly. Of course, it doesn’t take long to see that he has an ulterior motive. Jimmy brings cookies to Irene, the class representative to get a look at her legal paperwork. After doing some hilarious-looking mental math, Jimmy realizes that his cut would be $1.16 Million. He wants that money. Unfortunately for him, Irene is content to leave the decision-making to the nice girl at the Davis and Main.He tries asking Howard to settle the case, but Howard sees right through him. He doesn’t really care about the clients. He wants his money now. It’s a great little scene with possibly the best line of the episode. “It’s like talking to Gollum,” Howard says. Jimmy isn’t even being subtle about his motivations at this point. He’s out for himself and nobody else. When dealing with the lawyers doesn’t get Jimmy anywhere, he decides to go after Irene. This is where Saul really comes out to play.Irene Landry (Jean Effron) and Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk)(Photo by Michele K. Short/Sony Pictures )This was a great episode, but it was so difficult to watch Jimmy ruin this lady’s life. When all she really has is her friends, he makes them turn on her. After secretly giving her some nice walking shoes (of which he had a trunk full of different sizes), he implies to all the other plaintiffs that Irene is holding up the settlement. She must not need the money if she can afford those new shoes. He watches them all turn on her to the point where she breaks down and starts crying at Bingo. That’s when he subtly suggests that she settle the lawsuit. That’s who Saul is. He’ll completely destroy an old woman, taking away the one thing she has left, in order to get his payday. From the beginning of the scheme, Jimmy knew exactly who he was hurting. He didn’t care. Saul has arrived.In the rest of the episode, both Chuck and Kim are pushing themselves past their breaking points. It’s starting to have consequences. After Kim comes up with a solution for her new oil-drilling client, she pulls an all-nighter getting all the documents she needs together. That, as we all know, is a terrible idea. As she drives to the meeting, rehearsing what she’s going to say, her car runs off the road and crashes into a ditch. It’s a brilliantly-shot sequence, feeling exactly like a car accident. One minute, she’s calmly rehearsing to herself, and in a flash, the airbags deploy and there’s blood on her face. It’s jarring to see the normally-composed Kim dazed in the middle of the desert, with her papers flying everywhere. I’m going to bet this puts an even bigger strain on her relationship with Jimmy. If he hadn’t cheated to get her Mesa Verde, she wouldn’t have felt pressured to prove herself by taking on more than she could handle.Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) (Photo by Michele K. Short/Sony Pictures)Meanwhile, Chuck is desperately trying to prove to Howard, and himself, that he’s OK. When the malpractice insurance company dramatically raises their rates due to Chuck’s recent troubles in court, he threatens to sue them. Howard isn’t ready to go on that journey with him. He offers Chuck the chance to retire, and then more forcefully requests it. Refusing to believe that his mental illness may prevent him from doing his job, he threatens to take legal action against his own firm. Chuck is a man who’s put all his faith in the law, and he expects to be treated as an authority on it. Faced with the fact that his partner doesn’t trust him anymore, he’s becoming increasingly desperate. He’ll crash too, though maybe not as literally as Kim. When he does, the law will have failed him. And then, he’ll have nothing left.Finally, over on the less legal side of the show, we got a brief couple scenes surrounding the cartel. First, Mike enters into a formal partnership with Gus Fring and Madrigal. Meeting with Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, he works out a deal where Gus “hires” him as a Security Consultant, pays him his own money and takes care of all the taxes. The real significant part comes when Mike asks why Lydia would risk her nice office for a drug dealer. Lydia warns Mike that he’s so much more than that. Oh, don’t we know it.Victor (Jeremiah Bitsui) and Gustavo “Gus” Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) (Photo by Michele K. Short/Sony Pictures)Then, there’s the story of Nacho, his dad and Hector Salamanca. We all knew Nacho’s scheme wasn’t going to kill Hector, but it seems to have just not worked. After hearing that all drug traffic across the boarder would go through Gus’s trucks, Hector gets angry and almost has a heart attack. He takes his pills, which should just be ibuprofen, but appears to recover anyway. What’s going on there? Is it a placebo effect? And does Gus realize that Nacho tried to kill Hector? Either way, Nacho thinks his plan has failed. Nacho tries to warn his dad about Hector, and his dad throws him out of the house. He refuses to compromise his business by letting the cartel use it. I’m going to guess Nacho’s dad isn’t going to last much longer. That might be what turns Nacho against Hector for good. Maybe he and Gus will work together to put Hector in that wheelchair/oxygen tube combo?Whether we find out the answer sooner or later, something big is going to happen next week. There’s only one more episode left in the season, and this penultimate episode was packed with plot. We saw Jimmy’s cruelty come out, Mike and Gus enter into a formal partnership, and both Chuck and Kim self-destruct. If that was all in last night’s episode, I can’t wait to see what they saved for the finale. After last night, Jimmy is closer than ever to becoming the Saul we met back in Breaking Bad. Maybe next week is where he fully embraces his new identity.last_img read more

Costa Rican striker Yendrick Ruiz joins FC Pune City

first_imgThe 28year old brother of Costa Rican legend Brian Ruiz, is the star striker for Club Sport Herediano which plays in the Primera Divisi?n de Costa Rica, the top tier of the Costa Rican football league system.Yendrick began his career in the Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, where he formed part of the minor leagues since 2003. He made his official debut in First Division with Alajuelense He also represented Puntarenas Football Club in 2010, where he obtained the sum of 13 goals in 36 games. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaIn 2012 he joined Club Sport Herediano where he has raised his reputation of being an intelligent player with lethal goal scoring abilities. In the last 3 years at Herediano, he has scored an impressive 43 goals in 100 games, his last season being his most impressive one where he was lethal upfront for his team scoring 23 goals and assisting in another 12 goals for his team.Gaurav Modwel, CEO FC Pune City said, “After having a successful auction where we got the players we needed, we have gathered steam with regards to foreign player signings. We are very happy to announce the signing of Yendrick Ruiz, a talented striker from Costa Rica. Also Read – Endeavour is to facilitate smooth transition: Shastri”Yendrick is an intelligent player with good eye for goal and his reading of the game is excellent. He has been on a goal scoring spree in last couple of seasons for CS Herediano. He will surely be an asset to the club and a star for the Pune City fans.” Coach of FC Pune City, David Platt said, “Yendrick’s reading of the game and his skill in front of the goal will certainly be an asset to the team. Yendrick is a proven goal scorer and we are hoping his addition to the team bundled with his overall technical ability will make our attack line a force to reckon with.”Expressing his joy on joining FC Pune City, Yendrick Ruiz said, “The seriousness of the (FC Pune City) management for having me onboard and part of club was one of the primary reasons for me to join FC Pune City. This will certanly be one of the biggest challenges of my career sofar and I look forward to this challenge.last_img read more

An unconventional Mothers day celebration at old age home

first_imgSenco Gold & Diamonds, the largest jewellery retail chain from Eastern India, celebrated this Mother’s Day with a difference, by spreading happiness in the lives of residents of Sanjivani old age home in Raipur. The officials of Senco Gold & Diamonds visited the old age home to spend time with the residents, and celebrated the day by cutting cake and organizing various fun-filled activities. It was an emotional occasion for the elderly women at the old age home who were extremely touched by the gesture and responded with joy and enthusiasm. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSpeaking about the initiative, Shaankar Sen, Managing Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds, said, ‘At Senco Gold & Diamonds, we keep doing small and big initiatives for a larger social cause. It was a humbling experience to see how little things make a huge difference to the residents of Sanjivani old age home in Raipur. The activity has instilled a commitment within us to conduct such programmes more often to make a meaningful contribution towards the society.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSenco Gold & Diamonds, founded in the year 1938 by late MC Sen is one of the oldest jewellery organizations in India. Headquartered in Kolkata, Senco Gold & Diamonds has 89 stores spread across India and is the largest jewellery retail chain from Eastern India. Senco Gold & Diamonds has an array of products on offer for every occasion, with more than 10,000 new designs being developed every year. Their popular Everlite Collection has exquisitely designed light-weight jewellery available at extremely affordable prices. Senco Gold & Diamonds exports to countries like USA, UK, Singapore and Middle East.last_img read more

5 Software Platforms That Host Online Communities

first_img 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. June 22, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Online communities are a great way to meet and engage with like-minded individuals. There are communities for almost anyone — from sports fanatics and foodies to business professionals and entrepreneurs.A successful online community provides excellent content and a user experience that encourages frequent return visits. My company researched every option available while determining what platform to use for our latest project, Entrepreneurs & Business Owners Community. Related: 7 Lessons for Building Powerful Networking CommunitiesWhile we found community software that provided the best base for our specific project, there are many great options available. Here are five resources that serve as great starting platforms for building an online community.1. XenForoXenForo is widely known for its security, and this is an important thing to consider when using third-party software. Along with being secure, this forum software is fast loading, which contributes to providing an excellent user experience. When you have an online community there are going to be members logged in around the clock — reading content, starting discussions and searching — and since XenForo uses fewer resources than most, it results in pages that load quickly.This is actually the platform that my company chose to use for our new project, due to two main reasons. First, the software is mobile-friendly right out of the box — there is no need to create a mobile app, as the forum looks great on all devices. Second, the customizing options are virtually endless — we took full advantage of this with our install and completely transformed the look and feel for our needs.2. vBulletinOne of the most popular community software platforms, vBulletin, offers two options — a self-hosted version as well as a cloud version, where it handles the hosting, maintenance and upgrades. This software is very easy to customize and many of its users rave about how simple it is to set up. If you lack the technical knowledge to maintain and self-host a community it’s possible to get set up quickly using the vBulletin cloud plan. While the entry cost is less, the cloud option doesn’t offer same customization features as a self-hosted install offers.For smaller communities that aren’t concerned with being able to create a complete custom look and feel, the cloud option is both simple and affordable. If complete control and customization is desired you would need to host the software and handle the upkeep. Related: 4 Can’t-Fail Ways to Grow Your Professional Network3. bbPressWordPress was used by more than 23.3 percent of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015 — it’s by far the most popular blogging and content-management platform available. The creators of WordPress are also behind bbPress, which is forum software that allows anyone running on the WordPress platform to set up a discussion forum almost instantly.This is a great option for WordPress users that want to easily integrate a forum with a single click. It also allows the webmaster to manage the forum from the same main website administrative area. One of biggest benefits, aside from the simple installation, is the price — like WordPress, bbPress is completely free.4. MyBBMyBB is open-source software that delivers a powerful product completely free to use. Open-source projects survive and thrive when they have a solid community, which MyBB does. You can access tutorials, custom themes, plugins, modifications and software support within the community.Many people assume that open-source software comes with very few features, but MyBB isn’t lacking in that department. It’s easy to customize the look and feel through different themes and templates and there are several hundred plugins that allow the addition of new features and functions.5. Vanilla ForumsVanilla has both a cloud version as well as an open-source version of its community software. The free open-source option requires the user to host and maintain the software — and fix it in the event an issue arises. The cloud version of Vanilla offers optimized hosting as well as customer support.Powering more than 816,000 discussion forums, Vanilla is clearly a viable option that many businesses go with. I spent a lot of time reading reviews and feedback on the Vanilla platform — overall it was our second choice, as nearly every review I read highlighted the customization capability.Do you have a favorite online community? Share your favorites in the comments section below or tweet them to me.Related: Before You Purchase Software for Your Business, Consider These Do’s and Don’ts Register Now »last_img read more

Teaser trailer heralds Jurassic sequel

first_imgRelated posts:‘Festival Under the Stars’ to screen third edition in Puntarenas Bullfights, punk bands, and other happenings around Costa Rica PHOTOS: Bulls, beer and injuries at Costa Rica’s annual Zapote festival Beach races, ballet, and other happenings around Costa Rica Understand that this is just a teaser trailer for “Jurassic World,” a movie slated to be released in June 2015. The real trailer will air during the Thanksgiving Day football games.The fourth installment of the “Jurassic Park” science fiction series has weathered a lot of creative clashes over the years, but Legendary Pictures and Amblin Entertainment finally settled on indie wunderkind Colin Trevorrow to direct the picture. Hard to say how “Jurassic World” could possibly top Sam Neill speaking a raptor language with a prehistoric throat bone, but the movie is likely to be seen by nearly everyone on earth.The franchise has a fairly well-known Costa Rica connection: “Jurassic Park” author Michael Crichton found inspiration in Isla del Coco, the nation’s remote Pacific island and the basis for Isla Nublar. Parts of the first movie are set in Costa Rica, although most of the film was shot in Hawaii. Facebook Comments It’s been 13 years since anybody visited Isla Nublar to take a whirlwind dinosaur tour. The last time a local T. rex snacked on human flesh was “Jurassic Park III,” a remarkably well-received sequel to the Michael Crichton-Steven Spielberg franchise, although most dinosaur buffs expected that to be the end of it. Truly diehard fans held out for another chapter, as unlikely as that seemed. But Hollywood never seemed satisfied with any scripts. After all, the first “Jurassic Park”was released more than decades ago.Then this happened:last_img read more

Former Tico Times publisher recalls Dalys account of Arias misconduct

first_imgRelated posts:Óscar Arias, Costa Rica’s former president and a Nobel Prize winner, accused of sexual assault, per reports Who is Óscar Arias? Óscar Arias visits prosecutor’s office, declines specific comments on allegations Why Now: Oscar Arias accusers explain why they waited to come forward Emma Daly was a reporter with The Tico Times in 1990 when she alleges Óscar Arias, then serving his first term as Costa Rica’s president, groped her. The Washington Post first reported that Daly said Arias “ran his hand between her breasts and exclaimed, ‘You’re not wearing a bra’” after she approached to ask him a question in a hotel lobby.  Daly joined several other women who have accused Arias of sexual assault, misconduct or harassment after a criminal complaint against Costa Rica’s Nobel Laureate became public Tuesday. But Daly says Arias’s alleged behavior was not a secret, even in the 1990s.“But who would I have complained to?” Daly said. “I think they would have laughed at me for complaining about just being touched by some guy.” After all, Daly recalls, she had faced unwanted advances numerous times throughout her career. Many women in Costa Rica have had similar experiences with “men of his age,” she says. “I was outraged, but it wasn’t the first or the last time that someone put their hands on me against my will,” she said. “But it was the first time by a president. “[…] It definitely pissed me off, but you are constantly walking that line of wanting access to people because you needed them for your story and trying not to put yourself in any particularly dangerous situations.” Dery Dyer, The Tico Times’ former publisher and editor, remembers Daly telling her about the alleged incident soon after it had transpired. In an email to The Tico Times, Dyer said that “[w]hat was particularly maddening about Emma’s encounter was Arias’ abuse of his power as Presidente de la República vs. a young woman who was obviously dependent on staying in his good graces because of her work.” “In those days, viejo verde stuff was part of the culture, and nobody would have thought to question it beyond the disgusted head shake,” Dyer wrote. “All we did was keep spreading the word among colleagues so that women could be on their guard with him.” Viejo verde is Spanish slang used to describe an older man who is perceived to act inappropriately around younger women. “I’m really glad [Daly] came forth with her story. It’s never too late,” Dyer said.Daly says she felt a duty to go public with her account after reading Alexandra Arce von Herold’s accusation of sexual assault, which was first published in Semanario Universidad. Arias “categorically” denied allegations of sexual assault, saying he had “never acted in a way that disrespected the will of any woman.” His lawyers declined comment on any further accusations that had not been filed as criminal complaints, according to La Nación.On Tuesday, La Nación quoted an advisor to Arias who said the politician had allegedly “approached me, took my hand and put it on his erect penis.”On Wednesday, The Tico Times spoke with Marta Araya Marroni, who accused Arias of making multiple unwanted sexual advances over the course of several weeks in 2012. The allegations have shaken Costa Rica and darkened the reputation of the country’s two-term president and only Nobel Laureate. Daly says she understands why Costa Ricans might feel disappointed with the accusations given Arias’s international renown. “[Arias’s] work in Central America was extraordinarily important,” Daly said. “Pulling together the Central American peace plan and really helping to end those wars, he undoubtedly did incredible work and saved many, many lives.“Having an incredible résumé doesn’t give him the right to grab people when he feels like it.” Editor’s note: Katherine Stanley, Managing Editor of The Tico Times, worked in the Office of the President during Oscar Arias’ second presidency and provides English-language speechwriting services for Arias. She has recused herself from all reporting and editorial decisions for any story involving Arias, including this one.Correction: A previous version of this story said Arias was Costa Rica’s only two-term president. Other presidents have served multiple terms. This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more