Lack of funds means Western Saharan refugees risk going hungry UN agency

25 January 2007Efforts by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to feed Western Saharan refugees in Algeria are being stymied by a 30 per cent shortfall in funds which are essential to guarantee the continuation of food distribution. Efforts by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to feed Western Saharan refugees in Algeria are being stymied by a 30 per cent shortfall in funds which are essential to guarantee the continuation of food distribution.The refugees, who subsist almost entirely on assistance from the international community, fled to Algeria in 1975 to escape the fighting between Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO independence movement. They live in camps in the desert town of Tindouf which experiences harsh weather extremes and is devoid of economic opportunities.“These people risk being forgotten,” stated Marius de Gaay Fortman, WFP’s Country Director of Algeria. “WFP is committed to supporting them as long as they require assistance, but to do so we will need continued funding from the donor community.”The operation, set to last 30 months, is $13 million shy of the $43 million it needs. Lack of sufficient funding has already caused serious breaks in food supplies, and these interruptions could continue unless the necessary funds, crucial for purchasing 6,000 tons of food over the next five months, are donated.Malnutrition is a large concern among the 90,000 refugees: 39 per cent of children under the age of five are chronically malnourished while two out of every three women of childbearing age suffer from anaemia, according to the most recent nutritional study which was conducted in 2005.WFP today applauded the $1.3 million contribution from European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) to this operation.“Time and again the European Commission has shown its generosity and concern by funding WFP’s work in assisting these refugees, who remain extremely dependent on humanitarian aid,” Mr. Fortman said.Currently, a 12-day mission is underway in the area to assess the food situation. Representatives from WFP and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), along with those from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and donor countries, will meet with refugees and Algerian authorities to collect information regarding nutrition, food distribution and warehousing. read more

Concerns raised over proposed two new coal power plants

The cabinet paper notes in its ‘Background’ section (1.0) that minimizing environmental impacts in the generation of energy is a priority for the country, and reiterates that when deciding on the generation mix, protecting the environment is of ‘utmost priority’. “Firstly, as per Government policy, the already approved LTGP for 2017-2038 currently in force cannot be changed until 2019; should the ministry need to introduce new proposals, it must wait until 2019 to do so, and seek public comments on all such new proposals. The public, being an energy consumer, has a right to comment on the nature of what they are supplied with for consumption; therefore, giving public opinion prior to the tabling of changes is moreover a consumer right,” the environmental organiaations said. Environmental organiaations in Sri Lanka have raised concerns over the proposal to build two new coal power plants in Sampur and Norochcholai.Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka, Centre for Environmental Justice, Wildlife and Nature Protection Society and FEO Sri Lanka noted inherent issues and contradictions in the recent joint cabinet paper (63/2017/PE) outlining the diversification of the energy mix in Sri Lanka’s long-term generation plan (LTGP). The environmental organiaations noted that this point is aligned with the assurances Sri Lanka made to the global community as party to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in April 2016, including in the country position paper that, “Sri Lanka will place her development agenda on a fossil fuel free target.“Nevertheless, later on, the cabinet paper contradicts its previous point, when it allocates 1,200 MW of new power generation to two new proposed coal power plants, ostensibly for the purpose of strategic diversification of the energy mix in order to ensure energy security,” the environmental organiaations said. The environmental organisations believe that using strategic diversification as a justification for the development of coal power generation in Sri Lanka is heinously damaging to the country’s pledges to the world, and takes Sri Lanka a long step back in a world fast progressing past coal.“In fact, the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which is part of the Conference of Parties, aims to grow its country membership to 50 by the next UN Climate Summit in 2018, in recognition of coal’s role as the biggest source of carbon emissions in the world. Regrettably, the said cabinet paper uses the term ‘clean coal’, a misnomer without a scientific definition. The term ‘clean coal’ implies higher technologies in coal processing that removes carbon emissions, although in reality the term is merely subterfuge created and popularized by the coal industry itself, in response to anti-coal litigation. To the best of available knowledge and scientific research, CCS and other technologies that ‘clean coal’ implies are still underdeveloped, and this seriously undermines the possibility that coal power plants in Sri Lanka will be clean. SO2, NO, Lead, Mercury and Cadmium are some of the non-carbon pollutants of coal power, and the technology for containing these is also at a nascent stage,” the environmental organiaations said.They also noted that highly efficient coal plants will still have higher carbon emissions than more environmentally friendly generation methods that the energy mix could include. They say including new coal in Sri Lanka’s future energy mix for the sake of ‘diversification’ is unjustified and only further reinforces the climate change risks and threatens the national climate action programme. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Enbridge pumping station spills 230000 litres of heavy crude northeast of Edmonton

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Enbridge pumping station spills 230,000 litres of heavy crude northeast of Edmonton by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 20, 2012 12:22 am MDT ELK POINT, Alta. – There’s been another oil spill in Alberta, this time northeast of Edmonton.The Energy Resources Conservation Board says the leak of heavy crude oil happened Monday at a pumping station on Enbridge Inc.’s (TSX:ENB) Athabasca pipeline about 24 kilometres southeast of Elk Point.Enbridge estimates about 230,000 litres has leaked, but the ERCB’s Darin Barter said Tuesday that amount hasn’t been confirmed.“It’s a significant size spill,” said Barter. “Any amount of crude oil out of a pipeline is significant to us. Obviously we’ve had a number of pipeline incidents in the past short while and we’re monitoring cleanup on them and we have a number of investigations underway.”Barter said the pumping station — a 12-year-old facility which is in the middle of a field — has been isolated. He also said the oil has not spilled into any waterways, nor were there any evacuations or injuries due to the leak.“There’s absolutely no waterways, there’s no water, there’s no standing water, it’s on dry land,” he said. “The company is actually on the scene and they’re cleaning up the spill now. We”ll remain there for as long as we need to be until our comfort is achieved in cleanup operations.”Enbridge said in a news release that the cause of the leak appears to be a failure of a flange gasket. It said as soon as it detected the leak, it notified civic authorities and other regulatory agencies.But Steve Upham, reeve of the County of St. Paul, where the pumping station is located, said as of Tuesday night he hadn’t received any notification.Upham said he was aware of the spill only through media reports.“I don’t think anybody in the county, at this point, has been notified,” he said.Asked if he should have been contacted by Enbridge, Upham said: “I would have thought so. Or Alberta Environment, because they would be notified, I think. We’ve heard nothing from anybody.”Enbridge said immediately after the leak was detected, the pipeline was shut down. It was restarted again Monday afternoon, but the company was ordered by the ERCB to shut it down again Tuesday afternoon.“Enbridge is in discussion with the ERCB to determine the appropriate time for a restart of the line,” the company said.The leak is the second major spill in Alberta this month. Up to 475,000 litres of oil leaked from a pipeline owned by Plains Midstream Canada into the Red Deer River and flowed into Gleniffer Lake earlier this month.People with homes on the man-made lake say the company still can’t say for sure how long the cleanup will take. The Alberta government says it is monitoring water on the river and the lake twice daily at 21 different sites. It says trace levels of hydrocarbons have been detected beyond the containment booms on the lake, but that the levels are well below the province’s drinking water guidelines.The province is still advising people not to draw water directly from the river or lake, and it’s telling people not to swim or fish in the lake, either.“Once again Albertans are left to deal with the toxic effects of yet another pipeline spill in Alberta,” said Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema.“How many spills does it take before Alberta Premier Alison Redford does something to protect our water and all our communities? At minimum, we need an independent assessment of Alberta’s pipeline safety to show the deficits in management, oversight, enforcement and infrastructure.”Enbridge is proposing to build a pipeline that would stretch from Alberta to the B.C. coast and transport oilsands oil. The Northern Gateway pipeline is in the midst of public hearings and is encountering a lot of opposition amongst First Nation groups.Enbridge operates about 24,613 kilometres of crude pipeline, delivering on average more than 2.2 million barrels per day of oil and liquids.— By Mary Jo Laforest in Edmonton read more

New app hopes to help teens transition from school to workforce

The Learning Project by 660 NEWS Staff Posted Nov 1, 2015 5:30 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email New app hopes to help teens transition from school to workforce Figuring out what to do after high school can be tough for student. A new app, called Real Talk, is hoping to change that, with a little help from those who have already been there. Ian Hartlen is the coordinator for career projects at The Learning Partnership, the organization behind the app. He told 660 NEWS, the project started back in 2014, after students from across the country said they turned to their parents, peers and classmates for advice about life post high school.“The goal of Real Talk is to broaden the types of careers that young people think about, by crowdsourcing career information from other young professionals and new grads that are out there, making their way into the world of work,” Hartlen said. All of the information featured on Real Talk comes from a detailed online survey, and features tips from a variety of professionals, including a YouTube star, a SportsNet broadcaster, and even the barber for Toronto-born rapper Drake.“We think it’s important because it’s giving that human face to career education. Often I think what’s out there now is government language or educational categories,” Hartlen said. “We’d like unfiltered and real communication about what it’s like to transition from school to work.” The app will be release on November 4th. It’s free to download, and works on iOS and Android systems. For more information, visit the Real Talk website. read more

Homeless man speaks of how he cradled a dying woman in his

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “It’s the screams I can’t get over and the smell … I don’t like to say it but it smelled like burning flesh.”I don’t think anything has sunk in yet. It’s just shock.” “There were nuts and bolts all over the floor. People had holes in their back. A rough sleeper has tearfully described the moment a woman died in his arms from the explosion set off as fans left the Manchester Arena.At the time of the blast Chris Parker, 33, was in the foyer area of the venue where he regularly goes to beg for money as concert crowds head home.He recalled: “Everyone was piling out, all happy and everything else. As people were coming out of the glass doors I heard a bang and within a split second I saw a white flash, then smoke and then I heard screaming.”It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away my gut instinct was to run back and try and help.center_img He said: “She passed away in my arms. She was in her 60s and said she had been with her family.”I haven’t stopped crying.”The most shocking part of it is that it was a kids’ concert. “There was people lying on the floor everywhere.”I saw a little girl … she had no legs. I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts and I said ‘where is your mum and daddy?’ She said ‘my dad is at work, my mum is up there’.”He said he thought the child’s mother had died from her injuries.Mr Parker, who has slept rough in the city for about a year, said he also tended to a woman aged in her 60s who was badly hurt from the bombing with serious leg and head injuries.last_img read more

Kentucky University research project to integrate autonomous shuttle cars

first_imgUnderground coal mines are tight spaces characterised by limited mobility and visibility. These are factors that cause difficulty for equipment operators and introduce serious risks for workers around haulage vehicles, such as the shuttle car. Shuttle car operators are subject to dust and vibration exposure with limited visibility while operating the vehicle. Autonomous vehicle technology may provide the key to safer underground coal mines. In addition, these advancements can also be extended to other types of underground mining.Three University of Kentucky mining engineering professors have received a four-year, $2.19 million grant from the Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health to integrate autonomous shuttle cars into existing underground coal mine infrastructure.“The purpose of this research is to bring human factors work to automated equipment working in confined areas and around people,” explains associate professor Steven Schafrik. “This is about improving the miner health and safety not increasing productivity.”Schafrik adds that the intent of the project is not to replace the human operator but give him or her different responsibilities. Instead of operating the shuttle car, the worker would oversee the shuttle’s movements and could override them if necessary. Because the cars are already electrically tethered, autonomous replacements could use the current infrastructure. The research team is partnering with Alliance Coal and will conduct research at the company’s mines near Evansville, Indiana.Schafrik and professors Zach Agioutantis and Joseph Sottile have a threefold goal for the project: develop the framework for an accurate and reliable underground navigation system and methodology, evaluate the human factors involved in using an autonomous shuttle and develop and demonstrate a functional prototype of the autonomous shuttle car. Agioutantis refers to it as “a holistic project.”“We not only have mining engineers involved, but also researchers in the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute who are recognised as world leaders in automated vehicles research,” he says. The Virginia Tech team is led by experienced researchers at the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research.“A lot of the prototyping can be done on the University of Kentucky campus, but the human factors research will involve the mines so researchers can investigate the impact of autonomous shuttle cars on the underground mines,” adds Sottile.Autonomous vehicles are commonly available on the surface, but are sparsely available in underground mines and then in specialised applications.  The research team’s innovation would provide the first autonomous shuttle to be used underground. As a result, one particular challenge involves enabling the shuttle car to travel through entries and crosscuts in a GPS-denied environment and where the navigation path changes frequently.Schafrik joined the University of Kentucky over the summer, having spent the previous 16 years as research faculty at Virginia Tech. Agioutantis, who came to the University in 2014, possesses significant experience in the areas of programming and automation and Sottile, who has been at the department since 1991 and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has an extensive background in electrical engineering and underground mine safety.last_img read more

English clubs confirm split from Heineken Cup after this season

first_imgPREMIERSHIP RUGBY CLUBS today voted unanimously to re-confirm they will not participate in any competitions run by the ERC from 2014.In a statement issued this evening, the clubs stated:“[We] have worked exhaustively over the last 18 months to propose solutions to the issues with the current European competitions and to provide a sustainable platform to grow the game in the various countries.“[We] are now pursuing other options.”Today’s meeting came after French clubs voted last week to remain under the ERC umbrella for next season and look for reform beginning in 2014. The move meant that Premiership clubs found themselves without their main ally for the breakaway Rugby Champions Cup.Ligue National de Rugby, which represents France’s Top 14 clubs, said at the time:“French clubs can get involved in competitions run by the ERC (in 2014-15) on condition that all the deals are signed and that the competition will be staged with clubs from England”.However, while the ERC have continued to leave door open for English clubs to backtrack, today’s statement — in which the clubs state that the ‘ERC does not recognise the role of leagues and clubs in driving the success of competitions’ such as the Heineken Cup — means they may now pursue alternative tournaments such as an intercontinental competition with teams from South Africa.‘No greater allure than the world’s best team’ – Schmidt on potential All Blacks rematchBernard Jackman: Toulouse have become more predictablelast_img read more

Half of house hunters are willing to spend up to €350k on

first_imgOVER HALF OF property buyers are willing to spend up to €350,000 on a home, according to the latest AIB Residential Property Outlook Report.The report finds that three out of four people buyers want to buy within the next six months, while 18 per cent want to have a new home in 12 months.In demandThe most popular properties people are looking for is a two/three bedroom house, with 45 per cent of those surveyed saying that is their preference, while 22 per cent of the market are looking to buy four bedroom homes.The report, carried out in partnership with Property Industry Ireland (PII) and Sherry Fitzgerald New Homes, finds that majority of first-time buyers are currently living in rented accommodation at at 79 per cent, while 16 per cent are living with a relative.However the report also finds that there is a market for people looking to trade-up. In Cork, 25 per cent of house-hunters are looking to trade-up for a better home, while 23 per cent of Dublin buyers are looking to do the same.Over 1,600 house hunters were surveyed for the report, with 78 per cent of respondents coming from Dublin.Director of Property Industry Ireland, Peter Stafford said developers and contractors, planners, architects, estate agents and asset managers, are clear on the issues which are holding back supply.AvailabilityHe said availability of developer and equity finance, a lack of suitable sites on which to develop, and blockages in the planning system are all key issues.“If we can reduce costs and remedy delays in the pre-construction stages of development, especially in planning, a greater number of properties can be brought onto the market, he said, adding that the Construction 2020 report is a “good starting point”.Ken Burke, AIB’s Head of Business also welcomed the Government’s Construction 2020 plan, as did Head of Capital Markets and New Homes at Sherry Fitzgerald, Ivan Gaine who said there is a “huge need for urgency and proactivity across all sectors within the residential market stating that “funding is no longer an issue”.Trying to buy a house, but finding it difficult? Why not tell us your story in our comments section below.Damien Kiberd: This government’s housing policy will – literally – put people on the streets>Read: Enda Kenny on property: I promise you there is no going back to the past>last_img read more

Column Its not fair to ask the public to subsidise uneconomic wind

first_img Michael Fitzmaurice TD Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article THE COMMISSION FOR Energy Regulation has proposed that the public service obligation (PSO) levy is raised by 40% for consumers. The levy is mandated by the government and is mainly used to cover the cost of subsidy schemes to support the generation of electricity from renewable sources, such as wind farms.The proposals to increase the PSO levy by 40% for domestic users, by 39% to small commercial users and by 12% to medium and large industrial users is totally excessive.Before it is implemented we need to have a proper debate on what alternative energy industries we should be supporting in this country. The implications of these large increases for all sections of our society are huge.Spiralling costs for domestic and commercial usersFor domestic customers, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet, it will represent a rise from €11.90 per two-month energy bill to €16.54, which is a 40% increase.This is not justifiable when the annual rate of inflation is between 1% and 2%, and is sure to inflict further hardship on low income households and people who cannot afford to pay their energy bills at the moment.For small commercial users the proposed increase is from a current monthly charge of €20.73 to €28.79, and represents a 39% increase. The implications of this increase for small businesses are very serious. Many of these companies are struggling with costs to keep going as it is, and in many cases employ one or two people. These jobs will be in jeopardy now.How are we supposed to entice people to take a chance and open small businesses and create employment if energy costs are to spiral in this fashion? Are we going to be happy to see our unemployment rate rise so we can support uneconomic energy sources like the wind industry?Costs will affect hiring decisionsMedium and large industries will be hit with 12% increase which is a further blow to costs and would certainly be a major factor in any decision to hire more employees or expand in the future.This latest round of increases will mean that we are less competitive across the board and less able to compete when it comes to Foreign Direct Investment.The proposed increases across the board are excessive and are totally unjustifiable. They will have implications for every person in our society.We need an immediate debateAn immediate debate is needed in this country about our support for industries like wind that cannot stand on their own two feet financially and which is receiving huge subsidies from this PSO levy. Once again it is the ordinary people who are paying while there are certain individuals making a fortune out of this sector.I am calling on the Commission for Energy Regulation to stall this proposed increase and let us have an informed and honest debate about our future energy policy.I am all for renewable energy sources and alternative energy industries if they are financially viable, but what is going on at the moment is unsustainable. It is unfair to ask the general public and businesses to shoulder the cost of providing what are uneconomic alternative energy sources.Michael Fitzmaurice is an Independent TC for Roscommon–South Leitrim.‘We need to be cautious about celebrating Varadkar’s political success’>Fair City scriptwriter: ‘Heather’s brain injury is my brother’s story too’> Jun 13th 2017, 6:30 AM By Michael Fitzmaurice TD Short URL 83 Comments Share340 Tweet Email2 Roscommon-South Leitrim Independent TD Column: ‘It’s not fair to ask the public to subsidise uneconomic wind farms’ We must stop pouring money into alternative energies like wind power. They must stand on their own two feet, writes Michael Fitzmaurice TD. Tuesday 13 Jun 2017, 6:30 AM 243 Views last_img read more

Weather Eye Drier today with possible snow coming Thursday

first_img Our first widespread snowfall of the winter 2016 season has arrived. For some here in the lowlands it stuck for an hour or so and others just saw wet flakes with no trace on the ground. But if you were up and glancing out the window or reading about it on social media, it was there. Hard to not be aware of snow nowadays with the various fast-paced social media platforms.Meanwhile, the mountains had copious amounts of snow Sunday and Monday. Good news! Further good news is that it will continue to pile up over the next week or so. Here in the lowlands we wait as cold air filters over the area via easterly winds today and tomorrow. Another storm system is poised to override the cold air for snow/sleet/freezing rain before it warms up.So stay tuned to the latest forecasts tonight and Wednesday. Looking ahead to next week some computer forecast models hint of possible colder air moving south from Canada and giving us a real arctic outbreak. I only mention this as a possibility. It may fizzle but this is the time of the year us weather watchers are riding the computer models as they roll out. For now, we just deal with the next event.The largest snow depth I could find locally Monday was six inches reported by Phil Delaney above Dole Valley. He said, “I have an honest six inches on the roof of my truck.” Snow measuring four inches or so was reported on Livingston Mountain.So drier and cooler weather today and Wednesday, the type to huddle up in, especially if exposed to cold east winds. If the weather goes as I am thinking as of Monday afternoon, I bet the kids and teachers have a “snow day” on Thursday. Aw, why not? Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at read more

Comcast hooks you with internet and cable TV Video games could be

first_img $999 Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Comments $999 Apple iPhone XS Sprint $999 Analysts say that’s drawn the attention of media conglomerates and tech giants flush with cash and looking for a new way to grow. At the same time the devices you play games on now, such as the Xbox, PlayStation and Switch, are primed to disappear in the next decade, replaced by a superfast connection that allows you to play games over the internet the same way you watch Netflix today.The technology, called game streaming, could lead to a shakeup among game makers like Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft and Bethesda Softworks, and is expected to be a major topic at next week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Google is expected to use its upcoming presentation at GDC to unveil a gaming service built off its Project Stream technology, first shown last year. Xbox and EA say they want to offer game streaming too. And as larger companies like Comcast and its competitors look to jump into the game world, they may use their substantial bank accounts to buy game makers like Nexon for their expertise.”Gaming is very international these days,” said Mike Vorhaus, a media analyst and CEO of Vorhaus Advisors. He added that any company hoping to join the fray needs to learn not just how to make a good title, but also stuff like how to give away free games like Fortnite and then make money after. And it’s a plus if the games resonate outside the US and Europe too. “With Nexon, you get a company and a brand that’s done very well in Asia and understands free-to-play games.”Big tech companies are increasingly looking toward the gaming world. Getty Images Surprising fitNexon was founded in Korea 25 years ago and has specialized in online games for PCs and mobile devices. Its CEO is Owen Mahoney, a veteran of EA. And it’s best known for MapleStory, a free game in which players travel a fantasy world defeating monsters, exploring dungeons and creating unique characters. The game, which you can play with friends, boasts “hundreds of hours of adventure.”The company also makes Dungeon Fighter Online, a game in which you fight your way through dark worlds and dungeons. It was particularly popular in China and eventually drew more than 600 million players worldwide.That kind of success would be catnip to a company like Comcast, analysts say, bringing expertise in large online games while also expanding its business outside the US.Comcast has shown interest in video games before. The cable and internet giant, which also owns NBC Universal, teamed up with EA to bring game streaming to TVs in 2015. The experiment, called Xfinity Games, offered people a chance to stream games like the tongue-in-cheek strategy game Plants vs. Zombies. The project fizzled out, but it explains why Comcast might have considered a more serious move into gaming. “Comcast would get a front-row seat, ostensibly, and build its ‘gamer-grade Internet’ under the Xfinity brand,” said Joost van Dreunen, head of Nielsen’s SuperData Research. reading • Comcast hooks you with internet and cable TV. Video games could be next 17 Photos Deep pocketsIt may seem implausible that a big company with little history making games would suddenly want to buy in. But that’s just what Microsoft did when it blasted onto the scene in 2001 with its Xbox video game console, instantly making it the next big competitor to Sony and Nintendo.Now more tech giants are lining up to take on the industry.Beyond Google’s announcement, Apple, already a massive video game distributor through the App Store, is rumored to be using its deep pockets to fund a subscription game service. (The company is expected to announce a Netflix-like video streaming service on March 25.)Rear View Of Boy Playing Video Game On Computer In DarkroomYou may soon count Comcast, Google and Apple among the major game makers. Getty Images Facebook, which helped turn Zynga’s FarmVille into a household name, has built several game services over the years. And in 2014, it bought Oculus VR for more than $3 billion, instantly making it one of the leaders in the video game industry’s much-hyped virtual reality push.Amazon, for its part, has already invested billions of dollars on video games, be it through buying the popular game website Twitch for $1 billion in 2014 or various game studios like Double Helix that same year.Whether Nexon ultimately goes to Comcast or another giant is still uncertain. Either way, it’s clear that the game’s about to change. See All Best Buy 1:14 Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X See It See It Electronic Arts (EA) Amazon Comcast Microsoft Sony Nintendo Apple See Itcenter_img Not too long from now, when you’re ready to play your next big game, it may be on something other than Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation or Nintendo’s Switch.You might play it by connecting to a device or service coming from Apple, Google, Amazon or even Comcast.That’s right, Comcast. The cable and internet giant reportedly has bid or has considered bidding for Korean gaming company Nexon, which makes the popular online role-playing game MapleStory, according to a Korean business newspaper. Comcast is up against Amazon and Apex Legends maker Electronic Arts, which are also said to be in the mix.Representatives from Comcast, EA, Amazon and Nexon either declined to comment or didn’t respond to requests for comment.The news of Nexon’s potential sale serves as a reminder that the entertainment landscape is rapidly changing. As companies look for the next big thing beyond music subscriptions, internet connections and selling you the next iPhone, video games may hold a key.The already huge $138 billion video game industry has produced cultural phenomena like the battle royale games Fortnite and Apex Legends and competitive sports franchises like Riot’s League of Legends. Each of those games is free to download, but they charge extra for flair like a dance move or a different look for your character. And people are buying. Epic’s Fortnite alone is estimated to have rung up $2.4 billion in revenue last year. Share your voice Apple The 17 most anticipated video games of 2019 Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? 4 Boost Mobile Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR New Xbox may stream games Tags $999 Now playing: Watch this: See it • Culture Tech Industry Gaming Mobile CNET may get a commission from retail offers.last_img read more

CM conducts aerial survey orders 5k aid to each floodhit

first_imgRajamahenedravaram: Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected areas, including Polavaram project and Devipatnam in two Godavari districts on Thursday. After his arrival from Delhi, he directly arrived here by helicopter from Gannavaram airport and went on aerial survey. Later, he held a review meeting in the airport with the ministers and officials at Rajamahendravaram airport. Also Read – DGP Gautam Sawang warns over objectional posts on social media Advertise With Us The Chief Minister enquired with the officials about the flood situation in the two Godavari districts, ongoing relief operations, crop loss and other issues. Stating that there was no dearth of funds to extend any help to the flood victims, directed the officials to extend necessary assistance to them. He directed the officials to pay an amount of Rs 5,000 to each flood-affected family in the two districts immediately and warned that any delay in this regard would not be condoned. He pointed out that more than 70 per cent of the inundated villages were tribal habitations. Also Read – AP Cabinet to meet on September 4 Advertise With Us He asked officials to supply essential commodities to families in flooded villages. Besides paying compensation for crop loss, the Chief Minister directed officials to supply fresh seeds free-of-cost. He told the officials to take the water flow at Polavaram project construction site as the benchmark for calculating the flood threat and take preventive steps accordingly in future. Advertise With Us The Chief Minister wanted rehabilitation and resettlement works in the Polavaram submergence villages taken up in an expeditious manner on a priority basis. An IAS officer was appointed exclusively to oversee Polavaram rehabilitation and resettlement works and expedite them, the Chief Minister added. Later, Jagan Mohan Reddy left for Gannavaram without addressing the scheduled press conference. Briefing about the review meeting to the media at the airport, Deputy Chief Minister and medical and health minister Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas said construction of houses to the displaced people of Polavaram project would be completed before next year flood season with quality along with necessary facilities. Many tribal habitations in twin Godavari districts were submerged because of cofferdam which was constructed as part of Polavaram Project. Because of it, the flood water surged into the tribal habitations. Former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to get commissions started cofferdam and not even shifting the project evacuees, he said. The government ordered for an enquiry to know the corruption took place in the construction of the project and stern action will be taken against the respective persons in this regard, he added. Minister for Agriculture K Kanna Babu, MLAs N Dhana Lakshmi, J Raja, CHVG Krishna, MP Margani Bharat Ram, collectors DM Reddy, MM Raju and other officials were present. Deputy chief ministers P S C Bose, A K K Srinivas, ministers K Kanna Babu, P Anil Kumar Yadav, MPs and MLAs participated in the review meeting.last_img read more

Shazam movie leaked online Free download to affect the boxoffice collection

first_imgShazam DC Movie TrailerShazam Movie/FacebookZachary Levi’s Shazam! the movie was released earlier today and within a few hours, the movie made its way to the illegal download world.As of now, the movie is currently available on all the famous torrent websites. At the moment, the movie’s CAM and 720p prints are being illegally downloaded by several fans and there are predictions that within a couple of days, the HD and Full-HD prints will also be accessible online to download.Over the years, a lot has been done to stop the piracy but the hackers somehow manage to make the Hollywood movies available online. Shazam! the movie is made against a budget of $100 million and if viewers will consider watching it online, then there are chances that the movie won’t be able to break any box-office record.Warning: Spoilers ahead:Shazam! the movie is set in 1974 New York where a young Thaddeus Sivana is magically transported to the Rock of Eternity, where he meets the wizard Shazam. The wizard introduces him to the mystical statues containing the spirits of the Seven Deadly Sins: Greed, Pride, Lust, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, and Wrath. The wizard belongs to the last of the council of seven and has spent several centuries in search for a successor or a new champion. After failing the test that judges his heart, Sivana will be transported back to the real world. As it turns out, Sivana will later free all these seven Sins, allowing them to use his own body as a vessel of escape. Zachary Levi will play the role of Shazam!Getty ImagesWhereas, the movie’s story focuses on the life of Billy Batson, who shares a room with a paraplegic, Freddy Freeman. Freddy is being bullied by a group of kids in the school and when Billy tries to help him, he is summoned by the wizard. The old wizard uses his shaft and transforms Billy into an adult with multiple superpowers.The rest of the movie is a crazy journey of Billi Batson and Freddy Freeman, who are doing their best to understand the powers that were given to the former by the wizard. Meanwhile, the threat implanted by Thaddeus Sivana is blooming and causes destruction on several levels.The credit scenes reveal that Shazam has finally joined the Justice League. In a mid-credits scene, Sivana is present in his jail cell and is seen drawing multiple symbols across the wall.Shazam! movie review:Shazam! the movie is released in North America alongside Stephen King’s Pet Sematary and is projected to gross $50 million in its opening weekend. There are chances that since the movie is already leaked online, fans will try to watch it illegally. At the same time, within a couple of weeks, Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame is releasing worldwide and it will definitely put a hold on to the Shazam’s box-office earnings.The movie is getting all the praises for its lighter tone than the previous DCEU movies. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie sits on a 92 percent approval rating. The website’s critical consensus reads, “An effortlessly entertaining blend of humour and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre’s real power: joyous wish fulfilment.” On the other hand, many have called the movie has a much need movie from the DC camp.last_img read more

Public Housing Units Decrease as Federal Funds Decline

first_imgBaltimore has over $800 million in capital (maintenance and repair) needs in its public housing stock, and receives around $4 million annually to address our deteriorating housing supply from the federal government.  At current funding levels, it would take the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) 200 years to address the capital needs of its housing stock, says Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano in an interview with the AFRO, requiring the city to seek out private investment dollars in order to fund its public housing need.And that need is great says Graziano.  HABC estimates that, in addition to the approximately 26,000 households currently living in public housing (about 10,300 households currently) or receiving some sort of rental subsidy like a Housing Choice Voucher (about 15,755 households), there are at least 50,000 additional households who have expressed a need for housing assistance and are not receiving it.“There’s really no money out of Washington to build new public housing,” said Graziano.  “The program that is funded to some extent to grow is the voucher program. . . . It’s not huge but we are getting a few hundred units a year.”Housing authorities are locally managed federal agencies that rely more or less wholly on Congress for their funding.  In America, this is the principal (and often sole) means of providing affordable housing to those who need it, yet Congressional support for public housing has significantly declined, and continues on a downward trajectory.“All I can say is, nationally, they’re losing somewhere between 10 and 15,000 public housing units a year, due to the capital shortfalls,” said Graziano.Rental subsidies like the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), which deliver persons in need of affordable housing to the private rental market, have been more adequately, though not completely, funded, making it difficult for an authority like HABC to meet the demand for affordable housing.HABC recently reopened its HCVP waiting list.  From Oct. 22 to Oct. 30, the time period during which HABC was accepting applications for the waiting list, the authority received 73,509 preliminary applications, and while the initial plan was to create a waiting list of 25,000 households from that larger pool, the number of applications led to a waiting list of 30,790.That list will have a six year shelf-life according to Graziano, but with somewhere around 1000 housing vouchers to give out per year (most of those being distributed because of turnover when persons no longer need their voucher, allowing the authority to redistribute it), HABC expects that at most 7,500 people will receive vouchers off that list before the authority reopens the list and creates a new one, and that the number more realistically is in the 1,000 a year range.With this sort of gap between need and funding levels, authorities are not in a position to preserve their single-payer model.“I think obviously [relying on federal funding exclusively] is inadequate given the need around the nation, not merely here, versus the funding,” said Graziano.  “I do believe that there’s been, out of necessity, a shift toward public-private partnerships to bring other capital to the table.”As an example of this sort of public-private partnership, Graziano cites the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.  In a prior conversation with the AFRO, Deputy Executive Director of Baltimore Housing Anthony Scott explained how RAD works.“What it allows housing authorities to do is to, essentially, substitute the public housing subsidy that we get for a section 8 subsidy,” said Scott.The federally funded public housing subsidy only covers operating costs, but since a section 8 subsidy is designed to be paid to landlords, it covers everything market rents are intended to cover: operating costs, capital costs, anything still owed on the mortgage of the property, and something leftover for the landlord herself.Under RAD, HABC can borrow against the difference between the public housing subsidy and the section 8 subsidy, and will receive the difference from the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to pay back the loans.By combining RAD with the issuance of low-income housing tax credits as well as tax exempt bonds tied to those credits, HABC has raised $330 million with which they will address the capital needs of 4,000 units of their present public housing stock, doing in two years what would otherwise have taken 200 at current funding levels (though the reality is the units would have likely become uninhabitable long before that 200 years was up).“Programs like that are clearly going to be necessary in order to address the capital need, both in terms of preservation and in terms of production of new housing or replacement housing,” said Graziano.  “We already are using the tax credit program widely around the city in redevelopment efforts to produce new affordable housing.”Even with this renewed ability to address the capital needs of its public housing stock however, 7,000 additional current units, with about $500 million worth of capital needs, will continue to be subject to the vagaries of congressional support. ralejandro@afro.comlast_img read more

Snow Warning Snow continues to fall on the Drakensberg KZN bringing Ladysmith

first_imgSnow fell in the Drakensberg yesterday (July 16), which is the cause of Ladysmith experiencing freezing cold weather this morning.Some mountains in the Drakensberg and Lesotho have been covered with a blanket of snow.Sani Mountain Lodge (Sani top in Lesotho) has seen snow falling from Friday night (July 13).Also read: Snow has fallen in areas surrounding Ladysmith WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Also read: Icy weather expected for Ladysmith as cold front approaches, with snow predicted in some areas.Ladysmith, brace yourself for a cold week ahead!Motorists are also warned to be vigilant and drive cautiously if travelling in the Drakensberg area or other places that are covered in snow.Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or  for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there!last_img read more

Looking back at Hurricane Maria the initial impact

first_imgFallen trees and branches blocked streets everywhere and the trees that remained standing were completely shorn of leaves. Puerto Rican environmental consultant Mickey Ray estimates that the storm downed between 1 million and 3 million trees and damaged 5 million more.As soon as the wind stopped, neighbors on our street got busy clearing it of downed trees and branches, in a scene repeated on virtually every street throughout the island. On our street, even a grandmother ably wielded a chainsaw to cut up trees and branches that were then moved to the side of the road by others.But once the trees were cleared, it didn’t mean you could get anywhere. Puerto Ricans had pumped the gas stations dry in anticipation of the hurricane.Huge lines formed in front of gas stations rumored to be about be refilled by trucks that never came. The gasoline truck drivers had the same communication challenges as everyone else and were in mere survival mode, unable to get to work.When they finally did start work after several days, they had to first deliver diesel to hospitals in urgent need of fuel for their generators.  A Total gas tanker truck needed a police escort as it sped through a main San Juan street on the way to a hospital. Above, a man walks on a highway divider while carrying his bicycle in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 21, 2017. Below, a view on Oct. 20, 2017 of a car driving on the same highway a month after Hurricane Maria hit the island. AFP Photo / Ricardo ArduengoAfter three or four days, gasoline finally reached the general public. However, lines at gasoline stations stretched up to eight hours, and gas often ran out before everyone was served.  Special lanes were established at designated gas stations for government officials and reporters, guarded by police against the possibility of frayed tempers, with waits of less than a half an hour to fill up.Lines also formed at supermarkets, which had run short of many basic supplies because the storm had knocked out ports around the island.Now, more than two months after the hurricane struck, at least a semblance of normalcy has returned, at least to San Juan.Lines have disappeared from gasoline stations and supermarkets. Shopping centers are jammed packed, as much with people seeking out a sense of normal life as doing any significant shopping. Universities have reopened after undergoing repairs, and schools have reopened.But the storm exposed the vulnerability of the 1 million people who live below the poverty line in Puerto Rico, many in rural areas outside of municipality centers. For them, life may never be the same.John McPhaul is a dual U.S.-Costa Rican citizen, born in San José. He wrote for The Tico Times for many years and now works at the San Juan Daily Star.Read more from John in Part II, coming Thursday. Facebook Comments As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor John McPhaul reflects on his experience at the heart of Hurricane Maria’s passage through Puerto Rico. Part I of II. With vicious wind gusts slamming into our apartment, we huddled in the safety of the stairwell, terrified of what would happen when the eye of Hurricane Maria hit.Fortunately for us, the eye wall passed 15 miles south and Maria spared us the worst of its Category 4 winds, which reached 200 miles an hour.But no one in Puerto Rico was spared the ravages of Hurricane Maria altogether. The storm knocked out 100 percent of the electrical power, demolishing the transmission lines that traverse the 100-mile by 35-mile island. Maria also knocked out 60 percent of water supplies, serving up what could still turn out to be a humanitarian crisis of untold proportions.The 1 million residents of San Juan’s metropolitan area, where recovery efforts have been centered, are lucky compared to the 2.4 million people living in outlying municipalities. Across the mountainous island, communities struggled without water, electricity, food or even shelter as the storm ripped apart and blew away wooden houses, leaving people with nothing but the muddy clothes they were wearing. Related posts:Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico Government charters flight to bring Costa Ricans home from Puerto Rico Costa Rican Foreign Ministry seeks Costa Ricans in Puerto Rico PHOTOS: ‘There’s a new normal in Puerto Rico’ ‘Pura vida’ on a mission: Monteverde recovers from Tropical Storm Natecenter_img For weeks after the storm, people in the mountains slept under the rain, surviving without food or water. The storm knocked out dozens of sewage treatment plants, resulting in tainted water being pumped into rivers and giving rise to an outbreak of leptospirosis, a water-born bacteria from rat urine. The hurricane’s death toll has reached 55.In the immediate aftermath of the storm, these stories and everything else going on in the island were obscured in a confused darkness. No one, even the police, could communicate by phone or internet. Access to rural areas was especially limited because of blocked roads and collapsed bridges.The only telephone network still operating was AT&T, which had shipped in an off-shore generator in anticipation of the hurricane. When the winds died down, I was able to borrow an AT&T phone from a neighbor to call my brother in California to tell him that we were all right.That first day after the hurricane had passed, we emerged from our house to a scene of utter devastation. Voices of Nate: Five first-hand accounts of Costa Rica’s devastating stormlast_img read more

Kamalaya Koh Samui is Awarded Destination Spa of The Year Asia

first_imgThis latest award follows on from Kamalaya’s success in 2011 winning three awards; including two awards for its cuisine voted winner of Best Conscious Cuisine at the 2011 Crystal Awards Asia Pacific in Singapore and named Spa Retreat of the Year and Spa Cuisine of the Year at the 7th Annual Asia Spa Awards in Hong Kong in November. Since opening in 2005, Kamalaya has won more than 22 awards. “It really is a great honour to win these awards.  Our vision has always been to inspire our guests and our team, and hopefully people everywhere, to live with greater health and harmony. Each award is a reminder of that vision, a confirmation that we are having an impact and a motivation for us to continue evolving and improving,” said John Stewart, Kamalaya Chairman and Co-founder. “We applaud our team as this is very much their success and it is wonderful to see their work and dedication acknowledged.” Kamalaya is located amid a lush, tropical landscape on the southern coast of Koh Samui, Thailand. The resort integrates healing practices and treatments from East and West, a beautiful natural environment, inspired healthy cuisine, customised programs and wellness retreats to offer a unique concept in personal wellbeing and holistic lifestyle possibilities. Source = Kamalaya Koh Samui Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa was honoured with the award for Destination Spa of the Year: Asia & Australasia at the World Spa awards hosted in London last night.The World Spa Awards took place at the Park Lane, Hilton after an expert panel of 7 international judges selected the finalists during a vigorous process including two site visits per application.  Kamalaya faced exceptional competition from across the world, and was shortlisted alongside three other finalists Chiva-Som International Health Resort, The Dheva Spa & Wellness Centre at The Mandarin Oriental, Chang Mai and Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat on the Gold Coast Australia.The awards included two categories across multiple territories allowing the best spa and hotel resorts to be recognised geographically. The two awards for Hotel Spa of the Year and Destination Spa of the Year were segregated into regions encompassing Asia & Australasia, America (North & South), Africa, Middle East & Africa as well as Europe. Following a visit from both an “official” judge and a “mystery” judge the final winners in each category were selected for best practice, excelling in client service with a well researched and comprehensive menu of treatments, high quality training and having a point of difference from the opposition through implementation of innovative ideas amongst other criteria.last_img read more

Departure of Barbaros not enough to resume talks

first_imgBy Elias HazouTHE government yesterday said it would not return to peace talks even if Turkey were to cease its illegal explorations in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).Speaking to the state broadcaster, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said the withdrawal of the Turkish research vessel Barbaros from the EEZ was only one of two preconditions for the resumption of negotiations.The other precondition, he said, would be a “tangible demonstration” on Turkey’s part that it respects Cyprus’ sovereignty.“We want to see Turkey’s response to certain developments in the coming days and weeks,” Christodoulides said.“No one can give us adequate guarantees that the Barbaros will not return after a possible resumption of the talks.The aim is not to restart talks for the sake of having talks, but rather to conduct negotiations with prospects for a positive outcome. The departure of the Barbaros alone is not enough.”The NAVTEX, or marine advisory, issued by Turkey expired on Tuesday. Under the advisory, Turkey had reserved a massive swathe of the Cyprus EEZ for seismic research of hydrocarbons – illegally according to Nicosia.Yesterday the Barbaros – the Turkish vessel conducting the seismic surveys on behalf of Turkish Cypriots – was anchored off Famagusta port, having returned there late on Tuesday.As of yesterday, Turkey did not renew the same NAVTEX, but could conceivably issue a new one at any time.The spokesman also dismissed outright a demand put forward by Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ergun Olgun that Cyprus halt its offshore prospecting for hydrocarbons in tandem with a cessation of Turkish exploration activities in the EEZ, paving the way for a resumption of talks.“There is no question of discussing such a proposal. This idea/suggestion is not acceptable, it is not even accepted by foreign countries involved in the Cyprus question,” said Christodoulides.“In any case, this is not possible. The Republic has contractual obligations toward these [oil and gas] companies operating in the EEZ, and we have no right to ask them to suspend their operations,” the official added.“But I want to stress that it is not our intention, even if we could [ask them to suspend their operations], to do so.”Christodoulides confirmed reports that Cyprus would press on with its natural gas prospecting as scheduled.A drillship operating on behalf of the ENI-KOGAS consortium would soon be heading to another target in offshore block 9, dubbed ‘Amathusa’.The drillship would commence drilling there sometime within the first fortnight of January, the spokesman said.Cyprus has already issued its own marine advisory for the new drilling operation; the advisory will reportedly be in effect until March 19.President Nicos Anastasiades appears to have hardened his stance. In comments last week, the President indicated he was not ready to return to the negotiating table, and ruled out including hydrocarbons on the talks agenda, as the Turkish side wants.In doing so, Anastasiades has the backing of almost all opposition parties. DIKO, EDEK, the European Party and the Citizens Alliance have all warned the President against being lured back to negotiations.Should Turkey refrain from any actions in the EEZ, that would make it that much harder for Anastasiades to argue against the resumption of negotiations.The government’s strategy on the peace talks – now intertwined with the hydrocarbons issue – is to be reviewed at a meeting of party leaders under Anastasiades scheduled for January 12.And before that, on January 2, Anastasiades will be hosting an informal gathering of the leaders at his Presidential retreat in Troodos to discuss the same.Speaking to the Mail, Christodoulides explained that his earlier remarks regarding Turkey’s behaviour in the coming days related to the operations of ENI-KOGAS.“Provided there is no harassment by Turkey, in any shape or form, of ENI’s operations, and no new NAVTEX is issued, there is a chance for negotiations to resume.”Commenting on media reports, the spokesman said also the government has no knowledge of an upcoming visit to the island by UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide.Turkey does not recognise the Republic nor Nicosia’s jurisdiction in the EEZ, and says Greek Cypriots are acting ‘unilaterally’ in prospecting for hydrocarbons without including Turkish Cypriots.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union,上海夜网Arkadiy. read more