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first_imgTORONTO – Toronto’s police service is set to expand an existing neighbourhood officer program in an effort to “build trust and reduce crime,” but critics say it’s unlikely to do either.Deputy Chief Peter Yuen, who is in charge of the police force’s communities and neighbourhoods command, said the expansion will roll out in phases over the course of a year and will more than double the number of community officers on city streets.“We want to deliver community-centred policing. We want to get back to connecting with the neighbourhoods,” said Yuen.Yuen said in total, about 120 officers will be deployed to 27 neighbourhoods. The first phase of deployments begins on Monday, when 40 officers will be placed in eight neighbourhoods across the city.He said more officers will continue to be stationed in other Toronto neighbourhoods through October 2019. Yuen said the expansion would bring the total number of neighbourhood officers to about 220 situated in a total of 60 neighbourhoods. He said it’s a four-year assignment for the officers, which he said will give them time to build relationships with the public.The expansion boosts an existing program that has been running since 2013 and currently has 96 officers in 33 neighbourhoods.A report that was presented at a Toronto police board meeting on Friday said the early focus of the program was “to increase police presence and address community problems … within particular neighbourhoods and improve relationships between community members and the police.The report said that through the program, officers conduct regular patrols of the community and engage in “intelligence-gathering.” The report also said the program’s expansion will cost about $16 million each year.Yuen said it will continue to have the same goals, but that officers will be more “accessible” to the community.“Neighbourhood officers will have the training and the tools to go and assist neighbourhoods,” he said. “Neighbourhood officers will be available to the public 24-7.”So far this year, Toronto has seen 40 fatal shootings, compared to 29 fatal shootings in all of 2017, according to Toronto police crime statistics. There were also 29 fatal shootings in 2016 and 17 in 2015, the data shows.Louis March, founder of the Toronto-based Zero Gun Violence Movement, said the increased police presence could be “intimidating.”He said some officers can come off as “aggressive” when they try to speak to community members about gun violence in order to get information on suspects.“A lot of officers are doing good work,” said March. “But some officers can be aggressive. There’s a lack of empathy, concern, a lack of understanding.”March said policing isn’t a solution to reducing violence, and that there should be more emphasis on developing neighbourhoods economically, by creating job opportunities and improving public programming.“It’s about investing and developing these communities,” he said.Yuen said the program expansion isn’t a response to the jump in gun violence in the city, but that it will address guns and gangs.“We’re not singularly looking through a crime lens,” said Yuen. “We are more than just crime fighters…. If we just look through that single lens then we lose the focus of the neighbourhood officers.”Yuen said the officers will also be “engaging” with the communities to identify members of the public who suffer from mental illnesses.“They will be able to identify these people and they will be able to get those people the required assistance they need,” he said.Yuen said members of the community in the 27 newly selected neighbourhoods were consulted over the summer about the program, and he believes they responded positively to the expansion. He said this included consultations with local politicians, business improvement agencies, churches and other organizations, although he declined to name which ones specifically.Neighbourhoods where officers will be stationed were chosen based on statistics that looked at a range of factors including crime index, level of unemployment, level of income, family status, level of education, and “fear of violence,” according to the police report.“This is not a police-driven program. This program is a collaborative approach,” said Yuen.Zya Brown, director of Think 2wice, which provides activities and programming for youth and those involved in the legal system, said she doesn’t believe the officer program will build trust. She said police can bring a level of fear as they are in a position of power and authority, and can make members of the public feel like they are criminals.“This is also going to enforce stereotypes,” she said. “Because people in these neighbourhoods are black and brown.”She said she is worried the program will be another version of the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy, which was criticized for disproportionately targeting people of colour. That program saw more police deployed to neighbourhoods that saw crime increases the year before, during the city’s so-called “Summer of the Gun.”last_img read more

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first_imgThe first baby born in the Northern Health region was also a boy, delivered at Bulkley Valley District Hospital in Smithers, at 1:01 a.m. More information can be found here.The first baby born in British Columbia in 2019 was delivered at Fraser Health’s Royal Columbian Hospital, at 12:01 a.m. today DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Northern Health is pleased to announce that Dawson Creek’s New Year’s Baby has arrived, and it’s a boy!Baby Maverick Wells was born at Dawson Creek & District Hospital on January 1st at 3:35 a.m. to mom Bianca and dad Kris of Dawson Creek – weighing in at seven pounds, 10 ounces.The newest member of the Wells family has three older brothers to welcome him to the world. last_img read more

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Eleven passengers – seven Kosovo Albanians, three Kosovo Bosniaks and one Kosovo Serb – were traveling from Dragash/Draga? to Prizren on Saturday evening when a projectile fired from the roadside struck the middle of their bus and entered the passenger compartment. It did not explode and on one was injured. Explosives experts serving with the international security forces in Kosovo (KFOR) safely removed the device. UN envoy Søren Jessen-Petersen directed that security measures across Kosovo be enhanced to ensure that a safe and secure environment is maintained. These include “vigorous police patrols and vehicle checkpoints” throughout Kosovo, he said. Police resources are being redeployed to ensure a visible police presence in potentially vulnerable areas such as schools and religious establishments, according to the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).“The security environment in Kosovo is generally stable, however incidents such as the one last night demonstrate that, during the status process which has just begun, isolated individuals or groups who do not have Kosovo’s best interests in mind may attempt to disrupt Kosovo’s way forward for their own ulterior motives,” said the envoy.“They obviously will not care who they hurt by their misdeeds,” he added, declaring that “such provocations must not be tolerated.”Mr. Jessen-Petersen said he has directed the UNMIK Police Commissioner to take “stringent measures” to enhance the security of all people in the province.Currently, talks are being held on the future status of Kosovo, which the UN has administered since 1999 when NATO forces drove out Yugoslav troops amid grave rights abuses in ethnic fighting.“Now that Kosovo is on the road toward resolving its status, fringe elements in this society will not be permitted to stand in the way of a better future for Kosovo and its people,” Mr. Jessen-Petersen said. “Such ill-intentioned individuals must be isolated, identified and brought to justice.“Working together alongside the people of Kosovo, whom they are sworn to serve and protect, UNMIK Police, the Kosovo Police Service and KFOR will take every measure necessary to ensure security and progress,” he pledged. read more

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The international shipping company DHL, together with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today launched a standing programme based in Singapore to ensure that the right relief supplies reach people quickly in the case of a major natural disaster.The DHL Disaster Response Team (DRT) is a pool of some 80 regular DHL employees who have volunteered and been trained to reduce bottlenecks at airports close to the scene of a major natural disaster by helping to organize the handling, warehousing and loading of relief supplies for onward transportation. “Logistics is often the linchpin in disaster response, the make or break. Getting help to people in need is critical and for this we need a smooth supply chain,” said United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland.It is planned that the team will be deployed for a period of up to three weeks following a major natural disaster. DHL employees provided humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, after Hurricane Katrina in the United States in the summer of 2005 and following last year’s South Asian earthquake in Pakistan. In December 2005, DHL entered into a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and OCHA in the area of disaster management. It is the aim of DHL and OCHA to establish a global network of Disaster Response Teams, OCHA said.“By setting up Disaster Response Teams, DHL is enhancing its commitment to support the United Nations and the international community’s humanitarian work on a long-term basis,” said Dr. Klaus Zumwinkel, Chairman and CEO of Deutsche Post World Net, mother company of DHL, which is providing the DRT’s services as an in-kind donation.Singapore has been chosen as the site for the South Asia DRT due to its central location in the region and its excellent telecommunications and logistics infrastructure. The next Disaster Response Team will be established in Miami, Florida, covering the Latin America and Caribbean regions, according to OCHA. read more

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The resolution, which was backed by the other 13 members of the Council, would have given the Court the mandate to investigate the horrific crimes committed during the course of the conflict in Syria, which since March 2011 has witnessed the deaths of over 100,000 civilians, the displacement of millions and widespread violations of human rights.“The Syrian people have a fundamental right to justice. The United Nations and its Member States have a fundamental duty to defend that right,” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said in remarks delivered on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon prior to the vote.“Since the outbreak of the war in Syria, I have persistently called for accountability for perpetrators of grave human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The recent attacks against humanitarian convoys and personnel, which may constitute war crimes, add to the urgent need to see action now on accountability in Syria,” he stated.“The Security Council has an inescapable responsibility in this regard. States that are members of both the Security Council and the Human Rights Council have a particular duty to end the bloodshed and to ensure justice for the victims of unspeakable crimes.” In February 2013, the UN-appointed Commission of Inquiry concluded that the ICC is the appropriate venue to pursue the fight against impunity in Syria. “If members of the Council continue to be unable to agree on a measure that could provide some accountability for the ongoing crimes, the credibility of this body and of the entire Organization will continue to suffer,” Mr. Eliasson warned.Today’s action comes less than 10 days after the Joint UN-League of Arab States Special Representative on the Syria crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, resigned from his post after nearly two years of diplomatic efforts to bring about a political solution to the brutal civil war.In accepting the envoy’s resignation, the UN chief had acknowledged that the 80-year old Algerian diplomat had faced almost impossible odds, “with a Syrian nation, Middle Easters region and wider international community that have been hopelessly divided in their approaches to ending the conflict.” read more

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In a statement released on Wednesday by the UN in Zimbabwe, Dr. Alex Gasaira, World Health Organization (WHO) representative in the country, explicitly stated that “there is no cure for HIV infection.”According to media reports, the Zimbabwean minister notified his congregation in the capital Harare on Sunday of the “cure” for HIV and AIDS. He claimed that a healing plant had been revealed to him by God, sparking a media outcry.The nation’s largest newspaper, the Harare Herald, reported that his claims were scientifically baseless, and that the Zimbabwean Government was actively discouraging the purchase of unapproved medicines.Zimbabwe saw some 30,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2016, with well over one million people living with HIV accounted for in the same year, according to statistics from UNAIDS; the agency working towards ending the global pandemic as a public health threat, by 2030.Those desperate for a cure should not abandon their ARV therapy, the UN advised. Any researchers working in the field, the statement said, are urged to subject their treatments to the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health for proper clinical trials and procedures.Until a cure is verified, effective ARV drugs can control HIV infections and help prevent transmission, “so that people with HIV, and those at substantial risk, can enjoy health, long and productive lives,” Dr. Gasasira added.As of the end of last year, 87 percent of Zimbabweans living with HIV were aware of their status, and 74 percent of them were receiving treatment, the report states.The United Nations is supporting Zimbabwe it’s in fight to stamp out HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, starting with informing citizens of their status and working to suppress infection through treatment. read more

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first_imgVISTA Training now offers version 2.0 of the Hydraulic Excavator Simulator. This PC-based simulator is an affordable way to train new equipment operators and to help experienced operators hone their skills. All that’s required is a high-end PC with a graphics card, a flat screen and some inexpensive controls. This instructionally-designed equipment simulator takes a building block approach to training, starting with simple tasks and progressing to more complex ones. For each training module, software captures data that summarises how quickly and how carefully each task is performed.This data enables trainers to clearly see areas where trainees need to improve, so they can coach them to correct these weak spots. Version 2.0 of the hydraulic excavator simulator contains40% new instructional content, including these new tasks:Trench crossing using “boom jacking”Climbing/descending benchesBench loading a truckTruck spotting from a benchBuilding a ramp.This expanded training content means trainees will be even more prepared to become proficient and safe excavator operators.last_img read more

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first_imgHEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly has been urged to intervene and ensure a drug is made available to patients suffering from a terminal lung illness.The drug, Pirfenidone, is for sufferers of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a rare, chronic, progressive and debilitating disease which involves the development of scar tissue (fibrosis) in the lungs.The Irish Lung Fibrosis Association (ILFA) said it is disappointed, greatly saddened and dissatisfied that the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) has announced that Pirfenidone will not be made available for patients with IPF based on economic grounds.ILFA has called on the government to approve funding for Pirfenidone, which it says is the first and only drug to prolong life expectancy in patients with IPF.It said it is alarmed that the NPCE decision will impact hugely on IPF patients who are already struggling to come to terms with their diagnosis.There is no known cause for the terminal disease, and life expectancy from time of diagnosis can be between two and five years. In excess of 350 people die from IPF in Ireland each year. Professor Jim Egan, a consultant respiratory physician at the Mater Hospital said;It would regrettable if this therapy was not available to Irish patients, given the serious nature of the condition, and the fact that it is available in other countries including the UK. ReconsiderFianna Fáil local area representative Daithí de Róiste is urging the Minister for Health James Reilly to reconsider the decision of the NCPE.The HSE told TheJournal.ie that it is currently in negotiations with the manufacturers of Pirfenidone and it would not be appropriate to comment further while these are ongoing.However, the application to the HSE for the reimbursement of Pirfenidone under the Community Drugs Schemes is being considered in line with the agreed procedures and timelines for the assessment of new medicines, as per the 2012 agreement between IPHA and the Dept of Health.De Róiste said that the decision by the NCPE “has caused huge distress to patients and families of those suffering from IPF”.Pirfenidone gives patients a fighting chance in limiting IPF until they can avail of a transplant. The news that the only drug treatment option available to those facing a debilitating illness will be withheld on financial grounds is simply devastating and I would call on Minister Reilly to make himself aware of this decision (if he is not) and to reverse it as soon as possible.He has publicly called on the Minister to “see sense, intervene in this situation and reverse this decision. Over 70 patients are affected with this illness and now place their lives in his hands”.In March, the Cystic Fibrosis drug Kalydeco was made available to all CF patients in Ireland who have the gene mutation G551D.The decision came after the NCPE said that the drug was too expensive, but Minister Reilly was able to reach agreement with the HSE and the manufacturers of the drug.Kalydeco costs €200,000 per per patient for treatment whilst Pirfenidone is €32,700 per annum, pointed out De Roiste.Read: Kalydeco to be made available to Cystic Fibrosis patients in Ireland>last_img read more

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first_imgThere aren’t many people out there who can offer a straight face while saying the Google TV has been a success. The first offering really doomed the platform for a little while, and while Logitech’s name was plastered on the side of the Revue, most of the time the finger of blame is pointed at Intel for the lackluster performance the box offered. To accompany Intel’s push into Android land, the company looks to succeed where everyone else has failed by releasing a superior set top box.The biggest problem set top boxes have right now is the disconnect between service provider and television. Not since the TiVO has anyone really been successful in creating a gap between the provider and the TV, but that is where the sweet spot lies in the US. To circumvent this, cable cutters have adopted streaming boxes to try to cut the provider out of the equation altogether. As a result, services like Hulu Plus were deprecated to force users into a subscription and limit certain shows to web only. While Netflix and Hulu are attempting to drum up original content to provide an additional reason to switch to the platform, there’s still plenty of hoops to jump through if you want to attract the users who are still paying for television.Intel’s set top box plans include a city by city rollout in which users will be able to select individual channels or bundles of channels that they will pay for, instead of the current solution being offered by cable providers. Additional details on this are expected to be made clear during the Intel event at the Consumer Electronic Show in January. The service looks to offer a solution for everyone by coupling benefits for TV subscribers as well as streaming only users.  In addition, Intel plans to offer an On-Demand style DVR for primetime television that was broadcasted within the last 30 days, making it possible for users to recall a show without needing to set up a DVR recording. This functionality has been seen with services like the Dish Network Hopper boxes, only this service doesn’t plan to record all of these shows and store them locally.Given Intel’s relationship with Google and Android right now, it seems likely that Google TV will play a big part in this service, unless Intel has decided that they would be better off with their own software. Considering the work Intel has put into their line of mobile friendly processors and their current support for Android, it would be much easier for Intel to rely on Google TV to offer much of the background functionality that is needed for a successful set top box of this nature. Whether or not Intel has what it takes to make an attractive Google TV and be able to successfully market it to users is another matter altogether.via SlashGearlast_img read more

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first_img Wednesday 27 Feb 2019, 12:52 PM 38 Comments By Ceimin Burke ‘Dinosaur bones’ discovered in River Boyne are not dinosaur bones The Coast Guard say the ‘skeleton’ was covered in silt and looked like it had been there a long time. McConnoran said that the crew didn’t disturb the ‘remains’ so anyone can see it for themselves when the river is low.The speculation in the town is that the dinosaur is the work of a local artist but how exactly the ‘bones’ ended up in the Boyne remains a mystery, for now. Feb 27th 2019, 12:52 PM https://jrnl.ie/4515202 DERMOT MCCONNORAN has been with Drogheda Coast Guard for more than 20 years and says yesterday’s call to investigate the apparent discovery of dinosaur bones in the River Boyne ranks among the strangest the unit has ever received.McConnoran, who is the officer in charge of the unit, told TheJournal.ie that they were “very sceptical” when the call came through at around 12:30 yesterday afternoon.The crew suspected it may have been a prank call but when they arrived at the scene, a short trip west of their boat house on Horse Lane, they saw three people standing on the river bank looking down at the apparent remains.When they reached the “bones” themselves their scepticism quickly flipped to bewilderment and curiosity.“We had a good look at it. Then we looked at each other. And we had another look at it. And then we looked at each other,” Dermot said. Image: Drogheda Coast Guard It certainly looked like a dinosaur.center_img Source: Drogheda Coast GuardUpon closer examination it became apparent that it wasn’t the bones of an actual Tyrannosaurus rex but, rather, an impressive imitation.McConnoran said the “bones”, which are made of plaster, were covered in silt and looked like they had been there a long time.As news of the peculiar find spread some locals revealed they had spotted the ‘dinosaur’ as far back as late 2017.One of witnesses, Bernie Mc Groarty, spotted it while on a blackberry picking expedition with her children in August of last year.It was the kids that spotted it! It sure looked like dinosaur bones! To be honest we just took pictures and the kids had a great story for their friends about the dinosaur. But we thought nothing more of it.Mc Groarty added that she thought it was an old cow that had met its end.A quick Twitter search reveals photos uploaded in November 2017 that shows the skeleton in a less river-worn state. Short URL Share127 Tweet Email4 Source: karen smith/Twitter 58,450 Views #Dinosaur in the Boyne River pic.twitter.com/laIJdQG94y— karen smith (@forestdisa1980) November 14, 2017 Image: Drogheda Coast Guard Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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first_img Johnny 5 really is alive…thanks to the Move Hub and your coding skills!<><> Hands-On: Lego Hidden Side Packs Plenty of Spooky AR FunThe New Lego UCS Imperial Star Destroyer Is Nearly Four Feet Long A few of the possibilities Lego pitches are a functional 3D printer, a brick-built homage to Johnny 5, a playable electronic guitar, a playful little kitty robot, and even a tiny factory that actually builds little Lego models.The Boost box, complete with choking warning… because science is always more fun when there’s danger involved!So what’s inside the box? The most important part is the Move Hub, which packs motors, sensors, a light, and Bluetooth LE connectivity to make your creations come alive. Lego also throws in a color and depth sensor, an encoded motor, and more than 800 other pieces so you can build to your heart’s content.You can’t build an amazing robot without amazing software. Lego’s not new to this sort of thing, so they’ve had the foresight to provide a slick, Scratch-like interface that lets you create complex code with drag-and-drop ease. Stay on target You can build some pretty amazing things with Lego Mindstorms EV3… provided you’re comfortable shelling out more than $300. Lego’s new robotics kit lets you get building for a lot less money.Just a month late for your geeky Holiday gift-giving needs they’ve unveiled Lego Boost. It offers a good deal of the Mindstorms experience at a fraction of the cost. Lego Boost will hit store shelves with an MSRP of just $160.That’s a pretty sweet deal given what you (and your kids, provided you have any and you’re willing to let them play with your new high-tech bricks) can create with them. Pay no mind to the 7-12 age recommendation on the box… all good geeks know that’s just a guideline.last_img read more

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first_imgWishing d most kind hearted person in this entire world, Role model & inspiration to many @upasanakonidela Garu a very happy birthday  May god give you more strength to help more ppl who r in need  #HBDUpasanaKonidela Ram Charan with his wife Upasana Kamineni in MaldivesTwitterMega power star Ram Charan has taken a break from the shooting of SS Rajamouli’s upcoming movie RRR. The actor has done it this time to celebrate his wife Upasana’s birthday in a foreign country.Ram Charan and his wife Upasana Kamineni celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary on June 14. The couple went on a week-long trip to South Africa couple of weeks before this date as Ram Charan had to join RRR’s shoot. The actor has taken a break from the film a month after starting it.Upasana Kamineni turned 30 on July 20. Ram Charan took his wife on a special holiday to the Maldives. He celebrated this special occasion in the exotic locales of the islands. He also hosted a surprise party, which was attended by family members and friends. He shared a photo of this trip on Instagram and captioned it with “Happy birthday my princess!! God bless you with all the love and happiness..”In reply to his Instagram post, Upasana Kamineni thanked Ram Charan and said that she cannot imagine her life without him. The actor’s wife wrote, “Thank you my prince. ❤️ can’t imagine my life without u.”Upasana also tweeted, “My Dearest Mr C…  thanks for making everyday so special. I REALLY LOVE U & LOOK UP TO U. Ur unconditional love & kindness inspires me. Thanks for an amazing birthday ❤️.”Upasana is the granddaughter of Doctor Pratap C Reddy who is the Chairman and co-founder of Apollo Hospitals. She is the Vice Chairman of Apollo Foundation (the Charity arm of the Apollo). Many fans of Ram Charan are impressed with her charity works and have become her fans too. Some of them wished her on her 30th birthday.sam_gowd‏ @sam_gowd Happy birthday to you @upasanakonidela garu..person who inspires us by her thoughts, suggestions, even tweets too.. Every she and he have to be follow her to get a healthy life. Really #charan garu luck to have u in his life. Atb for future endeavors. Gbu #Upasanacenter_img RamCharan™‏ @RamCharanOnlinelast_img read more

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first_imgDemocratic presidential hopeful former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro (L) and Former US Representative for Texas` 16th congressional district Beto O`Rourke (R) address each other as US Senator from New Jersey Cory Booker and US Senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren look on durint the first Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, 26 June 2019. Photo: AFPTen Democrats stepped into the national spotlight Wednesday kicking off their party’s first debate of the 2020 presidential race, as Elizabeth Warren took center stage to argue that her progressive policies can defeat incumbent Donald Trump.The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.Despite the feverish political climate in Washington and heavy campaigning in early voting states, millions of Americans were tuning in to the 2020 race for the first time, eager to hear from some candidates who are only now introducing themselves to a national audience.What they heard right off the bat was Warren knocking what she has routinely called a rigged economy, and quick clashes between candidates on issues like health care.”Who’s this economy really working for? asked Warren, who received the first question.”When you’ve got a government, when you have an economy that does great for those with money and is not doing great for everyone else, that is corruption, pure and simple,” the US senator and former Harvard law professor added. “We need to call it out.”Candidates will have less than 10 minutes on average to make their mark, but each will want to walk off stage with a victory, perhaps a viral moment that advances their cause, draws new donors and keeps them in the headlines.Wednesday’s showdown, airing on NBC, is Warren’s to lose. As the night’s highest-polling candidate, she aims to build on the momentum that has propelled her campaign into the top tier.But with four of the top five candidates debating on Thursday, Warren’s session feels more like an undercard to the following night’s main event.She squares off against fellow senators Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, ex-congressman Beto O’Rourke, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and San Antonio ex-mayor Julian Castro, the only Latino in the race.More than any other candidate, Warren, 70, has given a clear picture of her presidential priorities, like instituting a wealth tax, breaking up big tech companies and securing the US election system.Trump was an obvious target during the showdown, and it will be telling to see how much Wednesday’s debaters scuffle with one another, or collectively train their anger on the president, whom many of the candidates have said should face impeachment proceedings.Economy, health care, immigrationModerators began by asking Democrats questions on the economy and rising US wealth inequality, and health care, and were expected to also address climate change, gun violence and Washington’s showdown with Iran.But the backdrop to the debate is the mushrooming crisis on the US-Mexico border, where the detention of migrant children in squalid conditions — and a shocking photograph of a Salvadoran man and his baby daughter drowned in the Rio Grande — has fuelled alarm and anger.O’Rourke and Booker notably slipped into Spanish as they addressed the migration crisis — and lashed out at Trump’s record.Candidates parried questions at a rapid pace, including de Blasio, who paused to remind viewers — and his rivals — that “this Democratic Party has to be strong and bold and progressive.”Among Wednesday’s subplots: Booker, 50, an accomplished orator and African-American senator, is spinning his wheels in polling and needs a breakout moment to alter his trajectory in a very crowded field.And O’Rourke, 46 and accused of having a thin resume, will try to show he has the policy chops, and not just the telegenic smile and energy that marked the early months of his campaign.Many Americans will be watching more carefully Thursday when a clash of the old guard featuring Biden, 76, and Sanders, 77, might dominate.The pair will face up-and-comers like Senator Kamala Harris, the only black woman in the race; Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana; and dark horse Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur and political novice.Despite flying to Asia Wednesday, Trump — who has mocked Warren as “Pocahontas” for her claims of Native American heritage — said he would tune in from Air Force One, and did not miss the chance to knock his would-be opponents via Twitter.His verdict as the evening got underway? “BORING!”last_img
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first_imgAh the perks of media consolidation!As a welcome gift to employees of WarnerMedia, the newly-christened company formerly known as Time Warner Inc., new corporate owner AT&T is offering “robust employee discounts” on AT&T products and services, according to internal memos obtained by Variety. Some staffers had hoped that one benefit of being owned by a telecommunications giant would be free phones. Instead, they’ll have to be content with a 50% discount on voice, text, and data plans, to say nothing of free DirecTV and an upgrade waiver on mobile devices.The name change and invitation to take advantage of the corporate perks are part of the wide-ranging employee outreach by AT&T brass after it completed its $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner last week. AT&T honchos have planned a series of town hall meetings across the company, including meetings at HBO in New York, Warner Bros. in Burbank, and Turner in Atlanta. A meeting with corporate staff was set to take place in New York on Monday. Popular on Variety “I look forward to meeting you and fielding your questions,” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey wrote in a memo to employees on Friday. “I don’t expect that these sessions will answer all your questions. But I hope they will start a dialogue and provide further insight on how the combined company might address industry challenges of consolidation, vertical integration, direct to consumer models, data/advertising innovation and globalization.”Stankey made it clear he wouldn’t be offering his views on what content the WarnerMedia brands should make. “I have tremendous respect for the world-class creative talent we have throughout the company,” he said. “My job is to help you continue doing what you do better than anyone, which is why my focus will be on business strategy, distribution, technology/platforms and capital allocation.”Stankey also elaborated on his priorities in an interview with Variety where he said he was plowing through DVDs and screenings to get up to speed on WarnerMedia’s vast library of content.The employee town halls starting this week will include a conversation on the Warner Bros. lot Wednesday with studio chairman Kevin Tsujihara and Stankey. Employees are being encouraged to submit questions ahead of the meeting, which will be live streamed across the company.The Turner meeting in Atlanta is expected to be moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, while HBO chief Richard Plepler will emcee a town hall on Tuesday.A request seeking comment from a WarnerMedia spokesman was not immediately returned Monday.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

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first_imgEnjoying a laugh is thought to be as good as any tonic. Many’s the time a joke has saved someone from a bad day, or worse. Yet the expression “too much of a good thing” applies to laughter as with anything else. The Ancient Greek philosopher Chrysippus is a case in point. A towering figure in the field of Stoicism, he lived from c. 280 – 207 BC. Stoicism came from the teachings of Socrates and Heraclitus.It was described in the Encyclopaedia Britannica as, “one of the loftiest and most sublime philosophies in the record of Western civilization. In urging participation in human affairs, Stoics have always believed that the goal of all inquiry is to provide a mode of conduct characterized by tranquillity of mind and certainty of moral worth.”Roman copy of a Hellenistic bust of Chrysippus.In other words, Chrysippus valued the pure qualities of the mind over base pleasures, believing Man should instead use his brain in tandem with nature. How ironic then that his demise involved alcohol beverages and an innocent donkey.The death took place at the 143rd Olympiad where the drink was flowing and surely even the most stoic thinker was kicking off their sandals and having a good time. Two accounts exist of what transpired, with the first depicting Chrysippus as overcome by strong wine.“Now give the donkey a drink of pure wine to wash down the figs” cried Chrysippus and died in a fit of laughter.The second version is more colorful. Having watched a donkey chomping on figs, an idea occurred to Chrysippus that was far from philosophical. He boisterously suggested giving the creature some wine with its meal. It wasn’t comedy of the highest order but it worked for him. He laughed so much he expired.So a life distinguished by concepts such as propositional logic had ended in a decidedly un-Stoic fashion. Despite this, the death may have made sense to Chrysippus. He was a great believer in fate and the role it played in someone’s destiny.“The Death of Pietro Aretino,” by Anselm Feuerbach. Aretino was an Italian poet who reportedly died from laughter.A quote from De Fato by Cicero, meaning “On Fate,” sums up his thinking: “(But) every proposition is either true or false. Therefore, there is no motion without a cause. And if this is so, then all effects owe their existence to prior causes. And if this is so, all things happen by fate. It follows therefore that whatever happens, happens by fate.”Perhaps the wine and the donkey were there for a reason. Certainly, an unusual philosophical idea but the Ancient Greeks didn’t shy away from difficult questions.The myth of Pandora’s BoxAnother question that would occur to Chrysippus is ‘Can someone die laughing?’ While he died in the midst of mirth, was an underlying condition the real culprit? There are examples throughout history, both ancient and modern, of people keeling over during a fit of laughter.The answer could lie in the death of someone who was watching one of the world’s best-loved comedies. Gizmodo reports, “The most direct death by laughter reported is supposedly audiologist Ole Bentzen who, while watching A Fish Called Wanda, laughed uncontrollably. His heartbeat rose to ‘between 250-500 times per minute’ until he died.”“Gelastic syncope” (or laughter-induced fainting) is a rare but medically recognized condition.John Cleese’s expertly-crafted script aside, the experience put pressure on Ole Bentzen’s heart in the same way a long run or stressful situation might. The list of factors that contribute to heart failure are wide-ranging.An NBC news article from 2011 interviewed Professor of Neurology Dr. Martin Samuels, who provided some insight into possible death by laughter.A partial marble bust of Chrysippus – Roman copy of a Hellenistic original (Louvre Museum). Photo by Sting CC By SA 2.5“Extreme excitement, whether that be sadness or happiness activates the part of the brain that’s responsible for the flight or fight response to threats in the wild… This releases a natural chemical — adrenaline — which in large animals can be toxic to various organs, in particular, the heart.”The article goes on to say, “As a result, extremely strong emotional states — whether positive or negative — can be harmful to the heart, on rare occasions causing an abnormal rhythm which can be lethal.”Read another story from us: Only the Strong Survive: Did Vikings Abandon their Sick Children?So it seems the gift of laughter is actually not such a gift after all. It’s a puzzler that philosophers and comedians will no doubt be thinking about for years to come.Steve Palace is a writer, journalist and comedian from the UK. Sites he contributes to include The Vintage News, Art Knews Magazine and The Hollywood News. His short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.last_img read more

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first_img Posted by Wednesday, June 7, 2017 Mid-market clients can soak up Los Cabos’ luxe vibe and still get value Travelweek Group Tags: Luxury Travel, Mexicocenter_img Share << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Los Cabos’ biggest market out of Canada is still the West but the destination is also making inroads with travellers from Ontario and the east, says Rodrigo Esponda, Managing Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board. “We need more Canadians especially from the Toronto area. And we’re going to get them,” he said to cheers at last night’s industry event at the Shangri-La Toronto.Tour operators, travel agents and the media came out to hear the latest Los Cabos news from Esponda, a well-known face in Toronto from his stints as Director, Canada and Regional Director, North America for the Mexico Tourism Board. He stepped down from his MTB post in September 2016 “and Los Cabos called me the very next day”.Now based in Los Cabos, Esponda says the destination is known for its luxury boutique hotels and has a very high appeal for the luxury market. When he first got his new job, he toured some of Los Cabos’ top properties, asking about rates. “They would tell me the rate was $3,500 per night. And I would ask about occupancy, and it was 65%. It’s incredible.”More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemNew resorts opening soon (or open now) include Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos, Krystal Grand Los Cabos and Montage Los Cabos. More big-name luxury brands opening properties in Los Cabos over the next few years range from Nobu to Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and Four Seasons to St. Regis.“Los Cabos has 16,000 rooms right now and will grow by 4,000 more over the next few years,” said Esponda. “The destination has been growing in a very sustainable way.”While many of Los Cabos’ resorts skew high-end, there are moderate options too, he added. About 70% of the resorts are EP.Already home to 15 golf courses, including the only Tiger Woods-designed golf course, Los Cabos is getting four more in the near future. The destination is also a major draw for sport fishing enthusiasts. And, increasingly, brides and grooms. “It’s a dry climate – no humidity. Brides love it,” said Esponda. Los Cabos gets 350 sunny days per year.Mexico Tourism Board’s Susana Moreno and Cesar Mendoza.The Mexico Tourism Board’s new Regional Director, Canada was also at last night’s event. César Mendoza, in the job since March 2017, is no stranger to Toronto, have lived and worked here from 2000 to 2008 with the Mexico Trade Commission. From 2010 to 2014 he was headed up the Mexico Tourism Board’s Vancouver office, then did three years at the Washington, D.C. office.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaMonth over month, from April 2016 to April 2017, Canadian visits to Mexico were up 17%, said Mendoza. Projected growth for the Canadian market for 2017 is 8 or 9%, he added. “The Canadian dollar has appreciated against the peso, so that’s helping us. Our goal is to bring in more Canadians and increase our market share.”The MTB also wants to differentiate Mexico from other sun spots, emphasizing new destinations and new product. “We all have beaches. Mexico also has culture and beautiful historic cities and incredible dining.”Mendoza also knows that the Canadian market is price-sensitive. “At the end of the day, we want to promote the value of Mexico. Not just the price.”last_img read more

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first_imgBy Evie AndreouPUBLIC hospitals will operate with skeleton staff on Thursday morning from 7.30 to 11am, due to the strike measures by health professionals who claim government promises have not been not kept on staffing and pay.Starting with the nurses, one by one, trade unions announced they would go on strike to pressure the Health ministry to meet their demands.At the strike, organised by the nurses union PASYNO, the nurses branch of the public service union PASYDY, and the nurses and midwives association, also taking part will be PASYDY unions for mental health, physiotherapists, radiologists, lab technicians and pharmacists, as well as the state doctors’ union PASYKI.The Health ministry announced that during the strike, in serious cases patients will be diverted to private hospitals.Nurses want starting salaries be re-evaluated and increased, a process that was interrupted in 2013, that 185 nurses who passed state exams in 2011 have their job positions unfrozen and are no longer required to work as temporary staff. They also want the 10 per cent cuts on the salaries of new staff whose contracts are being renewed every six months to be suspended.In a last ditch effort to avert the nurses’ strike, Health minister Philippos Patsalis and Finance minister Harris Georgiades joined forces on Tuesday to convince the branch that all their problems would be solved with the implementation of the National Health Scheme.Doctors said they would take part in the strike as they are not satisfied from their meeting with Patsalis on Wednesday.  PASYKI and the minister have spent the past year negotiating demands on overtime pay, unfreezing of hospital administrator posts and better working conditions for contract doctors.They threatened that unless the ministry does not materialise their agreement by next Wednesday they would stage a 24-hour strike of their own.“Our aim is not the hardship of patients but quality care for all, while at the same time maintaining decent working conditions,” PASYKI said in an announcement.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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