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Acropolis photo among National Geographics most popular for 2018

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A photo posted recently on National Geographic’s Instagram account, capturing the Athenian skyline under a full moon and with Acropolis as a backdrop was guaranteed to vow audiences around the world.Having attracted over 1.2 million likes, the impressive image earned a place among the magazine’s online community most popular photos for 2018.National Geographic photographer, Muhammed Muheisen, took the picture on 22 December from a rooftop at the Greek capital during the last full moon of the year.“The last full moon of 2018 rises above Propylaea, the monumental gate of the ancient Acropolis hill, next to the 2500 BC Parthenon temple in Athens, Greece,” notes the photo’s caption, credited to the 37-year-old Jordanian.Muheisen, a two-times Pulitzer prize winner, uploaded a time-lapse video on his personal account showing him setting up the camera during the day to capture the stunning image.last_img read more

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Rayman SNES Prototype Discovered By Creator Michel Ancel

first_imgRayman has endured as a video game character for over 20 years, first appearing on the Atari Jaguar way back in 1995. But what you may not know is that the original Rayman game was meant to be a SNES title including a two-player mode. However, Ubisoft decided the game should be released on CD-ROM, so when the SNES CD-ROM add-on got canceled, so did Rayman for SNES.Rayman as a character was created by Michel Ancel, Frederic Houde, and Alexandra Steible, and over the weekend Ancel made a surprising discovery. He found the prototype development cartridge for the SNES version of the original Rayman game. Better yet, it still works when plugged into a SNES.Here’s a shot of the prototype board plugged into a SNES:Announcing the news through his Instagram account, Ancel commented, “It was sleeping for 24 years ….. Time to wake it up !!!!”Until now, only 4 people had seen the game running, and it runs at 60fps. He even suggests that Ubisoft should consider porting the game and releasing it as a Nintendo Switch title. I’m sure Rayman fans and Nintendo would be on board with that idea.Here’s a great video comparing the original Rayman on the Atari Jaguar and the PlayStation. Now imagine this updated and running on the Switch (on the go and hooked up to your TV):Rayman sold incredibly well. shifting millions of copies. If a Switch version did happen, I doubt just doing Rayman would be good enough. I’d want all Rayman releases bundled along with the SNES prototype as an added bonus on the cartridge.last_img read more

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Amazons New Blockchain Service to Compete With Oracle IBM

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Master Blockchain With These Easy Online CoursesAtari Explains What ‘RollerCoaster Tycoon’ On Blockchain Even Means Amazon Web Services last week announced a new blockchain program—with a little help from The Not Ready For Prime-Time Players.“Many of today’s discussions around blockchain technology remind me of the classic [Saturday Night Live] Shimmer Floor Wax skit,” AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr wrote in a blog post.Dan Aykroyd believes Shimmer is a dessert topping, while Gilda Radner claims it’s a floor wax. Chevy Chase confirms it’s both.“Some of the people that I talk to see blockchains as the foundation of a new monetary system and a way to facilitate international payments,” Barr said. “Others see blockchains as a distributed ledger and immutable data source that can be applied to logistics, supply chain, land registration, crowdfunding, and other use cases“Either way,” he continued, “it is clear that there are a lot of intriguing possibilities and we are working to help our customers use this technology more effectively.”So the cloud computing firm launched AWS Blockchain Templates, providing a fast and easy way to create and deploy secure blockchain networks using the Ethereum or Hyperledger Fabric networks.Invented in 2008 for use in the cryptocurrency bitcoin, blockchain remains a mystery to many. The technology allows for information to be managed and organized without an intermediary like a bank, government, or accountant.Its best-known (but by not means only) application is the digital payment system bitcoin, which cuts out the middleman to enable direct electronic cash transfers.The scheme relies on members of the general public to validate and timestamp transactions. Those transactions are then added as “blocks” to a cryptographically protected, unalterable chain (hence the name) and shared on a private (with restricted membership) or public network.AWS Blockchain Templates comes just six months after Oracle unveiled a cloud service built on the open-source Hyperledger, and about a year after IBM revealed its own Hyperledger-based blockchain-as-a-service offering.center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

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While AirConditioning is Repaired General Post Office Has Interim Opening Hours

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, July 15, 2017 – Nassau – The Acting Postmaster General wishes to advise the public that the General Post Office, East Hill Street, will open 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday to Friday until further notice due to malfunctioning of the air-conditioning system.The public is further advised that full services are available at all sub-post offices in New Providence.  The Acting Postmaster General wishes to apologize for any inconvenience caused.The Government and Minister of Transport regret the situation and are doing all possible to repair the air-conditioning for the comfort of the staff, in the shortest possible time.Press Release: BIS Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img

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Man who shot sleeping neighbor in Poway charged with murder pleads not

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter August 21, 2019 KUSI Newsroom Posted: August 21, 2019 Updated: 6:13 PMcenter_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Murder and other felony charges were filed today against a 20-year-old probationer who allegedly fired a gunshot toward his brother, missing him but inadvertently killing a next-door neighbor asleep inhis bed.Manuula Save is accused in the Saturday morning death of Michael Walker, 38, who was shot about 1:45 a.m. by a bullet that traveled through a bedroom wall in the defendant’s apartment and into the victim’s unit in the 13400 block of Midland Road. Walker was hit once in the abdomen and died at a hospital about an hour later.Save faces life imprisonment if convicted of murder, shooting into an inhabited dwelling, assault with a semi-automatic firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded not guilty.Deputy District Attorney Kristie Nikoletich said the shooting stemmed from a verbal argument and physical fight between Save and his older brother. Following the argument, Save retrieved a gun and fired at his sibling “to show his brother he wasn’t scared of him,” the prosecutor alleged.Save then allegedly hid the 9mm firearm, which he was not allowed to possess due to a previous hit-and-run conviction involving the death of an elderly woman, Nikoletich said. Save was sentenced to probation in that case,she said.Nikoletich said Save was charged with murder due to “the defendant’s conscious disregard for human life.”Save, who’s being held in lieu of $3 million bail, is due back in court Aug. 29 for a readiness conference. Man who shot sleeping neighbor in Poway charged with murder, pleads not guilty KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more

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Uber sets IPO price range of 44 to 50 a share

first_img Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Sarah Tew/CNET Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. See It Sprint Turo: Save $30 on any car rental I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Angela Lang/CNET Uber,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. 0 Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Read DJI Osmo Action preview Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Amazon TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Share your voice $6 at Tidal Post a comment Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Tags CNET may get a commission from retail offers. HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. $59 at eBay Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. See at Amazon Chris Monroe/CNET Rylo See it Sarah Tew/CNET Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Turo Post a commentcenter_img Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Read Google Home Hub review See It Tags $60 at Best Buy $210 at Best Buy $999 Share your voice Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Sarah Tew/CNET Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Best Buy Apple iPhone XS $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express The Cheapskate Mobile Roadshow Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) $999 Uber is going public. Hemant Mishra/Mint via Getty Images Uber on Friday set a price range of $44 to $50 a share for its initial public offering, according to an updated filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The ride-hailing company plans to offer 180 million shares and seeks to raise about $9 billion in its IPO.The San Francisco-based company will list on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol UBER. Its IPO could come as soon as early May.On Friday, payment service PayPal also said it’ll invest $500 million into Uber as it extends a partnership the companies have maintained since 2013.In its IPO filing, Uber said it has operations in more than 700 cities in 63 countries on six continents. More than 91 million people use one of its services, which includes food delivery, at least once a month, the company said. Its drivers reportedly complete 14 million trips every day. If all goes as planned, 2019 will be a big year for tech IPOs. Airbnb, Pinterest and Slack are also expected to go public. Uber arch-rival Lyft issued its IPO in March with a strong stock market debut, but has faltered some since then. Lyft shares were trading around $56 on Friday, well below their $72 IPO price. Uber didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. $520 at HP $999 Boost Mobile DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. See It Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. $999 $299 at Amazon 0 $155 at Google Express Read the Rylo camera preview Sarah Tew/CNET Read the AirPods review Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) See at Turolast_img read more

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Homer doctor plans syringe exchange program

first_imgDownload AudioOne of the dangers tied to drug abuse is the risk of transmitting disease through sharing needles. Dirty needles are a common vehicle for HIV,Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and other serious infections. A proven solution is providing access to clean needles and a safe place to dispose of dirty ones. A local doctor wants to start Homer’s first syringe exchange program.last_img

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Entrepreneur receives funding for tornado power generator

first_img © 2012 Phys.org Michaud’s idea is to use a fan to blow some of the excess heat produced by conventional power plants, into a cylindrical hollow tower, at an angle. Doing so should create a circular air current, which he says will grow stronger as it moves higher. The higher it goes the more energy it draws due to differences in temperature. The result would be a controlled man-made tornado. To put it to good user, turbines would be installed at the base of the vortex to create electricity. The original test will be conducted at Lambton College in Ontario – the tower will be 131 feet tall with a 26 foot diameter. That should be enough to create a vortex about a foot in diameter – enough to power a small turbine. It’s just a proof of concept, Michaud notes on his site, a real-world tower would be about 25 meters in diameter, and would be capable of producing up to 200 megawatts of power using only the excess heat generated by a conventional 500 megawatt plant. Power goes up geometrically, he says, as the size of tower grows. He adds that the cost of producing electricity this way would be about 3 cents per kilowatt hour, well below the typical 4 or 5 cents for coal plants.Michaud has been investigating the idea of harnessing the power of tornado’s to provide electricity for several decades but until now has had problems being taken seriously by venture capitalists. He adds that his company built and successfully tested an AVE prototype in 2009, hinting that he has no doubts that the new tower and turbines will work as advertised.For those worried that a man-made tornado might get out of hand, escape its enclosure and wreak havoc on the nearby community, Michaud says that can’t happen because all it would take to stop the whole process would be to turn off the fan that feeds the vortex the warm air. Citation: Entrepreneur receives funding for ‘tornado’ power generator (2012, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-entrepreneur-funding-tornado-power.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. French company uses wind turbine to create fresh watercenter_img (Phys.org)—Electrical engineer and entrepreneur Louis Michaud’s AVEtec company has received funding from PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel’s Breakout Labs program to build an experimental Atmosphere Vortex Engine (AVE). The $300,000 in startup funds is to go towards building a working engine to dispel or prove the viability of using such technology to produce electricity with virtually no carbon footprint. More information: vortexengine.ca/index.shtmlwww.breakoutlabs.org/news-even … abs-includes-an.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

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DRs new hotels to accommodate high tourism demand

first_img Posted by Tags: Dominican Republic, Trend Watch D.R.’s new hotels to accommodate high tourism demand Share Thursday, October 26, 2017 center_img TORONTO — The D.R. is posting strong numbers this year, with Punta Cana leading the country in leisure tourism, welcoming 2.73 million international visitors in 2017. Top feeder cities were Toronto and Montreal, along with New York and Miami.The Punta Cana region is also the leader in hotel occupancy with a consistent 85% occupancy rate. The D.R. as a whole is seeing an average occupancy rate of 80%, the highest it has been in 15 years. Punta Cana is followed by La Romana and Bayahibe with occupancy rates of 84%. An increasing number of visitors are using alternate lodging platforms, such as Airbnb, with approximately 25,000 properties, notes the tourism board.With new flight options to the DR on Sunwing, Azur Air and Eurowings, hotel developments and renovations such as Casa de Campo’s new Minitas Beach Club, and new airport amenities – including a VIP lounge with outdoor pool at Punta Cana airport – the D.R. is ready to accommodate the steady increase of tourists, says the tourism board.More news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongThe country sustained little damage from both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, and tourism operations were able to continue as normal. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Syrian civil war shakes DamascusBeirut ties

first_imgAssociated PressBEIRUT (AP) – The Syrian civil war has spilled over into Lebanon, bringing with it sectarian street clashes, mob violence and general government paralysis in Beirut.But it was the dramatic arrest earlier this month of a former Lebanese government minister and prominent supporter of Syria’s embattled president that has suggested the conflict may be causing Lebanon to slip further away from Damascus’ long domination. The bloodshed in Syria has drawn Lebanon deeper into the unrest _ a troubling sign for a country that has gone through its own 15-year civil war and has an explosive sectarian mix as well as deep divisions between pro- and anti-Syrian factions, many of which are armed.The chaos could give Sunni Muslim fighters in northern Lebanon more leeway to establish supply lines to the rebels inside Syria in their battle to oust President Bashar Assad.Tensions and intermittent fighting in the northern Lebanon city of Tripoli continued Wednesday following two days of clashes between pro- and anti-Assad groups that killed at least six people and wounded more than 70.In New York, United Nations political chief Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council Wednesday that as the crisis in Syria continues to deteriorate, “the situation in Lebanon has become more precarious and the need for continued international support to the government and the Lebanese Armed Forces increasingly important.”Feltman said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern about two-way arms smuggling across the Syrian-Lebanese border, which poses risks to both countries and violates a council resolution that ended the month-long war in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah, which dominates Lebanese politics. Two days later, a military court indicted Samaha, along with Syrian Brig. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, of plotting to carry out terrorist attacks inside Lebanon. Mamlouk, who was appointed last month by Assad to head Syria’s National Security Bureau, was indicted in absentia on charges he furnished the explosives to Samaha.According to a senior Lebanese police official, Samaha confessed after he was confronted with audio and video footage taken by a double agent using a camera-equipped pen. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.The case stunned many in Lebanon, where political assassinations have occurred with impunity for decades. While Syria has been blamed for many of the killings, no one has been held accountable.Syria’s allies in Lebanon _ including Hezbollah _ were mostly silent following Samaha’s arrest, apparently believing that the evidence against him was solid.“I think the policy (in Lebanon) has been shifting away from alliance with Syria,” said Ayham Kamel, a Middle East analyst at the Eurasia Group in London. “The Syrian regime has been under intense pressure, so its allies in Lebanon have recalibrated.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories “The Syrian regime’s allies are shrinking. The Lebanese government, which was `Made in Syria,’ was among the regime’s last allies, and they seem to be losing even that,” said Hadi Hobeish, an anti-Syrian lawmaker.Syria accuses Sunni groups in Lebanon of trying to establish a supply line to Syrian rebels across Lebanon’s northern frontier, bringing across fighters and weapons.The Lebanese military has been deployed along the porous border area to try to prevent the smuggling efforts, but if Beirut turns against Damascus, such operations could become easier to carry out.Even Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group backed by Iran and Syria, has sought to distance itself from the turmoil in Syria. When Shiite clans abducted scores of Syrians in Lebanon last week in retaliation for a kidnapping by Syrian rebels in Damascus, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said the mayhem was out of the group’s control.Analysts say Assad still has the tools and the allies he needs to stir up trouble in Lebanon.“I don’t think the Syrian regime has fully lost influence in Lebanon,” said Kamel, the Eurasia analyst. “But definitely it has less ability and even willingness to intervene on the same level in Lebanese politics,” he added. Sponsored Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Syria’s opponents in Lebanon cited the Samaha case as proof that Damascus was trying to incite sectarian strife in its neighbor to deflect attention from its own problems, and they called for the Syrian ambassador to be expelled.In unusually bold comments by a Lebanese head of state, President Michel Suleiman said he expected Assad to explain the situation.“When any relationship with a foreign entity harms Lebanon, we end it. And when the relationship is again in Lebanon’s interest, we reinstate it,” Suleiman said in an apparent reference to Syria. His comments were published in the Lebanese media.Analysts say Suleiman is aiming to be the new face of a more independent Lebanon, taking advantage of a weakened regime in Syria.Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who heads a government dominated by Hezbollah and pro-Syrian groups, said he isn’t taking sides in the Syria crisis, adopting a policy of “disassociation.” Critics say that has led to a general government paralysis in which authorities are afraid to take sides when it comes to Lebanon’s feuding pro- and anti-Syrian camps.Mikati commended the security operation that resulted in Samaha’s arrest, saying it saved Lebanon from “major disaster.” Hanin Ghaddar, managing editor of the Lebanon opposition website NOWLebanon, said Lebanon is at a significant crossroads in its relationship with Syria.“Assad’s aura in Lebanon is fading,” Ghaddar wrote last week.___Associated Press writer Edith M. Lederer contributed to this report from the U.N. in New York.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Seventeen times bigger than Lebanon and four times more populous, Syria has long had powerful allies here, including the Iran-backed militant Hezbollah group that now dominates the government. For much of the past 30 years, Lebanese have lived under Syrian military and political domination.That grip began to slip in 2005, when former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated in Beirut. Widely accused of involvement_ something it has always denied _ Syria was forced to withdraw its troops. But the killings of anti-Syrian figures continued and opponents of Assad’s regime say he has maintained his influence through allies who now control the government.All this made the Aug. 9 arrest of former Information Minister Michel Samaha all the more shocking.Samaha, one of Syria’s most loyal allies in Lebanon who has long acted as an unofficial media adviser to Assad, was plucked from his bed at dawn by special police forces who burst into his summer mountain home. Within hours, various leaks began emerging that Samaha had confessed to having personally transported explosives in his car from Syria to Lebanon with the purpose of killing Lebanese personalities at the behest of Syria. Comments   Share   4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img
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Best Western brings BW Premier Collection to Asia

first_imgBest Western brings BW Premier Collection to AsiaBest Western brings BW Premier Collection to AsiaBest Western® Hotels & Resorts has unveiled plans to bring its new upscale hotel concept, BW Premier Collection®, to Asia for the first time.The hotel group has signed an agreement with Thai real estate company, Habitat Group, for BluPhere Pattaya – a new-build eight-storey project in Na Jomtien, a peaceful beach front setting on Thailand’s popular eastern seaboard.Located just 100 metres from the beach, a few minutes from the attractions of downtown Pattaya, and just over an hour’s drive from Bangkok, BluPhere Pattaya is a brand new property providing 195 apartment-style units ideal for upscale family getaways. The property will retain its existing branding and will be managed by Best Western as part of the BW Premier Collection, its upscale soft brand.The property will benefit from Best Western’s global support network, including employees training, sales and marketing, global distribution, quality control and access to Best Western Rewards®, the company’s popular loyalty program.BW Premier Collection is a carefully curated portfolio of upscale and luxury boutique hotels, selected for their superior facilities and unique personalities. Like all Best Western hotels worldwide, BW Premier Collection provides their guests with exemplary service and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout their stay.“Thailand’s tourism industry is in an extremely healthy position. Simply looking at the numbers, Thailand welcomed a record 32.6 million international visitors and generated THB2.52 trillion (US $71.8 billion) in revenues in 2016, which exceeded the initial government targets set at the start of the year,” said Olivier Berrivin, Best Western’s Managing Director of International Operations – Asia.“But looking beyond the figures, Thailand is creating a strong and sustainable base on which to build its tourism industry in future. The country’s stated ambition of focusing on quality tourists will raise visitor spending, extend average length-of-stay, and build a more prosperous tourism economy for all stakeholders, allowing the Kingdom to continue reaping the benefits of tourism in future.“In line with this strategy, BW Premier Collection is a great fit for Thailand. Designed for guests who crave individuality, character and local charm, this upscale concept is expanding into some of the world’s most sought-after destinations. We are delighted to bring BW Premier Collection to Asia with BluPhere Pattaya, and to continue our close relationship with the Habitat Group,” Olivier added.This signing marks the second collaboration between Best Western and Habitat Group, following the Best Western Premier BayPhere Pattaya – another upscale development on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, which is becoming one of Asia’s most desirable destinations.According to the 2016 MasterCard Asia Pacific Destinations Index, Pattaya was the tenth most-visited Asian city last year, attracting 7.3 million international visitors, 25.2 million room nights and US$3.3 billion in visitor expenditure. This makes it Thailand’s third most popular destination, after Bangkok and Phuket.Officially launched in 2014, BW Premier Collection is a selection of independent upscale hotels in key destinations around the world, including San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, Vancouver, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Edinburgh and Liverpool.Source = Best Western® Hotels & Resortslast_img read more

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Rep Calley provides end of year legislative update

first_img08Jan Rep. Calley provides end of year legislative update Categories: Calley News State Rep. Julie Calley, of Portland, reviewed the progress she and her colleagues have made this legislative term on issues that matter most to the people of Barry and Ionia counties.“I’ve listened to what people have to say. They want support for our local communities, they want our roads fixed, more career training opportunities for our young people, help for opioid addicts and those dealing with mental health challenges,” said Calley. “We’re making changes in all of these arenas, and I’m proud to support those measures.”From a budget standpoint, the Michigan Legislature continues to pay down state debt while road funding is at an all-time high.  She noted that 2018 will be the first full year of increased road funding and anticipates more improvement, as a result.Calley also emphasized that an increased Homestead Tax Credit was included within the road funding laws, passed a few years ago.  Beginning in 2018, the maximum credit is increased from $1,200 to $1,500.  The qualifying household income cap is changed from $50,000 to $60,000.Calley said the Legislature passed many bills in 2017 promoting skilled trades.“Technical careers are in high demand, and it is essential to create an atmosphere for students in those fields to be successful,” she said.Calley noted that she supported legislation which would have cut the cost of auto insurance premiums. The bill was 10 votes short of passing in the House, but Calley is hopeful the conversation will continue in the next term.“Michigan has the highest auto insurance rates in the country, and I think that’s unfair to our residents. At the very least, I would like to see anti-fraud bills passed in the coming year,” Calley said.  “Our community members have made it clear that they want relief when it comes to auto insurance.”The first-term legislator also emphasized the importance of repealing Michigan’s driver responsibility fees, which often result in the loss of transportation to and from employment.  The fees were enacted in 2003 during former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration in the hopes it would deter drivers who repeatedly violate traffic safety laws. In November, the House overwhelmingly supported the package of bills that would end the fees.In 2018, Calley anticipates legislation clarifying Michigan’s income tax.  New language is needed because of federal changes recently signed into law.  The removal of the federal personal exemption would cause an unintended increase to Michiganders on their state income tax returns.“I am confident this correction will be addressed early this year.  Our residents deserve assurance that legislators are not interested in raising their income taxes.”Also in the year ahead, Calley looks forward to reviewing proposed legislation from the House bipartisan mental health task force, which spent several months touring the state to host meetings where members could hear from mental and behavioral health specialists.“I want to focus on a better Michigan for all of our residents, including those who are differently abled.”“There’s still much to be done,” said Calley, “but we’re off to a good start for the people of Michigan. I look forward to the opportunity to serve our communities in 2018.”last_img read more

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Rep Lucido agrees with findings of House CARES report

first_img17Jan Rep. Lucido agrees with findings of House C.A.R.E.S. report State Rep. Peter Lucido today joined his fellow legislators in supporting the findings of the House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force Report to improve specialized veteran, substance abuse and mental health services in Macomb County.“Problems associated to mental health have been swept under the rug in Michigan for too long,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township. “As an attorney and now a member of the House Law and Justice Committee, I know firsthand the incredible need for better programs, more resources and improved cooperation. It’s time for results on this issue and I’m dedicated to making sure we have the right solutions in Lansing, not just lip service.”The bipartisan House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force had a focus on five key elements: Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety (C.A.R.E.S.) to explore which programs were successful and where vulnerable residents are lacking in care. The panel held over a dozen public meetings and site visits across Michigan in July to October 2017.Today’s release of the report was the next step in the process to improving services with legislation already being submitted based off the Task Force’s findings.“There are a lot of quality mental health professionals in Macomb County, but we must do better for our citizens,” Lucido said. “We need specialized court programs, updated training for our police, increased emphasis on helping children, more dedication to helping our veterans, and much better cooperation in treating opioid and other addictions.”The full report is available to review at www.house.mi.gov/CARES.##### Categories: Lucido News,Newslast_img read more

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Rep Alexander local teacher testify before House panel

first_img Categories: Alexander News,Alexander Photos,News,Photos 01Mar Rep. Alexander, local teacher testify before House panel State Rep. Julie Alexander, of Hanover, today was joined by Suzanne Gibbs, a fourth-grade teacher in the Western School District, during testimony with the House Education Reform Committee. Both spoke on Rep. Alexander’s legislation calling for colleges and other teacher preparation institutions to provide a stipend to educators who mentor new teachers.last_img

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Rep Allor announces March office hours

first_img07Mar Rep. Allor announces March office hours State Rep. Sue Allor, of Wolverine, announced she will meet with residents during multiple scheduled office hours later this month.“The best way to find solutions for Northern Michigan is to listen to feedback from those I represent,” Rep. Allor said. “I encourage residents to attend and look forward to hearing their thoughts.”Rep. Allor will be available Friday, March 8 at the following time and location:11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at The Thirsty Sturgeon, 11900 Scott Road in Wolverine.Monday, March 11 at the following time and location:1:45 to 2:45 p.m. at Karsten’s Restaurant, 1072 W 3rd in Rogers City.And Monday, March 18 at the following times and locations:10:45 to 11:45 a.m. at the Alcona County Courthouse, 106 5th in Harrisville; and3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at The Victorian Café, 216 S Washington St. in Hale.No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times but would like an opportunity to talk with Rep. Allor may call her office at (517) 373-0833 or email her at SueAllor@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Allor Newslast_img read more

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Closing the Gender Gap at Wikipedia

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares February 11, 2014; New York MagazineTwenty cities played host this past week to the first Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, an attempt to build out Wikipedia’s entries on women artists and, through that, to encourage women to edit Wikipedia, which has a big gender gap problem among its volunteer editors. Apparently, less than 15 percent of its editors are women. This, naturally, affects content, and that flies in the face of what Wikipedia means to be to the world.In an interview last year with Anasuya Sengupta of the Wikimedia Foundation, NPQ heard that intention quite clearly:“When I look at all the activism that I and my comrades—my sisters—have done around the world, I think to myself, ‘What is the outcome of that activism if every day a young man or woman looks up a Wikipedia article and finds a singular worldview that is not theirs or that is biased against them in some way? What happens when a young woman looks up rape or abortion on Wikipedia and doesn’t find the information she needs? How radical is turning that around?’”According to those who organized the Art + Feminism event, the Wikipedia pages of male and female artists of similar stature are generally different—a woman artist’s page will generally be less robust. This has resulted in “organized editorial sprints” like the Ada Lovelace Day edit-a-thon at Brown University, which was aimed at developing pages on women who have contributed to STEM fields.The Art and Feminism events offered a deep dive in editing tutorials from expert Wikipedians, IRL human company, snacks, and child care.But such attractions may be counteracted by what is described here as the “argumentative and trollish atmosphere of Wikipedia” that apparently sometimes reveals itself as misogynist. But Jacqueline Mabey, one of the event’s organizers, thinks some of the gender gap comes down to the fact that “We don’t raise young women to consider themselves authorities on anything.” She said, “We raise them to doubt, constantly, their work and themselves.”Librarians are seen as the only female-dominated group that overall is a fan of Wikipedia, but Mabey says even they are cautious about editing. “These are women with double masters degrees,” she said. “I’m like, yes, you can edit it! The 18-year-old boy who doesn’t know anything is editing it, and he doesn’t even question it!”The author of this article participated in the event, and she says it is pure and simple drudgery, but the alternative is “for women, their accomplishments, and their interests to be written out of the handiest body of human knowledge.”—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Federal Drug Policies Way out of Alignment with Public Opinion

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares April 2, 2014; Washington Post, “Wonkblog”The findings of a Pew survey show that by a five-to-one margin, Americans of all stripes think that alcohol is worse for a person’s health than marijuana. See the graph below for confirmation that all demographics agree. In addition, the public believes that alcohol is by far more injurious to society than any other drug and is more injurious to humans than any drug but crack, heroin, or methamphetamines.  The survey also found that the public favors treatment over imprisonment. “In short,” writes Christopher Ingraham for the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, “it’s hard to think of another arena in which federal policy is more at odds with public opinion and scientific consensus. The Pew survey suggests that in the upcoming national elections in 2014 and 2016, there’s a real opportunity for candidates to distinguish themselves by taking up these issues.”On a side note, this all makes us feel like Bain Capital has some great forecasters since it has been buying up treatment facilities all over the country.—Ruth McCambridge ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Investigation Reveals Widespread Use of Chemical Restraints in PA Juvenile Facilities

first_imgShare9TweetShareEmail9 SharesOctober 25, 2015; Pittsburgh Post-GazettePrison use of segregation to manage populations that include people with mental illnesses is now well documented, but what do we know about the use of psychiatric drugs to chemically restrain prisoners—in this case, juveniles?On Sunday, PublicSource, an independent nonprofit news group, published the first installment in a three-part investigative series on the inappropriately high use of mind-altering psychiatric drugs on kids in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system.The drugs are allegedly used for their “off label” functions—as chemical restraints to induce sleep or lower aggressive tendencies. But some of the drugs have severe life-altering side effects. In particular, the use of antipsychotics, which are meant to be limited to the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability with autism, can cause rapid weight gain and diabetes in young people. PublicSource reports that doctors and juvenile justice experts have assured them the drugs are being used in off-label ways.PublicSource looked at the drug-buying rates of state institutions that imprison children and found that enough antipsychotics were ordered over seven years by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, which operates the state’s youth correctional facilities, to treat a full third of the confined youth.“Most [of that] antipsychotic use is likely for sedation and behavioral control,” said Dr. Mark Olfson of the Columbia University Medical Center. “The new findings will hopefully spur much-needed institutional reforms.”But lockups are not the only place where use of so-called “chemical restraints” on children is prevalent. A recent study suggests that in 2012, a fifth of the youth in Pennsylvania’s foster care system were taking antipsychotics. That report was commissioned by the PDHS, and at that time, the secretary of the department called the practice “disturbing” and “unacceptable.” The department seems less willing to express an opinion when it comes to the juvenile lockups.PublicSource reported that all of its inquiries took weeks or months to get a response and a scheduled interview with Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas was abruptly cancelled. PublicSource was also not given access to the facilities in question, nor were they provided with the names of the prescribing doctors, having been told it would compromise their safety. But in one email, DHS Spokeswoman Kait Gillis wrote that 44 percent of 266 residents in the facilities on September 30th had a psychotropic medication prescribed by a psychiatrist. She said that many young people have a psychotropic prescription when they are locked up.“The protocols we have in place actually lead to a reduction or termination of medication when possible,” she wrote, but the state did not share its protocols for prescribing.PublicSource says that the data they are using for this investigation took two years to obtain and that they then used expert consultants to help with interpretation.While the experts did see red flags pointing to potentially excessive or inappropriate prescribing in the state facilities, justice-involved youth are known to have a greater mental health need than the general population. Studies and experts estimate that between 50 percent and 75 percent have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.But not all of these problems require anything close to an antipsychotic. “The great concern among children’s advocates is that…too often the medications are used to the benefit of the institution to control behavior in ways that are not appropriate,” said Robert Schwartz, the co-founder and recently retired executive director of the Juvenile Law Center and the advocate who broke the 2008 “Kids for Cash” scandal.Dr. Terry Lee, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, suggests that creating and implementing psychiatric practice guidelines for institutions is enough to reduce their use of psychotropic drugs, as is reflected in a study he published in the journal Psychiatric Services comparing psych med costs and aggression levels at three secure juvenile facilities.The study, spanning 2003 to 2012, shows Dr. Lee’s facility with psychiatric practice guidelines reduced its costs of psychotropic drugs by 26 percent, and incidents of aggression remained level. Costs for facilities without the guidelines doubled, and aggression levels increased.A George Polk Grant for Investigative Reporting and a grant from The Fund for Investigative Journalism helped to fund this PublicSource project.—Ruth McCambridgeShare9TweetShareEmail9 Shareslast_img read more

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Dutch telco KPN increased its TV market share by t

first_imgDutch telco KPN increased its TV market share by two percentage points last year, ending December with a 17% share.The incumbent telco ended 2011 with 1.4 million IPTV subscribers, including 573,000 IPTV customers, up 84,000 in the fourth quarter and up from 302,000 in 2010. Digital-terrestrial service Digitenne’s base fell from 895,000 to 827,000 in the course of the year.KPN also saw its TV ARPU increase in the 12 months ending December to €12.The number of FTTH connections reached 102,000 at the end of the year, with 25,000 net additions in the fourth quarter.last_img

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The linear TV channel model is ripe for replaceme

first_imgThe linear TV channel model is “ripe for replacement” with the evolution to internet TV already happening, according to Netflix in a letter to investors published yesterday.Outlining its ‘long term view’ on the back of this week’s strong quarterly earnings report, the US video-on-demand service said that it was continuing its original programming efforts and said it was aiming to compete with the likes of HBO – not major platform providers.“We don’t and can’t compete on breadth with Comcast, Sky, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, or Google. For us to be hugely successful we have to be a focused passion brand. Starbucks, not 7-Eleven. Southwest, not United. HBO, not Dish,” Netflix said.In terms of its content focus for the future, the firm said it was “not a generic ‘video’ company that streams all types of video such as news, user generated, sports, music video, or reality. We are movies and TV shows.”The firm said it is currently spending about US$350 million per year “on a wide range of efforts to improve our service and app” and is investing more than US$2 billion per year in content licensing and the creation of original shows. For 2013 and “the next few years” it said less than 10% of that would go on its Originals – like the recently launched House of Cards.“While we are passing HBO in domestic members in 2013, it will be several years before we are peers with them in terms of Original programming, Emmy awards, and international members. It wouldn’t be surprising to us if HBO does their best work and achieves their highest growth over the next decade, spurred on by the Netflix competition and the Internet TV opportunity,” Netflix said.The firm added that it was increasingly important for it to work with ISPs on network interconnection points – “so the ISP subscribers actually experience the benefits of their highspeed internet.”last_img read more

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