Undercover agents target cybersecurity watchdog

first_imgNEW YORK — The Associated Press has found that researchers who reported the role of Israeli spyware in the targeting of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s inner circle are in turn being targeted by international undercover operatives.Twice in the past two months men masquerading as socially conscious investors have lured members of the Citizen Lab internet watchdog group to meetings at luxury hotels to quiz them for hours about their work exposing Israeli surveillance.Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert on Friday described the stunts as “a new low.”Who these operatives are working for remains a riddle, but their tactics recall those of private investigators who assume elaborate false identities to gather intelligence or compromising material on critics of powerful figures in government or business.Raphael Satter, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Continue reading

Lisbon Court Sentences Moroccan Man For Recruiting for ISIS

Rabat – On July 9, the Court of Lisbon sentenced Moroccan national Abdessalam Tazi to 12 years in prison for his involvement with ISIS.The judge sentenced Tazi after the Portuguese court found the defendant guilty of recruiting young Moroccans to fight for ISIS. Most of the young men recruited by Tazi were of Moroccan nationality.The 65-year-old Moroccan national was convicted on seven charges. Besides recruiting fighters for ISIS, he was found guilty of providing financial support to the terrorist group via forged credit cards. However, the public prosecution office failed to find evidence proving Tazi’s direct affiliation with the leaders of ISIS. During the hearing, the prosecutor recognized that Tazi was a highly intelligent person who had been able to bring Moroccan citizens to Portugal with the intention of sending them to Syria.Tazi’s lawyer, Lopez Guerrero, told reporters that he was surprised to hear the verdict, stating that he was considering an appeal. “He was acquitted of belonging to an international terrorist organization, but he was convicted of recruiting people to an organization he does not belong to,” he added. read more

Continue reading

Darfur after ouster of aid groups UN focuses on minimizing immediate risks

13 March 2009The United Nations system is focusing on the immediate risks posed to the 4.7 million people dependent on humanitarian aid in Sudan’s war-racked Darfur region after the ordered expulsion of 13 aid groups, a spokesperson for the Organization said today. At the same time, UN officials continued to press for the reversal of the decision of the Sudanese Government on expelling the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which came immediately after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Al-Bashir last week for alleged crimes committed in the region.Fighting between Government troops, their allied militias and rebels has led to the deaths of an estimated 300,000 people and displaced some three million more in Darfur since 2003.The results of an ongoing joint UN-Sudanese mission to assess current needs will be made public next week after it competes its work on 18 March, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said that the planned distribution of two months rations to the 1.1 million people who had been served by the expelled by partner NGOs would begin in the coming days, probably Sunday or afterward.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which is concerned by the impact on the quality and the distribution of water, said it was working with the Government and its UN partners to meet immediate needs and to assure the most urgent needs could be met for up to three months. An urgent priority of the World Health Organization (WHO) is containing the spread of a meningitis outbreak in the Kalma Camp in southern Darfur. Fifty-four cases, four of them fatal, have already been diagnosed.Meningitis is very dangerous, especially in crowded areas, WHO pointed out, warning that if people are not immunized rapidly, the disease would spread.The health agency said its work is made much more difficult because some of the expelled NGOs had been doing surveillance and detection of such outbreaks on a daily and weekly basis. They are also on the frontline of the fight against malnutrition and water-borne and insect-borne diseases, and worked actively on reproductive health issues, WHO said. read more

Continue reading

Weak global conditions to keep Canada in slow lane until 2013 OECD

The risk of a new major (global) contraction cannot be ruled outOTTAWA — With global conditions weakening, Canada’s economy will remain in the slow growth lane until the middle of next year, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development predicts in a new forecast.The OECD projects Canada’s economy will grow by 1.5% in the final three months of this year, and advance only 1.8% in 2013.Next year’s projection is half a point below the Bank of Canada’s official forecast, although the two institutions agree that 2014 will see an improvement to 2.4% growth.The Bank of Canada may need to raise its benchmark lending rate by the second half of next year to avoid inflation, the OECD said.While growth will remain “moderate” until the middle of 2013, “economic slack is not large,” the OECD said.Canadian household debt has surged to a record amid low interest rates, prompting policy makers to warn of risks to the country’s financial system.The OECD said the tightening of mortgage-insurance rules by the government in June will cool house prices. “If housing- market imbalances worsen, the government should respond with further macro-prudential measures,” the OECD said, referring to regulatory steps rather than monetary action.Overall, the Paris-based organization’s analysis mirrors that of the Canadian central bank and that of many private sector economists in most respects.The OECD blames weak export markets abroad, government austerity and high household indebtedness at home as the key reasons for the lacklustre projections.But its outlook for Canada is still far stronger than for Europe, which is expected to remain in recession through most of 2013.And Canada’s growth rates are stronger than the average in the 34 nations of the OECD, which includes most of the industrialized world.While the international organization does not see the Canadian economy slumping, it cautions that policy-makers should be prepared for shocks.“Federal and provincial budget consolidation is needed and welcome, but if new shocks were to weaken underlying growth materially, the pace of debt reduction should be slowed,” the report states.The report’s outlook for the world is decidedly bleaker than for Canada, pointing out that after five years of crisis, the global economy is again weakening, and risks proliferate.“The risk of a new major contraction cannot be ruled out,” said Pier Carlo Padoan, the OECD’s chief economist, citing the ongoing recession in the euro area, a below-par economy in the U.S., and a slowdown in many emerging markets.Referring to the problems in Europe, he said it is “not difficult to imagine a situation in which something goes wrong.”If that happened, Canada would be impacted through the trade, financial market and confidence channels, the OECD said, but noted that the country is much more dependent on the U.S., whose economy is better balanced.In fact, the OECD anticipates the U.S. will speed up faster than Canada’s next year at 2% and in 2014, at 2.8% growth.Because the U.S. is starting from further behind, Canada will still maintain an advantage in the recovery over its southern neighbour, however. For instance, the organization projects Canada’s unemployment rate will fall below 7% by 2014, while in the U.S., it is expected to remain close to 8%.With files from Bloomberg read more

Continue reading

Four Sri Lankan refugees detained with coral reefs

The seized coral reef and the arrested refugees were handed over to the Forest Department for further action. The arrested refugees were; S. Selvakumar (28), S. Anandaraja (48), I. Parthiban (20) and C. Diwakaran (21). Coral reefs weighing about 20 kg were seized from four Sri Lankan refugees by the Q Branch police in the Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, India.The Hindu newspaper quoted police sources as saying that the coral reefs were seized during the regular raid conducted by the Q branch police in the refugee camp at Kozhiporvilai near Kaliyakavilai. The refugees reportedly confessed to the police that they brought the coral reef banned under the Schedule I of the Wildlife Act from Vizhinjam Fishing Harbour in Kerala for using them in fish tanks. read more

Continue reading

Loonie heads higher despite disappointing Chinese manufacturing data

Loonie heads higher despite disappointing Chinese manufacturing data by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted May 23, 2013 9:04 am MDT TORONTO – The Canadian dollar headed higher Thursday despite weaker-than-expected manufacturing data from China.The loonie climbed 0.73 of a cent to 97.14 cents US.HSBC reported that its preliminary Purchasing Managers Index fell to a seven-month low of 49.6 in May from April’s 50.4. Numbers below 50 indicate that activity is contracting. Analysts had expected a more modest decline to 50.3.The disappointing data had spurred concerns over the future outlook for commodities, like copper.“People, I think, are selling equities and taking comfort in either bonds or currencies because the Canadian dollar was weaker yesterday,” said John Tsagarelis, a portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.But he added that if the Chinese data continues to worsen, the Canadian dollar will likely follow.“Given what’s happening in China, I can’t imagine if commodities are weakened, the Canadian dollar will stay where it is,” said Tsagarelis.The loonie has been declining against the strong U.S. dollar, with some expecting the currency to stray further from parity, a position it was close to just a few weeks ago.On the commodities front, June gold bullion continued to show strength, rising $24.40 to US$1,391.80 an ounce. The July crude contract was down three cents to US$94.25 a barrel, while July copper fell eight cents to $3.30 a pound. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Continue reading

Short survey UN News wants to know what you think

A year ago, the multimedia news hub changed a lot, to improve the way it delivers the latest information through videos, audio, social media, text stories, and more.To take stock of the improvements made and understand how to better meet the information needs of those interested in the work of the UN, the team is inviting everyone to take a very quick survey and provide feedback.It’s only seven questions, and it doesn’t take more than four minutes!CLICK HERE TO PARTICIPATEWe look forward to hearing from you! The survey will close at the end of the day on 25 March. read more

Continue reading

Football Wall Street Journal lists Ohio State as the most valuable college

Urban Meyer prepares to run out on to the field with the team prior to the Ohio State- Oklahoma game on Sep. 9. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State’s football team might only be No. 10 in the latest Associated Press Poll Rankings, but it ranks as the most valuable program in college football, being evaluated at more than $1 billion, according to a study done by Ryan Brewer, an associate professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, and published in the Wall Street Journal.Brewer’s exact value estimate of the program is $1,510,482,000, one of only three teams that is worth more than $1 billion, with Texas being evaluated at $1.24 billion and Oklahoma at $1 billion. Michigan was the only other Big Ten team in Brewer’s top 10, ranking at No. 6 with a value of $893 million.Brewer told the Wall Street Journal that he could envision the Longhorns surpassing the Buckeyes and that the adjusted revenue Texas brings in annually is higher than Ohio State’s, but that the on-field success of the Buckeyes and lack thereof from the Longhorns pushes Ohio State out in front.The study was conducted in a way to try and measure how much a team would be worth if it were sold on the open market like a professional sports team. With that said, Ohio State would rank last among all NFL teams in terms of total value, as the 32nd team in the NFL is the Buffalo Bills worth $1.6 billion, according to Forbes. The Dallas Cowboys are No. 1 with a current value of $4.8 billion.Ohio State was ranked No. 1 last year in the same study, also conducted by Brewer. At the team, it was valued at $946.6 million, indicating a 59.6 percent increase from last season.Ohio State reserve quarterback Joe Burrow weighed in on the news.Our team is worth 1.5 BILLION dollars but it wouldn’t be fair to other students if we get a free hamburger https://t.co/SKHPmhzeRq— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) September 22, 2017 read more

Continue reading

Eight in ten offers are unconditional at one British university Ucas figures

The number of unconditional offers has risen sharply in recent years Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The number of unconditional offers has risen sharply in recent years Eight in ten offers are unconditional at one British university, new figures from Ucas show.Suffolk University promised 1,110 offers to students last summer irrespective of their A-level grades.Unconditional offers made up 83.8 per cent of all offers the university made in 2018, rising steeply from the 23 per cent it made the year before.There are ten universities that gave more than half of their offers as unconditional last year, according to data published by the university admissions service in its end of cycle report.The number of unconditional offers has risen sharply in recent years, with students now 30 times more likely to receive one than five years ago.Fierce competition between universities to attract students has seen sixth form pupils increasingly offered places regardless of their exam results.Some institutions hand out “incentivised” offers, where they tell students that their offer will be unconditional but only if they accept it as their first choice university.For the first time, Ucas has published an in depth study into the rise of unconditional offers as part of its annual end of cycle report.“The growth in unconditional offer-making since 2013 is the consequence of a combination of the growing number of providers that use unconditional offers, and among those providers, the increasing extent to which they do so,” the report said.”However, while the number of providers making unconditional offers has increased each year since 2013, a number of providers have only done so for one or two cycles, then reduced or halted their use of unconditional offer-making.” Earlier this month, the higher education watchdog warned that universities making unconditional offers may be breaking the law by “pressure selling”’ to students.The Office for Students published a report which found that applicants who accept an unconditional offer are more likely to miss their predicted A-level grades by two or more grades.Nottingham University announced that it will cease giving out unconditional offers from this September onwards.It is the first Russell Group university to do so, and cited concern at the “reported variation” between predicted and actual A-level results for students with unconditional offers, indicating that some pupils “may lose motivation at a critical period in their studies”.Last year, 11.4 per cent of Nottingham’s offers were unconditional making it the second highest among the Russell Group universities. Birmingham University gave out the most, at 18.9 per cent of its total.Clare Marchant, chief executive of Ucas, said: “It’s crucial that students can make well-informed choices. UCAS is here to provide step-by-step support, to help them make the right decisions for their future, including advice on unconditional offers.”Education Secretary Damian Hinds has said that the steep rise in unconditional offers is “disturbing” and should not be used as a tactic to “get students through the door”.He said: “What I find particularly concerning is the OfS’s finding of how many of those accepting unconditional offers then miss their predicted A Level grades, because if university didn’t work out for that student it is those A Level grades they would fall back on.” read more

Continue reading

Hitachi completes AC3 series with EH3500 and EH4000 variants

first_imgHitachi Construction Machinery launched two new rigid dump truck models designed for use in large-scale mining operations anywhere in the world on December 15 – the 180 t payload class EH3500AC-3 (nominal payload with standard equipment of 181 t, target gross machine operating weight of 322,000 kg), and the 220 t payload class EH4000AC-3 (nominal payload with standard equipment of 221 t, target gross machine operating weight of 384,000 kg). Key large class Hitachi truck users around the world include the Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia; the Kaltim Prima coal mine in Indonesia; and many others including trolley assist fleets at First Quantum Kansanshi,  Barrick Lumwana, Exxaro Grootegeluk and Eldorado Gold’s Kişladag.The two new rigid dump truck models are equipped with the new AC-3 drive system that was developed using Hitachi Group technologies that were already employed in conventional truck models. “This time around we improved the AC drive system with various sensors that provide information on drive conditions. The result is the Hitachi Drive Control System which reduces tire slippage on acceleration and tire lock-up during braking, and prevents chassis oscillation in a front-rear direction and tyre skid while steering.”In addition, to satisfy the request of customers worldwide, Hitachi is giving them the choice between engines from two different companies – Cummins or MTU. This option will also be made available for the EH5000AC-3 rigid dump truck, which was launched back in February 2013. The release of these two rigid dump truck models completes the lineup for the EH AC-3 series of dump trucks equipped with an AC drive system. Hitachi states: “Along with our ultra-large hydraulic excavators, for which we boast a high market share, we plan to supply these rigid dump truck models to contribute to the improvement of productivity at mines around the world.”The Hitachi Construction Machinery Group states it “is at present embarking on the fortification of the mining business, which is a key policy in the mid-term management plan, GROW TOGETHER 2016. In addition to further fortifying our develop, sales, and support system for high value-added products, including an autonomous driving dump truck, and carrying out development of emerging markets, we are also making optimal recommendations for mining operations and machine management, mainly using mine management systems developed by Wenco International Mining Systems Ltd. Going forward we plan to continue strengthening the mining business by working with Hitachi Group companies, including Hitachi Ltd whose strength is in information and communication, and infrastructure technologies, and also aim to provide “Reliable Solutions” to our customers worldwide.”In detail, Hitachi coupled the AC drive system, which has a high load-responsive IGBT inverter, with drive control software that was jointly developed with other Hitachi Group companies, to achieve a system “that excels in controlling travel motor speed and torque.” Whether taking off from a standstill, ascending grades, or performing steering manoeuvres, the system delivers an optimal, individual amount of power to each of the travel motors for smooth, quick operation. In addition to adding various sensors that detect vehicle motion, this is the first time in this class of machinery that they employed the Hitachi Drive Control System which “aims to achieve higher drive control performance by reducing tyre slippage on acceleration and tyre lock-up during braking, and preventing chassis oscillation in a front-rear direction and tyre skid while steering.” Consequently, the company says it realised strong and steady travel performance that ensures more stable jobsite haul-cycle times which contributes to higher productivity. These two models also boast powerful electric brakes that are activated during downhill driving. Since these dump trucks do not require the use of mechanical brakes during normal driving, not only is deceleration smoother but maintenance for the mechanical brakes is required less frequently.In the wide-berth cab, which is capable of housing two full-size seats, a large LCD display is located at the base of the handle. The display is in clear view and quickly provides the operator with information and warnings on drive operations such as travelling speed, engine turnover, and hauling performance. In addition, the multilingual display allows users to view information and warnings in their own language, thereby contributing to improved serviceability and safety. Thanks to a powerful electric brake, the dump trucks can be normally operated using two pedals, one for acceleration and one for the brakes. Easier operability alleviates operator fatigue. The levers and switches for operating the body are in the centre console, making it possible operate the body with one hand.last_img read more

Continue reading

Army bomb squad neutralises WWI artillery shell in Co Donegal

first_imgArmy bomb squad neutralises WWI artillery shell in Co Donegal The army bomb disposal unit was called to investigate the ancient naval artillery shell at 2.15pm this afternoon. By Cianan Brennan Tuesday 2 May 2017, 7:14 PM http://jrnl.ie/3369661 May 2nd 2017, 7:14 PM File photo Source: Defence ForcesTHE DEFENCE FORCES’ bomb disposal unit  has made safe an artillery shell found in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.The disposal unit was called to the scene by gardaí at 2.15pm.The device itself is a World War I naval artillery shell, the Defence Forces has confirmed.Donegal News reports that the shell was discovered elsewhere, before being brought home to ManorView Park in the town by a family who first came across it while out for a walk.A cordon was established and local houses were evacuated before the disposal unit made an initial assessment of the shell.Once that assessment was complete the device was transported to a ‘secure military location for further examination and disposal’, according to a Defence Forces spokesperson.The scene was declared safe at 3.15pm.“Historic munitions from early 20th century conflicts can be encountered from time to time,” the Defence Forces’ spokesperson said.Should members of the public find such munitions they are advised to maintain a safe distance, inform An Garda Síochána, who in turn will request Defence Forces assistance.Read: Joan Burton told being called a c**t at a protest should be ‘water off a duck’s back’, court hearsRead: Mayo pensioner, found asleep in car with dog while engine was running, was six times over legal limit 11 Comments Share Tweet Email1 10,608 Views Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Continue reading

Andrews stands up for multiculturalism

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Victorian Labor is calling on Victorians to oppose Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s cuts to multicultural programs and any changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. Recently, the Abbott government announced it would cut $18 million from the Migrant Communities Employment Fund and the Building Multicultural Communities Program.In 2013, the former Federal Labor Government committed $6.6 million over two years to establish the Migrant Communities Employment Fund. In December last year the Abbott government announced it would not proceed with the fund. Also, in 2013, the former federal government initiated the Building Multicultural Communities Program, committing $14 million in 2013-2014. The Abbott government announced cuts of $11.5 million to the program. “Major funding cuts and changes to discrimination laws will hurt multicultural communities,” said the Leader of the Opposition in Victoria Daniel Andrews, responding to the latest developments.Mr Andrews also went on to state that “every Victorian who is committed to diversity should oppose Tony Abbott’s plans”, in relation to changes to article 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act.Multicultural communities in Victoria are concerned that proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act may expose Victorians to hate speech. Amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act were passed in September 1995 with bipartisan support. In 2012, Tony Abbott announced he would repeal Section 18C of the act. On 10 March 2014, Attorney General George Brandis said the government still intended to amend the act.last_img read more

Continue reading

Two Lenovo IdeaPad laptop deals you wont want to miss

first_img Lenovo revs up budget-minded laptops with IdeaPad 330, 330S and 530S Comments The Lenovo Ideapad 330S is a pretty skinny customer. Sarah Tew/CNET At the risk of repeating myself, the single most important feature to look for in any new laptop is a solid-state drive. Sure, you’ll likely end up with a higher price and less overall storage space than you’d get from a system with a mechanical drive, but trust me when I say it’s worth the trade-off.Why? Performance. SSDs run circles around mechanical ones. Your PC will boot and shut down in seconds. It’ll load software in seconds. Basically, you won’t believe the difference. And with no moving parts, SSDs also run quieter and cooler.All this brings me to a pair of Lenovo laptops that are a hefty 25 percent off at Newegg — for a limited time and while supplies last, of course. Tags 38 Photos 11 Laptops Wireless & Bluetooth Speakerscenter_img First, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330S 14-inch laptop is $599.99 shipped. Key specs include an eighth-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Regular price: $800.See it at NeweggThis model also includes two full-size USB 3.0 ports (one of which lets you charge external devices even when the laptop is off), a USB-C port and an HDMI port.One thing to note: It does not have a touchscreen. Though, personally, I’ve never seen the need for one in a laptop.lenovo-ideapad-330-flatEnlarge ImageThe IdeaPad 330 has a 180-degree hinge, but not a touchscreen. It’s amazingly slim given the built-in optical drive. Lenovo Next up, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 15.6-inch laptop is $499.99 shipped. Here you get an eighth-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Regular price: $670.See it at NeweggIt has the same port configuration as the 330S, but thanks to the larger chassis, you also get a numeric keypad alongside the keyboard and — surprise — an optical drive! Yep, you can read and write CDs and DVDs, if that’s your thing.CNET hasn’t reviewed either of these models, and the Newegg flash-sale pages don’t show any user reviews. I found a smattering of reviews elsewhere, but few for these exact configurations. Note, too, that Lenovo is having its own sale right now, but these same laptops (albeit with spinning hard drives instead of SSDs) are more expensive there, so these Newegg versions are definitely the better deals.If you spend more time at a desk than on the road, I like the bigger screen (and lower price) of the 330. But the 330S is about a pound lighter and has more horsepower, while still affording plenty of screen real estate.Your thoughts?harman-kardon-onyx-studio-4A good-as-new refurb for $50-$80 less than what you’d pay for actual-new. Harman Kardon Bonus deal: I have a long-running love affair with Harman Kardon speakers, because they’re a super premium (and highly regarded) brand that sometimes sneaky goes on sale for cheap.Today, for example, you can get the manufacturer-refurbished Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 portable Bluetooth speaker for $99.99, with free two-day shipping. It has a list price of $450, though that’s a bit of bunk: It sells elsewhere for around $150-$180.See it at Harman KardonThe Onyx Studio 4 is noteworthy for a couple reasons. It can play for up to 8 hours on a charge. (Previous models expired after around 5 hours.) It has a built-in noise- and echo-canceling microphone for speakerphone calls. And it lets you pair two different devices, which is nice if you routinely bop back and forth between, say, phone and tablet sources.By all accounts (4.8 stars from over 1,100 Best Buy customers!), the speaker sounds amazing. It looks kind of cool, too, in my humble opinion. Although it’s refurbished, it’s quite literally good as new — including the one-year warranty. For $100 out the door, this is definitely worth a look.Giveaway! Talk about something you won’t want to miss: As part of our 2019 awards season celebration, CNET is giving away a TCL 65-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV and a $200 Fandango gift card! And a few runners-up will receive Fandango gift cards as well. You’ve got about two weeks to get your entry (or entries) in. Good luck!CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! Share your voice The Cheapskate 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. Bluetooth Intel Lenovo Rokulast_img read more

Continue reading

Statue of giant hand creeps out New Zealand locals and Twitter

first_imgA few observers thought they saw a familiar face getting the upper hand. “Hello from America,” wrote one Twitter user. “I am so sorry, but the face looks familiar. I’m afraid our President Trump found a way to scare another nation.” 1 Van Hout’s work is a partial self-portrait, the gallery’s site notes, and was based on scans of the artist’s own body parts.Twitter’s response got a little out of hand. “How high were the people who decided to put that there?” asked one Twitter user. Comment The masters from the renaissance just rolled over in their graves again, as they’ve done since impressionism— hellothere333 (@hellothere3332) August 19, 2019 Now playing: Watch this: Culture Is that meant to stay there? If so, for how long?Also, how high were the people who decided to put that there?— The Funny List (@TheFunnyList) August 19, 2019 The hand sculpture will be on display until March 27. Sir Winston Churchill?— 🌱Chris🌱 (@chrisferris22) August 19, 2019 Is that @elonmusk— Mike Hauncho (@Tee_Mal) August 19, 2019 Share your voice Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No—Quasi has landed! This morning, Ronnie van Hout’s Quasi was installed on our roof. Quasi is a joint project with Wellington Sculpture Trust, with support from Wellington City Council, Wellington Community Trust, and Richard Burrell. pic.twitter.com/9MaHc9gB71— CityGalleryWgtn (@CityGalleryWgtn) August 18, 2019center_img Am i the only one who thinks it looks a bit like indian pm MODI ?— 🌷کیپٹن جی🌷 (@peaceforbetter1) August 19, 2019 It’s Thing from the Addams Family! pic.twitter.com/QM5emCR3Nw— ajarhead (@WHollywoodUSMC) August 19, 2019 Hamburger Helper looking for his glove…or is it an oven mitt?— Heather Bradley (@Heatheredview) August 19, 2019 Tags Turn your iPhone photos into works of art Hello from America..I am so sorry, but the face looks familiar. I’m afraid our President Trump found a way to scare another nation.— 5sweeneys (@5sweeneys) August 19, 2019 Seem residents aren’t fans of WWE. That’s Brock Lesnar on the roof.— Black Pelican (@cayorjeff) August 19, 2019 You gotta hand it to the people of Wellington, New Zealand.A giant sculpture of a hand with a face, called Quasi, was installed on the roof of the City Gallery Wellington on Monday.”Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No — Quasi has landed!” the gallery’s official Twitter account tweeted. “This morning, Ronnie van Hout’s Quasi was installed on our roof. Quasi is a joint project with Wellington Sculpture Trust, with support from Wellington City Council, Wellington Community Trust, and Richard Burrell.” 1:03 @CateSpice @SeaGoatScreams Wellington, why? pic.twitter.com/6RQvGEE0oQ— Melissa Rose (@Melzyrose90) August 19, 2019 Why does ita face look like Bill Clinton tho— Melissa Rose (@Melzyrose90) August 19, 2019last_img read more

Continue reading

Derelict vessel bill heads to Gov Walkers desk

first_imgThe remainder of a vessel slowly breaks down on a beach on the outer coast of the Kenai Peninsula.(Photo by Aaron Bolton, KBBI)Boat and fishing vessel owners will likely be required to meet new registration and title requirements next year. The change is part of Senate Bill 92, which passed through the state Legislature this week. The bill aims to give the state, municipalities and individuals more tools to hold owners of derelict and abandoned vessels legally liable.Listen nowThe Senate sent the bill to Gov. Bill Walker’s desk Thursday after the House passed the legislation earlier this week.The bill makes three significant changes. It will make it easier to track vessel ownership via state boat registration requirements and a new titling program. It also lowers the legal bar to hold derelict vessel owners liable and would create a derelict vessel prevention program.Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators Executive Secretary Rachel Lord worked with a statewide task force craft the bill. She said the new registration and title requirements would create a better paper trail for vessel ownership.“It ends up being people saying, ‘Oh no, that’s not my boat. That’s that guys boat. I sold it to him yesterday for $15 on a bar napkin,’” Lord explained. “It sounds silly and trite, but it happens all the time and all over the state.”Currently, federally documented vessels are not required to register with the state, but that would change under the new law. Non-federally documented boats over 24 feet would also be required to have a title of ownership.Homer Harbormaster Brian Hawkins also worked on the state task force. He said the bill would specifically help ports and harbors track down owners of federally documented boats at risk of becoming a problem, which he said tend to be old commercial fishing vessels.“We didn’t know how many documented vessels were operating in the state, and it’s that fleet that often times would become the future derelict vessels – some of those as they age out,” Hawkins said.The bill also allows the state and municipalities to impose civil penalties and individuals could take action against owners of derelict vessels in civil court.Currently, derelict vessel owners can only be charged criminally, but the law also imposes stiffer penalties for those found guilty.Holly Wells is Homer’s city attorney and is a shareholder at Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot in Anchorage.Wells helped the task force craft the bill’s language, and she said the legislation not only lowers the legal bar, but it also clears the path for small communities and villages to give proper notice, impound and scrap derelict boats.“Communities like Homer that have the resources to remove derelict vessels and have the luxury of contacting legal council to help craft local laws have been very lucky because they have been able to address this issue pretty efficiently,” Wells said. “The communities that don’t have those resources haven’t had the ability to take care of the problem. This is a really big step in the right direction.”The bill also tasks the state Department of Natural Resources with creating a derelict vessel prevention program, which will be funded by title fees.Harbormaster Hawkins said the program’s largest undertaking would be creating a cradle-to-grave plan for vessels in an effort to make sure they are disposed of properly.“When you look at the fleet with a critical eye, you will notice it is aging,” Hawkins added. “There are a lot of vessels that are getting in the 30s, 40s, 50-year-old range, and many of these will eventually become vessels that need to be disposed of or something done with.”Hawkins hopes the program will provide more avenues for vessel owners to scrap their boats rather than abandon them in local, state or federal waters.It’s not clear when the bill might be signed into law, but Gov. Walker has 90 days to either approve or reject the legislation. The bill would go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.last_img read more

Continue reading

California mudslides death toll rises to 18

first_imgA fire fighter looks through a car next to a home that was destroyed by a mudslide on 12 January 2018 in Montecito, California. Photo: AFPAuthorities in southern California said Friday they had discovered the body of an elderly man killed by mudslides that battered the region earlier this week, lifting the overall death toll to 18.The 87-year-old man was “located by a search and rescue team in his residence,” said Bill Brown, the sheriff of Santa Barbara county.Rescuers are continuing their search operations, with the missing now numbering seven, including a two-year-old girl, according to the Santa Barbara sheriff’s office.Heavy rain on Tuesday, which followed 10 months of drought, sent sticky mud and debris flowing from the hills into Montecito.In addition to the dead and injured, 65 houses have been destroyed while another 462 sustained damage.Terrifying wildfires forced people to evacuate in December, and the mudslides struck just two weeks after they returned.The fires burned most vegetation, leaving perfect conditions for the latest disaster to unfold.last_img read more

Continue reading

10 Best Geeky Gifts for Valentines Day

first_img Valentine’s Day is upon us. If you’re not into typical gifts, we hear you. Sometimes when a box of chocolate or a floral arrangement doesn’t cut it, there are other geek-centric presents to satisfy your heart (and someone else’s).The sky’s the limit when it comes to the day of love. From Star Wars plush bouquets to Avengers friendship hearts, here are the best gifts for the favorite nerd in your life.Harley and Joker Valentine’s MugPhoto Credit: Think GeekGotham City’s Queenpin and the Joker might not have the best relationship, but they look so darn cute together on this mug.AdChoices广告Buy it HereBob’s Burgers Tina Hearts Butts HatPhoto Credit: AmazonTina Belcher is a wild one: You can show your appreciation for Bob’s Burgers (and butts) with this blue hat.Buy it HereStar Wars Plush BouquetPhoto Credit: ThinkGeekYou might rather kiss a Wookie, however, you can gift your love this adorable Star Wars plush bouquet.Buy it HerePokemon Poke Ball Heart Earrings SetPhoto Credit: AmazonCatch ’em all (and their heart) with this three-piece Pokemon poke ball heart earrings set.Buy it Here8-Bit Hearts WatchPhoto Credit: ThinkGeekInspired by old-school gaming health meters, this 8-bit hearts watch is a great token of appreciation.Buy it HereLove Formula T-ShirtPhoto Credit: AmazonKnow someone special that digs math? Well, you can gift them this funny shirt that shows the “equation of love.”Buy it HerePixilated Beanie and Scarf SetPhoto Credit: ThinkGeekWinter is still on, but you can keep your special someone warm with this pixilated beanie and scarf set.Buy it HereAvengers Valentine’s Day Friendship HeartsPhoto Credit: AmazonIf your squad is pumped for the upcoming Avengers: Endgame movie, you can give them these superhero-themed friendship hearts for Valentine’s Day.Buy it HerePlush Science of Love BouquetPhoto Credit: ThinkGeekErlenmeyer flasks, dopamine, and serotonin make the perfect pick-me-up in this quirky plush science of love bouquet.Buy it HerePusheen Cupid PlushPhoto Credit: AmazonRoses are red and violets are blue, but this Pusheen cupid plush offers lots of cuddles for you.Buy it HereMore on Geek.com:Amazon Is Discounting Devices Just in Time for Valentine’s DayThis Zoo Wants to Name a Snake After Your Ex for Valentine’s DayWebsite Offers ‘Beard Bouquets’ for Valentine’s Day This Bird Attracts His Valentine With His Heart-Shaped Red Throat SacThe 11 Best Video Games to Play With Your Significant Other Stay on targetlast_img read more

Continue reading

US Navy ship collides with oil tanker in Gulf

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Associated PressDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – A U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer was left with a gaping hole on one side after it collided with an oil tanker early Sunday just outside the strategic Strait of Hormuz.The collision left a breach about 10 feet by 10 feet (three by three meters) in the starboard side of USS Porter. No one was injured on either vessel, the U.S. Navy said in a statement.The collision with the Panamanian-flagged and Japanese-owned bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan happened about 1 a.m. local time. Photos released by the Navy showed workers standing amid twisted metal and other debris hanging down from the hole. Top Stories The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Navy said, though the collision was not “combat related.” There were no reports of spills or leakages from either the USS Porter or the Otowasan, the Navy said.Navy spokesman Greg Raelson said the destroyer now is in port in Jebel Ali, Dubai. “We’re just happy there were no injuries,” he said. “An investigation is under way.”The USS Porter is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, an island nation in the Gulf, near Iran.The Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Gulf, is a crowded and tense waterway where one-fifth of the world’s oil is routed. Tensions have risen there over repeated Iranian threats to block tanker traffic in retaliation for tighter sanctions by the West. The sanctions are aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment program, so far without success.Tensions in the Strait of Hormuz show no sign of abating.The United States stoked the flames recently with an announcement that it will send U.S. Navy minesweepers and warships into the Gulf for exercises. The U.S. military maneuvers scheduled for September, to be joined by ships from about 20 American allies. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Three years ago, The USS Hartford, a nuclear-powered submarine based in Groton, Conn., collided in the strait with the USS New Orleans, a San Diego-based amphibious ship.The New Orleans’ fuel tank was ruptured, and 15 sailors on the Hartford suffered minor injuries. The collision caused $2.3 million in damage to the New Orleans, and the cost so far of repairs to the Hartford is $102.6 million.The submarine’s commanding officer was relieved of his duties, and the sub’s chief of the boat, an adviser to the commanding officer, was reassigned. Several crew members were punished.___Follow Michael Casey on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mcasey1 This is part of a Pentagon buildup in the Gulf with more troops and naval firepower, seeking to rattle Iran and reassure Saudi Arabia and Washington’s other Gulf Arab partners worried about Iran’s influence and power.Iranian commanders and political leaders have stepped up threats and defiant statements in recent weeks over the Strait of Hormuz.While it appears unlikely that Iran is ready to risk an almost certain military backlash by trying to close Hormuz _ which is jointly controlled with Oman _ the comments from Tehran show that Iranian authorities see the strait as perhaps their most valuable asset in brinkmanship over tightening sanctions.Iranian officials have been quick to counter statements about closing the strait with observations that the situation is not likely to become that severe, indicating recognition that a step like closing the strait would have grave implications.Warnings from Tehran in the past about possible closure have been enough to boost oil prices to offset the blow of sanctions. It’s also among the potential flashpoints if military force is used against Iran over its nuclear program.If attacked, Iran could severely disrupt oil supplies and send the shaky global economy stumbling backward again. The vital role family plays in society 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Continue reading

Singlefamily Home Builder Revenue Nears PreCrisis Level

first_imgSingle-family Home Builder Revenue Nears Pre-Crisis Level Fiscal Year 2014 Home Builders National Association of Home Builders Revenues 2016-03-21 Staff Writer March 21, 2016 543 Views Home builders are performing well in their sector as profits trended upward for fiscal year 2014.According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Cost of Doing Business Study: 2016 Edition, an analysis of financial statements for fiscal year 2014 from builders across the country, builders reported that their average revenue for the year was $16.2 million, 19 percent higher than 2012 and 13 percent higher than 2010.”Industry benchmarks on profit margins, asset levels, and equity positions are important because they allow businesses to compare their performance to their peers, and that can be extremely helpful in identifying areas for improvement and increasing efficiencies,” said Rose Quint, AVP for Survey Research at the NAHB.Source: NAHBAccording to the NAHB data, of the $16.2 million in revenue for fiscal year 2014 reported among home builders, $13.2 million, or 81.1 percent of revenue, was spent on cost of sales, which can include land costs and direct and indirect construction costs.This leave builders with a gross profit margin of 18.9 percent, or $3.1 million, the report showed. Operating expenses, which can include finance, sales and marketing, general and administrative, and owner’s compensation, took another $2.0 million, or 12.5 percent of revenue. Therefore, home builders walked away with an average net profit of $1 million before taxes, or a 6.4 percent net profit margin.The NAHB reported that profitability among home builders was at its highest level since 2006, when it reached $20.8 million, the average gross profit margin for single-family builders was 20.8 percent, and the net profit margin was 7.7 percent. The gross profit margin for home builders then declined significantly in 2008 to 14.4 percent with a -3.0 percent net profit margin.However, since 2010 profits have been slowly making their way back up, rising to 15.3 percent during this time with a net profit margin of 0.5 percent, according to the NAHB. In 2012, the gross profit margin trended up further to 17.4 percent while the net profit margin reached 4.9 percent.Source: NAHBHome builders’ balance sheets for fiscal year 2014 showed that builders had total assets worth $9.2 million in their books that year on average and $6.2 million, or 67.4 percent of all assets, of this total was backed up by liabilities and $3.0 million, or 32.6 percent, was held as equity.”Looking at the balance sheet over the last few years shows that average total assets were not significantly higher in 2014 than in 2012 ($9.2 million vs. $8.9 million, respectively), but both of these years were good improvements over 2010, when assets only averaged $6.2 million. That number was about half the assets builders had reported in 2006–$13.0 million,” Quint said.Click here to view the full report.center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

Continue reading

Go back to the enewsletter As part of an ongoing s

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterAs part of an ongoing strategy to add new products to its inventory, Luxury Escapes has secured three private European river cruise charter sailings.The e-commerce travel company is now selling a third charter on the Enchanting Europe 15-day all-inclusive cruise operating between Amsterdam and Budapest on the five-star Royal Emerald, overseen by Cruise Commerce. The cruise is valued at $7,500 per person twin share, but Luxury Escapes is offering cabins on its charter starting from $4,500 per person twin share. The first charter, scheduled for 14 September 2019, sold out in a flash, with a second sailing on 28 September now only offering limited spaces. Such is the demand that a third departure on 12 October 2019 has now been introduced.Luxury Escapes Managing Director, Adam Schwab told LATTE the addition of European river cruise private charters was driven by the company’s members.“After the success of our Created by LE tours and the unbelievably positive feedback from our members, it made sense that the next step in expanding our product offering was European river cruising,” Schwab said.“By partnering with one of the best ships on European waters, and taking exclusive charters, we’ve been able to tailor a true ‘Luxury Escapes’ experience – it’s like getting a top five-star experience for a three-star price.”With a multitude of luxury river cruise operators already heavily promoted in the Australian market, Luxury Escapes was keen to work with a brand with a lower profile.“We wanted to offer our members something unique and work with a luxury vessel that doesn’t currently operate with the Australian market. Through our partnership with Cruise Commerce, we’ve been able to have a lot of input over the entire customer experience as well as work with a company who also shares a lot of our philosophies and values,” he explained.Luxury Escapes will also be able to tailor the full experience for guests, with members able to access a range of “LE Insider” perks.“We’re working closely with the team so that the crew are essentially de facto LE team members and are well versed in the LE message and brand. The other benefit of booking with LE for any product, be it cruise, tour or hotel stay, is that our team is available 24/7 every single day of the year by phone or email so if there are any small issues, we can get them resolved in hours,” Schwab told LATTE.“Our first departure sold out within days and now the second cruising has also now sold out. We have added a third departure just to allow all our members who may have missed the original notification. While we expected them to be super popular, we were shocked that the first cruise sold out in virtually days.”Given the immediate success of Luxury Escapes’ maiden private charter ship offering, the company is already looking beyond Europe, with Schwab confirming that Egypt and China are “absolutely on the cards”.“We are always speaking with our members and getting feedback on the experiences they want.”That strategy may also see Luxury Escapes take the next step beyond the rivers and into small ocean-going ships.“One of the best things about Luxury Escapes is that we are able to be really agile and very quickly respond to what our customers want, so experiences like small ships and even private jet charters are absolutely on the horizon. Because we cut out the retailer and wholesaler, and we take a smaller margin than most competitors due to our marketing strength, we can pass on huge savings to customers, so it’s really a win-win and we can provide the world’s most luxurious holidays for a much better price than anyone else on earth, ” he said.Schwab also confirmed Luxury Escapes’ European private river cruise charter program would be available for TravelManagers and italktravel agents to promote and sell, earning them a commission on sales.Details on Luxury Escapes’ private cruise charters can be found here.Note: An earlier version of this article referenced a partnership between Luxury Escapes and Noble Caledonia. This has since been clarified, with the charter arrangement of Royal Emerald organised through mediator Cruise Commerce. Further, LATTE has been advised there is no partnership between Luxury Escapes and Noble Caledonia of any form.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Continue reading