Category: rpqdmqmo

  • High BC custody death numbers show need for oversight

    first_imgAPTN National NewsPolice investigating themselves is a controversial topic across the country.In British Columbia, that practice may be coming to an end.Two recent inquiries have called for civilian oversight to investigate deaths in police custody.Critics say changes to the system can’t come soon enough.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith has more.last_img

  • Oppn natural habitat of terror apologists, insults forces: Modi

    first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday launched a fresh offensive on rival parties over the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent IAF strike inside Pakistan, terming the Opposition “the natural habitat of terror apologists” and accusing them of “insulting” armed forces. Using the hashtag ‘Janta Maaf Nahi Karegi’ (people will not forgive) in a tweet, Modi attacked Sam Pitroda, who looks after Congress’ overseas affairs, for reportedly saying that post the Mumbai terror attacks, India could have responded with air strikes, but “according to me that’s not how you deal with world.” Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “Loyal courtier of Congress’ royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew- Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror. This is a New India- we will answer terrorists in a language they understand and with interest!,” Moid said. “Opposition insults our forces time and again. I appeal to my fellow Indians- question Opposition leaders on their statements. Tell them- 130 crore Indians will not forgive or forget the Opposition for their antics. India stands firmly with our forces,” he added, using the hashtag. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday In another tweet, the Prime Minister slammed Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, who alleged the Pulwama attack was a “conspiracy” to garner votes. “This was a conspiracy…But, when there will be a change of government, investigations will be done and prominent people will come under the scanner, who had pushed our youth to death to garner votes,” he alleged Thursday speaking at a programme at Saifai. PM Modi termed the statement reprehensible. “Opposition is the natural habitat of terror apologists and questioners of our armed forces. This reprehensible statement by a senior leader like Ram Gopal Ji insults all those who have given their lives in protecting Kashmir. It humiliates the families of our martyrs,” he said. The PM in his tweets tagged the reported statements of Yadav and Pitroda.last_img read more

  • Competition Bureau calls on municipalities to relax rules around food trucks

    OTTAWA — The federal Competition Bureau is calling on municipalities to re-think their rules around food trucks in a bid to encourage the popular choice for many Canadians looking for a quick and tasty meal.The agency said Tuesday that flexible regulations could mean more choices and greater competition, adding the benefits could include more jobs, new customers and improved street vitality.In some places, food trucks have evolved beyond hot dogs, fries and poutine in recent years with upscale offerings such as fish tacos, sushi and curries from around the world.However, municipalities often limit where food trucks can operate, how long they can be open and the number of food trucks that are permitted in a given area.The bureau said in a news release that while regulations can serve legitimate policy goals, some restrictions may go further than necessary.In Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, there were 56 registered food trucks in 2016, up from 14 the year prior. However, in Vancouver, where regulations have been relaxed, the growth of mobile food went up from 17 in 2010 to over 100 vendors.The City of Toronto bylaws allow only two food trucks per city block, and trucks have to be at least 30 metres away from any restaurant.Cameron Pounder, co-owner of the FeasTO food truck, said the 30-metre rule should only be applied to the same side of a street.“Toronto has some narrow streets — Queen, King, Bathurst — that are not even 30 metres wide, meaning we can’t park across from a restaurant,” he said.Pounder would also like to see the city open up any parking spot to food trucks, not just paid ones.Mississauga, Ont., Coun. Chris Fonseca thinks the Competition Bureau should leave it up to the municipalities to determine what the rules are.“They know their communities best,” she said. “They know the different issues they are facing.”Fonseca said in Mississauga, food truck owners are currently required to purchase two licences: one for the vendor, one for the operator. The city, she said, is now considering removing the operator licence to lower costs to businesses.“We want all businesses in Mississauga to thrive,” Fonseca said. “Food trucks are a healthy form of competition.”There are more than 2,200 mobile food service operators in Canada, said the Competition Bureau, and this year they’re expected to bring in more than $300 million.— By Jennifer Cheng in Toronto. read more

  • Rental SUV stolen during armed robbery in Hamilton

    Hamilton police are searching for two suspects after an armed robbery on Hamilton Mountain. Police say shortly after midnight Wednesday, two men approached a victim in the area of Queen Victoria Drive and Quail Drive. The suspects, who were armed with a knife, stole some personal property from the victim and the rental keys to a 2017 red Jeep Cherokee before driving away with the vehicle. The victim was not injured during the robbery.The suspects are both described as white men. One of the men appeared to be in his 20s and was wearing dark clothing.Police are warning residents that if you see this vehicle, do not approach it and call 911.Anyone with information about this robbery is asked to contact police. read more

  • Arbitrary use of force spreads summary executions continue UN rights experts

    United Nations human rights experts addressing the Geneva-based UN Commission on Human Rights are warning of a global upsurge in illegal killings as well as the emerging threat of torture being used against persons with HIV/AIDS.The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Asma Jahangir, told the meeting yesterday that she had recently seen a disturbing trend towards the indiscriminate use of force on all continents, and voiced deep concern that there had been no improvement with regard to the unlawful slaughter of civilians.In addition, Ms. Jahangir said, she was disturbed at reports received in the last year from at least five countries where aerial bombardment or firing had been used to kill civilians or suspected terrorists. Even in the face of tough challenges, governments could not derogate from their obligation to respect the right to life, she added.She also announced that at the invitation of the Khartoum Government, she would carry out a mission in June to Sudan’s Darfur region, where reports indicate a deteriorating human rights situation.Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan paid tribute to Ms. Jahangir, saying she had shown outstanding commitment to the mandate granted her over the years and had worked tirelessly to give voice to the pleas of victims while continuing dialogues with governments in defence of the right to life.She had successfully widened her mandate, including through her thorough understanding of gender issues, and had raised awareness of violations of the right to life of women, denouncing States responsible for abuses as well as those that condoned them. Violations of the right to life of individuals because of their life choices had also drawn her attention and her activities had raised awareness of this oft-overlooked violation, Mr. Ramcharan added.Also addressing the Commission, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Theo van Boven, said his work would have a limited impact unless regular follow-up methods were improved. In his written report, Mr. van Boven pointed to a disturbing new trend: the fact that HIV/AIDS victims suffering discrimination in some societies had become possible targets for torture. He called for integrating HIV/AIDS-related human rights protection in future activities. Reporting on a UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, Ivan Tosevski, who chairs its Board of Trustees, said more than 200 projects had requested financing of $13.3 million, but only $1,067,037 in contributions was available. read more

  • UN agency aims to combat contagious animal diseases

    In a joint statement issued today, FAO and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) announced the signing yesterday of an agreement to strengthen their collaboration, and called on all countries and donors in the meantime to invest more in the control of contagious transboundary animal diseases.”Animal diseases spreading between countries, such as foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza, are often having a severe economic and social impact,” the two agencies said. Such animal diseases are on the rise as a result of international trade and the movement of people and animals.”Animal diseases that cross borders need an immediate and effective regional or international response,” they said.While OIE is a body that collects official information provided by countries, sets standards and guidelines and issues recommendations on safety of international trade of animals and animal products, on animal health and zoonoses, FAO advises countries on good agricultural practices, disease control and eradication methods. read more

  • Alimentation CoucheTard announces US44billion deal to boost presence in US

    Alimentation Couche-Tard announces US$4.4-billion deal to boost presence in U.S. FILE – Signage of a Couche-Tard convenience store is shown in Montreal in an October 5, 2012, file photo. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (TSX:ATD.B) has announced a US$4.4-billion friendly deal to buy Texas-based CST Brands Inc. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes, File MONTREAL – Alimentation Couche-Tard plans to further expand its presence in North America with a US$4.4-billion friendly acquisition, the biggest in the Laval, Que.-based company’s history, that would make it the largest convenience store operator in Canada and the U.S.The company that owns the Mac’s and Couche-Tard convenience store chains said it was buying CST Brands, which is headquartered in San Antonio and has more than 2,000 stores in the U.S. and Eastern Canada.Brian Hannasch, CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B), said the transaction offers a unique opportunity to acquire one of the few remaining public companies of any scale that fills a few gaps in its U.S. retail operations.“It’s like a jigsaw puzzle that we’re fitting the pieces together,” he said during a media conference call.The deal, which includes assumed debt, allows Alimentation Couche-Tard to boost the number of its stores in Texas, a growing market it has been eyeing for a few years, add 165 sites in Georgia and north Florida, and strengthen its Circle K brand’s footprint in Arizona and Colorado.Under the agreement, Alimentation Couche-Tard would pay US$48.53 cash per share of CST Brands, the fourth-largest operator of convenience stores in the U.S. CST shares closed Monday at US$47.46 on the New York Stock Exchange.In a related announcement, Alimentation Couche-Tard would then sell most of CST’s business in Canada, including commercial and home energy, to Parkland Fuel Corp. (TSX:PKI) of Red Deer, Alta., for about C$965 million. Parkland Fuel and Alimentation Couche-Tard would each have the rights from Valero Energy — which spun off its retail operations, creating CST Brands — to use the Ultramar brand.Parkland Fuel CEO Bob Espey, speaking in a separate conference call, said that deal would make his company a “truly pan-Canadian” fuel business by extending its reach in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.Both deals are subject to approval by the federal Competition Bureau.After the CST deal closes, which is expected early next year, Alimentation Couche-Tard will have a network of nearly 15,000 stores, with 10,180 in North America before selling some of them to Parkland Fuel, the company said. 7-Eleven, in contrast, says it is the world’s largest convenience store retailer with 60,000 locations, including 10,800 in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.Alimentation Couche-Tard has agreed to sell at least 45 per cent of CST’s Canadian retail locations in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada to satisfy concerns of the Competition Bureau, although a list of locations hasn’t been determined.The remaining CST locations plus Esso stores about to be added to its existing network would leave Alimentation Couche-Tard in a strong position in Central and Eastern Canada, Hannasch said. Any future acquisitions would likely focus west of Quebec, he added.Hannasch acknowledged that the company’s growth, largely due to a series of massive acquisitions including its entry into Europe with the 2012 purchase of Statoil Fuel & Retail, has lifted shareholder expectations.“We can’t control the perception,” Hannasch said. “We’ll continue to watch for opportunities like CST and if they’re out there, we’ll pursue them to the extent we can.”As a result of the acquisition announced Monday, Alimentation Couche-Tard expects to see US$150 million to US$200 million in annual cost savings within 24 to 36 months.Alimentation Couche-Tard’s more commonly traded B shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange hit a record high of $67.99 on Monday before settling at $66.78, up nearly 7.5 per cent. Parkland Fuel shares closed up by nearly 16 per cent to $29.27.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect stock symbol for Alimentation Couche-Tard by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 22, 2016 5:15 am MDT Last Updated Aug 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

  • Central African Republic Ban dismayed by allegations of abuse by UN blue

    The “troubling” allegations – revealed today by the human rights group Amnesty International – concern actions by UN ‘blue helmets’ serving with the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Addressing the regular press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York earlier this afternoon, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters that the Secretary-General remained “personally dismayed and disappointed” by the latest reports as well as the allegations of recent months relating to both the period before UN peacekeepers were deployed in the CAR and since. “We would like to emphasize once more that no misconduct of this nature can be tolerated and that every allegation will be taken extremely seriously and investigated vigorously and thoroughly,” Mr. Dujarric added.The latest allegations come on the heels of another series of sexual abuse claims from earlier this year surrounding a deployment of foreign military forces in the CAR. Deployed in early 2014, MINUSCA’s presence in the CAR is currently aiming to defuse sectarian tensions across the country. More than two years of civil war and violence have, in fact, displaced thousands of people amid ongoing clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka alliance and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian. In addition, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) continues to operate in the south-eastern part of the country. The situation of deep instability is further exacerbated by a growing humanitarian crisis. The UN estimates that some 450,000 people remain displaced inside the country while thousands of others have sought asylum across the borders. Meanwhile, overall some 2.7 million people in the CAR remain in direct need of urgent humanitarian assistance. read more

  • 9 things you really miss about your childhood library trips

    first_img1. Choosing your booksBefore the internet the most browsing you did was along book shelves. The library held endless tales to explore. Source: Ruth_W Source: emerthescreamer Source: www.vintagecobweb.com Source: O’Brien Press2. Graduating onto the Young Adult sectionLeaving the kids’ books behind and moving onto the higher shelves was a very grown-up moment. Source: BlogSpot Source: Wikimedia Source: Wikimedia Source: guybrariang3. Library cards and ticketsBefore computerised systems each library member had their own card envelope, and each book had a ticket.Watching the librarian go through the ritual of checking out the books was a joy in itself. Source: Erinzam Source: quisnovus4. Seeing how many times your book had been checked outThe date stamps could go back years. Source: Floating World Source: Shutterstock.com Source: dorywithserifs5. The stampHands up who coveted one to bring home? Source: SomeDriftwood6. Sitting on the floorMore room for page-turning. Source: Flickr Source: sekihan Source: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland! Source: Imgur7. Finding notes/names/dates/bookmarks  inside books Source: Imgur Source: Bookinscriptions8. The toys and the tiny tables and chairs Source: Sherburne Memorial Library Source: Imgur9. Setting up your own library at homeIt’s okay if you still think being a librarian is a dream job. We do too. Source: ImaginationsoupRead: Here’s why Judy Blume is a legend>More: 13 of the hardest things about being a book lover>last_img read more

  • 48 hours with Chrome OS and the Cr48

    first_imgYou’ve heard the rumors. Your social networking drug of choice has probably been filled with people you know getting them. You’ve probably read reviews of all shapes and sizes on a device you can’t even buy. Google has released 60,000 devices into the wild for every kind of person to test, break, and give feedback on, so they can build a bigger, stronger OS to go in the real devices mid 2011. There are plenty of unanswered questions about how Chrome OS will work as a standalone system, and who would use it. A release like this is the best way to get those questions answered on a massive scale, and Google is one of the few with the resources to pull it off.Like so many others, I have had the opportunity to use one of these Cr-48 computers. In order to make it a fair test, I opted to shut down all of my other machines for 48 hours, and see how well I was able to survive on just this computer.Out of the BoxAdChoices广告Removing the packaging, you get the device and a power cord. Aside from the graphic on the box and the paperwork inside, there’s nothing to indicate who the manufacturer is at all. The laptop itself is a flat black slab covered in matte black rubberized pastic with smooth rounded corners. The texture is extremely smooth, but collects any smudges from any oils you have on your fingers. The keyboard is almost identical to what you see on a MacBook, save for the custom buttons. The Search Bar occupy’s the CapsLock position, and the Eject key is now your power button. The “F” keys have been replaced with specific functions, including back and forward and switch window buttons. The screen, also in a matte finish, gives a nice display indoors, but fights to keep up with the glare outdoors.Plugging the power cord in and lifting the lid starts the machine. In fact, every time you lift the computer it will boot, whether or not it was on when you closed it. The battery arrived with 50% charge, and had fully charged within two hours during use. Once the Chrome OS machine booted, it was time to play.First thoughts on the OSHaving been a Chrome OS alpha tester, and a daily Chrome user, there was little that surprised me. Booting the machine prompts you within seconds to setup the device via connection to the Internet, snatching up the latest update, confirming Terms of Service, and then it’s a Gmail login away from being done. That’s the whole install procedure. Once you’ve logged in, provided you have sync setup in Chrome, it will bring over everything you have allowed in Chrome to the computer. Everything from this point on will sync in real time with your browser. Bookmarks, installed ChromeOS apps, anything that Chrome Sync will bring over. There’s a handful of ChromeOS web apps pre-installed, including Poppit from EA Games, which we saw during the presentation. Launching any app except Google Talk will occupy that tab, but Google Talk will actually float your friends list and any active conversations no matter what tab you are on. So I was signed in and had a full battery, it was time to try and break this thing.Battery Life and UsageAt the presentation, Google claimed 8 hours of battery life. I was more than skeptical, since I have never (EVER) had a computer, phone, ebook reader, portable gaming system, bluetooth headset (you get where I am going with this?) give me the battery life the package claims. I unplugged the power cord at 12:45 and began to play. I put the laptop through 5 hours of Hulu videos, roughly an hour of streaming music, and intermittent browsing. Halfway through the day I discovered the the machine hibernates natively after about 3 minutes of inactivity, which made testing difficult. The netbook finally powered off on its own at around 9:30. I’ve never had a computer hold up like that, truth be told. It was a pleasant surprise. Google has clearly spent plenty of time at the OS level to make sure the battery gives you that “all day” experience, since the battery isn’t especially large.Webchatting via Google Voice, TinyChat, and Vyew all provided a crisp image and decent audio. Google Video Talk actually opens a new tab and puts the other person talking in a full window, doing little to lower the quality.Living in the BrowserIt’s easy to say that you use the browser for 99% of everything, but it’s another to assume that the other 1% is insignificant. After all, it was the desire for a UI that brought us out of the DOS prompts and Terminals in the first place. What happens when limits are placed on that UI? The only issue I discovered was the lack of any kind of file management. If you download a file, it gets placed in the Downloads folder. Unfortunately the fastest way to get to that directory is to use a website or web app that prompts you to upload the file. If you plug in an SD card or a USB flash drive, that familiar prompt to open the folder or something doesn’t happen. The drive gets mounted, sure, but you don’t really have a way to do anything with it outside of an app or website. It’s somewhat jarring, and potentially something Google will fix in the future.Keep in mind, Chrome OS is not even in a 1.0 state yet. Browser-only life is completely doable if your life doesn’t involve programming or graphic design, or anything else that you wouldn’t normally be doing on a netbook anyway.Final ThoughtsIs Chrome OS fully baked? Of course not, that’s the point. This machine is Google’s way of massively crowd-sourcing their bug reporting and development in order to get the OS ready for prime time. It’s going to be quite a test, as time goes on and Chrome OS continues to develop.The thing that is truly impressive about this experience is this demo hardware. This laptop that won’t ever hit shelves or get a price tag is one of the best all around machines I have ever had the pleasure to use. It blows away anything in the netbook category, and as far as battery life and overall comfort, gives Apple a run for their money.If this is Google’s baseline, or requirement for the other manufacturers when Chrome OS devices hit the market, these machines will be better than most computers on the market today. The bottom line remains that there is not enough to go on to make any real decision, but I am more than happy with what I see here, and hope that this is a strong indicator of things to come.last_img read more

  • Report Simeone in advanced talks for new Atletico Madrid deal

    first_imgDiego Simeone is reportedly on the verge of signing a new contract with Atletico MadridCome December, the Argentine coach will have enjoyed a glorious seven years in the Atletico dugout.But now Radio Marca report that Simeone will be extending his stay at the Wanda Metropolitano to over a decade.The Spanish newspaper states that Simeone’s at an advanced stage for talks over a new deal and will become Atletico’s new highest earner.Currently, that title belongs to star forward Antoine Grizemann – who agreed on a new five-year deal in June for a reported annual salary of around €14m.David Villa, FC BarcelonaTop 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.Simeone has won 244 of his 396 games in charge of Atletico and lost just 87.The 48-year-old has overseen a total of seven major honours with Los Rojiblancos.This includes a La Liga title, Copa del Rey, the Supercopa de España, two Europa Leagues and two European Super Cups.Atletico are currently third in La Liga with 23 points from 12 games and just a point off leaders Barcelona, who they will face next at home on November 24.last_img read more

  • National Security Minister Press Statement on Crime

    first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, August 21, 2017 – Nassau –The Hon. Marvin H. Dames, M.P.Minister of National SecurityThe Commonwealth of The Bahamas Related Items: Good evening.After getting the news of another murder this morning, I decided to convene a meeting with Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade, along with his executive team and divisional commanders to review their current strategy.  After hearing from them and knowing what we are up against, I requested of them to redouble their efforts.    As a result of our meeting, they have decided to execute a number of initiatives.While efforts in tackling crime are static in many ways they are also fluid as our approach is based on what is occurring. Towards this end, they are further enhancing senior command at a divisional level on a 24-hour basis.   They will be taking a more aggressive approach to handling drug peddling and shutting down drug houses in communities throughout New Providence, Grand Bahama and across the Family Islands, as they are the source of many of the crime problems that exist.They will be increasing their intelligence and operational efforts to identify and disrupt gang activities.  From an intelligence perspective, there will be an increased focus on firearm traffickers with a view to bringing them to justice.The police have informed me that they have conducted a review of persons on bail who are not in complying with their bail conditions.  Further, they have discovered that more than 50 persons were not in compliance and they have already arrested a number of those persons and subsequently their bail was revoked.    At present, there are 268 persons currently being monitored for various offences.  Out of the 268 serious offences committed there are: 70 for homicides, 18 for attempted murders, 102 for armed robberies and 59 for firearm offenses.Police intelligence has also revealed that the murders have occurred in what we call hot spots –Pinewood, Kemp Road, Bain Town, Yellow Elder and Carmichael Road communities.  Police will increase vehicle and foot patrols and will be using all of the technology available to them including increased monitoring of CCTV and their all of their resources to curtail these violent crimes.The efforts of police have yielded some results but as I have explained there is more that we should be doing and there is also a need to improve technology and build capacity.  I will like to send a warning out to all those persons who continue to live a life of crime – moving forward we intend to make your life very uncomfortable.  We will use every resource at our disposal to ensure that you are made to account for your wrongdoings.  This is a promise.As we have committed to in our Manifesto, we will immediately commence with the establishment of the National Crime Prevention and Neighbourhood Watch Council to grow community involvement in the fight against crime.   We have identified Senior Assistant Commissioner Stephen Dean to lead this council in the interim.   This council will establish crime watch groups in every community and these groups will endeavour to establish commonality and examine community prevention measures.   The council will study the feasibility of citizen patrols working with police to improve relationships and prevent crime.    Additionally, the council will collaborate with multi government agencies and non governmental agencies.The Government of The Bahamas will review the establishment of the Royal Bahamas Police Force as we feel that this is one of those areas that if we get right, should go a long way in reducing high levels of crime in our communities.   This review will determine the requisite number of officers at any Division which was never previously established.    I suspect that shortly we will run a pilot programme in terms of addressing this issue to determine its effectiveness.We will also move to decentralize once again, the central detective units.  The purpose of decentralization is to have detectives at stations to readily respond to serious matters on a timely basis.   The detective units were dismantled under the last administration.I want to use this opportunity to personally and publicly thank the fine men and women of the Royal Bahamas Police Force for their tireless efforts to keep the people of the country safe.    Yours is a job that is accountable to the Bahamian people but one that is often let without thanks.It should be noted that the job of law enforcement officers is the prevention and detection of crime and the apprehension of offenders.  The government intends to produce very shortly its legislative agenda which will have a number of Crime Prevention Bills, including the National Anti-Corruption Agency and National Intelligence Agency among others.We are more determined than ever and stronger in our resolve to keeping this Bahamas safe for all citizens.Thank you.center_img Press Release: Min. Marvin H. Dames The Paul Farquharson Conference CenterPolice HeadquartersAugust, 19, 20176 p.m.last_img read more

  • Press Talk The MM boys and Benton Oh my

    first_imgGet ready to dig deeper into your pockets. Those doggone liberal Democrats must be … Oh, wait. … What the?Truth is, it’s the M&M boys and their sidekick, Boss Hogg Benton, who are coming for your money. Who would have thunk it?But they’re at it again.By now, you know them well. County Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke and — of course — Environmental Services Director (and state senator) Don Benton.What a mess they’ve made of our county. Their latest shenanigan is how to pay for an earlier county government blunder that has to do with stormwater runoff. It’s going to cost the county — read “taxpayers” — $3 million in fines because the county didn’t want to comply with state stormwater runoff regulations. (The county also has to come up with a ton of money to actually begin complying with the regulations.)Now, since the three bad boys mentioned above are all Republicans in good standing, you’d think they’d get behind the conservative tenet: Don’t raise taxes or fees. Cut spending!Well, think again.They went right to the endless money stream called taxpayers. That’s how they’re getting themselves out of the $3 million jam they put themselves into.last_img read more

  • CRISPR used to create antidote to the worlds most venomous animal

    first_img Share your voice Tags The research, published in Nature Communications on April 30, tested box jellyfish venom in human cells grown in the lab. Using CRISPR, which can make precise DNA edits, the team were able to create human cells with specific genes turned off. If they then applied the jellyfish venom to the cells, they could see which cells lived or died and determine which genes were important for keeping the cell alive.”What we do is grow up millions of human cells, then we use CRISPR to knock out every gene in the human genome,” says Greg Neely, a functional geneticist at the University of Sydney, who led the research.Think of the experiment like a library where every book is exactly the same. They’re all “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, OK? The team pulled out one copy and ripped out a page, then pulled out another copy and ripped out a different page. They did this hundreds of times. Now the library is full of different versions of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, each missing a different page from the story.Sometimes, you’re going to throw out a page that is crucial to the story. For instance, you might throw out the page with the famous “You’re a wizard, Harry” and now the story just isn’t going to work.The team were hunting for the equivalent of “You’re a wizard, Harry” in the human genome — a key gene that would render the venom useless.They were able to nail down which human genes caused the box jellyfish venom to be so deadly and which pathway the venom used to destroy cells. They found that four particular genes from a cholesterol regulation pathway were important in this process and so they honed in on them.Importantly, we already have drugs for these pathways — and so the team decided to see how those drugs would work in preventing the venom from acting on human cells. The drugs — which team leader Neely called a “cholesterol sponge” — worked and, importantly, blocked the venom even 15 minutes after toxins were delivered. “The drug is known to work by pulling cholesterol out of the cell membrane, so we think the jellyfish venom needs membrane cholesterol to exert its effect,” says Neely. “By shutting down this pathway for a short period of time, we can shut down the venom death pathway.”That’s a handy fact, because when you’re stung by a box jellyfish, you’re likely in the water and not carrying around an antivenom.The team will look to partner up with first responders and government to push the antidote forward as a potential treatment for human use. Updated 8:09 p.m PST: Added comments from Neely. The most venomous animals on earth, ranked Post a comment CRISPR explained with crisps (and assorted snacks) The box jellyfish contains enough venom to kill 60 human adults. Getty Images/Ivan Bakardjiev The transparent box jellyfish is one of the world’s most venomous animals, patrolling tropical waters with a trail of 3 meter long, streamer-like tentacles ready to deliver a painful, and potentially fatal, venom.Of the numerous species of box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri is regarded as one of the most deadly. Its explosive sting can cause cardiac arrest in humans but scientists have not been able to pin down exactly how the jellyfish’s venom works. Now, a team of researchers have dissected the jellyfish with a powerful gene-editing tool, known as CRISPR, stumbling upon a potential new way to block its venom. 32 Photos Sci-Tech 0 Now playing: Watch this: 3:36last_img read more

  • Alaska News Nightly September 7 2015

    first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download AudioUA president’s contract includes $75K bonus proposalThe Associated PressThe new University of Alaska president has a contract that includes a yearly performance bonus of up to $75,000. Jim Johnsen was hired in July with a 5-year contract that includes an annual salary of $325,000. A bonus package proposal includes benchmarks for increasing alumni donations, boosting the number of Alaska Native graduates and cutting administrative costs.Yukon River coho harvest sets recordTim Bodony, KIYU – GalenaThis year’s harvest of coho salmon on the Yukon River is the largest on record, with over a thousand fish caught. That’s almost twice as much as Fish and Game’s preseason projection. The record-breaking harvest comes out of a run that managers do not know much about, including how many fish are returning to their spawning grounds.Chignik Lagoon adjusts to life on 94% hydropowerHannah Colton, KDLG-DillinghamChignik Lagoon’s hydroelectric project has been running since spring, but it officially cut the ribbon last week. The system now provides 94 percent of the community’s energy needs, saving the town about $500 a day on fuel costs.Tanana man gets 8 years for evidence tamperingThe Associated PressA Tanana man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of tampering with evidence following the deaths of two Alaska State Troopers last year. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that 59-year-old Arvin Kangas was found guilty by a Nenana jury in April.Lively bidding at the Alaska State Fair 4-H livestock auctionEllen Lockyer, KSKA-AnchorageLooking to buy a 50 pound turkey, or a 300 pound pig?  The 4-H Junior Livestock Auction is just the place to find one. The bidding was lively on Saturday at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer.New pipeline film showcases its buildersLori Townsend, APRN-AnchorageThe trans-Alaska oil pipeline stars in a new film compilation that looks at the history of the 800-mile project through the experiences of five people who helped build it. The Consumer Energy Alliance partnered with the Alaska Support Industry Alliance to produce Pipeline Pioneers. The short, 11-minute series of profiles, recently debuted in Anchorage.He’s a little like Ollivander; Pointe shoe wizard comes to SoutheastJoe Sykes, KFSK-PetersburgThere aren’t any specialist ballet stores in Southeast Alaska. That means it’s hard for young ballerinas to find the right fitting shoes. So every summer, just before school starts Philip Broadbent comes to towns across the region. He’s a master pointe shoe fitter who’s served professional companies all over America.Fun in the Sun festival teaches traditional valuesShady Grove Oliver, KBBI-HomerThe village of Nanwalek recently held its annual Fun in the Sun festival. For the kids, it’s a weekend of swimming, lawn games, face painting, and contests. But for the adults, it’s a way of teaching traditional values to the next generation. In the mountains outside Nanwalek, about 70 kids are splashing around the cool, blue water of Second Lake.last_img read more

  • Malaria vaccine ready after 30 years 1 billion investment will it save

    first_imgRTS,S is the world’s first vaccine for malaria and has the potential to save almost half a million lives globally every year. The vaccine has been developed over a period of 30 years by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline in coordination with non-profit organisation PATH. It controlled the mosquito-borne disease during phase trials conducted in Africa between 2009 and 2014.”The malaria vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of children’s lives,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Around 360,000 children under five years of age in three African countries – Kenya, Ghana and Malawi – will be vaccinated with RTS,S.African countries are the most severely hit by Malaria which claims the lives of 250,000 children every year. Malawi has already started vaccinating its children while the health ministries in Kenya and Ghana will soon decide the vaccination schedule in coordination with the WHO.”Malaria is a constant threat in the African communities where this vaccine will be given. The poorest children suffer the most and are at highest risk of death,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. She added that the vaccines are extremely beneficial to those population groups who have no immediate access to healthcare facilities and hence need preventive measures from severe illnesses.”This is a day to celebrate as we begin to learn more about what this tool can do to change the trajectory of malaria through childhood vaccination,” she said.Why has malaria made a strong comeback post-2015?Over the years, conventional preventive tools, including using bed nets, pesticides, insecticides and mosquito repellants. have helped control the life-threatening disease. There was a 62 per cent reduction in malaria-related deaths from 2000 to 2015 owing to these measures. However, over the past few years, the number of cases and deaths have spiralled from 217 million in 2016 to 219 million in 2017. ReutersExperts opine that the slow comeback that malaria is making globally is due to female mosquito Anopheles developing resistance against previously used sprays, drugs and other treatments. Over the years, the efficacy of the drugs has reduced and hence, the addition of new control measures is considered extremely important.The WHO acknowledges the same and says that the new vaccine will be an additional tool in the fight against malaria. “But it is very important to bear in mind that 40 per cent protection in the most endemic part of the world, Africa, is better than no protection at all. Ultimately, this is the only vaccine that has some efficacy that we currently have and has taken decades to develop, this is in itself good news,” Alena Pance, a senior staff scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, told CNN.last_img read more

  • Standard Chartered posts Rs 6729 crore loss in India in 2015

    first_imgStandard Chartered Bank (StanChart) has reported a massive loss of Rs 6,729 crore ($981 million) for the calendar year 2015, hit by increasing bad loans and declining growth in loans and deposits.The losses have weighed on the lenders’ overall yearly results, which touched their lowest level in 26 years. StanChart had posted a profit of Rs 3,848 crore ($561 million) in 2014.The bank’s losses were mainly led by a sharp increase in provisions made to cover credit risks. Its provisions rose to Rs 9,198 crore ($1341 million) last year from Rs 1,173 crore ($171 million) a year ago.StanChart, the largest foreign bank in India in terms of branches, has also given a grim outlook for its earnings in 2016.”Given current market conditions and the early stage of implementation of our strategy, we expect the financial performance of the group to remain subdued during 2016. We will continue to take the necessary and sometimes painful actions to reposition the group for returns and disciplined growth,” said Bill Winters, group chief executive, Standard Chartered, said in the annual report. Overall, the London-based lender has posted a pre-tax loss of Rs 10,288 crore ($1.5 billion) in 2015 from its global operations. In 2014, it posted a profit of Rs 28,808 ($4.2 billion).”Corporate and commercial clients’ loan impairment increased significantly to Rs 21,949 crore ($3.2 billion). We have reviewed the portfolio through 2015 and have increased provisioning, largely to reflect lower commodity prices as well as further deterioration in India,” the bank said in its annual report.The bank’s gross bad loans rose to Rs 87,500 crore ($12,759 million) in 2015, compared to Rs 51,400 crore ($7,492 million) a year earlier.”The group has actively managed the India portfolio in 2015 by reducing exposure to vulnerable accounts. The net exposures have reduced from Rs 2,88,000 crore ($42 billion) in 2012 to Rs 2,05,800 crore ($30 billion) in December 2015,” the bank said.[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]last_img read more

  • Breakfast Lunch and Art on Offer at Nancy by SNAC Cafe in

    first_imgKevin Brown, co-owner of Nancy by SNAC, a café in Station North. (Photo by Roberto Alejandro)(Updated 2/7/2015)  Kevin Brown opened Nancy by SNAC almost one-and-a-half years ago in honor of his friend Nancy Haragan, founder of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and someone who believed in dismantling arbitrary walls between different artistic communities in the city. With the café, Brown has created a space that honors Haragan’s memory and draws in the public not just for great food, but also for dialogue with the art that surrounds them.“My friend Nancy, this was her office,” said Brown, who owns Nancy by SNAC with his partner of 24 years, Bill Maughlin, with whom he also runs the Station North Arts Cafe (SNAC) on Charles Street.“There would not be the kind of momentum, and energy, and stuff that’s going on in this neighborhood, especially, had it not been for Nancy Haragan. A lot of people who have jobs and careers, and have made art education or art a business for them, that’s all Nancy; that’s what she did. She was one of those White women who said there is no Black art or White art, or Black music or White music, it’s all music; it’s all art. And it was her spirit that really made me want to come over here,” said Brown.The café serves American fare with a twist, says Brown, including two daily soups and a menu with 11 set sandwiches as well as a daily sandwich special.“Everything from a grilled panini sandwich to a chicken Caesar salad to tuna on brioche—you name it,” said Brown.Open Monday to Friday, the café serves breakfast from 8-11:30 a.m, followed by lunch until 3 p.m. On Fridays, from 6-9 p.m., the café is open for dinner, when patrons are invited to bring their own bottles (BYOB) or drinks. The café also offers free Wi-Fi Internet access and opens into a gallery space of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), which changes its displays every 30 days.“We’ve got great coffee and great atmosphere, and we encourage our customers to get engaged with us, not just to come in and hunker down or be sequestered with your laptop, [but] really just to be engaged in the space and see the galleries while you’re here,” said Brown, who later added, “You eat your lunch, you walk out into the gallery, you may see something that sparks a dialogue.”Some confuse the café for an eatery reserved for MICA student and faculty, said Brown, a misconception he wants to dispel.“This isn’t a MICA space; it’s the people’s space.”Nancy by SNAC is located at 131 W. North Ave., attached to the MICA building between N. Howard St. and Maryland Ave.ralejandro@afro.comlast_img read more

  • Astronomers calculate mass of largest black hole yet

    first_img Explore further Citation: Astronomers calculate mass of largest black hole yet (2011, January 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-01-astronomers-mass-largest-black-hole.html Computer Finds Massive Black Hole in Nearby Galaxy More information: via: Cosmic Log and Science Now © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Weighing 6.6 billion solar masses, the black hole at the center of galaxy M87 is the most massive black hole for which a precise mass has been measured. Using the Frederick C. Gillett Gemini Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, a team of astronomers calculated the black hole’s mass, which is vastly larger than the black hole in the center of the Milky Way, which is about 4 million solar masses. An artist’s rendering of the M87 black hole. Image credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Lynette Cook. Astronomer Karl Gebhardt of the University of Texas, Austin, presented the results of the team’s research on Wednesday, January 12, at the 217th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. He said that the black hole’s event horizon, which is 20 billion km across, is four times larger than Neptune’s orbit and three times larger than Pluto’s orbit. In other words, the black hole “could swallow our solar system whole.”Previously, astronomers had estimated the black hole’s mass at about 3 billion solar masses, so their results were somewhat surprising. In order to calculate the black hole’s mass, the astronomers measured how fast surrounding stars orbit the black hole. They found that, on average, the stars orbit at speeds of nearly 500 km/s (for comparison, the sun orbits the black hole at the center of the Milky Way at about 220 km/s). From these observations, the astronomers could come up with what they say is the most accurate estimate for the mass of a supermassive black hole.The astronomers think that the M87 black hole grew to its massive size by merging with several other black holes. M87 is the largest, most massive galaxy in the nearby universe, and is thought to have been formed by the merging of 100 or so smaller galaxies. Although the black hole is located about 50 million light-years away, it’s considered our neighbor from a cosmological perspective. Due to the black hole’s large size and relative proximity, the astronomers think that it could be the first black hole that they could actually “see.” So far, no one has ever found any direct observational evidence for black holes. Their existence is inferred from indirect evidence, particularly how they affect their surroundings.The M87 black hole may not retain its title for long, since astronomers plan to continue looking for and calculating the sizes of many more black holes. One planned project involves connecting telescopes from around the world to observe the universe at wavelengths shorter than 1 millimeter. This set-up might enable the scientists to detect a silhouette of the M87 black hole’s event horizon. It might also enable them to calculate the size of another black hole with a roughly estimated mass of 18 billion solar masses, which is located in a galaxy about 3.5 billion light-years away. 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.last_img read more

  • Why File Design Patents Modern Uses of a Classic Form of Intellectual

    first_imgApril 30, 2015 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The epic smartphone design patent battle — Apple v. Samsung — brought design patents out of the shadows and into the spotlight for the first time.In truth, companies have been using design patents quietly and successfully for years. Medical device companies protect their implants and drug delivery devices. Consumer health companies protect their replacement toothbrush heads and razor cartridges. Automobile companies protect fenders and body panels. Companies offering mobile apps and other web tools protect the appearance and “feel” of their online user experience.Design patents have been around a long time. The first design patent was issued in 1842 and, in 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued more than 36,000 of them. Designs can be protected with design patents (or design registrations, as they’re also called) in many other countries in the world. The World Intellectual Property Organization reports that almost 3 million design patents/registrations were in force by 2013. Companies selling products overseas or those having their products manufactured overseas turn to design patents as an elegant way of building a world-wide safety net to protect their products’ appearance from duplication or “inspired” follow-on products made by others.In the past five years, many household names — Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Nike, Goodyear, Ford — have turned to design patents to protect their products. Top overseas recipients include Samsung Electronics, Sony, LG, Honda and Toyota.Related: Google’s Latest Patent Might Replace Your Laptop’s Space Bar With a Giant TrackpadWhat is a design patent?Simply put, design patents protect the way an article looks. Utility patents protect the way that an article works or is used.While it’s not necessary to actually make or sell the article shown in the design patent, the underlying article must be a commercial product, capable of some function. U.S. design law also permits patents to claim only portions of articles, however, the more focused the design patent, the more scrutiny will be placed on each element when determining infringement. The USPTO classifies design patents into 33 different classes, including:Measuring, Testing or Signal Instruments — HVAC control devices such as Nest’s Learning ThermostatRecording, Communication or Information Retrieval Equipment — Smartphones, Bluetooth headsets and graphical user interfaces and iconsPhotography and Optical Equipment — wearable display devices such as Google Glass and Oculus Rift headsetMedical and Laboratory Equipment — auto injectors, infusion pumps and pharmaceuticalsLighting — LED light sources, lighting fixturesHow do you get a design patent?Like utility patents, the USPTO issues a design patent after an examination process that includes consideration of the quality and clarity of the drawings of the design and whether the design is new and not an obvious variant over existing designs. A design patent may claim all or only an innovative part of a design. And because design patents can include only one patentable design per patent, designers often find it useful to get more than one design patent per product — covering different sub-aspects or iterations of a single product. Luckily, design patents typically cost only a fraction of their utility patent cousins to prepare and prosecute. Also, design patents, on average, issue in about 15 to 18 months from the time of filing — substantially faster than utility patents. A design patent remains in force for 14 years from the date of issue.Why would my company need design patents?Design patents serve three broad, sometimes overlapping, protection goals. First, design patents protect against wholesale copying of product designs by counterfeiters. Second, design patents keep secondary marketers from making “compatible” replacement parts. And, third, design patents ensure that competitors maintain a wide swath between the look of the patent holder’s products (and their hard-earned brand recognition) and the competitor’s products. But remember, design patents typically complement, rather than compete with other forms of IP protection. Many design patent holders still get utility patents to protect their innovative ideas and trademarks to protect their source identifying marks and designs. Each of these forms of protection have different eligibility requirements and serve different purposes, but together they can be used to protect your company’s hard work from copyists and competitors.Related: Is LinkedIn Trying to Catch You Lying on Your Resume? Maybe.How does enforcement of a design patent work?While Apple v. Samsung made headlines, many design patent holders report rarely resorting to filing a lawsuit to enforce their rights.  A comparison of the number of patents issued in 2013 with the number of infringement suits filed that same year suggests that it’s nearly three times more likely that a patent infringement lawsuit will involve a utility patent than a design patent. But for those who do file suit, the damages awards following a finding of design patent infringement can be generous — the law provides for the total damages of the infringer’s product. More than a century ago, Congress created this damages provision recognizing the important role that product design plays in the sale of the product. This damages provision can provide incentive for the litigants to settle a suit well before the case progresses closer to a verdict.So if design patent holders aren’t filing lawsuits, then what are they doing with their intellectual property?  It seems that they are using the leverage created by the damages provision to stop infringing designs as early as possible. First, these design patent holders comprehensively mark their products with their design patent numbers (or “patent pending” if the patents have not yet issued). This puts everyone on notice of the patent holder’s rights. Then, many companies are monitoring sales of competing products or counterfeits and sending warning letters, advising the competitors and copyists of their design rights and asking them to stop selling the product. Over time, these companies build a reputation for actively protecting their designs and asserting their rights, encouraging others to go in a different direction when designing their new products.  Design patents are also a powerful tool at the borders of many countries to stop infringing products before they hit the store shelves. In 2014, the European Union enacted a new Customs Regulation, giving Customs authorities expanded powers to detain suspected infringing goods and new powers to detain and destroy small numbers of goods imported into the EU without the need for a judicial determination of infringement. For larger amounts of goods, EU Customs can destroy the goods if the importer doesn’t object after getting notice of the detainment. Similar options are available to detain goods at the borders in many other countries, including China. Are design patents a good value?More than one study has determined that the public’s awareness of design and preference for “good” design has grown in the past decade. Kickstarter has successfully funded more than 4,000 projects in its “Design” category, garnering more than $197 million in pledges.  Moreover, good design can be good business. It can reduce user error, such as proper self-administration of medication or making a user’s experience more efficient and less frustrating, such as using a smartphone or mobile app. For mobile developers, because there’s no physical product the user can touch, there’s also an intense need to develop a unique user experience to separate their work from others, and strong design aids in that effort. Finally, in crowded technical fields, the product may be a mix of existing technologies, and the opportunity for utility patents may be narrow, such as in robotics or autonomous vehicles. As a result, design patents can serve as one way to protect your product while you build consumer loyalty and eventually trademark rights. As a result, many companies are considering the packaging of the product as much as the function of the product itself and investing big in design. Such investments deserve to be protected, and design patents are one cost-effective way to do so. Today’s smart companies, both big and small, are using design patents as part of a comprehensive intellectual-property strategy. Elizabeth Ferrill, partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, contributed to this article.Related: Avoid These 8 Toxic Trademark Mistakes 8 min readlast_img read more