Mahinda takes oaths as Prime Minister

United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Ministers and Parliamentarians were present at the event. (Colombo Gazette) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa took oaths today as the new Prime Minister.He took oaths before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today.

TSX declines amid falling mining stocks mixed reception for bank earnings

TORONTO – The Toronto stock market closed lower Wednesday amid pressure from the mining sector and mixed earnings reports from two of the big Canadian banks.The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 47.06 points to 14,610.96.Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) raised its dividend by two cents to 78 cents per share as it reported a quarterly profit of $1.1 billion, up 12 per cent from a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.63, up 13 per cent from the same quarter last year and 10 cents ahead of estimates.Its stock dipped 18 cents to $76.62, but the shares are still up about three per cent in the past week since the big banks starting reporting earnings.Meanwhile, shares of National Bank (TSX:NA) were down $1.17 at $45.86 after it posted a second-quarter profit of $362 million, which was down 13 per cent from a year ago. Adjusted earnings were $1.05 a share, a penny higher than analyst estimates, and it raised its dividend four per cent. However revenue of $1.28 billion missed expectations for $1.34 billion.The earnings from the two banks followed earlier reports from Royal Bank (TSX:RY), TD Bank (TSX:TD) and Scotiabank, which also beat expectations.“I think the best word to describe our banks is resilient,” said Allan Small, senior adviser at HollisWealth.“As parts of the business start to slow down, they manage to find ways to invest in other areas to make up that slowdown,” Small said.CIBC (TSX:CM) posts quarterly earnings Thursday morning.The Canadian dollar lost 0.12 of a cent to 91.95 cents US.U.S. markets were lower as the Dow Jones industrials gave back 42.32 points to 16,633.18, the Nasdaq declined 12 points to 4,225.07 and the S&P 500 index was 2.13 points lower at 1,909.78.July copper was unchanged at US$3.18 a pound and the base metals component 2.34 lost per cent.The TSX gold sector was sharply lower for a second day, down 1.6 per cent per cent, while June gold was off $6.20 at US$1,259.70 an ounce.Bullion had closed Tuesday at its lowest level since early February, amid an easing of concerns about Ukraine. Worries about higher inflation had also supported gold prices, but now economists are, if anything, more worried about deflation, particularly in Europe. At the same time, the costs of mining gold are rising, leaving analysts to wonder about what can take the gold sector higher after declining about 11 per cent this month.“Inflation is starting to creep up a little bit but (it’s) not an issue, interest rates are still low — there really is no catalyst to take the gold sector higher,” Small said.The energy sector was ahead 0.17 cent as July crude in New York slipped $1.39 to US$102.72 a barrel.In other corporate developments Valeant Pharmaceuticals (TSX:VRX) shares gave back $2.93 to $138.11 as the company upped the cash portion its hostile takeover offer for Botox maker Allergan by $10 to US$58.30 a share. The stock portion of the offer remains the same at 0.83 of a Valeant share, valuing the proposal at $162.86 per share or almost $50 billion in total.Meanwhile, Nestle says it is paying $1.4 billion in cash to Valeant for the rights to sell lip and wrinkle treatment Restylane and other skin products in the U.S. and Canada. by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted May 28, 2014 6:23 am MDT TSX declines amid falling mining stocks, mixed reception for bank earnings AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

UN humanitarian chief urges more support of people fleeing violence in eastern

“The affected Congolese, in Rwanda and the DRC, want an end to the violence and a chance to return home,” the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, said in a news release. “It is vital that all partners in the region contribute to solve this crisis, which is affecting the region.”Earlier Thursday, Ms. Amos visited the Kigeme refugee camp in southern Rwanda, where more than 11,500 Congolese are housed. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Ms. Amos heads, about 20,000 people have crossed the DRC border into Rwanda, fleeing armed violence in the DRC’s North Kivu province.The eastern DRC – particularly its provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu – has been plagued by violence over the past few months as a group of renegade soldiers known as the 23 March Movement (M23) has been active in the area. The M23 has clashed with national army troops, which have been supported by peacekeepers from the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), and has caused massive displacement of local residents, in addition to raising concerns about the region’s stability.In addition, the fighting in eastern DRC has uprooted nearly half a million people over the past four months, including some 220,000 people in North Kivu province, 200,000 in South Kivu province, and more than 51,000 who have fled to neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda. The M23’s activities have led to condemnation from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council.The Rwandan Government and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are responsible for coordination efforts in Kigeme camp, with UN humanitarian agencies and their non-governmental partners providing basic services such as water, sanitation, health and food.“The Government of Rwanda has played a crucial role in the relief effort, providing a site where families, children separated from their parents, the elderly and other vulnerable persons have sought safety,” Ms. Amos said. “However, more resources are needed to scale up the response.”While in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, Ms. Amos met Prime Minister Pierre Habururemyi and Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo. Their discussions centred on the ongoing relief efforts in DRC and Rwanda, and the ways in which the United Nations and its partners are supporting them, as well as regional efforts to resolve the crisis.Earlier this week, Secretary-General Ban renewed his call for the regional grouping known as the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) to help resolve the security crisis in the eastern DRC.Ms. Amos’ visit to Rwanda was preceded by a visit to DRC. The three-day mission to the two African countries was aimed at highlighting the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the DRC and its effect on the region, particularly on neighbouring Rwanda, in addition to discussing ways of strengthening relief efforts and mobilizing additional assistance, including financial support, with Congolese and Rwandan authorities and other humanitarian partners. read more

Ohio State womens soccer upsets Wisconsin advances to Big Ten semifinals

OSU senior forward Michela Paradiso (9) during a game against Purdue on Oct. 9 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Anbo Yao / Lantern photographerThe Ohio State women’s soccer team is headed to the Big Ten tournament semifinals after an upset victory in Madison, Wisconsin, defeating the Wisconsin Badgers 2-1. The Buckeyes entered Sunday’s match as the No. 7 seed, with the Badgers holding the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten after the teams went 5-4-2 and 8-2-1 in regular-season conference play, respectively.With the win, the Buckeyes are now 11-5-3 overall on the year.OSU was first to get on the scoreboard in the 30th minute when senior midfielder/forward Michela Paradiso was taken down in the box and converted the ensuing penalty kick.The penalty score was Paradiso’s third goal in the last two games after a two-goal performance in OSU’s regular-season finale. Two of the Columbus native’s goals in the span were off of penalty kicks.Four minutes after the opening score, junior defender Nicole Miyashiro shot a cross from the right wing and sophomore forward Sammy Edwards headed it in from six yards out to grab a 2-0 lead in front of the crowd of 478.The Buckeyes continued to attack, nearly taking a 3-0 lead a minute later when junior forward Nichelle Prince played a low strike, but her shot narrowly missed the far post.OSU sat atop the Badgers 2-0 heading into halftime. Shots were knotted at 8-8 at the break.Prince played a big role in maintaining the lead in the second half, as she pressured the Badger defense throughout much of the final 45 minutes.However, in the 71st minute the Badgers cut the lead in half when redshirt senior forward Nikki Greenhalgh finished from inside the box after a loose ball off a corner kick.In the 75th minute, the Badgers had consecutive chances off a corner to level the match but both were blocked.The second half consisted of very physical play, and the Badgers pushed until the final buzzer to even the game at 2.With 20 seconds remaining, the Badgers had a final shot attempt off a header, but the attempt missed wide left to seal the upset win for the visitors.For the game, Wisconsin held a 22-10 lead in shots, 10-4 on goal. The second half was all Badgers, as they outshot OSU 14-2 in the latter stanza.OSU goalkeeper Devon Kerr played an impressive game in the net, making nine of 10 saves to improve her record to 5-0-1 in her freshman season. After splitting time in net with redshirt junior Jillian McVicker throughout the season, Kerr seems to have displaced her at the tailend on the depth chart, as she made her second consecutive start.OSU will look to pull off another upset on Friday, as it is set to play the No. 3-seeded Rutgers Scarlet Knights in State College, Pennsylvania. Kickoff time is yet to be announced. read more

New tracking and management system for Bingham Canyon

first_imgRajant’s BreadCrumbr wireless mesh system has been selected by Kennecott Utah Copper Corp (KUCC), the wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto, as its primary communications platform for operations within the Bingham Canyon copper mine. Rajant and its technology is described in the December issue of International Mining. The Rajant BreadCrumbr system will enable KUCC to gain additional operational efficiencies by tracking, monitoring and managing its copper mining operations.“Enabling Kennecott to streamline its mining operations was the primary goal of using the Rajant BreadCrumb wireless mesh system,” said Gary Anderson, Senior Vice President of Mining for Rajant. “We knew they required a high number of moving wireless nodes for improving mine monitoring and control. The Rajant InstaMeshr software running on the wireless BreadCrumb units connects hundreds of devices to each other while rapidly transporting critical operational data.”Kennecott has successfully implemented a large number of BreadCrumb systems in an interconnected network that allows loader trucks, shovels, pumps, laptops and other production equipment to communicate with each other in real-time. These systems are a mix of secure access nodes that enable data and voice communications across a meshed, self-healing network for fleet dispatch, health monitoring and other critical mining applications. Many of the devices that require wireless communications are moving at all times throughout the wireless mining infrastructure. The BreadCrumb nodes rapidly adapt to any changes in the network topology, assuring that IP traffic uptime and bandwidth are maximised.last_img read more

Lions like cuddly cats on Balkans – Celje beat RNL

5. RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko6204170:175(-5)4 6. Chekhovskie Medvedi6015184:211(-27)1 2. HC Vardar6312175:169(6)7 RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko German DKB Bundesliga leader, Rhein Neckar Lowen, had another bad evenning as visitors on Balkans. After Skopje, where Nikolaj Jakobsen boys were defeated easily, not better performance was seen in Celje, where home team showed once again, who talented are. At the end, 32:28 win for Celje, who remain in the race for TOP 16, while Germans lost all the chances to reclaim the first place from Veszprem…In one moment, RNL was seven goals behind the home squad – 28:21…Celje Pivovarna Laško : Rhein-Neckar Löwen 32:28 (16:11)Celje Pivovarna Laško: Skok (13 saves), Lesjak, Blagotinšek 1, Ivić 2, Žuran 1, Janc 4, Razgor 3 (2), Marguč, Malus, Poteko 2, Miklavčič 7, Slišković 4, Zarabec 5, Kodrin 1, Kasal 1, Žvižej 1.Rhein-Neckar Löwen: Landin (5 saves), Rutschmann, Schmid 2, Gensheimer 7 (4), Kneer, Sigurmannsson, Myrhol 4, Steinhauser, Larsen, Groetzki 1, Reinkind 1, Guardiola, Petersson 2, Ekdahl Du Rietz 5.STANDINGS: ← Previous Story Zagreb win handball war against Meshkov Next Story → Barca hat-trick against Flensburg – Big point for Wisla in Denmark 3. Montpellier Agglomeration …6222188:193(-5)6 3. Rhein-Neckar Löwen6303177:167(10)6 1. MKB-MVM Veszprém6600174:153(21)12 read more

One of Trumps top aides Hope Hicks is to resign

first_imgOne of Trump’s top aides Hope Hicks is to resign Hicks was questioned yesterday about possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Image: Chip Somodevilla Feb 28th 2018, 10:36 PM 32,190 Views Image: Chip Somodevilla Share28 Tweet Email 71 Comments center_img Wednesday 28 Feb 2018, 10:36 PM By AFP HOPE HICKS, ONE of Donald Trump’s longest-serving aides, is resigning as the US president’s communications director, the White House said this evening.“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years,” Trump said, in a statement on the departure of perhaps his most trusted aide and confidante, who was a key figure in the Republican’s election campaign before joining him in the White House.“I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood,” the president added. I am sure we will work together again in the future.“There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump,” the 29-year-old Hicks said in a statement of her own.White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said no timeline had been set for Hicks’ departure, and denied any link between her decision and her questioning yesterday by a congressional panel probing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.During her appearance before the House Intelligence Committee, Trump’s communications director had stuck to answering pre-approved questions, and refused to answer many of the other questions put to her by the lawmakers.That meant avoiding questions about her work and White House contacts with Russia, according to lawmakers present at the closed session.Hicks had cut a discreet figure in the White House since the president took office a year ago – but was brutally thrust into the spotlight in early February when another top Trump aide with whom she had become romantically involved was accused of domestic abuse.Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter – who denies the abuse claimed by two ex-wives – resigned following the allegations.Read: ‘I have a flame in me right now’ – students return to Florida high school for first time since mass shooting that killed 17 Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Paul wanted to talk But there was nobody to talk to

first_img‘Paul wanted to talk. But there was nobody to talk to’ Patricia Turner lost her son to suicide in 2009. Apr 24th 2017, 8:10 PM THIS YEAR’S DARKNESS Into Light walk takes place on Saturday May 6th in aid of Pieta House, supported by Electric Ireland. Participants in more than 150 locations, on four continents, will walk the 5km route to raise funds and awareness.All throughout this week, people around Ireland are sharing their own Darkness Into Light journeys. Here, Patricia Turner, from Tralee in Co Kerry, tells her story.My son Paul died by suicide on March 31st, 2009. He was 29 years of age.Paul first went into hospital in September 2008 after suffering a breakdown. His relationship of eight years had ended, and it hit him especially badly because there were two kids involved, his ex-girlfriend’s children who he had reared as his own.Over the next few months, the doctors put him on different kinds of tablets and were changing the dosage but nothing was working. He was getting worse, not better. In January 2009, a family friend was killed in a car crash and after that Paul just went to pieces.Afraid to interactI had him back at home with me at that stage, and he just slowly began to withdraw more and more. He wouldn’t go outside, it was like he was afraid to interact with people. He lost interest in everything: friends, work, all of that.Paul could talk for Ireland, he’d lecture you about anything. The problem wasn’t that he didn’t want to talk, it was that there was nobody to talk to. At that time, Pieta House didn’t exist near our home town, and we were relying on doctors and psychiatrist appointments. There was no-one for him to talk to and I know that’s all he wanted. Paul was an artist, he was very deep, and that was great in some ways but it was a bad thing in other ways. Source: Patricia TurnerPaul had this belief that he was hurting everybody, and that his life was a joke. My husband died from a heart attack 19 years ago, and Paul would say to me over and over that if his dad could see him, he’d be ashamed. I tried to reassure him that we’d get through things, and that his dad would be nothing but proud of him, but nothing was getting through. He couldn’t see any bright spots.A conversation that stands out for me is one I had with Paul on March 30th, 2009, the day before he died. A friend of his had taken his own life quite recently, and I said to Paul, ‘I don’t know what I’d do if anything ever happened to you.’ All he said was, ‘I’d never do that to you. I love you too much.’ And the very next day I found him on the stairs.Looking backThere were lots of things I said afterwards, lots of things I thought about, maybe if I’d done something differently on the day it happened, I could have changed things. I went out that day with my granddaughter, and I asked Paul to come with me. He said no, he’d stay at home. My youngest son John was in bed at the time and Paul even came into his room for a cigarette, they had a laugh about John still being in bed in the middle of the day.By the time I got back to the house, Paul had taken his own life. I remember thinking if I’d come home sooner, it might have been different. I felt I had let him down, but I know I didn’t. The system let him down.I believe that if Paul had access to a service like Pieta House, things could have been different, and that’s why I think it’s so important to raise awareness now.Bad patchOne of my other sons was going through a bad patch a couple of years back. He was the closest in age to Paul and never really dealt properly with his anger over what happened. Thankfully at that stage Pieta House was there for him, and within two sessions with the staff there I could see a difference. I can tell you, it saved him. Without it, I would have been burying a second son.My daughter Stephanie has been fundraising for Pieta House for a few years now, and she was instrumental in bringing the Darkness Into Light walk to Tralee for the first time last year. We had over 3,000 people. My partner of five years, who also lost two sons to suicide, is on the committee too. The whole town gets involved.Too many deathsOn May 6th, the day of the Darkness Into Light walk, I’ll be up all day and night decorating, setting things up and getting people registered. Even something like making tea and coffee is a monumental task when it’s for a few thousand people.We’re losing too many people to suicide in this country, and the work that Pieta House does is fantastic. All Paul wanted was someone to talk to, and that’s the kind of service Pieta House offers.Join the thousands walking from Darkness Into Light on May 6th to raise funds and awareness for Pieta House. You’ll find more information online here and here.Helplines:Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email – (suicide, self-harm)Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.orgAware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s) Monday 24 Apr 2017, 8:10 PM 917 Views By Patricia Turner center_img Patricia Turner Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share681 Tweet Email3 33 Comments last_img read more

Geek deals Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop for 419

first_imgThis configuration features a fifth generation dual-core 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200U CPU, integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500, 8GB of DDR3L RAM (1600MHz), a 1TB 5400RPM hard drive, a DVD drive, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi support. It’s certainly not the beefiest laptop ever made, but this super affordable machine has more than enough power for everyday tasks like editing Office documents, browsing the web, or watching Netflix.As far as the display goes, this model features a 15.6-inch screen with LED backlighting and an HD resolution of 1366×768. Prefer to do your browsing on your PC monitor or HDTV? The built-in HDMI port makes it a snap to hook up to external displays. And even if you’re stuck with a display that only has DVI or DisplayPort, you’ll be able to find adaptors on Amazon or Monoprice for under 15 bucks.Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) is installed by default, but a license for Windows 10 Pro is included, so you can enjoy all of Redmond’s latest features at no additional cost. Make the upgrade, and you can Stream Xbox One games locally, have Cortana find things for you, and choose from hundreds of thousands of apps on the Windows Store.This highly regarded laptop lists for $602.99, but Dell is selling it for $599. And when you use coupon code INSP$419, you’ll instantly save and extra $180 — a 30% total discount. Whether you’re looking for a laptop for work, school, or home, this is a great value for those of us with typical computing needs. And thanks to Dell’s free shipping, you’ll be saving even more.Our commerce group sources the best deals and products for the Geek Deals posts. We operate independently of Editorial and Advertising and may earn a percentage of the sale, if you buy something via a link on the post. If you are interested in promoting your deals, please contact us at more great laptop deals, head over to TechBargains. You could spend well over a thousand dollars on a high-end laptop, but do you need to? Unless you’re interested in running modern games or using resource intensive applications like Adobe Premiere, your probably better off with a more modest investment. So if you’re looking to save some serious cash on a nice workhorse laptop, check out the Inspiron 15 3000 from Dell.Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop for $419 (List price: $602.99 — Coupon code: INSP$419)last_img read more

IKEAs Cosmic Collection Aimed at Small Spaces

first_imgStay on target Geek Pick: Ikea Sonos WiFi Speaker Is the Light of MusicGeek Pick: Ikea Sonos Symfonisk Is A WiFi Bookshelf Speaker Ask not what IKEA can do for outer space—ask what outer space can do for IKEA.Last year, the Swedish retail giant teamed up with NASA and students from the Lund University School of Industrial Design to “use space knowledge for a better everyday life on Earth.”Tagging along with makers as they designed intergalactic products for astronauts at the Johnson Space Center, IKEA found inspiration for a new small-space living collection.The RUMTID lot—or lots, as there will be four small stockpiles—will launch in 2020 with “great ideas like an all-new lightweight material, and air purifiers,” according to an IKEA announcement.“We want to learn from extreme scenarios and connect them back to Earth, focusing on urbanization and small-space living,” designer Siri Skillgate said in a statement.Since the closest the team will get to outer space is Houston, Texas, the creators visited Tokyo, where they stayed in capsule hotels and experienced urban small-space living first hand.The company unveiled a new lightweight material, made of veneer and rolled into hollow tubes (via IKEA)“In Tokyo, there’s a literal built-in thinking around small-space living that allows for modularity and mobility,” Skillgate said. “We felt really inspired by all of the interesting solutions in people’s homes and at the capsule hotels—in particular when it comes to storage.”Anyone residing in a crowded city understands: Micro living is here to stay. According to the United Nations, as reported in 2017 by IKEA, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in metropolitan areas by 2050. Which means more people vying for less room.The four RUMTID launches are based on the concepts of “time,” “small space” (a recurring theme), “water,” and “air.”Aside from releasing cryptic images (see slideshow below), IKEA remains tight-lipped about their upcoming products. The company did, however, reveal the inclusion of a lightweight material, made of veneer, and rolled into hollow tubes.“By cutting the tubes into different lengths and clamping them together, we build just about anything, be it sofas, wardrobes, beds, or something else completely,” according to creative leader Michael Nikolic.Ideal for small living spaces, the new material, and building method are flexible and economical.“This is a high-tech, efficient way of using our natural resources,” Nikolic added.The RUMTID collection will be divided into four different launches, available for a limited time starting in 2020.View as: One Page Slides1. Take your herbs to infinity and beyond(via IKEA)Grow plants like the cosmonauts.2. Hungry for light(via IKEA)Astronaut food pouches are the new lamp shades.3. Retro meets the void(via IKEA)I frankly have no idea what these are, but they look like traditional IKEA storage boxes—with a twist.4. Storage or jungle gym?(via IKEA)Any guesses?5. Space saver(via IKEA)IKEA is nothing if not simplistic.6. Minimalist to the max(via IKEA)This seems oddly impractical.7. Take space-age selfies(via IKEA)Since when does IKEA sell ring lights?center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Salmon could return to Columbia River after long absence

first_imgSEATTLE — Officials say salmon soon could return to the upper reaches of the Columbia River for the first time in seven decades.Northwest News Network reports Cody Desautel, director of natural resources for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville, says his group will “trap and haul” fish out of its hatchery and put them above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams in northeast Washington. He says “there will be salmon above Grand Coulee Dam this year for the first time in 70 years.”Desautel says the plan hangs on one last federal permit from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.If the final permit is approved, Colville fish managers will trap salmon at their hatchery and drive them around the dam by truck, where they’ll be released back into the Columbia River. The tribe will keep track of where those fish go.last_img read more

Local legislators clash over special session

first_imgOLYMPIA — House Republicans plan to release their budget proposals Monday, even as some Southwest Washington members say passing any budget in the special session will not be achievable.The Legislature has had minimal floor activity in the two weeks since the special session, began but House Republicans hope to move the process forward with their proposals, said Rep. Ann Rivers, R-La Center.“I’m very optimistic,” Rivers said. “Hopefully it’ll be a good place where we can find places we can rally together.”The Republican proposal will likely include a plan to save levy equalization, which is up for a $151.9 million reduction under Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget.“We’re going to have a budget that we believe does a better job for education and doesn’t affect levy equalization like that. There are some alternatives,” said Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver.However, other legislators have doubts about cooperation on both sides of the aisle and suspect that no budget will get passed in the special session.last_img read more

Fire chars Miami pizzerias patio

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – A fire destroyed an outdoor patio behind a Miami pizzeria, Monday afternoon, before firefighters could put it out.Video from firefighters’ helmets captured the flames and black smoke at the pizzeria near Northeast Sixth Avenue and 78th Street.Within about 15 minutes, firefighters managed to hose down the flames but not before it charred the patio, which is now closed to the public.Miami Fire Rescue officials are now investigating what caused the fire.The store was closed at the time. No one was injured.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

BNP leader Moudud taken to Singapore

first_imgBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) standing committee member Moudud Ahmed. File PhotoAiling BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed was taken to Singapore on Thursday morning for better treatment, reports UNB.Moudud’s wife Hasna Moudud and some BNP leaders took him to Singapore in a flight of Bangladesh Biman Airlines around 8:25am, his personal secretary Mominur Rahman Sujan told UNB.He said the BNP senior leader, now 78, will receive treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital for various ailments, including cardiac problem.On 5 May, Moudud Ahmed was admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Dhaka after he complained of chest pain at the High Court.Sujon said Moudud decided to went to Singapore in consultation with cardiologist Shahabuddin Talukder as blocks are found in his heart.He said Moudud urged all to pray for his early recovery.last_img read more

Minecraft Players Are Helping SMU Researchers Find Better CancerFighting Drugs

first_imgSMUDoctoral student Lauren Ammerman with Corey Clark, deputy director of research at SMU Guildhall.Minecraft is a popular video game that’s sort of like virtual Lego. Players find and build stuff by themselves, or online with friends.It’s a simple formula that’s attracted millions of fans — and Southern Methodist University professors.Corey Clark, deputy director for research at SMU Guildhall, and John Wise, an associate professor of biological sciences, are part of a team hoping to take advantage of the game’s large user base in the search for better cancer-fighting drugs.On their quest to disable a biological pumpWise: These pumps are normally in our bodies, protecting us from exposures to toxins. They keep bad things out of our cells, and that’s a really good thing. But this good thing gets perverted in cancers. A cancer cell will over-express these pumps, and it will eliminate cancer chemotherapeutics from the cancer cells, which causes the cancer to become resistant. So the goal of our research at SMU is to — with high-performance computing facilities and biochemistry — discover compounds that will temporarily turn these pumps off during cancer chemotherapies.On how Minecraft is helping the search for treatmentClark: Video games themselves are all about learning — how to play a level, how to progress through a game — and so what we want to do is use that human intuition piece and take datasets from medical problems, like the chemotherapeutic problem, and then integrate that into the game, so it’s part of the natural game itself. Every time somebody does something in the game, it’s actually helping in the science. The idea that you’re making a positive impact is something the players really enjoy.We visualize the data problems in exactly the same format as Minecraft. So there are colored blocks and you’re moving some blocks around to try to find specific properties of these compounds that John’s working with to see which of those properties are the most important in being effective in the treatments. When they’re playing the game, all of the data returns to the back-end of the platform for analysis.On how hard it is to find new drugsWise: Discovering a molecule that has an effect in a biological system like this is the first step. In the last three years or so, we’ve probably found 20 different molecules that positively affect this problem. Getting those drug-like molecules — they’re not yet drugs — to the point where they could be entered in a clinic is difficult. The success rates of molecules that enter such a program and actually end up in people are maybe between 1 and 5 percent.We’ve identified some really good compounds that we believe we can develop to be pharmaceutical-like compounds that we can put into animals and eventually, people. As I said before, maybe 1 percent of these molecules can make it to humans. That means at the beginning you need 100 of them. Finding those 100 starting molecules with what we’ve learned from Minecraft is going to be a really big deal to us. Sharelast_img read more

Streaming Floods Past PayTV in UK as Biz Goes Over the Top

first_imgTraditional pay-TV revenues in the U.K. remained far higher than SVOD revenues in 2017 — £6.4 billion ($8.38 billion) versus £895 million ($1.17 billion) — but declined last year after a sustained period of growth. The number of Amazon subscribers grew faster than for Netflix in 2017 but still lagged behind — at 4.8 million versus 9.1 million — in the first quarter of the year, according to the Ofcom report.Europe’s largest pay-TV business, Sky, which is at the center of a takeover battle between Comcast and 21st Century Fox, is trying to get in on the over-the-top game with its own streaming service, NOW TV, which had an estimated 1.46 million subscribers in the first quarter. Sky told Variety that almost 70% of its customers now stream some content.Sky and others are banking on consumers signing up for multiple services. More than 70% of SVOD customers in the U.K. also take traditional pay TV, and more than half subscribe to more than one streaming service, generally Amazon and Netflix. British cable giant Virgin bundles Netflix; Sky is integrating Netflix into its service across Europe.But embracing OTT presents a challenge to Sky and its peers, which risk sacrificing high-revenue subscribers for lower-value ones. Free-to-air broadcasters, which have their own on-demand services, are also worried about big streamers’ encroachment.BBC director general Tony Hall has railed about the threat he believes U.S. digital giants pose to British content. Yet his organization works hand in hand with the streamers, including Netflix, on a raft of premium drama — an arrangement he appears to be rethinking. “Whose brand are we building?” Hall told Variety recently.David Clementi, the BBC Corp.’s chairman, said the U.S. firms have made life harder, and a lot more expensive, for the pubcaster. “We’re still thought of by some as the big beast in the jungle,” Clementi said. “The reality is of course very different. The market is increasingly global and competitive, and increasingly is dominated by a very small number of organizations with extraordinary creative and financial firepower. Their big budgets have driven up costs to a significant degree, and we have seen super-inflation in key areas such as drama production, sports rights and talent costs.” Popular on Variety Alliances are being redrawn to counter the so-called FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google); free-to-air broadcasters in Britain, France and Germany are among those looking to band together to create OTT offerings.In Britain, competition authorities blocked an attempt by domestic broadcasters almost a decade ago to join forces, in a project dubbed Kangaroo. Now, with its new report underlining the broadcasters’ falling audience share and ad revenues, Ofcom says it would welcome a “British Netflix” and would not stand in the way of a joint OTT service.But the OTT landscape continues to shift. Ofcom’s Media Nations report landed the same week that Netflix reported lackluster subscriber growth. Formidable new competitors are preparing to enter the fray, including a potentially game-changing streaming service from Disney.Analysts also expect subscription-based digital platforms that serve up content in linear rather than on-demand fashion to take root. Sky has launched an OTT version of Sky Q, its most advanced and premium service, in Italy and will soon do the same in the U.K.“Growth in SVOD is already starting to cool off,” said Gunnarsson at Ovum, which expects 40% to 45% of over-the-top video subscriptions to be to linear-style services in five years. “In short, OTT is moving toward linear OTT services.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 The news that there are now more streaming subscribers than traditional pay-TV customers in Britain made headlines last week, but it was a moment the business knew was coming — and one the incumbent players are scrambling to counter by fighting fire with fire.Media regulator Ofcom’s new Media Nations report logged 15.4 million streaming subscribers in Britain at the end of March, edging out traditional pay-TV customers, at 15.1 million, for the first time. The finding is a portent of what’s likely to come elsewhere.“The U.K. is now among the first international markets to follow the trend from the U.S.,” said Tony Gunnarsson, principal analyst at London-based Ovum. “We’re seeing the same trend across a few other markets, including the Nordics, Australia and New Zealand. Looking ahead, most mature international markets are heading this way.”last_img read more

Couple wins real cow playing freetoplay mobile game

first_imgTypically, free-to-play mobile games try and offer you entertainment in return for regular payments in the form of in-app purchases. Special events and competitions in these games usually only result in digital rewards. Bagra, a mobile game developed by Tunisian company Digital Mania, recently held a competition with an unusual prize: a real-life cow.Bagra tasks the player with looking after a herd of cows while attempting to steal more cows from other players using a UFO to beam them up. The prize of a real-life cow was offered to the player with the highest score. It’s also important to point out that the game was initially only made available locally, so that the cow in Tunisia at least remained in Tunisia. Imagine the delivery costs of exporting such an animal!The couple who won remain unnamed, but have taken delivery of their cow after it spent two weeks living with the game’s developer. The delivery of the cow looked very precarious due to the truck used being way too small for an animal of that size, as can be seen in the video below:I suspect this won’t be an often repeated competition prize, but mobile game developers would do well to consider offering real-life physical prizes every so often. You can only receive digital unlocks or extra coins so many times before the thrill of winning disappears. Maybe this is a way Rovio can regain Angry Birds’ mojo. It’s not like they are short of physical objects representing the brand already.last_img read more

EBay Is the Single Most Influential Company of the Modern Era

first_imgOctober 30, 2018 5 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Tech is absolutely triumphant in our world. Today, seven of the top 10 companies by market cap are technology companies. Two of these have become the first trillion-dollar companies. And investors talk of the fearsome FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) who between them seem to have sewn up entire markets ranging from ecommerce to video to advertising. But, there is one once high-flying tech company that seldom gets mentioned anymore: eBay. From a historical perspective, eBay is perhaps the single most influential company to lay the groundwork for the modern era, so its comparative obscurity is unfortunate.Related: EBay Accuses Amazon of Trying to Steal SellersDon’t believe me? Think of what eBay has wrought.EBay taught us all to trust strangers online. You can go back and read business articles from the ’90s where people wonder whether anyone will even trust their credit cards to reputable companies online, much less some schmo halfway across the country. EBay helped make ecommerce palatable and friendly, and it taught us that yes, in fact, you can successfully do business with people you’ve never met.EBay taught us to trust strangers via its vaunted reputation system. This was largely dreamed up by Pierre Omidyar, et. al., because they didn’t want the hassle of adjudicating disputes between their members. Better to let the members do it themselves. Quite by accident, they taught us all that large groups of strangers could self-organize and self-police and, more or less, function as a self-sustaining community of users.Related: Why It’s Nearly Impossible To Stop This Amazon and eBay SchemeToday we live in a world where open source projects and things like Wikipedia are self-correcting organisms that get things more or less right. But, it’s hard to imagine how radical a notion it was in the mid-1990s that any sort of order could be brought to the faceless din of the internet. Of course, now we live in a world dominated by the model of the five-star review. Where would things like Yelp or TripAdvisor be without this paradigm? Or Uber, or AirBnB or the entire gig economy?EBay is today only about a third the size of its former subsidiary, PayPal, but noting that only does a disservice to the way eBay made PayPal and thus the very concept of modern digital payments mainstream. It’s hard to imagine modern fintech highfliers like Square, Stripe and others would be where they are today without the path blazed by eBay and PayPal. And though the blockchain is an entirely different beast, without the popularizing of post-cash economies that eBay/PayPal did the grunt work for, whither Bitcoin?There’s a famous story that early on in eBay’s development, big newspaper chains came to kick the tires, looking at a potential acquisition. (Whatever the conventional wisdom, publishers weren’t dumb; they could see the threat to their classifieds cash cow.) But, the potential acquirers famously balked because “eBay didn’t own anything.” They were thinking of things like warehouses, or trucks or supply chains of course, but also something even more ephemeral. EBay didn’t do anything. Only its users did. Sure, eBay was a marketplace, a platform … but all of the value created was created by the users themselves. EBay had no claim on anything they did.Related: Check Out the First Job Listing Jeff Bezos Posted for Amazon 24 Years AgoOver the last 20 years, this has become more common. Any social network has built its business on the activity of its users, on the serendipitous coagulation of all those people posting all that content. Most social networks have only been able to monetize this in aid of selling ads against our activities, so perhaps eBay’s platform for actual economic commerce seems somehow more noble in comparison. But, eBay was the first to show that it was the users (in eBay’s parlance that has been copied by so many others, the community) that were so valuable. In fact, more valuable than any other tangible asset. Network effects can be more valuable than gold.As I’ve said, eBay’s prominence in the tech industry has waned. The latest quarterly numbers are no longer anticipated with bated breath by analysts even as much as with an upstart like Snap. And as stipulated, perhaps PayPal turned out to be a “better” business than an online auction business ever could have been. And yet, maybe that’s to eBay’s lasting benefit. Unlike other tech companies that are forced to continuously reinvent themselves to stave off disruptors coming up from behind, and, of course, to deliver better numbers quarter after quarter, what if eBay is actually the tech company that has matured (and aged) the best? Out of the limelight, it is free to do the thing it was born to do, and the thing that it has never been surpassed at: being the best, auction-based marketplace that has even been devised. Listen Nowlast_img read more

Jetstar Japan Jetstar Pacific expand network

first_imgJetstar Japan adds Matsuyama as Jetstar Pacific includes Buon Ma Thuot. Jetstar Group has increased its reach across Asia, bringing first time low-cost flights to new regions.Commencing 11 June, Jetstar Japan will launch services from Tokoy, to Matsuyama, the airline’s ninth destination.While from 26 March, Jetstar Pacific will commence new flights from Ho Chi Minh and Vinh to Buon Ma Thuot.Utilising its A320 on new routes, Jetstar Group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said introducing LCC services to new markets previously served by full service carriers continue to be part of the group’s Pan Asian growth strategy.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

The Week Ahead State of the Union or State of Housing

first_img Share The Week Ahead: State of the Union or ‘State of Housing?’ Here’s a look at the news and events that will shape housing and mortgage finance in the week ahead for The MReport.On Tuesday, January 12, President Barack Obama will deliver his eighth and final State of the Union Address as he heads into the home stretch of his administration. In last year’s address, he merely glossed over the subject of housing policy, nearly avoiding the topic completely except for mentioning the FHA’s lowering of the mortgage insurance premiums that occurred last January. Instead, he focused the speech mostly on job creation.The Obama Administration has been self-congratulatory when it comes to the housing industry recovering from the devastation of the 2008 crisis despite the fact that the homeownership rate fell to its lowest level in nearly five decades during the summer of 2015. Not only that, but housing affordability is a major concern for housing heading into 2016 as prices draw closer to their pre-recession peak, the inventory of available homes for sale is low, student debt continues to mount, and wage growth has been slow.Various top officials in the administration have stated that housing policy will not be a priority in Obama’s last year as President. Some, such as Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury Antonio Weiss, have come right out and said the administration will not recap and release Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the FHFA’s controversial, now more than seven-year-old conservatorship as Obama heads into his final year in office.For the broader economy, data shows this has been the slowest recovery since World War II. GDP growth has fallen short of expectations. The Fed finally began tightening last week, noting on several occasions that they would not do so until they had seen sufficient economic growth to warrant raising the short term rates.Given the Obama Administration’s position on economic and housing recovery, it is unlikely that the President will spend any length of time talking about it during Tuesday’s speech. One economist noted last year that one of the major reasons the President barely mentioned housing in last year’s State of the Union address is that the urgency has faded, since many (though not all) housing metrics and default numbers are “back to normal.”That does not mean there is nothing to talk about in the housing industry heading into 2016, however. Many within the industry believe that 2016 will bring more positives for housing despite the headwinds that persist.“I believe 2016 will see continued improvement in the housing market with the 30-year mortgage rate staying below 4.5 percent, and continued low unemployment and declining underemployment resulting in increases in the first time buyer,” said Patrick Stone, Chairman and CEO of Williston Financial Group, based in Portland, Oregon. “With growth in first time buyer participation, move up buyers will increase and new residential construction will increase….the net result being improved inventory and an overall increase in purchase transactions of up to 10 percent.”Matt Martin, CEO of Dallas-based Chronos Solutions, stated: “It’s easy right now to get caught up in the reaction to some of the more turbulent developments in the industry, such as the impact of TRID or the Fed’s interest rate hike. But when I step back, I see some real positives for the year ahead. There are enough positive indicators right now, such as improved employment and salary figures, to suggest the purchase market will continue to grow. We’ve also seen a lot of M&A activity recently.  While that means consolidation, I also see hungrier, more innovative players in the market competing for share.  Once the initial gloom and doom response to the interest rate increase dissipates, we will realize that it remains historically low. It’s even quite possible we’ll see some increased HELOC activity later this year.” Housing Policy President Obama State of the Union 2016-01-08 Seth Welborncenter_img January 8, 2016 555 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, Newslast_img read more