BC chief tells NEB pipeline hearings his people are responsible for their

first_imgVICTORIA — First Nations leaders from British Columbia told a National Energy Board hearing in Victoria that there are serious concerns about the potential impacts of an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline on their homelands.Two leaders representing the Fraser Valley’s Sto:lo Tribal Council say protection of the Fraser River’s salmon, animals and surrounding lands is their eternal responsibility and the pipeline poses risks that could harm their homes and culture.But Chief Tyrone McNeil and councillor Andrew Victor did not say they are completely opposed to the expansion project.McNeil, the tribal council’s vice president, says the board must understand that the Sto:lo call the Fraser River their mother because it feeds and nurtures them.He says the Sto:lo believe they are responsible for looking after everything they see, including the Chinook salmon that are the main food source for threatened southern resident killer whales.Victor says the Sto:lo want to see justification for the pipeline expansion project, including the completion of environmental assessments that examine risks and impacts of a spill.The new hearings were prompted after the Federal Court of Appeal tossed out the original approval for the expansion, saying Canada didn’t adequately consult with First Nations or consider tanker traffic’s impact on the marine environment. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Moroccos FM Meets with Chairman of US Houses Foreign Committee

first_imgWashington – Morocco’s minister of foreign affairs and Cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar, reviewed here on Thursdaywith chairman of the foreign committee at the US House of Representatives, Edward R. Royce, bilateral ties and means to promote partnership between the two countries’ legislative institutions.The meeting was an opportunity to thank the US representative for the letter he addressed to US president Barack Obama, and in which he highlighted the quality of bilateral ties and the importance that Morocco has for the USA.The Moroccan official also renewed during the meeting the excellence of bilateral relations and the importance of the working visit by HM King Mohammed VI to the USA in developing ties and opening new prospects for this partnership. Royce’s letter urged President Obama to seize the opportunity of the Sovereign’s visit to consolidate strategic ties between the two nations at a time Washington is endeavoring to promote a mutually-profitable vision based on consolidation of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in North Africa.Washington should carry on support and assistance to Morocco’s efforts to stabilize and consolidate capacities of the region’s countries, and get more involved in the Sahara issue that continues to stall integration, economic growth and stability in the region, the letter says.last_img read more

President tells Speaker ready to convene Parliament next week

A group of 118 Parliamentarians met the Speaker today calling for Parliament to be convened early. The Speaker said that the President had informed him he is prepared to convene Parliament on November 7th.However, the Speaker said the gazette notice has not yet been issued. (Colombo Gazette) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, the Tamil National Alliance, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and the All Ceylon Makkal Congress were among the political parties, together with the United National Party who met the Speaker today. President Maithripala Sirisena has told Speaker Karu Jayasuriya he is prepared to convene Parliament next week.The Speaker told political party leaders and a group of Parliamentarians today that Parliament can convene next week. read more

Annan calls for action to protect children from conflict Council reiterates commitment

Member States have done much over the past decade to protect children from the ravages of armed conflict, through new laws, prosecutions and investigations, but this is just the beginning and more needs to be done, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other senior officials told the Security Council today.Mr. Annan’s call came during a day-long meeting on children and armed conflict focusing largely on his recent report, highlighting that children are still being recruited as soldiers, and also being murdered, tortured or sexually abused during times of conflict. After the debate, the Council issued a statement reiterating its commitment to protect children in conflict.“During the past 10 years, we have tried to place the issue firmly on the international agenda. Since 1998, when the first Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict began work and the Council held its first open debate on the subject, the subject has gained greater visibility… and yet, we have only begun to scratch the surface,” Mr. Annan said.“It is incumbent on all of us to sustain this political and practical momentum, and to keep a close eye on situations of concern… I hope that the Council will consolidate the gains that have been made, and will move forward to cover all situations of concern and all grave violations.” Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, echoed the call for more to be done, while also noting that many peace agreements signed over the past few years have included child protection provisions and a framework for child demobilization.“Despite these progressive developments many challenges remain and more action has to be taken to protect the interests of children trapped in situations of armed conflict. Though a great deal has been done in formulating standards and receiving commitments, the actual implementation on the ground is far from satisfactory,” she said.“So far the process of scrutiny and monitoring has been selective and focused on only a few countries. It is our belief, jointly shared with UNICEF (the UN Children’s Fund) and other partners, that we must expand the focus to all situations of armed conflict so that there is equal treatment of children regardless of where they live.”In her remarks, UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman said she remained deeply concerned by conflicts in several countries, noting for example that in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, some 119 Palestinian children had been killed this year, more than twice the number of deaths registered in 2005. She also cited the situations in Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).“We have made significant progress over the past year. Today, we must renew our commitment to the children who are impacted by this unacceptable practice,” she said, referring in particular to the trauma caused to children by armed conflict.Gabriel Oling Olang, representative of Save the Children, also addressed the Council, along with diplomats from over 40 countries, before Foreign Minister José Antonio García Belaunde of Peru, which holds this month’s presidency, read out a statement on behalf of the 15-member body. “The Security Council strongly condemns the continuing recruitment and use of children in armed conflict in violation of applicable international law, the killing and maiming of children, rape and other sexual violence, abductions, denial of humanitarian access to children and attacks against schools and hospitals by parties to armed conflict.”He added: “The Security Council reiterates its… commitment to address the widespread impact of armed conflict on children and its determination to ensure respect for and continued implementation of its resolutions 1612 (2005) and all of its previous resolutions on children in armed conflict.” read more

Collier leads No 1 UConn to easy win over Saint Louis

ST. LOUIS — Napheesa Collier had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Katie Lou Samuelson scored 20 points and top-ranked UConn beat Saint Louis 98-42 on Tuesday night.The Huskies (8-0) have won 123 consecutive regular season games. Crystal Dangerfield added 18 points, and Christyn Williams had 17.Myia Clark led Saint Louis (4-5) with 18 points.UConn rolled to a 15-2 lead and never looked back. Samuelson propelled the early outburst with a pair of 3-pointers, and Collier had a short jumper. Williams hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute to go in the first quarter to push the lead to 23-8.Collier grew up in the St. Louis suburb of O’Fallon, Missouri, and requested over 300 tickets for family and friends. She recorded her sixth double-double in eight games.NIGHT OFFUConn guard Megan Walker did not play due to the flu.BIG PICTUREConnecticut: The Huskies will go through a stretch of four successive road games beginning Dec. 19 in Oklahoma and ending Jan. 6 at Houston.St. Louis: All 20 of the Billikens’ first-half points came from freshmen. St. Louis played the third of four straight home games.UP NEXTConnecticut: Will host Seton Hall on Saturday.St. Louis: Will host Missouri on Sunday___More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://apnews.com/Top_25Steve Overbey, The Associated Press read more

Birmanie la renaissance de lagriculture est en route

first_imgBirmanie : la renaissance de l’agriculture est en routeEn 50 ans de régime militaire, la Birmanie a vu son agriculture rizicole s’effondrer. Depuis peu, avec l’ouverture politique, l’espoir renaît pour le pays qui rêve de redevenir un exportateur de poids.En Birmanie, c’est l’ensemble du système judiciaire et économique qui est en train d’être restructuré. Logiquement, les paysans birmans espèrent pouvoir profiter des nouvelles institutions pour arriver enfin à vivre de leur production et doper leurs exportations de riz. Un optimisme qui fait suite aux réformes entamées en mars 2011, suite à la dissolution de la junte et l’avènement d’un gouvernement dirigé par des officiers en retraite.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?”La Birmanie était le premier exportateur mondial de riz il y a 60 ans. Ils exportaient environ 5 millions de tonnes chaque année, mais les chiffres ont décliné”, explique Hiroyuki Konuma, directeur-général adjoint pour la région de l’Organisation des Nations unies pour l’agriculture et l’alimentation (FAO). En 2011, par exemple, les exportations n’ont pas dépassé les 700.000 tonnes. Ainsi, “nous avons beaucoup d’espoirs que la Birmanie puisse accéder aux fertilisants et autres produits agricoles et que peut-être les sanctions économiques seront levées, ce qui l’aidera à acquérir ce dont elle a besoin pour augmenter les exportations”, ajoute M. Konuma.Toutefois, les changements sur le terrain ne pourront se faire que très lentement. En effet, comme le souligne l’AFP, les analystes insistent sur l’immense défi que représentera le développement des zones rurales alors qu’un tiers des 60 millions de Birmans vit en dessous du seuil de pauvreté. Le pays peut néanmoins compter sur des conditions naturelles exceptionnelles. “Voilà un pays avec énormément de ressources en eau, avec le sol le plus fertile qui soit, un pays qui était le bol de riz non seulement de l’Asie mais aussi de l’empire britannique”, indique l’analyste économique Sean Turnell, de l’université Macquarie de Sydney. “Il se retrouve aujourd’hui avec une agriculture négligée depuis 50 ans, extraordinairement improductive. Mais évidemment, sur cette base, on peut obtenir une croissance toute aussi extraordinaire. Je ne vois pas pourquoi cela ne pourrait pas se reproduire”, assure le chercheur.Le 26 mars 2012 à 20:14 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

DFG Banned All Angling For King Salmon On The Kenai River

first_imgThe optimal escapement goal (OEG) for early-run Kenai River king salmon is 3,900 to 6,600 king salmon 75 cm mid eye to tail fork length and longer. Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller: “As of June 17, 2018, an estimated 2,116 large king salmon have past the River Mile 13.7 king salmon sonar. This closure is not an easy decision; however, even after prohibiting harvest of king salmon in the fishery last week, we are not projecting to meet the escapement goal and need to take this next step. King salmon stocks throughout Cook Inlet, including the Kenai River runs, are experiencing a period of low productivity and the restrictions and closures are being felt across the state.” July 1 – July 31, 2018:Anglers may not fish for king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from that portion of the Kenai River from an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek, upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake. This sport fishing regulation closure supersedes the Kenai River king salmon limited to catch-and-release only restriction issued on June 11. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation closure for the Kenai River drainage area effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 20 through 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, July 31.  June 20 – June 30, 2018: Anglers may not fish for king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G regulatory marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake. The inseason inriver run projection ranges from approximately 3,095 large king salmon based upon average run timing to approximately 3,609 large king salmon based upon a run timing of three days late.last_img read more

Nuro launches autonomous Kroger grocery delivery pods in Arizona

first_img 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Self-driving cars 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Share your voice 0 Car Industry Auto Tech Tags Post a comment More From Roadshow Enlarge ImageThere’s no minimum per order, so if you wanted to order a single bottle of soda just to see the pod in action, you can. Nuro Earlier this year, the startup Nuro announced its intention to deliver Kroger groceries autonomously in Arizona. While that’s already started, it’s now time for the program to rely on Nuro’s own autonomous delivery pods.Nuro announced Tuesday that its unmanned delivery pods have been let loose in Scottsdale, Arizona, as part of its autonomous delivery pilot program with Kroger. The pilot has been running since August, but earlier stages relied on modified Toyota Priuses with vehicle operators. Now the whole shebang will operate without human input, although some Priuses will remain in operation.Here’s how it works. Customers can place delivery orders for groceries from a single Fry’s Food Stores location (7770 East McDowell Rd.), and they can choose to have it delivered by self-driving vehicle. The delivery can take place the same day or the next day, and it costs a flat fee of $6 for delivery, with no minimum for the order itself. When the pod arrives, the customer will head outside, plug a code into a screen on the side of the vehicle and retrieve their groceries. Then, the pod will scoot along to the next location.”Our autonomous delivery pilot with Nuro over the past few months continues to prove the benefit of the flexible and reliable technology,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer, in a statement. “Through this exciting and innovative partnership, we are delivering a great customer experience and advancing Kroger’s commitment to redefine the grocery experience by creating an ecosystem that offers our customers anything, anytime, and anywhere.”Thus far, Nuro estimates that it’s completed approximately 1,000 grocery deliveries since the program began, and with the addition of Nuro’s own dedicated delivery vehicle, that number should rise pretty quickly going forward.last_img read more

Airbnbs newest luxury project 10 floors at NYCs Rockefeller Plaza

first_img 0 Airbnb wants to be a place for ‘everyone’ Now playing: Watch this: Related stories Share your voice Airbnb has also progressively moved into the hotel business. First it started to quietly add boutique hotels to its listings, then last year it announced hotels would be one of four property types it offers on its site. Airbnb then acquired hotel booking site Hotel Tonight last month.Airbnb’s announcement comes as Marriott, one of the world’s largest hotel chains, announced it was launching its own home rental business. Marriott didn’t provide many details on its service, but did say it’s catering to people who want more home amenities during their stays, such as kitchen and laundry facilities.Airbnb and RXR said they plan to open their Rockefeller Plaza facility in about a year, which is still subject to various approvals. The two companies are also eyeing another building with 150 apartments in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. 4:41 The view from the Top of the Rock observation deck in Rockefeller Center. Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images Airbnb has come a long way since its origin story of offering travelers a blow-up mattress to sleep on. The home rental company announced Monday that it’s partnering with RXR Realty, one of New York City’s largest real estate owners, to convert 10 stories of an iconic Rockefeller Plaza building into Airbnb rentals. The rooms will be luxury suites at the top of 75 Rockefeller Plaza, which is a 32-story skyscraper. The company said travelers will get “unparalleled” views of Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Empire State Building.”When we launched Airbnb over 10 years ago, it was immediately clear how people opening their homes could make guests feel like locals,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in a statement. “We hope to provide that same unique feeling, in the form of new spaces in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and elsewhere­­ so that everyone can enjoy an authentic New York experience.”San Francisco-based Airbnb has gone from being a website for couch surfers to having a massive online presence. It lists roughly 6 million homes for rent in more than 80,000 cities worldwide. The company, currently privately held, is valued at $31 billion. It’s reportedly planning an initial public offering sometime this year. And after years of regulatory battles with cities including New York, New Orleans, San Francisco and Paris, the company needs to show investors it can grow. Airbnb is increasingly working with landlords on profit-sharing deals. Many landlords don’t allow tenants to sublet their apartments on Airbnb because it typically comes with more risk and no profit for them. But that’s changing. The company announced a partnership with a major landlord in Florida in October 2017, then it announced a similar deal with San Francisco’s largest residential landlord the following month. Tags Post a comment Airbnb beware: Marriott reportedly will launch its own home rental service Airbnb partners with San Francisco’s largest apartment landlord Airbnb gets into the apartment game Airbnb Tech Industrylast_img read more

Microsofts contractors listened in on Xbox users

first_img Now playing: Watch this: Is Microsoft listening in on you? James Martin/CNET Microsoft’s contractors listened in on Xbox players using Cortana voice control features, Vice reported Wednesday. Voice data was also captured from the Kinect system’s voice commands prior to Cortana being added in 2016, according to the report. Microsoft last week revealed that humans could be listening to “short snippets” of voice conversations on its audio services, including Skype and virtual assistant Cortana. That followed similar revelations about other big tech firms and their audio services. Earlier this month, Apple, Google and Amazon all suspended human review of user audio recordings, and then Facebook followed suit. Microsoft said in an emailed statement Wednesday that it has “long been clear” that it collects voice data that’s sometimes reviewed by people. “We always get customer permission before collecting voice data, we take steps to de-identify voice snippets being reviewed to protect people’s privacy and we require that handling of this data be held to the highest privacy standards,” the spokesperson said. In a further statement Wednesday night, Microsoft said it stopped reviewing Xbox voice content taken “a number of months ago, as we no longer felt it was necessary.””We have no plans to restart those reviews,” the spokesperson added in an emailed statement. “We occasionally review a low volume of voice recordings sent from one Xbox user to another when there are reports that a recording violated our terms of service and we need to investigate. This is done to keep the Xbox community safe and is clearly stated in our Xbox terms of service.”The Xbox eavesdropping “came up first as a bit of an outlier, then became about half of what we did before becoming most of what we did,” a former Microsoft contractor reportedly told Vice. Microsoft’s privacy statement says human review is used to help build, train and improve the accuracy of its artificial intelligence systems. Cortana was removed from Xbox headsets in July, though it can still be used via the Cortana phone app. Originally published Aug. 21, 1:51 p.m. PT. Updates, 3:41 p.m.: Adds statement from Microsoft; Aug. 22: Includes further statement from Microsoft. 0 Microsoft Kinect CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 6:16 Mentioned Above Microsoft Kinect Cortana Kinect Microsoft Review • Microsoft Kinect See itcenter_img Microsoft announces Project Scarlett Computers Consoles Security Gaming Tags Post a comment $11 Share your voice 40 Photos Why 2020 could be the best year for video gameslast_img read more

Top Ford executive Raj Nair ousted after internal investigation on inappropriate behavior

first_img Close Fords North America president Raj Nair is leaving the company after an internal probe described his workplace behavior as inconsistent with the companys code of conduct. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:57Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:56?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …center_img Top Ford executive Raj Nair ousted after internal investigation on inappropriate behaviorlast_img read more

Report Reveals Underground US Haven For Heroin Drug Users

first_imgSafe injection sites are different from syringe exchange programs, which were once controversial but now exist in 33 states.The underground safe haven is open between four and six hours a day, five days a week, according to Alex Kral, a San Francisco-based researcher with RTI International, and Peter Davidson of the University of California, San Diego. Their report was published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.The space consists of two rooms — an “injection room” with five stainless steel stations with mirrors and stools and a room next door where users are monitored afterward. There are trained staff on hand, but no one who is medically licensed, according to the researchers. Smoking is not allowed there, but drugs like heroin, pain pills, cocaine and methamphetamine are.Use of the space was by invitation only. Most visitors are white, homeless men. It was used 2,500 times over two years by over 100 people, although researchers say the exact number of participants isn’t known because the facility relies on anonymous surveys.There’s no data on deaths or drug use by clients who injected when the site was closed and it’s not known whether any went into treatment, Kral said.The study also didn’t look at issues opponents worry about, like whether creation of a safe place is associated with an increase in people beginning to try drugs, said Jonathan Caulkins, a drug policy expert at Carnegie Mellon University who nonetheless applauded the organization’s effort to try to stop overdose deaths. In the report released Tuesday, two researchers said they’ve been evaluating an underground safe place that opened in 2014. As a condition of their research, they didn’t disclose the location of the facility — which is unsanctioned and potentially illegal — or the social service agency running it.The researchers offered little data, and their main finding was that no one died while injecting at the safe place. There were two overdoses on site, which were reversed by staff members using the overdose medication naloxone.Advocates and some politicians in recent years have called for government-sanctioned injection sites as the U.S. grapples with the opioid epidemic. More than 52,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2015 — the most ever — fueled by soaring abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers. Government statistics for the first nine months of last year, also released Tuesday, show overdose death rates continuing to spiral.Some say the new report could have an impact on efforts to establish safe injection sites around the U.S. Such sites have been backed by lawmakers in New York, California and other states, along with officials in cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Ithaca, New York.“It shows people that it’s possible” to operate one of these in the U.S., said Lindsay LaSalle, an attorney with Drug Policy Alliance who has helped draft safe haven legislative proposals in six states.Injection sites are legal in countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Switzerland where medical professionals monitor drug users. They also provide clean needles to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis C. Ideally, they also steer users into treatment and other services.Some experts say new approaches are needed to fight the opioid epidemic, including safe havens. But they’ve faced legal and political hurdles. Critics have argued these places may undermine prevention and treatment, and seem to fly in the face of laws aimed at stopping use of deadly illicit drugs. Darryl Dyck, AP Photo/The Canadian PressRichard Chenery draws heroin he bought on the street into a syringe at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday May 11, 2011. Insite, North America’s first and only legal injection site, promoted by its founders as a safe, humane facility for drug abusers, is now facing a court challenge from the Conservative government that sees it as a facilitator of drug abuse. The case opens before the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, May 12, 2011 and has drawn international attention.A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years, a report reveals.None were known to exist in the U.S. until the disclosure in a medical journal, although several states and cities are pushing to establish these so-called supervised injection sites where users can shoot up under the care of trained staff who can treat an overdose if necessary.center_img Sharelast_img read more

Boys Say They Put Black Doll in Noose at Playground as Prank

first_imgBy The Associated PressPHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two pre-teen boys say they pulled a prank by putting a Black doll hanging from a noose above a playground that partly sits on top of a burial site for 5,000 Black Philadelphia residents.The doll was discovered Thursday morning and prompted Mayor Jim Kenney to call it “a despicable act.”(Photo/Mark Tyler via Facebook)The boys, one Black and one White, told WCAU-TV they put the doll there because they thought it would scare people, and that it wasn’t about race.The city has plans to put up a memorial to those buried beneath the playground.The 19th century burial ground was established by Richard Allen, a freed slave who founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Its existence had been forgotten until a historian began researching the site about a decade ago.___Information from: WCAU-TV, http://www.nbc10.comlast_img read more

MovieBob Reviews Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald

first_img Is Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald good?It’s terrible.How terrible?I’m not going to say it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen; but it’s very possibly the worst prequel — the new low-point for expository minutiae-obsessed, continuity-porn, anti-narrative in the “Cinematic Universe” era of blockbuster filmmaking. Everyone needs to go apologize to Phantom Menace, The Hobbit, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Solo. Well… maybe not Wolverine.What happened?Warner Bros. was in a tight spot: They wanted more Harry Potter movies, but J.K. Rowling hadn’t written more full books and they can’t actually just make new stuff up on their own under the licensing deal. So instead they put together a weird side-story ostensibly about Eddie Redmayne as a guy who’s eventually going to write one of the Hogwarts textbooks (“Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them”) but for now is just a whiny this-universe version of a Pokemon Trainer who gets wrapped up in the machinations of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, the bad guy who was the bad guy before Voldemort — that part seemed to be an partial-coincidence in the first film, but now takes center stage.And this doesn’t work out?There just isn’t really a story here, is the thing – at least not one worth telling. It’s a bunch of characters who are all revealed or implied to be great-aunts and uncles or whatnot of the characters we actually care about from the original films reciting one-another’s Wikipedia entries.What’s the actual story — limiting spoilers, if possible?It goes like this: Everyone in the Wizarding World is converging on Paris to look for Ezra Miller as Creedence, the superhuman magic orphan from the previous movie, because of his powerful magic — which may come from his possibly being the long-lost heir to the lineage of a powerful wizard bloodline. Grindelwald believes he can harness this power to kill Dumbledore (Jude Law) the only person standing in the way of his plot to take over the world, and various teams of Wizard Police from America, France and the UK are trying to find him and (probably) kill him to prevent that… but Dumbledore wants Redmayne’s Newt Scamander to find him and NOT kill him instead.Okay, so it’s a little busy…I wasn’t finished.…Oh.Also (eventually) on hand are Katherine Watterston as Tina (Newt’s would-be love interest) representing the American Wizard Cops, her psychic sister Queenie and her mortal boyfriend Jacob, Newt’s normal non-twitchy handsome guy brother, a British wizard cop engaged to a lady wizard with a familiar last name who loved Newt once upon a time, a few other people who want to find and/or kill Ezra Miller for largely unrelated reasons, Nicolas Flammel (the immortal alchemist who created The Sorceror’s Stone — you remember, from the first movie?)  and Nagini.Nagini? As in Voldermort’s pet snake?Yeah… it turns out she was actually a Korean woman with a genetic were-snake curse going on, but at this point she’s only  a snake sometimes. To answer your follow-up question: No, none of this seems to actually change or inform anything about her presence in the original series.Okay, but can it really be that bad?Again, without spoiling: Most of the main “mystery” culminates in a round-robin exposition shouting-match sequence as terrible as anything from The Room in which 2/3rds of the speaking cast stand around shouting pieces of his backstory at each other and it’s this endless melange of family betrayals and rape and illegitimate children and inheritance and bloodlines and honor and infanticide and surname swapping and lineage conspiracies and longstanding blood feuds between noble houses — because Game of Thrones has convinced studios that THIS is what people want every goddamn genre franchise to BE now.What do the “Fantastic Beasts” even have to do with any of this?Not much. It’s VERY clear both Rowling and the filmmakers have abandoned any ambition to make “The Wizarding World” movies anything more than a live-reading of their own appendices, but they also need to be big FX blockbusters so even though the STORY is all about people we don’t care about arguing over a mopey dork’s genealogy the movie just awkwardly generates an excuse for Redmayne to wrestle with a fake-looking CGI monster for a few minutes.So you don’t recommend it.No. This is everything wrong with movies like this: “Worldbuilding” as structure instead of texture, exposition instead of narrative, brand-reinforcement instead of theme, assumptions that properties like Harry Potter have maintained a hold on fans because of the “stuff” and not the stories and reactions associated with them. In the spectrum of bad franchise movies, it’s as bad as the Dark Universe Mummy — and for about the same reasons… but paired to even the least of the original Potter movies, it’s a flat-out insult.More MovieBob Reviews on Geek.com:MovieBob Reviews: ‘Overlord’MovieBob Reviews: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’MovieBob Reviews: ‘Suspiria’ Stay on target MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ last_img read more

DURUS robot walks naturally while wearing sneakers

first_imgOne of the biggest steps in realizing the sci-fi robotic future we’ve all been dreaming of (or dreading as the case may be) is getting them to walk like humans. And that’s not just because we’re a narcissistic species (though we are). There’s a lot of important developments that we need to make to bring bipedal robots out of fiction and into the real world that are critical to understand.By making robots walk, we also have to help them balance, assess distance, analyze different surface types, and adjust their gait on the fly. And these are all things we’ve done before, but until now, no one’s thought of the obvious — give the robots some shoes.Amber Labs, a team of engineers at Georgia Institute of Technology, created DURUS, and it’s a bipedal robot with a twist. We’ve seen Boston Dynamics’ Atlas walk on two legs just fine, but DURUS has a much more natural heel-toe stride.That’s important for a number of reasons. Balancing a robot that usually weighs upwards of 300lbs is a tall order — especially since it hasn’t had millions of years of evolution to work out the kinks. As a result, most engineers have used a flat step, plopping the robot’s whole foot down at once to give it a more stable platform.DURUS proves that we can create robots that walk in an inherently less stable, but more efficient way. Each step helps the robot push off the ground and propel itself forward, and that gets us one step closer to a future where humans and robots walk side-by-side. Or, alternatively, where massive mechs with arm-mounted nuclear weapons usher in a third world war. One of the two.last_img read more

A New App for Reporting CustomerService Issues

first_img 2 min read March 7, 2012 This story appears in the March 2012 issue of . Subscribe » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » Unless there’s a serious problem, most people don’t pay attention to those “How am I driving?” stickers on the backs of commercial vehicles. But for Joe Beninato, a veteran of multiple Silicon Valley startups, the stickers got him thinking: Why was there not a similar reporting system for the slew of service employees–waiters, store clerks, flight attendants–consumers deal with every day? Could there be a way for him to quickly let companies know how their employees are performing?In early 2010 the Los Altos, Calif., resident began working on Tello, a mobile platform and app that allows users to report on customer service–and only that (as opposed to such services as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google’s Place Pages, which can get cluttered with reviewer comments on everything from pricing to décor). Soon after Beninato set up shop, he attracted $1 million in seed funding from a team of 10 early-stage angel investors.Since then, the iPhone and mobile web app has grown to “thousands of users and thousands of businesses,” Beninato says, driven largely by word-of-mouth. In February, the company launched Tello for Business, which immediately notifies business owners or managers when customer service reviews are posted, so they can get a jump on damage control if necessary.Beninato, who hopes consumers will check Tello before making a purchase, is enjoying his front-row look into the world of employee-customer interaction. Surprisingly, he says, “80 percent of the ratings are positive,” adding, “We were expecting predominantly complaints, but it’s been the exact opposite of that. People are trying to thank someone for doing a good job for them.” last_img read more

Driverless shuttles will beat other autonomous vehicles to the road

first_imgShared autonomous vehicles, self-driving buses, driverless shuttles — whatever you call them, these vehicles are beating autonomous cars to the road. While companies like Waymo, GM’s Cruise, Lyft, Uber, Baidu, Tesla, and others continue testing personal vehicles that can drive themselves, others are focusing efforts away from personal transit options and seeing how autonomous tech can move crowds at school campuses, residential communities, office parks, business districts, and event spaces.Just this week the New York Times uncovered that Apple’s self-driving car program is refocusing on an employee shuttle with Volkswagen vans. Making personal vehicles autonomous isn’t as easy to deploy.That’s why these shared vehicles are more appealing within the industry — in more controlled, predictable, contained environments computer-controlled vehicles have more of a chance of staying on course and getting to the destination without any issues. That college campus in Florida only has so many busy intersections and complicated turns for a vehicle to track and navigate.One of the earlier self-driving shuttles was Navya’s downtown Las Vegas service. Debuting (fittingly) at the electronic show CES in 2017, the service was an early entrant in the goal of moving small groups of people without a driver. It’s only a yearlong trial, but the vehicles are on the road — however there’ve been a few bumps.In Frisco, Texas, Driva.ai will provide driverless shuttle service starting this summer. The service will offer employees and residents in certain buildings in town a free ride ordered on a mobile app. The sensor- and camera-filled Nissan NV200 vans were demoed this month and will continue testing routes in the Texas city until the six-month trial begins in July.Drive.ai’s head of business strategy, Conway Chen said in a phone call that the company wanted to deploy something on public roads and honed in on a tight, geofenced area. The Texas community with limited transportation options was a good fit — and had accepting city officials willing to allow testing.“This is the perfect use case for this,” Chen said. With no human drivers communication boards help.The bright orange vans stick out — and that’s the point. Chen said they aren’t supposed to blend in. Communication panels help pedestrians and fellow drivers interact with a car that’s unmanned. To begin, a safety driver will sit in the front seat. During the course of the six-month trial they’ll move to the passenger seat.“It can be really jarring to simply be in there by yourself,” Chen said, commenting on passenger expectations of vehicles and public perception of autonomous vehicles.[embedded content]For Optimus Ride, a self-driving vehicle technology software company, shared shuttles riding in geofenced environments help maintain that safe feeling. “We’ve long believed this kind of approach is the fastest, most efficient, safest way,” the MIT spin-off startup’s co-founder Sertac Karaman said in a phone interview about driving vehicles in places like office parks and university campuses.He brought up “data density,” the concept that for one square mile you get a lot of information and experience “very rapidly and quickly.” The vehicle isn’t driving many other places — just the same area over and over and over again. Machine learning thrives in this type of environment. Union Point is a mixed-use community in Massachusetts that Optimus Ride is testing its shuttle program as part of a “smart city” environment. He predicts more developments like this will be designed from the ground up to be “self-driving ready,” Karaman said.The list of autonomous shuttles popping up in communities, office parks, and campuses is growing — over the past few months services have popped up or been announced for testing, with plans to be eventually implemented.Earlier this year I rode in what is the first shared autonomous vehicle allowed to ride on public roads in California. We drove in the EasyMile shuttle at a Bay Area office park — and it was the safest, slowest, most boring ride ever. This was the perfect situation of a shuttle to operate: limited traffic, consistent road markings, and little excitement.  The shuttle fits up to 12 people with six seats and is programmed on a route intended for business park employees coming to and from the office.Abroad in the UK, Paris, Australia, and Singapore  similar trials with autonomous shuttles are in the works or already testing on roads.University campuses are also a popular location for driverless shuttle service. Test rides and pilot programs are planned for Texas Southern University and University of Wisconsin at Madison. Other communities like Gainesville, Florida are gearing up for a three-year pilot program with autonomous shuttles riding from a park to the University of Florida campus. A new development in Atlanta will include an driverless shuttle on a path connecting riders to a nearby public transit station.Fisker, the California-based electric vehicle company, is developing an electric autonomous shuttle service on its Fisker Orbit. On a geofenced route the steering wheel-less vehicle can carry 12 people. The company expects to have a prototype by the end of the year and start producing roughly 2,000 vehicles in 2019. The base price is expected to be below $250,000. CEO Henrik Fisker said in an email the company has found several locations for the vehicles to operate, but isn’t announcing where yet. The company said the Fisker Orbit is best suited for corporate campuses, college campuses, airports, city centers, resorts, and parks. Sounds familiar.The Fisker Orbit autonomous shuttle.Image: fiskerTo Karaman these environments make sense to use autonomous shuttles: speeds tend to be more manageable in the 25 to 35 mph range and the “environmental complexity” is nothing compared to the overwhelming traffic conditions of a city like San Francisco or Manhattan. “We’re really trying to understand human behavior through a computer,” Karaman said. And when human behavior is routine, predictable, and consistent like the route from the fitness center to the grocery store in a retirement community, shared autonomous vehicles can pull in. The best environment for a self-driving shuttle.Image: optimus rideBy Sasha Lekach2018-05-26 13:00:00 UTClast_img read more

Dustin Lance Black slams Katie Hopkins ignorant homophobic surrogacy tweet

first_imgTom Daley, Dustin Lance Black announced they were to become parents on Twitter | Photo: Twitter/DustinLanceBlack GAYSTARNEWS- eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black announce birth of their sonTom Daley and Dustin Lance Black reveal sex of their babyThis is where Tom and Dustin went for their first night out since becoming dadsRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/dustin-lance-black-slams-katie-hopkins/center_img is actually a 2 hour delivery service. Not next day. Sorry Hun. Love ya babez— Tom Daley (@TomDaley1994) March 7, 2018Black responded to Katie on Wednesday (7 March), saying:‘For any who care to understand this process, surrogacy for gay & straight parents as well as most pregnancies requiring medical assistance can take years longer than those that don’t.‘And pregnancies requiring medical help come with their very own hopes, heartbreaks & joy.‘I’ve never heard of someone who does not know their surrogate, and doesn’t know them well.Surrogate mother ‘is someone who we love and are incredibly grateful for.’Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black‘A part of the process is either choosing someone you know and love and have that relationship with… or you have to build a relationship like that.‘The women who are willing to do this and give this gift to couples who can’t have children – there is a love and a warmth and a generosity and a kindness that’s difficult not to fall in love with.‘We certainly have that with ours. We do love her very much.‘I don’t want to give too many details because she has asked not to be named publicly.‘We need to respect that, and I hope the press will respect that – but they become family.‘This is a person who we love and are incredibly grateful for.’Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Dustin Lance Black has hit out at Katie Hopkins for criticizing his decision to have a baby with his partner Tom Daley. Dustin and Tom announced they would be expecting a boy together in February, with Richard Littlejohn causing outrage when he wrote that the idea of two same sex parents ‘made him sick’ for the Daily Mail.However, fellow Mail affiliate Hopkins took to Twitter on Monday (5 March) after the couple announced the sex of their baby.The couple made the revelation on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast.Dustin Lance Black hits back at Katie HopkinsAnd with @amazonprimenow they get free next day delivery pic.twitter.com/2UGcMEt4ty— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) March 5, 2018Taking to Twitter on 5 March, Hopkins wrote: ‘And with @amazonprimenow they get free next day delivery.’Husband Tom was quick to reply back, saying: ‘It’s actually a 2 hour delivery service. Not next day. Sorry hun. Love ya babez.’last_img read more

Kenya Tourist Board extends a warm jambo to Canadian trade

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Posted by Kenya Tourist Board extends a warm ‘jambo’ to Canadian trade Travelweek Group TORONTO — Despite violent post-election protests that erupted across the country earlier this month, and a new election looming on Oct. 17, Kenya remains open to tourists and is focused on promoting the destination as more than just a safari hotspot.This was the message that was conveyed at an industry luncheon hosted by the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) on Sept. 8 in Toronto. “This luncheon comes at a very important time in Kenyan history,” said Jane Onsongo, Deputy Head of Mission. “Please tell your clients that there is no cause for alarm.”To emphasize the point further, Onsongo noted that the Kenyan government has dedicated approximately 15% of the country’s budget towards security, intensifying ground and aerial patrols and implementing security checks at all entry points. The Tourism Police Unit (TPU) has also increased its presence in major tourism areas like Mombasa and Nairobi, particularly in shopping malls, airports, hotels and public areas.Aside from security, the government has dedicated much of its resources towards improving infrastructure and building its economy. The new Isiolo Airport, for example, is set to open in the Samburu region, which has long been a highlight of the Kenya safari circuit. The Jomo Kanyatta airport now boasts a new terminal for arrivals and departures, with other terminals currently being upgraded and a second runway in the works, all of which will lead to a 12% annual traffic growth, or 25 million passengers by the year 2025.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemAnother major improvement is the launch of the new Thika Super highway that connects Northern, Central and Eastern parts of the country. An additional ferry from Mombasa to the south coast has been added, roads to national parks are being improved, and a new high-speed SRG train from Nairobi to Mombasa has cut travel time down to 4.5 hours, compared to the previous eight-hour journey.As far as hotels go, there’s plenty for travellers to be excited about. Malindi, Billionaire Resort by Italian billionaire Flavio is situated in the Malindi Marine Park and Reserve, considered ‘Africa’s Oldest Marine Park’, and offers butler service, a private beach and ultra-luxe, fully-furnished apartments. The Richard Branson-owned Mahali Mzuri hotel in the Maasai Mara is also worth mentioning for its 12 glamourous safari tents that come with ensuite bathrooms and private decks. Meanwhile, international hotel brands like Four Points by Sheraton, Park Inn by Radisson, Kempinski Villa Rosa, Radisson Blu and Best Western in Nairobi are quickly making their presence known across the country.Even more exciting for tourists, the government of Kenya has launched a new online application for visas. Visitors also have the option to receive a visa upon arrival. Plus, children under 16 years old can now enter the country without a visa, making it easier – and more attractive – for families to plan a visit.All this development is paying off in spades. According to Onsongo, the country saw a 6.8% increase in revenue and inbound tourist arrivals from 2015-2016. Canadian visitor arrivals have increased 14%, while globally, Kenya has seen an impressive 16% uptick in tourism arrivals. In addition, the country now boasts the ninth largest economy in Africa and has been named the best destination for foreign direct investment in the continent.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureLong regarded as one of Africa’s top sellers and a major luxury safari destination, Kenya remains dedicated to wildlife management and conservation. The government recently passed a new wildlife law that enforces fines of 20 million Kshs for poaching.But the country is about more than just its safaris, said Onsongo. It’s quickly becoming known as an adventure hotspot; it was the first destination to offer Stand Up Paddle (SUP) tours with dolphins, available on the Watamu Coast. There are also high altitude training camps in the Great Rift Valley that are attracting international athletes and ‘super runners’, not to mention kite surfing along the coast and deep sea fishing in the Indian Ocean. Kenya also offers a year-long calendar of festivals and events that focus on yoga, marathons, food and more.To help travel agents sell the destination more effectively, KTB’s Kenya Authorized Travel Specialist (KATS) Program is a valuable resource. Currently available in the U.S., it’s divided into three chapters: Introduction to Kenya; Tourism Infrastructure; and Selling Kenya. The program will soon be coming to Canada. Monday, September 11, 2017 last_img read more

Transport Canada is banning baby powder on planes but allowing small knives

first_img Friday, November 10, 2017 OTTAWA — Under new regulation changes effective later this month, airline passengers will be able to carry some small knives on most flights, but baby powder will be banned.Transport Canada says knife blades up to six centimetres – about the size of a large paper clip – will be allowed on domestic and most international flights.Blades of any length will continue to be banned on U.S. flights while razor blades and box cutters of any size will remain prohibited on all flights.Another change will prohibit certain powders and granular material with a volume of 350 millilitres – the size of a soda can – or more.Prohibited materials include items such as bath salts, sea salt, baby powder, foot powder, cooking powder and sand. Baby formula, protein powder, tea and coffee will still be permitted in any quantity.Transport Canada says the adjustments – which are effective Nov. 27 – reflect changes in the security environment and are needed to harmonize with international standards.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is back“These changes to screening procedures will bring Canada in line with international standards and our partner countries, while continuing to keep passengers safe,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in a release. Share Transport Canada is banning baby powder on planes, but allowing small knives The Canadian Press center_img Posted by Tags: Canada << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more