Kolkata/ Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will campaign for the Trinamool Congress in Bengal on Thursday. He will address election rallies along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.Naidu, who is also the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president, left Delhi on Wednesday for Kolkata. He is slated to address election meetings in Jhargram and Haldia. He will campaign for the Trinamool in Kharagpur on Thursday. Banerjee had addressed an election rally of the TDP in Visakhapatnam last month. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaMeanwhile, veteran Bollywood actor Shakti Kapoor, known for his villainous and comic roles, on Wednesday campaigned for Trinamool Congress candidate Madan Mitra for bypolls in Bhatpara Assembly seat. Kapoor participated in a Trinamool Congress road show in the area, travelling in a open jeep accompanied by popular Bhojpuri singer Rani Chatterjee. “If you want your future to be in safe hands, press button number three in the EVM. Do not forget. Press button number three” he said as Mitra’s name would be listed on number three on the EVM. He also recited some of his popular dialogues to entertain the people. With inputs from agencies
REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Trouble is rattling one of Iceland’s most distinctive industries: the production of the thick, hand-knitted “lopi” sweaters adored by tourists and worn with pride by locals.The individually produced, very warm sweaters have become a symbol of Iceland. But local knitters are upset at seeing their profit margins diminished by the appearance of sweaters actually made in China, albeit from authentic Icelandic wool.Containers full of local yarn are shipped from the North Atlantic island nation, made into sweaters in China, then shipped back again, labeled as “hand-knitted from Icelandic wool”.Knitting co-ops around Iceland, struggling to compete, last month urged the government to ban companies from branding woolen sweaters as “Icelandic” unless they are made locally.The Associated Press
“If it were a mistake, then by implication we are saying that racism and intolerance do not exist,” Mr. Annan said in response to a reporter’s questions during his visit to Sweden. “Look around you. It’s very much an issue. It is unfortunate that the Member States could not organize themselves to discuss it in a calmer and more constructive manner without all the divisions.”Holding the World Conference was not premature, the Secretary-General added, because “if we didn’t discuss it this year, when would we discuss it? What we hope is that once you have raised the awareness, and discussed what possible measures governments and societies can take, everybody would go home and focus on what needs to be done.”The outcome document or final declaration by the Conference is only a beginning, he said. “The important thing is that they go home and act on these issues.”Meanwhile at the World Conference in Durban, civil rights groups today asserted that governments were failing in their responsibility to deal with the human rights crises that generated so much anger and frustration in civil society.Representatives of international and national rights groups urged governments to remedy racism and all forms of intolerance, saying States had a critical duty to listen and to act with a renewed sense of urgency.The non-governmental organizations – representing indigenous populations, religious societies, youth groups and national human rights organizations – urged the Conference to focus its attention on the inalienability of all basic human rights in its final Declaration and Programme of Action.The Conference, which ends tomorrow, has set a goal of adopting a Declaration and Programme of Action that can be used as a framework by individual countries, governments and their civil society partners to promote policies of tolerance and further protect citizens from all forms of discrimination.In related news, the UN Information Service in Vienna, along with the maxBundesliga and the Austrian Football Association, has planned a “Footballers Against Racism” campaign to coincide with the World Conference. UNIS Vienna has designed a T-shirt which will be worn by players in League and First Division matches through Sunday. After a short announcement and a greeting from the Secretary-General, the players will remove their shirts and throw them into the crowd.
Loonie dips to three-week low as Bank of Japan meetings weaken currencies AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 21, 2013 4:53 pm MDT TORONTO – The loonie slid to a three-week low Monday as concern about monetary easing by the Bank of Japan negatively affected the yen and U.S. stock and bond markets remained closed for the Martin Luther King holiday.The Canadian dollar was down 0.15 of a cent to 100.68 cents US.The Bank of Japan began a two-day policy meeting amid pressure from the country’s new government to take more aggressive steps to fight the long deflationary slump in the world’s third-largest economy.Some analysts expect the bank to expand its asset-purchasing program and set an inflation target.The “Bank of Japan monetary policy decision could be a big moment for the country,” said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst for CMC Markets Canada in a note.“In recent weeks, (the yen) has been selling off and the Nikkei has been soaring on anticipation that the new government would get its way. Today the two markets are reversing course, suggesting either that traders expect the Bank of Japan won’t go far enough or that significant stimulus has already been priced in and that some are already starting to take profits.”In commodities, benchmark oil for February delivery was off a four-month high, down nine cents to US$95.47 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.February gold bullion rose $2.70 to US$1,689.70 an ounce while copper prices were down.Meanwhile, Statistics Canada reported that wholesale sales rose 0.7 per cent in November to $49.6 billion, largely as a result of higher sales in the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry. The agency says sales were up 0.5 per cent in volume terms.
This morning SMMT hosted a breakfast event to discuss the findings of its Capturing Opportunity report that was previously launched at the Paris Motor Show in September.Produced on behalf of SMMT by KPMG, the report positions the UK as a destination of choice for global vehicle manufacturers and identifies supply-chain opportunities in the UK automotive sector. Bringing together key industry stakeholders and international delegates, the breakfast event included presentations provided by representatives of KPMG exploring the report’s findings further as well as a Q&A session for attending delegates.The report highlights that the UK’s key strengths lie in the varied mix of manufacturers that have all built reputations for quality and engineering excellence. Additionally, with the UK exporting to more than 150 countries around the world, the broad spread of export markets was cited as a positive factor in the country’s stability and future prosperity.Despite the strong body of evidence that demonstrates how the UK is one of Europe’s most attractive automotive industry locations, there are factors that pose a risk to ongoing success. To develop and keep pace with change, urgent action is required to address an impending skills shortage in key industry areas.Download the full ‘Capturing opportunity’ reportClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
On Tuesday morning, I called the World Cup semifinal between Germany and Brazil a very evenly matched contest.Yeah, about that …In an astonishing 18-minute span during the first half, the Germans opened up a 5-0 lead against a Brazil squad that seemed to have given up without its superstar striker, Neymar, who’d been knocked out of the previous match with a back injury. Germany would pile on two more goals before Brazil’s Oscar netted a meaningless marker in the 90th minute to set the final score at 7-1.How big is a six-goal margin of victory in the World Cup? Going into this year’s tournament, only 17 matches in Cup history had seen one side win by six or more goals — most recently when Portugal trounced North Korea 7-0 in the 2010 group stage. And just twice had it happened as late as a semifinal, depending on how you treat Brazil overpowering Sweden 7-1 in 1950 and Argentina’s 6-0 clobbering of Peru in 1978. (Both of those matches technically came in the stage directly preceding the final, but also in a format that used additional round-robin groups to filter teams into the final rather than the knockout-style bracket used today.)The bewildering scoreline in Tuesday’s match had me wondering what an equivalent margin would be in other sports. One approach to the answer is to use the standard deviations of scoring margins in each sport. Lucky for us, in his book “Mathletics,” Wayne Winston, a professor of operations and decision technologies at Indiana University, has done the heavy lifting for us with regard to pro football. Following up on the work of statistician Hal Stern, Winston found that the margin of victory for an NFL team can be approximated by a normal random variable with a mean of the Vegas line (or the margin predicted by a computer power rating) and a standard deviation of 13.86 points.Winston also wrote:For NBA basketball, NCAA basketball and college football, respectively, Jeff Sagarin has found that the historical standard deviation of game results about a prediction from a rating system is given by 12, 10, and 16 points, respectively.Applying Stern’s, Winston’s and Sagarin’s methodology to historical World Cup matches from 1930 to 2010, I found that the distribution of the scoring margin in a high-level international soccer match (relative to the pre-match prediction using Elo ratings and a home-field effect) is approximately normal with a mean of zero and a standard deviation of 1.83 goals. If Brazil and Germany were considered evenly matched going into Tuesday’s game (giving Brazil only credit for playing at home), we’d predict Brazil’s margin of victory to be about 0.5 goals, so Germany’s six-goal margin was 3.6 standard deviations above expected.Going by Winston’s numbers, a 3.6 standard deviation performance in the NFL would be the equivalent of beating an opponent by nearly 50 more points than expected. If you’re curious, you can find a list of the biggest postseason blowouts in NFL history on Pro-Football-Reference.com; if we (naively) assume all of those games were considered evenly matched aside from a three-point bonus for the home team, the closest analog to Germany’s win over Brazil might be the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 62-7 demolition of the Miami Dolphins in 2000 in Dan Marino’s final game.Put in soccer terms, the Jaguars’ margin would have been 6.8 more goals than expected. But that’s nothing compared to the the 1940 NFL championship game between the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins, which ended with the Bears winning 73-0 (on the road, no less). By soccer standards, that would be like winning by 10 more goals than expected, a mark Germany would have needed to pour on about three more goals to match.In college football, Germany’s rout was the equivalent of winning by 57 more points than expected. That’s about the same as Tulsa’s 63-7 victory over Bowling Green in the 2008 GMAC Bowl (a game that carried just a little less importance than Germany-Brazil). In terms of bowls that had national championship implications, you’d have to go back to 1996 and the Fiesta Bowl between then-undefeated No. 1 Nebraska and No. 2 Florida. Favored by three going into the game, Nebraska won by 38, 62-24. But in soccer terms, that’d be a mere win by four more goals than expected — a far cry from the Germans’ performance.Shifting gears to basketball, the Germans’ victory would be like an NBA team winning by 43 more points than expected. Basketball-Reference.com has a list of most lopsided playoff contests in NBA history; assuming evenly matched opponents with a 3.25-point home-court advantage, Germany’s win would be most like the Los Angeles Lakers’ 118-78 win over the San Francisco Warriors in the 1969 postseason. (If you’re looking for an equivalent game in the conference finals or later — probably a more apt comparison for Germany-Brazil — the most comparable rout would be the Lakers’ 153-109 win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of the 1985 Western Conference finals.) And the most dominant conference-finals-or-later win in NBA history, the Lakers’ 126-70 thrashing of the Golden State Warriors on the road in Game 3 of the 1973 Western Conference finals, would be like winning by nine more goals than expected in soccer.College basketball’s biggest NCAA Tournament wins have usually come in the early rounds of the tournament, which comes as no surprise. (For instance, poor 16-seed Prairie View got pasted by No. 1 seed Kansas, 110-52, in the 1998 opener.) Isolating Final Four games, we find a pair of 34-point blowouts that took place in the national semifinal. According to Sagarin’s research, Germany’s win would be like a college basketball team lambasting an evenly matched opponent by 35.9 points.In terms of impressive victories, Germany’s romp ranks among the most notable blowouts across sports more familiar to fans in the United States. A 7-1 win might not seem all that uncommon to baseball fans, so it might help to think of it as the equivalent of a 47-point NFL road playoff victory, or a 40-point win on the road in an NBA playoff game. It wasn’t something you see every day, especially considering it came on the cusp of the World Cup final.
You’re the general manager of an NBA team, and come 2016, one of your star players wants to try out for Team USA. The squad just dominated the FIBA World Cup, he says, and he wants in on the next gold medal.What do you decide?One school of thought says that playing for Team USA will help a player’s NBA performance. Grantland’s Bill Simmons has cited Kevin Durant’s 2010 FIBA experience as a turning point in Durant’s career. Players have said they were “getting better while facing the best players in the world.” And others have described a confidence boost simply in being selected.On the other hand, some analysts, owners and players have expressed concern about giving up scarce summer rest to put on additional basketball miles, particularly for veterans coming off grueling June playoff runs. And what about injuries?The NBA first sent its players to compete in international play with the 1992 Olympic Dream Team. NBA players have since competed in 10 biennial international tournaments (the NBA did not send pros to the 1998 FIBA World Championships due to a lockout). Let’s look at how those players performed in win shares (WS), win shares per 48 minutes (WS/48) and player efficiency rating (PER) in the NBA season following their overseas experience (relative to their age-adjusted Simple Projection System estimates).The average change among all players was +1.6 percent in WS, +3.0 percent in WS/48 and -1.6 percent in PER. The results don’t seem to confirm nor deny the arguments for or against international participation.Breaking the results down by year, however, shows that some tournaments may have provided a larger performance boost than others.So, what happened to the gold-winning 2010 squad that competed in Turkey? Tyson Chandler had a monster 2010-11 year for a championship-winning team after coming off an injury-plagued previous two seasons. Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon, Kevin Love and Lamar Odom also made huge strides. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook emerged as an All-Star, and Derrick Rose broke out to win the league MVP. (Durant was one of only two players from the 2010 squad to have a lesser-than-expected 2010-11 season.)What has caused the recent post-Team USA boost? Well, it could just be noise. But it’s worth noting that Mike Krzyzewski took over as coach in 2006, and his training may have helped spur the rate of improvement. Interestingly, the only years Team USA failed to take gold (2002, 2004 and 2006) are the years players performed worse in the following NBA season (excluding the original 1992 squad). This may be due to Team USA management selecting more of an “All-Star team” during those years, with many perennial All-Stars already at their peaks.When Jerry Colangelo took over as director of USA Basketball in 2005, he demanded more long-term commitments from players (but this requirement didn’t make the team younger; although older players largely made up the 1990s Dream Teams, the average age of Team USA declined in the early 2000s and has remained fairly constant between 24 and 26 since then).Assuming the average boost continues after the 2014 FIBA World Cup, here’s how Team USA players are expected to perform in the next NBA season.Of course, there are a few limitations to this analysis. First, Team USA members aren’t randomly selected, and it may be that the coaching staff now picks players they deem to be on the rise. It’s also worth noting that the Simple Projection System is a metric designed for use on the average NBA player, so it may need tweaking when applied to the stars of Team USA. Also, the system is probably too conservative about adjusting for a player’s age.Still, it appears instruction from Coach K and training and playing with peers atop the basketball universe may have positive, long-lasting effects. That may be reason for NBA teams to think twice before holding players out from international competitions.
Robinson calls for climate change action, says current system is ‘underpinned by rampant capitalism’ The former president said Ireland needs to introduce a carbon tax, but must do so in the right way. Mar 28th 2019, 8:50 AM Short URL 61 Comments MARY ROBINSON HAS hit out at inaction on climate change, saying the current system is “underpinned by rampant capitalism”.Robinson, who leads the Mary Robinson – Climate Justice Foundation, said Ireland and the world needs to do more to tackle the situation.“The system we have at the moment is underpinned by rampant capitalism. The social contract with people is kind of broken.“The unions are being trod upon, especially in the United States but also globally to a certain extent,” Robinson told UCC podcast Plain Speaking.The former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said Ireland needs to become a leader on climate change, stating: “We were a leader in the world and still are perceived to be on hunger.“Now you cannot be a leader on tackling hunger if you are a laggard on climate change, the two don’t fit.”Ireland has missed targets in the past and our performance in taking action against climate change was ranked the worst in Europe in a report published in December.The Climate Change Performance Index ranked Ireland 48th out of 56 countries, with a score of 40.84, far below the EU average of 60.65.Carbon tax Many people view failing to introduce a carbon tax in the most recent Budget as a missed opportunity. In the interview, Robinson reaffirmed that Ireland needs a carbon tax, but stated that lessons from other countries should be learned. By Órla Ryan Share681 Tweet Email2 Former Irish President Mary Robinson at Trinity College Dublin last month. Former Irish President Mary Robinson at Trinity College Dublin last month. Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images Thursday 28 Mar 2019, 8:50 AM https://jrnl.ie/4564486 We do need a carbon tax, but it must be fair. We need to pay attention to what happened in Paris, in France, when the carbon tax was the right thing to do but it was done in the wrong way.“It was done when the wealth tax had been removed and people perceived a real unfairness and inequity,” she said.Taoiseach Leo Varadkar previously said Ireland is “laggard” when it comes to tackling climate change, adding that he is “not proud” of this.Referring to his comments, Robinson said: “It is not good for our profile or even I think for our morale that as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said in the European Parliament that we’re laggard on climate change.”She also spoke about the role agriculture and other sectors in the Irish economy can play.“What we’ve done as a country is we’ve decided to put a big bet on beef and milk, and these are not the best from a climate point of view…We still have to feed people, we still have to have farming, but we need to be more diverse, more conservation agriculture, more thoughtful.“It’s not just agriculture, it is transport. We need to go electric as quickly as possible and so on. It’s not an excuse to say we’re a small country, not an excuse,” Robinson stated. 10,002 Views Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras has asked the ministry’s internal affairs department to check the assets of 240 senior ministry and regional officials who have handled tax inspection in recent years in an apparent bid to ensure that none of the agents of the government’s tax evasion crackdown have themselves dodged their taxes.Internal affairs inspectors are to scour the derivation of wealth (“pothen esches”) declarations of 240 officials in accordance with a decision signed by Stournaras yesterday.The inspections will initially target 130 officials found to have sizable deposits in foreign bank accounts and will continue with checks on other high-ranking civil servants. As regards the officials with foreign bank accounts, if their incomes do not justify their savings, they will be dismissed from the service, a high-ranking ministry official said. Facing scrutiny are all officials who have managed departments that fall under the jurisdiction of the General Secretariat for Public Revenues, the General Secretariat for Information Systems and the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) over the past three years. Internal affairs agents will also check the pothen esches declarations of those who have worked as inspectors in the regional units of the above bodies for at least two years.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Alyson Hurt/NPRBrazil leads the world in the number of Zika cases reported.This year we’ve learned an amazing amount about Zika — how it damages developing brains, how it spreads through sexual contact and where in the world (and the U.S.) it’s hiding out.But there’s been one big question lingering: What risk does Zika pose to pregnant women and their fetuses? How scared should they be of it? More specifically, what’s the chance a woman will have a healthy baby if she catches Zika during her pregnancy?Finally, scientists are starting to figure it out. And at first, it seems like good news. But when you dig a bit deeper into the data, the repercussions of Zika could be far more widespread than previously predicted.Let’s start with the good news. Two studies published earlier this month estimated the risk that a baby will be born with microcephaly — a condition that is characterized by a very small head and severe brain damage — when a woman is infected during the first or second trimester of her pregnancy.Both studies — one published in The New England Journal of Medicine and the other in JAMA — came up with about the same risk: 3 to 4 percent.That’s about 40 times higher than the risk of microcephaly in the U.S. when Zika isn’t around. But it’s a lower risk than health officials predicted earlier this year, says Dr. Karin Nielsen, a pediatrician at the University of California, Los Angeles, who contributed to one of the two studies.“Three percent is a small amount of microcephaly,” she says. “It’s certainly not as astronomical as what had been projected.”And that small risk is likely why there haven’t been as many microcephaly cases reported this year in Latin America and the Caribbean as health officials had projected earlier this year.So far, the only region reporting a large number of microcephaly cases is the northeastern tip of Brazil, Nielsen says. Brazil has reported about 2,200 cases in total. And nearly 1,700 have occurred in the northeast region, the Ministry of Health reported.But other countries have reported many fewer. Colombia is second highest with about 70 cases. The U.S. is third with 37. Then the Dominican Republic with 22 and Guatemala with 15. One way to think about this data is that Brazil has about four times the number of people as Colombia but about 30 times the number of Zika cases.Right now, no one is sure why the northeastern part of Brazil has been hit so hard with microcephaly cases.“What I personally believed happened in this region is that the attack rate — meaning how many people got infected with Zika — was extremely high,” Nielsen says.Another hypothesis is that some environmental factor, such as pesticide exposure or being infected at the same time with another virus, could have increased the risk of microcephaly in northeastern Brazil.And indeed, infection with another mosquito-borne virus, called chikungunya, can cause miscarriages and low birth weights. But so far, there’s been no evidence that this virus increases the risk of birth defects, Nielsen says.OK, so that’s the good news — the risk of microcephaly isn’t has high as health officials first feared. And case numbers across Latin America and the Caribbean have been low, so far. So what about the bad news?Several studies have found that the effects of Zika on a developing fetus go way beyond microcephaly. Now, it looks like these Zika-related problems may be vastly more common than previously predicted.“There’s been tremendous focus on microcephaly,” Nielsen says. “I think it’s wrong to focus on microcephaly because most studies have actually shown that microcephaly is not the most common problem with Zika.”Nielsen and her colleagues recently followed 117 women in Rio de Janeiro with confirmed Zika infections during their pregnancies. All these women gave birth to live babies. Four percent of the babies had microcephaly. But nearly 38 percent of them had problems other than microcephaly, either at birth or three months later.“We had babies that had abnormal MRI exams of their brains, babies with eye abnormalities, babies who failed hearing tests and appeared to have significant hearing loss,” Nielsen says. “And we had babies with fetal growth restriction” — a condition in which the fetus doesn’t grow as it should in the uterus. In some cases, the mom was infected late in pregnancy, during the third trimester, and her baby still had problems. In contrast, with microcephaly, there appears to be little risk when the Zika infection occurs late in pregnancy.When Nielsen and her team saw how many babies had problems — more than 40 percent — they didn’t believe the data at first. “We said, ‘Wow that’s really high. That’s absurd,’ ” she says. “But then we looked at the data over and over again and we said, ‘No it’s correct.’ “The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, has a major limitation: The control group had a very high rate of problems in their newborns as well. “Our control group was not entirely a control group,” Nielsen says.Instead, they used a group of 57 women who had rashes during pregnancy and tested negative for Zika. In that group, three women (or 5 percent) had babies with abnormalities. In one case, the mother tested positive for chikungunya.So the study needs to be repeated with a better control group and in other parts of the world. But if the findings stand, Zika’s impact on a generation of babies could be far more sweeping than previously thought.“We need to follow these babies over time to see how they develop,” Nielsen says. “Will they achieve their milestones? Will they be able to walk? Talk? Will they have problems in school? We just don’t have enough information yet.”Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share
By Hamzat Sani, Special to the AFROThe Police Foundation recently released an independent review of the Metropolitan Police Department’s interactions with demonstrators during the 2017 Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump that highlights several MPD blunders.The review was commissioned by the Police Complaints Board – the governing body of the District’s Office of Police Complaints – which released its own report in February 2017 that highlighted the same issues with MPD’s interactions with protestors. The independent review was commissioned by OPC, with approval from the D.C. Council, to further investigate findings that MPD did not always perform in accordance with their standard operating procedures during a weekend full of protests.Both the review and report point to an MPD that was under-prepared, overwhelmed and overworked during inaugural protests. The review includes testimony from officers, investigators and independent witnesses noting instances where demonstrators were pepper sprayed without warning, arrested en masse without cause and hit with stings balls in contravention of approved protocol.The review also documents instances where officers worked shifts of 17 hours without breaks, were only given a video to prepare them for protests and did not have equipment necessary to provide adequate crowd control.“The overwhelming majority of MPD officers adhered to department policies and procedures and performed in a professional manner,” said OPC Executive Director Michael Tobin. However Tobin also noted, “I think it would do a lot for community trust if MPD was simply to come out and admit that mistakes were made and we are going to do better next time.”MPD did not provide comment regarding the release of the review to the AFRO. The full report can be found on the OPC’s website here.
By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, firstname.lastname@example.orgCynthia Gooding and her husband Ketorus Gooding launched the Fashion Spa House brand on Harford Road in Baltimore in 2016. According to the founders, “Fashion Spa House, Inc., is a lifestyle enhancement company…It focuses on and encourages everyday luxe. It’s Slogan “Glam and Pampered” reflects its mission evident in its everyday practices.”The Harford Road location offers a full-service spa called, Serenity Wellness Studio, which delivers wellness services, as well as a retail shopping experience. Fashion Spa House also offers online shopping for clients to “have a little everyday luxe sent directly to their home or office,” according to the founders.Cynthia Gooding is owner along with her husband Ketorus Gooding of the Fashion Spa House. The BWI Marshall Airport location of Fashion Spa House, shown in this photo, opened inApril 2017. (Courtesy Photos)In April 2017, they launched a second location at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, a hub for Southwest Airlines and one of the busiest airports in the nation.“At the BWI location on concourse B, their “glam on the go” model consists of eyebrow contouring, eyelash application, “glamtees,” fashions, accessories and skincare.“You don’t have to be the biggest, but you always have to be your best,” said Cynthia Gooding. “Underpromise and over deliver.”
There’s a famous Bruce Lee quote that finishes with “become like water, my friend.” Some funeral homes are taking that advice quite literally nowadays. They’re turning human remains back into water, like Alex Mack or an old Capri Sun commercial. For several years now, the funeral business has been looking for ways to green itself up — and this is one result of their efforts. The process is called alkaline hydrolysis, and it’s looked at as a more environmentally friendly alternative to cremation.The process is a bit like old-timey soap making — except instead of beef tallow or lard, a human corpse goes into the mix. It’s placed in a vat that contains a mix of water, salt, and lye, and the temperature is raised to 160 degrees Celsius. The system is pressurized to prevent actual boiling from taking place, and over the course of a few hours the body is broken down.Dale Hilton, whose family has operated a funeral home in Smiths Falls, Ontario for many years, says “it brings your body back to its natural state.” That natural state includes a fine, white powder made from the pulverized skeletal remains, and a greenish-brown liquid comprised of the amino acids, peptides, sugars, and salts in the body.The liquid is deemed safe for disposal and can be lovingly released into the sewer system where it can flow through the water treatment plant and go back into circulation. Sounds a bit creepy, right? It’s really not; Hilton says it’s really just the same thing that happens when a body goes into the ground, only it’s happening much more quickly.The superintendent of facilities for Smiths Falls, Ontario — where Hilton operates — isn’t concerned. Ted Joynt told the CBC that they’ve been testing on a weekly basis and haven’t noticed anything alarming in the water yet. You know, except the mental image associated with the phrase “liquified humans remains.”Image courtesy SqueezeyBoy/Flickr
A comparison of Linux VPS Providers for beginner hosting by Mike Turcotte-McCusker on June 15, 2017 in Linux – Last Update: June 14, 2017 – 13 commentsIn a previous article I went over the basics of hosting a webserver and basic website on a home machine. However, realistically it is much more appropriate to do such a thing on an external server, for numerous reasons such as:Not using resources needed on your personal machineNo issues with ISP’s blocking portsVarious IP address issuesMore stable connectionsCommonly, more faster connection speedsWith that being said, there are so many providers out there, that shopping around can be a bit daunting…So, I’ve done that for you. As someone who has multiple servers from multiple providers, and has used servers from countless providers, I thought some personal insight and experience might be warranted as well.Before we get into the actual comparison, a brief explanation is needed.What is a VPS? How is it different from a Dedicated Server?In short, a dedicated server is an entire machine dedicated simply to you, and not sharing any of its resources with others. A VPS on the other hand, could be simply explained as a “Piece” of a server, for you to use.Another easy way to explain it would be that with a VPS, you have access to a predetermined amount of RAM, HDD/SSD space, and a number of cores. The dedicated server your VPS runs on may have 128GB of RAM, 5x 1tb SSD, and 22 Cores per socket; but your VPS might only have 20GB SSD, 512MB RAM, and 1 Core available at it’s disposal.What will be the options focused on for the comparison?Many VPS providers offer similar plans, with SSD Storage, X amount of RAM, Y Number of Cores, and Z Bandwidth. However, others offer things like “Cloud RAM” Which is RAM borrowed from other machines etc. The primary focus will be on “SSD VPS” Solutions, not “Cloud” based solutions. The reasoning for this, is while it’s awesome that some providers do offer services like that, I don’t find it a true comparison to include technologies that some companies offer, others do not – I wouldn’t compare a Honda Civic to an Offroad Dune Buggy for example, because while both are motorized vehicles, both can get you to the grocery store, and both are ‘cars’ for all intents and purposes, the Dune Buggy was designed for features that the Civic was not.The providers we will be looking atThere are more VPS providers out there than you can shake a stick at, and to list them all would take me weeks to write, and you just as long to read. So, I’ve compiled a list of providers I personally have used, and a few that have caught my attention, they are:HostwindsDigital OceanLinodeOVHVPS.netThe comparisonHostwindsHostwinds is a provider I currently use, and have enjoyed using for the most part. Their support team is pretty quick about getting things done when it really matters, usually pretty helpful for any questions I’ve had, and the uptime has been stellar. There’s been a couple of hiccups over the years, but nothing I can really complain about in depth or severity.Hostwinds offers three different sets of VPS plans, the first two being “Budget” and “Premium”, but they also offer “SSD VPS” solutions as well. Surprisingly, their Premium and VPS plans also offered unlimited bandwidth. I spoke with a representitive who confirmed it, even double checking with a supervisor, it is truly unlimited. I asked, “So I can use Petabytes of bandwidth each month, with no issues?” And it was confirmed as fine. I was shocked by this, and it’s something I’m going to keep in mind for a project I am starting up!The downside is that unless you are using one of their SSD Plans, you are getting a traditional Hard Drive. Granted, my server I have with them uses one, and the speed is still fast enough for what I do with it (two websites, an email server, shoutcast stream hosting 24/7 broadcasting a radio station of my own music on shuffle, a teamspeak server as well as a mumble server.)Here are the links to their various plans for your perusal:Budget VPS PlansPremium VPS PlansSSD VPS PlansOverall Hostwinds is a little more expensive than some of the competition, but the addition of unlimited bandwidth is something that if you know you’ll be receiving a lot of traffic, downloads / uploads, or streaming services, you really might want to consider!Digital OceanDigital Ocean is where another of my servers is hosted that I use strictly for my OwnCloud storage. I use their cheap 512mb 5$/Month server for this, and it serves my purposes quite fine.Two things that are absolutely STELLAR about Digital Ocean are their deployment time, and the preconfigured servers. They boast that your server (they call them ‘droplets’) will be up and ready to go in 55 seconds, and it’s been true from my experiences.As for preconfigured droplets, they have numerous options available, such as LAMP/LEMP stacks (Linux, Apache/Nginx, MySQL, and PHP/Python/Perl) and OwnCloud, even WordPress, so that as soon as your droplet is deployed you have the option you selected already preinstalled, just configure and go! Super handy!Also with Digital Ocean is the ability to upgrade/Downgrade/Scale your droplets almost instantly. Need more ram? Upgrade is just a few clicks away! There are numerous really useful features to the droplet system.Prices for Droplets at Digital Ocean can be found here.LinodeLinode is what I would personally call the biggest competitor to Digital Ocean. Their prices are nearly identical, except you typically get just a little more in terms of resources. For example, the $5/Month plan with Linode will give you 1GB of RAM.As with Digital Ocean, you also get what they call “Stackscripts” which are preconfigured scripts for your server to ease installation and setup for things like LAMP stacks, WordPress etc. Again, very handy for someone who wants to skip the installation and get right down to brass tacks! I personally have not used them, only setting things up manually myself on my Linodes, so I can’t vouche for their simplicity.Linode prices can be found here.OVHOVH is yet another VPS provider, one that I haven’t used as of yet, so I can’t vouch to their service, but I can say that their prices are phenomenal!Lower prices than the previously mentioned companies, $4.49 for a 2GB SSD VPS with 10GB Storage space is pretty awesome I must say, if you aren’t worried about having a lot of storage.The prices can be found here for their SSD VPS.OVH Does offer “Clould RAM” VPS services too, which I won’t get into, but if that piques your curiosity, you can check it out here.VPS.netI’ve never used VPS.net, so I again can’t attest to the quality of their servers or services, and their prices are pretty much comparable to Linode or Digital Ocean. 5 bucks will get you 512MB of ram however like Digital Ocean, 15GB of SSD Storage, 1TB of Bandwidth and a single virtual core; pretty straightforward.You can check out their prices here.Final WordsA VPS is a GREAT way to force yourself to learn how to use the command line, start up a website, host various things for yourself and your friends or family, and really dig in deeper into the server world, at an affordable price.The options above are not your only options, but they are ones that I consider very good, and in the cases of a few of them, ones I have personally trusted with my data.What about you? Do you have any servers? Any experience with the above companies?SummaryArticle NameA comparison of Linux VPS Providers for beginner hostingDescriptionMike takes a look at so-called VPS services, explains what they are, and how you can find the right VPS service for your requirements.Author Mike TurcottePublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement
MONTREAL — Air Canada says the improvements it’s making to Aeroplan are part of the airline’s promise “to build the most rewarding program in the country”.Launching in 2020, the new and improved Aeroplan offers the most flexible flight reward policies of any Canadian loyalty program, according to Air Canada.Last year Air Canada signed an agreement with Aimia Inc. to buy Aeroplan for $450 million, bringing the popular rewards program back under Air Canada’s control.Announced today, Air Canada says new changes to Aeroplan mark the beginning of many improvements as it moves toward re-launching the loyalty program in summer 2020.“Choice and flexibility are at the core of our loyalty plans, so we’re excited to introduce the first of many changes for Aeroplan Members as we work to create the best travel loyalty program,” said Mark Nasr, Vice President, Loyalty and eCommerce, Air Canada. “As Aeroplan celebrates its 35th anniversary this month it provides a strong foundation for our new program. The changes we are announcing today will provide members with more flexibility and peace of mind while still delivering the same unbeatable value so they can reach their travel goals.”More news: GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsDesigned to make Aeroplan more flexible and member-friendly, the changes include:Complimentary, full refunds within 24 hours of booking: Aeroplan Members will be able to cancel and refund Flight Rewards for free within 24 hours of booking.Option to refund Flight Rewards up to two hours before departure: Previously, Aeroplan Flight Reward bookings could not be refunded within 21 days of departure. With these changes, Aeroplan Members will be able to cancel and refund their Flight Reward booking for a fee up until two hours prior to the departure time of the first flight in the reservation. This will apply to all bookings, including those made prior to the new policy coming into effect. Rather than keeping cancelled tickets open for future travel, Aeroplan Miles, taxes and fees will be refunded, and members may book new tickets anytime in the future.Reduction of the aeroplan.com Refund Fee: Aeroplan will lower the Refund Fee from $150 to $125 for refunds completed via aeroplan.com. The new, lower fee will apply to all bookings, including those made prior to the new policy coming into effect. Aeroplan diamond status members will continue to get lower fee amounts, and Air Canada Altitude Super Elite 100K members will not be charged the fee.New for Air Canada Altitude Super Elite 100K members, complimentary changes and refunds: Air Canada Altitude Super Elite 100K members will now receive complimentary changes to their Flight Reward bookings and refunds when they request a change or refund to their Flight Reward booking. These fee waivers will apply to all bookings, including those made prior to the new policy coming into effect. Posted by Wednesday, July 17, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Air Canada says these changes will make Aeroplan more flexible Tags: Aeroplan, Air Canada Share
Increasing numbers of Brits are booking flights to Canada ahead of this winter’s ski season, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has said.According to the CTC, the increase in visitors from the UK has led to many resorts investing in improvements.Nim Singh, the CTC’s media and public relations manager, explained that the UK represents approximately ten percent of all incoming skiers to Canada, although that figure is “growing”.”We’ve got other resorts announcing massive investments, for example, La Massif just outside Quebec has announced their investment in developing and creating a brand new facility,” she said.”Resorts in Kicking Horse, Panorama, Revelstoke and British Columbia are all actively encouraging British visitors to come.”Ms Singh went on to say that, over the last decade, British skiers booking flights to Canada have increased from 20,000 a year to 100,000.According to the Ski Club of Great Britain, the top resorts in Canada are Banff, Fernie, Lake Louise, Tremblant and Whistler.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedMore skiers booking flights to JapanMore skiers booking flights to JapanIncreasing numbers of Brits book flights to value-for-money sunshine destinationsMore Brits are booking flights to destinations that offer value-for-money as well as warmth.Courchevel hosts Dali exhibition for skiersSkiers looking for a cultural destination this winter may head to Courchevel as the resort hosts a Dali exhibition.
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Toy Story fans shed one last tear — actually but it sounds as if our collective waterworks will be turned back on when Toy Story 4 arrives in theaters next year.
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