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Car2Go to end Toronto operations in May over city parking regulations
TORONTO – Toronto parking regulations that have prompted Car2Go to suspend its operations in Canada’s biggest city by the end of the month send a “chilling signal” to car-sharing services eyeing or already in the market, according to an expert on the sharing economy.Car2Go said Thursday that it had been rendered “inoperable” by a city-run pilot program arriving in June that will forbid its use of almost 10,000 parking spaces, where users usually pick up or leave the service’s vehicles.The pilot program would also charge the service permit fees of $1,499.02 per vehicle and force Car2Go to immediately relocate their cars when two or more car-sharing vehicles have been left on the same residential street.“This is not the result we were expecting and to say we are disappointed would be a huge understatement,” Car2Go CEO Paul DeLong said in a letter the company sent users on Thursday.“We hope that one day, the City of Toronto chooses to establish a legal framework that makes true free-float carshare possible in the same way that dozens of other global cities have.”Car2Go, owned by Germany’s Daimler, has been in Toronto since early 2012, when it required users to pick up and park cars in designated “Green P” lots. It started allowing them to leave and grab a vehicle from any legal spot on streets in 2016. The company now operates in 26 cities around the world, including Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver.Mayor John Tory expressed disappointment that “Car2Go has chosen confrontation over collaboration.”“While their decision to suspend operations in Toronto is unfortunate, it is their decision alone to walk away from a clear path towards regulations that would allow them to operate in our city in a reasonable, compatible way,” he said, in a statement.“I’m confident that other car sharing companies willing to work with us and to operate in this manner will succeed in Toronto.”But that confidence is not shared by Sunil Johal, policy director of the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre and an expert on the sharing economy. He said he worries that it sends a message to companies that Toronto isn’t as open to car-sharing innovations as other cities, which have reached agreements with such services.“This is the kind of thing the city should be looking to welcome and promote, rather than shut down or put in place parameters that make it almost impossible for the programs to work successfully,” he said.“It comes at a time, when we are trying to think about ways to move people away from car ownership and car usage, so it seems counterintuitive that the city is putting significant obstacles in the way of an established model of car-sharing that has been proven to reduce vehicle miles travelled and greenhouse gas emissions.”Car2Go has faced fierce competition in recent years from similar services, including Zipcar, Turo, Enterprise CarShare and General Motors Co’s Maven, but its biggest challenge in Toronto has come from the city.The two have been debating the “free-floating” car-share pilot for months, with Car2Go threatening in February to leave Toronto if the pilot made it too difficult for the company to keep operating.The city is mostly concerned that residents with on-street parking permits won’t be able to find spaces to leave their cars as car-sharing services continue to grow in popularity.At Thursday’s city council meeting, Toronto councillor Mike Layton introduced a motion asking staff to consult further with the car-sharing industry about the city’s approach to such services and report back in June about potential changes to the forthcoming pilot.The motion passed 34-4 and was supported by Mayor Tory.Car2Go expressed optimism about the rest of the country, saying its service in Montreal was just expanded to additional boroughs.It said it has 80,000 Toronto members, whose memberships won’t be cancelled or refunded because they will be able to use them in other countries around the world.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version contained an incorrect parking fee figure.
Sitharaman leaves for Kyrgyzstan to attend SCO defence ministers meet
New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman left for Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on Sunday on a three-day visit to attend a key meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).Sitharaman will attend the SCO Defence Ministers’ conclave on Monday during which she is likely to press for concerted efforts by the powerful bloc to deal with terrorism and extremism, officials said. She is also likely to hold bilateral meetings with a number of counterparts from the SCO member countries on the sidelines of the conclave, they said. The SCO defence ministers will explore ways to further boost defence and security cooperation among the member countries in the wake of evolving security challenges in the region. India became a full member of the the China-dominated grouping in 2017 and New Delhi’s entry into it increased the bloc’s heft in regional geo-politics, besides giving it a pan-Asian hue. India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence. India was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings.
Federer saves 2 match points vs Monfils for 1200th career win
Madrid: Roger Federer was forced to fight hard for what could have otherwise been a routine win against Gael Monfils in the Madrid Open third round. Federer bageled Monfils 6-0 in the first set, lost his momentum in the second, and looked like he was down and almost out in the third. However, he battled hard to bring a 4-1 deficit to 4-4 before completing a remarkable third set win thanks to a successful tie break where he kept his head while Monfils lost his. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuFederer caught Monfils napping for the opening 20 minutes of the match and could have completed a quick-fire match win had the entertaining Frenchman not awoken from his slumber. Monfils, with a smile on his face, stole the momentum from Federer and broke the veteran tennis player at 4-5. He then went on to win the second set 6-4. At times in the match, Federer appeared livid and could be heard shouting at himself. He complained to the chair umpire that the sun was too bright, requesting unsuccesfully for the Caja Magica stadium roof to be closed. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersIt all led to a gripping third set, one which Federer and Monfils exchanged the lead, with both players gunning for the win. Monfils was up 4-1 but lost the lead as Federer brought it back to 4-4. Monfils even had match points at 6-5, but Federer smashed his way back to deuce. Moments later, Federer was able to make one of his advantages count, sending the match into a tie break where he held his nerve, winning 7-3 for a 6-0, 4-6, 7-5 win after two wild hours in Spain.
Bad Weather Conditions Disrupt Sea Traffic between Tangier and Tarifa
Tangier – Sea traffic between the ports of Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa in Southern Spain was disrupted on Fridaydue to bad weather conditions in the Strait of Gibraltar.Sea traffic between the two ports was suspended starting this Friday at 7:00 am due to strong winds and bad weather conditions in Gibraltar, Tangier port commanding officer, Ahmed Ouqebli, told MAP.Sea traffic will be restored as soon as weather conditions return to normal, he added. Travelers wishing to cross the Strait are invited to take the Tangier Med Algeciras liaison.With MAP
TRC to ban unregistered mobile phones
The TRC will block the signals to the unregistered phones, he said. TRC has taken steps to maintain a Central Equipment Identity Register and all the phones failing to register will be disabled by blocking the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers.However, the users of unregistered mobile phones at present will be granted a grace period to get them registered, the statement added. The statement said that all imported mobile phones should be registered with the TRC and they are required to meet certain safety regulations. The Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRCSL) has decided to ban mobile phones that are not registered with the TRC by blocking the mobile signal.TRC says modern equipment will be used to identify the unregistered mobile phones and remove them from use, a government statement said today. The mobile phones can be registered at the TRC by filling a form within a few minutes. (Colombo Gazette)
Canadian railways outperform US rivals in Q4 but petroleum helps 2012 numbers
Canadian railways outperform U.S. rivals in Q4 but petroleum helps 2012 numbers by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 7, 2013 4:27 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – Canada’s two large railways outperformed their U.S. rivals in the fourth quarter although rail companies on both sides of the border were helped last year by a surge in traffic for petroleum products.Walter Spracklin of RBC Capital Markets said Canadian railway freight volumes were up 2.6 per cent overall in the final quarter of 2012 on strong intermodal, agricultural products and chemicals carloads.American railways, meanwhile, suffered a 1.8 per cent volume decrease, largely as a result of a decline in coal and grain shipments.While the volume trends were in line with guidance provided by the railways in the third quarter, Spracklin is raising his earnings forecast for Montreal-based Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) by four per cent to $1.45 per share on superior volume trends and to $5.65 per share for the year.The consensus forecast of analysts is $1.40 per share for the quarter and $5.59 for the year.CN, the larger of Canada’s two major railways, had the highest volume growth of all Class 1 railways in the quarter, rising 3.4 per cent, or 8.4 per cent on an RTM (revenue per ton) basis.Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) saw volumes increase 1.1 per cent.CN larger size weighted the overall percentage volume increase of Canada’s railways to 2.6 per cent.Among other things, CN’s improvement was fuelled by new intermodal contracts, robust traffic at Canadian West Coast ports and a 15.3 per cent growth in agricultural products due to a strong Canadian crop, as well as a less robust quarter for comparison last year.“We believe CN will target high single-digit earnings growth in 2013, in line with our current forecast,” Spracklin added in a report, noting that guidance will be announced with fourth-quarter and year-end results on Jan. 22.The railway has forecast that 2012 adjusted diluted earnings by share would grow by up to 15 per cent over the $4.84 earned in 2011.Spracklin also boosted his target price for CN by $1 to $93 per share on the expectation that it will retain volume in fiscal 2014 that he had expected to be recouped by Canadian Pacific.He lowered his EPS forecast for CP last month by three per cent to $1.26 per share and says volume trends in the fourth quarter failed to meet the company’s forecasts.“We expect these disappointing freight patterns to result in downward estimate revisions.”Volume growth at CP Rail included 6.7 per cent growth in chemicals carloads along with modest volume growth in four of seven other segments. However, it sustained “notable” declines in forest products, metals and minerals.The speed of its trains increased by 2.2 per cent in the quarter, the lowest increase in the year.Spracklin is maintaining his target price for CP shares at $91.“We continue to believe that the new management team’s operating plan will result in materially higher efficiency, productivity and ultimately earnings at CP. However, we believe CP’s share price has gotten significantly ahead of this improvement and consider much of the optimism to be fully priced in.”The Association of American Railroads said 2012 was a mixed year for U.S. rail traffic with carloads falling 3.1 per cent to 14.7 million, but with intermodal volume reaching its second-highest level since a record year in 2006.Twelve of 20 product categories showed increases, led by a 46.3 per cent jump in petroleum products. Vehicles and parts were up 16.5 per cent; stones, sand and gravel were 7.9 per cent higher and lumber products were up 13 per cent. Coal was down 10.8 per cent, grain off 9.5 per cent and metallic ores down 5.7 per cent.Excluding coal and grain, U.S. rail carloads in 2012 were up 4.9 per cent over 2011, the third year-over-year annual increase.“Coal and grain typically account for around half of U.S. rail carloads, so when they’re down, chances are good that overall rail carloads are down too, as we saw in 2012,” said association senior vice-president John Gray.Total volume for Canadian railways increased two per cent to four million carloads last year, while trailers and containers were up 6.6 per cent from 2011 to nearly 2.7 million.Petroleum products were up 30.1 per cent, while autos were up 9.1 per cent, sand up 4.4 per cent, lumber up 7.2 per cent and coal up 4.8 per cent. Non-grain farm products were down 5.1 per cent, non-metallic minerals off 9.7 per cent, pulp and paper down 5.8 per cent and chemicals off 5.7 per cent.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, CN’s shares closed up eight cents at $90.65, while CP’s shares were off 53 cents at $105.55.
Somehow Rafael Nadal Got Better On Clay
But Nadal isn’t just winning matches on the surface he loves; he’s dominating them. Nadal’s dominance ratio, which is the measure of a player’s winning percentage when returning serve versus the opponent’s winning percentage on serve return points, is at the highest it’s ever been over the past two years. Essentially, his opponents are never safe on the court — Nadal can win any point at any time. In Barcelona this year, Martin Klizan lost his first set against Nadal at love, but he broke Nadal’s serve in the second set and led 5-3. Nadal held serve and then saved three set points against him to tie up the set at 5-5. Nadal proceeded to win the next two games to close out the match. Tennis has never seen a player who excels more on a single surface than Nadal. His career on clay boggles the mind. He owns a record that, in tennis, doesn’t compute — it shouldn’t be possible. His overall record on clay is 401-35: Yes, that’s 92 percent. In the Open era, which began in 1968, no other star in tennis has come close to that on any surface. The next highest winning percentage on clay comes from Bjorn Borg, who won 86 percent of his clay court matches — and he played far fewer matches than Nadal (294 in all on clay). The best players on other surfaces don’t match Nadal, either. Roger Federer has won eight Wimbledon titles, an all-time record, and 87 percent of his matches on grass, in 188 attempts. Pete Sampras, a seven-time Wimbledon winner, won 84 percent of his 121 total matches on grass. And Djokovic, winner of six titles at the Australian Open and two at the U.S. Open, has an 84 percent winning percentage in his 609 hard court matches. When Rafael Nadal arrives in Paris this season with a chance to win his 11th French Open title, he could be there in a way no one expected: better than ever on clay.Nadal, who will be 32 years old in June, should have been finished by now, especially on clay. It’s rare for players older than 30 to win the French Open, and Nadal had been on a downward trend. He didn’t win the tournament in 2015 or 2016, and he won just two clay tournaments in 2015. Even worse, he lost to Novak Djokovic that year in the French Open quarterfinals, a sure sign that he was no longer invincible. (Djokovic won in straight sets, including a deadly 6-1 in the third.) A year later, Nadal left the French Open after winning two rounds because of a wrist injury. Even at his best in those two years, he looked well behind Djokovic, who beat Nadal seven times in a row without losing a set, including three on clay.But instead of crumbling, Nadal has climbed back and become more dominant on clay than ever before. He’s done it with more powerful strokes, a stronger serve and more volleys — and, most important, the confidence that seemed to escape him several years ago. Since the start of last year’s French Open, Nadal hasn’t lost a set on clay in three tournaments plus two Davis Cup matches. That’s an all-time record of 46 clay court sets in a row, smashing the former record of 35 consecutive clay wins by Guillermo Coria. Nadal has come close to this before, too: Four other times in his career he won 30 or more consecutive sets on clay, according to the ATP World Tour. For all his dominance, the only accomplishment Nadal has yet to achieve is going undefeated in the four premier clay court tournaments1The Monte Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open, the Madrid Open and the Italian Open. and then winning the French Open in a single season. The closest he came was in 2013, when he lost the Monte Carlo final to Djokovic and then won his next four clay events, including the French Open. Last year was similar for Nadal: He won four clay tournaments but lost in the quarterfinals at the Italian Open, in straight sets to Dominic Thiem. He later thumped Thiem in straight sets in the French Open semifinals, finishing the match with a 6-0 set.For Nadal to win in Madrid and Italy this year, he’ll need to stay healthy and play as few taxing games as possible, as he has done so far. But no matter what happens in those tourneys, unless he’s hurt, he’ll be the heavy favorite to win the French Open, where his record is 79-2. Don’t be surprised if that turns into 86-2 come June.
Amir Williams getting it done for Ohio State mens basketball
Junior center Amir Williams (23) walks down the court during a game against Morgan State Nov. 9 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 89-50.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThough a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school in 2011, Ohio State junior center Amir Williams’ first two seasons as a Buckeye were a bit of a disappointment.A four-star prospect and McDonald’s All-American before donning the Scarlet and Gray, Williams at times seemed a step slow, tentative and unsure of his talents in his first two seasons in Columbus. He averaged just 2.6 points over those two seasons, despite seeing action in 66 games and starting 26.That all took a back seat Wednesday, when Williams posted a career-best 16 points and collected seven rebounds against American University. He scored six of OSU’s first eight points of the game, keeping the ship afloat as his teammates struggled, prompting praise from coach Thad Matta.“Thank goodness Amir got us off to a pretty decent start there and was making some shots,” Matta said about OSU’s early shooting struggles against the Eagles. The Buckeyes (4-0, 0-0) only shot 25.9 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes.Williams is averaging 9.5 points over his team’s four games this season, and he said the difference has been the result of hard work.“I’ve just been working my tail off in the offseason and during practice as well,” Williams said following his big night against American (1-3, 0-0). “(I) try to have some go-to moves in the post and it’s looking like it’s finally starting to come alive.”A few of those go-to moves were useful against American, as Williams knocked down baby hook shots with both his right and left hands — something that wasn’t seen out of him last year, but Matta had been expecting.“I’ve seen Amir — really he’s been more energized, more aggressive. He’s been practicing very well. He’s been dominant in practice,” Matta said after the game. “You saw him (against American), he was catching the ball, he was making his reads, he knew where guys were supposed to be and going and making his moves. I thought his patience was really good as well.”Williams’ improvement has not gone unnoticed by his teammates either.“What we saw the other night (against American) is the Amir we’ve been seeing for the last five, six months, however long it’s been since the end of last season,” junior forward Sam Thompson said Sunday. “Amir’s put a ton of work in, put countless hours in the gym working on every aspect of his game, (and he’s) really looking to improve on the season that he had last year. Early on this season, it’s been evident by the work that he’s done.”Williams has also been a force on the defensive side of the ball, using his 85.5-inch wingspan to his advantage to block nine shots already in four games.“That’s something I like, him plugging the middle down there,” Matta said Sunday. “He’s got, as we’ve seen for two and a half years now, he’s got very good timing and a sense of where the ball is (defensively).”Williams’ activity on that side of the ball has stemmed throughout the rest of his game, allowing him to grow into more of a leader, Thompson said.“Amir’s been aggressive. Amir’s been active. Amir’s been getting it done,” Thompson said. “Amir’s really been the guy yelling at a lot of us and he’s really emerged as a leader on this team.”The growth in production from Williams early in the 2013-14 season has partly been because of a growth in confidence in his own ability.“I’m starting to feel a lot more confident and making moves in the post and I just hope I can keep the confidence up and continue to make those moves,” Williams said. “Continue to make those baskets down low for my team so I can just try to help them night in and night out.”Williams and the Buckeyes are slated to continue their non-conference schedule Monday when they play host to the Wyoming Cowboys (4-1, 0-0). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
Oxford professor of Islamic studies Tariq Ramadan charged in France with rape
Sources close to the investigation said women who have testified anonymously during three months of preliminary investigations might now also file rape complaints.The claims against Ramadan, a Swiss citizen whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the United States.He has denied them, claiming he is the victim of a smear campaign. The accusations have sparked furious online exchanges between supporters of Ramadan, who commands a following of more than two million fans on Facebook, and his opponents.Despite his leave of absence from Oxford, Ramadan continues to head the Islamic Institute for Ethical Training in France.Ms Ayari was placed under police protection in November after receiving death threats. During three hours of testimony in Paris on Thursday, the woman – using the pseudonym “Christelle” – repeated her allegations to the judge in Ramadan’s presence.She also revealed that Ramadan had a small scar on his groin that would not have been noticed except in the case of close contact.Rejecting her testimony, the scholar refused to sign the official summary of the account, sources close to the case said.During three months of investigations since the allegations emerged, police have interviewed dozens of people close to both Ramadan and the two women, and examined email and social media exchanges between them.In November, Oxford University said Ramadan was taking a leave of absence from his post as professor of contemporary Islamic studies, “by mutual agreement”.He has also denied allegations of sexual misconduct against teenage girls in the 1980s and 1990s published in the Swiss media, denouncing them as “a campaign of lies launched by my adversaries”.Lawyers for Ramadan have accused Ms Ayari of slander and suggested the women colluded to try to disgrace him.As part of his defence, he has presented investigators with Facebook conversations in which a woman identified as Ayari allegedly made explicit advances towards him in 2014, two years after the alleged rape. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Critics of the Muslim scholar have long claimed that despite his moderate stance he preaches a more radical line when addressing Muslims in Arabic.Ramadan is the most high-profile figure to be held in France in connection with allegations of sexual assault and harassment which have emerged as part of the “Me Too” campaign.Ms Ayari, a feminist activist who previously practised a conservative strain of Islam, described being raped in a book published in 2016, without naming her attacker.But in October, she said she had decided to name Ramadan publicly as the alleged perpetrator as a result of the “Me Too” campaign, using the French hashtag “Balance Ton Porc” (Expose your pig).She claimed that Ramadan, a married father of four, raped her in his hotel room, telling Le Parisien newspaper: “He choked me so hard that I thought I was going to die.”She lodged a rape complaint against Ramadan on October 20.Several days later an unidentified disabled woman, a Muslim convert, also accused the academic of raping her in a hotel room in the southeastern city of Lyon in 2009.Vanity Fair magazine, which met the woman, said her lawsuit against Ramadan described “blows to the face and body, forced sodomy, rape with an object and various humiliations, including being dragged by the hair to the bathtub and urinated on”. The prominent Muslim scholar and Oxford professor of Islamic studies Tariq Ramadan has been charged with rape, following claims by two women that he assaulted them in French hotel rooms..Ramadan, who was arrested by French police on Wednesday, was charged on Friday with connected charges of rape and rape of a vulnerable person in 2009 and 2012.After two days of questioning by investigators, the 55-year-old professor was brought before three magistrates, in a move which suggests he is facing an extensive investigation, judicial sources said.The decision to charge Ramadan was welcomed by the lawyer representing Henda Ayari, 41, the first of the women to accuse him.Jonas Haddad said: “If there are other victims in France or elsewhere, they now know that the justice system will respond to what has happened to them.” French writer and feminist activist Henda Ayari told Le Parisien newspaper she was raped by RamadanCredit:Joel Saget/AFP
Sega Mega Drive goes mini the pintsized retro console wars are here
Sonic’s Twitter feed is better than most Sonic games.<><> A couple weeks back Nintendo announced that they’d be putting the 31 year-old NES back into production — as a miniaturized console with 30 pre-loaded games. Well, now Sega wants to bring one of its retro consoles back from the dead. The officially licensed mini-Mega Drive will sport 80 stored games and let you plug in your original cartridges. Sounds great, right? Well, as always, there’s a catch.For one, the mini-Mega Drive won’t be manufactured by Sega. It’s an “officially licensed” product, not exactly the real deal. And as GamesRadar reported, the manufacturer, AtGames has a reputation for producing less-than-stellar retro consoles. Best known for consoles like the Atari Flashback and the generically named “Classic Game Console,” At Games’s emulation is janky to say the least.Worse still for some is that the mini-Mega Drive doesn’t support HDMI out. You’ll have to find a display compatible with the old composite outputs, and even then composite just doesn’t look quite right on LED displays. Older games were designed and intended for CRT monitors, and while new emulations will always look a bit strange on anything else, designing from the ground-up for play on newer hardware (as is Nintendo’s plan with the NES Classic) can help mitigate that somewhat. But AtGames’ previous work doesn’t inspire much confidence.If you’re curious, there’s a ton of videos on YouTube showing how… not great AtGames’ systems are. Be warned though, most of them follow the Angry Video Game Nerd format of loud and angry rants. They get the point across, but they can be kinda grating.Lastly, the fun-sized Mega Drive will only be available in Europe (for now at least), and it retails for the same price as the Nintendo Classic: £50. If you’re still looking to buy because you just have to play some old Sega classics you can pre-order the system at Funstock. Celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary by playing the only good Sonic thing that isn’t a Twitter feed.
What to Look Forward to in Entertainment in 2017
Here’s an unpopular opinion: 2016 was a terrible year. Please hold your comments until the end, thank you.The world seemed to crumble this year. Whether you agree or not, you can still see the effects in the tweets, Facebook status updates, and the eyes of people you interact with. People are sullen and pessimistic. It seemed as if all of our childhood heroes (and a number of geek icons) passed this year too, which only brings us down even more. Was it the worst year on record?Can’t answer a rhetorical question, but 2016 was a banner year for pop culture, at least. Films and TV shows were plentiful and sometimes overwhelming, but they did bring us joy. I think about how Stranger Things engulfed me for two days, and I remember that 2016 wasn’t so bad.Even better was that the news gave me even more things to look forward to. In 2017, some adaptations and reboots are hitting our screens. We’ll finally get the culmination of Marvel’s Netflix universe, and we’ll see if DC can pull off a decent film. We’ll get our first Star Trek series in a decade! Being a geek has never been better, and 2017 is just going to be another year to supplement that.So here are some of the things I’m excited to see in 2017. I’ve listed my most anticipated movies and television shows in no particular order, along with some predicted pop culture phenomenon and trends that satisfy my need to push my loves on to the world.TV ShowsAmerican GodsThis one is kind of obvious, isn’t it? It’s a new series based on one of the most popular modern fantasy writers’ weirder books. Neil Gaiman wrote something full of perverse and grotesque acts, international references, and one of the most obvious but intricate worlds in the Gaiman lexicon, and it was only a matter of time before it was adapted for the screen. After coming off of the equally obtuse Hannibal, Bryan Fuller couldn’t have been a better choice for showrunner, and its cast is out of control (Ian McShane, Ricky Whittle, and Gillian Anderson alone make this worth the watch). For better or worse, Game of Thrones ushered in a new wave of fantasy TV when it debuted on HBO, and American Gods might be the only one I’ve been excited for since.Twin PeaksWill we find out how Annie is doing? Will there be some damn fine coffee? What about Bob? These are the important questions that David Lynch has to answer for the third season of this cult show, which is airing on Showtime in 2017.LegionThe X-Men franchise is at a crossroads. After some inconsistent films–six main ones, three spinoffs and another on the way–20th Century Fox needs to figure out what their superhero brand is going to look like. Is it going to go the way of Deadpool, or X-Men: Apocalypse? I’ll talk about Logan more below, but it seems as if we’ll be getting more mature, abstract, and darker additions. Legion takes one of the X-Men universe’s most powerful and psychologically disturbed characters and gives him his own show, which will be worth a viewing whether it’s good or not. What will the face of X-Men look like following 2016?Plus, I want to see which one of Legion’s 50+ personalities will make it into the FX show. I’m betting on the centaur and the Eldritch being.A Series of Unfortunate EventsAs the years go on, it becomes clear the Jim Carrey film from 2004 is probably what the Baudelaire orphans would’ve received if they had gone to the movies in their world. It has the look you’d expect, but it’s empty, mostly acting as a vehicle for Carrey to make weird noises. The new Netflix series takes out the Carrey and replaces him with Neil Patrick Harris, which is already an improvement. The rest of the cast–Patrick Warburton, Alfre Woodard, XXXX–is just a bonus that will lure us into watching this depressing tale of orphans, conspiracies, and murder. Its marketing alone is closer to the unique source material than the original film was, and that keeps us excited.A Handmaid’s TaleIn a post-2016 world, we’ll need another reminder that Margaret Atwood’s classic sci-fi, dystopian novel is still too real. A world where women don’t have agency over their bodies or their lives? That can never happen.Star Trek: DiscoveryIt’s a new Star Trek show. We’re obviously checking it out. A diverse cast? Now we’re interested.MoviesThe LEGO Batman MovieThis is the Batman we deserve. In 2016, we got a murderous, brooding Batman, one that screwed his surrogate daughter, and another that made us remember that corny, slightly out of shape Batman is desperately needed. It’s time we were able to enjoy Batman again.Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Baby Groot! A soundtrack with Sweet on it! A living planet!A Cure for WellnessI saw the first 30 minutes of this, and I’m calling it now. This movie is going to be the next Devil’s Advocate. It’s got everything: a main character with a terrible Californian, dudebro accent. It’s got people in power suits spouting the most ridiculous pieces of screenwriting (look out for “have you ever been fucked by a 12-inch black dick”), a conspiracy, and, most importantly, some sort of message on the danger of wealth and the corrupting nature of power. I’m getting my garbage can ready for the screening so that I can jump into it once it’s done.LoganThis is another film where I was privileged enough to see the first act. The difference between this and A Cure for Wellness is that it might actually be good. It’s less of an X-Men movie and more of a Western with mutant powers on the periphery, but it has enough comic book elements to create an almost perfect balance. It’s grim, but the fight scenes are full of life, and take full advantage of its R rating with plenty of blood and visceral, ear-ringing punches. The scene where you see Laura Kinney in action for the first time is worth the price of admission alone.Spider-Man: HomecomingTom Holland is adorable and precious, and Michael Keaton as the Vulture looks terrifying. You’ve seen the trailer. You should know I squeal a bit every time I see it. It’s just that good.The Dark TowerI tried to read this series back in the day. I got through the first two books, got too bogged down by lore, character introductions, and an unmoving plot, and gave up. I always wanted to get into the series, though. I love the idea that Stephen King wrote a meta, high fantasy story and didn’t hold back. The movie, which is a fanfiction sequel of sorts to the books, could be what I needed to get into it without dedicating my life to trudging through seven gigantic books.Valerian and the City of a Thousand PlanetsAfter Suicide Squad, Cara Delevigne deserves better. We’ve gotten plenty of space operas in the past couple of years, but I don’t mind one more, especially one by Luc Besson, who at the very least makes movies gorgeous. Stay on target Solar Energy Outpaced Fossil Fuels in 20174 New Gadgets You Should’ve Bought in 2017
Scientists May Soon Solve CenturyOld Mystery of Green Icebergs
Stay on target Most icebergs appear white or blue when floating in seawater, but since the early 1900s explorers and sailors have reported seeing peculiar green icebergs in certain parts of Antarctica.The strange green icebergs have always baffled scientists, but now a new study suggests iron oxides in rock dust from Antarctica’s mainland are turning some icebergs green.According to the study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, marine ice varies in color due to the “abundance of foreign constituents in the seawater,” particularly iron-oxide materials. Researchers formulated the theory after they detected “large amounts of iron” during a 2016 research trip to the Amery Ice Shelf in East Antarctica.“Previously, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) had been proposed to be responsible for the green color,” authors Stephen Warren, Collin Roesler, Richard Brandt, and Mark Curran explained in the paper. “Subsequent measurements of low DOC values in green icebergs, together with the recent finding of large concentrations of iron in marine ice from the Amery Ice Shelf, suggest that the color of green icebergs is caused more by iron‐oxide minerals than by DOC.”Iron is a key nutrient for phytoplankton, microscopic plants that form the base of the marine food web. But iron is scarce in many areas of the ocean. If the researchers’ theory is confirmed, it would mean green icebergs are ferrying precious iron from Antarctica’s mainland to the open sea when they break off, providing this key nutrient to the organisms that support nearly all marine life.“It’s like taking a package to the post office,” Warren, a glaciologist at the University of Washington and lead author of the study, said in a statement. “The iceberg can deliver this iron out into the ocean far away, and then melt and deliver it to the phytoplankton that can use it as a nutrient.”Warren had been studying the green iceberg phenomenon since 1988. He analyzed samples taken from a green iceberg near the Amery Ice Shelf and found they were not made from regular glacier ice, but from marine ice, which is ocean water frozen to the underside of an overhanging ice shelf.Seawater sometimes freezes to the underside of ice shelves, creating a layer of what’s called marine ice. (Credit: AGU)When an oceanographer testing an ice core from Amery Ice Shelf found marine ice near the bottom of the core had nearly 500 times more iron than the glacial ice above, Warren began to suspect iron oxides in the marine ice could be turning blue ice green.Warren believes iron oxides in “glacial flour,” a powder created when glaciers grind against bedrock, from rocks on Antarctica’s mainland are responsible for creating the stunning emerald icebergs. He now wants to to sample icebergs of different colors for their iron content and light-reflecting properties (icebergs are usually blue in color, because the ice absorbs more red light than blue light).If their theory proves correct, green icebergs could be more important than scientists thought.More on Geek.com:Giant Iceberg Twice the Size of New York City About to Break Off Antarctic Ice ShelfScientists Find ‘Tiny Animal Carcasses’ in Buried Antarctic LakeAntarctica’s Ice Melting Rate Has Increased by 240 Percent Boaty McBoatface Makes Major Climate Change DiscoveryCyborg Seals Help Explain Mysterious Antarctic Ice Holes
Town Meetings engineered for public feedback both tonight
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 06 Sept 2015 – The Premier and his Cabinet are inviting the public to speak their minds, not on the popular social media page but at a press conference styled town meeting to be held in the two major islands – Providenciales and Grand Turk. The Office of the Premier says the meeting will be set for today, Monday September 7th, at the Gus Lightbourne Gym with a 7pm start and will tackle hot button issues like the UK’s recommendations for Constitutional review; it was rejected by the Foreign Office as unnecessary and unwise at this time… the UK’s appropriation of funding for the SIPT; an extra $2.2 million dollar spend is set to be approved by the Foreign Office despite Cabinet rejection of the idea; the Immigration Bill 2015 which has generated heated reactions and a call to slow down the pace of the process and other important national issues. Grand Turk’s meeting will be held at the HJ Robinson High School auditorium, also at 7pm but on Wednesday September 9th. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI: Judge rules there is ‘a case’; all nine defendants will go to trial in September Minister of Works puts government buildings reconstruction post hurricanes at $8.6m TCI Govt Estate needs $20M injection, Minister announces rent-cutting plan Related Items:grand turk, providenciales, Sipt, town hall meeting Recommended for you
NASA Mars rovers should look to pasta rocks for signs of life
Enlarge ImageSulfuri thrives in the tough environment of this spring system at Yellowstone. Bruce Fouke Hungry for knowledge, researchers went to Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park and dipped sterilized pasta forks into the water to collect strands of bacteria. What they found might help point NASA’s Mars rovers toward signs of life on the distant planet.A team led by University of Illinois geologist Bruce Fouke is studying a bacterium with a mouthful of a name: “Sulfurihydrogenibium yellowstonense.” They call it “Sulfuri” for short and it’s tough stuff. The team published a study on Sulfuri in the journal Astrobiology. 17 Photos NASA Opportunity rover witnessed the wild side of Mars Mars rovers NASA Space Tags 0 Share your voice Sci-Tech The bacterium’s lineage traces back about 2.35 billion years. “It can withstand exposure to ultraviolet light and survives only in environments with extremely low oxygen levels, using sulfur and carbon dioxide as energy sources,” the university said on Wednesday. That makes it a candidate for surviving in the harsh environments of other planets. Sulfuri bacteria hang onto each other in water, forming into strands that look like something you’d find on a plate at an Italian restaurant. The bacteria aids in the formation of travertine rocks with a distinctive wavy look and filament-like texture. Enlarge ImageMars rovers should keep an eye out for rock formations that look like this. Bruce Fouke “This should be an easy form of fossilized life for a rover to detect on other planets,” said Fouke, who described such formations as “a fingerprint of life” that could provide evidence of alien microbes from Mars’ past. NASA doesn’t need to be convinced to keep an eye out for pasta-like rock formations. Its rover teams have a long history of checking out interesting-looking rocks. If NASA ever spots fettuccine or capellini on Mars, you can bet the rover will go in for a closer look. Of course, first NASA would have to find rocks that match this profile. The Curiosity rover is currently rolling around a clay-rich area near Mount Sharp. The Opportunity rover is now defunct, but NASA is scheduled to launch the Mars 2020 rover next year to give us a new set of eyes on the Mars ground. Let’s hope it spots some pasta. Post a comment
Telangana ACB initiates enquiry into ESI medicine supply scam
Hyderabad: The Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has begun a preliminary enquiry into the alleged “multi-crore” scam in the supply of medicines to dispensaries and ESI hospitals, a senior official said Thursday. The State government’s vigilance and enforcement (V&E) wing had earlier conducted an enquiry into the allegations that no proper eligibility criteria was followed by the Director, Insurance Medical Services (DIMS), Hyderabad in the selection of firms for supply of medicines. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us The wing, which filed a report in March this year, found that medicines were bought at “exorbitant” prices, in “violation” of the procurement procedures and the e-tender processes. The probe was conducted over the contracts given to firms for supply of drugs to dispensaries and the ESI (Employees State Insurance) 2016-17 and 2017-18. The wing had recommended to initiate disciplinary action against the errant officials. “A preliminary enquiry is going on. The records are being verified. Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us The enquiry is regarding the purchase of medicines. ACB is looking into it,” a senior ACB official told PTI. As per the findings of the report, no Drug Procurement Committee was formed by the Director, DIMS, for analysis of the requirement of drugs and medicines at the beginning of the year. The medicines not supplied by the Rate Contract (RC) firms and those not included in the RC list were locally purchased without forming any Local Purchase Committee, which is mandatory, the report said. Tender Scrutiny Committee was not created by the DIMS to identity bidders through the pre-bid process. Advertise With Us The officials have “failed” to identify the eligible firms, and as a result, the quotations were accepted from two or three firms which belong to a single family with minor variation in prices, it noted. “It can be understood that the officials have deliberately informed very few selected firms for purchasing medicines without giving wide publicity through media for favouring particular firms besides tender enquiries were not published on the department’s website. Only particular firms were informed over phone to submit quotations,” as per the findings. It is also noticed that certain drugs are procured from the non-RC firms at higher rate when compared to the RC, the report said adding “it is clearly understood that the officials have purchased drugs at a price of their will and wish through Local Purchase without considering the market price and taking into consideration of Rate Contract price thus causing loss to the government exchequer.” According to the report, the officials have “deliberately favoured the firms for undue advantage by paying excess price i,e., 105 per cent to 305 per cent more than the Rate Contract under the guise of emergency medicines” and certain monopoly drugs were purchased from a single firm without recording the valid reasons in the note file.
Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Friday September 15
Listen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.A review of some of the top news stories of the week, directly from the pages of the AFRO with managing editor Kamau High.These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.
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Raffles Maldives Meradhoo opens
Raffles Maldives MeradhooRaffles Maldives Meradhoo opens Raffles has announced the opening of the 21-villa Beach Island Experience in the rare Maldivian oasis of Gaafu Alifu Atoll. This is Accor’s fourth property in the Maldives and is the first under the Raffles brand.The main island is home to Beach Villas and Beach Residences which opens on 9 May 2019, featuring private pools, generous living spaces and lavish marble bathroom with a sunken bathtub and outdoor shower. The Raffles Royal Residence and a secluded collection of Overwater Villas and Residences, which lies adjacent to one of the vibrant house reefs, which can be reached by a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat, is set to launch during the last quarter of 2019.A hidden gem with unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean, the resort is the perfect over-water escape offering two distinct experiences for those seeking a private get-away or simply to enjoy the natural pristine water surroundings.In each of the terraces, guests can marvel at the marine life below through the glass flooring panels. There is an extraordinary display of natural beauty with white, powdery sand that frames sparkling clear waters. Two magnificent reefs provide a thriving habitat for the marine life including baby sharks, turtles and a myriad of tropical fish. For those that want to learn more about the underwater realm, the hotel’s resident marine biologist and team of marine butlers are on hand to personalise guest experiences that bring unique and beautiful insights of the underwater world. At night, the moon and stars reflect on the mirror-like ocean, creating an extraordinary spectacle.“Boasting 1200 islands, Maldives is home to the best beaches in the world and now, with the opening of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo, is also home to the best of luxury hospitality. We look forward to offering guests the most natural beauty set within an incredible resort that offers the finest luxury hotel experience and unrivalled service in the destination,” says Patrick Basset, Accor’s Chief Operating Officer for Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia and the Maldives.Guests can relish a range of rich gastronomic delights served at the Thari all-day diner, Yuzu, Peruvian and Japanese fusion restaurant and The Firepit, where various flame-grilled chef specialty dishes are served under the stars. Private destination dining options abound, from caviar breakfasts on a sandbank, most thrillingly reached by jet ski, to sunset cruises where the champagne flows freely. A selection of tapas and freshly-prepared sashimi, original cocktail concoctions, inspired by the national drinks of South America and Japan, can be experienced at the overwater Yapa Sunset Bar or simply explore a list of the world’s most prestigious Champagnes and wines at the popular Long Bar.Set over the water, the award-winning Raffles Spa offers a private escape opening doors to discovery with authentic treatment expressions. Experience the Raffles Spa sensory journey with luxury facials by Biologique Recherche, a transformative body treatment using the purest extracts and essential oils by Aromatherapy Associates or indulge in first class manicure and pedicure concept from Magaret Dabbs London.Recharge with an invigorating work-out at the over water fitness centre, a soothing seaside yoga session or choose from a selection of water sport activities to balance the physical and mental well-being.Olivier Larcher, General Manager of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo said, “For couples looking for an unforgettable romantic hideaway, our exceptionally spacious villas and the discreet expertise of the Raffles butler service redefines the resort experience. From intimate dining with our private chef service to snorkeling and diving in the world’s most breath-taking coral reefs, we create a place where guests can enjoy the best of both worlds in a destination known for its stunning surroundings.”Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is located at the southern end of the Maldives archipelago, near the equator on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll. The resort is accessible by domestic flight, 55 minutes from Male International Airport followed by 15-minute speedboat ride from Kaadedhdhoo Airport.For more information, please visit www.rafflesmaldives.com/meradhoo. For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +960 6828800.About RafflesRaffles Hotels & Resorts boasts an illustrious history and some of the most prestigious hotel addresses worldwide. In 1887, Raffles Singapore set the standard for luxury hospitality, introducing the world to private butlers, the Singapore Sling and its enduring, legendary service. Today, Raffles continues this tradition in leading cities and lavish resort locales, enchanting travellers with meaningful experiences and service that is both gracious and intuitive. Connoisseurs of life choose Raffles, not merely for its aura of culture, beauty and gentility, but for the extraordinary way they feel when in residence with Raffles. Each Raffles, be it Paris, Istanbul, Warsaw, Jakarta or the Seychelles, serves as a venerated oasis where travellers arrive as guests, leave as friends and return as family. Raffles is part of Accor, a world-leading augmented hospitality group offering unique and meaningful experiences in 4,800 hotels, resorts, and residences across 100 countries.raffles.com | group.accor.com Source = Raffles Hotels & Resorts
by The Associated Press Posted Dec 18 2017 1
by The Associated Press Posted Dec 18, 2017 1:42 pm PDT Last Updated Dec 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to address first ‘jazz congress’ NEW YORK, N.Y. – A new jazz conference seeks to determine what role jazz can play in today’s society, and it has tapped Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as its keynote speaker.Jazz Conference will hold its inaugural event on Jan. 11 in New York City. While Abdul-Jabbar is best known as a Hall of Fame basketball legend, he’s also become a cultural commentator and has long been a jazz enthusiast; his father was a trombonist.Abdul-Jabbar will discuss what role jazz can play in the cultural, political and social framework of today’s society.The goal of the Jazz Conference is to boost the jazz community, which has dwindled over the decades. The conference will be held at Jazz at Lincoln Center.___Online:https://www.jazzcongress.org/
Rep Bizon named to community college task force
15Oct Rep. Bizon named to community college task force Tags: Bizon, community college, task force Rep. John Bizon, R-Battle Creek, was named to the community college task force by House Speaker Kevin Cotter on Wednesday.“It is an honor to be appointed to this task force,” Rep. Bizon said. “Community colleges are a key to success for many students in Michigan, and we must hold them to a high level.”The task force, made up of members from both the House and the Senate, was formed to review, evaluate, discuss, and make recommendations regarding performance in community colleges across the state.The task force will report its findings and recommendations to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on community colleges, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the state budget director by January 15, 2016.Rep. Bizon, who serves on the house subcommittee, is the sole republican member serving on the task force.“The role of community colleges in our state is enormous,” Rep. Bizon said. “It gives students a chance to get their education off to a great start with less debt. Because of that role, we need to keep them on high standards.” Categories: Bizon News,Featured news,News #####