Spotted First Call of AIDAbella in Shanghai

first_imgAIDAbella, a cruise ship owned by German cruise line AIDA Cruises, was the first ship of the AIDA fleet to sail past Shanghai’s skyline before it docked at the International Cruise Terminal on April 2, 2017.From April 2 to 4, 2017, AIDAbella will remain in Shanghai where AIDA Cruises is performing its turn-around operations for the first time.Having come to Shanghai from Thailand, the 69,203 gross ton AIDAbella will set its course for Japan and Taiwan on April 4, continuing on to Hong Kong and Vietnam, and will then sail to Singapore.After its season in Asia, AIDAbella will spend the summer in the Nordic region.The cruise industry has grown rapidly in China with outbound passenger numbers hitting a record high in 2016.Meanwhile, the number of overseas cruise tourists visiting Chinese ports has also increased by 8 percent to 277,430 in 2016. According to the China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association (CCYIA) report, Chinese ports served 83 visiting cruises in 2016, with Shanghai topping the list with a total of 28 stop-offs.Image Courtesy: AIDA Cruiseslast_img read more

Following Trumps report China urges US to accept its rise

first_imgBEIJING, China – The Chinese government on Tuesday criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to label Beijing a strategic rival and called on Washington to “abandon a Cold War mentality” and accept China’s rise.Trump’s decision reflects a “victory of hardliners” in his administration, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It warned U.S.-Chinese economic relations were likely to face “even more pressure and challenges.”“We urge the United States to stop deliberately distorting China’s strategic intentions and abandon a Cold War mentality,” said a foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying. “Otherwise it will injure others and damage itself.”Trump’s report Monday hit a series of sore spots for Beijing. It affirmed ties with Taiwan, the self-ruled island the mainland government claims as its territory, and pledged to “re-energize our alliances” with Southeast Asian governments, some of which have conflicts with China over claims to portions of the South China Sea.The United States and China share one of the world’s biggest trading relationships and co-operate in areas from clean energy to public health. But Beijing sees Washington as an obstacle to its ambitions to be East Asia’s dominant power, and strains over Taiwan, trade, technology policy and the South China Sea are growing.“It is selfish to put your national interest above other countries’ interest and the mutual interest of the international community,” said the Chinese Embassy in Washington in a statement.“The Chinese side is willing to have peaceful coexistence with all countries,” said the embassy statement. “The United States should also adapt and accept China’s development.”U.S. officials are uneasy about Beijing’s rising military spending — already the second-highest behind Washington. They see President Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” a project to build railways and other infrastructure across countries from Asia to Europe and Africa, as part of efforts to erode American influence and nurture a China-centred political structure.Especially sensitive is Taiwan, the democratic island Beijing has declared a “core interest” over which it will go to war, if necessary.Trump’s report promises to “maintain our strong ties with Taiwan” and provide for its “legitimate defence needs.”China has taken a tougher stance toward Taiwan since last year’s election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who has refused to endorse Beijing’s contention that Taiwan is part of the Chinese nation. Chinese commentators speculate on the possible need for military steps to put pressure on Tsai.After Trump signed a law this month that opened the way for U.S. Navy ships to visit Taiwan, a Chinese diplomat quoted by state media said the mainland would attack the day that happened.Trump’s report doesn’t change Washington’s official stance but might aggravate tensions if Taiwanese who want formal independence see it as sign of U.S. support and “want to take advantage of it,” said Xiong Zhiyong, a U.S. relations expert at China Foreign Affairs University.“The Chinese government is also anxious,” said Xiong. He said the Chinese diplomat’s remark is a “warning out of real worry that something may happen unexpectedly.”Hua, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, urged Washington to stick to diplomatic commitments on how to handle Taiwan.On Monday, Chinese warplanes flew around Taiwan in what the military said was a test of their “ocean combat ability.” Taiwan’s defence ministry said Japan launched fighter planes to track the Chinese aircraft, but the Japanese government would not confirm that.Trump’s report promises to “re-energize our alliances” with governments including the Philippines and Vietnam, which have conflicting territorial claims with Beijing in the South China Sea. It also pledges to expand military co-operation with India, a country Beijing sees as a rival.The report emphasized economic security and repeated complaints that China steals technology and uses “economic inducements” to persuade other governments to serve its strategic interests.It proposes restricting visas to prevent intellectual property theft by foreigners, particularly Chinese, who travel to the United States to study science, engineering, math and technology.Foreign business groups in China report that companies are increasingly frustrated with market barriers and other restrictions they say violate Beijing’s free-trade promises.The report is another abrupt turn in Trump’s stance toward Beijing, which has veered between blistering criticism on trade and currency and optimism about co-operation on North Korea and other problems.“China seeks to displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific region, expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model, and reorder the region in its favour,” the report says.In April, Trump announced that he was setting aside complaints about trade and currency in hopes of winning Chinese co-operation on North Korea. U.S. officials resumed criticizing Beijing in July.Trump switched back to friendly overtures during a visit to Beijing in November. He said the two sides could solve most of the world’s problems if they co-operated.The Global Times, a newspaper published by the ruling Communist Party, said the report “reflects Washington’s reluctance to accept the reality of China’s rise.”“It is impossible for the United States to restrain China,” said the newspaper, known for its nationalistic tone. “As China continues to grow and its influence continues to spill over, this is the root cause of Washington’s anxiety.”___Associated Press researcher Yu Bing contributed to this report.last_img read more

Woodfibre LNG construction to start in 2019

first_imgThe company has sold 100 percent of the output from phase one of the project.Woodfibre LNG is the owner of the Woodfibre LNG Project, which is a planned LNG processing and export facility at the former Woodfibre pulp mill site, about seven kilometres southwest of Squamish, British Columbia.  The Woodfibre LNG Project has a storage capacity of 250,000 m3 and is licensed to export approximately 2.1 million tonnes of LNG per year for 40 years.Woodfibre LNG is expected to cost $1.6 billion and could be up and running by 2025. VANCOUVER, B.C. – Reuters is reporting Woodfibre LNG will start constructing in early 2019.Woodfibre LNG President David Keane told the publication they are hoping to move to a notice to proceed to construction in the first quarter of 2019.  Keane said, “It will be sometime in February or March.”Woodfibre LNG announced earlier this month it had signed an agreement with CNOOC Gas and Power Trading and Marketing for 13 years of LNG from the yet to be built facility.last_img read more

Parliament dissolved from midnight tonight

One of the key reforms proposals proposed by the Government and passed by Parliament was the 19th Amendment to the constitution.However the Government failed to reach a consensus on the proposed 20th Amendment to the constitution on electoral reforms. (Colombo Gazette) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya is scheduled to hold a media conference tomorrow (Saturday) where he will announce plans with regards to the polls. The dissolving of Parliament ends the term of the coalition Government which was appointed following the January 8 Presidential elections. The Government which consists mainly of the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), was appointed for a 100 day period to address key urgent issues.However the Government remained in power beyond 100 days in order to implement key constitutional reforms, including electoral reforms. President Maithripala Sirisena has signed the gazette notification dissolving Parliament from midnight tonight and the notice has been sent to the Government Printer.The dissolution paves the way for Parliament elections to be held, most likely in August. read more

Wholesale sales up 07 per cent in November StatsCan

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Jan 21, 2013 8:50 am MDT Wholesale sales up 0.7 per cent in November: StatsCan OTTAWA – Statistics Canada says 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.Five of seven subsectors, accounting for about two-thirds of wholesale sales, reported increases in November.The largest advance in dollar terms was in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector, which grew by 1.8 per cent on higher sales in the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry.The motor vehicle and parts subsector recorded its second consecutive increase, with sales up 1.5 per cent.Sales rose in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta in November, with Ontario wholesalers reporting a 2.1 per cent increase, largest gain since July 2011. read more

Ecuador quake damage to schools impacts 120000 children – UNICEF

“Education is a lifeline for children going through the trauma of chaos and destruction,” said Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative in Ecuador. “It helps give them a daily routine and a sense of purpose and puts them on track for psychological recovery.” UNICEF said that a total of 250,000 children have been affected by the earthquake. The agency is supporting the Government’s efforts to get children back to learning, particularly in the worst-affected areas of Muisne, Pedernales, Jama, and some parts of Portoviejo, Manta and Chone. UNICEF will install 50 temporary learning spaces for 20,000 children and distribute 700 School in a Box kits with school supplies to benefit 60,000 children. The agency said that while aid and government agencies are still assessing the full extent of the damage, initial estimates indicate that nearly 2,000 buildings have been damaged or destroyed and some 30,000 people are staying in shelters. Fear of aftershocks is pushing people to sleep outdoors, exposed to the heavy rains that are common during this season. UNICEF and its humanitarian partners need $23 million to respond to children’s immediate needs in water, sanitation, education, child protection, health and nutrition over the next three months, the agency said. read more

Football Urban Meyers contract extension through 2022 season approved by Board of

Loading Loading for “” Next » Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer’s two-year contract extension. Loading Loading Toggle Description UrbanMeyerExtension2018 Contents Previous Loading Loading Zoom p. 1 Original Document (PDF) » Page Note  1 of  10 0 To print the document, click the “Original Document” link to open the original PDF. At this time it is not possible to print the document with annotations. UrbanMeyerExtension2018 Related Article » Ohio State coach Urban Meyer observes the field at Memorial Stadium prior to the Buckeyes’ season-opening 49-21 win over Indiana on Aug. 31 in Bloomington, Indiana. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorOhio State took the next step in ensuring Urban Meyer will be heading the university’s football program for at least the next five seasons Thursday morning. The Board of Trustees Talent and Compensation Committee approved the addition of two years to Meyer’s contract, extending it through the 2022 season. The full Board will vote to approve the contract on Friday.Ohio State also announced Meyer will receive a $1.2 million raise along with the extension. He will make $7.6 million next year, which makes him the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten and the third-highest paid coach in the nation. Meyer had three seasons remaining on his contract. Meyer’s contract, which the committee approved, will now end on Jan. 31, 2023. “I want to thank President Michael V. Drake for his guidance and the Board of Trustees for its work in considering this extension,” Ohio State Athletics Director Gene Smith said. “I think everyone will agree that we have one of the finest coaches and mentors in Urban Meyer leading our football program.”At a Feb. 7 press conference, Smith and Meyer announced the head coach would receive the extension. Smith said it typical for coaches to earn extensions if their contract has three or fewer years remaining in order to show recruits the coach will be with the program through their senior years. Meyer had a base salary of $6.4 million last season. According to the USA Today head coach salary database, Meyer had the fourth-highest base salary of all head coaches in the NCAA last season. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has the third-highest base salary last season, earning $7 million. In a Board of Trustees Talent and Compensation Committee meeting in February, Smith called Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher’s 10-year, $75 million contract “ridiculous.” He said he does not factor that deal and Alabama’s contract for head coach Nick Saban, which included a $11.1 million base salary last season, into contract discussions. One of the most successful coaches in college football history, Meyer has a career 177-31 record, including a 73-8 record in his six seasons at the helm of Ohio State. The Buckeyes won a national championship to conclude the 2014 season, his third season as their head coach, and they have not lost more than two games in any season since he was hired prior to the 2012 season. Last year, Ohio State went 12-2 and capped off its campaign with a Cotton Bowl victory against USC. The Buckeyes nearly made the College Football Playoff for the second time in Meyer’s tenure, but fell just short when the playoff committee ranked them fifth. Meyer’s full extension can be viewed below. p. 2 Contributed by: Kevin Stankiewicz, The Lantern « p. 3 CLOSE Document Pages Notes Text
UrbanMeyerExtension2018 (PDF) read more

EYEWITNESS Tawdry…

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: How does it feel…July 18, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Moving on…November 8, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Killing dreams…September 7, 2017In “EYEWITNESS” …conduct for a big manJust when your Eyewitness thought Trump couldn’t surprise us any longer, up comes the testimony on 60 minutes of “Stormy Daniels” about their affair! Now, the claim’s been circulating for the longest while but this was, well…60 MINUTES!! This was the premier investigative journalism putting THEIR reputation on the line to have the one-time porn star tell her story directly!!Well, they certainly grabbed the attention of a lot of folks since it garnered their largest audience in decades!! While quite a chunk of that crowd probably wanted to be titillated (no pun intended!) by the buxom blonde, it was most likely the same demographic who voted for Trump and wanted to revel in the “macho” exploits of their leader.Let’s face it folks – none of these salacious revelations are going to hurt Trump at that sensitive spot – the ballot box! As we say in Guyana, all the Stormy episode proves is “Trump a maan!!” If, after we had Trump caught on tape boasting how he grabs the “p*ssy’ of random young attractive women, the Christian evangelical movement of the States could reaffirm their support for him, what else could make them shift?The revelation that most of Trump’s latest sexual encounters of the weird kind had him sublimating his sexual desires for his daughter?? Naaah! Among the southern, red neck, gun-toting yahoos who follow him, they don’t even BOTHER with any sublimation!! It’s all in the family!! But seriously folks, Trump’s behaviour has done wonders for a democratic world order. Look at it this way…do you think world leaders can take whatever Trump says seriously after all his low-class escapades? Kim Jong Un??But it’s not just Trump, is it folks?? He’s simply the object through which the new America is channelling its angst. Ever since WWI ended and Britain passed its world-straddling hegemony over to the US, they could now tutor us on what was “civilised” and what was not – just as England had done for centuries. But apart from their big guns and big bombs, the Europeans always insisted they were crude, gum-chewing hicks.But your Eyewitness thinks it was just sour grapes and Trump’s crudity and its approval by the majority of Americans is merely a symptom of a changing world order in which the US just won’t be as all powerful as they had been for the last half-a-century. Change is never easy…especially when the change is seen as a “come down”.So, dear reader, let’s not be too harsh on Trump – he’s just a sign of the (US) times. We have a whole lot of relatives over there now.And you’d be surprised how many support Trump!!…and not cricketAs your Eyewitness suggested, maybe Trump has a (structural) excuse for his low-class behaviour. But what’s the excuse of Steve Smith?? Here’s a young man who was being mentioned in the same sentence as Sir Don Bradman…and he condones and even encourages ball tampering?? What the heck’s going on?While the Europeans might’ve suggested the Americans were rough around the edges, having been tutored longer, we in the Empire assumed we knew better.And nothing proved our credentials than cricket!! Which, for the record, the Aussies played at the highest levels long before us, because they were “white”. It was said by the Duke of Wellington that the Battle of Waterloo (the Brits against the Europe-straddling Napoleon) was won on the playing fields of Eton. Meaning it was the discipline and traditions passed on in that quintessentially upper-class game of cricket that held the line.But sadly, Smith is also a symptom of a wider malaise in Aussies. They never understood CLR James’ dictum:“What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?”…and retrogradeSo while we’re arguing about the relevance of Creolese, French is being promoted? What use will this be to us. With China’s ascendancy, shouldn’t we be brushing up our Mandarin?Since 1853, it’s part of our culture!! read more

Newmont stresses the benefits of community investment programs for Conga mine project

first_imgNewmont Mining has outlined a number of community investment programs – developed in conjunction with local communities – that have been implemented or are under development in the Conga project’s area of influence in Peru. The project has suffered from demonstrations and attacks by anti-mining groups. The programs, which are in addition to the numerous social investments Yanacocha has made over the last two decades, include efforts to advance health and education, critical infrastructure and economic development in Peru’s Cajamarca region. Implementation of the programs began four years ago and would continue over the life of the proposed mine. Details regarding the social investments can be found in a fact sheet released by the company.In addition to community investment programs, Conga is expected to generate more than $2 billion in taxes over the life of the operation, half of which would be directed to the Cajamarca region through the mining canon. And while the project would replace four lagoons with four engineered reservoirs, downstream users would benefit from a reliable, year-round water supply, something they don’t currently have due to the lagoons not continuously overflowing into the natural streams during the dry season. The reservoirs would increase existing water storage capacity from 1.4 million m3 to 3.2 million m3, providing water to downstream users 12 months a year.“Conga’s community investment programs were designed by the local communities to address long-standing needs that they themselves identified as issues,” said Richard O’Brien, Newmont’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Although many of these programs are still in their early stages, we’ve already seen tangible results including reductions in malnutrition, school drop-out rates and grade repetition. After the Conga project is built and starts generating revenues, we expect to see even greater improvements in community health, education, nutrition, infrastructure and economic development.”To date, Conga’s community investment programs have resulted in:An 8% decline in malnutrition (over four years since the program began) in children younger than 5 yearsLivestock production increasing to 5 t/ha, up from 1 t/haNative potato production increasing to 11  t/ha, up from 5  t/ha400 properly ventilated stoves built in homes to reduce indoor air pollution, a major contributor to childhood respiratory problems26 modern irrigation systems built to support Aguaymanto farmers.In 2008, the Conga Project Team, in co-operation with the Asociacion Los Andes de Cajamarca, engaged 32 of the project’s neighboring communities to identify opportunities for sustainable local development. In 2009, Community Development Committees (CODECOs), comprising and led by local citizens, created the 2015 Community Vision, which set targets for improvements in social, economic and community development.In addition to the social, economic and infrastructure benefits expected from tax revenues, Conga’s initial social investment plans that will be implemented once the project is developed, include:Approximately $20 million to improve the exchange of goods and services through the construction of over 90 km of new roads in the regionMore than $6 million in programs, facilities and equipment to reduce malnutrition among children and pregnant women$5 million to improve production and incomes of rural farmersMore than $500,000 for the construction of 15 classrooms.Prior to the suspension of construction activities at Conga, more than 6,800 people were employed, with the overwhelming majority coming from the local communities. In 2011, the Conga Project entered into contracts worth more than $50 million with more than 60 local contractors.More information about the Conga project, including a fact sheet on Conga’s water protection plan, can be found online at http://www.newmont.com/south-america.Conga’s Environmental Impact Assessment has already undergone extensive reviews by 12 government agencies and was approved by the Ministry of Energy and Mines in 2010 following a three-year, public EIA process. The environmental and social studies in Conga’s EIA spanned up to 13 years and the public engagement process included 13,000 people from the region. The EIA process was transparent and open to anyone who wanted to participate, provide input or raise issues. Conga’s reservoirs would more than double the current water storage capacity of the four lakes in question from 1.4 million m3 to 3.2 million m3 and provide a reliable, year-round water supply to downstream users, something they don’t currently have as a result of the dry season.last_img read more

Isolation and the lack of opportunities impacts on young peoples mental health

first_imgDONEGAL HAS THE lowest rate of expendable income and the highest rate of male unemployment in the country. The geography of the county alone can make it a very isolating place, which is something that can impact heavily on the mental health of young people.Jigsaw projects across Ireland work with communities to better support young people’s mental health and well being. Developed and supported by Headstrong, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health and the HSE, one such Jigsaw facility was opened last year in Letterkenny, Donegal.The opening of the project was three years in the making, after community groups voiced a need for supports for the young people of Donegal.Free serviceIn just over one year, the programme has seen over 230 young people avail of the free service, something Sean McGrory, the project manager says is testament to how badly it was needed in the county.Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Mr McGrory said the project has three aims. They want to give one to one support to young people if they want help, they want to train people who are in contact with young people on a daily basis, such as teachers and youth workers, on how to be aware about youth mental health issues and to educate the broader public also.He said: He added, however, that the issues young people face in Donegal are the same problems that young people in other parts of the country face. “They have the same problems, feel the same pressure and we are not saying that they are any more worse off than others, but the access to supports can be limited here,” he said.Young people in Donegal He added that there are a number of factors in Donegal that can have an impact on young people. “In terms of deprivation, Donegal is always pretty much bottom of the list, we have the highest rate of male unemployment in the country, the lowest rate of expendable income, so while the Celtic Tiger may have had some benefits to people, it did not reach us as much,” he said.Mr McGrory added:With such a high level of unemployment in the county, this has can cause a lot of distress to families and to teenagers who see their parents struggle.Not only that, but young people who are just leaving school or college, the lack of opportunities and jobs is something that we see as a big problem. We are a rural county in an isolated location and that has a huge impact on young people, socially.The population of the county is scattered and this alone can have an impact on how young people interact and engage with each other.center_img The Jigsaw project is open to people aged between 15 – 25 years old, which Mr McGrory said shows the huge spectrum of youth mental issues in the area.Low mood“People who use the service range from users with common problems, such as low mood, stress and worry to people presenting with early mental health issues, which we try and treat with early prevention. We would see a significant amount of people self-harming, but also a lot of young people who have either left college or school or have lost jobs and are just very disillusioned about their future,” he said.He said that as a county, Donegal is very loyal, stating that majority of the people do not want to leave, but they feel they have no choice. “It’s common to have ‘wakes’ in the small towns when 8 or 10 young people are leaving to go to Australia,” he said, adding that it is a great loss to the community and can be felt.The Jigsaw project does not require a doctor’s referral, meaning young people can simply walk in off the street and say they want to talk to someone.“My World Survey of 14,000 children found that they were dealing with issues and not asking for help. Often times, young people don’t want to visit the family doctor they have known since they were a baby. Jigsaw offers them a place to visit, where they don’t have to worry about being dismissed,” he said.Jigsaw in Donegal is located in Letterkenny, though, Mr McGrory said they were aware of rural isolation in the county. They have three outreach centres which are manned one day a week, in Buncrana, Killybegs and Gweedore.“Establishing a youth mental health service like this hasn’t been without its challenges, but we hope it’s making a difference and helping young people in the county,” said Mr McGrory.Read: New Donegal centre hopes to tackle mental health issues and rural isolation>Read: “Arrogant” Phil Hogan’s visit to be greeted with protest by Letterkenny councillors>last_img read more

Welcome to Zealandia Scientists reveal Earths hidden continent

first_img New Zealand is part of the 6% of Zealandia that’s above water. 34,628 Views Image: Shutterstock New Zealand is part of the 6% of Zealandia that’s above water. Image: Shutterstock Welcome to Zealandia: Scientists reveal ‘Earth’s hidden continent’ They want the landmass recognised as a continent. Short URL https://jrnl.ie/3244770 Share Tweet Email3 43 Comments Friday 17 Feb 2017, 10:20 AMcenter_img Source: geosociety/Twitter “The scientific value of classifying Zealandia as a continent is much more than just an extra name on a list,” they wrote. By AFP NEW ZEALAND SITS atop a previously unknown continent — mostly submerged beneath the South Pacific — that should be recognised with the name Zealandia, scientists have said.Researchers said Zealandia was a distinct geological entity and met all the criteria applied to Earth’s seven other continents — elevation above the surrounding area, distinctive geology, a well-defined area and a crust much thicker than that found on the ocean floor.In a paper published in the Geological Society of America’s Journal, GSA Today, they said Zealandia measured five million square kilometres and was 94% underwater.The paper’s authors said it had only three major landmasses, New Zealand’s North and South Islands to the south, and New Caledonia to the north.The scientists, mostly from the official New Zealand research body GNS Science, said Zealandia was once part of the Gondwana super-continent but broke away about 100 million years ago. Feb 17th 2017, 10:20 AM GSA Today #Science Online Ahead of Print’Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent’ https://t.co/gB85focR0w https://t.co/fTa7B0Xo1P pic.twitter.com/ZYQFFTr3ey— geosociety (@geosociety) February 16, 2017 That a continent can be so submerged yet unfragmented makes it (useful)… in exploring the cohesion and breakup of continental crust.Lead author Nick Mortimer said scientists have been gathering data to make the case for Zealandia for more than 20 years.But their efforts had been frustrated because most of it was hidden beneath the waves.“If we could pull the plug on the oceans, it would be clear to everybody that we have mountain chains and a big, high-standing continent,” he told TVNZ.While there is no scientific body that formally recognises continents, Mortimer said he wanted Zealandia to become an accepted part of how the Earth is viewed.“What we hope is that Zealandia will appear on world maps, in schools, everywhere,” he said.“I think the revelation of a new continent is pretty exciting.”© – AFP 2017Read: Tourists warned to stay away after Japan’s biggest volcano blows its top >PHOTOS: Welcome to Sealand, the bizarre ‘micronation’ off the coast of England > Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

ASA Supports the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) today expressed its strong support for passage of the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA). ASA’s announcement of support followed formal action by President George W. Bush yesterday when he sent the Colombia Trade Agreement to Congress for ratification. Congress now has 90 legislative days to either approve or reject the agreement.”Colombia has become an important market for U.S. soy and livestock exports, and this agreement will allow our exports to grow further,” said American Soybean Association President John Hoffman, a soybean producer from Waterloo, Iowa. “As Canada and other countries negotiate similar agreements with Colombia, this agreement is needed to help the U.S. soybean industry maintain its competitive edge.”U.S. soybean exports to Colombia in calendar year 2007 were valued at over $91 million as compared to less than $31 million 2003. Soybean meal exports totaled $77 million last year compared with just $11 million in 2003. And soybean oil exports are now valued at over $7 million, ten times what they were in 2003.Under this agreement, Colombia will immediately eliminate tariffs on soybeans and soy meal and flour. It will provide immediate duty-free access for crude soybean oil through a 31,200-ton quota with four percent annual growth and will phase-out the out-of-quota tariff of 24 percent for crude soybean oil over 10 years. Colombia also will phase-out its 24 percent tariff for refined soybean oil over 5 years.In addition, Colombia will immediately eliminate its price-band system for imports from the United States. Colombia has long made use of a price-band system to limit and control agricultural imports through variable duties that fluctuate based on changes in world prices. The price band is currently applied to imports of U.S. oilseed and products, as well as to imports of U.S. corn, rice, wheat, dairy, pork, poultry and sugar.Exports of these products will be expanded as a result of the elimination of Colombia’s barriers to imports from the United States under the agreement. The American Farm Bureau Federation predicts that the agreement, once fully implemented, could provide $690 million in gains each year for U.S. agriculture.Finally, over 90 percent of Colombia’s total exports to the United States, and 99.5 percent of its agricultural exports, already enter the United States duty free because of existing trade preferences granted to Andean countries under the Andean Trade Preference Act, as well as under the Generalized System of Preferences system. The Colombia TPA will eliminate duties on U.S. exports to Colombia to provide a more balanced trade relationship between the countries. Thus, this agreement assuredly is in the economic interests of U.S. workers, farmers, and ranchers.”We urge the Members of Congress to make the right decision and approve this beneficial trade agreement to strengthen our ties with Colombia and support U.S. exports,” Hoffman concluded. “If this agreement is rejected, the United States will miss the opportunity to give U.S. products and workers greater access to the Colombian market.last_img read more

Man faces DUI charges following fatal crash in Hollywood

first_imgHOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) – A man is behind bars nearly nine months after he allegedly crashed into a Hollywood building while intoxicated, killing one person and injuring two others.Hollywood Police said 24-year-old Avelino Fonseca was drunk while behind the wheel of a vehicle that crashed into The Ultimate Pet Grooming and Spa, located in the area of Hollywood Boulevard and South 17th Avenue in the early morning hours of Oct. 8.Officials said, after drinking at a bar for several hours, Fonseca drove the car straight into the building instead of following a roundabout circle.Three people were inside the car at the time of the crash.Fonseca was transported from the scene in critical condition, while 24-year-old Jayson Senesca was pronounced dead on the scene.The third victim also suffered injuries and told authorities he tried telling Fonseca to slow down, but he refused.Surveillance footage captured three cars traveling at a high rate of speed on Hollywood Boulevard moments before the crash. Rescue crews were seen responding to the scene minutes later. Investigators said Fonseca was estimated to be driving around 98 miles per hour when the crash occurred.He is facing multiple charges including DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia.Fonseca is expected to go before a bond court judge on Friday morning.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Wilmingtons Rebecca Schultz Graduates From Eastern Connecticut State University

first_imgWILLIMANTIC, CT — Eastern Connecticut State University’s annual graduation ceremony was held at the XL Center in Hartford on May 15, with more than 12,000 family members and friends cheering on their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, as 1,105 undergraduates and 85 graduate students received their diplomas.Rebecca Schultz, of Wilmington, graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts. Schultz was also awarded a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education..Commencement speaker Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for mental health and substance use in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), told the graduates and their families at Eastern Connecticut State University’s 128th Commencement exercises that the current opioid crisis facing the United States is “the nation’s greatest medical challenge since the AIDS epidemic of the 1990s. It is a tragedy of major proportions, and we need to work together to help those addicted get treatment and recover from this disease.”McCance-Katz also explained to the crowd that Eastern had grown from a small college when she attended Eastern Connecticut State College in the 1970s to become “a comprehensive university that has flourished.”McCance-Katz received an honorary doctor of science degree from Eastern in a special hooding ceremony during the graduation exercises. She graduated magna cum laude from Eastern in 1978 with a degree in biology. Following a sterling career in medicine, psychiatry, academic achievement and public administration, McCance-Katz’s DHHS appointment in August 2017 made her the first assistant secretary-level director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.Eastern President Elsa Nunez told the graduates their liberal arts education at Eastern was highly prized by American employers. “In five separate surveys conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities over the past decade, the vast majority of employers – over 90 percent! – say they are less interested in specialized job proficiencies, favoring instead analytical thinking, teamwork and communication skills – the wide-ranging academic and social competencies available through a liberal arts education.”Nunez encouraged the Eastern seniors to be active citizens as they participate in the American democratic system of self-governance. She quoted New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, who has written that disagreement is “the most vital ingredient of any decent society. It defines our individuality, gives us our freedom, enjoins our tolerance, enlarges our perspectives, makes our democracies real, and gives hope and courage to oppressed people everywhere.”“So never abdicate your responsibilities as a citizen to someone else,” said Nunez. “Be willing to question the status quo. And stand up for the values you believe in.”More than 40 percent of the graduates were the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree. Approximately 85 percent of graduates stay in Connecticut to launch their careers, contribute to their communities and raise their families.About Eastern Connecticut State UniversityEastern Connecticut State University is the state of Connecticut’s public liberal arts university, serving more than 5,300 students annually at its Willimantic campus and satellite locations. In addition to attracting students from 163 of Connecticut’s 169 towns, Eastern also draws students from 26 other states and 20 other countries. A residential campus offering 40 majors and 65 minors, Eastern offers students a strong liberal art foundation grounded in an array of applied learning opportunities. Ranked the 25th top public university in the North Region by U.S. News and World Report in its 2018 Best College ratings, Eastern has also been awarded “Green Campus” status by the Princeton Review eight years in a row. For more information, visit http://www.easternct.edu.It is the policy of Eastern Connecticut State University to ensure equal access to its events. If you are an individual with a disability and will need accommodations for this event, please contact the Office of University Relations at (860) 465-5735.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Eastern Connecticut State University via Merit.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 6 Wilmington Students Graduated From University Of Rhode IslandIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 6 Wilmington Students Graduate From Bridgewater State UniversityIn “Education”Wilmington’s Schultz Named To Dean’s List At Eastern Connecticut StateIn “Education”last_img read more

BTS breaks YouTube records with music video for Boy With Luv

first_imgMusical guest BTS performs Mic Drop on Saturday Night Live.  Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images BTS is making waves again. The popular Korean music group has broken YouTube’s records with its new single, Boy With Luv featuring Halsey.The video, which went live on YouTube Friday at 2 a.m. PT, became the platform’s most viewed music video debut with 74.6 million views in the first 24 hours, YouTube confirmed Monday. Boy With Luv also broke the record for fastest music video to reach 100 million views on YouTube, achieving the mark in less than two days. Boost Mobile Sarah Tew/CNET Angela Lang/CNET Post a comment Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Tags 7 Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Apple iPhone XS Korean pop groups are on a roll recently. Just last week, Blackpink broke the same YouTube records with its new music video Kill This Love. The girl group’s video gained 56.7 million views within the first 24 hours and hit the milestone of 100 million views in less than three days. BTS’ YouTube achievement comes after the group performed Boy With Luv on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. Just 30 minutes after SNL posted the performance on YouTube, the video had been watched more than 100,000 times. Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Read the Rylo camera preview $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express $999 Sarah Tew/CNET Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Read Lenovo Smart Clock review $6 at Tidal Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express $155 at Google Express See It $999 Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. 0 The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Sarah Tew/CNET Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Turo $210 at Best Buy JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Best Buy Read Google Home Hub review Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Sarah Tew/CNET $520 at HP What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Read the AirPods review CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Share your voice Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) See at Amazon HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) $299 at Amazon Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Amazon See it Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. $999 Rylo Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) $999 $59 at eBay The Cheapskate Read DJI Osmo Action preview Sprint Chris Monroe/CNET I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. See It See at Turo $60 at Best Buy See It Music Digital Media YouTube,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Tags Comments TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Share your voice Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89)last_img read more

Judge approves sale of Alaska Dispatch News to Binkley family

first_imgRyan Binkley speaks with reporters following the court hearing on the sale of the Alaska Dispatch News (Photo By Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)A bankruptcy court judge today approved the sale of Alaska Dispatch News, the state’s largest newspaper from Alice Rogoff to the Binkley family of Fairbanks. The judge still needs to sign the official paperwork on the deal, which is set to close on Friday. After no other bidders stepped forward today, the Binkleys will get the newspaper for $1 million, an amount they already paid in the form of an emergency loan last month to keep the newspaper running. But the bankruptcy proceedings have had some twists and turns. Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove spoke with Lori Townsend about the proceedings.Listen nowTOWNSEND: Today’s hearing was actually scheduled to be an auction, right?GROVE: That’s right, basically right up until the last second it was set to be an auction between the Binkleys and maybe any other bidders that would come forward. And the point of that is that another bidder might drive the price higher and that would mean that the sale price would be higher, and these businesses might have a better chance of getting paid. Because we’re in bankruptcy court here, and there is no money basically left to pay them.TOWNSEND: But the only bidder was the Binkleys?GROVE: Well there was another bidder approaching today’s hearing, and they pulled out at the last second leaving just the Binkleys. So, the auction turned into basically a judge trying to decide if this was the right thing to do.TOWNSEND: This took hours to sort out. Why did it take so long?GROVE: Well, once it went from auction to the judge approving a sale to the Binkleys, the judge and a federal trustee had to make sure that Rogoff hadn’t made some kind of shady deal with the Binkleys just to get out from under the law suits for the money that the ADN owes. And that’s for back rent, and wiring at what was supposed to be a new printing facility and other costs. But the judge and this trustee also wanted to know that Rogoff and her associates had done everything they could to sell the paper. There was a lot of talk about the sort of general decline in revenue from newspaper and how pretty much nobody else was willing to take the risk that the Binkleys are taking on now.TOWNSEND: Did Alice Rogoff testify?Alice Rogoff, former owner of the Alaska Dispatch News, leaves the Anchorage Federal Building following the sale of the ADN to the Binkley family. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)GROVE: She did, and so did a man that she hired to help shop the paper to potential bidders. In the end, as the judges described it, and as Alice and her associate described it, there were some quote, “nibbles,” but the newspaper was not able to get any serious bites or land the proverbial fish, that is, except for the Binkleys.TOWNSEND: Did Alice Rogoff say anything outside of the courtroom today?GROVE: Not really, there were some pleasantries exchanged. At one point, several reporters and I walked alongside Rogoff as she was leaving court during a break. You can hear here the court’s metal detector as we went out the doorREPORTER: How’re you dealing with all of this.ROGOFF: Best as can be.REPORTER: Do you have any comment as to how things got to this point.ROGOFF: I have no comment.REPORTER: Anything to say to the employees…?ROGOFF: Nothing to say.REPORTER: What about all the readers of the paper…?TOWNSEND: Of course, the paper’s operation is a big deal to people, and many are pointing to Alice Rogoff for putting that in jeopardy, but there’s also the issue of the livelihoods of something like 200 employees. We’re still not sure if they’re going to have jobs in the near future. What do you know about that, Casey?GROVE: Well, Ryan Binkley seems to be running the show for the family in terms of buying, and at least for now, operating the newspaper. He says they have no plans to stop printing the newspaper and getting it to reader’s doorsteps, or newspaper boxes. But as for jobs, Binkley says they have no immediate plans to lay off staff. He didn’t rule it out, though. And he acknowledged that payroll is a large expense for the operation and that fewer staff might mean fewer reporters, and that, in term might mean that ADN’s coverage will suffer. I asked Ryan Binkley if it’s inevitable that staff will get laid off, and this is what he said.BINKLEY: I don’t know that as I stand here today, but payroll is a big expense. There are a lot of big expenses. Rent is a big expense. There are all sorts of other expenses in this business and each one of them is going to be looked at very carefully. There’s no magic bullets here. There’s revenue on one side and there’s expense on the other, and both need to be affected. We need to turn around the revenue decline and we need to work on lowering expenses.GROVE: Later, Binkley refused to say whether he thought Rogoff had mismanaged the paper, or if was just sort of these normal market forces that are causing a decline in revenue for papers around the country. He did say he expects some challenges, and he testified in court today that he had been discovering new problems every day pretty much. He did express a sense of optimism. The Binkleys really do seem to want to do the right thing here. They are an Alaskan family, they’re from Fairbanks, and they seem to have placed a high value on a local newspaper here, in Alaska and in general. But you know, keeping the paper in Anchorage, the name might change, but they seem to want that to continue. That includes daily operations, whether the staff size stays the same, that’s still in question, but we’ll know more here in the coming weeks.TOWNSEND:Alright, thanks so much for tracking that story and going to the courthouse today.last_img read more

WATCH Pay Phones ReAppear As ThirdWard Time Capsules

first_imgThe pay phone has become a kind of urban artifact. Virtually a whole generation has never even used one. But in Houston’s Third Ward, a group of artists with support from Project Row Houses has collaborated to install three decommissioned payphones that have been turned into audio time capsules, which contain snippets of spoken history, music, and ambient field recordings captured at significant locations in the neighborhood. No coins needed, just pick up the receiver and follow the instuctions. The solar-powered phones — collectively called TréPhonos — have been installed indefinitely, and they’re located at Wolf’s Pawnshop on Emancipation Avenue; at Crumbville Tx., at Elgin and Emancipation, and at Shape Community Center on Live Oak.This segment aired as part of the program Arts InSight, on Friday, September 14, 8:30pm, on Houston Public Media – TV 8.Watch more Houston Arts InSight segments Sharelast_img read more

Disney is Working on an Obi Wan Kenobi Star Wars Film

first_imgStay on target Mattel Unveils Fashionable ‘Star Wars’ x Barbie Dolls‘Star Wars: Resistance’ Finale Sets Up ‘The Rise of Sk… The train of new Star Wars movies every year shows no signs of slowing down. With two more episodes in the sequel trilogy plus a Han Solo-based prequel on the way, we already have plenty of Star Wars to look forward to. Now, Disney announced even more. The Hollywood Reporter reports that an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie is in the works, with Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry in talks to helm the project.Daldry has some seriously great movies under his belt, including Billy Elliot and The Hours. Most recently, he directed a few episodes of Netflix’s period drama, The Crown (one of my favorite TV shows of 2016). While he’s clearly an accomplished director, nothing he’s done has been quite as big as a new Star Wars movie. But, given what he did with a story about the British royal family, a movie about an ancient religious order steeped in tradition shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. What is a Jedi movie but a costume drama with laser swords, anyway? And hey, given that all Star Wars movies take place “a long time ago,” aren’t they technically period pieces? He’ll be fine.Of course, it’s not yet known where in the timeline this Obi Wan movie will take place. The project is still in early stages, meaning it doesn’t even have a script yet. If Daldry does sign onto the project, he’ll oversee the writing of the movie alongside Lucasfilm executives. It’s also unclear whether they’ll bring back Ewan McGregor, but I guess that depends on where in the timeline this is set. If it’s about Obi Wan’s early days in the Jedi Order, set before The Phantom Menace, they’ll probably have to go with someone younger. If it takes place in between episodes three and four, McGregor absolutely deserves the chance to come back.As someone who rewatches every Star Wars movie frequently, McGregor is consistently the best part of the prequel trilogy. Despite the terrible dialog, he’s often the only one on screen who is clearly having fun. If this movie is set during Luke Skywalker’s childhood, I’d love to see what McGregor can do with the character when a good writer and director is involved.As nothing is set in stone at this point, we’ll just have to keep an eye out for more news as Disney continues hammering out the details. Considering the pace at which they’re pumping out new Star Wars movies, it shouldn’t take too long before we start to hear more.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Fighter pilot AI runs on 500 PC repeatedly beats human opponents

first_imgYou might have encountered aircraft controlled by artificial intelligence in video games, but they were nothing compared to a new AI developed at the University of Cincinnati. Not only can the AI known as Alpha take out all the other simulations thrown at it, even an experienced human pilot was repeatedly outmaneuvered. So, I guess this is how Skynet starts.To test Alpha, researchers set up a simulated combat scenario with four enemy aircraft attacking two Alpha-controlled jets. Alpha had no trouble taking out the enemy aircraft, so a more challenging opponent was needed. Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Gene “Geno” Lee hopped in a simulator to go up against Alpha, but was unable to best the AI. In fact, his thousands of missions and decades of experience were of little help as he was repeatedly shot down by the AI. Lee calls Alpha, “the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible AI I’ve seen to date.”The Air Force already uses some artificial intelligence systems in drone aircraft, but there are no 1-on-1 combat drones that are controlled entirely by AI. A jet fighter produces a lot of flight data that can be hard for an AI to interpret and incorporate into its decisions. Alpha manages to overcome the complexity of the task with a decision making system called a Genetic Fuzzy Tree (GFT), which is a type of fuzzy logic algorithm.Using the GFT makes Alpha extremely fast and doesn’t eat up a lot of computing resources. It considers its actions more like a human would by breaking complex tasks into smaller ones like when to fire, how hard to bank to avoid return fire, and what angle of approach to use. By looking only at the most relevant variables, it can calculate the best maneuvers for a given scenario much faster than a human opponent.The creator of Alpha says this process is so efficient it could run on a Raspberry Pi, but right now it’s running on an entry-level $500 consumer PC. Alpha might not be flying combat missions any time soon, but the Air Force is interested in using the AI for research purposes and training.last_img read more

Aussie coach has advice for defending Japan

first_img Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Overall, she’s allowed three goals and made seven saves.LAST CHANCE: This is the last World Cup for three of the game’s best players.German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer and Japan’s Homare Sawa both say they plan to retire from their national teams following this World Cup, and U.S. forward Abby Wambach says this will be her last World Cup.Germany faces England in the third-place match on Saturday in Edmonton, while the United States plays Japan in the final Sunday at Vancouver’s BC Place.Sawa has had limited playing time in Canada, four years after playing a lead role in Japan winning the 2011 title in Germany. Sawa, the 2011 FIFA women’s player of the year and 2011 World Cup player of the tournament, did not play against England.Sasaki did say that he was preparing to have Sawa play if the semifinal went to extra time.The 36-year-old has been credited with six shots attempted — none on net — and 184 minutes played in five tournament games.Wambach, 35, is the all-time international leading goal scorer, male or female. The 2012 FIFA player of the year has seen her role change with the U.S. team, but has all along maintained that she’s willing to do whatever it takes. Sponsored Stories During this World Cup she’s started three matches, and come in off the bench for three.Angerer was the 2013 FIFA player of the year, the first goalkeeper to win the award. She started for Germany in the 2007 World Cup and did not allow a goal on the way to the title, setting a World Cup record for most minutes played (540) without a goal.Angerer has allowed five goals with 12 saves in the tournament.HEADING NORTH: Americans are headed across the border for the Fourth of July holiday.Fans of the United States have followed their team throughout the World Cup, and Vancouver’s proximity to the border means that the final against Japan will likely bring a big, pro-American crowd.Tournament organizers say more than 51,000 tickets have been sold for the final on Sunday at BC Place. More than 20,000 tickets have been sold for the third-place match Saturday between England and Germany in Edmonton.The Americans’ group-stage finale at BC Place last month brought in 52,193 fans.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Australia was effective, but eventually wore down before giving up a goal in the 87th minute in a 1-0 loss last weekend.England, however, was much better at containing Japan in a 2-1 semifinal loss decided on Laura Bassett directing a shot into her own net in stoppage time.England directed 15 shots on net, while limiting Japan to just seven. And England carried much of the play in the second half, particularly during a four-minute stretch in which they generated three scoring chances. They included Toni Duggan’s shot off the crossbar.Japan coach Norio Sasaki referred to England’s style as “simple,” but noted it did hamper his team’s ability to move the ball.Now the United States and coach Jill Ellis gets the task of defending against Japan, which has won all of its matches in Canada. The final is scheduled for Sunday at Vancouver’s BC Place.FINDERS, KEEPERS: After giving each of his three goalkeepers a start in the preliminary round, Sasaki has stuck with Ayumi Kaihori in the knockout stage. And that was despite Kaihori misplaying an easy shot that allowed the Netherlands to cut Japan’s lead to 2-1 in second-half stoppage time.Ever since, Kaihori has allowed just one goal — Fara Williams’ penalty kick against England — in two games. Against England, she also made a diving save to her right to bat away Ellen White’s shot from inside the penalty area to keep the score tied 1-1 in the second half. How do cataracts affect your vision? Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Japan players celebrate a 2-1 win as England’s Ellen White (23) watches following a semifinal in the FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer tournament, Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Japan won 2-1. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP) EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Perhaps, Australia coach Alen Stajcic was on to something when he said, “We’re not the Netherlands,” in responding to question regarding how his team might defend against Japan in the quarterfinals.Familiar with their Asian rivals, Stajcic said the key was pressuring Japan’s ball carriers and clogging up the middle so they couldn’t generate chances off their crisp-passing attack. That was unlike the Netherlands, which allowed Japan to create in the offensive zone in a 2-1 loss in the Round of 16. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Check your body, save your life Top holiday drink recipes Top Stories last_img read more