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Spoiler alert Denis Villeneuve answers just a few Blade Runner 2049 questions

first_imgAdvertisement Twitter Is Rick Deckard a replicant?The question has raged since Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner: Is replicant hunter Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) a replicant himself? Ford has always argued that the character is human, while Scott has maintained Deckard is a replicant. The original novel by Philip K. Dick — the movie is based on 1968’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? — was filled with ambiguity.“In the book, blade runners themselves are doubting their own identity, like a doctor always in contact with sick people,” Villeneuve says. “They start to see symptoms of the sickness. They became paranoid.”Paranoia is an important theme of Blade Runner 2049.“Deckard himself is unsure of his own identity,” says Villeneuve, adding that replicant creator Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) “plays with (Deckard) with this at the end.”READ MORE Login/Register With: “I’ve been keeping secrets for two years, I don’t know if I can start talking now,” he says.But Villeneuve did answer a few of our burning questions. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Film director Denis Villeneuve is seen during a photo call for his movie Blade Runner 2049 in Montreal on Sept. 28. (PAUL CHIASSON / THE CANADIAN PRESS) Advertisement Facebook t’s OK to still be a little perplexed about Blade Runner 2049.Director Denis Villeneuve leaves a lot unexplained in the complex, futuristic world he created for his critically lauded sci-fi epic, which he says has “a lot of layers.”Multiple viewings are recommended to better understand the dystopian universe inhabited by Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford. Villeneuve is still mum about key aspects of the movie, like its ending.last_img read more

Internet servers soon to enable website’s domain name in nine Indian scripts

first_imgNew Delhi: Global internet servers are expected to be ready by June to enable people register complete website name in nine Indian scripts, according to Universal Acceptance Steering Group. At present, website name can be booked in several non-English scripts including Mandarin, Arabic, Russian, Devanagari etc. However, top level domain (TLD) — which is the second part on the right side of the dot of a website address — can be booked only in limited set of characters identified by root server. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’As of now, people can book website name in Devanagari script and only .bharat in this script is available as extension. The nine Indian scripts that will be initially fed in root servers of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) are Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu. “Label Generation Rules (LGR) for nine language scripts that are used in India are expected to be finalised in a quarter and will be fed in root servers that are managed by ICANN by June. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”LGR in root servers will identify characters in Indian scripts. This will allow people to choose complete name of website as per their choice,” Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) Chairman Ajay Data told PTI. Data is the first Indian to hold the position in UASG that has been set up with the support of custodian of global internet ICANN. UASG is working to finalise standard characters of non-English scripts to be accepted by internet system globally. Under the new system, people will be able to use any name, word, combination of letters in the nine Indian scripts after ICANN accepts it and completes the process of allocating the system to various bodies across the globe that will facilitate registrations. “We are only waiting for a response from Bangladesh to complete recommendations for Bangla script,” Data said. He said the new scripts are required to connect over a billion people who can understand, read and write in their local language. “This will also solve data security and localisation issue to a large extent. We will engage with Indian government, large enterprises, software and application developers, internet companies to accept e-mails and make their system universally acceptable to enable next one billion non-English speaking people come online,” Data said. UASG has also been given task to finalise standards for full website name in Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cyrillic, Greek, Latin, Sinhala, Thai and Georgian scripts. “UASG will focus heavily on India, Russia, China, the UAE and Thailand as billions of people follow scripts that are used in these countries,” Data said.last_img read more

Morocco, Ireland to Put Behind Years of Cold Relations

Rabat – As Ireland announces its plan to establish an embassy in Morocco in the coming months, Rabat and Dublin prepare to put years of lukewarm, and sometimes nonexistent genuine diplomatic connection behind them.But the countries’ overt disagreement on the Western Sahara question remains the elephant in the room, the thorn in the side of the new relationship.In a series of social media posts in recent weeks, the Moroccan embassy in Dublin announced a flurry of moves being prepared to move the Rabat-Dublin relations in more friendly waters. In the embassy’s posts, education was one area that stood out in the new impulse towards which the Morocco-Ireland relationship is said to be heading. On July 5, the embassy took to its Facebook page to announce the reception by Al Akhawayn University in Irfan of an important delegation from Trinity College Dublin. Authorities from the two universities discussed “strategic collaboration issues,” the post noted.Later that day, the embassy subsequently announced “promising productive relations between University College Dublin (UCD) and Moroccan universities.” The announcement explained this time, “The visit was an interesting occasion to explore options to develop further students and professors mobility and to share mutual experiences in education programs and in research areas.”Mohammed V University in Rabat and Cadi Ayyad of Marrakech are the two other Moroccan universities that have so far been associated with the new winds of Morocco-Irish cooperation.  It is expected that the partnership will include Irish institutions other than UCD and be extended to other Moroccan institutions as well.Read also: Moroccan FM Renews Calls on Algeria to Shoulder Responsibility in Western SaharaNew Moroccan strategyWith Ireland now set to open its embassy in Morocco in 2020, there are mild hopes that perhaps this time the two countries will work out a more effective bilateral cooperation. But the relationship is still alive mainly because, as has been the case with other countries where it has recently increased its appeal—mainly in Africa and Latin America most recently—Morocco is playing a proactive rather than reactive diplomatic card.In late 2012, Morocco recalled its ambassador to Dublin after Eamon Gilmore, who was then the deputy head of the Irish government, met with a Polisario delegation. “Mr Gilmore made it clear at the meeting with Saharawi Republic President Mohamed Abdelaziz that he supported the right of the Saharan people to self-determination,” the Irish Independent reported at the time.Asked why Morocco had withdrawn its ambassador, a spokesman for the Irish government was blunt: “The Moroccan government does not like our position on Western Sahara. It’s just one of these things.”The Moroccan ambassador subsequently returned to his post. There then followed a semblance of normalization, although the Irish position on Western Sahara never really changed in the intervening years.In December 2018, the Irish Senate passed a bill to “ban sale of goods from occupied territories,” as reported by the Irish Times.As the move came in the heat of debates over the legitimacy of the EU-Morocco fisheries and agriculture agreements, it caused some hard feelings in Rabat. Only this time Morocco did not withdraw its ambassador. Consistent with its newly adopted proactive approach, Rabat last month sent a delegation of Sahrawi representatives to meet with Irish officials. The message was clear: Not all Sahrawis identify with the Polisario’s agenda.Days later, Habib El Malki, the speaker of the Moroccan parliament, traveled to Dublin to meet a number of high-ranking Irish officials. He reiterated the message of the earlier delegation while dwelling on the merits of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan.Read also : Ireland to Open Embassy in Morocco in 2020In response, an Irish delegation led by Sean O Fearghail, the chairperson of the lower house of the Irish parliament, visited Rabat, where the agenda included Irish-Morocco relations, EU-Africa issues, and sustainable development. The recent developments in the Western Sahara dossier and prospects of stronger Morocco-Ireland bilateral relations were inevitably the major talking points of these series of visits. The two countries expressed their wish to move their friendship to the next level, beyond the important but not sufficient learning and exchange agreements between Irish and Moroccan universities.“Your embassy in Dublin has been fighting for us to open an embassy here,” O Fearghail said at a press conference during his visit. He went on to announce that Dublin has been considering opening an embassy in Rabat and has finally decided to take the plunge in the early months of 2020.Meanwhile, on Western Sahara, the Irish position cannot be said to have evolved much. During their Moroccan stay, the Irish delegation simply noted that their country was ready to support and submit to whatever settlement deal that comes out of the ongoing UN-led process.With the latest UN resolutions taking a direction that Morocco has welcomed, Ireland’s insistence on respecting the terms of the UN-led agenda came across as the least Morocco-hostile position Dublin has taken in recent years. In this, and with the prospective Irish embassy in Rabat, Morocco sees the possibility of dialogue, of changing Dublin’s mind—as it has done with other countries in recent years and months—if only the European country would (really) listen to Rabat’s side of the story, or history, of the Sahrawi question.Like it has done with other diplomats, Morocco has invited Irish officials to visit the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla. The two cities have witnessed gigantic development projects in recent years, and Rabat hopes to show Dublin the efforts it has put into realizing those projects. The realizations have largely been interpreted by other visitors as the ultimate proof of the “sincerity” of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara. But whether Dublin will follow suit, and decide to reconsider its support for the Polisario narrative, or come to the conclusion—as Rabat ardently hopes—that Morocco’s plan for the region is sincere and credible, remains to be seen. read more

Demand surging for services of UN antidrugs anticrime agency

The world is turning increasingly to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for help in the fight against illegal drugs, corruption, terrorism and other crimes, with the latest figures indicating that demand for the Office’s specialist expertise is surging.Total spending on the UNODC’s operational programmes jumped by 32 per cent to $91.7 million last year, and the Office’s Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said today he expected demand to keep rising, especially in the areas of tackling corruption, human trafficking and money laundering.“The world is becoming a more dangerous place and States increasingly rely on the specialist expertise which UNODC can provide,” Mr. Costa said in a statement released from the Office’s headquarters in Vienna.Spending on anti-narcotics initiatives, such as the training of drug enforcement officers, rose by 12 per cent to $69.1 million to last year, with marked increases noted in Western and Central Asia, as well as in South-East Asia and the Pacific region.Expenditure on anti-crime measures soared by 186 per cent to $22.6 million, driven largely by rising demand for UNODC services in Afghanistan, West Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.Central bankers and other financial officers have been given assistance to fight money laundering and programmes have been implemented, in countries ranging from Ghana to Pakistan, to improve the inspection of containers arriving at ports for illicit materials.Voluntary contributions from Member States – which account for about 90 per cent of the UNODC annual budget – have also grown to meet the rising demand, with total contributions pledged last year increasing by 25 per cent to $150.7 million. 6 February 2007The world is turning increasingly to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for help in the fight against illegal drugs, corruption, terrorism and other crimes, with the latest figures indicating that demand for the Office’s specialist expertise is surging. read more

MSF Denies Gotas Claims On Final War

MSF says it is a private, international, humanitarian, non-profit organisation, providing humanitarian assistance to people in need, irrespective of race, religion, ideology or politics and adheres to the principles of independence, impartiality, and neutrality. It is only after the end of the fighting in May 2009 that MSF was able to provide medical assistance to the victims of the conflict in North Vavuniya and this was outside the battle zone at the Omanthai checkpoint.MSF provided surgical support in Vavuniya hospital and in addition established an emergency field hospital for the displaced population living in camps in Menik Farm.Again, all of this activity was outside the battle zone, MSF said in the statement.MSF France meanwhile says it remains committed to working alongside the Ministry of Health to support the District General Hospital of Mullaitivu in 2012, and develop assistance in mental health care in the Mullaitivu District. However in a statement emailed to The Sunday Leader MSF said it had made numerous requests to the government for access to the battle zone in northern Sri Lanka and these requests were repeatedly denied, despite expressing extremely serious concerns about the fate of civilians who were trapped in the heavy fighting. The medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says it is concerned about a claim by Secretary of Defense Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that MSF was present in 2009 in Sri Lanka’s war zone and received surrendering militants to be treated.In an interview published on February 6th in India and reproduced in the Sri Lankan media, the Secretary of Defense is purported to have said that MSF teams were present in the battle zone during the fighting. “… Mr Gotabaya said international agencies, including the French MSF (Medicines Sans Frontiers) and the Indian medical team, were present in the battle zone to receive survivors and surrendered militants,” an Indian media report had said. Ahead of the final offensive, in September 2008, along with most other international organisations, MSF was given a government directive to leave Kilinochchi.Thereafter, MSF repeatedly requested permission to enter the battle zones to provide medical care to the civilian population. Permission was sought from numerous ministries, including the Ministries of Health as well as Defence, but at no point was this request granted during the final stages of the conflict in late 2008 and 2009. read more

TigerCats hold second practice at Tim Hortons Field

Workers and officials are getting down to the wire to get the Tim Hortons Field ready for the Labour Day Classic.But there was some other work happening at the stadium on Thursday as well.The Hamilton Tiger-Cats held their second practice at the new field.This practice was open to the media after Wednesday’s private workout.The Ticats couldn’t get dressed there though because the lockers rooms weren’t finished yet.Instead they got their gear on at their Jarvis Street head quarters and were bussed in.The city says it may take until Sunday to secure an occupancy permit for the Labour Day Classic. read more

Statistics Canada reports 136m trade surplus in June imports exports down

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the country’s trade surplus narrowed in June to $136 million, as both exports and imports dropped largely due to trade decreases in crude oil, aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts.The federal agency says exports fell 5.1 per cent to $50.3 billion, offsetting a strong gain in May amid a 3.6 per cent drop in export prices.Exports of crude oil dropped 8.6 per cent, the first monthly decrease this year, as crude oil export prices fell 13.5 per cent even as volumes rose 5.6 per cent.Aircraft exports, meanwhile, were down 40.8 per cent, mainly on lower shipments of commercial aircraft to the United States.Imports were down 4.3 per cent to $50.2 billion, the lowest level since November 2018.Analysts had expected a trade deficit of $300 million, according to financial services firm Refinitiv.June’s surplus narrowed from a stronger $556 million in May. The Canadian Press read more

UN advocate for disadvantaged countries regrets drop in European sugar import price

“A drastic cut will have a devastating impact on the fragile economies of small island developing states,” the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Anwarul K. Chowdhury, said on Friday.The Under-Secretary-General said he believed that the proposals, made public last Wednesday, could impact on families and businesses dependent on the sugar industry on small islands, especially in the Caribbean region. He noted that the International Meeting for the 10-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in January highlighted the plight of vulnerable island states.”I recommend that the proposal, still to be approved by the European Union member states, should go through an intense review, and be implemented over a transitional period to allow small islands to adapt and diversify,” he said. read more

Blake Griffin Out Of Olympics With Knee Injury

Turned out that the knee trouble that required Blake Griffin to leave Team USA and return to Los Angeles was a meniscus tear that will prevent him from participating in the London Olympics.For the Clippers, Griffin will be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks, meaning he should be healthy in time for training camp in the fall.“We’re relieved that this does not affect Blake’s ability to be ready in time for training camp,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said in a statement. “Missing out on the Olympic experience will be tough for him to take. I know how dedicated he was to doing that. We’re glad we can get this fixed now and take advantage of the available time for him to fully recover.”USA Basketball said in a statement that Griffin reported he was experiencing discomfort in the knee during a scrimmage at Team USA training camp. Griffin missed Thursday night’s 113-59 exhibition victory over the Dominican Republic.The Clippers said Griffin would undergo an MRI exam once he returns to Los Angeles and then will be evaluated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic on Sunday.USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo suggested the soreness in Griffin’s knee was related to the injury he suffered during the 2012 NBA playoffs.“The reality is, that injury took place at the end of the season,” Colangelo said. “And he had an option to get scoped and he opted not to get scoped. And so, I guess he aggravated it. Whether he’s able to play now remains to be seen.”Griffin did not show any obvious signs of an injury on Wednesday, and a source told that Griffin’s knee “swelled up” after the scrimmage.New Orleans rookie Anthony Davis, the NBA’s 2012 No. 1 overall pick out of Kentucky, has been asked to report to Team USA training camp in Las Vegas. Davis dressed for Team USA’s game against the Dominican Republic. read more

Ohio State cross country prepares for Great Lakes Regional Championships

After disappointing finishes at the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 30, the Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams are working to improve on running in tighter packs as championship season presses on. The Buckeyes will run at the Great Lakes Regional Championships on Nov. 12 in Toledo, Ohio, and coaches from both the men’s and women’s teams attribute their teams’ poor performances at the Big Ten Championships to a big gap between their first and fifth runners. The coaches said that will need to improve at the regional meet in order for OSU to score better. “I’d like to see us get five to six guys on a 20-second spread,” said Robert Gary, OSU men’s head coach. OSU women’s assistant coach Chris Neal expressed similar thoughts for the women. “We just need to clean up the tail end of our pack more than anything,” he said. At the Big Ten Championships, both teams had spreads bigger than they would have liked. The men had a 28-second spread from their No. 1 to No. 5 runner, and the women had a 1:20 gap. The large spreads led to OSU finishing fifth in the men’s race and ninth in the women’s. Women’s runner, junior Tori Brink, said having a small spread at the Great Lakes Regional Championships will be key to the Buckeyes running well. Brink finished first for OSU at the Big Ten Championships, in 23rd place, covering the 6K-course in 20:55. “That’d be completely important at the regional meet,” she said. “Having our fourth and fifth runners being closer to our one, two and three would bring our team’s points down lower and allow us to get a higher place.” Taylor Williams, a redshirt senior on the men’s team, said he would like to see his team have a smaller spread, but not too much needs to improve for OSU to finish high at regionals. “I don’t think we change much and I think the team is still motivated,” he said. At the Great Lakes Regional Championships, OSU will be running against a number of teams they have competed against this season. Big Ten champion, the No. 1-ranked Wisconsin Badgers, and No. 7 Indiana highlight the men’s field, with No. 12 Michigan State leading the women’s field after winning its second-straight Big Ten championship. The teams competing will be vying for a top-two finish, which results in an automatic bid to the NCAA National Championships. At-large bids to nationals can be given to teams that do not finish in the top-two but have performed well all season. read more

Column Margaret Thatcher a feminist icon She certainly wouldnt have called herself

first_imgThatcher: “You can’t trust the Irish, they are all liars”>Margaret O’Keefe is a lecturer in Community Development at Cork Institute of Technology. She is a member of the 5050 Group – an organisation that are looking to achieve gender parity in Irish politics by the year 2020. BIOEPIC, THE IRON Lady, depicts the late Margaret Thatcher as a feminist icon. But was she? Natasha Walter, co-founder of Women for Refugee Women and author of Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism and the New Feminism, writes that Thatcher is a figure that feminists would be foolish to dismiss. She concedes that Mrs Thatcher was no feminist, with no interest in social equality and knew nothing of female solidarity. Walter, however, believes that Margaret Thatcher normalised female success, challenging the prevailing orthodoxy that women were unsuited to the pursuit of power.Women in Irish political lifeIn Ireland, elected female representatives, let alone female political leaders, remain a rarity. Currently, just 25 TDs, 15 per cent of the Dáil are women. This statistic places Ireland in 89th position in a global league table for the percentage of women in politics.  The 5050 Group was founded in September 2010 to campaign for electoral quotas in a bid to address the gross under representation of women in Irish political life. We believe that as a principle of democracy, the composition of the Oireachtas and other elected bodies need to reflect population diversity.Mrs Thatcher’s view on the centrality of the individual, rather than society, was shaped by the work of FA Hayek. Hayek had sought to develop attempts to establish a systematic political philosophy on behalf of free market economics and individual liberty. Hayek’s political perspective as to the primacy of the individual over society was implicitly articulated by Margaret Thatcher in an interview with Women‘s Own magazine in 1987, when she (in) famously remarked that: there is no such thing as society.  There are individual men and women, and there are families.We have much in commonCuriously, she and I would have had much in common. Like Mrs Thatcher, I believe that nothing can be achieved without hard work. Like her, I also believe that if you think you are right you have to fight to the end to succeed. While speculative, and despite these commonalities, I doubt that Mrs Thatcher would have shared my, albeit reluctant, support for electoral quotas.For unlike, Mrs Thatcher, I believe that there is such a thing as society. Thus, like many other men and women, I believe that the lack of women in public life is an issue which needs to be addressed at the societal, rather than at the individual level.In contrast, given her attachment to Hayek’s belief in the primacy of the individual, Margaret Thatcher may have claimed that a woman in politics may succeed solely on merit. She might say, after all, she certainly did. As ‘the grocer’s daughter’, she breached both class and gender barriers to lead a Tory Party substantially grounded in ‘old money’ and historical privilege. Arguably then, mechanisms, such as electoral quotas, which help to even out an uneven playing field, would have been anathema to her.Demonising ThatcherThus, it is easy to demonise Mrs Thatcher as an anti-feminist. Indeed, I have wondered if the breadth and depth of hostility often directed at her is in reality a form of unconscious sexism. Ian McEwan writes “in retrospect, in much dissenting commentary there was often a taint of unexamined sexism”.Furthermore, in privileging individualism at the expense of the societal, Mrs Thatcher failed to see that not everybody, notwithstanding their ability, effort and hard work, has an equal chance to succeed in politics or indeed in any other social or economic domain. Every day in Ireland, women and men because of their class background, ethnicity, religion and/or sexual orientation face an ongoing struggle to succeed in a highly competitive labour market. They may even experience naked discrimination and prejudice. In sum, Mrs Thatcher failed to grasp the saliency of structural inequalities which act as barriers to individual self-realisation and career success.Pervasive structural inequalities have different and additional implications for female advancement, as women tend to experience particular gender and class, alongside other barriers. Furthermore, Thatcher’s refusal to see that society does matter, that interdependence, i.e. that we all depend on each other, is key to a functioning, healthy society was also profoundly damaging. The notion of the autonomous, rational individual maximising his/her success in the labour market became an archetype for this historical period, as exemplified by Harry Enfield’s Loadsamoney character. Indeed, Brian Reade claims that Thatcher’s economic legacy created a generation raised on a creed of greed.Stunning electoral successIn addition, it is easy to forget that Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s prime minister for more than a decade from 1979 to 1990, a total of 11 years. In essence, she enjoyed stunning electoral success. This level of success infers that many people in Britain, including many from the British working class – both men and women – shared and supported Thatcherite policies.That is cold comfort, however, to those people living in communities, such as the south Wales town of Merthyr Tydfil and other communities in the north east of England, fragmented and impoverished as a consequence of free market economics.In Ireland, we have embraced a close relation of Thatcherism – Austerity. The opposite of austerity policies are progressive economic policies, premised on social and economic equality. These policies are also underpinned by an authentic social solidarity, rather than self-serving appeals by elites to solidarity and patriotism. Progressive economic policies aim to support the weakest in society; they privilege poverty proofing and gender proofing. Thus, they privilege people over the economy. Instead, we live with economic policies which protect the powerful and economically insulated.Undermining hard fought for equality gainsWhile we may abhor Thatcherism, the reality is that support for free market policies is increasingly evident. Ultimately, these policies undermine hard fought for equality gains, not just for women but for all who may fail to succeed in what is often a harsh environment, where the strong prevail and the weak flounder.As citizens of a Republic, in one of the world’s richest countries, surely we can create a better future than that which is currently on offer?  Yes, we can do better!PICS: Signs of Thatcher: loved and hated in life and death>last_img read more

Environmental Health confirms amped up mosquito fogging

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 19 Oct 2015 – Mosquito spraying efforts have indeed been beefed up in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin, confirmed over the weekend to Magnetic Media by Director of Environmental Health, Kenrick Neely. “We had treated all of our swamps and now we’re here fogging especially here in Provo, North and Middle Caicos so at least we are going keep fogging Provo for the next week, and North and Middle for the next two weeks.”Neely admitted that there were calls to EHD by residents who reported a wave of mosquitoes especially in Providenciales.It was explained that fogging efforts are strongest in Provo, North and Middle Caicos and that this extra spraying will continue for another week as the EHD continues to monitor if more fogging is required. More foggers, more manpower, mosquito nets – Zika now in Jamaica Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Related Items:Environmental health, fogging, hurricane joaquin, kenrick neely, Mosquitoes Residents can still do more to prevent mosquito breeding Zika spread by sex too, says Scientistlast_img read more

Threeparent babies now allowed in UK The historic decision explained

first_img The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the UKs fertility regulator, has officially approved the use of mitochondrial replacement therapy. Clinics will now be able to apply for licences to help give birth to so-called three parent babies. Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …center_img Three-parent babies now allowed in UK: The historic decision explainedlast_img read more

Two Houston Police Officers Injured In Shooting Suspect Is Still At Large

first_imgGail DelaughterNeighborhood sealed off in the Beltway 8 area near Airline as officers look for police shooting suspect.(Update 4:26 p.m.)Two Houston police officers have been injured in a shooting in Southwest Houston, one of them remains in critical condition.Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo said that the shooting happened at a residence on Sterlingame near US 59 South and the Sam Houston Tollway. The officers were responding to a call.Acevedo identified the two injured HPD officers as Ronnie Cortez, in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital, and José Muñoz, who sustains non-threatening injuries at Ben Taub Hospital.Speaking with the press at the Texas Medical Center, Acevedo explained that the two police officers were shot by a male Hispanic suspect, of unknown age and unknown identity, who was pronounced dead at the scene.A woman in the neighborhood at the time officers were shot says it “sounded like fireworks”. Acevedo confirmed that there is a second suspect at large, who the HPD believes to still be in the area, as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner had previously announced at a different press conference.The Police Chief apologized to neighbors in that area for any inconvenience that the Police search may be causing, as officers keep searching for the second suspect. Addressing the suspect in Spanish, Acevedo asked him to come out of hiding and surrender, and he even asked the suspect’s relatives to help find him.In the afternoon, the manhunt continued for the suspect in the Southwest Houston area but Constable deputies were seen leaving the scene of police shootings while Department of Public Safety’s troopers were moving in.3:40 p.m. dozens of police cars and civilian vehicles could be seen leaving the area of the shelter. Shortly afterwards HISD sent out a tweet saying that their schools were being lifted from lockdown and their students were being dismissed.Just before 4 p.m. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said that he had given the all clear and lifted the shelter in place, allowing residents to return to the neighborhood.Police are still looking for the second suspect, and encourage the public to contact the police if they see anything suspicious. Share One suspect is outstanding please shelter in place if you’re residing in the area & avoid the area if you don’t.— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) February 28, 2017With information by Gail Delaughtercenter_img Please avoid this area – Lock your doors and windows if you’re inside this area until @houstonpolice says otherwise. #hounews— Houston OEM (@HoustonOEM) February 28, 2017last_img read more

Ex Trump Campaign Chair Had Plan To Benefit Putin Government Associated Press

first_img Share AP imagesFILE – In this July 17, 2016 file photo, Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland as Rick Gates listens at back left. Emails obtained by The Associated Press shed new light on the activities of a firm run by Donald Trump’s campaign chairman. They show it directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine’s ruling political party, attempting to sway American public opinion in favor of the country’s pro-Russian government. Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, never disclosed their work as foreign agents as required under federal law. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests. Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse. Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work. “We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, “will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.” Manafort’s plans were laid out in documents obtained by the AP that included strategy memoranda and records showing international wire transfers for millions of dollars. How much work Manafort performed under the contract was unclear. The disclosure comes as Trump campaign advisers are the subject of an FBI probe and two congressional investigations. Investigators are reviewing whether the Trump campaign and its associates coordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 campaign. Manafort has dismissed the investigations as politically motivated and misguided, and said he never worked for Russian interests. The documents obtained by AP show Manafort’s ties to Russia were closer than previously revealed. In a statement to the AP, Manafort confirmed that he worked for Deripaska in various countries but said the work was being unfairly cast as “inappropriate or nefarious” as part of a “smear campaign.” “I worked with Oleg Deripaska almost a decade ago representing him on business and personal matters in countries where he had investments,” Manafort said. “My work for Mr. Deripaska did not involve representing Russia’s political interests.” Deripaska became one of Russia’s wealthiest men under Putin, buying assets abroad in ways widely perceived to benefit the Kremlin’s interests. U.S. diplomatic cables from 2006 described Deripaska as “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis” and “a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin’s trips abroad.” In response to questions about Manafort’s consulting firm, a spokesman for Deripaska in 2008 — at least three years after they began working together — said Deripaska had never hired the firm. Another Deripaska spokesman in Moscow last week declined to answer AP’s questions. When asked Wednesday about Manafort’s work for Deripaska, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “we do not feel it’s appropriate to comment on someone who is not an employee at the White House.” Manafort worked as Trump’s unpaid campaign chairman last year from March until August. Trump asked Manafort to resign after AP revealed that Manafort had orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation until 2014 on behalf of Ukraine’s ruling pro-Russian political party. The newly obtained business records link Manafort more directly to Putin’s interests in the region. According to those records and people with direct knowledge of Manafort’s work for Deripaska, Manafort made plans to open an office in Moscow, and at least some of Manafort’s work in Ukraine was directed by Deripaska, not local political interests there. The Moscow office never opened. Manafort has been a leading focus of the U.S. intelligence investigation of Trump’s associates and Russia, according to a U.S. official. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the investigation were confidential. Meanwhile, federal criminal prosecutors became interested in Manafort’s activities years ago as part of a broad investigation to recover stolen Ukraine assets after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych there in early 2014. No U.S. criminal charges have ever been filed in the case. FBI Director James Comey, in confirming to Congress the federal intelligence investigation this week, declined to say whether Manafort was a target. Manafort’s name was mentioned 28 times during the hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, mostly about his work in Ukraine. No one mentioned Deripaska. On Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer had singled out Manafort when asked about possible campaign contacts with Russia. He said Manafort “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time” in the campaign, even though as Trump’s presidential campaign chairman he led it during the crucial run-up to the Republican National Convention. Manafort and his associates remain in Trump’s orbit. Manafort told a colleague this year that he continues to speak with Trump by telephone. Manafort’s former business partner in eastern Europe, Rick Gates, has been seen inside the White House on a number of occasions. Gates has since helped plan Trump’s inauguration and now runs a nonprofit organization, America First Policies, to back the White House agenda. Gates, whose name does not appear in the documents, told the AP that he joined Manafort’s firm in 2006 and was aware Manafort had a relationship with Deripaska, but he was not aware of the work described in the memos. Gates said his work was focused on domestic U.S. lobbying and political consulting in Ukraine at the time. He said he stopped working for Manafort’s firm in March 2016 when he joined Trump’s presidential campaign. Manafort told Deripaska in 2005 that he was pushing policies as part of his work in Ukraine “at the highest levels of the U.S. government — the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department,” according to the documents. He also said he had hired a “leading international law firm with close ties to President Bush to support our client’s interests,” but he did not identify the firm. Manafort also said he was employing unidentified legal experts for the effort at leading universities and think tanks, including Duke University, New York University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Manafort did not disclose details about the lobbying work to the Justice Department during the period the contract was in place. Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, people who lobby in the U.S. on behalf of foreign political leaders or political parties must provide detailed reports about their actions to the department. Willfully failing to register is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, though the government rarely files criminal charges. Deripaska owns Basic Element Co., which employs 200,000 people worldwide in the agriculture, aviation, construction, energy, financial services, insurance and manufacturing industries, and he runs one of the world’s largest aluminum companies. Forbes estimated his net worth at $5.2 billion. How much Deripaska paid Manafort in total is not clear, but people familiar with the relationship said money transfers to Manafort amounted to tens of millions of dollars and continued through at least 2009. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the secret payments publicly. In strategy memos, Manafort proposed that Deripaska and Putin would benefit from lobbying Western governments, especially the U.S., to allow oligarchs to keep possession of formerly state-owned assets in Ukraine. He proposed building “long term relationships” with Western journalists and a variety of measures to improve recruitment, communications and financial planning by pro-Russian parties in the region. Manafort proposed extending his existing work in eastern Europe to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Georgia, where he pledged to bolster the legitimacy of governments friendly to Putin and undercut anti-Russian figures through political campaigns, nonprofit front groups and media operations. For the $10 million contract, Manafort did not use his public-facing consulting firm, Davis Manafort. Instead, he used a company, LOAV Ltd., that he had registered in Delaware in 1992. He listed LOAV as having the same address of his lobbying and consulting firms in Alexandria, Virginia. In other records, LOAV’s address was listed as Manafort’s home, also in Alexandria. Manafort sold the home in July 2015 for $1.4 million. He now owns an apartment in Trump Tower in New York, as well as other properties in Florida and New York. One strategy memo to Deripaska was written by Manafort and Rick Davis, his business partner at the time. In written responses to the AP, Davis said he did not know that his firm had proposed a plan to covertly promote the interests of the Russian government. Davis said he believes Manafort used his name without his permission on the strategy memo. “My name was on every piece of stationery used by the company and in every memo prior to 2006. It does not mean I had anything to do with the memo described,” Davis said. He took a leave of absence from the firm in late 2006 to work on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. Manafort’s work with Deripaska continued for years, though they had a falling out laid bare in 2014 in a Cayman Islands bankruptcy court. The billionaire gave Manafort nearly $19 million to invest in a Ukrainian TV company called Black Sea Cable, according to legal filings by Deripaska’s representatives. It said that after taking the money, Manafort and his associates stopped responding to Deripaska’s queries about how the funds had been used. Early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Deripaska’s representatives openly accused Manafort of fraud and pledged to recover the money from him. After Trump earned the nomination, Deripaska’s representatives said they would no longer discuss the case.last_img read more

War Memorial Building City of Baltimore MBEWBE Certification Workshop

first_imgIf you are a minority or woman business owner in the Baltimore market area and your company is not a City-certified MBE or WBE, or if you are interested in the requirements for certification, attend the MBE/WBE Certification Workshop on Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the War Memorial Building, Paul C. Wolman Assembly Hall, 101 N. Gay Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. The workshop will be presented by Courtney M. Billups, Chief of the Law Department’s Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity Office, the City’s official certification office. The workshop will cover requirements for City MBE/WBE certification as well as how to avoid common errors.  The workshop is free to attend and seating is limited.For more information, call the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development at 410-396-3818.last_img read more

Geek Pick AmazonBasics Microwave Cooks A Smart Dinner

first_imgStay on target Geek Pick: Ikea Sonos Symfonisk Is A WiFi Bookshelf SpeakerGeek Pick: Fi Smart Dog Collar Sniffs Out Your Pet The evil genius of Amazon’s Alexa-powered internet and things initiative is realizing that instead of creating one ultra-powerful smart device to controls homes (and therefore people) they can just release legions of only moderately intelligent devices that do one thing really well and connect with each other. So by the time customers have realized their house is packed full of Amazon products it’s too late.That was the case with the Amazon Echo Wall Clock, not much more than a clock with some lights counting down timers you set with your voice. And that’s still true with the AmazonBasics Microwave, a device that offers the same convenience when it comes to reheating food.AdChoices广告Like the Wall Clock, the AmazonBasics Microwave is just a regular microwave until you tether it to another Echo device. And you have to speak into that other device in order for Alexa to control the oven with your voice. But once you do the dumb joys of voice-powered cooking open up to you. Having one less thing for your hands to worry about is a chef’s dream.There are built-in presets for cooking specific types of food like coffee or soup. Imagine shouting “Cook potato!” at an appliance and then it actually cooks the potato. Along with telling Alexa to cook for different amounts of time at different power levels you can also give it instructions based on the type of cooking you need like defrosting or reheating. You have to phrase your commands with the right syntax Alexa understands, though. That can feel a little unnatural.Fortunately, this smart functionality is paired with some pretty solid overall microwave hardware. It’s a little small, especially for families, and could be a bit more powerful, to cook denser frozen food in fewer cycles. But the specs are totally in line with other microwaves at this $60 price point. And those microwaves don’t even have Bezos’ blessing.For more on the AmazonBasics Microwave check out the extensive review on our sister site And for more on food tech check out this Whirlpool oven from CES and this fridge/dating service.More on Geek Pick: Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ Is a Cute ComputerGeek Pick: JBL Charge 4 Takes the Party Wherever You GoGeek Pick: Sonos One (Gen 2) Is a Sleek Smart Speaker for Tech Loverslast_img read more

Bridging boundaries through art

first_imgDehli’s handicraft enthusiasts have another reason to visit Dilli haat as the 30th edition of annual Dastakari mela has been declared open in the national Capital on Sundau.This year’s highlight is the presence of craftswomen from Myanmar, who will be practicing shell craft, basketry, mat weaving, handloom textile weaving and hyacinth grass weaving for the viewers. The crafts mela was inaugurated in the presence of Lalitha Kumaramangalam, chairperson, National Commission for Women; Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament, New Delhi Constituency; His Excellency U Aung Khin Soe, Myanmar Ambassador to India; Sripriya Rangathan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr SK Panda, Secretary, Textiles, government of India; Sohan Jha, Senior Director, Crafts Museum and Myint Htwe, chairman, National Arts and Crafts Association of Myanmar. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The group of women exhibited the world famous Pathein umbrellas, puppets, velvet slippers, lacquer work and jade items. The exhibition is in collaboration with Dastkari Haat Samiti and supported by Ministry of External Affairs, Embassy of India in Myanmar, Corriandar Leaf, Yangon and Air India. Myanmar craftsmen will be joining hands at Dilli Haat for a crafts and skill development workshop. The crafts mela is one of its kind, where new design developments will take place in collaboration with craftsmen from Myanmar anwd India. Live demonstration of the weaving looms, from more than 12 states along with National and state-awardees from Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu Kashmir, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and others took place. A unique feature of the crafts mela will be that the visitors will be able to interact, learn, appreciate and explore Indian and Burmese handicrafts and textiles. The entire fortnight’s collaboration will result in new product designs, long term friendships and shall provide unique inputs to the crafts sector while enhancing economic wellbeing and diplomatic ties at the ground level. Meenakshi Lekhi said: “Dastkari Haat Samiti puts a great effort to give the great opportunity to the all the artisans who came across from India and Myanmar. But i think digitalisation should be given important because it can help the artisans in much easier way. Dastkari Haat Samiti should open their E-commerce website so that artisans directly sell their products.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixJaya Jaitly, Founder Dastkari Haat Samiti, has been working relentlessly with diverse craftsmen across the country to produce beautiful, economical and purposeful crafts, for more than four decades.  Jaya Jaitly said: “The Samiti has constantly worked towards expanding opportunities for craftsmen as conservationists of Indian heritage. The Samiti’s artisan-members have travelled all over and collaborated with local artisans in other developing nations to create utility-based and market-friendly products.”last_img read more

Rep Runestad named chair of Judiciary Committee

first_img Categories: Featured news,News,Runestad News House Speaker Tom Leonard today announced state Rep. Jim Runestad of White Lake will lead the House Judiciary Committee for the 2017-18 legislative session.As an Oakland County commissioner, Runestad served as chair of both the Public Services Committee and Planning and Building Committee for three terms and worked with various county commissions to improve Friend of the Court services. Rep. Runestad also served on the Judiciary Committee during his first term as state representative.“I am honored to be chosen as judiciary chair and look forward to handling a variety of legislative issues in the next two years,” said Rep. Runestad. “I am once again so thankful for the opportunity that House Speaker Tom Leonard has given me and I can only hope to serve the Michigan residents with as much pose and prominence as Speaker Leonard has and will continue to do.”The second-term lawmaker also will serve on the House committees on Insurance, Communications and Technology, and Local Government. Tags: #SB center_img 26Jan Rep. Runestad named chair of Judiciary Committeelast_img read more

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