9 Questions to Ask When Buying a New Lens

first_imgThinking about buying a new lens? Here are 9 things to consider.As my fellow sufferers of Equipment Acquisition Syndrome know, it’s always exciting to add a new lens to the arsenal. Before you do, ask yourself these nine questions.1. Do I really need a new lens?Image courtesy of ShutterstockFact: Getting a new lens will not make you a better photographer or videographer. If you don’t have the basics down (composition, value, color theory, lighting, etc.) you likely aren’t getting the most out of your current lens.Until you can take good photos with the lens you have, there’s no good reason to drop $1000+ on a new one.2. Does this lens fill in any focal length gaps?Can you shoot an extremely wide shot of a small room? Can you capture a bride’s face from across a chapel? Do you have the right lens for the job? If you’re going to invest in a new lens, make sure you’re working toward having all of your focal lengths covered.Get a good standard prime and multi-purpose zoom lens to start. From there you can begin to get more specialty lenses like fish-eye, hyper-telephoto, and macro lenses.3. What is the F-stop?Image courtesy of BigstockAn F-stop is a mathematical formula that figures out approximately how much light a lens will let to the sensor. Practically speaking, a lens with a lower F-stop number allows more light through the lens, capturing a more out-of-focus background.It’s a good rule of thumb to get a lower F-Stop lens if you can afford it, but F-stop isn’t everything. You also need to consider the T-stop…4. What is the T-stop?Whereas an F-stop is a mathematical formula, a T-stop is an actual reading of the amount of light that a lens sends to the camera. A T-stop is typically used by cinematographers more than photographers, but the information is none-the-less important.You can go more in-depth on all things F-stop and T-stop here.5. What kind of stabilization does it have?For those unfamiliar, stabilization on a lens is typically described in terms of stops. This means a lens with 2 stops of stabilization will allow you to shoot with a shutter speed that is twice as slow, allowing twice as much light to hit the sensor.Stabilization is one of the most underrated features on a lens; a little stabilization can go a long way to make your images and video higher in quality. Speaking of quality…6. How is the image quality?Image courtesy of ShutterstockSpecs are one thing, but the actual quality of the final images/video is another. Before you buy a lens, you should examine the image quality. Websites like DP Review and Photo Zone give detailed reviews of virtually every lens on the market. Just because a lens is fast doesn’t mean it’s necessarily sharp, so do your research!7. Is the autofocus fast and accurate?If you primarily shoot video, you likely won’t use autofocus very often. However, photographers will want to invest in a lens with great autofocus. Keep in mind, cheaper camera lenses like Tamron and Sigma tend to feature slower autofocus abilities than their “name-brand” counterparts.This isn’t an issue when shooting a stationary subject, but when you start shooting moving subjects at events like weddings, autofocus becomes a very important issue.8. What is the minimum focus distance?Image courtesy of ShutterstockCheaper lenses tend to have minimum focus distances that are extremely far, which can be aggravating if your subject is close. For example, a 50mm lens with good macro capabilities can get better close-up images than a 200mm lens with bad macro capabilities. When you’re searching for your new lens, take the time to look at the minimum focus distance.9. Why am I buying a new lens?A brand new lens is almost always going to work perfectly right out of the box. However, buying a new lens is a lot like buying a new car: As soon as you put it on your camera, it will lose 30% of it’s value.Buying a used lens from a credible dealer might be a better option. Many dealers offer a 30-day return policy on their lenses, and even if you have a lens for more than 30 days, you can likely unload it on eBay for close to what you paid for it.If you have any additional lens buying wisdom to share, we’d love to hear it in the comments below.last_img read more

Saina in Hong Kong Super Series final

first_imgAce Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal fought her way to the Hong Kong Super Series final with a gruelling three-game victory over sixth seed Juliane Schenk of Germany in Wanchai on Saturday.The second seeded Indian registered a 21-19 17-21 21-12 win over Juliane in a 53-minute women’s singles semifinal match.20-year-old Saina will lock horns with third seed Shixian Wang of China in the summit clash on Sunday. Shixian beat top seed and compatriot Xin Wang 21-12 21-14 in another semifinal match.In a battle of nerves, Saina was trailing 8-12 but the Indian won four straight points to first catch up with the German and then level 17-17 before marching ahead to pocket the first game.But the Hyderabadi couldn’t hold on to the lead in the second game and from 5-5, Juliane moved ahead in strides to bounce back into the match.In the decider, Saina gave no chance to her rival and opened a 6-1 lead before surging ahead to 11-3 and 19-9 before wrapping up the match.”The final will be a tough match because Shixian is in good form. It has been a fantastic year for Saina and will have to see how she plays tomorrow. She has been very consistent and have done well in bigger events and am happy overall,” national coach and Saina’s mentor Pullela Gopichand told PTI.”She missed out of at least five super series this year because the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games were more important events but it also means that she missed out of some events which otherwise could have taken her to the number one spot. But it doesn’t matter, what matters is number of wins,” he added.advertisementSaina registered three back-to-back titles this year, winning the Indian Open, Singapore Open and defending the Indonesian Open. But the icing of the cake for her was the Commonwealth Games gold medal.In the Asian Games last month, Saina, however, lost in the quarterfinals to Pui Yin Yip of Hong Kong. However she didn’t take time to take her revenge as the Indian beat Pui Yin Yip in straight game in the quarterfinal of the Hong Kong Open to reach the semifinals.”It is good that she didn’t take much time to recover from that loss,” Gopichand said.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

Justin Melton gets it done for Magnolia on both ends in crucial win

first_imgMANILA, Philippines–With a crucial game slipping away, Magnolia turned to its winning staple and shut down NorthPort when it mattered most.The Hotshots’ have always been one of the premiere defensive teams in the PBA since Chito Victolero took over the team in 2016 and they showed it on Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ With Melton hounding him, Pringle had a subpar offensive night with just 15 points, 11 of which came in the first half, after coming into the game averaging 22.5 points. He also turned the ball over five times.The win put the Hotshots (4-5) in a three-way tie for sixth place with the NLEX Road Warriors and Alaska Aces.“This win is huge for us. Our conference right now has had a lot of ups and downs,” Melton said. “We had a few games that went down to the last possession and a game like this definitely give us momentum heading into our two games and hopefully into the playoffs.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag That suffocating defense started from its backcourt led by Justin Melton, who played a key role in slowing down Batang Pier’s crack guard Stanley Pringle.“We knew we couldn’t let him (Pringle) get going because he’s the one that can take over a game so we just tried to keep the pressure on him, keep the ball out of his hands if we could. It’s still hard but we did it as a team,” said Melton.The 32-year-old Melton was all over the floor finishing with 11 points, nine coming in the second half, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.Melton said he wasn’t expecting the kind of game he had. He also owed his performance to assistant coach Juno Sauler and teammate Paul Lee, who encouraged him to be aggressive.“I was surprised myself. I have been struggling lately. Coach Juno was talking to me the whole time and Paul Lee was in my head during the game saying don’t hesitate just shoot it so that’s what I did. I stayed aggressive on offense.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES “It was all about our defense in the second half,” Victolero, whose squad trailed by as much as 11 points, told reporters after his team’s 103-90 win. “We allowed them to score 59 points in the first half and I think this conference that was already the most points that we allowed in the first half.”READ: PBA: Magnolia boosts playoff bid, holds down NorthPortFEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“I told my players inside the locker room at halftime that if you don’t play defense in the second half you will lose this game and I am very proud of my players, very happy. They really did everything to stop NorthPort in the second half,” he said.Magnolia held NorthPort to only 31 points in the last two quarters, including just eight points in the final frame. Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Ichiro Suzuki gets the start in what could be his last MLB gamecenter_img Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Google Philippines names new country directorlast_img read more

Brooklyn Nets Eclipse Suns, 108-95

first_imgNEW YORK — Deron Williams felt so good, he even dunked for the first time this season. Or, maybe he didn’t.“We’re trying to debate if that was a dunk,” Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd said.It wasn’t pretty, but it went in, just like nearly every other shot Williams took in one of his best games of the season.Williams scored 28 points, leading the Nets to a 108-95 victory over the Phoenix Suns on March 17 that extended their home winning streak to nine.Williams shot 11 of 13 from the field and looks all the way back after ankle problems wrecked his first half of the season. He was two points off his season high and rose above the rim to throw down a dunk that finished off a fourth-quarter fast break started by Andrei Kirilenko’s steal.The dunk wasn’t exactly a no-doubter, but far better than what Williams was capable of a couple of months ago.“I’m going to give it to him,” rookie Mason Plumlee said. “He’s gone up about three times now with great courage. If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying. This one, I mean it rattled in, so he didn’t get the flush, but he got a dunk. There’s a difference.”Williams joked that his coach was supposed to have his back, adding that Kidd “was never a dunker in his day, either.” But there’s no debating that the two-time Olympian looks better, and so do the Nets when he plays like this.“I’m definitely feeling better,” Williams said after shooting 80 percent in a game for the first time in his career. “Still not jumping that high, as you can tell, but definitely feeling better and more confident every day.”Joe Johnson added 19 points for the Nets, on their longest home winning streak since winning nine straight from March 15-April 6, 2006.Playing without Kevin Garnett because of back spasms for the ninth straight game, the Nets continued to thrive playing small ball, making 67.5 percent of their shots in the first half and leading by as much as 23 in the game.Garnett hasn’t played this month and will miss at least two more games before he is re-evaluated Saturday before the Nets leave for a three-game trip. But Plumlee had another strong game in his absence, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds in outplaying his brother, Miles.Markieff Morris scored 18 points and Gerald Green 17 for the Suns, who were seeking a perfect three-game trip against Atlantic Division teams after winning at Boston and Toronto. But they never led and fell 1 ½ games behind Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.“We can’t have these semi-efforts on nights. We had terrible effort tonight,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “This team has a bunch of All-Stars on it. This should have been a big game to get hyped up. Maybe we were worn out with four games in five nights. I don’t know.”Kidd talked before the game about how potent the Suns, who scored 121 points at Toronto, could be. But it was the Nets who were quicker up and down the floor in their 16th victory in their last 18 home games.The Nets made eight of their first 11 shots, hit 70 percent in the first quarter, and led by as much as 14 in the period before taking a 30-20 lead to the second. With a couple of huge dunks by Green to answer some by Shaun Livingston, Phoenix was able to match Brooklyn in first-half highlights but not in baskets.Williams made all three of his shots in the second quarter, including a layup that gave the Nets a 62-49 lead at the break.“They were better than us today,” Suns guard Goran Dragic said. “We tried to battle but we didn’t find energy, and when you play hard you get all the calls. They were just better in all aspects of the game.”Phoenix cut it to 76-67 on Morris’ three-point play, but Johnson and Paul Pierce hit consecutive 3-pointers to start a 14-0 burst and gave the Nets a 90-67 lead with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter.(Brian Mahoney, AP Basketball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Newlyweds Kapil, Ginni burn the dance floor with friends Bharti, Sumona. Unseen video

first_imgKapil Sharma and Ginni Chatrath have kicked off a new chapter of their life and to celebrate their union, the newlyweds threw a grand reception at Hotel Radisson Blue in Amritsar.The celebrations that kicked off with the comedian’s big fat Punjabi wedding in Jalandhar reached at its peak at the couple’s star-studded Amritsar reception where the who’s who of Punjabi entertainment industry were present from Malkit Singh, Daler Mehendi, Kanth Kaler, Babbu Maan to name a few.Kapil’s friends Krushna Abhishek, Bharti Singh, Sumona Chakravarti, Rajiv Thakur, Kiku Sharda seem to be on extended break from work to fully enjoy their yaar ki shaadi. The gang will also be seen in the upcoming season of The Kapil Sharma Show.Take a look at this video as the gang has crazy fun at Kapil’s shaadi.Kapil and Ginni were in joyous mood throughout their reception and sported a wide grins on their faces as they greeted their guests with much enthusiasm. While the groom looked dapper in wine coloured velvet bandhgala, the bride looked stunning in pastel pink and green lehenga.The couple reached Amritsar yesterday morning after their twin wedding ceremonies in Jalandhar. While the wedding with traditional Hindu customs was held at The Grand Cabbana resort in the city, the Anand Karaj ceremony was held at Ginni’s house. Kapil and Ginni dazzled in Mehendi Green sherwani and red and gold lehenga respectively at the Hindu wedding, while the bride and groom twinned in pink for the Anand Karaj ceremony.advertisementThe wedding guests included Kapil’s friends Bharti Singh, Krushna Abhishek, Kiku Sharda, singer Babu Maan, Kanth Kaler, Punjabi actor Karmjit Anmol and Bhagwant Maan among many others.Also read | Kapil Sharma Amritsar reception: Comedian lovingly feeds cake to mother, fans call him Beta No. 1Also read | Newlywed Kapil Sharma shows babaji ka thullu to wife Ginni in this hilarious picAlso read | Kapil Sharma and Ginni Chatrath’s Amritsar reception was a fun-filled affair. Inside pics and videosAlso read | Kapil Sharma and Ginni Chatrath’s latest pic from Anand Karaj ceremony goes viralAlso read | Kapil Sharma, Ginni Chatrath tie the knot again in Sikh ceremony, inside pics and videolast_img read more

25 days ago​Liverpool fullback Robertson: We can’t win 5-0 every week

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say ​Liverpool fullback Robertson: We can’t win 5-0 every weekby Freddie Taylor25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Andy Robertson believes his side will have to grind out wins if they wish to claim the Premier League trophy.The Reds were slightly fortuitous to defeat Sheffield United, as they nabbed a 1-0 win thanks to a goalkeeping mistake from Dean Henderson.However, Robertson thinks that it is not possible for the Reds to defeat every side 4-0 or 5-0.He told the club’s official website after the narrow success: “Look, you can’t win 4-0, 5-0 every single week by playing beautiful football and everyone claps you off the park because they’ve been given a show.”When you’re not at your best and the other team are putting you under pressure then it’s important to get the win.” last_img read more

Rohit Sharma and Team India eye first-ever T20I series in New Zealand

first_img Press Trust of India HamiltonFebruary 9, 2019UPDATED: February 9, 2019 22:52 IST India vs New Zealand: India will look to end their long tour Down Under on a high. (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSIndia and New Zealand are tied at 1-1 in the 3-T20I seriesIndia’s venue for final T20I is Hamilton, where they were bowled out for 92 in the 4th ODIIndia played the same playing XI in the first two gamesIn a season of many firsts for the Indian cricket team, Rohit Sharma’s men will be aiming to become first among the equals to win a T20 International series in New Zealand when the two sides clash in the final match here Sunday.The past three months have made for a memorable phase for the Indian cricket team, which won its first Test and bilateral ODI series in Australia followed by the biggest one-day series win in New Zealand.A first T20I series victory in New Zealand will be the icing on the cake for the ‘Men in Blue’, who have far exceeded expectations during their three-month sojourn in this part of the world.With the series locked at 1-1, there is everything to play for in the decider which promises to be a cracker of a contest on a ‘Super Sunday’ with a spicy Seddon Park pitch in the offing.India will do well to remember the nightmare that they endured during the fourth ODI at this venue where they were shot out for 92 in the wake of some quality swing bowling from Trent Boult.However, Sunday will be a different day and there can’t be a bigger motivation than winning yet another series in challenging overseas conditions.”We have played in Hamilton and there won’t be any surprise element as far as the pitch is concerned. Also having won the second game gives us confidence going into the final match,” left-arm speedster Khaleel Ahmed had said after series levelling second T20I, when asked about the Hamilton game.advertisement”We have rectified some of our mistakes from the first game and hopefully a few which are there will also be corrected,” Khaleel added.India played the same XI in the first two games and in all likelihood, will maintain continuity unless there are some niggles.In case the team management gives change a thought, it could be a like for like replacement with Kuldeep Yadav coming in place of Yuzvendra Chahal as the wrist spinner.However, a look at India’s T20 playing XIs will indicate that Chahal has been their preferred shortest format bowler on most occasions.The Indian bowling unit will look to replicate their good show from the last match where they found their rhythm after a pasting in the opener from Tim Seifert.Krunal Pandya has once again punched above his weight with some gritty performances in the two games.Not considered the most talented player in the set-up, Krunal makes up his with hard work and discipline. His accuracy is one of the biggest positives going into Sunday’s match along with the intelligence of senior seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.Khaleel also stuck to his brief in the last game where skipper Rohit Sharma had instructed him to bowl back of the length to avoid being hit for boundaries. There will be a similar plan in place on Sunday also.The stand-in captain, who is now the world’s top run-getter in T20 Internationals, will like to better the 29-ball-50 of the previous match, which can well spell doom for the Black Caps.With Shikhar Dhawan for company, a good opening will solve half the problems for the visitors as it has been the case during the last four years.The middle-order has also shown solidity with the experience of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the exuberance of Rishabh Pant combining well as was evident in Auckland.For New Zealand, a better batting effort in the middle overs is what they would be looking for.Skipper Kane Williamson has endured a quiet limited overs series by his standards and senior batsman Ross Taylor has also blown hot and cold during the last three weeks.Among bowlers, Tim Southee was impressive in the first game and pretty ordinary in the second along with Scott Kuggeleijn, who also went for a fair amount of runs.Squads:India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Siraj.New Zealand: Kane Williamson(c), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, James Neesham.Match Starts at 12:30 pm.Also Read | Woman uses banner to troll Hardik Pandya over Koffee with Karan controversyAlso Read | Who is a better T20 batsman Virat or Rohit? Harbhajan Singh has this to sayAlso Read | It was awesome to see him first-hand: England’s Ollie Pope in awe of Virat KohliadvertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byPTI Tags :Follow India vs New ZealandFollow India vs New Zealand 3rd T20IFollow Rohit SharmaFollow Kane WilliamsonFollow MS DhoniFollow Trent Boult Rohit Sharma and Team India eye first-ever T20I series in New ZealandIndia vs New Zealand: With the 3-match T20I series poised at 1-1, Rohit Sharma’s Team India will take on New Zealand in the third T20I in Hamilton on Sunday, aiming for a first-ever T20I series in the Kiwi backyard.advertisementlast_img read more

Feel Good Friday: The Ambitious “More Than Just Parks” Film Project

first_imgIf The Manual staff were to make a list of our 50 favorite places on Earth, America’s national parks would be generously represented. One feels an undefinable sense of peace when gazing at jagged peaks, breathing pine-scented air, and listening to the ancient music of wind and wildlife. The parks’ sublime natural formations and rich biodiversity prove that Nature is the most gifted architect of all time.To capture the majesty of our national parks, filmmaking brothers Will and Jim Pattiz of Sea Raven Media have embarked on the ambitious “More Than Just Parks” film project. Their goal is to make 59 short films — one for each American national park.Great Smoky Mountains National ParkIf our national parks are more than just parks, as the project name suggests, then what are they? Perhaps they defy traditional definition, which is why the Pattiz brothers have set off to define them through their camera lens. We’re not talking about grainy home videos that your dad might have captured in the 90s — the Pattiz brothers’ films are absurdly high-definition masterpieces shot with 4K resolution.Related: U.S. National Park Service Celebrates 99 Years – Here Are Some Cool FactsWill and Jim further explain their project on their website: “Our goal is to effect a greater awareness of the treasures that reside within America’s National Parks. We plan to accomplish this goal through visually stunning short films, engaging online interactions, and breathtaking imagery.”Joshua Tree National Park (Photo: NPS/Brad Sutton)So far, the More Than Just Parks project has produced four gorgeous short films — one each for Olympic, Great Smoky Mountains, Joshua Tree, and Redwood National Parks. Each film features astonishing natural formations, wildlife, and timelapse shots accompanied by simple and tasteful music. Their latest film, which focuses on Redwood National Park, is embedded above.After watching all of the Pattiz brothers’ videos, we urge you to drop everything and visit a national park near you. Tomorrow — Saturday, September 26 — just happens to be National Public Lands Day, on which state and federal governments allow free admission to all national parks and monuments. So get out there and enjoy nature!(Featured Image: Olympic National Park) Give Your Hypercar the Garage It Deserves with a Custom Aston Martin Lair What’s So Great About the Icelandic Hot Dog? Editors’ Recommendations Nevada’s Massacre Rim Named Latest International Dark Sky Sanctuary Book a Last-Minute Summer Camping Trip Just About Anywhere With Pitchup On the Road with Mikah Meyer, the First Person to Visit Every National Park Site in One Trip last_img read more

United Conservatives leader Jason Kenney disputes expense allegations while MP

first_imgThe Canadian Press EDMONTON — Staff for Alberta United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney are firing back at a lawyer who is questioning Kenney’s residential expense claims from his time as a cabinet minister in Ottawa.Kenney spokesman Matt Wolf says not only are Kyle Morrow’s suggestions untrue, but adds that Morrow can’t point to any rule Kenney is supposed to have broken regarding having homes in two cities.Wolf says it’s a partisan smear — meant to undermine Kenney as an election approaches in Alberta — from a former provincial Liberal candidate.Morrow, an Ottawa-based lawyer, alleged and posted documents on social media on the weekend that questioned why Kenney, while working as an MP, listed a Calgary home as his primary residence when flight records suggest he spent little time there.House of Commons rules say that time spent living in a home is only one of many conditions to be considered for an MP to qualify to have a residence in a second city.The rules state that as long as MPs have ties to an area — such as paying taxes or having a driver’s licence from there — they qualify for the second residence.Wolf says Kenney met those conditions in Calgary.Kenney has also said Calgary housing expenses came out of his own pocket while he received about $10,000 a year allowance to subsidize his place in Ottawa.Morrow could not be immediately reached for comment.last_img read more

UN agency airdrops emergency food relief into floodravaged Uganda

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered by airdrop enough food for 33,000 people in northern Uganda who have had to leave their homes because of widespread flooding – the first time airdrop food assistance has been used in the Central African country.WFP spokesperson Christiane Berthiaume told reporters today in Geneva that the agency, which started the relief programme two weeks ago, will continue to deliver emergency food supplies by airdrop for another three weeks.It is also delivering food supplies by truck, boat and helicopter to an estimated 183,000 people, particularly in western Uganda, which has also been inundated.In total, more than 480,000 Ugandans have been displaced by the flooding, which were the worst in decades in some areas of the country. Crop planting has been badly hit, and harvests are unlikely before February at the earliest.The latest update from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicates that dry weather for much of the past two weeks has led to improved road conditions, although some bridges remain open only to lightweight vehicles.All but eight of 110 schools which had been unable to open for the third term have now re-opened, but school sanitation facilities are still struggling to cope, with many latrines waterlogged.OCHA said it has also been able to reduce the incidence of malaria in those districts where insecticide-treated nets have been widely distributed.But Ms. Berthiaume warned that, since 15 October, WFP has not received any contributions to its appeal for $26 million to help in the relief effort. So far the agency has received just over a fifth of the target amount, forcing it to dig into its stocks used normally to support refugees and those displaced by the ongoing armed conflict in northern Uganda. 23 October 2007The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered by airdrop enough food for 33,000 people in northern Uganda who have had to leave their homes because of widespread flooding – the first time airdrop food assistance has been used in the Central African country. read more

Investors slam the brakes as trade war fogs forecasts

NEW YORK — The Trump administration’s trade war with China is largely to blame for stocks’ screeching halt on Wall Street since April, analysts and economists say.The benchmark S&P 500 index, a closely watched gauge of the stock market’s performance, has risen just 1% this quarter, coming to a near standstill after the second quarter’s meagre 4% rise.The Trump trade war’s torpedoing of Wall Street is a dramatic turnaround for investors, who survived a whip-saw winter that saw the S&P plunge late last year only to recover at the start of this year.“Companies are saying they have to make decisions on business plans. You can’t continue to have companies putting that decision off because it will start affecting the longer curve of growth,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.Without a definitive view on where and how businesses will invest, companies and investors will likely remain in a “holding state” with no significant rally on the horizon, Kinahan added.Trump’s announcement last month of new tariffs on a host of Chinese goods directly impacting consumers added ballast to a Wall Street already rattled by his May move to lift tariffs on $200 billion of other Chinese imports.Corporate earnings growth has also evaporated, following 2018’s one-off boost from Trump’s tax cut. That’s added more worry to an already uncertain economic environment.“We’re doing this on lower expectations and at some point earnings drive markets,” Kinahan said. “If the expectation is that earnings will grow at ever slower rates, at some point the market will have to start reflecting that.”While the S&P 500 is still hovering near record highs analysts don’t expect growth to accelerate until there is a clearer path to ending the trade war.Meanwhile the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates twice this year, responding to slowing economies at home and abroad. It cut its forecast for economic growth this year to 2.2%, down from last September’s forecast of 2.5%.Bank of America Merrill Lynch has an even more cautious view, predicting 2.1% growth for 2019.“We expected a slowdown, but not this extreme,” said Joseph Song, senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “What really took out some of the steam from our numbers was the trade war.”Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press read more

US Heath Secretary elected to Chair Global AIDS Fund Board

Tommy Thompson, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, has been elected Chair of the Executive Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Mr. Thompson, who will succeed Dr. Chrispus Kiyonga of Uganda, was elected by consensus during the Board’s fourth meeting, currently under-way in Geneva. Also today Dr. Suwit Wibulpolprasert, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health was elected as Vice-Chair. He will succeed Mr. Seiji Morimoto of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. Upon his election, Mr. Thompson said he looked forward to being actively engaged at Board meetings and that “the United States is committed to the fight against global AIDS and proud to partner with the Global Fund, with our allies, and with every man, woman and child on this planet as we seek to end this plague.” In other news, the Board announced that grants worth $866 million were awarded to projects in 60 countries. Sixty percent of the money awarded will go to projects to fight AIDS, with 70 percent of the projects to include a mother-to-child transmission component. “The Global Fund’s newest grants are quickly taking public/private partnerships to scale to make a broad global impact against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” said Richard Feachem, the Fund’s Executive Director. “Not only is the Global Fund encouraging the most effective players to work together to get the job done on the front lines of the epidemics, it is also helping donors coordinate efforts, reduce waste and focus on achieving results.” read more

CIBC launches upgraded travel rewards card after new Aeroplan deal

CIBC launches upgraded travel rewards card after new Aeroplan deal TORONTO – CIBC has enhanced its travellers’ loyalty program two weeks after agreeing to sell about half of its Aeroplan customer base to TD Bank, in a bid to step up its offerings in the increasingly competitive arena of customer incentives.“The travel reward business in Canada is a big deal for Canadians, and it’s also a fast-growing space,” David Williamson, senior vice-president of retail and business banking at CIBC, said in an interview Tuesday.“If your objective is to accelerate your revenue growth and improve client experience, it takes you to this area.”The Aventura lineup was developed “based on extensive research with Canadians on what they want in a travel rewards program,” and offers the most choice of any program, he added.The changes follow a decision by Aimia (TSX:AIM) to pick TD Bank (TSX:TD) as the primary issuer of Visa credit cards for its flagship Aeroplan program, even though CIBC (TSX:CM) had been the primary Aeroplan credit card issuer for more than 20 years.CIBC contested Aimia’s decision and eventually reached a deal last month that gives each bank the rights to half of the portfolio of Aeroplan Visa accounts.Williamson said the enhanced program isn’t meant to compete with Aerogold but to complement it, noting that CIBC can now appeal to clients who want to fly Air Canada and those who want to fly with other airlines.He said there was no friction with Aimia over CIBC’s new program, which was in the works long before the two parties began talks about renewing their partnership.“Throughout the whole discussion, because our work was underway on enhancing a fly-any-airline card, that’s been fully transparent and out in the open,” Williamson said.The Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RBC), which runs its own popular rewards program called Avion, welcomed CIBC’s announcement as proof of just how dynamic the marketplace for rewards programs has become.“It’s causing a lot more people to think about and talk about their credit cards,” said Linda Mantia, executive vice-president of cards and payment solutions at RBC.She said Avion differentiates itself from its competitors by making it easy to redeem points as well as by the variety of offerings carried. It also allows clients to convert their points into cash that can be contributed to RESPs, or even towards points for programs RBC partners with, like Shoppers Optimum.Scott Robinson, head of loyalty solutions and consulting at Maritz Loyalty Marketing, said his firm’s research shows 51 per cent of Canadians will modify when and where they buy a product because of the rewards they may get and 54 per cent of people have said they wouldn’t consider getting a payment card that didn’t have a good program attached to it.“Canadians have very positive things to say about the programs they participate in,” said Robinson.“Two thirds of Canadian say programs are definitely worth the effort of participating.”But to Jonathon Hamburg, chief strategy officer at Berkeley Payment Solutions, a Toronto firm that helps companies set up incentive programs, one of the key drivers for consumers when choosing loyalty programs is choice, because people want to feel like they are getting the most value out of their rewards.“You’re dealing with people from different generations, different backgrounds, different geographies, and it’s very difficult to deliver value to all these varied interests,” he said.“Unless you’re finding ways to exchange the points that they’re earning for something of value, they’ll fatigue on the program.”CIBC said Tuesday the enhancements to the Aventura program meant customers will be able to redeem their points on any airline, select any destination they want and have access to every seat on the plane.They will also be able to use their points to pay for flight taxes and fees, and get additional perks like bonus points when they sign up, as well as have the option to earn points faster and opt for trip cancellation or medical insurance.TD declined to comment on CIBC’s announcement Tuesday, but Aimia said it was aware of the changes.“When it comes to redeeming miles, we deliver more seats than any other loyalty program and we also offer unparalleled value for business class rewards,” Aimia spokesperson JoAnne Hayes said in an email, adding that Aeroplan offers a multi-partner loyalty program that gives members the ability to earn miles with more than 75 partners.“We’ve been doing this for almost 30 years and have built a strong program with a loyal membership base.”Aerogold will also see upgrades in 2014, including a new tiered recognition program, as well as greater availability and value on Air Canada flights. by Romina Maurino, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 1, 2013 6:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Kindle dAmazon bientôt un Kindle Store

first_imgKindle d’Amazon : bientôt un Kindle StoreÉtats-Unis – En prévision de la sortie prochaine d’iSlate, la tablette internet d’Apple, Amazon a décidé d’élaborer l’équivalent d’un “App Store” pour son Kindle. L’outil devrait être disponible dans les prochains mois.Amazon accélère le mouvement face à la concurrence prochaine de la tablette d’Apple, ajoutée à celles de Plastic Logic et d’Asus. Après avoir proposé 70% des revenus aux auteurs et éditeurs sur la vente des livres électroniques, le géant américain compte lancer un “App Store” pour son Kindle dans les prochains mois. Ainsi, le produit sera transformé en tablette multimédia sur laquelle on pourra télécharger des jeux et des applications grâce à un kiosque disponible sur le Web.Des éditeurs comme Handmark et EA mobile ont déjà annoncé leur soutien à cette initiative. Enfin, certains modèles de Kindle en couleur ne devraient pas tarder à faire leur apparition.Le 22 janvier 2010 à 12:19 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Le Festival international du film denvironnement souvre mardi à Paris

first_imgLe Festival international du film d’environnement s’ouvre mardi à ParisDemain, le 7 février, s’ouvrira à Paris la 29e édition du Festival international du film d’environnement. Documentaires, court-métrages, fictions : pendant une semaine, quelque 116 films réalisés dans 34 pays différents seront projetés.La 29e édition du Festival international du film d’environnement (FIFE) s’ouvrira mardi à Paris. Jusqu’au 14 février, 116 films venus de 34 pays différents, dont plusieurs sont destinés aux enfants, seront présentés. En marge de la compétition, des conférences et des programmes thématiques autour du réchauffement climatique, de l’eau ou des énergies renouvelables, seront organisés. À lire aussiJournée mondiale de l’environnement : Quelques astuces pour un mode de vie plus écolo au bureauLa plupart des projections, dont l’entrée est libre et gratuite, auront lieu au Cinéma des cinéastes, dans le XVIIe arrondissement. Mais certains films seront également projetés dans un autre cinéma parisien et plusieurs salles de banlieue. Le programme complet du festival est disponible sur le site de l’événement. Comme l’expliquent les organisateurs du FIFE, “le cinéma est parfois un vecteur de prise de conscience écologique.C’est ce rôle principal qui lui est confié au Festival international du film d’environnement, afin qu’il informe, éduque et sensibilise le public au monde tel qu’il est et risque d’être”. Les films et documentaires projetés lors du festival “présentent des initiatives, des tentatives, des solidarités qui veulent faire évoluer les choses, construire un avenir durable et respectueux des hommes et de la nature. Ils rapportent des images du monde entier, de l’Arctique au coeur de l’Afrique, des enjeux d’aujourd’hui aux solutions de demain”.C’est pour aller encore plus loin dans cette sensibilisation et cette réflexion que deux débats seront organisés lors du festival. Le premier portera sur l’accès à l’eau, inscrit dans les droits fondamentaux de l’homme en juillet 2010, et le second sur l’évolution de la conscience écologique globale vingt ans après le sommet de Rio sur le développement durable, et quelque mois avant la conférence Rio+20, qui se tiendra en juin prochain au Brésil.Le 6 février 2012 à 17:01 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Stranger Things season 3 review A brilliant return to form

first_imgThe focus on all that made Stranger Things great is strong. Netflix Season 1 was an overwhelming commercial success, season 2 didn’t quite hit the same heights, but Stranger Things is back. The good news: Season 3 is potentially the best one yet.With a tighter, slightly shorter run of eight episodes that manages to tap every emotional vein of childhood (even for those who didn’t grow up in the ’80s) while leaking more monsters from the Upside Down, season 3 is a roller coaster that never lets up. With a refreshing helping of humor and summer sunshine, this time round Stranger Things focuses on what the show does best. It’s a smart return to form for creators the Duffer Brothers, despite a creeping yet evident strain on upping the terrors for the kids of Hawkins, Indiana.3Billy has a big role to play. Netflix As with the two previous seasons, a threat looms from the murky and generic science-lab world. Men in white coats have ill-advised designs on the small town of Hawkins. Meanwhile, those who remember the lasting shot of the second season will know that the gigantic spider-like Mind Flayer remains trapped but intact in the Upside Down. While it threatens the poor people of Hawkins yet again, Billy, our favorite mullet-sporting bully, does what he does best: Terrorize while looking cool. 2:33 Related stories Stranger Things 3: The tiny, beautiful references to season 1 and 2 Stranger Things season 3: Our biggest WTF questions Stranger Things 3 ending: Post-credits scene, Hopper, season 4 Comments While different, this season’s threats don’t benefit from the fear of the unknown — the Demogorgons and their variations just aren’t as scary as they used to be. However, our heroes Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas, Max and El are entering new territory. It’s called becoming a teenager and the shock of seeing the young heroes stretched out and deeper voiced quickly gives way to hilarity as they attempt to navigate identity and love. Now playing: Watch this: Through the well-timed placement of banger after ’80s banger, a message of embracing your nerdiness is loud and clear. But while the smart kids constantly prove their worth to the bumbling adults, there’s still no escaping a few helpful coincidences.This season’s sense of fun, along with its relationship drama and multiple odd pair-ups bring humor and touching moments that recall Game of Thrones at its best. While the story flows in tighter spaces and everyone has a part to play in grander events, the conspiracy is simply a side project. It’s a fun excuse to spend the summer in the warmer-than-ever world of Stranger Things.Watch the third season of Stranger Things on Netflix July 4. 59 Photos Culture TV and Movies The ever-expanding cast introduces Maya Hawke, daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, as Robin, an ice cream scooper working a summer job with Steve Harrington, who’s recently graduated and down on his luck. Their prodding and poking fun at each other, along with the glowing Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin and last season’s MVP Priah Ferguson as Erica, form the backbone of a party of misfits we never knew we needed.Surprisingly, many of the most touching moments come from a hard-drinking and eating Hopper, who turns to Joyce for parental advice. His willingness to move on from everything that’s happened — including the loss of his daughter to cancer — carries his stubborn and bad-tempered police chief beyond his well-established Rambo machine gun-toting territory. David Harbour needs to take yet another bow. See all the Stranger Things season 3 photos 3 Stranger Things season 3: Everything to know As season 3 kicks off, El appears to be on shaky ground. Her world largely revolves around being Mike’s girlfriend: The boy and the sense of home he provides, which she tried so desperately to return to throughout season 2. Now their constant kissing causes Hopper deep disdain. Swiftly and for the better, though, her world opens up, along with a new shopping mall setting that seems to be an overflowing gateway to ’80s references.1El and Max form a welcome friendship. Netflix A highlight is El’s relationship with Max. They overcome their initial misunderstanding and jealousy as Max provides some much-needed guidance for El. Some of El’s new vocabulary leads to standout El moments, including the word “bitchin'” used to golden effect. Tags Share your voicelast_img read more

CMRF cheques disbursed to beneficiaries in Khammam

first_imgKhammam: TRS leader T Dayakar Reddy handed over the CMRF cheques to the beneficiaries at a programme held in Khammam on Monday. He distributed Rs 192,000 worth cheques to the beneficiaries.Speaking on the occasion, Dayakar Reddy said seeing poor people healthy is the aim of the TRS government. Therefore many schemes are being implemented by the government for the poor, he added. The beneficiaries extended special thanks to former MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy for recommending them for the Chief Minister Relief Funds.last_img read more

Nach Baliye 9 Salman Khan to take judges seat Naagin 3 actor

first_imgNach BaliyeTwitterThe ninth season of the celebrity dance reality show Nach Baliye will see a change in its format wherein ex-couples will reunite as pairs along with married/in relationship partners for the competition. The idea of getting ex-lovers together is to add some spice to the show.Salman Khan, who turned a producer with The Kapil Sharma Show 2, will produce Nach Baliye 9 as well.And now, the latest buzz is that Salman is not just the producer but will also take the judge’s seat. Joining him as co-judge will be his Bharat director Ali Abbas Zafar. The filmmaker told In.com: “We are still in talks. I have no idea how I will be able to judge the celebrity dancers, but it is going to be exciting.”It was reported earlier that Salman has been involved in the creative aspect of the show. Confirming the new format of the popular show, the Bharat star had told Mumbai Mirror: “Nach Baliye this year is going to be all about entertainment with our new concept of getting not just couples but ex-couples under one roof.”Meanwhile, rumour has it that Naagin 3 lead actor Pearl V Puri and Kundali Bhagya lead actress Shraddha Arya are likely to be part of the show. Both the actors will be participating along with their ex-partners. While Pearl will be seen with his former girlfriend and actress Hiba Nawab, Shraddha will shake a leg with her ex-partner Alam Makkar.Besides them, other ex-couples Urvashi Dholakia-Anuj Sachdev and Madhurima Tuli-Vishal Aditya Singh have already shot for promos of Nach Baliye 9 as exes.Other couples who are expected to get groovy as partners of the dance reality show are Prince Narula and Yuvika Chaudhary, Rubina Dilaik and Abhinav Shukla, Divya Agarwal and Varun Sood, Anita Hassanandani and Rohit Reddy, Drashti Dhami and Neeraj Khemka, Rohan Mehra and Kanchi Singh, Sana Khan and Melvin Louis, Sumedh Mudgalkar and Mallika Singh, Siddharth Nigam and Avneet Kaur. Nach Baliye 9; Salman Khaninstagramlast_img read more

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