Government aims to have independent body organize leaders debates by 2019

first_imgLONDON, Ont. – The Trudeau government intends to create an independent body to organize leaders’ debates during federal elections — and hopes to have it in place in time for the 2019 campaign.Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould is inviting people to provide ideas for how an arm’s-length, election debate commissioner or commission should work.She’s giving them until Feb. 9 to provide online feedback.Over the next few weeks, she’ll also be holding roundtable discussions across the country with academics, media leaders and public interest groups, to be moderated by the Institute for Research on Public Policy.The issue is also currently being studied by a House of Commons committee.Gould says the goal is to have an independent commissioner or commission in place before the next federal election in 2019.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during the 2015 campaign, when the issue became a political football, to create an independent body to organize future leaders’ debates.Until 2015, Canadian voters traditionally got at least two opportunities during each campaign to assess party leaders in televised debates — one French, one English — organized by a consortium of broadcasters.During each campaign, the format of those debates, as well as which leaders would be invited to take part, was negotiated among the consortium members and the parties, each of which would try to advance their own interests.The politicization of the debates got worse in 2015 when the Conservatives served notice that Stephen Harper, then the prime minister, would not participate in consortium-organized debates.A series of other debates, organized by a variety of media outlets, were held instead but reached a much smaller audience.last_img read more

Germany Sausage museum reconsiders move to Nazi camp site

BERLIN — A German sausage museum apparently won’t move to the site of a former Nazi camp for slave labourers after news of the plan triggered strong criticism.The German Bratwurst Museum was slated to move to an area on the outskirts of the eastern town of Muehlhausen that was once a satellite site for the larger Buchenwald concentration camp. That drew criticism from Jewish leaders and others.Uwe Keith, the head of the association that operates the museum, was quoted late Friday as telling Bild newspaper that “we definitely won’t build there.” He told news agency dpa the group had discovered the site’s history only Wednesday and will launch a “complete re-evaluation.” It had been offered the site by a private investor who bought it from the German government in 2008.The Associated Press

Premiers demands on environment bills an unhelpful threat to unity Morneau

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals say it’s conservative premiers who are putting Canada  at risk in a fight over oil and the environment.Finance Minister Bill Morneau says in a letter to six right-leaning premiers Friday it’s “unhelpful to threaten national unity” if their demands to change two bills on the verge of being passed in Parliament aren’t met.The premiers of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories wrote to the prime minister Monday urging him to amend or abandon bills restricting tanker traffic on part of B.C.’s coast and overhauling the federal environmental-assessment system for major construction projects.The premiers said changes to the bills are needed to “avoid further alienating provinces” and “focus on uniting the country.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the premiers of playing games with national unity to pursue their policy goals.The written response from Morneau says the changes the premiers want would compromise Canadians’ health and jobs, infringe Indigenous people’s rights and harm endangered species.The Canadian Press read more

Rameshs wife questions immunity for MR

Rajapaksa was sued by families of alleged torture victims under the Torture Victim Protection Act passed by Congress in 1992 but District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly dismissed the case, contending that Mr. Rajapaksa had immunity as a sitting head of state. The judge made an observation that the fact Congress has not amended the law to eliminate the State Department’s role suggests that it acquiesces the State Department’s position. The wife of former top LTTE official Ramesh has filed an argument at a New York court over an earlier notice submitted to court by the US State Department which had stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has immunity as a serving President.A U.S. court had earlier this year dismissed a lawsuit against President Mahinda Rajapaksa for alleged human rights violations by the Army, on the grounds that he enjoyed immunity from lawsuits as a head of state. However reported that Ramesh’s wife Vathsala Devi had filed an argument at the US District Court in the Southern District of New York yesterday.Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald Presided over the case argued by Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran who appeared for the plaintiff. The State Department was represented by Amy A. Barcelo Assistant US Attorney. Ali Abed Beydoun argued on behalf of Speak Human Rights and Environmental Initiative, which filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Plaintiff’s position. The Judge reserved the decision. The State Department had entered a motion asking the case be dismissed because of the immunity precedent. The issue in the case is whether it should be dismissed pursuant to the Suggestion of Immunity submitted by the US State Department.The Plaintiff argued that the Department of State lacks a legal basis, namely the law making authority, to file the Suggestion of Immunity.However the Department of State argued that for the last 160 years courts have accepted the State Department’s determination of Head of State Immunity. The amici argued the State Department’s determination violates the separation of powers. read more

Chinese envoy meets Mahinda with message from Xi

The Ambassador later met United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as well. (Colombo Gazette) The Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Cheng Xueyuan, met Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at his Colombo residence today.At the meeting he had conveyed a message from Chinese President Xi Jinping to Rajapaksa. China and Rajapaksa have had a very close relationship from the time Rajapaksa was President.That relationship continued even when Rajapaksa was in the opposition and was often invited for Chinese events in Colombo.

WatchThe secret sauce thats made Montreal a global hot spot for making

The company also chose to partner with companies such as Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc. that own internationally recognized children’s brands, which makes it easier for its products to find audiences in the highly competitive world of mobile apps. Furthermore, it can rely on those deep-pocketed companies’ legal teams to guard against piracy.Another critical decision was to become its own publisher, which has allowed Budge to develop its brand in such a way that millions of people now recognize and trust it.Perhaps most importantly, however, it committed to do everything — from art and programming to marketing and analytics — in-house, which the founders knew would be best served by setting up and staying in Montreal.“We always knew we wanted to be in Montreal,” said David Lipes, one of the studio’s co-founders. “We’ve seen a lot of momentum in our space here over the last 20 years. Being in Montreal meant we would have the expertise we needed at our fingertips.”Quebec — particularly Montreal — is the beating heart of the Canadian gaming industry, which is the world’s third largest, behind only the U.S. and Japan.Canada has about 600 active studios that collectively employ nearly 22,000 full-time workers, adding $3.7 billion to GDP each year, according to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC). Nearly half of those employees work in Quebec.A big reason for that concentration is the Quebec government’s decision to grow the video-game industry as part of its economic development strategy.“The momentum from the 1997 decision to introduce a tax incentive for the video-game industry continues more than 20 years later, spinning off talent into other sectors like AI, VFX and simulation firms,” said Jayson Hilchie, ESAC’s chief executive. “The mix of government support, world-class talent and a culture of creativity make Quebec, and Montreal specifically, the perfect environment for a video-game industry to thrive.”Lipes said the tax incentives — including a credit for a percentage of eligible employee salaries — that lure game companies from around the world to set up shop locally are working, and the province’s “current status and recognition on the world stage is proof positive of that.”Adds Budge co-founder Michael Elman, “I look around the world at other cities and companies that aren’t in our position, and I imagine they need to lobby their governments to create the sort of ecosystem we have.”Part of that ecosystem is education: schools in both Montreal and the province have technical programs that churn out more skilled workers for the industry every year.“If you don’t have the talent, it doesn’t matter how many tax credits you get,” Elman said. “You need to have people who are passionate and skilled in games and technology. There’s a tremendous amount of young people coming out of the school systems that we hire. They’re hungry, and skilled and knowledgeable in the latest technologies.”But even with an annual wave of new expert workers and a community of studios famously cooperative and supportive of each other, the competition for talent can be fierce.For instance, the annual Montreal Game Summit is a conference where game designers and innovators gather to share their ideas and innovations as well as their stories of success and failure with one another. But landing the very best talent can turn otherwise friendly companies into rivals in an industry where the average salary is more than $77,000.Indeed, Lipes said, human resources has been the company’s biggest challenge as it grows.“There’s a lot of competition. Finding talent and putting the right people in place is always a challenge,” he said. “We have a great HR team that draws locally, but we’ve also brought in employees from across Canada to join us.”Another big key behind Budge’s growth was partnering with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), which has backed its vision since the very start and helped it plan for — and succeed in achieving — profitability almost since day one.“BDC was an early supporter of what we were trying to do here,” Lipes said. “They take a very entrepreneurial approach to supporting businesses. They really want to see innovative Canadian businesses grow and become strong.”The next phase of Budge’s growth focuses on its action games division, Budge Games. Over the past couple of years it has hired 25 new people to fill technically specialized roles in the development of Transformers: Bumblebee Overdrive, the division’s first game.Despite being based on a kids’ toy, the game is geared for players of all ages. It contains a strong dose of action — including frenetic racing and intense battles — that sets it apart from Budge’s games designed with younger kids in mind.Both Lipes and Elman believe this is the perfect time to broaden their company’s demographic to include older players. Kids who have been playing Budge games from an early age are now ready for more sophisticated games, and their parents — many of whom also play games on their mobile devices — have come to trust the brand through the apps their kids have played.“We want to grow our company with our audience,” Elman said. “A lot of these kids are older now, and we want to widen our demographic to include them. We want to make games the whole family can play together.”Also acting in their favour is that long-time partner Hasbro came to them a couple of years ago with the idea of making an action-oriented game based on the movie Bumblebee, which hit theatres just before Christmas. It was the perfect IP for Budge to leverage while making its transition.“Transformers fans are young and old,” Elman said. “It’s for everyone. It’s perfect for us to line up with. It meant we could create a game for the whole family. It meant we could grow our company. We’re all gamers, and it’s exciting now to take home games not just for our families, but also that we want to play.”And it all began with the founders’ initial and, it turns out, essential decision to set up shop in a city with all the resources necessary to get started and keep growing.“Montreal is just a great place to start a company making games,” Elman said.Financial Post Graham Hughes for National Post files Canada has a rich history of innovation, but in the next few decades, powerful technological forces will transform the global economy. Large multinational companies have jumped out to a headstart in the race to succeed, and Canada runs the risk of falling behind. At stake is nothing less than our prosperity and economic well-being. The Financial Post set out explore what is needed for businesses to flourish and grow. You can find all of our coverage here.Budge Studios Inc. has spent the better part of a decade making video game apps for kids, banking on its in-house abilities and relationships with the owners of popular children’s content such as Thomas & Friends, Barbie and My Little Pony to compete in a hotly contested industry.But its recent launch of Transformers: Bumblebee Overdrive, a game that is tied to Hollywood hit Bumblebee and available on the Apple App Store, shows the studio is proving its tricks are more than just for kids by ramping up operations and broadening its focus with a game designed to appeal to players of all ages.A key to both its past and future growth and success, the company’s founders say, is its location: Montreal, a global hot spot for making video games because of provincial tax incentives for the industry and an education system that churns out ready-to-play talent.Aside from Budge, the city is home to giants such as Ubisoft Entertainment SA, Warner Brothers Interactive and Eidos, the studio behind the Tomb Raider games. Teams from Montreal have even won the Entertainment Software Association of Canada’s annual Student Video Game Competition in each of the past two years. Read our entire Innovation Nation series Intellectual property may be a state of mind, but Canada’s mind is not on the game Canada’s deeper dive into the oceans aims to tap industry’s uncharted frontier Sitting nicely between those two extremes, Budge has steadily grown from an initial collaboration in 2010 between its three founders to a current staff of 115. Over the years, the studio has built up a library of nearly 50 apps for kids that have amassed close to half-a-billion downloads globally.As the studio evolved, it chose to focus on and embrace mobile. For one thing, the company started up when Apple Inc.’s original iPad launched, so its hallmark innovations revolve around developing natural and intuitive ways for young children to use touch screens and motion-based controls. Phones and tablets also provide more flexible publishing and simpler technical transitions compared to other platforms.Budge co-founder Michael Elman in 2012. read more

UN team completes investigations into alleged mass graves in Afghanistan

The mission this week to areas in Bamiyan and Mazar-i-Sharif completed their field investigations and returned on Sunday to Kabul, where they finalized the mission report and undertook a preliminary assessment of domestic forensic capacity before leaving the country early this morning, a spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.The team’s findings and recommendations will be finalized abroad, before being submitted to the UN for further consideration.The mission, comprised of two forensics experts accompanied by UNAMA staff and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, examined three alleged mass gravesites in Daoudi village, Bamiyan, the Mazar-i-Sharif airport area and Sheberghan.Team members documented the parameters and characteristics of the sites, exhumed and conducted forensics examinations on a number of bodies, collected material evidence and interviewed witnesses and community representatives. They also handed over some remains to local communities for burial and prepared sites for appropriate follow-up.The team also collected information and prepared a list of other alleged mass gravesites in the country, the spokesman said. read more

Several rescued after being stranded for hours on the Essequibo River

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related’We are being victimised’ – Parika speedboat operatorsJanuary 21, 2017In “latest news”Authorities launch probe into ferry crash at Supenaam StellingJuly 28, 2016In “latest news”Panic onboard MV Sabanto being investigatedDecember 2, 2017In “Local News” Several passengers were stranded for  hours on Friday morning in the middle of the Essequibo River.Stranded passengers waiting unnervingly for the rescue boat to come to their aid  The passengers were at the time traveling from Parika to the Supenaam stelling when the speedboat they were in encountered engine problems.This publication was informed that the boat was loaded to its capacity and left the Parika stelling around 11:00hrs.Passengers who were on the boat said that the Captain was fiddling with the engine at multiple periods throughout the journey and much to their angst and dismay he subsequently called for a rescue boat after realizing that something was wrong with his engine.The boat that came to rescue the passengersThe passengers recalled their boat being moored around the Hog Island area until another came to their rescue. However, they related that the wait for rescue was unnerving.The rescue boat subsequently came and offloaded the stranded passengers and their belongings.The breakdown of this vessel comes on the heels of another incident where other passengers travelling on the Essequibo River had to be rescued after their speed boat developed a leakage and was almost sinking.The disgruntled passengers are calling on boat operators to do routine checks on their boats before they journey to sea and are calling on the relevant governing authorities to put mechanisms in place to ensure the safety of the persons that have to use the aforementioned services. read more

Jota Gonzales leaves Logrono after 11 years in direction Paris

← Previous Story European Play-Off for WCh 2019: Start in Lithuania, the end in Macedonia Next Story → 34 teams apply for EHF CL 2018/2019 handballJota GonzalesPSG Handball The Spanish coach Jota Gonzales will be a part of PSG Handball coaching staff in the future. The 46-years old Spaniard left club La Rioja Logrono, which he raised since 2007 in one of the strongest teams of ASOBAL.The team from Logrono was playing at VELUX EHF Champions League for a few years.Former “Naturhouse” ended on the third place in the season 2017/2018 behind FC Barcelona Lassa and BM Ademar Leon.Jota Gonzales will work as assistant of Raul Gonzales.

My life is being ruined Young homeless woman living in a tent

first_img‘My life is being ruined’: Young homeless woman living in a tent on the Grand Canal Eileena said she has been homeless “on and off” since she left state care at the age of 18. Eileena has been living in a tent along the Grand Canal for the past month. Image: By Cormac Fitzgerald Apr 20th 2017, 6:45 AM Share Tweet Email5 74 Comments Short URLcenter_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: EILEENA KAVANAGH HAS been living in a tent on the Grand Canal in Dublin for the past month.The 21-year-old has been homeless “on and off” since she left State care at the age of 18.Eileena has spent her time moving through different homeless hostels in the city centre and staying with friends and family.Since March she has been living between two tents on the canal with her partner Gerry (27).Speaking to at her tent yesterday, Eileena said that she had been let down by the State since she had left care.“Everybody keeps saying to us, ‘we’re trying our best’,” she said.But they mustn’t be, because if they were trying their best, the amount of us that are actually on the street today wouldn’t be on the street.She said she is not receiving enough State or family supports. The Housing First team (made up of officials from Focus Ireland and the Peter McVerry Trust) has been maintaining contact with the couple.The Housing First team is run in partnership with the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) – which manages homelessness services for the entirety of the Dublin region.The team works with rough sleepers in the Dublin region, securing them long-term or short-term accommodation and ensuring homeless people have a point of contact with State services.“The only ones that are really looking after me now are the Housing First team. They link in [with us],” Eileena said.The aftercare worker finished up with me last month.An aftercare worker is appointed by the State to work with young adults who have recently exited care.Place to live Eileena said she was looking for a place for her and Gerry to stay long-term, but it had been difficult for them to source accommodation. Gerry has addiction issues, which makes it hard to find a long-term place to live. Eileena and Gerry said they are looking for long-term accommodation. Source: RollingNews.ieGerry has been living on the canal since January, when he moved to Dublin from Kildare. In that time, he said he had been unable to secure a bed in a hostel.Eileena’s story was first highlighted in a RTÉ News report on Monday.Following this, the couple stayed at an emergency hostel in the city centre on Tuesday night.“Me and Gerry – for the first time in ages last night – we actually got a shower, something to eat, a warm bed,” she said.Somewhere we can put our heads down and not worry about a thing.Eileena said yesterday that the couple were due to go for an assessment for a six month bed at a hostel in the city centre. She said she wants to live in place of her own, and has plans to return to college to study acting when she does.The DRHE said it did not comment on individual cases when contacted by it has been confirmed that the Housing First team are currently providing assistance and support to the couple.The DRHE pointed towards guidelines on its website for helping people who sleep rough. The area on the Grand Canal where the couple have been staying. Source: Cormac FitzgeraldCare leaver Eileena said she was first admitted into State care at the age of eight, and spent much of her childhood living in different residential care homes.She said she has a mild intellectual disability, and when she turned 18 she was admitted to a high support care unit to live.However, she said that she was not suited to this type of accommodation as there were more severe cases at the centre. She said she found it impossible to live there as a result.She found it difficult to stay with family also, and so has been homeless in Dublin moving about different hostels in the city centre and sleeping on the streets for about three years.Eileena said she had been told that she would not be able to live in a home on her own due to her having higher needs. However, she said she is determined to have her own place to live.Homelessness charity Focus Ireland recently highlighted the issue of growing homelessness among young adults. The number of homeless 18-24 year-olds has shot up by 78% in the last three years.“When a young person falls into the nightmare that is homelessness, there’s always an underlying reason,” director of advocacy Mike Allen said.Not getting accommodation or support upon leaving State care, family problems, mental health challenges and/or purely economic pressures and unemployment.Eileena said she was hoping to source some form of long-term accommodation soon so that she could begin to get her life back on track.“My life is being ruined by the fact that I’m always outdoors,” she said.“Like, it’s hard for us to have a shower, it’s hard for us to eat healthier foods, it’s hard for me to look out for myself when I’m living like this.I’m not a dog… You wouldn’t treat a dog like this.Read: Transplant patient was homeless and living in his car on Killiney Hill before being hospitalisedRead: Pregnant mother of four soon to be homeless as landlord is selling home 53,155 Views Eileena has been living in a tent along the Grand Canal for the past month. Thursday 20 Apr 2017, 6:45 AMlast_img read more

Boy 17 rescued on sandbar in the Columbia River

first_imgA 17-year-boy who was stranded on a sandbar in the Columbia River at Woodland was rescued late Sunday night by a Clark County Fire & Rescue boat team.Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy said this is what happened:Two adults and five teens were boating on the Columbia when a rope became tangled in the propeller of the boat’s engine. The engine died and the boaters could not get it started.The Vancouver group, who had no marine radio or cellphones, floated a half-mile downstream from the Lewis River and were able to ground the boat on an island.Two teenage boys decided to swim for help but the current was severe and the water cold.“Can you imagine sending two teenagers across the Columbia with no life jackets to get help?” Dawdy said. One boy made it back to the island but the other, Antonio Danda, 17, was swept down the river. He was able to stand up on a sandbar near Dike Road.However, Danda was waist-deep in the river for three hours before help could arrive, Dawdy said. Around dusk the boaters were then able to flag down help, who called 911. Clark County Fire & Rescue was dispatched about 9 p.m.last_img read more

Toyota and CATL are partnering up on battery production

first_img Now playing: Watch this: Post a comment 29 Photos Car Industry Auto Tech 2020 Lincoln Aviator plug-in hybrid first drive: This changes everything Tags More From Roadshow Toyota Enlarge ImageSoon the batteries for Toyota’s many hybrids, PHEVs and hydrogen cars could be coming from Chinese supplier CATL. Nick Miotke/Roadshow If you’re a major automotive manufacturer, it’s pretty much mandatory that you be working on some kind of electric vehicle development right now, especially if you do a lot of business in China.That’s certainly the position in which Toyota finds itself, so it’s had to go out, beat the bushes and find itself a sizable Chinese EV battery provider — which it did in the form of CATL, according to an announcement made by Toyota on Wednesday.If CATL sounds familiar, it’s because it’s also working with Volvo to provide batteries for that brand and its Polestar subsidiary. CATL is also working with Honda and was in talks with Tesla for a while to provide cells for Gigafactory Shanghai, though that ended up not working out.”To further promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles, CATL and Toyota agree that a stable supply of batteries is critical and that battery technology must be further developed and advanced,” Toyota representatives said in a statement.Stable is the key word there. Batteries are a volatile business, especially considering the vast amounts of relatively rare and expensive minerals they require. Thankfully for companies like CATL, many of those minerals are being mined inside China’s borders, but other firms elsewhere in the world haven’t been so fortunate.This news of Toyota’s battery partnership comes hot on the heels of its announcement that it plans to offer an electrified version of every single Lexus model by 2025 as well as receiving half of its revenue from the sale of electrified vehicles by 2025. Share your voice 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid first drive: A new kind of Explorer 0 9:29 2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e review: A hard hybrid to recommend The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid requires few sacrifices to save gas On the road: Toyota Mirai Toyota Volvolast_img read more

All the Star Wars SDCC Merch You Can Shake a Lightsaber At

first_imgSan Diego Comic Con is revving up as we speak. Attendees are checking in, members of the media are losing sleep, and many drinks are being ordered. But one thing die-hard fans come back to the show year after year for are the exclusives. But only the most eager fans will get their hands on the Star Wars exclusives.Last year Lucasfilm brought in the big guns with a limited run of Black Series figures from Hasbro. This year they are keeping that trend alive It also coincides with the same year The Last Jedi releases. You can bet these Black Series figures will go for a bit outside the convention halls.I felt since we are so close to opening day, it would be a great time to run down the list of SDCC Star Wars exclusives.AdChoices广告Now keep in mind, some of the items on this list were exclusives at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, FL this past year. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing that Gentle Giant is double dipping, but it at least gives fans a second chance at some great items!View as: One Page Slides1. Black Series – The Last Jedi: Rey & Luke from HasbroCourtesy of Screen Rant2. Black Series – X-34 Landspeeder with Luke Skywalker from HasbroCourtesy of StarWars.com3. Black Series – Grand Admiral Thrawn Box Set from HasboCourtesy StarWars.com4. Holographic Princess Leia Collector’s Gallery Statue from Gentle GiantCourtesy of SDCCBlog.com5. Han Solo McQuarrie Concept Mini Bust from Gentle GiantCourtesy SDCCblog.com6. Darth Vader & Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot 40th Anniversary Mini Busts from Gentle GiantCourtesy of SDCCblog.com7. 20″ Darth Vader Movie Poster Figure from JakksCourtesy of SDCCblog.com8. Incinerator Stormtrooper Helmet from ANOVOSCourtesy of LONOVOS9. Princess Leia & R2-D2, Bodhi, Combat Assault Tank Trooper and Supreme Leader Snoke 6″ from Funko POP!Courtesy of Funko10. Mike Mitchell’s Garindan Print from MondoCourtesy of Slashfilm.com11. Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden from Del Rey BooksCourtesy of Boba Fett Limited Edition Watch from NixonCourtesy of Nixon.com13. Walrus Man Itty Bittys Plush from HallmarkCourtesy of Thecollectorscantina.com14. T-70 X-Wing Fighter Keepsake Ornament from HallmarkCourtesy of Thecollectorscantina.com15. R2-Q5 Calendar from HallmarkCourtesy of Thecollectorscantina.com16. PXL8 Pin Set (R2-D2 & C-3PO) from HallmarkCourtesy of Thecollectorscantina.com17. Boba Fett Special Edition Dog Toy from PetcoCourtesy of StarWars.com18. Hoth Rebel Collection from BioworldCourtesy of Starwars.com19. Hoth Imperial Collection from BioworldCourtesy of Starwars.com20. Imperial and Rebel Leather Wallets from BioworldCourtesy of Starwars.com21. Boba Fett, TIE Fighter, Stormtrooper and Darth Vader Socks from StanceCourtesy of Starwars.com22. Star Wars Classic Skywalker Ringer Tee, AT-AT Raincoat and Classic Athletic Pullover from Her UniverseCourtesy of Starwars.comlast_img read more

Pentagon report investigated lasers that put voices in your head

first_img Citation: Pentagon report investigated lasers that put voices in your head (2008, February 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. With another weapon, electromagnetic pulses could be used to disrupt the brain´s functioning, although this technology was still in the theoretical stages at the time. Under normal conditions, all brain structures function with specific rhythmic activity depending on incoming sensory information. Sometimes, the brain synchronizes neuronal activity in order to focus on a specific task, but the degree of neuronal synchronization is highly controlled. However, under certain conditions (such as physical stress or heat stroke), more areas of the brain can fire in a highly synchronized manner, and may begin firing uncontrollably.The report describes a method for replicating this highly synchronized neuron firing across distances of several hundred meters. High-voltage (100 kV/m) electromagnetic pulses lasting for one nanosecond could trigger neurons to fire, disrupting the body´s controlled firing activity. Short-term effects may include loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, and seizures lasting for a couple minutes. These high-voltage pulsed sources, which would require an estimated frequency of 15 Hz, exist today.Another form of non-lethal torture described in the report is microwave heating. By raising the temperature of the body to 41°C (105.8°F), humans can experience sensations such as memory loss and disorientation, and exhibit reduced aggression. According to the report, humans can survive temperatures up to 42°C (107.6°F), at which time prolonged exposure can result in permanent brain damage or death.The microwave heating technique was tested on a Rhesus monkey, where a 225 MHz beam caused an increase in the animal´s body temperature. Depending on the dosage level, the temperature increase occurred within a time of 15 to 30 minutes. After the beam was removed, the animal´s body temperature decreased back to normal. The report suggests the technique could be useful for controlling crowds or in negotiations.While the investigations reveal intriguing techniques for non-lethal torture, the report does not mention plans for carrying out specific experiments or studies in the future.Full report: Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weaponsvia: Wired A US citizen requested access to the document, entitled “Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weapons,” under the Freedom of Information Act a little over a year ago. There is no evidence that any of the technologies mentioned in the 10-year-old report have been developed since the time it was written.The report explained several types of non-lethal laser applications, including microwave hearing, disrupted neural control, and microwave heating. For the first type, short pulses of RF energy (2450 MHz) can generate a pressure wave in solids and liquids. When exposed to pulsed RF energy, humans experience the immediate sensation of “microwave hearing” – sounds that may include buzzing, ticking, hissing, or knocking that originate within the head. Studies with guinea pigs and cats suggest that the mechanism responsible for the phenomenon is thermoelastic expansion. Exposure to the RF pulses doesn´t cause any permanent effects, as all effects cease almost immediately after exposure ceases. As the report explains, tuning microwave hearing could enable communicating with individuals from a distance of up to several hundred meters.”The phenomenon is tunable in that the characteristic sounds and intensities of those sounds depend on the characteristics of the RF energy as delivered,” the report explains. “Because the frequency of the sound heard is dependent on the pulse characteristics of the RF energy, it seems possible that this technology could be developed to the point where words could be transmitted to be heard like the spoken word, except that it could only be heard within a person´s head. In one experiment, communication of the words from one to ten using ´speech modulated´ microwave energy was successfully demonstrated. Microphones next to the person experiencing the voice could not pick up these sounds. Additional development of this would open up a wide range of possibilities.”The report predicts that communicating at longer distances would be possible with larger equipment, while shorter range signals could be generated with portable equipment. Putting voices in people´s heads could cause what the report calls “psychologically devastating” effects. The technology might even allow for communicating with an individual hostage surrounded by captors, although this would require “extreme directional specificity.” A recently unclassified report from the Pentagon from 1998 has revealed an investigation into using laser beams for a few intriguing potential methods of non-lethal torture. Some of the applications the report investigated include putting voices in people’s heads, using lasers to trigger uncontrolled neuron firing, and slowly heating the human body to a point of feverish confusion – all from hundreds of meters away.last_img read more

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first_img The ScanTrainer transvaginal simulator is one example of Intelligent Ultrasound’s simulation technologies. News | Ultrasound Women’s Health | July 11, 2019 FDA Clears Koios DS Breast 2.0 AI-based Software Koios Medical announced its second 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 360 Photos | Ultrasound Imaging | July 09, 2019 360 Degree View of a Mitral Valve Ultrasound Exam on a Vivid E95 System A view of a mitral valve on a GE Healthcare Vivid E95 … read more Technology | Interventional Radiology | August 16, 2019 Profound Medical Receives U.S. FDA 510(k) Clearance for Tulsa-Pro Profound Medical Corp. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to… read more 360 Photos | Ultrasound Imaging | July 11, 2019 360 Degree View of a Smartphone Performing a Cardiac Ultrasound Exam This 360 degree photo shows a basic, point-of-care cardiac echocardiogram being performed using a smartphone turned i read more read more News | Ultrasound Imaging | July 31, 2019 Studies Confirm Clinical Value of ShearWave Elastography for Liver Fibrosis Evaluation SuperSonic Imagine announced the publication of the results of its prospective multicentric clinical study conducted in… read more News | Pediatric Imaging | August 14, 2019 Ultrasound Guidance Improves First-attempt Success in IV Access in Children August 14, 2019 – Children’s veins read more News | Ultrasound Imaging | July 26, 2019 Intelligent Ultrasound Group Collaborating With the National Imaging Academy Wales Artificial intelligence (AI)-based ultrasound software and simulation company Intelligent Ultrasound Group plc (AIM:… read more December 7, 2011 — Integration of Ascension’s magnetic sensors with Ultrasonix’s SonixTablet and SonixGPS Positioning System is expanding point-of-care procedures to new medical frontiers. At RSNA 2011, the companies will demonstrate the capability of ultrasound-sensor guidance to expedite nerve blocks, vascular access, central line placement, core biopsies of small organs, and fine needle aspiration.In the last year, Ascension has developed a new generation of disposable sensors and integrated them in interventional instruments for use with Ultrasonix’s recently released compact ultrasound platform.With SonixGPS, a clinician can now position a transducer in the ideal location to find an internal target; they can also select the direction and angle of an interventional instrument that is safest and most comfortable for the patient. Whether in–plane or out-of-plane, the system’s display shows the projected trajectory and true path of the instrument in real-time.The inclusion of a miniaturized tracking sensor inside the ultrasound transducer and in the tip of the instrument, along with visualization software, makes it all possible. Tracking data allows the clinician to always see with certainty where the needle will intersect the ultrasound plane.Importantly these procedures can now be performed without X-rays or fluoroscopy.At RSNA, Ultrasonix and Ascension will demonstrate two of these new image-guided procedures:Transjugular Intraheptic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS). A six degrees-of-freedom magnetic sensor has been integrated into the tip of a tube fitting into a 62 cm stylet. The sensor was developed to enable precise placement of a stent between the portal vein and one of three hepatic veins. Once performed with X-ray guidance, the procedure can now be performed with ultrasound and sensors alone.   Placement of Central Lines. A five degrees-of-freedom sensor has been integrated into the tip of a guidewire with an outer diameter of 0.55 mm (0.021 inch). The device was developed to clearly see ultrasound images for PICC and CVC line access. From cannulation to localization in the patient’s superior vena cava, the guidewire tip can be accurately threaded through the internal venous anatomy to its ideal placement location.   The new technology will be on display in Ascension’s booth (#9339) at RSNA 2011.For more information:, 3D Auto RV application image courtesy of Philips Healthcare News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | August 05, 2019 Digital Health Devices Used at Point of Care May Improve Diagnostic Certainty A West Virginia-based rural medical outreach event showcased the use of point-of-care technology in an ambulatory… read more Technology | December 07, 2011 Ultrasonix and Ascension Introduce New Ultrasound Guidance Products 360 Photos | Ultrasound Imaging | July 08, 2019 360 Degree View of an Echocardiography Exam on the SC2000 System This is a 360 degree view of a live cardiac echo demonstration for the Siemens Healthineers Acuson SC2000… read more Related Content Technology | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | July 02, 2019 Philips Extends Advanced Automation on Epiq CVx Cardiovascular Ultrasound Platform Philips recently announced new advanced automation capabilities on its Epiq CVx and Epiq CVxi cardiac ultrasound… read morelast_img read more

Macau a hit with Australian travellers

first_imgMacau’s recently opened Sands Cotai Central The island of Macau has become a popular holiday destination for Australians with the regions tourism board expecting the trend to increase in 2012. According to the Macau Government Tourist Office, in the first quarter of 2012, the number of Australians visiting the region increased by over 15 percent year on year. Recent statistics reveal that for the month of March, Australian visitors to Macau increased from 8343 in 2011 to 9994 this year, an increase of almost 20 percent. Additionally, already 31,731 Australians have visited Macau this year compared with 27,537 visitors during the same period in 2011. Overall, Internationally Macau has welcomed a record 28 million visitors. Macau Government Tourist Office for Australia and New Zealand general manager Helen Wong attributes the growth to new attractions, new world class entertainment and shopping centres plus the quality international hotels. “Couple these features with a solid marketing plan in Australia and a healthy Australian dollar and we can look forward to even better times ahead,” Ms Wong said. “There’s little doubt such promotions as last year’s Macau Festival in Sydney’s Darling Harbour helped to not only bring awareness of Macau to Australians but to also highlight its many star attractions such as the UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as the new additions.”The recently opened US$4.4billion Sands Cotai Central, which includes 636 room Conrad Hotel and the 1224 room Holiday Inn Hotel will undoubtedly further boost the Islands economy and visitor arrival numbers. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

Home Equity Up by 726 Billion

first_img 2017-02-07 Staff Writer Home equity has increased by $227 billion in the third quarter of 2016—a jump of 3.1 percent over Q2, according to recent data from CoreLogic. Year over year, equity rose by a total of $726 billion, or 10.8 percent.The most equity growth occurred on the West Coast. While the average homeowner saw equity rise by about $13,000, those in California, Washington, and Oregon had increases between $25,000 and $30,000.“There was wide geographic variation with homeowners in California, Oregon, and Washington gaining an average of at least $25,000 in home equity wealth,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, “while owners in Alaska, North Dakota, and Connecticut had small declines, on average.”The San Francisco metro area had the highest percentage of positive-equity properties, with 99.4 percent.Positive home equity is more likely with properties priced about $200,000, according to CoreLogic’s data, where 96 percent of homes are in the positive. Only 90 percent of those under $200,000 have positive equity.Rising refinances and home prices have likely played a role in the recent uptick of equity across the nation, according to CoreLogic’s CEO and President Anand Nallathambi.“Price appreciation is the main ingredient for home equity wealth creation, and home prices rose 5.8 percent in the year ending September 2016 according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index,” Nallathambi said. “Paydown of principal is the second key component of equity building. Many homeowners have refinanced into shorter-term loans, such as a 15-year loan, and by doing so, they have significantly fewer mortgage payments and are able to build equity wealth faster.”CoreLogic’s data showed the number of homeowners with negative equity decreased in Q3 2016, too. Nearly 400,000 borrowers moved out of negative equity—bringing the percentage of homes with positive equity to 93.7 percent across the country.By the end of Q3, the national aggregate value of negative equity was $282 billion, a drop of $2.1 billion over the quarter and $25 billion year over year. In total, there were 3.2 million properties with negative equity—a decrease of 10.7 percent since Q2 2016 and 24.1 percent year over year.The highest percentage of negative equity properties was found in Nevada, with 14.2 percent, followed by Florida (12.5 percent) and Illinois (10.6 percent.) The Miami, Florida market had 17 percent of its mortgage properties with negative equity.To see the full CoreLogic Q3 Equity Report, visit in Data, Headlines, News February 7, 2017 553 Views center_img Share Home Equity Up by $726 Billionlast_img read more

Plans needed to get refugees to new medical centres

first_imgMPs stressed on Tuesday the importance of providing appropriate transport services should medical centres currently operating in refugee estates be closed down.The House refugee committee discussed the logistics of creating central medical centres as part of the national health scheme (Gesy), which is expected to be operational as of next year.“The medical centres will not be closed, they will be conglomerated so as to offer better services,” refugee committee chairwoman Skevi Koukouma said.The conglomerated medical centres are also expected to have longer working hours and pharmacies that will remain open until late afternoon.The MPs highlighted that as a result of the conglomeration, appropriate modes of transport will have to be provided for the mostly elderly population living in the refugee estates.In addition to adequate public transport, elderly with motor problems will also require assistance in getting to and from the bus stop, said the Cyprus patients federation representative Demetris Lambriandes.Lambrianides added that the elderly currently rely on NGOs offering specialised services for their transportation as there is no public alternative.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Anastasiades calls on Turkey to end gas standoff return to talks Update

first_imgPresident Nicos Anastasiades called on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to return to the negotiating table provided they end the violation of the republic’s sovereign rights inside its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).In a written statement issued on Wednesday, amid a standoff over natural gas exploration offshore Cyprus, Anastasiades said the Turkish arguments were neither justified nor based on real facts.“Within this framework, the Republic of Cyprus’ energy planning will continue,” he said.On Tuesday, Turkey extended a blockade that prevents offshore drilling for natural gas by Italian energy firm ENI inside the EEZ.It started some two weeks ago when Turkish warships, claiming to be participating in military drills in waters off the east of the island, interrupted the Saipem 12000 drillship while en route to Cuttlefish, a site in block 3 where it was scheduled to drill an exploratory gas well.Turkey had issued a Navtex notice of its plans to be in the area of Block 3, which was due to expire on Thursday but on Tuesday, Turkey issued a new Navtex until March 10.Anastasiades called on the Turkish side to end the blockade and resume talks to reunify the island.“I wish once more to publicly invite Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side to immediately respond to my call to return to the negotiating table, provided they end the violation of the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereign rights in the EEZ,” he said.Turkish Cypriots argue that they also have rights on the island’s natural resources.The breakaway regime declared an ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’ of its own, which in effect claims that half of Cyprus’ EEZ belongs to them, including blocks 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12 and 13.Turkey, which says it is protecting the rights of Turkish Cypriots, also has claims on parts of various blocks in Cyprus’ EEZ saying the areas in question form part of its continental shelf. The claim includes part of blocks 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7, to the south and southwest of the island.Reports said Turkey is expected to start oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean in March.Turkey’s Deepsea Metro II drillship is currently undergoing technical preparations and will head to the region after it is given a Turkish name.Anastasiades said Turkish Cypriot claims were unjustified, given that an agreement reached by former president Demetris Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on the matter still stood.The agreement provided that any decisions concerning sea zones, continental shelf, EEZ, will be handled by the federal government post-reunification.“This convergence was confirmed during the latest round of negotiations and was never disputed by the Turkish side,” he said on Wednesday.Beyond that, he added, the government has submitted a bill to parliament that provides for the creation of a fund, similar to the Norwegian sovereign fund, to administer proceeds from hydrocarbons thus “securing the interests of existing and future generations of all Cypriots.”“Consequently, the statements and rhetoric that is used by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots is neither justified nor based on real facts; nor does it serve the best interests of the Cypriot people,” he said.Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said Greek Cypriots should stop being stubborn and agree to discuss hydrocarbon issues in a joint committee.“If they had done this, we wouldn’t have gone through what we are going through today,” he said, adding that the proposal for a sovereign fund was not serious.“I certainly hope this will be an example for future talks and both the foreign companies and the Greek Cypriot side will join us on the road to co-operation,” Akinci said.Addressing Anastasiades, Akinci said Cyprus and the area around it had wealth, which could be used for the future of the two communities if they co-operate.“But at the same time, we all saw and witnessed the fact that it also brings crises.”Akinci said Greek Cypriots did not want to share power, their unilateral actions in the EEZ was tangible proof of that.He said the Turkish Cypriot side wants to have a constructive approach towards the resumption of talks but it needed first to see certain things before: “If the Greek Cypriot side is really ready to share power and the wealth of Cyprus with the Turkish Cypriot side.”Reports also said that Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay travelled to Italy secretly where he met ENI CEO Claudio Descalzi.According to Dogan news agency, ENI told him the company did not want to get involved in the crisis between the two sides and that it wanted a diplomatic solution found.ENI, according to a government source, denied the reports. The company, the source said, gave reassurances that neither ENI’s CEO Claudio Descalzi or any other official met with Ozersay.Earlier, Anastasiades briefed the council of party chiefs on the developments.According to government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides, the leaders expressed their views on the situation and the actions they thought the government should engage in.The council unanimously condemned the Turkish actions in the EEZ and supports the government’s efforts to secure the island’s sovereign rights, the spokesman said.Speaking after the meeting, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said diplomatic efforts were continuing.“Nothing has finished, diplomatic efforts continue,” the minister told reporters. “We are in constant communication with the company. Be patient.”The matter was discussed during a meeting between the president and US Ambassador Kathleen Doherty later in the day.Doherty said she relayed to Anastasiades that her country felt very strongly Cyprus has the right to explore and exploit its resources in the EEZ and “we reiterated that we are engaged in the issues relevant to the Eastern Mediterranean. Secretary Tillerson when he was in Ankara last week raised this issue with the Turks.”The ambassador said the US was monitoring the events and were also engaging “and hopefully the issue will be resolved so that we can move forward and start the talks again.”Replying to a question about the expected arrival of ExxonMobil in Cyprus’ EEZ, Doherty said “we are talking about immediate issues today and we will see what happens.”Italy meanwhile, warned that the standoff could affect the entire area.Citing Italian foreign ministry sources, Ansamed news service reported that Italy was willing to look for every possible diplomatic solution, in respect of international law, to an issue that did not concern bilateral relations between Italy and Turkey, but relations and balances that are also economic between the Republic of Cyprus and the island’s northern part.“A potential negative outcome of ongoing efforts to define agreed procedures on search activities would risk compromising the potential for growth and benefits of the whole area,” the source was quoted as saying.Anastasiades is expected to brief EU leaders about the standoff during the informal summit on Friday in Brussels.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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The ace shuttler confesses to have turned the corner when he watched his idol. read more