Search underway off BC coast for male passenger missing from cruise ship

first_imgCAPE FLATTERY, Wash. – A search is underway off southwest Vancouver Island for a 73-year-old man who went into the water early this morning from a cruise ship.The United States coast guard confirms the man is missing from the Seven Seas Mariner, which was heading to Victoria on the 10th day of an 11-day Alaska cruise that began in Vancouver on June 30.Petty Officer Trevor Lilburn says the captain of the cruise ship has reported the man went overboard from the balcony of his stateroom at about 4:15 a.m.The vessel was in U.S. waters, just north of Cape Flattery, at the northwestern tip of Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula.Lilburn says several small vessels and a helicopter are looking for the unnamed man and the 700-passenger cruise ship remains in the area.At least one Canadian plane has been assigned to the search, but officials with the Vancouver-Island-based Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre says it is not handling the case since it happened in U.S. waters.last_img read more

Two Individuals Arrested in Casablanca for Trying to Bribe Police Officers

Rabat – Two individuals were arrested in Casablanca after they tried to bribe police officers.A motorcyclist was arrested at the crossroad of Ibn Tachafin Avenue after he attempted to bribe a law enforcement officer with MAD 50 to avoid penalties for traffic law infringements.A truck driver was also arrested for trying to bribe a police officer. According to police, the truck driver tried to bribe the police officer with MAD 100 after failing to provide the vehicle’s insurance policy and technical examination document.The rise in bribery cases involving police officers has prompted the General Directorate of National Security to circulate a memo urging security forces to crack down on all practices that would harm the credibility of the law enforcement officials.The memo aims to entrench a culture of transparency and professional integrity among security forces and to strengthen governance values.The General Directorate of National Security had also issued a statement stating that citizens are also contributing to the spread of bribery.The statement added that some people are trying to tarnish the image of the security apparatus by luring members of security forces in order to photograph them receiving bribes. read more

Oilpatch AI keeps a wary eye on remote wells after human officials

Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter. Companies mentioned in this article: (TSX:HSE)Dan Healing, The Canadian Press CALGARY — From a computer in his downtown office, Jeremy Bernard calls up live video of an oil well site in rural Alberta, clicking to bring up a cluster of small buildings, then a gravel road that leads across snowy pasture.The picture is sharp and the camera can detect motion. But its monitoring effectiveness drops off the instant Bernard, chief operating officer at Calgary-based Osprey Informatics, clicks a button to check another wellsite.Or heads home for the day. Or just stops paying attention.That’s when his company’s artificial intelligence software, Osprey Reach, takes over.The software can be programmed to sift through video data and identify vehicles or people, checking to see if contractors showed up when they said they would and if they stayed as long as their bills indicate.If it detects something amiss, such as an unauthorized vehicle, it can send a text or email, with photos, to the appropriate employee for action.“You can’t analyze video by just looking at it and nobody has time to do that, anyway, particularly field operators,” Bernard said.“We recognized if we were going to take advantage of this data stream, we would have to apply some intelligence to it to look for things our customers care about.”The use of artificial intelligence in the Canadian oil and gas sector, still struggling to recover from the commodity price crash of four years ago, lags the rest of the world, says Lance Mortlock, Canadian oil and gas leader for Ernst & Young.A recent EY report found about 89 per cent of major global oil and gas firms intend to increase investments in digital technology over the next two years, with 42 per cent motivated by the promise of greater efficiency.“I think there’s this perception (in Canada) that it’s unproven, it’s risky, let’s let other sectors and other global oil and gas companies maybe fail and learn and then we’ll be fast adopters later on,” Mortlock said.“That puts our sector behind everybody else and I worry about that.”Canadians have dabbled in initiatives related to robotics process automation but some of the more sophisticated AI, like natural language processing and machine learning, is very rare, Mortlock said.Osprey’s Bernard said the rise of the industrial internet of things or IIOT, which means more devices are able to transmit data, and cloud computing, which allows for increases in processing power and data storage, are spurring artificial intelligence advances.“Edge” computing, meanwhile, refers to the use of small computers in the field to do initial data processing and control how much data is sent to the cloud to control bandwidth access fees, he said.Like Osprey, fellow Calgary-based AI developer Ambyint is helping companies run remote wellsites more efficiently.The company specializes in monitoring and controlling pumpjacks, the “nodding donkeys” of the oilpatch, using the sensors attached to each pump’s electric motor to ensure it is bringing oil to surface as efficiently as possible.“We deploy a piece of hardware — you can think of it like a smartphone — out to the wellsite. We tie into the system out there and it is reading and analyzing data in real time, making certain decisions in the box itself and other data it sends up to the cloud,” Ambyint president Chris Robart said.“So it’s a combination of edge computing and cloud-based computing and analytics to then optimize the system and do things like predictive maintenance.”In a pilot project last year, Ambyint’s system was employed on 60 wells in Husky Energy Inc.’s remote Rainbow Lake oilfield in the northwest corner of Alberta. The resulting savings were estimated at $900,000 per year or $1.48 per barrel.Husky’s response was to install the system on the rest of the eligible wells in the field and begin expanding it to other similar wells in its portfolio.“The Ambyint product allows us to monitor temperatures, pressures, vibration and production from our pumps so that we can understand, working in the office without actually sending someone to the field, what’s going on,” said Jason Hinchliff, Husky’s director of digital innovation.He said Husky is encouraging innovation in its operations in Western Canada, Atlantic Canada and Asia and speedy adoption with a 16-employee multi-disciplinary technology group.In December, Osprey raised $3.75 million to open a new office in Houston, taking on new investors including the venture unit of client Royal Dutch Shell.Ambyint, too, has U.S. sales offices. Each cites the need to access the healthier oilpatch there to fund product development while waiting for the Canadian sector to catch up.Osprey is pursuing new applications to visually detect small or infrequent methane leaks from valves and pipe joints, a timely innovation given Alberta’s vow to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas by 45 per cent from 2014 levels by 2025.It’s also working on ways to integrate its cameras with other kinds of sensors so that when an alarm sounds due to pressure or temperature readings, for example, it can provide synchronized pictures.Ambyint’s Robart says the company wants to expand to other types of oil and gas pumps and other industrial equipment including compressors and wind turbines.Both companies say better monitoring means fewer site visits, resulting in cuts to emissions, labour costs and driving risk.“AI can help you reduce costs, but actually the real value is much further up the scale,” said Mortlock.“It’s about higher quality decisions and building new capabilities by having machines and humans work together.” read more

The Latest

PARIS — The Latest on the potential merger of carmakers Renault and Fiat Chrysler (all times local):11 p.m.A person briefed on the matter says the French government and Fiat Chrysler have reached a tentative deal on terms for the carmaker’s potential merger with France’s Renault.The person didn’t want to be identified because Renault’s board was still meeting late Wednesday to discuss the proposal.The person says the deal between Fiat Chrysler and the government is a good sign but no guarantee the merger will be approved.The French government owns 15% of Renault and had been seeking job and investment assurances and a seat on the merged entity’s board.The government wouldn’t comment Wednesday.Fiat Chrysler has proposed merging with Renault to create the world’s third-biggest automaker, worth almost $40 billion.The combined company would produce some 8.7 million vehicles a year, more than General Motors and trailing only Volkswagen and Toyota.-Angela Charlton in Paris___2:55 p.m.France’s finance minister says Renault and Fiat Chrysler shouldn’t rush into a merger.Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday on BFM television that the government is keeping up pressure on both carmakers to accept French government conditions for the proposed tie-up. The French state is Renault’s biggest single shareholder, with a 15% stake.Le Maire said the government wants a seat on the merged company’s board and a joint headquarters in France. “Let’s take the time to do things well,” he said. “We want this merger, but we don’t want it under just any conditions.”Renault’s board is meeting late Wednesday to discuss Fiat Chrysler’s merger offer. It would create the world’s No. 3 auto company and reshape the industry as carmakers race to make electric and autonomous vehicles for the masses.The Associated Press read more

Social protection schemes most effective way to combat poverty – UN official

“Social protection is one of the most powerful tools that any society has to combat poverty and to invest in its own social economic development,” said Michael Cichon, the Director of the UN International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Social Security Department.“All we need in developing country context is 4 per cent GDP [gross domestic product] to reduce the poverty rate in a country by about 14 per cent,” Mr. Cichon told a news conference at UN Headquarters to launch a document entitled “Successful Social Protection Floor Experiences,” which is jointly compiled by ILO and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).He said that social protection schemes have succeeded in reducing poverty and providing income security in developed countries over the years. Developing countries are following suit with programmes such as cash transfer arrangements and universal health care, he said.“The real innovation these days comes from the global South,” said Mr. Cichon, noting that in the next 10 to 15 years an estimated 1.2 billion people in developing countries will have a means of social protection, including food security, health services for all and old-age pensions.The ILO is preparing a meeting in June with Governments, employers and workers from all 183 of the agency’s member States to draw up a long-term social protection strategy.At a meeting in Oslo last September, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn agreed to explore the concept of a “social protection floor” for people living in poverty and those in vulnerable situations within the context of a medium to long-term strategy.Currently the world spends 17 per cent on social protection, but that is 19 per cent in developed world and only 4 to 4.5 per cent in developing countries.In the current global economic crisis, developed countries are looking to cut deficits and public expenditure, consolidate budgets and finance fiscal stimulus packages by cutting back on social expenditure.“What it means in the end, and I think we should all understand that, is that the old, the disabled, the sick and the poor are going to pay for the crisis for the next few years,” Mr. Cichon warned on Monday. “And it’s a pretty straightforward message and a pretty perturbing message.”The “Successful Social Protection Floor Experiences” is a compilation of successful case studies from developing countries intended to be part of a broader knowledge-sharing process, according to Francisco Simplicio of UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.“The experiences documented here advocate for a careful analysis of the capacities, needs and existing [social protection] schemes in place that will enable and inform policy-making processes and the gradual building up of social services,” said Mr. Simplicio. 17 February 2011Improving social protection is the most effective way to combat poverty in developing countries, a United Nations official said today, adding that poorer nations are coming up with innovative ways to ensure that their citizens have basic social security. read more

BMO Bank of Montreal sets sights on US expansion after year of

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) has set it sights on growing its U.S. business, it said Tuesday after spending more than a year overhauling and revamping the operations.BMO chief executive Bill Downe said the bank is launching a massive advertising blitz now that the integration of Milwaukee-based Marshall and Ilsley Corp. is complete.“This month we’re blanketing our U.S. footprint with some of the strongest advertising and promotions the bank has ever developed, online, outdoor, broadcast and in-branch,” Downe said on a conference call with analysts.“A significant value in our U.S. business has been realized and 100 per cent of our efforts are now back on our first priority, being in the market with confidence, growing our customer base and building the bank and its earnings as a consequence.”BMO doubled down on its U.S. operations when it acquired Marshall and Ilsley last year for US$4.1 billion in a bid to give it the scale and reach needed to compete south of the border.The work at BMO Harris Bank, its banner in the U.S., included a rebranding and refreshing of more than 600 bank branches and the upgrading of more than 1,300 bank machines.The push in the U.S. came as BMO reported a fourth-quarter profit of $1.08 billion on Tuesday as its capital markets business more than doubled its earnings compared with a year ago. On a per share basis for the quarter ended Oct. 31, BMO reported a profit of $1.59 per share, up from $768 million or $1.11 per share.BMO’s revenue in the fourth quarter from all business segments totalled $4.18 billion, up from $3.82 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.The bank’s adjusted earnings amounted to $1.65 per share compared with expectations of $1.43 per share on an adjusted basis for the fourth quarter, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters. The quarterly revenue estimate had been $3.8 billion.The increase came as the bank said the Canadian housing market appeared to be slowing in most markets.“We continue to see growth in residential mortgage market share, and believe the changes to Canada’s mortgage market announced earlier this year, which are aligned with BMO’s risk practices and ongoing efforts to encourage Canadians to borrow smartly, are having the desired moderating effect on housing prices in most markets,” Downe said.He noted that a “concerted focus on efficiency was reflected in a reduction of 700 full-time employees.”BMO Capital Markets helped drive the quarter as the division earned $293 million, up from $143 million a year ago.Personal and commercial banking in Canada earned $439 million, about the same as a year ago, while the U.S. division earned $130 million, down from $155 million.Downe said the bank completed the conversion of its core banking platform in the U.S. during the quarter.“Over the past two years, with the acquisition of Marshall & Ilsley Corp., we have fundamentally transformed the bank, changed its growth trajectory, and enhanced long-term value for shareholders.“BMO Harris Bank has strong deposit market share positions in our core Midwest markets, and our U.S. footprint has doubled in size.”The bank’s private client group earned $166 million for the quarter, up from $137 million.Despite the better than expected results, RBC Capital Markets analyst Andre-Philippe Hardy maintained a “sector perform” rating on the bank.“We continue to believe that the shares of banks with better revenue growth will perform better in the next 12 months,” Hardy wrote in a note to clients.He noted that BMO did not grow year-over-year revenues for its Canadian personal and commercial banking, while revenue slipped five per cent at its U.S. personal and commercial banking operations.“We believe that better revenue growth in retail banking divisions is needed for BMO’s stock to perform well on a sustained basis relative to peers,” Hardy wrote.The quarter brought Bank of Montreal’s total earnings for the 2012 financial year to $4.19 billion or $6.15 per diluted share, up from $3.11 billion or $4.84 per diluted share the previous year.Revenue for the full 2012 financial year increased to $16.1 billion from $13.9 billion.In the third quarter, the bank announced plans to close 24 of its U.S. BMO Harris bank branches in the U.S. Midwest, as an effort to scale back on overlapping branches after the acquisition of Marshall & Ilsley.BMO was one of the Canadian banks that was put under review by Moody’s Investors Services, which rates the credit of governments, public sector institutions and corporations.Moody’s said the review was prompted by concerns about consumer debt levels and home prices in Canada, where the banking sector is the major source of mortgage lending.BMO also said Tuesday it will buy back up to 15 million of its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange through a normal course issuer bid that will end on Jan. 24, 2014.There were about 650.7 million BMO common shares issued and outstanding at Oct. 31.Shares in the company closed up 34 cents at $59.63 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday. by Craig Wong, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 4, 2012 5:20 pm MDT BMO Bank of Montreal sets sights on U.S. expansion after year of overhaul read more

BCs economy to grow in 2017 but regional divide exists credit union

by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 15, 2016 10:20 am MDT Last Updated Dec 15, 2016 at 12:42 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email VANCOUVER – A B.C. credit union says Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will lead the province in economic growth next year while other regions of the province will grow slowly.Central 1 Credit Union says housing prices in Victoria and Kelowna will stabilize in 2017 after big price jumps this year. Metro Vancouver is expected to show what it describes as a “modest” decline in median home values of four per cent.The economic region in Kootenay will see mild growth and unemployment stuck at about eight per cent.Central 1 says the trend of lost jobs and declining population in the Cariboo might stop but won’t reverse through 2018.The north coast and Nechako will continue to lose population and experience weak employment growth.Bryan Yu, the credit union’s senior economist, says the province’s economy remains on a “solid footing.”“Economic activity will continue to be underpinned by solid consumer spending, but growth will be curtailed by lower employment growth and weaker housing activity.”He forecasts GDP growth to fall to 2.3 per cent in 2017, while the growth in employment will slow to 1.1 per cent after a surge this year.The credit union says the province’s mixed growth prospects mean the continuation of a regional economic divide, with the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Kelowna driving the economy.“In contrast, the economic cycle outside these markets will remain tempered with still challenging conditions in the economy,” Yu said in a news release on Thursday. “Weak commodity-related investment, closer reliance on Alberta’s oil economy and subdued global growth will continue to constrain economic activity.”Yu also warned that uncertainty surrounding a new softwood lumber agreement and the “likelihood” of tariffs is a risk for lumber production.“For the province as a whole through 2018, consumer demand will largely be driven by population growth, which is forecast to remain at a modest 1.2 per cent a year,” Yu said. “International immigration is forecast to rise given higher federal immigration targets, while a relatively stronger economy will continue to attract workers from other regions of the country.”The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said Thursday that B.C. was leading the country in the number of jobs that stood vacant in the third quarter at 3.5 per cent, the highest it has been since early 2008. B.C.’s economy to grow in 2017, but regional divide exists: credit union read more

Brock University expert comments on Chinese officials lashing out over human rights

A Brock University professor and expert on Chinese issues says he’s not surprised with the fiery response by a Chinese official to a question about that country’s human rights record posed by a Canadian reporter Wednesday.Charles Burton, an associate professor of political science at Brock, said this type of response has been seen before.“I think it indicates the sensitivity of these issues and the difficulties these Chinese officials have in maintaining the official line on these matters,” he said.Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Canada Wednesday to meet with Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion in an unannounced “inaugural Canada-China Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Dialogue,” which Dion said was a way to discuss expanding partnerships between the two countries.But during a press conference in Ottawa, a Canadian reporter asked a question of Dion that touched on China’s human rights record including the disappearances of numerous Hong Kong booksellers, the detention of Canadian Kevin Garratt over spying accusations and China’s seizing of disputed islands in the South China Sea.Dion answered the question, but when a Chinese reporter asked an unrelated question to Wang, he turned to the Canadian reporter to address the previous question.“I want to make a response to the questions asked by this journalist about China. I have to say that your question is full of prejudice against China and arrogance. I don’t know where that comes from and this is totally unacceptable,” said Wang. “I have to ask whether you understand China? Have you been to China?”Wang went on to talk about his country’s record of helping people out of poverty and how it couldn’t have happened without the protection and promotion of human rights.“I would like to suggest to you please don’t ask questions in such an irresponsible manner and though we welcome goodwill suggestions, we reject groundless or unwarranted accusations,” Wang wrapped up by saying.Burton said Chinese officials are “trained on how to respond to questions about China’s human rights record raised by visiting officials and the press.”“The question was not unexpected. It was directed at Mr. Dion, so the Chinese Foreign Minister was not required to answer the question, but he chose to anyway.” Burton wrote an opinion column about the visit for Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail. read more

US government expands legal rights for couples in samesex marriages

first_imgToday, our nation moves closer toward its ideals of equality and fairness for all.The text will “formally instruct all Department employees to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law,” according to the excerpts.Holder, the first African American attorney general, also plans to stress that his predecessors played a key role in the civil rights movement half a century ago.“As all-important as the fight against racial discrimination was then, and remains today, know this: my commitment to confronting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity runs just as deep,” Holder will say, according to the excerpts.- © AFP, 2014Read: Panti Bliss for St Patrick’s Day parade? It’s looking unlikely >Read: Scotland becomes latest country to legalise same-sex marriage > US ATTORNEY GENERAL Eric Holder will expand government recognition of same-sex marriages in all federal courtrooms and prisons on Monday, and ensure they receive the same benefits as heterosexual ones.The inaugural move, which Holder announced last night at a gay rights dinner gala in New York, marks a major gain for advocates of same-sex couples in the US after the Supreme Court there issued two rulings expanding gay marriage rights last year.Under the new policy, same-sex couples will enjoy the privileges even in states that do not recognise their marriages, so long as they legally married in another state.Among the key benefits the Justice Department will now ensure are extended to same-sex couples are the compensation fund for the September 11 2001 attacks, as well as death and educational benefits for the surviving spouses of police officers and firefighters injured or killed in the line of duty.“In every courthouse, in every proceeding, and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law,” Holder said in his speech.Same-sex marriage supporters at a courthouse in San Francisco (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) Same-sex couples would also be held to the same legal standard as their heterosexual counterparts on matters such as how debts are handled in federal bankruptcy proceedings and visitation policies at federal prisons, as well as compassionate release or sentence reductions in certain cases of crisis involving their spouse.PraiseAdvocates of gay rights immediately hailed the decision.“This landmark announcement will change the lives of countless committed gay and lesbian couples for the better. While the immediate effect of these policy decisions is that all married gay couples will be treated equally under the law, the long-term effects are more profound,” Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said in a statement.last_img read more

Help for disabled people and carers

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Two hours once a fortnight is the only respite 64-year-old Greek born *Helen gets from looking after her 46-year-old mentally disabled son *James. Since his birth, Helen, who requested that their real names not be used to protect their privacy, has been his full-time carer. And since her husband passed away 25 years ago, she’s been looking after him alone. “People with disabilities are socially isolated; it’s like they are ostracised and there is a lot of social stigma attached to their conditions, especially within older communities including the Greeks.”-Stelios PiakisThose two hours are a blessing for both mother and son. For Helen, it gives her a chance to relax, look after herself and make sure she has the strength to carry on in her life’s role. For her son, it means a whole lot more. The staunch Collingwood supporter is allowed to socialise with people his own age and be an independent man in his 40s – albeit for a short time. In Helen’s 46 years as a full-time carer, these two hours are the best thing the government has ever done for her and her son, she said. But the federal government is planning on giving a whole lot more to people, and carers of people, with a disability.A complete overhaul of disability services is on the cards for Australia thanks to a shake up recommended by the Productivity Commission’s report into disability services. And the main recommendation is to develop a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The scheme, that will likely cost Australia around $6.3 billion dollars, will provide support and much-needed help to people with disabilities and their carers. Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin told parliament that this means “working with the states and territories to develop common assessment tools, so people’s eligibility for support can be assessed fairly and consistently, based on their level of need”. “It means building workforce capacity so we have more trained staff to support people with disabilities. And it will include developing rigorous timelines, milestones and benchmarks to support the delivery of these and other essential foundation reforms, and hold governments accountable for progress.” Stelios Piakis, aged care and disability services manager, Australian Greek Welfare Society told Neos Kosmos that this overhaul is long overdue and much needed. Because the current disability system has different levels of support and different funding and care throughout Australia, there is “no uniformity and there are many families who fall through the cracks of the system,” he said. The recommendations by the Productivity Commission aim to bring about a level of uniformity to the current model. And, as the NDIS is a national scheme, it will make it easier for people with disabilities and their carers to move around Australia and access the services they already receive. But Piakis understands that in order to do this, every day Australians will be faced with another tax and this additional financial pressure may push the NDIS on the backburner. “The thing is, if there’s going to be an additional tax, will tax payers be able to afford it? Given the current economic situation, it may be a difficult decision the government has to make,” he said. “However, Australia is a first world country and it’s supposed to deliver and offer the best services for its citizens. And of course citizens with disabilities are also citizens and have to be taken care of. We have to remember that disabilities don’t only come from birth; there are people who have workplace accidents who have disabilities so it’s a matter being able to deliver a budget which aims to not only ensure that this country is financial stable, but to make sure its citizens are looked after.” As a carer, Helen told Neos Kosmos “everyday is a struggle”. She has never been able to work as she has had to take care of her son. So not only is it emotionally and physically difficult, financially the “struggle” is hard. Widowed for 25 years, she has on numerous occasions had to borrow money from her children just to make ends meet. Having the additional funding from the scheme would go a long way for a family that really doesn’t have a lot. Helen’s biggest nightmare is if she dies and no one is left to look after her son. The fear that escalates inside her thinking of this is impossible to imagine.“They have to do it,” Helen said of one of her other children who will have to take on the role of full-time carer. If there was a working NDIS, Helen could almost rest assured that there would be appropriate insurance in place to see her son is looked after. Helen taught James how to walk to the corner milk bar to get exercise due to his high blood pressure. Apart from that, he doesn’t leave his mother’s side. Everywhere she goes, he goes; she cannot leave him alone. “People with disabilities are socially isolated,” said Piakis, “it’s like they are ostracised and there is a lot of social stigma attached to their conditions, especially within older communities including the Greeks.” Socially, Helen and James are isolated and alone and she says that’s why he is the happiest when he gets to socialise with friends through the two hours provided by AGWS.“Every Saturday morning when he knows he is going out with AGWS, [James] wakes up really early and waits by the door,” said Helen emphasising how much these day trips mean to her son and how social activity boosts his morale, confidence and well being. The social stigma attached with disability was one of the issues explored as part of the Productivity Commission’s report into disability. Additional funding needed to combat this was the reason behind the development of the NDIS. The Victorian Government is fully supportive of the NDIS. Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu announced that the government is “pleased that the Productivity Commission has taken note of (the government’s) over arching support for an NDIS as well as other specific suggestions such as the need to include people with significant and enduring psychiatric disabilities in the scheme and the need to urgently develop a common assessment tool”.last_img read more

Cancer du col de lutérus Roche souhaite un dépistage plus fiable

first_imgCancer du col de l’utérus : Roche souhaite un dépistage plus fiableAllemagne – Le groupe pharmaceutique Roche a annoncé avoir signé un accord avec le Centre allemand de recherche contre le cancer, dans le but de mettre au point prochainement une méthode de dépistage plus fiable du cancer du col de l’utérus.Ainsi, Roche et DKFZ ( Centre allemand de recherche contre le cancer) devraient prochainement travailler conjointement à l’élaboration d’un nouveau test de dépistage qui devrait permettre de détecter le cancer du col de l’utérus de manière plus efficace.La nouvelle a été annoncée lundi 11 octobre par le groupe pharmaceutique, et le directeur de Roche compte bien sur DKFZ et son centre de recherche pour trouver la méthode absolue qui  détectera à coup sûr ce type de cancer. Et d’expliquer à l’AFP : “Notre système de dépistage permettra de détecter avec précision les femmes ayant un risque élevé de développer un cancer du col de l’utérus”.Le 12 octobre 2010 à 10:28 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Ninjas Jews and Unicorns We Interviewed Ninja Sex Party

first_img This is the story of two great men. One is a ninja. The other is a Jew. They sing about boning and dinosaurs and sandwiches and synthesizers. This is the story of Ninja Sex Party, the comedy music duo of Danny Avidan and Brian Wecht, also known as Danny Sexbang and Ninja Brian. You can tell them apart because Danny Sexbang is the one in the blue unitard and cape, and Ninja Brian is the one dressed like a ninja who glares at you before committing murder.NSP’s latest album, Cool Patrol, released just last month and made #1 in comedy albums and #2 in rock albums in the Billboard charts. They recently played in New York City at the PlayStation Theater as part of their Tour de Force 2018 tour, performing shows with their opening/backing band Tupper Ware Remix Party (TWRP) and Planet Booty. Then they came to the labs to have a chat with us and to make me feel like a cool dude. Check out the full interview below!Danny is also known for being half of the Let’s Play team of Game Grumps,along with Arin “Egoraptor” Hansen. Besides thousands of gameplay videos, Game Grumps  produced the popular Dream Daddy visual novel, which recently was adapted into a comic book we quite like. Arin, Brian, and Danny also compose the supergroup trio Starbomb, a synth-rap group that riffs on video games.Brian Wecht is perhaps the ultimate example of a dichotomous persona. Besides being an angry, silent, keyboard-playing ninja on stage, he’s also a retired theoretical physicist. Seriously, he’s a Doctor of particle physics and has researched string theory, supersymmetry, and quantum field theory at Queen Mary University of London, and before that worked at Harvard, MIT, and the University of Michigan. He’s been cited in dozens of research papers. He’s a Gordon Freeman-level genius.He also runs NSP’s Twitter feed, and, well…Like I said. Dichotomous. And I am dead serious that he has used the #buttsex hash tag hundreds if not thousands of times on Twitter. He also registered the URL to redirect to NSP’s Youtube page. That’s awesome.For musical weirdness and other, more general kinds of weirdness, check out these music-making robots, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, and the many ways Arby’s is strange on social media.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. 11 Ways the Wu-Tang Clan Shaped Geek CultureSpotify’s Rise to Power Dramatized in TV Mini-Series Stay on targetlast_img read more

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Unilever shortlisted for Best benefits communications

first_imgNottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, construction business Kier Group, and consumer goods organisation Unilever are among the organisations shortlisted in the Best benefits communications, large employer category at the Employee Benefits Awards 2019.This accolade recognises the most effective and engaging benefits communication strategies implemented by employers with more than 5,000 members of staff.The full category shortlist is:AstraZeneca, My Reward (entered by Benefex)Kier Group (entered by Punter Southall Health and Protection)Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) (entered by Vivup)Unilever (entered by Computershare)The winning employer will be announced during the annual Employee Benefits Awards and Summer Party, to be held on Friday 7 June 2019 at The Pavilion at The Tower of London.The festivities will be hosted by popular actor and comedian Kerry Godliman, who will reveal the winning organisations across 20 diverse categories during a three-course lunch. Other award categories include Best benefits to support work-life balance, Best financial wellbeing strategy, for large and small employers, and Best voluntary benefits, to name a few.The afternoon event, which includes a welcome drinks reception and early evening summer party, will enable HR, benefits and reward professionals to network with industry peers, as well as celebrate successes from the past year with their team.See the full shortlist.For more information or to book your table.last_img read more

Apple is fixing its busted MacBook keyboards for free and maybe for

first_img Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? See All Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors • Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Apple Share your voice Mobile Laptops Virtual Reality Apps On this podcast, we talk about: Apple widening its response — again — to problems with its butterfly-switch keyboards Qualcomm being deemed a monopoly  Oculus releasing its wireless Quest VR headsetThe 3:59 gives you bite-size news and analysis about the top stories of the day, brought to you by the CNET News team in New York and producer Bryan VanGelder. Check out the extended shows on YouTube. Also, don’t forget to rate and review the podcast on iTunes. Subscribe: iTunes | RSS | Google Play | FeedBurner | SoundCloud |TuneIn | Stitcher center_img The Daily Charge 0 Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Tags reading • Apple is fixing its busted MacBook keyboards for free — and maybe for good? (The 3:59, Ep. 563) Post a comment Qualcomm Oculus Virtual Reality Applelast_img read more

Quader to return home Wednesday

first_imgRoad transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader. File PhotoRoad, transport and bridges minister and Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader, who was undergoing treatment in Singapore, will return home on Wednesday, reports UNB.He will return home by a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines around 6:00am, said Sheikh Walid Faiz, public relations officer of bridges department.The minister talked to prime minister Sheikh Hasina over phone at 10:20am (Singapore time) today.Obaidul Qauder was initially admitted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) hospital on 3 March following breathing complications. Tests revealed three blockages in his coronary artery. He was flown to Singapore the next day for treatment.The minister underwent a bypass surgery on 20 March.last_img read more

Sufi music can never be commercialised

first_imgHow did music come calling to you?Music is not a mere profession to us, it is a legacy we are carrying which has been blessed to us by our ancestors.Have qawali and sufi music got their due in the music circuit?Qawali and sufi music has its own place in the music circuit. Sufi and qawali are not commercial rather they are integral to our tradition.Are you open to Bollywood offers after Rockstar?After the success of music of Rockstar we got a brilliant response from the audience and critics. Yes we are open to work on more Bollywood assignments, infact we are working on few things, will soon announce when something positive develops. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What does music mean to you?Music to us is our passion and obligation to do justice everytime we perform. As our ancestors has earned respect on the basis of this only, so its our responsibility to take it further.Do you follow any other Indian or foreign musicians. If yes, what do you like in them?We do not to name of any artist but we really follow sufi songs, shayari and chants of Amir Khusro.Have you thought about coming out with your own label or album? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixCurrently we are planning something, but is it has a long way to go.Would you ever like to experiment with your genre of music or try fusion?It’s great to be a versatile and we respect all the genres of music be it fusion or some other. But right now we are not planning to experiment with our genre.How has the journey been for all these years?Our journey, right from the start, was tough. Firstly to maintain the name of our ancestors was a big challenge for us. The love and admiration we got from the audience just cannot be expressed in words.How does the audience react to your music on international shores. Do they accept it well?It really makes us proud that people in other countries love sufi music and its amazing to see their attendance at the concerts. Sometimes it happens that they don’t understand the music and lyrics completely, but is really great to see their admiration towards us.last_img read more

KMC to refer serious dengue cases to staterun hospitals

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will refer serious dengue cases to the state-run hospitals, which was decided at a high-level meeting held between senior civic officials and the superintendents of different state-run hospitals and senior officials of the state Health department. The meeting was presided over by Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh.The civic authorities have dengue clinics in 144 wards and if any serious patient is found attending the clinic, he or she would immediately be referred to any state-run hospital located in the vicinity. In North Kolkata, cases will be referred to R G kar Medical College and Hospital. The civic authorities have requested the hospital superintendents to ensure that the patients referred by KMC are not refused admission. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAs the KMC’s motto is zero mortality in dengue, the senior civic officials have urged people to get in touch with the dengue clinics and get their blood tested if they are found suffering from fever. The KMC dengue clinics are not only well equipped but the patients are also treated following WHO guidelines. The KMC officials regretted that as blood tests in the dengue clinics are free, people do not take them seriously. The KMC has health clinics in every borough, manned by specialised doctors. People suffering from diabetes are treated and blood tests and medicines are given to them free of cost. It may be mentioned that the KMC has launched special drives to eradicate dengue in the city. Twenty wards have been declared vulnerable and drives are being carried out in these wards regularly.last_img read more

John Jacob Astor Americas First MultiMillionaires fortune was built on Chinese opium

first_imgOpium was one of the most important resources of the 19th century. It had medicinal and recreational value and most importantly, it was in hot, hot demand by those who enjoyed the illicit effects. Merchants knew the value of opium ever since the 7th century, and while many rulers and leaders attempted to suppress the sale and purchase of the drug, there was money to be made in the opium trading business. China had outlawed the opium trade on their land, under the orders of the Emperor who believed that the drug would ultimately be harmful to the population. Yet, in spite of this ban, the trade continued with countries like Britain smuggling Indian opium into China as a means of making money.For a while, the British held a strong monopoly on the trade, but there was still room for the independent merchant to get his hands on a supply and make his own fortunes. One such man was John Jacob Astor, a German-American who would become America’s first multi-millionaire.John Jacob Astor.Astor had immigrated to America after the Revolutionary War was over and the United States had declared their independence. With a new country full of business opportunity, he quickly found a market in the fur trade, making quite the fortune.As he amassed wealth, trading furs between Canada and America, he encountered a few roadblocks that would prevent him from gaining enough to claim the title of millionaire. One such roadblock was the political tensions between the United States and Britain, which led to an embargo that prevented him from trading with Canada any further. To compound the problem, when the war of 1812 broke out, British soldiers took control of his trading posts, causing him to suffer financially.John Jacob Astor (Financier), signed check.It was these pressures that caused Astor to turn his attention to trade elsewhere, namely, the opium trade in China. The Chinese didn’t particularly have any demands for American exports or even fur, but Astor knew that despite the illegality, opium was still in popular demand.Storage of opium at a British East India Company warehouse.Smuggling opium into Canton, a major Chinese port city, wasn’t a difficult or risky endeavor. Despite the Chinese government’s attempts to prevent the people from accessing opium, they didn’t have the resources or the manpower to fully lock down the ports.Painting of John Jacob Astor.Chinese smugglers would aid merchants by sending out small boats to accept shipments and then would handle the rest on land. All a wealthy merchant needed to do was to obtain the stock and sail it to Canton.18 Old English insults we need to bring backCan of Waldorf-Astoria Cigarettes. Photo by Medvedev CC BY SA 3.0And that is exactly what John Jacob Astor did to make his fortune. Unable to obtain the good stuff — Indian opium, thanks to a British monopoly — he settled for Turkish opium. Turkish opium wasn’t a bad product, but it wasn’t as popular as the Indian variety.Apothecary vessel for storage of opium as a pharmaceutical, Germany, 18th or 19th-century. Photo by Bullenwachter CC BY SA 3.0However, there was still a market value for Turkish opium, primarily because opium dealers would cut the Indian opium with Turkish, as a way to increase their supply of the more expensive of the two drugs.John Jacob Astor, engraving.With ten tons of Turkish opium in tow, Astor sent the opium to China, trading it for goods. During this time period, China only accepted silver as currency from foreigners, but silver was hard to come by. However, most Chinese merchants would also take opium as currency as well, enabling Astor to purchase Chinese goods with opium.John Jacob Astor IV (1864-1912) and fiancee Madeleine Talmage Force (1893-1940) in a launch going to the Astor yacht Noma.He would then take those goods and resell them for a fortune in the United States. While his actions were certainly on the illegal and immoral side, the opium trade was lucrative for Astor and he was able to continue growing his fortune.John Jacob Astor, 1864-1912, in automobile.John Jacob Astor would continue working in the opium trade for three years but chose to exit the market in 1819.Read another story from us: Queen Victoria sent chocolates to soldiers in the Boer War, one gift was preserved, uneaten, up to todayWith Congress having passed a law that would prevent foreign fur traders from entering the United States, his American Fur Company quickly came to dominate the fur market. Over time, he would become America’s first multi-millionaire, with a net worth of over $20 million in his lifetime. Adjusted for inflation, the buying power of his net worth today would be somewhere to the tune of $110 billion. Andrew Pourciaux is a novelist hailing from sunny Sarasota, Florida, where he spends the majority of his time writing and podcasting.last_img read more

Want to Get Into the App Business Try Buying One

first_img min read Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. May 11, 2012 Listen Nowcenter_img There are other online app markets, including, but Apptopia is among the most developed conceptually and is particularly helpful in shepherding users through the sales process.The idea is to create a Web win-win. Developers can turn their code into cash and entrepreneurs can find ready-made online businesses that they can then turn around and sell again.There are a number of issues Apptopia aims to address. First, Kay and his co-founder, Apptopia CEO Eliran Sapir, noticed entrepreneurs spending money to build apps that already exist. Meanwhile, developers are constantly looking to unload their apps — even apps with lots of downloads. Not every developer is a born entrepreneur and many aren’t interested in the administrative end, including the time it takes to support a successful app.“If they could get four or five thousand dollars that’s awesome because it helps fuel the project they’re excited about now,” Kay says.To start bidding, users simply sign up with their email address. The rest will be familiar to anyone who has bought items on eBay. Users fill out a profile, browse listings of apps and then place bids on the ones they want to buy, starting with a minimum bid set by the seller. In some cases, apps can be bought outright for a set price.The average Apptopia purchase hovers around $7,500, but many apps are available for much less. Potential buyers don’t even need a login to navigate the site, which is searchable by category, downloads, bid price and monthly revenues. Shoppers can then view statistics about their potential purchases, which are updated daily.Related: Camera+: An Apps to Riches StoryThe data is easy to read, but interpreting the numbers is the real trick. Good apps might appear to perform poorly because they are relatively new or because they’ve been marketed poorly. Others might be legitimate fixer-uppers. Ultimately, buyers have to rely on their best business sense before taking out a flyer on an app.What to do with an app once it’s purchased is up to the new owner. Jean-Marie Truelle, a New York-based investor, uses Apptopia to buy apps for his own bootstrapped mobile publishing company, JMT Apps. The real magic to Apptopia, he says, is how it simplifies the crowded app marketplace.”Apptopia gives the opportunity to find valuable apps with comprehensive information at a fair price,” says Truelle.Making money on apps can be a tricky business, but Apptopia makes it at least theoretically possible for the smallest investors to get started. Savvy entrepreneurs can buy a niche app, figure out what needs to be improved and find a talented mobile developer to execute those changes, Kay says.“You’re buying an asset with some revenue stream. … It’s unlikely that you will lose your entire investment,” he says. Related: There’s an App Maker for That Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer In the crowded business of smartphone and tablet apps, the money might not be in building apps from scratch, but in flipping them.One way to get started is with Apptopia, a Cambridge, Mass.-based startup that enables developers, businesses and investors to buy and sell apps in online auctions. The site, which launched in April, provides everything from valuation to escrow services and intellectual property transfer.“Essentially what we’re trying to do is broker mobile app acquisitions in an eBay style,” says founder and COO Jonathan Kay.last_img read more

Massachusetts Home Sales Depressed in March

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Massachusetts Home Sales Depressed in March While “”other states””: spent March gearing up for a busy spring season, Massachusetts saw a decline in sales throughout the month, the Boston-based “”Warren Group””: reported.[IMAGE]Single-family home sales in the Bay State dropped 3.6 percent to 3,100 in March, down from 3,215 last year. It was the second consecutive monthly decrease in Massachusetts home sales. For the entire quarter, sales totaled 7,849, down 2.1 percent from 8,017 in 2012’s first quarter.””Low inventory is plaguing housing markets all over the country, and Massachusetts is no exception,”” said David Harris, editorial director at the Warren Group. “”With [COLUMN_BREAK]mortgage rates low and prices competitive, we’re hopeful more sellers will emerge and the trend in dropping home sales will reverse.””Still, the Warren Group pointed out, March home sales were the highest in any month so far this year.The median price for single-family homes sold in March rose more than 8 percent, reaching $285,000 from $263,000 a year earlier. According to the Warren Group, it was the sixth consecutive month that monthly home prices have increased year-over-year.The first-quarter median selling price was $282,500, a 10.6 percent increase from $255,500 in the same period in 2012.””It’s clear that the low supply of homes for sale is continuing to pressure prices,”” Harris said. “”And there is definitely concern that such steep price spikes will cause an affordability issue.””Condominium sales statewide also dropped for the second straight month in March. Condo sales fell more than 2 percent to 1,211, the group reported. A total of 3,083 condo sales were recorded in the first quarter, a near 1 percent increase from 3,057 last year.The median price for condos sold in March was $261,000, up 1.5 percent year-over-year. The first-quarter median condo price was also up, rising 1.6 percent to $250,000. April 23, 2013 403 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies For-Sale Homes Home Prices Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers The Warren Group 2013-04-23 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more