Instilling a love of reading

first_imgThe Maponya Mall Reading Programme willbe hosted mainly at the Funda UJabuleschool in Soweto. (Image: UJ) MEDIA CONTACTS • Herman Esterhuizen  UJ media relations  +27 559 36653 or +27 72 129 0777 RELATED ARTICLES: RELATED ARTICLES • UJ Soweto university open for learning • Tackling SA’s education challenges • SA prioritises quality education • Getting needy kids hooked on books • Primary schools get a helping handEmily van RijswijckA top shopping mall, a financial services company and a university have struck up a joint venture to teach children in Soweto the joy and educational value of reading, within and outside the classroom.The Maponya Mall Reading Programme, which targets children between the ages of four and eight, was formally launched at the mall in Klipspruit, Soweto, by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Sanlam.The upmarket shopping centre is close to UJ’s Soweto campus.According to the university, the aim of the programme is two-fold – firstly to promote reading and an appreciation of literature through storytelling and secondly, to give staff and students of the Faculty of Education the chance to share their storytelling skills with the surrounding community.The Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof Sarah Gravett, and B Ed Foundation Phase teacher education students got the programme going by reading to about 250 children throughout the morning of 17 March, the launch date.According to Gravett, reading lays the foundation for all further cognitive development in young children and it is critical that parents read to their children and, in so doing, stimulate a passion for literature which will stay with them all their lives.“Reading is a very important way of activating and initiating the development of more complex thinking and linguistic literacy, which can prove crucial to the years of foundation phase schooling,” she says. “The earlier reading is used as a tool to stimulate language development the better, since we never exist without language; we use it all the time.”The Funda UJabule schoolThe programme will be hosted for the most part at the unique Funda UJabule (isiZulu, meaning “learn and be happy”) school on UJ’s Soweto campus. Funda UJabule, a partnership between the Gauteng Department of Education and UJ, is used as a teacher education and research facility for students planning to teach at pre-primary level.Foundation phase students at UJ participate in classroom activities at the school and spend time as observers and assistants to the teachers.“The overall aim is to establish a strong teacher education programme that bridges the ‘theory-practice divide’,” says UJ.In an effort to reach the community, teachers and students contribute a bi-weekly column to community newspapers in Soweto in which they discuss child care and aspects of education.Funda UJabule opened its doors in 2010, with two grade R (foundation phase or pre-school) classes offering education to 200 children in either English and isiZulu, or English and Sesotho. In time it is hoped to develop the school into a fully-fledged primary school.In addition, Funda UJabule is a facility where students can undertake research in various related fields.The school hosts a number of community engagement projects related to care and education in childhood, of which the Maponya Mall Reading Programme is the latest. Teaching parentsThe reading programme also has a strong parenting focus. In the coming months the UJ Faculty of Education will host further events, some of which will train parents in the art of storytelling and help them with reading strategies at home.Books are about more than stories and should be used as tools by parents to teach their children. The choice of a particular story can set an entire learning process in motion, Gravett believes.“The question should not be whether I should be reading to my child, but what I should be reading and how I can use the reading experience to teach my child something about society,” she says.“Even though reading is important for the development of linguistic literacy it should be accompanied by the deliberate attempt to teach one’s child something new. Your child’s success at school depends on what you are reading to them.”Metropolitan RaucalThis is not the first time UJ has joined forces with a financial institution to promote education and learning. In 1994 the university went into a partnership with Metropolitan Life to support the Metropolitan Raucal, a Gauteng Department of Education school established in 1992 by the then Rand Afrikaans University (since renamed as the University of Johannesburg).The initial aim of the school was to help township pupils with an aptitude for mathematics and science to gain access to quality education. Now in its 20thyear, the school continues to post excellent matric results and, while its curriculum remains strongly focused on quality maths and science education, the selection criteria have become less restrictive.  The school maintained a 100% matriculation pass rate until 2009 but faltered a little, with one failure in each of the 2010 and 2011 academic years.A rich historyWith its rich, chequered and sometimes violent history it is no wonder that the sprawling township of Soweto (its name taken from the first two letters of the words in South Western Township) is such a drawcard for visitors to Gauteng and is one of the top ten destinations in the province.South Africa’s biggest township has written its name firmly in the history books for a number of reasons.It was here that the Freedom Charter was signed in 1955 in Soweto’s oldest suburb, Kliptown. It is also here that visitors can see the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize laureates once lived.Former president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both lived in Vilakazi Street in Orlando West and while Tutu’s former house is still a domestic residence Mandela’s small matchbox home has been turned into a museum.Soweto is also the place where the 1976 student uprising began, an event that sounded the death knell for apartheid and led to severe international sanctions against the country right through the 1980s.The Hector Pietersen Museum around the corner from Mandela’s old home commemorates this event.last_img read more


Microsoft Announces End of the Road for Encarta

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Speaking for a moment about novelty, I do remember clearly getting my first CD-ROM drive in the mid-90s and then shelling out some hard-earned money for Encarta because it was simply the de facto proof of concept for the term multimedia. Hundreds of thousands of articles, indexed and cross-referenced, high-resolution photographs, small videos, and sound files all made the Encarta experience something singularly awesome in a time where most people were still trying to figure out how to allocate all their extended memory to get Windows 3.1 to run on their PC. Encarta brought a legitimacy to that term, multimedia, where a lot of other projects often fell short. And no, you can’t bring up Myst.So, it is with a measure of sadness that we see this chapter of PC history come to a close, and the venerable Encarta book placed on the shelf next to Microsoft Cinemania and BOB. Although the date will come and go without fanfare, it does mark the end of an era. Tags:#Microsoft#news#web Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Microsoft’s years-long-running multimedia CD-based encyclopedia product, Encarta, will be history by the end of the year. According to Ars Technica, Microsoft quietly announced the discontinuation date for Encarta to be October 31, 2009. Although the MSN press release doesn’t go into too much detail on all the reasons why this decision was made, (nothing about Wikipedia for example), they do mention that the way people look for and consume information has changed substantially in the last few years, which seems like a fair assessment.It appears that all Encarta properties will be phased out over the coming year. They will stop selling the retail and student versions by June and the online MSN Explorer content will be removed by the end of October. Customers paying for a subscription to Encarta Premium will receive a pro-rated refund around the middle of the year. Technical support, like with most other Microsoft products, will continue for three years after the official end of life.As we mentioned, although Microsoft doesn’t directly implicate Wikipedia as one of the harbingers of their decision to kill Encarta, we can only assume that it is a big part of that decision. Although Encarta’s content was carefully curated, and of course factually accurate (which is often more than what you can say about Wikipedia), apparently the cost and availability of instant sources of information online has overcome the appeal of this once-novel encyclopedia. phil glockner Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more


Rover reveals puzzling sand dunes on Mars

first_img NASA (3)/(DIAGRAM) C. BICKEL/SCIENCE The Martian was only a movie, but the blowing sand that drove the plot really does influence Mars today—and is now a source of intrigue for scientists studying the planet. Investigators with NASA’s Curiosity rover are exploring the planet’s dark sand dunes and have discovered structures thought to be unlike any on Earth: ripples spaced about 3 meters apart, intermediate in size between the little ripples and big dunes found on both planets. Scientists aren’t sure how they form, but they think the density of the thin martian atmosphere plays a role in shaping them.“Something in the martian environment is begging for these to form,” says Lori Fenton, a planetary scientist who studies dunes at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, and who wasn’t involved in the research. Even before scientists can puzzle out what that is, they hope to use fossilized ripples in rocks that hardened from ancient dunes to glean clues about the thicker atmosphere of early Mars, according to Mathieu Lapotre, a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, who presented the work here last week at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC).Researchers had seen the large ripples in pictures taken from orbit, “but nobody thought hard enough” about them, Fenton says. In the end it took up-close observations by Curiosity, which is exploring Gale Crater. When the rover neared dark, billowy dunes girding the mountain that it aims to climb, some researchers on the rover’s science team considered them a potentially hazardous obstacle. But others saw an opportunity. “We have not visited an active sand dune field on another planet,” says Bethany Ehlmann, a participating scientist on the rover team at Caltech. “I don’t think it’s conscionable to be 100 meters away and drive by without stopping to take a look.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)So Ehlmann and others pushed for a campaign of pictures, wind measurements, and chemical analyses over several weeks in December 2015 and January (see map, below). The scientists presented their initial results at the LPSC: images of 5-meter-tall dunes that would not look out of place in Namibia. Imprinted on top of the large dunes were typically tiny ripples and the mysterious, larger ones. Other scientists on the Curiosity team are studying the size, chemistry, and color of martian dune sand. On Earth, dunes consist mainly of quartz grains, eroded from the granite that makes up much of the 
continental crust. On Mars, by contrast, dunes are made up mostly of dark, dense minerals like olivine, from volcanic basalt. The dunes get darker with time as finer dust, which contains lighter-colored feldspar minerals, blows away. Ehlmann says studying how the martian wind sorts grains by size and composition will help researchers understand other changes that occur as the sediment turns into stone.But at the LPSC, scientists were most excited by the discovery of the large ripples. In addition to spotting them in the Curiosity images, Lapotre and his colleagues have identified them at dozens of sites all over the planet in images taken from orbit. They found that at higher elevations, where the atmosphere is thinner, the ripples are farther apart. If these ripples can be found in old rocks, Radebaugh says, “you can get a good sense of what the paleoatmosphere was like.”If the large ripples are forming because of atmospheric influences rather than the impact mechanics of hopping sand grains, then, technically, they would be dunes rather than ripples. Lapotre says they seem to be similar to dunes found in riverbeds on Earth. Just as waves on the water’s surface shape the bottom, invisible “boundary layers” in the atmosphere may sculpt ripples on the surface of Mars.Not everyone is convinced that the ripples are a new type of dune. “They could just be big ripples” left over from a windier martian past, says Ralph Lorenz, an APL planetary scientist. But Fenton says Lapotre and colleagues have spotted slip faces—signs of miniavalanches—on the lee sides of some of them. Larger dunes share such slumping features, but small ripples lack them. The new-dune scenario is “plausible,” she says. “I’m happy that somebody has put forward an explanation, because it has bugged me.” On terrestrial beaches and deserts, small sand ripples form centimeters apart. They take shape when wind-borne sand grains hop and strike sand downwind, scattering yet more grains. Once a ripple begins to form, it protects sand on its downwind slope from being dislodged by further impacts. Meanwhile, scattered sand continues to be deposited on the upwind side of the ripple. Larger dunes, which can sit hundreds of meters apart, grow through a different process involving the aerodynamics of the atmosphere. As wind approaches a pile of sand, its streamlines are compressed, whipping up speeds and piling up more sand toward the crest. Eventually, the leading edge becomes too steep and collapses, allowing a new crest to form and the dune to inch along.In the solar system, dunes are found on Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan, and perhaps even Pluto. Planetary scientists study them from orbit to infer wind directions—like a “free wind sock,” says Jani Radebaugh, who studies Titan’s dunes at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. They can also use them to infer wind speed. From theoretical models and wind tunnel tests using crushed walnut shells to mimic sand blowing in Mars’s weak gravity, researchers have estimated that wind speeds need to reach about 15 to 20 meters a second for martian dunes to form. Researchers hope to check those numbers by studying a handful of Curiosity’s images of moving dunes snapped on days when the rover also took wind measurements, says Nathan Bridges, a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. Since landing in 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover has trundled toward its mountain target, Aeolis Mons (also called Mount Sharp), but it must cross potentially hazardous sand dunes.last_img read more


Scout Releases 1st Edition Of 2018 ‘300,’ Featuring 38 Committed Recruits

first_img2018 top football recruits.Scout.comMost of the recruiting attention is currently being paid to the class of 2017, but teams always try to get ahead on the next cycle as well. Scout just dropped its first edition of the ‘Scout 300‘ for the class of 2018, and 38 of the 300 players listed are already committed to schools.The first full Scout 300 for 2018 on @scoutrecruiting is out— Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) July 1, 2016LSU leads the way with five of the top 300, while Florida State and Miami each land four players. Here are all of the players who are already committed.Alabama:RB Dameon Pierce (No. 52) TE Malcolm Epps (No. 143)Auburn:QB Joey Gatewood (No. 50)Clemson:S Mike Jones Jr. (No. 241)Florida State:CB Isaiah Bolden (No. 39) RB Justin Watkins (No. 81) DT Robert Cooper (No. 86) RB James Cook (No. 91)Georgia:OT Max Wray (No. 64)LSU:CB Kelvin Joseph (No. 29) QB Zadock Dinkelmann (No. 99) CB Corione Harris (No. 140) S Nadab Joseph (No. 201) WR Devonta Jason (No. 230)Miami:S Joshua Jobe (No. 22) CB Gilbert Frierson (No. 118) WR Daquris Wiggins (No. 183) CB Jalen Patterson (No. 278)Michigan:S Otis Reese (No. 229)Mississippi State:WR Malik Heath (No. 157)Nebraska:ATH Cameron Jurgens (No. 147) DT Masry Mapieu (No. 283)Notre Dame: QB Phil Jurkovec (No. 46) RB Markese Stepp (No. 193) DE Jayson Ademilola (No. 211)Oklahoma:OT Brey Walker (No. 10)Oregon:QB Colson Yankoff (No. 151) WR Devin Culp (No. 245)Oregon State:RB Camron Davis (No. 219)Penn State:DE Micah Parsons (No. 2)Tennessee:OT Cade Mays (No. 16) ATH Alontae Taylor (No. 285)Texas A&M:WR Montel Parker (No. 176) OG Luke Matthews (No. 181)USC:QB Matt Corral (No. 4) OLB Bo Calvert (No. 20) OLB Raymond Scott (No. 43)Washington:QB Jacob Sirmon (No. 40)[Scout]MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitalelast_img read more


One dead one still missing as family swept away in Vancouver Island

first_imgCAMPBELL RIVER, – Searchers on Vancouver Island are hopeful but admit they are bracing for the worst after three people on a family outing on an all-terrain vehicle were swept away while crossing a creek near Campbell River.Area residents heard screams and pulled one female from Woods Creek on Sunday, and Paul Berry with Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue said a search was launched for two others, a male and female.Berry said the body of one person was found just before search efforts were called off Sunday night and there was extreme concern for the person who was still missing.“We always remain hopeful that we can find someone alive but because of the high flows of water and the cooler temperatures, we prepare our teams that it could potentially be a recovery,” Berry said Monday.The accident happened at what is normally a “pretty benign” section of Woods Creek where the trio had frequently crossed before, he said.“Because of the amount of rain and snow the previous night, the creek was raging.”About 35 search and rescue members, along with RCMP and crews from the Campbell River and Oyster River fire departments took part in Sunday’s search and Berry said swift water rescue teams from Comox and Campbell River were resuming the search Monday.Saturday’s downpours were also blamed for causing a landslide that severely damaged one home in Campbell River and briefly trapped two people in the house.They were rescued unharmed and a news release posted by the City of Campbell River says the home and three other nearby properties have been ordered evacuated until experts can confirm the stability of the bank.The city said it could be several days before an assessment of the slope is complete and emergency social services was helping those residents find shelter and relocate livestock.last_img read more


Canada France promise to double down on climatechange fight amid US inaction

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron, long billed as kindred political spirits, agreed Monday to a fresh, fortified attack on climate change — hoping to keep a shared priority at the forefront of the global agenda despite Donald Trump’s decision to quit the battlefield.Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna was on hand to sign the new France-Canada partnership on climate and environment in a ceremony at the French presidential palace during the first day of Trudeau’s official visit to Paris.“France and Canada today pledge to redouble their efforts and increase their co-operation,” Trudeau said in French during a news conference with Macron following the ceremony.“This initiative will encourage and accelerate the achievement of the Paris Agreement targets through concrete measures to make this agreement in principle a reality.”The partnership comes as Macron has taken it upon himself to personally champion the Paris deal since Trump made good on his threat to withdraw from the climate accord last year.The France-Canada partnership, which includes pushing for a global price on carbon and reductions to transport-related emissions, also falls squarely in line with Trudeau’s government priorities for the G7 in Quebec this June.And with France having the G7 presidency in 2019, senior Canadian officials said, the hope is that the exclusive group of nations will continue working toward the goals laid out by the Paris Agreement, with the international community following their lead.What remains unclear is how Trump will respond to any perceived attempt to force him into a stronger position on climate change, though the officials insist no one is trying to back the U.S. president into a corner.Interestingly, the government is also hoping the partnership will convince the French that Canada is indeed serious about fighting climate change — and that ratification of the new Canada-EU free trade deal will eventually follow.There have been concerns in France that investor-protection clauses within the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement — or CETA, as the Canada-EU deal is known — would lead to weakened environmental rules.At one point during Monday’s news conference, Trudeau found himself defending the trade deal, noting there aren’t many other countries that are better suited to a free trade deal with Europe than Canada.“Whether its environmental protection or freedom of expression or other things, Canada and France are well aligned. Canada and Europe are well aligned,” the prime minister said in French.“And CETA is a progressive trade agreement that truly reflects those protected values and represents a new standard for all future trade agreements.”Trudeau and Macron also marked the establishment of a new cultural agreement, this one signed by Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, that included promoting the French language in “the digital space” and affirming the two countries’ support for net neutrality.While climate and trade were at the top of the agenda for Trudeau’s meeting with Macron, also top of mind was the West African nation of Mali, where France is leading a counter-terror mission and Canada is sending peacekeepers.On Sunday, Islamic militants there launched a brazen — and troublingly sophisticated — attack, disguising themselves as peacekeepers and then setting off several car bombs and attacking with rockets.The attack, near the northern city of Timbuktu, killed one UN peacekeeper and wounded at least a dozen soldiers, some of whom were from France.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was thanked twice on Monday for agreeing to send Canadian peacekeepers to Mali, first by the head of the Francophonie, former Canadian governor general Michaelle Jean, and then by Macron.“Canada made the decision to participate in Minusma with the addition of helicopters and support personnel,” Macron said, using the official name for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.“And as you know today we are very, very connected to Minusma and I think this is a very important gesture that has been made by Canada, and we very much appreciate it.”Canada is sending six military helicopters to Mali later this year; they will be based at the UN base in Gao, rather than Timbuktu.Trudeau wraps up his visit to France on Tuesday by becoming the first Canadian prime minister to address the French National Assembly, after which he’ll fly to London to meet British counterpart Theresa May and the Queen.The prime minister will then attend a meeting of Commonwealth leaders on Thursday before returning to Canada, stopping to Halifax to attend the Liberal party convention.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitterlast_img read more


Julia Roberts reboots and diversity part of new TV season

first_imgBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – What’s the television industry’s top summer destination? A hotel in which 200-plus U.S. and Canadian entertainment reporters and critics gather for an early look at next season’s shows and the chance to question the actors, writers and producers who create them.The Television Critics Association’s just-ended biannual conference was both a micro look at programming and a macro view of the medium’s direction (hello streaming, and hang in there, broadcasting!). In a parade stretching over two weeks, about 30 networks, channels and streaming platforms held more than 100 Q&A sessions and countless one-on-one interviews to prove they’ve got what viewers want.While the meeting was held in the ballroom that’s also home to the Golden Globes ceremony, it’s turned into a mundane conference room lacking glamor (except for nicely dressed actors). Among the revelations this time around: How Julia Roberts, President Donald Trump and Thomas Magnum’s charm, but not his moustache, fit in to what you might watch next season.THE BIG PICTUREStreaming platforms including Netflix and Amazon and ambitious cable channels have the buzz, the programming bucks and the big stars. The once-mighty broadcast networks took a back seat at the meeting, both by virtue of effort and programming. In the past, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC staked claim to two full days each to present robust schedules of new or returning fall series.They’ve been slowly contracting to a single day of presentations, and this time two networks, ABC and NBC, had half-day schedules with a handful of panels. Altogether, the major networks had a combined 23 panels out of the nearly 120 offered. Among the competitors taking up the slack with movie star-led series: Amazon Studios and its “Homecoming” starring Roberts; HBO’s “Sharp Objects” with Amy Adams, and Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” starring Michael Douglas.Name-brand producers including Ryan Murphy also count as catches, and FX presented two of his series, “Pose” and the latest installment of “American Horror Story” anthology. Murphy’s career shows how the small-screen landscape is changing: After successes on FX and broadcast (Fox’s “Glee”), he’s moving to greener pastures with a five-year Netflix deal reportedly worth up to $300 million.Impressive, but just a nibble of the astounding $8 billion that Netflix said it would spend developing and producing TV projects and movies this year. How can traditional TV, with its steadily eroding slice of the audience, manage to compete?YOU LIKED IT BEFORENetworks have become deeply fond of live programming that can entice viewers into enduring commercials, including contests such as NBC’s “The Voice,” Broadway musicals and sports. Another passion: reboots and revivals, both in evidence at the TV meeting.The implosion of ABC’s “Roseanne” following its star’s Twitter screed didn’t stop networks from reaching into the past again. After all, the sitcom was a success during its brief run last season, as is NBC’s resurrection of “Will & Grace” with its original cast. Enough said for CBS, which promoted a reboot of “Magnum P.I.” with a new hero, sans ‘stache but with bravado and a red Ferrari.The “Magnum” formula is comfort food served with a dollop of nostalgia, not creatively groundbreaking but maybe inviting enough to keep viewers tuning in as they have for eight seasons with CBS’ remake of “Hawaii Five-0.” The shows are from the same producer, Peter Lenkov, who also resurrected “MacGyver.”Lenkov’s succinct explanation for the general recycling trend: “Escape.”“Murphy Brown” creator Diane English has a polar opposite reason for bringing the show starring Candice Bergen as a TV journalist back after two decades: Political relevancy.“The First Amendment and free press (are) under attack like I’ve never seen before, I don’t think anybody’s ever seen before,” English said. “The press is not the enemy of the people, and these guys, our characters, are the press. So we deal with that a lot.”DIVERSITY, #METOO DIG INTV is coming into its own as a reflection of society. The explosion of programming, combined with outside pressure, are yielding the kind of ethnic diversity that was non-existent until recently, while the fledgling MeToo movement is gaining a quick foothold.CBS, long criticized for featuring mostly white characters, is serving up more shows with actors of colour, including “God Friended Me” starring Brandon Micheal Hall, an African-American actor most recently seen in ABC’s short-lived “The Mayor.”Asian-American actor Jake Choi, starring in ABC’s “Single Parents,” told reporters that after auditioning for too many stereotypical, one-dimensional roles he relishes the chance to play a character who is imperfect and “not defined by his ethnicity.”Allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood are making headlines and contributing to story lines. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” which is moving to NBC after being cancelled by Fox, has taken on topical issues in the past and is mulling addressing the MeToo movement, said executive producer Dan Goor.The subject hits close to home for series star Terry Crews, who alleges he was groped by an agent (Adam Venit, who has denied the claim through his attorney). Crews said his colleagues’ support helped give him the security to go public.HAVEN’T WE MET?The shows are new but the faces are definitely familiar as actors rotate to new projects or old projects at new networks. Tim Allen exemplifies the latter, with his cancelled ABC sitcom “Last Man Standing” starting anew at Fox this season.Fans of former “Hawaii Five-0” star Grace Park will find her in ABC’s “A Million Little Things,” which also features Ron Livingston (“Loudermilk,” ”Sex and the City”). Liked Max Greenfield on “New Girl”? You’ll find him on CBS’ “The Neighborhood,” along with Cedric the Entertainer (“The Last O.G.”) and Tichina Arnold (“Everybody Hates Chris”).Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”) stars in Showtime’s “Black Monday,” with Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), Taran Killam (“Saturday Night Live”) and Leighton Meester (“Gossip Girl”) also in the ensemble cast. Nathan Fillion of “Castle” is still a crime-buster for ABC, but this time as a new police officer on “The Rookie.” Jeremy Sisto (“Suburgatory”) is a lawman too, on CBS’ “FBI.”FOR THE RECORDThe network custom of making top executives available for a Q&A with reporters has begun to falter among broadcasters, with both NBC and ABC skipping such panels. CBS might have, especially since the TV meeting came on the heels of sexual misconduct allegations against CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves (he’s denied misusing his position). But Kelly Kahl, CBS Entertainment president, showed up and fielded a barrage of questions about the company’s workplace culture and treatment of women. Reporters frequently prefaced their queries with thanks to Kahl for making himself available, and he answered the questions calmly and without rancour as he defended his division’s record and the company’s HR policies. It would have made for a good, even instructional TV drama episode.___Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at and on Twitter at .last_img read more


Part of the solution Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

first_imgEDMONTON — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province is seeking expressions of interest in building a new refinery.Notley says a new refinery makes sense for Alberta where oil is being sold at bargain basement prices due to a glut and lack of pipeline capacity to get it to market.While the rest of the world sells its oil at about $50 per barrel, Notley has said Alberta fetches only $10.She says the successful refinery proposal will create jobs and will include consultation with the Indigenous community.Notley says any proposal must also show a strong return on investment for Alberta.Proposals must be submitted by Feb. 8.“We’ll be careful, we’ll be cautious, we’ll make sure it makes good business sense,” Notley said Tuesday. “New and more refining capacity is part of the solution. I’ll be excited to hear what companies have in mind.”Notley has already ordered a mandatory cut to oil production which amounts to 8.7 per cent of output to reduce the glut forcing the steep discounts. The cuts are scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2019.Alberta is also planning on buying as many as 80 locomotives and 7,000 rail tankers to move the province’s excess oil to markets and address the pipeline bottleneck.The Trans Mountain expansion project, which would triple capacity to the B.C. coast, is in legal limbo despite being approved two years ago as Ottawa revisits the impacts on First Nations and B.C.’s marine environment.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


3 killed as car catches fire near Akshardham

first_imgNew Delhi: A 34-year-old woman and her two daughters aged (2) and (5) died after the car in which they were travelling caught fire in East Delhi’s Akshardham area on Sunday evening.Whereas her husband, identified as Upendra (36), along with another daugter (3) had managed to get down from the car. Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Jasmeet Singh said that the probable cause behind the incident is fire in the CNG cylinder. “The person who was driving the car managed to get down from the car with one kid but his wife and two daughters could not get down,” said DCP Singh adding that the family belongs to UP’s Loni area. Chief Fire Officer from Delhi Fire Services (DFS) Atul Garg said that they received a call regarding the fire around 6.33 pm on Sunday and fire tenders were rushed to the spot. Police said that the investigation is going on to know the actual reason behind the incident. “Probe is on from all angles. The victims are being counselled,” added police officer. DFS fire chief further added after dousing the fire, the bodies were taken out by the team. “They were not charred in the fire,” said Garg. The photograph of the vehicle showed that the car was completely gutted in the fire. “We can’t say how fire took place as the car was completely charred,” added Garg. It is suspected that the family was coming from South East Delhi when the incident took place. In an alleged video of the incident which was taking rounds in the social media group, it can be seen that one person holding a kid was crying. A car was also seen in flames. “Save my wife and children I don’t know how it happened,” the person said in the video. DCP Singh further stated that survivors told them that they were returning back to Loni when the incident took place. “There was the sudden spark in the front side of the car and the Upendra took the car in the corner and had only time to escape with one of the children,” said DCP East. In January, three persons were burnt to death and two others sustained injuries after a microvan and an SUV collided and burst into flames on Anand Vihar flyway in Shahdara.last_img read more