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Serena to meet Venus in all-Williams final at Australian Open

first_imgSerena Williams is one win away from a record 23rd Grand Slam title after setting up an all-Williams final at the Australian Open against her older sister, Venus.No. 2-ranked Serena Williams, a six-time Australian Open winner, overwhelmed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-1 in the second of the women’s semifinals on Thursday after Venus Williams beat fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3.”She’s my toughest opponent – nobody has ever beaten me as much as Venus has,” Serena Williams said. “No matter what happens, we’ve won. A Williams is going to win this tournament.”The 36-year-old Venus Williams is back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since Wimbledon in 2009 and her first in Australia since 2003, when she lost the only previous all-Williams final at Melbourne Park.Venus Williams tossed her racket after clinching the 2-hour, 26-minute semifinal on her fourth match point and put her hands up to her face, almost in disbelief, before crossing her arms over her heart. She then did a stylish pirouette on the court, smiling broadly, as the crowd gave her a standing ovation.”Everyone has their moment in the sun,” Venus Williams said. “Maybe mine has gone on a while. I’d like to keep that going. I’ve got nothing else to do so let’s keep it going.”Serena Williams’ celebration was more subdued after her 50-minute, one-sided win over 34-year-old Lucic-Baroni, who was playing her first semifinal at a major since Wimbledon in 1999. Lucic-Baroni took a selfie with her cell phone on the court before waving and leaving Rod Laver Arena.advertisement’VENUS IS MY WORLD, MY LIFE’Serena didn’t get to watch much of her sister’s match, but she knew the result before she went out to play.”Obviously I was really proud of Venus – a total inspiration, my big sister,” Serena said. “She’s basically my world and my life. She means everything to me. I was so happy for her. For us both to be in the final is the biggest dream come true for us.”Venus Williams has won seven major titles, but none since Wimbledon in 2008. Her gap between major finals is the longest for any player in the Open era. She’s also lost six of the eight Grand Slam finals she’s played against her younger sister, and is 11-16 in career meetings.VENUS DEFIES AGE TO REACH AUSTRALIAN OPEN FINALVenus Williams is the oldest player to reach a women’s major final since Martina Navratilova, then 37 and 258 days, at Wimbledon in 1994.The 25-year-old Vandeweghe was playing in the last four at a major for the first time and was the only semifinalist younger than 34. She’d advanced with back-to-back wins over top-ranked Angelique Kerber and French Open champion Garbine Muguruza and took charge against Venus Williams in the first-set tiebreaker.But Venus Williams rallied after dropping a set for the first time in the tournament, breaking Vandeweghe four times over the final two sets and putting pressure back on her fellow American.Vandeweghe said earlier in the tournament she’d admired the Williams sisters as an up-and-coming player, and once asked for Venus’ autograph. Venus Williams said one of the best things about her longevity in the game was having an influence on other players.”Growing up, all I wanted was to have an opportunity to play these tournaments. But then you get here and then you have an opportunity to inspire other people,” she said. “It’s more than a cherry on top. It’s more than I dreamed of.”Earlier, Bob and Mike Bryan earned a shot at a seventh Australian Open doubles title after a rain-interrupted 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 semifinal win Friday over Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.last_img read more

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2017-18 I-League: 4 clubs in line to win title today. 4 possible scenarios

first_imgWith all the eyes fixed on the glittered Indian Super League (ISL), I-League decided to serve one of the most exciting finishes to a league to snatch away the attention. The ongoing 2017-18 season is set for a dramatic finale like never before, even the All India Football Federation (AIFF) wasn’t ready for such down to the wire stuff and had to reschedule the final round of fixtures to give all the contenders equal chance.On Thursday, the final day of the league, four contenders across three matches will vie for trophy. Minerva Punjab FC, Neroca FC, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are all in contention to lift the I-League trophy.Table toppers Minerva will take on ninth-placed Churchill Brothers, while Neroca will travel to Kolkata to face East Bengal. Mohun Bagan will face Gokulam Kerala at Kozhikode. All the matches will be played at 3 PM to ensure a level playing field.Here’s how the I-League table currently looks like. Photo Credit: AIFFWe look at possible scenarios that could decide the winner. Photo Credit: AIFFMinerva Punjab (32 points)Top of the table with 32 points, it’s advantage Minerva. The club only need a win on the final day to win their first I-League title. In case of a defeat or a draw, the Punjab side will have to depend on favourable results from other two matches. Photo Credit: AIFFNEROCA FC (31 points)In their debut season, the Manipur club must beat East Bengal on the final away from home to win the league title. And, they will have to hope that Minerva lose their game against Churchill Brothers. A draw will not be enough for NEROCA as they lost both their matches against Minerva this season and in case of a draw, Minerva will win the title, even if they lose their match against East Bengal.advertisement Photo Credit: AIFFMohun Bagan (30 points)The Kolkata club will face Gokulam on Thursday and it’s a must-win game for them to lift the title. But along with a victory they will also hope that Minerva lose their game and NEROCA either lose or earn a draw. Photo Credit: AIFFEast Bengal (30 points)Khalid Jamil’s side must beat NEROCA in their final game to win the league. But they will also need Minerva and Mohun Bagan to lose their games.ADDITIONAL SCENARIOIn one scenario three teams can end with 33 points – if Minerva draw their game against Churchill, Bagan beat Gokulam and East Bengal pick up a win against NEROCA. In such a case, Bagan will lift its second I-league trophy as cumulative points collected from four fixtures will be taken into account.Bagan has seven points with a double over East Bengal and a draw against Minerva. Minerva has picked up five points (win and draw against Bagan and another draw against East Bengal) whereas East Bengal has managed only four (win and a draw against Minerva).last_img read more

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FOX Sports President Responds To Urban Meyer Coaching Rumors

first_img Unlike many others, FOX Sports president Mark Silverman doesn’t think Urban Meyer is ever returning to the sideline.In a piece about Meyer’s new role with the network, Silverman tells the Chicago Tribune that he thinks Meyer’s retirement will actually stick this time, unlike his departure from Florida, which lasted one season.Last time around, Silverman said he thought Meyer’s mind was still on coaching.In 2011, after he stepped away from Florida, Meyer worked as an analyst for ESPN. He was as stiff as the shaft in Bush’s driver.“I think he was still in the coaching mode, in between jobs,” Silverman said. “Now this is what he is focused on. I’ve noticed a looseness and an enjoyment. He’s coachable. And I think these guys will bring out a side of Urban that people have not seen.”Silverman first worked with Meyer as president of the Big Ten Network, calling him “hyperfocused.”That isn’t the case now, after Meyer joined his fellow Silverman and new colleague Reggie Bush for a round of golf. The FOX Sports executive thinks the former Gators and Buckeyes head coach has come to peace with his coaching career, saying that if you talk to him, “he is done with coaching.”That won’t shut down any of the rumors or speculation. The Tribune notes that even Bush says he’d sign for Meyer to take over USC if the job opens. For now, we are in a Meyer-less college football world, for at least a season.[Chicago Tribune] Urban Meyer after winning the Rose Bowl.PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 01: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer celebrates winning the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)It didn’t take more than a moment after he stepped down from Ohio State football that people have openly wondered where he will coach next. Few seem to think that the 55-year old national title winner is truly done with coaching.USC is the most bandied about program connected to Meyer. The Trojans’ Clay Helton is extremely hot entering 2019.Notre Dame has also come up, though Brian Kelly is in no real trouble. If he was to retire or head to the NFL, Meyer has called Notre Dame his dream job in the past.For now, Meyer is back on TV. He is set to work as an analyst for FOX Sports this upcoming fall.last_img read more

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Council awards five capital road improvement projects for 2018

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John City Council has approved a list of capital roadworks projects for 2018.DGS Astro Paving was the low bidder, with a bid of $4.2 million, the City had budgeted $4.8 million.  DGS will work on the following projects:86th Street Frontage Road Phase 1 – between 93 Avenue and 96 Avenue, (east of the High School); Phase 2 of this project, from 96 Avenue to 98 Avenue is currently budgeted to be completed next year. This road is now gravel, and this will be a full reconstruct with base construction, storm sewer, LED streetlights, curb and gutter, asphalt and water valve upgrades. 113th Avenue between 102 Street and 103 Street – this project is for the replacement of the A/C water main, full base construction, installing proper storm sewer, adding sidewalk and LED street lighting. This area is currently deficient in all of this infrastructure.103rd Avenue between 102 Street and 104 Street – this project is for full base construction, installing proper storm sewer, adding sidewalk, LED street lighting, replacement of sanitary sewer and upgrade to water services. This area is currently deficient in all of this infrastructure.111th Avenue between 106 Street and 108 Street – this project is for full base construction, installing proper storm sewer, adding a sidewalk. LED street lighting and the installation of water main for increased looping in the area. This area is currently deficient in all of this infrastructure.Lane south of 100th Street between 100 Street and 102 Street – this project is part of the downtown revitalization plan. The paving of this lane to improve drainage and accessibility was one of the critical components.The City received three complaint submissions for the work with Knappett Industries bidding $4.5 and L.B. Chapman Construction bidding $4.7.  One bid from G. Baumeister Ltd did not meet the requirements of the tender.last_img read more

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Pak says no terror camps exist on 22 locations shared by India

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said it examined the 22 “pin locations” shared by India but found no terror camps there and also claimed that it could not establish any links between the 54 people detained by authorities here and the Pulwama attack.Making public more details of Pakistan’s “preliminary findings” after India submitted a dossier to Islamabad after the Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber on February 14, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said it was willing to allow visits, on request, to the 22 locations. “While 54 detained individuals are being investigated, no details linking them to Pulwama have been found so far,” it said in a statement, a day after asking India to provide “more information/evidence” on the involvement of the JeM in the deadly Pulwama terror attack and the presence of camps of the UN-proscribed terror outfit in the country. Amidst intense international pressure on Islamabad after the Pulwama terror attack, authorities here announced the preventive detention of over 120 members of banned militant outfits in the country. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar’s son and brother were among 44 members of the banned militant outfits arrested by authorities in Pakistan,” Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi said on March 5. Ministry of Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan said Hammad Azhar and Mufti Abdur Rauf were among those arrested on Tuesday. Hammad is the son of Masood Azhar while Rauf is his brother. The Pakistan Foreign Office said, “Similarly, the 22 pin locations shared by India have been examined. No such camps exist. Pakistan is willing to allow visits, on request, to these locations.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIt said that in consistent with its commitment to cooperate, Pakistan on Wednesday shared “preliminary findings” of its investigations with India along with a set of questions. “Subsequently, the diplomatic corps in Islamabad was briefed as well,” the FO said. India handed over the dossier to the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi on February 27 with specific details of JeM’s complicity in the Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel on February 14 and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan. PTIlast_img read more

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Morocco Launches National Campaign Against Snake and Scorpion Bites

Rabat – The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the risks of snake and scorpion bites during the summer season. The campaign includes education campaigns for health professionals and the general population. The education campaigns cover bite responses, the improvement of care for victims, and the clarification of the role of the national commission against snake and scorpion bites, which was created in 2013.At the launch in Rabat, which took place at the National Center for Antivenom and Pharmacoviligiance (CAPM), the Minister of Health, Anass Doukkali, explained that approximately 30,000 scorpion bite victims and 350 snake bite victims are recorded every year by the center. He estimates the national strategy has helped decrease the fatality rate of bites from scorpions from 2.37% in 1999 to 0.18% in 2018, and of bites from snakes from 8.9% in 2011 to 1.7% in 2018.“The ambition is to reduce to 0 the number of deaths in Morocco, to improve the care offered by hospitals, and also to target the social and environmental factors that play a role in bites,” Doukkali explained.Read also: Morocco Provides 1,100 Anti-Venom Kits to Treat Snake and Scorpion PoisoningMorocco is home to a number of snakes potentially dangerous to humans, including the vipers and the North African Cobra. Two scorpions species are also potentially dangerous to humans.  At the press conference, the director of the CAPM, Rachida Soulaymani Bencheikh, emphasized the importance of collaborating with local bodies that have a role in preventing poisoning , including those which operate in the education and agriculture sectors.The Ministry for Health stated the campaign would involve training health professionals in how to respond to bites, standardizing the procedure for responding to incidents, the distribution of 600 anti-snake venom kits to hospitals and clinics, education campaigns in schools and rural zones on response tactics.The CAPM provides a 24/7 support telephone line for victims of bites, providing first point of call advice in the event of an incident. read more

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Sunday Leader journalist shot

Sunday Leader Journalist Faraz Shauketaly was shot at by a group of unidentified men in his house at hotel road in Mount Lavinia.Shauketaly received bullet injuries in his neck and was rushed to the Kalubowila Hospital. UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya, who arrived at the hospital, spoke to the journalist and later told the Colombo Gazette that his injuries were not very serious. Attempts by the journalist to get him back on the phone then failed. Minutes later the newspaper was informed that he had been shot.The house in which Shauketaly is staying is also a mini guest house. A group of foreign tourists who had just checked in a day earlier said they heard a commotion and screams and when they opened the door leading to Shauketaly’s room they found blood all over his body. Shauketaly had later requested to be transferred to the  Nawaloka hospital but the hospital said they do not admit gun-shot patients.He was later transferred to the Colombo National hospital to conduct an operation.The Mount Lavinia police said they were investigating the incident and had also provided security to Shauketaly in hospital. The gun-shot wounds were however not life threatening. Eyewitnesses said they saw three men running away from his room following the shooting incident. He was on the telephone with a journalist at the newspaper during the late hours of the night discussing a story which was to be published this Sunday when his telephone line got cut. “We then realized what had happened and got his car keys and rushed him to hospital,” one tourist told the Colombo Gazette.Shauketaly had mentioned on an earlier occasion that he had faced threats but had not reported the matter to the police.Doctors at the Kalubowila hospital said that shrapnel from the bullet had got lodged on his lower neck close to the shoulder. Director of the National Hospital Dr. Anil Jayasinghe said that Shauketaly has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital and tests are being carried out on the object believed to be part of a bullet which is still in his body. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Easwaran Rutnam; Pic courtesy Azam Ameen and Reuters; Video courtesy Sanka Vidanagama on You Tube read more

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UN independent expert on human rights and counterterrorism to visit Turkey

Martin Scheinin, who is unpaid and serves in his personal capacity, will meet with government officials, parliamentarians, the National Security Council, the military, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations while in the country from 16 to 23 February. The Special Rapporteur, as he is known, will gather first-hand information about past, current and future initiatives in the area of counterterrorism and these measures affect the protection and promotion of human rights. In addition to holding meetings with officials in Ankara, he will visit the Diyarbakir Province. Mr. Scheinin plans to meet with individuals affected by counterterrorism measures, as well as suspects detained or charged with offences related to terrorism, according to the Geneva-based UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). The expert, who previously served eight years as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee, is Professor of Constitutional Law and International Law and Director of the Human Rights Institute at Abo Akademi University in Finland. read more

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Yemen sliding into humanitarian crisis warns UN food relief agency

“Yemen is sliding into a humanitarian crisis,” the agency said in an update, attributing the situation to high food and fuel prices, rising poverty, a breakdown of social services, diminishing resources, internal conflict and political instability.The country is particularly vulnerable to rises in food prices since it imports up to 90 per cent of its main staple foods, including wheat and sugar.According to WFP, child malnutrition rates in the country are among the highest in the world with close to half of its children under five years – two million children – stunted and one million acutely malnourished. In response, the agency is scaling up its operations, and across all its food assistance programmes is aiming to assist a total of 5.5 million people by the end of 2012. Among those receiving assistance are severely food-insecure households, internally displaced people, refugees, pregnant women, nursing mothers, malnourished children under five years, as well as schoolgirls and their families. This month, WFP began a massive round of food distributions in response to the situation, with plans to reach 2.2 million people by December.UN agencies and their partners have requested $584 million for the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, of which 48 per cent has been provided to date, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). read more

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UNICEF to boost staff in Ebolahit countries UN health chief deplores lagging

As the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced today that it plans to boost its staff in countries on the frontlines of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the head of the UN World Health Organization attributed the lack of research into cures and vaccines for Ebola to the fact that the disease has historically been confined to poor African nations. “A profit-driven industry does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General said in Cotonou, Benin, in her address to the Regional Committee for Africa.At UN Headquarters, Dr. Peter Salama, Global Ebola Emergency Coordinator for UNICEF, told reporters that the agency will be doubling its staff from 300 to 600 in the three most-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – where children account for one-fifth of all Ebola cases.Dr. Salama also said an estimated 5 million children are affected and some 4,000 children have become orphaned from the current epidemic.He described as “terrifying” the epidemic as seen from the eyes of the millions of children in the three most affected countries where “death is all around them.”“Schools are closed, children are confined to their homes and discouraged to play with other children,” he said.In addition to those orphaned, the UNICEF doctor said “many more are sent away for their own protection” and are confined to “quarantine centres not knowing whether their parents are alive or dead.”UNICEF, he said, is reaching out to Ebola survivors who are often willing to work on the frontlines of the disease response at the community level in local care centres with community health workers. The Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, meanwhile, travelled to Sierra Leone today after visiting Guinea over the weekend. In both countries, he visited Ebola treatment centres in remote areas to see first-hand how the Mission can fill the gaps in the response. In Sierra Leone, he met with Ebola survivors in Kenema and visited a Logistics Base, run by the World Food Programme in the Port Loko district. He also visited the newly-opened Command and Control Centre, which is in charge of coordinating burials and ambulance pick-ups. Mr. Banbury will also travel to Liberia before he briefs the Security Council next Monday.In Cotonou, the WHO Director-General said that in the midst of the Ebola outbreak ravaging parts of West Africa in the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times, “two WHO arguments that have fallen on deaf ears for decades are now out there with consequences that all the world can see, every day, on prime-time TV news,” Dr Chan said.“The first argument concerns the urgent need to strengthen long-neglected health systems,” she said. “Without fundamental public health infrastructures in place, no country is stable. No society is secure,” she said. “No resilience exists to withstand the shocks that our 21st century societies are delivering with ever-greater frequency and force, whether from a changing climate or a runaway killer virus.” The second argument, the WHO Director-General said, is that despite the fact that Ebola emerged nearly four decades ago: “Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure?”“Because Ebola has historically been confined to poor African nations,” she said. “The R&D [research and development] incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay. WHO has been trying to make this issue visible for ages. Now people can see for themselves.”WHO also reported today that Senegal’s recent stamping out of Ebola was achieved not only through its rapid infectious disease control work, but also by using a novel SMS-driven platform originally designed to help people manage diabetes.As part of a massive public awareness effort, Senegal’s Ministry of Health sent 4 million text messages to the general public warning of the dangers of Ebola and how to prevent it such as: wash your hands with soap and water regularly; avoid all contact with people who are sick with or have died from Ebola; and do not touch or eat the meat of dead or sick animals (monkey, rat, warthog, porcupine, pork). read more

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Interview with Karen AbuZayd Special Adviser on the Summit on Addressing Large

A child’s view Education is highly valued among Syrians, who once enjoyed free, mandatory schooling before the war. The worsening conditions they have been facing in exile in neighbouring countries are having a devastating impact — some 90,000 Syrians of school age now have no formal education. This is one of the motivating factors for families trying to relocate to Europe. Shown, in Hungary, a Syrian boy looks up at police attempting to stop the refugees from leaving for Budapest. UNHCR/Mark Henley Transportation denied, refugees remain determined and unstoppable Stranded for days at Budapest’s main railway station as the Hungarian Government cancelled all trains to Germany and shut its borders to Western Europe, hundreds of mostly Syrian refugees, many of whom had already purchased train tickets, set out to walk the 250 kilometres (155 miles) to Vienna. UNHCR/Mark Henley Frustration in Hungary Forced to sleep outside for nights in a row at a ‘collection point’ and prevented from moving on to Budapest, refugees in Röszke, Hungary, confront the police. Some then broke through the police lines and set out on the road to Budapest. But by nightfall, most had been persuaded to go to a registration centre, which turned out to be full, resulting in their having to spend yet another night outside. By then, hundreds of additional refugees had arrived from Serbia at the original ‘collection point.’ UNHCR/Mark Henley Closing their borders Unable to cope with the flood of refugees streaming across their borders every day, some countries closed entry points along their borders. For example, the Hungarian Government built a fence along its border with Serbia and instituted a law criminalizing irregular entry into Hungary. Senior UN officials condemned the actions. Soon afterwards, the UN welcomed a European Union decision to increase aid to countries neighbouring war-torn Syria and to relocate 120,000 people within Europe, but said much more needed to be done. Pictured, refugees are seen through the razor wire fence in Hungary. UNHCR/Mark Henley Karen AbuZayd wants you to think of refugees and migrants in a positive way. The United Nations Special Adviser has been working behind the scenes since January to raise support for global compacts to support large movements of refugees and migrants. These will be up for discussion on 19 September 2016, when the UN will host a high-level meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim of bringing Member States together behind a more humane and coordinated approach. Ahead of that summit, the Secretary-General will issue on 9 May a report, In Safety and Dignity: Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.There are close to 250 million people on the move globally, of which nearly 15 million are refugees, according to the report. Close to 75 per cent of the people in the latter group come from just 11 countries and more than half of them are hosted in just seven countries. So how do you emphasize the positive contributions of people leaving or forced to leave their homes against the challenges of trying to help large groups of people? And how do you analyze the challenges shared by “refugees” and “migrants” while taking into account legal distinctions between the two groups? The UN News Centre spoke to Ms. AbuZayd about these questions, and her work with UN entities, Member States and civil society in the lead up to the Summit. UN News Centre: The Secretary-General’s report on large movements of refugees and migrants will be submitted on 9 May. What are the key findings?You treat the emergency, treat the development and help the people be happy with what they’re doing.Karen AbuZayd: Our findings are not going to be surprising because they describe the situation of refugees and migrants around the world in general terms; we don’t deal with any specific situation or a specific group of people. We’re talking about refugees and migrants everywhere and the report is addressing a global audience so we’re not talking […] just about Syrians or just about Europe, but about the refugees and migrants who are increasing in numbers around the world. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro (third from left), Chairman of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, and members of the Commission, Karen Koning Abuzayd (second from left), Carla del Ponte (left), and Vitit Muntarbhorn (right), speak to the press after presenting their latest report to the twenty-fourth session of the Human Rights Council. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre UN News Centre: What is your role between now and the Summit?Karen AbuZayd: It’s partly advocating for the report. We still hope to be in touch with Member States. We met with 80 Ambassadors on the way up to the report from January to now, and a lot of civil society organizations and anyone who asked to meet us. So from now on, we will just follow that up. We already have a number of travels and are placing the invitations to certain places that we want to talk about. We’ll go to the World Humanitarian Summit, we’ll be going to Brussels, we’re going to Gent, where there are agencies dealing with refugees. We may be able to visit some of the refugee-receiving and refugee- producing countries, and especially where there are large numbers of protracted refugee situations, which are extremely important and very much neglected. [For example] Kenya and Pakistan have such long-standing refugee situations and nobody really thinks about them anymore. UN News Centre: What are you hearing from Member States and civil society groups that you’ve met with? We have had nothing but positive, strong support from everyone we met with.Karen AbuZayd: We’ve already been surprised that they all want this negotiated outcome. I must say, we have had nothing but positive, strong support from everyone we met with. And we’ve met with all different sorts of countries. Some have reminded us that they are not just a country of refugees but they are a country that receives refugees in a country that produces themn, so they’re a country of origin, transit and destination; there are more countries than you think in that sort of situation. So I think even if there are some differences between the refugee-receiving countries and the refugee-producing countries, even then, many are speaking the same language. They are all very positive, very supportive, and are very interested in what we’re doing and what they’re going to contribute and I think in the meetings that have already been held by the co-facilitators, we’ve seen that, as well. We’ve been sitting in back of some of the meetings to hear what they’re saying and they’re looking forward to making this a successful summit – or High-Level Plenary as it’s called. So we’re quite pleased. Really, we haven’t had any pitfalls; no stumbling blocks yet.UN News Centre: What will be your message at the World Humanitarian Summit?Karen AbuZayd: The same message that I’m giving to you. Overall, eventually we’d like to have a better situation for refugees and migrants, so that when they arrive somewhere as refugees or move somewhere as migrants they are received well, that they are seen as assets. As for migrants there is no doubt: all the statistics show that countries need migrants. We know that there are aging populations here and there. There are people who need migrants for different sorts of work. I think people sometimes have to be reminded that migrants are a very positive element in society. Most of our countries are made up of migrants. But even for refugees, in instances such as when the Canadians took in some 25,000 people from the crisis last year, they said immediately the economy improved where they were settled, and that’s what happens. Refugees are very keen to make their contribution and to benefit the hosts being so good to them. And I think most countries find the benefit in getting people out of refugee camps and into jobs. We’ve had these statements made by people who say ‘when I give a refugee a job, he’s no longer a refugee.’ UN News Centre: With xenophobia on the rise, what can the UN realistically do to help?Karen AbuZayd: Well, we can talk about it, and one of our main recommendations is that we have to work on the narrative and making that narrative a positive one. And I think we might see the Secretary-General taking charge of starting a campaign against xenophobia and talking about the language and so on. And if he does that, I think that’s a really important thing that he will leave behind [at the end of his term in office]. I think that’s one reason he wanted to have this very important summit. He saw how crucial the issue is after last year and that we do have to […] address this better, we have to manage it better and we have to do it together and not just leave it, as I said, to the neighbouring State or to one receiving State. We have to get together and work on this. A nightmare crossing More than 400,000 refugees and migrants have undertaken the dangerous crossing to Greece in 2015 alone, up from 219,000 in 2014. People smugglers charge between $1,200 to $1,400 per person for the trip and cram as many as they can into boats, sending them out to sea without a captain. Many of the boats capsize. In 2015, nearly 3,000 people have perished or gone missing and the death toll continues to rise. Shown, a Syrian woman cries with relief as she embraces her three young children after a rough crossing. UNHCR/Ivor Prickett Donated shoes for footsore refugees Thousands of refugees arrive in Vienna, many having walked dozens of kilometres shod only in sandals and flip-flops. This has led to a huge demand for shoes. In response, locals in Vienna have donated shoes for the refugees to replace their worn-out footware. UNHCR/Michael Schöppl Temporary relief, long-term solutions The United Nations is working alongside Governments and partner humanitarian agencies across Europe to provide aid to refugees and migrants and ensure that their rights and dignity are respected. It is also working with countries to develop longer-term solutions that are effective, feasible and in line with universal human rights and humanitarian standards, including the right to claim asylum. Shown, in Hungary, near the border with Serbia, staff of the UN Refugee Agency install a tent for new refugees, thousands of whom arrive every day with the hope of reaching European countries such as Sweden or Germany. UNHCR/Olivier Laban-Mattei ‹ › And our findings are more recommendations – that’s the important part – which we address as commitments that we expect and hope that the Member States will be making [and] that will be negotiated now. These are mainly commitments to work faster when there’s a refugee outflow; to work more collectively, because no State can handle any of these – neither the migrants nor the refugee crises – alone. They have the earlier [unedited] version of the report, so they are already beginning to work on what kind of outcome there will be, and we’ll have to see which recommendations they agree to. They need to look not just at getting people to a place safely, which is one of the first things, but also to help them be included in the countries where they are staying; to have jobs, to have scholarships, to learn a language. All of the things that […] are on the development side. So you treat the emergency, treat the development and help the people be happy with what they’re doing.UN News Centre: The UN and the wider international community are pushing for a new approach to large movements of refugees and migrants. What could this new approach include? Karen AbuZayd: Well, what we’re recommending, and what we hope [Member States accept], are two global compacts. One is on fulfilling their commitments to refugees in terms of the legal instruments already in place, that’s really all they have to do, is to carry out things they’ve already promised to do. And for people, for nations, who have not signed up to the 1951 Refugee Convention to do so, and anyone who has expressed reservations to the Convention to lift [them] and fulfil it in its entirety. But also, too, UNHCR [the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees], has asked to come up with a comprehensive plan for whenever there is a large outflow; we’re talking about large movements of refugees and migrants, so when there’s a large flow which could be a crisis or emergency, they come up with a comprehensive plan for that emergency and that people immediately come to help. This way, it’s not just a neighbouring country that is always the one that receives the refugees. Often times, these places are as bad off as the country refugees have come from. So they need help with that and they need help in a development sense as well, not just through emergency aid and so on. And then on the global migration side, we’re talking again about a global compact, but one that looks at better governance of migration; generally, around the world, because there aren’t the same legal instruments as there are for refugees. So in that sense, people focused on migration issues are interested in having something worked out over a period of time. UN News Centre: There have been discussions about the need to differentiate between migrants and refugees. Why is that? Karen AbuZayd: Partly because there are different regimes for them. A refugee of course is someone who crosses the border fleeing persecution. [As for migrants], there are many different kinds: there are climate change migrants; there are forced migrants; there are survival migrants. But even when we’re talking about forced migrants, which people could say, ‘well isn’t that something like a refugee,’ migrants also move by choice as well, so we’re talking about millions of people, a couple hundred million people, who move every year. So there has to be some definition of who you’re really talking about. The rights of refugees are pretty clearly accepted. But migrants’ countries need to be reminded that migrants have human rights and that [they have those rights] even as they are moving as migrants. That’s why in our report, we consider the journey as well. We talk about leaving a country, arriving in a new country, and perhaps moving on to yet another country. So we talk about the countries of origin, what needs to happen there; countries of transit; and the countries of destination. And much of that is the same for both refugees and migrants, but they are two distinct groups of people with different needs that have to be treated in the appropriate way. The first chapter of the report in fact is data trends and so on, and the second chapter relates to the reasons for moving. For the refugee, whether its conflict or a bad government or lack of human rights, you know it’s still a refugee who deserves a certain protection [regime] when they get where they’re going. And migrants, of course, probably more often the great majority of them, are in search of a better life. So they’re leaving [because of] poverty, sometimes conflict, sometimes the kind of government they have, but with a little more free will, I would say, to make the decision [to move]. They’re not shoved out of their country or they’re not fleeing persecution, as it were, as the refugee is.UN News Centre: What will happen after the report is released? Karen AbuZayd: The report will be negotiated from now until the time of the high-level meeting in September. And then we hope the report shows up in all of the commitments that governments will make. This is something that’s done not by us but by the Ambassadors of Member States themselves. There are two Ambassadors facilitating the process – of Ireland and Jordan – an excellent team who are working with the Member States to come up with this negotiated outcome. I would have to say that when we first started, we were wondering if we were going to have to fight for this negotiated outcome, but we found that every country was in favour of one. They said we want a summit that has something that comes afterwards, that asks us for commitments. And that’s what we have in mind too. The report also checks that UNHCR will report on whether the commitments for them have been made in its annual report to the General Assembly. As regards migrants, it looks at bringing the International Organization of Migration (IOM) into a closer relationship with the United Nations so we have, within the UN system, a go-to place. That will help a lot in focusing [our work] and allowing the IOM to work around the world with the United Nations, as well. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) swears in Karen AbuZayd as Special Adviser on the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, to be held in the General Assembly in September 2016. Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Desperate people seeking refuge Fleeing armed conflict and persecution at home, and deteriorating living conditions in neighbouring countries in which they had initially sought refuge, people are risking their lives in growing numbers to find a safe place to live in Europe and beyond. Shown, at sunset, a group of Syrian and Afghan refugees arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos — the main point of entry for refugees to Europe — after making the crossing from Turkey in a rubber raft. UNHCR/Ivor Prickett New obstacles at every turn Travelling by land and sea from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, refugees and migrants face new trials and dangers at every turn. Migrant women and children are especially vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. Pictured, refugees approach the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Earlier clashes with Macedonian security forces were calmed when the authorities on both sides, with help of UNHCR, created a system to control the flow of people through the border. UNHCR/Ivor Prickett UN News Centre: You’ve worked with the UN for the past three decades. How has the situation of refugees and migrants changed over that time?Karen AbuZayd: I think it’s changed enough to see that when I first started working with refugees it was in Sudan with a million people coming in from three different sides of the country and with UNHCR’s help, then the Sudanese managed that. We’ve seen other large flows of refugees coming from Viet Nam, coming from Bosnia and it’s all been managed there has been a system set up to make it work – temporary protection here, the inclusion in development elsewhere and just, you know, refugee camps […]. But it seems much more dire now, it’s probably how fast they have come in or how many have come in. They’ve come into small places like little islands, [and it is] not fair to the island and not fair to the refugees either. So I think that’s why we have to look again at a special plan for each; when we can have this standard plan of going in and registering everyone in putting them in temporary housing or temporary tents or whatever. So there are differences and I think, not just more refugees and migrants, but also not as many people going back home, and that’s something that we had in parallel in UNHCR in earlier years. We had repatriation operations which were very happy ones because the refugees were going home, their governments wanted them home, the host governments were happy to see them go […], so you’re just not seeing as much of that happening right now. UN News Centre: What are some of the favourite experiences that you recall from your 30 years with the UN? They are trying to make their lives as positive as possible and do the best they can.Karen AbuZayd: I just mentioned repatriation operations, and if you’re working them, they are happy operations. But I worked in some of the most difficult places with refugee outflows. I worked and lived in Gaza for 10 years with the Palestine refugees. But I think what one always remembers is the resilience; it’s a word we hear a lot and is used a lot, but it is what the refugees manage to do in the midst of the worst sort of circumstances, terrible living conditions. You know they’re refugees in the camp [wherever they are] but yet they make things work and they keep things going and they keep smiling sometimes. And we just have to remember that the children growing up in these kinds of conditions need as much attention as we can give them so that they have some good memories of their childhood and are getting educated and seeing some positive examples of where they might go or where their family might go. I just feel I’ve had a really rewarding life. I’m very grateful for somehow getting into this refugee business and human rights business, because you really feel that there there’s a need out there and that you’re somehow helping to move others to understand that need and to maybe do something about it.UN News Centre: Is there anything else you would like to add?Karen AbuZayd: Just think about the refugee and migrant and think about them in a positive way. I did try to do that. They are trying to make their lives as positive as possible [and] to do the best they can.@media only screen and (min-width: 760px), screen9 {#PhotoHolder3 #PhotoCrop { max-height: 770px; /* sets max-height value for all standards-compliant browsers */ width: 134%; margin-left:-161px; margin-top: -580px;}#story-headline{ font-size: 4.2em; line-height: 1.2em; color:#fff; position: relative; top: 130px; xtext-align:center; margin-left:12em; text-shadow: 6px 6px 6px rgba(0,0,0,0.8); width:45%;}}#sidebar {display:none;} div#story-content .span8 {width:100% !important} #fullstory p { font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.8em;} read more

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The LA Kings Rediscovered Their Offense Just in Time

During the 2013-14 regular season, the Los Angeles Kings were the NHL’s fifth-lowest scoring team, notching just 2.4 goals for every 60 minutes they were on the ice. On paper, no team headed into the postseason with as anemic an offense. Yet fast forward a month and a half and Los Angeles is on the verge of closing out the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals partly because the Kings’ offense is sizzling. They put together a five-goal barrage in Game 4 against Chicago, and Los Angeles’ 3.3 goals per 60 minute mark leads all teams in scoring during the postseason.How did the Kings’ offense suddenly become so potent? During the regular season, LA converted their shots into goals at a paltry 7.6 percent rate, which tied the Vancouver Canucks for the second-worst shooting percentage in the entire NHL. In the playoffs, though, they’ve upped their conversion rate to 11.3 percent (including 14.5 percent against the Blackhawks), which ranks second among playoff teams. Since they’re not shooting more often (to the contrary — they’re actually averaging 1.6 fewer shots per 60 minutes in the playoffs than during the regular season), the Kings’ goal-scoring increase can be traced to the huge uptick in shooting accuracy.The Kings’ increased shooting percentage hasn’t been driven by facing a particularly easy set of goaltenders. Weighted by the number of shots they had against each opponent, Los Angeles’ playoff foes have had a composite save percentage of .913 during the regular season, which is slightly higher than the overall league average of .911 — certainly nothing that would explain a 3.7-percentage-point leap in shooting percentage. Nor has it been fueled by more time on the power play, where shooting percentages are higher: during the postseason, LA spent about 28 fewer seconds per game with a man advantage than they did in the regular season.One other place to look is where the Kings’ goals have been coming from. For example, during the regular season, LA’s shooting percentage was well below the NHL average on shots from the high slot, the space between the two face-off circles and above the hash marks. And in their Game 1 loss to Chicago, the Kings attempted three shots from that area, missing all three. But ever since, they’ve scored three goals on eight shots (a shooting percentage of 37.5) from a zone of the ice where they usually turn only 6.7 percent of their shots into goals. Since goals are such rare events, even a shift like that on just one section of the ice can lead to a big overall increase in scoring.Likewise, the late-season addition of Marian Gaborik, who leads LA in shots during the playoffs, and whose lifetime shooting percentage of 12.9 percent is well above the league average over his career, explains part of the team’s scoring burst. But it bears mentioning that while shot quality — and converting those chances into goals — makes a big difference in retrospect, it’s hard to tell how much is luck and how much is skill.In other words, the biggest reason the Kings’ offense has caught fire in the postseason may simply be good fortune, with some regression to the mean thrown in for good measure. Los Angeles wasn’t ever as bad at shooting as their regular-season percentage suggested (they were in the middle of the pack the season before), nor are they as good as their postseason run would indicate. The truth lies somewhere in between, and as we’ve seen before with hockey stats, it’s a truth mixed in with a lot of noise. read more

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Flexible Paper Phone will be the phone of the future

first_imgThough we saw another paper phone not to long ago, but the latest paper phone we’re seeing is much more high tech. Like the Kindle, it uses an E-Ink display and works by bending the phone into different positions to make calls, use apps, and listen to music.Created by research teams at Queen’s University in Canada and Arizona State University, the 9.5-centimeter (diagonal) screen is actually a lightweight flexible display. It’s said to feel similar to a bendable piece of plastic.AdChoices广告Its thin body resembles that of a paper document, but, according to the video below, underneath the screen is a “flexible printed circuit with resistive bend circuits,” which are used to identify the bending of the display screen. The user actually chooses the shape for each function. For example, you can choose to bend the upper-right corner to make a call, or bend the lower left to listen to music. These shapes are then recorded into the software, and when repeated, they send the appropriate action to the device.According to Prof. Roel Vertegaal, director of Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab, the phone does everything a normal smartphone can do. We don’t see any camera as of yet, so it’s missing a feature that’s extremely popular with smartphones, but we know it’s in the early stages, so that could be added in the future. He also said that with larger versions we’ll “no longer need paper or printers.” We’re not sure if we’d go so far as to say that, but it can definitely supplement the paper and printers we’ve used for so long.The Paper Phone is still only a prototype, but Vertegaal expects all phones to be like this in the next five to 10 years. The main question on our minds is if the number of pocket-calls will go up as a result of the user sitting down and the edge of their phone bending upwards.Read more at the Human Media Lab, via Dvicelast_img read more

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LESA entre en contact avec la sonde PhobosGrunt

first_imgL’ESA entre en contact avec la sonde Phobos-GruntMercredi, l’Agence spatiale européenne (ESA) a annoncé qu’elle était parvenue à entrer en contact avec la sonde Phobos-Grunt en orbite autour de la Terre depuis l’échec de son départ vers Mars le 8 novembre dernier.  La dernière tentative a été la bonne. Hier, l’Agence spatiale européenne (ESA) a annoncé qu’elle s’apprêtait à renoncer à tenter de contacter la sonde russe Phobos-Grunt bloquée en orbite terrestre après avoir raté son départ vers une lune martienne. Des opérations qu’elle avait rapidement entamées après l’échec du 8 novembre pour venir en aide à l’agence spatiale russe. À lire aussiSpaceX : un satellite d’Elon Musk manque d’entrer en collision avec un satellite de l’ESAPour cela, elle utilisait les antennes de poursuite et de télémesure de 15 mètres du réseau Estrack, situées à Kourou en Guyane, à Perth en Australie et Maspalomas aux Canaries mais toutes les tentatives avaient échoué. D’où sa décision d’abandonner : “l’équipe de l’ESA fera la dernière tentative pour contacter la sonde Phobos Grunt en utilisant les stations de son réseau Estrack, à la demande de ses collègues russes”, indiquait hier la direction sur Twitter citée par Ria Novosti.C’est donc avec grande surprise que l’équipe résignée a constaté que sa dernière tentative avait réussi. Hier soir, à 20H25 UTC, l’antenne de Perth est parvenue à entrer en contact avec la sonde que la Russie pensait quasi-perdue. Pour l’heure, aucune information supplémentaire n’a été révélée mais les équipes russes et européennes coopèrent désormais pour déterminer comment maintenir la communication avec Phobos-Grunt.   Le 23 novembre 2011 à 09:32 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Season 11 Trailer Teases Jodie Whittaker Mocks More Doctor Who News

first_imgStay on target It’s about time.The second Doctor Who trailer dropped Thursday, giving fans an exciting, if not mysterious, look at what’s to come this season.“I’m the Doctor. When people need help, I never refuse,” BAMF Jodie Whittaker says, dressed down in a button-up shirt, hammer in hand.(Did anyone else get chills?)A peek at the revamped sonic screwdriver and frantic glimpses of episodes set on alien planets (one with two moons and two suns) and spaceships is all the big bosses allow.But one minute of Whovian splendor—set to “Glorious” by Macklemore, featuring Skylar Grey—is enough to excite any fan, new or old.Perhaps even more thrilling, though, is the blatant absence of famous (i.e. exhausted) villains like Daleks and Cybermen. In fact, the trailer is suspiciously empty of all adversaries, save for some shooting lasers and explosions (which, for all we know, could be part of the TARDIS redecoration).It seems showrunner Chris Chibnall is sticking to his promise of all-new monsters for Whittaker’s debut—and the BBC’s no-spoilers policy.Series premiere “The Woman Who Fell to Earth”—written by Chibnall and directed by Jamie Childs—is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 7.Set in a South Yorkshire city (a nod to Whittaker’s northern accent?), the episode introduces Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole), Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill), and Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh), who meet a mysterious woman who falls from the night sky, unable to remember her own name.I’m getting “Are you my mummy?” vibes (via BBC)The second chapter, titled “The Ghost Monument”—also written by Chibnall, and directed by Mark Tonderai—throws the newly formed quartet right into the action.“If you’re a fan of the show already, it’s got everything you expect,” Whittaker said in a BBC interview. “It’s got new monsters, it’s got fantastic new worlds. It’s also got worlds that we’re familiar with, but are maybe seen from different points of view.“It honors everything that has gone before, but it then has a different burst of energy with all the new cast members,” she continued. “Doctor Who is for everyone and anyone.”What is she kissing goodbye? The former TARDIS, perhaps? (via BBC)Not everyone is so enthusiastic, though, about the casting of a woman in the lead role.Whittaker was recently filmed for Stylist magazine reacting to the Internet criticizing her appointment as the Thirteenth Doctor.Witty, charming, and all-around adorable, she takes the trolls (and the allies) in stride, proving she is not only perfect for the part, but that we should be best friends.“I think [audiences are] going to be excited by Jodie,” Bradley Walsh told the BBC.“Not only is she an exceptional actress, the energy she brings—because she’s still so young, the energy she brings is extraordinary,” the 58-year-old actor said of his 36-year-old co-star. “To keep up with her is hard work!”The Thirteenth Doctor makes her comic book debut (via Titan Comics)Keeping up with the Doctor’s antics, however, isn’t.Before lucky number Thirteen even reaches Earth, Titan Comics will release “the ultimate Doctor Who celebration” in the form of “The Thirteenth Doctor #0.”The issue—written by Richard Dinnick with illustrations by a host of artists—is both a beginner’s guide and tribute to the show’s 55-year history.“As the Doctor regenerates into her Thirteenth form, she relives unseen adventures from every single one of her past lives,” Titan revealed.The first installment of the Thirteenth Doctor comics goes on sale Sept. 26 for $7.99.You’ve got 16 days to catch up on all things Doctor Who here: Check out this year’s writers and directors, read about our favorite underrated villains of the past 15 years, and pick up some themed toy sets. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Doctor Who News: Art Blunder Delays Season 3 Steelbook, RIP Peter MilesDoctor Who News: New Logo Revealed, 7th Doctor Returns for Comics & More last_img read more

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Fatal Four Way match announced for next weeks WWE RAW to crown

first_img Joey Janela comments on backstage incident with Big Cass at WrestlePro Event J™ I’m making a bold prediction right here, right now: Big Cass will win! Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Comments are closed. August 24, 2016 at 1:12 pm Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipWWE Lists The Shields Top 10 WinsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayUnmuteDuration 0:00/Current Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Remaining Time -0:00 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list August 23, 2016 at 9:46 am My head says Seth Rollins, my heart wants Kevin Owens… Don’t want the show to end in boos so not Roman, if Big Cass wins we’d have another Reigns situation in our hands, pushed too early and undeserved. Twitter Roman Reigns Is Back, But Not Fighting For Belts Google+ WhatsApp I’m guessing its gonna be Seth Facebook Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Nextcenter_img 3 COMMENTS Former WWE star Big Cass reportedly has incident at WrestlePro Event in New Jersey WWE has officially announced a Fatal Four Way match for next week on RAW (August 29) live in Houston to crown a new WWE Universal Champion.The match came about due to Finn Balor being forced to relinquish the title after it was revealed he will require surgery for a torn labrum keeping him out for six months.A series of matches were held on Monday night in Brooklyn to determine who would move on to the Fatal Four Way next week to crown a new champion. Featured in the match will be Seth Rollin, Big Cass, Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens.Who wins the #UniversalTitle NEXT WEEK on @WWE #RAW? @BigCassWWE @FightOwensFight @WWERollins or @WWERomanReigns? pic.twitter.com/C29mWztx5M— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2016 Kevin Owens sends cryptic NXT messages after being “fired” on Smackdown Live Roman Reigns Making WWE Appearance August 23, 2016 at 5:21 am Now Playing Up Next Pinterest David Wells WWE Announces Roman Reigns’ Retirement Now Playing Up Next WWE Lists The Shields Top 10 Wins WWE’s Sasha Banks Confirms “No One KNew” About Roman Reigns’ Leukemia Now Playing Up Next Temi Abiolalast_img read more

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Tenacious D Announce PostApocalypto Tour

first_imgNews Email Post-Apocalypto was released shortly after the pair shared an animated film on YouTube with the same name. Black drew every frame of the film, which was entirely voiced by Black and Gass. Pre-sale for the tour begins on Wednesday, Feb. 13 and the general sale begins Feb. 15. For more information visit Tenacious D’s website. 2019 GRAMMY Awards: Complete Nominees And Winners ListRead more Facebook Tenacious D Announce Post-Apocalypto Tour tenacious-d-announce-post-apocalypto-tourcenter_img Twitter Tenacious D Announce Post-Apocalypto Tour The duo released the album in 2018 along with an animated movie on YouTube also called ‘Post-Apocalypto’Jennifer VelezGRAMMYs Feb 12, 2019 – 1:08 pm GRAMMY-winning comedic rock duo Tenacious D aka Jack Black and Kyle Gass have announced a tour in support of their latest release, 2018’s Post-Apocalypto.Country band Wynchester, who toured with Tenacious D in the Fall, will open up for the band on the seven date tour that kicks off in Morrison, Colo. on July 25 and ends in Atlanta on Aug. 5. last_img read more

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Seniors Find Few Options Beyond Medicaid

first_imgMarian Friedrich recently received a Medicare denial. Photo By Quinton Chandler/KBBIThere has been a rise in the number of people denied the Medicaid waiver after reassessment. Duane Mayes, Director of Senior and Disabilities Services or SDS says the department wasn’t able to conduct its annual evaluations of waiver recipients’ eligibility up until several years ago because of a series of lawsuits.Download Audio:“So literally for a period of seven to eight years we were unable to remove anybody that no longer met level of care from our waiver system,” says Mayes.Mayes says the lawsuits were settled three or four years ago and that made it possible to trim people from the program. In the last five years the department has carried out 8,253 reassessments for its waiver recipients in southcentral Alaska yielding a roughly 70 percent approval rate. That also left 2,464 denials. Marian Friedrich, a resident of Main Street Assisted Living in Homer, received one of the denials and she disagrees with the way her assessment was carried out.“When they came and assessed me the woman who did the marking paid absolutely no attention to any mental or behavioral issues. She entirely skipped a whole half of the form as if it wasn’t important anymore. To me if you’re going to throw away half the form you better throw away the whole form,” says Friedrich.Holly Chipps has been a Certified Nursing Assistant for 30 years. She’s worked at Main Street Assisted Living for the past two years.“It is a very vague list, and vagueness connotes insincerity. To ask a resident can you take a spoon, put it in your bowl, and feed yourself is not a fair depiction. Can they go to the store? Can they cook their own meal? Can they determine what is good food and bad food, prepare it and then feed themselves? No they can’t. That’s why they’re here,” says Chipps.To be fair, Mayes says the face-to-face interview isn’t the only research SDS conducts to determine a person’s eligibility. They check the questionnaire against medical records and the ultimate decision is reviewed by a third party contractor.And lastly applicants are given a chance to appeal a denial.Still, Chipps is certain not a single one of her residents in danger of losing their waiver can live by themselves. But, SDS has checked the paperwork and it says these people don’t qualify for that magical Nursing Home Level of Care. So for now, people like Friedrich have a couple of options. They can fight the system through appeals. Or if that doesn’t work, take the denial and try to get on the department’s other services.“There’s general relief, there’s personal care attendant services. We spend 100 plus million in personal care attendant services.  We also have about $27 million in grant services,” says Mayes.But these fallbacks might not be enough. Ruth Babcock, owner of Main Street Assisted Living, says General Relief is a temporary aid.“General relief was originally setup to deal with people who did not have any resources and were younger and maybe were injured. [They] had a health issue [and] needed a place to get well for a few months maybe,” says Babcock.The grant services are designed to help people before their health becomes so poor that they need round the clock care. And Personal Care Assistance (PCA) doesn’t necessarily guarantee all the services that could come with the waiver. PCA is also only available to people living in their home. People in assisted living centers would be left out.Mayes says he’s heard the concerns that their continuum of care is not comprehensive enough. Partly for that reason, SDS is trying to bring two new waiver options online. One of these will serve seniors who aren’t eligible for Nursing Home Level of Care. The problem is it could take two years for those tools to come online. They won’t be around to help Marian Friedrich, and another 8 of 15 residents at Main Street Assisted Living who could lose the waiver in the next year. Friedrich still has a ray of hope. Her lawyer from Alaska Legal Services found a problem in the paperwork she received from SDS so she’s clinging to that.This is the second in a three part series. To see part one click here.last_img read more

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CFPB Turns its Back on Fair Lending Enforcement and Reporting

first_imgBy Charlene Crowell, Deputy Communications Director with the Center for Responsible Lending and NNPA Newswire ContributorMore than 50 years ago, this nation enacted legal guarantees that fair housing would be available to all Americans. Despite this federal assurance, however, a disturbing and ongoing stream of reports and lawsuits remind us that we are still on an aspirational journey. Aggressive enforcement of fair housing and other anti-discriminatory laws are supposed to bring punishments for violators, and restitution for those harmed.But as with so many justice issues –either financial or criminal, what really happens in life seems a world away from the African American experience.Since its inception, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) mandate was to protect consumers from discriminatory lending as well as to ensure fair access to credit. In addition to violations of the Fair Housing Act, CFPB also has the authority to refer potential violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to the Justice Department.This June a coalition of 158 state and national advocates filed written comments against another recent deregulatory move planned by the CFPB. This effort would exempt hundreds of lenders from providing vital data that tracks the market and consumer access to credit.Despite these and other enforcement options, CFPB’s most recent fair lending report to Congress acknowledged a full year without any fair lending enforcement actions.“The Bureau must refer to the Justice Department (DOJ) a matter when it has reason to believe that a creditor has engaged in a pattern or practice of lending discrimination in violation of ECOA,” acknowledged the report. “In 2018, the Bureau did not refer any ECOA violations to the Justice Department…In 2018, the Bureau opened and continued a number of fair-lending-related investigations, however, it did not bring fair lending-related enforcement actions”, the June 2019 report continued.While CFPB turned away from fair lending, several 2018 lawsuits were filed mostly by private and nonprofit advocates. Their collective actions realized large settlements, fair lending reports and continued documentation of illegal breaches.For example, nearly a year ago, New York’s Suffolk County Federal Credit Union signed a $1 billion settlement rather than go to trial on discriminatory charges. The settlement resolved a case filed two years earlier, in 2016 that alleged Black and Latino consumers were denied mortgage approvals at a higher rate than that of the credit union’s white customers.Later that same year, in a regulatory examination of Citigroup, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) found that consumers of color were not receiving the same mortgage rate discounts reserved for its large-deposit customers. That case was referred to the Justice Department.Another 2018 discriminatory case involved lawsuits with several major banks on behalf of consumers in two Maryland counties, Montgomery and Prince George. The case alleged that as early as the mid- 2000s, consumers of color were steered into higher-cost, non-prime mortgages – a violation of the Fair Housing Act.Some might contend that this sample summary might not be fair to CFPB and its mission.To such questioning minds, I would add that this June a coalition of 158 state and national advocates filed written comments against another recent deregulatory move planned by the CFPB. This effort would exempt hundreds of lenders from providing vital data that tracks the market and consumer access to credit.Every year, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) report makes public details of the past year’s mortgage market. It is the only national report that includes the race and ethnicity of mortgage applicants, types of loan approvals as well as denials. Most importantly, the actual behavior of lenders – both banks and nonbanks record the total number of loans involved.By exempting so many lenders, the highly anticipated report would lose valuable clarity and irrefutable data.Among the organizations signing these comments were: NAACP, The Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the Center for Responsible Lending.“A large loss of HMDA reporting will create a distorted view of lending trends in these underserved areas and will make it more difficult for stakeholders to determine if revitalization efforts are succeeding,” wrote the housing advocates. “The overall impact of raising the threshold will be to frustrate HMDA’s purposes of determining whether credit needs are being met and whether public investment has succeeded in rejuvenating the housing and lending markets in struggling neighborhoods.”The coalition comments also include a litany of CFPB actions that have occurred since 2017, all with anti-consumer effects:Failure to issue any violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act;Declared its intent to ignore the Disparate Impact standard, a long-standing legal test that holds the effects of discrimination, not the intent are legal violations;Publicly praised the repeal of anti-discrimination auto lending guidance;Sided with payday lenders in their challenge of the Bureau’s payday rule promulgated under the previous director;Stripped the Bureau’s fair lending office of its supervisory and enforcement powers; andRelegated the development of regulation on fair lending for minority and women-owned businesses to a low-level concern.In many ways, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has failed to live up to its name and reneged on its mission.“This lack of enforcement demonstrates our journey towards fair lending still has miles to travel,” said Melissa Stegman, a CRL Senior Policy Counsel. “CFPB was created to protect consumers without exception.”Charlene Crowell is the deputy communications director with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.last_img read more

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Catch These Perfect Pokemon Gifts

first_imgPokeballs are where you keep your lovable Pokemon. They rest inside, ready to pop out and help you or battle for you whenever you call on them. For a long time, those PokeBalls looked pretty boring. They were red-and-white balls without much flair. But in recent years, in the games and the shows, trainers have had access to increasingly flamboyant designs. Now you can commission a PokeBall with any number of designs, like lightning bolts and cool lighting.$29.99+ from Etsy, Buy it HereStarry Night Pikachu Water ColorI like my video game art like I like my drinks: classy and sophisticated. If that’s your Pokefan’s aesthetic, you might want to consider this riff on Van Gough’s “Starry Night.” It’s a gorgeous watercolor centering on the franchise’s number one mascot — Pikachu. You can get them in several sizes ranging from 8×8 all the way up to 25×25 and there a few different designs other favorite ‘mon like Charizard.$18.00+ from Etsy, Buy it HerePokeball PostersIf paintings aren’t your jam, you can also grab a series of posters showing off some of the different kinds of Pokeballs. These original designs include depictions of some of the Pokemon that might live inside as well. If that’s not really your thing, you can find all kinds of original fan-made designs on Etsy ranging from stylized paintings of the original starters to dramatized scenes from the show. I cannot stress enough that if you just can’t seem to find the perfect thing for your Pokemon-obsessed friend, you might want to check Etsy.$20.00+ from Etsy, Buy it HerePokemon Coffee MugThere is no life without coffee. Or at least that’s how I operate. And if you’ve got an adult Pokemon fan in your life, chances are pretty good they love their java as much as their Pikachu. Why not get them a comforting reminder of their nostalgia and a portal to a blissful morning all in one?$14.99 from ThinkGeek, Buy it HereRealistic Pokemon StatuesThere’ve been a bunch of images floating around online showing what Pokemon might look like if they were a bit more… y’know… real. And one intrepid Etsy creator decided to start making plaster statues of these stylized versions of the lovable critters. You can commission whichever Pokemon you want by talking to the artist, and they’re a surprisingly good deal for what you get. So if creepy custom art is your jam, check these out.$59.00 from Etsy, Buy it Here Let’s be honest. From the beginning, Pokémon’s mostly been about the merchandise. Nintendo and the Pokémon Company have been all about the toys and the accessories and how those tie into the games and the show. With a motto like “Gotta Cath ’em All,” you can’t really expect anything else. The series is tailor made to suck money from your wallet.But… who cares, right? Like we get it. Pretty much all of modern nerd fandom is shuffling money around, and we all *know.* Plus, what’s the harm in giving Nintendo a few more bucks if you get a cute plushie?ZERO, I say. So with that… slight tangent, here are some of our picks for the best gifts to get your favorite Pokemaniac. Because the world of Pokémon merch is so diverse, we made this list to give you an idea of what’s out there, and who the major sellers are. If you’re a bit comfier giving money to another dedicated fan vs. Nintendo, Etsy is always a great bet, but we’ve also included Amazon, ThinkGeek, and a few others just to give you some extra options.AdChoices广告Pokemon Sun and MoonPokemon Sun and Moon are the next major entries in the 22-year-old franchise. With dozens of new pocketable monster, a bevy of new features, and a totally new region of the Pokemon world to explore, they’re going to dominate the scene in the coming months. They aren’t out quite yet, but if you’ve got a special Pokemon fan in your life and you know they weren’t already planning on grabbing the games, it’d be hard to go wrong here.$31.99 from Amazon, Buy it HerePokemon Go PlusWhile Pokemon Go may have fizzled out a bit since the summer, it’s still a wildly popular augmented reality mobile game for millions of players. The problem, of course, is that you still have to keep your phone out and the app open for it to work. That drains battery power and keeps you from using all the other features of your smartphone. With the Pokemon Go Plus, though, you can use your phone normally, and the gadget will notify you when you’re near a Pokestop, try to catch Pokemon for you, and help you hatch eggs without torching your battery.$55.00, Buy it HereKalos Region PokeDexThe PokeDex is the most basic tool for any Pokemon trainer. In a second it’ll analyze which Pokemon you’ve seen and spit out a few basic facts about the kinds of areas they like to live, how large they tend to be, and what their lives are like. This officially licensed bit of merchandise works for all Kalos-region Pokemon, which is the setting for Pokemon X and Y. Unfortunately, it’s been discontinued, but there are still plenty available for now. It works by scanning in figurines (sold separately, because of course, they are) and then gives some basic information on the Pocket Monster.$11.99 from Amazon, Buy it HereSnorlax Plushie HatYou, like all rational people, wish you could be a Snorlax. I know this because Snorlax(es?) are wonderful. Delightfully plump, carefree, super-powerful and amazingly awesome. Unfortunately, you can’t just *be* a Snorlax. They’re not… real. But! You can get a cute beanie with a Snorlax face on it and pretend.$8.86 from Amazon, Buy it HereSpecial Edition Kanto Gym BadgesIn our Ultimate Geek Store, we listed fan-made Pokemon badges that you could get for about $50 for a set. I’d still recommend you check those out, but if you want the officially licensed version, you can get those too… for a price. They run $179.95, come with a display and are remarkably well-made. But… for three times the cost. Not saying it’s necessarily a good value, just saying fair is fair and we showed you one, so we should probably show the other.$179.95 from the Pokemon Center, Buy it HereSpecial Edition Pokemon 3DS with Solgaleo and LunalaEvery new batch of Pokemon games with a new set of legendaries. Over the years, these creatures have fleshed out the Pokemon world’s creation myth. This batch features Solgaleo and Lunala, which are basically a sun-lion and a moon-bat respectively. If you’re in the market for a New New 3DS (yes that makes sense with Nintendo’s console naming scheme) then you can grab a special Pokemon edition New 3DS with this generations two legendaries features prominently on the back.$199.99 from Amazon, Buy it HereCustomized Light-up PokeBalllast_img read more