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A New Jersey man visited his autistic son’s school and clicked a picture of one of his projects displayed on the wall. That picture, along with an emotional post this father wrote, has gone viral on social media.Bob Cornelius made an emotional post on his Facebook profile after he noticed something heartbreaking in the photo of his son Christopher’s school project titled ‘The Inside Scoop’.The project worksheet required students to write their age, teacher’s name, members of their family, favorite food, sport, TV show, song and more. One blank was to write down the names of their friends, but on Christopher’s worksheet, the answer was “No one”.Realising his autistic son is finding it hard to make friends in school broke Bob’s heart. In his post, Bob talks about how footballer Travis Rudolph joined an autistic kid having lunch alone and how, post the incident making news, children ensured the 11-year-old kid, Bo, never had lunch alone. But he wonders, “Where were those kids prior to this child being thrust into the spotlight? We know where they were: they’re in the picture: sitting at other tables, ignoring him,” and says that is the saddest part, that children ‘are not taught to embrace and accept the differences of others’.Bob and Christopher. Photo: Facebook (BobCornelius) He also wrote how Christopher wanted to have friends invited to his place for sleepovers like his brothers, but could never do it, for he never had friends.”Christopher’s brothers have had many, many sleepovers over the years, obviously in front of him, and it has not gone unnoticed. advertisement”Can I have sleepover?” Christopher has asked.”Sure, buddy….with whom?” As a response, he would flap his arms and stim instead of answering. He didn’t have an answer because he didn’t have a name. Because he didn’t have a friend. He’s never had a friend.Ever.”Here’s the full Facebook post:Towards the end of his post, he says, “For the first time ever, I’m going to ask for two favor, here, on Facebook,” and requests people to share the picture he snapped on their profiles to create more awareness about autism, and that his son, like many other autistic kids, needs a voice. He also writes, “the child that will finally reach out to him, that will help him, that will include him, will be the kindest child, the child that does the right thing by going above and beyond.”Moved by Bob’s plea, people from many parts of the world reached out to him with kind messages. Like this one.Bob, learning that his post has gone viral with over 45,000 shares, updated the post saying, “Many of you have asked to send cards and packages to Christopher, so, please join the party. I will be posting his reactions online.”Bob posted this photo on his profile showing many gifts and letters that have come for little Christopher. He also posted a photo of Christopher, evidently happy, checking out the letters.American politician Sarah Palin shared the news on her Facebook page saying, “My heart breaks for these children; may God envelop them with His supernatural touch. Please remember the value of compassion shown to innocent children.”Let this story inspire all of us to be more empathetic towards people who are different from us, many suffering ailments they got without any fault of theirs, and to be more kind towards everyone.
RRB Group D Exam 2018: The Railway Recruitment Boards’ (RRB) Computer Based Tests (CBT) for recruitment of Level 1 or RRB Group D posts is expected to begin from September 17.Here are some important details and strategy by Kiran Tomar, Exam Expert, Onlinetyari.com, to help you with your preparation for upcoming RRB Group D 2018 exam:Tip 1: Exam patternThe primary focus before beginning any subject-wise preparation is to know and understand exam pattern as well as the syllabus. This will help you to become more familiar with the exam and remove all your fears before the RRB Group D exam. Note: Please note the above pattern is for the first stage of examination, i.e. CBT or Computer Based Test only.Tip 2: Understanding the exam detailsThere are a few minute details which every student should remember while preparing for RRB Group D 2018 examination, including:The exam will be conducted in three stages, viz, CBT or Computer Based Test; PET or Physical Efficiency Test, and lastly, document verificationThere will be negative marking in RRB Group D CBT Test (Stage-1). 1/3rd portion of total marks for the question will be deducted for each wrong answerOnly objective type questions will be asked in CBT or Computer Based Test for RRB Group D.Students who clear Railways Group D CBT exam will be called for PET or Stage 2 of the exam. Please note students need to clear this stage of the examination and then only they will be called for the final stage, i.e. document verification.advertisementTip 3: Subject-wise strategy and important topics for preparation:MathematicsTo master this area, you need to combine skills with strategy. This section tests your ability to interpret and comprehend graphical data and then answer the questions that follow. It is essential that you need to have an idea of all the types of questions that are asked so that you can attempt them in the correct manner.Important topics:BODMASPercentageRatio and ProportionTime and WorkPercentageCompound Interest and Simple InterestAlgebraGeometryTrigonometryReasoning abilityThe reasoning section, being a vast section, comprises a number of topicsThis section is considered both challenging and exciting part by most of the aspirantsThe only way to excel in reasoning section is developing an in-depth understanding of logic and regular practice.Important topics:AnalogyClassificationBlood RelationDirectionAnalyticalReasoningSyllogismStatement ArgumentAssumptionGeneral science:The preparation for science and technology section is quite different. First things first, finding the right study material is still a problemPiling up a huge stock of books and resources available in the market and cramming them up is NOT a solution. Mostly, all of the questions from the science and technology section are analytical/conceptual in natureA lot of them hold relevance because of the events going on around us. So, current affairs across the world go in-sync with your conceptual knowledge. All you need here is the right approach. RRB ALP general science exam is divided into three categories, which are, life science, physics, and chemistryA candidate can expect around three to four questions from each of these topics.Important topics:ClassificationLife ProcessesEcologySources of EnergyReproductionAcid Bases and SaltsMetals and Non-MetalsChemical ReactionsUnits and MeasurementHeatForceElectricity and MagnetismGravitationGeneral awareness:Most candidates are able to secure good marks in this section but there are a significant number of questions which candidates might find confusing. Watch current affair videos daily, read PDFs, and newspaper; note down important points, and revise them on regular basis.Maximum questions in this section are generally asked from the topics on current affairs in science and technology, sports, culture, personalities, economics, politics and any other subjects of importance.Tip 4: Practice, learn, practice, learn and practice more and learn more:After understanding the exam pattern and syllabus, the next most crucial step is to be prepared by practising as much as possible.Here are a few tips to remember while practising:Remember you are practising to crack only CBT or Computer Based Test. Therefore, keep your focus clear, crisp, and focusedLearn from your mistakes each time you attempt a mock testTry to avoid same mistakes and try to understand by viewing the method or explanation for the correct answer.’The more the merrier’, a quote apt in every stage of life, but mostly during exam-time. The more you practice the less are the chances that you will make a mistake in the actual RRB Group D 2018 exam.advertisementAvoid stress while practising. It is necessary to practice but it is also necessary not to practice too much. If practising is causing you stress, then try to move back to learning and switch to another subject.Tip 5: Build speed and accuracyThe last and most important part while preparing for RRB Group D 2018 examination is to have accuracy and speed.Here are some tips to build your speed and accuracy during the exam:Try to answer questions you know while you are practising.Analyse what you have answered correct and wrong; understand the reasons mentioned in the explanation or solutionsDecrease the time taken to attempt each mock testIf you follow all five steps mentioned above, we ensure that you will definitely be well-prepared for the Railways Group D 2018 examination.Best of luck to you!Read: RRB Group D exams 2018: List of websites to download RRB Group D admit card
India are just two wickets away from a historic win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after they reduced Australia to 258 for 8 on the fourth day of the Boxing Day Test on Saturday.Chasing an improbably target of 399 for victory, Australia were rattled by the pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah (2/53), Mohammed Shami (2/71) and Ishant Sharma (1/37) while Ravindra Jadeja also chipped in with three wickets to move the visitors within touching distance of victory.It was only Pat Cummins’ fighting half-century which denied India a victory on Day 4 as Australia went into stumps still 141 runs away. Cummins will resume the fight on 61 on the final along with Nathan Lyon, who was unbeaten on 6.India have never won a Boxing Day Test but have the chance to create history on Sunday, if the rain stays away. The weather forecast for the final day predicts more than an 80 per cent chance of rain throughout the day which might worry Virat Kohli and his team.Kohli earlier declared India’s innings closed at 106 for eight, setting Australia a mammoth 399 for victory on a pitch showing treacherous patches of rough tailor-made for Jadeja’s attacks on the left-handed batsmen.Australia seamer Pat Cummins earlier added two wickets to his four on day three, finishing with career-best figures of 6-27 before Kohli’s declaration.Opener Mayank Agarwal was Cummins’ fifth wicket for 42 when a ball nipped back and caught the bottom edge of his bat before clattering into the stumps.Cummins had his sixth victim when Jadeja gloved a short ball to Khawaja at short point to be out for five.advertisementPant was the final Indian wicket to fall with a typically swashbuckling 33 after botching a ramp shot that edged to wicketkeeper-captain Paine.Australia in reply, lost both their openers before lunch, with Bumrah having Aaron Finch caught in the slips for three in the second over, and Jadeja snaring the wicket of Marcus Harris for 13 with a catch in close.Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh then offered some resistance and stitched a partnership of 30 runs before Shami trapped the former leg-before early into the second session.Marsh then joined forces with Travis Head to add 51 runs for the fourth wicket but that was brought to an end by Bumrah, who trapped Marsh leg-before with an incoming delivery. Marsh reviewed the decision but was given out on umpires call.Mitch Marsh followed his older brother to the dressing room soon after as Jadeja snared his wicket with Kohli taking a sharp catch at mid-wicket as Australia went into tea at 138 for 5.Ishant then returned for a fresh spell after the break to remove Head, who chopped on an incoming delivery for 34.Tim Paine, who got a mouthful from Rishabh Pant when he came out to bat in response to the sledging the Indian wicket-keeper received from the Aussie skipper, tried his best to hang around with Pat Cummins but was unsuccessful after getting out caught-behind to Jadeja for 26.Shami then got the better of Mitchell Starc with a reverse-swinging delivery late in the final session before Nathan Lyon and Cummins played out the rest of the overs without losing their wickets.Cummins in fact, top-scored for the hosts and registered his career-best bowling figures and highest score while batting on the very same day.Also Read | Rishabh Pant sledges Tim Paine: Temporary captain, all he can do is talkAlso Read | Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami: Trio creates history in 2018
Sachin Tendulkar is known as the greatest batsman to have played cricket today but there was a time when not many knew about his magical talent. Back in the 1980s, it was Achrekar who trained Tendulkar and ensured the young boy played enough matches in Mumbai.After school, Tendulkar would get on Achrekar’s scooter and the pair would travel across Mumbai to play as many matches as possible.A hard taskmaster, Achrekar identified Sachin Tendulkar’s genius with the bat and gave India its most celebrated sporting star in history.The BCCI expresses its deepest sympathy on the passing of Dronacharya award-winning guru Shri Ramakant Achrekar. Not only did he produce great cricketers, but also trained them to be fine human beings. His contribution to Indian Cricket has been immense. pic.twitter.com/mK0nQODo6bBCCI (@BCCI) January 2, 2019Tendulkar debuted in 1989 and was one of several young talented batsmen to emerge from Mumbai. Twenty four years later, Tendulkar left behind all his Mumbai teammates and finished with 100 international hundreds and 34357 international runs.But Achrekar, who obviously knew what Sachin Tendulkar could do with the bat, had said way back in 1993 that he was far more talented than Vinod Kambli and Pravin Amre.Here is an excerpt from an India Today magazine article published in March 1993 where Achrekar talks about Sachin’s talent and expected him to go for his strokes:As India piled up its mountain of runs at Bombay, a banner suddenly sprang from the stands. “Shardashram versus England”, it announced simply.To the beleaguered visitors, this might have been as arcane as the mysteries of oriental spin, but the local audience took up the chant immediately.advertisementShardashram Vidyapeeth, the little high school in Bombay that has produced Sachin Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli and Praveen Amre was having the better of the exchanges. But where was the coach to which these colts were linked?While all eyes scanned the stadium in bewilderment, Ramakant Achrekar was tugging at his golf cap, muttering to himself and shaking his head at the venue of the Harris Shield semi-finals for Bombay schools.Both the teams trained by him, including Shardashram, had expectedly reached the final. The problem was that some of the boys were not playing their ‘natural game’.He saw Kambli’s century and Tendulkar’s 78 on television and summoned them to the ground early next morning. Didn’t Kambli know where his off-stump was, the coach wanted to know.For the full article, click hereAlso Read | Achrekar sir was strict but also caring and loving: Sachin TendulkarAlso Read | Sachin Tendulkar’s tribute to Ramakant Achrekar in his emotional farewell speech in 2013Also Read | Sachin Tendulkar’s coach Ramakant Achrekar dies in Mumbai
Paul Simon recently wrote a column for USAToday.com calling on President Obama to give children the high priority they deserve.“President Obama has placed the plight and vulnerabilities of the nation’s children high on his second-term agenda,” wrote the legendary singer/songwriter in the column, which he penned with Irwin Redlener, co-founder of the Children’s Health Fund. “In his inaugural speech… the president called on the nation to care for the most vulnerable, and ensure that ‘all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, (Conn.), know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.’“Just five weeks earlier, speaking at a memorial for the children slain at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the president said of caring for our children that, ’It’s our first job. If we don’t get it right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.’“We couldn’t agree more. But, getting it right will require a real commitment of effort and resources to make sure that all of our children are not only safe from horrific violence, but also able to grow and thrive to their full potential.“There are many obstacles facing children living in poverty — and it’s not just lack of access to doctors. Homelessness, food insecurity, mental and emotional health disparities, educational inequities, transportation barriers, danger in our streets and too many substandard schools, have made it extremely difficult for poor children to achieve their potential.“Despite isolated pockets of improvement, the outlook for children in America today remains bleak. We’re already a decade into the 21st century and our wealthy, industrious nation has 17 million children living in poverty. More than 16 million U.S. children regularly go to bed hungry and less than half of disadvantaged eligible preschoolers have an opportunity to get into an early education program.“We all legitimately worry about leaving our children and grandchildren with astronomical debt. But if we worry about long-term consequences that may well undermine the nation’s ability to remain economically strong and globally influential; we should have similar concerns about allowing another generation of children to grow up poor, undereducated and unprepared to contribute fully to the American future.“If equality, opportunity and growth are values that will drive the agenda for Obama’s second term, then protecting, nurturing and inspiring all of our children will become one of the president’s most enduring legacies.”To read the full post, click here.
TORONTO — The densely populated Ontario municipalities that have said no to cannabis stores are a “painful haircut” to pot retailers’ expectations, but some remain optimistic that some cities will give them the green light down the line, industry players say.Municipalities in Canada’s most populous province had until Tuesday night to opt in or opt out of recreational pot shops within their boundaries and 337, or roughly 81 per cent, said yes, according to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.While Toronto and Hamilton did opt in, other large centres such as Mississauga and Markham were among the 77 municipalities that said no, dealing a blow to would-be pot retailers who wanted to tap their dense populations and relatively high income levels, said Stuart Rolfe, an analyst with Veritas Investment Research.“These are huge head counts… It’s a painful haircut to your expectations,” he said.Recreational pot has been legal since Oct. 17 but currently can only be bought in Ontario through a government-run website. Private retail stores are set to open on April 1, but the provincial government limited the initial number to 25, citing cannabis supply shortages as a factor. Earlier this month, 25 entities were selected through an AGCO lottery to be able to apply for those retail licenses.After the lottery period ends on Dec. 19 of this year, the market will be widened to other retailers.Several municipalities that said no indicated they wanted to gauge the ramifications of retail cannabis elsewhere, and will reconsider allowing pot shops in their own region at a later date.Under AGCO rules, those who opt out can change their mind at a later date but the decision to opt in cannot be reversed.Much can change in the next six to 12 months, said Nick Kuzyk, chief strategy officer of retailer High Tide Inc., which has a half-dozen stores open in Alberta and 28 under construction.“The municipalities that have opted out will be monitoring those that opted in… It will be interesting to see who will revisit and change their decision at a later time. And it’s up to industry and the operators of these 25 stores to earn those opt-ins, and make municipalities feel comfortable.”High Tide’s entry into the Ontario cannabis retail lottery was not selected, but Kuzyk said the company continues to be in discussions with some of the 25 winners. The company has roughly 20 conditional leases on retail properties in Ontario, but will wait to see how things unfold over the lottery time period, and whether the cannabis supply situation abates, he added.These decisions to allow or ban cannabis stores also has an impact on licensed producers that, along with their affiliates, cannot have a retail license under AGCO rules but can do farm gate sales at one of their cultivation facilities, down the line.As well, expect cannabis retailers to set up shop near municipalities that have opted out, said Brenna Boonstra, director of quality and regulatory at Cannabis Compliance Inc., as residents look beyond their town borders to buy pot.“You could reasonably expect to gain business from the municipality that opted out, if they are in close proximity,” she said.Cannabis Compliance is working with lottery winner Clint Seukeran, owner of CGS Foods Inc., whose first choice for a location, Brampton, opted in, said Boonstra.There is still a considerable constituent of stakeholders, such as residents of these towns and cities, that can accept cannabis in principle but not in their backyard, said Rolfe. However, saying no to legal cannabis stores may not keep pot out, he said.“That’s the dilemma,” Rolfe said. “You have the opt out, but then you also have the illegal market that will then be able to set up, and perhaps deal with the fines whenever they come and wait out the police raids.” Armina Ligaya, The Canadian Press
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today accused the United Nations (UN) of being biased and working under an agenda influenced by the West.JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the recent actions of the UN have shown that they work towards making the US and other Western nations happy. The JVP MP also said that the UN supports the military goals of some countries including the US.He said that under these circumstances no country can expect the UN to protect their sovereignty or stand for their rights. (Colombo Gazette) Audio Playerhttp://colombogazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ANURA-UN.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.
by Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press Posted Oct 8, 2013 1:29 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama called the top Republican in the GOP-controlled House Tuesday, telling Speaker John Boehner once again that he won’t negotiate over reopening the government or must-pass legislation to prevent a U.S. default on its obligations.In the second week of the partial government shutdown, Obama’s call, revealed by Boehner’s office, came as the speaker softened the tone of his rhetoric in remarks to the media and as Democrats controlling the Senate planned to move quickly toward a vote to allow the government to borrow more money by raising the statutory limit on the federal debt.The White House confirmed the call and said Obama repeated to Boehner “what he told him when they met at the White House last week: the president is willing to negotiate with Republicans — after the threat of government shutdown and default have been removed — over policies that Republicans think would strengthen the country.”“I want to have a conversation. I’m not drawing lines in the sand. It is time for us to just sit down and resolve our differences,” said Boehner, R-Ohio.He added: “There’s no boundaries here. There’s nothing on the table, there’s nothing off the table.”For his part, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he is willing to negotiate over the budget but only after the government is funded and the debt ceiling lifted.“All we’re asking is that government be reopened. Stop threatening a catastrophic default on the nation’s bills,” the Nevada Democrat said.A spokesman said Reid could unveil the debt limit measure as early as Tuesday, setting the table for a test vote later in the week. The measure is expected to provide enough borrowing room to last beyond next year’s election, which means it likely will permit $1 trillion or more in new borrowing above the current $16.7 trillion debt ceiling that the administration says will be hit on Oct. 17. It’s not expected to include new spending cuts sought by Republicans.GOP aides said that the House vote would set up a new bipartisan panel to negotiate reopening the government and avoiding a default, tied to legislation to make sure federal employees who are required to work during the partial shutdown get paid on time.Those affected include families of service members killed in action. Survivors are typically sent a $100,000 payment within three days to help with costs such as funeral expenses. Because of the shutdown, the Defence Department doesn’t have the authority to make the payments, officials said Monday, even though most of the department’s civilian workers have been recalled.Some 350,000 civilian Defence Department workers were summoned back to work Monday as the result of legislation Congress passed and Obama signed after the shutdown began. Many other agencies, such as NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency, remain mostly shuttered.Even the White House is feeling the effects, with about 3 out of 4 staffers furloughed.It’s not clear whether Reid’s gambit will work in the Senate. Republicans are expected to oppose the measure if it doesn’t contain budget cuts to make a dent in deficits. The question is whether Republicans will try to hold up the measure with a filibuster. Such a showdown could unnerve the financial markets.Until recently, debt limit increases have not been the target of filibusters; the first in memory came four years ago, when Democrats controlled the Senate with a filibuster-proof 60 votes.Many Republicans in the Senate, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Whip John Cornyn of Texas, have voted for so-called clean debt limit increases during Republican administrations.Some Republicans seemed wary of participating in a filibuster that could rattle the stock and bond markets.“We shouldn’t be dismissing anything out of hand, whether it’s the debt ceiling or what we’re going to do with this government shutdown,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said. “We’ve got a situation where you’ve got a calendar running, you’ve got people who are frustrated and upset, so let’s figure it out.”The impasse over the shutdown — sparked by House Republicans’ insistence that a temporary funding bill contain concessions on Obama’s health care law — shows no signs of breaking, as each side sticks to its guns and repeats its talking points.Democrats from Obama on down to the most junior lawmakers said again that the House should vote immediately on ending the partial closure of the government. Obama said that Boehner “doesn’t apparently want to see the … shutdown end at the moment, unless he’s able to extract concessions that don’t have anything to do with the budget.”Boehner, in rebuttal Monday, called on Obama to agree to negotiations on changes in “Obamacare” and steps to curb deficits, the principal GOP demands for ending the shutdown that began with the Oct. 1 beginning of the new fiscal year, and eliminating the threat of default. “Really, Mr. President. It’s time to have that conversation before our economy is put further at risk,” Boehner said on the House floor.The White House has said repeatedly the president will not negotiate with Republicans until the government is fully reopened and the debt limit has been raised. But it hasn’t said the debt limit measure has to be completely “clean” of add-ons.White House aide Jason Furman told reporters the White House could accept some add-ons if Boehner “needs to have some talking point for his caucus that’s consistent with us not negotiating … that’s not adding a bunch of extraneous conditions.” Another White House official, Gene Sperling, said the administration could be open to an interim, short-term debt limit extension to prevent a catastrophic default.Republicans were sticking with a strategy of trying to pin the blame for the shutdown on Obama for being unwilling to negotiate. The House also passed legislation Monday to reopen the Food and Drug Administration, the latest in a series of piecemeal funding bills to advance through the GOP-controlled chamber.It’s been commonly assumed that Republicans would suffer politically from the shutdown and the early polling data seems to bear that out.A survey released Monday by The Washington Post and ABC News said disapproval of Republican handling of the budget showdown was measured at 70 per cent, up from 63 per cent a week earlier. Disapproval of Obama’s role was statistically unchanged at 51 per cent. Obama to Boehner: No talks until government reopens
UN Photo/Eskinder DebebeMark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefs the Security Council on the situation in Syria.During a recent visit to Saqba and Kafr Batna in eastern Ghouta, UN staff observed the resumption of some services, with electricity, education and health facilities starting up once more, and a limited number of businesses and markets reopening.“But it was clear that there are huge unmet needs, and extensive destruction of civilian infrastructure,” Mr. Lowcock said.There had been almost 200,000 people who reportedly stayed in the suburb throughout the fighting. The authorities report that more than 10,000 people have returned to eastern Ghouta from Rural Damascus over the past two weeks, makes access to the area even more critical.The Government has already approved an inter-agency convoy to provide aid for 70,000 people living in the capital of the enclave, Duma, but it has not yet left, he said, reiterating a request to the government to move ahead with providing greater access to eastern Ghouta.The situation in the northwestern province of Idlib is alarming, Mr. Lowcock said, noting that on-going airstrikes, clashes between armed groups, overcrowding and severely stretched basic services, are deepening the suffering of both displaced people who have fled there and host communities.More than 80,000 newly-displaced people have arrived in the area since March, which is the last remaining Syrian province not under the control of government forces. “Keeping pace with the increase in needs in Idlib has involved redirecting resources from other activities,” he said.Many of the most recent new arrivals in Idlib have come from northern rural Homs. Some 35,000 people were evacuated from this area earlier this month, after a significant escalation in violence there. “Those two million people, in places like northern rural Homs, Douma and southern Damascus, are some of the most desperate in the country,” Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said during his briefing to the 15-member body.Only six inter-agency convoys have reached those areas since January, providing relief for 169,000 people, which is “less than 20 per cent of the people we would like to be reaching,” he added.Updating members on the situation in formerly rebel-held eastern Ghouta, Mr. Lowcock, who is also Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said he had released $16 million from the Syria Humanitarian Fund to support people in that area – now under government control.The Damascus suburb was recaptured after years of siege in April, following an intense battle, and the Syrian government asked the UN to provide assistance to local people there.
Tempête Xynthia : 170.000 clients France Télécom privés de ligneFrance – Environ 170.000 clients de France Télécom auraient été privés de ligne téléphonique suite à la tempête Xynthia qui a touché une grande partie de la France ce week-end.Ces interruptions ont eu lieu principalement dans les régions du Centre, du Poitou-Charentes et des Pays de la Loire. Les clients sont privés de téléphone fixe et/ou d’Internet haut débit. Le groupe a annoncé que “plus de 2.000 techniciens et spécialistes réseaux sont au travail depuis hier afin de rétablir les communications”.À lire aussiNomophobie : traitement, symptômes, qu’est-ce que c’est ?Plusieurs centaines de sites techniques ont été privés d’électricité suite aux vents violents et aux inondations qu’a causé la tempête. L’énergie sera donc provisoirement fournie par des groupes électrogènes. S’ajoute à cela la coupure de plus de 100.000 lignes terminales. Selon France Télécom, “la réparation de l’ensemble de ces lignes individuelles nécessitera de l’ordre de 2 à 3 semaines”.De même, plus de 1.000 antennes relais ne sont plus alimentées, les utilisateurs de téléphone portable risquent donc d’avoir quelques problèmes avec leur matériel.Le 1 mars 2010 à 14:32 • Emmanuel Perrin
Automatonophobics, beware: Virtual reality porn producers VR Bangers recently introduced the “POV Head Rig”—a disembodied mannequin head that “adds a personal touch” to adult-related scenes.The nightmarish doll serves as an “approximation” to a human head, with shiny camera lenses for eyes and microphones sprouting from its ears.“This rig was built especially for adult VR scenes because we noticed that there is a much warmer and more intimate emotional attachment between the performer and the recording device if the device itself can be kissed, caressed and whispered to in the same sort of ways that a real person would sense those subtle communications,” VR Bangers CTO Boris Smirnoff said in a statement.Stereoscopic cameras capture 4K resolution at 60 frames-per-second through optics on the front, back, and top of the dummy’s noggin; binaural sound microphones in both ears “add a level of realism to each whisper, moan and shift in sound,” the executive said.VR BangersThe firm is known for advances in stitchless virtual reality post-production and initially intended to show off its new rig at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in January. But were allegedly denied “because they still think this industry and tech are different or something,” according to Smirnoff.“The truth is that our industry has always been at the forefront of improving interpersonal technologies,” he added.In fact, video sharing network Pornhub last year added a virtual reality category to its site; videos powered by BaDoinkVR can be viewed through most VR headsets, including Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and Google Cardboard.Similarly, VR Bangers’ content is accessible via the PlayStation VR, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Google Cardboard using an Android smartphone. Membership to the site is also required.“The content we are recording with this new rig is extraordinary, and the feedback our fans are giving us at the shows demonstrates that we are definitely moving in the right direction,” Smirnoff said. “Virtual reality is no longer a future technology. It’s happening right now.” Stay on target British Airways Tests VR Entertainment on Select First-Class FlightsGeek Pick: HP Reverb Is Clear-Eyed Virtual Reality
The Ghana National Team footballer believes he can has his “best season yet” with The MagpiesWith two years already with Newcastle. And having been transferred to The Magpies last season.Ghana international Christian Atsu believes the 2018-2019 season could be the best one with his club.The winger started playing professionally with Porto in 2011. But was loaned six times.Two seasons ago he managed to be loaned to Newcastle and made such an impression that the team bought him.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…Now he has to demonstrate why the team had so much faith in him.“I want to be more consistent in the games I play, score more goals and assist more,” he told ESPN.“Last season was the first time in many years that I started a season knowing I was here long term and it helped,” he added.“This will be a big season for me and I have a feeling it will be my best season yet too”, he said.
Chelsea legend John Terry thinks Jose Mourinho lacks strong leaders and personalities he needs to succeed at Manchester United.The Red Devils have suffered two defeats in four matches which have left the Old Trafford outfit in 10th position.However, the former Chelsea skipper believes Mourinho must first find “personalities” like Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba to set the standard.“At every club, he has had big characters, and I’m not sure he has that at Manchester United at the moment. At Chelsea, he did,” Terry told the Daily Mail.Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“You have to stand up and turn up at training every day and show him that you want to win at all costs. If you’ve got that, he’s 100 percent on your side.“I do think he’ll bring success to United, but it needs patience.“My top three for this season will be decided between City, Liverpool, and Chelsea. That leaves United and Spurs fighting for fourth.”
As part of the ongoing effort by ASA and the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance to elevate the importance of market access for agriculture in China, ASA and other producer groups have joined together in outreach to the Administration. Along with the U.S. Grains Council, National Corn Growers Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation, ASA has engaged with officials from the National Security Council and the U.S. Department of State to raise the issue of biotechnology approvals in China.President Obama is expected to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Beijing this November, where he will meet with President Xi Jinping. In meetings with key officials of the Administration, ASA has stressed the importance of high level and broad U.S. Government engagement with China on these issues, and requested that the issue be addressed during the President’s agenda on his trip to the APEC Summit.In addition to engaging with China during the APEC summit, ASA and the other producer groups have requested that Secretary Lew of the U.S. Treasury Department raise the issue of regulatory approval procedures for biotechnology products in conversations with Vice Premier Li.“China is a key export market for U.S. farmers. Exports of U.S. corn, soybeans and dried distillers grains to China totaled over $16 billion in 2013,” the letter to Secretary Lew states. “This trade has been put at risk by China’s restrictive regulatory approval procedures for biotechnology products.”Click here to read the entire letter.
Car manufacturer Volvo Cars has introduced a new parental leave policy for sales employees in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).The gender-neutral policy was announced on 6 May 2019, and offers both mothers and fathers six months of leave with 80% pay. The new paid parental leave policy is a pilot that could lead to the roll-out of a similar scheme to all 43,000 global Volvo Cars employees.The initiative seeks to equalise paid parental leave for both men and women, and forms part of Volvo Cars’ people strategy, which aims to attract and retain the best people.Hanna Fager, head of people experience, HR, said: “The EMEA initiative is one of several activities with the aim to create an inclusive culture and attract and retain a diverse set of people.“It improves life-work balance, boosts family time and fits with a progressive, human-centric [organisation] such as Volvo Cars.“We need to be a truly attractive employer to be able to deliver on our ambitious growth plans. Attracting and retaining the best people is crucial, and we know that skilled talents will be more selective in their choice of employer.“The winners in this battle for talent will be [employers] that value diversity, modern and flexible working practices, and employee wellbeing.”
In the last week the fragile newsstand distribution system has essentially broken down. Two of the four major wholesalers have, in effect, exited the business. Publishers and the remaining wholesalers are scrambling to pick up the scattered pieces. If this wasn’t enough, the recently-released second-half 2008 ABC and BPA newsstand sales data revealed (based on a preliminary analysis) that the unit sales of audited publications fell a devastating 14.9 percent and the revenue declined a record 6.7 percent. The story behind the dysfunctional newsstand distribution business is so convoluted that it makes Tim Geithner’s stimulus plan explanation seem clear by comparison. But regardless of its complexities one thing is sure—there is plenty of blame to go around for the collapse of the distribution channel. It includes wholesalers seeking massive unilateral price increases and a ranting former channel partner that apparently would rather sue than try to find a reasonable solution. Equally culpable are the publishers and their National Distributor representatives that have allowed, largely for competitive considerations, channel conditions to reach these devastating proportions. However, the second half sales data shows there are other considerations besides a crumbling infrastructure that are troubling the newsstand industry. Prior to the recent distribution system meltdown, the sales declines reached epic scale in the second half of last year. In the last decade unit sales have fallen an average of about 3 percent per year while revenue decreased only about 0.3 percent annually. In the first half of last year the pace of unit sales decline began to accelerate at a slightly faster rate. This deterioration can be traced to record cover price increases, especially those initiated by Bauer, the industry’s unit sales leader. But in the second half of last year the relatively minor sales erosion trend turned into an avalanche. There is no doubt that poor economic conditions have acerbated the situation But dramatic cover price increases, which grew by a record 9.7 percent (from an average of $3.52 to $3.86), have accelerated the sales decay. Publishers who are keenly aware of the inelasticity of subscription pricing seem to have ignored that principle in regard to cover pricing. The lack of cover pricing discipline has come back to bit publishers in the behind. Checkout Titles Get the WorstThe sales slide in the second half of last year affected nearly every publisher and every magazine category. However, the adverse effect was most pronounced among checkout titles. Checkout sales, which account for about 70 percent of the newsstand revenue of audited publications, drive the newsstand market. Within the checkout sector, the sales of celebrity titles have the greatest influence.Over the last five or six years, celebrity titles have lead a newsstand sales surge. But the celebrity sales bubble may be ready to burst. In the second half of last year the unit sales of the six major celebrity titles (People, US, In Touch, Star, OK!, and Life & Style) declined 20.3 percent, and experienced its first ever revenue fall—6.9 percent. Among the celebrity titles People sales were the anomaly. Its unit sales were relatively stable (declined only 0.8 percent), but the sales of the other five titles in the celebrity category fell a combined 27 percent. This decline appears to be a result of the 2007 mega-price increases (50 percent) for the two Bauer celebrity publications In Touch and Life & Style. These pricing changes have been a market catalyst for reducing the number of multiple title purchases and concentrating sales on People to the detriment of the other celebrity publications. This, in turn, appears to have had an adverse impact on the sales of non-celebrity checkout titles, whose unit sales fell a steep 15.9 percent. Among the 68 checkout titles only 6 reported unit sales gains—In Style, Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Vogue and the beleaguered Entertainment Weekly. The newsweeklies, which have struggled for the last few years at the newsstand, were helped in the second half of last year by the intense interest in the Presidential campaign and the Obama-effect (Economist was also one of a handful of titles whose unit sales rose).The sales of publications sold on the mainline, however, declined only a relatively modest 5.3 percent in units and 2.9 percent in revenue. This performance, although not robust, was inline with recent mainline sales results. Mainline sales were helped by the fact that its publications only increased average cover price by 2.5 percent in the second half of last year. This compares to the massive 11.5 percent cover price increase for checkout titles. Sales Erosion Wide-Spread Among Publishing CompaniesThe sales decrease was greatest among checkout titles, but nearly all publishing companies suffered sales difficulties. Among the top 50 newsstand companies only three—Newsweek, Economist and Lindy’s—reported unit sales increases. In many instances the sales declines were huge. For example, among the top 10 companies everyone experienced a unit sales decline. Six of the top 10 companies reported declines of more than 20 percent—#2 Bauer 22.9 percent, #4 Hearst 25.5 percent, #5 Wenner 22.4 percent, #7 Source Interlink 22.8 percent, #8 Meredith 21.5 percent and #9 Northern & Shell (OK!) 20.8 percent. The units sales of #3 American Media were off 14.3 percent and #6 Conde Nast reported a 10.0 percent decline. Only #1 Time, Inc. and #10 Rodale came through relatively unscathed with modest declines of 2.4 and 4.5 percent respectively. These results clearly show that size alone does not provide protection against the ravages of a volatile market.Put Differences Aside Cavalier cover price increases and harsh economic conditions lead to record sale declines in the 2nd half of 2008. But those declines will look small in comparison to the havoc that is likely to ensue as a result of a partially collapsed newsstand distribution channel. The distribution system is precariously close to imploding. It’s now up to National Distributors to put petty differences aside and demonstrate the leadership to find a more permanent solution for stabilizing the magazine newsstand distribution channel. There’s a lot at stake here – the time for rescuing the toxic newsstand channel assets, without government intervention, is now.
This week, 49 voices heads to the Bear Tooth Theater in Anchorage, where Alaska Public Media’s Indie Alaska program held a screening last week and made a short movie with Alaskans willing to answer a few questions in front of the camera.Download AudioOne of my favorite things about Alaska is you could say it’s beautiful, it’s this it’s that, but it’s the people.In 1979, when this was Flapjack Jim’s, I started at the record store next door. Obviously records and tapes went belly up. Took my severance pay and bought a gold mine. And used that for the down payment for my home, and that was 35 years ago.When I meet people who don’t live here, and the first thing everyone always asks you is ‘Oh, I know this person who lives in Anchorage or who lives in Alaska. Do you know them?’ While that may be a bogus question to ask someone in New York City or L.A., the chances that you know somebody else up here are actually pretty high.You’ve heard the expression, ‘A Sourdough is a person is soured on the country, but doesn’t have the dough to leave.’ Well I have a twist on that. I’m an April 1st I came on April 1st and was foolish enough to stay for 50 years. Tomorrow is my 50th anniversary of being in Alaska.After a couple different summers working up here, it was actually like a physical breakup – that’s how I would describe it – whenever I had to cross the border and go back down to the Lower 48. Honestly, it was like this: You’re crossing the border and I felt this like heart pain, and I was like, ‘Oh my god! It’s not you. It’s me. Just give me more time. And then I realized that I want to live in Alaska. So I moved up a couple years ago and have not looked back. It’s been a really good decision.
Dunleavy keeps open court seat, questions nomination processAssociated PressGov. Mike Dunleavy has declined to fill for now a seat on the Palmer Superior Court, citing questions with the process used in sending nominees to him for consideration.Lawmakers, open meeting advocates criticize conditions on attending Gov. Dunleavy meetingsAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauLawmakers and open meeting advocates are criticizing the meetings Governor Dunleavy is holding around the state next week.Dunleavy appointee to lead state environmental agency hits back at criticsElizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – AnchorageJason Brune’s appointment is controversial because he worked as the public affairs and government relations manager for mining company Anglo American when it backed the proposed Pebble Mine.China, Russia find common cause in ArcticLiz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.China and Russia are teaming up to pursue their interests in the Arctic, and regional security expert Rebecca Pincus says the United States needs to pay more attention.“We need to play a shaping role in this region. It’s our backyard,” she said.Foretold Disaster – the Exxon Valdez oil spillRachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – AnchorageThe Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 killed hundreds of thousands of seabirds and brought commercial fishing in some of Alaska’s most productive waters to a standstill. It’s often talked about as an unprecedented, unthinkable event, but it was, in fact thinkable, and people tried to prevent it.Anchorage efforts to reduce homelessness see success, challengesKirsten Swann, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageAnchorage Assembly member Felix Rivera, chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Homelessness, says funding is one of its top concernsWild dogs take down muskox near Toksook BayAnna Rose MacArthur. KYUK – BethelJimmie Lincoln wanted to get out of town, so he jumped on his snowmachine and took off. Less than two miles later, he came upon something he calls “unbelievable.”Racist graffiti targets Homer restaurant ownersAaron Bolton, KBBI – HomerThe owners of a restaurant just outside of Homer woke up to racist graffiti scrawled across the front of their building Thursday. The owners of Wasabi’s Bistro reported the incident to police shortly before 8 a.m. and the photos have been shared widely on social media.Eagles fly free as Alaska Raptor Center rings in springEnrique Pérez de la Rosa, KCAW – SitkaMarch 20 is the official start of spring on our calendars. But for the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka, spring started last Saturday, March 16, when a number of its patients were discharged before an appreciative audience. Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @AKPublicNews