Toronto businessman moved by video arranges new home for Sandy Bay First

October 14, 2019

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first_imgMelissa RidgenAPTN National NewsIt’s a dream come true story.A Youtube video of a dilapidated home on the Sandy Bay First Nation goes viral.And a Toronto businessman reacts by getting on the phone and making things right.mridgen@aptn.calast_img


Ombudsman federal tax relief program needs funding to improve response time

October 13, 2019

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first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government’s Taxpayers’ Ombudsman says the Canada Revenue Agency needs more permanent base funding for a program that provides financial relief to taxpayers who fall behind on payments because of a disaster or hardship.The ombudsman says in a report that it’s partially satisfied with the CRA’s efforts to set a standard for processing relief requests within 180 days, at least 85 per cent of the time, effective April 1, 2017.But it says the CRA’s regional processing times should be more consistent and there needs to be more accuracy in communicating the times to the taxpayers making the requests.The ombudsman says the CRA has implemented or accepted two recommendations, which deal with how taxpayers are notified about the estimated time required to process their request.It also says the CRA has accepted in principle that it should identify the reasons for fluctuations in the number of requests received for tax relief following a flood, fire or other unusual hardship situation.But the ombudsman says its fourth recommendation — for “sufficient permanent funding” to allow for adequate planning and consistency — is still under review as the CRA determines its resource requirements.last_img read more


Auction of mayors stuff will get a surprise sequel

October 13, 2019

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first_imgPHILADELPHIA — An estate sale at the home of polarizing former Mayor Frank Rizzo went like gangbusters over the weekend — and just after it wrapped up, an additional treasure trove of personal items was discovered in the attic, including phone numbers for Frank Sinatra and Richard Nixon, the agent in charge of the sale said Monday.About 40,000 people came through the estate sale, which started Friday and wrapped up Sunday afternoon, said John Romani, who runs Sales by Helen with his mother.Many were police officers and firefighters and ordinary citizens who came to pay their respects, to chat with Rizzo’s son Frank Rizzo Jr., and maybe leave with a trinket or two, he said. Photographs, sweat shirts, suit jackets and Christmas decorations all went.“To a lot of people it was a pilgrimage, an opportunity to say goodbye one more time,” he said. Lots of selfies were taken in the bedroom, he said.Top sellers were Rizzo’s single-digit license plate ($5,000) and Rolodex ($2,500), bought by the same man, who all told spent about $11,000, Romani said.“They really wanted anything with his name on it,” he said. “If it had his name on it, it sold.”A number of billy clubs were up for grabs and went for $1,250 to $1,500, but none was the one the tuxedo-clad Rizzo stuck into his cummerbund when he was police commissioner during a disturbance at a housing project in the 1960s, immortalized in a photo.Rizzo’s wife, Carmella, died in July at age 101, and the family wanted to sell the house and clear it out.Philadelphia has long tried to reconcile the complicated legacy of Rizzo, who served as mayor from 1972 to 1980 and who died in 1991.His friends, family and fans remember him as a devoted public servant unafraid to speak his mind. His detractors saw his police force as corrupt and brutal and said Rizzo alienated minorities both as police commissioner and mayor.After the estate sale wrapped up Sunday, Romani said people going through the house stumbled upon about 20 boxes in the eaves of the attic, containing what Romani called a treasure trove: Rizzo’s gold watch, more Rolodexes (including one with Frank Sinatra’s number), his signed oath of office from 1971, his passports, a gun permit and an unopened box of cigarettes from Air Force One.Also found was what Romani calls Rizzo’s “little black book.” The well-worn booklet has handwritten contact information that reads like a who’s who of the 1970s, including Richard Nixon’s phone number.Romani estimates about 50 to 100 historically significant items were found after the sale wrapped up.The priority now, he said, is selling the home in the city’s leafy Chestnut Hill section. It’s on the market for $1.695 million.The newly discovered items and some of the pieces that didn’t get snapped up in the estate sale will now head to auction Jan. 29 at Uniques & Antiques in Aston, Pennsylvania, he said.Kristen De Groot, The Associated Presslast_img read more


Tanzania Expresses Support for Moroccos Decision to Rejoin African Union

October 12, 2019

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Dar es Salaam – Tanzanian President, John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, expressed his country’s support for Morocco’s decision to rejoin the African Union (AU) and find its rightful place, said a joint statement issued after the official visit paid by HM King Mohammed VI to the United Republic of Tanzania on October 23-25.Magufuli also expressed his willingness to support Morocco’s admission to its institutional pan-African family as of the next Summit, the joint statement added.During the royal visit, the two leaders, who discussed the decision of Morocco to rejoin the AU, expressed their hope to see the return of Morocco to the African Union pave the way to tackling unresolved political and diplomatic issues that are a concern for Morocco, the same source said. The King and the Tanzanian President share the same ambitious vision for an African continent that must take charge of its own destiny and development, the statement said, adding that the two Heads of State stressed, in this regard, the need to strengthen South-South and triangular cooperation to promote a continuous and sustainable development. read more


Business Highlights

October 12, 2019

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___Lyft’s IPO lifts off at $72 a share, valuing company at $24BSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Lyft set the price for its stock at $72 per share Thursday, setting the stage for the ride-hailing pioneer’s hotly anticipated stock market debut. The price is at the high end of a revision Lyft made after high investor demand prompted the company to increase its initial goal of fetching $62 to $68 for each of the 32.5 million shares offered in the IPO. The price sets Lyft’s market value at $24 billion, which will quickly change Friday after the shares start trading on the Nasdaq exchange.___New York sues billionaire family behind maker of OxyContinNEW YORK (AP) — New York state is suing the billionaire family behind the company that created OxyContin. By expanding an existing lawsuit, the state on Thursday joined a growing list of state and local governments seeking to hold not only the firm but its owners accountable for the nation’s opioid crisis. Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family members say the suit misleadingly blames them for the crisis.___Wells Fargo CEO Sloan steps down after rocky tenureNEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan is stepping down, effective immediately, after a rocky tenure during which the troubled bank dealt with a seemingly unending wave of scandals. With Sloan, a long-time company insider, giving up the helm, Wells Fargo said it will search among external candidates for its next CEO.___US official: UK report is ‘stark assessment’ of Huawei risksWASHINGTON (AP) — A senior U.S. official is praising a British government report detailing security risks posed by Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The report Thursday from a top British spy agency identified “significant technical issues” in Huawei’s engineering. The U.S. official described the findings as a “stark assessment” confirming previous U.S. warnings of security risks associated with using Huawei technologies.___Facebook charged with housing discrimination by HUDNEW YORK (AP) — The federal government has charged Facebook with high-tech housing discrimination for allegedly misusing its vaunted ability to deliver ads with surgical precision to certain groups and not others. The civil charges by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development could cost the social network millions of dollars in penalties.___In trade wars of 200 years ago, the pirates were AmericansWASHINGTON (AP) — Intellectual pirates were celebrated in the young United States, just as they are now in China. A man who smuggled a cotton-processing machine from London was hailed by one Pennsylvania trade group as “the ingenious artizan who counterfeited the Carding and Spinning Machine” and was promised awards and prizes.___Federal legalization of hemp creates quandary for US policePORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police officers who encounter shipments of state-certified hemp on America’s highways are facing a quandary: They can’t tell if the plants they’re seeing are hemp or marijuana. Truckers are free to haul hemp from state to state after the federal legalization of hemp late last year. But hemp and marijuana look and smell alike, and the only way to distinguish them is by measuring their THC. Officers currently lack the technology to do that testing on the spot.___Travellers stranded after Icelandic airline collapsesREYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Icelandic budget airline WOW Air has collapsed under its financial problems, leaving passengers stranded across two continents. The airline on Thursday told passengers there would be no further flights and advised them to check with other airlines for ways to reach their destinations. Its bankruptcy comes after six months of turbulent negotiations to sell the carrier and highlights the challenges of low-cost flying across the Atlantic.___Rising bond yields, company earnings boost US stocksStocks finished broadly higher on Wall Street Thursday as bond yields rose, easing concerns about a troubling drop in long-term yields over the past week. Gains in financial, technology and industrial stocks outweighed losses in utilities and communications companies. Smaller company stocks outgained the broader market. The benchmark S&P 500 index is on track for its biggest quarterly gain since the third quarter of 2009.___UK leader May rolling the dice again on Brexit dealLONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Theresa May is gambling again on a Brexit deal. She is sending a tweaked and trimmed version of her EU divorce deal back for a third vote in Parliament. Opposition to the agreement remains substantial, even after she sacrificed her job for her deal, promising to quit if lawmakers approved the agreement and let Britain leave the EU as scheduled in May.___Trade panel: Boeing got unfair US tax break, hurting AirbusGENEVA (AP) — Delivering final word in a nearly 14-year standoff, a World Trade Organization body has ruled that Boeing received an illegal U.S. tax break from Washington state that damaged sales by European archrival Airbus. The decision by the WTO’s appellate body considered whether the United States had complied with a 2012 ruling that found that plane-maker and defence company Boeing received at least $5 billion in subsidies prohibited under international trade rules.___California governor criticizes PG&E’s plan for new boardSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. plans to remake its board of directors with hedge fund financiers and people who have little experience in utility operations. Newsom publicly called on the utility to change course Thursday. The San Francisco-based utility is in the midst of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings after it said it could not afford billions in liability related to deadly wildfires. A PG&E spokeswoman said the company understands the governor’s concerns.___Michigan attorney general says pipeline law unconstitutionalTRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s attorney general has deemed unconstitutional a 2018 law that established a panel to oversee construction and operation of an oil pipeline tunnel beneath the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan. Democrat Dana Nessel says in an opinion released Thursday the title of the bill approved by lawmakers did not accurately describe its contents as required by the Michigan Constitution. The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the measure during a lame-duck session in December.___The S&P 500 gained 10.07 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,815.44. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 91.87 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 25,717.46. The Nasdaq composite added 25.79 points, 0.3 per cent, to 7,669.17. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 12.87 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 1,535.10.The Associated Press read more


Ban stresses urgency of funding Horn of Africa relief efforts

October 11, 2019

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27 July 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed the need for urgent funding to carry out critical humanitarian efforts in the Horn of Africa and assist the millions suffering from famine and drought in the region. In phone calls yesterday with top officials from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Ban discussed the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Horn of Africa, where an estimated 11.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.Millions in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia are facing severe food shortages with rates of malnutrition and related deaths having reached alarming levels in many parts of the region. Somalia is the worst affected country, with the UN last week declaring a state on famine in two areas of the south. The Secretary-General explained to the officials that only half of the $2 billion needed to respond to the drought emergency has been raised so far.“He called for urgent international efforts to meet the gap in the humanitarian requirements for the region,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, told reporters in New York. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today that the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) moving from pastoral to urban areas is increasing in Somalia.The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has scaled up its operations to reach 175,000 people in the Gedo region, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is distributing supplies to 189,000 people in southern Somalia.WFP is also providing emergency relief rations to 60,000 pastoralists in Djibouti who have suffered massive livestock deaths. The office also expressed concern about the worsening situation in Ethiopia, where 4.5 million people are in need of food aid. The price of wheat in the capital, Addis Ababa, is more than 80 per cent higher than it was one year ago, it stated. read more


Canada updates travel advice on Sri Lanka as crisis ends

October 8, 2019

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Canada has updated its travel advice on Sri Lanka as the political crisis has come to and end.The Canadian Foreign Ministry said that the information on political instability in Sri Lanka has been removed from its updated travel advice. The update however notes that even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time and they can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.“Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place. Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations,” the updated travel advice said. (Colombo Gazette) read more


PhD student studies what motivates women to work out

October 7, 2019

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A Brock PhD student is studying the relationship between body image and attitudes toward physical activity in women. Lindsay Cline is a PhD student in Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, who is examining the effect that body image has on women’s motivation to engage in regular physical activity.“Despite the well-known benefits of physical activity, there is still extremely low participation rates among children, adolescents and adults,” says Cline. “These low levels of participation are even more pronounced in girls and young women.”Cline recently received a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship to support her PhD research that investigates the impact that positive appearance comments – those well-intentioned compliments – have on body-related thoughts, feelings and behaviours among young adult women.Although the comments are expressed in a positive manner, Cline says some women may not interpret them that way and it could actually negatively influence their body image.“My research will determine if there are certain characteristics that pre-dispose women to feel poorly about their body even from intended positive comments,” she says. “So, for example, determining whether a woman’s body weight or her appearance satisfaction affect how she responds to a comment made about her physical appearance.“After we identify some of these initial relationships, we plan to investigate how those experiences affect a woman’s motivation to engage in physical activity.”Cline, who is supervised by Prof. Kimberley Gammage, will collect data through questionnaires and interviews with young women about their body image and exercise activity.Her research makes a strong connection between healthy body image and healthy motivation for being active.“We need to ensure that women are engaging in exercise for healthy reasons and are not solely motivated based on feelings of shame, guilt or dissatisfaction with their physical appearance,” she says. “Internal motivation, where women are motivated for health and enjoyment reasons may prove to be the best strategy for their exercise adherence in the long run.”Watch a video in which Lindsay Cline talks about this research. read more


Core political issue to GeorgianAbkhaz conflict still not addressed – Annan

October 6, 2019

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United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a report released today, laments that the core political issue to the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict – the future status of Abkhazia – has not yet been addressed despite the opportunities provide by interested parties.“While the parties moved ahead on economic cooperation and refugee return, little notable progress was made on political and security matters, including the future status of Abkhazia within the State of Georgia, and the question of security guarantees,” Mr. Annan states in his latest report to the Security Council on the situation in Abkhazia.In the report, which also discusses the activities of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) since last April, Mr. Annan appeals to both sides to muster the will to address the political aspects of the conflict.“The paper on competences and its transmittal letter provide sufficient scope for addressing the justified concerns of the Abkhaz people in a satisfactory manner on the basis of international legitimacy,” he notes, referring to the “Basic Principles for the Distribution of Competences between Tbilisi and Sukhumi” paper submitted a year ago by his Special Representative for Georgia, Heidi Tagliavini.Mr. Annan states that Ms. Tagliavini, with the support of the Group of Friends – comprising France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States – has continued efforts to engage both the Georgian and Abkhaz sides in meaningful negotiations on a comprehensive political settlement on the basis of the paper.The Secretary-General also welcomes the recent initiative by Georgia and the Russian Federation to start a dialogue on the process of refugee return and recommends that a civilian police component of 20 officers be added to UNOMIG to assist with the relocations and the Mission’s work in general.“I continue to believe that UNOMIG plays an essential role in stabilizing the situation in the conflict zone and in providing a framework within which the sides can advance towards a comprehensive settlement,” Mr. Annan stresses, recommending a six-month extension of the Mission until 31 January 2004. read more


Liberia UN Council renews bans on sale of arms diamonds timber

October 6, 2019

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Unanimously adopting a resolution on the situation yesterday, the Council also re-established the Panel of Experts appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to conduct follow-up assessments of the sanctions and said it would review the measures at the request of the new Government of Liberia, once it reported that the conditions for terminating them had been met. The Council welcomed the determination of the President-elect of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to meet those conditions and encouraged her Government to implement reforms in the management of the country’s timber and diamond resources.The Council initially approved the Liberian sanctions in May 2001, after determining that former President Charles Taylor’s government had helped the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone fight the government there, during the country’s brutal decade-long civil war.In 2003, citing Liberia’s “active support” of rebel groups which were having a destabilizing effect on West Africa, the Council had renewed and expanded the sanctions, and decided the measures would remain in effect until peace was maintained, export transparency was established and the Government controlled the national forests.The Council stressed that it would routinely consider how best to minimize the impact of the ban on the country’s humanitarian situation and could allow the resumption of exports to fund relief programmes.In July, Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed the five-member panel of experts to go to Liberia to assess the implementation and impact of the sanctions regime. In its report, the Panel notes that requirements for lifting the embargo on Liberian rough diamonds and timber have not been met, while recent agreements on iron ore suggest that Liberians cannot rely on their Government or the international community to protect their interests. Instead, it said, transparent business negotiations are necessary. read more


Time running out for Ohio State mens basketball to turn things around

October 2, 2019

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OSU sophomore Keita Bates-Diop (33) goes up for a shot during a game against Maryland on Jan. 31 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 61-66. Credit: Muyao Shen | Asst. Photo EditorThe clock is continuing to tick closer and closer to midnight for the Ohio State men’s basketball team.Just five games remain on the schedule for OSU (16-10, 8-5), and it has not become any easier to figure out where the group stands as a team.The 8-5 conference record puts the Buckeyes in decent shape for 10 conference wins, which is typically a magic number for an NCAA tournament bid for a conference like the Big Ten.But with OSU only having one win in eight tries against teams ranked in the top 50 of the RPI, it likely will need a lot more work than two wins to grab an at-large bid.Therefore, its brutal remaining schedule can be seen as both fortunate and not so much. It needs those signature wins to improve on its 1-7 record against top 50 teams, but, at the same time, it has been almost completely unable to grab those thus far.“We’ve shown glimpses of us playing good basketball, and, at the same time, sometimes we do the opposite of that,” said redshirt sophomore guard Kam Williams. “I think if we capitalize on when we do play good basketball, it will give us the momentum we need to push through the final half of the season.”Four of the final five games on the team’s schedule are against teams currently ranked in the top 50 of the RPI, beginning with Tuesday night at home against No. 50 Michigan (19-7, 9-4).“I think that you’re getting into late February, and obviously all games are vitally important,” said sophomore forward Jae’Sean Tate. “You look where they are, where we are, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out there are some implications to this game.”Still, OSU coach Thad Matta said he is not in a position to concern himself with the standings or his team’s postseason chances. He is simply concerned with seeing his young players grow from night to night.One of those players, the elder statesman of the rotation players, junior forward Marc Loving, has been limping through an extended period of poor play. The last time Loving shot over 50 percent in a game was Jan. 10 against Indiana, and he has been held in single-digit scoring five times in the last eight games, including a zero-point performance in Saturday’s win at Rutgers.“We need Marc to play really good basketball. Sometimes when shots aren’t going in, just go rebound,” Matta said. “Find another way, if the shots aren’t falling.”That team up northMichigan has not been spectacular all season long, but it has done what it has needed to do to get by.Its plus-2.1 point differential per game is just middle of the pack in the conference, as neither its offense nor defense has been anything worth writing home about.Still, with victories over No. 6 Maryland and, most recently, No. 17 Purdue to their name, the Wolverines have proven themselves as a team capable of being very dangerous.Matta chalked that up to their rampant 3-point shooting, which, when falling, he said can be almost impossible to deal with.“I think matchup-wise, the most alarming thing is how many 3-pointers they shoot,” Matta said. “We’re not going to stop them from shooting them, but we have to make them as difficult as possible.”A boost for the Wolverines came in their previous game on Saturday, when they got senior guard Caris LeVert back after an 11-game absence from a leg injury.Though he did not score on Saturday, the Pickerington, Ohio, native, who averages 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, represents a go-to playmaker for coach John Beilein.Raising it upFans hoping to see a performance by “Red Panda” or “Quick Change” at halftime of Tuesday’s game might be disappointed, but the intermission event is already planned.Former OSU guard Evan Turner, who played 101 games in scarlet and gray from 2007-2010, will be honored at halftime of the game, complete with his No. 21 jersey being raised to the Schottenstein Center rafters.Turner, the 2009-10 national player of the year, averaged 15.0 points per game over his three years in Columbus. In his third and final season, he registered 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per contest.“Evan represents what hard work and commitment means to being a player,” Matta said. “Another thing is, he represents somebody that had a great appreciation for this university and his teammates.”Up nextThe Buckeyes’ next contest after the Wolverines is scheduled to come on the road in Lincoln, Nebraska, to take on the Cornhuskers. The game against Nebraska is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday. read more


Redringed Xbox 360 destroyed with guns and explosives

September 21, 2019

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first_imgMicrosoft’s Xbox 360 will forever be remembered in the annals of history for being one of, if not the most unreliable console ever to be released. At least when talking about the first couple of generations of the machine.The Red Ring of Death (RRoD) became so common there are gamers who have had as many as 5 consoles due to the machines just continuing to die. It wasn’t until Microsoft did a major update and released the slim version of the Xbox 360 that the problem seemed to be fixed, but there’s still millions of those old consoles out there.Russian Dimtri has one of those consoles, and it’s actually his fifth. But just like the others he had it suffered the RRoD. Rather than send it back to Microsoft he decided enough was enough and pulled out a few guns and some explosives.Remember, this is a 360 that does not work and may never work again unless Microsoft did a refurb job on it. So Dimtri isn’t destroying a useful device, just venting a lot of frustration on a piece of hardware that a lot of gamers have got angry with.While the handguns and shotgun do some serious damage, it’s the explosives in the barrel that really finish the hardware off. All Dimitri can find afterwards is a mangled heatsink that looks to be the one covering the main CPU.If you’ve never owned an Xbox 360 that has died you may be wondering why someone would do this. But on the other hand, if you have been frustrated by one or mutliple 360 deaths you may be able to relate to wanting to hurt the machine that has taken your ability to game away.Read more at G4TVlast_img read more


Mysterious venomous King of Wasps discovered in Indonesia

September 21, 2019

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first_imgEarlier this month we talked about the rediscovery of tree lobsters that were thought to be extinct, but now we’ve found out about some insect related news that is much less amusing. On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi researchers have found a venomous breed of wasps that have tremendous hooked jaws. No, they aren’t tracker jackers, the insect is known as Megalara garuda, and if you’re the least bit afraid of creepy crawlies, it’s sure to replace the millipedes and cockroaches in your nightmares.The male Megalara garuda is 2 to 2.5 inches long, depending on the reports you read, and is clad with giant, scary mandibles. The jaws, the paper notes, are nearly as long as the insects’ forelegs The females aren’t quite as large, but they look large enough that I’d start running if I was in Sulawesi (maybe hunting down some great coffee?) and heard buzzing. It’ll come as no surprise that the wasp is a predator, like surviving entirely off of other insects.The so-called “King of Wasps” has yet to be caught alive — I’d imagine they would have trouble finding volunteers — and not much is known about the species. The specimens that have been discovered were in a threatened area, where the forests are being turned into crop land or used for open pit mining.The wasp was discovered by UC Davis professor of entomology Lynn Kimsey, in 2011. The hope is that much more can be learned about it and the other species in this highly diverse area before they are threatened (or further threatened) by development of the island.ZooKeys 177 paper, via Nat Geolast_img read more


Real policies needed for language learning

September 21, 2019

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first_imgAustralia needs real policies and financial support for the learning of a second language and not tokenistic gestures, says Greek Australian lecturer Dr Anthony Dracopoulos. Speaking at a function for the annual ‘Dionysios Solomos’ students awards, organised by the Greek Festival of Sydney, Dr Dracopoulos said “the noble efforts of the community to enable students to continue with the study of Modern Greek at the highest level – at the University – are not enough”. “We need the government to develop policies and to support financially the learning of a second language. “Statements such as the one expressed by the current Prime Minister – ‘Australians should be in a position to communicate with their neighbours’ – cannot function as the foundation stone for a language policy. “Communication with the other is only the beginning, it is not an end in itself,” said the Greek Australian lecturer at Sydney University’s Department of Modern Greek. In supporting the learning of another language, he said “it opens up a new world from which we can draw symbols, images, concepts, with which we can enrich our own world and create new ideas”. “Learning another language is not a luxury but a necessary condition for inclusion. By learning another language one learns to self-reflect and therefore one develops as an ethical human being, since every moral stance is connected with being able to place oneself in the position of the other.” Dr Dracopoulos applauded the incentives of the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW and said that more such initiatives are needed to recognise the efforts of students who learn another languages, and in this instance Modern Greek. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more


Michelle Gomez Talks Peter Capaldi Missy Action Figures in Reddit AMA

September 20, 2019

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first_img HBO Max Scores Exclusive ‘Doctor Who’ Streaming RightsJo Tro Do Plo Plo No: ‘Doctor Who’ Welcomes Back Familiar Monster Stay on target After announcing plans to leave Doctor Who at the end of season 10, Michelle Gomez on Wednesday visited Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) platform to answer fan questions about Missy, a possible spin-off, and her favorite muffin flavor.The Scottish actor, who has appeared in only a handful of episodes since her debut as the gender-bending Master in 2014, brings style, charisma, levity, and a chilling brilliance to her on-screen character and off-screen personality.Reading her responses (typed by the BBC America social team) is like opening a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get.From the serious—”Who from the Doctor Who cast would you most like to act alongside again?” “Peter Capaldi in a heartbeat”—to the flippant—”Best cure for a hangover?” “Don’t drink”—she is playful and insightful.The Doctor, Missy, and her army of Cybermen (via BBC America)When asked if the comedian improvises her lines on Doctor Who, Gomez said there is a lot of “what we call topping and tailing.”“Most of it ends up on the cutting room floor,” she admitted, adding that Missy’s brief parody of Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey” song in season eight’s “Death in Heaven” “made the cut.”Singing the praises of showrunner and sometimes-writer Steven Moffat, Gomez called herself “merely a channel for [his] brilliance,” touting one of Moffat’s lines as a personal favorite.“[It’s] hard to choose,” she said, “but ‘Tell him the bitch is back’ is up there.”It was the same episode, “The Witch’s Familiar” (in which the Doctor is trapped at the heart of an evil empire), that produced Gomez’s favorite memory from the set of Doctor Who.“Walking into a studio filled with every generation of Dalek was heart-stopping,” she revealed.Kindred spirits (via BBC)A familiar face among UK viewers, Gomez has been working steadily for two decades, gaining fame for comedy parts in The Book Group, Green Wing, and Bad Education.She became an instant hit among international audiences, as well, playing the mysterious Missy, revealed to be a female regeneration of a classic villain.“What was your thought process on becoming what had only been a male role on such an iconic and long-running show?” Reddit user dumbodoggies asked.“I just brought my panties to the party with my fingers crossed,” Gomez replied with her signature snark and moxie.Early this week, she confirmed plans to join “pals” Moffat and Capaldi in their impending departures from the sci-fi program.Michelle Gomez as Missy (via BBC)“I have thoroughly enjoyed everything about playing Missy,” she wrote on Reddit. “I’ll take away a great sense of satisfaction and immense gratitude for all my wonderful fans. Also the umbrella for whacking people I don’t like the look of.”It’s not over yet, though. Starting with this week’s “Extremis,” the self-proclaimed queen of evil is set to return for at least three more episodes—including the two-part series finale, when Missy is expected to team up with (or battle against) former Master incarnation John Simm.Skim through the entire AMA for more great answers and sarcastic remarks. And check out the BBC’s video of Gomez reacting to YouTube comments (below).Oh, and in case you’re wondering, she likes a classic blueberry muffin, but is also “quite partial to carrot—carrot and raisin.”Stream all of Doctor Who now for free with your Amazon Prime membership.last_img read more


Napakiak says goodbye to residents who died in jail fire

September 9, 2019

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first_imgThe Napakiak Moravian church was packed on Wednesday, May 8, as people came to say their final goodbyes to two residents who died in a fire in the city jail last week. Becca White was 24 and leaves a three-year-old daughter, Mary Alice. Isaiah Parka was 22. They are here to say goodbye to Becca White and Isaiah Parka, who both died when the Napakiak jail burned down. In a community of 300, any death is a tough occasion. But how this young man and young woman died left many reeling. People didn’t want to talk on the record to KYUK because they are still grieving. There is anger and confusion, and there are questions about how this fire could have happened. White and Parka were best friends. They were described as soft-spoken and never far apart from each other. The two had been picked up for driving a four-wheeler while intoxicated on Saturday, April 27. The fire broke out later that night. One jail guard tried to free the two trapped inside, but was badly burnt and later medevaced. The investigation into the exact cause of the fire is still ongoing. Two white caskets completely covered in flowers and pictures lie at the front of the Napakiak Moravian church. People slowly file in. Some by themselves, others in groups. The small blue church fills up. Some people stand at the back.center_img Family members decorate the grave sites of Becca White and Isaiah Parka.(Photo by Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK) The community cleared away the charred timbers and steel, and two small, white crosses mark the place where White and Parka died. After the funeral, people followed the two trucks with the coffins toward the cemetery. Their crosses now rest next to each other. In death, as in life, Becca White and Isaiah Parka are inseparable.last_img read more


Health care comes in focus this time as risk for Democrats

September 6, 2019

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first_imgWASHINGTON: Democratic presidential candidates are split over eliminating employer-provided health insurance under “Medicare for All.” The risk is that history has shown voters are wary of disruptions to job-based insurance, the mainstay of coverage for Americans over three generations. Those divisions were on display in the two Democratic debates this week, with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren calling for a complete switch to government-run health insurance for all. In rebuttal, former Vice President Joe Biden asserted that “Obamacare is working” and promised to add a public option. Sen. Kamala Harris was in the middle with a new Medicare for All concept that preserves private insurance plans employers could sponsor and phases in more gradually. Other candidates fall along that spectrum. Also Read – Article 370 fallout: Pakistan Foreign Minister now dials up South Korean counterpart Advertise With Us The debates had the feel of an old video clip for Jim McDermott, a former Democratic congressman from Washington state who spent most of his career trying to move a Sanders-style “single-payer” plan and now thinks Biden is onto something. “There is a principle in society and in human beings that says the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know,” said McDermott, a psychiatrist before becoming a politician. “I was a single-payer advocate since medical school. But I hit every rock in the road trying to get it done. This idea that you are going to take out what is known and replace it with a new government program — that’s dead on arrival.” Also Read – US judge dismissed criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein Advertise With Us Warren, D-Mass., was having none of that talk Monday night on the debate stage. “Democrats win when we figure out what is right, and we get out there and fight for it,” she asserted. Confronting former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., a moderate, Warren said, “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for. … I don’t get it.” Advertise With Us Here’s a look at options put forward by Democrats and the employer-based system that progressives would replace: MEDICARE FOR ALL The Medicare for All plan advocated by Sanders and Warren would replace America’s hybrid system of an employer, government and individual coverage with a single government plan paid for by taxes. Benefits would be comprehensive, and everybody would be covered, but the potential cost could range from $30 trillion to $40 trillion over 10 years. It would be unlawful for private insurers or employers to offer coverage for benefits provided under the government plan. “If you want stability in the health care system, if you want a system which gives you freedom of choice with regard to doctor or hospital, which is a system which will not bankrupt you, the answer is to get rid of the profiteering of the drug companies and the insurance companies,” said Sanders, a Vermont senator. ___ BUILDING ON OBAMACARE On the other end is the Biden plan, which would boost the Affordable Care Act and create a new public option enabling people to buy subsidized government coverage. “The way to build this and get to it immediately is to build on Obamacare,” he said. The plan wouldn’t cover everyone, but the Biden campaign says it would reach 97% of the population, up from about 90% currently. The campaign says it would cost $750 billion over 10 years. Biden would leave employer insurance largely untouched. Other moderate candidates take similar approaches. For example, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s plan is built on a Medicare buy-in initially available in areas that have a shortage of insurers or high costs. ___ THE NEW ENTRANT The Harris plan is the new entrant, a version of Medicare for All that preserves a role for private plans closely regulated by the government and allows employers to sponsor such plans. The campaign says it would cover everybody. The total cost is uncertain, but Harris says she would not raise taxes on households making less than $100,000. “It’s time that we separate employers from the kind of health care people get. And under my plan, we do that,” Harris said. Harris’ plan might well reduce employer coverage, while Sanders’ plan would replace it. Either would be a momentous change. Job-based coverage took hold during World War II years when the government encouraged employers and unions to settle on health care benefits instead of wage increases that could feed inflation. According to the Congressional Budget Office, about 160 million people under age 65 — or about half the population — are currently covered by employers. A poll this week from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation underscored the popularity of employer coverage. Among people 18-64 with workplace plans, 86% rated their coverage as good or excellent. Republicans already have felt the backlash from trying to tamper with employer coverage. As the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, the Arizona Sen. John McCain proposed replacing the long-standing tax-free status of employer health care with a tax credit that came with some limits. McCain’s goal was to cut spending and expand access. But Democrats slammed it as a tax on health insurance, and it contributed to McCain’s defeat by Barack Obama. “The potential to change employer-sponsored insurance in any way was viewed extremely negatively by the public,” said economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who served as McCain’s policy director. “That is the Achilles’ heel of Medicare for All — no question about it.”last_img read more


NRI couple stabbed in Munich Germany husband succumbs to injuries wife in

September 5, 2019

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first_imgTwitter/Sushma Swaraj Getty ImagesA German couple of Indian origin in Munich, Germany were attacked by a Guinea man during the early hours of Friday, March 29.The Guinea man attacked them with a knife. 49-year-old Prashant Basarur died after sustaining multiple stab injuries in his body and head while his wife, 43-year-old Smita Basarur remains in critical condition in the hospital with stab injuries as well, reports Hindustan Times.The incident unfolded when the couple was an argument with the Guinea man who happens to be their neighbour outside their apartment complex. In a fit of rage, the Guinea man then took out a knife and attacked the duo.The sounds from the scuffle attracted the neighbours’ attention who alerted the police. According to HT, the attacker did not fight back when he was arrested. He was immediately produced at the magistrate’s court in Augsburg where he was charged with attempt to murder. However, now the charges will change to murder since Prashant died from the injuries.The police have ruled out terror angle from the investigation. India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is currently making arrangements for Prashant’s brother to go to Germany. She has also asked the Indian Mission in Munich to take care of the couple’s children till their mother was well enough to take care of them. Twitter/Sushma Swarajlast_img read more


Hoogerbeets prediction once again hits bullseye as 58 M earthquake jolts Philippines

September 5, 2019

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first_img[Representational Image]TwitterFrank Hoogerbeets, a self-proclaimed Dutch seismic researcher has been predicting earthquakes on his website ‘Ditrianum’ for the past few years. Interestingly, many of his predictions turned true, and it includes the California earthquakes which happened on July 5 and July 6, 2019.After the California earthquake, Hoogerbeets had claimed that earthquakes will happen either on July 12 or 13. Shockingly, on July 13, a powerful tremor measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale rattled the Philippines. As per the latest updates, more than 50 people have been injured in the Philippines, and the quake has also caused considerable infrastructure damage.Hoogerbeets claims that critical planetary and lunar alignments are destabilizing tectonic plates on the earth, and it is causing an increase in seismic activities. The researcher also argues that he is using an advanced system named SSGI (Solar System Geometry Index) to predict possible earthquakes.”The critical geometry on July 8-9 has not yet triggered large seismic activity, but it did cause an initial seismic lull as expected. Because this lull is still continuing, even after the lunar peak on the 10th, the anticipated large seismic activity could very well arrive a bit later,” wrote Hoogerbeets on his website.It should be noted that the Philippines is a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin. In April 2019, an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale had hit the country, and it resulted in the death of 11 people.As Hoogerbeets’ prediction has once again turned true, followers of this Dutch researcher strongly believe that a megaquake will hit the planet soon, spreading chaos everywhere.However, seismic experts are not convinced, and they claim that no current technology on the earth is capable of predicting future tremors with such precision. They believe that Hoogerbeets is making these claims just for the sake of publicity.last_img read more


Will Anil Ambanis asset sales spree help lift crushing debt burden

September 5, 2019

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first_imgAnil Dhirubhai Ambani has declared a war on debt and is liquidating assets to reduce the debt burden.Anil Ambani hopes to raise Rs 21,700 crore from asset sales of his group companies to bring down the debt burden that had almost landed him in jail, forcing elder sibling Mukesh Ambani to come to his rescue.Anil Ambani said a month ago that companies of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group had repaid loans amounting to Rs 35,000 crore, over 14 months, to bring down the debt burden.Anil Ambani plans to raise Rs 21,700 crore ($3.2 billion) by selling assets from roads to radio stations in a bid to cut debt, a Bloomberg report said. Citing a spokesperson of the group, the report gives a break up of the asset sales.Reliance Infrastructure Ltd is seeking to raise Rs 9,000 crore from the sale of nine road projects. Reliance Capital Ltd hopes to raise Rs 1,200 crore by selling its radio unit, and Rs 11,500 crore from monetizing its holdings in the financial business.The four big group companies still have about Rs 93,900 crore of debt, said the report. Anil Ambani aims to reduce this burden by the current bout of asset sales. This amount excludes the debt incurred by Reliance Communications Ltd, Ambani’s former flagship firm, that is currently facing insolvency proceedings. Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani with his son Anmol Ambani during Reliance Capital’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Mumbai, on Sept 26, 2016.IANSAmbani hopes to clean up the books of his group companies through asset sales. Financial experts say, time is the essence for the success if, the asset sales were to meet its purpose. The group is probably aiming for quick closure. CARE Ratings recently pointed to delays in divestments at Reliance Capital in an April statement while cutting the financier’s rating.Reliance Communications’ 2017 deal to sell its telecom assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd of brother Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) was scrapped earlier this year, following objections from the Department of Telecom (DoT) which wanted the buyer to guarantee payment of the past dues. “The lack of timely realizations in the asset sales is sounding alarms for most of the Anil Ambani-led companies,” the report quotes the managing partner at Aditya Consulting, Mathew Antony, as saying.Swiss telecom equipment supplier Ericsson dragged Reliance Communications to court after it defaulted twice on payments. When the company failed to raise enough funds to clear the dues by the Supreme Court, contempt proceedings were launched against the tycoon. The court ordered Anil Ambani’s personal appearance and set a payment deadline before he would be sent to jail. Mukesh Ambani chipped in to clear the dues to save his younger sibling jail time.Reliance Infrastructure, according to the report, was in advanced talks to sell its nine road projects. The Mumbai Metro rail operator aimed at becoming debt-free by March 2020 after paring its consolidated debt by 45 percent in a year to Rs 17,770 crore as of March-end, the spokesman said. Proceeds from these transactions would help trim debt across companies and could aid in resurrecting credit ratings.last_img read more