Whales dolphins will no longer be displayed at Vancouver Aquarium

first_imgVANCOUVER – Whales, dolphins and porpoises will no longer be kept at Vancouver’s aquarium, a move that animal advocates say is a step toward the end of cetaceans in captivity.The Vancouver Aquarium announced Thursday that is ending the display of cetaceans following a long and controversial battle with animal activists and the city’s park board over the issue.“We made (the decision) because the controversy, the distraction, the dialogue in the community had begun to limit our ability to pursue our ocean conservation mission,” said John Nightingale, the aquarium’s CEO and president.“Cetaceans were with us here for 50 years, so there’s a variety of emotions, as you can imagine, among many of our staff and board members and supporters. But the universal urge to get on with things is the driving force.”Peter Fricker of the Vancouver Humane Society said the decision is a major victory for animal welfare.“I think it’s clear that keeping animals in captivity has lost public support and we’re hopeful that trend continues and that animal captivity will eventually become a thing of the past,” he said.Camille Labchuk with Animal Justice said in a statement the move shows the “writing is on the wall for the whale and dolphin captivity industry.”Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont., is believed to be the only other Canadian facility with cetaceans. The park has dolphins and what it says is the “largest collection of beluga whales in the world.”Fricker said he hopes the Vancouver Aquarium’s decision will encourage Marineland to phase out their whale and dolphin program, too.“I certainly think that it’s another nail in the coffin for cetacean captivity,” he said.Marineland said it continues to actively expand its park, adding that its beluga whales are well cared for.“Our whales are thriving, healthy and active. The Beluga whale program at Marineland is the finest in the world,” it said in a statement.“Access to exhibits of Arctic animals at Marineland or the Vancouver Aquarium are a critical resource for educators, scientists and families and a part of our national heritage for all Canadians to view and appreciate.”Debate over the future of whales, dolphins and porpoises at the Vancouver Aquarium has been simmering for several years, but heated up after the deaths of two belugas in November 2016.A young false killer whale and a harbour porpoise have also died at the aquarium in recent months.The aquarium previously announced plans to phase out its cetacean program by 2029, but first wanted to bring in five new belugas.Those plans were scuttled last May when the Vancouver Park Board approved a bylaw prohibiting the aquarium from bringing any new cetaceans to its facility in Stanley Park.Staff argued the regulations would hinder research and efforts to save and rehabilitate injured and orphaned cetaceans.The park board issued a statement applauding the aquarium’s decision.“The public told us they believed the continuing importation and display of these intelligent and sociable mammals was unethical and incompatible with evolving public opinion and we amended our bylaws accordingly,” said chair Stuart Mackinnon. “We look forward to working with the Vancouver Aquarium as it intensifies its focus on … research and conservation.”Nightingale said the aquarium will continue pursuing a judicial review of the bylaw because the fundamental question is not about animals, but the powers of a government body.“You can imagine the implications of that reach far beyond whales and dolphins and reach far beyond our organization,” he said.The park board did not comment on the judicial review.The aquarium will also continue its work saving wild animals, including cetaceans, and wants to be able to use its facilities in Stanley Park for that purpose when necessary, Nightingale said.That could mean whales, dolphins or porpoises end up in the aquarium’s tanks for short periods while a permanent home is found, he added.“We do want to be able to, on a case-by-case basis, from time to time, use the extraordinary and large facilities at the aquarium in that process, if deemed necessary by (Fisheries Canada) and veterinarians.”Nightingale said an exception from the new policy will also be made for the facility’s single remaining cetacean, a Pacific white-sided dolphin named Helen.Staff want to do what’s best for Helen and that means she should live with others of her kind, but the animal is believed to be in her 30s and moving her could present health complications, he said.For now, Helen will remain at the aquarium, living in the same pool while staff consider her future.Cetaceans owned by the aquarium that are on loan to other facilities will stay where they are for now, he added.last_img read more

Valeant says its making progress halfway through planned turnaround

first_imgMONTREAL – Nearly halfway through its planned turnaround, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. says it is making progress in reducing debt, growing core revenues and resolving legacy legal matters.“While there is more work to do to complete this turnaround to be clear, Valeant today is a stronger company than it was a year ago,” said chairman and CEO Joseph Papa, who joined the company 18 months ago.Valeant’s shares surged more than 17 per cent Tuesday after the drugmaker reported a US$1.3-billion profit boosted by a tax gain.Valeant’s (TSX:VRX) shares gained C$2.66 to close at C$18.09 in Tuesday trading.Papa warned that transforming the embattled company is a multi-year process involving incremental steps.One of the biggest tasks has been cutting its total debt by 11 per cent to $27.4 billion.The company said it has reduced its total debt by $6 billion since the end of the first quarter of 2016, topping its commitment to pay down $5 billion by February.Valeant added it no longer feels compelled to sell more assets but will entertain interest in non-core assets, chief financial officer Paul Herendeen said during a conference call addressing third-quarter results.“It is more opportunistic than I would say a year ago when it was pretty much mandatory that we pursue the divestiture of a number of assets,” he said.Herendeen also said he’s watching very closely efforts in the U.S. Congress to cut corporate taxes. The largest negative impact for the Canadian-based company is likely to come from a proposed 20 per cent excise tax on payments made by U.S. entities to related foreign companies.“If this is enacted just that way this is going to be a problem not just for us, but for any multinational companies — U.S. or otherwise — that do business in the U.S. and have manufacturing and intellectual property located outside the U.S.”The company said it has resolved 21 legal cases launched against it in the past.This includes the Justice Department declining to prosecute following a 2015 investigation of payments made between its Bausch & Lomb division and medical professionals involving surgical products.A class action lawsuit against the eye-care division over consumer fraud allegations was dismissed, as was a royalty dispute over payments for diabetes pill Glumetza.Valeant still faces a string of lawsuits, including one from its former chief executive, and U.S. investigations over its drug pricing practices after questions about the company’s business model first emerged two years ago.The scrutiny caused its shares to plunge from more than $300 per share.The Quebec-based company, which reports in U.S. dollars, said it earned $1.3 billion or $3.69 per diluted share for the three months ending Sept. 30. That compared with a loss of $1.22 billion or $3.49 per diluted share a year ago.Revenue totalled $2.22 billion for the quarter, down from $2.48 billion in the third quarter of 2016, due in part to the sale of several assets in a bid to reduce its massive debt.On an adjusted basis, Valeant said it earned $367 million in its latest quarter.Revenues and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) beat expectations, which Douglas Miehm of RBC Capital Markets said is “positive.”Valeant lowered its full-year revenue guidance to between $8.65 billion and $8.8 billion. That’s down from $8.7 billion to $8.9 billion in August and $8.9 billion and $9.1 billion in May.The forecast for adjusted EBITDA was maintained at $3.5 billion to $3.75 billion.last_img read more

Marrakech: 7 Policemen Injured, 1 Killed in Arrest Gone Wrong

Rabat – While arresting an individual in Marrakech, seven policemen got injured and one was left in critical condition on Wednesday night.The police wanted the individual, who had a national warrant out for his arrest, for theft with violence, says a statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) on Thursday.While police attempted to arrest the suspect, a group of 200 people threw stones at the police. The group were trying to let the suspect go and obstruct the arrest. Seven policemen suffered various degrees of injury, including one who went unconscious and remains in a coma.To repel the attack, a police chief fired three times before a stone hit him in the head. The chief then fired a fourth bullet, fatally wounding another person who died later at the hospital. The police officer entered a deep coma and was admitted to the intensive care unit.The judicial police of Marrakech opened an investigation to determine the circumstances of the incident and to arrest all those involved in the assault of the police officers. read more

Moroccan Quran Teacher Beats Child, Stirs Debate

Rabat – A video posted on social media, on August 6, documented the moment a Fqih (Quran Teacher) beat one of his students (5-6 years old) inside the “M’sid” (traditional Quranic schools).In his interview with Alyaoum 24, Mohamed Reda Taoujni, the owner of the video, said that he took the footage while preparing a report on the city of Taghazout near Agadir. “while I was busy taking pictures of the city, I heard the scream of a child and directed my lens at the source of the scream,” he said.Taoujni, a social activist from Agadir, explained that he tried to contact the child’s father, who apparently “agrees with the Fqih’s sadistic ways.”In Morocco, a high number of parents and teachers believe that physical punishment is acceptable, even advised. People commenting on the video were divided between those who normalized the practice of violence against children and those who criminalized it.One comment said, “let’s be real, that stick wouldn’t even hurt; this new generation deserves more than that.”  “we’ve been hit with worse objects, and now I respect older people,” added the internet user.A second one described the scene as “normal” pointing out that “we’ve been disciplined this way; if these methods were still used, the new generation would have been much better, much more manly.”Another comment addressed the Fqih saying, “May God punish you! You savage animal; he is just a kid.” Supporting this view, another internet user threatened, “if that was my child, the teacher would have been dead already!”The death of Hiba (10 years old), on February 14, 2017, stirred nationwide controversy. Hiba’s parents accused her teacher of “slapping” her before “hitting her on the head with a stick,” for not learning that day’s lesson.Hiba was “punished” on January 17. Two days later, her parents noticed a swelling in her left eye, followed by headaches, then death.The regional delegate of the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training in Meknes told Moroccan channel 2M that “the autopsy doctor said that the cause of death was an eye infection which the child was already suffering from and that the teacher’s blow couldn’t have been the cause.”The use of physical violence or insults against students has been banned in Morocco since 1999. In a note (n° 807/99 of September 23, 1999) Ismail El Alaoui, then Minister of National Education, had urged teachers to “avoid using any form of physical or psychological violence against pupils.”The Penal Code punishes beatings, injuries, violence, assaults committed against a child under the age of 15 with one to three years imprisonment (Article 408). If the assault results in death, even unintentionally, the penalty is 20 to 30 years imprisonment (Article 410). read more

Ban appoints new force commander for UN operation in Lebanon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Major General Paolo Serra of Italy as the new head of the United Nations mission responsible for helping foster stability in southern Lebanon.As Force Commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Major General Serra will be at the helm of what is considered to be one of the most dangerous peacekeeping operations in the world.He succeeds Major General Alberto Asarta Cuevas of Spain, whose tour of duty is slated to end on 28 January, after three years of service. The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to Major General Asarta Cuevas for his “excellent service and leadership.” During his visit to the mission’s headquarters in Naqoura over a week ago, Mr. Ban emphasized the unique risk faced by UNIFIL, saying that while peacekeeping was always dangerous, it was “especially deadly in Lebanon.”The mission has lost 293 personnel since it began in 1978. And just last month, five French peacekeepers were wounded in a roadside bomb near the port city of Tyre – the third such attack in 2011. Major General Serra brings with him wide-ranging experience in commanding troops in multinational peace operations, including in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Mozambique. UNIFIL currently has around 12,100 military personnel from 35 countries and about 1,000 national and international civilian staff members. 23 January 2012Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Major General Paolo Serra of Italy as the new head of the United Nations mission responsible for helping foster stability in southern Lebanon. read more

TSX edges higher as China data continues to fuel mining stocks

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was modestly higher Monday as mining stocks continued to find lift from strong Chinese manufacturing data that came out last week.Traders also looked to another piece of economic data that kept speculation going over whether the U.S. Federal Reserve thinks the economy is strong enough to start backing off on some of its economic stimulus.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 41.93 points to 12,804.23 after the U.S. Commerce Department reported that durable goods orders fell by a much greater than expected 7.3% in July. Economists had expected a drop of almost 4%. The showing followed a 3.9% rise in June, thanks in part to strong airplane orders.Data released Friday had showed a drop in new home sales, raising questions about the strength of the recovery in the U.S. housing market. That led to speculation that the Fed might stick with its current monetary stimulus or only reduce it very gradually.The Canadian dollar was down 0.09 of a cent at 95.14 cents US, well off early lows as the greenback weakened somewhat after the durable goods data.The U.S. dollar has advanced amid growing conviction that the Federal Reserve will start cutting back on its US$85 billion of monthly bond purchases, a move that has kept long-term rates low and supported a strong rally on many stock markets this year.U.S. indexes were slightly higher with the Dow Jones industrials up 8.98 points to 15,019.49, the Nasdaq gaining 10.38 points to 3,668.18 and the S&P 500 index rising 2.52 points to 1,666.02.On the commodity markets, the base metals sector advanced 0.7% while September copper rose two cents to US$3.37 a pound. Thomson Creek Metals Co. (TSX:TCM) gained six cents to C$1.52 while Turquoise Hills Resources (TSX:TRQ) was up eight cents at $5.59.The gold sector was ahead 0.6% as December gold declined $1.40 to US$1,394.80 an ounce. Iamgold (TSX:IMG) gained 17 cents to C$7.23.The energy sector rose 0.3% as oil prices were slightly higher with the October crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 11 cents at US$106.53. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) climbed 37 cents to US$36.43.Outside the resource components, financials also lifted the TSX as traders look to the release of earnings from almost all the big Canadian banks this week.Elsewhere in the sector, TD Bank Group (TSX:TD) says it is continuing talks with Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM) in connection with a possible acquisition of part of the existing CIBC Aeroplan credit card portfolio.Onex Corp. (TSX:OCX) and a private equity affiliate are selling their combined 60% stake in TMS International Corp. (NYSE:TMS) for US$410 million. TMS International Corp., through its subsidiaries including Tube City IMS, is the largest provider of outsourced industrial services to steel mills in North America as well as a substantial international presence. Onex shares gained eight cents to C$51.93.The TSX finished last week with a modest rise as increases in financials and industrials were balanced by further deteriorations in interest-sensitive stocks such as utilities and telecom.Those sectors have been under selling pressure while bond yields have risen since May when Fed chairman Ben Bernanke first mentioned that the central bank could start to taper its asset purchases.The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury has surged about 120 basis points since May to as high as 2.94% last week, although yields have retraced some of that run-up. On Monday, the yield for the 10-year Treasury stood at 2.82%.Later in the week, traders will look to the latest growth figures from Canada and the U.S. along with earnings from most of Canada’s big banks.Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) and Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) post results Tuesday while CIBC (TSX:CM), TD Bank (TSX:TD) and Royal Bank (TSXL:RY) report on Thursday.On Friday, Statistics Canada releases figures for gross domestic product growth in June and the second quarter. Economists expect the data to show GDP contracted 0.5% during the month, in part because of severe flooding in Alberta and a construction sector strike in Quebec.Stronger growth data is expected from the U.S. The second reading on second-quarter GDP growth comes out on Thursday and economists expect the data to show the economy advanced about 2% in the second quarter, up from the original reading of 1.7%.European bourses were mixed with Frankfurt’s DAX up 0.04% and the Paris CAC 40 was down 0.18%. London markets were closed for a holiday.Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.7% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 retreated by 0.2%. Benchmarks in mainland China, India, Taiwan, New Zealand and Thailand also rose. read more

UN health agency launches drive to address crisis in nursing midwifery services

According to WHO, studies attribute the decline in the number of nurses and midwives to several factors, including low pay, hazardous working conditions, lack of career development, and lack of recognition of professional status and autonomy. These same factors can also contribute to a decline in new recruits to the two professions.“If the world’s public health community does not correct this trend, the ability of many health systems to function will be seriously jeopardized “ WHO Director-General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland said.WHO’s new “Strategic Directions for Strengthening Nursing and Midwifery Services” targets five main areas where urgent intervention is needed: human resources planning and capacity building, personnel management, evidence-based practice, education and stewardship.The agency said a highly concerted effort will be required from governments to balance all five areas, while nine international partners, including several UN agencies and international professional organizations, have already endorsed this new agenda.“Nursing and midwifery services are one of the main pillars of health care delivery,” WHO said. “Failure to strengthen these services will seriously impair the quality of health care, access to services, well-being of nurses and midwives, and achievement of national and global health goals.” read more

UN Security Council strongly condemns ceasefire violations in Mali

Strongly condemning repeated violations of the ceasefire arrangements by the Plateforme and Coordination in and around northern Mali’s restive Kidal town, the United Nations Security Council today warned that such acts threaten the viability of the peace agreement in the country and called on the armed groups to immediately cease hostilities and return to dialogue.In a Presidential Statement issued by the Council after consultations, the 15-member body “urged the Government, and the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups to fully and sincerely maintain their commitments under the Agreement [on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali].” “The Security Council also recalled its readiness to consider targeted sanctions against those who take actions to obstruct the implementation of the Agreement as well as those who resume hostilities and violate the ceasefire, as expressed in its resolution 2295 (2016),” the Statement added. The Security Council also urged the Government to engage with the UN Secretary-General, through his Special Representative for Mali, to establish “concrete benchmarks and timelines” to assess the progress toward the implementation of the Agreement as well as on members of the Comité de suivi de l’Accord and other relevant international partners to continue their support to the Agreement’s implementation. Expressing concern over the expansion of terrorist and other criminal activities across the country, and, in particular, into central and southern Mali, as well as the intensification of intercommunal violence in the centre of Mali, the Council emphasized that the national authorities have the primary obligation for the provision of stability and security throughout the country’s territory. Additionally, strongly condemning attacks, including terrorist attacks, against the Malian defense and security forces, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) and the French forces that support it, the Council stressed the need to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of such acts to justice. Also in the statement, the Security Council further expressed serious concern over the insecurity that hinders humanitarian access, as well as attacks against aid workers, and emphasized the need for all parties to respect the principles of humanitarian assistance. The Security Council also emphasized the need for all parties to ensure the safety and protection of civilians receiving assistance and the security of humanitarian personnel operating in Mali. The Malian Government has been seeking to restore stability and rebuild following a series of setbacks since early 2012, including a military coup d’état, renewed fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radical extremists. The country has also been wracked by a series of humanitarian crises. read more

DesBeeDove Mine Remembered

By Julie JohansenMembers and guests of the Emery County Historical Society listened intently as Edward Geary presented the history of the Des-Bee-Dove Mine at their monthly meeting on Thursday evening.Geary began his presentation speaking about the complete reclamation of the mine that was recently completed. He reported that this task began in 2003 and continued for several years. However, PacifiCorp sealed up the portals and the outside structures were demolished in 1987. Geary explained that over 100,000 tons of “bug dust” had to be hauled away and steep slopes and rocky ledges made it treacherous for the equipment operators. It has now been reclaimed, meaning that just by looking at the canyon, no one would ever know a mine had been there.Geary distributed a timeline to the audience and then began to tell the story of the mine. In August of 1938, on the recommendation of Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saint Stake President J. Frank Killian, the church purchased 400 acres of coal land. In November, the first shipment of coal was delivered to the Provo region.The mine became a welfare project for the church and was done by volunteers. Over 27,000 tons of coal was produced by hand labor. This mine was named Desert Mine and Shirl McArthur was called to serve as mine superintendent. Water was piped from Burnt Tree Spring on East Mountain and power was completed to the mine in 1948. In 1955, Desert #2 Mine was opened and was renamed to the Beehive Mine because of regulatory situations of small mines.In 1964, production reached 100,000 tons of coal annually. In 1972, the mine property was sold to Utah Power and Light and operated by American Coal Company. Then, in 1977, the Little Dove Mine was opened. In 1979, American Coal was compelled to sell the operating contract to Emery Mining Corporation. The three mines became one, called Des-Bee-Dove, and ultimately closed in 1987.Following Geary’s presentation, many of the guests who had worked in the mine spoke about their experiences there. Many had good memories and spoke of favorable mine circumstances.It was also reported that the Historical Preservation Committee has prepared three panels with pictures and information of the mine to be placed in a kiosk on the Des-Bee-Dove Mine Road. read more

McCarthy returns as Ireland coach Kenny to succeed him

DUBLIN — Mick McCarthy has returned for his second stint as Republic of Ireland coach, replacing Martin O’Neill, who left Tuesday after five years in charge.The Football Association of Ireland said Sunday that McCarthy would stay in charge for two years, and that Stephen Kenny, who was taking immediate charge of the under-21s, would succeed him after the 2020 European Championship.The 59-year-old McCarthy is tasked with leading an uninspiring side to Euro 2020, which includes four games to be hosted in Dublin.McCarthy led Ireland to qualification for the 2002 World Cup in his first stint in charge between 1996-2002. Ireland reached the last 16, but the campaign was overshadowed by a row between McCarthy and star player Roy Keane, who was sent home from the tournament.McCarthy subsequently coached English sides Sunderland, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Ipswich Town.Kenny was previously in charge of Dundalk, which he led to four League of Ireland titles in five years.Ïa¸?????U????????????????The Associated Press read more

Teammates support Noah Spence despite offfield issues

OSU junior defensive lineman Noah Spence walks out of the team’s fall camp hotel, the Hyatt Place Columbus on Yard Strett, Aug. 7.Credit: Tim Moody / Sports editorWhen news broke that Ohio State junior defensive lineman Noah Spence had failed his second drug test, some believed he had made his last appearance in a scarlet and gray uniform.While that could still be the case, coach Urban Meyer doesn’t seem ready to give up on the Pennsylvania native just yet.“I’ve been criticized for many years about (how) I treat these guys like they’re my kid, and I’m not a big fan of dismissal,” Meyer said Monday. “I just don’t do that very often. It’s gotta be a severe one (situation), where you’re hurting someone else.”Spence, who was a first team All-Big Ten selection by the media in 2013, was suspended for three games in January for testing positive for ecstasy. After sitting out the 2014 Orange Bowl, Spence also sat out the first two games of this season.The defensive lineman was set to return for the Buckeyes’ third game of the season against Kent State, however, until the news of a second failed drug test surfaced less than 24 hours before the game. The failed test resulted in another violation of OSU and Big Ten rules, leaving Spence sidelined indefinitely.Meyer said along with his staff, he’s trying to do what’s best for Spence.“We’re doing our very best to (see) what the future holds for Noah, I have no idea, but to throw him to the street, I didn’t feel like that was appropriate just yet,” Meyer said. “And we’re going to do the best we can to help a guy that was a academic All-Big Ten, good student, great family, that has a problem, and it’s our job to help him, and I don’t think you will ever see our staff ever do that, say you’re out, in that kind of situation.”Junior linebacker Joshua Perry said Monday that he and the rest of his team are trying to support Spence as much as possible.“This is a time where you gotta surround him with people who care,” Perry said. “You can’t abandon him. I think that guys on our team understand that he is dealing with a really tough thing in his life. To be around him, I think, has made a difference.”While Meyer acknowledged that Spence is no longer practicing with the team, Perry said members of the team have made a concerted effort to keep Spence a part of the Buckeyes.“Guys will go out of their way to say hi to him or visit him at his apartment,” Perry said. “I think it is the right thing to do and you got a group of guys, especially on our defense, who care a lot about him. We want to be there to help him.”The Buckeyes’ next game — with or without Spence — is scheduled for Saturday against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. read more

LaVar Ball Isnt Backing Down from Michael Jordan Says

When LaVar Ball says he could beat Michael Jordan one on one and even challenged him pic.twitter.com/Rzfs8NGWRM— Chris (@Sports_FanChris) August 2, 2017Some saw it as a win for the outspoken NBA dad.Jordan responded to Lavar ball about him beating him in a 1 on 1 😂😭😂😭😂 Lavar ball wins again— Spank Horton (@SpankHorton) August 1, 2017 Not convinced LaVar could beat Adonis Jordan.— Russ Bengtson (@russbengtson) August 1, 2017 Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan has finally responded to LaVar Ball’s claim that he could beat the retired baller one-on-one, leading Ball to issue yet another headline-grabbing remark that’s even more outlandish than the first.“C’mon, I didn’t even play basketball in the pros and they’re talking about me and Michael Jordan,” Ball tells The Really Big Show on ESPN 850 per Sports Illustrated Tuesday, Aug. 1 of Jordan’s response before chalking it up as “all entertainment.” “That’s what I’m talking about. He tells me he can beat me with one leg. Well, guess what: I can beat him with one hand. Now we both look like we out there like we can’t play.”During a Q&A session at the Michael Jordan Flight School camp Monday, July 31, Jordan responded to Ball’s statement that in his prime, he “would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one.”“You got to understand the source,” Jordan said to the Santa Barbara, Calif., crowd, according to The Washington Post. “I think he played college, maybe? He averaged 2.2 points a game. Really? It doesn’t deserve a response, but I’m gonna give it to you because you asked the question: I don’t think he could beat me if I was one-legged.”Ball had bragged about how he could ensure he would win against Jordan, telling USA Today Sports he “would just back [Jordan] in and lift him off the ground and call a foul every time he fouls me when I do a jump hook to the right or the left.”On Twitter, users celebrated Jordan’s witty response to Ball.Michael Jordan to Lavar Ball pic.twitter.com/zFWOtlMGaW— Medium Rare (@StickAForkInYou) August 1, 2017 LaVar Ball really had Shaq drop a diss record towards him and Michael Jordan respond to him, this man is winning right now— Okera J (@OkeraJ) August 2, 2017Ball’s Big Baller Brand had this to say in response.Michael, you vs Lavar | 1 v 1 | you with 1 leg, Lavar with 1 arm. Has to be on Pay-Per-View. Let’s make it happen. YOU WON’T. pic.twitter.com/F5jw4Fu1l5— Big Baller Brand (@bigballerbrand) August 1, 2017And folks chimed in on how the match would turn out.Come on. We all know how Michael Jordan vs. LaVar Ball would turn out … (via @theScore) pic.twitter.com/6VZ0aRFriB— Chris Walder Frey (@WalderSports) August 1, 2017 Michael Jordan would stir fry LaVar Ball 1 on 1 😂😂— Gilbert Arenas (@GilbertAgent0) August 1, 2017 Lavar is a genius. Got Michael Freaking Jordan to talk about him. Unreal https://t.co/bZXFZufNum— 🍒Joe L. Kinsley🍒 (@imjoekin) August 1, 2017 read more

Search for Irelands stolen paintings in Limerick as man arrested

first_imgGARDAÍ INVESTIGATING THE theft of a number of State-owned paintings have arrested a man in Shannon.The artwork and other items, which are the property of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, were stolen from a storage facility last year.The suspect is in his early 40s and is currently being questioned at the local garda station. Searches are underway in the Limerick area today.Minister Jimmy Deenihan has ordered all other items in storage to be transferred from the private facility to alternative properties used by the National Monuments Service and the National Museum of Ireland. He has also asked for an inventory and physical check of all artwork, furniture and other items.The Department became aware of the theft when some of the collection was spotted for sale in an auction during 2012. Details of the stolen property has not been released in order to protect the investigation.It is understood that assistance is being provided to gardaí by well-known art auction houses.More: Stolen rhino horns were removed from exhibition ‘due to risk of theft’Read: Rhino heads and horns stolen from Dublin museum archivelast_img read more

iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner is called a Touch ID sensor

first_imgFollowing the iPhone 5S packaging leak yesterday, which showed a silver circle around the Home button. Further evidence has now appeared confirming Apple has integrated a fingerprint scanner into the Home button. And it has also been given a more official looking name.An image sent to nowhereelse.fr looks to be a piece of marketing or a page from the user guide that isn’t meant to be made available until after the launch later today. It shows the same new design as the packaging revealed, but points to the Home button also containing something called a “Touch ID sensor”.That certainly has a better ring to it than fingerprint scanner, and you can be sure Apple will be spending some time today describing how wonderful this Touch ID sensor is. It should also be followed by talk of how secure the iPhone 5S is because of the sensor, and how it enables consumers to carry out transactions on their phone with confidence. I also imagine Apple will be making a strong case for businesses opting for iPhone in future because of this.It’s not long to wait now until the iPhone 5S (and iPhone 5C) get official alongside the roll out of iOS 7. The Apple event begins at 1pm ET (10am PT) and we will be live blogging the proceedings as well as following up with coverage on whatever gets announced. Will there be any surprises, or is today going to be totally focused on everything iPhone?last_img read more

Walking away

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Andrew Jackomos’ reign as Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People began in July 2013, two months before Tony Abbott became prime minister, and the former Koori Justice Unit head has some strong words to share on the Abbott administration’s track-record.His most damning reflection is that the plight of young Aboriginal children – particularly in urban areas – has worsened, rather than improved, because of the government’s actions.The prime minister may have expressed disappointment at the latest ‘Closing the Gap’ report (confirming the parlous state of affairs on narrowing the divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in health, education and employment) but as the Victorian commissioner told Neos Kosmos this week, that it came as no surprise.“People who are in this game knew what was coming,” says Mr Jackomos.“The federal government talks about continued investments, but has in fact withdrawn funding … for instance it hasn’t renewed the housing partnerships between state and federal. There’s a whole range of reasons why the situation is getting worse.”While Aboriginal people in remote areas are the focus of most of the political rhetoric, urban communities often find themselves disconnected from mainstream acknowledgement; the crux of the matter is that the majority of Australia’s 670,000 Indigenous population live in urban areas – and 47,000 of them reside in Victoria.Meanwhile the PM and his cabinet have a habit of heading north to prove their credentials and commitment to improving Indigenous lives. Mr Abbott spent a week in September living under canvas in East Arnhem Land (and has pledged to do so again) to “ensure that the concerns of remote Australia, that the concerns of indigenous Australia, for at least one week, are at the absolute forefront of our national thinking”.As a symbolic gesture, the PM’s trips to Australia’s far north are fair enough, says Jackomos, but the majority’s needs shouldn’t be relegated to a lower agenda item.“I’m not saying there isn’t a great need in remote communities, there is, but the levels of disadvantage, of life expectancy, and disengagement from education in urban communities – these things are out of control. “There’s a whole range of factors which the federal government is walking away from, in terms of working with urban indigenous communities.”After the ACT, Victoria has the fastest-growing Aboriginal population of any state in Australia and the latest figures show shocking rates of disadvantage, particularly for children.More than 12 times as likely than the average to be removed by authorities from their families, Indigenous children in Victoria are the victims of an epidemic in domestic violence – often brought on by drug and alcohol abuse.“If these numbers were for white kids, there would be a state emergency,” says the commissionerMoreover, despite increasing concern, the Abbott government is withdrawing funding previously allocated to Aboriginal support services and Jackomos says the government is dragging its feet on programs that target family violence.“Commonwealth funding targeting Indigenous family violence after 30 June is not guaranteed and the national network of Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services have had to apply for their recurrent core funding. They won’t know the outcome until mid-March at the earliest.”“This is a ridiculous situation, just at a time we need such programs to be firmly established and supported.”Under the Abbott government’s restructuring of Indigenous funding, hundreds of organisations are waiting to find out whether they will continue to receive funding through the government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy, which has reduced more than 150 programs into five areas. For the commissioner, the only upside he has experienced in his role as a state overseer (reporting directly to the Victorian parliament), is the actions of the Andrews government, which he calls “a breath of fresh air” compared to the previous Napthine administration.“There’s been a change of leadership in the department of health and human services, and it’s signalled a change in the style of the partnership between the state government and the Koori community.”Jackomos has also praised Jenny Mikakos, Minister for Families, Children and Youth Affairs, with whom he says, he has a “solid and positive” relationship.“Up until now it hasn’t been an open or transparent process and Minister Mikakos has written to me and promised it will be a lot more transparent.“For me to be able to monitor, which is my job as commissioner, I need to be able to get hold of critical and local data, and we couldn’t get that under the previous government.”Jackomos describes his first 20 months in the post as “a learning experience” – one of revelation and no small degree of trauma.“I’ve seen more than 200 Aboriginal children in out-of-home care and many of these are doing it very tough. “There are places where it’s working, but I see a system in turmoil where our kids are disconnected from their culture and from their family. The legislation just isn’t working because it’s not being actioned on the ground.”Showing a defiant readiness to speak out, in his previous role as a public servant Andrew Jackomos oversaw key reforms in Indigenous justice, including the creation of Koori courts in Victoria and three Aboriginal Justice agreements. Given the support of state and federal decision-makers, this tirelessly campaigning commissioner – of Kastelorizon and Koori descent – will continue to make a difference to Australia’s often forgotten children in need.last_img read more

New explanation for Hawaiian hot spot

first_imgHawaii Volcanoes National Park. Image: nps.gov Hawaii’s volcanoes have puzzled scientists for decades because the islands lie in the middle of a tectonic plate rather than at the edge, where volcanic activity would be expected. Until now the prevailing theory has been the mantle plume theory, which suggested the volcanism was fed by a hot plume rising from the Earth’s mantle, but so far efforts to detect a hot plume seismically have remained inconclusive.The mantle plume theory was developed by US scientist Jason Morgan in 1971 and suggests the tectonic plate is sliding above a stationary plume of molten rock lying deep within the mantle, with upwellings of lava forming undersea volcanoes that eventually grew upwards to become islands. As the tectonic plate continued to move the volcanoes were extinguished and some of the islands eroded and dropped below sea level. The result was the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, which stretches from the Aleutian Trench in the northwest to the present-day Hawaiian islands in the southeast.The new research, by a team led by seismologist Dr Robert van der Hilst of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) imaged the scattering of seismic waves from discontinuities in the mantle to try to identify plumes and other subterranean structures. Discontinuities are formed when the rocks in the mantle are squeezed together at such high pressures that they abruptly reorganize themselves. They included data from almost 170,000 reflected seismic signals along with seismic data from around 4,800 earthquakes in the Pacific region.The next step in the research was to use computer models of the behavior of a variety of minerals at different temperatures and pressures to predict the temperature of the regions beneath the Earth’s surface that reflect the seismic waves. The results suggested a shallow 800-to 2,000-kilometer-wide “thermal anomaly” exists near the top of the lower mantle around 720 kilometers beneath the surface to the west of Hawaii. This suggests that the mantle plume theory might be wrong, since the findings do not support hot material rising as a narrow vertical plume.According to van der Hilst, the current volcanic activity might be fuelled instead by molten rocks bubbling upwards from the eastern edge of the pool of trapped materials “like a lava lamp” rather than a mantle plume. Other scientists have some misgivings, with Thorne Lay of the University of California pointing out that some of the data selected for the analysis were not clean enough since 170,000 good quality waveforms do not exist, and using noisy data could have introduced errors.Dr van der Hilst agreed the team used data other seismologists could discard as too noisy, but said they were able to “exploit the noise reduction of very large data sets.” He also said that carefully selecting data could produce bias in the results.The paper was published in the journal Science on May 27. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. New Technology Allows Geophysicist To Test Theory About Formation of Hawaii (w/ Podcast) (PhysOrg.com) — Scientists in the US have suggested that volcanic activity in Hawaii could be fed by a giant hot rock pool 1,000 kilometers west of the islands and in the Earth’s mantle, rather than being fed by a hot plume of magma as previously thought. More information: Seismic Imaging of Transition Zone Discontinuities Suggests Hot Mantle West of Hawaii, Science 27 May 2011: Vol. 332 no. 6033 pp. 1068-1071 DOI: 10.1126/science.1202731ABSTRACTThe Hawaiian hotspot is often attributed to hot material rising from depth in the mantle, but efforts to detect a thermal plume seismically have been inconclusive. To investigate pertinent thermal anomalies, we imaged with inverse scattering of SS waves the depths to seismic discontinuities below the Central Pacific, which we explain with olivine and garnet transitions in a pyrolitic mantle. The presence of an 800- to 2000-kilometer-wide thermal anomaly (ΔTmax ~300 to 400 kelvin) deep in the transition zone west of Hawaii suggests that hot material does not rise from the lower mantle through a narrow vertical plume but accumulates near the base of the transition zone before being entrained in flow toward Hawaii and, perhaps, other islands. This implies that geochemical trends in Hawaiian lavas cannot constrain lower mantle domains directly. Explore further Citation: New explanation for Hawaiian hot spot (2011, May 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-explanation-hawaiian-hot.html © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

GitHubs new integration for Jira Software Cloud aims to provide teams a

first_imgLast week, GitHub announced that they have built a new integration to enable software teams to connect their code on GitHub.com to their projects on Jira Software Cloud. This integration updates Jira with data from GitHub, providing a better visibility into the current status of your project. What are the advantages of this new GitHub and Jira integration? No need to constantly switch between GitHub and Jira With your GitHub account linked to Jira, your team can see the branches, commit messages, and pull request in the context of the Jira tickets they’re working on. This integration provides a deeper connection by allowing you to view references to Jira in GitHub issues and pull requests. Source: GitHub Improved capabilities This new GitHub-managed app provides improved security, along with the following capabilities: Smart commits: You can use smart commits to update the status, leave a comment, or log time without having to leave your command line or GitHub View from within a Jira ticket: You can view associated pull requests, commits, and branches from within a Jira ticket Searching Jira issues: You can search for Jira issues based on related GitHub information, such as open pull requests. Check the status of development work: The status of development work can be seen from within Jira projects Keep Jira issues up to date: You can automatically keep your Jira issues up to date while working in GitHub Install the Jira Software and GitHub app to connect your GitHub repositories to your Jira instance. The previous version of the Jira integration will be deprecated in favor of this new GitHub-maintained integration. Once the migration is complete, the legacy integration (DVCS connector) is disabled automatically. Read the full announcement at the GitHub blog. Read Next 4 myths about Git and GitHub you should know about GitHub addresses technical debt, now runs on Rails 5.2.1 GitLab raises $100 million, Alphabet backs it to surpass Microsoft’s GitHublast_img read more

Garneau asks Canadian airlines to confirm fitness to fly measures

first_img The Canadian Press Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, January 5, 2017 Garneau asks Canadian airlines to confirm fitness to fly measurescenter_img OTTAWA — Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau is seeking assurances from passenger airlines that they have up-to-date measures to confirm pilots’ fitness to fly and are rigorously enforcing them.Garneau’s move follows an incident last weekend in which a Sunwing Airlines pilot was accused of being so drunk that he passed out in the cockpit shortly before scheduled takeoff from Calgary.Miroslav Gronych has been charged with one count of having care and control of an aircraft while impaired and one count of having control of a plane while his blood alcohol level was above .08.Gronych, a Slovakian national in Canada on a work visa, is to appear in court Thursday – the same day Garneau is expected to send a letter to all passenger airline companies operating in Canada.A spokesman for Garneau, Marc Roy, says the letter will ask the airlines to provide confirmation that their protocols and safety management systems are up to date and are being enforced “with all required resources, including measures designed to confirm pilots’ fitness to fly.”Roy says the objective is to “ensure the highest safety standards.”More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backAccording to Transport Canada, Canada’s largest passenger airlines have safety management systems in place, intended to help them identify safety risks before they become bigger problems to ensure that safety is part of their everyday culture. That includes having proper procedures in place to ensure pilots are competent and fit to fly.The department has said it is reviewing Sunwing’s protocols to ensure the airline’s handling of the Gronych incident complied with its safety management system and Canadian regulations. It has also said it “will not hesitate” to take enforcement action if necessary, including issuing fines and revoking licenses if appropriate.Under the Canadian Aviation Regulations, members of a flight crew are prohibited from working within eight hours of consuming alcohol or while under the influence of alcohol. It is up to each airline to ensure those regulations are followed.Sunwing has said it has a “zero tolerance” policy on crew members consuming alcohol within 12 hours of going on duty. The company says it also trains all employees to look for and report any unusual behaviour.More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyPolice have said that last Saturday the crew of one of Sunwing’s Boeing 737 passenger jets noticed the pilot acting oddly before finding him allegedly passed out in the cockpit shortly before departure from Calgary. The plane, with 99 passengers and crew on board, was to make stops in Regina and Winnipeg before continuing on to Cancun, Mexico.The pilot was escorted off the plane. Police subsequently alleged that Gronych’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.Gronych has been released on $1,000 bail and ordered to surrender his passport. He has also been banned from flying a plane in Canada while on bail. None of the allegations against him have been proven in court.Sunwing has said it employs about 350 Canadian pilots but contracts up to 60 foreign pilots during peak holiday seasons.To fly in Canada, foreign pilots must either obtain a Canadian licence or obtain Canadian validation of their foreign licence. Tags: Canada Posted bylast_img read more

Accordion bandits risk fine to play Despacito on Toronto subways

first_img TORONTO — A pair of accordion players performing the summer hit ‘Despacito’ while appearing on subway trains in Toronto have been warned to stop or risk being fined, the city’s transit agency said Friday.The two men have been spotted separately by commuters on various stretches of the subway system in recent days and videos of their performances have been circulating on social media.The reaction to the busking is divided, with some online expressing their dislike, while others applaud the men for the entertainment during their commute.A little subway accordion to brighten your afternoon! #toronto #ttc #busking pic.twitter.com/096rxLrE8i— Astoria (@Local_Ginger) April 18, 2018The Toronto Transit Commission said enforcement officers came across the men a couple of times earlier this month and issued the warnings.“We have not received any formal complaints through our customer service department,” spokesman Stuart Green said Friday. “What we have seen is the online chatter and people posting videos.”Busking on trains is not allowed, Green said, and players must be approved before they can perform in designated areas on TTC property.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish Steps“We have a TTC subway musicians’ program – auditions of which are actually open right now,” he said. “So if these guys are interested, they can apply to get a three-year licence to legally perform in the TTC system and earn some money at the same time.”Green said the men, who he identified as brothers, could be issued tickets if their on-train performances continue.Transit customers “have the right to enjoy a relatively peaceful ride,” Green said, adding that a common complaint from riders is about people playing their music too loudly without headphones.The accordion players have received both love and loathing from their audiences.One transit rider recently tweeted, “thank you accordion man on the subway for making this rainy commute home a little more entertaining.”Another tweeted, “I’m getting a little tired of this Despacito accordion player riding the subway. Nothing fails to sour me faster.”A Toronto-based professional accordion player who has seen the videos of the two men said ‘Despacito’ isn’t a particularly difficult song to play, but performing on a moving train can make a performance more challenging.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portal“The accordions are pretty heavy and it’s probably a bit difficult because on the subway you need to hold on to something when there is an abrupt stop,” said Claudio Santaluce. “It should definitely be a little bit tiring, because apparently they play for long periods of time standing up.”Santaluce added that he had personally enjoyed watching videos of the subway players.“I might be biased because I’m a musician, but if I was on that train, I’d actually enjoy it and I’d tell all my friends about it,” he said.‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi, featuring Daddy Yankee, became the most viewed clip of all-time on YouTube last summer and the most-streamed track of all-time. However, the record-breaking video did not feature vocals by Canadian pop star Justin Bieber that appeared on a remix. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Toronto Accordion bandits risk fine to play ‘Despacito’ on Toronto subways Monday, April 23, 2018 center_img The Canadian Press Posted by Sharelast_img read more