Ecofriendly terracotta pottery draws huge crowd at Delhi exhibition

first_imgNew Delhi: With the temperature soaring in, health conscious Delhiites are getting more and more drawn towards eco-friendly terracotta items, especially utensils and earthen water bottles available on sale at the ongoing exhibition at “Shabri”.Baked clay utensils and artefacts made by potters of Chhattisgarh and exhibited by the “Chhattisgarh Matikala Board” are a great hit amongst the buyers. The red soil available in abundance mainly in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh has a perfect blend and high density for Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’crafting terracotta figurines and pottery. The craft dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization during which soil from the rivers were used for intricately crafting terracotta items and baked in the fire to produce beautiful figurines of deities, men, women, elephant, horses, pitchers, pottery items etc. Potteries made up of terracotta have several health benefits these are natural coolants, keep the nutrients intact and also help in saving the environment. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Clay utensils always attracted me but earlier I was hesitant to buy as it might have some impurities. I am happy that now I can buy these items because it comes through a certified state board,” says a buyer at the exhibition. Chhattisgarh has an ancient history of using terracotta items. During excavations it was found that in Harappan era people in Chhattisgarh used to build houses using terracotta walls and tiles. Terracotta pottery represents the customs and rituals of tribal life in Chhattisgarh and represents their emotions.last_img read more

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Marrakech to host LXR Music Festival

LXR festival is a new international event in Marrakech dedicated to jazz, blues, fusion, rock, contemporary and classical music.The festival is produced by LXR Music Company that is an independent body devoted to support Jazz and Fusion groups with the purpose of distributing their albums.The LXR Festival Association aims to establish a Music Academy in Marrakech with the support of National and International Partners. Some of the objects of the project are the creation of a Media library rich with Albums, Vinyls, Books, DVDs, Scores, Software, and Instruments. The LXR Festival Association works on starting music lessons funded by the profits of the first edition of LXR Festival.Read also: Plan Your Trip Now: Marrakech’s Oasis Festival Set for September 2019For its first edition, the LXR Festival will introduce the audience to some outstanding names in jazz, blues, fusion, rock, contemporary and classical music.For instance, one of the great names performing in the festival this year is Youssef Dhafer. He is a Tunisian Oud player, composer, and vocalist. Dhafer is one of today’s jazz hottest stars. His music is a mixture of Arabic sacred sounds and jazz. As a young child, Youssef was exposed to various genres of music like Bach, Tchaikovsky, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles. But what really caught his ear was jazz. *“Jazz changed my life. It was like, this sounds like music that allows me to be myself.” Dhafer told the Irish Times.Other artists present during the first edition are the magical duo, Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita. The music of these two virtuoso musicians is a union of two cultures, Senegal and Wales. Keita and Finch are maestros of the kora and classical harp respectively.The alto saxophonist Logan Richardson is another brilliant artist performing in the festival.The New York Times describes his songs as, “sweeping and rhapsodic and don’t need a fixed rhythm to ground them.”The festival will also pay tribute to the late Randy Weston who celebrated Africa as the wellspring of jazz music. Weston was an esteemed American jazz pianist and composer whose music was inspired by his ancestral African roots.The first edition of LXR Festival brings a unique cultural experience to Marrakech, showcasing the finest international musicians through live performances of singing and instrument playing. read more

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Morocco Now Has Balkan Competitors for 2030 World Cup Bid

Rabat- The AP reported Friday that four Balkan countries have announced that they will make a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.The heads of state from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Serbia made the announcement at a regional meeting on the Black Sea.Morocco announced it would submit another bid to host the World Cup immediately after the North African country lost its chance to host the 2026 World Cup to a North American joint bid in June. Moroccan officials have not yet revealed whether the country will submit a joint bid or another solo bid.Speculations ran wild this summer about a potential joint bid between Morocco, Spain, and Portugal.In September, however, Portuguese news outlet A Bola reported that Portugal is not planning to bid for the World Cup with Spain.“Morocco will bid to host the World Cup in 2030—there is no doubt about that. But we have not yet decided on the co-hosts. The decision will be politically discussed,” said Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) President Fouzi Lekjaa.After Morocco said it would bid to host the 2030 World Cup, Algeria and Tunisia expressed their interest in a joint Maghreb bid.A joint bid might increase Morocco’s chance to host the World Cup. FIFA President Gianni Infantino told the press after the end of the 2026 World Cup bidding process that he prefers joint bids.Several other countries have shown interest in bidding to host the global tournament, including England and a joint bid from South America: Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay.In August, Cameroonian presidential candidate Joshua Osih said that he would nominate his country along with two sub-Saharan African countries to jointly host the 2030 World Cup if he wins the presidential election.Osih, however,  was defeated by his competitor, incumbent Paul Biya, who was re-elected on October 22. read more

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Ban Kimoon to send top UN humanitarian official to Kenya

“With our partners, we have been able to meet the initial basic needs of displaced populations, totalling around 310,000 IDPs [internally displaced persons] spread over 192 sites in the western and central provinces,” Mr. Ban told reporters after briefing a closed meeting of the Security Council today on his recent visit to Africa.“I am going to dispatch Mr. John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, to look after these issues.”The Secretary-General recently returned from a visit to Africa, where he met with both President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, telling both men that “they bear a particular political responsibility for the future of Kenya.”More than 800 people have lost their lives in the post-election violence.Mr. Ban said that he underscored the need by all Kenyan leaders to bring an end to the “unacceptable violence and killings” and to settle all problems peacefully.“I also appealed to all the political leaders to think beyond their individual interests or party lines, and to look to the future of Kenya as one country,” he added.The Secretary-General reiterated his support for the mediation efforts led by his predecessor, Kofi Annan, who heads the Panel of Eminent African Personalities.During his visit to Nairobi, the troubled nations’ capital, last week, Mr. Ban and Mr. Annan conferred on the roadmap for the talks between the Government and the opposition.“The parties are now talking and discussing practical measures to stop the spiral of violence, to address the humanitarian crisis, and to restore fundamental human rights and liberties,” the Secretary-General said.He noted that he has assigned several members of his staff to assist Mr. Annan’s team and pointed out that a UN Development Programme (UNDP) Trust Fund has been created in support of the peace efforts.“Needless to say, much more needs to be done,” Mr. Ban pointed out, urging donors to step up their contributions to address the problem.In a related development, High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour will deploy a three-week fact-finding mission to Kenya beginning tomorrow to assess rights violations committed since last December.The team will travel around the country to gather first-hand information from victims, witnesses, Government officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and representatives of the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights, among others.“Truth and accountability are of critical importance in putting an end to the violence and preventing future human rights violations,” Ms. Arbour said.Meanwhile, an emergency United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) team has been deployed to the border region between Kenya and Uganda, where some 12,000 people have fled in the wake of the December elections.According to Ugandan authorities, these Kenyans are taking refuge in the south and south-east of Uganda.UNHCR is registering new arrivals, and its team will lead emergency response efforts and coordinate with local and central Ugandan authorities.The agency’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations Judy Cheng-Hopkins met today with Kenya’s Minister for Special Programmes who is overseeing the efforts to assist IDPs.Ms. Cheng-Hopkins assured the Government of UNHCR’s readiness to take part in efforts to help the displaced. 5 February 2008United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced plans to dispatch his top humanitarian official to Kenya, where more than 300,000 people have been forced to flee their homes due to violence which has torn through the East African nation following last December’s disputed elections. read more

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Security Council renews arms embargo and sanctions in DR Congo

30 November 2009The Security Council today extended and expanded the arms embargo and related sanctions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which have been in place since 2003, for another year. Council members voted unanimously to adopt a resolution continuing the regime of sanctions, which consists of an arms embargo against all armed groups that are not part of either the Government’s integrated army (known as the FARDC) or police units, through 30 November next year. The 15-member panel also extended the mandate of the Group of Experts dealing with the DRC for the same period, and expanded its remit to include the creation of recommendations on due diligence guidelines for the buying and processing of lucrative mineral products in the troubled African country. The Group of Experts has been asked to focus its activities on North and South Kivu, Ituri and Orientale provinces in the east of the country, which remains plagued by fighting and unrest since the end of the DRC’s brutal civil war earlier this decade. The mandate of the Council subcommittee dealing with the DRC has also been expanded to take account of changing notification requirements for UN Member States complying with the embargo and sanctions. read more

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77 more police cadets graduate in East Timor UN

UNTAET said the new officers — who attended classes on human rights, community policing, firearms and self-defence — had previously served in the Indonesian police and had all been vetted in consultation with the East Timorese community.In another development, UNTAET announced that a UN peacekeeper from Australia was wounded yesterday in the right forearm following a machete attack by a group of civilians close to Hera, near Dili. The peacekeeper was evacuated to the UN hospital in Dili where he is in a stable condition. UNTAET says that the incident has been referred to the UN Civilian Police (CIVPOL) for investigation.

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BHP Billiton denies violations of anticorruption laws through Beijing Olympics sponsorship

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CANBERRA, Australia – Global mining giant BHP Billiton is under investigation by U.S. and Australian law enforcement for potential violations of anti-corruption laws through its sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.The U.S. Justice Department and Australian Federal Police are scrutinizing BHP Billiton’s Olympic sponsorship and hospitality to determine whether Chinese government officials or executives at state-owned companies received inducements that could have resulted in BHP obtaining a business advantage, The Australian Financial Review newspaper reported Wednesday.The Anglo-Australian company said it is co-operating with the investigations.“We believe our Olympic activities complied with all applicable law,” the world’s biggest miner said in a statement.“BHP Billiton is fully committed to operating with integrity and the group’s policies specifically prohibit engaging in bribery in all its forms,” it said.Between 2000 and 2008, the company spent millions of dollars on its Olympics sponsorship and hospitality. BHP Billiton was classified as an official games sponsor and provided the metals to make the 6,000 gold, silver and bronze medals won at the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics. China’s huge industrial demand for raw materials has made the country BHP Billiton’s biggest market.The U.S. Justice Department told the newspaper in response to a freedom of information request that its criminal division was conducting “law enforcement proceedings” involving BHP Billiton.Australian Federal Police confirmed its involvement in “Australian aspects of the U.S. investigation.”“Foreign bribery investigations are inherently complex due to their cross border nature and often involve co-ordination between law enforcement and regulatory agencies,” federal police said in a statement. It declined to elaborate on the BHP Billiton investigation.The newspaper said the company and several staff or consultants may face criminal charges or civil sanctions.The relevant laws are the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act — which carries penalties of 5 years prison and fines up to $2 million — as well as Australian corporate and criminal laws, it said.Foreign bribery laws prohibit any benefit being given to a public official in order to obtain a business advantage.The newspaper reported that Australia federal police reviewed U.S. files and discovered “suspicious transactions that had been recorded as legitimate business payments” by BHP Billiton.It said much of the investigation will turn on how law enforcement authorities view officials from China’s state-owned steel and aluminum companies in relation to foreign bribery laws.If these Chinese officials are classed as serving government officials, then the company’s provision of hotel rooms, meals and entertainment could be deemed illegal inducements. by Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press Posted Mar 13, 2013 5:09 am MDT BHP Billiton denies violations of anti-corruption laws through Beijing Olympics sponsorship read more

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New York warns that Ocwen may have misled hundreds of thousands of

One of the nation’s largest servicers of home loans may have denied struggling borrowers the chance to fix loan problems and avoid foreclosures, New York’s financial regulator has alleged.An investigation by the state’s Department of Financial Services found that Ocwen Financial Corp. inappropriately backdated foreclosure warnings and letters that rejected mortgage loan modifications, making it nearly impossible for borrowers to appeal the company’s decision.Many borrowers who had fallen behind on loan payments also received warning letters months after the deadline for avoiding foreclosure had passed, department investigators found.Potentially hundreds of thousands of backdated letters may have been sent to borrowers, likely causing them “significant harm,” Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services, wrote in a letter to Ocwen released Tuesday.“Ocwen’s indifference to such a serious matter demonstrates a troubling corporate culture that disregards the needs of struggling borrowers,” Lawsky wrote in the letter to company’s general counsel.In a statement, Atlanta-based Ocwen blamed software errors in the company’s correspondence systems for generating improperly dated letters.The latest claims of wrongdoing against Ocwen come less than a year after the company agreed to reduce struggling borrowers’ loan balances by $2 billion as part of a settlement with federal regulators and 49 states over foreclosures abuses.It’s the most recent evidence that many of the same kinds of abuses that made the housing crisis and the Great Recession worse are still happening some seven years after the housing bubble burst.Subprime mortgage lenders thrived during the real estate boom years, as many borrowers turned to a variety of nontraditional, riskier loans when they couldn’t qualify for traditional, fixed-interest mortgages requiring down payments.But it all began to unravel in 2007, as defaults started to pile up. That eventually triggered a mortgage meltdown that sent foreclosures soaring and propelled the U.S. housing market into its worst skid in decades.In the years since, companies like Ocwen have been enlisted to handle payment collection on behalf of banks and, in many cases, investors who own securities backed by bundled home loans. They also handle customer services, loan modifications and foreclosures.Such companies have also been criticized for not helping homeowners quickly enough — resulting in delays that lead to more fees and profits for servicers. Many have been the target of consumer lawsuits. Some mortgage-servicing companies processed foreclosures without verifying documents.Ocwen is the fourth-largest mortgage servicer in the country and the biggest that isn’t a bank. It specializes in servicing high-risk mortgages. At the start of this year, it managed $106 billion worth of subprime mortgages, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, a mortgage industry trackerThe New York Department of Financial Services launched a probe into Ocwen in August amid allegations that the company overcharged struggling homeowners on a product called force-placed insurance, which servicers force borrowers to buy if they don’t maintain voluntary homeowners’ insurance. If mortgage borrowers don’t pay up for newly purchased insurance, Ocwen forecloses on their homes.Among its latest findings, the regulator determined that Ocwen failed to investigate the backdating of its letters to borrowers nearly a year after an employee raised questions about the practice.The letter did not specify whether the backdating was intentional or the result of poor oversight by Ocwen.“The existence and pervasiveness of these issues raise critical questions about Ocwen’s ability to perform its core function of servicing loans,” Lawsky wrote in the letter.In its statement, Ocwen said initially that its systems generated improperly dated letters to 283 of its borrowers in New York. It later said it is aware of additional borrowers, but didn’t specify..The company added that it is investigating two other cases and co-operating with the New York regulator.“We believe that we have resolved the letter-dating issues that have been identified to date, and we continue our investigation as to whether there are additional letter-dating issues that need to be resolved,” the company said.A company spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for details on how many Ocwen borrowers nationwide received backdated letters or lost their homes as a result of the delayed warning letters.Ocwen’s stock slumped $4.78, or 18.2 per cent, to $21.48 Tuesday. The stock is down 61 per cent this year.___Josh Boak in Washington contributed to this report. New York warns that Ocwen may have misled ‘hundreds of thousands’ of borrowers AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Alex Veiga, The Associated Press Posted Oct 21, 2014 11:54 am MDT read more

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Modular launches DISPATCH Underground 2015

first_imgModular Mining Systems, Inc (MMSI), a global leader in the delivery of real-time computer-based mine management solutions for surface and underground mining operations, has released its DISPATCH® Underground 2015 Fleet Management system (FMS).Since 1989, the DISPATCH Underground system has been helping underground mine operations achieve their utilisation and productivity goals. The latest evolution of the underground FMS gives mines a higher degree of visibility into development and production activities taking place below the surface. Some of the many new features and system enhancements include:Advanced development process managementComprehensive active task managementExpanded workflow automationUpdated desktop- and mobile application user interfacesIncreased flexibility, configurability and adaptabilityHeightened data capture capabilitiesMicrosoft® Windows®, SQL Server® 2012, and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) support.This underground system maximises production through real-time, total-activity management of all mobile equipment units. Rugged RFID tags and tag readers track the movements of machines through the mine, while GPS technology monitors equipment position above ground. With the comprehensive level of equipment tracking, mines can realize more accurate time tracking, material tracking and reporting for all development and production processes.Durable, purpose-built mobile hardware facilitates the real-time exchange of information between the operator at the working face and personnel in the central office for increased productivity, efficiency, and safety. Automated tools for advanced production, material movement; and crew and locations management help mines keep operations running at optimal capacity and according to plan.“Modular is committed to maximising the value that our solutions deliver to the market,” said Michael Lewis, Vice President, Product Innovation. Leveraging more than 25 years of underground fleet management experience and extensive customer feedback, Modular embarked upon a multi-year, multi-million dollar project to tailor and modernise its underground system. “As a result of this concentrated development effort, the DISPATCH Underground 2015 system provides our customers with enhanced tools and technologies they need to meet or exceed their operational goals,” he added.last_img read more

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VIDEO Bosnian dreams come true

Bosnia and Herzegovina made the biggest surprise at the Play-Off for the World Championship 2015 in Qatar. Bosnians celebrated tie in Reykjavik 29:29,which forced Iceland to miss the first big event since WCh 2009 in Croatia.This will be the first event for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the only country of former Yugoslavia which didn’t participate at World or European Championships. ← Previous Story Macedonia easily past Greece to book Qatar ticket Next Story → Vladan Matic: “I should have been a terrorist for this team” bosnia and herzegovina handballIceland handballQatar 2015Qatar handball

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Eleven new garda motorcycles in three years despite withdrawal of 61

first_imgFIGURES RELEASED BY the Department of Justice in recent weeks have again highlighted pressures on the garda resources, with 11 motorcycles purchased in the last three years despite the withdrawal of 61.In response to one parliamentary question, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter he was “conscious of the continuing pressures” on the fleet.The figures also show that four traffic jeeps were purchased in 2011, with no extra jeeps added to the fleet either in 2012 or this year versus the five that were withdrawn during that period. There is a larger disparity between the figures for motorcycles bought and retired during the three years period and no new bikes were added to the fleet this year.New vehiclesThe minister pointed to his recent announcement of a €9 million investment for garda vehicles with €5 million being injected before the end of 2013. However his department told TheJournal.ie at the time that none of this funding for the rest of the year would be spent on new motorcycles and the Garda Representative Association said the new vehicles would “only keep us at our current level”.Around 20 escort bikes were taken off the roads for two months for servicing over the summer and it is understood that they were previously taken out of action for a number of weeks ahead of visits by Queen Elizabeth II and US President Barack Obama in 2011 to bring the vehicles up to scratch.One garda source said: I would go as far as to say that our safety is being compromised by management, expecting us to use sub-standard equipment and not police spec equipment.Declining numbersOverall numbers of vehicles have been declining over the years from 2,677 in 2011 to 2,459 this year.Shatter said it is estimated that a further 93 vehicles may be retired between now and the end of the year. Dublin, unsurprisingly, has the highest number of vehicles with over 500 while Kerry has the lowest at 38.The minister explained that vehicles are retired for “a variety of reasons”, including where vehicles are considered beyond economic repair or as a result of accidents.I understand from the garda authorities that the relevant manufacturers have indicated that, for safety reasons, patrol cars should be withdrawn from service when the odometer reading reaches 300,000 kilometres.The minister has maintained that An Garda Síochana are provided with “sufficient resources to enable them to deliver an effective and efficient policing service”.Related: 305 new garda vehicles will ‘only keep us at our current level’>Read: Garda escort bikes out of action for two months>last_img read more

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Netflix will stream episodes of new Star Trek series everywhere except US

first_imgThere’s a new Star Trek series coming next year, and it just got a whole lot easier to watch without resorting to torrent sites. Netflix has announced that it will be the exclusive streaming partner for CBS’ new Star Trek series. Netflix will stream the program to all 188 countries in which it operates when it premieres next year. That does not, however, include the US and Canada.Netflix is calling itself the “exclusive premiere home” of the new Star Trek series, but that might not be entirely accurate. Unlike one of Netflix’s original series, CBS is going to air episodes of the new Trek once per week just like the olden days before the Internet. The actual premiere of each episode will take place on CBS All Access in the US and Canada, a streaming service that costs $5.99 per month. The first episode will also be aired on the CBS network as a special event.If you are a Netflix subscriber outside the US and Canada, Netflix will get each episode for streaming within 24 hours of its debut on All Access. CBS probably realized confining the new Trek to a streaming service that isn’t available everywhere was doing it a disservice — especially if it wants to rekindle interest in the franchise as a series.Star Trek will start filming in September for its January 2017 premiere. As part of this deal, Netflix has also secured the rights to all existing Star Trek TV series for all its 188 territories — these were previously only available in certain markets. That’s 727 episodes of Star Trek coming your way by the end of 2016 to get you pumped for the new Trek next year.last_img read more

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Japans Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Snaps Images of Bomb Crater

first_imgStay on target NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendHubble Captures Saturn’s ‘Phonograph Record’ Ring System On April 5, Japan’s Hayabusa-2 spacecraft fired a “small carry-on impactor” (SCI), also known as a 4.4-pound cluster of copper, at the asteroid Ryugu and caused a giant explosion. Following this fiery operation, the probe shared some images of the “bomb” crater on the massive space rock.Hayabusa-2 snapped photos of the ground below where the “small carry-on impactor” (SCI) device exploded, BBC News reported. On Twitter, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) posted photos to compare asteroid Ryugu’s surface before and after the SCI collision.[CRA2] Crater formation where the Small Carry-on Impactor collided with Ryugu has been confirmed! These images compare the surface before and after the SCI collision. pic.twitter.com/BZPYlHhSjs— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) April 25, 2019Once JAXA obtained these photos from Hayabusa-2, they pointed out that the after photo shows a difference in the terrain of the “bomb” area. “The exact size and shape of the artificial crater will be examined in detail in the future, but we can see that terrain of an area about 20m (66 feet) wide has changed,” JAXA wrote on Twitter. “We did not expect such a big alternation so a lively debate has been initiated in the project!”[SCI] The deployable camera, DCAM3, successfully photographed the ejector from when the SCI collided with Ryugu’s surface. This is the world’s first collision experiment with an asteroid! In the future, we will examine the crater formed and how the ejector dispersed. pic.twitter.com/eLm6ztM4VX— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) April 5, 2019Following the impact procedure, Hayabusa-2 had to duck behind asteroid Ryugu to avoid flying space debris, Space.com noted. JAXA confirmed that the “bomb” operation yielded a crater, and now, other scientific work can be initiated, such as taking another rock sample from the asteroid Ryugu, which will be studied once Hayabusa-2 returns to Earth.Hayabusa-2 is expected to stay at asteroid Ryugu until the end of the year, and once it’s done, it will head back to our planet with space rock samples, which will then be analyzed by scientists in the future.More on Geek.com:Watch: Japan’s Hayabusa-2 ‘Bombed’ Asteroid Ryugu to Make a CraterJapan’s Hayabusa-2 Will Drop an Explosive on Asteroid RyuguHayabusa-2’s New Asteroid Photo Shows Dark Touchdown Markslast_img read more

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Evergreen school district thins trees

first_img In previous years, cross country coach Matt Hanson and his team would walk through a grove of trees behind Evergreen High School to pick up trash before each meet.The dense foliage, which includes a portion of the team’s home course, attracted transient camps, drug activity and vandalism.This year’s pre-race routine looks like it will be different. The 5.5 acre plot of land was thinned over the summer, making the space more open and inviting in more sunlight. It also now has a gravel path that it didn’t have before. “I’ve never seen it this clean,” Hanson said. Evergreen Public Schools has been eyeing the problem area for years. Sue Steinbrenner, director of facilities for the school district, said that the driving force behind the project was the safety of the students at the schools in the area. Along with students from Evergreen High School, the forested area is also a shortcut for kids at Cascade Middle School, Legacy High School and nearby Burton Elementary. “We periodically thinned it out, limbed it up, but we continued to have a lot of bad things happen in the woods there,” she said. “It was scary to walk in there.”So after hiring consultants and obtaining permits from the Department of Natural Resources, crews removed 20 truckloads of trees, or 220 tons of logs. And the project paid for itself. Click to enlargelast_img read more

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Muhith says MPO a meaningless programme

first_imgFinance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has said bringing educational institutions under the government’s pay roll called MPO is a meaningless programme and just aimed at pleasing the teachers.The minister expressed his conviction that the monthly pay order (MPO) brought “no benefit” to the schools actually.Muhith said this to the media at his secretariat office on Monday.However, about the issue of fresh MPO registration in the election year, the finance minister said, a 1,000 more schools are to be included this year.There is extra allocation for this in the budget, he pointed out. The schools that are not included in the MPO are also to be allocated funds for equipment and building construction.The minister made this comment at a juncture when the teachers of non-MPO educational institutions have given the government a 23 June ultimatum demanding MPO, otherwise they would launch tougher agitation including fast unto death.Protests were held several times earlier by the non-MPO teachers.There are 7,500 non-MPO educational institutions in the country. Of these, 5,240 have been recognised by the government.last_img read more

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Indian journalist mother murdered in Mohali house

first_imgSenior Indian journalist K.J. Singh and his aged mother were found dead in their residence in Mohali town in Punjab, adjoining Chandigarh, on Saturday, police said.Both victims were attacked by their assailants with a sharp-edged weapon in their house in Phase 3B2 of Mohali.Police said that Singh’s mother, Gurcharan Kaur, 89, was strangulated.Singh was stabbed in the stomach and his throat was also slit.The bodies of the victims were discovered on Saturday afternoon when a maid came to the house but no one answered the bell.Police sources said that the murder could have taken place around 1:00am on Saturday.The house was found ransacked and some items were missing.Singh’s car was also taken away by the assailants.Singh, a bachelor, had remained Chief News Editor of The Tribune. He was earlier News Editor with the Times of India and had been with the Indian Express previously.last_img read more

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Harvey Helped Houston Hotels But Airbnb Keeps Chipping Away On National Market

first_img X 00:00 /01:05 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Courtesy of MetroNationalLarge hotel chains are losing market share to more personal accommodations like Airbnb and boutique hotels,The demand after Harvey was a shot in the arm for Houston’s struggling hotel industry.But it may not be enough to stop a nationwide trend.National business data company 1010data found that Airbnb’s market share grew in the past 12 months.“It’s total bookings increased 49 percent and Airbnb’s market share increased from 17 percent to 20 percent, while major chains like Hilton’s market share dropped below 20 percent,” 1010data Area Vice President Samir Bhavnani said. “It dropped from 21 to 19 percent.”Together, the eight largest hotel chains 1010data looked at still have the largest share. But they’re also losing guests to boutique hotels – hotels that are high-end but smaller.“I think consumers migrate towards that sort of more smaller, homey sort of feeling that you get from a boutique hotel as opposed to something that’s more, call it, like, industrial with the regular Hilton or something like that,” Bhavnani said.In Houston, more than 30 new hotels opened last year.Before Harvey, hotels were struggling to fill their rooms. Listen Sharelast_img read more

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MovieBob Thanksgiving 10 Movies Were Thankful Were Never Made

first_img MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Stay on target It’s the time of year when people think back on all the things they’re thankful for. But have you ever thought about giving thanks for things you don’t have? Or things that didn’t happen? For example: Sure, there are a lot of bad movies out there — but many, many more almost happened but (thankfully!) never made it to the finish line.Here are 10 movies we’re thankful never hit the big screen.Jack Black’s Green LanternIf you’ve never looked at The Green Lantern‘s power-set and thought “Green… brings anything he imagines into being… this is just like The Mask!” (as in, the Jim Carrey movie) you clearly aren’t Warner Bros. studio executive material. The first live-action Green Lantern script, commissioned from Triumph the Insult Comic Dog creator Robert Smigel as a vehicle for pre-School of Rock Jack Black, traded Hal Jordan for a pudgy Gen-X slacker whose “fearlessness” was based on winning Fear Factor-style reality shows and who used the Power Ring to do comedic things like trapping villains in giant condoms, creating energy-construct strippers to entertain him, and generally participate in running gags about how Green Lantern’s powers, weaknesses, and mythos are “stupid;” leading to a final punchline where he saves the day by creating an energy-construct green Superman to do his job for him. At one point, it was going to end with a Ghostbusters/”Mr. Stayt Puft”-inspired climax featuring Legion assuming the form of a giant Pikachu (because he’s yellow, you see.)AtukThe main reason to be thankful that this unfilmed adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s 1963 book isn’t made is that it’s a bad, dated idea for a comedy; a “fish out of water” gagfest built around the humor of a “funny fat guy” white comedian doing an ethnic-caricature of an Eskimo lost in New York. But there’s a darker reason to leave Atuk buried in the past: It’s cursed! An infamous item of Hollywood legend, the script at one point passed through the hands of every popular “larger framed” comedy star working — and everyone who signed for the role (including Jon Belushi, Sam Kinison, John Candy and Chris Farley) is said to have died unexpectedly shortly after. That’s a creepy coincidence.Superman Reborn (“Magic Baby” Version)You’ve probably heard tales of several famous unmade Superman movies, from Kevin Smith’s “giant spider” Superman Lives! script to J.J. Abrams’ bizarre “Flyby” and maybe even the alternate-version Superman 3 where Robert Vaughn and Richard Pryor’s characters were originally meant to be Brainiac and Mr. Myxzptlk — but Warner Bros. has canceled a lot more Superman projects than that: One pitch, from 1993, was one of many projects set up under the heading “Superman Reborn” and would’ve used the title quite literally — before being killed by Doomsday, Superman uses Kryptonian science-magic to transfer his life-essence to Lois Lane… causing her to immaculately conceive and give birth to a rapidly-aging Superman reincarnation who must be kept safe until he reaches adulthood/full-power, and can battle the film’s various villains. Presumably not a Mother’s Day release.Cheech & Chong Meet JasonBack in the 40s, Universal Pictures had one of their biggest smash hits by crossing the stars and characters of its comedy and horror franchises in “Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein.” In the early 1980s, during a period when Paramount was distributing both the Friday the 13th series and had stoner comedy pioneers Cheech & Chong still under contract for another few features, an idea was floated to try a modern version of the same premise: Have the doped-up duo sign on as camp counselors at Crystal Lake and let Jason Voorhees chase them around the woods. The pitch never got past discussion phase, but that’s still closer than horror fans probably would have preferred.Man-WitchIt certainly says something that Jack Black’s name appears several times on this, mostly that it took Hollywood forever to figure out what to do with his unusual comedic voice — and that he was resilient enough to stick it out until they did. Man-Witch was an original screenplay from Old School and Hangover writer/director Todd Philips pitched as a parody of Harry Potter and would’ve seen Black attending a Witch School as a long-prophecized, rarely-born “male witch.” However, because his existence had gone undetected until adulthood, much of the comedy was meant to come from Black being a grown man attending a school for (and otherwise exclusively populated by) young girls and dealing with the “attention” of teachers, moms, and other Witches who had been awaiting his overdue arrival. Along with Green Lantern, it was one of many Warner Bros. projects Black turned down in the late-2000s when he turned his attentions to more ambitious productions.Marvel’s Dazzler: The MovieBelieve it or not, Marvel Comics’ disco-powered 70s X-Men-tagalong Alison “The Dazzler” Blair was originally created as part of a bizarrely ambitious plan to launch a live-action movie with Casablanca records. The film, which would have been preceded by concert tour an album release by a model/actress/singer under contract to Casablanca performing “as” Dazzler, would have seen the heroine transported to a post-apocalyptic future New York along with Spider-Man and The Avengers to thwart a war between super-powered incarnations of KISS and The Village People (as themselves) serving as the foot-soldiers of rival warrior queens played by Cher and Donna Summer; with Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, and other big-name comedy stars sought for supporting roles before the production fell apart between 1979 and 1980.SprocketsMike Myers revived the art of turning short-form Saturday Night Live sketches into smash-hit feature comedies with Wayne’s World, far and away his most popular recurring routine. So it makes sense studios would want to try and make that lightning strike again with another 1990s Myers/SNL fixture: Sprockets was a send-up of West German variety/talk shows centered on Myers as a preening black-turtleneck clad caricature named Dieter, and its movie spin-off (set to be Myer’s follow-up after his big comeback in Austin Powers) would’ve seen him voyaging to America to seek his kidnapped pet monkey for fish-out-of-water hijinks with then-newcomer Will Ferrell as his American cousin. But midway into pre-production, Myers decided that the one-joke character just wasn’t funny enough for a whole movie and backed out — leading to a hefty production-cost lawsuit by two of the studios involved which (according to Hollywood gossip legend) he may or may not have ended up having to make The Cat In The Hat to settle.Darren Aronofsky’s Batman: Year OneBefore Christopher Nolan took over the Batman property and delivered Batman Begins, loosely borrowing elements from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, Miller himself and Requiem For a Dream director Darren Aronofsky collaborated on the screenplay for a planned film under the “Year One” title that would’ve been the darkest Batman movie ever — gritty, ultra-realistic, and R-rated. But it also would’ve been the most extreme reworking of the mythology ever: In this version, Bruce Wayne becomes an amnesiac, feral orphan unaware of his true identity following his parents murder; and is raised by an African-American mechanic named “Big Al.” He becomes an urban vigilante embroiled in a crime-conspiracy involving the search for “the lost Wayne Heir,” builds a costume and weapons from garbage, fights gangsters and corrupt cops, meets “Catwoman” as a dominatrix sex-worker, and adopt the “bat-man” identity based on the bat-shaped bruises his mysterious signet ring (“TW” for “Thomas Wayne”) leaves on those he punches out. Warner Bros. ultimately passed on the project.Gladiator 2 (Nick Cave Version)Ridley Scott was reportedly readying a follow-up to his Oscar-winning Gladiator, which would be another swords-and-sandals epic featuring a now grown-up incarnation of Lucius (Connie Nielsen’s young son from the original) as the main character, given that Russel Crowe’s Maximus died in the first one. However, back circa-2002, Scott and Crowe were approached with offers of a major payday if they could deliver a sequel where Maximus did appear… and Crowe asked his friend musician/writer/director Nick Cave to take a pass on a screenplay “sorting out” the issue. Cave’s big idea: Take things supernatural. His script had Maximus meeting the “dying” Greco-Roman gods (Jupiter, Bacchus, etc) on The Other Side and being conscripted to save them by thwarting the rise of Christianity back on Earth. Instead, Maximus ends up fighting on the side of persecuted early Christians along with his (surprise!) actually still-alive now-adult son and Djimon Honsou’s Jubal against a turned-evil Lucius. In an utterly bonkers finale, Maximus is “punished with immortality” by The Old Gods, and a closing montage would’ve shown him fighting in The Crusades, World War II, Vietnam, and other time periods before a final pullback to the present-day revealing “Maximus” in a suit and tie apparently serving as the United States Secretary of Defense.Night SkiesHere’s one not to be thankful for because it would have been “bad,” but because of what we got instead. Night Skies was set up as Steven Spielberg’s pseudo-sequel to Close Encounters of The Third Kind, based around the less “pleasant” aspects of UFO/alien-encounter stories and centered on a family in an isolated farmhouse who find themselves under siege by aliens who mutilate their livestock and terrorize them with telekinetic mischief that they initially mistake for a haunting. The film got well into pre-production, but by the time it was ready to shoot Spielberg was feeling creatively exhausted and thought it would be a step backward after Raiders of The Lost Ark. On the advice of his friend, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, he opted to scrap the film in favor of a new project based on the only part he felt was working: a subplot about a lone “good” alien befriending the family’s autistic son. That, of course, became E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, one of Spielberg’s most beloved films — while other aspects of the screenplay either became or worked their way into other Spielberg-produced classics of the period, including Poltergeist (the haunting sequences) and the mischief-causing creatures of Gremlins.More MovieBob on Geek.com:MovieBob Reviews: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldMovieBob Reviews: ‘Overlord’MovieBob Reviews: ‘Suspiria’last_img read more

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US Homeland Security reportedly set to deploy ultrasensitive spectrometer

first_img(Phys.org) — Online tech magazine, Gizmodo has stirred up a hornet’s nest of paranoid editorials across the globe by printing an article written by an unknown PhD student who claims that the US Homeland Security department is planning to deploy a new kind of scanning device that is so sensitive it will make all other security measures at airports moot; and worse will be able to do so at a distance allowing the process to occur without the knowledge of the person being scanned. 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. In the piece, the author, designated simply as NAC, says that the device has been developed by a private company called Genia Photonics, which is apparently chock full of physicists and engineers. It’s described as being able to pick up on the presence of mere molecules of suspicious substances (using apparently harmless, terahertz radiation) such as chemical weapons, gunpowder residue or even heightened levels of adrenaline in the bloodstream, all from a distance of up to 50 meters. What’s more it’s really fast, doing its work in picoseconds, and portable, meaning that DHS could set up the scanner at airports, train stations, border crossings or wherever else they believe a possible threat exists.What appears to worry some though, is the possibility of being mistakenly labeled as a suspect, criminal, terrorist, etc. People encounter many innocuous substances every day that could be construed as dangerous or even illegal. Stepping on a leftover marijuana stub without knowing it, could for example cause such a scanner to go off, as could applying fertilizer to the home garden prior to heading for the airport.Something else that seems to cause alarm is the fact that the technology behind the device appears to be sound, and in fact has apparently been done before. The difference this time is the speed at which it works; because of that, a single device could conceivably be used to scan every single person passing through an airport’s terminals, which means, that if deployed the days of singling out individuals for extra security measures would be over. If a person goes to an airport, they will be scanned, and most won’t even know it’s happened. The author of the article says an undersecretary at DHS has stated that the scanner will be ready for deployment within one or two years. Explore further Better airport security scanner developed Citation: US Homeland Security reportedly set to deploy ultra-sensitive spectrometer (2012, July 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-homeland-reportedly-deploy-ultra-sensitive-spectrometer.html © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more

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Double AHA Success for Star City

first_imgSource = Star City Sean Connolly receives his Hall of Fame accolade. Star City Hotel Manager Rob Everett and Star City Director of Sales Geoff Stone, receive their award.center_img Chef Sean Connolly and Apartments shine at awards nightThere were two reasons for Star City to celebrate on Monday night at the 2010 NSW AHA Awards for Excellence.  It was awarded the Apartment/suite of the Year award and Star City’s multi award-winning chef, Sean Connolly, was inducted into the recently launched AHA Hall of Fame.Star City was a shoe-in for the Apartment/suite of the Year award, being the only hotel that qualified in the category by reaching the AHA’s high standards and criteria.  The award confirmed what many at Star City and its guests already knew, that the apartments are the most luxurious and convenient home away from home, already favoured by guests such as Danny Green, Jerry Lewis, Roy Jones Jnr, Dwight Yorke and Brian Lara.But the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for Star City’s TV celebrity chef, Sean Connolly, who is the head chef of both Astral restaurant and Sean’s Kitchen restaurant at Star City and stars in his own TV series, My Family Feast on SBS.  Sean’s Hall of Fame induction adds to an impressive list of accolades he has received for culinary excellence, including the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Chef of the Year 2008, the AHA Chef of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the GQ Man of the Year, (Chef of the Year) 2008.  Sean said of his award:“It was actually quite an emotional experience to receive this accolade as it helped to put into context many years of hard work.  I am just really pleased that people love my food and I am able to do something that I love doing for a living.  But none of this would have been possible without the support of my amazing team.”The awards, hosted by comedian Mikey Robins, included special guests from the accommodation, tourism and hospitality industries including Minister for Tourism, Hon. Jodi McKay MP, Shadow Minister for Hospitality and Tourism, Hon. George Souris MP and AHA NSW President, Scott Leach.The current Star City hotel and apartments will soon be joined by further travel and leisure venues on the complex.  Star City is in the process of a $575 million dollar refurbishment, which includes adding a new hotel, additional bars and restaurants and a harbourside entrance to be completed by early 2012.last_img read more

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