U.S. Towns Race for Conservation Supremacy

first_imgDifferent towns, different approachesThere’s no single path to a $5 million jackpot, as a story recently posted by Minnesota Public Radio goes to show.The report contrasts two communities: Fargo, North Dakota, a city of about 116,000 (host of this month’s “North of Normal Frostival”), and Duluth, Minnesota, with a population of about 86,000 roughly 250 miles to the east. Both are in one of the coldest regions of the country, with the average number of heating degree days topping 8,500 annually.In Duluth, specialists like Mike Braun are going house-to-house and fixing seemingly minor problems, such as drafty windows and inefficient lighting, on the theory it will all add up to significant savings.Braun told Minnesota Public Radio that one day’s worth of air-sealing can cut leakage by as much as 20%. Swapping incandescent light bulbs with LEDs can reduce electricity consumption by two-thirds.“Little things in aggregate will make a huge difference,” said Bret Pence, director of Community Programs for Ecolibrium3, a nonprofit doing weatherization work in town. “If everyone replaced one incandescent light with an LED light, we would be on our way to winning that competition.”One challenge is sinking energy prices, which make people think conservation isn’t important. Another is how to improve energy efficiency in the homes of people who don’t have much money to spare. Some poor families that don’t qualify for energy assistance from the state may spend as much as 40% of their income on utilities, Pence said. When it’s tough to put food on the table, replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs isn’t going to happen.Ecolibrium3 hopes to work on 50 homes this year. Fifty small and midsized towns across the country are going head-to-head in a competition with a big payday: $5 million for the town coming up with the best energy-saving strategy.The 50 communities are semi-finalists for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, first announced in 2014 and now midway through a crucial two-year period in which energy consumption is being watched. The winner will be announced sometime in 2017.The contest was open to any of the 8,892 communities in the country whose population ranges from 5,000 to 250,000, a pool which prize organizers say includes about 65% of the U.S. population.In order to get to semi-finalist status, according to rules posted at the Energy Prize site, each community had to develop a long-term efficiency plan. They’re now in the process of showing how effective the plans are in reducing electricity and gas consumption by residential and municipal users (consumption by industrial and commercial users aren’t included, nor are other forms of energy, like gasoline or diesel).A year from now, judges will begin poring over the results and then select a group of finalists. The winner will be selected from that list on the basis of how much energy the community saved and other factors, including a final report that each town must submit.Towns and cities still in the running are spread widely across the country. California has the highest number — eight, including Berkeley and Palo Alto — while a number of states have no semifinalists. That list includes New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, New York, Idaho, Maine, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and a few others.No one will be taking any long vacations on the prize money. The winner will have to spend the money on energy-efficiency programs that reward the community as a whole. Energy savings through gamesFargo, the radio report says, is hoping to win with a combination of social engagement and education, plus a game to get people excited about saving energy.“Behavior, buildings, and policies are the three tracks along which everything is working,” says Malina Srivastava, a North Dakota State University assistant professor of architecture who helped design an online game in which schools and neighborhoods can compete.Srivastava and other developers created an evil character called Waste-a-Watt, based on drawings by school children. The object at each level of the game, which is to be launched at the end of the month, is to capture Waste-a-Watt and plant a tree.“We’re asking people to learn, become aware,” Srivastava said. “We’re asking people to act on their own homes to save cost and then we’re asking people to invite their friends and family to join the effort.”As part of the effort, Srivastava’s students at North Dakota State are to design and build a Passivhaus home on a Habitat for Humanity budget.Mike Williams, a Fargo city commissioner and energy conservation advocate, said Fargo cut energy use by more than $3 million in the first six months of the competition.last_img read more

How To Enable 2-Factor Verification On Gmail (And Avoid Getting Hacked)

first_imgYou want to click on Account, which will open up a new tab on your browser, your Google Account page. From here, you want to navigate to Security located on the far left side.  Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Clicking the Security tab will reveal a few options, the most important being “2-step verification.” You want to click the “Edit” button and once you do, Google will ask you to sign in again before allowing you to make the security change. Once you have signed in a second time, Google will ask you for your phone number. You can choose to add additional devices and phone numbers as you see fit. fruzsina eordogh Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting While many folks might hesitate giving their phone number to Google, the other possible option, having your “entire digital life …destroyed” (as Honan so succinctly put it), isn’t too appealing.  center_img Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market An easy tip for Gmail users on how to avoiding getting hacked: two-factor verification.  If there is one lesson to be learned from Wired writer Mat Honan’s “epic” hacking last week – a hack that wiped years of digital memories including emails and photos of his daughter – it’s the importance of Gmail’s two-factor verification security feature.“Had I used two-factor authentication for my Google account, it’s possible that none of this would have happened,” wrote Honan, who went on to say if he had used the security feature the hack would have stopped during the hacker’s “recon mission” leading up to the multi-device attack.Google’s two-factor verification, which the company began offering last February,  is easy to set up and just requires a phone capable of receiving text messages. When you try to log into your computer from a different location than the one you set up, like a coffeeshop or airport, Google ask you for a verification code before it lets you proceeds to your inbox. It will text you a code to enter, alongside your password, to make sure it is really you.   Setting up the security feature can be done through a variety of options (like this one, or this one), but an easy way is to go to the menu options on the top right of your Google Account page screen when signed into Gmail. Click the downward facing arrow on the far right of your Google+ picture, and a small menu will pop out like so: Tags:#tips#web last_img read more

After clean chit from SIT, he takes on police

first_imgAnil Kumar, a resident of Ambehta village in Saharanpur has approached the local court requesting action against the police for “illegally” picking him up from his home at midnight and arresting him without any evidence.Mr. Kumar was arrested in connection with the caste clashes between the dominant Thakurs and Dalits in the last week of May. Later the Special Investigative Team constituted to probe the violence during the caste clashes, found him and eight others, innocent. He was released last week.Plea for FIR against copsAfter his release, Mr. Kumar filed a petition in the local court with a plea to file an FIR against the Superintendent of Police, Rural Saharanpur, Vidya Sagar Mishra and the Station House Officer of Badgaon police station (under which Shabbirpur falls), Munendra Singh. The court has fixed July 10 as the next date of hearing when the police is expected to submit a reply.Mr. Kumar was not the only one against whom the SIT found no evidence. The probe showed that eight persons, arrested on charges of rioting and killing a person on May 23, were innocent. The eight, released after the SIT declaration, include two of Mr. Kumar’s nephews, Rohit and Abhishek, and his neighbours Harpal and Amrish.In his plea Mr. Kumar asked why he had been arrested when there was no evidence against him. He claimed his arrest had damaged his reputation in the society and was a “source of pain and trauma”.“It seems that the police arrested me despite knowing that there was no evidence against me. Even if one assumes that it can be a mistake in my case, then what is the explanation behind arrest of eight people without any evidence? Why it takes an SIT to show that our arrest was done without any evidence?” were some of the questioned raised by his plea.Beaten, humiliatedMr. Kumar who was in jail for over a month, spoke to the media after filing the case. “We were beaten badly by the police, which misbehaved, abused and humiliated us. What if there was no SIT to probe the caste violence? We could have stayed in jail for years till it was proved the cases slapped against us were fake and fabricated,” he said.He also alleged that there was pressure on him from the police to withdraw the case and threats of being framed in other false cases. The local police have vehemently denied the allegations.last_img read more

Mortal remains of CRPF men to be flown to their homes today

first_imgThe mortal remains of the CRPF personnel killed in an audacious terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, will be sent to their homes across the country this afternoon, officials said on Friday. While a majority of the 37 bodies have been identified, some of them have been mangled beyond recognition. A home ministry official said arrangements have been made to hand over the bodies to the families. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is visiting Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the situation in the wake of the terror attack, Governor Satya Pal Malik, DG of CRPF R R Bhatnagar will pay their last respect to the departed souls in Srinagar before the bodies are flown out of the state. At least 37 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama on Thursday. More than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Latoomode in Awantipora in south Kashmir around 3.15 pm. The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack that took place about 20 km from Srinagar, officials said.last_img read more

ScienceShot: ‘Lion Avengers’ Accused of Trickery

first_imgWhen a lion kills a person or livestock in East Africa, the locals often kill one of the felines in revenge. That’s been the custom among the Sukuma people, farmers in western Tanzania. Traditionally, Sukuma men who’ve dispatched lions perform celebratory dances in villagers’ homes while wearing a costume made from their prey’s pelt (photo). Homeowners then reward these avengers with one or more cows. But the increasing number of tourists allowed to hunt lions and the Sukuma’s retaliatory killing have taken a toll on the animal’s population in the area—which used to be one of the remaining strongholds for the big cats. (Lion numbers have declined by 60% across Africa since the mid-1990s; only 30,000 to 40,000 remain.) As a result, the number of lion depredations has also dropped dramatically, scientists report online this week in Biological Conservation. Yet the lion dancers persist—only now, these men are no longer avengers, but hunters, the researchers say, because they’re adorned with the teeth and claws of felines they’ve killed in nearby Katavi National Park instead of cats found lurking near the family corral. Villagers, however, take a dim view of these “wa-feki,” a Swahili-English word which roughly translates to “fakers,” and do not condone the killing of lions in the park. After interviewing 129 heads of households, the researchers discovered that 72% know that the dancers have hunted the lions solely for the money, and not to protect the villagers and their animals. Some have begun refusing to reward the dancers. That shift in social attitudes is already helping protect the park’s remaining lions, which number around 200, the scientists say. They’re now working with villagers on a lion conservation campaign, targeting local bylaws and customs that could lead to new conservation approaches elsewhere.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

What Makes the World’s Most Expensive Chocolate Worth the Price?

first_imgAmy Ellis PhotographyGo to most stores and you’ll be able to find a chocolate bar for pretty cheap. These days, a Hershey bar will run you a buck or two (a 48-ounce Hershey’s bar goes for about $27, if you were curious) and, if you wanted to feel extra fancy, maybe you’d shell out around ten bucks for a single source chocolate bar from L.A. Burdick.  It can be argued that these are seen as expected prices. With those in mind, what would you guess the world’s most expensive chocolate costs? Fifty bucks? A Benjamin? Try $350-plus.To’ak Chocolate, which was born out of the rain forest conservation program Third Millennium Alliance by Jerry Toth and his two partners, is an Ecuadoran chocolate company that uses only heirloom cacao varieties to produce their products.How heirloom? In short, they’re the heirloom-iest of all heirloom varieties of cacao. To’ak uses the Nacional variety of cacao, which has genetic roots to stretch back over 5,000 years. If that sounds like a long time, it’s because it is. Those first Nacional trees were the first varieties of cacao.Up until about a decade ago, the Nacional variety was thought to have been extinct due to a few different reasons. First, a large chunk of the Nacional trees was decimated in 1916 when a disease named “Witch’s Broom” killed cacao trees across Ecuador (which was, at the time, the largest exporter of cacao in the world). In the wake of the devastation, foreign varieties were brought in to help repopulate the region. On a practical level, too, Nacional trees were left to die or replaced due to low yields. Why would a farmer only produce eight pods per year when other tree varieties could produce 100 or more? Next Amy Ellis Photography Amy Ellis Photography Previous 7 Fall Cocktail Recipes to Enjoy With Cooler Weather 10 Top Shelf Vodka Brands that are Actually Worth a Damn Editors’ Recommendations Maestro Dobel Diamante Blends 3 Tequilas Into One Amy Ellis Photography The Best American Gin 5 Most Expensive Coffees in the World 1 of 4 Then, Nacional trees were found in only two places— Peru, and the valley of Piedra de Plata in Ecuador. Toth and team had the Ecuadorian trees DNA tested to ascertain the trees’ full history and have since see their trees designated an heirloom varietal by the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund.In short, these are some special trees, but that is not the only reason that To’ak has taken the crown as the world’s most expensive chocolate. Another, is that the production of the chocolate is done as old school as possible. What we mean by this is the team works in a house that is fully off the grid and uses implements such as a hand crank and a wood fire to prepare, cook, and produce the chocolate. (Of which, it has to be noted, they only make four editions per year, with each edition being 100 bars.)The process itself was something that surprised Toth when they first began learning to make chocolate from their neighbors, who were also cacao farmers. While prepping the cacao, he said, “It was wafting this intense aroma that I didn’t really know that cacao was capable of producing until then. It was like a religious experience for people who came to try it.”One of the reasons for producing their chocolate in such a way, Toth says, is to flip the idea of the mass production model on its head. “I want to say to people [who are eating a cheap chocolate bar], ‘Do you know what you’re eating? There’s 5000 years of history behind this product. It was considered religious by every population who ever came in contact with chocolate,’” Toth says.“Instead of the cheapest options, we look for the best-quality options at every stage of the process. It’s costly but we embrace that,” he adds.The chocolate that is produced from the Nacional cacao is emblematic of everything that makes other chocolate varieties delicious, says Toth. While some varieties may be fruity or earthy or nutty, Nacional cacao manages to have floral, fruity, earthy, nutty, and typical chocolate-y notes.So, what you might be thinking is how the hell do you eat To’ak? Surely you wouldn’t just crack off a piece and toss it down your gullet? Well, you’re correct on that. Points to you for not trying to go full caveman during what promises to be a luxurious experience for all of your senses. (If you want to know why chocolate is so damn tasty to us, check out the science behind it here.)Think of it like tasting wine, Toth says. With the purchase of a bar of To’ak, you’ll receive the chocolate itself (in a carved wooden box), an informational book, and a pair of wooden tongs with which to taste and work your way through a tasting similar to how your would do with a glass of wine.How to Taste ChocolateLook at the bar and look for white splotches. These are a sign that the fats in the cacao have separated (most likely due to temperature).Break a piece off and listen for the snap. If there’s a nice snap, that tells you the bar is tempered well and the crystals are well interlocked.Aroma is up next. Give it a smell and see what you pick up right off the bat. Are there floral aromas? Fruity? Earthy? Do you smell remnants of the aging vessel?Put the piece in your mouth. Use your teeth to break it into two or three pieces and let it melt. Move the chocolate around in your mouth instead of chewing it so you can expose as much of your taste buds to the chocolate as possible.Sit with it a while and feel the finish. If you want to take it to the next level, you can pair it with things like wine or whisky.Currently, To’ak has three editions for sale: 2014 Vintage Cognac cask aged, 2015 Vintage Islay Scotch whisky cask aged, and 2015 Vintage Kampot Pepper aged. You can also pre-order their upcoming Art Series Guayasamín edition and their 2016 Harvest El Niño edition (which is the lowest priced at $295).  Each bar weighs 50 grams, or 1.76 ounces. You can find more information about all of their editions in their online store. Amy Ellis Photography last_img read more

An Old Garage Is Transformed Into an Artist’s Home and Studio in San Francisco

first_img Cesar Rubio / Kirsten Hepburn For Sale: A Treehouse in the Suburbs Designed by John Lautner Editors’ Recommendations Upstairs is the family’s private residence, a three-bedroom, loft-style space. Climbing the stairs, the red Fiat hanging from the ceiling is a whimsical indication that you are stepping into the home of an artist. Knowing that his clients were avid art collectors, Dumican was careful to blend rougher, industrial elements with plenty of bright white walls for displaying their collection. Throughout the space, there is a combination of drywall and exposed elements like the wooden support beams in the ceiling and the board-formed concrete walls. Live the High Line Life at This Zaha Hadid-Designed Penthouse Cesar Rubio / Kirsten Hepburn Cesar Rubio / Kirsten HepburnIt can be argued that free-spirited artists are responsible for the urban industrial design style that’s become so trendy in recent years. In the early days of converting warehouses into residences, the spaces were more ascetic than stylish and comfortable. But all of that has changed now that converting abandoned commercial buildings has become more mainstream. Today, these innovative spaces are full of refined style with just a touch of the grit we love about the urban industrial look. And such is the case with Dumican Mosey Architect’s SOMA Residence, a home, studio, and art gallery for one San Francisco artist and her family. Located in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood (or SoMa), SOMA Residence is a jaw-dropping example of what can happen when a creative artist teams up with an architect capable of bringing her vision to life. The building was a rundown auto repair garage when internationally exhibited artist Klari Reis and her partner Michael Isard first came upon it. With the intuitive know-how of architect Eric Dumican, the 1923 structure was transformed over the course of five years into a residential loft, studio, art gallery, and rental apartment. Cesar Rubio / Kirsten Hepburn Cesar Rubio / Kirsten Hepburn Due to age and earthquakes, the garage required extensive repairs and increased structural support before any renovations could begin. Original elements were preserved where they could be (like the cupids on the facade) and materials were carefully chosen to compliment the history of the building while also incorporating a fresh, modern element. Standing outside of the building, the blending of old and new can be seen, creating a striking and intriguing visual. Of course, the red Fiat hanging upside down from the ceiling is more than enough to get people to stop and stare.Inside, SOMA Residence is split into two floors. The studio and gallery make up most of the first floor, along with the separate rental apartment. In a nod to the building’s history as a car garage, the studio and gallery were outfitted with hydraulic lift glass garage-style doors, allowing Klari to turn them into open-air spaces. When open, these doors also act as a protective roof over the terrace, allowing the space to be enjoyed even on rainy days.center_img Thailand’s WARchitect Design Studio is Elevating Home Design One of the biggest problems with the original structure was how dark it was inside. With windows only at the front and back of the building, the center was a gloomy, cave-like space. Dumican addressed this by placing a glass-enclosed courtyard in the center of the loft. The courtyard is surrounded by sliding glass pocket doors on three sides and a skylight above that can be opened up. The space is anchored by a living wall of succulents. This central atrium, along with the wall of windows at the front of the loft allows the home to be flooded with natural light, which plays off of the textures of the different materials and the colors of the artwork on the walls. For a look at another workshop-turned-loft, check out Loft Sixty-Four – a light-filled residence in the Netherlands. Previous North Canon Drive Residence Is Worth Every Penny of Its $45 Million Price Tag Next Cesar Rubio / Kirsten Hepburn Give Your Hypercar the Garage It Deserves with a Custom Aston Martin Lair 1 of 5last_img read more

Refurbished Santa Cruz Fire Station Re-Opens

first_imgThe 32 fire personnel attached to the Santa Cruz Fire Station in St. Elizabeth are now serving the public from more comfortable and modern facilities. The fire station was recently refurbished at a cost of $14.7 million, through funding provided by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, with contributions from other public and private sources. Addressing the re-dedication ceremony for the building on Thursday, Acting Deputy Superintendent in charge of the fire station, Andrew Russell, informed that the upgrading, which started in January of this year, was carried out within budget. He said the scope of the project included demolition and removal of the existing timber roof, windows and doors; construction of new officers dormitory; expansion of existing kitchen space; building of reinforced concrete slab roof; repainting of the station building; complete rewiring of electrical network; and installation of new floor tiles, windows and doors, and plumbing fixtures. He said the work done was “the culmination of an important and eagerly awaited project, which will enrich the lives of the firefighters based there, boost their morale, enhance the delivery of service to the wider community and add value to the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s assets”. Minister of State for Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, in his address at the ceremony, said it is appropriate that the refurbished facility is being opened during Local Government Month. He congratulated the firefighters for taking the initiative to start some of the work themselves, which he said, served as an inspiration for other  stakeholders to support the project. “While funding was largely provided by the Ministry, through the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, I must acknowledge the input of those who partnered with us.  This kind of partnership is a practical demonstration of our theme for Local Government and Community Development Month – Local Government on a mission together: Building better communities, he said. He gave a commitment that the Ministry “will do everything” to see to the completion of other necessary elements, such as security and landscaping, and urged the firefighters to take care of the facility.last_img read more

After warnings of underspending Liberals eye boosts to jobtraining programs

first_imgOTTAWA — Senior government officials have been warned that Canada was dangerously behind last year on spending to help workers improve their skills to stay employed.A January 2018 presentation to a group of deputy ministers noted government spending on active labour-market programs is about half the average of spending in a group of comparator countries.The committee of top-level public servants was told Canada would be less able to adapt to workforce shifts without a boost in spending.The Canadian Press obtained the documents under the federal access-to-information law.In a year-end interview, Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos talked about the need to use publicly funded job-training programs as a way to get more people into the labour force to help reduce poverty and keep the economy growing.He says the federal government has a role to play in helping cash-strapped provinces pay for training programs, and ensure better information sharing between jurisdictions.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Didier Drogba Visits Primary School in Casablanca for His Birthday

Rabat – Cote d’Ivoire’s former international footballer Didier Drogba made a charity visit to Morocco to fight the “digital divide.”On Monday, Drogba went to Oussama Ibn Ziad primary school in Casablanca’s Hay Hassani neighborhood to inaugurate a computer room equipped with 9 computers, high-speed internet, and many IT tools.The initiative is aimed to raise awareness of technological evolution among young students. The visit was also an opportunity for Drogba to encourage children to collectively practice sports in parallel with studies, arguing that it teaches good manners and respect.Read also: Pageant Twins to Arrive in Morocco on Charity MissionFor their part, students did not miss Drogba’s birthday and performed choreographed dances. They also prepared a birthday cake for him.Didier Drogba’s birthday cakeIppon Foundation conducted the project in partnership with the Peace and Sport organization and Supinfo International University. Supinfo students will take care of training students and teachers about new technologies.The three organizations have conducted similar charitable activities in France, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire with the same aim to establish computer rooms and give access to the internet to those in remote areas.The former Chelsea forwarder is the vice-president of Peace and Sport, whose main mission is to promote sports as a tool for peace.The ceremony was attended by the regional director of the Regional Academy for Education and Training (AREF) in Casablanca-Settat region, Abdelmoumen Tali; the governor of the Hay Hassani District Prefecture, Khadija Benchouikh; the president of the Ippon Foundation, Stephane Nomis; and the general manager of SUPINFO Morocco, Amine Zniber. read more

Court grants bail to 24 arrested over Hambantota port demo

At least 27 people sought treatment at the Hambantota hospital after stones were pelted towards the police and the venue of the project and the police retaliated with water cannons and tear-gas. (Colombo Gazette) The Hambantota Magistrate today granted bail to 24 people arrested over a recent protest near the Hambantota port.Several people were injured during a tense situation in Hambantota when protesters defied a court order and staged a protest near the venue of the launch of the Sri Lanka-China Industrial Zone Development Project on January 7. read more

Security Council confident of cooperation on fate of missing Kuwaitis in Iraq

The Council had earlier been briefed on Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s latest report dealing with Kuwaiti prisoners of war and third-party nationals in which he said that out of a total of 605 cases, the number of remains identified has reached 227.“Council members expressed the deepest condolences to the all families of those missing persons that had now been identified. [They] also expressed their continuing concern for the plight of the families of those persons whose whereabouts are still unknown,” Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan, which holds the Council’s presidency for the month of August, told reporters.The members of the Council shared the views expressed in that report, where Mr. Annan expressed the hope that with the expanding activities of Kuwaiti investigative teams and increased cooperation by the new Iraqi authorities, more human remains will eventually be brought to Kuwait and more missing persons files can be closed.The Council also reiterated Mr. Annan’s strong condemnation of the execution of Kuwaiti and third country nationals by the previous Iraqi regime. “This killing and the decade-long cover-up of the truth constitute a grave violation of human rights and international humanitarian law,” Mr. Annan said, stressing that those responsible for those crimes, in particular those who ordered the executions, must be brought to justice. Video of press statement [7 mins] read more

Cat whisperer Jackson Galaxy heading to Oregon to work with animal that

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The large cat that attacked a baby and trapped an Oregon family in a bedroom touched off an Internet uproar that worries Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell.”Cats don’t become ferocious felines that turn on their families for no reason, says the cat behaviour expert, who is heading to Portland soon to work with the 4-year-old part-Himalayan pet named Lux. Galaxy will film the visit for his show’s fifth season, which kicks off April 26.“Every parental site on the Internet blames the cat for this confrontation. Every pet site blames the family,” he said, adding that something is wrong if the cat is acting out. “We need to step away from the hysteria. There is a story behind all this. Don’t assume anything.”Lux became a worldwide phenomenon after owner Lee Palmer called 911 and said the cat had cornered him, his girlfriend, their baby and the family dog inside a room.Palmer says his 7-month-old pulled Lux’s tail, and he kicked the animal after it scratched the child. Then, the cat “just went off over the edge,” Palmer told an emergency dispatcher after the family barricaded themselves. “He’s charging us,” Palmer said, as the cat was heard screeching in the background. Officers arrived and caught Lux with a dog snare.Palmer said the cat had a history of violence, but the family kept Lux until Monday, when they turned him over to a Portland-area shelter. But the family assured Animal Planet they were going to keep the cat and agreed to therapy with Galaxy.Palmer didn’t return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment Tuesday.There are many reasons a cat can turn aggressive, and there is no universal way to deal with it, Galaxy said. But the star feline behaviourist provided five ways to tame out-of-control cats:— Never leave a young child unsupervised with a cat.— Take it to a vet at least once a year. If a cat is acting suspiciously, the owner needs to pay attention. “Know what suspicious looks like,” Galaxy said. “If they’re not feeling well, cats will socially withdraw themselves, or they will lose weight, or they will gain weight, or they’ll be howling in the middle of the night when they never did before.“I’ve known cats who acted out similarly to Lux because of an abscessed tooth, a brain tumour, hyperthyroidism or diabetes.”— Make sure cats can literally climb out of a situation. Having a space up high, like a cat condo, to get away from children and other pets is crucial, Galaxy said. “Make sure the cat can make the choice to get away from the kid,” he said.— Timeouts are good things. “We associate timeouts with punishment, but in the world of cats, timeout is not a punishment.” They can go to a designated place where they can settle down, come back to a peaceful moment or ground themselves, he said.— Stop fights between felines with “timeout drills.” With simple pieces of cardboard, left strategically around the house, you can stop a fight between two cats. Put the cardboard between them, blocking their vision and providing a moment of disorientation when you can lead them to their timeout spot. It’s especially important to have the drills with aggressive cats.Galaxy said he was going to Portland to act as Lux’s advocate and find out what’s wrong.“I have no idea what made Lux aggressive,” he said. It could be a chemical imbalance, a history of stressful environments or because he was kicked.“If you want a blanket statement on how to deal with aggression, how about, ‘Don’t set the cat up for failure,’” he said.The behaviourist, who has worked with tens of thousands of cats, said the thing that bothered him most about Lux was his continued aggression the day Palmer called 911, including the animal’s ongoing assault on the door even though the threat was gone.But the word “attack” doesn’t sit well with Galaxy because 75 per cent of the time, it’s tied to a grouchy mood or a warning, he said.“If I have a headache, I won’t be the nicest guy in the world. I may snap at you,” he said. “This may have been Lux’s way of snapping. Hypothetically speaking, someone pulling his tail may have been the last straw.” Cat whisperer Jackson Galaxy heading to Oregon to work with animal that attacked family by Sue Manning, The Associated Press Posted Mar 19, 2014 12:22 pm MDT read more

The Chew cohost Michael Symon opening eatery at Atlantic Citys Borgata casino

‘The Chew’ co-host Michael Symon opening eatery at Atlantic City’s Borgata casino ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Celebrity chef Michael Symon, co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” TV show, will open an Italian restaurant at Atlantic City’s Borgata casino next fall.Symon joins fellow Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Geoffrey Zakarian and legendary chef Wolfgang Puck among the celebrity chefs with eateries at the casino.“We’re excited to bring our Italian cooking to Atlantic City,” said Symon, who has award-winning restaurants in Cleveland, Detroit and elsewhere. “This is the food I grew up eating; my Sicilian grandmother would be proud! Authentic Italian is very simple. It’s all about great ingredients. It’s what I cooked in my early career, and still what I like to make at home.”Symon made his TV debut on the Food Network in 1998 with appearances on “Sara’s Secrets” with Sara Moulton; “Ready, Set, Cook,” and “Food Nation with Bobby Flay,” before hosting over 100 episodes of “The Melting Pot.”In January 2012, his show “Symon’s Suppers,” premiered on the Cooking Channel, and in September 2011 he joined the cast of “The Chew” as one of the show’s five hosts.“Having the opportunity to partner with such a celebrated chef to join our renowned culinary lineup, and whose personality and spirit embody Borgata was something we could not pass up, and look forward to next fall,” said Joe Lupo, the casino’s senior vice-president.The name of the restaurant has not yet been determined.___Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC by Wayne Parry, The Associated Press Posted Dec 10, 2015 12:08 am MDT Last Updated Dec 10, 2015 at 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

New car market stable in May as growth remains steady

New car market increases 2.5% in May, with 203,585 vehicles registered.Fleet buyers drive growth, with demand up 8.8% in the month.Demand for alternative fuel vehicles outpaces the market with double-digit growth.Demand for new cars in the UK remained stable in May with a steady 2.5% growth in registrations, according to figures released today by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 203,585 cars were registered in the month, May’s highest total since 2002.Following the trend set in the previous two months, fleet registrations drove the growth, with an 8.8% rise counterbalancing a -3.0% fall in registrations to private customers.Demand for diesel cars grew 5.0%, outstripping that for petrol models, which saw a marginal decline of -0.6%. Uptake of alternatively fuelled vehicles, meanwhile, continued to outpace the overall market with registrations increasing by 12.1%.1,164,870 cars have now been registered in 2016 – 4.1% ahead of the same period last year. However, May demonstrated a continuation of the easing of growth, being the second consecutive month of sub-3% growth in registrations – evidence of increasing market stability following a record 2015.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The new car market in May remained high with compelling offers available on the latest vehicles, but the low growth is further evidence of the market cooling in the face of concerns around economic and political stability. Whether this is the result of some buyers holding off until the current uncertainty is resolved or a sign of a more stable market for new cars remains to be seen.”Download the May 2016 new car registrations news release and data tableClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Womens Basketball No 16 Ohio State beats Purdue 7360 on senior day

Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell defends Purdue guard Dominique Odeon during the Buckeyes game against the Boilermakers on Feb 18. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorFollowing last year’s loss to Purdue in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, the No. 16 Ohio State women’s basketball team (22-6, 11-3 Big Ten) found redemption against Purdue (17-11, 8-6 Big Ten) in its first meeting of the season. The Buckeyes came away with a 73-60 win behind 26 points from senior guard Kelsey Mitchell.With Ohio State’s victory against Purdue, the team pushed its Big Ten winning streak to six. The team has won six out of its last seven, with its lone defeat coming to South Florida.After scoring only nine points in last year’s Big Ten tournament game against Purdue, Mitchell had a bounce-back performance on her senior day. She hit 9-of-17 shots, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.“I know last year I was still really, really immature in regards to when things got going rough, I kinda folded,” Mitchell said. “I think with a little bit of film, a little bit more losses throughout the course of this year has helped me battle when things got tough for our team and for myself.” A strong third quarter from the Buckeyes made the difference. Purdue gained a 34-33 lead, its first lead of the game, with 8:50 left in the third quarter. But Ohio State quickly responded with its second 10-point run of the game. The team’s strong third quarter play bled into the fourth quarter with Ohio State outscoring the Boilermakers by an additional five points.Redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga and Mitchell combined for 17 of the team’s 23 points in the quarter. Mavunga finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.The Buckeyes took an early 10-0 lead and ended the first quarter leading by five points.. Purdue chipped away at the deficit with runs of its own and the Buckeyes held a 33-30 lead heading into the third quarter in large part due to Mitchell’s 12 first-half points.“The biggest thing we talked about halftime, I thought in the first half we settled for some quick shots, late in the second quarter,” McGuff said. “Then in the second half we did a great job attacking the basket, moving the ball, and just getting some balance in what we do.”Purdue was limited to just 12 points on 5-for-16 shooting in the fourth quarter. As a team it shot just 34.8 percent (23-for-66). Freshman guard Karissa McLaughlin led the Boilermakers in scoring with 17 points on 6-for-16 shooting. There was a major disparity in points in the paint with the Buckeyes holding a 40-24 advantage. read more

Aden Army veterans battle for medal recognition

first_imgThe British military base at Radfan, north of Aden Army Reservists who were pitched into heavy fighting during a bloody guerrilla war have launched a new fight for recognition, after being told they do not qualify for a campaign medal.More than 350 soldiers of the 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment were sent to Aden in April 1965 on what was their two-week annual training camp to support regulars fighting insurgents in the Radfan mountains.The soldiers of the Scotland-based Territorial Army unit were tasked to carry out construction project on a key logistic highway, but instead found themselves in a major firefight with rebel fighters. SSgt John Lonergan who was killed in the firefight of 12 April 1965Credit:John Donaldson/DPL British Army reservists of of the 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment on the Dhala Road in 1965 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. During the night of April 12, they were hit by rocket propelled grenades and heavy machine gun fire. Two soldiers, SSgt John Lonergan and Sgt Cyril Atfield, were killed and five others badly injured.The deployment was the first time a Territorial Army regiment had been sent into conflict since 1945 and after the fighting the then deputy defence secretary Fred Mulley praised their important role. But campaigners say exceptions have been made in other campaigns.Former Sgt John Donaldson, 76, told the Telegraph: “We are only asking for the campaign medal, nothing special. We did everything that was asked of us in very challenging circumstances. Politicians have spoken in support of us and while other campaigns have successfully seen exceptions, we have been refused.”A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said: “We carefully consider every request to recognise our brave men and women’s extraordinary accomplishments, for which we are extremely grateful.” Maj Gen Robert Nitsch, the head of the Army’s Personnel Directorate, earlier this year told veterans of the deployment that he could not make a further exception.center_img SSgt John Lonergan who was killed in the firefight of 12 April 1965 British Army reservists of of the 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment on the Dhala Road in 1965 He wrote: “Regrettably, I cannot authorise an exception, nor would it be appropriate to use a campaign award to recognise the actions of a Territorial unit when the rules applied equally to them as to regular soldiers.” We are only asking for the campaign medal, nothing special. We did everything that was asked of us in very challenging circumstancesFormer Sgt John Donaldson However because a period of 28 days on active duty is the standard qualifying time for a campaign medal, and the reservists only deployed for a fortnight, they have been told they cannot receive the General Service Medal with South Arabia clasp to mark their contribution. Army chiefs have said an exception can only be made for those who died or were wounded. The British military base at Radfan, north of AdenCredit:Jack Reynolds/DPLlast_img read more

Plans to reduce services in Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann contracts

first_imgTHE NATIONAL TRANSPORT Authority has launched a public consultation process today, proposing to reduce services in its contracts with Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann and start an open tender process.The NTA said its plans propose to enter into another direct award contract with Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann in 2014 but to amend the contracts in 2016 to reduce services within those contracts by 10 per cent.These removed services would then be provided through separate contracts following an open tender process.Dublin Bus services that would be open to tender would include orbital routes and some like routes around the city like the number 17 from Rialto to Blackrock, the 33b from Swords to Portrane and the 111 Dun Laoghaire to Loughlinstown.For Bus Éireann Services, there are a number of options available including;All city services in WaterfordSome city services in CorkSome rural stage carriage services in the south east regionCertain Dublin commuter servicesPossible combinations of services include;Waterford City and a portion of Cork city services togetherEither the Cork city portion or Waterford City services together with a portion of Dublin coastal commuter servicesWaterford city and South East stage carriage services.Gerry Murphy, CEO of the NTA said these proposals are carefully balanced to introduce competition into the bus market in a structured manner that will safeguard the delivery of services for customers and maintain “the on-going improvement of the public’s bus services”.Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann will be able to plan for tendering and a possible downsizing if they are unsuccessful, he added.Murphy encouraged anyone with an interest in the proposals to review them either online or in hard copy at the Authority’s offices and to submit their views through the consultation process by 11 October.Read: Call for second bus station in Dublin ‘to ease congestion’ at Busáras>Read: Government launches plans for major cycle network in Greater Dublin Area>last_img read more

Event guide Heading out Heres what is happening around the country

first_img People taking part in India Day in 2016. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie https://jrnl.ie/4789319 SUMMER MIGHT BE coming to an end but never fear – there are plenty of events to keep you occupied over the weekend.It might feel like the entire country is heading to Electric Picnic, but who needs to sleep in a yurt in Stradbally when you could be heading to a storytelling festival on the edge of the Atlantic or enjoying some classic cinema by the sea. With plenty of events this weekend – including the All-Ireland final – there’s more than enough ways to go out on a high this summer. DUBLINName: All-Ireland Final live screeningWhen: TomorrowWhat: Whether you’re a die-hard Dub, a Kerry true-believer or couldn’t care less about five-in-a-rows, the All-Ireland final is going to dominate the weekend. If you want to get involved in the excitement or didn’t manage to grab a ticket to Croke Park, you could do worse than heading to Smithfield Square to watch the game on the big screen. A word of warning for neutrals or Kerry fans – most people there will no doubt be supporting Dublin. But nonetheless, it should be a fun event in the middle of the city and a nice way to enjoy the buzz of an All-Ireland final. Visit the Dublin City Council website for more details.  Source: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ieName: India DayWhen: TomorrowWhat: If GAA isn’t your thing, head to Phoenix Park for one of the largest Irish-Indian events in the country. Tucked away in Farmleigh, the event promises to be a celebration of Indian dance, food and fashion. Now in its fifth year, thousands of people are expected to attend the free event, so if you’re a member of the Irish Indian community or want to experience Indian culture, pay it a visit. More details can be found here.   Leo Varadkar pays a visit to India Day in 2016. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ieCORK Name: Cape Clear International Storytelling FestivalWhen: All weekendWhat: It might be a little tough to get to – being on an island off the coast of Cork – but the Cape Clear Storytelling Festival is certainly worth the trip.Eight miles off the coast of Baltimore, Cape Clear is the the country’s southernmost inhabited island – making it the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. With a fantastic line-up of storytellers from around the world, you can immerse yourself in well-told tales on a beautiful island tucked on the edge of the Atlantic.More information on the line-up and how to get there can be found on the festival’s website.  Share2 Tweet Email Event guide: Heading out? Here’s what is happening around the country There’s more than Electric Picnic and GAA to occupy your time this weekend. 1 Comment Short URL Saturday 31 Aug 2019, 9:00 AM Aug 31st 2019, 9:00 AM 12,825 Views Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie By Dominic McGrath LOUTH Name: Blackrock Film FestivalWhen: All weekendWhat: For the fourth year in a row, the seaside town of Blackrock in Louth will be hosting a four-day film festival. From a 1930s classic on show in a 100-year-old hall to open air cinema on the beach, it’s a perfect way to see out the summer. It might not be the warmest weekend (we’d recommend a blanket for the beach-side screening) but tickets are selling out fast so it’s worth a visit for cinephiles. More details and screening times here.  Source: Shutterstock/Melanie LemahieuCLARE Name: Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking FestivalWhen: Starts this weekend, but runs all monthWhat: The festival needs little introduction. Lisdoonvarna – the place made famous by Christy Moore – promises love, music and dancing all throughout the month of September. You might not be in the search for love, but don’t let that deter you – there’s music all weekend and the small village will be heaving with visitors, tourists and even the love-sick for the next few weeks. There’s a lot on so take a look at the schedule before you make the trip.  Source: Brian Farrell/RollingNews.ieTIPPERARY  Name: The Ring of Lough Derg BBQ Competition  When: TodayWhat: All throughout September, food producers are bringing locals a “taste of Lough Derg” experience. With events taking place in Galway, Tipperary and Clare, things kick off today with a much-hyped BBQ competition in Ballina. It’s free and all proceeds go to the Irish Heart Foundation. If you want something a little bit chiller, head to Nenagh on Sunday for lake-side yoga – though booking is required. Details of this weekend’s events and for the rest of September can be found here.  Source: Shutterstock/Randall Vermillion People taking part in India Day in 2016. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Rats on the rise

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Melbourne’s development boom has seen a rise in rats and mice invading homes and gardens, prompting calls for anti-rodent laws to be reinstated. Stonnington councillors will debate a proposal this week to lobby for state laws forcing developers to eradicate rodents before demolishing buildings. Cr Tas Athanasopoulos said residents living near development sites were tired of being swarmed by rats and mice whenever a building was knocked down in their neighbourhood. “I remember receiving mail and when one of the staff opened it up there was a dead rat inside,” Cr Athanasopoulos recalls. “Later when I went to visit one of the ethnic community groups a woman from the Hungarian group asked me ‘did you receive my mail?’ She said she couldn’t put pen to paper to explain the rat problem in her area.” The council has received 40 formal complaints about rats and mice in the past three months, with community members growing increasingly exasperated by the ongoing rodent problem, Cr Athanasopoulos said. “I think this year is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” he said. “I get involved in the garden and I have a hobby farm in Kyneton, we plant about 200 tomatoes and about three quarters of them got eaten by rats”. Individuals can do their part in getting rid of the rats, Cr Athanasopoulos said. “It’s a bit of rat plague down here, if you’ve got animals, birds, dogs, they’re going to attract mice and rats, and it’s important at the end of the day to take rubbish out of the house, and leave no scraps”. “However, when it comes to development projects, houses waiting to be demolished sit empty for months and become ideal nests for rats to breed in,” he said. “The best time to kill them is when they’re in the house. It costs about $400.00 to $500.00 to get pest control down and the person who is demolishing should pay for that,” he said. Victorian legislation forcing developers to eradicate rodents before demolishing a building was abolished in 1995. Cr Athanasopoulos will raise a motion at this week’s Stonnington Council meeting to lobby Spring St to reinstate the laws, which would require developers to produce a rats and mice clearance certificate before a demolition permit was approved. “The next step is to go to state government and lobby them and hopefully a few other councillors can come onboard because it is a state issue,” Cr Athanasopoulos said. “Now it’s been passed we’ve got to go to the next step, draw something up and speak to the health minister”.last_img read more