UNICEF staff at the Commonwealth Games Athlete’s Village were treated to a very special visit from Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry today.The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry Visit UNICEF At Commonwealth GamesCredit/Copyright: John Young / UNICEFUNICEF UK’s Executive Director David Bull said, “We are delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to join UNICEF in the athlete’s village today and are grateful to them for drawing attention to the life-saving work UNICEF is doing with children all across the Commonwealth.”During their visit, Their Royal Highnesses were accompanied by Chieftain of the athletes’ village and UNICEF UK Ambassador Sir Chris Hoy and treated to a live performance of Let The Games Begin by East40 – Glasgow children’s 2014 anthem for UNICEF – performed by school children from the east end of Glasgow.East40 singer Jamie Leigh Smith, 16, spoke to Their Royal Highnesses after the performance. She said: “They seemed to really enjoy it, and most importantly, it will mean more people understand that UNICEF is trying to help children across the Commonwealth, including here in Scotland. I hope more people will download the song because every time they do, 76p goes to UNICEF.”The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry then joined the children in playing three traditional games enjoyed by young people from different countries across the Commonwealth.Throughout the Glasgow 2014 Games, UNICEF has been leading sessions for athletes and the public to join in these traditional activities, drawing attention to the Put Children First appeal which aims to reach every child in Scotland and around the Commonwealth.For the full story and more photos, visit the UNICEF Blog.Source:UNICEF UK
TORONTO – The lifestyle brand Miniso Canada launches the first Marvel x Miniso concept store in Canada.On Saturday, August 31st, the first ever Marvel x Miniso concept store was launched in Canada, at the Miniso Vaughan Mills location. Marvel x Miniso launches in Canada (CNW Group/Miniso Canada) Marvel x Miniso (CNW Group/Miniso Canada) Marvel x Miniso products at Vaughan Mills (CNW Group/Miniso Canada) The launch began with a private media and VIP preview before the store opened to the public. The grand opening commenced with a ribbon cutting done by members of Miniso and Miniso Canada’s management team. The opening activities also included a Marvel-themed photo booth, live traditional drumming, and giveaways. The turnout was one of the largest openings for Miniso, which saw over 500 excited customers waiting in line before the store opened, to explore the collection which features Miniso housewares and lifestyle products branded with Marvel superhero characters. Customer reaction the store and the products was overwhelming, with thousands of social media posts, mentions and comments. The concept store is now fully open to the public.Also in attendance were top executives from Disney, Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre, and Miniso business partners, as well as an array of top Canadian lifestyle and parenting influencers.The collaboration is a result of Miniso wanted to introduce a special and culturally relevant collaboration, and Marvel was the ideal partner considering their massive brand appeal. After launching in a few other countries, Miniso moved forward with this huge launch for the Canadian market, with the goal of introducing the Marvel x Miniso concept stores into other Miniso Canada locations soon.About MINISOEstablished in 2013 in Tokyo, MINISO is known for their millennial appeal – delivering stylish, high quality lifestyle products including cosmetics, home furnishings, kitchenware and electronic accessories at an affordable price point. As one of the world’s fastest growing global retailers, MINISO’s ambitious approach to expansion includes 50 stores in Canada and continues with a goal of opening 6,000 new stores globally by 2020.For more information visitWEBSITE: www.miniso.caINSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/miniso.canadaFACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/minisocaAbout MarvelMarvel Entertainment, founded in June 1998, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, and is mainly known for its Marvel Comics, Marvel Animation, and Marvel Television units. Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement
APTN National NewsThe search continues for a young First Nation man who vanished in Thunder Bay, Ont.Jordan Wabasse left his home on a northern Ontario First Nation to attend school. While his family hopes for the best, police say they believe Wabasse will probably not be found alive.If the worst happens, it won’t be the first time that a young person from a remote northern Ontario community has met tragedy in Thunder Bay.Jaime Monastyrski, for APTN National News, reports.
17 December 2007A senior United Nations envoy has held talks with the provincial leader in North Darfur about security issues concerning the upcoming hybrid UN-African Union peacekeeping mission to the war-wracked region after a recent attack by armed gunmen on members of the existing AU force. Rodolphe Adada, the AU-UN Joint Special Representative for Darfur and the head of mission of AMIS, the current AU mission to the region, met yesterday in El Fasher with Osman Mohamed Yousif Kibir, the Wali (Governor) of North Darfur state.The meeting follows an attack near El Fasher on Friday by four unidentified men against the vehicle of the AMIS military chief of staff. The chief of staff survived the incident but the driver was injured and the vehicle was seized by the gunmen before it was later recovered by Sudanese police.Mr. Adada and Mr. Kibir discussed measures to be put in place to avoid a repeat of such incidents when the hybrid force, known as UNAMID, takes over duties from AMIS next month.Senior officials of both UNAMID and North Darfur are scheduled to meet later today to finalize a security plan to protect UNAMID and AMIS personnel and facilities in El Fasher, the provincial capital.Mr. Kibir reiterated the readiness of authorities in North Darfur to cooperate with the new mission and to provide all necessary facilities to make the mission a success, while Mr. Adada thanked him for the help so far to AMIS.Meanwhile, in his first press conference since assuming the post, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Sudan Ashraf Qazi has welcomed the recent announcement by the two parties to the landmark 2005 peace accord which ended the long-running north-south civil war in Sudan that they have resolved many of their outstanding issues.Mr. Qazi told reporters in Khartoum that there are still challenges ahead that the parties, the Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) have to overcome. But he noted that the leadership of both sides were demonstrating impressive determination so far.“This is a very hopeful sign which encourages us in our own mission,” he said.
Southern Cross Electrical Engineering (SCEE) has received more work at CITIC Pacific Mining’s Sino Iron project in Western Australia, being awarded an electrical maintenance services contract over a three-year term.The award extends the company’s long-standing relationship with CITIC Pacific on the iron ore operation. In 2014, it won around A$80 million of electrical and instrumentation work across process lines three to six. This came after the company was initially contracted for work on the first concentrator area in 2011.The latest contract award comes amid a flurry of activity for the electrical, instrumentation, communication and maintenance services company where it has secured A$50 million of contract awards in the commercial sector and framework agreements in both resources and telecommunications.SCEE Managing Director Graeme Dunn said: “Combined with our announcement of the Westconnex contract last week, this range of projects demonstrates the sectoral and geographic diversity of the group with awards in four of the five sectors in which we operate and in the majority of the states and territories of Australia.”
Facebook has decided it isn’t happy just being a platform for games, it wants to help publish and promote them, too. Of course, in return it wants a share of the revenue from each game it invests in.To that end, the social network has launched a new pilot program called Mobile Games Publishing. It looks to be open to any small or medium sized developers, and already counts Brainbow, Kiwi, Space Ape on its books. Even Gameloft has signed up to reap the potential benefits.What Facebook is offering includes targeting a game to find people who would enjoy playing it and therefore be willing to pay for it. Providing analytics tools and helping grow a game’s player base, and of course helping introduce each game to Facebook’s mobile user base, which sits at a very healthy 800 million per month.While 800 million potential paying customers and extensive game promotion is sure to interest any and all game developers, we don’t know what the finer details of the deal is yet. Facebook hasn’t stated how much of a revenue share it expects to take by promoting your game, and it’s also unclear what “deep collaboration” actually means. Is Facebook going to start telling developers to change their gameplay, or force them to integrate Facebook adverts in order to receive support?Whatever those details are, the Mobile Games Publishing pilot is sure to be popular simply because of its potential for game sales. In a few months we’ll likely be hearing about success stories and failures from the indie game community who decided to sign up.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A new center-left grouping dubbed Elia (Olive Tree) which brings together 58 personalities from the worlds of politics, academia and the arts is to be launched officially in Athens today amid confusion about its political prospects.Although PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos has expressed his support for the initiative, several current and former lawmakers of the socialist party, which is the junior partner in the ruling coalition, appear unconvinced of its prospects for success. It remained unclear over the weekend which PASOK MPs would attend today’s launch. Meanwhile, officials of Democratic Left (DIMAR), which quit the coalition in June over the closure of former state broadcaster, ERT, object to the refusal of DIMAR leader Fotis Kouvelis to enter dialogue with Elia, Kathimerini understands.Even before the movement’s official launch, prominent members of the initiative appeared divided about what direction it should take.Former PASOK MP and minister Anna Diamantopoulou suggested on Friday that Elia should become a fully fledged political party but another ex-PASOK minister, Nikos Bistis, rebuffed such a prospect, insisting that cooperation between the new center-left initiative and PASOK and DIMAR should not be ruled out.Source: Kathimerini
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram On the occasion of today’s Australia Day celebrations, a conversation on whether life is better in Australia or Greece tends to always stir some healthy debate – particularly amongst those first-generation Greeks who migrated to Australia back in the 1900’s and the second and third generation Greek Australians who have been lucky enough to experience and get a glimpse of both countries. Many Greek Australians claim that life in Australia is easier.More career opportunities, an organised society and a relatively rich nation appear to be the fundamental key factors for those who choose to give their vote of confidence to Australia.On the other hand, drenched in natural light, stunning and affordable Greece, blessed with unique landscapes and crystal-clear waters, a socially cohesive and family-oriented lifestyle that’s heightened by Greek filoxenia and filotimo appears to offer to some, a sense of belonging that they claim is hard to find anywhere else in the world.Others appear to be conflicted, with their heart yearning for Greece and their brain whispering Australia.So, what are the pros and cons of the two countries that we now call home and where would most of us choose to live if we had the opportunity to do so?“After all this time, my jury is still out as to which is better,” says travel writer Paul Hellander who after forty years of living and moving between Australia and Greece, certainly knows a thing or two about the two countries, with his views coming from the perspective of a neutral, as he was born in neither country, lived extensively in both and his opinion is not in any way compromised by sentimentality and country bias.“I am in two minds; life in the Australian sun with money in my pocket yet far away from my birthplace and a land that I adopted as my spiritual home, or a life in the Hellenic sun (and snow!) living from hand to mouth among people who don’t care because they have something more important – valid human relationships- spiritual wealth that surpasses material dependency,” says Hellander who left his birth country, England, in the late 70s for Greece when England offered little to a university graduate imbued with the words of Homer and Kazantzakis.Hellander, a true philhellene who speaks fluent Greek at an academic level, started off in Greece and ended up in Australia while managing to still spend sizeable chunks of time in both countries.“Greece was light, Greece was old yet new at the same time, Greece was warm both climatically and socially while strangers talked to me as if I had known them forever. It was a magic mix and I was hooked. Greece was to be my new home.”Paul HellanderHellander recalls that on arrival the newly democratised Hellenic Republic seemed chaotic, confusing and at times concerning to his British sensitivities. Pre-EU Greece was materially poor and struggling with its new-found democratic freedom and for the young British, living under the persistent winter rains of a northern country town with no access to English language books, papers, magazines or electronic media, it did look drab and boring, and therefore, he decided to look for some different light.“Australia shone its beacon just as restlessness was becoming an itch. It was a deal I could not ignore. Two years in the sun, a nice job in education, plenty of time to travel Australia and the near Pacific. It was a no-brainer. Australia was likeable! I liked it better than Greece so much so that I stayed on indefinitely.”Things changed a little later. Greece entered a new era. Blessed by the Gods, the country boomed economically, it became richer, it joined the world community. Greece was modernising and an inquisitive Paul started visiting regularly both for professional and family reasons. He began to wonder about returning.“The truth is that the more you leave your feet under the one table the more difficult it is to put them back under the previous one, no matter how tempting it may look. Your shoes somehow grow glue,” admits Hellander whose underlying concern was leaving behind a well-oiled and predictable income path for a potential life of day-to-day uncertainty and the utter frustration of plugging into a system that is until today “riddled with bureaucracy and incompetency.”“How do you swap light for light when one is spiritually dull (Australia) and the other is incandescently unpredictable (Greece),” asks Hellander who appears to speak on behalf of many.“The jury is still in recess and I am destined to continue an existence of shared lives between two homes while taking the best of both and politely ignoring the rest.
CES 2012 : l’OS Tizen d’Intel et Samsung a été dévoiléLe projet développé conjointement par Intel et Samsung revient après des mois d’absence en images, à l’occasion du CES 2012.Intel et Samsung avaient annoncé en septembre le développement conjoint d’un nouveau système d’exploitation mobile, baptisé Tizen. Et puis plus rien pendant 6 mois, à croire que le projet avait capoté. Mais les deux entreprises ont finalement attendu le CES 2012 pour enfin lever le voile sur cette plateforme mobile.À lire aussiLe Samsung Galaxy Note 3 présenté le 4 septembre prochain en aval de l’IFA ? Les concepteurs de l’OS sont restés finalement classiques, adoptant une interface qui ressemble beaucoup à Android, mais qui a également l’intérêt d’être déjà connue de tous. Il reprend aussi des caractéristiques de Bada, le système maison de Samsung, et de feu MeeGo, qui a équipé divers Nokia jusqu’au Lumia 800 et l’arrivée de Windows Phone, indique Numerama.Pour l’instant, aucun appareil n’a été annoncé, ou même évoqué, Samsung attendant le Mobile World Congress de Barcelone, en février prochain, pour donner plus de détails sur sa stratégie. Avec Bada, cela semble une vraie tentative d’émancipation par rapport à Google et Android, qui équipe la majorité de la gamme du constructeur. Mais les développeurs de Tizen ne veulent pas s’arrêter au simple téléphone et envisagent d’équiper également des tablettes et même des automobiles.Le 14 janvier 2012 à 10:30 • Maxime Lambert
Media firm Carat has launched a wellness month for its London-based employees.Some 350 employees have the opportunity to take part in 50 varied activities over the course of the month, which aims to help staff prioritise their health and wellbeing.The activities include trapeze lessons, rave-ercise classes, reflexology, a business-wide table tennis tournament, pole dancing, floristry lessons, a walking map to nearby art galleries and public spaces, cooking classes and a range of lectures covering creativity, leadership and even flirting tips.This is the fourth consecutive year that Carat has run a wellness month for staff.This year’s event, which launched on 1 February, focuses on the issue of sleep deprivation and its effect on employees’ performance in the workplace.Carat is offering its staff access to a sleep pod, provided by This Works, which will serve as a designated nap station for employees to use as they wish. The sleep pod was brokered by the organisation’s committee, which is made up of employee volunteers.The media organisation is also running an employee sleep challenge, sponsored by This Works, which includes staff filling out a questionnaire about how they have been behaving and feeling. Employees are also asked to commit to having one extra hour of sleep a day for a month to see if it makes a difference. Those who opt to take part are entered into a competition to win prizes.Matthew Hook (pictured), managing director at Carat, said: “The success of our business depends on creating an environment where brilliantly talented people fully realise their potential, and no one can do that unless they feel at their best, both emotionally and physically.“The digital economy has created exciting opportunities for businesses like ours, but we need to recognise that the environment in which we operate can be complex, demanding and sometimes stressful.“The wellness month is an opportunity for Carat to stop and reflect, ensure we are taking time to look after ourselves, and also to come together to do some really fun things that help us to get to know each other better.”
Right to InformationYouTubeThe BJP-led government at the Centre has finally succeeded in amending the Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI) in such a way that the Nerve Center of RTI has been disempowered. When I say nerve centre, I mean the Information Commissions at the national and state level both (except Jammu & Kashmir State Information Commission (JKSIC). For information of readers, J&K has its own RTI law which was enacted initially in 2004 and then the state got a robust RTI legislation in 2009. On July 25, the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha with opposition parties like Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) supporting this amendment. The bill had been already cleared by Lok sabha amid huge opposition from Congress and its allies like Trinamool Congress, DMK, BSP, NCP, NC, and others.Why this amendment? The amendment in the Right to Information Act 2005 is actually aimed at controlling the work of the Central Information Commission (CIC) and State Information Commissions (SICs). This is a direct attack on the autonomy of these commissions which acts as a qausi judicial authority for the implementation of Right to Information Act (RTI). Information Commissions have been given enormous powers under the RTI law and that is the reason Indian RTI law is considered to be the best access to information law in the world. This law was enacted in 2005 after several years of deliberations, roundtables, and activism.A nation-wide National Campaign for Peoples Right to Information (NCPRI) began way back in 1996 under the leadership of Aruna Roy a noted activist to bring this law in India. The campaign has its roots in the work and experience of Rajasthan based Mazdoor Kisaan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) headed by Roy. NCPRI which consists of more than 100 social movements and activist groups was set up in 1996 and the first draft of Right to Information Act (RTI) in India was put forward by the same group along with the Press Council of India (PCI).The draft bill was prepared after studying several progressive RTI laws of the world and that is why the RTI Act is considered to be the best in the world. After coming to power in 2004, the Congress-led UPA accepted NCPRI’s draft bill and finally the RTI law was passed in 2005. The law is not applicable in J&K in view of Article 370. In 2009, the Omar Abdullah-led government passed the J&K RTI Act 2009 which in some ways is considered to be better than the RTI Act 2005. In fact, the National Conference government at the behest of the then Chief Secretary also tried to disempower State information Commission (SIC) by repealing J&K RTI Rules 2010 in August 2012.Targeting Information Commissions The recent amendments in RTI Act 2005 are aimed at diluting the statutorily fixed tenure, rank/status, and remuneration of Information Commissioners. This includes Information Commissioners of Central and State Information Commissions. The RTI Act 2005 is applicable to all central government organisations plus all the states except Jammu & Kashmir. The J&K is governed by its own RTI law known as Jammu & Kashmir Right to Information Act 2009 (JK RTI Act 2009). Under RTI Act 2005, the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners of Central and State Information Commissions have a fixed term of five years or max upper age limit of 65 years. The new amendment is aimed at changing this fixed tenure by incorporating the term “for such term as may be prescribed by the central government”. Amendment also proposes that rank and salary of Information Commissioners would be decided by the government. Section 13 (2) of RTI Act 2005 reads : “Every Information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or till he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier, and shall not be eligible for reappointment as such Information Commissioner.”Section 13 (5) a and b of RTI Act 2005 says that the salaries and allowances of the Central Chief Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner of India and rank and salary of Central Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of an Election Commissioner. Similarly, section 16 (5) a and b says that State Chief Information Commissioner’s status and rank is equivalent to Election Commissioner of India and that of State Information Commissioner rank and status is at par with State Chief Secretary.Government has removed these legal provisions through the recent amendment and now it is up to the government to decide about the rank, status, salary and tenure of Information Commissioners. Now in the future, it can be assumed that rank and status plus salaries of Information Commissioners can be brought down.No consultation heldThe amendments in the RTI Act 2005 have been undertaken arbitrarily as no pre-legislative consultation was held with any stakeholders. Even the draft amendment bill was also not made public. This clearly indicates that the government wants to disempower Information Commissions. When an information seeker is denied information by a Public Information Officer (PIO) or is provided incomplete information, he or she files 1st appeal before a senior officer of the same public authority known as First Appellate Authority (FAA). When information seeker is not satisfied by the decision of the First Appellate Authority (FAA), appellant moves to State or Central Information Commission as the case may be by filing a 2nd appeal.These commissions have the power to take action against the Public Information Officer (PIO) if found guilty of withholding information wilfully. The action includes penalty ranges between Rs 250 to Rs 25,000 which is to be deducted from the salary of the PIO. Because of the high stature of Information Commissioners, the government officers were always fearful of them. By downgrading their rank, status, and stature, the government actually wants to make these commissions redundant which is actually snatching a democratic right from people especially those belonging to disadvantaged communities. It is a known fact that information under RTI is not fully revealed by government officers (PIOs) and only after moving to Information Commissions people get justice and it is because of these commissions that a lot of information has come to public domain which has exposed many scams in past like 2G scam, Coalgate scam and the Commonwealth Games scam.J&K RTI LawI would ask leaders of National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) both not to feel aggrieved on RTI amendment because both these parties didn’t do enough to strengthen the RTI institution in Jammu & Kashmir. We do appreciate Omar Abdullah for enacting JK RTI Act 2009, but after two years he repealed 2010 rules on the advice of his Chief Secretary, Ram Madhav, in August 2012 thus snatching prosecuting powers of State Information Commission (SIC). Madhav misguided government when he was summoned by the then State Chief Information Commissioner GR Sufi for non-implementation of some important provisions of JK RTI Act 2009 (section 4). That summon hurt the ego of Madhav who after some time proposed changes in JK RTI Rules 2010 which NC government agreed upon without consulting anyone.Pertinently SIC in addition of penalizing a government officer could prosecute him in case a public authority didn’t comply with SIC’s orders. The 2012 Rules deleted the said prosecution provision. Moreover, SIC used to be consulted before transfer and posting of its staff, but 2012 rules snatched that provision as well and from last seven years more than six secretaries and five registrars of State Information Commission have been prematurely transferred without even consulting the commission. The PDP-led government, on the other hand, failed to undertake the training of government officers and general masses between 2015 to 2018 as mandated under section 23 of JK RTI Act 2009. From 2011 to 2014, more than 2,500 officers were trained on implementing RTI Act in J&K but this came down to less than one hundred (100) in PDPs tenure. We were then forced to file a PIL in JK High Court to ensure implementation of RTI law in J&K. The HC direction is still not respected by the government. So if non-BJP non-NDA political parties are wailing over RTI amendment this is all a political stunt as they have themselves tried their best to defeat the process of this law on various occasions.TailpieceThough these amendments won’t apply to Jammu & Kashmir RTI Act 2009, Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement being a responsible RTI campaigner group and an important stakeholder feels that amendments in RTI Act 2005 go against the autonomous character of Central and State Information Commissions. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has rightly called this amendment bill as RTI elimination bill.[Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat is Chairman of Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement. He is also an Acumen India fellow from 2017 cohort. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of International Business Times, India]Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
An ambulance stands near covered bodies at the scene where a truck crashed into the Ahlens department store at Drottninggatan in central Stockholm on 7 April 2017. Photo: AFPA hijacked truck ploughed into a crowd of people outside a busy department store in central Stockholm of Sweden Friday, causing “deaths” in what the prime minister described as a “terror attack.”The attack, which also caused several injuries, was the latest in a string of similar assaults with vehicles in Europe that include the southern French city of Nice, Berlin and London.”There are deaths, and many injured,” Nina Odermalm Schei, a spokeswoman for Swedish intelligence agency Sapo, told AFP, without giving a precise figure.”Sweden has been attacked. Everything points to a terror attack,” said prime minister Stefan Lofven.Police released a grainy picture of a suspect but said they did not currently have him in custody.”We do not have contact with the driver,” national police chief Dan Eliasson told reporters.Authorities also said they could not immediately provide a death toll or say how many were injured but local media said two or three people had lost their lives in the attack.Pictures showed a large blue truck with a mangled undercarriage smashed into the Ahlens department store.A spokeswoman for beer company Spendrups told AFP that the truck “had been stolen during a delivery to a restaurant.”Police evacuate the Central station, a truck slammed into a crowd of people outside a busy department store in central Stockholm on Friday. Photo: AFP- ‘Like a bomb’ -Witnesses described scenes of terror and panic.One witness identified only as Dimitris told the Aftonbladet daily the truck came “out of nowhere.””I couldn’t see if anyone was driving but it was out of control. I saw at least two people get run down. I ran as fast as I could away from there,” he said.Another shopper, 66-year-old Leander Nordling, was at Ahlens when he suddenly heard a loud bang.”It sounded like a bomb exploding and smoke starting pouring in through the main entrance,” he told daily Aftonbladet.He and fellow shoppers took refuge in a supply closet inside the department store.”After that the building was evacuated … There were a lot of guards who took care of us outside and they urged us to leave the scene immediately,” Nordling said.Video footage taken from above showed scores of people streaming down the street in terror.Emergency services and police work at the scene. Photo: Reuters- ‘Attack on us all’ -The attack occurred just before 1300 GMT at the corner of the store and Drottninggatan, the city’s biggest pedestrian street, above ground from Stockholm’s central subway station.Thick smoke billowed from the scene, while the area was blocked off by police and crowds gathering around the police cordon.Police vans circulating in the city using loudspeakers urged people to go straight home and avoid large crowds.The centre of the usually buzzing city was in lockdown, with the central train station evacuated and other stores quickly emptied of shoppers.The Stockholm metro was also completely shut down, with the attack taking place at the city’s T-Centralen station, through which all the city’s lines pass.The area around the attack was cordoned off, but other streets in the city were packed with pedestrians trying to find a way home on a Friday afternoon.Helicopters could be heard hovering in the sky over central Stockholm, and a large number of police cars and ambulances were dispatched to the scene, witnesses said.Another section of Drottninggatan was also the scene of Sweden’s only other terror attack, in 2010, when a suicide bomber blew himself up, slightly injuring several others.European politicians expressed solidarity, with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker saying that it was an “attack on us all.”A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “Our thoughts go out to the people in Stockholm, to the injured, their relatives, rescuers and police.”We stand together against terror.”French President Francois Hollande voiced his “horror and indignation” over the assault.- Trucks as weapons -The attack followed a string of similar massacres in Europe by people using vehicles as weapons.The deadliest came last year in France on the Bastille Day national holiday of 14 July, when a man rammed a truck into a crowd in the Mediterranean resort of Nice, killing 86 people.He was shot dead by police, and the Islamic State group later claimed responsibility.Last month, Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old convert to Islam known to British security services, drove a car at high speed into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before launching a frenzied knife attack on a policeman guarding the parliament building.The incident killed five people, while Masood himself was shot dead by police.And in December, a man hijacked a truck and slammed into shoppers at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people.That attacker was shot dead by police in Milan four days later, and the rampage was claimed by the IS.In 2014, IS called for attacks on citizens of Western countries and gave instructions on how they could be carried out without military equipment, using rocks or knives, or by running people over in vehicles.Attacks have not been limited to Europe.In 2014, a Muslim convert used his car to mow down two soldiers near Montreal, killing one of them. The attacker was shot dead by police as he climbed out of his wrecked vehicle brandishing a knife.There have also been false alerts, however.Earlier Friday, Belgium dropped terrorism charges against a driver who sped into a crowded shopping area in Antwerp last month, which sparked fears of a copycat terror attack.
Listen Texas Gov. Greg Abbott just announced this morning that he’s backing a primary challenger for a house district seat in Houston. His endorsement comes just two days after filing for the March 6 primaries began. Several incumbents and newcomers have already announced their 2018 campaigns.Joining Houston Matters to discuss the political ramifications are Jay Aiyer of Texas Southern University and co-host of Houston Public Media’s Party Politics podcast and David Branham from the University of Houston-Downtown. Share X Eric Gay | APTexas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at an event where he announced his bid for re-election, Friday, July 14, 2017, in San Antonio. 00:00 /18:18 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
Deontray Ingram, 22, was one of D.C.’s 162 homicides in 2015. His death is one of many that leaves community members concerned about the youth’s lack of sensitivity to violence.“It is very much appropriated now, and they are always fighting,” Fehema Johnson, 22, told the AFRO Jan. 16. She is on staff at John Tyler Elementary School in Southeast, and said she fears that children are becoming too familiar with violence and crime. “I asked a student what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said, ‘I want to be a gangster.’”The Metropolitan Police Department arrested Nathaniel Beasley, 24, on Jan. 1 in the killing of Ingram, who was shot in Southeast, D.C. in September.On Sept. 19, Ingram was shot and killed around 4 a.m. in the 2400 block of Elvans Road in the parking lot outside of Forest Ridge apartments. Ingram, who was also known as “Fat Boy,” left behind two young children, a son and a daughter. His grandmother, Dianne Ingram, told the Washington Post in September that he loved cooking and dreamed of one day being a chef.“If you wanted something, there was nothing he wouldn’t do to get it for you,” Dianne said of her grandson. “And he would do it with a smile.” She said her grandson was chatting with friends when he was shot.A preliminary hearing for Beasley, is scheduled for Jan. 29, according to D.C. Courts. Beasley was arrested on a warrant and charged with second-degree murder while armed.
There are a lot of weird indie games at PAX East, but Soda Drinker Pro is the only one I saw that’s in the running for secretly being Frog Fractions 2. It’s a weird game, and it’s made by a developer who is really committed to the bit. The dev is pitching a first-person soda-drinking game, and they ran with it in the most bizarre, vaguely Tim-and-Eric way possible. Perhaps best of all, the dev had an actual, potable soda at this year’s PAX East.Soda Drinker Pro was at previous PAX East shows — the thing was developed back in 2008, after all — and I’ve gotten completely serious press pitches from them in the past. You walk around levels drinking soda to feel refreshed. That’s it. It looks like a Windows 98 screen saver that periodically brings a big fountain soda up to the screen, occasionally accompanied by a voice that talks about how refreshing that soda is. It’s a soda-drinking simulator.It’s also Oculus Rift compatible, and coming to the Xbox One. Like I said, committed to the bit.Hidden within the depths of Soda Drinker Pro is another game called Vivian Clark. Instead of a mini-game in a larger game, this is a huge — and much more trippy — game hidden in a tiny game. It’s the exact point where I thought Soda Drinker Pro could somehow be Frog Fractions 2, despite that requiring some kind of paradoxical release window that interrupts the time stream. You start as a raindrop and become other things, and it basically proceeds like a fever dream, or something secretly broadcast at 4AM on Adult Swim. It’s weird.I tried Soda Drinker Pro at PAX East, where they premiered an actual soda to go with it. Bonus Soda is Pure Sodaworks’ Soda Drinker Pro tie-in flavor, and it tastes kind of like a cranberry cola. It’s actually really good, and you can vicariously experience my refreshment while I experience the game’s refreshment by watching the video above — and if you drink a soda while watching, it probably won’t get any more stupid.This game is really weird — and cheap at just five bucks. I can honestly say I haven’t played anything like it. I’ve experienced things like it, but those things have involved sleep deprivation and watching cartoons at insane hours of the night.Anyway, it’s not Frog Fractions 2, so we must continue our search. Did I mention we’re looking for Frog Fractions 2? Yeah, this is gonna be a thing. We’re going to have to look for even more crazy stuff. Hopefully, they have delicious beverages, too.
Durango, Mexico — Of the 49 people transferred to hospital from the Tuesday Aeromexico plane crash, 22 remain hospitalized but are expected to be discharged later in the week.Only one of the pilots and one minor were reported as seriously injured. The plane’s pilot was surgically treated for a cervical injury late Tuesday night. He reportedly left the operating room at 11:00 p.m. and is said to be stable.The youngest victim was an 8-year-old girl who received burns to 25 percent of her body. She too, has been treated and is said to be in stable condition, reported Fernando Rios, spokesman for the Ministry of Health of Durango.Passengers not hospitalized were put up in a hotel where they waited for another flight to take them to their final destination.Airport authorities say of the 103 passengers on the Aeromexico flight 2431 Durango-Mexico City route, 65 were Americans, one was a Colombian national and one from Spain. The balance were Mexican nationals.The American Embassy in Mexico City says they are in contact with national and local authorities and representatives of the airline to provide necessary assistance to foreign passengers. Staff from the consulate in Monterrey moved to the city of Durango to help the American passengers.The National Institute of Migration (INM) said they too, will provide the corresponding documents to foreigners who lost their luggage on the flight so they can renew their accreditation as legal residents or visitors.Andrés Conesa, CEO of AeromexicoAndrés Conesa, CEO of Aeromexico said that the official cause of the accident is still unknown, but that two black boxes were located intact, adding that the investigation will likely take months.The general director of Civil Protection of the Ministry of the Interior, Ricardo de la Cruz Musalem, said that the following of protocol by the flight crew allowed the evacuation of the aircraft in time since they only had 90 seconds before flames erupted.Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Secretary of Communications and Transportation, said that the reaction of pilot Carlos Galván and the crew of the Aeromexico flight was key in no lives being lost.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
Have you tried out the surfboards? When are you releasing them?They’re coming out soon. I just found the shaper. Probably within the next month you’ll see some hemp surfboards surfacing from the company. I’ve met some pro surfers in Costa Rica who are going to ride the boards, including Marcela García and Valeria Soto.Why did you choose to distribute them in Costa Rica?It’s a big industry there. I learned how to surf when I was there, so I love it. Hemp can also grow very well in Costa Rica. They’re about to legalize that kind of stuff. It’s a great industry; it can replace coffee and sugar cane.Basically, by building these boards, producing biofuel in Costa Rica made from hemp and producing hemp surfboards there, we just want to get a head start on a really big industry that’s coming. It’s going to benefit the country and it will create jobs.CORRECTION: The Kickstarter campaign we linked to in the original version of this article is no longer active; the campaign was discontinued because the fundraising target was not met. We apologize for the error. For more information on Hempearth, visit the company’s Facebook page.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mfCp-hrcq0 Facebook Comments Transforming hemp into the surfboard beneath your feet or the plane that takes you skyward: That’s the mission of the Canadian companyHempearth, which has made Costa Rica a key player in its operations. Hemp is the non-psychoactive variety of the Cannabis sativa plant, and is often used for industrial reasons because of its strength and versatility.Hempearth’s founder, Derek Kesek, a Canadian internet marketer, musician, chef and former organic restaurant owner, says he is working to create of the world’s first hemp airplane, its biofuel and a series of hemp surfboards.While his company is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Kesek has also been working out of La Guácima, Alajuela, where the company has been producing hemp biofuel. He anticipates that within a month, Hempearth’s surfboards will be released in Costa Rica as well.The Tico Times spoke with Kesek about his project. Excerpts follow.Can you tell me more about the hemp airplane?About three years ago I started a company solely based on hemp. I contacted several plane manufacturing companies and asked them if this idea was possible. I sent them some hemp, did some testing and then I got a contract signed by one of the companies. The rest was history. Then I started getting help from some newspapers and so on. We’ve been on Kickstarter, but we’ll probably have to do it again. I was recently in Costa Rica for about eight months, producing the hemp biofuel for the plane. … I put my heart and soul into this project, just one day at a time.Why did you choose to use hemp?Because it’s eco, it’s green, it’s sustainable and we all want a better future. It’s lighter, it’s stronger and it’s becoming legalized all over the world.What is the process to produce the biofuel here in Costa Rica?We had some hemp seed oil shipped in from Canada. I had a chemist make the fuel and he has his own processing plant located just outside of San José, so he produces the fuel for us. Once the hemp plane is ready, we’ll fuel it with this particular hemp fuel. Hempearth’s airplane plans to use biofuel made out of hemp for a more sustainable design. Via hempearth.net Related posts:Energy prices and politics weigh down business confidence, Costa Rica private-sector survey notes Some members of Costa Rica’s business sector alarmed over ‘historic’ jump in unemployment Airbnb v. Uber: Sharing economy gets a mixed reception in Costa Rica Is Honduras heading for the privatization of parts of its territory?
Qatar Airways reconfirms and upsizesQatar Airways reconfirms and upsizesQatar Airways has reconfirmed and upsized its earlier order for 50 A320neo with a firm order instead for 50 of the larger A321neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex configuration), in an order signed today in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, and French President Mr. Emmanuel Macron. The order was signed by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, and Mr. Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President Commercial Aircraft during the French President’s visit to Doha.The selection of the largest member of Airbus’ single family reflects the airline’s need for efficiency and additional capacity. This updated order replaces the original one placed in 2011.Joining Qatar Airways’ fleet of 50 A320neo from 2019 onwards, the A321neo ACF will support the continuous development of Qatar Airways’ global network leveraging from the A321neo range capability and the unprecedented customer experience. The total value of the deal is at $6.35 billion at list prices.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “At a time when Qatar Airways is experiencing unprecedented growth and expansion, the need for efficient, reliable and modern aircraft has never been greater. To answer our need for growth and additional capacity, the A321neo ACF is a world-class choice for our passengers and for our business. Qatar Airways is the fastest growing airline in the world and with this aircraft we will operate the youngest fleet whilst delivering unprecedented comfort and services to our customers.”Mr. Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President Commercial Aircraft, said: “We are pleased that a signature airline like Qatar Airways has chosen the A321neo ACF. This is an endorsement for the largest member of our single aisle family. It confirms the aircraft’s strong position as the ideal Middle of the Market airplane for the Middle East. We look forward to seeing the A321neo ACF flying in Qatar Airways colours and to contributing to the airline’s continued success and excellence.”Qatar Airways is known for flying one of the youngest fleets in the sky and in 2015 welcomed the Airbus A350-900 into its fleet as Global Launch Customer. The airline will soon welcome the Airbus A350-1000, also as Global Launch Customer. The airline’s modern fleet was one of the reasons passengers voted it as Skytrax Airline of the Year 2017, for the fourth time.The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family, seating up to 240 passengers. Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances, and cabin innovations, the A321neo offers a significant reduction in fuel consumption of at least 15 per cent per seat from day one and 20 per cent by 2020.The A321neo ACF introduces new door and fuselage enhancements, allowing airlines to make better use of the cabin space and also provide provision for more underfloor fuel capacity for up to 4,000nm transatlantic range.The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 15 per cent fuel savings at delivery and 20 per cent by 2020. With more than 5,200 orders received from 95 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 per cent share of the market. Qatar Airways proudly flies the flag of the State of Qatar to more than 150 destinations worldwide, bringing people to Doha from every corner of the globe via the award-winning, state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport (HIA).The national carrier of the State of Qatar is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 20th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents.Qatar Airways will be adding flights to many more exciting destinations to its network throughout the remainder of this year and 2018, including St. Petersburg, Russia; Canberra, Australia; and Cardiff, UK, to name just a few.Source = Qatar Airways
Aeromexico’s chatbot helping passengers with baggageAeromexico’s chatbot helping passengers with baggageAeromexico, Mexico’s global airline, is the first in the world to integrate SITA WorldTracer® baggage tracing service with its passenger chatbot. Using sophisticated artificial intelligence, Aeromexico will now be able to efficiently serve its customers via its chatbot to respond to queries about the location of their baggage.A major international airline, with 22 million passengers and flights to 93 destinations, including 50 international routes on three continents, Aeromexico prides itself on excellent customer service. It’s chatbot, called Aerobot, is a big hit with customers who can use it on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Currently, the chatbot handles more than 90% of the customer queries that come through those platforms.Now, Aerobot will also be able to help Aeromexico’s passengers locate their luggage via SITA WorldTracer, the only global baggage tracing and matching system. The passenger simply enters some baggage information and Aerobot connects them to the latest status of their missing bag on WorldTracer, without the need for agent intervention.Edouard Piquet, Senior Vice President Customer Experience, Aeromexico, said: “At Aeromexico we strive to serve our customers in the way that is most comfortable and practical for them. Integrating SITA’s service will help us increase our efforts and will lead us to the right path in order to respond efficiently to passengers and get them reunited with their bags as quickly as possible. Thanks to this technology we will be the first airline in the world to offer misplaced baggage assistance via WhatsApp. Clients can check the status of their luggage in real time through Aerobot, which is a result of our continuous commitment to offer the best to our clients.”Uriel Torres, SITA Director General, Mexico and Central America, said: “Aeromexico is the first airline to harness artificial intelligence to improve its baggage services by delivering the SITA WorldTracer services via its customer chatbot. Using our WorldTracer API the service integrates quickly and easily providing the chatbot with the latest data available. We expect that this will be the first of many international airlines using our baggage service technology with artificial intelligence for a better passenger experience.”Across the globe, passengers are happy to use technology to improve their journey. The SITA 2019 Passenger IT Insights, published this week, shows that passengers are demanding more services in relation to their baggage and where these are available, satisfaction levels have surged. When asked, a majority of passengers said they would use mobile notifications to get information about their baggage at arrival and use their mobiles to track their bags or to report mishandled baggage.SITA is the world leader in baggage management including bag tracking and tracing. Its services are used in every major airport in the world. WorldTracer is a global tracing system that matches lost and found baggage. It allows airlines and ground handlers to find and repatriate lost baggage as quickly as possible. Its API provides a seamless web services interface for customers wishing to build their own applications. Today, more than 500 airlines and ground handlers at over 2,800 airports worldwide use SITA WorldTracer.Source = SITA