Almost every species of vertebrate has a spleen, an organ for filtering blood. But why settle for just one when you could have 14? That seems to be the strategy of some cetaceans, the group that comprises whales and dolphins. When scientists first noticed extra spleens in some of these animals, they thought they might be related to injuries from ship strikes, because similarly traumatic events can lead humans to develop multiple copies of the organ. But a team of scientists in Brazil now reports that the accessory organs are apparently normal in cetaceans and may help the animals keep their blood oxygen levels up while making deep dives. They reached this conclusion after dissecting 63 cetaceans from 14 species, all found stranded on the northern coast of Brazil between 2009 and 2013. Thirty-eight of the stranded animals had extra spleens, with an additional one to 14 per cetacean, the team reports in this month’s issue of Zoomorphology. The accessory organs showed up in 13 species, including humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra), and Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis). Only a single specimen of a pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) had just one spleen. The extra organs weren’t associated with any sign of trauma or animals of a particular sex or age and were found in various places, with some firmly attached to the main spleen and others to the stomach. The scientists did find more spleens in larger cetaceans and species known for making particularly deep dives, such as humpback (pictured above) and short-finned pilot whales. The additional spleens, which would contract during a dive to release fresh blood with oxygenated red blood cells, are likely an adaptation for this behavior, the researchers say. The extra spleens found in other animals, including rabbits, Chinese hamsters, chickens, and capuchin monkeys, meanwhile, may be due to developmental problems.
New Delhi, Apr 25 (PTI) In a boost to Rio-bound athletes, the Sports Ministry has decided to provide Rs one lakh per month as Out of Pocket allowance to the sportspersons under the TOP scheme in their preparation for the Olympics and Paralympics Games at Rio de Janeiro. “Out of Pocket allowance of one lakh rupees per month to be given to TOP athletes for Rio Olympics/Paralympics,” the Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry wrote in its official twitter account. Till date, 77 Indian athletes in eight disciplines have qualified for the Olympics and many more are likely to qualify in the next two months. Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme is a sports ministry initiative under which Olympic medal prospects are funded by the government for top class training as part of their preparations for the Games. PTI ATK CM CM
New Delhi, May 10 (PTI) Government today said it was giving thrust to increasing the seat capacity of flights to the Middle East so that airfares to the region are lowered.Replying to queries in Rajya Sabha, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, however, made it clear that government cannot regulate the airfares after he was asked about bringing down price of air tickets for Indian labourers emigrating to Gulf countries.”Air fares are not regulated by the government. Sub Rule (1) of Rule 135 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 provides that every air transport undertaking engaged in scheduled air services shall establish tariff having regard to all relevant factors, including cost of operation, characteristic of services reasonable profit and the generally prevailing tariff.”Accordingly airlines are free to fix tariff,” Raju said in his reply.The minister was asked whether the government used to sell tickets at cheaper rates to the labourers emigrating to Gulf and whether this facility is still available to Indian labourers. “No Sir. Does not arise,” the minister said in the reply.Noting that till 1994, airfares within India were controlled, he said that the members suggestion is that “airfare in whole universe be controlled. This is beyond Indian government.”At the same time, the minister noted that increasing capacity will bring down fares and informed that the number of seats in airlines flying to Gulf from India has gone up by 50 per cent.”Wherever capacity increases, it has a depressing effect on prices. We are working on it,” Raju said.advertisementReplying to another supplementary, the Union Minister asserted that “Government does not bear the losses of airlines and gain from their profit” as Airlines is a private business. PTI AMR RT
Thane, Aug 26 (PTI) A 36-year-old woman from Bhiwandi, who was found guilty of possessing counterfeit Indian currency notes, has been sentenced to four-year rigorous imprisonment by a district court here.Thane District Judge A S Bhaisrae awarded the sentence to Shehnajbano Kamruddin Khan, a resident of Gaibinagar, recently. The court, however, acquitted another accused Mohammad Islam Anwar Hussain Ansari (25) for want of evidence against him giving him the benefit of doubt.The Judge also slapped a fine of Rs 1,000 on Shehnajbano, besides awarding an additional three-month sentence after she was found guilty for offences punishable under sections 489 (B) and 489 (C) of the IPC.The prosecution told the court that it was on October 15, 2013 that she went to the branch of Bombay Mercantile Bank to deposit Rs 50,000 comprising notes of Rs 100 and Rs 500 denominations.The cashier on the counter who accepted the currency notes, suspected them to be fake and hence sought the assistance of his manager for a check following which it was found that all the 54 notes that she carried were fake.Then the matter was reported to Kumbharwada police who based on a complaint by the bank arrested the woman, the court was told.In her defence the accused told the court that she was illiterate and had given the currency for depositing in the bank and after an hour the police came and arrested her.The fake notes were sent to the currency press at Nashik which in its report confirmed that these were counterfeits.The judge in his order also noted that the accused was having accounts with different banks and hence it can be concluded that she was having banking knowledge.advertisement”There is no material on record to show that at any point of time, prior to this incident, the accused had deposited such a huge amount in bank. She might have mixed the counterfeit notes in genuine notes and had tried to deposit the same in the bank. Therefore, it can safely be said that she was having knowledge that those 54 notes of Rs 500/Rs 100 were fake.The series of notes and note numbers were also found to be different. Therefore, it can be inferred that the accused had intention to pass off the fake notes as genuine,” the order said.Using counterfeit notes in the market, rather in the present case, in the bank, is nothing but to disturb the economy of the nation, the judge noted.Therefore, the accused is not entitled for any leniency. Not only that, she is not entitled to benefit of Probation of Offenders Act, under the Bombay Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, the order said. PTI COR DK SMN
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Hashtag: Think before you post something on social media.That’s the message New York Jets coach Todd Bowles has given his players about using forums such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.“I don’t want them to be robots,” Bowles said after the team’s final mini-camp practice June 11.“They’ve just got to be smart about it. There’s a fine line between hurting the team and hurting yourself. Then, talking on social media, you’ve got to be smart about it.”Bowles, who acknowledged that he doesn’t use social media, has already discussed the potential drawbacks of a questionable choice of words.Earlier this week, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Tomsula made it clear that he wants nothing to do with any of it, but intended to speak to his players to offer guidance about how to be responsible when posting comments.“It’s about being smart and when to say things and when not to say things and what to say,” Bowles said he told his Jets. “And as far as football, keep things to a minimum.”Bowles, in his first season as Jets coach, is quite a bit more reserved than predecessor Rex Ryan. Gone are the days of bold predictions and brash statements in must-see news conferences — and Bowles thinks that stuff has no place on the Internet, either.“Obviously, we don’t want to have a whole team that gossips and hasn’t done anything,” Bowles said. “I’d rather for us to just work on getting better as a team as opposed to just talking on social media.“It’s the players’ prerogative, but they’ve got to understand that if the coach isn’t happy doing certain things, they’re going to have to cut it short.”Bowles did not comment directly on a Twitter squabble between cornerback Antonio Cromartie and former tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. that carried over into June 11.Winslow took exception to Cromartie putting teammate Dee Milliner on the spot during a faux interview June 9 when he took a microphone and asked if Milliner thought he was “on the roster bubble.” Winslow, who played with Cromartie and the Jets in 2013, blasted his former teammate in a series of tweets June 10.Cromartie responded on Twitter by saying Winslow wishes he were as good as his father, Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, and asked if he had been to Target recently — a reference to an incident in which Winslow Jr. was arrested in New Jersey in a Target parking lot for possession of synthetic marijuana.A judge dropped the case on the condition that Winslow meet with probation officers for a year and stay out of trouble.Winslow then tweeted that he and Cromartie should “get in the ring,” and he would “whoop” him. But Winslow wasn’t done, adding that Cromartie should “learn your kids’ names.”That was a reference to Cromartie appearing to struggle to name his several children during an episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks in 2010.Cromartie declined to comment further in the locker room, but the Twitter feud opened the discussion on where Bowles stood on the use of social media.“I would never police somebody what to say,” Bowles said, “but you’ve got to understand what kind of situation you’re in when you say these things.”(DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
CLEVELAND — On a cloudless day, Indians centerfielder Rajai Davis looked up and couldn’t see a thing.Davis lost two routine flies in the sun during a three-run second inning that helped the New York Mets roll to a 6-0 win on April 17 and kept Cleveland starter Corey Kluber winless.Despite wearing sunglasses, Davis allowed Curtis Granderson’s two-out fly to drop about five feet from him onto the warning track in the second.Kluber then fielded Asdrubal Cabrera’s bunt toward the third-base line and threw wildly to first, scoring Granderson to put the Mets up 4-0.Michael Conforto’s followed with a grounder that hit first base and bounced past Mike Napoli, allowing Cabrera to score.Yoenis Cespedes lofted a fly ball to medium depth in center that fell several feet from Davis as Conforto scored to give the Mets a six-run lead against Kluber, who can’t seem to catch a break.“I’m sure that’s an awful feeling,” Indians Manager Terry Francona said. “You feel probably pretty naked.”Kluber (0-3) gave up six runs and nine hits in six innings, struck out eight and walked one. He is 9-19 since winning the 2014 AL Cy Young Award.“It was unfortunate that it had to turn out this way for him, but this is the game of baseball,” Davis said. “Sometimes we don’t have control over these things.”Mets left-hander Steven Matz allowed three hits in seven innings and the Indians struck out 15 times against four pitchers.Kluber’s problems in the first began with a leadoff walk to Granderson.“He’s pitching out of the stretch right off the get-go,” Francona said. “He got hurt with his fastball early. In the second inning, he’s got a chance for an easy inning, two outs, get the fly ball and turn it into three more. That hurt a lot.”Davis wasn’t the only Indians player to have problems with the sun. Catcher Yan Gomes lost Cespedes’ foul pop in the first, which was originally called an error but changed to a no play. Cespedes then struck out.Matz (1-1) struck out out a career high nine in bouncing back from his first career loss. The 24-year-old left-hander allowed seven in 1 2/3 innings against Miami last Monday.“He showed what he can do when he commands his pitches,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said. “He was outstanding.”(HAYDEN GROVE) TweetPinShare0 Shares
Kevin De Bruyne Messi, De Bruyne and the European Team of the Season Goal Last updated 2 years ago 22:00 11/7/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(100) Getty Kevin De Bruyne Lionel Messi Leroy Sané Lazio Manchester City Atlético Madrid PSG Napoli Internazionale Barcelona Premier League Serie A Primera División Liga Pro With European club football taking a break, Goal takes a look at some of the outstanding players of the season so far As we head into the next round of international games, we’ve taken a step back to assess what we have seen at club level thus far and give praise to outstanding individuals from the opening part of the league seasons.Lionel Messi and Kevin De Bruyne lead the Goal European Team of the Season so far, but who else makes the cut? Honourable mentions go to Neymar, Dries Mertens and Harry Kane, who will have to settle for a place on the bench.Barca 13/2 to win Champions League Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player JAN OBLAK | ATLETICO MADRID The Atletico Madrid shot-stopper has so far registered six clean sheets in his 11 Liga appearances, being called on to make a save every 26 minutes of play.While Diego Simeone’s side have struggled to score goals this season – Atletico have netted on just 16 occasions thus far – only Barcelona (4) have conceded fewer than the capital club (6) and Oblak has naturally had a big hand in that.DANI ALVES | PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN The Brazilian has, rather unsurprisingly, made quite the impact at his new club across a relatively small sample of games. Alves has made eight Ligue 1 appearances for the league leaders and has three assists to his name, two of those coming in PSG’s recent 5-0 thrashing of Angers. CESAR AZPILICUETA | CHELSEA The Spain international has operated on the right side of Antonio Conte’s back-three this season, with Victor Moses in the right-wing-back position.Only Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva of Manchester City (5) have more assists than the Chelsea man (6) this term, with the 28-year-old offering some much-needed stability to the club’s defensive unit going the other way.MILAN SKRINIAR | INTER “I have to choose someone who’s like me, I’d take Skriniar,” Walter Samuel told La Gazzetta dello Sport earlier in the season. “People already spoke well to me about him at Sampdoria, he just has to continue his growth without being distracted by anything. I see myself in him, few frills, a lot of substance.”The 22-year-old has been a sensation at San Siro this season and a reasonable shout for the best defender in Europe as things stand.SAMUEL UMTITI | BARCELONA While his reading of the game is a major part of his make-up as a central defender, Umtiti’s distribution is what sets him apart from other defensive outlets in Europe. The 23-year-old has completed 92.5% of his passing across La Liga and Champions League games this season, with his cutting balls between opposition lines often the starting point to Barcelona attacks.LEROY SANE | MANCHESTER CITY The teenage Germany international has six goals and five assists under Pep Guardiola this season from the left wing.Sane is developing into the player City were confident that he would be when they forked out around £46 million for him in 2016 and has become a major part of the Catalan’s well-oiled machine at the Etihad. JORGINHO | NAPOLI The 25-year-old has provided the base for Napoli to make their table-topping charge in the Italian top flight this season, breaking a number of possession-based records in the process.Jorginho has completed 93% of his passing this season in Serie A and averaged 111 passes per game over nine outings.KEVIN DE BRUYNE | MANCHESTER CITY The finest attacking player in European competition at present. De Bruyne’s brilliance has been in full display this season at the centre of this extraordinary City side, notching nine assists and three goals in 15 competitive games this term.LIONEL MESSI | BARCELONA Fifteen appearances, 15 goals. The little Barcelona star has been in blistering form so far this season and is undoubtably behind Ernesto Valverde’s side sitting top of La Liga after 11 fixtures.Messi also has four assists in that time, though has predominantly been in charge of scoring goals this term rather than creating them.CIRO IMMOBILE | LAZIOThe Italy international is the top scorer in Europe’s top leagues so far, with 14 Serie A goals and six assists in 11 appearances an incredible return from the 27-year-old.Immobile also has two goals in just 112 minutes of Europa League action for Lazio, handing him the central striker role in our European XI.EDINSON CAVANI | PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN Last season’s Ligue 1 top scorer has started the 2017-18 campaign with 13 goals in 11 league outings, and another four in four in the Champions League. The Uruguay international has stolen the headlines from his £199 million team-mate Neymar, who has seven in eight in his debut season in the French top-tier.EUROPEAN XI And here’s how they line up.
JBL LIVE 500BT headphones review: Reliable sound and long battery lifeThe newly launched JBL LIVE 500BT headphones come with Ambient Aware and TalkThru features that allow users to talk to people and move around in a crowd without removing the headphones.advertisement Shweta Ganjoo July 3, 2019UPDATED: July 4, 2019 12:39 IST 8/10HIGHLIGHTSJBL launched JBL LIVE 500BT headphones last month.JBL LIVE 500BT headphones are priced at Rs 9,999.JBL LIVE 500BT headphones offer in-built support for Google Assistant and Alexa.Headphones, headphones everywhere, don’t know which one to pick! Market today is full of headphones. Some focus on treble, others offer astounding bass, yet there are others that offer to keep the distractions at bay using features such as the active noise cancellation (ANC). While all these features look good, sometimes the presence of all these features can also confuse a person looking for a decent pair of headphones. Sometimes, all you need a pair of comfy headphones that offer a balanced sound and give you the flexibility to focus on your favourite music and outside noise when you want to. The newly launched JBL LIVE 500BT headphones offer users exactly that.JBL, last month, launched its LIVE series of earphones and headphones consisting of the JBL LIVE 100, LIVE 200BT, LIVE 400BT, LIVE 500BT and LIVE 650BTNC in India. The price for the series starts from Rs 2,499. Of these, we at India Today Tech got to review the JBL LIVE 500BT that packs the best of both worlds – top-notch features of the series along with the best battery life offered by the series.The JBL LIVE 500BT is priced at Rs 9,999 and it is available in India in five colours — black, blue, green, maroon and white. It comes with some of the best features – Ambient Aware and TalkThru – offered by the newly launched LIVE series. While the TalkThru features enables users to talk to people near them without having them to remove the headphones, the Ambient Aware feature reduces the music to a bare minimum and allows the headphones to capture outside noise especially when you are outside in a crowded place.advertisementIn addition to some very useful features, the newly launched headphones offer in-built support for Google Assistant and Alexa, all of which make it a great pair of headphones to walk around with. But what makes the LIVE 500BT standout from a lot of other headphones that you see in the market is that it offers a clear and balanced audio experience that remains stable even at high volume levels.More on that later, first let’s talk about the design.Comfortable to wearThe JBL LIVE 500BT headphones are around-the-ear type of headphones, which means that they blanket your ears in a way that you can forget all about the outside distractions and conveniently get lost in the melodies playing inside your ears. The headphone cups are made of soft cushiony material that is covered in a layer of faux leather. This layer is connected with the rest of the device using plastic heads, which in turn are connected to the headband via hinges. These hinges allow the ear-cups to rotate at an angle of 90 degrees right and left, which makes it easy to pack them. These hinges also enable the ear-cups to move inwards towards the headband, allow you to pack them in a more compact manner when needed. The big ear-cups house a gigantic battery on one side and controls on the other. On the left side of the ear cups is a micro USB port that can be used for charging the headphones via an accompanying charging cable. On the right side, there is a toggle switch for turning the headphones on or off. Just below the power button are three buttons, while two can be used for controlling the volume, the third can be used for invoking Alexa or Google Assistant. On the other end of the right earcup are two buttons each of which can be used for pairing the device with your smartphone and for controlling the Ambient Aware and Talk Thru features. There is also a 3.5mm jack that can be used for pairing your smartphone with the device via a wired connection.As far as the headband is concerned, instead of sporting a faux leather finish, it is made up of a fabric, which makes it resistant to sweat and hence ideal for a walk outside. The overall build is quite comfortable and ideal for prolonged usage.If you are the kind of person who loves to disconnect from the rest of the world by getting lost in their favourite tracks then the JBL LIVE 500BT headphones are ideal for you.If you are the kind of person who loves to disconnect from the rest of the world by getting lost in their favourite tracks then the JBL LIVE 500BT headphones are ideal for you. Granted it doesn’t have the active noise cancellation feature (ANC) feature, which is a hit among those who love to live a distraction free life, but its comfortable over the ear design ensures that no outside noise bothers you unless you choose to.advertisementReliable and smooth soundSound is the most important aspect of any audio device. And like I mentioned earlier, while some audio devices focus on the clarity, other channel their energies in packing a punch. Simply said, every audio device, or in this case pair of headphones, has their signature audio quality, which for the JBL LIVE 500BT headphones translates into offering a balanced audio experience.One major problem with a lot of headphones is that you cannot talk to people next to you when you are wearing them. This becomes a particular hassle if the pair headphones of headphones that you are using are on-the-ear or around-the-ear ones. The JBL LIVE 500BT solves that problem by allowing you to listen (and hence respond) to conversations near you in the TalkThru mode. All you need to do is press a button on the right earcup and the headphones will let in just the right amount of sound so that you can converse with people at ease without removing the headphones.Another thing, headphones usually come with the ANC feature that is designed to block outside noise completely and give you a distraction free audio experience. Generally, headphones don’t come with a feature that would let the ambient noise come in. The idea, well, is that without the ANC turned on, the headphones would let sufficient noise in. However, headphones that offer ANC are capable of cutting down the outside noise without the feature turned on as well. This is true for the JBL LIVE 500BT as well. Thanks to its design, the JBL LIVE 500BT does the noise-cutting without any specific features on board but when needed – say when you are out in the market — you can let the ambient noise in using the Ambient Aware feature. Enabling this reduces the music to a bare minimum as it lets more outside sound come inside your ears. You can access both these features by pressing a button on the headphones or by tapping the desired option in the JBL app. During my time with the JBL LIVE 500BT, I found the TalkThru feature particularly useful as it enabled me to talk to my colleagues without removing the headphones every time I turned my head to talk to them.The JBL LIVE 500BT also features in-built support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and for most parts it works flawlessly with both of them. You can ask Alexa to play your party playlist from Amazon Prime Music app or Google Assistant to pull up your favourite music video all on the tap of a button. However, you will have to reset the speaker to use it with another AI assistant once you have used it with other.Now comes the most important part of this review: the sound quality. The JBL LIVE 500BT offers a stable audio output that is balanced in nature and stable in consistency. What this means that sound doesn’t distort or lose focus with music genres or with volume level. You can listen to pop songs like Lean On by Major Lazer Attention by Charlie Puth at 80 per cent – which by the way is very loud — volume and the sound won’t bleed in your ears. Or you can listen to Shammi Kapoor classics and the music will sound as pleasurable to you as you have known it to be.advertisementDuring my time with the JBL LIVE 500BT, I found the TalkThru feature particularly useful as it enabled me to talk to my colleagues without removing the headphones every time I turned my head to talk to them.What I like about the JBL LIVE 500BT is that it offers great bass. Popular EDM numbers such as Wake Me Up and Lonely Together by Avicii and Titanium by David Guetta are clear and pack a punch that is hard to miss. You can easily distinguish between every guitar strum and every drum beat. All this sound good at relatively high volume levels. However, as you take the volume a notch or two up – say 80 per cent or above – the sound loses its clarity. Yes the sound remains stable, but songs like Ed Sheeran’s Happier, that are known for their vocals, don’t sound as pleasurable at higher volume levels as they do otherwise. A part of that can be fixed using the equaliser in the JBL app. You can tap on the Vocals option to focus on the mids. You can even try to tweak the graph above to customise your settings, which may offer some help if not much.Long lasting batteryWith the LIVE 500BT headphones, JBL promises to deliver up to 30 hours of battery life and true to its word, the battery of these newly launched headphones does deliver the promised performance when used in the wireless mode.I used the JBL LIVE 500BT headphones for over a week averaging at five to six hours every day and I had to charge the headphones only once in a span of roughly 10 days. With a battery life like that you can go on a mini vacation and forget about your headphones running out of juice in between. What I particularly liked about these headphones is that while the battery takes long to discharge, it gets charged completely in one and a half hours. Besides this, you can also track the battery status from the My JBL Headphones app.Should you buy JBL LIVE 500BT headphones?Yes. If you are looking for a pair of headphones that you can use as your second skin, or may be in this as your second pair of ears, the JBL LIVE 500BT are a great pair of headphones to roam around with. They are comfortable and compact. They offer a battery life that will serve you for almost a week. And they come loaded with features that make them ideal for outside (and even inside) use, which is all anyone, can ask for in a pair of headphones.Another good thing about these headphones is that they pack a punch and offer a stable audio output even at high volume levels. Granted that they may not offer clarity, at least not the kind that audiophiles drool over, but they do allow users to customise the sound as per their likings, which offers an instant fix for some of those issues.JBL LIVE 500BT headphones review8/10ProsComfortableGood batteryConsMids not clearGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShweta Ganjoo Tags :Follow JBLFollow JBL LIVE 500BT Next
Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says advancement in information and communications technology (ICT) has been levelling the playfield, where the most vulnerable in society are now able to realise their true potential.Addressing the Accessible Americas V Conference at the Hyatt Ziva Hotel, St. James, on November 30, Dr. Chang said the technological advancement has also been playing a very important role in “underserved communities” worldwide, where unattached youth now have access “to a whole new world”.“In Jamaica, one of our most vulnerable groups comes in the form of our unattached youth,” Dr. Chang noted.“These 140,000 young men and women, aged 16 to 26 years, due to a myriad of circumstances, did not have the exposure or opportunity to access those key resources to allow them to contribute to society in a positive way. They are subsequently left vulnerable to negative influences, which often steer them into crime and violence. These persons must be included in our discussions for improving ICT accessibility,” Dr. Chang emphasised.He noted that the Government is building a digitally inclusive society “where ICT underpins the advancement of every sector of our lives”.Dr. Chang said the Ministry of Science and Technology, through the work of its agencies, like the Universal Service Fund (USF), and its Technology Advancement Project (TAP), has engaged some 1,000 unattached youth, providing them with the skills to take full advantage of “the fourth industrial revolution”.“They have received training in digitisation and data collection, and gained work experience, and upon completion, they are certified by the Caribbean Maritime University,” he added.“They are now empowered to meaningfully contribute to society in a way they would not have before,” the Minister said.Dr. Chang also noted that through extensive funding, the USF is also bridging the technology divide in the schools, through the Tablets in Schools project, which is executed by the e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited.“Over 300 community access points and six public Wi-Fi locations have been established, all of which allow members of our society to be technologically enabled,” Dr. Chang added.
Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Advertisement MONTREAL, Sept. 21, 2017 – Today, the International Day of Peace, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Sid Lee Architecture and MASSIVart are pleased to unveil the hotel’s newly redesigned Suite 1742, where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their iconic Bed-In for Peace in 1969. At the same time, Sid Lee Collective and MASSIVart invite Montrealers to join the largest bed-in ever held in North America, on the Place Ville Marie Esplanade, and to explore the exhibition Posters for Peace. A suite paying tribute to a legendary eventPreserving the historical character of Suite 1742, which John and Yoko took over for their second bed-in in 1969, was a key goal of the hotel’s recent transformation by owner Ivanhoé Cambridge. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: The concept for the redesign, developed by Sid Lee Architecture, hinged on rearranging the furniture in the same way Lennon and Ono had for the bed-in. The first step was to place the bed against the main window and free the central space. Rather than recreate the hotel’s period décor, the designer draws inspiration from places the couple had lived in or visited, such as London, New York, Tokyo and New Delhi.Reproductions of the famous handwritten Hair Peace and Bed Peace cutouts adorn the window once again, while the words of the song Give Peace a Chance, recorded by John and Yoko in Suite 1742, are inscribed repeatedly on the walls, after the fashion of a war memorial—with, in this case, a wish for peace in lieu of the names of fallen soldiers.An immersive art experienceOne of the distinctive features of the John and Yoko Suite is the incorporation of artworks, interactive pieces and multimedia installations designed and produced by MASSIVart. They include an archival cabinet containing photos, videos and historical items, among them a Give Peace a Chance vinyl record.Visitors will be able to don virtual-reality headsets placed on the nightstands on either side of the bed for an exclusive immersive experience—allowing them, among other things, to sense the unique energy of the bed-in from the point of view of John or Yoko.Peace, love and creativity front and centre: Bed-in and Posters for PeaceAt the same time as the unveiling, Sid Lee Collective and MASSIVart have invited Montrealers to gather at the Place Ville Marie Esplanade for the largest outdoor bed-in ever held in North America as well as the exhibition Posters for Peace, featuring art created in tribute to the original bed-in.The exhibition includes works by 40 artists from around the world, printed on sheets placed on the beds arranged along the Esplanade. The proceeds from the sale of reproductions of the works will go to Amnesty International.About Fairmont The Queen ElizabethFairmont Hotels & Resorts connects guests to the very best of its destinations worldwide, providing travellers with memorable travel experiences, thoughtful and attentive service and luxury hotels that are truly unforgettable. Each Fairmont property reflects the locale’s energy, culture and history through locally inspired cuisine, spirited bars and lounges and distinctive design and decor. With more than 70 hotels globally, and many more in development, the Fairmont collection boasts some of the most iconic and distinctive hotels in the world. This extraordinary collection includes The Plaza in New York, The Savoy in London, Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Dubai’s Fairmont The Palm, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai, Fairmont San Francisco and Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City. Fairmont is part of AccorHotels, a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,100 hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 3,000 of the finest private homes around the globe. For more information or reservations, please visit fairmont.com.About Ivanhoé CambridgeIvanhoé Cambridge, a global real estate industry leader, invests in high-quality properties and real estate companies in select cities around the world. It does so prudently and with a long-term view to generate optimal, risk-adjusted returns. Founded in Quebec in 1953, Ivanhoé Cambridge has built a vertically integrated business across Canada. Internationally, the Company invests alongside key partners and major real estate funds that are leaders in their respective markets. Through subsidiaries and partnerships, Ivanhoé Cambridge holds interests in nearly 800 buildings, primarily in the residential, office, retail and logistics real estate sectors. Ivanhoé Cambridge held approximately C$56 billion in assets as at December 31, 2016. The Company is a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (cdpq.com), one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers. For more information: ivanhoecambridge.com.About Sid Lee ArchitectureFounded in 2009 following the integration of architecture firm NOMADE (founded in 1999), Sid Lee Architecture is the fruit of architects and urban designers Jean Pelland and Martin Leblanc’s talents and skills combined with creative agency Sid Lee’s wide-ranging offering. Operating on a global scale from its Montreal offices, Sid Lee Architecture gathers more than 50 architects, technicians, designers, managers, and other artisans offering services in urban studies, architecture, interior architecture, strategic development and positioning, brand integration, and signage – for cultural, residential, institutional, recreational, and corporate projects. Sid Lee Architecture’s work stands out for its uniqueness and strong identity, marked by history, culture, and community. Since 2015, Sid Lee Architecture is part of kyu, a new collective of creative businesses established by Hakuhodo DY Holdings, the second largest network of agencies in Asia.About MASSIVartMASSIVart is a Montreal based production & art direction agency, connecting artists, brands & people. We produce content and events and offer art curation services. We are proud initiators of Chromatic, an art festival that aims to celebrate Montreal hyper-active art scene. MASSIVart supports creators through innovative business opportunities, making art more present and accessible. Our projects are showcases for creators. Exhibitions, installations, exhibit openings and creative nights: we integrate visual, sound, interactive and contemplative arts in the heart of each initiative to ensure the largest range of the established and upcoming artists.About Sid Lee CollectiveSid Lee Collective is a creative incubator that helps fund, produce and exhibit passion projects of fearless, global artisans. No matter the day job, we believe everyone benefits from pursuing collaborative creative projects you love. That’s why everyone at Sid Lee gives up to 10% of their time to make passion projects happen. Instagram: @sidleecollectivesidleecollective.com Twitter
( Jewish Post & News columnist Bill Marantz confused Winnipeg Jets goalie (left) with APTN anchor Michael Hutchinson (right))Jaydon FlettAPTN National NewsMembers of both the Jewish and Aboriginal community are angered over an “ignorant” and “hateful” newspaper column which repeatedly uses the term “Indian.”The opinion piece – written by former provincial court judge Bill Marantz in the Jewish Post & News – was inspired by an online Twitter debate about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Marantz believed he was “sparring” with the Winnipeg Jets’ back-up goalie Michael Hutchinson, when in fact he was tweeting with APTN National News anchor Michael Hutchinson.Marantz says the incendiary tweet that started it all was when he paraphrased the late “former CBC token Indian” Johnny Yesno saying, “The only fully-employed aboriginals are the chiefs who are busy flying to conferences.”It was then retweeted by APTN National News anchor Hutchinson. The Twitter notification prompted Marantz to do a quick Google search where the NHL goalie is first to show up in results.The former judge believed he was really tweeting with a member of the Winnipeg Jets.“It’s embarrassing to admit that a 25-year-old jock, who stops pucks for a living, knows more about the legal status of aboriginal people than a former (part-time) provincial court judge,” wrote Marantz. “Mike Hutchinson is not only as sharp as a hunting knife, he sounds like he’s actually read the Indian Act.”The article, which has since been removed from the Jewish Post & News’ website, goes on to criticize the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, calling it the “half-truth and recrimination report.”According to Marantz, the TRC wasted six years “splitting hairs” and “encouraging victims to wallow in victimhood” instead of “encouraging youth.” He wrote that everyone already knows enough about Indian residential schools.“Any Canadian (Indian code for paleface) who is unaware of the abuses of the Residential School System, at this stage of the game, just hasn’t been paying attention for the past 50 years,” wrote Marantz.The article goes on to criticize First Nation leaders in general, particularly chiefs. Marantz accuses chiefs of “endless hand-wringing, chest thumping and name calling” while referring to a number of social issues, such as high suicide rates on reserves and Aboriginal sex trade workers in the city.“The so-called leaders of the Aboriginal community are too busy feathering their own headdresses to worry about trivialities like chronic unemployment, poverty, illness, alcoholism and crime,” he wrote.Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs released a statement calling the article “racially derogatory.”Nepinak said the column betrayed the writer’s own privileged biases.“The writer’s attitude not only demonstrates the privilege and entitlement he is taking for granted, it also demonstrates a very disrespectful approach to the current dialogue around truth and reconciliation and a rejection of historical truths about the treatment of Indigenous peoples in the nation state,” stated Nepinak.In the statement, Nepinak said he was concerned over whether Marantz dealt with cases involving Aboriginal people while acting as a provincial court judge.Nepinak said the article, “Clearly calls into question his ability to set aside racially motivated stereotypes and attitudes in decision-making that would have impacted the lives of people significantly.”Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Chief Jim Bear called the column by Marantz a “brutal” portrayal of First Nations people.“Brokenhead Ojibway Nation does not in any way, shape or form condone this brutal portrayal made by Mr. Marantz against our First Nation community,” said Bear. “The state of ours and many First Nations is a collective crisis, not just an isolated First Nation crisis.”Bear said Marantz’ comparison of the residential school system to the Holocaust “minimizes and dishonours” the residential school experience.Bear said he wants an apology, from both Marantz and the newspaper.He told APTN National News that he doesn’t want a personal apology, but a public apology to the Aboriginal community as a whole.When APTN contacted Marantz for an on-camera interview, he refused, saying he’d prefer to have a live televised conversation with Bear “to discuss this matter freely and openly”.He also said he’d like to have Hutchinson present for the discussion. Marantz has since publicly apologized for confusing Hutchinson with the Winnipeg Jets’ goalie.Marantz has yet to apologize for any of the views he expressed in the article as of this article’s firstname.lastname@example.org
By Erol AvdovicUNITED NATIONS – Omitting the stereotypes about Islam, “it is important to acknowledge that within the Christian faith, the Jewish, Buddhist, Hinduism there can also be extremism”, former British Prime Minister saidA better education remains key and terrorism can only be defeated by cross-cultural understanding since security measures have unforeseen effects and will not succeed alone, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told members of the United Nations counter-terrorism committee on Thursday afternoon. “It is the most grotesque abuse of faith to commit acts of terror in the name of God,” Blair said in noting that religious extremism is “based on a wrong and perverted view of religion” and fills young minds with hate by exploiting political issues.Talking to the reporters after the meeting, Blair who was asked about the “Islamists and terrorism,” said this is most frequently viewed in relation to Islam.“Although I do think it’s important that we acknowledge that within other faiths as well, the Christian faith, the Jewish, Buddhist, Hinduism there can also be extremism,” Blair replied.He also reminded that many of the victims of terrorism are indeed Muslims themselves.Blair said all the actors in the joint efforts to devise the most appropriate strategy of fighting terrorism and addressing its causes, — should remind themselves of the simple but common human values. That includes “the love for your neighbor, compassion and social justice are common to all the world’s major religions,” he said.Former British PM also pointed intellectuals per se should be more active, since it is “a sobering fact that many highly educated individuals are involved in religious extremist activity.”The research clearly shows, as Blair pointed several times, “a link between a lack of cross-cultural education and religious extremism.”“We must educate about diversity and difference, about tolerance and respect, in the same way as we teach humanities, sciences and languages,” Blair said.He noted said there is an ongoing struggle for “the hearts and minds of those with low levels of religious and cultural literacy,” to be included in better understanding of the root causes of the problem.“The choice for the future is very obvious: either people regard those who are different as a threat to their culture,” Blair said, explaining, it is “the closed minded approach,” or people will regard those who are different as an enrichment – which is, as he defined “the open minded approach.”Education is the answer, Tony Blair concluded, saying also: “Not just any education, but education specifically for the open mind.”
by Tom Murphy, The Associated Press Posted Apr 17, 2014 4:27 am MDT UnitedHealth’s 1st-quarter profit tumbles 8 per cent, insurer cites overhaul costs UnitedHealth Group’s first-quarter net income slid 8 per cent as funding cuts to a key product and costs imposed by the health care overhaul dented the health insurer’s performance.The Minnetonka, Minn., company said Thursday the overhaul and government budget cuts added about 35 cents per share in costs during the quarter. The federal law aims to provide coverage for millions of uninsured people, but it also trims funding for Medicare Advantage plans, changes how insurers can write their coverage and adds an industry-wide tax, which is not deductible.UnitedHealth shares fell deeper than the broader market in late-morning trading after it announced first-quarter results, but the overhaul hit didn’t surprise many investors. UnitedHealth said in December it expects the federal law to reduce its after-tax operating earnings by $1.1 billion in 2014.What may have rattled Wall Street a bit was the insurer’s report that it saw intense price competition in several markets, including New York, where it has a lot of business. The insurer said some competitors there are pricing their coverage below the costs they will incur to attract customers, and that could hurt enrolment more than UnitedHealth anticipated.The insurer also said a spike in hepatitis C drug use, driven by the expensive new treatment Sovaldi, added $100 million to medical costs in the quarter. Regulators approved Sovaldi, from Gilead Sciences Inc., last December. The drug is seen as a breakthrough treatment, but its $1,000-a-pill price tag has drawn some skepticism from care providers as well as insurers.“We’re working diligently to ensure this medication is applied under critically appropriate standards,” UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley told analysts during a conference call.Overall, UnitedHealth earned $1.1 billion, or $1.10 per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That’s down from $1.19 billion, or $1.16 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose nearly 5 per cent to $31.71 billion.Analysts expected earnings of $1.09 per share on $32.01 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.The insurer said its Medicare Advantage business was hurt by both the overhaul and the mandatory across-the-board federal budget cuts known as sequestration.Medicare Advantage plans are privately run versions of the government’s Medicare program for the elderly and disabled people, and UnitedHealth is the nation’s largest provider of this coverage, with nearly 3 million enrollees. It said lower funding forced it to trim benefits and doctor networks this year and leave some markets.UnitedHealth on Thursday also reaffirmed a 2014 earnings forecast that it announced last December. The insurer still expects earnings to range from $5.40 to $5.60 per share, while analysts expect, on average, $5.60 per share.Company shares slid 2.8 per cent, or $2.20, to $75.99 in late-morning trading, while the Dow Jones industrial average slid slightly. UnitedHealth is a Dow Jones component.After soaring nearly 39 per cent last year, UnitedHealth shares have reverted to more measured growth so far in 2014, with the stock climbing about 4 per cent as of Wednesday’s close.UnitedHealth Group Inc. is the first insurer to report earnings every quarter. Many see it as a bellwether for other insurers. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – This Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, filephoto, shows a portion of The UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s campus in Minnetonka, Minn. UnitedHealth Group’s first-quarter net income slid 8 percent as fees and funding cuts from the health care overhaul helped dent the performance of the nation’s largest health insurer the company announced Thursday April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
Ohio State offensive junior Claudia Kepler (24) controls the puck during a game against Bemidji State University on Nov. 6 at St. John Arena. OSU lost 2-1. Credit: Eileen McClory | Senior Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s ice hockey team is preparing for a long road swing — it will not play in Columbus again until Dec. 11 — so it is preparing to take its game on the road.First, the Buckeyes travel this weekend to Grand Forks, North Dakota, for two games against University of North Dakota (6-2-2), winners of two of its last four contests.Despite outshooting Bemidji State in both losses of its series last weekend, the OSU offense could only generate two goals. The team took to the ice for its final practice on Thursday before leaving expecting to score more goals over the weekend.“Until they decide on a different way to decide hockey games, we need to score goals,” assistant coach Carson Duggan said. “I thought we had a really solid weekend and weren’t rewarded.”Goal scoringJunior forward Claudia Kepler, who leads the team in shots with 28, wants to see her forward unit score more goals.“Our line, (Kendall Curtis) is a very skilled player, and I’d say one of my strengths is shooting the puck,” Kepler said. “So we try to use our strengths as much as possible.”Curtis, the senior forward who scored the lone goal in the loss last Saturday, welcomed the pressure she, Kepler and sophomore Julianna Iafallo put on themselves in order for the team to be successful. But Kepler took it one step further, saying she wants to generate more scoring on her own.“There have been a lot of times I should have taken the puck to the net but instead I kind of held up and looked to make a pass,” Kepler said. The Buckeyes were off on Wednesday to coincide with classes being canceled for Veterans Day. With a road trip, the first in a month, the members of the team think the odd schedule is an opportunity to shake up their play.“I think these girls have been working really hard on the ice,” Duggan said. “The conditioning is obviously still there, but it’s nice to get a little break.”In Duggan’s opinion, the break was the opportunity to spark the offense without taking to the ice.“You want to keep the edge and the excitement in coming to the rink, so a day off like that was a mental break, which I think is just as important,” Duggan said.Kepler, who is second to Curtis in goals scored on the season, will look to simplify her game in order to generate more offense for the team.“Creating scoring chances, you’ve got to shoot to get chances,” Kepler said.Dinged-up defenseThe Buckeyes have eight defenders on their roster, but will head to North Dakota with only five ready to play on Friday night. Freshman Jincy Dunne and her sophomore sister, Jessica, have yet to play this season. Redshirt junior Bryanna Neuwald did not play last Saturday and is expected to be sidelined this weekend too. Shorthanded, coach Jenny Potter played senior forward Julia McKinnon on defense, where she is set to remain against North Dakota.“It’s obviously hard with five D-men and one forward back there,” junior defender Alexa Ranahan said. “She’s doing an amazing job, you can’t tell she’s new to it.”Ranahan believes despite the injuries, the defense has turned into a strength for the Buckeyes, who have allowed only eight goals in their last four contests.“It’s definitely helpful in our situation right now where we are struggling to score,” Ranahan said. “I think as long as we stay solid on (defense) and score a little we’ll be good.”Strong defense will be important for the Buckeyes on the road this weekend, which may have another low-scoring series in front of them. North Dakota has allowed only 21 goals this season, 23 fewer than the Buckeyes.Duggan, whose skaters have been focusing on scoring more goals, welcomes the opportunity to face another tough defensive squad only one week after dropping both games to the Beavers.“We’ve got to stick to our systems without getting frustrated,” Duggan said. “Otherwise you’ll start to grip your stick tighter, but once we get one, it’ll turn into two and three.”Ranahan, who last week was named a co-captain, said she expects the defense to continue to perform while the offense looks to get into form.“You can always expect good competition,” Ranahan said. “We know it’s always really tough against North Dakota. I know I love the nitty-gritty battles.”Opponent notesNorth Dakota will take to the ice against the Buckeyes off 13 days of rest. It last played Minnesota on Oct. 30, winning 4-3 to split its weekend series with the Golden Gophers.The Buckeyes lost both their contests to Minnesota by a combined score of 17-4 to start a home stand that would finish 2-4.Puck drops in Grand Forks at 3:07 p.m. on Saturday and 2:07 p.m. on Sunday.Correction 9/13: An earlier version of this story said the two games were to take place on Friday and Saturday, when in fact they are on Saturday and Sunday.
With the injunction against the Telegraph lifted, we can now reveal the allegations against Sir Philip Green that centre around five former employees. Sir Philip Green is alleged to have groped a senior female executive and called her a “naughty girl” before paying her more than £1 million to stay silent about the incident. In front of other employees, the Arcadia boss is alleged to have on a number of occasions kissed the woman’s face, slapped her bottom and made comments about her weight, leaving her and others present feeling “uncomfortable”. ‘The female executive who was kissed, slapped and groped – and paid £1m to stay silent’ The woman eventually complained to her HR department, but the…
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you #MagneticMediaNews#TCIGeneralElections#TCIResults2016 Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #tcigeneralelections, #TCIResults2016 Final seat goes to new opposition party PNP Election Observer Mission reports to Press Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, December 16, 2016 – Change has come for the country and The People’s Democratic Movement’s winning members were expected to be sworn in today as the new government of the Turks and Caicos Islands.In a grueling battle, and after a shamefully long wait for election returns from the Elections Office, it was finally revealed at 8:33 am, about 13 hours after the polls had closed that the PDM took 10 seats, including four At Large spots and six of the District seats, with a virtual tie still pending for The Bight constituency up to news production time.Edwin Astwood, Ralph Higgs, Douglas Parnell, Goldray Ewing, Sean Astwood and Delroy Williams won at that district level; Sharlene Robinson, who will be the first female premier, Josephine Connolly, Derek Taylor and Karen Malcolm make up the remainder of the PDMs House of Assembly members in this new legislature.Rufus Ewing was not returned to Parliament placing 7th out of the 21 All Island Candidates; Michael Misick who controversially offered as an Independent Candidate, had a disappointing result for him coming in 11th with 1,629 votes.Leader of PDA, Oswald Skippings got only 549 votes and was the top performing PDA candidate, while Charles Washington Misick, Mike’s older brother and outgoing Finance Minister with the PNP made it to the top 5, beating millennial, Robert Been Jr. by a mere 21 votes.It is expected the PDM will have celebrations tonight at the Party. Rufus Resigns PNP & Quits Politics
Original Story: The Alaska State Troopers Bureau of Highway Patrol responded to a motor vehicle accident on the Seward Highway at MP 77.5 around 10:51 p.m., last night. The workers had one lane closed and were operating a pilot car for traffic. The driver, an adult male, became pinned as a result of the collision and his lower body was trapped. Limited details are known at this time. Updates will be posted as they are made available. The tractor trailer was stopped at a construction zone per the direction of construction workers and rear ended by the Taurus. He was flown to a local hospital with life threatening injuries. The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured. The cause of the collision is under investigation. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Update 9:06 a.m.: The preliminary investigation found that the driver of a 1997 Ford Taurus was southbound on the Seward Highway near Milepost 77.5 when it struck a 2014 International Harvester tractor trailer. According to the highway closure alert there were injuries sustained in the accident. The highway is closed in both directions effective until 5:51 a.m. Update at 4:55 a.m.:Seward Hwy Mile 77.5; Both lanes of traffic are open.
X 00:00 /00:47 Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: It’s been nearly a year since Hurricane Harvey inundated portions of southeastern Texas, and we’re still learning more about its impact on the surrounding environment.Researchers out of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) said findings suggest the Gulf of Mexico’s surface water quality was impaired after high levels of fecal contamination were introduced into waterways that drain into it. “The research we conducted in the Guadalupe River after Hurricane Harvey substantiates that the large number of sewage overflows and storm-water runoff that occurred during Hurricane Harvey flooding introduced high levels of fecal bacteria into environmental waters,” said UTSA Assistant Professor Vikram Kapoor, in a press release.– / 5Kapoor and his students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering retrieved samples from portions of the Guadalupe River in Victoria, Texas, up to three months after Harvey. The areas of the river which flooded the most showed the highest amount of fecal contaminants, although the levels were not high enough to cause a public health concern, said Kapoor.“The levels were comparatively higher right after Harvey, for example, in the month of September. And gradually levels decreased, until December,” said Kapoor. “So, there’s a way by which natural waters can take care of the problem if you give them enough time.”Kapoor believes the environmental impact from Harvey has declined, but he said there could be other problems with the region. For example, the bacteria levels at some sites were higher three months after the storm. Kapoor said that could potentially indicate more chronic contamination sources; such as leaking septic tanks, storm-water runoff, or other factors. But, researchers hope the study results will help serve as a baseline to monitor various impacts from major flooding events.“We want to develop a quantitative framework using this data,” said Kapoor. “So, we can have estimates of public health concerns right after the event, for rating, sampling, and getting results.” The University of Texas at San AntonioUTSA graduate students Tanvir Pasha (left) and Indrani Gupta (right) collect samples of water to study. Listen
Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now David StromJust because you don’t have a large enterprise doesn’t mean you can’t run your IT operation like the big guys. Here are seven ways to help your SMB–a small or medium-size business–implement some of the lessons big IT operations have learned over the years. Using these tips, you should be able to improve productivity, cut costs, and keep your business running smoothly.1. Standardize on Desktops and Cell Phones to Reduce Support DifferencesThis is not as easy as it sounds, because even if you buy multiple quantities of the same exact model of PC, the systems could still have subtle internal differences that can come back to haunt you when you have to fix them. Carey Holzman, an independent reseller based in Glendale, Arizona, ran into this problem. His company ordered a particular model of computer that contained specific parts meeting the corporation’s strict requirements. Yet when he received the PCs, he found that the systems contained two revisions of the ATI video card, one of which caused an incompatibility with the mice the company used.And unfortunately for Holzman, the PC vendor was of little help. “The vendor refused to acknowledge any responsibility for the video card incompatibility. We started ordering the computers without video cards after that–until the next problem cropped up, and eventually, [we] switched vendors entirely,” he says.To keep incompatibilities to a minimum, you should try to stock hard drives from the same vendor, and to standardize on the same model of peripherals such as printers, mice, and keyboards, too. You can also make use of Windows Inspection Toolkit or similar utilities to keep track of the specific configuration of your systems. Finally, use drive imaging software such as Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost to make copies of your basic system installation, so that it can be recovered easily in case of virus infections or other problems.Many IT shops also buy spare PCs and use them for replacements. “The problem is that you are tempted to use it as new workstation, instead of as a replacement, and then you no longer have a spare,” says Holzman. “You need to put it in the closet and use it only to help you through temporary IT emergencies.” Besides keeping several spare PCs, it’s also a good idea stock a spare laser printer and network hub in case yours go south.Holzman also recommends retainer support contracts with a local technician, so you won’t have to scrutinize the invoices trying to interpret the work that was done and whether the tech was being fair and honest.2. Perform Off-Site BackupsSmall businesses have basically two approaches to choose from in doing backups: One is to copy critical data to a series of external hard drives and periodically rotate them from your office to a remote location (such as a bank safe deposit box). The other is to use one of a number of online backup service providers such as Box.net, Symantec Online Backup, Carbonite, or Mozy that offer low cost gigabyte-level storage. Big IT typically uses off-site tape storage because of the quantity of the data involved, but for smaller outfits, online services are less expensive and more convenient.The trick with either method is to use them religiously, and to ensure that all of your data is copied on a regular basis. The online backup option could be especially handy in more than one way: Earlier this summer, Damian Zikakis, a Michigan-based headhunter, had his laptop stolen when someone broke into his offices. He replaced it a few days later; and because he had used Mozy, he thought that he was covered in terms of being able to bring back his files from the Internet backup.When Zikakis had a moment to examine the layout of his new machine, he “found several incriminating files. The individuals who had my computer did not realize that the Mozy client was installed and running in the background. They had also used PhotoBooth to take pictures of themselves and had downloaded a cell phone bill that had their name on it,” he says.Zikakis did a bit of head hunting on his own and contacted the appropriate police department with this information. They were able to recover his computer, and now have the task of figuring out who actually took the laptop originally and what law enforcement options to pursue.3. Use Hardware to Secure Your Internet ConnectionSMBs often are not as attentive to the security of their Internet connection as they should be, and the results of such neglect could be disastrous. Last year, hackers compromised the point of sale system (POS) of clothing designer firm Nanette Lepore. The hackers managed to reconfigure the outdated firewalls and sold some stolen credit card numbers from the company’s high-end clientele.This happened because the company’s chain of retail stores had little or no security measures or proper procedures. “All of our store clerks were using the same password to access the POS,” says Jose Cruz, Nanette Lepore’s network manager. “It was wide open. No one had ever thought to change passwords periodically, or even use different ones for each user. Prior to my arrival here, the emphasis on POS security wasn’t urgent. Needless to say, this all changed.”Cruz got a call that no one ever wants to receive–from the FBI, telling him that several of their customers had received fraudulent credit card charges. This led to finding out that the company’s Netopia DSL routers had been hacked, and their firmware had been changed to allow hackers inside their network.The stores now use SonicWall integrated security devices, and Cruz has implemented password change policies and other security procedures to ensure that he won’t get a repeat of what happened before. Such an approach can help an SMB keep private information secure. Another good policy: Ensure that all network access is turned off when an employee leaves the company.4. Use a VPNMany larger IT shops make use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to ensure that their communications are kept confidential, and that traveling users can access home office files and other resources when on the road. Many of these VPN products can be quite expensive, but the SMB alternatives don’t have to cost a lot of money.Some, such as Openvpn.org, are free, while low-cost VPN service providers such as LogMeIn.com’s Hamachi can run about $50 per person per year. “Hamachi allows us to connect to hundreds of our customers and monitor live videos of our security cameras discreetly and without having to worry about being compromised by unauthorized users,” says Ben Molloy, the vice president of Pro-Vigil, a San Antonio, Texas-based company that provides security for off-hours construction sites.And VPNs come integrated in a variety of lower-cost security gateway appliances, too. Nanette Lepore makes use of the SSL VPNs that are included in the SonicWall appliances to connect their stores together, and to ensure that no one can compromise their communications.The Lepore firm even set up temporary accounts for guest workers and maintenance personnel that are purposely time-limited. Granting accounts for temporary personnel without such time limits is another common mistake. Time-limited accounts mean that the IT staff doesn’t have to remember to remove the account when the maintenance is completed.5. Run Personal Firewalls, Especially on Windows PCsWindows is notorious for being a security sinkhole, and most larger IT operations now require their PCs to run some kind of personal firewall to prevent infections and malware from taking over. A wide range of products is available, but the key is to pick one, make it standard, and make sure that all employees are educated about why it is necessary to keep the firewall running at all times, especially when traveling. Inexpensive but effective firewalls include AVG from Grisoft.com, Online Armour, and Kaspersky Labs.However, you can’t always manage each individual machine, and a careless user could turn off these defenses and let viruses in. This is where having a drive image copy can come in handy.Another way to enforce security policies and other protective measures is to deploy some endpoint security tool that will block unhealthy PCs from gaining network access. Napera is one product that is specifically targeted at SMB installations, and McAfee and Sophos have others.Matt Stevenson, who is the director of information technology for Talyst, a pharmacy automation vendor in Bellevue, Washington, has been using the $3500 Napera appliance on his 120-node network for the past six months. “A lot of our staff is out in the field, and they attach to a wide variety of networks. When they come back to our office, the Napera box forces their PCs to become compliant and to ensure that our network won’t get infected,” he says.6. Rely on VoIP PBX for Your Phone SystemAs more and more big IT shops can attest, using a VoIP PBX telephone system has tremendous cost advantages. The biggest one is for your remote workers who can have extensions on your headquarters’ phone system. These systems are also very flexible in terms of call handling, and offer other features such as call forwarding, multiple simultaneous rings (where an incoming call can be answered wherever it is more convenient), so-called follow-me (where incoming calls are routed to particular numbers at particular times of the day), and do-not-disturb.”Now businesses are able to get features that can set the rules on how they are contacted, and be able to conduct more business when they aren’t in their office,” says Henry Kaestner, the founder and CEO of Internet phone provider Bandwidth.com, one of the many vendors that offer this kind of service. CBeyond and Asterisk are other companies that offer VoIP PBX.These systems start at around $400 a month and have the advantage of being able to grow or contract with your staffing needs. They also can present your company as more professional, with features that are normally found on very expensive phone systems. The downside is that you need to ensure that your network is up to snuff to handle all the voice traffic; and to get the most out of these systems, you’ll want to find a VAR or consultant who specializes in VoIP PBX installations.7. Have a Solid Test Plan for Adding New TechnologyThe big guys don’t put some new tech into their operations without first doing a lot of testing first. Put together a test lab or designate one office that will be your “beta bar,” and encourage your most technical staffer to try out new things before getting them deployed.Ramon Ray, the owner of the site Smallbiztechnology, advises that in addition to testing, it’s important to analyze a variety of options. “Just don’t just go for the first choice, but think and review the pros and cons and what else is available to you. During the testing, it is also important to consider your future needs. Many smaller businesses don’t think of their future growth, which will affect their IT plans,” he says.David Strom is a veteran technology journalist, speaker, and former IT manager. He has written two books on computing and thousands of articles. His blog can be found at strominator.com . Enroll Now for Free November 13, 2008 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 10 min read
Police say migrants’ rights are being respected.“Our aim is to deter illegal immigrants and arrest traffickers, but the migrants’ well-being and rights are always a main priority,” said Orestiada police chief Yiorgos Salamangas.The government insists the operation is working, reporting a drop in illegal border crossings by around 90 percent in the first week.“This is a massive operation that is taking place in the country for the first time and it will continue in the long-term,” police spokesman Christos Manouras said.“It is widely accepted that the expulsion of immigrants who are here illegally is a national necessity, an issue of national survival.”Greece is a member of Europe’s passport-free Schengen agreement but shares no borders with any of the other 25 member states. That has meant hundreds of thousands of irregular immigrants have been unable to cross the border into other European countries, trapping them in limbo in Athens and other Greek cities, typically in slum conditions.As the country struggles through a fifth year of recession, illegal immigration and a rise in violent crime have become central issues in the political debate, with mainstream parties blamed by many for the country’s near financial collapse facing opposition from more radical political groups. The extreme right Golden Dawn party, described by political opponents as neo-Nazis, won nearly 7 percent of the vote in June general elections, a 20-fold jump since a national vote in 2009.The party denies any involvement in a recent surge in anti-immigrant attacks, and says police should be more concerned by attacks on Greeks by foreign criminals.In one suspected attack by racist gangs this month, an Iraqi man was stabbed in the street and died hours later in the hospital.Anti-racism campaigners last month said immigrants living in Greece have been targeted in at least 300 violent attacks between early April and late July. The rise in hate crimes is believed to be one of the triggers of the government clampdown.Authorities are using a newly built detention center near Athens and two converted police academy buildings in northeastern Greece to house detainees, while dozens of additional facilities are planned using converted Army bases.Police associations argue that the massive deployment of manpower should have been delayed until more of those new facilities are ready. They cite the lack of detention capacity as a key reason for the country’s inability to deal with illegal immigration. “I’ve come here to work,” Anwar, who declined to give his full name because of his illegal status, said moments after crossing the border. “I know what will happen to me: They might keep me in detention for around three months, but then they’ll let me out and I’ll go to Athens.”Now, however, authorities are determined to swiftly deport illegal migrants they round up.In a recent pre-dawn operation, authorities using thermal imaging cameras spotted a group of around 60 illegal immigrants on the Turkish side of the Evros River. Officers used spotlights, sirens and loud speakers to deter them from crossing, although fifteen immigrants still made it over to a river islet in a no man’s land and were arrested.Uniformed police officers from 25 countries are already helping Greece guard the Evros River as part of the European Union’s border protection agency, Frontex. Greek police figures show more than 21,000 illegal migrants were arrested in the first six months of 2012 after crossing over from Turkey, with nearly all _ 20,841 _ caught along the northeastern land border rather than on one of the many Aegean islands near the Turkish coast. The figures show a nearly 29 percent increase from the same period last year. Afghans currently make up the highest number of people crossing illegally, followed by Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and an increasing number of people from war-ravaged Syria, according to the agency.The police operation has faced strong criticism from human rights groups, local officials, and even police officers’ associations _ with criticism focusing on alleged racial profiling and police brutality. Allegations include arbitrary detention, beatings and degrading police treatment.Police video showing riot police and other officers rounding up mostly South Asian immigrants as they got off a train that arrived at Athens’ main station also received condemnation from local rights groups and leftwing opposition parties.Amnesty International called on Greek authorities to stop the roundups immediately.“While Greece has the right to control migration, it does not have the right to treat people like criminals purely because of the color of their skin,” Amnesty’s Jezerca Tigani said in a statement. He warned that many immigrants fleeing war zones and potential persecution from dictatorial regimes were being denied a fair asylum assessment.“Greece may be going through financial difficulties while facing one of the highest migration flows among EU countries,” Tigani said, “but these police operations violate international human rights standards and should stop immediately.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement It’s a concern shared by local authorities in the Evros region, and many residents.“As long as people know they can make it here and eventually live freely, they will keep coming,” said 63-year-old Christos Kyriakidis. “Nothing will stop them.”___Derek Gatopoulos contributed to this report from Athens, Greece.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Greece launched an aggressive campaign this month to try to seal its 200-kilometer (130-mile) northeastern border, as it faces a debilitating financial crisis that has caused a swell in joblessness and a surge in racist attacks against immigrants with dark skin.The police operation has brought nearly 2,000 additional border guards to the Turkish frontier previously manned by about 500 officers. They fanned out with dogs, night vision equipment and flat-bottomed boats for 24-hour patrols of the Evros River that forms a natural border. At least 21 people have drowned or died of exposure crossing the river this year, while several have been listed as missing.In Athens, the operation is being bolstered by mass roundups of suspected illegal immigrants. They are seen lined up on the streets of the capital every day, many in handcuffs, waiting to be put in detention until they can be deported. In the first week of the crackdown in early August, police said they apprehended nearly 7,000 people for identification checks; nearly 1,700 were slated for deportation.Anwar, a 22-year-old man from Bangladesh, walked across the border near Orestiada, a small town wedged between Turkey and Bulgaria. Unaware of the immigration clampdown, he said he is looking for police so he can turn himself in. It’s a well-worn ploy: Migrants have actively tried to get themselves taken to detention centers near Athens, assuming they will be released due to overcrowding and allowed to blend into the chaotic capital. Patients with chronic pain give advice Associated PressNEA VYSSA, Greece (AP) – Border police jeeps hurtle along hot, dusty tracks past potato fields on their way to the river that marks the Greek-Turkish border. Sirens blaring, the convoys have been repelling wave after wave of migrants.Greece’s remote Evros region has turned into Europe’s main battleground against illegal immigration; more than two-thirds of people making the clandestine journey into the European Union pass through here from neighboring Turkey. Top Stories Comments Share Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day