first_imgCAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Luis von Ahn, the 40-year-old co-founder and CEO of popular language-learning app Duolingo, says one of the challenges of seeing his business grow is having to let go of doing everything. Motivating people and trusting them become important, he says.The Pittsburgh-based startup employs 150 people and has grown rapidly since its 2014 launch. It had more than $40 million in revenue this year and boasts 300 million users worldwide.Von Ahn spoke with The Associated Press after winning the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Prize for inventors who’ve made a positive social impact. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.Q: How did you learn how to manage people as Duolingo grew?A: This is probably the toughest thing I’ve done. As a professor I spent most of my time coming up with inventions or new products. With Duolingo it’s been a shift. Over time, you get to a point where you don’t know everybody’s name. You’re not even talking directly to the people who are doing the stuff. It’s about learning how to motivate and direct a large group of very intelligent people. Usually intelligent people have their own will, their own ideas. It’s a balance between letting them innovate by themselves, but also everybody pointing in the same direction.Q: How’d you figure it out?A: Most of it was through trial and error. My approach to most things in life is, “OK, we’re going to try this, as long as you know what the success condition is.” What’s failure, what’s success? As long as you’re pretty good at that, you can try a lot of things. And as long as everyone you’re working with knows you have the company’s best interests in mind, they allow you to try things.Q: How did you let go from being involved in everything?A: It’s been very difficult. One of the reasons why Duolingo was successful early on was because I was very detail-oriented. I was on top of every single thing. It was psychologically difficult for me to let go. It was a tough realization when the product didn’t get any worse when I stopped being on top of it. But eventually you get through it because you have to. It is now literally impossible for me to be on top of everything we do. I just can’t. It’s available in multiple platforms, multiple languages. I can’t test everything myself.Q: Is it any easier to grow a tech company in Pittsburgh than in San Francisco or New York?A: Probably the biggest difference is the amount of time each person stays in the company. People come to Duolingo and very rarely leave. We have much less churn of employees. On the flip side, there’s just not that many people in the ecosystem. We put a billboard on U.S. 101 in San Francisco that says, “Own a home, work in tech, move to Pittsburgh.” We’ve gotten a ton of applicants.Matt O’Brien, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — New Year’s Eve revelers in Utah could find themselves with more than a hangover as 2019 dawns. If they drink and drive, they could end up on the wrong side of the nation’s newest and lowest DUI threshold.The 0.05 per cent limit goes into effect Sunday, despite protests that it will punish responsible drinkers and hurt the state’s tourism industry by adding to the reputation that the predominantly Mormon state is unfriendly to those who drink alcohol. The state’s old limit was 0.08 per cent, the threshold in most states.For Utah lawmakers, the change is a safety measure aimed at encouraging people not to drive at all if they’ve been drinking.The change was easily approved in 2017 by the Legislature, which is mostly Mormon and mostly Republican, and signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert, also a Republican and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The religion teaches its members to abstain from drinking alcohol.“The vast majority of people nationwide think that if a person has been drinking they shouldn’t be driving,” said Republican Rep. Norm Thurston, who sponsored the measure.The change means that depending on things such as food intake, a 150-pound man could be over the 0.05 limit after two beers in an hour, while a 120-pound woman could exceed it after a single drink in that time, according to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.The National Transportation Safety Board also backs the change, and many in the hospitality industry worry that other states will follow suit. Utah was among the first to adopt the now-standard 0.08 threshold decades ago, and lawmakers in four states — Washington, Hawaii, Delaware and New York — have floated measures to lower their DUI limit in recent years. None has passed.“Other states proposing the 0.05 law, don’t just follow blindly in the footsteps of Utah,” said Jackson Shedelbower, a spokesman for the American Beverage Institute, a national restaurant group.In 2017, the group took out newspaper ads in Utah, neighbouring states and in USA Today, featuring a fake mugshot under a large headline reading, “Utah: Come for vacation, leave on probation.”It’s unfair that smaller people could violate the new threshold after just one or two drinks in quick succession, even though they’re no more impaired than someone talking on a hands-free cellphone, his group argues.NTSB member Bella Dinh-Zarr countered that fears about the law are overblown. Nearly 100 countries have a similar limit, and it hasn’t correlated with less drinking per-capita. Federally funded research indicates the standard could save some 1,500 lives a year if adopted around the U.S., she said.“The restaurant industry should support this because it keeps their customers alive and drinking,” Dinh-Zarr said.Utah’s law takes effect as the state basks in the news that the U.S. Olympic Committee chose Salt Lake City over Denver as a future bid city, most likely for the 2030 Winter Olympics. State tourism officials say they’re not concerned about the law driving away visitors.With the increased use of Uber and other ride-hailing apps, many people going out for a night on the town don’t set foot in their own cars. In Utah, DUI arrests have dropped more than 50 per cent over the past seven years despite a booming population, according to state figures.Even if the law doesn’t present a practical problem, it could scare off some visitors who see the state as rigid about liquor laws, said David Corsun, director of the Daniels College of Business’ Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management. Still, it’s hard to say how big the impact might be.“If you really want to ski Utah, you’re going to ski Utah. You’re just going to figure it out,” Corsun said.Police, meanwhile, say they’re aiming to stop dangerous drivers, not target people who might have had a drink or two and could be in violation of the lowered DUI threshold.“You can’t just stop someone who left a bar because you suspect they may have used alcohol,” said Sgt. Nick Street with the Utah Highway Patrol.Still, patrons of Salt Lake City’s burgeoning bar scene do feel unfairly singled out by the change.Stopping for a whiskey after work with her sister at the upscale pub Beerhive, Maude Romney, 29, said she’ll likely only go to places she can walk to from her downtown home.“I’m paranoid about it already,” she said.A DUI charge can be expensive and have long-term effects on careers.In a booth in a corner, recent Ohio transplant Rob Wheatley, 50, said he drinks to try new craft beers, not to get drunk. He’s skeptical that the law will be a serious deterrent for binge drinkers.“I don’t know if it’s going to change anyone’s behaviour,” he said. “If they’re going to have a beer, they’re going to have a beer.”Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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A deadly cattle plague will soon be officially eradicated, marking the first time in history that human efforts have successfully wiped out an animal disease in the wild, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today.Thanks to an ambitious global effort, the campaign to eliminate rinderpest is drawing to a close.Smallpox is the only other disease eradicated by human efforts, FAO said.Although rinderpest does not directly affect humans, its ability to cause swift, massive losses of cattle and other hoofed animals has wreaked havoc on agriculture for millennia, resulting in famine and economic destruction.When the plague hit Africa in the 19th century, it decimated millions of heads of livestock and wildlife, triggering widespread hunger. It is estimated that one-third of all people in Ethiopia died of starvation due to the pandemic.In the 1880s, up to one million head of cattle in Russia and Central Europe were decimated by the plague.It reached its peak in the 1920s, and at one time, its footprint extended from Scandinavia to the Cape of Good Hope and from Africa’s Atlantic shore to the Philippine archipelago. Outbreaks have also been reported in Brazil and Australia.The last known outbreak of rinderpest occurred in Kenya in 2001.“The control and elimination of rinderpest has always been a priority for the Organization since its early days in its mission to defeat hunger and strengthen global food security,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told ministers, animal health experts and others gathered in Rome for a two-day Global Rinderpest Eradication Symposium.A joint announcement by FAO and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on the eradication of rinderpest is expected in mid-2011, pending a review of final official disease status reports.FAO spearheaded a coordinated, global effort to study the plague to help farmers and others recognize and control the disease, implement vaccination campaigns and ultimately eradicate it.“Together we have defeated rinderpest,” Mr. Diouf said. 14 October 2010A deadly cattle plague will soon be officially eradicated, marking the first time in history that human efforts have successfully wiped out an animal disease in the wild, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today. read more

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Observing that the Centre was always for protecting Sri Lankan Tamils, he noted that powers were given to them through the Rajiv Gandhi-Jayawardene accord. “But Rajapaksa is not accepting them now. India would support any resolution brought forward by the United Nations against Sri Lanka if the island nation does not honor recommendations of the world body on human rights issues, Indian Minister of State V Narayanasamy has said.“When United Nations brought forward a resolution against Sri Lanka, India voted for it. If UN’s recommendations are not honored by Sri Lanka, India will support any resolution brought by it against the island nation,” he told reporters, according to a report on the Press Trust of India. “India is taking steps to get powers for Sri Lankan Tamils. That’s why India is taking a neutral stand. Not like some Tamil parties and Tamil Nadu government, which take decisions and pass resolution without thinking…,” he said. read more

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Speaking at a press conference with US President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C., Mr. Annan thanked the US leader for working through the UN Security Council on the Iraq issue.”The Council decision, which was unanimous, sent a powerful message that the entire international community would like to see the Security Council resolution implemented,” he said.The Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), Hans Blix, will be in Iraq on Monday with his team, and they will “actively begin their work,” the Secretary-General added.Noting that the resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter – which allows for enforcement – Mr. Annan said the text “must be implemented.”The Secretary-General also said he shared President Bush’s view that “every region, and people of every State, have also been victims of terrorism – this is a scourge that affects all of us, regardless of region or religion, and we need to stand together to defeat terrorism.”The UN’s work, and effective implementation of its resolution 1373 – the landmark text adopted following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US – is “absolutely crucial” in this fight, the Secretary-General said. “We need to work to deprive terrorists of their opportunities, by not giving them haven, by not giving them financial and logistical support, and I think the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council is doing a good job in trying to make sure we all work together on that.” The press conference preceded a half-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House.In remarks to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Annan stressed that beyond accepting the resolution, Iraq must implement it. “It’s their performance on the ground” that counts, he said, urging Baghdad to cooperate with the inspectors. “That is the real test we are all waiting for.”Speaking to the press after arriving back in New York this evening, the Secretary-General again stressed that it is too soon to anticipate how events will unfold. “I don’t want to make any predictions at this stage, but what is important is that they have said yes, and the inspectors will be on their way,” he said.Earlier today, the Secretary-General was at the University of Maryland, where he received an honorary doctorate and also delivered the Anwar Sadat Memorial Lecture.Yesterday afternoon, after arriving in Washington, D.C., the Secretary-General discussed Iraq and other topics during a meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, according to a UN spokesman.The talks also touched on political and humanitarian aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Cyprus, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria-Cameroon territorial issues, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, and US-UN issues, such as funding for the UN Population Fund and the Capital Master Plan which aims to refurbish UN premises, the spokesman reported. Mr. Annan also thanked Mr. Powell for US efforts to pay its arrears to the United Nations.At a joint press conference after their meeting, the Secretary-General was asked whether Iraq is getting imports that it should not because of loopholes in the UN “oil-for-food” programme. “It is not excluded that there may be items which are for civilian use but may have other uses that may get through, but we try to ensure that any items that could be put to military use and are of military importance are kept out,” he replied.Video – Secretary-General’s comments on Iraq read more

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A new report from the Conference Board of Canada is giving the thumbs-up to a refinery project northeast of Edmonton.The first phase of the Sturgeon Refinery is just about complete, and the Board says government investment in the project was the right thing to do, as it will create thousands of jobs.The Alberta Federation of Labour is happy with the report.President Gil McGowan says they’ve been saying for years Alberta should be refining its own raw bitumen.“This is an arm of the energy industry that can thrive even in a low price environment, like the one that we’re dealing with right now, so this is exactly the kind of project that we should be looking at to help us, you know through what is a very difficult time,” he said.The Sturgeon Refinery is projected to add $2.3-billion to Canada’s GDP annually. by Mike Tarasko Posted Dec 6, 2016 7:33 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email nwrsturgeonrefinery.com AFL welcomes Conference Board report on Sturgeon Refinery read more

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Reenactors stand stoic after musket fire during last year’s ceremony commemorating the death of Sir Isaac Brock.“Surgite” may make a fine Latin motto for Brock University, but when Sir Isaac Brock was shot, he likely died instantly without a chance to anything, says David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye.Maj.-Gen Sir Isaac Brock, described once by the Globe and Mail as “the reason there’s such a thing as Canada,” was fighting at the Battle of QueenstonHeights when he died on Oct 13, 1812. His last words, ­ “push on” (or surgite in Latin) were supposedly directed toward the York volunteers battling alongside Brock’s forces.But if he said them, he likely said them before his injury, said Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, a History professor.“If you look at his uniform, you can see that he was shot through the heart,” he said. “When you’re shot through the heart, you don’t have time to say anything.”With or without the last words, Brock’s death, and his contribution to Canadian history, is commemorated each year with a Brock University flag lowering and commemoration event. This year’s event will be on Oct. 14, 199 years and one day after the famous leader’s death.The tribute begins at 10:45 a.m. with the Fort George Fife and Drum Corps and uniformed re-enactors marching along University Road to the Schmon Tower. The service will begin at 11 a.m. and last about 30 minutes. It involves musket fire and a bugle sounding the last post.Schimmelpenninck van der Oye was one of the founders of the annual event when it began in 2008. It’s a student event founded for students to enjoy, he said.“Older universities have a lot of undergraduate traditions,” he said. “We thought we needed more of our own traditions.”This year’s event is hosted by the Brock 1812 Bicentenary Committee. It is free and all are welcome. It wraps up with hot apple cider at Isaac’s.Sir Isaac Flag Lowering and CommemorationWhen: Friday, Oct. 14Time: 10:45 a.m.Place: in front of the Schmon TowerDavid Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, right, at last year’s commemoration. read more

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Quenton Nelson looks exactly like a franchise-cornerstone left tackle: Standing 6 foot 5, 325 pounds, Nelson is “built like a bank safe” and blessed with the athleticism and aggressiveness to be a perennial All-Pro. The quarterback’s protector is often called the second-most-important offensive position, so it’s no wonder that Nelson’s in the mix to be the first non-quarterback to be picked in this year’s draft.But one thing does separate Nelson from other highly coveted tackles on draft day: He isn’t a tackle. He’s a guard.How players at one position in the NFL’s otherwise-anonymous quintet of trench warriors became some of American sports’ most-prized athletes is a story so well-known it was turned into a best-selling book, and even a movie: The uniquely gifted protectors of “The Blind Side” emerged in the 1990s to stop the pass-rushing outside linebackers of the 1980s, like eight-time All-Pro Lawrence Taylor.For years afterward, teams trying to land the next Orlando Pace or Walter Jones had no qualms about throwing high draft picks at top tackles. Even less-than-perfect tackle prospects like Michigan’s Jake Long and Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher were deemed “safe” picks at No. 1 overall — because unlike quarterbacks, who are unlikely to play another position well, if those tackles fail to establish themselves as quality starters, teams have the option of kicking them inside to guard.As recently as 2012, guards were still afterthoughts, not worthy of the draft-value (and contract) investment that comes with a high first-round selection. Outstanding guard prospect David DeCastro, whom many evaluators deemed worthy of at least a top-10 pick, didn’t come off the board until No. 24 that year.In the 32-team era,1Since 2002. 62 tackles have been drafted in the first round compared to just 14 guards. On average, those tackles were taken with the 14th pick, while the average guard went between 23 and 24. In fact, after “The Blind Side” was released in September 2006, NFL teams went on a four-year tackle binge, drafting 19 first-round tackles compared to just three centers and two guards.Last season, though, the market for elite tackles seemed to dry up. Only two — Garett Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk — went in the first round, and both were picked in the back end of the round (20 and 32 respectively). After Alabama’s Cam Robinson was taken with the second pick of the second round, which was lower than most expected, no tackles were taken until pick No. 85. To get a sense of how high in the draft tackles have tended to go over time, we can quantify pick position using Jimmy Johnson’s draft-pick value chart, which assigns a point value to every pick in the draft based solely on how early the pick is, not on which player is taken. Last year, the picks used on tackles in rounds one and two were worth a total of 2000 points, the lowest sum since at least 1994. By comparison, the picks used on the six tackles taken in the first two rounds in 2013 were worth more than 10,000 points. The trend of devaluing tackles seems certain to continue in the 2018 NFL draft. After Nelson, tackle Mike McGlinchey (average mock draft position: 22.2) is the next offensive lineman projected to go. But then it’s a run of interior linemen: Center James Daniels (28.5) and guards Isaiah Wynn (28.8) and Will Hernandez (28.9) are all set to be drafted ahead of the only other tackle who’s projected to be taken on the draft’s first night, Kolton Miller (31.2).If Miller doesn’t make it into the first round, it’ll be the first time that fewer than two tackles have been drafted in any first round since “The Blind Side” was released, and it would match the 2005-2006 nadir for high-pick tackles — only three tackles were taken in the first round in each of those two back-to-back draft classes.It’s not like NFL teams suddenly decided that the offensive line isn’t important, it’s more that the value pendulum is shifting away from left tackle. If Nelson goes as high as he’s expected to, he’ll be the third guard picked in the top 10 in the last six seasons (the fourth if you count Washington’s Brandon Scherff, who was drafted as a tackle but has since become a Pro Bowl guard2Washington initially tried Scherff at tackle before switching him to guard in his first training camp.). Before Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper went in the top 10 in 2013, no guard had been picked that high in a dozen years.3Leonard Davis went No. 2 overall in 2001 as a guard, though he went on to play both tackle and guard in the NFL.But it’s not just draft capital that teams are investing in a previously neglected position.This spring, All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell signed a five-year, $66.5 million unrestricted free-agency deal that briefly made him the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. Though former New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder’s four-year, $62 million contract with the New York Giants topped Norwell’s $13.3 million average annual value, Norwell remains No. 2.In 2016, the five biggest free-agency deals4In terms of contracts’ average annual value. given to offensive linemen went to left tackles. In 2017, half of the eight offensive-line contracts worth at least $10 million per year went to left tackles — but the other half went to three guards and a center. In 2018, Solder’s was the only one of the top six offensive-line deals that did not go to a guard or center.So why the sudden change? For starters, the evolution of the left tackle was a response to a defensive revolution that’s been over for a long time; Taylor’s 10-season Pro Bowl streak ended 27 years ago. From Dick LeBeau’s zone blitzes to Jim Johnson’s and Jim Schwartz’s aggressive 4-3s, Wade Phillips’s one-gap 3-4 schemes to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia’s hybrid/multiple fronts attack, defensive coordinators have as many different ways to send pass rushers at quarterbacks as there are gaps between offensive linemen.According to ESPN Stats & Information Group, 36 percent of the 1,082.5 sacks by front-seven players in 2017 were registered by a player lined up at right defensive end or right outside linebacker. That means even a Hall of Fame left tackle can’t possibly help with at least two-thirds of the pressure that defenses are generating.Then there’s the fact that quarterbacks don’t really have a “blind side” anymore. The heavy use of shotgun formation in today’s NFL allows quarterbacks to keep the whole defense in front of them. According to ESPN Stats & Info, just 13,319 of 32,436 offensive plays (41 percent) were run from under center in 2017– and of those, a quarterback dropped back to pass on just 4,201 plays (13 percent of all offensive plays).The average left tackle, then, will only be called upon to keep his quarterback clean during a traditional dropback about 1/8th of the time he’s on the field.But don’t tell Nelson, Wynn, Hernandez or any of the other guards set to be drafted this weekend that the value of offensive linemen has crashed. They’re about to prove that the NFL has finally figured out that anyone who can get keep a pass-rusher from getting to a quarterback is worth an awful lot — regardless of where he’s positioned on the line. read more

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NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — Proposed cuts to family immigration in the United States are reportedly weighing heavily on the Guyanese community in New York.Little Guyana – is home to the largest Guyanese community outside of the Snd located in Richmond Hill, Queens, could lose the most from a new US federal effort to cut legal immigration in half.This stems from plans to limit what are known as family preference visas, which go to the siblings, grandchildren, in-laws or adult children of United States citizens, as well as the spouses and children of legal permanent residents.“Eight family members of mine just came through family sponsorship on the Fourth of July,” said Richard David, who, if successful in his bid for a seat in New York City Council, would make him New York’s first city councilman of Guyanese descent. He said his grandmother sponsored two adult daughters, who also brought their children.Of the proposed immigration bill, which was endorsed by President Donald Trump last week, David said, “This could cease or significantly reduce Guyanese migration to the country.”David’s campaign promises to secure money for resources like immigration lawyers or language assistance for the diverse neighborhood that includes Little Guyana, according to the Times.It said the Guyanese community in New York brings in more people through family preference visas than any other immigrant group in the city.Of the Guyanese in New York City who received legal permanent residence between 2002 and 2011, 60 percent entered on family preference visas, according to a 2013 report by the Department of City Planning.Thirty-seven percent entered as immediate relatives, an uncapped visa category that includes the spouses, parents and minor children of citizens.Foreign-born Guyanese people make up a tiny share of the United States as a whole — just over 280,000 people in 2015, or 0.09 percent of the total population — but a hefty share of New York City’s immigrant population, according to the Times.More than half of the Guyanese population in the United States lives in New York City, city data states, making the Guyanese community the fifth-largest immigrant population in the five boroughs and the second-largest in Queens.“Their propensity to come to New York City is very high,” said Joseph Salvo, chief demographer at New York’s Department of City Planning. “And they are heavily reliant on family preferences — and reliant on categories that, under this proposal, would disappear. There’s no question that they would be affected in a dramatic fashion.”The bill, sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, seeks to reduce the number of people granted legal permanent residency each year — currently more than one million — by 41 percent in its first year and 50 percent by its 10th year, according to its sponsors’ estimates.To do that, it proposes narrowing the definition of immediate relatives, removing parents from the list and lowering the age of qualifying children to 18 from 21.Siblings of citizens, as well as the adult children of citizens or permanent residents, would no longer be eligible for family sponsorship, according to the bill’s sponsors.They said the total number of family preference visas would be cut to 88,000 a year, a 60 percent reduction from the current 226,000.Of New York City’s Guyanese immigrants who became legal permanent residents from 2002 to 2011, 45 percent were the parents, married children or siblings of citizens, or their spouses or children, according to the city’s data — meaning that, if the proposed bill had been law at the time, nearly half of new Guyanese immigrants to the city would have been ineligible, the Times reported.“For a community that relies upon tightly knit family units, where multiple generations live together in one house and grandparents often care for grandchildren while parents work, the constriction of family immigration would be especially wrenching,” the Times said.“In our Guyanese community, nuclear family is not tied down to mother, father, children,” said Deborah Assanah, 56, associate director of the Guyana Cultural Association. “We have like a village of family members who assist with raising the kids.”The Guyanese community, which includes people of Indian, African, Chinese and indigenous descent, has one of the highest rates of female labor force participation among New York City immigrants, perhaps aided by the availability of extended family to care for young children, Philip Kasinitz, a sociology professor at the City University of New York, told the Times. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTwo Republican senators propose bill to slash legal U.S. immigrationFebruary 7, 2017In “latest news”2 Guyanese “immigration violators” among 46 arrested in ICE NY operationJanuary 24, 2018In “Regional”EYEWITNESS: Closing the gates…August 19, 2017In “EYEWITNESS” read more

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first_imgIt should come as no surprise to anyone that the first episode of the third season of Game of Thrones was incredibly popular. What you may not have known was that it both broke ratings and piracy records, and guaranteed itself a fourth season in the process.If you haven’t been watching the Game of Thrones, you might not have been aware of the massive following the show has gained in the two years it has been on the air. HBO has worked hard to give people a reason to come back every week instead of pirating, even though they say that sort of thing doesn’t bother them. The heavy promotion before the beginning of the season included Xbox Live exclusives and one of the largest multi-page newspaper ads in recent memory.All the hard work has paid off, as the company announced the single largest ratings event in HBO’s history. 6.7 million viewers caught the show on opening night, if you count the tho repeat plays later that night. Those numbers don’t include DVR watches, those who will watch through HBO Go and SmartGlass, or piracy numbers either.Speaking of piracy, TorrentFreak reported never before seen download numbers for the episode. In fact, just one version of Game of Thrones was shared over 160,000 times in the first night. As more upload files hit the web, the number grew increasingly difficult to count. Previous seasons of Game of Thrones were downloaded nearly four million times, or nearly once for every active US subscriber. This level of piracy doesn’t concern HBO — recently a comment was made expressing concern for the quality of download some users were accessing by HBO chief of programming Michael Lombardo. In fact, he considers downloading the show to be a compliment.One thing about opening night for Game of Thrones is certain, and that is the results of this explosive popularity have guaranteed a fourth season. HBO has confirmed a ten episode fourth season for Game of Thrones, likely to be based on the second half of A Storm of Swords and other creative bits. There’s no confirmed release time frame, but its pretty safe to assume it is only about a year away. It will be interesting to see how Game of Thrones grows over the next year, and how HBO will adapt over that time.last_img read more

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first_img “SHE CAN’T TELL me the pain she’s in, she doesn’t know what’s wrong with her, she’s constantly asking me for tablets.”Tina O’Kelly described how her daughter’s spine now has a 97 degree curve as she is left on a waiting list for scoliosis surgery.Colleen, who is 21, has the intellectual development of a three-year-old, suffers from severe scoliosis, uses a wheelchair and has also received a kidney transplant.Speaking on Liveline on RTÉ 1, O’Kelly described the damage the curved spine is causing her daughter: https://jrnl.ie/3230369 13,841 Views Image: Shutterstock/Myimagine It is completely lying on one of her lungs so she now has developed serious respiratory problems, she started on inhalers last week.O’Kelly described how Colleen was “turfed out of Crumlin” when she turned 18 and had to rejoin the waiting list for an appointment in Tallaght.It took two years before Colleen got an x-ray for her scoliosis, which had deteriorated considerably in that time. O’Kelly said that without any medical knowledge, she could see how bad it was.My first words were ‘Jesus Christ’. Her spine is like a backwards question mark and the arc of her spine is sitting on her lung.“The doctor pulled the picture up on his computer screen and he rubbed his head, he literally kept scratching his head.”‘Pain is part of her life’O’Kelly said that while the operation is very serious, without it her daughter’s health will continue to deteriorate and compromise her kidney transplant.I shudder to think the amount of taxpayer’s money Colleen has cost this state between dialysis and transplants and hospitalisations and it’s being compromised.“She only has one kidney, it’s a transplanted kidney so it wouldn’t be as strong as your own kidney, she’s on anti-rejection drugs which she is vomiting up, she’s vomiting up her fluids and all of that is being compromised because she’s sitting on a waiting list for scoliosis surgery that I was told she was top end of the scale and she would be prioritised and she’s on the list now from 4 August last year.”Colleen should be having 2.5 litres of water everyday because of her transplant but is struggling as she is constantly sick.“I’ve had her home from day services every day since last Thursday because she’s vomiting all the time because she takes such fits of coughing she can’t keep her food down.”Colleen is in unbearable pain but can’t communicate it to her properly. O’Kelly said, “She doesn’t know what’s wrong with her. She’s constantly asking me for tablets.“She has been in pain for so long it’s part of her life now.” Describing her condition one evening this week, O’Kelly said, “She wanted to go to bed at 5pm, all she wanted to do was sleep.”This is a seriously complicated operation but at the moment we’re pushing her into ill health. 25 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share121 Tweet Email1 Source: RTÉ Radio 1/SoundCloudRead: ‘I see my daughter crying in pain, her body bending over. We can’t wait two years’> Image: Shutterstock/Myimagine By Cliodhna Russell Thursday 9 Feb 2017, 11:59 AM ‘Her spine has a 97 degree curve but she doesn’t know what’s wrong and can’t describe her pain’ 21-year-old Colleen had to wait two years before she could get an x-ray for her scoliosis. Short URL Feb 9th 2017, 11:59 AM last_img read more

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first_imgJohn Nikolakakis, president of the Pancretan Association of Melbourne, is currently in Chania attending many of the commemorations organised by the Chania Prefecture. “No matter where we are, if we are to be proud Cretans we must be proud and respectful of those who contributed in defending our ancestors’ freedom,” he said.As the official commemorations began on the island, Mr Nikolakakis attended – amongst other Battle of Crete events – a wreath-laying ceremony in memory of Sergeant Ioannis Lazopoulos in the village of Kouloukouthiana. Sergeant Lazopoulos was killed defending his village in the Voukolies area near Maleme while deterring enemy fire by facing them head on – just one of the thousands of individual acts of heroism that marked the brutal battle for Crete in May 1941. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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first_imgPORTLAND (AP) — A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service did not err when it reauthorized a program targeting sea lions for death in the Pacific Northwest.Judge Michael Simon said in a ruling issued Friday that the program intended to preserve endangered salmon by killing sea lions is within the bounds of the fisheries service.“This case is about how Congress, NMFS, and the States have tried to balance the protection of sea lions with the protection of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead,” Simon wrote.The program was reauthorized last year, through June 2016.The Humane Society of the United States sued, saying the program targeting sea lions is arbitrary. They say the animals consume, at most, 4 percent of the salmon coming through the Bonneville Dam. Commercial and sport fishers, by contrast, take nearly 17 percent, The Oregonian reported (http://bit.ly/Wwq2IY ).Simon said fishery managers can scale back fishing when runs are low but can’t do the same for sea lions.The states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho backed the plan, part of an effort to keep alive five runs of salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act that pass Bonneville, the first dam they encounter on the Columbia River.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Air Force’s recent creation of an office dedicated to developing privately financed, large-scale clean energy projects marks a transition to a more comprehensive approach to meeting the service’s energy goals that balances the need for cleaner sources of energy, a competitive cost and energy resiliency, according to officials.“The core principles — resiliency, cost-competitive, and clean — will continue to characterize Air Force energy projects, but with an increased focus on meeting multiple objectives within single projects,” the service’s public affairs office stated in response to emailed questions. “In short, energy projects should move toward the ‘sweet spot,’ or meeting all three principles wherever possible.”Secretary Deborah Lee James announced the establishment of the Office of Energy Assurance during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in March. Previously, Air Force energy projects focused on “cost savings and goal achievement resulting in a fragmented and/or siloed approach,” the response stated.The office will leverage all existing tools and authorities to procure large-scale energy projects, including power purchase agreements, direct funding and enhanced use leasing.“We will also look to partner with our sister services to maximize our opportunities. The Air Force anticipates a significant level of partnering with local utilities to identify and develop potential projects,” according to the public affairs office.The office is aiming to have 10 viable projects of at least 10 megawatts in service or procurement over the next 20 months.The Air Force did not add any new headquarters personnel or manpower to create the office. Instead, the service is using Air Force Reserve and Guard personnel to start the new activity. The service will transition to using civilian personnel for three-year assignments this summer.Last month, the Office of Energy Assurance and its Army counterpart entered into a formal partnership allowing the two organizations to share resources. The memorandum of agreement the two service signed calls for the offices to share support staff, business processes and best practices. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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first_imgA new report details the challenges involved in providing health care to rural communities in Alaska.Download AudioThe study concludes there is a lack of professional expertise in the state’s smaller communities.The report – called “Alaska’s Community Capacity Review: A Statewide Public Health System Assessment” – also notes that an aging health care workforce is a challenge as well.State health promotion manager Jayne Andreen, who worked on the report, says there’s a need for mentors to counter an aging workforce.The report says northern and southwest regions of the state are most lacking in health care providers.The report was released October 1st. It is based on a performance review of the public health system earlier this year.last_img read more

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first_imgNEW DELHI: The restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on people’s movement and communications were a trade-off between inconvenience and loss of life and any decision on lifting them will be taken by the local administration, a top government official said on Tuesday. Political leaders like former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who were arrested as a “precautionary measure”, will be released by the Jammu and Kashmir administration only after assessing the ground situation. Also Read – Enforcement Directorate summons Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar Advertise With Us “If the trade-off is between inconvenience and loss of life if the trade-off is between peddling fake news leading to loss of life and people’s inconvenience, what should we choose? However, the administration is mindful of the difficulties being faced by people and trying to minimise the inconvenience. Any such decision will be taken by the local administration,” the official said. Also Read – Fresh restrictions imposed in Kashmir Valley Advertise With Us The official said this was not the first time restrictions were imposed in Jammu and Kashmir and a similar situation had existed in 2016, following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. The separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference called ‘hartals’ for weeks. “Restrictions have always been there in Valley. This is not that the restrictions were imposed for the first time. Hurriyat leaders have called ‘hartals’ for weeks together. Every other day, they call ‘hartals’. This time the state administration has taken preemptive steps. Minimum violence and loss of lives. This is an extraordinary situation,” the official explained. Advertise With Us Steps have been taken so that there is a minimum inconvenience to people, that include ease of travel to hospitals, the opening of markets and distribution of food at doorsteps. “The whole effort is to bring normalcy as early as possible. However, any law and order decision should be best left to the local administration,” the official said. On the proposed visit of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to Kashmir Valley, the official said the Jammu and Kashmir administration will take a call on his visit as per the ground situation. The official also dismissed the suggestion that this was the first time a state has been converted into a union territory, saying Mizoram was part of a state (Assam) and it was first made a UT and then converted into a full state. He also said that October 31 has been fixed as the day for the two UTs – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh – to come into existence as there should be a reasonable gap for orderly division of officers, distribution of assets etc. Asked about the action taken against some Twitter handles which have been allegedly spreading anti-India content on Kashmir, the official said nobody will be allowed to have a free-run to spread fake news. “We are taking action on whatever comes in our way,” he said.last_img read more

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first_imgA group of students look at flowers left in tribute to victims at the Botanical Garden in Christchurch on 19 March four days after a shooting incident at two mosques that claimed the lives of 50 people. Photo: AFPNew Zealanders have begun handing in weapons in response to government appeals following the Christchurch massacre, but the gesture has put some squarely in the social media firing line.John Hart, a farmer in the North Island district of Masterton, decided to give his semi-automatic rifle to police after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday plans to tighten gun laws in light of the slaughter Friday of 50 Muslim worshippers.She also encouraged owners to surrender unnecessary firearms after it emerged that the accused mosque attacker, Australia white nationalist Brenton Tarrant, had legally acquired the guns he used in the rampage.Hart said it was an easy decision for him to hand in his semi-automatic and tweeted that “on the farm they are a useful tool in some circumstances, but my convenience doesn’t outweigh the risk of misuse. We don’t need these in our country”.The tweet drew a barrage of derogatory messages to his Facebook account — most apparently from the US, where the pro-gun lobby is powerful and vociferous.Hart deleted the messages but posted online: “A warm kia ora to all my new American Facebook friends.””I’m not familiar with your local customs, but I assume ‘Cuck’ is a traditional greeting,” he said of the insult, short for “cuckold’, frequently used by far-right extremists.Hart told AFP many of the messages made inaccurate references to his sexuality.”It was very sudden. It started about the time the US east coast was waking up. There seemed to have been a rallying call,” he said.A more mild message, from Kaden Heaney asked: “What’s the point of giving up yalls personal guns? Yall do realize what happens to societies that give up their guns right? Evil people will get their hands on guns, knives, bombs or whatever they want to kill no matter what the intentions of good people are. Who will protect you.”Christopher @offwhiteblogger said: “You did the right thing then; you clearly aren’t responsible enough to own a firearm.”Police said they did not have data available on the number of weapons handed in since Friday.But they issued a statement saying that “due to heightened security and the current environment, we would ask that people please call us first before attempting to surrender a firearm.”A person calling himself Blackstone tweeted: “this is one of the easiest decisions I have ever made. Have owned a firearm for 31 years … Once I realised that, the only way I could go forward with a clear conscience was to hand it into the police for destruction.”Ardern has said that details of the government’s proposed law changes on gun ownership will be announced by next week, but she indicated that gun buybacks and a ban on some semi-automatic rifles were under consideration.”As the Cabinet, we were absolutely unified and very clear: the terror attack in Christchurch on Friday was the worst act of terrorism on our shores, it was in fact one of the worst globally in recent times, it has exposed a range of weaknesses in New Zealand’s gun laws,” she said.New Zealand police, meanwhile, were investigating a suspicious fire at a gun club in the far north of the country, but were not immediately linking it to the current gun debate.There had also been a fire at the same club a year ago.last_img read more

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first_imgUnder the banner of her institute, Kalyani Kala Mandir, Dancer/ choreographer Guru Rashmi Khanna will present a dance drama The Legend of Heer today, (9 November) at the Civil Services Officers’ Institute, Chanakyapuri, in the Capital.This one hour presentation will portray the true story of the Heer Ranjha love saga, through the eyes of Heer. A tragic love story like no other – it shall portray a myriad of emotions , from love to betrayal to hope and the universal truth that love exists beyond the barriers of life and death. The music for the performance has been composed and shall be sung by the famous ghazal /sufi singer Smt. Rashmi Aggrawal.This presentation is choreographed by Rashmi Khanna and Narendra Kumar. It shall be a blend of drama, modern Indian creative ballet and Latin American dances.last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: The Special Task Force (STF) of the state Forest department has arrested five poachers while they were trying to sell leopard skin at Odlabari in Jalpaiguri.According to sources, the STF got a tip off about some people who were searching for a prospective buyer of leopard skin on WhatsApp. Working on the tip off, the leader of the STF, Sanjay Dutta, who is also the ranger of Belacoba Range, managed to get himself added to the WhatsApp group as a buyer of the skin. After a few days of negotiation, the poachers finally agreed to sell the skin against Rs 12 lakh. It was decided that the deal would be done at Odlabari on Sunday evening. According to the plan, Dutta was waiting at the mentioned point along with his force and officers of the STF. Five poachers had arrived riding bikes and when they were about to commence the deal, the STF personnel surrounded them. All five of them were immediately detained and brought to a local forest department office where officials found the leopard skin preserved using turmeric and salt from inside a backpack. In the interrogation, the accused persons said they trapped the leopard and killed it approximately seven days ago. Later, they along with some others cooked the meat and enjoyed the picnic. The adult leopard was approximately 10 feet long. It is suspected that a guide of the Forest department, who is missing, is connected to them.last_img read more

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