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US retail sales leapt 16 pct last month most in 2 12

first_imgWASHINGTON – Americans increased their spending at retailers last month by the most in two and a half years, driven by strong auto sales as residents of hurricane-ravaged areas replaced destroyed cars.The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 1.6 per cent in September, after slipping 0.1 per cent in August. Auto sales jumped 3.6 per cent, the most since March 2015. Gas sales climbed 5.8 per cent, the most in four and a half years, likely reflecting price spikes after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.Even excluding the volatile auto and gas categories, sales rose a solid 0.5 per cent, up from a 0.1 per cent gain in August.Consumers are optimistic about the economy, unemployment has hit a 16-year low, and wages have ticked up in recent months. That should boost spending in the coming months.last_img read more

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Morocco’s Police Use Water Cannon at Contractual Teachers’ Protest

Rabat – Hundreds of contractual teachers dressed in white coats while marching with banners to voice anger over the government’s decisions on Saturday night in front of the Parliament.The protest, which continued after midnight, was surrounded by several vans of police and auxiliary forces who used water cannons to disperse the protesting teachers.The teachers continued their demonstrations despite law enforcement’s approach. The protesters held several banners and chanted  slogans such as: “social justice, freedom, and dignity” and “people want to bring [temporary] contracts to an end.”The protests followed statements made by Minister of Education and Vocational Training Said Amzazi and Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi, who reaffirmed the government’s unwillingness to abandon employment by contract.Read Also: Ministry of Education Proposes a Reform for Contractual TeachersWhile the government calls the protesters “contractual teachers,” the demonstrators have described  themselves as “forcibly contractual teachers.”What’s in the contracts?Contractual employment in the education sector was introduced in 2016, when the country’s government was still run by former head of government Abdelilah Benkirane.On November 1, former Minister of Education Rachid Ben Al Moukhtar Ben Abdellah announced that regional educational and training academies are able to employ teachers via contract, in accordance with Joint Decision Number 7259, convening Ministry of Education and Ministry of Economy and Finance.One of the conditions of the contract is that regional education academies have the right to terminate a contract within 30 days of sending notice to the teacher. The teachers, who are required to have a  university degree, can be hired on a contractual basis  after oral and written tests and one year of field training.According to the document signed by the former minister, contracts sought  to strengthen human resources. The decision came as an attempt to solve the teacher shortage as a matter of urgency and to curb unemployment.A condition of the contract specifies that  the concerned teachers are not allowed to seek a permanent position in the education sector after signing the contract. The contract requires  teachers to undergo a training period. The contracts can also be renewed for one year after training.The documents also state that employees will receive a monthly salary similar to what teachers in the public sector receive: starting from MAD 5,000.Contractual teachers have rights to promotion and pension, in addition to maternity leave for female teachers, public holidays, and summer holidays.The teachers, according to the document, have the right to “social protection,” which enables them to enjoy several benefits, including the ability to participate in  health coverage managed by the “general cooperation of national education.”Why are they protesting?Contractual teachers argue that they are not afforded as many benefits as those in the public sector, especially concerning retirement. The teachers are requesting  permanent work contracts.Earlier this month, Morocco’s Minister of Education Said Amzazi said the government recruited teachers by contract with the aim of  “improving the regional academies as public institutions with administrative and financial autonomy and controlling their human resources.”Amzazi also added that the recruitment of teachers based on contracts is an “irreversible  strategic choice,” the teachers were informed of all the clauses contained in the contract they signed and committed themselves voluntarily.On March 9, the minister announced that his ministry might consider abolishing employment under fixed-term contract, giving contractual teachers more benefits.The contractual teachers, however, refused the minister’s offer as they are seeking concessions from the government.Read Also: Amzazi: Contractual Teachers Knew They Could Not Join Public ServiceThe protesters’ objection was followed by a statement from the government spokesperson, Mustapha El Khlafi, who said that the protests have “nothing to do with their interest, but they aim to disrupt public utility.”One teacher told Morocco World News, “We cannot make concessions on our rights. We have to fight for them.”He added, “It’s our constitutional right to stage strike as long as the government refuses to open a dialogue with us and solve this issue together.”Teachers are also threatening further protests, announcing that they would push for a “blank year” or anné blanche of striking from work in defiance of the government’s warnings.It remains to be seen whether the government will offer any further amendments to its decisions regarding the situation of teachers. read more

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Boutique Jacob relaunching operations with five Quebec stores

MONTREAL — Womenswear retailer Boutique Jacob is resuming operations, although on a much smaller scale. Family owners are developing a plan to relaunch the business with five stores in Quebec along with online operations after exiting seven months of creditor protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.Jacob is abandoning any hope of rebuilding a national brand after closing 91 stores last year and shedding some 990 employees. Instead, it will focus on locations in Montreal, Quebec City and Sorel-Tracy where the company started 35 years ago. The stores, located in buildings owned by founder Joey Basmaji, have remained opened through the liquidation process.The company’s website just reopened with its only product being the popular Jacob perfume. But clothing collections will be added that are made mainly in Quebec and possibly elsewhere in Canada.Basmaji’s daughter, Cristell, said her father has no plans to add more stores but rather develop a new business model that makes sense in the current retail environment that has seen several chains close in recent months.She said creditors overwhelmingly accepted a proposal in December that provided them a “symbolic” payment. However, the company founder and main creditor was not repaid.The Canadian PressJacob will close its doors for good, despite an attempt to reinvent itself as a smaller chainCanadian fashion chain Boutique Jacob closing its doors across Canada read more

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Central Provincial Council votes against special draft Bill

The Central Provincial Council today voted against the Development (Special Provisions) draft Bill.The Bill was defeated 32-0 votes with the United National Party members of the Council abstaining from voting. This week the Southern Provincial Council and the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council also defeated the Development (Special Provisions) draft Bill.Last week the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and the North Central Provincial (NCP) Council also opposed the Development (Special Provisions) draft Bill. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Land degradation desertification pose challenge to achieving antipoverty goals UN says

“The world’s soils are in some ways unique. You can clean up a river or the air. But cleaning up soils is far more difficult. If you lose soils, it can take centuries, if not longer, to replace them,” Mr. Toepfer told the High-Level Segment of the 191-member UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) meeting in the Kenyan capital.Desertification or land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry, sub-humid areas is a worldwide problem leading to poverty, hunger and forced migration and affecting the two-thirds of the agricultural land where the world’s poorest live, UNEP said.Sixty-six per cent of the African continent is classified as desert or drylands and 46 per cent as vulnerable to desertification, while there are similar statistics from Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Southern Europe, according to the agency.If land degradation continues, the targets and timetables from the World Summit on Sustainable Development agreed in 2002 – including reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity – will be harder to achieve, Mr. Toepfer said.He welcomed the launch of the $4 billion TerrAfrica initiative against land degradation, in which UNEP is taking part. read more

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Unite Insufficient progress made to defer notice of industrial action on ESB

first_imgUpdated 23.06pmESB MET WITH the group of unions in a hope to resolve the ongoing dispute about the firm’s pension scheme today.In a statement issued this evening Unite official Richie Browne said that today’s meeting had begun a process of dialogue, but stating:“Unite considers that insufficient progress was made to defer serving notice of industrial action on the company. Unite will, therefore, be serving notice on the ESB at 2pm tomorrow.”DisputeMr Browne said they ”will remain fully engaged in the process which began today and, together with the other unions involved, will be focusing all our efforts on resolving this dispute before 16 December”.In a statement tonight ESB said that there “was an open and frank exchange of views and significant differences remain between the parties”.They added:Both parties have agreed to engage in intensive dialogue focused on addressing these differences.Read: ‘You have brought this industrial relations crisis’ – ESB unions blame bosses>Read: ESB employees and management in talks to resolve pensions row>last_img read more

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The 9 at 9 Sunday

first_imgEVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.1. #NI TALKS: A deal on contentious issues of parades and flags must be reached tomorrow, says US diplomat Richard Haass who is attempting to broker a deal between Northern Ireland’s main political parties.2. #SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he does not hold the same opinion on same-sex marriage as Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, but said he will campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum.3. #FIRE: A ferry has returned to port in Newcastle after a fire broke out in a passenger cabin while out at sea. A number of crew and passengers have been taken to hospital by helicopter.4. #NUCLEAR: An internal memo from the Department of Foreign Affairs from the 1980s shows the Irish government wanted to “cover themselves in the event of anything going wrong” at Windscale.5. #JET: In 1982, the Transport and Defence departments and revealed that the government plane cost £579,325 to run.6. #POWER: Just 200 homes remain without power this morning as ESB workers are completing repairs following damage caused by stormy weather.7. #FAS: The former director-general of Fas has been hit with a Revenue bill of €10,000, reports The Sunday Times, as officials conclude it was benefit-in-kind when his wife accompanied him on official trips abroad.8. #EIRGRID: The Sunday Independent reports that there is a second wave of pylons that will see 45 metre towers running along the Dublin commuter belts.9. #ISRAEL: The Israeli military have confirmed it has shelled Lebanon after two rockets landed in northern Israel, reports the BBC.last_img read more

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PM Christie calls crime insane DNA Leader says 400m lost due to

PM Christie calls crime insane DNA Leader says 400m lost due to

first_img Recommended for you #MagneticMediaNews The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting Related Items:#magneticmedianewscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppNassau, Bahamas, February 14, 2017 – The Prime Minister, Perry Christie goes on the record and likens the recent criminal activity in The Bahamas to the ‘wild wild west’ and the shootings of the weekend, he said were ‘insane.’  The Prime Minister said solving the issues of crime and violence and murder is a togetherness movement and cited gangs and retaliatory crime as being behind the rampant mayhem.PM Christie, who is a two time Prime Minister and a Member of Parliament for the past 40 years agrees for the need of a crime plan and added that government cannot stop a mind intent om killing.   The country’s leader talked about better resources for the Police too.  The comments were largely lending to solving crime. It is widely said that The Bahamas needs to focus on preventing crime.DNA Party Leader, Branville McCartney also had shocking words in a press conference, reminding that crime, according to a recently released IMF report is costing the Bahamas some $400 million dollars in reputation and business. ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDTlast_img read more

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Officer involved shooting in Midway District

Officer involved shooting in Midway District

first_imgOfficer involved shooting in Midway District Updated: 6:46 AM 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- A San Diego police officer shot and wounded a 23- year-old man inside a Midway District apartment, police said Friday.Dispatchers received a 911 call around 9:45 p.m. Thursday from a person reporting that a man in an apartment in the 3100 block of Cauby Street had cut his own throat with a knife and the knife had been taken away from the man, San Diego police Lt. Anthony Dupree said.Officers responded to the location and the man’s family member let them into the apartment and led them to a back bedroom, Dupree said. When officers approached the man in the bedroom he allegedly pulled out a knife from his jacket pocket and raised it up toward officers.The officers then drew their weapons and ordered the man to back up, but the man continued to advance on the officers with the knife pointed at them, the lieutenant said.One of the officers then fired his weapon at the man, striking him at least once in the upper body, Dupree said.Officers administered medical aid until paramedics arrived and transported the man to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, he said.It was unclear if the man, whose name was not immediately available, had cut his own neck with the knife.The officer who shot the man is a six-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, Dupree said. The officer’s name was not immediately available.Homicide detectives were called in to investigate the officer-involved shooting. January 3, 2019 KUSI Newsroom FacebookTwitter Posted: January 3, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News last_img read more

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Spotify Adds Direct Uploads For Indie Artists

Spotify Adds Direct Uploads For Indie Artists

first_img https://twitter.com/exavierpope/status/1042948916927492096 Spotify Adds Direct Uploads For Indie Artists spotify-adds-direct-uploads-indie-artists Twitter Spotify Adds Direct Uploads For Indie Artists Facebook News The ability to upload directly onto the world’s largest streaming service is unprecedented, and the latest step in streaming music’s evolutionPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Sep 21, 2018 – 6:01 pm On Sept. 20, Spotify announced that it has begun beta trials of a feature allowing independent artists to upload their new tracks directly to the service for users to stream. The company emphasized that this is just one new way to release music on Spotify, and that this has been the most requested Spotify for Artists feature.Spotify for Artists has tried to sweeten its destination for talent with various tools such as analytics and ways to communicate with fans. In a blog post announcing this beta feature, it described how they’ve been working with an initial handful of indie musicians including Michael Brun, Hot Shade, Noname, and VIAA to develop its interactivity and ease-of-use. “Their feedback was instrumental in shaping the feature, and now we’re ready to see how a wider range of artists will put it to use,” Spotify said in the blog post. “Right now, upload in Spotify for Artists is only available by invitation to a few hundred US-based independent artists, but we’re excited to bring upload to even more artists, labels, and teams in the future.” Speculation abounds about the significance and financial terms of this new feature. It’s free, in contrast to CD Baby, DistroKid and Tunecore. It pays, unlike SoundCloud. “There’s not that much information needed other than the music and the metadata associated with it, and then we’ll take care of the rest,” said Spotify product lead Kene Anoliefo. Indie artists will get to set their release date, preview how their offering will appear to users, keep their royalties and rights, and receive 50 percent of whatever revenue Spotify takes in from their track.It seems like an organic addition to what Spotify for Artists already offers, although observers speculate this means Spotify is trying to replace the role of record labels. Certainly for artists such as Chance The Rapper or countless DJ/producers who choose to initially go it alone in the music world, this is an opportunity to begin earning money for their music from a major platform at an earlier stage in their career, without signing away rights or making a major commitment to a label. Behind the scenes, as artists’ fingers control their role in the music business more effectively, this is likely to empower new creative marketing strategies especially because it’s been designed — with input from artists — to fit transparently within Spotify’s extensive analytics and other tools for talent.Upcoming Spotify Renegotiations Magnify Tussles With LabelsRead more Email last_img read more

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DJing Has Never Been An Easy Job It Requires Skill and Tremendous

first_imgRicky Patel aka Dj Ricky who started his career from Vj’ing is also a producer who later indulged himself as a Dj has become one of the top DJ in the country.Ricky started his career not by taking up higher studies in the field or under the mentorship of any individual or any institution learned but Dj ing via YouTube and various blogs all by himself.This self-made man has played for a maximum number of clubs in India with (all the A-listers) and also have been taking up various events.Dj Ricky has also collaborated with some well-renowned artist like Nikhil Chinapa, Shaan, Guru Randhawa, Ali Merchant, Milind Gaba, Darshan Raval and many more.Dj Ricky has also performed in shows such as Sunburn, VH1 supersonic, Enchanted Valley Carnival, Bollybom and many more.IBT does not endorse any of the above content.last_img read more

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Full Show Remembering NASA Pioneer Chris Kraft And Moving The Battleship Texas

Full Show Remembering NASA Pioneer Chris Kraft And Moving The Battleship Texas

first_img 00:00 /49:57 Listen X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:center_img On Tuesday’s Houston Matters: NASA pioneer, architect of mission control, and longtime Johnson Space Center Director Chris Kraft died Monday in Houston, just two days after the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. We remember Craft’s career and legacy in NASA.Also this hour: The Battleship Texas is being moved. The historic ship and museum needs to be repaired and then will head to its new home somewhere along the upper Texas coast. But where, exactly, is a point of contention. We learn more about the situation from Bruce Bramlett of the Battleship Texas Foundation.Then, NASA software engineer Darrell Lee draws on his scientific background to write thrillers about science and technology. We learn about his latest work, The Apotheosis, which portrays an all-too-plausible bio-engineering disaster.And we preview this year’s Houston Shakespeare Festival. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Sharelast_img read more

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Johns Hopkins Unveils Ambitious Strategy to Ignite Baltimores Recovery

Johns Hopkins Unveils Ambitious Strategy to Ignite Baltimores Recovery

first_imgJohns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System unveiled a $135 million dollar expansion in employment, contracting and procurement opportunities targeted at minority, women and disadvantaged-businesses on Sept. 30. The initiative, dubbed HopkinsLocal, was announced during a teleconference hosted by Ronald J. Daniels, Johns Hopkins University President and Ronald R. Peterson, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health Systems President.    Planning for HopkinsLocal was initiated by the campus and hospital system two years prior to the widespread unrest and violence that stunned the city this past April following the death of Freddie Gray, who died of extensive injuries while in police custody. The initiative will (i) increase the number of new hires from under-served communities at both the University and the Hospital System, (ii) spend more of the institution’s purchasing dollars with minority and women owned vendors,  and (iii) expand minority, women-owned business and disadvantaged business participation on construction contracts of all sizes.  The initial target for HopkinsLocal is to expand hiring, contracting and purchasing to “17% in the aggregate,” Daniels said. The University and Hospital system have set a total package baseline of $135 million that will include increasing hiring, contracting and purchasing to targeted populations over the next three years, said Tracey Reeves, Johns Hopkins University spokeswoman. Daniels and Peterson said  that John Hopkins is looking to lead the drive to expand economic opportunity for under-served Baltimore residents. “We want to encourage other hospitals and businesses to create opportunities. We want to leverage our activities so that others will also participate,” Daniels said.    The hiring portion of the HopkinsLocal initiative will focus on increasing the number of entry –level hires at the university and hospital. “There are 432 people hired each year. Of those, 26%  (or 112) get hired in the communities that we are targeting. With HopkinsLocal, that number goes up to 173 with the goal of [hiring] 200,” Daniels said. HopkinsLocal will target Baltimore zip codes with 10% or greater unemployment and or poverty, Daniels added. “We did a lot of benchmarking and spent a lot of time to make sure we developed something comprehensive and impactful. The decision that we made to target entry level hiring is not one we have seen a lot of,” said Peterson. Daniels and Peterson also used the teleconference to discuss the Health Job Opportunity Program (HJOP), a separate but related effort in which Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, along with the city’s three other major hospitals proposed the creation of 1,000 entry level health care jobs targeted to residents of under-served Baltimore communities earlier this month. The money to create jobs through the HJOP must first be approved by the state of Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC), which is scheduled to announce it’s decision in October.   Johns Hopkins University is asking the HSCRC to make $40 million per year available for the creation of Baltimore-based jobs for residents of communities with high poverty and unemployment rates. The funding would be generated through a small increase in regulated hospital rates, similar to funding sourcing for other programs such as the Maryland Nurse Support Program, implemented by HSCRC in 2001.    The HSCRC, established by the Maryland legislature in 1971, has authority to establish hospital rates and control revenues. Maryland is currently the only state in the country to retain this kind of regulatory control system.  Daniels stressed that the HopkinsLocal plan will move forward regardless of the decision made by the HSCRC in October about the creation of additional health-care jobs in Baltimore. “Our HopkinsLocal initiative is not predicated on the approval of the Health Jobs Opportunity Program,” said Daniels.  “We are hoping to leverage the good faith of all employers to respond,“ he said.Hopkins has been criticized harshly about their non-responsiveness to community needs. David Simon, creator of the acclaimed HBO series “The Wire” and a former Baltimore Sun reporter,  lambasted Johns Hopkins University this past week saying “they care only about what directly affects their bottom line. They don’t have an interest in the community.” Simon made his comments about Hopkins at a forum sponsored by the Urban Institute on Sept. 27 in Washington D.C.  Although University leaders did not reveal details about how they would be held accountable for the jobs, contracting and procurement opportunities promised to under-served populations and communities under the HopkinsLocal plan, Daniels, indicated there would be “internal and external accountability. “   Civic leaders welcomed the initiative and viewed the Hopkins announcement as an opportunity to continue the city’s stabilization process. “Economic inclusion efforts are critical to revitalizing Baltimore, especially in the wake of April’s unrest,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings in a statement. “Johns Hopkins is leading by example in its efforts to provide economic opportunities for Baltimore residents and businesses.”“Commitments like this by anchor institutions are essential to strengthening urban environments,” said Cornell Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP, in  a statement. “Baltimore is primed to benefit from Johns Hopkins’ deliberate efforts to strengthen the local economy.”last_img read more

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The Nvidia Shield is Finally Awesome And Totally Worth It

first_img Alexa Lets You Donate School Supplies to Students in NeedAmazon Alexa Provides NHS Medical Advice in the UK Graphics card manufacturer, Nvidia, has been trying to break out of just being the folks that make your beefy graphics cards for a while. And that’s been met with mixed success. One of those outings, the Shield, has been a frustrating little box. It’s Cool™ and Neat™, but for the most part, it wasn’t too compelling on its own. Units ran for $199, and that was a slightly better Netflix machine with game streaming capabilities. So what changed?Well, the software, really. The current shield model isn’t too far off from the original run, but with the growth of smart home assistants and the maturity of the Android operating system for non-phones, that functionality has only grown.I’ve spent a few weeks with the latest shield, and I’ve been continually impressed with its flexibility and genuine utility. For a bit of context, my place is something of a social hub for several friend groups. I have people over just about every day. My set-up is built around that — entertaining groups of friends. I’ve got some basic smart devices for ease-of-use, and I’m a huge fan of efficiency. When I have people over, I like seamless integration and the ability to switch to just about any video streaming or movie service I want.Historically, I’ve used a game console for that. Either my PS4 or Xbox One have been consistently solid streaming boxes for years. But the Shield goes a bit beyond. It’s common, for example, to have guests that want to play their music or show a YouTube video quickly to the group. Searching, especially with the interface offered by major consoles can be slow and clunky. You have to type in individual letters with a controller, something for which it wasn’t really designed. My wireless keyboards don’t often work either. While it’s not a massive problem, it is an inconvenience, especially after using the Shield.Voice search is integrated directly into most apps, and there are microphones built into the Shield’s remote. Because those search functions use Google Now (as opposed to the Xbox One’s spottier Kinect/Bing integration), they’re often surprisingly accurate and easy. What’s more, the Shield can also function like a Chrome Cast, so friends can toss up their favorite tracks from Spotify, or pull a video from their Watch Later YouTube list.Plus, if you’re into whole home automation thing, the Shield, much like Google Home and Amazon’s Echo, works seamlessly with a Belkin WeMo or any Nest device. Granted, you won’t see the same level of advanced voice recognition that you’ll get with the hefty electronics built into an Echo, but, depending upon your use case, you may not need them.The Shield is meant to take on the role of an entertainment hub. Just about everything is available in one spot alongside an array of extra features. Chrome Cast integration and voice recognition go a long way towards closing the gap, helping the Shield stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a good chunk of its competition. Gadgets like the Apple TV, which retail for about the same ($150-199) fall quite a bit short except when it comes to Apple’s own ecosystem support. But even then, Shield’s games-streaming and smart home features more than make-up for it.The device still isn’t for everyone. If you already have a console you use for media, it might not be worth a buy. But those looking for an easy way to manage their media, stream games from their PC, and would also love the functionality of the new crop of smart devices have a solid bit of hardware. Stay on targetlast_img read more

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Exiles in Costa Rica denounce alleged Venezuelan kidnapping plot

Exiles in Costa Rica denounce alleged Venezuelan kidnapping plot

first_imgA group of Venezuelan exiles in Costa Rica are allegedly the target of akidnapping plot by President Nicolás Maduro’s government, according to the ex-governor of the state of Monagas, José Gregorio Briceño, the Nuevo Herald reported on Thursday.The Miami-based newspaper reported that sources inside the Venezuelan government confirmed that a team of intelligence operatives posing as members of Maduro’s advance team for the upcoming January meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) arrived in Costa Rica to abduct “Gato” Briceño and other prominent exiles.It is common for security and logistics teams to arrive in a country in advance of a world leader to prepare for the visit like the CELAC event, but in this case there was supposedly another purpose in mind, the newspaper reported. According to an anonymous intelligence source cited in the story:“Another group arrived under the cover of the advance team, but their task was to locate the majority of those in Costa Rica as political refugees with an emphasis in Gato Briceño, who they wanted to make into a trophy.”Costa Rica is the current president pro-tempore of CELAC and is set to host a meeting of Latin American leaders in January.Government-sponsored abductions are evidently not new for the Venezuelan government:“They tried to do the same thing [Hugo] Chávez did when he was alive, to take a target they wanted by force in Panama,” said Briceño, referring to the Venezuelan businessman Gustavo Arráiz, who was kidnapped in that country in 2007 and later transported to Venezuela where he spent eight years in prison.During Chávez’s last years, the then-chief of Military Intelligence reportedly prepared to kidnap an important union leader in Panama and a Venezuelan banker with the aim of handing them over to a leader who was already quite ill, said the source.Briceño was once a pro-Chávez governor until an oil spill put him at odds with the government oil monopoly PDVSA. Bucking government pressure to keep the facility open despite the spill, the governor found himself in the political wilderness.Briceño told the Nuevo Herald that Venezuelan agents planned on taking him across the border into Nicaragua, where Nicaraguan officials would detain him and send him back to Venezuela.Costa Rica is home to a small but vocal population of Venezuelan immigrants. San José was the scene of several days of peaceful demonstrations in support of protests against the Maduro government in February. Under ex-President Laura Chinchilla’s administration (2010-2014) the Central American country released a statement as CELAC president rejecting the violence that engulfed the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. Former Costa Rican President Óscar Arias (1986-1990, 2006-2010) met with supporters and condemned the Maduro administration’s handling of the anti-government protests.There are nearly 5,000 permanent and temporary Venezuelan residents living in Costa Rica, according to 2013 figures from the Immigration Administration. More than 55,000 Venezuelans entered Costa Rica in 2012. Facebook Comments Related posts:Venezuela gives US 15 days on embassy staff cuts US arrests relatives of Venezuela first lady over drug-trafficking allegations Struggles loom as Venezuela opposition vows to fix crisis Former Colombian, Bolivian leaders warn of looming humanitarian crisis in Venezuelalast_img read more

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Police 10 killed as gunmen storm 2 hotels in Somali capital

first_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Somalia’s special forces intervened shortly after the assault began, engaging in a firefight with the gunmen, he said. The 10 people killed during the attacks included hotel residents and the gunmen, he said.The attacks started with suicide car bombings before gunmen fought their way inside the hotels, said Hassan Ali, a police commander in Mogadishu.The Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which has vowed to step up attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, claimed responsibility for the attacks.Although hotel guards and security forces ended the Weheliye hotel attack soon after it started, the attack on the Siyad hotel attack lasted more than one hour, according to Hussein.The wreckage of a burned-out vehicle littered a nearby street, and the facade of the Siyad hotel was pockmarked by bullets.Rescue workers carried wounded victims into ambulances as nervous soldiers fired in the air to disperse the nearby crowd.Al-Shabab militants have been pushed out of much of the territory they once controlled across the Horn of Africa nation, including Mogadishu. But they remain a lethal threat, carrying out guerrilla attacks on government and civilian targets. The group frequently targets public places believed to be frequented by foreigners as well as bases used by African Union forces. On Friday, suspected militants also launched mortar attacks on a military base for the African Union forces in Mogadishu, although no casualties were reported, according to police officer Dalmar Haji.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — At least 10 people were killed as gunmen stormed two hotels in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, Somali police officials said Friday.Suspected Islamic militants entered the Siyad hotel, which is located opposite the presidential palace, as well as the Weheliye hotel on Makka Almukkaramah Road, as hotel residents were starting to break the Ramadan fast on Friday evening, according to Capt. Mohamed Hussein. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

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Aurora launches new ship expeditions at Russian Coast in 2011

first_imgAurora Expeditions has launched their Russian Coast voyages for 2011, all on a new ship, with three of the five voyages being inaugural expeditions.“Na zdorovia!” the travel industry crowd echoed before downing shots of Russian vodka with triangles of rye bread as chasers. The chesty warmth from the vodka was a welcome reprieve from the icy winds that had swept The Rocks in Sydney on the evening of Wednesday 11 July – fitting weather for Aurora Expeditions’ launch of their brand new Russian Coast 2011 voyages. As the rhythms of the gusli (think: harp played as xylophone) came to a halt, Aurora CEO Lisa Bolton welcomed the crowd. Aurora Expeditions was proud to announce the launch of the 2011 Russian Coast brochure, which included three inaugural expeditions, she continued.“Our new Russian program delivers a unique combination of history and culture set against a backdrop of incredible natural beauty and wilderness.” The three new expeditions are entitled The Secrets of the White Sea, Voyage to the End of the Earth – featuring the remote Franz Josef Land – and the 26-day adventure Across the North East Passage. The other two itineraries see Aurora Expeditions returning to the Russian Far East – The Bering Sea Explorer, which discovers the volcano-rich Kamchatka Peninsula and The Ring of Fire, which explores the Kuril Islands. “These are not conventional cruises, they are expeditions to some of the most remote and least visited destinations on the planet,” Ms Bolton said. Three of the expeditions will be led by Howard Whelan, who took over the microphone from Ms Bolton to deliver a passionate concoction of Russia’s history, terrain, and culture. All present at the launch received an insight into the detail and enthusiasm in which the expeditions will be led. Also a journalist and cinematographer, Mr Whelan was a founding editor of Australian Geographic and led film crews to Antarctica for the Academy Award-winning feature Happy Feet. He spoke eagerly of the new ship Akademik Shokalsky – sister ship of the famed Polar Pioneer – which will sail on all the expeditions.Following the formalities, the crowd returned to mid-week chatter and the circulating finger food, which included blini (traditional Russian buckwheat pancakes with smoked salmon and roe garnish) and pelmeni (Russian dumplings). Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C GM Lisa Boltonlast_img read more

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Home Price Growth Slowing in Several Markets

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, journal, Market Studies, News Affordability Home Prices HouseCanary 2018-02-24 David Wharton February 24, 2018 592 Views center_img Since the 2008 financial crisis, predicting where the housing market is headed next has become a game with very high stakes indeed. Tracking the interactions between home prices, affordability, the impact of regulation (or deregulation), and a thousand other factors all need to be considered. In an attempt to foresee where housing is headed in 2018, HouseCanary examined all 381 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the US in terms of local affordability (and change in affordability), housing market price growth, and the pace of housing market price growth. HouseCanary VP of Analytics Alex Villacorta broke that data down into a recent post entitled “5 Housing Trends That Are Changing The Market Today.”“While we are still seeing a positive trend in growth on average,” says Villacorta in the report, “the explosive acceleration we’ve seen over the past few years is clearly softening, market by market.” Several markets that had been growing dramatically have been decelerating. Moreover, 10 of the 25 markets showing the most marked growth deceleration all happen to be in Florida.What’s causing the deceleration? HouseCanary’s report cites several possible factors, including “an affordability crisis in many rapidly appreciating markets, waning home sales volume and prices in specific price segments, a likely increase to mortgage rates, implications of the recently passed tax law, and general uncertainty about the future.”The 10 MSAs that have shown the strongest home price growth so far in 2018 versus 2017 include Scranton, Pennsylvania; Stamford, Connecticut; Hartford, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Syracuse, New York; Norfolk, Virginia; New York, New York; Louisville, Kentucky; and Indianapolis, Indiana.HouseCanary also found notable softening in the luxury segment of several markets, which the report says is “typical of mid-to-late cycle behavior where exceedingly high prices in most desirable areas drive buyers further out in search of relative affordability.”The 10 MSA showing this “luxury lag” the strongest include Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada (-7 percent); Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida (-7 percent); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida (-7 percent); Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida (-6 percent); Stockton-Lodi, California (-6 percent); Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida (-6 percent); Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida (-6 percent); Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (-6 percent); Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida (-6 percent); and Jacksonville, Florida (-5 percent)You can read HouseCanary’s full report by clicking here. Home Price Growth Slowing in Several Marketslast_img read more

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May 14 2019

May 14 2019

first_imgMay 14 , 2019 Australia: Hort Connections a “one-stop shop” for … PRESS RELEASENewark, Del. –  The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is pleased to announce that PMA Vice President, Supply Chain and Sustainability Ed Treacy will take on leadership for PMA’s sustainability work in 2019. PMA announced in 2018 that they would be focusing on sustainability as a focus area for their work supporting the industry to grow a healthier world.The fresh produce and floral industry has need for a shared definition of sustainability, to help people understand trends, information, resources and best practices for their business. PMA will work with industry members to inspire them to continuously optimize processes and resources available to drive economic, social and environmental benefits for their companies and for the world. The industry can incorporate sustainable practices into their businesses by sharing and adopting sustainable business models, strategies, methods, and information across the supply chain.In focusing on the successes of the industry, PMA seeks to showcase the floral and produce industry as a prime place of innovation in the area. “We ultimately see sustainability as the responsibility for the entire supply chain,” said Bob Whitaker Ph.D., chief science and technology officer for PMA.  “There’s no one who has a better grasp on all of the intricacies and opportunities within the floral and produce supply chains than Ed. He is a relentless advocate for our industry in a variety of important places, and I am thrilled that he will be leading PMA’s efforts as we become a resource for our industry around sustainability.” Ed Treacy has served as PMA’s expert in developing supply chain practices to lead the produce and floral industries forward for more than nine years. Among his responsibilities, Treacy monitors and forecast trends related to supply chain efficiencies, designs and maintains related products, services and educational events for PMA members. He also serves as staff lead and technical consultant to the industry-wide Produce Traceability Initiative and leads all data standardization initiatives for PMA.Treacy will also lead a new committee formed by PMA to bring together industry leaders around sustainability. The Sustainability Committee is charged with identifying sustainability trends, information, resources and best practices so industry members can apply them to their business both domestically and globally and is chaired by John Chamberlain. John Chamberlain is Vice President of Global Marketing at Limoneira Company. With more than 25 years of marketing, brand development and communications experience with global multinationals (14 with Limoneira), Chamberlain has extensive skills in story-telling.“John is not a sustainability guy, so to speak,” said Treacy. “His role is in marketing. It was so important that he was involved because his talent and instinct for telling the industry’s story through marketing is exactly what we need. There is already so much happening as it relates to sustainability in our industry. It’s our goal to uncover these stories and share them, within our industry and beyond it. We are first and foremost, stewards of the land and know better than anyone how to sustain it. It’s my goal to make sure that the world knows about the great work we do in our industry, and in doing so, inspire more great work.”About Produce Marketing AssociationProduce Marketing Association (PMA) is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com PMA hires Rubén Ramírez as general manager in Me … U.S.: PMA to take the stage at SXSW … You might also be interested inlast_img read more

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We may be in the go

We may be in the golden age of television, specifically naming the Fake News law recently passed by parliament and widely seen as a vehicle to quash reports critical of the government.

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