first_imgOdisha’s Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric), famous for its healing properties, is a few steps away from receiving GI tag as the Geographical Indications Journal has advertised its application seeking objections.Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing, based at the district headquarter town of Phulbani, had moved for registration ‘Kandhamal Haldi’ which was accepted under sub-section (1) of Section 13 of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.Turmeric is the main cash crop of tribal people in Kandhamal. Apart from domestic use, turmeric is also used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.last_img


first_imgNearly half of mammal species surveyed in a new study practice infanticide. Of the 260 species studied, 119 kill their own young, researchers report online today in Science. Infanticide was most likely to occur in species in which the female was capable of breeding at any point in the year. The findings suggest that a male kills unrelated offspring in order to shorten a female’s postpartum infertility phase, so he can mate with her sooner—a hypothesis confirmed by the observation that males will often mate with the mothers of children they’ve killed. (Human hunting may also play a role, as appears to be the case in bears.) However, females can use sexual promiscuity to create confusion about the paternity of offspring and discourage infanticide. Oddly enough, scientists believe this leads to larger testicles in males: When females are promiscuous, sperm competition increases, and evolution selects for males with the largest testicles capable of producing the most sperm. Sure enough, the team found larger testes in species that have been practicing infanticide for longer. That may explain the absurd size of the gonads of the male mouse lemur, seen above.last_img read more


first_imgThe Traditional Knowledge Digital Library has succeeded in revoking nine patents wth the EPO recently. As someone who led earlier patent fights that took years, do you think the TKDL is more effective?You don’t need a digital library to fight a case. Whatever is being digitalized is the evidence. It doesn’t become evidence because it is in digital form. So I think it is a misconception to imagine that just putting it into the digital form now adds additional weight, because absolutely the same material in black and white is available, which is how it would have been taken to the court. That is what works and the power of what we started in 1994 with the neem case was that we really compelled them (patent offices) to recognize that the evidence doesn’t have to be in English. It could be in Urdu. You translate it. Putting it in digital form in fact can do the opposite. It’s just making it that much easier for biopiracy. You are now making the information more accessible.But I understand that TKDL is not publicly accessible. It is only available to the patent offices? Which is part of the problem, because the real fight in my view is to equip all your people to use that knowledge more. Why is it that we have a secret of our national heritage? It should be our public knowledge first. The best defense against biopiracy is in fact to use it and make it more available to the public of India, so more people continue to use it. The more it stays in the public domain as a living tradition the more stupid a piracy claim becomes. Closing the information from your own public is totally wrong. An effort of this scale should be in the public domain for the Indian public. It should be digitalized for keeping a living tradition alive within India. The school kid should know this is your heritage. So how do we solve the problem of biopiracy?Piracy is basically claiming illegally someone else’s property as yours, something that exists as if it’s your invention. That has to be solved through law. We involved ourselves in the neem, basmati and the wheat case, because we wanted public education on this issue. But every time we did it, we also said that this has to be solved by making biopiracy illegal. Now all the effort the Government of India is undertaking by, like you are saying, going after nine cases. Well it should spend that kind of effort to just tell the United States that sorry piracy of Indian knowledge is not acceptable, or piracy of Amazonian knowledge or African knowledge. As we have put in our intellectual property laws no to biopiracy, you must do so in yours. Also the traditional knowledge digital library only focuses on traditional medicines, whereas what’s being commercialized on a very large scale today is agro bio diversity. Things like basmati, wheat, hundreds of patents on crops, so many of which come from India, crops that can survive floods, that can survive drought, that have strong tolerance in case of cyclones and hurricanes. None of that is covered in any way by the library. You have already shut that out of requiring protection.There are still outstanding patents on neem in the US?Many, and again we took that one case of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and W R Grace over a joint patent. We did it for political public education, but there are other cases, many, many other cases and within a month we will have a list of the new piracy claims and we are going to publish them. Part of the reason we are doing it is to show that this digital library is not helping the citizen know better what’s going on. It’s not helping the Indian citizen to have access to their own knowledge and it is the duty of our government to share that knowledge and keep it alive as living traditions. When they started the digital library, I was saying you can’t be weak on the legal front and digitize your knowledge in a period of piracy, because it is like putting a label on everything precious in your house saying please look at this. I have an antique worth $1 million, this painting is worth $5 million. It is facilitating biopiracy. Because it is happening without an accompanying legal rewriting of the law, international law. Everywhere the U.S. is bullying to keep biopiracy alive and legal.TDKL Director VK Gupta says the problem of biopiracy in India has been entirely resolved by the library. No not at all. I had a student from a law school who wanted to work on this project and I said first thing is to find out how many new case have been found and he said we don’t give this to anyone in India. There may be legal challenges within India about the inadequacies of the steps taken by the Government of India.TDKL’s contention is that now they have these agreements with the US patent office so the examiners are able to tap into the database when a patent application is filed? If you are at the inspection stage and if there was due diligence it is fine, but then how come 85 cases of neem happened in the U.S.? And one thing that needs to be recognized is that the U.S. decided that economic globalization is a U.S. project, but it has been outsourcing all production and manufacturing to China and a bit to India. The US decided that it is going to make its money through royalties in intellectual property and not through production and manufacturing, which can happen anywhere in the world. But the money should come back to the U.S.They have given their patent offices this incentive in a way to grant as many patents as you can. I might not be exact, but from what I remember something like 90% of applications are now granted. Now that trend is not going to change because of the digital library in India. That will only change when the US starts to do production back home and stops to depend fully on income coming from royalties rather than from actual production. The digital library is not a magic bullet to solve all these multifaceted problems related to patent monopolies and biopiracy.What incentive you think US will ever have for changing this regime?I think there is only one incentive and that is first of all a movement that I think is already growing around the issue of the knowledge commons and biological diversity. The fact that last year the economics Nobel Prize went to an economist who has worked on the commons is a sign that this idea that not everything has to be privatized is growing and these debates that have taken place through cases of neem, etc., are a challenge to all of this. This is the only place where this will get resolved in the long run — when the American people realize that this system is hurting them as ordinary people, that’s the incentive. As long as Washington thinks that the interests of their corporations, whether through piracy or monopoly, are the only things they need to protect, then nothing will change.Pat Mooney of the ETC Group said that the Indian government has been very passive on the biopiracy issue in international forum. Do you agree? Well, in earlier days India was aggressive and then along the way India really thought it had to play the role of a satellite of the US and the power equation shifted. That’s when the nuclear deal got signed. That’s when India started to take either a quiet stand or actually openly support the US. India has been on the wrong side of many issues, even Copenhagen…. For a long time, India stood for national sovereignty in a very, very clear way, in a strong way. India has to remember that position. It forgot it in Copenhagen, it forgot it in intellectual property platforms. It will just to have to remember it again. There is just too much at stake for the people of India and people of the third world.Independent of patenting, companies can commercially exploit the knowledge. What can we do about that?I think it’s absolutely wrong to take benefit of someone’s knowledge. It’s wrong to patent it or even without patenting it to derive profit and exclude the original community group culture from whom you have taken that knowledge and for that I definitely feel prior informed consent negotiations are very important.What is that supposed to mean?You don’t commercialize without checking with the community or culture from where you are taking this. Can I commercialize this? What should be the distribution? What is to be the contribution to access benefit sharing?As I understand it the numbers we are talking about are 1-2% of the profits should be shared with these communities.I don’t think anyone should fix that. The communities should have the right to fix it. There may also be a sacred part, for which there should be no commercialization. This is what happened with dragon’s blood, the Amazonian plant that healers use, that is patented. But the argument that won that case was that this is a healing plant for spiritual healers and you can’t commercialize it. Communities should have the right to say sorry it is a sacred plant you can’t commercialize it and if they say yes commercialize, then they should decide the sharing through a democratic allocation?That will be complicated.So what if it is complicated. The complication is being created by those who want to commercialize their knowledge rather than go through complicated processes, because life is going on, people are using the plants, they are using the seeds and the crops. It’s big commercial interests that are interfering in that process. They jolly well should go through a series of hard steps. Why should it be easy for them?   Related Itemslast_img read more


first_imgCoach Ravi Shastri was a relieved man after Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar stitched together a record eighth-wicket partnership to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Kandy.India, chasing a Duckworth-Lewis target of 231 in 47 overs, had their backs to the wall when they slipped from 109/1 to 131 for seven before Dhoni reprised his finisher’s role and Bhuvneshwar proved a perfect foil as they bailed out India with an unbeaten century partnership.Dhoni’s risk-free 45 not out included only one boundary while Bhuvneshwar hit a six and four fours in his unbeaten 53.Shastri, who was appointed India’s coach till 2019 World Cup in July after Anil Kumble’s resignation, took to Twitter to express his feelings.”Witnessed a jail break in Kandy exactly half an hour to midnight #TeamIndia #SLvIND,” Shastri tweeted.Witnessed a jail break in Kandy exactly half an hour to midnight #TeamIndia #SLvIND pic.twitter.com/JwyT6eUQ31- Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) 24 August 2017Former India batsman VVS Laxman was in awe of “iceman” Dhoni and “gritty” Bhuvneshwar.”Finally a good game in this series??Congrats Team India on the win??Sensational partnership between iceman @msdhoni & gritty @BhuviOfficial,” Laxman wrote on the microblogging site.Finally a good game in this series???Congrats Team India on the win???Sensational partnership between iceman @msdhoni & gritty @BhuviOfficial ???- VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) 24 August 2017The smile says it all – Skipper @imVkohli with @BhuviOfficial & @msdhoni #TeamIndia #SLvIND pic.twitter.com/RijXJdJI2P- BCCI (@BCCI) 25 August 2017Great Composure & Brilliant Chase @BhuviOfficial & @msdhoni . Cannot be more proud of the result today ????????? #bleedblue #IndvsSL #TeamIndiaadvertisement- Murali Vijay (@mvj888) 24 August 2017Absolutely loved the way @BhuviOfficial & @msdhoni bhai got us home tonight. Beautiful Chase ???#TeamIndia #INDvSL- Karun Nair (@karun126) 24 August 2017Well done boys congratulations ??????@bcci @ICC @ICCLive @ESPNIndia- Mohammed Shami (@MdShami11) 24 August 2017Congratulations India. A special spell from Dananjaya but great nerves from Dhoni.Bhuvi’s spirit was a delight to watch. Well done !#INDvSL- Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) 24 August 2017Missed the game last night, what an unbelievable effort from @msdhoni and @BhuviOfficial to rescue us from a difficult situation. ??????- Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) 24 August 2017last_img read more


first_imgDon’t we all love the look of box-fresh trainers, all clean and glowing ready to shine on our feet as we flaunt them off for the first time?Well, now it seems like days of wearing clean white sneakers are gone. Because if Gucci’s new collection is to be believed, then dirty and distressed sneakers are the new fashion statement and that too an expensive one. Gucci’s Distressed GG canvas sneakersIn a recently launched campaign, Gucci inaugurated its collection of ‘scuffed, dirty and vintage sportswear-inspired’ sneakers, and their price is more than our monthly salaries. The sad part, it basically looks just like the dirty sports shoes we used to wear to school.These incredible shoes are priced at USD 870, which is Rs 63,258 in Indian currency. Because who cares about dirty shoes if you can trade your soul, and probably kidney too, to buy it.Available in four different designs and three colourways, the company called the shoes ‘a pastiche of different influences that span across decades.’ Close up of Gucci’s new sneakersThese luxurious shoes are part of the brands Cruise 2019 collection and are inspired by classic trainers from the 70s.It also has some amazing features like treated vintage, distressed effect (so that you won’t have to worry about washing your shoes. EVER!), oval enameled metal Gucci logo and a Gucci vintage logo (so that everyone knows you have traded your soul to buy it).It even comes with a bi-colour sole, probably because with such an amazing price may be it also offers durability that will definitely outlast the apocalypse (since dirt is not a worry).advertisementEven Twitterati was left confused with this new trend. Here are some best reactions:I really don’t get these Gucci dirty sneaker trendbysamiiryan (@thesamiiryan) January 11, 2018I’m not gonna stop u from wearing slightly dirty Gucci sneakers with an Old Navy hoodie BUT I will judge uAB Green (@theABGreen) May 24, 2016When ur born rich a f but don’t wanna be a called a snobby daddy’s boy at school=Gucci’s New Vintage Sportswear-Inspired Dirty Sneakers Cost $870 USD #gucci #guccifromthehood https://t.co/ektXQtoKIlNadia. K (@nadiakhairinas) November 7, 2018I’m afraid this is the limit for me.https://t.co/Gpm9VTDxkpJazz Hanley (@DigitalJazz) November 7, 2018Saw these Gucci white sneakers with a “vintage, distressed effect” in store earlier and they look even more absurd IRL than the stock pic ¥99,360 (US$740 in the US) for what is essentially dirty looking white leather shoes pic.twitter.com/Tjtli7KjxzRatzilla (@ratzillacosme) December 20, 2017I really don’t like the way fashion trends work.A lot people wear dirty, white sneakers because it’s all they can get, but they make it stylish or cool because they have to…Brands like Gucci see these trends & capitalize, selling a dirty white sneaker for $800Dimitri Moore (@dimiimoore) December 17, 2017Rich people really have nothing better to do with their money Dirty, my mistake, distressed sneakers for $740. But they’re Gucci so… pic.twitter.com/VxTy1sXgxPExpensive Genes (@SunsetSoFresh) November 16, 2017So, are you ready to sell your kidneys (or any other part of your body) to buy these amazing shoes?ALSO SEE | These chappals cost Rs 45k. But the product reviews are pricelessALSO SEE | People are paying Rs 2 lakh for a sweater to just go toplessALSO WATCH | This $32K Bavarian Dirndl is the Ultimate Oktoberfest Outfitlast_img read more


first_imgTopics news Read more Punishment for cocaine use while playing sport does not fit the crime World Cup 2018 Sean Ingle Share on Messenger Peru Cas had said earlier on Thursday that it would not intervene in Guerrero’s legal campaign to play at the World Cup but that it would “not object” if a federal judge decided to freeze the ban.The captains of the teams drawn to play Peru appealed to Fifa to lift the ban. The France captain, Hugo Lloris, Australia’s Mile Jedinak and Denmark’s Simon Kjaer said the ban was disproportionate given Cas acknowledged Guerrero did not knowingly ingest cocaine or seek an advantage.The judge, Christina Kiss, took into account that, at 34, Guerrero should not miss his first opportunity to play at the World Cup.“This decision does justice, at least partially, and I’m grateful to the Swiss court,” said Guerrero, who has not formally been cleared of doping and could yet serve the remainder of his ban. Guerrero had the right to a supreme court appeal because CAS is under the jurisdiction of Swiss civil law.Xhaka ‘relieved’ after injury scareArsenal’s Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka said he was “very relieved” after learning a knee injury he suffered in training will not threaten his World Cup participation. Xhaka sustained an injury to his left knee in a challenge while training in heavy rain with his international team-mates in Lugano on Thursday, the Swiss Football Federation said. But an MRI scan that evening showed he had suffered only a bruise to the bone. “I’m very relieved,” Xhaka said on the Swiss FA website. He will miss Sunday’s friendly with Spain, but is not a doubt for the World Cup. He could be back for Swizerland’s second warm-up match against Japan, with their World Cup campaign starting against five-time champions Brazil on 17 June. PA Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter World Cup Share via Email Share on Facebook Peru, who are making their first World Cup appearance since 1982, are in a group with France, Denmark and Australia.The interim ruling puts the ban imposed by the court of arbitration for sport on hold until a full consideration of the case. Cas had imposed the ban in May, upholding an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Mikel John Obi: ‘If Nigeria were organised we’d have won World Cup’ The captain of Peru has been cleared by a Swiss supreme court judge to play at the World Cup despite a doping ban. Paolo Guerrero tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine at a World Cup qualifier against Argentina in October. He argued the stimulant had not been performance enhancing and was accidentally consumed in contaminated tea.Switzerland’s supreme court said it has granted an interim order to freeze Guerrero’s 14-month ban for a positive test. “Paolo Guerrero can take part in the World Cup,” the court said. Read more Reuse this contentlast_img read more


first_imgUdanta Singh after India lose to UAE in AFC Asian Cup 2019: It hurtsUdanta Singh reacts after hitting the crossbar during India’s loss to UAE in Asia Cupadvertisement Aditya K Halder New DelhiJanuary 12, 2019UPDATED: January 12, 2019 09:38 IST Udanta Singh said the Indian football team were disappointed with the loss (@IndianFootball Photo)Indian players probably walked back in disbelief to the dressing room after losing 2-0 in their second group game against host UAE in Asia Cup. Despite creating galore of chances, the team missed one chance too many and the best of the lot fell to Udanta Singh.Played through inside the box after a telepathic move with his national and club teammate Sunil Chhetri, the winger seemed to do everything right when he shot the ball past UAE goalkeeper Khalid Eisha. However, the ball agonizingly ricocheted off the post and probably ended any hope India had of making a comeback.”It really hurts when chances like those don’t go in. But it hurts more when the team loses. Whether I score it or not, the result matters. And after playing such a good game, if your team lose, obviously it pains,” the 22-year-old winger told Mail Today from Dubai.But while many are calling it bad luck given the commanding performance the Stephen Constantine and side gave yet again, one can’t ignore the impotency the Indian forwards have often shown in front of the goals barring star forward Sunil Chhetri.To quantify things, India had 9 shot attempts (three on target), while UAE made all their shot on target count.The scoring ability of the Indian forward line was in question before the side left for the Asia Cup. The team heavily relies on Chhetri when it comes to finding the net while other Indian strikers in Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumit Passi and Balwant Singh have had dismal strike rate this season.advertisementHowever, Udanta refrains from that line of thinking and feels the goal scoring problem can be taken care of in days to come.”We have created so many opportunities yesterday (Thursday). So tagging us wasteful is probably not the right thing. We scored four goals in the Thailand match but paid a heavy price for not taking our chances in this (UAE) match. We have plans for that and we have already started working on them,” said the Bengaluru FC player.On a positive note, the team certainly deserves some credit for their bold performance in the Asia Cup so far. While many were skeptic about team’s chances against UAE, Chhetri and boys fought an even battle against a higher-ranked opponent.But areas of concern popped up when India’s reliable centre-back pairing of Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika were founding wanting in dealing with the pace of UAE forwards in both the goals.Udanta, who was seen putting in an extra shift to help right-back Pritam Kotal in defence in the last match, defended the backline despite the glaring mistakes on the night.”They (defenders) always play their heart out and they have done the same yesterday. Sandesh-bhai, Anas-bhai, Pritam, Subhasish, and others have risen the bar so high that we always expect more from them. Although we conceded two, they cut the attackers off so many times,” he explained.Despite the loss, India can feel positive about their chances to progress to the next round as beating Bahrain, who are yet to win a match in the competition, will give them safe passage to knockout stages. However, they can’t take things for granted, especially not with such shoddy finishing and inconsistent defending.Also Read | Stephen Constantine hits back at critics after India go down fighting vs UAEAlso Read | AFC trolls Indian fan wearing Argentina jersey in Asian Cup match against UAEAlso Reada | India lose Group A top spot after 0-2 defeat to UAEGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Udanta SinghFollow IndiaFollow UAEFollow AFC Asian Cup 2019Follow Sunil ChhetriFollow Indian national football teamlast_img read more


first_img Should Bars Be Kid and Dog-Friendly? We Asked the Experts The Absolute Worst Movies to Watch with a Date Editors’ Recommendations 14 Best Outdoor Stores in the United States Robot bartenders, as weird as it may seem, are nothing new. As technology advances (seemingly at a pace with humanity’s consumption of all things distilled), more companies are producing products capable of taking the role of your friendly neighborhood bartender — if your bartender didn’t have eyes, or a heart, or the knowledge that whenever you walk into a bar, he should queue up “Let it Rock” by Kevin Rudolf and featuring Lil Wayne (though this last one could easily be programmed).These same robot bartenders, though, have primarily been the domain of bars and restaurants (such as this bar in Vegas), as products like Makr Shakr are meant for a much larger scale than the creation of beverages for personal consumption. However, a new product may be changing the game by that technology into the home for right around $1,000.Barsys is a tabletop robot bartender that is controlled by an IOS- and Android-friendly mobile app. After selecting a cocktail from the 2,000 recipes that come pre-programmed or a drink that you’ve programmed yourself, you slide a glass underneath the pour spouts (there are five in total, so don’t expect Barsys to whip out some extravagant 12-ingredient cocktail) and let Barsys do its thing. As long as you tell Barsys what spirits you’ve put in the top spots, it will do the rest.center_img Rum 101: An Introduction to the Different Types of Rum and How They’re Made In creating Barsys, founder and CEO Akshet Tewari said he wasn’t trying to replace real bartenders, but to offer a crowd-pleasing experience — whether through showmanship or by exposing people to new cocktails — for those throwing parties at home. In addition, it alleviates some pressure from the host when it comes to making sure everyone has a drink in hand; the app that controls Barsys is free to download, so guests can easily program in their own drinks whenever they please.“Most people don’t realize that when mixing cocktails — like baking — it’s extremely important to have the proportion just right. Now anyone can make delicious cocktails right in their homes,” Tewari says.Aa B2B version will also be available for purchase or lease by bars, hotels, or other establishments that may be interested in reducing liquor waste and tracking drink popularity while allowing bartenders to focus on more complicated drinks. As an added benefit, the B2B Barsys system will be able to sync with point of sale (POS) systems, making the entire process easier.The product is now available for pre-order and will ship in September 2018. If you are interested in purchasing a Barsys robot bartender (or you want to gift us one), you can visit the website. 6 Cocktail Trends You Need to Watch, According to Tales of the Cocktail Expertslast_img read more


first_imgzoom The future of the Australian multi-billion dollar naval shipbuilding industry will be a hot topic on today’s agenda of the Australian Senate in Canberra. Namely, the Senate will hold an urgent hearing today on the Government’s decision to prevent Australian ship builders from bidding to build two navy supply ships, favouring either Spain or South Korea.The decision behind handing out the $1.5 billion project to foreign parties stems from a conclusion that it would be cheaper to get the ships overseas, putting an ominous cloud over the local shipbuilding jobs.Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, said thousands of jobs might be lost due to the gap between existing projects and future projects that would not commence for a number of years.“Building the supply ships in Australia could have bridged that gap. Instead there could be a wholesale collapse of naval shipbuilding in Australia, and the de-skilling of an entire industry,” Senator Xenophon said.The inquiry comes in the wake of a last week’s release of a Senate Committee report into Commonwealth Procurement practices, which severely criticized procurement rules effectively “excluding local industry in favour of cheaper imports, some of questionable quality.”World Maritime News Staff, July 21st, 2014last_img read more


first_imgRabat – The Moroccan government has ratified a law allowing the building of two hospitals funded by the United Arab Emirates in Casablanca and Rabat.The Moroccan government has approved a law pertaining to two projects funded by UAE to build the Shaikh Zayed Hospital in Rabat and the Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital in Casablanca.Mustafa Al Khalfi, Minister of Communications and spokesperson for the Moroccan government, said during a governmental meeting: “the two projects are aimed at enhancing the healthcare services and medical education in Morocco, as well as providing free treatment to the poor.” Mustapha Al Khalfi added that the two projects aim at the development of higher education and scientific research in the field of health sciences. The two hospitals will establish higher education institutions and vocational training centers in order to encourage researches in the medical sphere.According to the Emirate News Agency, UAE President Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has offered “a grant of $100 million (MAD 367 million) in order to build the Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital in Casablanca.”last_img read more


BIARRITZ, France — G-7 leaders are wrapping up a summit dominated by tensions over U.S. trade policies and a surprise visit by Iran’s top diplomat.U.S. President Donald Trump and summit host French President Emmanuel Macron will finish off the three-day summit with a joint news conference Monday.But first the leaders of the Group of Seven rich democracies — the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy — are holding a string of meetings on climate change, how digitalization is transforming the world and other issues.The troubled world economy is overshadowing the meetings in the French Atlantic resort of Biarritz.Macron also took a big gamble by inviting the Iranian foreign minister to Biarritz, hoping to secure a breakthrough in global tensions over Iran’s nuclear program.The Associated Press read more


OTTAWA — Canada’s merchandise trade deficit more than doubled in November as exports fell led by a drop in crude oil prices.Statistics Canada said Tuesday that the country’s trade deficit increased to $2.1 billion in November compared with $851 million in October.Economists had expected a deficit of $1.95 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.“As expected, weaker domestic energy prices, culminating in production cuts, helped drive down crude oil exports in November,” TD Bank senior economist Fotios Raptis wrote in a report.Total exports fell 2.9 per cent to $48.3 billion in November, the fourth consecutive monthly decline, as exports were down in eight of 11 sections.Exports of energy products fell 9.2 per cent to $8.4 billion in November as crude oil exports fell 17.7 per cent due to a drop in prices. Excluding energy products, exports fell 1.4 per cent.Meanwhile, total imports fell 0.5 per cent to $50.4 billion in November as imports dropped in seven of 11 product sections.Imports of motor vehicles and parts fell 2.8 per cent to $8.9 billion, while imports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals fell 18.6 per cent to $1.1 billion.Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics, noted that non-energy export volumes fared poorly.Export volumes dropped 1.8 per cent in November while import volumes fell 0.3 per cent.“As things stand, net trade is on track to have made a neutral contribution to GDP growth in the final quarter,” Brown wrote in a report.“With global and U.S. economic survey indicators softening in recent months, non-energy export volume growth looks set to slow this year.”The trade data came ahead of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate announcement on Wednesday.The central bank is expected to keep its key interest rate on hold when it releases its decision and updates its outlook for the economy in its monetary policy report. read more


77% of members of SMMT – the voice of the UK motor industry – say remaining in Europe is best for their business, according to 2016 survey by independent pollster ComRes.Overwhelming support for EU membership across the board, with 88% of large SMMT member companies and 73% of SME members in favour of remaining.Majority of firms say Brexit would have a negative impact on their business.Industry leaders from across the sector back the UK in Europe at press event in London. Thursday 3 March, 2016 Three quarters of SMMT members say remaining in Europe is best for their business, according to the results of a new independent survey. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which represents the breadth of UK automotive businesses, from car and CV makers to parts suppliers and aftermarket companies, will set out its members’ position on EU membership at a press conference in London today. The sector supports 800,000 jobs across the UK and contributes £15.5 billion to the UK economy.77% of SMMT members surveyed said that if a referendum were held tomorrow, a ‘remain’ outcome would be best for their business, according to ComRes, who were commissioned to carry out the independent poll. It’s a sentiment shared by 88% of large automotive companies1 who are SMMT members and 73% of SME members, with small and medium-sized businesses making up around three quarters of respondents (72%). Only a minority (9%) say leaving would be best, less than the proportion who are uncertain (14% don’t know). Notably, no large companies surveyed said an exit would be in their business’ best interests.SMMT commissioned the poll, carried out over a five week period in January and February 2016, to get an up-to-date understanding of the views of its members about the importance of the EU so that this vital sector for the UK economy and jobs can speak with authority in the debate.Delving into the reasons why the EU is important to them, SMMT members are most likely to say that access to EU automotive markets has a positive impact on their business (66%). This is followed by a majority saying that access to a skilled workforce (55%) and the ability to influence industry standards and regulations (52%) also have a positive impact on their business. When asked to provide open-ended feedback, some of the key reasons given for staying in the EU included the importance of economic and market stability, securing the UK’s global competitiveness, and access to the single market’s free trade opportunities.2Looking ahead to the threat of a potential Brexit, 59% of SMMT members say it would have a negative impact on their business in the medium- to long-term, with a further one in five uncertain about the nature and extent of that impact (18% don’t know). When those foreseeing a negative impact were asked why, fears included becoming uncompetitive and losing business to EU rivals, while the risk of future investment being diverted to the continent also featured highly.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The message from UK Automotive is clear – being in Europe is vital for the future of this industry and to secure jobs, investment and growth. UK Automotive is thriving, with record car exports, new registrations and the highest manufacturing levels for a decade. Our industry supports 800,000 jobs across the UK and contributes more than £15 billion to the UK economy – our members have clearly stated that pulling out of Europe could jeopardise this.” At a press conference today in London, senior figures from a wide range of automotive companies reinforced this message.Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management, BMW AG, said, “As a major employer, exporter and investor, the BMW Group is committed to the UK which is home to two of our brands, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Our experience shows that the free movement of components, finished products and skilled workers within the EU is extremely beneficial to British-based business. We firmly believe Britain would be better off if it remained an active and influential member of the EU, shaping European regulations which will continue to impact the UK whatever the decision in June.”Nigel Stein, Chief Executive, GKN PLC, said, “As a leading UK listed Tier 1 supplier in the automotive industry, we serve the global car manufacturers invested in Europe. As such we see a real benefit in remaining in the EU. A vote to leave will not mean manufacturing investment disappears overnight, but over time a UK outside the EU will be disadvantaged and will lose the investment it needs to maintain our industries.”Dr Graham Cooley, Chief Executive, ITM Power PLC, an AIM listed SME specialising in energy storage and clean fuel, said, “The UK’s membership of the EU is fundamentally important for ITM Power; most of the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure projects in the UK are funded from Brussels and our largest export market is the EU. Developing policy to achieve a low-carbon energy and transport system lies at the heart of EU thinking; this is a pre-requisite for achieving large markets and strong supply chains for low-carbon technologies.”Gamil Magal, Group Chief Executive, Magal Engineering Limited, a medium-sized Tier 1 components supplier, said, “Full unhindered access to the European single market is essential for Magal Engineering’s UK operations. Our companies are based throughout the EU and the free movement of labour and materials across the continent is an essential part of our day-to-day operations and growth.”Tony Walker, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, said, “Our UK operations are fully integrated within our European business – exporting nearly 90 percent of all UK built vehicles. We are very satisfied with the performance our UK operations and are committed to our employees and investments. We also recognise that the UK’s future relationship with the European Union is a matter for the British people to decide. After considered review, we believe that continued membership of the European Union is best for our business and for our competitiveness in the longer term.”Rory Harvey, Managing Director and Chairman of Vauxhall, said, “The UK is the fourth largest global market for Vauxhall’s parent company GM and the largest EU market. We are part of a fully integrated European company where we benefit from the free movement of goods and people, and we believe not to be part of the EU would be undesirable for our business and the sector as a whole.”This is the second time SMMT members have been canvassed on this critical issue – and the second time the overwhelming majority have stated that staying in Europe is best for their business. Reform remains important: When asked to select the three reforms that would be most beneficial to their business, the top options included were better regulation and reduction of red tape, and a greater emphasis on free trade and access to global markets – in line with the EU reforms now secured by UK government.Tom Mludzinski, Director of Political Polling, ComRes, said, “This survey of SMMT members shows that the majority of these automotive industry companies see the European Union as having a positive impact on their business. It follows that a strong majority of members believe a Remain outcome would be the best result for their businessDownload the release in full as a Word document.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more


first_imgTHE DUN LAOGHAIRE RNLI are holding a ceremony on Christmas Eve to remember all those who have died at sea.The ceremony is a long standing tradition held by the crew at Dun Laoighaire to remember the 15 volunteers that died on Christmas Eve 1895.The event is open to the public and family members who have lost loved ones at sea are especially welcome.The ceremony will be held at the lighthouse end of Dun Laoghaire’s popular East Pier at midday.Many will be meeting at Dun Laoghaire lifeboat station and walking to the lighthouse.Those walking the pier should allow 20 minutes each way and about 20 minutes for the ceremony itself.On November 24 1895, 15 volunteer crew died when their lifeboat capsized in gale force winds while they were attempting to rescue those on board the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock.Relatives of the 1895 lifeboat crew are expected to walk the pier for the 20 minute ceremony.Both RNLI lifeboats stationed at Dun Laoghaire will launch and the crews will lay wreaths at sea.The ceremony will have music, an ecumenical blessing, a contemporary newspaper account of the 1985 tragedy and a piped lament.Warm summer saw RNLI lifeboats launched 571 times>Coastguard and RNLI help teen who became “very unwell” during angling trip>last_img read more


first_imgIn a sign that digital books may just be taking over those made of paper, Amazon has announced that for the first time the company has sold more Kindle books than traditional paperbacks.During an earning’s call Amazon said that for every 100 paperback books it sold on its website, 115 eBooks were sold to Kindle users. How many books that actually amounts to wasn’t revealed. But it’s likely quite a few, as Amazon also announced that the newest Kindle has become its best selling product of all time. The previous best seller was, oddly enough, a book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.Via Gizmodolast_img


first_imgOnline is a strange and terrifying place. It’s enabled us to connect with one another, advance the causes of science and culture, and unite the world with a glowing net of data. It’s also enabled people with very… particular interests to find each other. In this weekly series, we’ll be dipping into the Internet Gutter – the strange subcultures and weird worlds lurking in the dark pockets of the World Wide Web.PizzagateThe Internet is probably the best thing to ever happen to conspiracy theories. In olden times, if you believed something nutty you could only share it with the world through yelling on a street corner or putting up posters on lamp posts. In the modern era, believers can not only promulgate their ideas but also connect with people who share them, rolling up their craziness into a massive Katamari of misinformation and insanity.The greatest example of this sort of crowdsourced mania is a little thing called Pizzagate, which recently jumped off of the Internet and spurred a dummy into taking an assault rifle into a Washington, D.C. restaurant to shoot some computers. Thankfully nobody was hurt, but if this thing keeps rolling it’s only a matter of time.Clip on your tinfoil hat and grab your snorkel, because this might be our scariest dive yet into the Internet Gutter.Leaky LeaksIf you haven’t been paying attention, here’s a quick catch-up. In the summer of 2016, Clinton campaign manager John Podesta got a “password reset” in his email and didn’t look closely at it. It was a phishing expedition from an unknown cyber-criminal, and it wasn’t long until they had access to his entire email account, which they promptly handed over to WikiLeaks.The contents of those emails revealed that the Democratic party establishment was primarily composed of clueless, selfish, venal idiots. You know, like pretty much every politician ever. But for some people desperate to find actual evil, something more sinister lurked just below the surface.Reports of a dinner with performance artist Marina Abramovic was the first point of data. An email about a lost handkerchief with a “pizza-related map” was another. What tipped it over the breaking point was a list of “pedophile code” on 4chan that claimed various food-related words like “pizza” and “walnuts” were substituting for “girl” and “person of color.”Tying these threads together with so much virtual yarn produced “Pizzagate,” roughly summarized as the belief that high-level Democrats run a child slavery and human sacrifice ring out of the basement of a popular D.C. restaurant that doesn’t actually have a basement.Caught up? Let’s go.Absence Of EvidenceSo here’s what you typically need to prove child abuse: a child that has been abused. Pizzagate doesn’t have that, which is why law enforcement agencies aren’t investigating it. But for the true believers, that’s just part of the challenge. Without any actual evidence of a crime being committed, they have to be creative.The focus for Pizzagate quickly coalesced around Comet Ping Pong, a popular D.C. hangout. The owner of that restaurant, James Alefantis, is a gay man who used to be in a relationship with high-level Democratic operative David Brock.Comet Ping Pong not only serves solid pizza, but they also host ping pong tournaments and live music in a variety of genres. The Pizzagate investigative squad seized on the fact that their shows are “all ages” (i.e., not in a bar situation restricted to people 18 and over) and things got weirder from there.Naturally, the majority of this madness took place on Reddit, the fermenting bowl for most of the Internet’s worst ideas. In November, the site closed down the Pizzagate subreddit due to its pathologically high quantity of libel, so the believers migrated to Voat, the site that’s like Reddit but called Voat instead. They populate a bustling discussion forum dedicated to all things pizza and child sex related.How Deep Does This GoSo it wasn’t enough for these bold investigators to confine their activities to a single pizza place/child sex den. Like all good conspiracy theories, Pizzagate grew and grew. Other restaurants and businesses on the same block as Comet Ping Pong came under scrutiny. Posters started claiming that a system of underground tunnels connected them, knitting them together into a classic conspiracy diagram.Eventually, Pizzagate left the confines of Washington to go global. Roberta’s, a popular New York pizza restaurant in trendy Bushwick, became a focus after it was found that the Clintons once ate there. Other pizza places in Austin, Philadelphia and even Hawaii came under the Pizzagate eye as well. The only thing that united these restaurants, aside from pizza, is that sheltered Internet users thought they were “weird.” That was enough to get them to call in death threats and accusations of pedophile orgies.Too RealWith conservative news sites and Facebook posts whipping believers to a fever pitch, one brave soul decided to take action. Salisbury, North Carolina man Edgar Madison Welch had seen Pizzagate videos and set out to “self-investigate” Comet Ping Pong. Unfortunately, instead of using a magnifying glass or whatever, he brought an assault rifle.Walking into the restaurant during business hours, while a birthday party was being held in the back room, Welch walked into the kitchen and started looking for evidence of hidden tunnels or a murder room. Frustrated at not being able to find anything, he fired two shots into an office, hitting a computer. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, and police took him into custody.Within minutes, the Pizzagate community reacted. Did they decry Welch’s violent attack? Nope. Instead, they immediately accused him of being a “false flag,” an actor hired by the evil conspiracy to make them look nuts. Because they really need the help.Real-world manifestations of Pizzagate have continued. One believer decided to interrupt Christmas mass at a Philadelphia church by screaming about it. It’s attracted the best and brightest of the lunatic community under one umbrella.Extra CheeseThe thing about Pizzagate is that it’s attracted some remarkably high-profile supporters. A newscaster at an Atlanta TV station did a segment on it that was obviously heavily edited by lawyers to make sure it didn’t get them sued. Dallas Mavericks player Andrew Bogut tweeted about it, then went on the bench with a knee injury that some thought was caused by the shadowy conspiracy. Worst of all, Michael Flynn Jr, the son of Trump’s national security adviser, is a fervent believer – so dedicated to spreading the rumors that it got his security clearance revoked.The election of Donald Trump has many Pizzagate believers convinced that the end is right around the corner for this hive of pizza-loving pedophiles. Some claim that an ongoing Homeland Security investigation is about to snap the trap shut on these monsters. And we’re sure the comments section below is going to fill up with believers accusing your humble writer of being an enabler, or even a pedophile himself, for daring to suggest that Pizzagate is a load of crap. If there’s anything we’ve learned from this dive into the Internet Gutter, it’s that no one is without sin. Or pizza sauce.last_img read more


first_imgArsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that Rob Holding suffered a serious knee injury during the team’s draw with Manchester United.The Gunners played a 2-2 draw with United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night but Holding was stretchered off nine minutes from the interval after a coming together with Marcus Rashford.But Emery, who revealed the extent of Holding’s injury, had better news for Arsenal fans, when he said Aaron Ramsey didn’t suffer a similar fate.He said, according to Sky Sports:Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“It’s the worst news for us today. We are going to wait for the doctor but maybe it’s a big injury with his knee.”“Aaron Ramsey is a small injury but after these two injuries, every player responded with good commitment and good mentality to keep in the difficult moments our performance in the game.”Holding appeared in 16 games for Arsenal in all competitions this season with captain and first choice centre-back Laurent Koscielny still out with an injury.The Gunners continue their 20 games unbeaten following their draw at Old Trafford but slipped to fifth on the Premier League table.last_img read more


first_imgLAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. (WSVN) – If you know someone with an annual pass to Walt Disney World, it might be time to call on them for a favor.From now through Aug. 8, Walt Disney World is allowing gold, platinum, platinum plus or premier passholders to bring a friend for just $89.A one-day park hopper ticket for Florida residents typically start at $139 while tickets for non-Florida residents start at $169.Passholders can buy up to six tickets over the course of the promotion.The discounted passes can be purchased at any of the four parks and must be used the same day they are purchased.For more information, click here.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img


first_imgGeorges Méliès was one of the pioneering figures of film, who is often credited as the man who single-handedly invented special effects on film. Sadly, his amazing talent is relatively unknown today. Though Martin Scorcese did try with his movie Hugo. Having started his career as an illusionist and a magician, Méliès became intrigued by the newly-invented cinematograph made by the Lumière brothers early on and started utilizing his knowledge of illusionism to create vibrant new worlds and tickle the imagination of an entire generation of future filmmakers.The French pioneer of cinema authored some of the most recognizable classics of the silent era, at the very beginning of the 20th century. Among his most notable work is the iconic A Trip to the Moon, made in 1902, and The Impossible Voyage, which a loose adaptation of Jules Verne’s play, Journey Through the Impossible.Georges MélièsHowever, nowadays his work is largely neglected, as the historic difference is just too big for people to recognize the revolutionary influence these films had when they first appeared. His films are therefore mostly reserved for experts and other filmmakers, although their timeless charm definitely deserves attention from anyone who appreciates the seventh art.The iconic image of the Man in the MoonOn the other hand, his family has tirelessly and almost single-handedly been preserving his legacy for decades, keeping a vibrant memory of their ancestor and his work that shaped the future of film as an art form. Since Méliès’ grave in the famous Parisian Père Lachaise Cemetery has become a place of pilgrimage for cinema lovers, they are looking for ways to restore it to its exact look as it was in 1954 when his bust was added to the tomb, which was originally erected after his death in 1938.Père-Lachaise. Photo by Pierre-Yves Beaudouin CC BY-SA 3.0The year 1954 was also the last time the grave was renovated and since then both the bust and the tombstone had corroded into a grayish shade of green.Related Video: The iconic A Trip to the MoonParts of the tomb are visibly damaged, the stone itself has become porous, and the chain that once framed the parcel has been stolen years ago.Georges Meliès (cimetière du Père Lachaise)That is why his great-great-granddaughter, Pauline Duclaud-Lacoste, has announced a crowdfunding campaign in hopes of raising enough money to see the grave fully renovated. In an interview for The Vintage News, Pauline emphasized the significance of this project, as both his studio and the theater he once owned are today long gone, leaving the grave as his only physical monument.Photo Courtesy The Georges Melies ProjectPauline belongs to the fourth generation of the Méliès family that has been struggling with keeping his legacy alive, and despite the general lack of funds and support from government institutions in France, she and her family are determined to push on and, in her own words “try to implement his spirit into the 21st century.”To many of his fans he is known as a monumental figure in the world of film, but for Pauline, the relationship with her ancestor is much deeper and more personal. While she was born more than 45 years after his death, the spirit of her great-great-grandfather lives on in her family, as she grew up surrounded by his pictures, and the stories of his endeavors.Photo Courtesy The Georges Melies ProjectShe describes him as creative and open-minded, mischievous and always aware of his inner child. He also practiced magic tricks all his life, was an ardent reader and an athletic person, who was known to do push-ups well into his 60s.Above all, as Pauline says, he was a kind and good-hearted person, whose work still resonates among many people around the globe:“I’ve gone there for many, many times, just to say hello, or just to pick up some little gifts, or letters, or notes people left on his grave, and each time I meet some people ― film students, a magician from Argentina, Japanese tourists, or Parisian cinema lovers. It’s people who study cinema or not, it’s people who love magic or not, it’s all kind of profiles, of all ages, coming from around the world. I can see each time that they really love him and that they had come to pay their respect. To see that, for us, his family, is very moving.”If you wish to take part and donate, you can find further information on this website.Photo Courtesy The Georges Melies Project.The family has started the restoration project completely on their own, without the help of any international cinema foundation, or government institutions like the French Ministry of Culture which they find “useless”.Read another story from us: The Enduring Mystery of Alexander the Great’s Final Resting PlaceTherefore, they are resorting to crowdfunding in hopes of reaching out to Georges Méliès’ fans both in France and abroad.last_img read more