Commission Introduces New Investor Alert Database

first_imgThe Nova Scotia Securities Commission is making it easier for investors to find out if those latest and greatest investment opportunities are potentially scams. The commission has a new Investor Alert Database on its website. Investor alerts are published by the commission to warn of unlawful investment raising schemes that the commission learns are being directed at Nova Scotians. To make it easier for Nova Scotians to learn of investor alerts, the commission’s new Investor Alert Database lists all companies, individuals and websites for which the commission has issued investor alerts since 2014. “The commission’s leading mandate is to protect investors,” said Heidi Schedler, senior enforcement counsel with the commission. “Issuing investor alerts is a quick and effective way to protect investors by letting Nova Scotians know of schemes targeted at them by fraudsters and scam artists.” The database is at https://nssc.novascotia.ca/investor-alert-database. The commission is reminding investors to be cautious when approached or contacted by anyone, or when clicking on online ads offering new investment opportunities. In the last month the commission has issued three investor alerts, warning of companies that are approaching people or advertising without being registered to do so. The commission is also reminding investors of recent advisories issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators regarding cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and investing in the cannabis industry. The investing landscape is ever-changing, especially recently with many new investment opportunities arising, such as cryptocurrencies and the cannabis industry. The commission and the Canadian Securities Administrators have recently issued cautions to investors to be careful and do their due diligence when investing in the next big thing. The increasing popularity and exposure of these opportunities has led to them becoming a popular avenue for fraudsters and scam artists. “Whenever a new investment gains media exposure you can be sure fraudsters and scam artists are not far behind,” said Ms. Schedler. “We have seen this with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, BitCoin as well as binary options, gold options and Forex. Investors should exercise extreme caution with these fad type of offers, especially when the parties offering the investments are outside of Canada or are requesting money by wire transfers or by credit cards. Once your funds are transferred, it is near impossible to get your money back. “An investor’s most effective first line of defence is themselves. We regularly remind investors to check registration and to check the disciplined persons list. This new database adds another tool for investors to use when making informed investment decisions. Taking the time to make informed decisions is key to your investing success.”last_img read more

Man accused of killing Cree woman suffering from demonic possession in days

first_img(Jennifer Stewart, 36, in an undated photo.)Kenneth Jackson APTN National NewsEvery day they sit in the same spot just a few strides from the man accused of killing their loved one confined to the prisoner’s box at the Ottawa courthouse standing trial for first-degree murder.The victim’s family can be seen earnestly following the motions as the jury trial moves along.They’ve heard how she fought to save herself from an axe-wielding attacker with her wrists nearly severed maybe as she tried to stop the blows in the pitch black night of Aug. 20, 2010.Jennifer Stewart was a 36-year-old Cree mother who died on a gravel parking lot in the inner-city community of Vanier in the city’s east end.Those that loved her called her Jenny.She is on the long list of murdered Indigenous women over the last 30 years in Canada – nearly 1,200 names join her.And like some on that list, she was caught in the wide swath of addictions.At the time of her death she weighed 80 pounds.Stewart’s murder went unsolved for more than two years with no suspects. It was a case that was unlikely to be solved unless someone came forward.Then on Feb. 25, 2013, someone did.It was a young man already locked up in the local jail in Ottawa – Adrian Daou, now 24.Suicidal and under 24-hour watch in segregation, Daou told a jail guard he wanted to confess to a murder.That jailer called police who came the next day to get his confession on tape.The Crown has presented its case. They allege Daou killed Stewart because he was angry at his life and thought maybe if he did something crazy, like murder someone, he’d become a famous rapper.But there are issues with the case. For one there is no murder weapon. The axe he allegedly used was thrown away. First, Daou said he discarded it, then he said his dad did it.The Ottawa police lead detective has testified he only left a voicemail with the dad to confirm whether the potential murder weapon was indeed gone and did nothing more to follow up.Daou’s confession is riddled with incorrect information about the murder. He allegedly said Stewart never put up a fight to save herself – something a pathologist testified she did in vain.He also said when he lured her to the parking lot at 120 Alice St. he surprised her, hitting her in the chest and back, but according to the autopsy, she had no wounds there. There were 28 wounds in total – the five to her head is what killed her. There were wounds on a leg, thigh and her pelvis. The pathologist testified there was a struggle as Stewart had a fractured arm from being grabbed and “twisted.”Daou told police Stewart kept her hands to her side almost as though she wanted to die.Police were able to track down a receipt from the Canadian Tire store Daou said he bought the axe, along with a painter’s mask and goggles. But there is no video of him purchasing the items and the cashier who sold them wasn’t called to the stand. Not to mention, the receipt is dated weeks before he said he bought it.Daou also confessed to another murder, the name of the victim is under a publication ban, but police quickly discounted that confession because they had already arrested another man for that crime.There are also questions about why Daou confessed. When he met with two Ottawa police detectives, he told them he needed to get out of the jail where they had him locked in segregation under suicide watch. He told them he wanted out and was willing to confess to a murder if they’d take him straight to a federal prison.Throughout the Crown’s case the jury has heard him speak of hearing voices, and being mentally ill.But on Wednesday, when the Daou’s defence team, funded by Legal Aid, took its turn to present its case, they told the jury they would have to consider if Daou is criminally responsible based on his mental state at the time. It was the first time the jury had heard this.It was also the first time they heard that Daou, just days prior to allegedly confessing, had tried to get jail doctors to free him – even if that meant a trip to the hospital.“He wanted me to use my influence to get him out of jail,” testified Dr. Shirley Brathwaite, a psychiatrist who attends to prisoners in the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre where Daou was being held.Brathwaite said Daou was threatening to cut his finger and bite his arm. She found it inappropriate that he was laughing throughout the short encounter on Feb. 22, just a few days before his alleged confession to police.Brathwaite was asked to see Daou by Dr. Ian Shields, the jail psychologist, who also testified he met with Daou Feb. 20 in his office for an assessment.He noticed something was off about Daou and asked him if he was hearing voices, which Daou denied.But Daou did say he was possessed by demons and talked about cutting one of this fingers to free himself that the evil spirit.“By cutting off one of his fingers he wouldn’t be possessed anymore,” said Shields, describing Daou’s logic at the time.Shields would continue to meet with Daou, including several times after his alleged confession. In those meetings he described to the court that Daou appeared calmer and starring off into space.The trial continues Monday when the defence calls its last remaining scheduled witness – the expert to testify to his mental state.kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

Postal service an invaluable contributor to economic development – UN

7 October 2011In an era of rapid technological advancements, the post remains a vital communication element that links people and businesses and contributes to their economic development worldwide, the United Nations global postal agency says. “The post is an invaluable service that continues to ensure a vital communication link between people and businesses worldwide,” said the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) Director-General Edouard Dayan, commemorating World Post Day, which falls on Sunday this year.Mr. Dayan asked people everywhere to “remember the fundamental values of the post and the numerous public services it offers to people everywhere, which contribute to the economic development of countries.”The post remains the largest physical delivery network in the world, processing around 400 billion letters and 6 billion parcels each year. It is estimated that more than 80 per cent of these come from businesses associations and government administrations, making it an important resource for economic development.Mr. Dayan said that in particular, the number of parcels being processed continues to increase due to the growing popularity of e-commerce.He also stressed that the post’s services go beyond sending letters and parcels as postal financial institutions hold more than one billion of the estimated five billion current and savings accounts in the retail banking market worldwide.“These institutions offer savings and loans products to many people who cannot easily access banking services or have low incomes,” he said.As part of the celebrations this year, the UPU organized an international letter-writing competition, inviting young people to imagine themselves as a tree and write a letter to someone explaining why it is important to protect forests.This year, the prize went to Charlée Gittens from Barbados and China’s Wang Sa from China, who will receive their gold medals and prizes during ceremonies being held in their respective countries. read more

UN calls for immediate resumption of direct IsraelPalestinian talks

Today’s discussions are a follow-up to similar meetings held last month, at which both sides agreed to come forward with comprehensive proposals on territory and security within three months.The series of meetings are part of a strategy launched in September by the so-called Quartet – comprising the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States – to bring the two sides together again following the breakdown in bilateral talks last year.The Quartet envoys “continued to encourage the parties to resume direct bilateral negotiations without delay or preconditions,” according to information released by the UN.They also discussed with the parties their development of proposals on territory and security, called on them to create a conducive environment for restarting talks and urged them to refrain from provocative actions. The envoys intend to have a follow-up meeting in December.Peace talks have been stalled since late September 2010 following Israel’s refusal to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.That decision prompted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus. 14 November 2011The United Nations and its diplomatic partners in the search for Middle East peace today called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume direct talks without delay or preconditions, following separate meetings with officials from both sides in Jerusalem. read more

Stay order preventing the arrest of Gotabaya extended

The FCID was looking to arrest Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the use of public funds for the construction of the D.A.Rajapaksa museum when he was the Secretary of Defence.Gotabaya Rajapaksa had filed a petition in court against the move to arrest him. (Colombo Gazette) A stay order issued by the Court of Appeal preventing the arrest of former Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has been extended till January 25, 2018.The stay order was earlier issued to the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID), effective till today, against arresting Rajapaksa over the alleged misappropriation of public funds.

Côte dIvoire UN agency concerned about people displaced by clashes

As fighting rages on in Côte d’Ivoire, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today voiced concern about the continuing displacement of both Ivorians and foreigners throughout the country and in the administrative capital of Abidjan.“Obviously, our concern is that any large-scale displacement could spill over into neighbouring States and cause further instability in an already troubled region,” UNHCR spokesperson Millicent Mutuli said at a press briefing in Geneva.Over the weekend a UN inter-agency assessment mission found that the humanitarian situation in the northern part of the country seemed to be deteriorating by the day. The city of Bouaké appeared to be a ghost town, and thousands of people were reported fleeing the war-affected zones daily, with a clear increase over the weekend.The displaced persons were heading towards Brobo, M’bahiakro, Skassou, Didievi and the capital, Yamoussoukro, UN officials reported, adding that those fleeing urgently needed water, food and medication.Many people reported having walked as much as 50 kilometres, sometimes through the bush, while transport prices have soared around Bouaké. Catholic missions in and near the various villages on the way to and in Yamoussoukro have been assisting the displaced with food and temporary housing. After a few days of rest, most of the displaced continue on toward urban areas in Côte d’Ivoire, where they may have relatives. Many mentioned Abidjan as the final destination.A spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said that the agency is continuing to fly in emergency food aid, especially high-energy biscuits, for persons displaced by the fighting. WFP is also stockpiling food aid in Burkina Faso and Ghana in preparation for a possible influx of Ivorians to those two neighbouring countries.Meanwhile, an emergency regional meeting is expected to take place in Accra, Ghana, at the end of this week to bring together UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, donor countries and the Red Cross, to study a common plan of action for Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ghana, Mali and Liberia. read more

Alesha MacPhail murderer Aaron Campbell has sentence cut by three years

She said others will determine whether Campbell will ever be freed, but “a lot of work” will have to be done to change him and “it may even be impossible.” The appeal hearing had heard from psychologist Dr Gary Macpherson, who doubted whether Campbell has the capacity or desire to change his behaviour in any meaningful way and as such the risks will remain for the foreseeable future.”However, Lady Dorrian said factors that had “adversely impacted” on his character, such as a “dysfunctional” home life and parenting problems, “may not entirely dictate development of his character in future.”She added: “The likelihood for change in the appellant may indeed be limited but on the basis of the expert material we do no think possible entirely to rule out any residual capacity for change in such an individual notwithstanding the atrocious nature of his crime.” A school picture of Alesha MacPhail Credit:Getty Images Europe The teenager who abducted, raped and murdered Alesha MacPhail has succeeded in having his minimum prison sentence reduced by three years.Three judges at the Criminal Appeal Court in Edinburgh ruled that Aaron Campbell should serve a minimum of 24 years before being considered for release, instead of the 27 years imposed by his trial judge. Lady Dorrian, Lord Menzies and Lord Drummond Young ruled the original sentence was “excessive” given Campbell was only 16 when he committed the horrific crime.  In a written judgement, Lady Dorrian, the Lord Justice Clerk, raised the prospect that he may be rehabilitated but noted there was no guarantee he would be freed after 24 years or ever. After hearing news of the ruling, Alesha’s uncle, Calum-John MacPhail, posted on social media that he would speak to Scottish Justice Minister Humza Yousaf about the decision.Liam Kerr, the Scottish Tories’ Shadow Justice Minister, attacked the “disgraceful” ruling, saying: “Yet again, Scotland’s justice system has come down favourably on the side of the criminal, and it will cause massive upset to the victim’s family.” Campbell, now 17, impassively followed proceedings in the court last month via a live TV link with Polmont young offenders’ institution, in Stirlingshire, where he will still serve the longest term of detention to be imposed on a juvenile offender in Scotland. He raped and murdered the schoolgirl before abandoning her body in nearby woodland, where she was found later the same morning.Campbell denied murdering Alesha throughout a nine-day trial but confessed while background reports were being prepared ahead of his sentencing by Lord Matthews at the High Court in Glasgow in March.The judge described him as a “calculating and remorseless” individual who had shown a “staggering” lack of remorse. Campbell told a psychologist that he was “quite satisfied” with the murder, and claimed he found it difficult to avoid laughing during his trial.The appeal court judges cut his minimum sentence after comparing a number of cases where the offender had been a young person or when the crime was of a violent nature.In her written judgement, Lady Dorrian said: “Against the cases to which we have made reference, a punishment part in excess of 20 years was plainly merited.”We have concluded that a punishment part of 24 years would be appropriate to reflect the appellant’s youth. We will accordingly allow the appeal to the extent of substituting that period for the sentence imposed.” My statement on the news that Alesha MacPhail’s murderer has had his minimum sentence reduced.Let’s be clear that the judiciary are bound to apply the law as it stands – it is up to Parliament and Government to toughen sentences and I am clear we should. https://t.co/ggZSMeQQe6 pic.twitter.com/jRGobpHvBJ— Liam Kerr MSP (@liamkerrMSP) September 10, 2019 The teenager snatched Alesha from her bed as she slept at her grandparents’ home on Rothesay in July last year, telling the drowsy child that he was a friend of her father, who was also asleep in the flat. A school picture of Alesha MacPhail  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Legion Might Be a Superhero Soon but for Now Its Something Special

first_imgStay on target At the end of last week’s premiere of Legion, the show began to look a lot like a superhero series. An hour and a half of surreal, disorienting storytelling gave way to a well-directed superpowered action scene. It was a welcome change of pace for the episode, and it gave us a clearer picture of what was going on. Syd freed David from the bad guys and delivered him to people who could help. The question was, what did that mean for the episodes to come? Would the rest of the series be as strange and visually complex as the pilot? Or would it be more superpowered action? After last night, we seem to have an answer.The second episode of Legion gave us an idea of what to expect from the rest of the season. It introduced more mutants, becoming closer to what you might expect from an X-Men TV show. It also gave David a goal in the form of someone to save. Despite those more conventional plot elements, Legion remained anything but a conventional superhero TV show. The frenetic pace, non-linear storytelling, and overwhelming visual and sound design returned in full force this week.David Haller is not a normal superhero, not even for an X-Men character. He’s lived with mental illness all his life. He’s overwhelmed easily. He sees and hears things he can’t be sure are really there. He may remember things out of order. The sound and visual design of the show does a great job of communicating how David sees the world. Even if the show makes some of the usual missteps when depicting mental illness, Legion attempts to make us understand how David experiences things. Depending on how they handle it from here, that could represent an important step forward.Jeremie Harris as Ptonomy Wallace, Rachel Keller as Syd Barrett, Jean Smart as Melanie Bird, Dan Stevens as David Haller. (Photo: FX)This week’s episode was all about memory. David is now at a school for mutants with abilities like his. It’s not Professor Xavier’s school, but it’s not too far off. He has trouble at first, being off his meds for the first time in a long time. The voices he hears are worse than they’ve ever been. Dr. Byrd introduces the idea that he can focus on one voice calling his name, and turn the rest down. He’s surprised to find that he actually can, leading Dr. Byrd to suggest that he may be telepathic. The voices he hears are other people’s thoughts. She tells him to get some rest. He has memory work the next day.Memory work, we learn, is where they dive into someone’s memories to learn what triggers their abilities. Once they know that, they can start learning to control them. To that end, we’re introduced to Ptonomy, a memory artist. Ptonomy takes David back to his childhood, which looks fine at first. He and his family live out in the country. His father, whose face is not shown (Professor Xavier possibly?), is an astronomer, often waking David up to look at the stars. The memory takes a disturbing turn when his dad starts reading a bedtime story called “The World’s Angriest Boy in the World.” The rhyming story starts out well enough but soon becomes a dark tale of a boy decapitating his mother.They also explore David’s memories of therapy, which is full of strange time skips. It’s unclear to Ptonomy whether he’s hiding something or if that’s how his memories are. Everyone at the school keeps telling David that he doesn’t have a mental illness, just telepathic and telekinetic abilities. This may be our first hint that he might have both. Lenny makes an appearance in his memories, which is great because Aubrey Plaza’s take on the character is fun and just a little bit unsettling. Through her scenes, we see David’s history of recreational drug use. She steals an oven and trades it with a dealer under a bridge for a drug called vapor. When David and Lenny get high together, he doesn’t react well. He sees her as the yellow-eyed demon and panics. Later, he insists he didn’t see anything.Aubrey Plaza as Lenny “Cornflakes” Busker. (Photo: FX)That’s not the only time the mysterious demon shows up. The memory work continues while David receives an MRI. He begins to focus on a memory but instead sees something happening at that very moment. His sister Amy visited Clockworks to see him, only to find that they have no records of David or his doctor ever being admitted. When the nurse says she’d like to keep her for observation, Amy tries to leave only to be captured by Division Three, the shadowy organization David was rescued from last week. They’ve been looking for David and will use his sister to get to him.Back in his body in the MRI, David sees the yellow-eyed demon and screams. Suddenly, he’s on the floor. The machine is gone, having been teleported outside the building. David makes up his mind to leave and rescue his sister, but Syd stops him. She convinces him to stay and train before running off to save his sister. She assures him Amy will be kept alive. After all, she’s bait. This is the closest Legion comes to looking like a superhero show.The relationship between Syd and David was another highlight of this episode. Now that they’re both in a safe and supportive place, we see that they actually do care for each other. Rachel Keller and Dan Stevens have a natural chemistry on screen, which makes the characters’ relationship feel real. There are still things he doesn’t want to talk about. She relates her side of what happened when they switched bodies. She suddenly felt as though everyone was screaming at her. In the crowd, she caught a glimpse of the yellow-eyed demon. David still doesn’t want to talk about that, but he forgives her for accidentally killing Lenny. There’s a genuine connection here. Syd is now the only person who knows even a little bit what David’s everyday life is like. He’s never had someone like that before.Dan Stevens as David Haller, Rachel Keller as Syd Barrett. (Photo: FX)While Chapter Two wasn’t the visual assault on the senses that the pilot was, it did give us a better idea of what this show is going to be. It’s still way more ambitious than any other superhero show on TV, but there are still familiar elements here. They ground us and prepare us for the more surreal, abstract parts of the show. The second episode showed us that Legion doesn’t need superhero action to tell a good story. The characters are complex and fascinating enough to carry the series themselves. That said, it was a good choice to give David a goal at the end of the episode. The damsel in distress may be a worn superhero trope, but it does raise the stakes and give David a reason to explore his abilities. Besides, with the way the show has done things so far, whose to say they won’t do something completely unexpected with the damsel plot?Miss last night’s episode, stream it here from Amazon. Don’t Hold Your Breath For Noah Hawley’s ‘Doctor Doom&…How ‘Legion’ Uses Superpowers to Explore Mental Illness last_img read more

11 WeirdPreHistoric Creatures Id Rather See in Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

first_imgStay on target Well, there you have it! That’s a pretty insane list of prehistoric critters. From giant and peaceful sloths and giant apes to the killer raptors and camouflaging carnivores. Let us know in the comments below what dinos you’d stack above the rest.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. TITANOBOALike a creature straight out of a Ray Harryhausen film, Titanoboa were forty-eight feet long and weighed over a ton. These gigantic reptiles were easily the largest prehistoric snake ever recorded. These creatures did not use deadly venom to attack their prey, but would constrict the daylights out of them. They could crush up to four-hundred pounds per square inch leaving its enemies entrails on the outside to ingest. Basically the equivalent of being squished by three Eiffel towers. This would fit into an all hell breaks loose moment in Fallen Kingdom, showing off something else most moviegoers fear other than dinosaurs, ‘efing snakes!via commons.wikimedia.org (Bogdanov)PLIOSAURUSWhile the inclusion of the Mosasaurus was a welcomed one in Jurassic World, it would be the Pliosaurus that would really drop some jaws in Fallen Kingdom. These guys were about fifteen meters long and weighed in at forty-five tons. This is the most powerful marine mammal ever discovered. Although underwater, these creatures hunted their prey by smell, channeling water through special internal nostrils. These guys were fast going up to five meters per second, faster than any prehistoric sea creatures. Maybe we could see a two or three Mosasaurus go up against one of the big fellows? I think that would be worth the ticket of admission. Lego Captures Classic Jurassic Park Moments In Huge New Set’Jurassic Park’ Animated Series Is Coming to Netflix in 2020 center_img HELICOPRIONWhat if Bruce the shark had a saw blade within its jaws? That is basically what a Helicoprion was. Eat was a meat eater who went after boneless meals like squids or sharks.  Even though I compared the sea creature to the shark in JAWS, this creature grew much larger. Twenty-five to thirty feet larger to be exact. A few of these swimming around would looking pretty menacing during the surf scene in Fallen Kingdom, but I think us humans are too bony for their liking. Maybe Dennis Nedry would do?via commons.wikimedia.org (Daderot)DEINOSUCHUSTake a hike Lake Placid! The Deinosuchus was the largest crocodile coming in at thirty-five feet and weighing in from five thousand to eleven thousand pounds. Any prehistoric creatures large or small taking a drink break or snacking on a meal by the waterhole would pay the ultimate price if one of these were around. These would be a great contender for the second installment in the Jurassic World series.    The Jurassic Park films have given us a slew of prehistoric creatures for the last 25 years on the silver screen that have absolutely stunned audiences. From very close depictions of what we believe the Tyrannosaurus-Rex looked like thanks to creature and effects master Stan Winston, to over the top fabrications of dinos like the Dilophosaurus (I wish he had a colorful fan and spat acid too.) With Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hitting theaters this past Friday, I thought it would be fun to list some prehistoric Dinos and creatures that the series has abandoned and would never dream of playing with their Dino-DNA.via commons.wikimedia.org (Fred Wierum)CARNOTAURUSNow before many hardcore Jurassic Park fans jump down my throat. Yes, I understand the Carnotaurus were depicted in Michael Crichton’s The Lost World novel along with being portrayed in a few JP video games and even possibly in the background of the volcano eruption scene in Fallen Kingdom. But fans have wanted these devil dinos to get a real meaty roll in the series for quite a while now. Carnotaurus were primarily night hunters who had the ability to cloak themselves. This lends itself perfectly to a ton of new scenarios, and many fans would be pleased by its inclusion.via commons.wikimedia.org (Robert Bruce Horsfall)MEGATHERIUM (AKA: The Ground Sloth)While not too intimidating currently due to the pop culture phenomenon of sloths, their Carnotaurus ancestor was a force to be reckoned with. Thousands of years ago during the earth’s last ice age, the giant sloth trudged through north and south America. It was the size of an African elephant who was known to be primarily gentle, but could do major damage with its twelve-inch claws. The Megatherium could walk on all fours and even its hind legs which would reach about sixteen to eighteen feet high. Their skin was as tough as armor which helped them fend off attackers. Fallen Kingdom may have forgotten these lovable creatures, but I’d be happy to see a few dive into the water with Chris Pratt.via commons.wikimedia.org (Jaime A. Headden)PELAGORNIS SANDERSIThis massive bird reached six foot long in size with a wingspan of up to twenty-four feet, which is almost the same wing size of a life-size x-wing. The Pelagornis hollow bones helped its large but lightweight body glide purposely towards the water to catch greater gusts of air for smooth sailing. This helped the creature capture prey by the sea. Its sizeable serrated beak helped tear through some of the largest prehistoric fish in the sea. A few of these would make for a fun finale wide shot alongside a hand full of Pterodactyls.via commons.wikimedia.org (Emily Willoughby)UTAH RAPTORThese warm-blooded guys were the largest Raptor to walk the earth. They measured up to twenty-five feet from head to tail while weighing in at one thousand to two thousand pounds! Velociraptors were only thirty pounds. A pack of these things could take out a brontosaurus quickly. These raptors also sported feathers and had a sharp claw that could gut any giant beast with ease. A few of these in the streets and buildings would fall like in a horrendous Dwayne Johnson film. via commons.wikimedia.org (Kaekart)GIGANTOPITHECUS BLACKIThis towering beast resided near South-East Asia nearly one hundred thousand years ago. All that has been discovered of these creatures are their teeth and jaw. It turns out that the Gigantopthecus actually splits off into three different species. The Bilaspurensis, Giganteus and the Blacki (Blacki being the largest of its kind.) These creatures were much too large to live in trees and were ground dwellers who ate fruits and large plants. Maybe Legendary Pictures has the whole large monkey vs. giant lizard thing tapped, but who knows what curve balls Fallen Kingdom shows off?via commons.wikimedia.org (Nobu Tamura)THERIZINOSAURUSThis is one I would actually really like to see appear in the Jurassic Park series. These creatures were the Freddy Kruger’s of Dinosaurs. These guys were over ten meters long and seven meters high while weighing up to five tons. They were located in the Mongolian desert and would use their one point five metered claws to pull down branches to access fruits and leaves just like the Megatherium. While not too terrifying fleeing from the island, Therizinosaurus could be terrifying at first glance at night for our fleeing heroes. via commons.wikimedia.org (Cas Liber)MEGALANIAAustralia was home to what was known as the “The Giant Butcher.” Megalania are part of the Komodo Dragon family and reached up to six meters long and weighed over half a ton. These beasts were meat eaters and ruled whatever was in its path. Seeing these things charge a beach alongside a ton of Compsognathus would be a blast to watch for some poor unsuspecting schmuck.  last_img read more

Washougal man appears in court for parking lot brandishings

first_imgA Washougal man is being held at the Clark County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail after he was accused of brandishing a gun at people in two different parking lots earlier this week.Johnathon Blake Fulmer, 24, made his first appearance Friday in Clark County Superior Court on allegations of first-degree robbery and first- and second-degree assault.The first incident occurred Tuesday at 2:14 a.m. at Chevron, 165 C St. in Washougal. Steven Riddle was getting gas when he was approached by a man, later identified as Fulmer, who made antagonistic remarks toward Riddle, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case.After he was done filling up his truck, Riddle saw the man expose a pistol tucked in his waistline before returning to his car and driving away erratically, the affidavit states.About 2 1/2 hours later, Vancouver police were called to 7-Eleven, 5600 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd.According to court documents, a man, later identified as Fulmer, pulled up in a vehicle and pointed a handgun at Jacob Lepley. The robber demanded that Lepley give him his cellphone, according to court documents.Montreal Massui, a store clerk, was in the parking lot, and the man pointed a gun at him, too, according to the affidavit. Massui stared running, and the man followed him in the vehicle until Massui ran back inside the store, court records state.last_img read more

Foreign Affairs Minister says Bahamas concerned about cuts to US Coast Guard

first_img Bahamas & TCI Meet, concerned on possible cut to US Coast Guard Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#fundingcutstoUSCoastGuard, #magneticmedianews, #OPBAT Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, March 13, 2017 – Nassau – The Bahamas is concerned about the decision by the new Trump Administration’s proposal cut in funding by $1.3 billion to the US Coast Guard.  “In the discussions with the Premier, there is a lot of concern in this country as there is in the Bahamas  about OPBAT and its future because there appears to be a draw back of resources in the United States.  And one of the things that happens, we find ourselves as countries in a kind of catch 22 with the U.S. accusing us of being conduits for drugs and illegal trafficking and smuggling and all the rest of it, but it’s really in their security interest, we are really paying the price for their security.”During his trip to the Turks and Caicos island this weekend, the Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister, Fred Mitchell told Magnetic Media that this matter was discussed as it is unclear how the announcement will impact OPBAT aka Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos which is a joint operation designed to control human, arms and illicit drug smuggling.Minister Mitchell said it is mainly a wait and see situation, but also advised that the Bahamas is not taking it lying down and has already made representation on how our smaller countries lack the capacity to cope with heavy smuggling operations; “We’re waiting to see who will become the Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, because that’s the person who will really be the key point person in the State Department to deal with policies with the Caribbean.  There is a meeting I think coming up on the 29th of March, which will have to do with this new Act that was passed by Congress for engagement in the Caribbean.”Minister Fred Mitchell said the US has to be made to understand that helping our countries ultimately means helping their own country in its interdiction and border control efforts.#MagneticMediaNews #fundingcutstoUSCoastGuard #OPBATlast_img read more

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 compact DSLR brings 4K video to its entry

first_img Yes Yes Mono; mic input Optical 820 shots (1,230 mAh) 3.2 in/8.2 cm Articulated touch screen 1.04m dots Best video Yes 24.2MP CMOS Sensor size Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 22.3 x 14.9mm Yes Body operating weight 1 – 20 EV Battery life (CIPA rating) Cameras Autofocus Yes Share your voice 0 Sensitivity range Yes H.264 MP4 4K UHD/24p, 1080/60p 3 in/7.5 cm Articulated touchscreen 1.04m dots Burst shooting Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.1, NFC Shutter speed 1 x SDXC 22.3 x 14.9mm 9-pt AF center cross-type (Dual Pixel AF in Live View only) $599.95 £579 AU$1,199 650 shots (VF); 260shots (LV) 4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in 122 x 93 x 70 mm Canon EOS Rebel SL2 EOS 200D Hot Shoe -0.5 to 18 EV Yes Focal-length multiplier No 29m59s Maximum best-quality recording time Yes No Primary kit 5fps 10 raw/ unlimited JPEG 29m59s 1/4,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/200 x-sync ISO 100 – ISO 25600/ISO 51200 (exp) 1.6x OLPF Optical 95% coverage 0.87x/0.54x 63-zone iFCL -0.5 to 18 EV 9-pt AF center cross-type (Dual Pixel AF in Live View only) Yes ISO 100 – ISO 25600/ISO 51200 (exp) Yes Memory slots H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p Canon EOS Rebel SL3 EOS 250D Wireless connection Mono; mic input 24.1MP Dual Pixel CMOS 1,630 shots (VF); 350 shots (LV) (1,040 mAh) -1 – 19 EV Yes $699.95 £679 AU$1,299 (with AF-P 18-55mm VR lens) 63-zone iFCL 4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in 122 x 93 x 70 mm 2,016-pixel 3D color matrix metering II $599.99 Optical 95% coverage 0.87x/0.54x Clean HDMI out 1 x SDXC Comparative specifications 5fps 100 JPEG/raw n/a Mfr. price (body only) Audio ISO 100 – ISO 25600 1.6x Yes Flash Metering Wireless flash Dual Sensing IS (Optical with gyro data sent to body) 1/4,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/200 sec x-sync January 2017 1 x SDXC 23.5 x 15.6 mm Optical 95% coverage 0.82x/0.55x Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.1 Yes 16 oz (est.) 453 g (est.) Viewfinder (mag/effective mag) 4.9 x 3.9 x 2.8 in 124 x 97 x 70 mm 20 minutes/29m59s AF sensitivity LCD Nikon D5600 H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p, 25p, 24p 16.8 oz 476 g Manual aperture and shutter in video 24.2MP Dual Pixel CMOS -1 to 19 EV No Tags Sensor effective resolution The only noticeable differences between the SL2 and SL3 are on the top: a simplified mode dial, no Wi-Fi button and some aesthetic changes to the buttons and switches. Canon Just in time for Mother’s Day gifting, Canon rolls out a refresh of its compact DSLR for newbies. The EOS Rebel SL3 follows the two-year-old SL2, aka the EOS 200D in the UK and Australia, bringing some of the perks bestowed by the latest version of Canon’s imaging processor, Digic 8. At the top of the list is 4K video, which makes its debut in the entry-level Canon DSLRs. The SL3 will ship by the end of April, at $600 for the body or $750 for the kit with the 18-55mm f4-5.6 IS STM lens. We don’t have pricing or availability for other regions, but the US prices directly convert to about £460/£575 and AU$840/AU$1,050. It still comes in black or silver variants. Given that it’s very much like its predecessor, the SL2 is looking like an attractive alternative to the new model. The comparable kit currently goes for $600 (£580, AU$900), and it will likely be one of Canon’s traditionally aggressive holiday sale offerings at the end of the year. In addition to 24p 4K video, the SL3 gains eye-detection autofocus, though only when you’re shooting via the back LCD, not the optical viewfinder. Since the sharpest spot in the photo of a person should be their eyes (unless you get artsy), eye AF improves the quality of portraits over simple face-detection AF.  The SL3 also offers a smooth-skin mode so your people photos can look like they were shot on a phone.  The AF system in Live View mode now covers a larger percentage of the frame. Unfortunately, when you use the optical viewfinder you’re stuck with the ancient, slow, please-kill-it-already 9-point phase-detection AF system. The body is pretty much the same as before. There are just a few design tweaks on the top: A simplified mode dial, no Wi-Fi button and some aesthetic changes to the buttons and switches. Canon did make it easier to connect to Wi-Fi and added automatic file transfers, so it’s possible we won’t miss the dedicated button. Yes Post a comment 15.8 oz (est.) 449 g (est.) Stereo, mic input IS £489.99 1.5x April 2019 1/4,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/200 x-sync $599.99 £579.99 AU$899 (with 18-55mm f4-5.6 IS STM lens) $749.99 (with 18-55mm f4-5.6 IS STM lens) Size (WHD) Canon July 2017 3 in/7.5 cm Articulated touchscreen 1.04m dots Optical 5fps 6 raw/ unlimited JPEG 1 – 20 EV 39-pt AF 9 cross- type Metering sensitivity Yes Release datelast_img read more

6hr gas supply suspension in Jurain

first_imgGas supply is set to remain suspended for six hours from 1:00pm to 7:00pm on Wednesday for domestic customers in Jurain area in the city, reports news agency UNB.A short message service (SMS) of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd, which is responsible for gas supply in Dhaka city, said the affected localities will include Khandkar road and graveyard road in Jurain area of the city.Manager (Public Relations) of Titas Md Wahiduzzaman said the supply will be suspended due to riser shifting and tie-in work of gas pipeline.last_img

IRMA UPDATE Hurricane Irma Predicted To Move Slightly West Thousands Still Evacuating

first_img Share ___Andrew was the worst hurricane to impact FL, turned some areas into dust,now this is how #Irma compares to. Scared! #IrmaHurricane2017 pic.twitter.com/lG7l5xMdYv— Intel Gator (@IntelGator) September 8, 20179:10 a.m.For an entire generation in South Florida, Hurricane Andrew was the definition of a monster storm.For the people who led victims through that devastating aftermath, Hurricane Irma is looking far worse by nearly every measure.Weather Channel senior hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross was a local television meteorologist hailed as a hero back then. He says Irma’s impact on Florida will be much greater — “an entirely different level of phenomenon.”Kate Hale grabbed attention as Miami-Dade’s emergency management chief by saying “where the hell is the cavalry” after Andrew laid waste to half the county. She says nobody could make up a worse scenario than Irma right now. Combined with flooding from Hurricane Harvey and wildfires out west, she says the effect on the nation’s economy is “potentially staggering.”___9 a.m. Source: CNN YoutubeWATCH on #Periscope: @FLGovScott holds #irmahurricane2017 news conference in Tampa https://t.co/isLibwFnOB— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) September 8, 201712:15 p.m.As we’re nearing the storm, here are all of the Hurricane Shelters in Broward County. rt to help someone on your TL pic.twitter.com/nWnBO8jWNb— fallon (@fallonita_) September 7, 2017Florida’s emergency management division says nearly 6,000 people are already huddling in shelters ahead of Hurricane Irma.Most of the evacuees are gathered in shelters in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, where catastrophic Category 4 winds are expected to hit this weekend.Hundreds of thousands of residents have fled in anticipation of Irma’s winds and storm surge, which have already killed at least 20 people in the Caribbean. Many roads leaving the state have been jammed with traffic.Gov. Rick Scott has directed all public schools, colleges and universities and state offices to close through Monday at least to make them available for shelter and staging of recovery efforts.12:10 p.m.Floridians fleeing Hurricane Irma have turned Atlanta’s freeways into a ribbon of red neon brake lights, with traffic in some spots barely moving.Thousands of the evacuees have been funneled to the city, since so many them are heading north on Interstate 75 straight to Atlanta.Some ended up at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which opened its vast camp grounds to anyone trying to escape Irma.It took 21 hours for Suzanne Pallot of Miami to reach Atlanta Thursday, in an SUV packed with four other people, their luggage and two cats.After a night at a relative’s house, she heard weather forecasts predicting tropical storm force winds for Atlanta on Monday. So the group decided Friday to keep moving, this time to Memphis, Tennessee.12:05 p.m.The Miami HeraldEvacuation order map from The Miami HeraldGeorgia’s governor is still urging nearly 540,000 residents of the state’s coast to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma, even as forecasts show the storm’s center could enter the state far inland after churning up the Florida peninsula.Gov. Nathan Deal told a news conference Friday he’s not expanding his evacuation order affecting Georgia’s six coastal counties.But Deal notes that Irma’s path remains unpredictable, and forecasts show it could enter Georgia anywhere from the Atlantic coast to the Alabama state line.The National Weather Service says Irma could still slam coastal Georgia with dangerous storm surge. And while the storm could arrive as a weakened tropical storm, some areas would still face heavy rains and an elevated risk of tornadoes.11:55 p.m.Meteorology director Jeff Masters at Weather Underground says Hurricane Irma isn’t likely now to regain enough strength to become a Category 5 storm again before it hits Florida. But even though Irma has steadily decreased from 185 mph (298 kph) to 150 mph (241 kph), it remains a dangerous Category 4 storm and will likely hit as one.That weakening comes at a cost. Now the hurricane-force wind field has expanded greatly, to about 110 miles wide. And that means higher storm surges in a wider area.11:40 a.m.JUST IN: Hurricane Jose is now a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph pic.twitter.com/rAPDjBNLH4— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 8, 2017Hurricane Jose has now become an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, threatening Caribbean islands already devastated by Hurricane Irma.Jose now has top sustained winds of 150 mph (240 kph) and as it moves toward the northern leeward islands at a speedy 18 mph.A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for St. Thomas and St. John.The government of Antigua has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the British Virgin IslandsThe government of France has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for St. Martin and St. Barts.The government of Sint Maarten has issued a Tropical Storm Warning as well.11:30 a.m.Tropical storm winds are likely to arrive in the FL Keys and south FL Saturday. Preparations should be rushed to completion. #Irma pic.twitter.com/eto2KVWtgP— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) September 8, 2017The latest storm discussion is out from National Hurricane Center reminding people in Florida that Hurricane Irma will likely hit land as a dangerous major hurricane is so immense that it will bring life-threatening wind impacts to much of the state regardless of exactly where its center moves.The storm surge also could be deadly across southern Florida and the Florida Keys during the next 36 hours. The threat of significant storm surge flooding along the southwest coast of Florida has now increased, with 6 to 12 feet of inundation above ground level possible in this area.Again, the hurricane center says this is a life-threatening situation, so everyone in these areas should take all actions to evacuate before rising water makes it impossible.11:10 a.m.Authorities on the Dutch territory of St. Maarten say it will take months before people can recover from Hurricane Irma. Prime Minister William Marlin told the Dutch military that the Caribbean island lost many, many homes; schools are destroyed; both government buildings are severely damaged; many people have lost their homes; hotels are so damaged that tourists won’t come; the electricity company lost its roof so generators aren’t working; nearly half the water tanks are gone; and all the gas stations are destroyed.He also confirms that people have been looting. He calls it “a psychological thing that happens anywhere in the world following a major disaster like this. People become kind of hopeless and there is no communication.”___update : # SeaWorld Orlando & Busch Gardens Tampa Bay R planning to close by 5 pm on Sat Sept. 9, & remain closed on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11 pic.twitter.com/RHLubPKxzL— Ilse Smits (@ilseorca) September 8, 201711 a.m.After days of saying they would continue with normal operations while monitoring Irma, Sea World and its properties on Friday announced closings for the weekend.Sea World and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will close down at 5 p.m. on Saturday, pending further updates on the storm. Both parks will remain closed Sunday and Monday. Aquatics Orlando will be closed Saturday through Monday. Discovery Cove will be closed Sunday and Monday. Disney World and Universal Orlando have not responded for requests on updated to their plans.As of Thursday both parks said they will continue with normal business hours but are monitoring the storm.10:45 a.m.The death toll from Hurricane Irma has increased to 20 with four more deaths reported in the British Virgin Islands. The other lives lost include nine on the French Caribbean islands of St. Martin and St. Barts, four in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and one each on the islands of Anguilla, Barbuda and the Dutch side of St. Martin.The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency gave no details about the latest confirmed deaths in the British territory of about 40 small islands, where Irma caused major damage late Wednesday, especially to the largest and most populated island of Tortola.The British government has been coordinating relief efforts to the cluster of islands near Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.The Caribbean disaster agency says the Tortola airport is operational but the tower has been “compromised.”10:10 a.m.Florida Gov. Rick Scott said traffic officials have decided against reversing the direction of southbound lanes because they still need to move gas and supplies south.A massive evacuation has clogged Florida’s major highways. Scott says most of the state will have hurricane impacts and “we are running out of time — the storm is almost here.” So what they are doing is opening up the shoulders to drivers on Interstate 75 from Wildwood, where the Florida turnpike ends, to the Georgia state line.In Georgia meanwhile, Gov. Nathan Deal just announced contraflow starting Saturday morning on Interstate 16 to ease the mandatory evacuation from Savannah and other coastal communities.9:45 a.m.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has told Florida’s governor that the structural integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike containing Lake Okeechobee “will not be compromised” by Hurricane Irma. But voluntary evacuations for communities surrounding the lake’s southern half are now mandatory, because it’s possible Irma’s winds will push water over the dike.The seven cities under mandatory evacuation orders are South Bay, Lake Harbor, Pahokee, Moore Haven, Clewiston, Belle Glade and Canal Point.The same area was hit back in 1928 by the Okeechobee hurricane, which made landfall with 145 mph winds. The dikes failed then and at least 2,500 people drowned, most of them farmworkers and their families. More than 1,700 buildings were destroyed by that storm. But the only reported impact on the nearby Mar-a-Lago mansion, now owned by President Donald Trump, was a damaged Roman-style window. External cameras on the International Space Station captured views during an overhead pass of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 7, the third pass this week. The Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 180 mph has brought devastating wind and rains to several islands in the Caribbean, with a hurricane watch in effect for much of Cuba and the potential to begin impacting the Florida peninsula by week’s end. Source: NASAWrath of Hurricane Irma on the Caribbean President Donald Trump is urging people to “be safe” as Hurricane Irma approaches.On Twitter Friday, Trump wrote, “Hurricane Irma is of epic proportion, perhaps bigger than we have ever seen. Be safe and get out of its way, if possible.”Trump added that the federal government is ready, and in another tweet, he said: “Our incredible U.S. Coast Guard saved more than 15,000 lives last week with Harvey. Irma could be even tougher. We love our Coast Guard!”Coastal residents around South Florida have been ordered to evacuate as the killer storm closes in on the peninsula for what could be a catastrophic blow this weekend.___8:50 a.m.The Miami Marlins are in Atlanta for the start of a weeklong road trip with Hurricane Irma very much on their minds. They arrived on a chartered flight crowded with the families of players and staff. That helped ease some immediate concerns, but they couldn’t ignore what’s going on back in Miami, where highways are jammed as coastal residents face mandatory evacuations.Miami Manager Don Mattingly says the team is still watching what happened with Harvey, and now worrying that Irma could devastate their hometown.__8:30 a.m.The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Irma weakened a bit more but remains a powerful threat to Florida with storm surges that could reach 10 feet in some places.Irma’s winds dropped to 150 mph, still a Category 4 dangerous storm, as it moves between Cuba and the Bahamas over warmer than normal waters that can intensify tropical storms. Irma’s core should hit Florida early Sunday morning, but its tropical force storm winds can arrive as early as Saturday morning.The hurricane center is projecting storm surge on top of normal tides of 5 to 10 feet all the way from Jupiter Inlet, which is north of Palm Beach on Florida’s east coast, around to Bonita Beach, which is on Florida’s west coast south of Fort Myers. The Florida Keys will likely be swamped. From Bonita Beach north to Venice, storm surge is expected to be 3 to 5 feet. And from Jupiter Inlet north to Sebastian Inlet, which is just south of Cape Canaveral, it is expected to be 3 to 6 feet.Forecasters say this life-threatening surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.___At @SamsClub in Sanford . Just to get some water . #Irma pic.twitter.com/YLqiZcahUN— Sanil (@alphabet_real) September 8, 20178:05 a.m.Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long offered some advice for people in the path of Hurricane Irma who’ve been ordered to evacuate: Get out now.Speaking at FEMA headquarters in Washington on Friday, Long said no one in Florida has experienced a storm with the intensity of what’s now bearing down on the state. He said there is “a lot of certainty in this forecast” showing Irma making landfall somewhere in Florida this weekend, and the winds and storm surge from the storm will be devastating.Long said those in low-lying areas who’ve been told to evacuate “need to get out and heed the warning.”More than 8,000 FEMA staff have been deployed to prepare for Irma and help with the continuing recovery effort from Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive flooding in southeastern Texas last week.___7:35 a.m.French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb says Hurricane Irma has left at least nine people dead, seven missing and 112 injured on the French Caribbean islands of St. Martin and St. Barts and urged coastal residents to take shelter as a new storm approaches.Collomb told reporters Friday that the casualty toll could rise as more emergency workers reach deeper into the area.He said France is shuttling security forces, emergency workers and aid to the islands before Hurricane Jose hits St. Martin and St. Barts on Saturday night. He said the top priority is to “save the population and restore order” after looting broke out in some areas.The French rescue operation includes military frigates, military and civilian planes and helicopters. A warship is leaving from France next Tuesday to bring heavy equipment to help rebuild the islands, where the government says a majority of buildings were damaged or destroyed.___7:15 a.m.Dutch King Willem-Alexander will fly to the Caribbean island of Curacao on Sunday to inspect the coordination of relief efforts for devastated former colony St. Maarten in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which hit as a Category 5 storm.The Royal House announced the visit Friday, saying the monarch will assess in Curacao “whether and when it is possible to visit St. Maarten” and nearby Dutch islands Saba and St. Eustatius, which were less severely damaged by Irma’s winds.A headquarters in Curacao is helping coordinate a military operation to deliver supplies to the 40,000-strong population of St. Maarten. The tiny country, which shares an island with the French territory of St. Martin, has been autonomous since 2010, but remains part of the Dutch commonwealth.Prime Minister Mark Rutte says that most people are surviving on the island without the basic necessities of life. Power, running water and most communications were knocked out by the powerful storm and looting has been reported by local authorities struggling to keep control of the island.___6 a.m.Dutch military forces are helping maintain order and distributing aid to the shattered former colony of St. Maarten after clearing the runway at the capital’s badly damaged airport and securing berths in the harbor for two navy ships to bring ashore supplies.Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters Friday that the first plane already has landed at the airport in the capital, Philipsburg, and navy vessels have unloaded vital supplies in a race against time before the next storm arrives.Hurricane Jose is forecast to pass through the region Saturday, but Rutte says it’s not expected – at the moment – to directly hit St. Maarten as Irma did Wednesday and winds will likely be significantly weaker.Rutte and Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk say troops are helping stretched local authorities on the autonomous territory to uphold law and order amid looting of stores. St. Maarten is the Dutch side of St. Martin, an island split between Dutch and French control.___5:10 a.m.France’s government is reporting looting of televisions and other goods on the Caribbean island of St. Martin after it was hammered by Hurricane Irma, as warships and military planes ferry police and rescue crews to the site.Annick Girardin, minister for France’s overseas territories, described on BFM television Friday “scenes of pillaging” of televisions as well as food and water.She lamented “how people can take advantage of the distress of others” and said it’s essential for police to restore order and ensure urgent care for victims. The French government says four people are confirmed dead and about 50 injured on the French side of St. Martin. Another death was reported on the Dutch side of the shared island.French military spokesman Col. Patrik Steiger told The Associated Press two French frigates are expected to arrive on St. Martin on Friday and military transport planes and helicopters are bringing in personnel and aid to the local population from the nearby French island of Guadeloupe.___4:55 a.m.Hurricane Irma has weakened to a Category 4 storm Friday as it batters the Caribbean on a path toward Florida but remains a powerful hurricane.The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Irma’s maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 155 mph (250 kph). The hurricane center says some fluctuations in strength are likely over the next day or two but Irma is expected to stay a Category 4 storm.Just before 5 a.m. EDT Friday, the hurricane was centered about 55 miles (90 kilometers) northwest of Great Inagua Island and 495 miles (795 kilometers) southeast of Miami.___3:15 a.m.Hurricane Irma battered the Turks and Caicos Islands early Friday as the fearsome Category 5 storm continued a rampage through the Caribbean that has killed at least 11 people, with Florida in its sights.Waves as high as 20 feet (6 meters) are expected in the Turks and Caicos. Communications went down as the storm slammed into the islands, and the extent of the devastation was unclear.The first hurricane warnings were issued for parts of southern Florida as the state braced for what could be a catastrophic hit over the weekend. Following in Irma’s wake was Hurricane Jose, with some of the islands hit hardest by Irma in its expected path. 1:30 p.m.As hundreds of thousands of people evacuate coastal Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma, Tony Marcellus was struggling to figure out how to get his elderly mother and grandfather from their home near the ocean in West Palm Beach to his place in Atlanta, 600 miles away. Flights and rental cars were sold out, so he hired an Uber driver to take them 170 miles to meet him in Orlando.He says he gave the driver a very nice tip.Getting out is requiring creative methods. Some are taking any available flight, even to random destinations. Others are combining buses, carpools, and hitching rides with strangers.Tony’s mom Celine says she’s been worried sick for days, since her father is in a wheelchair. Now she says she’s got peace of mind.___1:20 p.m.President Donald Trump says Hurricane Irma “is a storm of absolutely historic destructive potential.”In a video posted to Facebook, the president urges those in Irma’s path to be vigilant and heed the recommendations of all government officials.The storm remains a powerful threat to Florida and the Southeast Atlantic coast.Trump says his administration is doing all it can to help with disaster preparations, and the U.S. “stands united” to address the storm.He says, “We will endure and come back stronger than ever before.”___1 p.m.Mayor Carlos Gimenez says more than 660,000 residents of Miami-Dade County must evacuate and find hurricane-proof shelter as Irma bears down on Florida. The county plans to open 43 shelters with room for more than 100,000 people by Friday night.That includes the homeless. The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust says more than 1,000 people live on the streets in Miami, and only 300 have been evacuated so far. Many are willingly moving to shelters, but some have to be detained using the ‘Baker Act’, a law which allows officers to hospitalize people with mental illness against their will.The Associated Press was there as Miami police handcuffed one man to evacuate a waterfront park. Another man resisted until police threatened to hospitalize him instead.Ron Book with the homeless trust says anybody who stays on the streets during this storm is “going to die.” 6:15 p.m.Hurricane Irma’s predicted path continues to inch west as the massive storm, still armed with 155 mph winds, approaches Florida.The National Hurricane Center’s latest track brings the Category 4 hurricane into southwest Florida, up the state a tad west of the center region, and further east than earlier forecasts.However, the margin of error is still large enough that the entire state may get Irma’s powerful core. Taking into account Irma’s 100-mile-wide hurricane-force winds, University of Miami researcher Brian McNoldy says most of the state will feel Irma’s wrath.McNoldy says the storm will be “less costly (and) less deadly” on the state’s west coast, in comparison to Florida’s east coast, where there are more people.Forecasters keep moving Irma’s projected track a bit west because its long-anticipated turn north keeps getting pushed back. McNoldy says forecasters had expected a high-pressure system to weaken further north, allowing Irma to make the turn, but it is not weakening as fast as originally forecast.___5:50 p.m.Agricultural charity organization Heifer International said heavy rain and floodwaters from Hurricane Irma has devastated bean and corn crops and pasture land in northern Haiti.Hurricane Irma skirted the northwestern coast of the impoverished Caribbean country. There were no immediate reports of any deaths.In a statement, Heifer country director Hervil Cherubin says local farmers that the organization works with were able to protect their goats and other livestock thanks to preparations ahead of time.Cherubin warned that the flooded pasture land is expected to cause a shortage of forage in the coming months. That and the crop loss will mean that farmers will likely require assistance in the coming months.___5:50 p.m.When Alix Agudelo heard Hurricane Irma was barreling toward Orlando, her mind turned to the images she recalled from Hurricane Harvey: people stranded on rooftops as the floodwaters raged around them, clinging to tree branches, wading through neck-deep, rushing water.She bought three life jackets, just in case, one for herself, one for her 10-year-old daughter, and one for her fiance, Gia Rodriguez. They plan to hunker down in their house, with a little dog named Picasso.Agudelo’s daughter Alix Balcazar shoveled sand into bags as a city distribution center late Friday afternoon.“I’m not scared,” the girl declared, and her mother smiled.“We don’t want her to know much,” she whispered. “We pretend to be calm for the little one. She shouldn’t have to feel fear.”___5:25 p.m.Researchers calculated that Friday has had the most hurricane activity in the history of the Atlantic region.Scientists use a measurement called Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) to give a good snapshot of hurricane activity because it combines storms’ wind speeds and how long they spin at such speeds.With Irma and Jose Category 4 storms and Katia knocking on the door Category 3, Colorado State University hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach calculated that the entire day — based on universal time — Friday had an ACE of 16. That beat out the region’s record of 14.3 set on Sept. 11, 1961. Thursday now ranks third for ACE with 14.2 and Wednesday ranks fourth at 14.1.“I can’t keep up with all the records,” says Klotzbach, who keeps numerous hurricane records.___5:15 p.m.Hurricane Irma has caused extensive flooding and damaged many homes in the Turks and Caicos Islands southeast of the Bahamas.Minister of Instructure Gold Ray Ewing says damage on the most populated island of Providenciales will total at least half a billion dollars.He says no one has yet been able to assess damage on Grand Turk and South Caicos islands.In an interview with The Associated Press, Ewing said that a community known as Blue Hill on the northwestern side of Providenciales is “gone” and that homes have been destroyed across the island.The Disaster Management Agency says it has no reports yet of any deaths in the British territory.Flooding is widespread and power is out throughout the island chain. There are many downed trees and utility poles, making some roads impassable.The storm passed near uninhabited West Caicos on Friday afternoon as it headed toward Florida.___5:15 p.m.Emergency officials in Georgia are ordering the state’s coastal residents to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma. But where should they go?The storm’s unpredictable path beyond Florida is making that a tough question to answer. A westward shift in the storm forecast Friday put Irma’s potential path in the same direction many coastal evacuees had been told to flee.On Thursday, when the forecast showed Irma coming up the coastline, Chatham County emergency management director Dennis Jones had told people in Savannah to “just move west.”Jones was asked again Friday where residents should head after the National Hurricane Center moved its predicted storm track far inland into southern central Georgia.Jones’ reply: “Honestly, I can’t tell you where safe is.”___5 p.m.The U.S. Navy says four ships are ready to assist with Hurricane Irma relief.The U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Command said in a statement Friday that Adm. Phil Davidson ordered the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the transport dock ship USS New York and the assault ship USS Iwo Jima to be in position to provide humanitarian relief if requested.The statement says the destroyer USS Farragut is already “conducting local operations” and has been ordered to join the group.The ships are capable of providing medical support, maritime security and logistical support.Irma, which was churning along Cuba’s northern coast Friday afternoon, is expected to hit Florida early Sunday morning.___4:20 p.m.The death toll from Hurricane Irma has risen to 22 as the storm continues its destructive path through the Caribbean.The dead include 11 on St. Martin and St. Barts, four in the U.S. Virgin Islands and four in the British Virgin Islands. There was also one each in Barbuda, Anguilla, and Barbados.The toll is expected to rise as rescuers reach some of the hardest-hit areas.Irma weakened from a Category 5 to a still-fearsome Category 4 on Friday morning with winds of 155 mph (250 kph) as it churns along Cuba’s northern coast.___4:15 p.m.Uncertainty over the path of Hurricane Irma has prompted Georgia’s governor to expand a pre-emptive emergency declaration to cover more than half of the state.By Friday afternoon, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal had declared a state of emergency for 94 of Georgia’s 159 counties. The National Weather Service predicts Irma’s center will cross the state line Monday as the storm churns northward from Florida. But it could arrive anywhere from the coast near Savannah to inland communities near the Georgia-Alabama line.Evacuations have been ordered only for six counties directly on the Georgia coast, affecting nearly 540,000 people.Meanwhile, President Donald Trump signed an emergency declaration Friday authorizing federal disaster aid for 30 southeast Georgia counties bracing for possible destruction from Irma.___4:05 p.m.The Palm Beach Post newspaper is evacuating its building in Palm Beach County, Florida, due to Hurricane Irma.Publisher Timothy Burke informed the staff in a memo on Thursday night. In the memo, Burke acknowledged that some employees had arranged to have their families stay at the building while they worked.In a Friday email, Burke said the decision was made to allow employees to evacuate to “safer locations.” He says the Post building may not be able to withstand a storm above a Category 2 hurricane. Burke says the organization had been helping staff and their families find accommodations.In his memo, Burke told the staff the media organization would return to its building “as soon as possible.”___3:55 p.m.The Homeland Security Department is temporarily waiving federal restrictions on foreign ships’ transportation of cargo in order to help distribute fuel to states and territories affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.In a statement Friday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said, “This is a precautionary measure to ensure we have enough fuel to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure.” The seven-day waiver specifically affects shipments of refined products, such as gasoline, in hurricane-affected areas.The Jones Act prohibits such shipments between U.S. points aboard foreign vessels. The last such waiver was in December 2012, for petroleum products delivered after Hurricane Sandy.___3:45 p.m.Florida Gov. Rick Scott is warning that residents in South Florida only have hours left to evacuate.Scott on Friday told residents from seven counties that they should leave by midnight or should not get on the road.“If you are planning to leave and do not leave tonight, you will have to ride out this extremely dangerous storm at your own risk,” Scott said.Hurricane Irma is expected to rip into the state over the weekend. The looming threat of the dangerous storm has triggered a massive evacuation. Those trying to flee have encountered traffic jams and there have been fuel shortages, especially in south Florida.Scott has urged Floridians for days to heed evacuation orders, but he has also told residents they don’t need to leave the region, but instead to seek out nearby shelters.___3:35 p.m.President Donald Trump says the U.S. is “prepared at the highest level” to deal with Hurricane Irma.Trump spoke briefly to reporters Friday before boarding Marine One to travel to Camp David for the weekend. He told reporters, “Hopefully everything will go well.”After struggling to hear the shouted questions from reporters, he says that while the storm is “a really bad one,” the U.S. is prepared for the dangerous major hurricane heading toward Florida.Trump received a briefing on Irma earlier in the day. He is spending the weekend at the government-owned mountain retreat in Maryland where he’ll monitor the storm and hold a Cabinet meeting on Saturday.___3:25 p.m.Florida’s major theme parks are planning to close as Hurricane Irma approaches the state.Officials at Walt Disney World in Orlando announced Friday afternoon that its parks will close on Saturday and remain closed through Monday.Universal Orlando announced on its website that it will close at 7 p.m. Saturday and will remain closed through Monday. Officials said they anticipate reopening on Tuesday.SeaWorld in Orlando and Busch Gardens, which is in Tampa, also announced plans to shut down at 5 p.m. Saturday and remain closed through Monday.Last October, the theme parks also closed down for Hurricane Matthew, which skirted Florida’s southeast coast.___3:10 p.m.Florida Gov. Rick Scott is urging residents along the state’s Gulf Coast to get out of evacuation zones as Hurricane Irma’s path has moved slightly west.During a news conference on Friday afternoon in Lee County in southwest Florida, Scott warned of storm surge which could be between 6 and 12 feet.“You are not going to survive this if it happens,” Scott told residents. “Now is the time to evacuate.”Scott says the state hasn’t closed southbound lanes on interstates because of the need to continue getting supplies into South Florida. But he says they’ve opened the shoulder of Interstate 75’s northbound lanes from Wildwood in central Florida to the Georgia line, north of Lake City.___3 p.m.South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has yet to decide whether to order residents to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma.McMaster said he is awaiting the next update from the National Hurricane Center. He has scheduled another news conference at 6 p.m. Friday.Federal forecasters have shifted the center of Irma well west of South Carolina. But western parts of the state are still in Monday’s forecast cone as Irma diminishes from a hurricane to a tropical depression.McMaster says if he orders people to leave their homes, the evacuation would take effect at 10 a.m. Saturday.The governor also rescinded parts of an order signed Thursday requiring health care facilities in all coastal counties to move patients inland and not take new, non-emergency patients. The order still applied to three counties.___2:30 p.m.A top homeland security adviser to President Donald Trump is urging those in the path of Hurricane Irma to stay vigilant and listen to the directions of their local and state officials.Tom Bossert says at the White House that people in Florida and elsewhere should not be focused on the specific track of the storm, but should make preparations now to take care of themselves and their families.As Florida deals with gasoline shortages, Bossert says responders are bringing in as much fuel as possible.Bossert says the Trump administration is thankful that Congress passed the $15.3 billion disaster aid package. He says Trump may sign the bill on Friday.___2:30 p.m.A top U.S. homeland security adviser says President Donald Trump’s administration wants some hurricane-ravaged areas to rebuild with potential flooding in mind.Thomas Bossert told reporters Friday that officials are reconsidering Trump’s executive order last month that rolled back President Obama’s directive for flood plain buildings to adhere to tighter standards. Bossert said that people “need to build back smarter and stronger against flood plain concerns when we use federal dollars.” He added that the administration will decide new standards over the next month or so.Trump’s order last month revoked Obama’s directive requiring that such projects built with federal aid take rising sea levels into account. Trump suggested the predicted risks from sea level rise driven by climate change are overblown.___2:30 p.m.Authorities in Florida say a man trying to install hurricane shutters in preparation for Hurricane Irma fell from a ladder and died.Davie Police Sgt. Mark Leone said in an email that a 57-year-old man had been hired to install hurricane shutters Thursday morning. He fell about 15 feet (5 meters) from a ladder and hit his head on a pool deck.The man was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.The man’s name wasn’t immediately released.___2:30 p.m.A 16-year-old junior professional surfer in Barbados died this week while surfing large swells generated by Hurricane Irma.Zander Venezia was surfing on the island’s east coast when he drowned Tuesday as the hurricane churned several hundred miles away.Family friend and surfing instructor Alan Burke said Venezia hit his head and lost consciousness. He said it was a freak accident that occurred under blue skies and ideal surfing conditions.Burke said Venezia told a friend in his last words that he was surfing the best waves of his life.Venezia had represented Barbados on its national surfing team as a junior pro.___2:30 p.m.Laura Strickling and her husband, Taylor, moved to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands three years ago from Washington, D.C., so he could take a job first as a law clerk and then with a law firm.They rented an apartment at the top floor of a house with a stunning view of the turquoise water of Megan’s Bay, which is surrounded by low hills covered in deep green trees. The couple is used to living in tough circumstances: Taylor Strickling worked in Afghanistan for three years, helping to set up a law school, and Laura, an opera singer, visited him there often. They’ve also lived in Morocco.But she says nothing prepared them for the stress of spending the night, huddled with their 1-year-old daughter and another couple and their 1-year-old son, inside the basement apartment of the house while Hurricane Irma raged outside for 12 hours. Strickling says she has sat through a Taliban gunfight “and this was scarier.”When they emerged, they found that their apartment on the top floor was unscathed. All around them, though, was destruction, roofs torn from houses, the lush vegetation gone, and power lines strewn about, including across their driveway.Strickling says she and her husband have no plans to leave St. Thomas, although she admits she is worried about the impending approach of Hurricane Jose.“It’s not good.”___2 p.m.Stevet Jeremiah lost her 2-year-old son, her house and all her belongings when Hurricane Irma slammed into the tiny island of Barbuda.Now she is leaving the island for good.Jeremiah said her mother and other son had been sent to Antigua and she and her husband were going to follow.She said she has “nothing, not even an ID to say my name.”When it was still a Category 5 storm, the hurricane ripped the roof off her house and filled it with water. Jeremiah says there was “so much water beating past us, we had to crawl to get to safety.” Her son was swept away in floodwaters.In Antigua, she planned to look for her surviving son and her mother, and start making arrangements for the 2-year-old’s funeral.She said she has experienced hurricanes before, but “never anything like this in my life … and I don’t ever, ever, ever want to see something like this again.”Irma practically decimated houses and other infrastructure on Barbuda, and damaged telecommunications equipment, roads and public utilities. The government has since declared the island a disaster zone and declared a state of emergency.Officials in Antigua launched a national campaign to open their homes to hurricane victims from Barbuda.___1:40 p.m.Pope Francis is expressing solidarity with earthquake victims in Mexico as well as those in the path of Hurricane Irma.Francis spoke after a mass in Villavicencio, Colombia, where he said he’s praying those who had lost loved ones or their homes in the disasters.The pope’s visit to Colombia was intended to be a celebration of the country’s steps toward peace. But the rising death toll from Irma and the magnitude 8.1 earthquake Thursday night in southern Mexico have somewhat dampened the spirited mood surrounding Francis’ visit.Speaking to the disaster victims, the pope said: “I have you in my heart and am praying for you.”last_img read more

Netflix Debuts New Logo Animation for Originals With an Exploding Rainbow of

first_imgWhat’t the point of the overhauled ident? The exploding-N animation is “inspired by the spectrum of stories, emotions, languages, fans and creators that collectively make up who we are as a brand,” the company said in a blog post. The updated design also is supposed to reflect the diversity of Netflix’s global audience, with the service now spanning over 190 countries. Netflix has revamped its five-year-old logo animation that appears in front of original productions — and the new look is a veritable color fiesta.The new animation features the same trademark Netflix sound. But the new logo, which will begin playing on the service beginning Friday when subscribers start an original TV show or movie, is a much more dynamic visual. The animation, called an “ident” in designer lingo, explodes Netflix’s “N” into a spectrum of colored vertical light beams that shoot toward the viewer.Here’s a visual of the new Netflix ident: In addition, Netflix noted that the new ident features a darker background, compared with the former red-on-white treatment. That’s designed to get viewers “in the mood for an immersive, cinematic experience at home, on the subway or wherever you’re choosing to watch,” the company explained.Netflix had used a version of the dynamic-color-band logo animation on the fall 2018 film festival circuit — although in that iteration, multicolored bands swooped across a black background to tighten in on the red “N.” That version appeared at screenings including Paul Greengrass’ “22 July,” the Coen brothers’ “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” and Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma.” at the Venice International Film Festival, and before David Mackenzie’s “The Outlaw King” at the Toronto International Film Festival.Peter Debruge contributed to this report. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Return of the prodigal son

first_imgAs the Congress gasps for recovery, still facing the aftershocks of humiliating defeat in last year’s Lok Sabha poll, it faces the challenge of rejuvenation. Will it’s Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as President give the party the oxygen it needs? Maybe India’s grand old party needs RaGa in his new avatar, instilling fresh ideas and embellishing it with youthful energy. But therein lies the dichotomy.A deep ideological chasm separates the Congress’ Old Guard and Team Rahul members in executing this concept in its entirety. But the pertinent question is – are all the ‘foot soldiers’ of the Congress ready to accept the accession of Rahul Gandhi as Congress President? Will the Sonia Gandhi loyalists who have worked hard all these years to garner her trust and loyalty,  Also Read – Find your own happinessreadily shift to the Rahul camp, or will they be rendered redundant in the process?Most importantly, has the ideal time come for Rahul to take over as the party’s chief? Noted sociologist Dipankar Gupta pertinently pointed out, “Organisationally people get cross-eyed when there are two or more people on the top of equal eminence. So to be able to remove that problem, it is best that either the mother or the son take over as chief of the party. I would think if the Congress’ plan is that if Rahul Gandhi should move in that position then it is best that he should do that now, without his mother standing in the shadows or obviously pulling the strings. So, it is either mother or son whoever it is, otherwise it creates a lot of confusion in an organisation. Especially if the leadership position is not clear this holds true for a political party as much of a corporate structure as much for a university.” Also Read – Into the wildRahul’s succession as party’s President is in the pipeline, but when is the question that looms. “It is clearly not a decision that will be forced down our throats. If his name comes up for the post of President then of course there will be open resentment in the party. It is not that all of us are willingly sitting to accept him as our President,” said a senior Congress leader.After Rahul’s dramatic comeback to the country, his party and also the political terrain, have discovered a ‘new-found’ energy. Featuring daily in news, Rahul has ensured his comeback is visible to everyone. In fact his homecoming was highlighted in the mega farmers’ rally that he addressed on 19 April in the Capital. Post sabbatical, media went gung-ho about Rahul Gandhi’s power-packed return to the Parliament and his political antics. Whether it was about raising the issue of Net Neutrality in Parliament, attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign tours or the suit-boot sarkaar jibe, Gandhi was all over the place repeating his favourite tagline “This government is anti-farmer and pro-corporates.”The newly installed or updated software in Rahul’s system, ever since 19 April, has been playing this line. Slip back to the pre-Lok Sabha poll scenario last year. When Rahul was asked about any possible issue in the country, his befitting reply invariably echoed three things – “MNREGA, Women empowerment and RTI”. Now those three issues have been replaced by the “farmer-corporate” phrase.Let’s now analyse Rahul’s tryst with the farmer issue, something which has been made to be very close to his heart… an issue he has been proactively involved in for a long time. Recently he did a kisan padyatra in Vidarbha and visited farmers in Punjab’s mandis. After which he came back to Delhi and in the Parliament created a furore about the pricing in mandis, addressed rallies on the issue and later visited the hospital immediately after the farmer Gajender Singh died in an Aam Aadmi Party rally in the Capital.While talking about one such visit some time back, a party insider, who had accompanied Rahul recounted, “This incident took place at a public interaction that Gandhi had with the farmers in Punjab. Several farmers from various districts had gathered to hear him speak. He started by saying, “Aap log ghehu ke paidh kaise ugate ho… (how do you grow wheat trees?)” Hearing this farmers were dumbfound. At this point a party worker intervened saying what Rahul means is how do you sow wheat. To which Rahul cut him short and asked again, “Nahi, main janana chahta hu ghenhu paidh pe kaise ugta hai”. The farmers and party workers remained clueless to what he seemed to be talking about. Finally someone intervened and told him wheat is not grown on trees it is sown in the ground.Hilarious as it may sound, his disconnect with ground reality is a disturbing thought. “This man has no idea of basic things. I mean how can he not know that wheat is not grown on trees. It is sad. Even if his succession is pushed at us, there will be resentment from all quarters. We all have worked with Sonia and seen a clear distinction in their style of functioning. She at least heard us out, unlike him,” added the insider.Questioning Rahul’s visit to Kedarnath, some Congress leaders viewed this exercise as a softening of stand towards Hindutva. “What kind of political advisers is he consulting? To garner a particular vote-bank you set off to Kedarnath and what next? Maybe hop onto a plane and head to Mecca for Muslim votes and then travel to Bethlehem for Christian votes? It is just being foolish,” said one such leader.Criticism against Rahul has been flowing in from all quarters. Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit had clearly said that he wanted “Sonia Gandhi to remain as party chief.” He had also talked about the culture ailing in the party, “The culture [in Congress] has become elitist and arrogance grows from it; our cadres are uncomfortable in such a situation,” he said. Meanwhile Rahul’s loyalist Digvijaya Singh had tweeted, “If Rahul wants to reflect what went wrong why criticise him? Everyone wants some peace to reflect. Only timing could have been better.” The party’s general secretary had said the timing of his sabbatical could be better and then later he said Rahul needed to be active on social media to counter the BJP.The Old Guard is furious at what this young man is doing. Sources say that senior leaders have poured their heart’s woes to Sonia’s political secretary and party’s old timer Ahmed Patel. The question now is where are the big guns of the previous government, be it Kamal Nath, Salman Khurshid, Kapil Sibal and most of all P Chidambaram. The Old Guard that helped Sonia run the party successfully primarily include Ahmed Patel, Janardhan Dwivedi, Motilal Vora, Ambika Soni, A K Antony and some others.The new age faces which are seen to be on the fringes of Rahul’s inner circle include – Anand Sharma and Mallikarjun Kharge – that too because of their pivotal role in the Parliament. The young team of his loyalists include – Ajay Maken, R P N Singh, Sachin Pilot, Jitin Prasada and Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia. One of the members of Rahul’s core team explained, “He is a nice man with a clear heart but then does that really help us politically? For example in LS polls he and in fact all of us just couldn’t see what was coming our way. Modi was selling a dream to the people of the country, but at least he was doing so. Rahul was clueless. There was no vision or dream to be delivered to the people. This bankruptcy of ideas and reeling under the tarnished and corrupt image of the UPA II government led us to a dismal fall in the elections. Still we never anticipated 44 in our dreams.”The usual grouse of any party worker includes the fact that Rahul cannot be reached. “We are unhappy with the way Rahul deals with people in the party. One tries to get time with him and it has been months since he would even reply to a text or take out time to meet. The way he has dealt with issues related to state units is also very harrowing. I have particularly raised several issues affecting our state unit but he has not got back till now,” said a minister from UPA-II, who has been close to Rahul.Talking about Rahul’s comeback making headlines, former union minister and senior party leader Salman Khurshid said, “He is there and has always been there. In fact Rahul Gandhi has always been a very active vice president. It is just that unfortunately the media wanted to paint him in a certain colour and now the media has got tired of doing that. This little break seems to have worked, because the media now is giving him a chance. They are giving him space which is good because he has always been very active. There are certain areas where he has laid priorities like the issue of farmer’ lands, young people and he is doing it in his own style.”What about Rahul taking over as party’s President? “I don’t give any response to this as Soniaji is my President, Rahul is my Vice President and Manmohan Singh is the third part of our leadership. When they take a call we will respond. It is not for us to speculate when and how it will happen as this will just add to unnecessary gossip. All of them are doing their job along with our leaders. They have our unflinching support. The decision about generational change must be left to the leadership and we will join in once the leadership takes the final call.”On record, this is essentially what the Congress leaders have mostly said. Echoing similar sentiments as Khurshid’s, his party colleague Anand Sharma explained, “This is a needless speculation. The Congress is traditionally the oldest political party of India which is pan Indian and representative of India’s rich diversity. It has remained vibrant till this time because it has ensured the infusion of fresh blood through transitions and space for the younger leadership to grow. Therefore there was definitely a reason that a collective decision was taken in January 2012 at the AICC session in Jaipur.”“We are a traditional party and in our collective wisdom we will take the appropriate decision at the right time. We have an established process in the party and even regarding this issue (of Rahul being made the President), the Congress will take an appropriate decision at the right time.”The tone set by Rahul in January 2012 when he was elevated as the party’s Vice President, raised expectations of people. A popular notion was that the prodigal son would bring positive change in the party and radicalise dynamics of politics in the country. But then from then and now… there have been a series of disappointments, making not only the voter but many in his own party question his antecedents. The decision for Rahul’s elevation “will be taken at the right time” indeed, but with the current flux of contradictory ideologies in the party, the probability of a smooth takeover seems dismal.last_img read more

Arizona Cardinals safety Tyvon Branch has reported

first_img Arizona Cardinals safety Tyvon Branch has reportedly agreed to take a pay cut in order to free up cap space for the team.ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweeted out the news out Friday morning. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyvon Branch (27) prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Branch signed a two-year deal worth $10 million which included a $5 million guarantee last March.Earlier this week the Cardinals lost free agent players in Calais Campbell, Tony Jefferson and D.J Swearinger. Campbell elected to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Jefferson heads to the Baltimore Ravens and D.J Swearinger is moving to the Washington Redskins. The Cardinals were able to hold on to Chandler Jones after inking him to a five year deal worth $83 million with $53 million guaranteed. Source: Cardinals S Tyvon Branch has taken a pay cut for 2017 from $4M to $2M. Creates some cap space for Arizona.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 10, 2017Branch, 30, a former fourth-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2008, recorded 28 tackles in six games for the Cardinals last season. He suffered a groin injury and missed eight weeks. After coming back, he was placed on injured reserve for the second time following the Cardinals’ loss to the Miami Dolphins in December. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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