Fitch downgrades Ontario longterm debt notes risks on path to balanced budget

TORONTO — Fitch Ratings downgraded Ontario’s long-term debt rating Friday, highlighting “risks” on the path to the Liberal government’s target of balancing the budget by 2017-18.The rating agency cut its long-term issuer default rating to AA- from AA, saying “difficult actions” will be necessary for the province to achieve its target of eliminating the $12.5-billion deficit.“Budget options are likely to prove more limited given the extent of actions taken to date and use of one-time actions to achieve targets, in Fitch’s opinion,” the agency said.“The downgrade to AA- reflects Fitch’s concern that risks remain to achieving its goals and both debt burden and the accumulated deficit will remain significantly elevated.”Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the government remains committed to eliminating the deficit by 2017-18, but the Fitch announcement underscores the challenges the province’s economy faces.“Our government has been consistently clear that we must remain focused as our economy emerges from the effects of the great global recession,” Sousa said in a statement.Ontario’s finance minister on Moody’s cutting province’s outlook to negative: ‘The bankers aren’t freaking’Ontario debt rating outlook cut to negative by Moody’s“That’s why we put forward a budget that speaks to strategic investments in economic growth and job creation, while at the same time transforming government by achieving our savings targets and limiting program spending growth to 1.1%.”Fitch also improved Ontario’s ratings outlook to stable from negative.“The province has demonstrated the ability to exert considerable, ongoing expenditure restraint while instituting revenue changes as necessary to achieve its deficit reduction objectives, pointing to the strength of provincial management,” the rating agency said.However, Fitch noted that while near-term budget goals have been exceeded, full fiscal recovery following the global recession “remains several years away.”“Fitch believes that the province will also be challenged in restraining ongoing capital spending to make progress in lowering the high debt burden and accumulated deficit over time,” it said.Even if Ontario meets its goal of balance it will still be left with a large debt burden, Fitch said.Ontario’s auditor general issued a similar warning last week, cautioning that despite Ontario’s work to eliminate its deficit, the province’s rising net debt — the difference between its liabilities and its total assets — could have a number of negative implications for its finances in the future.By 2017-18 the province’s net debt will have soared to $325 billion, more than double the $156.6 billion a decade ago, the report estimated.Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk’s report noted that the government now spends more on debt interest than it does on post-secondary education, and those interest costs are growing.Moody’s credit rating agency changed Ontario’s debt rating in July to negative from stable, citing concerns about the province’s ability to eliminate the deficit as scheduled.Ontario’s opposition parties have long expressed skepticism that the Liberal government will be able to meet its 2017-18 target of balance. read more

UN IsraelSyria force adjusting to changing conditions outgoing commander says

Maj. Gen. Franciszek Gagor of Poland told the press in New York that the operation, founded in 1974, is adjusting to evolving conditions. He noted that 30 years ago there were some 5,000 people on the Golan, while today that number has increased tenfold.”That means that UNDOF has to maintain and modernize its facilities and also has to adjust its way of operation,” General Gagor said. In particular, the mission has been forced to become more mobile and more visible, he added, describing a modernization programme now underway which aims to improve infrastructure, integrate all UN elements in the area and adapt its concept of operations to the realities on the ground.Communications and computer systems are also being upgraded to respond to developments as part of the overall bid to optimize resources. “We improve our efficiency so that we can meet the challenges and requirements in front of us,” he explained.Asked how he would title a book on his experiences in the Golan, Mr. Gagor replied, “Peace is worth fighting for.”Maj. Gen. Bala Nanda Sharma of Nepal has taken over the responsibilities as Force Commander of UNDOF, which maintains the ceasefire between Israel and Syria and monitors the disengagement of their forces while maintaining an 80-kilometre area of separation. read more

Russian cartoon bear takes the world by storm

Russian cartoon bear takes the world by storm by Nataliya Vasilyeva, The Associated Press Posted Apr 12, 2016 4:38 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email In this Wednesday, March 2, 2016 photo, senior animator Andrei Belyayev, left, and animator Pyotr Barkov work on a new episode of Masha and the Bear, a Russian cartoon TV series, in Moscow, Russia. Masha and the Bear, a Russian animated television series launched in 2009, now broadcasts in more than 120 countries including the United States. Its YouTube channel is in the top 10 most-viewed worldwide. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) MOSCOW – A proverbial Russian bear has long alarmed Westerners as the symbol of Moscow’s might and purported ferocity. But the Russian who has taken the world by storm is a sweet goof who hasn’t fired a single shot.Masha and the Bear, a Russian animated television series launched in 2009, now broadcasts in more than 120 countries including the United States. Its YouTube channel is in the top 10 most-viewed worldwide. While Russia’s mammoth oil and gas industries grunt under the weight of low energy prices, the cartoon’s producer Animaccord has a steady 40 per cent annual revenue increase.The cartoon, loosely based on a Russian fairy tale, centres on the mischievous and minuscule girl Masha and the towering Bear, a retired circus performer who falls victim to the green-eyed sprite’s pranks. The cartoon is set in an idealized countryside, loaded with traditional bric-a-brac.Their real home is a former Soviet kindergarten in Moscow’s northern outskirts. There, more than 70 animators each produce 2 to 4 seconds of screen time a day.It’s slow work due to the highly detailed images, unusual for television series. The images have a convincing 3-D effect, move fluidly and are so precise that viewers can count Masha’s tiny teeth. That costs money as well as time — up to $250,000 per six-minute episode.Senior animator Andrei Belyayev can spend hours trying on a myriad of expressions for Masha’s face as she bursts into the bear’s house to announce an unexpected guest. The animators are particular about even small pieces of the cartoon such as food in the refrigerator and flowers on the lawn.“Children are very discerning viewers,” Belyayev said in a recent interview. “You think again and again how to tell this story and show the scene from a new angle so that children would not be bored when they watch it for the 10th or 100th time.”The cartoon has roots in the Soviet animated film industry, which had unusual freedom. Officials regarded cartoons as fairly insignificant and did not apply smothering censorship. Despite the industry’s creativity, its cartoons remained largely unknown outside the Russian-speaking world until Masha and the Bear broke through.Masha and the Bear’s creator Oleg Kuzovkov, like many other Russian animators, moved to work in Los Angeles amid the post-Soviet economic troubles of the 1990s, before returning in 2003. He still divides his time between Moscow and Los Angeles; all pre-production for the series such as screenwriting and storyboard is done in California.“Some types of professionals like storyboard artists are nowhere to be found in Moscow,” Kuzovkov said by phone from LA.While giant Russian companies like energy exporters complain of unfair treatment in the West, linked to economic sanctions against Russia, Masha’s creators say they face no discrimination in the West.“There is no animosity, no rivalry, and no one tries (in the United States) to protect their animation market from foreign projects,” Kuzovkov. “When they see something unique and unusual, something they don’t have, they take it.”Unlike many Russian companies, Animaccord has not lined up for state subsidies. It won two grants for a cinema foundation when the series was already established, but Masha’s creators still want to steer away from government money.“They have their own hierarchy there,” he said. “I’m not part of it and I didn’t want to waste time elbowing for a place at the feeder.”In 2015, Masha and the Bear won a prestigious Kindscreen award as the Best Animation and was listed as one of 250 shows “destined to be classics” by Animation Magazine.The cartoon has gone on from critical acclaim to a commercial success, bringing the company 292 million rubles ($4.3 million) in revenues in 2013, according to the RBC business newspaper. Animaccord would not disclose its profits but managing director Dmitry Loveyko says they have been posting roughly a 40 per cent increase in revenue annually.About two-thirds of YouTube royalties that Animaccord receives comes from views outside Russia, Loveyko says. In August, Animaccord struck a deal with Netflix to bring the cartoon to the United States where Masha is dubbed by Elsie Fisher, who spoke for Agnes in “Despicable Me.”Apart from television deals and YouTube royalties, Masha and the Bear gets 60 per cent of all revenues from goods licensing, and thanks to the deals with global consumer brands Masha’s face is glowing from children’s toys to tea bags at supermarkets around the globe.Getting a foot in the door in the West was tough, but Animaccord found the better-regulated Western markets easier to navigate. In Russia, Masha and the Bear has to compete against a vast amount of counterfeit goods, which Loveyko estimates at 30 per cent of the market, something that is not an issue in Western Europe or North America:“The Russian market should be a kind of launch pad for testing ideas: if you make it here, on a very tough Russian market where everything is difficult, I think it will require only a small step to present yourself in the West.”The cartoon’s creators never set out to make the cartoon to suit the mores and customs of other countries, but some elements of it turned out to be a happy coincidence.Masha, who is dressed in a folk costume with a headscarf, became a household name in many Muslim nations including Indonesia. “It’s a Muslim country, so we thought we’re lucky she wears a headscarf and her legs are covered!” Loveyko said.Masha’s creator Kuzovkov says he is still baffled by the success of the one-toothed girl.“It was conceived as a local project, tailored to the Russian audience but with all the trappings of the American industry like tempo, editing, a quality picture,” he said. “The atmosphere, that TV set, the telephone, it’s all from (my) childhood. This world is native to me — for them it’s a new style.” read more

Week In Westminster – Week ending Friday 27 April 2012

DOWNLOAD1. MPs visit 2012 CV Show in Birmingham2. Mike Penning MP launches low carbon truck demonstration trial3. ‘Intelligent Mobility’ summit discussed congestion solutions4. Talent is key to future of manufacturing industry, states World Economic Forum5. Government support for business access to alternative finance outlined6. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

SIPTU calls for ambulance resources to be reviewed

first_imgMEASURING RESPONSE TIMES for ambulances has to take into account the shortage of resources, SIPTU has said.HIQA is due to begin a review of the Ambulance Service’s response times, but SIPTU Health Organiser Paul Bell says this review must take into account the current shortages affecting the service.The review will centre on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), the foremost of which is an eight-minute timeframe for response to life-threatening callouts.However, Bell says that this needs to be measured against the resourcing of similar services.“In order to properly review the ability of the Ambulance Service to achieve its targets in relation to these KPIs, which are based on similar targets implemented by ambulance services in Northern Ireland and Scotland, the HIQA review must also examine the resourcing of the various services.“SIPTU Ambulance Service shop stewards also believe this matter should be referred to the ‌Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, at which all the stake holders can contribute to the discussion on why KPI targets are not being attained. Full discussion of these issues would raise the morale of the professionals who work in the service and restore public confidence.”SIPTU says that their research indicates that the approximate annual budget for the ambulance service in the Republic of Ireland is €130 million compared to £200 million (€240 million) in Scotland.Read: Midleton ambulance call ‘did not follow procedure’ in the lead-up to 2-year-old’s deathRead: HSE used military ambulances over 800 times ‘to meet additional demand’last_img read more

BlurPort Kickstarter brings governmentgrade security to all your USB drives

first_imgThe BlurPort Kickstarter walks you through the process the team has gone through in building their concept from scratch. From development board to their latest concept, BlurPort was built to offer this unique solution. Their Kickstarter page includes some interesting perks for those who contribute more than the $109 for the drive itself. Custom laser engraved variants of the casing, for example, exist for contributing $250 or more. The BlurPort team has already shown off working prototypes of the hardware, with plans to show off the app and the final casing designs in the future.If you’re the type to need secure, removable storage, BlurPort is absolutely worth checking out for yourself. No matter what piece of technology you are using, you are only as secure as you want to be. Most people don’t bother password protecting the data on a USB drive, and even then it’s not a guarantee that your data is safe. BlurPort wants to secure all of your removable USB storage with your choice of personal security measures.The current state of consumer grade security options for removable storage borderlines on being just a formality. Key fobs that can be copied with little effort, or drives that can just be removed from “secure” casing and inserted elsewhere. The point at which your data is actually secure usually comes at a price point that is not worth it to most users, especially if the information they are carrying isn’t terribly important to begin with.As we move further along the Bring Your Own Device pipeline, it will become more important for secure removable storage options to exist at reasonable price points and actually be secure. The student-run BlurPort hopes to solve this problem with an inexpensive app driven USB drive that relies on your smartphone to grant access to the drive once it is connected to your computer.Aakash Patel of BlurPort sat down with me recently and explained how BlurPort is expected to work moving forward.When you connect your BlurPort to a computer, the drive will patiently wait for approval from your smartphone in order to grant the computer access to the information. The BlurPort app on your phone will offer many different ways to authenticate yourself, from facial recognition and eye scanning to NFC tokens, even pattern trace passwords on your smartphone. You will have many of the same authentication methods you already have available to you in order to unlock your phone in the first place, which adds a second factor to the authentication of the drive. Once you have authenticated yourself, the app will connect with your BlurPort and grant you access to data stored on the drive. If you disconnect from the computer, you will need to re-authenticate yourself through the app.BlurPort will offer 8GB of storage built into the drive, however, removing the cap at the other end of BlurPort will reveal a female USB connector that you will be able to connect additional removable storage to. Whether you have a flash drive with a higher storage capacity, or you plan to connect multiple terabytes of storage from a large drive, you’ll have the ability to either pass the data through the drive or encrypt the additional drive so it can only be accessed when connected through your BlurPort. The app will see the drives separately, and allow you to secure the BlurPort and the added drive with different authentication methods if you choose, and it will allow you to flip back and forth between the two drives as though they were connected separately.last_img read more

Greek MP elevated to South Australian ministry

first_imgGreek Australian Tom Koutsanotnis became the new Minister for Correctional Services, Road Safety, Gambling, Youth and Volunteers in South Australia last Tuesday.The 36 year old is the first SA MP of Greek descent to elevate to a Cabinet position. Along with Mr Koutsantonis, Michael O’Brien also became the new Minister of Employment, Training and Further Education.Their election by caucus was unanimous. This was the second reshuffle of the State Cabinet in six months after the resignations Agriculture Minister Rory McEwen and Correctional Services Minister Carmel Zollo. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

Le plugin dOpenOffice payant pour les utilisateurs de Microsoft Office

first_imgLe plugin d’OpenOffice payant pour les utilisateurs de Microsoft OfficeÉtats-Unis – Jusqu’à présent, les fichiers .odf étaient pris en charge par la suite bureautique Office grâce à un plugin d’OpenOffice. Ce dernier était fourni gratuitement par l’entreprise Sun. Mais le nouveau propriétaire de Sun, Oracle, jette un pavé dans la mare en voulant faire débourser 65 euros aux utilisateurs d’Office pour en bénéficier. Vous avez dit business ?Depuis qu’elle a racheté Sun en avril 2009, Oracle essaie de rentabiliser au maximum les logiciels de l’entreprise. Après la limitation à 90 jours du logiciel Solaris et l’arrêt de la production des CD gratuits d’Opensolaris, le nouveau propriétaire vient de rendre payant le plugin nécessaire aux usagers d’Office pour lire les fichiers en .odf. Désormais, un abonnement annuel reviendra à 65 euros, payables lors du téléchargement. Ce plugin est disponible dans les versions d’Office 2000, 2003, XP et 2007. Pour le moment, la suite bureautique de Microsoft ne supporte que la version 1.0 de ce dernier alors qu’Oracle propose la version 1.2.Le 21 avril 2010 à 13:15 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 12 Recap Run From the Future

first_img Can you tell there are only two episodes left after this one? Things are clearly ramping up for a big finale, and it appears the Discovery might not make it out in one piece. After the big reveals of recent episodes, this season has become all about trying to change the future. Or rather, how to avoid a possible and increasingly likely future where an AI has wiped out all sentient life. The role of fate in the universe, how much of the future is malleable, those are interesting questions. Ones that Star Trek loves to chew on every now and then. The importance of the Discovery and Michael Burnham’s unpredictability, we learned last night, makes the future super malleable, at least at this moment in time. That’s why Captain Pike’s role here is so interesting.With Dr. Burnham pulled irrevocably back into the future, there’s nothing more for the Discovery to do but protect the Sphere data from Control and wait for more signals. The revelation that Dr. Burnham never heard of the signals caused exactly the debate you’d think it would. Can the crew even trust them? If Dr. Burnham wasn’t sending them, who is? Could they be Control setting a trap. And yeah, that’s possible. But they also have to consider that the signals led the Discovery to help people. Including the descendants of a people Dr. Burnham saved. Plus, something the show didn’t bring up, Dr. Burnham still could have sent the signals from a point even further in the future. Maybe they pulled her from a time before she’d sent them. To steal a phrase from another sci-fi series, wibbly wobbly timey-wimey stuff.Mary Chieffo as L’Rell; Anson Mount as Captain Pike; Shazad Latif as Tyler (Photo Credit: John Medland/CBS)As much as I’d be down for a full episode of this debate, Michael Burnham points out that it’s accomplishing nothing, and there are more pressing matters at hand. Considering there are two weeks left in the season, she makes a point. A new signal appears above a planet in Klingon space. Specifically, the monastery where Tyler and L’Rell sent their son. The Klingon monks there guard the time crystals, which are exactly what the crew needs to send the Sphere data into space where Control can’t get it. After an argument between L’Rell and Tyler about whether Tyler visiting their son would put him in danger, Pike elects to go. He really is the ideal Star Trek captain. He has the confidence and charisma of Kirk, with the compassion and dedication to Starfleet values of Picard. It’s too bad he won’t last.Pike elects to go retrieve a time crystal, and L’Rell warns him that difficult trials await him. He holds steadfast both to her and the guardian he meets at the monastery. With the fate of all sentient life at stake, he’s not going to leave empty-handed. As the old Klingon guardian leads him through the monastery, Pike is surprised to learn he’s talking to L’Rell and Tyler’s son. It’s an effect of the Time Crystals. Time moves much faster for the people who live near them. Trees grow instantly too, which is a cool visual effect. At this point, we’re wondering when these trials will start. Turns out there’s only one. It’s real rough, though.Doug Jones as Saru (Photo Credit: John Medland/CBS)What makes this plot about trying to change the future a bit bitterly ironic is Pike. This series takes place after “The Cage,” but before “The Menagerie.” We know what Pike’s future looks like already. It’s a burned, disfigured face and a robotic wheelchair that allows him to communicate in beeps. The Discovery can prevent Control from wiping out all life, but The Original Series already set Pike’s future in stone. And now Discovery has too. When Pike grabs hold of the Time Crystal, he sees his future. A ship being destroyed around him, he gets the crew to safety. He’s trapped on the bridge and an explosion burns his face. He flashes further forward and sees the life he’ll eventually lead. The future terrifies him, and he’s given a choice. Leave the time crystal and maybe prevent that future, or take the crystal and guarantee it. As Pike represents the best of Starfleet, it’s not even a choice. He’ll gladly sacrifice himself to have a shot at saving the universe.As cool and full of Trek fanservice as that story was, the B-plot was plenty exciting as well. As Star Trek: Discovery moves toward its season finale, these episodes are getting so much better. While Pike’s getting the time crystals, Burnham wants to investigate a Section 31 ship that checked in an hour late. She wants to go after Leland, hoping to destroy control as soon as possible. Acting Captain Saru gives her permission to go, and Spock goes with her. As he points out, Burnham’s mom can’t come back in time to save her anymore. That’s a nice way to raise the stakes in these final episodes. They can’t count on a last minute deus ex machina anymore.Ethan Peck as Spock; Ali Momen as Kamran Grant; Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham (Photo Credit: Russ Martin/CBS)They come across a ravaged ship with one surviving crew member that served with Michael on the Shenzhou. He helps them get to the bridge of his ship so they can isolate Control and reboot the system. The whole story has the pacing of a good thriller. After we saw Control take over Leland last week, there isn’t anyone we can trust. That includes this crewmember. At this point, it’s not a matter of whether he’ll turn out to be Control, but when. As his dialog slowly starts to get more pro-AI while Spock is conveniently out of the room, Burnham grows more concerned. This is some great suspense here. We know the reveal is coming, we’re just growing increasingly anxious waiting for it.When the fight does happen, it’s fun, fast and scary. Even if Burnham does have main character invincibility at this point, watching the assimilation needle get ever closer to her eye is still unsettling. So is the part where, after Spock at least distracts the crewman with a failed Vulcan nerve pinch, Burnham phasers the guy multiple times and he keeps coming. She blows a giant hole in his chest and it doesn’t knock him down. Instead, a metallic Control goop comes out of him and speeds toward Burnham. For a brief second, it’s a full on horror movie until Spock figures out to magnetize the floor, stopping Control in its tracks.Tig Notaro as Reno (Photo Credit: John Medland/CBS)This whole excursion did more than provide the episode a few action beats. I mean, the action beats here were good enough that I wouldn’t have minded. Spock and Burnham learn that the whole situation was a trap for Burnham. She is the one variable the computer can’t predict. That’s why it’s so dead set on controlling her. That should make for some exciting situations over the next two episodes. So should the complication that ends the episode. After Pike returns to the Discovery, the ship finds itself approached by 30 Section 31 ships, all taking aim. The Discovery is outgunned and can’t run. Pike calls the Enterprise to receive the full crew of the Discovery, preparing for its destruction. Looks like the incident that burns Pike’s face is closer than we thought.This episode set us up for what’s sure to be two harrowing final episodes of the season, but it also managed to be plenty thrilling itself. It appears that as the show gets more episodes under its belt, it gets better at striking the balance between classic Star Trek storytelling and modern sci-fi action. It at least knows that action-oriented episodes don’t have to be entirely brainless. I’m excited to see where Discovery takes the series in Season Two’s final two episodes and beyond. I also appreciated the nice character moment between Jett Reno and Culber. She helps him start to realize that he needs Stamets just as much as Stamets needs him. He gets a second chance, which is way more than Reno got with her wife. It was a sweet, genuinely touching moment that gave me hope for this storyline. I just hope the show gives itself enough time to land it.Star Trek: Discovery streams Thursdays at 8:30 on CBS All AccessPreviously on Star Trek: Discovery:Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 11Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 10Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 9 Stay on target ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Teases Troubled Patrick StewartHow Designers Achieved the Sci-Fi Sound Magic of ‘The Orville’ last_img read more

Endangered Somali wild ass born at Zoo Miami

first_imgSOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Pardon our French, but a wild ass made a special debut at Zoo Miami.The Southwest Miami-Dade zoo welcomed the Somali wild ass in time for Father’s Day.The not-so-little bundle of joy was born Sunday and weighed in at 46 pounds.The foal and his parents, 10-year-old Hakim and 13-year-old Stella, belong to a critically endangered species that is the last remaining ancestor of the modern donkey.Less than 1,000 Somali wild asses are left in the wild.The new addition to the Zoo Miami family has yet to be named. He is only the eighth of its kind to be born at the zoo.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Hybrid WindSolar Project to Supply 40 Percent of Ft Hoods Energy Needs

first_imgArmy officials cited the estimated cost savings and greater reliance on green energy as two major plusses in celebrating the 65-megawatt, hybrid, renewable energy project that broke ground at Fort Hood Thursday.“There are a lot of firsts here. It’s the first hybrid project, wind and solar, in the Army; it’s the first to combine onsite and offsite energy; and it is the largest,” said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment. “As was said, everything is bigger in the state of Texas, so right now Texas has the distinction of contributing the most to renewable energy in the Army.”The effort will feature a 15.4-megawatt (alternating current) photovoltaic solar plant at Fort Hood and 50.4 megawatts of wind energy from Apex Clean Energy’s Cotton Plains wind energy project on the Texas Panhandle.Over the course of the 28-year power purchase agreement awarded to Charlottesville, Va.-based Apex, the Army will save up to $168 million, reported Fort Hood Public Affairs.“Not only will we gain a sustainable energy source, supplying nearly half of our energy needs, but it will be at a lower price than the power generated by fossil fuels,” said Maj. Gen. John Uberti, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commanding general.Saving taxpayers money on energy means more funds will be available to support the warfighter, said Hammack.“Last year, [the Army’s energy bill] cost us $1.3 billion, and when we look at this project here that is going to save money across the term of the contract for the Army, that is money that we can put elsewhere, to critical missions, and that’s important to us,” she said.Mark Goodwin, Apex’s president and chief operating officer, explained how the off-post wind farm 350 miles away from Fort Hood would deliver power to the installation.“We have approximately 20 turbines and they are on a collection string that connects into an interconnection substation and then that connects to the grid,” Goodwin said, “and then we have a partner utility that will take the power from the wind farm and deliver it to the base. So, it is putting power onto the grid and then what Fort Hood is doing, they are reaping the benefit as a big savings in what they are paying now.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Commerce Department extends reprieve to let companies work with Huawei

first_img Post a comment Tags 4:59 Huawei “As we continue to urge consumers to transition away from Huawei’s products, we recognize that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement Monday. “Simultaneously, we are constantly working at the department to ensure that any exports to Huawei and its affiliates do not violate the terms of the entity listing or temporary general license.”The department also said another 46 Huawei subsidiaries have been added to the list due to national security concerns, bringing the total to more than 100 added since May, the department said.Huawei called the US government’s actions unjust and said the decision to put more of its subsidiaries on the entity list was politically motived.”These actions violate the basic principles of free market competition,” the company said in a statement on Monday. “They are in no one’s interests, including US companies.”First published at 5:47 a.m. PT.Update, 6:20 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.Update, 1:45 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Huawei.  Share your voice US companies can continue to work with Huawei for another 90 days. Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET The US Commerce Department said Monday it’s extending a temporary general license that allows American companies to do business with Huawei for another 90 days. This follows an initial 90-day reprieve, which started in May and was set to end Monday.The department blacklisted Huawei following an executive order from President Donald Trump that effectively banned Huawei from US communications networks. It required American companies to get a license to do business with the Chinese telecom giant, which is the subject of national security concerns due to its cozy relationship with the Chinese government. Huawei has also announced that it’s making its own mobile operating system.  What is going on between Huawei and the US? Now playing: Watch this: Mobile Security Politics 0last_img read more

Brahmastra postponed Are Ranbir Kapoor Karan Johar scared of clash with Salman

first_imgRanbir Kapoor’s look test for Brahmastra and Dabangg 3 poster.InstagramThe release of Brahmastra has been postponed from a Christmas 2019 date, said writer-director Ayan Mukerji, a day after talks of a box office clash with Salman Khan’s Dabangg 3. The ambitious superhero film, produced by Dharma Productions, stars Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan and Mouni Roy in lead roles. Brahmastra will now release in the year 2020, but the release date has not been decided yet. “I have learnt that all the teams working on the movie, led by my VFX teams, need more time…”, said Ayan in a lengthy, explanatory post.The sudden announcement by Ayan Mukerji comes just a day after the release of the poster of Salman Khan’s Dabangg 3, a film that releases on December 20, just ahead of Christmas 2019. Brahmastra, too, had announced a similar date and since yesterday, social media users are just talking about the clash that would have happened between the two big movies.Taking on Salman Khan aka Blockbuster Khan at the box office would have been hara kiri for Brahmastra lead actors Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, who are on a good run right now. It would also have spelt doom for producer Karan Johar, whose recent movie Kalank has not exactly fared as per expectations at the box office.Brahmastra is a three-film starring the biggest superstars and it deserves a good release. On that, we agree with Ayan Mukerji, who has gone on to seek blessings of fans and well-wishers for the movie, saying in Post Script, “From all who read this, support and blessings are always welcome. Good energies are needed for good things to happen.” Reading this, it seems like Ayan, too, is wary of Dabangg 3. The director’s last release Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) was a hit and so, he would not want to take chances with Brahmastra.Although Alia Bhatt is in a good space after Gully Boy and Raazi, as also Kalank, Ranbir Kapoor has delivered only one big hit in recent years – and that is Sanju. Hence, he badly needs Brahmastra to work and a clash with Salman Khan’s Dabangg franchise is the last thing he would want. His apprehensions are understandable.However, the good news is that Good News the film, starring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh, will release on December 27, 2019.Read Ayan Mukerji’s post here on the Brahmastra release date. Brahmastra postponed to 2020.Instagramlast_img read more

Crown prince pledges a moderate Saudi Arabia

first_imgA general view shows a portrait of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman People as people attend the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh, on 24 October, 2017. Photo: AFPSaudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday vowed to restore “moderate, open” Islam in a kingdom known for its ultra-conservative rule.”We are returning to what we were before — a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world,” he said at an economic forum in Riyadh.”We will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas. We will destroy them today,” he added.”We will end extremism very soon.”The crown prince’s statement is the most direct attack by a top official on the Gulf country’s influential conservative religious establishment.Since his sudden appointment on June 21, Prince Mohammed has pushed ahead with reforms.He is widely regarded as being the force behind King Salman’s decision last month to lift a long-standing ban on women driving.Earlier Tuesday, Riyadh announced the launch of an independent economic zone along the kingdom’s northwestern coastline.The project, dubbed NEOM, will operate under regulations separate from those that govern the rest of Saudi Arabia.last_img read more

Amazon Prime Day Gaming Deals Xbox One Nintendo Switch Graphics Cards More

first_imgAmazon Prime Day is here! Amazon’s huge 36-hour sale kicked off today at 12pm PT (8pm BST) and offers discounts on millions of items, including video games. Of course, as the name implies, you need to be an Amazon Prime member to get in on the deals – if you’re new to the service, you can sign up for a free month. Otherwise, it costs $13 per month, or $99 for 12 months.Keeping up with all Prime Day discounts can be a bit intimidating, particularly since there’s different types of deals available. Prime Day Exclusive Deals will last for the full duration of the sale, Spotlight Deals are only available for 24 hours, and Lightning Deals are only available as long as stock lasts, meaning they could disappear very quickly.Obviously, we won’t be able to keep you up to date with all the Lightning Deals, but here are a few select video-game-related Prime Day Exclusive Deals you might want to take advantage of (Update – the Nintendo Switch bundle is back! It seems it may come and go over the next day and a half).Nintendo Switch Bundle – $299.99 (12% off) [Link]Get a Switch, 64GB SanDisk MicroSDXC card, and $20 of eShop credit for the price of the console alone!Xbox One S Bundle – $229.99 (23% off) [Link] Get 1TB Xbox One S, 3 Months of Xbox Game Pass, 3 months of Xbox Live Gold, and a copy of Rare Replay.New Nintendo 3DS Super NES Edition – $149.99 (25% off) [Link]EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB GDDR5X Graphics Card – $449.99 (24% off) [Link]MSI GL62M Quad Core i7-7700HQ with GT 1050 Ti graphics gaming laptop – $799 (20% off) [Link]iBUYPOWER i7-8700K 3.7 GHz, Geforce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB, 16GB RAM gaming desktop – $1,199 (25% off) [Link]LG 34-Inch 21:9 Curved UltraWide 144Hz Refresh Rate gaming monitor – $384.99 (27% off) [Link]Corsair HS70 7.1 Surround Sound wireless gaming headset – $69.99 (30% off) [Link]NVIDIA Shield TV and controller – $179.99 (20% off) [Link]If you want to keep up with all the latest gaming deals, keep checking the Prime Day deals page and the video games department. Note: Unsurprisingly, Amazon has been slammed with traffic, and is acting strangely at the moment. The above-linked deals should all work, but the Amazon home page and other parts of the site may not load properly. Hopefully Amazon gets things working properly again soon.Amazon Prime Day runs for 36 hours until July 17 at 12am PT. No word yet on whether the deals will be extended due to the current Amazon wonkiness. Share Tweet Submitlast_img read more

Canadian Rockies wow Personal Travel Managers

first_imgTravelManagers’ personal travel managers Trina Rynehart (left) and Melinda Rowe on the foreshore of Lake LouiseCanadian Rockies wow Personal Travel ManagersExperiencing the Canadian Rockies just like a client would, was the highlight for TravelManagers’ New South Wales based personal travel managers Melinda Rowe, representative for East Jindabyne and Trina Rynehart representative for Wagga Wagga. The personal travel managers participated on a Rocky Mountaineer educational, experiencing the First Passage to the West! one of the company’s best-selling rail journeys with the Coastal Passage add-on.The ability to share her extensive personal travel experience and product knowledge with her clients is an absolute priority for Rowe.“With most educationals, everything is pre-arranged from transport, hotels and sightseeing allowing little time to really experience the destinations as you would if you were travelling independently. For this reason I was thrilled that we got to enjoy the rail experience exactly as our clients would enjoying overnight stays in Calgary, Banff and Vancouver.”Rynehart also enjoyed the opportunity to try local restaurants outside of the hosted famil.1886 Buffalo Café in Calgary serves the most delicious home-style breakfasts!“We discovered a great little café in Calgary called 1886 Buffalo Café which served the most delicious home-style breakfast. The Waldhaus Pub & Patio at Fairmont Banff Springs is a great place to enjoy a local or Bavarian beer, the prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is great. It’s located down the hill looking over the Stanley Thomson Golf Course and if you aren’t up for the walk back up the hill, the hotel offers a shuttle service via the scenic route.”Rynehart celebrated her birthday during the famil, where she celebrated with her colleague Rowe at the Waldhaus Restaurant at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.“Melinda and I had the most amazing fondue as we marveled at the stunning lake views, it was a lovely way to celebrate. For a really special occasion I recommend clients make a dinner reservation at sunset, it has to be one of the most incredible dining locations in the world!”For Rowe who has a family member and clients who need wheelchair access, the ability to see firsthand how Rocky Mountaineer caters for those needing extra support was advantageous.The Rocky Mountaineer – the best way to discover the Canadian west coast“I was impressed with the disabled access onto the train, including getting up to the upper deck of the carriages in Gold Leaf Service. There is a lift to get them onto the carriage and also there is a small lift onboard. The attendants graciously assisted people who needed help whether it was to go to the dining cart or restroom. It was never any trouble for them to do so. This experience has given me confidence that I know my clients who need that extra bit of help and support will be extremely well looked after. The service onboard the Rocky Mountaineer train was excellent!”Having done the Coastal Passage journey from Vancouver to Seattle by road previously, Rowe was impressed with the ease of the rail experience and enjoyed the change of scenery from the Rocky Mountains.“I have crossed the border from Canada into the USA both by car and coach previously and now by rail. Once we arrived in Seattle, customs and immigration officers set up their equipment onboard and one by one we each met with them to receive our stamp of entry. I can highly recommend the ease and comfort of travelling by rail, it really is the easiest way to cross the border without the hassles of queuing like you do by road or at airports. The scenery was also a change to the Rocky Mountains that we had seen on the First Passage to the West route.”For many seeing a couple of bears would be a highlight, but for Rynehart the Canadian West Coast with its dramatic landscapes and spectacular scenery provided so many memorable moments, it was hard to choose just one.TravelManagers’ personal travel managers Melinda Rowe (left) and Trina Rynehart make friends with the bellman of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise“A highlight was definitely Lake Louise and the beautiful Fairmont Resort with its spectacular scenery, great restaurants, cozy accommodation and wide range of adventure activities. Paddling a canoe across Lake Louise is great fun and a good way to get some snaps looking back to the hotel with the Lake Louise ski resort in the background. Banff is a great town, I loved seeing Cascade Mountain in the background of the main street. Local streets are named after local wildlife and it was incredible to see animals roaming the streets and nibbling on the gardens in the front yards of houses.”The TravelManagers’ personal travel manager educational programme is backed up by strong state and national support, which includes a national partnership office and local business partnership managers.“TravelManagers’ national partnership office provides access to virtual office technology, training, marketing, fares and ticketing as well as 24/7 access to all mid and back-office processes. Combined with seven state based business partnership managers and valuing key partner supplier relationships, personal travel managers have access to the broadest and most in-depth support nationwide. This type of behind the scenes central and local state-based support is crucial,” says Michael Gazal, TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager.For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599. TravelManagers Australiabecome a PTM todayAbout TravelManagers TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at thecompany’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases. Source = TravelManagers Australialast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter The Africa Showcase

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >The Africa Showcase returns to Australia in November this year bringing an impressive line-up of over 20 African suppliers to meet with the Australian travel trade. South Africa-based organisers, On Show Solutions, have again partnered with South African Tourism and South African Airways to present a busy trade evening filled with meetings, networking and travel prizes.The Africa Showcase will be a reflection of the diverse range of tourism products that Africa has to offer the Australian travel trade, featuring representatives from hotels, safari lodges, airlines and tourist boards. Registrations will close shortly for the Africa Showcase in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.The Africa Showcase is designed for travel specialists who book holidays to Africa, to discover new hotels and safari products and learn the latest trends to increase sales. The roadshow is designed to be educational and entertaining; the trade evenings provide travel sellers with an opportunity for personalised meetings with the finest products from Southern and East Africa, incorporating offers from 15 African countries.“It’s important for us to have the support of the wholesalers and we’re pleased to have so many top quality African partners participating at the events,” says Jacqui Reynolds, owner of On Show Solutions. Attendees will be able to catch up on the latest offers from Adventure Destinations, Adventure World, African Wildlife Safaris, Bench International, Destinations Africa, Swagman Tours, The Africa Safari Co and World Journeys.“SAA is delighted to be participating in Africa Showcase in 2015,” says Tim Clyde-Smith, SAA’s Country Manager for Australasia. “For the second time this important event is returning to Australia and New Zealand and we are very pleased to be involved once again. As Africa’s largest and most awarded airline, we look forward to working with key travel companies and our own partners to showcase the world’s most exciting continent. Africa Showcase is a very effective way of promoting the best travel and tourism products on offer which make for an unforgettable experience.” SAA has sponsored international flight prizes at each event for the lucky recipient of an African holiday.Exhibitors participating on the 2015 Africa Showcase include: African Sun Hotels, Africareps, Airlink, Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas, Dulini Private Game Reserve, Durban Tourism, Garonga, Kenya Tourism Board, Namibia Exclusive Safaris, Ongava Lodge, Peermont Hotels Casinos Resorts, Rainbow Tourism Group, Rovos Rail, Savanna Private Game Reserve, SA Express, Seasons in Africa, South African Airways, South African Tourism, Tsogo Sun, Virgin Limited Edition, Zambia Touris and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.Over the past eight years, the Africa Showcase – On Show Solutions’ roadshows in key global markets – has evolved into one of the largest travel trade events featuring exclusively African products. Shows are currently held in the US, Russia, UK, Australasia, Europe and Asia. An integral component of the organising team in Australasia is Margi and Lauren Jansma from Luxury Travel Management. This duo are well-known players in the leisure travel industry with vast experience working with Africa.The dates for Africa Showcase 2015 in Australia are:• Sydney, 18 November 2015• Brisbane, 19 November 2015• Melbourne, 23 November 2015• Perth, 25 November 2015Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Review Garfields the bright spot in a murky Sil

first_imgReview: Garfield’s the bright spot in a murky ‘Silver Lake’ We’ll call it the “Garfield Rule” — not the comic, the actor. It holds that any performance by Andrew Garfield, on screen or stage, will be worth seeing, no matter the content.After watching “Under the Silver Lake,” a self-described “neo-noir thriller” by writer-director David Robert Mitchell (“It Follows”), I’m still a firm believer in this rule, perhaps even more so — because only a legendarily committed actor like Garfield could make such an ambitiously murky (or murkily ambitious?) endeavour watchable, let alone for two hours and 19 minutes.Yes, almost two and a half hours. And here, length DOES matter, because up to a point, one can accept the feeling of being helplessly lost in Mitchell’s stylish and beautifully crafted but maddeningly mind-bending Los Angeles dreamscape. At a certain juncture, though, you need to feel tethered — to something.And by that we mean anything. It doesn’t have to be a linear narrative to string these often seductive scenes together. And the constant rabbit holes we’re led down are fine, to a point. But a sustainable core to the character would be nice. Not a moral core, just maybe an emotional guidepost to better understand where he’s coming from. But that, too, is elusive.“Under the Silver Lake,” so named for the hipster LA neighbourhood where it takes place, is the story of Sam (Garfield), a 33-year-old … well, we’re searching for a noun here, but it’s not clear what Sam does, or is. We do know he’s currently unemployed, and lives alone in a cluttered apartment with a balcony from which he can spy, with low-tech binocs (a la “Rear Window,” one of countless old Hollywood references) on women nearby. This includes the wacky, topless “bird lady” on a nearby terrace, and a new neighbour, lovely Sarah (Riley Keough), who shows up one day in the swimming pool.Although Sam, despite the lack of a discernible direction in life, still has no problem getting female companionship (an actress friend comes by periodically in different costumes for quick dalliances), he becomes enchanted with Sarah, a blonde who favours ruby-red lipstick and seems to be channeling Marilyn Monroe. And then, suddenly, in the middle of the night, Sarah disappears — and her little dog, too.The dog detail is important, because a dog killer seems to be on the loose in Silver Lake, terrifying the neighbourhood. At the same time, a billionaire has gone missing. Then, a gruesome discovery emerges that seems to link Sarah, who may have left a coded message behind, with the billionaire. But how, and why?Sam commits himself with admirable resolve to finding out, with apparent disregard for his personal safety. He becomes an amateur gumshoe, his quest taking him from one strange house party to another. What these parties seem to share is mysterious, scantily clad young women, and, especially for us East Coast types, really, really great views. But we digress.It feels pointless to elaborate more on the plot here, and perhaps antithetical to the film’s mood, anyway. Mitchell surely doesn’t intend for his viewers to be taking notes; a healthy state of confusion is rather the point.But, alas, a film reviewer does need to take notes, and what I found in my reporter’s pad later was way more confounding than my usual scribbles in the dark: “Beats up kid with eggs, ugh.” ”Bites the cookie, uh oh.” ”Dances to R.E.M., nice!” ”Gets sick, now he’s in a graveyard.” ”HOW are they going to end this?” ”Follows coyote to another party?”If all that sounds appealing, “Under the Silver Lake” may be for you a satisfying experience, a sort of high-gloss, nicely crafted daydream with a good score and generous references to LA noir films like “The Long Goodbye,” ”Chinatown,” ”Mullholland Drive” and “Inherent Vice,” plus an obvious love of pop culture, from Hollywood classics to graphic novels.So sit back and enjoy. But be warned: You’re gonna have to follow the coyote to another party.“Under the Silver Lake,” an A24 release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America “for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, language throughout and some drug use.” Running time: 139 minutes. Two stars out of four.___MPAA definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.___Follow Jocelyn Noveck on Twitter at: Noveck, The Associated Press by Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press Posted Apr 17, 2019 12:26 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email This image released by A24 shows Riley Keough in a scene from “Under the Silver Lake.” (A24 via AP) last_img read more

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10 minutes? that wont skimp on sound quality. a Stutsman sheriff’s deputy found 198? read more

miller@time a publi

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I want them to open their markets like our markets are open,” Saraki. read more