Sting Brings The Last Ship To The Sage Gateshead

first_imgTo benefit the Sage Gateshead 10th Birthday Appeal, Sting will perform songs from ‘The Last Ship’ his latest album and new Broadway musical of the same name, on 24th and 25th April 2015.These will be the only UK performances of their kind and are both kindly supported by Cunard. Additional support comes from Shepherd Offshore and Port of Tyne.Inspired by and set in Sting’s hometown of Wallsend, The Last Ship tells a universal story. Drawn from his childhood growing up beside the Swan Hunters shipyard, The Last Ship is very personal to Sting yet also echoes the experiences of those working in shipyards along the Wear, Clyde, Mersey or any Northern port, as well as post-industrial communities the world over. The play was originally work-shopped with local musicians and actors at Newcastle’s Live Theatre – ahead of its upcoming Broadway debut – but for Sting, it was never in doubt that the songs of The Last Ship should be performed for a North East audience.The musician said: “‘The Last Ship’ is a musical allegory set in Wallsend, the town where I was born and raised. The demise of industry – not only in shipyards like Tyneside and Gdansk, but also great manufacturing centres like Detroit – has been well documented and the effect of that demise on the identity and future of local communities particularly resonates with me. I’m very much looking forward to bringing these songs and stories home.”Sting will be joined onstage at the Sage next April by many of the region’s best loved musicians including fiddle and Northumbrian pipe player Kathryn Tickell and The Wilson Family from Billingham, Co. Durham.The Last Ship’s homecoming has generated great excitement and support from partners, particularly relating to the North East’s shipbuilding heritage. Leading the support is Cunard, the international cruiseline company, who commissioned many of their greatest ships from the Swan Hunter ship yard in Wallsend.In benefitting the Sage Gateshead’s 10th Birthday Appeal, proceeds raised from both performances will ensure that its vital work in the region will continue.Opened in 2004, Sage Gateshead has established itself as an international home for music and musical discovery. Its concert programme runs throughout the year, attracting artists from across the world and incorporating all genres of music.The venue, designed by Foster and Partners, is home to Royal Northern Sinfonia. This orchestra was founded in 1968 and received royal status from Queen Elizabeth II in June 2013. Sage Gateshead is also home to the North East’s longstanding Folkworks programme – formed in 1988 to promote and encourage the furtherance of folk music across the region. What’s more, Sage Gateshead runs many other musical education programmes,– each enabling people of all ages and abilities to become involved in music. 70 per cent of the work of these programmes takes place outside of the venue and at the heart of local communitiesIn June 2012, Arts Council England set Sage Gateshead the challenge of raising £4 million by July 2015 (in order to claim an additional £2 million in match-funding) to help secure the future of this important work. In December 2014, Sage Gateshead will celebrate its 10th Birthday, Its correspondent birthday appeal runs until the summer of 2015, and features a number of high profile concerts and celebrations. Each will help Sage Gateshead to meet the challenge set by Arts Council England and help to ensure that its work in the North East can continue.Anthony Sargent, General Director of Sage Gateshead, said: “We’re honoured that Sting has chosen to bring ‘The Last Ship’ to Sage Gateshead. His support for our 10th birthday appeal means that our work across the region, helping enrich so many lives through our musical education programmes, can continue. For the past ten years, these programmes have benefitted everyone from marginalized, struggling young people through to people at the end of their lives. The generosity of Sting, and our other kind supporters, will help even more people as Sage Gateshead enters its second decade”.Sting added: “The North East has a great creative atmosphere and legacy. The Sage sits proudly at its cultural heart and I’m always happy to support it.”Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Monday 1st September from 10am at, and also at Sage Gateshead’s Ticket Office on 0191 443 4661.last_img read more

Fort St John Hospital Foundation to celebrate 25th Anniversary

first_imgTours will start at 4:00 p.m. and run until 5:00 p.m., with the ceremony taking place from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.The Hospital Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Celebration is taking place on February 21 at the Fort St. John Hospital Lobby.For more information, you can call the Foundation at 250-261-7564. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Hospital Foundation will be holding an evening of celebration in honour of the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary.The evening will include speeches, music performances, and tours of the Hospital.Light refreshments and cake will be served.last_img read more

Lack of infrastructure investment holding back AsiaPacific region – UN meeting

22 March 2007The long-term development of the Asia-Pacific region is being threatened by a lack of investment in infrastructure, according to a United Nations-sponsored meeting which ended today with a call to back a proposal to set up a new regional body to raise funds. Kim Hak-Su, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), described the meeting as “a crucial step” in finding the path forward to generating investment in infrastructure.“The region needs to find a way to utilize our large amount of savings and foreign exchange reserves,” he said after the two-day meeting in New Delhi, which attracted about 100 representatives of government, academia and the private sector from 20 countries.Welcoming India’s championing of the need for a regional solution, Mr. Kim noted that a series of recent studies indicate there is a shortfall of more than $200 billion every year in investment in transport, energy, water and telecommunications.Yet the Asia-Pacific region has foreign exchange reserves of about $3 trillion, with much of it invested outside the region.The meeting, which was jointly organized by UNESCAP and an Indian think-tank known as RIS, endorsed a proposal to examine the establishment of a regional intermediary to channel the savings into investment.This new mechanism could be an infrastructure investment bank or finance corporation in Asia, and it could either be independent or an affiliate of an existing financial institution in the region, such as the Asian Development Bank.The meeting also ended with a call for UNESCAP’s members to set up a high-level working group to consider all options and issue recommendations to the region’s governments. read more

Cutting smog and soot could have fast and broad benefits – UNbacked

14 June 2011Fast and relatively short-term action to curb soot and smog could improve human health, generate higher crop yields, reduce climate change and slow the melting of the Arctic, according to a United Nations-backed study released today. The study, compiled by an international team of more than 50 researchers and coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), “complements urgent action needed to cut carbon dioxide emissions,” the two agencies said. Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, said: “The experts spotlight how a small number of emission reduction measures – targeting, for example, recovery of methane in the coal, oil and gas sectors through to the provision of cleaner burning cook stoves; particle traps for diesel vehicles and the banning of open burning of agricultural wastes – offer dramatic public health, agricultural, economic and environmental benefits.”The report specifically recommends reductions in emissions of methane and black carbon. Black carbons are a major component of soot and are formed from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels wood and biomass, including emissions from cars and trucks, cookstoves, forest fires and some industrial facilities.Methane contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, a major component of urban smog, and a powerful greenhouse gas and air pollutant harmful to human health and ecosystems. “Big cuts in emissions of black carbon will improve respiratory health; reduce hospital admissions and days lost at work due to sickness… Close to 2.5 million premature deaths from outdoor air pollution could on average be avoided annually worldwide by 2030 with many of those lives saved being in Asia, it is estimated,” UNEP and WMO said in a joint press release.Fast action might also reduce losses of mountain glaciers while reducing projected warming in the Arctic over the coming decades by two thirds.Big cuts in ground-level ozone could also contribute to reduced crop damage equal to between 1-4 per cent of the annual global maize, rice, soy bean and wheat production. The report concludes that cutting these so-called “short-lived climate forcers” can have immediate climate, health and agricultural benefits. This is because, unlike carbon dioxide, which can remain in the atmosphere for centuries, black carbon only persists for weeks.But the researchers also said that while fast action on black carbon and ground-level ozone could play a key role in limiting near-term climate, “immediate and sustained action to cut back CO2 is crucial if temperature rises are to be limited over the long term.”The findings were released today in Bonn, Germany, during a meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). read more

Housing market to cool CMHC

OTTAWA — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. raised its expectations for housing starts this year on Thursday, but said it expects both new and existing home markets to moderate in coming months after getting off to a strong start early in the year.The agency’s second-quarter housing market outlook said housing starts will be in the range of 182,300 to 220,600 units this year, up from a forecast in February for 164,000 to 212,700 starts in 2012.CMHC deputy chief economist Mathieu Laberge said condo construction helped drive housing starts in the early part of the year, but noted it varies significantly from month to month.“Although economic conditions are expected to remain supportive of housing demand, housing starts activity is expected to moderate as 2012 progresses,” Laberge said in a statement.“Similarly, balanced market conditions in the existing home market will result in modest house price gains through to the end of the year.”[np-related]CMHC expects housing starts for 2013 to range between 175,100 and 213,500 units compared with an earlier forecast of between 168,900 and 219,300.It forecasts that the number of existing home sales will be in the range of 431,200 to 516,100 units this year and the 2013 range will be about the same at between 431,300 and 522,400 units.The outlook suggests the average Multiple Listing Service price will range between $341,100 and $406,700 this year and between $346,000 and $419,900 next year.It said the moderate increases in the average price, of two to three per cent, are consistent with the balanced market conditions that are expected to continue in 2012 and 2013.The report came as Statistics Canada said its new housing price index rose 0.2% in April, following a 0.3% increase in March. On a year-over-year basis, the index was up 2.5% in April, following a 2.6% in March.The agency said the metropolitan regions of Toronto, Oshawa, Ont., and Edmonton were the main contributors to the March to April increase.St. John’s, N.L., St. Catharines—Niagara and Windsor, Ont. all reported price declines of about 0.1%.Continued strength in the housing market, largely due to the staying power of low interest rates, has led some economists to warn the market is overvalued.They have warned that could make homeowners vulnerable to a downturn, especially those who have used low interest rates to borrow more than they could otherwise afford.The Bank of Canada and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have warned Canadians repeatedly to moderate borrowing on real estate, declaring household debt to be the domestic economy’s number one enemy.The Canadian Press read more

UNESCO denounces yet one more journalists murder this time in Haiti

In yet another denunciation of the murder of a journalist, this time in Haiti and reportedly by police, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned this “intolerable attack on democracy and rule of law.”Haitian radio reporter Abdias Jean was allegedly killed by police in the Village de Dieu sector of the capital Port-au-Prince on 14 January. Police are reported to have beaten and shot him after he identified himself as a journalist while covering a police raid on the shanty town and their killing of several people there.“I strongly condemn the killing of Abdias Jean who appears to have been shot dead for carrying out his professional duty to inform the public,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said. “If reports that Mr. Jean was killed by the police are confirmed, it would be particularly shocking to think that such crimes are perpetrated by the very forces responsible for law and order.”He voiced his concern about the situation in Haiti, and persistent reports of violence against the media, which he said “have an essential role to play if normalcy and good governance are to be established in the country.”It was the latest of many condemnations Mr. Matsuura has issued over the past year in connection with attacks on journalists around the world. UNESCO’s mandate inckudes the defence of freedom of expression and press freedom. read more

Mahaicony resident shot by police during confrontation

…over his presence in the areaPolice say they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting of a Rebeccalust, High Dam, Mahaicony resident which occurred about 23:30hrs last night at Fair Field Public Road, ECD, by a member of the Guyana Police Force.Investigations so far revealed that about 23:00hrs the gazetted Officer was returning to Georgetown from Berbice when he reportedly felt sleepy and decided to stop on Fair Field Public Road to take a rest.The officer alleged that he was subsequently awakened by someone knocking on the window pane of the driver side of his vehicle where he was seated.The officer then lowered the glass and saw the resident who enquired as to his presence there, to which he explained.The resident reportedly removed the officer’s car key from its ignition and as the officer attempted to retrieve it, the victim allegedly drew a hatchet.According to the police, the officer immediately drew his service revolver and discharged two rounds hitting the man in his left ankle.The suspect was allegedly escorted to the Mahaicony Hospital where he was treated and sent away.The officer,  Inews was told, is assisting with the investigation. The weapons (gun and hatchet) along with two spent shells which were recovered from the scene have been lodged. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMother not confident in Police’s ability to conduct fair inquest into son’s deathJanuary 7, 2015In “Crime”Update: Investigators on the hunt for suspect in execution of Police OfficerSeptember 24, 2013In “Crime”Police officers turn a blind eye to critical information – Top Cop tells Berbice residentsJanuary 29, 2014In “Crime” read more

Signell has 16 Swedish girls for Womens EHF EURO 2018

EHF EURO 2018Henrik SignellWomen’s EHF EURO 2018 ← Previous Story SEHA: RK Vardar junior team with -15 from Brest Next Story → Kim Andersson to play until 2021! The Swedish coach Henrik Signell announced squad for the upcoming Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France which start on November 29. Sweden will play against Denmark, Poland and Serbia in Group in Nantes.Sweden made a huge step forward by winning fourth place at Women’s World Championship 2017 in Germany.GoalkeeperJohanna Bundsen, CopenhagenFilippa Idéhn, Brest BretagneLeft wingLoui Sand, Fleury LoiretOlivia Mellegård, IK SävehofRight wingLinn Blohm, KöpenhamnAnna Lagerquist, Nyköbing-FalsterLine playerDaniela Gustin, SG BBM BietigheimMathilda Lundström, Skuru IKLeft backJamina Roberts, Randers HKJohanna Westberg, Nyköbing-FalsterJenny Alm, CopenhagenPlaymakerIsabelle Gulldén, Brest BretagneCarin Strömberg, ViborgRight backHanna Blomstrand, CopenhagenNathalie Hagman, CSM BucharestDefensive playerSabina Jacobsen, CSM Bucharest read more

Column If you want to eat fatty foods go ahead – but

first_imgNEW YORK CITY’S health-minded Mayor Michael Bloomberg had a proposal to outlaw big sugary drinks shot down by a state Supreme Court Judge hours before it was to come into effect. The plan had been to limit the sale of drinks in sizes over 16 ounces (473 millilitres) in places like fast food restaurants and at petrol stations. The judge said that it was arbitrary and overreaching government interference into personal freedom.Like ground-breaking smoking bans before it, this law was being watched around the world by health policy makers who are trying to get to grips with the Battle of the Bulge that is engrossing the western hemisphere. Rich and largely sedentary populations combined with easy access to cheap, calorific food is having a visible impact on waistlines and health spending in many countries.The cost of treating obesityNearly 36 per cent of US adults and 17 per cent of US children aged 2 to 19 years old are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC); with costs associated of about $147 billion in 2009. Here at home we’re experiencing similar figures for obesity, and the state body Safefood reckons that treating obesity is costing some €400 million a year; with a further €700 million in indirect costs around related illnesses, absenteeism and premature deaths.The CDC reckoned in a November 2012 study that sugary drinks account for six per cent of American adults’ calorie intake, and a more significant portion among children. The average American adult consumed 44.6 gallons (167 litres) of carbonated drinks in 2011. It may sound like a lot, but it’s easy to rack up that kind of consumption when fast food restaurants, grocery stores and petrol stations will sell you drinks from fountains of up to and even beyond 64 ounces (1.9 litres) for around $2.There’s a lot more to fighting obesity than just tackling the size of soft drinks, but like making smokers go stand out in the rain the law to limit the size of beverages sold in fountains to 16 ounces was touted as a gentle prod in the right direction. Buying a coke wasn’t intended to become like trying to buy a packet of Solpadine is nowadays here. Consumers could always buy two or three or four drinks if they really wanted that much, though they would inevitably end up paying more as the price difference between sizes is only a few cents.Personal freedom v government interferenceI viewed this proposed law as something that both makes good sense and is utterly appalling at the same time. As a (mostly) libertarian thinker where social issues are concerned, I believe that we all have a right to do as we please free from interference from government or others; so long as we don’t harm anyone in the process and we can afford it.In general when gorging oneself on massive amounts of calorific soft drinks or fatty foods, no harm is done to others. As a libertarian I’d say go right ahead and enjoy that slow disintegration. Unfortunately, when it comes to ‘affording’ the vice of gluttony it’s not so clear cut. It’s cheap to get fat, but the healthcare and other costs associated with it are spread around in our beautiful little socialist paradise.If, heaven forbid, you and I are rushed to A&E some evening, you because of a genetically inherited heart condition and me because I finally ate that one spare rib I was away from having one; we get charged the same fee at the door and for our stay and care. While there’s a very real and substantial material hazard associated with over eating and other pursuits such as smoking, there’s very little moral hazard associated with the monetary fallout.That’s why a fine small government advocate like myself can look positively on a law that is nanny stateism at its best: government trying to control your body. Well, if government is paying for the damage you do to it then it starts to make sense for them to have a say in how you manage it.If government is paying, it has a sayThis is one of the troubles with a big nanny state: The more we expect government to do for us, the less control we inevitably have over what we do and how we do it. Just as I believe in the right to freedom of speech, no matter what stupidity you want to spout (and hey, one could argue it works well for me); I believe in the right to gorge oneself to excess if that is your preferred pastime. But, I think you ought to pay for it.We’re all familiar with ever skyrocketing health insurance costs, and medical inflation will probably become a watchword of the public lexicon once the government introduces mandatory universal insurance in the next few years. How and ever health insurance is blind to whether or not you’re a smoker, a drinker or obese.To an extent in a socialised system it is right and proper that people with, for example, congenital conditions are protected from massive costs that are not of their making. We already load younger health insurance customers with the higher costs associated with older ones, and go so far as to spread this between companies in a state-regulated system.It is not proper however that people with more self-inflicted ills should pay the same as the health freaks among us. In the US people with a body mass index of 30 or higher, considered obese, pay an average of 22 per cent more to buy health insurance according to data released by from 2012. Smokers pay on average 14 per cent more, and female smokers in particular are hard hit with a 22 per cent premium on female non-smokers.The cost of obesity being spread among healthier individualsUnder Obamacare, the US version of mandatory health insurance, smokers will still be liable of premiums of up to 50 per cent more than non-smokers; but people who are obese and overweight will no longer pay extra for their gluttony. This will inevitably lead to the cost being spread around among healthier individuals, as we do it here today.In Ireland there are no premiums for obese individuals, nor are there plans for any. At a recent Oireachtas health committee meeting about rising insurance costs consultant oncologist and Senator Professor John Crown asked whether more of a premium could be put on smoking. The insurers said they would be open to it, but it would demand the Department of Health making legislative changes to allow it. This should be done, particularly in an era of universal health insurance.Paying for bad habits through health insurance, that represents the true costs of bad habits, is a lot better than letting the government control our fluid intakes, as the old Dr Strangelove joke goes.Aaron McKenna is a businessman and a columnist for He is also involved in activism in his local area. You can find out more about him at or follow him on Twitter @aaronmckenna. To read more columns by Aaron click here.last_img read more

Uncle and nephew tragically drown on bay

first_imgTwo Greek fishermen tragically drowned on Friday night whilst fishing in Port Phillip Bay near Frankston. The bodies of 41 year old Paul Katelas and his 71 year old uncle George Emmanuel were found on Saturday after an extensive air and sea search on the bay. Cranbourne resident and father of three, Paul Katelas, was due to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday on Saturday.George Emmanuel was well-known in the Greek community as he had served as President of the Lassanis Club of Kozani. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Over 100 000 for Greek aged care

first_imgOver $100 000 was raised for Greek aged care at the Fabulous Fronditha Charity Gala Ball on the weekend.President of Fronditha Care, Mike Zafiropoulos, AM, said the $114,756 would be valuable in expanding Fronditha’s 120-bed facility in Thornbury, including a 30 bed dementia unit. “This is a fantastic record result for Fronditha, and one which will go a long way in the expansion of our Thornbury facility,” he said. He thanked the donors, the community and the event sponsors, including BMW, for the record amount. Host Alex Perry helped auction off one of his designer dresses for $5000, and entertained the crowd as he spoke about whether Australia’s Next Top Model was rigged, as well as the importance of looking after Greek elders. “We’re standing on the shoulders of our forefathers,” he told the well-dressed crowd of around 280 people at Toorak’s Lincoln Reception Centre.“So at the end of their lives you need to say, ‘we will look after you every single day, as much as you did for us’.”The popular fashion designer said aged care was an issue close to his heart, as his father was suffering from aphasia, a neurological disease where he has difficulty remembering language. Parry’s father migrated from Greece in the 1950s, and his mother’s parents came out in the 1930s. He described his relatives as “the bravest people I know”. “I would often think, ‘oh here we go, the suitcase story,’ but I often think about it now,” he said. “And I challenge any of you, if I gave you a suitcase full of clothes and let’s say $2000, to travel across the world to a country you know nothing about.” And he challenged the younger generation to keep alive the stories of their grandparents’ migration.“They need to be here and see this,” he said.He also had a go at special guest George Calombaris, whom he described as a “matinee idol”.But the pair seemed to have mended their differences when they joined with Mike Zafiropoulos to lead the first Kalamatiano. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Développement durable les opérateurs télécoms sengagent

first_imgDéveloppement durable : les opérateurs télécoms s’engagentFrance – Le secteur français des opérateurs télécoms s’est engagé, via une charte pour le développement durable, à minimiser son impact sur l’environnement. Un engagement qui passe notamment par une amélioration de la collecte des téléphones portables usagés.Cette “charte d’engagement pour le développement durable” a été signée par les secrétaires d’État Chantal Jouanno et Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, ainsi que par Frank Esser, président de la Fédération française des télécoms dont les trois principaux opérateurs, Orange, Bouygues Télécom et SFR, sont membres.La mesure la plus symbolique consistera à développer la collecte de mobiles usagés qui, comme l’a rappelé Chantal Jouanno, seraient 10 millions à “dormir dans les tiroirs”. En 2009, seuls 485.000 mobiles ont été collectés, alors que les 50 millions de Français qui utilisent un téléphone portable ont tendance à changer d’appareil tous les 18 à 24 mois. “Ce n’est pas un problème technique qui fait qu’on en change souvent, c’est beaucoup lié aux offres nouvelles, c’est aussi un sujet de travail”, a souligné la secrétaire d’État à l’Écologie. L’optimisation de la collecte n’est bien sûr pas la seule mesure de la charte signée par les grands opérateurs télécoms. La maîtrise de la consommation d’énergie qui ne cesse de croître dans le secteur des technologies de l’information et de la communication (TIC), est elle-aussi en ligne de mire, avec pour objectif de la plafonner à 8,5 milliards de kilowatts/heure (TWh) en 2012, et de la réduire à 7,6 TWh en 2020. Sont ainsi évoqués parmi les outils qui pourraient être utilisés, une nouvelle génération de décodeurs TV avec interrupteur marche-arrêt, ou une consommation en mode actif et veille pour les boîtiers ADSL.Le 29 juillet 2010 à 12:47 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Facebook has entirely new experiences for you

first_img Smart displays let Amazon, Facebook, Google show you answers to your questions Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Tags Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images Get ready for a flood of new Facebook apps. The social media giant said Tuesday it’s created a team, known as New Product Experimentation, to design, build and launch apps that give people “entirely new experiences for building community.” The apps could range from games to business tools. Facebook is housing the team in a new limited liability company, the NPE Team. The structure will encourage more experimentation, allowing employees to quickly alter apps or even shut them down if they fail to live up to expectations, Facebook said.The new apps will include the developer name, “NPE Team from Facebook.” Some apps could be free, while others might offer in-app purchases, Facebook said. Apps are expected to hit Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store, as well as the web, in the coming weeks.”Oftentimes starting small is the best way to make the biggest discoveries,” the company said on the NPE Team website. “We believe building without fear of failure is the only way to achieve success.”The creation of the new team highlights Facebook’s efforts to develop features and services outside of its main social network, which has been embroiled in a series of privacy and security scandals and struggles to attract teens in the US. Outside of its main service and its Messenger app, Facebook has failed to develop popular apps on its own. The social network purchased the Instagram photo-sharing app and the WhatsApp messaging service. The company also successfully copied Snapchat’s Stories feature, allowing users to post videos and photos that vanish within 24 hours. Originally published July 9, 8:46 a.m. PT.Update, 12:28 p.m.: Includes analyst comment. 14 Photos Would you use Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency? (The…center_img Apps developed by the NPE team might serve as a proving ground for Facebook, giving the social network a sense of what features excite its 2.38 billion monthly active users, many of whom are wary of change, before the company invests heavily in them. It could also help Facebook create a market for its planned Libra cryptocurrency, which it’s launching with partners in 2020, if it’s integrated as a payment method for in-app upgrades. Facebook is building a digital wallet for storing the currency and said it’s too soon to tell if new apps will accept Libra. It’s an open question whether the standalone strategy will work. For two years, Facebook ran a startup-like initiative called Creative Labs that encouraged employees to experiment. It created the news-reading app Paper, ephemeral messaging service Slingshot and group messaging app Rooms. None of those services gained traction with users and Facebook shuttered those apps. The social network quietly wound down the informal effort in 2015. Separately, Facebook launched a TikTok competitor called Lasso, but the app hasn’t caught on with teens.”It is not a slam dunk that (Facebook) can come up with apps that drive new services,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies. “That will take a real understanding of the specific type of customer they want to reach and how well it is designed and executed.”NPE apps may not be distributed widely, Facebook said, and some would be limited to certain countries depending on the service. Facebook wouldn’t say how large the NPE team will be or who will oversee the group. The team includes smaller groups made up of engineers, product managers and designers. It will sit within the organization overseen by Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer.Facebook said data collection will vary depending on the app. Some apps could allow users to sign in through their Facebook accounts. The social network already collects troves of information on its users, which businesses use to target advertising. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook after revelations surfaced that UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of up to 87 million users without their permission. Facebook’s terms of service and data policy will apply to the apps released by the NPE team. The company will also be releasing “supplemental terms” for the team in the coming weeks before the new apps launch. Comment 1 Mobile Tech Industry Facebook 5:51last_img read more

Living like a moon astronaut is hard work

first_img 3 10:04 11 Photos Comments Share your voice I’m in Hawaii to experience what it could be like to live as an astronaut on a mission to the moon or Mars. With Musilova, director of HI-SEAS missions as my guide, I’m going to learn how would-be astronauts prepare for life on another planet; from the food they eat to how they explore foreign terrain.We’re all living in a simulationHI-SEAS looks fairly small from the outside. It’s just 36 feet (11 meters) in diameter, but inside the dome feels deceptively big; almost like the Tardis from Doctor Who. mg-3733Open this door and you enter the airlock, then the habitat itself. Lexy Savvides/CNET Musilova is showing me around the habitat that she jokingly calls her “dome sweet dome.” It accommodates six crew members with individual sleeping quarters, workstations, a lab, kitchen and dining area plus two bathrooms. I try everything from freeze-dried food (pineapple tastes great, but carrot will break your teeth) to the composting toilet (not as gross as it sounds).The kitchen has a microwave, fridge and stove for eager cooks, but because food needs to be rehydrated, spices are key to add some flavor. “I joke that the only difference between chicken and beef is the color,” Musilova says. A quick guide to the first moon landing See Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit all fixed up Original NASA Apollo 11 moon landing tapes set to fetch $1 million Apollo 11 at 50 24 Photos Tags Beta Test To the Mooncenter_img Space Walking on the moon is hard work. My spacesuit is getting hot, the helmet is weighing me down and I’m carrying a heavy backpack that’s piping air to help me breathe. I’m so constricted by all this gear that if I want to look around, I need to turn my entire body.Click here for To the Moon, a CNET multipart series examining our relationship with the moon from the first landing of Apollo 11 to future human settlement on its surface. Robert Rodriguez/CNET I slide on the jagged lava rock a few times, but I’m slowly acclimating to this uneven, barren landscape with each step.Then, just as I think I have my footing, the rock, or aa, starts to crumble.”The joke is it’s called aa because of the noise you make when you walk on it — ah-ah!”Astrobiologist Michaela Musilova is showing me how to spot the treacherous lava rock. The terrain looks so foreign it really does feel like I’m on the moon.Fortunately, I’m still on Earth. Just a few hundred feet away from us is a white dome called Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS. It’s a purpose-built habitat used to prepare humans for the challenges of living on the moon or Mars. Situated on Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii, the location was originally chosen to house the faux astronaut base back in 2013 because the landscape is so similar to what’s on the red planet. There’s very little vegetation and plenty of lava rock.Walking on the moon (on Earth) Evan Miller/CNET In the past, HI-SEAS has been funded by NASA to run simulations of life on Mars, but in late 2018 it was converted to host lunar missions. As part of the International Moonbase Alliance, a consortium of scientists, astronauts such as Buzz Aldrin and entrepreneurs like Henk Rogers (who also owns the dome), it plays an important role in establishing a sustainable human presence on the moon. It’s a critical change, given NASA’s accelerated timeline to put astronauts back on the lunar surface by 2024. Other companies are also trying to take humans further into space. Blue Origin, backed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, wants to send humans to the moon on a similar timeframe and plans to build space colonies. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has already sold a trip around the moon and has said it will get a cargo ship to Mars by 2022, with a crew following a couple of years later.  Would-be astronauts come to HI-SEAS on weeks- or months-long missions to perform science experiments or test specific technology like new spacesuits and communication systems. Missions can also be focused on something more simple like growing food. “We’re kind of like the test rabbits,” Musilova says as she tells me about a recent experiment by Slovakian students that used chemically treated hair from crew members as fertilizer.Mission control is about a 50-minute drive from the habitat, but they can monitor elements like power levels, the inside and outside of the habitat, or the astronauts remotely. On a mission that studies the psychological aspects of living on another planet, they might wear monitors on their chests, arms and hands to keep an eye on heart rate or stress levels.Contact with the outside world is delayed anywhere from three seconds to over 20 minutes to replicate the distance from the Earth to Mars — and there’s no override. For a mission to Mars, even in a crisis, it would take up to 45 minutes for mission control to respond astronauts on Mars. Bandwidth is also limited on purpose, so most missions can only use email and messaging.Exploring the unknownOutdoor exploration is just as important as indoor studies on some missions. Called extravehicular activities, or EVA, astronauts put on modified spacesuits and then venture outside to collect samples, map areas for future exploration or perform maintenance on the habitat. I get changed into my spacesuit, add some protective gloves, knee pads and helmet. It’s not an actual space helmet because it’s not entirely airtight, but it still feels claustrophobic. Passing through the airlock, we venture of backpacks and helmets ready for astronauts to suit up on EVA. Lexy Savvides/CNET The air is thinner up here thanks to the elevation. We’re at 8,200 feet above sea level, and my body is still getting used to the altitude. My lungs are struggling to suck enough air as I scramble up and over lava rocks. It starts to rain and the backpack fan doesn’t have enough power to stop my breath from fogging up the visor. The rock suddenly disintegrates underneath me and I come crashing to the ground. Fortunately, it’s mostly my pride that’s wounded.Unlike me, Musilova has performed dozens of EVAs here and knows this terrain like the back of her hand. I follow her toward a geological feature called a skylight that once had lava flowing under it but now is more like a giant hole in the ground, with red rocks falling off into a cavern so deep I can’t even see the base.”This kind of environment is what you would find on the surface of Mars and similar things on the moon,” says Musilova. “That’s why we study it here and do our research in the spacesuits to make it feel as real as possible.”Setting up shop on the moonThe HI-SEAS habitat is powered by a solar array, and the panels charge battery packs throughout the day. A hydrogen fuel cell acts as backup. The next big change to the habitat will be adding in a closed-loop system to recycle water. Vincent Paul Ponthieux, designer of the habitat, tells me it’s a precursor for a much larger project: an entire moon village.  Now playing: Watch this: See inside a moon simulator here on Earth Mahina Lani, as it will be known, is set to span more than 1,000 acres and consist of a campus, testing facilities and more analog habitats for isolation studies. “This is going to be an international effort,” Ponthieux says. “It’ll be open to all of the international space agencies, just like the habitat we have now.”You can only bring so much with you to the moon or to Mars, so using the local resources is key to any sort of long-term habitation. Musilova tells me they’re working on technology to extract water from the soil to use that to drink. By breaking down this water further, humans could breathe the oxygen and even use the hydrogen for fuel.Being able to practice living off-planet — first here on Earth and then on the moon itself — means that when the time comes to go to Mars, it will be that much easier. But that doesn’t mean that the simulations here on Earth feel any less real, as Musilova tells me a few anecdotes of astronauts trying to reacclimate when it’s time to leave a mission.”Suddenly you’re meant to open the door and you’re not wearing a spacesuit, it’s like ‘oh my god, what’s happening? Am I gonna die now?”Like those astronauts, I feel a little disoriented when it’s time to leave the habitat. Coming down from the highs of the EVA (and the elevation), being back on sea level is almost jarring. Experiencing the HI-SEAS simulation is probably as close as I’ll ever come to setting foot on the lunar surface, but it’s given me a newfound appreciation of how physically (and mentally) tough you have to be to live on another planet. I was a moon astronaut for the day Sci-Tech The Eagle has landed: 11 amazing facts about Apollo 11last_img read more

House Passes Bill To Change Hunting And Fishing License Fees

first_imgThe state House has passed a bill that would increase the cost of hunting, fishing and trapping in Alaska.Download AudioLawmakers voted 33-7 on Wednesday to pass Rep. Dave Talerico’s bill that would increase sporting license and tag fees for residents and nonresidents.The bill would also create a $20 fish and wildlife decal with the proceeds expected to go to conservation programs and change the minimum age for a license to 18 instead of 16.Lawmakers also approved an amendment to allow individuals with developmental disabilities to have someone else hunt or fish for them.Reasons given by the Democrats and independent voting against the bill included frustration that the state was raising user fees but not looking at other revenue.The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.last_img read more

Landgrabbers assault revenue officials

first_imgGajularamaram: Alleged land-grabbers on Friday severely assaulted several Revenue Department officials and staff who had gone to demolish unauthorised structures in Gajularamaram village following the instructions of Tahsildar Goutham Kumar.The land-grabbers included Shaik Moulana, Syed Jaleel, Maistri Pasha, Shadul, Chand Pasha and Nafeez Begum. The officials assaulted were VRO Shyan Kumar, local, VRA and ‘Girdavar’ Umamaheshwar Goud. The staff acted on a complaint received on WhatsApp by the Tahsildar. Also Read – Hyderabad: Wall collapse in Kukatpally damages four cars Advertise With Us Goutham warned that strong action would be taken against the land-grabbers. He said non-bailable cases under Sections 332, 341, read with 34 IPC, and Section (3) of PDPS Act have been registered by the Jagadgirigutta police. The Tahsildar and local CI K Srinivasulu visited the spot where the incident occurred and demolished the illegal constructions. A government notice was put up at the spot. The tahsildar warned land-grabbers that attacks on the department staff would not be tolerated.last_img read more

Endurance Technologies unlike ICICI Prudential does not disappoint investors on listing

first_imgEndurance Technologies, which had issued shares at Rs 472 per share in the recently-concluded initial public offering (IPO), brought cheers to investors when it got listed on Wednesday. The shares debuted with 21 percent premium at Rs 570 per share and rose further to Rs 616 during the day. This is in sharp contrast to the tepid listing of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance shares at 1.5 percent below the issue price of Rs 334 per share, on September 29, 2016.The Rs 1,160-crore public issue of Endurance Technologies was oversubscribed almost 44 times at the end of its three-day IPO on October 7, though the retail portion was oversubscribed by a mere 2.60 times though qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) showed active interest, with their portion securing oversubscription of 53.43 times.The auto components maker had raised Rs 348.52 crore by issuing 73.84 lakh (7.38 million) shares to anchor investors at the upper end of the price band of Rs. 467-472 per equity share. The investors included HDFC MF, Nomura, Singapore government, DSP Blackrock, Goldman Sachs and HSBC.Snapshot of Endurance Technologies (based on draft prospectus filed with Sebi):Net profit was Rs. 289.83 crore on sales of Rs. 5,240.55 crore in 2015-16.For FY2015 and FY2016, revenue from overseas sales was 31.3 percent and 32.5 percent, respectively, of total revenues.The top two customers are Bajaj Auto and FCA Italy S.p.A and its group companies in Europe.In FY2015 and FY2016, Bajaj represented 43.19 percent and 40.83 percent of net revenues from operations (including intermediary sales), respectively.FCA Italy S.p.A. represented 14.20 percent and 15.29 percent of net revenues from operations for FY2015 and FY2016, respectively.As of March 31, 2016, there were 1,945 employees working for the company.There are 18 manufacturing facilities in India.On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex was trading 46 points lower at 28,004 while the NSE Nifty was down 12 points to 8,666 at around 12.23 p.m.ICICI Prudential Life Insurance shares were trading at 329.10 apiece on BSE, down 0.33 percent from their previous close and below the issue price. ICICI Bank was also trading in the red at Rs 265.70 after rallying for two days.The current IPO that is making news is that of PNB Housing Finance. The price band for the issue has been fixed at Rs 750-775 per share for the Rs 3,000-crore initial public offering.last_img read more

Kim Jong Un turns from threats to hugs in diplomatic drive

first_imgA combination photo shows US president Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in Washignton, DC, US, 17 May 2018 and in Panmunjom, South Korea, 27 April 2018 respectively. Photo: ReutersFrom threats of war to brotherly hugs, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has emerged as a skilled diplomat with the unexpected assistance of a new player in the game: US President Donald Trump.Kim’s sudden turn to statecraft at the height of tensions is straight out of a North Korean playbook that goes back decades, analysts say, but Trump’s spontaneity has allowed it to have an unprecedented impact on the field of diplomacy.After a year of multiple missile launches that brought the US mainland within range of his rockets, and the North’s largest atomic test to date, Kim declared Pyongyang’s nuclear quest complete and began his overtures for negotiations.Kim reached out to the South’s dovish President Moon Jae-in in time for the Winter Olympics and later made his international debut with a surprise trip to traditional ally China to finally pay his respects to President Xi Jinping, repairing a relationship that had frayed in recent years.He is due to hold a historic summit with Trump next week in Singapore, brokered by Moon — the first-ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.”It was premeditated,” said Kim Hyun-wook, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy.”Kim knew that if he started by fixing inter-Korean ties, it would lead to talks with the US and China would reach out.”In meetings with the South Korean and Chinese leaders, including seaside strolls and al fresco woodland tea, Kim has appeared polite and pleasant, a stark contrast to Pyongyang’s previous chest-thumping.The North Korean leader has also extended goodwill gestures to the US, releasing three American detainees and dismantling his nuclear test site, while halting missile launches for over six months.”Kim’s not just good at maximum pressure, he’s also pretty good at maximum engagement,” said Jung Pak, a former North Korea expert at the CIA who is now a scholar at the Brookings Institution.He has proved “quite skilled at playing the regional players against the other”, she said, and “sees Beijing as a key counterweight (and probably an insurance policy) against the United States”.- Diplomatic leverage -It is a surprising transition for a leader who had spent six years in isolation, never having left the country nor met with foreign heads of state since assuming power in 2011.Now, Kim’s diplomacy is in full gear, exchanging envoys with Washington and holding repeated summits with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts.His approach to Beijing is a “classic example of balanced diplomacy”, said Koo Kab-woo, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.Kim travelled to China for a rendezvous with Xi ahead of the landmark April inter-Korean summit in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas.”He’s going to Washington via Beijing and Seoul,” Koo said. “It’s the most effective way for a small state to increase diplomatic leverage.”But it was the president of the United States who may have unknowingly provided the stage for Kim to show off his diplomatic skills.The Singapore summit is a result of Trump’s spontaneity, after he accepted Kim’s invitation to talk — relayed by Seoul officials — without consulting his aides.When Trump issued a letter abruptly cancelling next week’s summit, Moon and Kim rapidly arranged a second meeting, posing for affectionate pictures at the border, as both Seoul and Pyongyang reaffirmed the North’s commitment to dialogue.Within days, Trump had reinstated the meeting.”It would be impossible if we didn’t have the combination of Moon Jae-in, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un,” Koo said. “Kim met the optimal mix.”As Kim and Trump wrestle for more leverage, analysts say Kim’s carefully orchestrated diplomacy will serve as insurance against a possible resumption of US-led pressure if next week’s meeting goes badly.Beyond pledging its commitment to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula — a diplomatic euphemism open to wide interpretation — Pyongyang has made no public offers of concessions, while Washington is still insisting it gives up its weapons.But even if Singapore is a failure, Kim is likely to soldier on with his charm offensive rather than immediately return to missile and nuclear tests, said Go Myong-hyun, an analyst at the Asan Institute of Policy Studies.”And if that’s the case, South Korea and China will be able to continue helping North Korea diplomatically.”last_img read more

Managing SCD Crises

first_imgPhysicians across the nation agree that while Sickle Cell Disease cannot be prevented, there are some factors that can be controlled to ward off crises.  Among them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention count these to be among the most effective.Drink Plenty of Fluids.  Sickle cell crises increase if the body is dehydrated (the body doesn’t have enough fluids). Drinking plenty of fluids can lower the risk of a painful crisis.Find and Maintain Good Medical Care.  Sickle cell disease is particularly complex, according to the CDC, and requires medical care from doctors and nurses with a certain level of expertise in the condition.  The best choice is a hematologist (a doctor who specializes in blood diseases) working with a team of sickle cell specialists.Get Regular Checkups.  Regular health checkups with a primary care doctor can help prevent some serious problems.  The CDC recommends from birth to one year of age, the sickle cell patient should see a doctor every two to three months; children one to two years of age should see a doctor at least every three months; and from age two to adulthood, those living with sickle cell should see a doctor at least once every year.Learn Healthy Habits, Including How to Prevent Infections.  In addition to keeping hydrated (people with sickle cell disease should drink eight to 10 glasses of water every day and eat healthy food), CDC advisors recommend those living with sickle cell avoid becoming too hot, too cold, or too tired.  This is especially important for those who wish to participate in physical activity.  Resting when the body feels tired, and remembering not to overdue workouts is important.Look for Clinical Studies.  Because there is no ready cure to Sickle Cell Disease, researchers continue to work towards one using new clinical research studies.  By securing placement on a study, those suffering from the condition have an opportunity to access new technology and potential treatments for the disease.Get Support.  Find a patient support group or community-based organization that provides information, assistance, and support.last_img read more

Amazon Prime Day Even With Website Crash Company Touts Record Sales So

first_imgAmazon’s initial kickoff to its Prime Day massive annual shopping-deals promotion got off to a rocky start — with many customers unable to access the site because of technical issues Monday.Nevertheless, the e-commerce giant says 2018 Prime Day is bigger than ever: According to Amazon, in the first 10 hours (by 10 p.m. Pacific Monday) the company had sold more Prime Day-featured products than last year.Top Prime Day sellers in the U.S. through 6 a.m. PT Tuesday include three Amazon products — Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote ($19.99, normally $39.99), Echo Dot ($29.99, down from $49.99 regularly), and Fire 7 tablet with Alexa ($29.99, discounted from $49.99) — as well as the Instant Pot six-quart cooker ($59.99, regularly $99.95) and LifeStraw personal water filter for hiking ($9.99, versus $24.95 list price). Amazon’s 2018 Prime Day — which is actually 36 hours long — kicked off at 12 noon PT on Monday, July 16, and runs through Tuesday at 12 a.m. PT.In the first few hours, many users encountered error messages in trying to access Amazon Prime Day deals, with the cute dogs on the Amazon error messages quickly becoming an internet meme. Amazon’s site began experiencing problems at 12:05 p.m. PT Monday, affecting only users in the U.S., according to acknowledged the technical glitches in a tweet Monday at 1:59 p.m. PT. “Some customers are having difficulty shopping, and we’re working to resolve this issue quickly,” the company wrote. 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 Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Prime Day features discounts on more than 1 million products. The deals are browsable by more than 40 of the most-shopped-for areas, including style and fashion, electronics, cooking, and travel.Prime members can shop for deals online, via the Amazon App, or in person at Whole Foods Market, Amazon Books, Amazon pop-up locations, and Treasure Truck. The company also is airing live Prime Day programming at where hosts reveal top deals, shopping tips, and trends during peak shopping times.last_img read more