Progress in West Africa remains fragile despite positive trends – UN report

2 July 2009While West Africa has witnessed some positive trends recently, including the holding of peaceful elections, progress in the region remains fragile and faces a number of threats, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a report published today. While West Africa has witnessed some positive trends recently, including the holding of peaceful elections, progress in the region remains fragile and faces a number of threats, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a report published today.In his report on the work of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Mr. Ban writes that the overall peace and security situation in the region continued to improve over the past six months.“In spite of a number of debilitating internal and external factors, including food insecurity and the global financial crisis, West Africa is witnessing the emergence of positive trends towards peace, post-conflict recovery and stability,” he states.“Progress in the areas of governance and the rule of law, although significant, have remained essentially fragile and might even be reversible in some areas,” he continues. “Furthermore, emerging and growing security threats, including organized crime, illicit and terrorist activities and climate change, jeopardizing ongoing endeavours and the gains achieved so far.”In addition, Mr. Ban voices deep concern about the “recent wave” of unconstitutional changes of government in the region.“Coups d’état are illegitimate acts that constitute a severe setback for democratization in West Africa and a threat to national cohesion and stability, with significant subregional implications,” he states, adding that the resurgence of coups in the region has generated serious human rights concerns, a problem that is compounded by impunity for perpetrators.The Secretary-General says the international community must respond in a firm, proactive, collective and consistent manner to address both the root causes of coups and those practices that can act as triggers, such as grievances related to wealth and power-sharing and infringements of democratic processes and disregard for human rights.The report also highlights drug trafficking and cross-border organized crime, which continue to impact negatively on security in West Africa, with Mr. Ban noting that growing international engagement, coupled with bold national and subregional initiatives, are beginning to yield results.While drug trafficking is emerging as one of the more pervasive and dangerous forms of cross-border organized crime in West Africa, other illicit activities are also a concern. These include human smuggling, piracy and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, as well as the activities of criminal and other armed groups.Mr. Ban notes that in the coming six months, UNOWA – headed by his Special Representative Said Djinnit – will continue to focus on priority areas such as advocacy for conflict prevention and peace consolidation. The Office will also continue to play a significant role in efforts to address drug trafficking and organized crime, as well as help to strengthen the capacity of national institutions, including the security sector, in providing security for electoral processes. read more

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Vinyl music gives record stores a boost in a digital world

Vinyl music gives record stores a boost in a digital world FILE- In this April 19, 2012 file photo, Chris Bown poses in Scarborough, Maine, with a copy of The Knack’s “Live in Los Angeles 1978.” Brown from Maine-based Bull Moose music hatched the idea for Record Store Day, the annual event to celebrate local record stores. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File) by David Sharp, The Associated Press Posted Apr 19, 2017 10:00 am MDT Last Updated Apr 19, 2017 at 11:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email PORTLAND, Maine – Record stores have not only survived the onslaught of pirated music, digital downloads and online streaming services. They’re now growing in numbers.Several hundred indie music retailers have opened in the past five years in the U.S. thanks largely to the resurgence of vinyl records, industry officials say.“Stores are popping up in small towns. There’s enough vinyl business to support them. You have a lot of young entrepreneurs who are seeing this opportunity,” said Wes Lowe from Alliance Entertainment Corp., the nation’s largest wholesale distributor of compact discs, DVDs and vinyl record albums.That gives music lovers something to cheer as Record Store Day celebrates its 10th anniversary Saturday in stores from Maine to California.The annual event pays homage to the neighbourhood music store, the place where people have long gathered to thumb through vinyl records or cassette tapes. Back in the 1970s, every community had at least one of them, but hundreds went out of business at the onset of the digital music revolution.The number of independent record stores levelled off at about 2,000 before growing over the past five years to a number that’s closer to 2,400, Lowe said.The resurgence in vinyl sales is helping.A new generation is enamoured with old-school vinyl albums and turntables, joining older listeners who grew up with record albums and audio purists who prefer the full, warm sound of albums to modern compressed digital audio files.Sales of vinyl albums have grown from fewer than 1 million records a year in 2005 to more than 13 million in 2016, according to Nielsen Music.And money is being invested in expanded production capacity. Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer Jack White got into the act by launching a vinyl pressing plant earlier this year in Michigan.Record Store Day got off to a raucous start with heavy-metal band Metallica in San Francisco in 2008, but the story begins off the beaten path with an indie record store chain operator in faraway Maine. Chris Brown from Bull Moose Music hatched the idea in 2007 for an event that started the following year with 200 stores and has grown to 1,600 participating record stores on Saturday.New vinyl releases are a hallmark of the event. This year, tributes to two stars who died in 2016 include several 12-inch extended mix hits from Prince and a first-tune release of a demo album used to promote David Bowie before he became famous. Others include Elton John’s reissue of his favourite concert recording dubbed “17-11-70”; a live recording from The Doors; a flexi-disc from Emerson, Lake and Palmer with cuts from “Brain Salad Surgery;” and Toto’s “Africa” pressed on an album shaped like the continent.There’s also the second annual Record Store Crawls, a 12-date tour by Warner Music that will escort participants by bus to local record stores. It kicks off Saturday in New York and will also visit Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Performers include Savoire Adore, Craig Brown Band, Angelica Garcia and others.Brown doesn’t think it’s any coincidence that the growing popularity of vinyl records coincided with the creation of an annual event to celebrate stores with vinyl. “They call it the ‘vinyl resurgence’ but it started with Record Store Day,” Brown said.Almighty Music Marketing, a market research firm in California, estimates that more than 500 stores have opened since 2010, and believes the trend will continue.Its president, Vince Hans, added that part of the growth is independent stores filling gaps left by the closings of big box retailers.The new stores aren’t always conventional. These days, there are combo stores selling comics and records. And there are even restaurants and bars selling records.“You have to innovate to be successful now,” said Michael Kurtz, Record Store Day co-founder and president of the largest coalition of independent record stores.____Online:http://www.recordstoreday.comhttp://www.recordstorecrawl.com read more

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Student food bank fed by book proceeds

A one-day initiative has whipped up support for Brock University’s student food bank.Sodexo joined forces with the Campus Store recently to donate $436 to Food First, the food assistance program run by the Brock University Students’ Union.The funds were raised during two book signings held Nov. 9 with Chef Michael Smith in Market Hall and the Campus Store.Proceeds from copies of Smith’s book, Real Food, Real Good, sold on campus during the signing were collected to support the food bank.In addition to funds from the book sales, Sodexo contributed funds collected during management dress down days held throughout the year.After receiving the donation this week, BUSU Vice-President of External Affairs Julia Wood said work is being done to raise awareness of the food bank service and to remove the stigma of seeking assistance in a time of need.“We’re trying to increase the usage rates and make the food bank more accessible,” she said.Located in the General Brock store, the recently-relocated food bank offers both fresh and non-perishable food items for students.Gift cards for groceries are at times also available.“A lot of students have financial need,” Wood said, urging people not to shy away from asking for help when money is tight.Students in need of the food bank’s services can apply online at www.brockbusu.ca/services/food-bankA donation was recently made from Sodexo and the Campus Store to support Food First, the student food bank operated by the Brock University Students’ Union. Pictured from left are BUSU Vice-President of External Affairs Julia Wood, Sodexo Director Martin Bayliss, Sodexo Marketing Manager Christina Richards, Guernsey Market Manager Kendra Sinodinos, BUSU President Patrick Foster, BUSU Vice-President of Finance and Administration Faisal Hejazi, Campus Store Retail Associate Azuhura Msofe and BUSU Vice-President of Student Services Jad Nasser. read more

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24th InterAmerican Congress of Ministers HighLevel Authorities of Tourism launched

The Department of Tourism officially launched the 24th Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-level Authorities of Tourism, on Thursday at the Umana Yana, Georgetown, the Department of Public Information (DPI) has reported.Ministers from 34 countries that are part of the Organisation of American States (OAS) are expected to participate in the event which is slated for March 21-22, 2018 at the Marriott Hotel, under the theme “Connecting the Americas through Sustainable Tourism.”Donald Sinclair, National Coordinator of the eventSpeaking at the launch, Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin noted the importance of hosting the event, especially as it will contribute to Guyana’s economy in a number of ways.“It’s an opportunity for us to demonstrate our capacity to host high-level events…but more importantly, it allows us to raise our profile and showcase Guyana to the rest of the region; we have a lot to showcase,” Minister Gaskin said.The Minister added, “It is important for Guyana in many ways. As far as tourism is concerned, Guyana is a fairly young destination…I think hosting this event gives us a place at the table where tourism is concerned.”Ministers of the Government and members of the Diplomatic Corps attending the eventAccording to DPI, National Coordinator for the event, Donald Sinclair explained that the conference will entail discussions such as “tourism in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, the importance of product innovation in the connected Americas, Multi-destination travel as a strategy for connecting the Americas and building resilience in the tourism sector” among others.Sinclair explained a special session will be devoted to Guyana to address tourism in a green economy. This, he believes, will serve as an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to sell and market products within Guyana. “These conferences serve as a platform for countries to project themselves, to tell the other guests what they have in terms of tourism and culture.”There will be several cultural presentations, tourism booths, replicas of indigenous benabs and also vending of local craft, DPI said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHigh level OAS Tourism Congress opens in GeorgetownMarch 21, 2018In “latest news”Historic OAS tourism congress for next week, 25 countries confirm attendance so farMarch 16, 2018In “latest news”Tourism Congress to address theme of ‘Building Resilience’ in the tourism sectorMarch 12, 2018In “latest news” read more

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Expert calls to reduce stress on students

first_imgThe stress on high school graduates is “overwhelming” and should be reduced, according to a PhD graduate in biological psychiatry. “That’s the most important thing that a lot of people don’t realize, that their way of life is causing them stress.”Dr Christina Phassouliotis, whose PhD was on stress and mental illness, says there is too much expectation on young adults finishing high school“It’s very overwhelming, transitioning between an adolescent and an adult,” she told Neos Kosmos. “There’s a lot of demand, a lot of competition, and a lot of expectation to be at a certain level.” “And a lot of kids still haven’t experienced life in order to make those decisions.” With year 12 results being released across the country this week, Dr Phassouliotis, said students needed to be encouraged by their families, rather than burdened with expectations. “Even though they don’t know what they want to do, they will pave their own pathway over time,” she said. She said excessive amounts of the human stress hormone, cortisol, can affect the brain’s ability to cope with other confronting high-pressure situations. “We need to be aware of what’s causing us stress, and we can then change our ways, in order to control it,” she said. “That’s the most important thing that a lot of people don’t realize, that their way of life is causing them stress.” But she said the brain’s “plastic” nature means people can reverse the negative impacts of stress. “By minimising our exposure to physical stress i.e., excessive study and/or work, poor eating habits, lack of exercise etc. we can automatically place ourselves in a better mental state to deal with emotional stress.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Passengers Freak Out Over Tesla Roadsters RecordSetting Acceleration

first_img Software Engineer Embedded Tesla Model 3 Key Fob In ArmTesla EV Catches Fire After Colliding With Tow Truck in Moscow When Tesla announced its new version of the Roadster, which can accelerate in zero to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, a lot of people were doubtful.But a new video of the first test rides in the new Roadster, unveiled by Tesla on YouTube on Friday, shows that the “quickest car in the world” could actually be close to becoming a reality.The video shows passengers’ hilarious reactions as the Roadster demonstrates its record-setting acceleration.Reactions included a lot of “Holy S%!#” and “Oh My God” and “Holy F%!#”According to Tesla, the all-new Roadster can travel 620 miles on a single charge – a new record for an all-electric vehicle.“[It’s] the fastest production car ever made, period,” said Tesla founder Elon Musk. (Photo Credit: Tesla, Inc.)The four-seater supercar can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds and from zero to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and it boasts a top speed of 250 mph.The all-new Roadster will cost $200,000 at launch (the first 1,000 are available for a ‘Founders Series Price’ of $250,000), and will be available in 2020.More on Geek.com:Is This Robotic Hotel Room on Wheels the Future of Travel?The ‘World’s Smartest Motorcycle Helmet’ Puts Alexa and AR on Your HeadWaymo One Autonomous Car Service Rolls Out to Public Stay on targetlast_img read more

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Alaska News Nightly Friday Oct 23 2015

first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download Audio What is Alaska LNG? Part 2: Meet the liquifaction plantRachel Waldholz, APRN – AnchorageLawmakers will soon gather in Juneau for the start of a special session on the Alaska LNG project, which would carry natural gas from the North Slope down to the Kenai Peninsula for export. If it goes forward, it’s expected to cost a whopping $45-$65 billion — and roughly half of that cost would be a giant liquefaction plant, where natural gas is turned into a liquid.Bill to combat illegal fishing awaits president’s signatureLiz Ruskin, APRN – AnchorageCongress has passed a bill to combat pirate fishing. The bill, called the “Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act” now goes to the president of his signature.Arctic Council concludes 1st meeting under US chairmanshipMonica Gokey, KSKA – AnchorageThe Arctic Council wrapped up the first major meeting under U.S. chairmanship this week in Anchorage.Polygraph results debated at Fairbanks 4 hearingDan Bross, KUAC – FairbanksOne of the Fairbanks Four passed a polygraph. Polygraph results are generally not admissible in court and it’s unclear whether Judge Paul Lyle will consider them in ruling on the Fairbanks Four request for exoneration.Victory for Sealaska Heritage underscores weakness in the lawElizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – JuneauFederal investigators have found the country’s oldest theological college broke the law regarding its Native art. Andover Newton Theological School planned to sell off 80 pieces in its collection, including a sacred Tlingit halibut hook.State cuts could close Sitka harborEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauSitka faces deeper ferry cuts than most port communities. The Alaska Marine Highway’s draft schedule for next summer allows for only two port calls a week. That’s way down from the six to eight on the schedule this summer.AK: On scene at a suicide, and healing thereafterJennifer Canfield, KTOO – JuneauAfter numerous discussions throughout the week about Alaska’s high rate of suicide at this year’s AFN confernece, a man decided to take his own life in a very public way on the last day of the convention.49 Voices: Moose-hunting adventure with Agatha EricksonThis week, we’re hearing from Agatha Erickson who lives in Anchorage and recalls a moose hunting adventure outside of Nenana with her ex boyfriend a few years back.last_img read more

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Free laparoscopic hernia camp begins at Harini Hospitals

first_imgVijayawada: A free laparoscopic hernia camp was inaugurated at Harini Hospitals here on Saturday. The camp will continue till August 31, said the hospital CEO and gastroenterologist N Tirumala Rao. Speaking on the occasion Dr Tirumala Rao said that patients should take prior appointment for free consultation. A discount of 40 per cent will be given on blood tests and ultra sound tests, 20 per cent discount on surgeries. Also Read – Fit India rally in Vijayawada Advertise With Us Gastroenterologist Dr A Tinakar Reddy said that hernia, if neglected can lead to complications and at times would be fatal. If treated at the right time, hernia can be cured permanently, said Dr Reddy. He said that hernia would develop in abdomen and groin region. In most of the cases, it is developed after surgery due to weak muscles. He said in males it is developed due to large prostrate gland, smoking in people with all age groups. He said one should consult a doctor and get tested, if there is pain and swelling. “With laparoscopic surgery, we can prevent hernia from developing again,” said the doctor. First 200 patients would get discount, he added.last_img read more

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Youth beaten dead in city

first_imgA young man was beaten to death in the city’s Paltan area on Monday.The deceased was identified as Rabiul Islam, 32, son of Rakibul Islam of Jugirghar village in Gangni upazila of Meherpur district. He used to work as a middleman for recruiting agencies.Mizanur Rahman, sub-inspector of Paltan police station, said locals spotted Rabiul near the house No-70/1 in an injured condition and informed police.Later, police rescued Rabiul and took him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) around 5:40pm where physicians declared him dead.SI Bachchu Miah, in-charge of DMCH police camp, said Rabiul used to manage intending overseas jobseekers for recruiting agencies.There were marks of beating by hammers all over the body, he added.last_img

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HC doubles Khaledas jail term in Zia Orphanage Trust case

first_imgKhaleda Zia file photoThe High Court on Tuesday extended the imprisonment term of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case to 10 years from five years.An HC bench of justice Md Mostafizur Rahman and justice M Enayetur Rahim passed the order dismissing the appeal filed by Khaleda Zia against the previous judicial court verdict.The HC also upheld the 10-year jail term of two other convicts — former member of parliament Kazi Solimul Haque Kamal and businessman Sarfuddin Ahmed.Meanwhile, additional security forces had been deployed in front of the 17th cell of the Supreme Court’s Extended Building since morning.Attorney general Mahbubey Alam, additional attorney general Murad Reza, deputy attorney general Biswajit Debnath, Momtaz Uddin Fakir, Farhad Ahmed, Ekramul Haque and law officers were present at the time of reading out the verdict.Lawyers Khurshid Alam Khan and Mosharraf Hossain Kajal stood for the ACC.Khaleda’s lawyers including AJ Mohammad Ali, Zainul Abedin, Abdur Rezak Khan were not seen in the court room during the hearing.On 8 February last, a special judge’s court-5 sentenced Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia to five years in jail in a graft case.The court also awarded 10 years of imprisonment to five others including her son Tarique Rahman.During the military controlled emergency government in 2008, the ACC filed the Zia Orphanage Trust case, accusing Khaleda, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, and four others of misappropriating more than Tk 21 million that had come as grants from a foreign bank for the trust.During the regime of Awami League in 2011, the same ACC filed another graft case against Khaleda and three others.On 29 October, Khaleda, now undergoing treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, was sentenced to seven years in jail, eight months after being imprisoned in the case.last_img read more

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Mayor Announces Toolkit For Black Prosperity

first_imgThough D.C. lost its “Chocolate City” moniker several years ago, city leaders say they’re working to ensure African-American residents can not only live in the city, but prosper. On Feb. 24 at noon, Mayor Muriel Bowser and multiple city agencies, including the Mayor’s Office on African-American Affairs, are hosting an event focused on the advancement of Black D.C. residents.Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a toolkit to help D.C. residents navigate the city’s agencies. (Courtesy photo)The gathering at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will delve into the city’s new resource guide called “A Fair Shot—A Toolkit for African American Prosperity.”Mayor Bowser announced the toolkit on Feb. 1, as she kicked off Black History Month at the Howard Theatre. Paying homage to the nearby U Street corridor—the city’s former “Black Broadway”—both longtime business owners and beneficiaries of new D.C. programs gathered in the historic venue.In 1970, D.C.’s Black population peaked at 71 percent, and the city remained predominantly Black for decades. In 2011, the District’s African-American population dropped below 50 percent. Rapid economic development has caused the faces of residents and facades of the corridors to change. Today, Black residents makeup 47.7 percent of the total population in the city. The average median income for Black households as of 2016 was $37,891.“We as a government haven’t adapted as quickly as we need to, and many of our families haven’t adapted as quickly as would be necessary to survive in this changing economy,” Mayor Bowser said, noting the importance of the toolkit.“We know there is more work to do to ensure African Americans in every corner of the District have a fair shot,” the mayor said. “With this toolkit, we are ensuring that the hardworking residents who benefit most from the many resources and programs we have available actually know about them. You have been here for D.C., and we are going to continue to be here for you.”Part of the city’s revitalization has included investments under the Bowser administration. Since 2015, D.C. has invested more than $324 million in the Housing Production Trust Fund and $40 million in innovative workforce programs, according to the guide. From 2015 to 2017, the city has increased government spending in small businesses by $267 million. The city has also recently poured $40 million to help seniors age in place.While resources abound, many residents don’t know how to access them. The guide gives an overview of vital government agencies and puts multiple resources in one place. Its target audiences are residents, senior citizens, families and business owners. Each section gives an overview of services available such as affordable housing programs, education and employment opportunities, healthcare benefits and financial and entrepreneurship workshops.While it’s not an exhaustive list of resources, Bowser said it’s “a start to a great conversation” that the city’s Commission on African-American Affairs plans to continue with residents at meetings throughout the city.“D.C. is a place that residents often mention feeling locked out of opportunities that support their drive and passion to the middle class, and we hear you,” said Rahman Branch, executive director of the Office on African American Affairs. “African Americans in D.C. have created a rich history that cannot be overlooked. Our community built much of the city, its culture, and its character.”At the event on Feb. 24, residents can interact with representatives from more than 30 government agencies, meet local Black business owners and pick up a toolkit. “It’s not just a collection of programs, it’s a roadmap to be successful in the city, to prosper in our city,” said Courtney Snowden, deputy mayor for Greater Economic Development, at the launch event.last_img read more

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Spotify Gets Serious About Hardware Registers With FCC

first_imgSpotify really does want to make its own hardware: The company registered with the FCC Tuesday, a key prerequisite to getting devices approved for use in the U.S. Previous reports pointed to plans for an in-car device, capable of bringing Spotify streams to older vehicles.A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment.Tuesday’s FCC registration gives the company a so-called grantee code, which in Spotify’s case is 2AP3D. As a grantee, Spotify can file to have devices that use wireless networking approved by the FCC, something it needs to do before it can sell any hardware to U.S. consumers.Spotify has for some time been hiring staff for an internal hardware team, with job listings from 2017 describing the company’s hardware project as “a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles.” Earlier this year, Spotify was looking to fill additional positions, with one job offer describing its progress this way: “Spotify is on its way to creating its first physical products and setting up an operational organisation for manufacturing, supply chain, sales & marketing.” Popular on Variety Spotify showed some users a hardware offer earlier this year.Some Spotify users reported earlier this year that they were shown offers for a device that would allow them to easily access their music in the car. A screenshot taken by one user showed a device with a minimalistic round display and some physical buttons, as well as a quote, suggesting that it may have some voice control component.Such a device could be an attempt to bring music streaming and voice control to older vehicles that don’t have Spotify integrated into their in-car entertainment systems. The offer could also have been part of a trial to test the appetite for different propositions and form factors. With Spotify now getting ready to have hardware approved by the FCC, we might find out more soon.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

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Microsoft Releases Retro Windows App as Stranger Things TieIn

first_imgStay on target Last week Microsoft tweeted a mysterious ad teasing the next Windows release, but instead of Windows 10 this was Windows 1.0 featuring exciting “new” tools like the MS-Dos Executive file manager and a clock. Because my brain is so internet-poisoned I just assumed this extremely aesthetic commercial, with its 80s synth vibes and spacey neon pink and turquoise color scheme, was just Microsoft finally catching up to the vaporwave phenomenon.Introducing the all-new Windows 1.0, with MS-Dos Executive, Clock, and more!! pic.twitter.com/guU4QxwsGG— Windows (@Windows) July 1, 2019However, pretty much everyone else figured it out that this was some kind of nostalgia tie-in to the third season of Stranger Things. And now that we’ve spent the holiday weekend binge-watching the newest episodes of the spooky Netflix hit, Microsoft let the cat out of the Upside Down. Windows 1.11 is a retro Stranger Things PC app.The free app is based on the classic version of Windows that first debuted in 1985, the same year as Stranger Things season three. While not a completely emulated version of that old operating system, this app lets you toy around with tools like Write and Paint as well as the command prompt.Windows 1.11 contains plenty of Stranger Things-specific Easter Eggs, too. Play minigames. Learn more about the puzzling mysteries of the show’s lore. Navigate glitches caused by the Upside Down. “Embrace the 80s.”As far as Stranger Things #brand promotions go, old Windows comings back is way cooler than New Coke coming back. For more on Stranger Things check out this Instagram tribute from Maya Hawke’s dad (you know, Ethan Hawke) and pick up some of our favorite Stranger Things toys. Nike x ‘Stranger Things’ Is Back With an Upside Down-Inspire…Hopper’s ‘Stranger Things’ Cabin Is Now an Escape Room last_img read more

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Two More Earths Chandler Wobble Jumps Revealed Last in 2005

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — The Chandler Wobble is a small variation in the rotation of the Earth on its axis. It has been known for some time that the phase of the Chandler Wobble jumped by 180 degrees in the 1920s, but a new study by scientists at the Russian Academy of Sciences has found that the same thing also happened in 1850 and 2005. But no one knows why. Tracking Earth’s wobbles down to the size of a cell phone Any sphere that is not perfectly spherical has a slight wobble when it spins, rather like the effect you see as a spinning top is slowing down. The Earth’s wobble was discovered in 1891 by an American astronomer called Seth Carlo Chandler, and is named after him. The Chandler Wobble is one of the main components of the movement of the Earth’s axis of rotation relative to the surface of the Earth. Because the axis passes through the polar regions, this motion is also called Polar Motion. The amplitude and phase of the Chandler Wobble change over time, which is widely believed to be caused largely by pressure fluctuations at the bottom of the oceans. The pressure changes result from ocean circulation currents, and variations in temperature and salinity. This theory explains small changes in phase and amplitude, but in the 1920s the Chandler Wobble phase suddenly jumped by 180 degrees, which cannot be explained by gradual variations in pressure.Scientists working at the Central Astronomical Observatory in Pulkovo near St Petersburg recently analyzed all the data on the Earth’s rotation provided by the IERS (International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems service). The period of available data covered the last 163 years. The study looked for variations in the amplitude and phase of the Chandler Wobble. The results showed that the phase and amplitude often change by small amounts, but the scientists also discovered there were two other occasions when the phase jumped by 180 degrees: in 1850, and in 2005. A deep decrease in amplitude coincided with each phase jump.The scientists, Zinovy Malkin and Natalia Miller were studying the anomalies in the Earth’s rotation, especially as seen by the moving axis at the poles, because understanding these anomalies could help us understand changes in the Earth’s surface and interior and in the atmosphere and oceans. They used several methods of analysis to ensure their results were reliable, but they were not able to explain the reasons for the sudden dramatic changes in phase and amplitude.More information: Chandler wobble: two more large phase jumps revealed, arxiv.org/abs/0908.3732via MIT Technology Review© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore furthercenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Two More Earth’s Chandler Wobble Jumps Revealed, Last in 2005 (2009, September 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-earth-chandler-revealed.htmllast_img read more

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Delhi govt announces trams for Old Delhi

first_imgTrams will run in the Walled City of the national Capital for better connectivity, the Delhi government announced on Tuesday.Although the government did not set any deadline, it said that trams would run in areas like Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Old Delhi and New Delhi railway station. The AAP government also said more powers would be given to Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation on the lines of the New Delhi Municipal Council and Delhi Cantonment Board.“To implement its plans, the corporation will need proper powers; so we will be equipping it with powers for enforcement,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said after visiting Chandni Chowk area in the capital.Set up during the Congress government, the Corporation was tasked with restoring the area to its Mughal-era glory.last_img

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Aussie travellers flock to Jordan

first_imgJust last month US President Barack Obama dubbed Jordan’s Petra “pretty spectacular” and Australians seem to agree, Australian numbers to Jordan showing sustained growth since at least September last year.From floating in the salty waters of the Dead Sea to visiting historical sites made famous in films, Jordan’s attractions are enticing Australians like never before.According to Jordan Tourism Board’s Australian representative, Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan, Australians are visiting Jordan in growing numbers, “many saying it is at the top of their bucket list”.e-Travel Blackboard was in Jordan and spoke with Jordan Tourism Board managing director Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, who said the tourism body was intent on promoting Jordan to Australians.“Australia is a new market and a new focus for us,” Dr Arabiyat told e-Travel Blackboard.Jordan Tourism Board is set to invest in an array of marketing efforts, including a series of familiarisation trips and road shows.“Jordan’s ‘oil’ is tourism and hence their people are incredibly warm to visitors,” Ms Lenoir-Jourdan said.Sometimes referred to as the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East’, Jordan, with its relatively stable government was further endorsed by President Obama who said Jordan “has always been a safe haven”.Over the past five months, travellers from Australia to Jordan have increased by the following amounts: September by 28.2 percent, October by 14.8 percent, November by 6.4 percent, December by 0.4 percent and January by 19.6 percent. Petra, Jordan Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G. A.last_img read more

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Thomas Cook India and Mastercard partner for Priceless Cities experience

first_imgTapping into the evolving aspirations of Indian travellers, Mastercard and Thomas Cook India have announced a partnership to bring Mastercard’s global ‘Priceless Cities’ program for Indian outbound travellers for the first time. Offered for a period of six months starting May 2019, Thomas Cook India’s Forex cardholders (Borderless Prepaid Cards and One Currency Cards) will have the opportunity to utilise these unique benefits and create enriching experiences for themselves. The initiative will allow travellers the opportunity to unlock hidden gems across more than 40 cities worldwide through the ‘Priceless Cities’ program. All Thomas Cook prepaid cards in India exclusively enjoy Mastercard’s safe and secure payments network.‘Priceless Cities’ is part of Priceless, a one-of-a-kind global experiential program by Mastercard. First introduced in New York in 2011, the program celebrates the world’s greatest cities by connecting consumers’ passions to unique experiences, privileged access and attractive offers. Cardholders will have access to box seats at bespoke events, cooking classes with master chefs along with an array of other benefits to choose from. The program is designed to bring consumers closer to their passions — dining, sports, shopping, arts and entertainment as well as travel through one-of-its-kind experiences and exclusive access in more than 40 destinations around the world. These destinations include Paris, Rome, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and others.Commenting on the launch, Mahesh Iyer, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd said, “We are delighted to partner with Mastercard to offer our Borderless and One Currency card customers unique and inspirational experiences across more than 40 cities worldwide. India’s new age travellers are showing an increasing appetite for exclusive experiences and hence the Priceless Cities portfolio,  falcon flying in Dubai, stay at Zaya Nurai, one of the world’s most beautiful islands in Abu Dhabi or a gin masterclass in Singapore finds strong appeal across our segments.”Vikas Varma, Senior Vice President, Account Management, South Asia, Mastercard said, “Mastercard is passionate about creating memorable experiences for its cardholders. Mastercard’s partnership with Thomas Cook will allow Indian outbound travellers to use their Thomas Cook travel prepaid cards for cashless shopping and enjoy unparalleled access to a suite of benefits and privileges worldwide.”Thomas Cook prepaid cardholders can view the ‘Priceless Cities’ packages here – https://www.thomascook.in/campaigns/mastercard-priceless-citieslast_img read more

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Home Price Moderation Continues in Second Quarter

first_img Home price growth backed down across the country in the second quarter, bringing national year-over-year appreciation to its slowest pace since the start of the housing recovery.According to a quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors, median existing single-family home prices increased in 71 percent of measured markets last quarter, with 122 out of 173 metropolitan statistical areas posting annual increases from Q2 2013. Nineteen of those areas reported double-digit increases.Those numbers reflected a slowdown from the first quarter, when prices rose in 74 percent of metros, and 37 areas saw gains higher than 10 percent.Nationally, NAR reported the median existing single-family home price across April, May, and June was $212,400, up 4.4 percent from a year ago. That rate of growth was about half the gain recorded in the first quarter.NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said the moderation in price gains is largely a positive sign, reflecting a return to a more balanced market between homebuyers and sellers. Prices first started to climb in the beginning of 2012, quickly accelerating to a pace most commentators had deemed unsustainable as inflation and wage growth lagged behind.”At this slower but healthier rate, homeowners can continue steadily building equity,” Yun said. “Meanwhile, for buyers, supply with moderate price gains is giving them better opportunities to choose.”Price growth was capped off in part thanks to continuing declines in distressed home sales, which made up 12 percent of second-quarter home transactions, NAR reported. Going forward, Yun added that the drop in distressed sales will also help diminish appraisal problems that have stalled some home sales.Also contributing to the moderation in price growth was a “much-needed” improvement in total existing-home stock, which came to 2.30 million at the end of the quarter. At the current sales pace, NAR estimates the average supply during the quarter was about 5.6 months.Still, some areas—such as the West, which led home price growth with an annual gain of 7.3 percent—remain starved for inventory.”New construction for ownership housing and rentals is needed to alleviate price and rent pressures and accommodate their growing populations,” Yun said.Given the slowdown in price increases, the drop in mortgage rates compared to last year, and the slight rise in the national median household income (to $64,751), NAR says buying power improved in a majority of metros last quarter. According to the group, in order to purchase a single-family home at the median price, a buyer making a 20 percent down payment would need an income of $40,266, while a 5 percent down payment would require an income of $47,816. August 12, 2014 535 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Home Prices Housing Affordability Housing Supply National Association of Realtors 2014-08-12 Tory Barringercenter_img Home Price Moderation Continues in Second Quarter Sharelast_img read more

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Applications Point to Further Declines in New Home Sales

first_img Applications for new home purchases plummeted in August, pointing to continued weakness in a market segment that has disappointed throughout the year.The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Builder Application Survey tumbled 9 percent month-over-month in August, according to the latest from the group. The decline does not include any seasonal adjustments.Based on application volume collected by mortgage subsidiaries of homebuilders nationwide, MBA estimates new home sales last month ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 424,000, down 2.1 percent from the association’s estimate of 433,000 for July.The anticipated decline follows a 2.4 percent drop in July new home sales as reported by the Commerce Department. According to initial estimates from the government, sales that month were at an adjusted annual pace of 412,000.On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimates August saw 34,000 new home sales, a monthly decrease of 8.1 percent.By product type, MBA reports conventional loans made up 68.9 percent of new home purchase applications last month, up slightly from July, while the share of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured loans fell slightly to 15.7 percent.Meanwhile, the percentage mortgages insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs rose to 14.3 percent, while rural housing loans fell to 1 percent.The average loan size for a new home increased more than $3,000 from July to August, coming in at $300,443. Applications Point to Further Declines in New Home Sales Home Prices Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association New Home Sales Purchase Loans 2014-09-11 Tory Barringer Sharecenter_img September 11, 2014 572 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, News, Originationlast_img read more

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Sales are Close to Peak But Not Quite There

first_img December 20, 2016 506 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, News The consensus within the industry is that existing-home sales are having their best year in a decade. But there is still room for improvement, according to one analysis.First American Financial Corporation, in its November 2016 Potential Home Sales report, found existing-home sales to be at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 6.1 million, which was 103.5 percent higher than the trough for existing-home sales market potential in December 2008.A recurring storyline in the existing-home sales market has been a short supply of homes for sale, which is causing the market to underperform, according to First American. Mortgage interest rates which have risen substantially and are well above 4 percent now may cause some affordability issues—but there is some good news on the affordability front.“While rising rates reduce affordability for potential first-time homebuyers, the expected moderation of price appreciation will align house price growth more closely with recently increasing income growth to help offset reduced affordability in the year ahead,” Fleming said.Even with an increase of 233,000 sales (4 percent) in November compared with a year ago, the market for existing-home sales was still approximately 98,000 (1.6 percent) below its peak market potential, reached in July 2005, according to First American.“The market potential for existing-home sales continues to grow based on the strength of the broader economy, particularly wage growth, as well as improving access to credit,” Fleming said. “But, the market continues to underperform its potential, primarily a result of persistently tight inventory.”Tight inventory has consistently put upward pressure on home prices, causing them to appreciate more rapidly than they would have otherwise. In fact, Redfin recently reported that home prices rose by 8 percent over-the-year in November, their fastest rate of appreciation in 14 months. Fleming said there is good news on that front, too.“Home price appreciation is typically more sensitive to mortgage rate increases and I expect to see a decline in the house price growth rate of almost a full percentage point by the end of 2017,” Fleming said. “The ‘taper-tantrum’ in 2013, which was a larger increase in mortgage rates than we have seen in recent weeks, produced a similar result—a decline in sales activity, but a more pronounced decline in house price appreciation.” Sales are Close to Peak, But Not Quite Therecenter_img Share Existing-Home Sales Market potenetial 2016-12-20 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

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