The Globe and Mail leads 2018 National Newspaper Award nominations

first_imgTORONTO — The Globe and Mail has received the most nominations for the 2018 National Newspaper Awards, with 20 out of 63 finalists for the distinction.The Toronto Star and La Presse are in second place with six nominations each.The Canadian Press received four nominations — one in the breaking news category for its team coverage of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that killed 16 people, and three in the news, sports and feature photo categories.  The Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Waterloo Region Record each received three, while the Winnipeg Free Press, St. Catharines Standard, Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun, Edmonton Journal/Edmonton Sun and Ottawa Citizen nabbed two each.Another 11 organizations received one nomination apiece.The nominations are issued in 21 categories, and selected from 951 entries for work published in 2018, with the winners to be announced at an awards ceremony in Toronto on May 3.Here is the full list of nominees:Arts and Entertainment: Jonathan Dekel, Globe and Mail, for a feature about how the members of Radiohead continue to deal with the death of one of their crew members when a stage collapsed in Toronto almost seven years ago. Chris Hannay and Daniel Leblanc, Globe and Mail, for investigating the National Gallery of Canada’s botched attempt to sell a major piece of art by Marc Chagall in order to free up money to buy another artwork. Fanny Lévesque, Katia Gagnon and Véronique Lauzon, La Presse, for exposing how the head of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra used his authority to engage in psychological harassment and sometimes physical aggression against musicians.Beat Reporting: Zosia Bielski, Globe and Mail, for coverage of gender and sexuality. David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, for coverage of the national defence beat. Randy Richmond, London Free Press, for coverage of Ontario’s correctional system.Breaking News: The Canadian Press, for team coverage of the truck-bus collision that killed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos organization. Charles-Antoine Gagnon, Louis-Denis Ebacher, Jean-Simon Milette, Daniel LeBlanc and Mathieu Bélanger, Le Droit, for coverage of a tornado that struck the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The Toronto Star, for team coverage of a shocking incident when a man driving a van mowed down pedestrians on Yonge Street, killing 10 of them.Business: Jeff Lewis, Jeffrey Jones, Renata D’Aliesio and Chen Wang, Globe and Mail, for digging deeply into the flourishing trade of aging wells, in which major companies routinely offload energy assets burdened with hefty cleanup costs onto smaller players with scant ability to pay the environmental bill. Paul Waldie, Globe and Mail, for an investigation that revealed how Canadian corporate money helped to finance Islamic State terrorism abroad. Geoffrey York, Globe and Mail, for finding evidence of questionable conduct and connections to corruption in South African business deals made by Bombardier and Export Development Canada.Columns: Nathalie Petrowski, La Presse; Niigaan Sinclair, Winnipeg Free Press; Russell Wangersky, St. John’s Telegram.Editorial Cartooning: Michael de Adder, Halifax Chronicle-Herald/Brunswick News/Toronto Star; Brian Gable, Globe and Mail; Garnotte (Michel Garneau), Le Devoir.Editorials: François Cardinal, La Presse; Heather Persson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix; John Roe, Waterloo Region Record.Explanatory Work: Carolyn Abraham, Globe and Mail, for “Cracks in the Code,” which explored how science’s ability to “read” DNA has far outpaced its capacity to understand it. James Bagnall, Ottawa Citizen, for a thorough explanation of how the federal government managed to end up with its deeply flawed, and very expensive, Phoenix employee pay system. Douglas Quan, National Post, for discovering how the municipal government in Richmond, B.C., was dealing with cultural challenges it faces as the “most Asian” city in North America.Feature Photo: Chris Donovan, Globe and Mail, for a photo of a woman saying farewell to a friend just before her medically assisted death. Andrew Vaughan, Canadian Press, for a photo of fog shrouding the waterfront during flooding in Fredericton. Gavin Young, Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun, for an image depicting an oasis of calm on the otherwise raucous Calgary Stampede midway.International: Daniel Dale, Toronto Star, for his exhaustive coverage of the deceptions and lies of U.S. President Donald Trump. Stephanie Nolen, Globe and Mail, for her reporting on Brazil, from environmental challenges to social and political developments. Nathan VanderKlippe, Globe and Mail, for an on-the-ground look at China’s crackdown on Uyghurs and repression of Muslim observance.Investigations: Aaron Derfel, Montreal Gazette, for uncovering shocking information about violent acts committed against health-care workers at Montreal General Hospital, and the institution’s attempts to cover up the incidents. Grant LaFleche, St. Catharines Standard, for a year-long investigation that uncovered a political conspiracy to manipulate the hiring of Niagara Region’s top bureaucrat and a secret contract worth more than a million dollars. Wendy Stueck and Mike Hager, Globe and Mail, for a series exposing the deplorable conditions in many rental buildings in Vancouver’s low-income Downtown Eastside, and failed efforts by the city to enforce its bylaws.Local Reporting: Erin DeBooy, Brandon Sun, for an unflinching look at the personal and human toll caused by methamphetamine use in her community. Grant LaFleche, St. Catharines Standard, for a year-long investigation that uncovered a political conspiracy to manipulate the hiring of Niagara Region’s top bureaucrat and a secret contract worth more than a million dollars. Greg Mercer, Waterloo Region Record, for a detailed probe into the serious health problems that afflicted workers from the region’s once-booming rubber industry, and the apparent reluctance of workplace safety officials to accept their compensation claims.Long Feature: Isabelle Hachey, La Presse, for a feature about an amazing medical feat: the first facial transplant in Canada. Jana G. Pruden, Globe and Mail, for a story on the aftermath of a fire that left three people dead, and a family destroyed. Grant Robertson, Globe and Mail, for a feature about an experiment in which three lab monkeys were quietly moved to a sanctuary to retire, instead of facing the death sentence that awaits most animals used in medical research.News Photo: Jonathan Hayward, Canadian Press, for a photo of a man who salvaged his friend’s prized electric guitars after a flood in Grand Forks, B.C. Darren Makowichuk, Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun, for an image of police officers tending to a fallen comrade. Kayle Neis, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, for a photo of hockey sticks stuck in a snowbank as a memorial to members of the Humboldt Broncos who had been killed in a bus-truck collision.Photo Essay: Carlos Osorio, Toronto Star, for photos accompanying a feature story about a 77-year-old woman who was forced to move out of the publicly subsidized building she lived in when it was deemed unsafe. Renaud Philippe, Globe and Mail, for pictures documenting the plight of the Rohingya and their escape from genocide in Myanmar. Melissa Tait, Globe and Mail, for an essay about a rugby league that strengthens relationships among its women players, and provides support for families.Politics: Lori Culbert, Dan Fumano and Joanne Lee-Young, Vancouver Sun/The Province, for an in-depth look at what governments had done and were promising to do about affordable housing in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Robert Fife, Steven Chase, Sean Silcoff and Christine Dobby, Globe and Mail, for looking into how Huawei fits in with Beijing’s global ambitions, and just how far Canada was willing to go to accommodate the technology juggernaut’s quest for expansion. Greg Mercer, Waterloo Region Record, for exposing how the Ontario Conservative party concocted a story that a legislator had sexually harassed a former party intern, in order to nominate a more well-connected party insider.Presentation: Laura Blenkinsop and Christopher Manza, Globe and Mail, for their work showcasing a Brazilian road trip, a major investigation and a true crime saga. Jean-François Codère and Maxime Jean, La Presse, for a highly interactive presentation accompanying a story about a nearly disastrous Air Canada flight. Cameron Tulk, David Schnitman, Tania Pereira and Fadi Yaacoub, Toronto Star, for bringing to life a research project in which reporters fact-checked every question and answer over five days of Question Period, to find out just how much federal politicians speak the truth.Project of the Year: Jessica Botelho-Urbanski, Melissa Martin and Katie May, Winnipeg Free Press, for “Ice Storm: Manitoba’s Meth Crisis,” a seven-part series documenting how methamphetamine was ravaging Winnipeg and destroying lives. Zane Schwartz, National Post/Calgary Herald, for “Follow the Money,” an 18-month project that gathered and analyzed more than five million records across Canada to create the first central, searchable database of political donations in every province and territory. A Toronto Star team for “Medical Disorder,” an 18-month effort to collect, analyze and report on 27,000 discipline records and 1.4 million licensing records for doctors practising in Canada and the United States.Short Feature: Jamie Ross, Globe and Mail, for a piece, in the wake of the fatal Humboldt Broncos bus-truck crash, that explained what playing junior hockey meant to him as he was transitioning from youth to adult and trying to find his way in life. Jon Wells, Hamilton Spectator, for an engaging and poignant story about a couple’s determination to see a man freed from death row in the U.S. for a crime he said he did not commit. Patrick White, Globe and Mail, for a story about a humble, rural attraction – a simple sunflower patch – that had been ruined by a social media mob.Sports: Dan Barnes, Edmonton Journal/Edmonton Sun, for reporting on the sad tale of Dorian Boose, who played in the NFL and won a championship with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, only to end up living on the streets and eventually taking his own life. Kevin Mitchell, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, for deep coverage, spanning a period of months, on the Humboldt Broncos bus-truck crash and its aftermath. Mary Ormsby, Toronto Star, for uncovering new information that suggested sprinter Ben Johnson’s drug sample had been mishandled 30 years earlier, and for a story outlining the cognitive decline and personal turmoil faced by legendary boxer George Chuvalo.Sports Photo: Bernard Brault, La Presse, for an image of acrobatic Olympic skiers awaiting results while one of their fellow competitors soars overhead. Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal/Edmonton Sun, for a picture showing a Vancouver Canucks player flying through the air as he attempts a shot on goal.Andrew Vaughan, Canadian Press, for a photo of a downed fighter that captures the brutality of mixed martial arts.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Ontario invests another 86 million in MaRS office tower 395 million so

Ontario invests another $86 million in MaRS office tower; $395 million so far AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 10, 2014 2:03 pm MDT TORONTO – Ontario’s Liberal government announced Wednesday that it would provide an $86-million line of credit to the MaRS office project in downtown Toronto to help attract tenants and protect the province’s original investment.The government was already on the hook for a $225 million loan to MaRS for the second office tower at the site designed for medical and research labs, plus another $65 million to buy out an American real estate company’s interest in the project.The line of credit recommended by an expert panel set up by the Liberals would bring the province’s total investment in the MaRS expansion to $395 million.“This is a good business decision that ensures that we protect the public investment that’s been made in a loan that will be repaid with interest,” said Infrastructure Minister Brad Duguid.“This is the best and fastest way to make sure that gets done, while at the same time continuing to invest in our innovation sector, creating jobs and economic opportunities here at MaRS.”A big part of the problem in attracting tenants to the MaRS Phase 2 tower, which is only about 30 per cent full, was high rents demanded by the U.S. real estate company that is no longer involved in the project.There are many would-be tenants who have signed letters of intent to locate in MaRS, including the University of Toronto, which wants four floors in the building, said MaRS board chair Gord Nixon.“If the building is leased up the cash comes in. If the cash comes in the loan gets paid down and the province gets repaid,” said Nixon. “So the key is really leasing.”The opposition parties complained that many of the would-be tenants for MaRS appeared to be public-sector agencies funded by Ontario taxpayers and not from the private sector, but Duguid dismissed that argument.“How do you have an innovation hub without scientists, and scientists are often part of organizations that are in some way connected to government, either through funding or maybe even through (provincial) agencies,” he said.“If you want to grow a healthy innovation hub, you need to have partnerships and that means government and private sector and the non-profit sector as well.”The Progressive Conservatives said Duguid should think twice about providing the line of credit for MaRS because there is no guarantee the money will be repaid.“It’s been good money after bad since Day 1, and now we have an expert panel that says it’s a good thing to throw more good money after bad,” said PC critic Randy Hillier. “The taxpayers are at even greater risk today and these people are in their field of dreams.”The New Democrats wanted to know why the government is putting more money into MaRS when it still hasn’t provided a business case for the original $225-million loan to the charity that operates the complex across the street from the legislature.“There was no effective business plan presented to the people of this province, and you have the minister going to some lengths to justify investing additional money in MaRS,” said NDP finance critic Catherine Fife. “It’s almost like in for a penny, in for a pound.”But Duguid said the line of credit will protect the public money that’s already been invested in MaRS and help the stalled project get back on track.“We’re very assured now that this is the right course from a fiscal perspective, the right course from a security of our loan perspective, and the right course for building a strong economy and creating jobs,” he said.Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter read more

Brock Education journal explores issues of race

When the White Privilege Symposium was held at Brock University in the fall of 2016, Dolana Mogadime knew the important conversations surrounding race that were kick-started had to be continued.As the editor-in-chief of the Brock Education journal, the associate professor in the Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education felt she could offer a platform to continue those discussions and began working to turn that vision into reality.“The symposium provided a space for us to talk about these difficult issues openly, in a way that supported us positively,” Mogadime said. “The next step was to share the conversation with others.”The idea came to fruition last December when the journal’s latest edition was published. It includes seven articles focused on the intersectionality of identities and touches on issues of sexism, racism and colonialism. The double special edition in collaboration with Understanding and Dismantling Privilege journal, extends the publications to involve conference keynotes, a co-authored research article, tools and strategies, creative works and self-reflection as well as youth and student voices.“I think it is a promise made and a promise carried through about sharing our knowledge that came out of this forum,” said Mogadime, who was also the symposium’s program director. “We were encouraged to think deeply about issues that are difficult and that we often struggle with. What we did is create a space for that knowledge to continue.”The initiative was far from a solo effort, she pointed out.Sociology Professor Abby Ferber from the University of Colorado, a co-organizer of the national White Privilege Conference, worked alongside Brock’s Dolana Mogadime to put a call out for article submissions.She worked alongside Sociology Professor Abby Ferber from the University of Colorado, a co-organizer of the national White Privilege Conference, to put out a call for article submissions. The response was positive, Mogadime said, with many academics eager to participate.In addition to the insightful articles found within, the journal’s cover features a sculpture by Six Nations artist Ben Henry to honour the Indigenous community at Brock.Narratives are an effective way to teach and learn, and this is what the journal aims to accomplish, Mogadime said.“This is a transformative opportunity to hear each other’s stories — ones we will act better and know better by hearing,” she said. “We all have to realize our role in talking about our history and our history of diversity. This is a way for us to create better awareness about race and understanding.”Mogadime believes there is still “plenty of room to continue these conversations,” and is looking at potentially adding a section for similar articles in the journal going forward.“For both the symposium and this (journal) issue, it really did take many people working together and believing in making a difference,” she said. “I think it reflects on our desire to make our University a better place.”Available through the James A. Gibson Library website, the Brock Education journal was created more than 20 years ago and is published twice annually. read more

The Panthers Are Alone Atop The NFC South

How will your favorite NFL team do this year? See all of our predictions for the 2016 season » After losing the Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos, the Carolina Panthers dropped from first in Elo to third, directly behind the rival Seattle Seahawks (whom Carolina blew out 31-24 — in the most lopsided one-score game of the playoffs — en route to the big game). The Panthers had a mixed offseason, bringing back defensive end Charles Johnson but also losing All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman after rescinding his franchise tag. Even so, Elo considers Carolina to be far and away the most talented team in the NFC South, a mantle the team will likely carry throughout the season. To go with our 2016 NFL predictions, FiveThirtyEight is previewing each division.The NFL is back, and we’re booting up our Elo ratings again in preparation for the 2016 season. For those new to Elo, it’s a power rating that tries to estimate each team’s strength at any given moment, based on who it beats (or loses to) and by how much. The ratings can also be used to simulate the season thousands of times, which allows us to estimate how likely each team is to win its division or the Super Bowl and can give us a sense of which teams play the toughest schedules.One drawback to Elo is that its preseason ratings are simply each team’s number from the end of last season reverted to the mean. So to flag teams whose Elo ratings might need some mental adjustments from last year, we’re also looking at a composite ranking of three well-regarded offseason grades.1Specifically, the grades from ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, and an ESPN panel of experts.Here, we take a look at the NFC South, home of the defending conference champion Carolina Panthers … and some other teams. In a division that was once infamous for its turnover — no team repeated as champ in the division’s first 12 years of existence — the Panthers have a 66 percent chance of winning the South for a fourth consecutive season. The biggest question for Carolina will be whether a defense that ranked as the NFL’s second-best last season (trailing only the historically great Broncos) can continue to dominate without Norman. But last year’s breakout season from quarterback Cam Newton and the Panther offense makes Carolina a safer division choice than if the team were relying on its defense alone.Behind the Panthers, Elo considers the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints to be near-equals, although both teams are long shots to wrest the division away from Carolina. The Falcons improved to 8-8 last season, but they’ll have to contend with one of the NFL’s toughest schedules this year, with trips to Denver and Seattle among their most daunting non-division matchups. Atlanta posted a below-average Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) in each phase of the game last season; Matt Ryan will probably have to rediscover his Pro Bowl form if the Falcons hope to have their first winning season since 2012.The Saints, meanwhile, have been trending in the wrong direction, with a point differential that has fallen from +110 in 2013 to -23 in 2014 and -68 last season. They still have legendary quarterback Drew Brees (despite our editor-in-chief’s suggestion that the two break up), but even he wasn’t able to overcome what was the NFL’s worst defense and seventh-worst special teams corps last season. The quarterbacks most similar to Brees (Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Warren Moon) had a decent amount of production left in the tank at Brees’s age, but after the Saints spent an offseason shoring up cap space rather than getting better on defense, it’s doubtful things will be very different in the Big Easy this season.Bringing up the rear of the South are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs were one of the youngest teams in the league last season (weighted by the Approximate Value of each player on the roster), and QB Jameis Winston had a solid rookie season from which the franchise may be able to build a foundation. The team’s offseason contained just enough positives to make for an intriguing worst-to-first sleeper pick. But Tampa Bay probably isn’t ready to contend for the division yet, particularly because the Bucs, under new coach Dirk Koetter, are facing the NFL’s fifth-most-difficult schedule.That leaves the Panthers as commanding favorites in this division. They almost certainly won’t repeat last year’s 15-1 record, but Newton and company are at the top of the NFC South class and might use that perch as a springboard for another deep playoff run.VIDEO: How one spurned Rams fan found a new team read more

Nicola Sturgeon admits an independent Scotland might not seek immediate membership of

first_imgAsked whether that could mean Efta membership first and EU membership later, she said: “It may be by necessity, even if we didn’t want that. Alex Salmond, Ms Sturgeon’s predecessor, has argued that by following the so-called “Norway model” an independent Scotland could have “continuous” membership of the EU’s single market.However, the Scottish Conservatives said Ms Sturgeon’s position on Europe had descended into “complete chaos”.The First Minister told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that her position remained that she wanted an independent Scotland to be in the EU.She added: ”If Scotland is independent our position always has been, as long as I’ve been in the SNP and continues to be, that we want Scotland to be a full member of the European Union.”We have to set out, if we’re in an independence referendum, and we’re not in that right now, the process for regaining or retaining, depending on where we are in the Brexit process, EU membership. Now it may be that we have a phased approach to that by necessity.” “We have to set that out at the time because there are still some uncertainties, many uncertainties, around the Brexit process.”Ms Sturgeon said that at the end of the Brexit process Scotland should have a choice about its own future through an independence referendum.But she also said there was a “more immediate priority” in the general election, which was about making sure Scotland’s voice was heard in the Brexit negotiations.Borrowing language used by Theresa May during the campaign, she said her message to voters was that a vote for the SNP would “strengthen” her hand to make sure Scotland’s voice was heard in the negotiations and allow her to press the case for Scotland to remain in the single market after Brexit.Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Conservative deputy leader, said Ms Sturgeon wants a referendum on independence because we’re leaving the EU, adding: “Now, in a cynical attempt to win back Leave voters who have deserted the SNP, she now refuses to say whether an independent Scotland would go back in. “And her flirtation with Efta would leave us with all the obligations but no voice in decision-making. Nobody is going to be fooled by these political games. “Everybody knows the only principle the SNP has is not to get the best deal on Brexit, but how to use Brexit to bolster their case for separation.”Ms Sturgeon also found herself defending the SNP’s record on education on the programme and admitted that things had got much worse in terms of literacy and numeracy under the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon in Inverness last weekCredit:PA nicola sturgeoncenter_img Nicola Sturgeon has admitted for the first time that an independent Scotland might not immediately seek to rejoin the European Union.Despite calling for a new independence referendum over Brexit, the First Minister confirmed Scotland may need a “phased” approach to becoming a full EU member. She said that “by necessity”, in the event of a vote to break-up the UK, Scotland might have to pursue membership of the European Free Trade Association (Efta), whose members include Norway and Iceland, before achieving full EU membership.Her admission comes after The Daily Telegraph revealed in March that she was set to abandon the long-held SNP policy amid record Euroscepticism in Scotland.The move is understood to be seen by senior Nationalists as a more realistic goal than full EU membership after 400,00 voters who backed independence in 2014 also voted Leave in last year’s EU referendum. The latest Scottish survey of literacy and numeracy (SSLN) revealed last week that fewer than half of Scotland’s 13 and 14-year-olds are able to write well, while the writing performance of P4 and P7 pupils has also dropped.Ms Sturgeon said she had been “very open that that’s not good enough” but added that a massive programme of reform was under way to address the challenges.”We have had some advice that we need to have more of a focus within that curriculum on literacy and numeracy and that’s exactly what we’re doing right now,” she said.She denied that Scottish education as a whole was going backwards, adding: “On literacy and numeracy we have a particular challenge but on many other measures of Scottish education that is just not true.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Joachim Boldsen to retire at the end of the season

Joachim BoldsenKIF Kolding One of the best Danish players in the new century, Joachim Boldsen has announced the end of proffesional career at the end of the season 2013/2014. With 186 appearances for the national team, Boldsen was an important part of the squad who won the European gold at EHF EURO 2008 in Norway. In addition, he won with Denmark bronze in 2002, 2004 and 2006, same at World Championships in 2007.At club level, Joachim Boldsen played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe and was one of the best players of SG Flensburg in 2004, when club won the first German title in the history. Danish playmaker also played at FC Barcelona. In Denmark he played for Helsingør IF, GOG , AaB , AG Copenhagen and KIF Kolding Copenhagen . ← Previous Story NINE MINUTES WERE ENOUGH: Kiel beat RNL! Next Story → BUNDESLIGA DEBUT: Rambo scored two goals for GWD Minden read more

Ubers latest woe using secret software to steer drivers away from trouble

first_img UBER HAS ACKNOWLEDGED the use of a secret software program to steer drivers away from trouble, including sting operations by local authorities to catch lawbreakers.In the latest in a streak of damaging news for the ridesharing giant, Uber came forward about its “Greyball” software after a New York Times report which said the program aimed to deceive authorities in markets around the world.According to an Uber statement, the tool was used in cities where it was not banned from operating, and the main intent was to protect drivers from disruption by competitors using the smartphone application to interfere instead of summon legitimate rides.“This program denies ride requests to fraudulent users who are violating our terms of service,” an Uber spokesperson said in an email reply to an AFP inquiry. Uber’s latest woe – using secret software to steer drivers away from trouble The software was unveiled in a New York Times report and Uber said it was only used in areas where it was not banned. 7,548 Views Share Tweet Email Sunday 5 Mar 2017, 9:15 AM Whether that’s people aiming to physically harm drivers, competitors looking to disrupt our operations, or opponents who collude with officials on secret ‘stings’ meant to entrap drivers.Uber said the program was used in locations where drivers feared for their safety, and “rarely” to avoid law enforcement.The New York Times report, which said Greyball was used in several countries, cited interviews with current and former employees whose names were cloaked.The report said Greyball was part of a broader program created to reveal people trying to us Uber in “violation of terms of service” and had the blessing of the company’s legal team.According to the report, the program raised ethical and potential concerns, and had been a closely guarded secret in Uber’s toolbox as it expanded around the world, clashing with regulators and traditional taxi groups.‘Geofences’Data collected about agents of regulatory authorities was used by the software to “Greyball” them, or mark them as city officials, according to the Times.Greyballed officials trying to use Uber would have rides cancelled and be shown fake versions of the app, complete with maps showing icons of ghost cars appearing to be on the move, the report said.Tactics used included identifying locations of government offices and then making them off-limits with “geofences” erected in mapping software, according to the Times.Ways of figuring out which users might be regulators or police included checking whether credit cards used for accounts were linked to governments or police credit unions, the report said.“Uber clearly lost its moral compass if it ever had one,” entrepreneur and journalist John Battelle said in a Twitter post referring to the Greyball news.Adding to Uber woesThe Greyball disclosure comes as accusations of sexism, cutthroat management, and a toxic work environment have Uber trying to pull its image out of a skid as competition revs in the on-demand ride market.Uber chief Travis Kalanick this week apologised, acknowledging that “I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up,” after a video showed him verbally abusing a driver for the service.The incident, which circulated on social media, was another hit for the image of the global ridesharing giant, which faces accusations of sexual harassment and a lawsuit contending it misappropriated Google’s self-driving car technology.In the message to employees later, Kalanick wrote “To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement.”Uber is one of the largest investor-backed startups with a valuation estimated at $68 billion, and has operations in dozens of countries and hundreds of cities, even as it battles regulators and an established taxi industry.Kalanick also faced criticism for agreeing to be part of a business advisory panel for President Donald Trump, but then quit the panel amid a campaign by Trump opponents to delete the Uber application.- © AFP, 2017Read: Uber executive leaves after claims he failed to disclose sex harassment allegation> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Shutterstock/MikeDottacenter_img By AFP Short URL 7 Comments Image: Shutterstock/MikeDotta Mar 5th 2017, 9:15 AM last_img read more

Eruption solaire le souffle atteindra la Terre dici jeudi

first_imgEruption solaire : le souffle atteindra la Terre d’ici jeudiUne éruption solaire a dirigé son flot de particules vers la Terre dans la nuit de lundi à mardi. Des perturbations électromagnétiques risquent d’arriver d’ici jeudi 22 août. Une importante éruption s’est déroulée sur le soleil dans la nuit de lundi à mardi 20 août. Cette éruption a causé une éjection de masse coronale (en anglais, coronalmassejection : CME), une gigantesque projection de plasma qui projette des particules dans l’espace. Cette éjection est dirigée vers la Terre, et la NASA estime qu’elle devrait l’atteindre avant demain jeudi. Ce genre de phénomène peut affecter les systèmes électroniques, les satellites et causer des aurores boréales.Éruption de plasma et d’énergieLa vie du soleil est souvent ponctuée d’éruptions et d’explosions magnétiques en tout genre. À la suite d’une éruption ou d’une protubérance solaire, d’énormes quantités de matières et de radiations sont éjectées, formant un arc dont la taille peut atteindre plusieurs fois le rayon du soleil. Celle de ce début de semaine a éjecté du plasma à plus de 900 km/s, une vitesse typique de ce genre d’événements.C’est le coronographe du satellite SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) de la NASA qui a repéré l’éruption. Cet instrument, qui sert à observer l’activité de la couronne solaire, surimpose un disque noir sur le soleil, permettant de n’observer que sa couronne. Sur la photo, une photo du soleil a été superposée pour donner une idée de l’échelle.Dysfonctionnements électriquesÀ lire aussiDengue : symptômes, traitement, prévention, où en est-on ?En route vers la Terre, ces vents solaires sont relativement sans danger, notre planète étant protégée par son champ magnétique. Toutefois l’énergie qui rencontre le champ magnétique peut provoquer des orages magnétiques, avec pour conséquence l’apparition d’aurores boréales. Mais ces orages peuvent aussi affecter les systèmes électroniques, comme les satellites, les communications radio, et dans les cas extrêmes, les systèmes de distribution d’électricité.Toutefois, la CME qui a eu lieu était d’une force moyenne, la NASA prédit donc que son impact sera assez faible. Crédit photo :  ESA & NASA/SOHO, SDOLe 21 août 2013 à 14:00 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Camas girls wins 3A cross country team state title

first_imgGlacier Peak had the front runner and a talented pack. Camas had the upstart freshman and a talented pack.In the end, the difference between the Class 3A state champion and ‘wait till next year’ was Megan Napier’s biggest race of the season.In a star-studded field, Napier’s eighth-place finish turned out to be the key to the Papermakers’ first state crown.“All of our girls did fabulous,” Camas coach Mike Hickey said. “They all sold out and did everything we could ask of them. Everyone contributed. It was truly a team effort.”Freshman Alexa Efraimson paced Camas with a third-place finish, zipping around the 5-kilometer Sun Willows Golf Course in 17 minutes, 55 seconds.That she finished 45 seconds off the winning pace was no consequence — North Central’s Katie Knight shattered the course record by 20 seconds. Two-time defending champ Amy-Eloise Neale of Glacier Peak was second, 18 seconds behind Knight. Her GP teammate, Katie Bianchini finished fifth, getting the Snohomish team off to a strong start.Senior Austen Reiter, Camas’ No. 2 runner, finished seventh, followed immediately by Napier. Meanwhile, GP’s third runner didn’t cross the line for 23 more seconds, costing the defending champs seven team points in the battle of 3s.The four and five runners for each team finished in concert, and the Papermakers held on to win 58-60.“I think if we drew up our best realistic day coming into this meet we would not have thought we could have done this well,” Hickey said. “Alexa ran a great race, and Austen and Megan finishing in the top 8 was just huge.”last_img read more

Ombudsman Releases Report On Investigation Of API

first_imgBetween January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2018, the Ombudsman received 42 complaints specifically about API. Nearly one-third of those complaints alleged maltreatment or neglect of patients. In December 2017, the Ombudsman received a complaint that a member of API staff had assaulted a patient. On June 20, 2018, the Ombudsman received a series of allegations about the way API staff were treating patients. Ombudsman Burkhart. “We found evidence of many encounters where staff responded to patients in crisis using best practices, kindness, and creative problem solving. However, the fear and trauma experienced by API staff contributes to the environment in which they make decisions about when and how to restrain or seclude patients.” State Ombudsman Kate Burkhart concluded the investigation into three allegations related to patient safety and use of seclusion and restraint at API. According to documents provided by the state, the Ombudsman found all three allegations are justified. The investigation focused on the allegations of harm to patients, but the Ombudsman also recognized the violence directed toward API staff by patients as an “equally serious problem that must be addressed.” In February, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum made the announcement that he had invoked his authority under state law to immediately assume management of API in response to the ongoing investigations. If Wellpath is successful in the first phase,  by preparing the hospital to return to its full capacity by June 30, 2019, the company will assume full responsibility of API after July 1. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska State Ombudsman’s released the details of the investigation into allegations related to patient safety and seclusion and restraint at Alaska Psychiatric Institute. In the announcement it stated that Wellpath will “provide administrative leadership” over the facility. All API staff will remain in their positions as State of Alaska employees. Gavin Carmichael will continue as API’s acting chief executive officer. As part of assuming authority over API, Commissioner Crum has chosen to contract with Wellpath Recovery Solutions, a Nashville, Tenn. based company.last_img read more

ARREST LOG Wilmington Police Make 4 Arrests Issue 1 Summons

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — According to Wilmington Police Logs, Wilmington Police issued the following arrests and summonses between June 28, 2018 and July 4, 2018:Thursday, June 28Jason C. Walsh (Hooksett, NH) — 2 Warrants. (Arrest)Friday, June 29NoneSaturday, June 30NoneSunday, July 1NoneMonday, July 2Marissa Paige DiCocco (19, Tewksbury) — B&E of Building In The Daytime To Commit A Felony and Possession of a Class E Drug. (Arrest)Alexa Lee Arsenault (19, Tewksbury) — B&E of Building In The Daytime To Commit A Felony. (Arrest)Jared Patrick Fleming (20, Billerica) — B&E of Building iIN The Daytime To Commit A Felony and Person Under 21 Possessing Liquor. (Arrest)Tuesday, July 3Jonathan Arias (27, Lawrence) — Littering from a motor vehicle. (Summons)Wednesday, July 4None(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedARREST LOG: Wilmington Police Make 5 Arrests & Issue 4 SummonsesIn “Police Log”ARREST LOG: Wilmington Police Make 5 ArrestsIn “Police Log”ARREST LOG: Wilmington Police Make 4 Arrests & Issues 3 SummonsesIn “Police Log”last_img read more

You can buy coffee with cryptocurrency after all

first_img Tech Industry Tags 1 Bitcoin E-commerce Amazon Cryptocurrency Share your voice La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France Stephen Shankland/CNET And you thought the idea of using cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to buy stuff was dead.A startup called Flexa has some of America’s biggest retail brands to use its payment-processing network that’ll let you buy stuff with cryptocurrency.Among them: Barnes & Noble, Baskin Robbins, Bed Bath & Beyond, Caribou Coffee, Crate and Barrel, Jamba Juice, Lowe’s, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Petco, Regal Cinemas and Amazon’s Whole Foods Market.That’s something of a surprise given the fizzled excitement around next-gen digital money. Instead of revolutionize finance, freeing us from central banks’ controls and bringing payments into the internet age, cryptocurrencies mostly just turned into an investment people hoped would soar in value.Flexa, though, is trying to get people to open their digital wallets.”We allow any cryptocurrency to be spendable,” Chief Executive Tyler Spalding said. The company launched its payment-processing network Monday.Its big selling points so far are for retailers: a transaction fee between 1% and 2% — cheaper than credit cards, it expects — and system that gets retailers their payments in ordinary money without ever having to touch cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency’s intrinsic blockchain-based accounting system will squelch the transaction fraud that retailers hate, too, Spalding said.Shielding retailers from cryptocurrency complications is important. Some big barriers to cryptocurrency payment systems today include the difficulties of identifying exactly who’s paying and the long wait for cryptocurrency transaction completion, said Linda Pawczuk, blockchain leader for Deloitte Consulting.To use Flexa’s system, you need a digital wallet with Flexa, though later the company plans to integrate with wallets at popular cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase. You select the appropriate retailer from a list in Flexa’s app, which then shows a QR code the retailer scans with its existing sales terminal hardware. Flexa debits your wallet then transfers US dollars to the retailers by regular old bank transfer, Spalding said.Funding a cryptocurrency wallet and fiddling with an app at the store — to say nothing of making sure you’re properly accounting for your cryptocurrency values for filing your taxes — will deter some ordinary consumers. But Flexa expects to make transactions easier for consumers, so they also need not know they’re fooling with cryptocurrencies. The rise of “stable coins” that don’t appreciate in value should help, Spalding said.”This is the bridge. This is how it goes mainstream,” Spalding said.Maybe, maybe not. But cryptocurrency payments today could be like the early days of digital photography when people still printed their pictures, said Amy Zirkle, interim CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association trade group.”We could envision same evolution in digital currency,” she said, though likely not for five to 10 years. “That’s where all the R&D is happening and where the deeper examinations are taking place.” Commentlast_img read more

Patanjali Rapid expansion taking a toll on Baba Ramdevs biz Sales plunge

first_imgA hoarding with an image of Baba Ramdev is seen inside a Patanjali store in Ahmedabad, March 28, 2019.ReutersThree years ago, Indian yoga guru and entrepreneur Baba Ramdev was riding high.The consumer goods empire he co-founded had tapped into a wave of Hindu nationalism after the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014. Customers were snapping up Patanjali Ayurved’s affordable, Indian-made products such as coconut oil and ayurvedic remedies, in a mounting threat to foreign companies that had bet big on India.”Turnover figures will force multinational companies to go for kapalbhati,” saffron-robed Ramdev declared in 2017, in reference to a yoga breathing exercise, vowing sales would more than double to 200 billion rupees ($2.84 billion) in the year to March 2018.But instead, Patanjali’s sales plunged 10 percent to 81 billion rupees, according to its annual financial report.And in the last fiscal year, it likely deteriorated further, say company sources and analysts. Provisional data indicated sales of just 47 billion rupees in the nine months to Dec. 31, CARE Ratings said in April, based on information from Patanjali.Graphic: Patanjali yearly sales ReutersAccording to interviews with current and former employees, suppliers, distributors, store managers, and consumers, Patanjali’s ambitions have been hobbled by missteps.In particular, they highlight inconsistent quality as Patanjali expanded very quickly.The company says its rapid expansion did bring some teething problems, but that they had been overcome.Patanjali also suffered, like many others, from Modi’s 2016 ban on high-denomination banknotes and 2017 introduction of a new goods and services tax. The moves disrupted economic activity.”PROBLEMS WERE EXPECTED”Patanjali says it has 3,500 distributors that supply some 47,000 retail counters across India. Patanjali shops, mostly popular with rural Indians rising into the middle class, sell snacks like mango candy or ayurvedic remedies promising to cure joint pain.Ramdev, a household name whose TV yoga shows are watched by millions, has been the public face of Patanjali since it was set up in 2006 and remains its brand ambassador – his bearded face smiles down from ubiquitous billboards and hoardings in Indian villages.But the company is owned by his business partner Acharya Balkrishna, who met Ramdev at a Sanskrit school three decades ago and holds 98.55% of Patanjali’s shares, according to a 2018 company filing.The 46-year-old Balkrishna, whose net worth Forbes puts at $4.9 billion, brushed aside concerns about the company’s health during an April interview at one of Patanjali’s yoga centres near Haridwar.”We suddenly expanded, we started three-four new units, and so problems were expected. We have solved that network problem,” said Balkrishna, referring to supply chain issues that affected deliveries. The problems were concentrated in “set-up and networking”, he said, without elaborating.One ex-employee said issues included not having long-term deals with transporters, which complicated planning and increased costs. Patanjali executives also lacked the software needed to effectively track sales, another former worker said.Balkrishna declined to give sales estimates for the current fiscal year or last but said future results would be “better”.Reuters sent follow-up questions to Patanjali’s public relations officer KK Mishra, who said the queries had been forwarded to a special committee. Calls and messages to Balkrishna’s assistant about the queries went unanswered.THIRD PARTY SUPPLIERSAs Patanjali has ramped up its offering to more than 2,500 goods, it has prioritised scale over quality and farmed out production to third parties, which has dented quality, two former office executives and a supplier said.In 2017, Nepal’s drug watchdog found that six Patanjali medical products had microorganism content above a maximum ceiling set by the regulator. Santosh K.C., an official at Nepal’s Department of Drug Administration, said there were no problems with other Patanjali products.Balkrishna denies there have been quality issues, noting that India’s national laboratories accreditation board has approved Patanjali’s central lab.”Quality is not a problem,” Balkrishna said.Patanjali products marketed as ayurvedic come under the regulatory purview of the Ministry of Ayush, created in 2014 to promote alternative therapies including Ayurveda. The ministry did not respond to a request for comment on Patanjali’s product quality.India’s food regulator FSSAI, which oversees Patanjali’s processed foods, declined to disclose data on quality tests, saying it only did so in the event of safety concerns.Balkrishna said only “a few products”, including wheat, pulses and rice, were sourced externally.Reuters reviewed 81 Patanjali products in a Mumbai Patanjali store and found that 27 of them had labels that listed the goods as partially or wholly manufactured by other Indian producers.These suppliers either declined to comment or did not respond to questions.The construction of Patanjali’s own factories has been dogged by delays, which the company attributes to starting multiple projects simultaneously.A food plant in Maharashtra due by April 2017 and an ayurvedic and herbal products factory outside Delhi expected by 2016 are now slated for 2020, according to Patanjali.UNPAID SUPPLIERS, DWINDLING ADSSome unpaid suppliers are turning their backs on the company, according to interviews with three suppliers as well as letters, reviewed by Reuters, sent to the company by those owed money.A chemical supplier said Patanjali started delaying payments by a month or two in 2017. By 2018, delays had grown to almost six months.Two managers at stores of leading Indian retailers and two mom and pop stores owners, all in Mumbai, said they were only keeping a handful of Patanjali products in stock due to faltering demand.Faced with the threat from Patanjali, competitors such as Hindustan Unilever and Colgate Palmolive India Ltd have launched ayurvedic products themselves, adding to the competition.Meanwhile, Patanjali has slashed ad spending. In 2016, it was third biggest Indian television advertiser, but by last year it did not make the top 10, according to Broadcast Audience Research Council India data.Patanjali’s main advertising agency, Mumbai-based Vermmillion, declined to comment.Abneesh Roy, a senior retail analyst at broker Edelweiss, said Patanjali would likely lose market share as a result.Graphic: Patanjali Ad Insertions ReutersFRAUGHT BROMANCERamdev passionately backed Modi in the 2014 election. He tapped into his following as a TV celebrity, mobilizing voters and synchronizing messaging with Modi’s Hindi nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Patanjali has benefited from more than an estimated $46 million in discounts for land acquisitions in BJP-controlled states, Reuters revealed in May 2017.More recently, however, Ramdev seemed to have cooled on Modi, a fellow yoga aficionado.In its 2017-2018 financial statement, Patanjali complained that demonetization “affected consumers’ spending habits,” while the sales tax hit “costing and pricing of inputs and products”.Ramdev also told journalists earlier this year he had withdrawn himself politically. But he popped up on the campaign trail to support the BJP in the April-May election, saying Modi was “the pride of mother India”.The mixed message has ruffled some in the BJP’s powerful fountainhead, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). “Ramdev,” one senior RSS official said, “makes different kinds of statements that make it difficult to put trust in him.”Representatives for Modi, who cruised to re-election, did not respond to requests for comment.APP FLOPDevotees and detractors alike say Patanjali’s management style is a far cry from standard corporate culture.Employees at Patanjali’s main food plant in Haridwar gather to chant “om” every morning. Senior managers must dress in white. Failure to follow wardrobe rules and late arrivals result in pay deductions, current and former employees said.Patanjali, which said it employs around 25,000 people, last year advertised for salesmen across India. But one ex-employee said Patanjali had also chopped several hundred posts since mid-2017. The company did not respond to queries about staffing.Patanjali has also announced plans to sell SIM cards, solar panels, bottled water, phones and jeans.Balkrishna said the diversification was working.”Solar is good. Our apparel division is going… We have big plans for bio-organic products,” he said.In 2017, computer scientist Aditi Kamal pitched Ramdev the idea of an Indian-made messaging app.”When I said ‘WhatsApp rival and all,’ he said: ‘This is great, why didn’t we think of this before?'” recounted Kamal.Kamal said she was hired, and six months later was overseeing 100 employees.But the 2018 launch of the app, called Kimbho, was marred by privacy flaws and Patanjali halted the venture.”We have not dropped the project completely, but we have stopped,” said Balkrishna.last_img read more

Central American Asylum Seekers Get Legal Aid Near US Border

first_imgAPCentral American migrants traveling with the annual “Stations of the Cross” caravan march to call for migrants’ rights and protest the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, in Matias Romero, Oaxaca State, Mexico, Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Bogged down by logistical problems, large numbers of children and fears about people getting sick, the caravan was always meant to draw attention to the plight of migrants and was never equipped to march all the way to the U.S. border. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)About 20 volunteer U.S. lawyers gave legal workshops Friday just across the border in Mexico to Central American asylum seekers who traveled in a “caravan” that has been harshly criticized by President Donald Trump.Journalists were not allowed inside the sessions for about 300 migrants that took place at a civic group’s office, at Tijuana’s largest migrant shelter and at an art gallery in a building that once housed a cross-border tunnel used to smuggle drugs into San Diego.The lawyers gave information about the U.S. asylum process while the children of the mostly female migrants played. The migrants were warned they could face long periods of separation from their children and lengthy detention if they are allowed to stay in the U.S.The migrants plan to head to the border on Sunday, setting up a showdown with the Trump administration — which has warned that some could face detention, prosecution and deportation. Most Central American migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. cite the threat of gang violence in their homelands.The lawyers and advocates met one-on-one with some of the migrants but did not coach them on what to say and what not to say when they meet with U.S. immigration officers on Sunday, said Alex Mensing, an organizer of the effort with the Pueblos Sin Fronteras group.Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen warned this week that any person trying to cross into the U.S. who makes false claims to immigration authorities will subject to criminal prosecution. She said prosecution was also possible for any people who might assist or coach immigrants to make false claims in bids to enter the U.S.Nielsen’s threat is consistent with the administration’s narrative of widespread asylum fraud and claims that asylum-seekers are coached on what to tell U.S. authorities. The secretary also said asylum seekers in the caravan should seek protection in the first safe country they reach, including Mexico.Mensing said the lawyers helping the migrants might offer opinions on individual cases, just like any lawyer would for a client.“We always emphasize you have to tell the truth,” Mensing said.Caravans have been a fairly common tactic for advocacy groups to bring attention to asylum-seekers and the latest is smaller than previous efforts compared to previous border surges, but gained huge visibility after Trump unleashed strong criticism when it began March 25 in the Mexican city of Tapachula, near the Guatemala border.The caravan drew as many as 1,000 people as it crossed Mexico as Trump and top aides portrayed them as a significant threat and evidence of a dysfunctional border.Trump cited the caravan as justification for the border wall he wants to build, even though the asylum-seekers plan to turn themselves in to border inspectors and are legally entitled to seek protection. He said he ordered the Homeland Security Department to “stop the caravan.”As Sunday’s showdown at the busy Tijuana-San Diego border crossing neared, Amnesty International hoisted a billboard promoting the right to asylum in the U.S. on a truck in Tijuana that drove around the city. Sharelast_img read more

France to clean up smog by banning old cars

first_imgWe’ve known how dirty gas-guzzling cars are for decades, and major improvements in efficiency have been realized in recent years even if Volkswagen decided to cheat instead. But not everyone has the latest, most fuel efficient cars on the road, and the French government has decided to do something about it.From July 1st, cars registered before 1997 and motorcycles registered before 1999 will be banned from the roads of Paris during the week. That’s roughly 10% of the traffic. If you happen to drive such an old car or bike and need it to travel to work in Paris everyday, tough luck. Doing so will incur a fine of $39 for each offense, which will increase to $87 next year. It gets worse, though, as from 2020 the ban will be tweaked to include cars and motorcycles registered before 2010.Not everyone has the time, money, or inclination to find themselves a young enough car to conform, especially with the 2010 rule arriving in less then 4 years. Paris better hope it can cope with the influx of travelers on its public transport networks, something it couldn’t do right now with multiple strikes happening.So how will the government enforce these new rules? They opted for the very advanced solution of stickers on windshields. There are 6 classifications based on emissions, and your car gets the appropriate sticker. That’s a sticker nobody will think to cover up with an alternative sticker to get around the ban, right? Yeah, that certainly wouldn’t happen!Will the ban make any difference? It may lower pollution temporarily in the city, but more cars are being added to the roads every day, and you can bet car manufacturers view this as an advertising opportunity to push “Paris-friendly” cars. Ultimately, it’s a very short term idea. It’s not right to call it a fix or solution, it’s just an idea, and one that could bring people living within driving distance of Paris quite a bit of pain in the short term.last_img read more

Researchers find it is possible to use cyanate as an energy source

first_img © 2015 For many years, scientists have believed that microorganisms that serve as ammonia oxidizers drive the nitrification process, because it was believed they were the ones that created the food for nitrite oxidizing microorganisms. Now it appears that such thinking might have to be modified, as the researchers with this new effort have found an example of an ammonia-oxidizing thaumarchaeote (organisms of the Archaea phylum), Nitrososphaera gargensis1, that uses cyanate as the one and only source of energy and reductant—showing that nitrite oxidizers can provide the food for ammonia oxidizers. Thus it appears to go both ways.The team made the discovery while conducting genome tests of nitrite oxidizers—they found genes that encode for cyanase, an enzyme that is known to break down cyanate, a sign that they likely could use cyanate as an energy source. To find out for sure, they conducted an aerobic growth of N. gargensis1 (an ammonia oxidizer) using just cyanate, proving that it could be done—it is now classified as the only organism able to carry out such a process.The findings by the team are an important discovery because it will help scientists better understand the nitrogen cycle in general and the nitrification process more specifically—and that should help to better understand the issues involved in solving such problems as unabated nitrification that occurs due to over fertilization of croplands leading to pollution and dead zones in the sea. And as Stein, notes, we have entered a time where human production of fixed nitrogen is greater than that produced naturally with the result being a nitrogen cycle that is now unbalanced—suggesting, perhaps that leveraging organisms such as N. gargensis1 could help restore that balance. More information: Nature (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nature14856 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. Journal information: Nature Explore further Nitrogen loss in soils unearthed Citation: Researchers find it is possible to use cyanate as an energy source for nitrifiers (2015, July 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from An international team of researches has found an example of a nitrite oxidizing organism that can convert cyanate into ammonium and carbon dioxide. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes their research which had both a genetic component and field experiments, and why they believe what they found might make the case for cyanate being classified as a key controller of the nitrification process. Lisa Stein of the University of Alberta offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the team, in the same journal edition.last_img read more

Eurostar slashes select fares on summer and fall travel

first_img Share LONDON – Rail travel in Europe will be a lot more affordable this year, thanks to Eurostar’s new seasonal promotion.The high-speed rail company, which links the U.K. and mainland Europe, is offering savings of up to 20% for travel in Standard Premier and 30% in Business Premier this summer.Bookings are available from May 15 to June 19, 2018, for travel between July 16 and Nov. 1, 2018.In Standard Premier, passengers will enjoy a light meal and refreshments served at seat, spacious coaches and complimentary magazines. In Business Premier, benefits include a meal created by Business Premier Culinary Director Raymond Blanc OBE, access to exclusive Business Lounges in London, Paris and Brussels, added flexibility to accommodate changing plans, as well as convenient check-in up to 10 minutes before departure.Included in all Eurostar travel are: 2 for 1 entry to permanent collections and exhibitions at museums and galleries; generous luggage allowance of two free bags plus hand luggage, without weight restrictions; free Wi-Fi and onboard entertainment, no expensive airport transfers, with city centre stations; and free travel for children under four.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthTravel will be onboard sleek new e320 and refurbished e300 trains that travel at speeds of up to 186 mph through the European countryside and under the Channel. For more information go to Travelweek Group Thursday, May 17, 2018 Tags: Eurostarcenter_img Eurostar slashes select fares on summer and fall travel Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Guatemalans take to the streets again as new corruption scandal rocks the

first_imgRelated posts:Resignation rumors of Guatemala’s Pérez Molina grow after fourth week of protests Guatemala’s Pérez Molina could face impeachment Guatemala’s Otto Pérez Molina dismisses ‘spurious’ corruption case In Costa Rica visit, Guatemala president-elect Jimmy Morales reaffirms opposition to drug decriminalization Related: Resignation rumors of Guatemala’s Pérez Molina grow after fourth week of protestsGUATEMALA CITY – For the fifth consecutive week, protesters gathered in front of the presidential palace on Saturday to demand President Otto Pérez Molina’s resignation after his administration was tainted by yet another corruption scandal.As has become the custom in the country’s recent wave of anti-corruption protests, demonstrators sang the national anthem and waved homemade placards that read: “It’s Otto’s turn to face trial” and “Give us back what you’ve stolen!”The protests began after the U.N.-supported International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) revealed, on April 16, that a number of high-level government officials were involved in a massive customs fraud network known as “La Línea” that was allegedly led by former Vice President Roxana Baldetti’s private secretary, Juan Carlos Monzón.Neither Baldetti’s resignation on May 8 nor Pérez Molina’s recent decision to sack three Cabinet ministers and his head of intelligence in a desperate attempt to clean up his government’s image have managed to placate protesters’ indignation.Far from dying down, a fresh scandal involving another close ally of President Pérez Molina has fanned the flames of discontent.The latest protest was spontaneous and was not organized on social media, which explains why it was considerably smaller than the ones held in previous weeks – Prensa Libre newspaper estimated that 200 people attended this impromptu demonstration as opposed to 60,000 on May 16. But although it was small in numbers, those who took to the streets on Saturday were undeterred by the persistent rain and were determined to make their voices heard.Some donned the stylized Guy Fawkes mask made popular by the Anonymous hacktivist group that has become the symbol of anti-government protesters worldwide.And in a particularly dramatic gesture, a protester, disguised as Jesus, mock crucified himself in front of the presidential palace. On the cross, he had posted the words CACIF corruptores (CACIF– Guatemala’s influential private sector lobby – you are the bribers), a reference to the fact that a number of businesses bribed the customs officials involved in “La Línea” in order to pay less than the legal tariff on imports.Although CACIF has sought to distance itself from the Pérez Molina administration by calling for a “national crusade against corruption” many demonstrators have highlighted the fact that the businesses that greased the palms of corrupt officials should also be held accountable.Another massive demonstration organized on social media is expected to take place on May 30.A government in disarrayGuatemala’s political crisis deepened last Wednesday when another cohort of government officials including the president of the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS), Juan de Dios Rodríguez, and the head of the Bank of Guatemala, Julio Roberto Suárez, was arrested on corruption charges involving a $14.5 million dialysis contract.According to El Periódico newspaper, Rodríguez, a retired army officer, served under the G2 military intelligence unit and was part of a group of officers loyal to Pérez Molina known as “Los Titos” (named after Pérez Molina’s military pseudonym “Tito Arias”). He was allegedly one of the PP’s campaign donors, and in 2012 Pérez Molina made him his private secretary.A year later, he was appointed IGSS president after Pérez Molina controversially used troops to forcibly remove his predecessor, Luis Reyes Mayén, following his involvement in a sex scandal. Pérez Molina justified Rodríguez’s appointment by describing him as “well qualified” and stating that he had “great trust” in him, words that have come back to haunt him following his arrest on corruption charges.Among those arrested was Otto Molina Stalling, son of Judge Blanca Aida Stalling Dávila, who is president of the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court.The Stalling family became embroiled in the “La Línea” scandal after CICIG revealed that key defendants in the case allegedly bribed presiding Judge Marta Josefina Sierra González de Stalling – Stalling Dávila’s sister-in-law – in exchange for obtaining release on bail and unguarded house arrest instead of prison.Stalling Dávila was also mentioned in wiretap recordings although she insists that the names of the two judges were mixed up and voluntarily agreed to cooperate with investigators in order to clear her name.A day after the IGSS scandal hit the headlines, Pérez Molina tried to confront the deepening crisis by firing three ministers, a vice minister, his intelligence chief and the Guatemalan consul in Miami.See also: Guatemalan president sacks 3 ministers amid graft scandal Those sacked are: Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla, a retired lieutenant colonel regarded as Pérez Molina’s right-hand man; Vice Minister for Public Security Edy Juárez Prera; Minister of Energy and Mining Erick Archila Dehesa; Minister for the Environment Michelle Martínez; head of intelligence Ulises Anzueto; and the Guatemalan consul in Miami, Gabriela Aparicio.López Bonilla, Juárez Prera and Anzueto have been accused of granting inflated contracts for the purchase of police surveillance equipment. Archila Dehesa is accused of granting overpriced contracts for the purchase of electricity generators, and Martínez is accused of spending $17.9 million on an Israeli manufactured disinfectant to clean up Lake Amatitlán without carrying out a mandatory environmental impact study.Aparicio, a young make-up artist who had a close friendship with former Vice President Roxana Baldetti, had long been derided by the press for lacking the necessary qualifications for the position.“The president fired ministers involved in dubious public contracts in an attempt to be one step ahead before more scandals are uncovered. It’s a palliative measure but it’s not enough. The protests will continue because he’s regarded as a leader who’s surrounded by corrupt officials,” political scientist José Dávila said.The current crisis has led to a strong perception that ousting a handful of corrupt officials is a merely cosmetic change and that only a a far-reaching political reform can stamp out a deeply ingrained culture of graft and crookedness.“We’re riding on the crest of a wave that will bring about change. Ideally we need a new electoral law,” said sociologist Álvaro Velásquez.The reform would usher in tighter regulations on campaign finance to prevent candidates from being beholden to powerful interest groups and organized crime, measures to punish transfuguismo – or candidates’ habit of repeatedly switching from one party to another – anti-nepotism regulations to prevent parties from becoming dynastic fiefdoms, and a prohibition on the serial re-election of mayors and legislators.Although there is a growing consensus around the urgent need for a systematic overhaul, securing a reform that requires a congressional majority four months before the general elections will not be an easy task. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

A Credit Situation Gender Affects Ability to Obtain a Mortgage Loan

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Origination A Credit Situation: Gender Affects Ability to Obtain a Mortgage Loan Credit Score Lenders Mortgage Loan 2016-02-12 Staff Writer Sharecenter_img February 12, 2016 575 Views Although credit standards are easing among lenders, they still take into account how high or low a borrower’s credit score is to determine if they will get approved for a mortgage loan, but there is also a demographic factor that could stand in the way of homeownership.A borrower’s credit score could be adversely affected by gender, according to a study from Typically, men have an average credit score of 630 out of 850, while women have an average score of 621. But here’s where it gets interesting: Men have higher credit scores than women even though they have higher debt and credit card balances. These factors could be mean that men are able to get a mortgage loan easier than women.The report explains that men tend to have higher wages compared to women. In the study, 23 percent of men reported earning $75,000 or more annually, while only 18 percent of women said that they earn this amount.”While income does not play a direct role in credit scoring formulas, it enables consumers to mange their credit well—which, in turn, leads to higher credit scores,” the report stated.A recent survey from the Federal Reserve showed that credit standards are easing among lenders, some are questioning if the easing gone too far?Although lenders are being selective of whom they lend to in terms of credit score, overall, mortgage lending standards have eased every quarter over the last two years.According to the Fed survey, credit standards have eased moderately on some categories of residential mortgage loans, while demand for these loans weakened. During the fourth quarter of 2015, 11 of the 63 banks surveyed noted that credit standards on GSE-eligible loans had eased somewhat, while two banks said lending was tight somewhat. Government residential mortgages eased somewhat for four of the 59 banks questioned and tightened for four banks.Matthew Pointon, Property Economist at Capital Economics questioned whether or not the eased credit standards could be the early signs of another financial crisis. He ultimately determined that “fears that we are embarking on a repeat of the dangerous cut in standards that contributed to the financial crisis look premature.””Given how tight mortgage lending standards were at the height of the financial crisis it is no surprise–and a welcome development–that banks have been gradually easing standards for the past two years,” Pointon noted. “We expect that will continue, helping mortgage lending to grow at a steady pace over the next couple of years. But there are few signs that lending criteria are returning to the ultra-loose conditions which contributed to the mid-2000s boom. Bankers’ memories may be short, but they are not that short.”Click here to view the full report.last_img read more

Within The Retreat there will be four types of ac

first_imgWithin The Retreat, there will be four types of accommodations: Reflection (one-bedroom), Unity (two-bedroom), Gratitude (three-bedroom) and Solace (studio) suites. Ranging from 55-290 square metres, all Retreat accommodations will feature a soothing bedroom with Miraval’s signature bedding, a spa bath with a free-standing soaking tub, an indoor-outdoor shower and a private patio with a hot tub and firepit. The Reflection, Unity and Gratitude suites will also offer full gourmet kitchens and dining space for eight people where private culinary programming can take place, as well as private pools and lounge areas that encourage connection for small groups travelling together.Interior design firm SFA Design will design the interiors of the suites, drawing inspiration from the surrounding Sonoran Desert to infuse a sophisticated, organic and luxurious aesthetic. The villas will feature an earthy colour palette that complements the desert backdrop and provides a sense of calm and relaxation. Textured fabrics, wooden floors and custom furniture will make the spaces feel grounded and balanced. To show respect for the cultures and traditions of the area’s Native American heritage, a custom mural by Farmboy of a Navajo sand mandala will adorn the focal wall of the dining room.In addition to offering the most spacious and private accommodations at Miraval Arizona, The Retreat will provide guests with special amenities and services that have never been seen before at the property. For example, guests will be treated to an exclusive in-room massage menu featuring a selection of Life in Balance Spa massage services that they can enjoy in the comfort of their own suite. Each room will also house an aromatherapy diffuser with scents designed to complement each guest’s Miraval journey, whether they want to achieve relaxation, rejuvenation or focus, as well as an assortment of sleep-enhancing amenities including a pillow menu and specialty snacks and beverages. Additionally, the suites will feature a communal canvas and journal where guests can reflect upon their experiences at Miraval and share their feelings with guests for years to come.Go back to the e-newsletter Go back to the e-newsletterMiraval Arizona Resort & Spa has unveiled The Retreat, the award-winning destination spa’s newest and most private accommodations, located on the westernmost part of the resort. Overlooking the Santa Catalina Mountains from one of the highest vistas on the property, The Retreat features 22 suites, each with views and outdoor patios, as well as wellness amenities and services available exclusively to Retreat guests.“For over 20 years, Miraval has been committed to providing a serene haven for our guests to grow mentally, spiritually and emotionally,” said Marc Ellin, global head of Miraval Group. “The Retreat at Miraval Arizona exemplifies our vision, offering a peaceful ambiance and exclusive experiences designed to inspire each guest to live a healthier, more mindful lifestyle.”last_img read more