Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa San Miguel sports director Alfrancis Chua also likewise thanked the fans who trooped to the games and endlessly supported the crowd favorites.“This celebration is for all of you, for the ka-barangay,” the Ginebra team governor said as he led the ceremonial toast. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:08Ginebra planning for long series vs San Miguel01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion SMC president Ramon S. Ang and San Miguel sports director Alfrancis Chua hold the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup title during Ginebra’s victory party. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netCoach Tim Cone said Barangay Ginebra isn’t done yet collecting championship trophies. The man on top had something to say about how the pursuit for more glory should be done.“I hope with this win, we’ll be humble and nice to everybody,” said San Miguel Corp. president and COO Ramon S. Ang in Filipino during the celebration of the team’s successful defense of the PBA Governors’ Cup Monday night at the SMC head office in Ortigas.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA “Ginebra waited for a championship for eight years. [Then] we won last year. And this year, even up to the final minute, we didn’t know if we could repeat. But we’re thankful that we were able to win back-to-back,” he said.In the basketball sense, Cone also has ideas as to how the Kings plan to add to their trophy case.On top of his list: Maximize the strengths of Greg Slaughter and minimize the negative impact brought about by teams running small lineups against the 7-footer.“I feel like I haven’t exploited him yet,” Cone explained.Barangay Ginebra also managed to snare a promising talent in the draft by tabbing former UP gunner Jett Manuel with the 12th pick overall. The Kings hope Manuel can be groomed into a replacement for Jayjay Helterbrand, who announced his retirement.ADVERTISEMENT Ateneo issues clarification: Bundit stays as Lady Eagles coach The Kings captured the season-ending crown in dramatic fashion, holding off a tough-fighting Meralco Bolts in an epic Game 7 at Philippine Arena—a coronation witnessed by a record 54,086-strong audience.Moments after that thrilling 101-96 victory that capped a 4-3 series win, Cone made a promise to the fans of the country’s most popular basketball team.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We’re not going to stop here, we have more championships to win,” he said.San Miguel’s top honcho reminded the Kings to make sure they pursue their goal the right way. Ang is also thankful that after nearly a decade of drought, Cone was able to lead Ginebra to back-to-back titles against a worthy adversary in Meralco. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort MOST READ View comments
For a nation starved of success stories in football, being the top star means that one would be hounded by the fans and media.Sunil Chhetri knows it well and after his Sporting Lisbon sojourn, the expectation from the 28-year-old striker has only picked up.No surprise, that in the prematch press conference ahead of India’s opener against Syria in the Nehru Cup, the captain of the team was time and again asked about what difference he could make, especially after his Portugal experience.”I was in Portugal for just 28 days. I don’t think playing with a new team and set-up for such short time can impact your game,” he said.The Delhi boy, who was a part of India’s victorious team in the 2009 edition, said the youngsters in the squad had a very important role to play.”We have six to seven players who are relatively new. They are a good bunch but on this stage, they need to understand their responsibility,” he said.About coach Wim Koevermans’ newly propounded “possession football,” he said it would take some time.”We should take into account the fact that he has with us for only two weeks. We are being told to keep the ball as much as possible. The good thing is that the coach is working with a certain plan and a vision,” he said.Chhetri had high regards for their first match’s opponent Syria. “I have seen their game in the Asian Cup and they are a talented lot,” he said.advertisement
2020 Olympics2020 tokyo olympicshockeyhockey india First Published: October 31, 2019, 1:51 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. The upcoming hockey qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will see the Indian men’s and women’s hockey team fight to seal their Olympic berths on November 1 and 2. The Olympics 2020 Indian Hockey qualifiers will be played at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar.World No. 5 Indian men’s hockey team led by Manpreet Singh will lock horns with Russia, who are currently World No. 22. Meanwhile, Rani Rampal-led women’s hockey team, who are currently at 9th spot in the world ranking, will be facing the US. According to the latest 2020 Olympics qualifying format rolled out by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), 28 teams with 14 players each side (both for men and women) will be featuring in seven qualifiers. The 2020 Olympics hockey qualifiers draw were held in September this year.Here is a list of team’s who have qualified for 2020 Tokyo Olympics:2020 Tokyo Olympics Men’s Hockey Qualifying list:Japan, Argentina, South Africa, Belgium, Australia Spain, Netherlands, Canada2020 Tokyo Olympics Women’s Hockey Qualifying list:Japan, Argentina, South Africa, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, China, AustraliaIndian Men’s Hockey Squad: Manpreet Singh (C), PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Amit Rohidas, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, S.V. Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Simranjeet Singh.Indian Women’s Hockey Squad: Rani Rampal (C), Savita, Rajani Etimarpu, Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz, Namita Toppo, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur and Sharmila Devi.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Porto midfielder Hector Herrera on Arsenal, Wolves radarby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePorto midfielder Hector Herrera is on Arsenal’s radar this month.TMW says Arsenal are planning a move for Porto ace Herrera.Gunners boss Unai Emery is looking at the midfielder as he seeks to strenghten his option.But he’s not alone. Roma, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Wolves have also been linked.Herrera enjoyed an outstanding World Cup with Mexico and was linked with Real Madrid last summer.
Ex-Man Utd stars Van Persie, Scholes tell Woodward: Solskjaer must stayby Ansser Sadiq7 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveTwo former Manchester United players believe that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should remain in charge at the club.Solskjaer is under increased pressure after United’s poor performances this season.Some fans believe that he should get the boot.But two players who enjoyed success with United, Robin van Persie and Paul Scholes, are behind Solskjaer.”It has been a rough start,” Van Persie said on BT Sport after United’s battling 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday night. “What is tough for Solskjaer is it’s not his team. He needs time.”Scholes said: “When you assess the season so far, 14th tells you everything. It has not been good enough.”But we have to trust what Ole is doing. He’s right at the start of his rebuild. His first three signings have done very well. I’ve still got the faith. Let him carry on.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
Executive Director of the Washington, D.C., Board of Medicine, Dr. Jacqueline Watson, says Jamaica can establish and operate a thriving health tourism industry, mainly in the area of health care.Making a presentation on June 17, at a forum exploring the diversity of Jamaica’s tourism product, at the 5th Biennial Diaspora Conference, being held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Dr. Watson pointed out that the services generally sought by Americans for health care include orthopaedic surgeries, hip replacement, and dental surgery.“Health and wellness integrated care, that is where Jamaica has a distinct advantage, and we have to start the medical tourism development from a health perspective,” she told her audience.She urged the country to prepare for the new US health care plan slated to come on stream during 2015, as Jamaica could attract many persons who will then have health insurance.“People travel, and the main reason they are travelling is for health reasons, and they choose an attractive destination. Depending on the services you are offering, it can certainly be a boom to the economy,” Dr. Watson said.Explaining the concept of health tourism, she described it as the movement of people from a “highly developed area of the world for medical health care, usually to find treatment at a lower cost.”Dr. Watson pointed out that over 50 countries have identified medical tourism as a national industry, adding that Jamaica would be an ideal destination, given the fact that medical training in Jamaica is in keeping with standards in the US and the United Kingdom.For his part, Vice President at JAMPRO, Claude Duncan, told the forum that many persons from abroad, including the Caribbean are currently utilizing health facilities in Jamaica.He said that insurance companies in those countries encourage persons to travel overseas for medical procedures, as it is less costly to them, while increasing earnings for the host country.Meanwhile, noted Jamaican Scientist, Professor Henry Lowe, said the investment opportunities in health are enormous, and persons should seize them.Contact: Garfield L. Angus
“We deeply regret the impacts that these capacity reductions will have on our Mackenzie and Isle Pierre employees, contractors, their families and the local communities,” said Stephen Mackie, Senior Vice President of Canadian Operations, Canfor. “The BC forest industry is continuing to face very significant challenges. None of our temporary or permanent curtailment decisions have been made lightly, nor are they a reflection on the hard work and dedication of our employees.”In combination, these curtailments will reduce Canfor’s annual production output by approximately 400 million board feet, which is in addition to previously announced reductions. MACKENZIE, B.C. – Canfor announced Thursday more capacity reductions in Mackenzie and Prince George.The Mackenzie sawmill will be placed on an indefinite curtailment effective immediately due to the high cost of fibre and poor lumber markets. On top of that, Canfor says challenging operating conditions have made the mill uneconomic under current conditions.The Isle Pierre sawmill in Prince George will be permanently reduced from two shifts to one shift effective September 20, 2019. The capacity reduction, which is due to insufficient timber supply as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic and associated decline in the annual allowable cut, will enable the mill to better align its production capacity with the sustainable fibre supply in the region.
Kolkata: The seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state were marred by a few instances of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) glitches.Rampant malfunctioning of EVMs was reported from both Kolkata North and Kolkata South, as well as some other constituencies. In some places, voters including elderly citizens were seriously inconvenienced after the EVMs developed technical glitches leading to suspension of the voting process for a while. The Election Commission officials soon addressed the crisis and voting resumed in the affected booths. The voters who queued up at a polling booth in Kolkata South in the morning, complained about poor management by the Election Commission and the malfunctioning voting machines. Senior citizens were found waiting in long queues at multiple booths. An elderly voter standing in the queue outside a polling station under Kolkata South constituency said that he had reached the polling booth at 7 am and had to wait for more than 45 minutes as an EVM developed technical problem. It may be recalled that after taking cue from the previous phases of elections, the Election Commission had earlier assured that there would be alternative arrangements of EVMs in various booths. Senior Trinamool Congress leader and Mayor Firhad Hakim said polling could not be conducted smoothly at various booths of Kolkata South in the morning. In some places, polling was suspended for nearly one and half hour in the morning, Hakim said. While answering media questions on allegations of violence against Trinamool by Opposition parties, Hakim said: “The Opposition parties in the state have lost their footing and hence they are coming up with cooked-up stories. The Central Forces and BJP tried hard but the people of the state are with Trinamool Congress. We will win all the nine constituencies that went to poll on Sunday, with a minimum margin of 2-3 lakh votes. We will win all 42 seats in the state.” Trinamool Congress candidate from Kolkata North Sudip Bandyopadhyay also voiced his protest against the malfunctioning of EVMs. He said that 15 out of 22 EVMs from the polling stations in Chowringhee area had malfunctioned. “I have spoken to some Election officials and they have admitted to the malfunctioning of EVMs,” he added. After the final phase of elections concluded, Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab said: “The number of EVMs malfunctioning was under the permissible limit and they were replaced in all affected places.”
LeBron James might remain the best player in the NBA. He might remain the most valuable. He might even remain a player around whom a team can build a perennial Finals contender. But the question right now is, “Can LeBron remain this good for the rest of the season?” Because this LeBron is very close to as good as we’ve ever seen, in ways we’ve never seen before.Just so everyone’s clear at the top: James is not the sun-eater he was in 2012-13, with the third and greatest of his Miami Heat teams. He may not be quite as incontestable as he was at the end of his first tenure in Cleveland, when he won back-to-back MVPs and dragged meager rosters on long and doomed and occasionally brilliant playoff runs.But James is posting career highs in true shooting percentage (66.4), 3-point percentage (41.6), assist percentage (42.9) and block percentage (2.6). His free throw percentage (77.3) is the second-highest of his career. He’s shooting 80.7 percent within 3 feet of the basket and going to the rim about as often as he ever has. He has created more shots for teammates than anyone but Russell Westbrook, according to data from Second Spectrum, and he’s done it while playing 37 minutes per night — a heavy load for a player in his 15th season (who has also logged more than 200 playoff games).The easy answer to the obvious question — How? — is that his jumper is falling. According to data from Second Spectrum, James is shooting an effective field goal percentage of 58.8 on step-back shots and 63 on pull-up jumpers — his two most common shot types after brute-force drives. Those dwarf his normal rate of makes on those shots over the last three seasons.The large and sensible parts of the brain say this is unsustainable. That it’s fun to watch James play-act past glories while understanding that the underlying foundations have shifted, moved on — that James’s MVP-level start is a mirage of risky habits and clustered luck. The smaller, more rascally regions wonder: What if this is how LeBron goes late-Jordan?James is one of the most amorphous stars I’ve ever watched from season to season. In various offseasons over the past decade, he’s picked up a post game, lost and recovered his 3-point stroke, added sneaky perimeter dribble feints and pivots, and refined the drive-and-kick game to its most basic and brutally effective elements. Who’s to say he hasn’t gone out and added the step-back midrange game that Michael made art and Kobe made genre fiction?I mean, just look at this:I’ve been watching LeBron for a lot of years, and I don’t remember him looking so fluid on those shots, so smooth through the hips and shoulders. That shot has always been available to him, it’s just always looked more calculated than natural — a computer making an arcane chess move more than a master moving in on the hunt. Now, it looks more graceful, a little tighter in the footwork. They aren’t suddenly perfect shots — there’s still the occasional (and occasionally more than occasional) wild launch from 35 feet or with a foot on or just inside the line, but they look better in aggregate. Maybe it’s easier to see it like that because it’s going in; that’s one danger of applying the eye test.But it also makes sense given how well James has shot both from distance and point-blank. There’s simply more room to maneuver in the midrange if defenses must treat him as a 40-percent 3-point shooter and an 80-percent finisher at the rim — while also playing the lanes because he’s passing more than ever. That’s going to remain true for as long as James is canning 3s like this and remains unstoppable at the rim. The jumper can come and go, but it has been relatively steady since it went missing in 2015-16. The drives are more reliable.The Cavs score 125 points per 100 possessions when James drives and finishes himself, passes to a teammate for a shot or is fouled (or he makes a turnover), and 118 points per 100 possessions on scoring chances that come from multiple passes after a James drive, according to Second Spectrum. Both rank first among players with at least 100 drives this season, and both are unlikely to change as long as James remains unstoppable, crashing into defenders and creating space where the defender had previously been standing.One caveat: This isn’t the indomitable James. The onslaught is not exactly unrelenting. The pitch is not fevered. James is finding more success driving to the rim, but he’s also drawing fouls at a career-worst rate — his .294 rate of free throws per field goal attempt is down considerably from his career average .418 — and his turnovers are a hair under his career worst (from last season). These may be clues that James’s underlying skills have tailed off and his results will soon follow. Or they may be evidence that LeBron isn’t actually trying yet.His defensive numbers confirm that he hasn’t returned to his peak. The Cleveland defense has been nearly 11 points better per 100 possessions when he sits, and ESPN’s defensive Real Plus-Minus has him in the negatives, below James Harden and Kyle Lowry. RPM is famously skewed toward defensive-minded big men, but James has historically performed much better in the stat. So, no, James isn’t the clamp-down bear trap he was in his Heat years. But he’s in the top 40 for shots defended (a good sign he’s not getting blown out of plays) and opponents are shooting just a 46.6 effective field goal percentage against him (a very good number). While he’s giving up “good” shots (expected value 52.8 eFG percentage, adjusting for who’s shooting, which is one of the worst figures in the league), he’s depressing value on those shots by 6.2 eFG percentage points, sandwiching him between standout defenders like Kevin Durant and Paul Millsap once he’s actually engaged in the play.We expect more from James because we’ve seen more from him. We’ve seen him slip from the best player in history to merely the best at this moment, and so his deficiencies call out in a way other players’ do not. Maybe he’s playing catch-up defense these days, or not drawing fouls the way he used to, or not willing Jae Crowder into making his wide-damn-open 3s. But 15 seasons into his career, he’s still getting better, and so far this season, the pieces he’s added have more than made up for the ones that have fallen away.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has insisted that the performances of the players at the World Cup will not have an effect on his summer transfer plansThe Spaniard, who is currently facing an uncertain future at St James’ Park, has confirmed that he has begun making his plans with managing director Lee Charnley.But the former Liverpool manager has refused to judge players based on their performances in the upcoming World Cup this summer in Russia.“I don’t think so. We have people going around but now you can see a lot of players and you don’t have to be there.” said Benitez, according to Chronicle Live.“Also I am not a fan of the Euros and World Cup in terms of signing players from there because when they go there, what do they have? Something you don’t have for ten months, it’s not guaranteed for ten months.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“When you go to the Euros and the World Cup, everybody wants to go and they are motivated. This motivation for one or two weeks, for some players it is enough to make a name and then go to a top side.“But after for ten months, maybe they don’t reach the level. I am not impressed with the World Cup or Euros in terms of signing players because they do well there.”After a difficult start in their return to the Premier League this season, there has been a notable upturn in form for Newcastle since the beginning of the new year and Benitez’s side have climbed to an unexpected 10th place in the standings.Yet the 57 year-old has previously stated that he will not be satisfied until they reach his 40 point target with Newcastle just two points shy.
New Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui may not even be a month into the job yet, but defender Dani Carvajal is convinced that he will prove to be a great successThe 51-year-old was announced as Zinedine Zidane’s successor last month in a rather controversial twist that saw Lopetegui immediately removed from his post as the Spain head coach with just two days remaining till the start of the World Cup.But Lopetegui has now put the sad end to his time in charge of the national side behind him and he has now officially begun his duties at Real.The former goalkeeper previously played for Los Blancos during his playing career and won La Liga in the 1989/90 season but he has never managed to deliver silverware at club level in his managerial career for Rayo Vallecano, RM Castilla B and FC Porto.But Carvajal, who played under Lopetegui with Spain’s Under-19s, Under-21s and the senior team, is certain that his compatriot is the right man to take Real to even further heights this season after winning three successive Champions League titles under his predecessor Zidane.“I have always enjoyed Lopetegui,” Carvajal told El Gráfico, via AS.“I share his ideas of football and he is a coach who gets the most out of each player. He is going to do us well and I am already anxious to put myself at his orders. The bar is now very high but we have to have patience.”Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.⚽? ¡De vuelta con el equipo! ?? @DaniCarvajal92 ?? @NavasKeylor#RMTour pic.twitter.com/2y51g1ybBP— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) July 29, 2018“We all get along well,” he added.“I think that is key for success. It’s practically a family and that makes everything easier on the pitch. The pressure at Real Madrid is always there and you learn to live with that. We enter [training] every day and share [the pitch] with the best in the world – it’s amazing. I think the good atmosphere has been fundamental for things to go well.”Real will face Manchester United on Tuesday night in the first preseason match of their US tour.
Caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United must take the game to Liverpool in today’s showdown between the old rivals.The Red Devils will play host to Liverpool at Old Trafford this afternoon in what is widely viewed as the Premier League’s biggest match.On the back of 8 wins in 9 league games under Solskjaer, United have moved into the top-four of the standings and will be looking to get one over their rivals by claiming victory today and hindering Liverpool’s title bid in the process.And Solskjaer, who has a big history against Liverpool as a United player, outlined what his squad must do to beat the Reds.“We always want to take the initiative,” said Solskjaer on the club website. “I thought we started on the front foot against PSG but, then again, they took the initiative so we will go into this game wanting to dominate the game but, then again, we know their strengths.“We know they’re going to be waiting for our mistakes and counter attack but then, if we drop back, they can dominate us.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“So we don’t want to do that at Old Trafford, so we’ve just got to take that lead.”On whether a positive approach is always the plan, Solskjaer replied: “Well, that’s always my first thought – to try to win the game. I’ve never gone into a game trying not to lose a game.“Then again, as I’m saying, you’re playing against 11 players as well and a team, so if we can do to Liverpool what we’ve done to a few teams now, I’ll be very happy.“If we have to play a different way, then the game itself decides that really, so the start is very important.”Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial could feature in today’s match after being originally ruled out, but are both unlikely to start.Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku remains an uncertainty for a start after returning to the line-up in last Monday’s 2-0 FA Cup win at Chelsea.The match between United and Liverpool will begin at 3:05 PM (CET) today.MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 11: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Interim Manager of Manchester United looks on during a training session ahead of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match against Paris Saint-Germain F.C. at Aon Training Complex on February 11, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Related Items:#BlueHillsrobberies, #helpstopcrimeinTCI, #weekendrobberiesinProvo Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, March 15, 2017 – Providenciales – Detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are investigating a number of Robberies that occurred over the weekend in the Blue Hills area of Providenciales.Around 5:08am on Sunday 3rd March 2017, a complainant reported that he heard rambling from his neighbor’s apartment as if someone was burglarizing it. Police responded to the scene located on Bay Road where the victim was met. He told officers that he had just arrived home when two men (one short and the other tall) with firearms approached him demanding money. He gave them a small amount of cash. The culprits took him to his room where they assaulted him, took his cell phone and another sum of money.Another male reported that while at the same location, as he was about to exit his vehicle an unknown masked man approached him with a gun and demanded money. The gunman ordered him to lay on the ground as he searched the victim. A black Samsung cellphone was stolen. Checks were made in the area for persons fitting the descriptions given but no one was found. Investigation are ongoing in both matters.If anyone has information relating to this incident contact the police at Chalk Sound Police Station at 338-5901 or contact Crime stoppers at 1-800-8477. The information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind you not to report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter page.Press Release: RTCIPF#BlueHillsrobberies#weekendrobberiesinProvo#helpstopcrimeinTCI Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
The Great Basin Incident Management Team reviews Ready-Set-Go! lines each day to assess current and past levels of fire activity, expected weather patterns, and predicted fire behavior. All landlines are automatically registered in the KPB alerts system; however, you must register mobile phones. You can register for KPBalerts by texting to 99411 and follow prompts. If a Level 3 GO! alert is issued, it’s time to evacuate immediately, leave NOW. Please go when you are asked to leave.The Kenai Peninsula Borough has an interactive map that allows you to see the current fire perimeter. Enter your home address in the search field in the upper left corner of the page to see where you home is in relation to the Swan Lake fire. Click here to view the Borough interactive map. A Level 1 (READY) alert is NOT a notice to leave. Visit the KPB blog at www.kpboem.com or call the Borough Call Center at 907-262-INFO (4636) for updates. Monitor social media, news and radio for current Ready-Set-Go! (RSG!) information in your area. This is the time to relocate things like flammable tanks and supplies from your home and outbuildings. Consider the six “P”s: People, Pets, Pills, Pictures, Papers and your Personal computer, that you will take if you need to leave your home. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Sterling and Cooper Landing remain at the Level 1 Ready alert status with fire activity continuing on the Swan Lake fire. Level 1 READY stage means be ready for POTENTIAL evacuation because there is a fire in your area.Sterling neighborhoods EAST of Feuding Lane and EAST of Adkins Road to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge have been placed on a Level 1 “READY” status.Cooper Landing has been placed on a Level 1 “READY” status due to increased fire activity within the NW side of the Swan Lake fire near Watson Lake. It means you should have a plan to transport and care for family members with mobility needs, pets or livestock, according to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management.
So the skeptic might say, that’s terrific, sounds great, but what’s “customer first” really mean? There was a time, about seven or eight years ago, when B2B media companies were clamoring to position themselves as “digital first.” The idea was that print was old school and declining, while digital represented the future and offered more ways to engage with audiences in more ways—all in real time.Peter Goldstone But in 2017 that sounds like an artificial distinction. Everything’s digital—even print content. Also added was a point person for these mega accounts—someone to represent all the media brands, plus coordinate all marketing-service and data efforts. “You need one big corporate representative for the whole company to manage the relationship,” Goldstone says. “This is where the integration of the company is playing out. A media salesperson couldn’t do this. A lead-gen person couldn’t do it. A marketing-services person couldn’t do it. You need an integrated approach.” “The third stage,” Goldstone says, “was to become customer first. Now we leverage digital and data to really get into the workflow of our customers. Those are the three steps in the transformation of our company.” Since then, Goldstone relates, the company has been through a series of transformations, arriving, finally, at what he thinks is where all future-oriented media companies should be: customer first. Goldstone’s perspective—whether you agree with him or favor a different approach—is a valuable lesson in approach and context for any media executive. Here’s a synopsis. But as valuable as the Metrostudy data is, says Goldstone, without the HW customer list it’s incomplete. “The database would be a fraction of what it is with just Metrostudy—the media assets make it what is,” he says. “Media gets you much deeper within the firms. The media gives you much more depth and engagement.” In 2012 current CEO Peter Goldstone came back to Hanley Wood. He had been the longtime president there, but spent two intervening years at Government Executive Media (both companies are based in Washington, D.C.). Which leads, says Goldstone, to the customer-first part. If you’re a supplier serving the housing market, all this information is at your fingertips, but Hanley Wood can do more: It can help you sell and help you produce qualified leads. “We don’t participate in just one piece of the funnel activity—like advertising,” Goldstone says. “We can participate in every stage—right through to purchase. We don’t have to stop at advertising, we don’t have to stop at leads. We can actually serve as a call center for our customer.” Metrostudy tracks everything from population movement to demographic changes, plus land availability, absorption rates, sale processes, vacancy rates, and the types of products that are going into new housing properties. It tracks deeds, permits and mortgages—publicly recorded data. Essentially, Metrostudy provides builders with intelligence on where to build and what to build based on population and demographic demand. As this part of the Hanley Wood business reaches major scale, Hanley Wood had to restructure its sales operation. Two years ago, Goldstone says, Hanley Wood had four customers spending in excess of $1 million. This year, there are 12. And there are 100 customers in what the company calls its corporate list, big enough to qualify for central management. The company has a database management product called DataScale, which, among other things, allows marketers to outsource their data operations. “They’re turning to us to manage their databases for them,” Goldstone says. “Why? Because they’ve invested millions in tech, most notably a CRM platform, and sometimes they find that they don’t have the resources to do it well. So they outsource the management of their CRMs to us, and we counsel them on how to leverage their databases for advertising, lead gen and marketing services.” It’s a reflection of the modern world of B2B that companies have forced themselves through various transformations in a compressed time period—all while facing unprecedented new forms of competition and macroeconomic challenges. That’s what happened at Hanley Wood in the first years of the current decade. The epicenter of the Great Recession was financial services—mortgages, specifically—which hit the residential construction market as hard as any sector of the economy. “The progression of Hanley Wood has produced a different go-to-market strategy,” Goldstone says. “In 2012 when I came back, we implanted a full-blown digital-first transformation. In 2013 we bought Metrostudy, and became powered by data, essentially data first,” he says. (Metro Study is a research and business-intelligence company focused on the residential housing market.) What that means practically, according to Goldstone, is that now the company’s most important asset is its database, not its individual brands. Brands offer credibility and access to audiences, and produce content that drives engagement. But the database is the core. Customers can select names across the database, and that—not isolated verticals—is what they want, Goldstone says. “If you want to brand yourself, that’s how you do it. If you want insights, that’s where you find them. And if you want to generate leads, you leverage our database,” he adds. Metrostudy is at the heart of the data operation at HW, Goldstone says, but it’s not nearly the whole thing. “Every quarter we track 95 percent of all the available lots and land people are building new communities on,” he says. “That’s 36,000 existing developments and 11,000 future housing developments.” Goldstone’s response: “This has dramatically transformed our company and our customer interactions. Our content teams have overhauled how they approach their work. Our relationships with marketers are stronger and deeper, as we are now in their work flow. Our own knowledge and insights of our markets is second to none. And we’ve grown by more than $35 million directly as a consequence of being customer-focused, digitally driven and powered by data.”
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Washington, D.C. — An initiative to streamline DOD’s support agencies by cutting duplicative activities and reorganizing others led by House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) likely will take several years to complete, although it still is not clear what ultimately will be achieved through the effort, a panel of Washington-based experts said Wednesday at the 2018 Defense Communities National Summit. “I think it will be a big issue for some time,” said Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “[But] I don’t think there’s a lot of agreement” as to the initiative’s precise goals, he said.Mackenzie Eaglen, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, echoed Harrison’s comments: “This is not going to be a one-year effort … but the details are wildly up in the air.” After troop levels dropped following the height of the armed forces’ buildup in Iraq and Afghanistan, the fourth estate — civilian-dominated agencies that fall outside the military departments — was perceived as an overdue area for reform, she said.There’s also the question as to whether an internal review of defense agencies led by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chief Management Officer (CMO) John Gibson II will result in the kind of changes and level of savings Thornberry is looking for. If so, Congress may not seek to intervene further, Eaglen said.Thornberry’s initiative, part of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill passed by the House, calls for the CMO to reduce or eliminate duplicative cross-enterprise functions across all defense agencies and field activities related to civilian resource, services contracting, logistics and real estate management. The provision also directs the CMO to certify that the department has achieved at least 25 percent savings from those functions by Jan. 1, 2021. A separate section calls for the CMO to report to Congress on any recommendations to eliminate an agency or activity, or transfer some or all of its functions to another entity, following a review of the efficiency and effectiveness of defense agencies and field activities. Thornberry’s plan is subject to change, or possibly could be stripped out of the final version of the defense policy bill, as the Senate version does not contain similar language.“I think there are too many eyes on fourth estate for nothing to happen,” said Frederico Bartels, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.
Tags Ford 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a friendlier brawler More From Roadshow 2020 Ford Mustang GT500: See and hear the 700+ hp track-ready… 3 98 Photos Share your voice 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 first drive: A more approachable track star 1:28 Now playing: Watch this: Ford Comments 2016 Ford Explorer review: Go road-tripping in Ford’s updated, EcoBoost-powered SUV 2019 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Convertible review: A topless thrill ride Enlarge ImageThe forthcoming 2020 GT500 is by far the most powerful thing Ford has produced for public consumption, but with great power apparently comes great weight. Ford We’ve known for a little while that the 2020 Ford Shelby GT500 was going to make big power, but we’re just now finding out — thanks to a leaked Ford sales document published on Wednesday by the Mustang6g forum and picked up on by Autoblog — that its horsepower number isn’t the only big thing about it.What do we mean? Well, according to Ford’s internal eSourceBook (PDF), a document intended to educate sales staff on new models, we now know that the GT500 will tip the scales at 4,225 pounds. Just for comparison, that’s a little less than two Mazda MX-5 Miatas, and only around 211 pounds lighter than the notoriously “chonky” Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye. Where does all that weight come from? Lots of places, but as you’d suspect, that big ol’ 5.2-liter V8 engine and its massive supercharger account for a lot of it. Add in all of the extra cooling necessary on a vehicle that makes 760 horsepower — that includes engine cooling, transmission cooling, differential cooling, etc. — and that hefty curb weight makes more sense.Curb weight is also measured with the car full of fluids, which might not sound significant, but the eSourceBook tells us that the 5.2-liter engine holds 11 quarts of oil and almost 18 quarts of coolant. The GT500 is bound to be a thirsty car, so of course, it has a decently sized fuel tank — 16 gallons to be exact — and since gasoline weighs around 6.15 lbs per gallon (depending on temperature), that works out to 98.4 lbs if the tank is full.One glimmer of hope is that Ford’s eSourceBook lists the 4,225 lbs figure as “base” so maybe the options list will help us save a few pounds. We know that there will be a carbon track package that will include the Shelby GT350R’s featherweight carbon fiber wheels, which should net a decent amount of weight savings over the standard forged aluminum units.Still, at the end of the day, the GT500 makes enough power and torque to tow a small celestial body out of orbit, so you’re probably not going to notice or feel like complaining about how heavy it is when your foot is all the way to the floor and you’re holding on for dear life, now, are you?Ford didn’t immediately respond to Roadshow’s request for comment. Performance Cars Car Industry
IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:05/1:07Loaded: 0%0:05Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:02?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … BJP’s Pramod Sawant sworn in as the new CM of Goa on March 19 IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos COPY LINK Close Sawant went to the Raj Bhavan after Bharatiya Janata Party chose him as Parrikar’s successor. This was done after both the allies of BJP – Goa Forward Party’s Vijai Sardesai and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP)’s Sudin Dhavalikar – were offered the posts of deputy chief ministers.To lay claim on the state’s top position, the 45-year-old had the backing of Nitin Gadkari and BJP president Amit Shah. Gadkari, who was a key player in bringing the allies together, told Indian Express, “Our alliance partners and MLAs are going to meet the Governor. Signed letters establishing our majority will also be submitted to the Goa Governor.” Goa Chief minister Pramod SawantTwitterThe swearing-in ceremony was presided by Goa Governor Mridula Sinha.”I don’t know if I will be able to fill in the shoes of Manohar Parrikar, he was a very tall leader …It is a very big responsibility that the party has given me. I will try my best to fulfil it. I am what I am today because of Manohar Parrikar,” Pramod Sawant was quoted as saying by Economic Times. AFP/Getty ImagesA two-time MLA from Sanquelim constituency, Sawant is an Ayurvedic medical practitioner and his wife Sulakshana Sawant is the president of BJP Goa Mahila Morcha. She is also a chemistry teacher at Shri Shantadurga Higher Secondary School in Bicholim.Sawant was a close confidant of Manohar Parrikar. During Parrikar’s last days, he had asked Sawant to perform all state duties, including hoisting the flag on national days. He has the strong support of the RSS and this closeness, according to ET, is one of the reasons why MGP and GFP did not support him in the primary stages. He has been a member of the RSS since his childhood and was also a Yuva BJP leader during his adolescence. Sawant’s swearing-in came at a period of high drama after Parrikar’s death with rumours floating around that two MGP MLAs had defected to BJP on Monday morning. However, after Sawant was sworn in, he clarified that there was no defection and that the BJP and the MGP were allies.At 1.50 am on Tuesday, Sawant was sworn in along with 11 others to form a fully functioning Goa cabinet. However, with the death of Parikkar and Francis D’Souza and the resignation of two Congress lawmakers, the Goa Assembly population has dwindled to 36 MLAs. Close Manohar Parrikar: The epitome of efficiency and simplicity
Aung San Suu Kyi breaks silence on Rohingya crisis IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:27Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:26?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Close In an televised address Aung San Suu Kyi condemned all human rights violations in regards to the violent clashes in the Rakhine state that has seen over 400,000 minority Rohingya flee to Bangladesh. The defacto leader had previously been criticised for not speaking out. She stated she did not fear international scrutiny and wanted to find out why the Rohingya were leaving. Suu Kyi said she was committed to the restoration of peace and stability and the rule of law.
Crime scene tape surrounds the Mandalay Hotel (background with shooters window damage top right) after a gunman killed at least 58 people and wounded more than 500 others when he opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada on 2 October, 2017. Photo: AFPClaims of responsibility for terror attacks by the Islamic State group were once seen as credible, but in the wake of the Las Vegas atrocity, experts stress that the retreating jihadists are increasingly spreading fake news.Via its propaganda news agency Amaq, IS has twice said that the Las Vegas shooter, a 64-year-old retired accountant, was a “soldier” of the group.On Monday, it put out a second statement claiming serial gambler Stephen Paddock had recently converted to Islam and was known by the nom de guerre Abu Abdel Bar al-Amriki.American investigators are scrambling to understand the motive for the worst shooting in living memory on US soil, but IS experts are sceptical that Paddock was linked to the terror group.The FBI said Monday it had so far found “no connection” between him and any international terrorist group.”ISIS in recent months has made a number of demonstrably false claims for attacks and incidents that had no jihadi terror nexus,” Paul Cruickshank from the US-based Combating Terrorism Center said.One theory is that, as the extremists face military defeat on the territory they once held in Iraq and Syria, they are seeking to generate publicity to show they are still a force to their supporters.”ISIS, desperate for attention, will claim just about anything these days knowing their supporters won’t believe the government or media,” Cruickshank added.French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb made the same point on Tuesday, saying the group “tended to claim every attack” in order to “maintain a presence in the media space.”- Dubious claims -Discerning who is ultimately responsible for attacks is an inexact science.The gunmen and suicide bombers behind the carnage in Paris in November 2015 for example are believed by investigators to have carried out an attack which was planned in part from the fanatics’ base in Syria.But other killings have been perpetrated by people seemingly inspired by the group’s murderous ideology, but without necessarily having been in contact. Some have left flags or a video message to indicate their allegiance.Last week, IS released a recording of what it said was its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi urging followers to use any weapon at their disposal to strike the West.”If the guy is a convert and made contact with ISIS, someone would have to know,” Islamic State specialist Shiraz Maher wrote on Twitter, referring to the Las Vegas shooter.”Friends, family, law enforcement will shed light on that,” added the researcher and author from King’s College London university.The problem, like all fake news, is that once a story spreads on social media or elsewhere on the internet it is very difficult to correct it.Farhad Khosrokhavar, an expert on Islam from the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris (EHESS), used the example of a truck attack in Nice in July 2016 that left 86 people dead.IS claimed Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a drug-taking Tunisian with no religious education, was one of its “soldiers” following the attack, but there remains no evidence tying him to the group.”This massacre had nothing to do with jihadism, the perpetrator had huge psychological problems,” Khosrokhavar told AFP. “But no one listens. There are moments when societies are blind and they then fall into the Islamic State’s trap.”
X We just reported this week how a consumer group’s latest analysis shows people in Houston and Dallas have, for years, been paying more for electricity than people in Austin and San Antonio.Electricity in Austin and San Antonio is sold by the cities themselves which own their respective utility companies.Houston and Dallas are deregulated markets where people have to choose from dozens of electricity marketing companies offering a myriad of rate plans.Since Texas developed the deregulated market over a decade ago, customers in those areas have collectively paid $24 billion more for electricity, according to the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power.A day after that group released its latest report on the difference in prices, the members of the Public Utility Commission of Texas shot back, saying the de-regulated market is working.“Notwithstanding the so called reports that are put out by certain groups,” said Public Utility commissioner Ken Anderson. “Anybody who’s paying an average of the high and low prices isn’t shopping.”Anderson said people in the deregulated markets can get good rates if they take the time to pick the right plan.But finding those great deals can be difficult because the commission’s own Power to Choose website can be deceptive allowing some marketers to offer what look like low cost rate plans that aren’t. That’s according to consumers and to PUC chairman Donna Nelson.“I really want you all to be looking at these one and a half cent offers because I think they’re deceptive on the face,” said Nelson to staff members, who are working on an over-haul of the website to make the offers more honest. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:21 Share
Share 00:00 /01:04 You may have started your day a bit earlier anticipating driving through some rain or flooded areas, but instead you were met with a damp driveway.Francisco Sanchez is with emergency operations for Harris County.He said only a portion of East Houston got several inches of rain.“We’ve seen three inches of rain overnight in portions of east of Harris County,” Sanchez says. “So we certainly have been spared the worst part of tropical storm Cindy.”We were spared this time, but Mayor Sylvester Turner says that may not always be the case.“I don’t care how many time you go through it,” Turner says. “I don’t care how many. Every weather storm situation is different. Each one has its own personality.”Judge Ed Emmett says the county is just as prepared as homeowners should be.“Prepare as if a hurricane is going to hit us,” Emmett says. “We have a full-time professional staff at our Office of Homeland security and Emergency Management. So if people ask if we’re prepared? Yes, we’re prepared.”The mayor advises having an evacuation route, keeping flashlights on hand, and paying attention to weather reports in case the next storm that comes through is the big one. Listen X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
Laura IsenseeA young boy shows his lunch bag to HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza on the day most of the district’s schools returned to class following Hurricane Harvey, Sept. 11, 2017. Share Listen 00:00 /01:03 X As the House Public Education Committee met to gauge the financial losses Harvey inflicted on school districts, State Representative Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) urged his colleagues to consider what he called “the elephant in the room.”“It could take years for property values to come back,” said VanDeaver. “So we could see a real drop in recapture for the next ten years.”Texas relies on tax receipts from property-rich school districts to help pay for poorer ones, a system known as recapture.State Education Commissioner Mike Morath explained what that meant, given the damage to schools across Southeast Texas: “Just the facilities remediation alone could eliminate roughly $500 million a year in recapture payments in the state budget.”Houston ISD’s chief financial officer, Rene Barajas, said HISD is working with FEMA and its insurance to reduce its burden from recapture payments. That would leave the district with more money for disaster relief. But he said it’s unlikely property values will fall so far as to take the district out of recapture altogether. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
Share Amna Nawaz reports and Judy Woodruff analyzes the arguments and possible future effects with Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal and Yeganeh Torbati of Reuters.
The company didn’t give exact timing on those partnerships, but said consumers who use the Apple TV app on their mobile devices would be able to stream videos to TVs made by Vizio, Samsung, LG and Sony via AirPlay 2 “later this year.”Apple first announced partnerships with TV makers to bring iTunes and AirPlay to third-party smart TVs at CES. On Monday, some of these new partners actually attended the event in person: Vizio CEO William Wang and Roku CEO Anthony Wood could be seen among the crowd, and Samsung’s global smart TV business head Won-Jin Lee is said to have made an appearance as well.The new Apple TV app got significant stage time Monday, and will soon offer direct access to paid services from HBO, Starz, Epix, and others. Users will be able to start their free trials from within the app, and then pay their monthly bills via Apple Pay. Once subscribed, users can watch episodes directly within the TV app, taking away the need to switch between different apps. CREDIT: Courtesy of Apple In addition, Apple is also going to bring the app to a range of smart TVs, starting with Samsung this spring, and following with TV sets made by LG, Sony and Vizio. Apple is even bringing the app to streaming devices made by and smart TVs powered by its competitors Amazon and Roku. CREDIT: Courtesy of Apple Apple unveiled its much-anticipated video service at a press event in Cupertino Monday, promising a range of originals via its forthcoming Apple TV+ service as well as easy access to third-party video subscription services. But while many of the big names attached to Apple’s video efforts were known beforehand, one significant detail wasn’t: How are you actually going to watch any of this? The answer, in short: Via’s Apple existing TV app, which is already available on iPhones, iPads and Apple TV, and is scheduled to come to the company’s line of Mac desktops and laptops later this year. The app also continues to integrate with internet TV subscription services like Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now, as well as traditional pay TV services like Canal+ and Charter Spectrum. Optimum and Suddenlink will be integrated later this year. However, these paid services still live in separate apps, with Apple TV deep-linking to individual episodes. CREDIT: Courtesy of Apple One new aspect of the app is a dedicated kids’ section, which clearly took some cues from Netflix’s children’s UI. Content is not only available via shows and categories, but also directly by picking a popular character.There will also be some added curation for grown-ups, with the Apple TV app suggesting new shows based on existing viewing behavior. “We use advanced machine learning to understand what you like to watch,” said Apple VP Peter Stern.Apple did not demo the new Apple TV app Monday, but said that it will roll out to iPhones, iPads and Apple TV devices with a software update this May. Macs will get access to the new app this fall.
Most lifestyle advice tells you to give that glass of wine or cigarette a miss. Serving as a reminder, a new book on healthy living reiterates the advice we know too well, topped off with practical tips that finally help you say ‘No. ‘Live Well To 101’, a wellness guide by doctor and television presenter Dawn Harper, lists useful tips to quit smoking and drinking: Cigarettes don’t contain just nicotine but a range of toxic, carcinogenic chemicals you wouldn’t want near your body. Next time you reach for a cigarette that looks quite appealing, imagine yourself licking tarmac or chewing on rubber cement. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIf you get the opportunity to talk to a smoker who has developed diseases as a result of smoking, knowing their stories might help put off your habit. To quit, go public! Telling everyone will keep you motivated. Also put aside cigarette money for something special. It’s easier never to start than it is to quit. Spread the message. Don’t wait for warning signs. They may not come. Be honest with yourself about your consumption and start putting in dry days in your diary. Recognise your triggers and work on them. For instance, if you reach for the bottle when your kids are asleep, find ways to keep yourself occupied and not be tempted.
Today, we will explore lighting & camera effects in Unity 2018. We will start with cameras to include perspectives, frustums, and Skyboxes. Next, we will learn a few uses of multiple cameras to include mini-maps. We will also cover the different types of lighting, explore reflection probes, and conclude with a look at shadows. Working with cameras Cameras render scenes so that the user can view them. Think about the hidden complexity of this statement. Our games are 3D, but people playing our games view them on 2D displays such as television, computer monitors, or mobile devices. Fortunately for us, Unity makes implementing cameras easy work. Cameras are GameObjects and can be edited using transform tools in the Scene view as well as in the Inspector panel. Every scene must have at least one camera. In fact, when a new scene is created, Unity creates a camera named Main Camera. As you will see later in this chapter, a scene can have multiple cameras. In the Scene view, cameras are indicated with a white camera silhouette, as shown in the following screenshot: When we click our Main Camera in the Hierarchy panel, we are provided with a Camera Preview in the Scene view. This gives us a preview of what the camera sees as if it were in game mode. We also have access to several parameters via the Inspector panel. The Camera component in the Inspector panel is shown here: Let’s look at each of these parameters with relation to our Cucumber Beetle game: The Clear Flags parameter lets you switch between Skybox, Solid Color, Depth Only, and Don’t Clear. The selection here informs Unity which parts of the screen to clear. We will leave this setting as Skybox. You will learn more about Skyboxes later in this chapter. The Background parameter is used to set the default background fill (color) of your game world. This will only be visible after all game objects have been rendered and if there is no Skybox. Our Cucumber Beetle game will have a Skybox, so this parameter can be left with the default color. The Culling Mask parameter allows you to select and deselect the layers you want the camera to render. The default selection options are Nothing, Everything, Default, TransparentFX, Ignore Raycast, Water, and UI. For our game, we will select Everything. If you are not sure which layer a game object is associated with, select it and look at the Layer parameter in the top section of the Inspector panel. There you will see the assigned layer. You can easily change the layer as well as create your own unique layers. This gives you finite rendering control. The Projection parameter allows you to select which projection, perspective or orthographic, you want for your camera. We will cover both of those projections later in this chapter. When perspective projection is selected, we are given access to the Field of View parameter. This is for the width of the camera’s angle of view. The value range is 1-179°. You can use the slider to change the values and see the results in the Camera Preview window. When orthographic projection is selected, an additional Size parameter is available. This refers to the viewport size. For our game, we will select perspective projection with the Field of View set to 60. The Clipping Planes parameters include Near and Far. These settings set the closest and furthest points, relative to the camera, that rendering will happen at. For now, we will leave the default settings of 0.3 and 1000 for the Near and Far parameters, respectively. The Viewport Rect parameter has four components – X, Y, W, and H – that determine where the camera will be drawn on the screen. As you would expect, the X and Y components refer to horizontal and vertical positions, and the W and H components refer to width and height. You can experiment with these values and see the changes in the Camera Preview. For our game, we will leave the default settings. The Depth parameter is used when we implement more than one camera. We can set a value here to determine the camera’s priority in relation to others. Larger values indicate a higher priority. The default setting is sufficient for our game. The Rendering Path parameter defines what rendering methods our camera will use. The options are Use Graphics Settings, Forward, Deferred, Legacy Vertex Lit, and Legacy Deferred (light prepass). We will use the Use Graphics Settings option for our game, which also uses the default setting. The Target Texture parameter is not something we will use in our game. When a render texture is set, the camera is not able to render to the screen. The Occlusion Culling parameter is a powerful setting. If enabled, Unity will not render objects that are occluded, or not seen by the camera. An example would be objects inside a building. If the camera can currently only see the external walls of the building, then none of the objects inside those walls can be seen. So, it makes sense to not render those. We only want to render what is absolutely necessary to help ensure our game has smooth gameplay and no lag. We will leave this as enabled for our game. The Allow HDR parameter is a checkbox that toggles a camera’s High Dynamic Range (HDR) rendering. We will leave the default setting of enabled for our game. The Allow MSAA parameter is a toggle that determines whether our camera will use a Multisample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) render target. MSAA is a computer graphics optimization technique and we want this enabled for our game. Understanding camera projections There are two camera projections used in Unity: perspective and orthographic. With perspective projection, the camera renders a scene based on the camera angle, as it exists in the scene. Using this projection, the further away an object is from the camera, the smaller it will be displayed. This mimics how we see things in the real world. Because of the desire to produce realistic games, or games that approximate the realworld, perspective projection is the most commonly used in modern games. It is also what we will use in our Cucumber Beetle game. The other projection is orthographic. An orthographic perspective camera renders a scene uniformly without any perspective. This means that objects further away will not be displayed smaller than objects closer to the camera. This type of camera is commonly used for top-down games and is the default camera projection used in 2D and Unity’s UI system. We will use perspective projection for our Cucumber Beetle game. Orientating your frustum When a camera is selected in the Hierarchy view, its frustum is visible in the Scene view. A frustum is a geometric shape that looks like a pyramid that has had its top cut off, as illustrated here: The near, or top, plane is parallel to its base. The base is also referred to as the far plane. The frustum’s shape represents the viable region of your game. Only objects in that region are rendered. Using the camera object in Scene view, we can change our camera’s frustum shape. Creating a Skybox When we create game worlds, we typically create the ground, buildings, characters, trees, and other game objects. What about the sky? By default, there will be a textured blue sky in your Unity game projects. That sky is sufficient for testing but does not add to an immersive gaming experience. We want a bit more realism, such as clouds, and that can be accomplished by creating a Skybox. A Skybox is a six-sided cube visible to the player beyond all other objects. So, when a player looks beyond your objects, what they see is your Skybox. As we said, Skyboxes are six-sided cubes, which means you will need six separate images that can essentially be clamped to each other to form the cube. The following screenshot shows the Default Skybox that Unity projects start with as well as the completed Custom Skybox you will create in this section: Perform the following steps to create a Skybox: In the Project panel, create a Skybox subfolder in the Assets folder. We will use this folder to store our textures and materials for the Skybox. Drag the provided six Skybox images, or your own, into the new Skybox folder. Ensure the Skybox folder is selected in the Project panel. From the top menu, select Assets | Create | Material. In the Project panel, name the material Skybox. With the Skybox material selected, turn your attention to the Inspector panel. Select the Shader drop-down menu and select SkyBox | 6 Sided. Use the Select button for each of the six images and navigate to the images you added in step 2. Be sure to match the appropriate texture to the appropriate cube face. For example, the SkyBox_Front texture matches the Front[+Z] cube face on the Skybox Material. In order to assign our new Skybox to our scene, select Window | Lighting | Settings from the top menu. This will bring up the Lighting settings dialog window. In the Lighting settings dialog window, click on the small circle to the right of the Skybox Material input field. Then, close the selection window and the Lighting window. Refer to the following screenshot: You will now be able to see your Skybox in the Scene view. When you click on the Camera in the Hierarchy panel, you will also see the Skybox as it will appear from the camera’s perspective. Be sure to save your scene and your project. Using multiple cameras Our Unity games must have a least one camera, but we are not limited to using just one. As you will see we will attach our main camera, or primary camera, to our player character. It will be as if the camera is following the character around the game environment. This will become the eyes of our character. We will play the game through our character’s view. A common use of a second camera is to create a mini-map that can be seen in a small window on top of the game display. These mini-maps can be made to toggle on and off or be permanent/fixed display components. Implementations might consist of a fog-of-war display, a radar showing enemies, or a global top-down view of the map for orientation purposes. You are only limited by your imagination. Another use of multiple cameras is to provide the player with the ability to switch between third-person and first-person views. You will remember that the first-person view puts the player’s arms in view, while in the third-person view, the player’s entire body is visible. We can use two cameras in the appropriate positions to support viewing from either camera. In a game, you might make this a toggle—say, with the C keyboard key—that switches from one camera to the other. Depending on what is happening in the game, the player might enjoy this ability. Some single-player games feature multiple playable characters. Giving the player the ability to switch between these characters gives them greater control over the game strategy. To achieve this, we would need to have cameras attached to each playable character and then give the player the ability to swap characters. We would do this through scripting. This is a pretty advanced implementation of multiple characters. Another use of multiple cameras is adding specialty views in a game. These specialty views might include looking through a door’s peep-hole, looking through binoculars at the top of a skyscraper, or even looking through a periscope. We can attach cameras to objects and change their viewing parameters to create unique camera use in our games. We are only limited by our own game designs and imagination. We can also use cameras as cameras. That’s right! We can use the camera game object to simulate actual in-game cameras. One example is implementing security cameras in a prison-escape game. Working with lighting In the previous sections, we explored the uses of cameras for Unity games. Just like in the real world, cameras need lights to show us objects. In Unity games, we use multiple lights to illuminate the game environment. In Unity, we have both dynamic lighting techniques as well as light baking options for better performance. We can add numerous light sources throughout our scenes and selectively enable or disable an object’s ability to cast or receive shadows. This level of specificity gives us tremendous opportunity to create realistic game scenes. Perhaps the secret behind Unity’s ability to so realistically render light and shadows is that Unity models the actual behavior of lights and shadows. Real-time global illumination gives us the ability to instantiate multiple lights in each scene, each with the ability to directly or indirectly impact objects in the scene that are within range of the light sources. We can also add and manipulate ambient light in our game scenes. This is often done with Skyboxes, a tri-colored gradient, or even a single color. Each new scene in Unity has default ambient lighting, which we can control by editing the values in the Lighting window. In that window, you have access to the following settings: Environment Real-time Lighting Mixed Lighting Lightmapping Settings Other Settings Debug Settings No changes to these are required for our game at this time. We have already set the environmental lighting to our Skybox. When we create our scenes in Unity, we have three options for lighting. We can use real-time dynamic light, use the baked lighting approach, or use a mixture of the two. Our games perform more efficiently with baked lighting, compared to real-time dynamic lighting, so if performance is a concern, try using baked lighting where you can. To summarize, we have discussed how to create interesting lighting and camera effects using Unity 2018. This article is an extract from the book Getting Started with Unity 2018 written by Dr. Edward Lavieri. This book will help you create fun filled real world games with Unity 2018. Read Next Game Engine Wars: Unity vs Unreal Engine Unity plugins for augmented reality application development How to create non-player Characters (NPC) with Unity 2018
Share Wednesday, May 3, 2017 Tags: Cuba, Norwegian Cruise Line HAVANA — Norwegian Sky celebrated its maiden call in Havana with NCL executives including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings President & CEO Frank Del Rio and Norwegian Cruise Line President & CEO Andy Stuart. Norwegian Sky is NCL’s first ship to sail to Cuba.“Today is a momentous day for Norwegian Cruise Line, our guests and our travel agent partners, as we open our doors to Cuba’s natural beauty, warm people and historical treasures,” said Del Rio. He added that “sailing into the Havana harbour today, we were welcomed by the Cuban people with open arms and excitement to share their incredible culture with our guests.”The Havana call marked the first of Norwegian Sky’s weekly roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba. The ship will sail a total of 53 four-day voyages to Cuba, with 52 including an overnight stay Havana. The four-day itineraries also include a stop at NCL’s private island Great Stirrup Cay. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by “Momentous day” for NCL with Norwegian Sky in Havana
TV viewers in the UK now watch 26 minutes less per day than they did in 2010 and there is a “widening generational gap” in viewing habits, according to Ofcom.The UK broadcast regulator’s ‘Public Service Broadcasting Annual Report 2016’ claims that people under 25 are watching around 25% less broadcast TV than in 2010, while the average viewing of those aged 55-64 has declined by 5%.Those aged 16-24 have “particularly embraced on-demand services”, with live TV accounting for just 36% of daily viewing, a 14 percentage-point decrease in two years.“TV viewing on TV sets has fallen substantially in the last five years, with a widening gap between the viewing habits of the youngest and oldest audiences,” said Ofcom.“Among all those who have a TV set in the home, lower proportions of people under 35 watch TV in a typical week, compared to older age groups.”On average, people in the UK watched 3 hours 36 minutes of measured broadcast TV in a typical day in 2015, compared to 4 hours and 02 minutes in 2010.Ofcom said that taking a ten-year view, daily viewing looks resilient, but this is because the oldest viewer groups have propelled viewing figures, while there are “marked declines” in viewing among all other age groups, including children.The average weekly reach of total broadcast TV is 82% among those aged 16-24, compared to 97% for adults aged 65 and older.“One of the potential reasons for the decrease in viewing among younger age groups is the increase in popularity of on-demand services. Around six in ten adults now use on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer, All 4, Netflix or Amazon, with reach rising to around seven in ten among 15-24s and 25-34 year olds,” according to the report.Ofcom said that the main five public service channels provided by public service broadcasters (PBSs) reached 84% of the TV population in a typical week, and accounted for 51% of all broadcast TV viewing in 2015.This share is similar to the last three years, but represents a decline from ten years ago when PSBs held a 70% share of viewing.The PSBs spent £2.50bn on new UK programmes on their public service channels in 2015, a 2% increase since 2013; the most recent comparable year due to the absence of major sporting events.Some 73% of viewers said they were satisfied with PSB public service broadcasting overall, while 7% were dissatisfied.“Our research shows that UK audiences still watch and value public service broadcasting. But there are significant differences in the viewing habits of older and younger audiences,” said Jane Rumble, Director of market intelligence at Ofcom.“As media and technology continue to evolve, it is important that broadcasters respond to these changes, so they can keep meeting the needs and expectations of viewers.”Separately, Ofcom chief executive Sharon White said that the BBC should “reflect the nation in all its diversity” once its new charter comes into effect in 2017, in an interview published today by the Guardian.
– Right now, junk bonds are hanging in there because most investors aren’t as worried about junk bond defaults as they were last year. But that’s not the only thing holding the junk bond market together. • Inflation doesn’t hurt junk bonds as much as safe bonds… Inflation, as you probably know, measures how quickly prices rise. High inflation is bad for everyday people. It makes the money in their wallet less valuable. It also hurts people who own bonds, especially bonds with low interest rates… Let’s pretend that you own two bonds. One is a government bond that yields 2%. The other is a junk bond that yields 5%. Let’s also assume there’s no inflation (0%) for the first year that you own these bonds. In this case, your “real” return (a bond’s yield minus the rate of inflation) on the government bond would be 2%. Your junk bond would have a real return of 5%. Simple enough. Now, let’s say inflation jumps to 2% in year two. This would drop the government bond’s real return to 0%. You wouldn’t make any money on it. But you’d still make a 3% “real” return on your junk bond. In short, inflation destroys the return on safe (low-yield) bonds quicker than junk (high-yield) bonds. That’s important because most investors expect inflation to rise in the coming months…which is a big reason why Treasurys and other safe bonds have tanked. This rally is on thin ice. After the election, U.S. stocks took off. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq all hit record highs days after Donald Trump pulled off the unthinkable. But, as you’ve probably noticed, the rally in U.S stocks has petered out. The S&P 500 is trading exactly where it was a month ago. The Dow has fallen six days in a row. These aren’t signs of a healthy rally, and that has a lot of investors nervous. But stocks aren’t the only high-flying asset that could be in trouble. Junk bonds look weak, too. • Junk bonds are bonds issued by companies with poor credit… They’re more dangerous than government bonds or bonds issued by companies in good financial shape. Because they’re riskier, junk bonds pay higher interest rates than “safe” bonds. Lately, junk bonds have been very popular with investors. The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), the largest U.S. junk bond fund, has gained 4% since last June. The iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD), which holds bonds issued by companies with good credit, is down 2% over the same period. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT), which holds long-term Treasurys, is down 7%. You might find it strange that junk bonds rallied while “safe” bonds fell. But you have to understand a few things about junk bonds. • For one, oil companies make up a big chunk of the junk bond market… A year ago, the oil market was a complete train wreck. The price of oil was down more than 70% from its highs. It was at its lowest level in more than a decade. Low oil prices crushed the oil industry. Many companies were bleeding cash. Some couldn’t pay their bills. At one point, analysts warned that half of all oil and gas junk bonds would go bust. Then, the price of oil bottomed in mid-February. It’s nearly doubled in value since then. • Higher oil prices saved countless oil companies… They gave junk bonds a big boost. In fact, HYG bottomed on the same day that oil bottomed, February 11. It’s since spiked 15%, thanks to higher prices. But, like stocks, the rally in junk bonds started to fizzle out. You can see in the chart below that HYG hasn’t set a new high since October. Doug Casey Shows You How To Turn Trump’s First 100 Days Into $10,000s Back in ’93, Doug Casey took a $1,875 stake of money, then made one bold move. Exactly two and a half years later, his stake was worth $1.2 million. An extraordinary 64,000% return. Could we see a similar moneymaking opportunity during Trump’s first 100 days? Click here now to learn more from Doug. • If stocks fall, junk bonds should, too… And we have plenty of reasons to be worried about stocks. For one, profits for companies in the S&P 500 stopped growing in 2014. Until profits pick up, we’re going to take a cautious view on stocks. U.S. stocks are also incredibly expensive. Right now, the S&P 500 trades for 26 times earnings. That means U.S. stocks are 63% more expensive than their historic average. • The “Trump Effect” is about the only thing keeping stocks afloat right now… Unlike Obama, Donald Trump brings a wealth of business experience to the White House. Many folks think Trump’s pro-business policies could jumpstart the U.S. economy. But these same people seem to have forgotten that Trump’s inheriting a huge mess. Plus, he’s a total wild card. We have no idea what we’re getting with Trump. Frankly, we wouldn’t be surprised if he broke many of the promises that got him elected. That’s why we’re taking a “wait and see” approach with stocks. • We also encourage you to sit out the rally in junk bonds… They’re too risky AND they’re expensive, as you’ll see in today’s Chart of the Day. We also don’t think you should short junk bonds right now. While it’s lost some momentum, HYG is still in an uptrend. And you should never bet against something that’s got the wind at its back. • If you’re hungry for yield, we encourage you to invest in world-class dividend payers… Unfortunately, most U.S. stocks don’t yield much these days. The S&P 500 yields just 2.0%. That’s less than half of its historical average. The good news is that we can help you find great dividend-paying stocks… Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Investing, has developed a proprietary system for finding companies with fat dividends. This same system also helps Nick find world-class companies trading at deep bargains. He calls this system his “Value Radar.” Over the past year, Nick has used this system to generate returns of 103%, 51%, and 40% for his readers. Most investors never make returns this good. That’s because most people don’t have a system. They wing it instead. They buy whatever stock is hot or whatever bond pays the most. • You can’t afford to take those kinds of risks right now… To see why, watch this brand-new presentation. It talks about a financial crisis that’s been quietly brewing for years. According to Casey Research founder Doug Casey, this crisis could cause stocks, bonds, and currencies to plunge. It could also put thousands of companies out of business and millions of people out of work. Most investors aren’t ready for this. They’re still laying out on the beach while a Category 5 hurricane is about to make landfall. The good news is that you don’t have to be a victim. In this FREE video, we’ll show you a simple yet proven way to flip this coming crisis into big gains. Click here to learn more. Chart of the Day Junk bonds aren’t cheap. Today’s chart comes from The Wall Street Journal. It shows the yield spread between junk bonds and U.S. Treasurys over the past 20 years. When the spread is high, it means junk bonds are paying much more than Treasurys. When it’s low, it means junk bonds aren’t paying that much more than Treasurys. Right now, the spread is half of its historical average. In other words, junk bond investors aren’t being compensated for the extra risk they’ve assumed. There’s not much margin of safety in junk bonds today, either. The Wall Street Journal reported last week: Junk bonds have defaulted historically at an average rate of 4.2% a year, according to data from Standard & Poor’s. That is more than the current spread, meaning the extra yield investors hope to capture by owning junk could easily evaporate. Investors tend to forget this, especially during periods of low defaults. In short, this means junk bonds are expensive. Keep this in mind if you’ve been thinking about buying them for their “fat” yields. Recommended Links — Executive Order #0001 Forget the Mexican wall… Or a repeal of Obamacare. Trump’s first executive order could send a tiny $1 stock soaring. • At this point, you might be thinking that junk bonds are a safe place to park your money… But you have to understand that junk bonds behave more like stocks than bonds. That’s because they’re risky like stocks. You can see in the chart below that HYG has basically moved in lockstep with the S&P 500 since the start of 2016. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida January 19, 2017 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful.
Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent.Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016.”Suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors. It’s not just a mental health concern,” says Deborah Stone, a behavioral scientist at the CDC and the lead author of the new study. “There are many different circumstances and factors that contribute to suicide. And so that’s one of the things that this study really shows us. It points to the need for a comprehensive approach to prevention.”She and her colleagues collected data on suicides from every state. In addition, to better understand the circumstances surrounding suicide, they turned to more detailed information collected by 27 states on suicides that occurred in 2015.The rise in suicide rates was highest in the central, northern region of the U.S., with North Dakota, for example, seeing a 57.6 percent increase since 1999. Nevada was the only state that saw no increase, and Delaware saw the smallest increase which was 5.9 percent.The findings were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.Guns were the most common method used for suicide, accounting for almost half of the people who died.Often, the suicide seemed to happen without warning: 54 percent of the people who killed themselves didn’t have a previously known mental health issue. “Instead, these folks were suffering from other issues, such as relationship problems, substance misuse, physical health problems, job or financial problems, and recent crises or things that were coming up in their lives that they were anticipating,” says Stone.Researchers and advocacy groups who work to prevent suicide say the report shows that much more needs to be done to tackle this growing problem.”None of this is surprising information, which is not to trivialize its importance. I think it captures a lot of trends that we’ve been becoming more and more aware of over recent years,” says psychologist Michael Anestis at the University of Southern Mississippi, who researches suicide and is the author of Guns and Suicide: An American Epidemic.He thinks the general public commonly pictures someone who had been getting treatment for a long period before killing themselves, like fashion designer Kate Spade, who died this week, but that’s often not the case.That means any public health effort to reduce suicides can’t solely focus on those who have reached out for help. It has to be paired with measures that would make suicidal people less likely to die even if they never went to see a doctor.The CDC report cites several different approaches, such as working to stabilize housing and teaching coping and problem-solving skills early in life.The report also cites the need to reduce “access to lethal means” but without explicitly discussing firearms or controversial issues such as gun control legislation. Asked whether that was a deliberate omission, because of the political climate surrounding gun control, Stone said that suicide rates have been increasing across all methods.”So it’s not just about firearms, it’s also about other methods of suicide such as hanging, suffocation, poisoning and the like,” she said. “We are concerned with all aspects of suicide prevention, including access to lethal means, and so we do include that in a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.”But Anestis believes that it’s important to not beat around the bush when it comes to guns and to talk about the importance of things like setting waiting periods for purchase, and storing guns locked and unloaded.”American suicide is predominantly a firearm issue. Anytime we want to resolve something that involves firearms, we’ve need to talk about firearms explicitly,” he says. “The conversation about firearms and suicide doesn’t have to be a debate about the Second Amendment. It could be a debate about where can we find some common ground that doesn’t simply involve only talking about people with mental illnesses, because as this paper shows, that’s not going to get the job done.”Research shows that the decision to attempt suicide is often made quickly, in an impulsive way, says Robert Gebbia, the head of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.”You may be thinking about it over time, but that moment when you actually make an attempt is a very short window,” he explains. “If you could make it harder to make that attempt by not having access to the means, often what happens is the feelings will pass, it gives people time for someone to intervene and get them help, so that is a really important preventative step that can be done. And there’s good research to support that.”Suicide researchers already know a lot of the information in this new report, says Gebbia, “but the public doesn’t. And so a report like this really draws attention to the fact that we need to do a whole lot more to prevent suicide, to save lives.”He points out, for example, that the nation currently has no federally funded suicide prevention program for adults. “There are some for youth, but they’re very, very tiny,” says Gebbia. “We can’t expect a major public health problem like this to be addressed unless we see the investment.”The CDC said that people can learn about warning signs of suicide to help people at risk. One resource is the website: www.BeThe1to.com. To reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
A Tory leadership contender left her job as work and pensions secretary without answering key questions from an MP about links between her department and the deaths of benefit claimants, her former department has confirmed.Esther McVey (pictured) resigned her position last November in protest at the prime minister’s Brexit deal.But she left more than three months after receiving a letter from Stephen Lloyd, then a Liberal Democrat and now an independent MP, about claims of a possible cover-up by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).He had written to her after Disability News Service (DNS) reported how DWP was refusing to say if it showed key documents linking the deaths of claimants with the work capability assessment (WCA) to Dr Paul Litchfield, the independent expert the government hired to review the test in 2013 and 2014.He carried out the fourth and fifth reviews of the WCA but has refused to say if he was shown two letters written by coroners and a number of secret DWP “peer reviews”.Litchfield, who was recognised by the prime minister with a CBE in last June’s birthday honours, published his two reviews in December 2013 and November 2014, but neither of his reports mentioned the documents, which all link the WCA with the deaths of claimants.In his letter to McVey, Lloyd said he found it “astonishing” that Litchfield appeared not to have been shown the documents.He added: “In light of Dr Litchfield being awarded a CBE, could you please confirm whether or not he was shown the documents linking the government’s WCA program with the deaths of benefit claimants?”Weeks later, having failed to receive a reply, the MP wrote a follow-up letter to McVey.He never received a reply.This week, DWP claimed it could not comment because McVey was no longer with the department, while McVey’s office claimed it was for DWP to answer any questions about the failure to reply.A DWP spokesperson said: “As his letter was sent to Esther McVey I can’t say why a response wasn’t sent.”But a spokesperson for McVey said: “Although the letter was addressed to Esther, the ministerial correspondence team will have forwarded it to the correct person to respond.“In this case, it would not have been the secretary of state.“I am sorry I am not able to provide further information, it would be a matter for the Department for Work and Pensions to address.”Lloyd said this week: “It’s absolutely deplorable that Esther McVey, when she was secretary of state at the DWP, simply didn’t bother to respond to my letter which was first sent on the 2nd of August last year.“My office even followed her up twice, but still nothing.“This showed a total reluctance by her and the DWP to engage on what were and are shocking allegations.“To think that she’s now trying to become the new Conservative leader and even, god help us, prime minister, beggars belief.”Since DNS revealed the existence of the documents in the years after Litchfield’s final report was published, concerns have grown that senior DWP civil servants and ministers deliberately covered-up evidence showing the fatal impact of the assessment on disabled people.The admission that McVey failed to respond to Lloyd’s letter adds weight to calls in the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition* for an independent inquiry into deaths linked to DWP failings, and for evidence of criminal misconduct by civil servants or government ministers to be passed to the police.It also calls for MPs to recognise that DWP is institutionally disablist and not fit for purpose, and for DWP to “urgently change its policies and administration of social security benefits to make the safety of all claimants a priority”.The cover-up over the benefit deaths documents appeared to be confirmed earlier this month when DNS revealed how DWP had finally admitted failing to send Litchfield’s review team the coroners’ letters and the internal reviews.The admission came in DWP’s response to a complaint lodged by DNS with the Information Commissioner’s Office about the department’s failure to confirm if it passed the information to Litchfield.A senior ICO case officer told DNS: “Consultation with the ex-review team elicited statements that no such information was received from DWP nor were any physical files sent to stores.”The coroner’s letters followed the deaths of two men with mental health conditions in 2010 and 2013; they were sent to DWP in the spring of 2010 and early 2014, each warning of further such deaths if changes were not made to the WCA.Peer reviews – now known as internal process reviews – must be carried out by DWP civil servants into every death “where suicide is associated with DWP activity”, as well as other deaths and serious and complex cases that have been linked to DWP activity.DWP has admitted that at least seven peer reviews written in 2012 mentioned the WCA, and there are almost certainly more that were written by the time Litchfield wrote his final report in late 2014.One of the aims of a peer review is to “determine whether local and national standards have been followed or need to be revised/improved”, so DWP would find it hard to explain why they would not have been shown to Litchfield, whose job it was to review how the WCA was working.But neither of Litchfield’s reviews mentioned either the peer reviews or the coroners’ letters, although the second coroner’s letter was not written until he had begun work on his second review.Professor Malcolm Harrington, who carried out the first three WCA reviews in 2010, 2011 and 2012, has told DNS that he believes he was shown neither the first coroner’s letter nor any WCA-related peer reviews.To sign the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition, click on this link. If you sign the petition, please note that you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committeeA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…
2019 Entrepreneur 360 List This story originally appeared on PCMag Matthew Humphries Next Article It’s a shipping label with a built-in parachute enabling packages to be dropped from a drone in flight. Add to Queue 2 min read Amazon is clearly determined to deliver packages via drone using Prime Air, having already carried out a Prime Air drone delivery earlier this year at the Mars Conference. Now the system has taken another step forward with the awarding of a patent Amazon filed back in 2015.The patent is for an “Aerial Package Delivery System,” but more specifically a new type of shipping label. Why do you need a patent for a shipping label? Because Amazon created one with a built-in parachute.The sheer volume of orders Amazon handles each day means every aspect of the packaging needs to work as efficiently as possible. This label is no exception. The patent describes a label with self-adhesive backing and containing, “a plurality of parachute cords, a parachute and a breakaway cover.” Sensors could also be incorporated to feedback on landing accuracy, and even a shock absorber is mentioned.The label would be attached to the top of the package, which then sits against the bottom of the drone in flight. When the package is dropped, the parachute is deployed as the drone releases it, allowing for a steady descent to the ground. For larger packages, there’s nothing to stop multiple parachute labels being attached to ensure a safe drop.Using a parachute makes a lot of sense for drone deliveries. Having the drone descend with the package would require a lot more energy, which would drain the drone’s battery quicker. It also puts the drone at risk of being stolen, and people on the ground at risk from being injured by the drone. Dropping packages from a safe height removes those risks, although someone could still get thumped on the head by a falling package.Amazon is taking drone deliveries and the use of parachutes very seriously. They are even thinking about ways to maneuver a package once dropped, with landing flaps and air canisters mentioned in a patent filing discovered back in February. Amazon Awarded Patent for Parachute Shipping Label The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now » –shares Senior Editor Amazon May 31, 2017 Image credit: Amazon via PC Mag
Next Article Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Microsoft –shares Apply Now » July 27, 2017 Image credit: Microsoft via PC Mag Bug bounty programs are a very efficient way of getting the wider security community involved in helping to protect a piece of software. In return for spending time trying to break through the security of any given system, you can earn some cash and a little bit of fame.This week, Microsoft announced the Windows Bounty Program, challenging “friends, hackers and researchers” to break into any and all parts of Windows 10 and Windows Server.Microsoft isn’t new to the bug bounty game. Mitigation Bypass Bounty and Bounty for Defense programs have been running since 2013, and a Microsoft Edge bounty has been in place since August 2016. The latest bounties are really more of an expansion of what’s already in place and includes the Windows Insider Preview, Windows Defender Application Guard and Microsoft Hyper-V.Rewards range anywhere from $500 right up to $250,000 for the most serious Hyper-V bugs. Hyper-V is Microsoft’s solution for running virtual machines and helps power the Azure cloud computing service, so you can see why Microsoft would like to identify and fix any vulnerabilities there quickly. In order to earn $250,000 you need to identify a vulnerability that qualifies as Remote Code Execution, Information Disclosure or a Denial of Service.A nice additional feature of this bounty program is the 10 percent reward. If a bug is reported that Microsoft already discovered internally, the first finder will still receive 10 percent of the qualifying reward. So if they found a vulnerability worth $250,000, which Microsoft already knows about internally, they’ll still receive $25,000.Taken as a whole, Microsoft is clearly very keen to ensure its core products of Windows 10, Windows Server, the Edge browser and Windows Defender are as secure as possible. And with the rate at which new threats appear, it would be almost impossible to keep up relying solely on an internal security team at Microsoft. In a bid to make Windows 10 and Windows Server more secure, Microsoft turns to the wider security community and tempts them with very healthy cash rewards. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. This story originally appeared on PCMag Matthew Humphries Senior Editor 2 min read Windows Bounty Program Offers Up to $250,000 Per Bug
Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Add to Queue Next Article Billy McFarland defrauded investors of tens of millions of dollars. Image credit: Variety via engadget Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Creator of Doomed Fyre Festival Gets 6-Year Prison Sentence 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Edgar Alvarez prison Billy McFarland, the founder of the disastrous Fyre Festival from 2017, has been sentenced to six years in a federal prison, The New York Times reports. The 26-year-old was found guilty of defrauding investors, an act he admitted to earlier this year.McFarland told prosecutors then that Fyre Media got $26 million from lenders by lying and forging documents, for what was then billed as “the cultural experience of the decade.” As we know now, though, Fyre Festival ended up being the completely opposite of that, leaving attendees stranded at airports and eating sad cheese sandwiches instead of the five-star meals McFarland and his group promised them.Bands like Blink 182, which were supposedly set to perform at the event, never even showed up to the Bahamas, where the Fyre Festival was taking place. “The organizers assured us that all measures were taken to ensure a safe and successful event,” the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism said in a statement in 2017, “but clearly they did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale.” Thousands of people also bought tickets thinking they’d be hanging out with supermodels such as Kendall Jenner, but that was obviously just another lie.”The defendant is a serial fraudster,” Manhattan federal judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said on Thursday, according to ABC News. “Mr. McFarland is a fraudster and not simply a misguided young man. Bad intent was longstanding.” –shares October 12, 2018 Enroll Now for $5
Influencer Marketing Is Maturing: Here’s What You Need to Know PRNewswireJune 15, 2019, 7:00 pmJune 14, 2019 Julius, a leading influencer marketing platform, recently published its State of Influencers Report 2019 in coordination with New York public relations and digital marketing agency, Lippe Taylor. For the report, Julius conducted an in-depth survey of 300 influencers, asking about their motivations, how they leverage social media, and their preferences when working with brands.“Influencers are motivated more by the opportunity to be creative or share their passions and expertise than they are by financial drivers,” says Amy Nutt, VP of Marketing, Julius. “Overall, they’re thoughtful about opportunities and looking to build long-term relationships with brands that align with their audiences and content.” The survey also explored influencers’ approach to authenticity, regulations, management, and compensation. Despite media reports to the contrary, influencers have a keen sense of what behaviors are fraudulent or unethical, and fewer than 20 percent of influencers report seeing such behaviors frequently. In fact, 80 percent consider it very important to be a fan of a brand to create sponsored content for that brand, and 84 percent follow the FTC guidelines for influencer marketing, using #ad, #sponsored, or #brandpartner in sponsored posts.Marketing Technology News: VidMob Closes $25 Million In Series B Financing To Fuel Global Expansion Of Creative Technology Platform, Agile Creative Studio“As marketers have become more sophisticated in their use and application of influencer marketing, so have the influencers,” said Amy. “More than a third of our respondents consider being an influencer a full-time job or are transitioning to full-time soon, and 18 percent of full-time influencers earn more than $100,000 annually as an influencer. It’s becoming a viable career path, and influencers are invested in keeping the industry honest and authentic.”Marketing Technology News: Oracle Moat to Measure Viewability for Samsung AdsBeyond quantitative results, the survey also included the open-ended question: What’s the one piece of advice you’d give marketers who are looking to partner with influencers? Respecting influencer creativity, negotiating fairly, communicating clearly, and being a good partner were all popular responses.Marketing Technology News: VidMob Closes $25 Million In Series B Financing To Fuel Global Expansion Of Creative Technology Platform, Agile Creative Studio Digital Marketing AgencyInfluencer marketingJuliusMarketing TechnologyNewsState of Influencers Report Previous ArticleTallwave Earns Key Industry Awards from the American Marketing Association; Also Claims Spot as a Top Company to Work for in ArizonaNext ArticleThe Age of AI and Wall Street
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 26 2019Researchers from Queen Mary University of London studied the effectiveness of one of the largest ever national quality improvement programs in the National Health Service (NHS) and found no improvement in patient survival.The overall risk of death after inpatient surgery within the NHS is one in 65. However, one in ten patients undergoing emergency bowel surgery die within 30 days.The Effectiveness of a national quality improvement program to improve survival after emergency abdominal surgery (EPOCH) trial, which was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and published in The Lancet, tested the effectiveness of a national quality improvement programme in 93 NHS hospitals.The trial involved patients aged 40 years or older, undergoing emergency major bowel surgery. Data were analyzed for 15,856 patients to test whether hospital staff could improve survival by making major improvements to the quality of patient care. There were 37 quality improvements which included more involvement of senior doctors (consultants) in decision making, better assessment of patient risk before and after surgery, consultant presence during surgery and critical admission after surgery.Related StoriesTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Bariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemThe researchers found that such extensive changes were too difficult to implement in a short period of time. The 90-day mortality rate was 16 per cent in both the usual care group and Quality Improvement groups, meaning the team found no survival benefit from the programme.Senior author, Rupert Pearse, Professor and Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine at Queen Mary University of London said: “The main message from this trial is that improving the quality of complex patient care pathways is much harder than we expected. Healthcare leaders, such as senior doctors and nurses, need more dedicated time and resources to improve patient care.”Some health care professionals have argued that quality improvement programmes are ineffective. Despite this, health-care policy is promoting their widespread use to drive large-scale change. The findings of the EPOCH trial suggest this approach will not work unless hospital leaders have the resources to make changes that last.Before the EPOCH trial, most experts believed that poor awareness of the number of deaths after emergency abdominal surgery was the main reason for poor patient care.Professor Pearse said: “We now understand the problem better. Clinicians were too busy delivering patient care and had no spare time to improve it. Quality improvement programs are not a quick or easy solution to improving NHS patient care. We are now taking a much more realistic approach to this work.”The findings suggest future quality improvement programs should implement fewer changes over a longer time period, and ensure doctors and nurses leading these changes have enough time in their working day to make improvements in patient care.Professor Pearse added: “This trial tells us why our quality improvement didn’t work and what we need to do differently.” Source:https://www.qmul.ac.uk/
Facebook may remove content, add warnings if content may be disturbing to some users while not violating standards, or notify the police in case of a “specific, imminent and credible threat to human life” Responding to calls for transparency after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, Facebook said those closures came on top of blocking millions of attempts to create fake accounts every day.Despite this, the group said fake profiles still make up 3-4 percent of all active accounts.It claimed to detect almost 100 percent of spam and to have removed 837 million posts assimilated to spam over the same period.Facebook pulled or slapped warnings on nearly 30 million posts containing sexual or violent images, terrorist propaganda or hate speech during the first quarter.Improved technology using artificial intelligence had helped it act on 3.4 million posts containing graphic violence, nearly three times more than it had in the last quarter of 2017.In 85.6 percent of the cases, Facebook detected the images before being alerted to them by users, said the report, issued the day after the company said about 200 apps had been suspended on its platform as part of an investigation into misuse of private user data.The figure represents between 0.22 and 0.27 percent of the total content viewed by Facebook’s more than two billion users from January through March.”In other words, of every 10,000 content views, an estimate of 22 to 27 contained graphic violence,” the report said.Responses to rule violations include removing content, adding warnings to content that may be disturbing to some users while not violating Facebook standards; and notifying law enforcement in case of a “specific, imminent and credible threat to human life”.Improved IT also helped Facebook take action against 1.9 million posts containing terrorist propaganda, a 73 percent increase. Nearly all were dealt with before any alert was raised, the company said. Explore further Sarcasm needs human touch”It may take a human to understand and accurately interpret nuances like… self-referential comments or sarcasm,” the report said, noting that Facebook aims to “protect and respect both expression and personal safety”.Facebook took action against 2.5 million pieces of hate speech content during the period, a 56 increase over October-December. But only 38 percent had been detected through Facebook’s efforts—the rest flagged up by users. The posts that keep the Facebook reviewers the busiest are those showing adult nudity or sexual activity—quite apart from child pornography, which is not covered by the report.Some 21 million such posts were handled in the period, a similar number to October-December 2017.That was less than 0.1 percent of viewed content—which includes text, images, videos, links, live videos or comments on posts—Facebook said, adding it had dealt with nearly 96 percent of the cases before being alerted to them.Facebook has come under fire for showing too much zeal on this front, such as removing images of artwork tolerated under its own rules.In March, Facebook apologised for temporarily removing an advert featuring French artist Eugene Delacroix’s famous work “Liberty Leading the People” because it depicts a bare-breasted woman.Facebook’s head of global policy management Monika Bicket said the group had kept a commitment to recruit 3,000 more staff to lift the numbers dedicated to enforcing standards to 7,500 at the start of this year. © 2018 AFP Facebook apologised in March for temporarily removing an advert featuring French artist Eugene Delacroix’s famous work “Liberty Leading the People” because it depicts a bare-breasted woman Facebook details policing for sex, terror, hate content It attributed the increase to the enhanced use of photo detection technology.Hate speech is harder to police using automated methods, however, as racist or homophobic hate speech is often quoted on posts by their targets or activists. 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: Facebook shut 583 million fake accounts (2018, May 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-facebook-million-fake-accounts.html Facebook axed 583 million fake accounts in the first three months of 2018, the social media giant said Tuesday, detailing how it enforces “community standards” against sexual or violent images, terrorist propaganda or hate speech.
China will restrict the number of video games and take steps to curb playing time by minors to address growing rates of childhood visual impairment as the government steps up its crackdown on the world’s biggest online gaming market. © 2018 AFP ‘Monster Hunter’ on hold as China hits pause on new video games Explore further Citation: Game over? China to rein in online games in latest industry setback (2018, August 31) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-game-china-rein-online-games.html 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. A statement posted on the Education Ministry website late on Thursday justified the new curbs as a way to counter worsening near-sightedness among minors, after President Xi Jinping earlier this week called for greater national attention on optical health.But the move adds to perceptions that there is a broader campaign to rein in China’s fast-growing video game sub-culture after authorities already made clear their concerns over gaming addiction and the violent content of many shoot-em-up titles.The education ministry statement, also endorsed by seven other ministries, said they will “implement regulations and controls” on the number of games that can be played online, limit new releases, explore an age-restriction system for games, and take steps to reduce playing time by minors.No specifics or timeframe were given.Shares in internet giant Tencent, China’s games leader, dropped by more than five percent in Hong Kong while Perfect World Co, a game developer formerly listed on the US NASDAQ exchange, fell as much as nine percent in Shenzhen. Several other smaller game developers also plunged on Shenzhen tech-heavy exchange.Chinese official studies and media reports have warned of growing rates of near-sightedness, or myopia, and among increasingly younger children. Excessive screen time and strict school study routines are often blamed.A national vision report in 2015 said around 500 million Chinese—nearly half the population above five years old—suffer visual impairment, 450 million are near-sighted, and rates were rising.It estimated visual impairment issues cost China around $100 billion in 2012. ‘Monster’ clampdownBut visual concerns are just the latest reason given for an apparent campaign to put the brakes on wildly popular digital gaming.The industry was rattled earlier this month when Tencent said it was ordered to pull the hit game “Monster Hunter: World” from sale, just days after it debuted.The government’s online list of approved new titles has not been updated since May. Previously, the list had been updated regularly.Shortly after Tencent’s “Monster Hunt” announcement, Bloomberg News reported that China had indeed put a halt to new approvals.Quoting unnamed sources, it said approvals for online, console and mobile games have been stalled for months.Chinese media blamed the hold-up on personnel changes arising from Xi’s consolidation of power at a Communist Party leadership meeting late last year, which has made him the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.But regulators also have balked at approving games featuring violence and gambling, Bloomberg quoted a source as saying, as Xi pushes a “purification” campaign to purge media and entertainment of content perceived as unsavoury.China is the world’s largest gaming market, with an estimated $37.9 billion in revenue, according to industry tracker Newzoo, but concerns over objectionable content and addiction have fuelled growing scrutiny.Tencent last year began restricting daily playing times for minors on its smash hit “King of Glory” mobile multiplayer battle game.Official warnings over the dangers, and calls for tighter regulation, seemed to gain pace after Chinese media reported in February that a 15-year-old game-addicted boy in central China bludgeoned and strangled a woman to death. State-run Xinhua news agency said the boy told police he wanted to know whether killing was “as easy and fun” as in video games. Beijing is tightening government oversight of the country’s booming video games industry
April 14, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT national elections RELATED COMMENTS Tharoor, Kummanam accuse each other of ‘communalisation’ Modi corners Congress on “Nyay,” seeks justice for “Anyay” SHARE Published on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (file photo) – PTI Elections 2019 ‘We do not want votes from the Sangh Parivar in Kerala’ Wayanad, Pathanamthitta constituencies shoot to national prominence for LS elections Sharpening its attack on the Prime Minister, the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala on Sunday accused Narendra Modi of “misleading” the country on the Sabarimla issue and dubbed his statement as “utter lie.” Leading the onslaught, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan claimed that Modi, during his campaign meetings in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on Saturday, had said invoking the name of Lord Ayyappa or Sabarimala in Kerala would land devotees in jail and described it as “utter lie” and “misleading”. “This is an utter lie. How can a Prime Minister make such a wrong remark?” Vijayan asked while addressing an election rally in Kollam. “If anyone was arrested, it was because they have gone against the law. In other states, Sangh Parivar activists may not land in jailor there may not be any cases against them, thanks to the blessings of Modi. But that will not happen in Kerala,” the Chief Minister warned. Accusing Modi of practising “double standards”, he said it was the Centre which had asked the state government to impose Section 144 in Sabarimala during the frenzied protests last year over the entry of women of all age groups into the hill shrine. “It had also offered to send central forces to put down the protests,” he added. The state had witnessed violent ‘namajapam’ protests by a section of devotees, Right wing outfits and the BJP after the LDF government decided to implement the September 28 Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all age groups to offer worship at the Lord Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala. Modi, who was in Kozhikode on April 12, while not mentioning Sabarimala or Lord Ayyappa directly, had said the BJP government would ensure that the centuries old beliefs of devotees would be protected. He was more direct in his campaign meetings in Tamil Nadu, where he alleged the Communists, Congress and Muslim League were playing a dangerous game on the Sabarimala issue. “They are using brute force to strike at the roots of faith and expression. Sadly for them, as long as the BJP is there, nobody will be able to destroy our faith and culture,” he had said. The Prime Minister had also mentioned that the BJP candidate in Kozhikode, Prakash Babu, was arrested and jailed on the Sabarimala issue. Hitting back, Vijayan said: “Whoever does any wrong, action will be taken,” adding that those arrested on the Sabarimala issue had gone against law.‘Defying the EC’“The model code of conduct was applicable to the Prime Minister also,” Vijayan said campaigning for the LDF candidate K N Balagopal in Kollam. The state’s Chief Electoral Officer, Teekaram Meena, had earlier made it clear political parties cannot invoke the name of Lord Ayyappa or Sabarimala to seek votes.Also read: Sabarimala as campaign agenda is a violation of model code: State CEC Vijayan said the BJP had given a call to its followers saying no one should put any offerings in hundis. “Why did they send people to the hill shrine to attack devotees? The attackers even reached the Sannidhanam…the policemen were hit with coconuts. Police had great difficulty in controlling the attackers,” he alleged. CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also lashed out at the BJP, saying the saffron party was allegedly dividing people on communal lines. “The Prime Minister himself was defying the Election Commission,” he alleged.