Astronomers amazed at timing of Markarian 421 blazer

first_img(Phys.org) —The field of view from Earth is being flooded with the brightest display of gamma rays ever seen, the BBC is reporting, at a time when space researchers around the world have just coincidently trained their instruments in the direction from where it’s being emitted—the active galaxy Markarian 421. Hubble Legacy Archive WFPC2 image of Mark 421 and its companion galaxy 421-5. Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive No one knew that Markarian 421 was about to do anything special or unusual. Recently, a program was started to study the active galaxy as part of a routine inspection. But then, just after telescopes around the world focused their attention on the galaxy, it flared, giving observers a spectacular show. As if that weren’t coincidence enough, it also occurred during the annual meeting (April 13 through 16, in Denver, Colorado) of the American Physical Society (APS), which allowed those in attendance to compare notes as the flare-up was occurring.Markarian 421 is known as a “blazer” galaxy—it’s a term used to describe active galaxies with supermassive black holes that emit light across the entire light spectrum in jets that are trillions of times more energetic than the light that can be seen by the human eye—all pointing directly toward our planet. The jets go into overdrive, flaring up, as the black hole consumes matter that is drawn by gravity into their vicinity. Markarian 421 hadn’t shown much life since a flare-up back in 1996, thus there was no expectation that anything new was about to happen.But just as researchers around the world had trained various types of telescopes (from gamma ray to visible light spectrum) at Markarian 421, the blazer began emitting more gamma rays than has ever been witnessed before, giving those at the APS meeting a lot to talk about. The general consensus was that the event was both unprecedented and spectacular, leaving those studying it in awe.The program to study the active galaxy was aimed at attempting to better understand how such huge amounts of gamma rays can be created by the black holes. To that end, researchers were undertaking a project to study the galaxy across a broad range of light—the flare-up has given those working on the study much more to look at than any of them had imagined. 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. Transforming galaxiescenter_img Explore further Citation: Astronomers amazed at timing of Markarian 421 ‘blazer’ (2013, April 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-astronomers-amazed-markarian-blazer.html © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

We are not afraid to experiment

first_imgWhere does the name of your band come from? When the band started off, each one of us had a different musical background in-terms of the genre. So, it was more like a wave or a frequency. Guitarist was fond of Blues and Jazz, the Bassist was into Alternative rock and the vocalist into Metal. Hence, we thought it’s like a frequency: high and low. Hence the band name.Tell us about how you guys started off…Frequency started off as a school band, studying, playing and learning together. After school hours, we used to practice and then leave for our tuition together. After we got done with our schooling, the band went through a lot of lineup changes. Hence, we recruited new members and did not end the journey there. Now, Kushal Thapa is the only founding member in the band. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What is your original brand of music? Do you guys have a signature sound? The band was formed while having a picture of a band that can produce Electronic/Experimental sound with heavy guitar riffs and groovy bass lines, equally supported by heavy vocals. We still have the same sound, however we are not afraid of experiments that we do with our music, either live or in the studio.Tell us about the initial years after kick-off till how it has been thus far Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe journey has been full of memories to be honest! Our band was formed in September 2006 and now its 2013. So we’ve been in the circuit for nearly 7 years now. We are lucky to have such an  audience who has stood by us over the years and always encouraged us to make good music. We got our first major recognition at Channel [V] Launchpad 2007 when we landed up as the top four finalists. This high was carried forward by Sandeep Chowta, a well known music producer from Bollywood, who offered us for a deal to make music for him. Top all of that with a kitty full of gigs that we’ve done in India. So, to summarize all of it, in these 7 years, we’ve seen and learnt a lot. And, we thank each and every person, who’s been a part of the Frequency family. How does it feel to perform with three other bands? It was a great experience for us to play with such awesomely talented musicians. They knew their instruments. The great crowd interaction led these bands to deliver a successful show.What plans for 2013? We are planning to launch our 4 Track EP this month followed by a major cities’ tour in order to promote our newly written material and simultaneously work in our studio for our full length album, that we plan to launch by the end of this year.What got you to take part in Metanoia and how do you see this working for you?After the success of Pandemonium, Cacophony Networks approached us for this show and we couldn’t say no to them. Considering the show lineup, we pulled up our socks and were ready to deliver a gig full of excitement and fun.last_img read more

Capital hit by football madness

first_imgThough cricket seems to have become our national sport, no Indian can entirely ignore football. School and college boys playing a fun game of football come rain or angry sun. Football is an adrenaline fuelled sport and the age old rivalries of East Bengal and Mohan Bagan or Brazil versus the rest of the world is legendary for football lovers. And thanks to the extensive sports coverage, footballs clubs from across oceans have found loyal fans in India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Something closer to home, Noida witnessed a high-energy football tournament on 24 August. Nine spirited teams from various Bengali associations across Delhi and Noida clashed in the Pushpa Saha Memorial One Day and Night Football Tournament held at Kali Bari Ground, Sector 26, Noida. Aniel Kuumar Saha, CMD of SAHA Groupe, who is an ardent follower and supporter of the sport himself, sponsored the exciting event.The tournament was played with much vigour and enthusiasm by the teams to promote football, a game close to every Bengali’s heart. Anadi Barua, a former Indian international football player and the present coach of Indian women’s football team and India’s football team selector, graced the occasion as a distinguished guest. The games began at 3 pm and continued with rousing cheers for the competing teams till late night. The tournament was organised by the Noida Bengali Cultural Association.last_img read more

Means to what end

first_imgRemember that time in Delhi when over a good few days Anna Hazare held sway over Jantar Mantar? Slogans flew thick and fast, voices were raised, the aam aadmi wanted their rights and how. Then there was another side of the ‘I am Anna’ movement, the crazy bikers who roamed city streets, driving at break-neck speeds, scaring pedestrians and other drivers. I remember the latter more clearly and thus Hazare and his team, his antics or his ideology, never really fascinated me. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’While Satyagraha is a movie based on current times, basing the entire movie on what we have seen at India Gate and Jantar Mantar over the last two years kills it somewhat. Based in Ambikapur, the story of Satyagraha revolves around Dwarka Anand (Bachchan), whose honest-engineer son Akhilesh gets murdered (perhaps a reference to the slain NHAI project director Satyendra Dubey); as is the fate of whistleblowers. The government offers compensation to his wife Sumitra (Amrita Rao) which she just cannot get her hands on. Then there is the slimy neta Balram Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) who plays all the cards to his advantage. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAnand slaps a government official and gets jailed. His son’s friend Maanav (Ajay Devgn) joins hands with local leader Arjun Singh (Arjun Rampal) along with feisty journalist Yasmin (Kareena Kapoor) to get him out. And the battle begins. While Jha plays it safe by picking actors he has worked with before, we have to give it to the director – he knows how to make them work to his advantage. While Rampal comes across a tad bit flimsy in his role, Kareena flits in and out of her role of a journalist. Devgn and Bachchan steal the show. The ravaged, tired face of Dwarka Anand stays in your mind. Devgn’s character, which doesn’t seem to be modeled on Arvind Kejriwal’s, is one character that holds promise but unfortunately Jha does not flesh him out.The movie works because it takes a relevant argument, thought and action plan to the silver screen. It leaves you disappointed as you are constantly reminded of the Anna Hazare-Kejriwal split and the broom wielding Aam Aadmi Party, the impending 2014 polls and just want to walk out. Satyagraha doesn’t work because Jha should know better than to make it all so black and white.last_img read more

Going above beyond

first_imgRemember the song Sun and Moon? The lyrics went a bit like, “…I’m sorry baby you were the sun and moon to me, I’ll never get over you, you’ll never get over me…” – yes. Those guys. That’s exactly how I heard some friends discuss Above & Beyond. Let’s get a little in deep: these guys have released three studio albums, two remix albums, one side-project album. Their own two labels – Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep, and are among the most respected imprints in the global dance music scene and have released some 23 Above & Beyond albums and compilations in the last 12 years. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’There have been dozens (and dozens) of singles and mix albums and offshoot projects, all snapped up by a devoted worldwide fan base that has happily, passionately followed this London-based electronic trio since their formation in 2000. Phew. We spoke to Tony McGuinness about their next album and much more. Read on…How did Above and Beyond come together? What started it all?We came together to do a remix for Warner Brothers – Chakra Home. We were all doing other things at the time but the remix was very successful and pretty soon Above & Beyond became the main thing for all three of us. The name came from a guy in the States called Jono Grant who was a motivational trainer – “Above & Beyond” was his tag line. Our own Jono had found his web site and printed the front page out and stuck it on his bedroom wall. When we’d finished the mix we needed a name and it just jumped out at us. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix How easy (or difficult) was it for Above and Beyond to make a mark in the music scene?It’s hard to know what things we’ve done have had the biggest impact since we’ve never stopped making music and touring, but we’ve had some amazing opportunities and, thus far at least, have risen to the challenge of doing something great when we’ve had the chance. Our first remix was of a club classic that, even though we were unknown, became the lead remix on the package and went to number one in the club chart. Our remix for Madonna was on spec, but she loved it so much she made the video to our mix instead of the Radio edit. We got the chance to do an Essential Mix for Radio 1 in 2004 and the mix won Essential Mix of the year. And our first album, Tri-State, got great reviews across the board. So we’ve had some great bits of luck to get some great breaks but we’ve made sure we do a great job when we do. In addition, what we do, which is act like a band and write songs about our real life, sets us apart from almost all our peers, who usually draft in external singer/songwriters. That doesn’t really result in any consistency or connection.Who and what influences you and your music? Who are your favourite musicians?We each have quite different tastes in music outside of what we make together and sign to the label, which keeps our music very diverse and, hopefully, rich in context. Personally I love singer songwriters like Damien Rice, unique singers like Goldfrapp, FKA Twigs and Kate Bush, bands like Kings of Convenience, Blonde Redhead, Royksopp and War on Drugs and electronic producers from Joris Voorn to Seven Lions. Paavo is especially keen on soundtracks, Jono loves a lot of 80s pop like the Pet Shop Boys.Tell us about your favourite tracks? If you could pick one track from your repertoire to go down in history (over the others) which one would that be?Hmm, it always used to be Tranquility Base Razorfish, but I’d probably pick Thing Called Love or Sun & Moon as they seem to have a life of their own, even now. But the new album is just out and there are lots of great tracks on there just bedding in, so let’s see how it feels a year from now. How has Above and Beyond witnessed the change in the music scene from the time you started to now?We started just as trance music was losing its pop credibility and moving underground, so we’ve always eschewed pop music, per se. But recently a lot of pop EDM has created an explosion in public interest in the scene and whilst we haven’t been deflected by that and remain outside it in many ways, it has provided a lot of oxygen to the scene and we’ve certainly benefitted from that. If you could change one thing about the music industry right now – what would that be?The idea that musicians should not get paid fairly for the work they do is ridiculous and the slow but severe eroding in revenues for recorded music is hurting everyone without the means to support themselves in other ways, like DJing. That sucks.If you could change one thing about the world with your music – what would that be?The internet promised a more connected world and in the music business it delivers that emphatically. But politi cally it seems to be dividing us, extreme views which would have dwindled in a locally connected society gain weight in an interconnected world in a way nobody foresaw. Now anyone with a crazy way of seeing things can find people who share those views in another country, which in turn gives validity to the extreme views. The world is more and more divided by issues of ‘race’ and religion and bigotry is rife. As touring DJs we see things differently. We travel to countries that have supposedly different world views and find that people, on the whole, are all the same. We’ve done shows in the same weekend to countries who remain violently opposed and found the same reaction to our music, the same hopes and fears, dreams and aspirations in the people. It’s one planet, we’re one human race and the sooner we realise that the better things will get. What’s next for Above and Beyond?We’re touring the world in support of our new album We Are All We Need, including our biggest ever US tour – six weeks of high intensity touring to over 100,000 people. Then we have a sold out UK tour to look forward to in April. Tell us about the top five songs on your playlist right now. Our new single is called All Over The World and it’s about a broken father/son relationship, illustrated perfectly by the video which is based on Catch Me If You Can. The next single from the album will be Peace of Mind. There’s an extraordinary new single from Andrew Bayer and Asbjorn, a new Danish singer we’ve hooked him up with. It’s called Superhuman and it’s fabulous. Our recent remix Salva Mea is going off in our sets, we’re super proud of that one. All That Matters by Kolsch feat Troels Abramsen is a particular favourite, it’s a beautiful song and the production.last_img read more

Intertwining IndoAfrican dreams

first_imgIndia and Africa are intertwined by their history of freedom struggles against their colonial rulers, as also by their future, pursuing similar developmental strategies to bring prosperity to their citizens. Underlying our strong political relationship are common political perspectives on issues like terrorism, security of ocean routes, larger geopolitical role for developing countries and convergence of interests on climate change. Equally important, the synergy of our economic relations is bolstered by the natural economic complementarity of our respective comparative advantages, the raison d’etre  of  mutually beneficial trade among equals, generating most optimal “Win-Win” options for both of us. Also Read – FM favours cess over additional tax for compensating statesIn fact, the Indian developmental model, especially post-liberalisation of 1991, predicated on large scale public investments in critical infrastructure, followed by domestic entrepreneurial initiatives in consumer goods and services, in a democratic setting, is proving to be a sustainable option and role model for many African countries. India needs immense natural resources to lift its teeming millions out of poverty. We need metals, minerals, coal, oil and gas, to build cities and run industries. Africa needs technology and investments, to leverage their natural resources, but on equal and fair terms, which India offers. Indian technology is “Triple A”, – “Appropriate, Affordable and Adaptable”, which is best for Africa.  Also Read – Indian eves lose to NZ in four-nation series openerThe Continent with the youngest population needs capacity building of its manpower, which Indian companies do well. For instance, the African infrastructure in the hinterland is being built by project companies like OIA, involving construction of thousands of kilometres of electricity transmission and distribution and rural electrification lines or hundreds of kilometres of water pipelines or massive agro-processing plants. We engage local firms and manpower to execute an increasing proportion of the jobs, as they pick up expertise working with us on various projects.  The transfer of knowhow to local partners makes perfect business sense for Indian private sector players, since localisation progressively reduces costs of execution. Significantly, the infrastructure built by Indian firms is changing the face of African economies, since it is not aimed at extracting their natural wealth but linking up with their people, lighting up homes and energising industries and magnifying African agricultural productivity. When the top African leaders arrive in October, Modi is sure to make India-Africa development combination unparalleled and unbeatable.last_img read more

How jogging helps you stay sharp

first_imgExercise can enhance the development of new brain cells that play an important role in learning and memory of adults, new research has found.The process of developing new brain cells in the adult brain is called adult neurogenesis, the scientists explained.The researchers found that mice that spent time running on wheels not only developed twice the normal number of new neurons, but also showed an increased ability to distinguish new objects from familiar objects.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Our research indicates that exercise-induced increase in neurogenesis improves pattern separation by supporting unique and detailed long-term representations of similar but nevertheless different memory items,” explained lead investigator Josef Bischofberger, professor at University of Basel in Switzerland.“Pattern separation is involved in many memory tasks of everyday life. For example, when learning the game of chess, it is critically important to remember the different shapes of pieces like the pawn and bishop,” Bischofberger explained. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFor the study, the researchers tested two groups of mice that were housed either without (sedentary) or with running wheels (voluntarily running) using a novel object recognition task to assess learning and long-term memory. The researchers found that whereas distinct objects were remembered and recognized by both cohorts of mice, only the running mice could faithfully distinguish similar looking objects. Investigators determined therefore that the running mice had developed better pattern separation capabilities than sedentary mice.The study was published in the journal of Brain Plasticity.last_img read more

A selfless guardian Cop donates entire salary every month to school for

first_imgKolkata: Time and money may be vital things for everyone but things are different for a traffic constable of Kolkata Police. In a startling display of selflessness, Arup Mukherjee, traffic constable in the South Traffic Guard, has spent all his savings to set up a school for the children of the extremely backward ‘Sabar’ tribe in Purulia.Mukherjee started his efforts towards setting up the school at Puncha village in Purulia in 2010. He even obtained loans from various organisations for the same. In 2011, the school started its journey on November 13. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to Mukherjee, he had a hidden desire to do something for the Sabars since his childhood. “I used to hear that Sabars are antisocial elements. They had a criminal instinct within them. If any incident such as theft or snatching was committed, my grandfather used to say the Sabars were behind it.”Mukherjee informed that his grandfather had once told him that the Sabars were that way due to lack of proper education and sufficient income for a decent livelihood. Since then, Mukherjee was determined that he would build a school and educate the Sabar children to give them better life. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe joined Kolkata Police as a constable in 1999. Since then, he used to save money for his dream. In 2011, the school started with 20 Sabar children, which has increased to 112students in 2018. At present, the school houses students up to Class IV with boarding facility.”Till date we have not received any government help. The school is running with contributions from some people. I myself contribute my entire salary every month for the school,” Mukherjee added. When asked how his family makes ends meet, Mukherjee replied with a smile: “My father retired as a sub-inspector from West Bengal Police. He happily spends his pension for us.” Mukherjee also informed that all of his family members feel proud of him despite all odds.After running the school for a few years, help arrived at the doorstep. Some students of the 1985 batch of Ramkrishna Mission Vidyapith, Purulia, heard about the school. Later, they contacted Mukherjee and since the last two years, a team of approximately 45 members have been constantly helping him run the school.Sanjay Tripathi, owner of a publication house in College Street, Kolkata, is one the members of the group. According to him, the school needs more help to survive in future.”We got information approximately two years ago. Then some of us went there to see exactly what was going on. Later, we decided that we must help the school. If some government help is offered, it would be very easy to secure the future of the Sabar children,” he said.Another person who still remains behind the curtain is Khirod Sashi Mukherjee, a resident of Puncha. Hearing Mukherjee’s desire, Khirod had donated approximately 12 cottahs of land to build the school and hostel.last_img read more

This Puja Park Street to come alive in all its glory

first_imgKolkata: The only street in the world renamed after ‘St Teresa of Calcutta’ has been decorated during Durga Puja.It may be mentioned that during the Puja, lakhs of people throng Mother Teresa Sarani, popularly known as Park Street, because of the famous eateries and the ambience.The place happens to be one of the favourite destinations of people in midst of pandal hopping. Park Street becomes the first choice of many while eating out during the puja days with their near and dear ones. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeFor the first time ever in the city’s history, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had taken the step to decorate Park Street during different festivals. During Christmas, the place gets illuminated in resplendent shades.Similarly, during Durga Puja as well, initiative has been taken to decorate the place and lights have been put up across the street.There are permanent iron structures across the road on which lighting arrangements are put up, giving a new look to Park Street. It may be mentioned that the state government has taken several steps to attract foreign tourists to Bengal and thousands of foreign tourists, who visit Kolkata, like to go to Park Street at least once for its never-endingstreet food collection. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe state government also organises Durga Puja immersion carnival every year and it takes place on Red Road, situated close to Park Street. The immersion carnival attracts tourists from different parts of the country and abroad as well. This year, the carnival will be held on October 23 in which Durga idols of famous Pujas in the city and its outskirts will be passing one after the other on decorated tableaus.Thousands of people gather along Red Road to get a glimpse of the extravagant carnival and people from different parts of the world too visit Red Road for the same.last_img read more

Police chart out measures to implement SC cracker ban

first_imgKolkata: The police are gearing up to prevent the use of banned firecrackers in the state. According to sources, both Kolkata Police and the West Bengal Police are getting ready to keep a strict vigil during the two-day festival across the state.On Monday, the Supreme Court directed the state governments to arrange for extensive public awareness campaigns to inform people about the harmful effects of firecrackers. The Apex Court also clearly mentioned that on Diwali or any other festivals when firecrackers are being used, it would strictly be restricted between 8 pm and 10 pm. In the case of New Year celebrations, the time has been restricted from 11:55 pm to 12:30 am. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWhile directing the administration, Justice A K Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan mentioned that the police will ensure that no banned firecracker sales take place and will also look after that the time limit is not flouted. The major direction to the police is that if any violation of the order is found then the Officer-in-Charge (OC) or the Station House Officer (SHO) of the concerned police station will be held personally liable and would face proceedings. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedKeeping these points in mind, the police across the state are preparing themselves to comply with the Apex Court order. Sources informed that Kolkata Police have already started gathering information about firecracker factories from the surrounding areas, especially in South 24-Parganas. Senior officials are also mulling to initiate a special raid few days before the Kali Puja to ensure that no banned firecrackers are brought into the city. Apart from Kolkata Police, Bidhannagar Police are also ensuring stringent action against the law violators. Deputy Commissioner (Headquarters) Amit Javalgi said: “We will publicise the court order through media before Diwali. If any complaint comes, we will definitely intervene. We will strictly enforce the timings. Drive against illegal firecracker manufacturing and storing will commence soon.” Meanwhile, the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) welcomed the Supreme Court’s order which permitted the sale and manufacture of low emission “green” firecrackers countrywide but fixed a two-hour time period on Diwali and other festivals. According to reports, the Board had already put in force a mechanism to stop the supply and sale of firecrackers beyond permissible decibel sound limits (90 decibel) since the past couple of years.last_img read more

5 students injured after WBTC bus collides with school bus

first_imgKolkata: A West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) bus collided with a school bus under Kankurgachi rail bridge on Wednesday morning injuring five students less than 13 years of age. All of them were rushed to ESI Hospital near the HUDCO crossing where the doctors treated and discharged them.According to police sources, an empty WBTC bus that was being used for Gangasagar pilgrims was headed towards Maniktala from Kankurgachi. At the same time, a school bus full of students of a private English-medium school in the Ruby Park area was also headed towards Kankurgachi. Under Kankurgachi rail bridge, the WBTC bus hit the right portion of the school bus as a result of which five students fell inside the bus and got injured. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalOn-duty traffic police personnel rushed to the spot and evacuated the students. With assistance from locals, police rushed the injured students to ESI hospital. Meanwhile, the school authority was informed and another bus was arranged. After a while, the other school bus arrived and picked up the other students and dropped them at school. They were all taken for a check-up to a local hospital but none was found to be injured. Later, police seized both the buses and detained the drivers. Both the buses were removed to Phoolbagan police station. A case against the offending WBTC bus driver was initiated on charges of rash driving or riding on a public way (279 IPC) and causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others (338 IPC).last_img read more

2019 Lok Sabha elections Party representatives meet EC officials

first_imgKolkata: Representatives from various political parties on Monday met senior officials of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the state raising various issues related to the process of conducting the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.Senior Trinamool Congress leaders including Partha Chatterjee and Subrata Bakshi brought to the notice of the Chief Electoral Officer a number of concerns. They have demanded that the ECI must inform them about the total number of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) which will be used during the seven-phase elections in the state. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe TMC leaders also wanted to know from the ECI officials as to in what type of media publications the candidates should publish their affidavits. It was not clearly mentioned in the ECI notification if a candidate has to publish his/her affidavit in national or regional newspapers. It was said that the candidates must publish the affidavits containing criminal antecedents, assets, liabilities, dependents, educational qualifications of candidates and the like in both print and electronic media. In the notification, it has been made mandatory that the candidates must publish their details in the media. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataChatterjee told reporters: “In some instances, there is a gap of 14 to 20 days and polling is being held in just two constituencies. Why has this happened? We have raised the issue with the EC officials.” In pursuance of a judgment of the Supreme Court, the ECI has made it mandatory for all candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections to file an affidavit along with the nomination paper and the candidates are required to fill up all the columns. If any column in the affidavit is left blank, the Returning Officer will issue a notice to the candidate to submit a fresh one, duly filling up all columns. After meeting the election officials at the CEO office, Partha Chatterjee said that the polls will be conducted in seven phases. There are some religious rituals of a particular community in May as a result of which voters belonging to that community may face problems. He also added that his party has nothing to worry about as people in the state have witnessed the development works carried out by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her set of ministers. The number of total days allotted for the campaign by the candidates contesting the elections in various phases is different from one phase to another, Chatterjee pointed out. All the Opposition parties in the state — Congress, BJP and CPI-M leaders who met the ECI officials stated that the hoardings and posters carrying the photographs of TMC leaders at various places have not been removed yet. They also urged the ECI officials to ensure that all voters can safely reach their polling stations without any fear. The ECI officials assured them that all their demands would be looked into.last_img read more

WB entertainment industry gets new BJPbacked organisation

first_imgKolkata: Aiming to make the Bengali film and television industry an organised sector and ensuring equal rights for all, a new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-backed organisation has been launched here. The Eastern India Motion Pictures and Cultural Confederation (EIMPCC) was launched on Saturday evening in the presence of West Bengal BJP President and Vice President Dilip Ghosh and Jaiprakash Majumdaar, respuectively. However, eminent designer Agnimitra Paul, who recently joined the BJP and was appointed as the President of the newly formed body, stressed on the apolitical nature of the organisation. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “This platform belongs to everyone working in the cultural fields including films, television, theatre and so on. There will be no interference and be assured that all problems in the entertainment industry will be dealt with. If needed, the matters will be taken to Delhi,” Ghosh said before a gathering of hundreds of artists and technicians. Stressing on the EIMPCC’s focus on genuine talents, Paul said: “Talented artists are not getting work till they are becoming ‘yes-men’ while many are getting opportunities due to political connections. But our organisation is completely apolitical. We won’t give work to people, but will stand by them in times of need”. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state Without naming the Trinamool Congress, she said currently “there wass a lot of interference from a political party” and on many occasions filmmakers are instructed to take particular artists they recommend. Paul condemned the current practices of the industry where “there is no liberty”. She mentioned that she will see to the issues of non-payment, shutting down of single screens and so on. “I repeat that we have no colour and many political parties have endorsed our work, seeing our honesty and integrity towards our work.” It is the organisation’s aim to see that the members of the industry get benefits like health insurance, extra payment for over time and provident fund, Paul added. Director Sanghamitra Chaudhuri, who is the vice Chairperson of EIMPCC, said it should be a collective fight against corrupt practices. Actor George Baker, one of the two nominated Anglo-Indian members of the Lok Sabha, became nostalgic while vouching for unity among the artists and technicians. He said everyone working in front and behind the camera should get their due respect. Trinamool leaders Aroop Biswas and his brother Swarup Biswas hold key positions in existing bodies Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) and the Federation of Cine Technicians and Workers of Eastern India (FCTWEI). Speaking on the occasion, Jaiprakash Majumdaar said their party wants a change and bring back the halycon days of the Bengali film industry which has been enriched by the creations of legendary directors like Mrinal Sen and Satyajit Ray. He said that they will see to end of the dominance of Biswas brothers. Negating Trinamool’s allegations against the BJP for politicising the entertainment industry, Paul said: “We are trying to break the existing political practices here and BJP leaders like Dilip Ghosh, Jaiprakash Majumdaar have endorsed us and rendered their support.”last_img read more

Wellness guide to quit smoking drinking

first_imgMost 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.last_img read more

Do This to Prevent Cybercrime and Save Your Business from Disaster

first_img Not long ago, I heard FBI Director James Comey say, “There are two kinds of big companies in the United States. There are those who’ve been hacked … and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked.” I took note and quietly patted myself on the back, knowing I’d taken precautions and thinking we were ahead of the game on this one. But then I got the call every CEO dreads. It was a panicked employee who was about to send a screenshot of something they’d just seen on our intern’s computer. “You have 96 hours to pay a ransom or your data will be permanently locked,” the email read. Related: 3 Lessons From Sony Pictures Cautionary TaleFortunately for us, we had a cyber-incident response plan already in place, and I immediately put the plan into motion. As a result, we prevented calamity. Policy, process and practices were what saved us from an embarrassing and debilitating breach.We got lucky. Putting a number to all of those victimized by cybercrime is difficult — if not impossible — but news headlines ranging from the Home Depot, Apple iCloud and Anthem breaches make it clear: This can happen to anyone.Cybercrime trendsThere’s a new risk every day. As quickly as technology grows and changes, so do the threats. Even if you think you’re not at risk because you don’t store consumer data, realize that hackers may target you to access larger businesses you deal with through portals or electronic data exchanges.Threats are not just consumer data or intellectual property. Everything is interconnected. If hackers access the plans to one component, it may be interchangeable and create vulnerabilities in other processes, divisions, intranets or extranets.Threats aren’t limited to consumer data. Foreign powers and those willing to sell to the highest bidder can cause U.S. businesses to lose a competitive advantage on the global stage anytime a breach occurs.Cybercrime prevention is now considered a cost of doing businessCyber attacks are not a matter of “if” but “when.” Cybercrime needs to be viewed as any other business risk, and the investment in cyber security cannot be negligible. According to a 2014 Hewlett Packard study, the average annualized cost incurred per attack was $12.7 million, with a range of $1.6 million to $61 million. For protection, experts suggest developing a cyber-audit committee with a multifunctional and multidisciplinary plan of action.Related: Why Your Password is Hackerbait Responding to an attack will require action from not only the IT department but from public relations, social media and customer service. A company has a very short window of time in which to inform customers of the breach. Do you know yours?Risks aren’t limited to a particular industry or a specific size of business. The profile of a cyber attacker may vary, but can be associated with organized crime, terrorists, nation states, internal threats or disgruntled employees and ransom attacks.For international businesses, the risks are expanded and may change based on region. An outside risk assessment can provide invaluable insights that an internal team may not be able to provide. Even if your business’s internal data isn’t compromised, social media accounts can be hacked and cause serious damage to your reputation.Even if you have a top-notch cyber security plan in place, human error can create some of the greatest risks for exposure — as in our case, with an intern.Protect yourselfUse long passwords. Do not use the same password for all accountsPut policies in place that require strong passwords, and require new passwords that were not previously used at regular intervalsAvoid the temptation of “free” WiFi and hotspots. These networks aren’t secure and your data can be exposedConsider encrypting all emailsDevelop a cyber-incident response plan that includes your board, legal, IT and managementCybercrime is not a problem we’re going to fix or solve. Businesses have to find a balance between the amount of resources they’re willing or able to invest in security while maintaining effectiveness in all other areas.As Bill Gates said: “Treatment without prevention is simply unsustainable.”Related: Obama Heads to Silicon Valley to Discuss Hacking Threats With CEOs March 19, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 4 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

A New Wave of HR Technology Is Disrupting the Market

first_img 4 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global There’s a pattern in the lifespan of human resources (HR) technology companies of the past two decades: they get gobbled up. The pioneering firms in HR technology from the late 1990’s to early 2000’s were mostly acquired by bigger enterprise companies in need of a few product parts. IBM acquired Kenexa, Oracle bought Taleo and SuccessFactors was acquired by SAP.With those acquisitions, founders and early employees left and innovation died. Then came the Great Recession and all investment ended. Today, industry experts like Sheeroy Desai, CEO at recruiting and HR management platform Gild, think job growth is finally hitting stride. Though some bigger players appear stagnant and still, HR tech companies are growing quickly, as hot, agile startup technologies enter the field.Related: Why You Need to Embrace the Big Data Trend in HR“In the past decade this stagnation has allowed Workday to emerge as a new disrupter,” Desai remarks, “but with almost no real competition even Workday has not brought the level of innovation that is truly needed.”“Almost every current HR function operates under 20th century principles of past practices, efficiency, risk avoidance, legal compliance, and hunch-based people management decisions,” remarks HR thought leader, Dr. John Sullivan. But, today, there is a new set of entrants who are challenging the status quo.These companies are different from their predecessors in HR technology, in that they are founded by fresh-eyed engineers and non-HR practitioners approaching technologies and processes from a consumer perspective. HR tech companies like Zenefits (now valued at $4.5 billion in just two years) in the HR benefits space, Expensify in employee reimbursements, ZenPayroll changing payroll, and Gild in the area of recruiting.Bigger, faster, better.According to the Industry Trends in Human Resources Technology and Service Delivery Survey by Information Services Group (ISG), those HR technologies succeeding are the ones where:They’ve built user interfaces that deliver a consumer-like experience and include mobile and social capabilities.Cloud technology is creating massive economies of scale for HR customers at the same time, reducing IT resource involvement.Real-time workforce visibility and flexibility allow for organizations to respond to changing market conditions.New technologies can be integrated into surrounding business processes.Related: 4 Technologies That Free HR to Work With People Instead of Just Their PaperworkHR tech is,  out of necessity, playing catch-up to marketing and operations technology advancements. Data-driven marketing predictions and decisions are made more quickly from today’s advanced big data collection and interpretation. But old-school, limited HR practitioners don’t have these same decision-making tools. It’s costing companies in employee engagement.“Instant feedback mechanisms can significantly improve engagement and motivation by consistently guiding employees in the right direction,” warns Matt Straz, founder and CEO of Namely.Meanwhile, some are suggesting that advanced predictive analytics may be the future of HR and talent management. That’s where the engineers and data crunchers come in. Better HR technology directly affects them. Think spotty expense reports or desktop-only benefit form completion. Today’s HTML5, social authentication and flat, optimized UI design is an entire toolkit of material to work with to improve legacy systems.Data shows organizations are upgrading to these new capabilities, too. While incumbent companies appear to be missing this wave, and have lost sight of the needs and pressures of their customers, fresh, new customer-engineered technologies are advancing the human resources industry.Related: 5 Ways HR Technology Can Improve Performance Reviews Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. May 21, 2015 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

An Updated List of Facebooks Algorithm Changes

first_imgNovember 23, 2017 Listen Now 15+ min read If you do Facebook marketing, one thing that you might want to understand is the Facebook algorithm.The Facebook algorithm helps make sense of the huge number of posts that people and businesses share every day and chooses the posts to show in our News Feed based on a huge number of factors.We want to help you understand how your Facebook posts get viewed on Facebook. So we’re collecting all the relevant Facebook algorithm factors, updates, and changes and placing them here in this post for easy reference.Read on, and see what goes into the complex, fascinating formulas of the Facebook News Feed.Facebook algorithm valuesUnderstanding the Facebook algorithm starts with knowing the core values that Facebook uses to guide their thinking and work. These values can give you a hint of what content will do well or not so well on Facebook.Here’s a brief summary of Facebook’s News Feed values:Friends and family come first: The main objective of the News Feed is to connect people with their friends and family. So posts from friends and family are prioritized. After those posts, Facebook found that people want their feed to inform and entertain them.A platform for all ideas: Facebook welcomes all ideas while making sure that everyone feels and is safe. They aim to deliver stories that each individual wants to see the most, based on their actions and feedback.Authentic communications: Facebook prioritizes genuine stories over misleading, sensational and spammy ones.You control your experience: Individuals know themselves best. So Facebook creates features (such as “unfollow” and “see first”) to let people customize their Facebook experience.Constant iteration: Facebook strives to constantly collect feedback and improve the platform.The overview of the Facebook algorithmSo how does Facebook decide what to show in a News Feed?Here’s a quick overview of how the Facebook News Feed works, according to Adam Mosseri, VP of Product Management for News Feed:To make it easy for you to understand the Facebook algorithm, we went through all the (known) changes that Facebook has implemented to its algorithm and came up with a list of factors that we think may determine whether your post shows up or not.Do this: The Facebook algorithm loves …Posts with lots of Likes, comments and sharesPosts that receive a high volume of Likes, comments or shares in a short timePosts that are Liked, commented on, or shared by one’s friendsLink postsPost types that one interacts with oftenPost types that users seem to prefer more than others (e.g., photo, video or status update)Videos uploaded to Facebook that receive a large number of views or extended viewing durationPosts that are timely or reference a trending topicPosts from Pages that one interacts with oftenPosts from Pages with complete profile informationPosts from Pages where the fan base overlaps with the fan base of other known high-quality pagesWatch out for: The Facebook algorithm is not too keen on …ClickbaitLike-baitingPosts that include spammy linksFrequently circulated content and repeated postsText-only status updates from PagesPosts that are frequently hidden or reported (a sign of low quality)Posts that ask for likes, comments, or sharesPosts with unusual engagement patterns (a like-baiting signal)Overly promotional content from Pages—pushing people to buy an app or service, pushing people to enter a contest or sweepstakes, posts that reuse the same text from adsTo help you grow your Facebook Page reach, here are a few guides that you might like:Post Less, Boost Top Posts, and More: 14 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Page EngagementThe Simple Facebook Posting Strategy That Helped us 3x Our Reach and Engagement17 Ways to Get More Views, Engagement, and Shares for Your Facebook VideosIf you want to dig into the Facebook News Feed algorithm, read on to find out all the relevant changes Facebook has made.All relevant changes to the Facebook News Feed algorithm(Last updated: October 2017)Here’s a summary of all the changes that are relevant to social media marketers, in reverse-chronological order.If you want to know more about any particular change, just click on the quick link and you’ll get more information about the change and how it may affect your Page.August 28, 2017: Pages that share false news will no longer be able to run Facebook ads.August 17, 2017: Posts that pretends to be a video will be demoted in the News Feed.August 2, 2017: Posts with links that load slowly on mobile will be shown less in the News Feed.May 17, 2017: Posts with clickbait headlines will rank lower in the News Feed.May 10, 2017: Posts that link to websites with low-quality experience will rank lower in the News Feed.January 31, 2017: Authentic and timely posts will rank better in the News Feed.January 26, 2017: Long, engaging videos will rank better in the News Feed (than short, engaging videos)August 11, 2016: Posts that are informative will rank higher in the News Feed of people whom might find them relevant.June 29, 2016: Posts from friends will rank (even) higher in the News Feed.April 21, 2016: Posts with links that keep people engaged will rank higher in the News Feed.March 1, 2016: Live videos will rank higher in the News Feed when they are live than after they end.February 24, 2016: Facebook launched Reactions to help businesses understand how people are responding to their posts.December 4, 2015: Facebook uses surveys to improve News Feed ranking.July 9, 2015: Facebook makes it easier for people to control what they see on their News Feed.June 29, 2015: Facebook now considers more actions on videos while ranking videos in the News Feed.June 12, 2015: Time spent on stories becomes a ranking factor.April 21, 2015: Posts from friends will rank higher in the News Feed.March 5, 2015: Facebook updates how Likes are counted.January 20, 2015: Hoaxes will receive less reach and have an added warning.January 7, 2015: Video is growingNovember 14, 2014: Overly promotional posts will receive less reach on Facebook.September 18, 2014: Facebook will be considering the rate at which people interact with posts.September 11, 2014: Offensive or inappropriate ads will be shown less or stopped.August 25, 2014: Facebook will look at bounce rate to determine if an article has a clickbait headline.June 23, 2014: Facebook can now rank videos uploaded directly to Facebook better than links to video sites.September 11, 2014: Posts that explicitly ask for engagement will be ranked lower in the News Feed.August 23, 2013: Facebook has developed a new algorithm to find and show high-quality content to usersAugust 28, 2017: Pages that repeatedly share false newsFacebook will be blocking Pages that share false news from buying ads on Facebook. Facebook found that some Pages had been using Facebook ads to build their following and share false news more widely. To prevent the spread of false news on Facebook, Pages that repeatedly share false news will no longer be allowed to buy Facebook ads (until they stop sharing such news).The false news will be identified by third-party fact-checkers.August 17, 2017: Video clickbaitFacebook will be demoting Facebook posts that pretend to be a video.Spammers have been tricking people to click on Facebook posts that look like a video but aren’t. These deceptive posts are often videos with just a static image, or they feature a false video play button when it’s actually a link.Here’s an example from Facebook:August 2, 2017: Webpage load timeFacebook will be showing fewer stories with links that might take a long time to load.It’s frustrating when a website takes a long time to load. Facebook found that “As many as 40 percent of website visitors abandon a site after three seconds of delay.”Hence, Facebook is rolling out an update to show more posts with links that load quickly and fewer posts with links that might load slowly, in the News Feed.May 17, 2017: Clickbait headlinesFacebook is rolling out an update to show fewer posts with clickbait headlines.In its continued effort to make Facebook an informed community, Facebook is reducing the number of clickbait stories in the News Feed. This includes posts with headlines that withhold or exaggerate information, such as the following:“When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS…”“WOW! Ginger tea is the secret to everlasting youth. You’ve GOT to see this!”Posts that link to articles with such headlines will rank lower in the News Feed.May 10, 2017: Low-quality webpage experienceFacebook is rolling out an update to show fewer posts and ads that link to websites with low-quality experience.To help build an informed community on Facebook, Facebook will be showing fewer posts that are “misleading, sensational and spammy”. Specifically, they are referring to websites with low-quality experiences, such as the following:Websites that contain little substantive contentWebsites that have a large number of disruptive, shocking or malicious adsPosts that link to such websites will rank lower in the News Feed and might not be allowed to be used as Facebook ads.January 31, 2017: Authentic and timely storiesFacebook is making two changes to help authentic and timely stories rank better.To surface authentic content, Facebook will be analyzing Facebook Pages to see if they have been posting spam or trying to game the News Feed by asking for Likes, comments, or shares. If Facebook finds that a Page’s posts might not be authentic, such as people are often hiding those posts, Facebook will rank those posts lower in the News Feed.To show people stories at the right time, Facebook will now study how people interact with posts in real time. For example, if there’s an important soccer game going on and many people are talking about it on Facebook, Facebook will show relevant posts higher in the News Feed.January 26, 2017: Video completionFacebook is going to show long videos that people spend time watching to even more people.When ranking videos in the News Feed, a factor that Facebook considers is “percent completion” — the percentage of the video you watched.Facebook now recognize that it takes more commitment to complete a long video than a short one. So it will now put more weight on the “percent completion” factor for longer videos.As an example, if people are, on average, watching 50 percent of a 30-second video and 50 percent of a 10-minute video, the 10-minute video will rank better in the News Feed than the 30-second video. That’s because the 10-minute video has to be more engaging than the 30-second video to keep people watching for five minutes (vs. 15 seconds).August 11, 2016: Personally informative storiesFacebook will be showing you more stories that are personally informative to you.From its Feed Quality Program, Facebook found that people enjoy stories that are informative to them. Using the patterns that they learned from the program, Facebook will try to identify stories that are informative — usually, if they are related to people’s interests, if they engage people in broader discussions, and if they contain news relevant to them.Facebook will then combine this new signal with signals of how relevant the story might be to each individual, to predict if they might like it.June 29, 2016: Stories from friendsFacebook will be showing stories from close friends higher up in the News Feed.Despite the previous update, people are still worried about missing important updates from their close friends. So Facebook is tweaking the News Feed algorithm again to rank posts from close friends higher up in the News Feed.April 21, 2016: Time spent viewingFacebook will be ranking articles that it thinks you will spend time reading, higher in the News Feed.Facebook learned that the amount of time someone spent reading or watching the content of an article indicates how interesting the article was to them. So Facebook is adding a new ranking factor — how long someone might spend looking at the article.To keep things fair between short and long articles, Facebook will be looking at the time spent within a threshold.A smaller change within this update is that Facebook will be showing fewer posts from the same Page together in the News Feed. That’s because people find that repetitive and prefers content from a diverse range of Pages.March 1, 2016: Facebook LiveFacebook is more likely to rank Facebook Live videos higher in the News Feed when those videos are live than when they are no longer live.Facebook found that, “People spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live.” That’s because those videos are more interesting when the event being filmed is happening live than after the event.February 24, 2016: Facebook ReactionsFacebook recently rolled out Reactions — their supercharged “Like” button — to help businesses better understand how people are responding to their content.For a start, when someone uses a Reaction, Facebook will infer they want to see more of that type of post, just like when they Like a post. But this could change.December 4, 2015: SurveysFacebook surveys thousands of people every day to improve the News Feed ranking.Besides looking at quantitative signals such as Likes, comments, and shares, Facebook also surveys thousands of people every day to understand whether the News Feed algorithm is showing people the posts they want to see.Here’s an example of the survey:If a popular post isn’t something that the people surveyed want to see, Facebook will rank that post lower in the future.July 9, 2015: Greater user control over the News FeedFacebook is making it easier for people to adjust and customize their News Feed settings.The preferences tab will be more visible and more intuitive, allowing people to find Pages and people to like and follow and easily selecting to follow/unfollow certain content.June 29, 2015: Actions on VideosFacebook now considers more actions on videos while ranking videos in the News Feed.Facebook found that many people don’t feel inclined to Like, comment on or share a video even when they enjoyed the video.So besides considering whether someone watched the video and for how long, Facebook is now taking into account of more actions such as choosing to turn on the sound, watching the video in full screen and enabling high definition. These actions indicate that they enjoyed the video.June 12, 2015: Time spent on storiesHow much time you spend viewing stories becomes a factor that Facebook uses to determine what to show at the top of your News Feed.While many people might not Like, comment on, or share a post that they found meaningful, they would likely spend more time on it than other posts. Hence, Facebook is taking this as a signal for ranking Facebook posts.By understanding what types of content someone prefers, Facebook can surface similar types of content higher up in their News Feed.April 21, 2015: Content from friends and PagesFacebook is rolling out three updates to improve the experience of the News Feed.The first is for people who do not have much content to see — maybe because they don’t follow many people or Pages. Facebook used to have a rule that prevents people from seeing multiples stories from the same source in succession. They are now relaxing the rule so that if you reach the end of your News Feed but still want to see more stories, you’ll see more.The second is to show posts from friends you care about, higher in your News Feed so that you are less likely to miss them. If you read and interact with posts from Pages, you’ll still see them on your News Feed.The third is to reduce or remove stories about friends liking or commenting on a post, such as this:March 5, 2015: Facebook LikesFacebook to update the way Page Likes are counted, removing the Likes of memorialized accounts and deactivated accounts.January 20, 2015: Facebook targets hoaxesFacebook aims to reduce the number of hoaxes in News Feed with algorithm tweak.To reduce the number of posts containing misleading or false news, Facebook has announced that the News Feed algorithm will begin to factor in when many people flag a post as false or choose to delete posts.Facebook will reduce the reach of such posts and add a warning on the post (without reviewing or removing the post).January 7, 2015: Video is growingFacebook has provided some new stats and tips on using video, including these:In just one year, the number of video posts per person has increased 75 percent globally and 94 percent in the US.The amount of video from people and brands in the News Feed has increased 3.6x year-over-year.Since June 2014, Facebook has averaged more than 1 billion video views every day.On average, more than 50 percent of people who come to Facebook every day in the U.S. watch at least one video daily.Seventy-six percent of people in the US who use Facebook say they tend to discover the videos they watch on Facebook.November 14, 2014: Overly promotional Page postsFacebook is rolling out an update to reduce the number of overly promotional posts in the News Feed.Facebook heard from people that they want less promotional content on their News Feed and more stories from friends and Pages they Like.After digging into their data, Facebook found that these are the types of posts that people find too promotional:Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an appPosts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real contextPosts that reuse the exact same content from adsHere’s an example:September 18, 2014: When people Like and commentFacebook will be looking at when people are Liking, commenting, and sharing.Facebook used to only look at the total number of Likes on a post when ranking it in the News Feed. Now, Facebook will also look at the rate at which people are Liking, commenting on and sharing a post.September 11, 2014: Offensive or inappropriate adsFacebook stops showing ads that are offensive or inappropriate.When people hide ads in their News Feed, Facebook takes it as a signal that others might not want to see them, too, and show them to fewer people.Now, Facebook is also asking people why they hid the ads. If it’s because the ad is offensive or inappropriate, Facebook will stop showing the ad.August 25, 2014: Bounce rateFacebook will be looking at bounce rate to determine if an article is using a clickbait headline.If someone clicks on an article and returns to Facebook immediately (or “bounce”), it might mean that they didn’t find what they were expecting. This is often because the article is using a clickbait headline. Facebook will be using this signal when ranking the article in the News Feed.In addition, Facebook will also be monitoring if people are Liking, commenting on, or sharing the article after they click on it. If few people are, it’s likely that the article is not valuable, relevant, or meaningful. Facebook will then rank it lower in the News Feed.Facebook will also be ranking posts with a link preview higher in the News Feed than posts with a link just in the caption — as the link preview shows more information about the article.June 23, 2014: Better videosFacebook will now be able to understand (and rank) videos uploaded directly to Facebook better.For videos that are uploaded to Facebook directly, Facebook is now able to know whether someone has watched it and for how long. It seems that they are unable to do that for links to YouTube (or other video sites) videos.Having this new information will allow Facebook to rank Facebook videos better. Early tests have shown that people are watching more videos that are relevant to them.September 11, 2014: Like-baitingFacebook will show fewer posts that explicitly ask for Likes, comments, or shares.Some Pages try to game the News Feed algorithm by explicitly asking for Likes, comments and shares. Here’s an example:As people have reported that such posts are less relevant than posts with a similar amount of engagement, Facebook will be ranking these posts lower in the News Feed.August 23, 2013: High-quality contentFacebook has developed a new algorithm to find and show high-quality content to users.To build the algorithm, Facebook surveyed thousands of people and put the results into a machine learning system. Here are some of the questions they asked:Is this timely and relevant content?Is this content from a source you would trust?Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g. asking for people to like the content)Would you call this a low quality post or meme?Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?The algorithm also uses thousand other factors to determine if a post is a high-quality content. Some of these factors include “how frequently content from a certain Page that is reported as low quality (e.g. hiding a Page post), how complete the Page profile is, and whether the fan base for a particular Page overlaps with the fan base for other known high quality Pages. This story originally appeared on Buffer Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. How Success Happenslast_img read more

Amazon Prime Day Preview 30 Off Kindle Paperwhite 2018

first_img Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2019Which laptop brand is best? We’ve ranked every major player from Apple to Huawei based on review scores, tech support, innovation and more.Volume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Which 13-inch MacBook Is Right For You?03:46关闭选项Automated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/prime-day-preview-20-kindle-paperwhite-50-oasis?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0001:3001:30Your Recommended Playlist03:46MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Which 13-inch MacBook Is Right For You?02:01Apple’s Mac & iPad Pro Event: 5 Things You Need To Know01:30How to Use VLOOKUP in Excel01:07How to Find Your MAC Address in Windows 1001:34How to Reset a Windows 10 PC01:32How to Turn Your Windows 10 PC into a Wireless Display关闭  by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GameIf you’re over 40 – this game is a must!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoKelley Blue Book5 Mid-engine Corvettes That Weren’tKelley Blue BookUndoCNN International for ANAWhy Tennis Pundits Are Tipping This WomanCNN International for ANAUndoVerizon WirelessThis new phone will blow your mind.Verizon WirelessUndoTODAYPolice Identify Girl Licking Ice Cream Tub In Viral VideoTODAYUndoMy Food and FamilyHealthy, Homemade Drunken Thai Noodles In Just 20 MinutesMy Food and FamilyUndoAdvertisement Best Laptop DealsAmazon Prime Day 2019: What to Expectcenter_img Good news for procrastinators still looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift. Although Amazon Prime Day is still about a month away, the retailer is currently discounting its best-selling e-Readers, so now’s your chance to pick one up for dad. For a limited time, you can get the Editor’s Choice Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) for $99.99. Normally priced at $129.99, that’s $30 off and the second lowest price we’ve ever seen for this e-Reader. It features a 6-inch anti-glare display with a 300 ppi pixel density, and an adjustable 5 LED front light which is perfect for bedtime reading. With its ultra-portable design and 8GB of storage built-in, it offers convenient one-handed reading and ample space to hold thousands of eBooks, newspapers, and audiobooks. And with its ultra long-lasting battery, you’ll be able to enjoy your library for up to 6 weeks between charges. Sister site Tom’s Guide reviewed the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite and loved its waterproof design and Bluetooth functionality for audiobooks. Despite its lack of a power adapter (sold separately), the Kindle Paperwhite earned a 4.5 out of 5 rating for its superior functionality.Simply put, the Kindle Paperwhite is the best overall e-reader around. AdvertisementBuy the Kindle Paperwhite (2018) for $99.99 from AmazonIf you’re on a smaller budget, as an alternative, Amazon also offers the All-new Kindle (2019) for just $69.99 ($20 off). It packs a 6-inch anti-glare display with a 167 ppi pixel density, 4 LED front lights, 4GB of storage, and 4 weeks of battery life.This deal is for a limited time only, so don’t wait to grab Amazon’s best e-reader for a great price.  Kindle Paperwhite 2019 Credit: Amazonlast_img read more

Momentous day for NCL with Norwegian Sky in Havana

first_img 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 center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by “Momentous day” for NCL with Norwegian Sky in Havanalast_img read more

Arenal Report

first_imgOnce again Mount Chirripó must bow its majestic head, this time to the intrepid 2013 Arenal Expedition Team. Months ago,David Fountaine, Jim Aoki, Rob and Denice Ley, Jeff Spencer, and Scott Schillereff committed to attempt reaching the summit of Costa Rica’s highest peak, Mount Chirripo.Huddled together in the dark, unheated summit camp with howling icy winds beating on the walls of their small cabin, each member of the team considered the whether the final assault on the summit would be possible. Who would stay behind and who would set out in the pre-dawn darkness? When time came for each climber to decide whether he (or she) had enough physical strength and will to go on, the commitment was unanimous.Recall that the Arenal area was being saturated by five consecutive days of rain, compliments of the Arctic air mass invading deep into the northern hemisphere. Of course, Arenal’s weather caused only inconvenience. Try to imagine the icy wind chill at 12,000-plus feet, penetrating layer upon layer of protective clothing designed with modern technology for climbers exposed to extreme weather conditions.There are two decision points on Chirripó where climbers choose to continue their trek or pack it in and retreat. The first is about halfway up, providing a small comfort station with two rustic wood tables. The second is 13 kilometers upslope and is titled, “The Repentants.”Climbers who choose to go on are surprised at the relative ease of the next kilometer or so which is a slight downgrade. Then, after rounding a turn in the rock-strewn trail reveals a beautiful vista of Chirripó’s craggy heights comes the appalling realization that the rest of the climb to the summit will be nearly vertical! Stamina-sapping cold and wind suddenly become intrusive, but there it is, the prize, The Summit! At this moment the question of, “Can I do it?” must become, “I can do it.” (After all, it would be totally lame for the grandkids to exclaim, “Grandpa almost made it to the top of Chirripó!”)With great determination, the Arenal Team departed the camp at 2:30 a.m. They struggled onward, encouraging each other with every step, until, at last, the summit! It was 40 minutes before sunrise. The temperature, including the effect of blustery winds, was minus 21 degrees Fahrenheit. But at least it wasn’t snowing.It is said that on a clear day, Cuba may be seen from the top of Chirripó, but not this time, as the majestic peak of Chirripo was high above the clouds.To celebrate their success, Scott produced a coffee maker from his backpack and prepared a steaming cup of coffee for everyone. (See summit picture). After much picture taking with the sun rising from below them, the group descended to explore the nearby peaks of Crestones and Terbi, noting geologic formations dating back to the Ice Age when glaciers moved among these mountains.After completing their descent, the Team enjoyed an overnight stay in a local hotel to thaw out and celebrate their victory over Chirripó – a mountain that has sent many climbers home in tears.A victory party celebrating the Arenal Expedition Team’s success is planned after aches, pains and strains have resolved. Congratulations David, Jim, Rob, Denice, Jeff and Scott!-William & Jean [email protected] Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Rica ranks healthiest country in Latin America

first_imgAlong with being one of the happiest places in the world, it turns out Costa Rica is among the healthiest. A recent study by Bloomberg ranks Costa Rica as the healthiest country in Latin America and 24th worldwide.Bloomberg used data from the United Nations, World Health Organization and World Bank to create health scores and health risk scores for countries with populations of at least 1 million. The World’s Healthiest Countries list ranks countries by subtracting their risk score from their health score.Costa Rica ranks 24th globally and tops the Latin America list, followed by Chile and Cuba.The analysis takes into account health indicators including child mortality, life expectancy and mortality rates from 145 countries. It also evaluates health risk factors such as the percentage of the population that smokes, is obese or overweight or has high cholesterol or high blood pressure, among others.In the Americas, Costa Rica ranks as the second healthiest country behind Canada. The U.S. ranks fifth in the regional list and 33rd in the global ranking.Other Latin American countries that made the world’s top 50 healthiest countries are Mexico at 37, Panama at 38, Ecuador at 47 and Argentina at 48.The worst-rated Latin American countries are El Salvador, at No. 78 out of 145 countries, Guatemala at 83 and Bolivia at 93.Singapore is the world’s healthiest country, according to the Bloomberg ranking, followed by Italy and Australia.Recommended: Costa Rican diet includes too much salt, processed food, experts say Related posts:Agriculture Ministry surveys population’s consumption of fruits, vegetables, seafood Costa Rican diet includes too much salt, processed food, experts say Number of obese Ticos has almost quadrupled in four decades Costa Rica ponders tax on fast food, soft drinks Facebook Commentslast_img read more

45 companies hiring at job fair this week

first_imgRelated posts:Bilingual employment fair to offer 3,800 jobs Job fair features companies seeking 1,500 employees Costa Rica job fair Tuesday focuses on tourism industry Accenture announces 300 new jobs in Costa Rica Universidad Latinain Costa Rica is holding a job fair Feb. 2-3, where recruiters from 45 companies will look to fill 1,500 vacancies.On Tuesday the job fair will take place at the university’s campus in Heredia, while on Wednesday recruiters will be at the San Pedro campus, east of San José. The fair will run from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. both days and admission is free.Companies are looking for professionals in business administration, accounting, finances, public relations, marketing, audio-visual production, journalism, information technology, industrial engineering, tourism, graphic design, international commerce, psychology, human resources and advertising.The university’s employment office coordinator, María Fernanda Cordero, said the fair is not just an event for companies to “collect résumés for their databases.” She said most positions are open for immediate hiring.Among the companies that will be looking for new employees are McKinsey, Hotel Reserva Conchal, Sykes, Repretel, Multivex Empleos.net, Experian, Convergys, MBC Developers, Teleperformance, Lets go Internship, Procter & Gamble, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Henkel, Nestlé, Cinde Talent Place, VMware, Productos de Concreto, Young 360, Corporación Strena, Can Capital, Grupo Bimbo, Intercultura, Cayuga Corporate, Digital Graffiti, Andaz Hotel, DHL, QSR, Pepsico, Coca Cola, DHL and others.Interested job-seekers must bring printed and digital résumés. A pre-registration form is available online at the university’s website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

5 Things to Know About Gen Joseph Dunford

first_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona ___BACKGROUNDHe’s Irish Catholic, the same as the current chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey. He attended St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., Georgetown University, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts.___“FIGHTING JOE”He earned the nickname “Fighting Joe” when he led the 5th Marine Regiment during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and is known as a relentless, energetic commander. His staff members sometimes carry a voice recorder with them to keep up with his commands and ideas.___TALKING TO TROOPSHis selection as the nominee for chairman was hailed on the Marine Corps’ Facebook page with the customary Marine salute: “Ooh-Rah, Sir!” But Dunford’s own Twitter account had no mention of the announcement, in keeping with his usual self-effacing, soft-spoken nature. Known for his compassion with troops, Dunford often sent handwritten condolence letters to families of the fallen. But he also would talk at length about the toll the Afghanistan war was having on the local forces, and while serving in Kabul he would attend weekly services honoring the Afghans who were killed in the fight. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, Jr., listens in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2015, as President Barack Obama announces he will nominate Dunford as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Obama chose the widely respected, combat-hardened commander who led the Afghanistan war coalition during a key transitional period during 2013-2014 to succeed Army Gen. Martin Dempsey. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility ___ON THE LISTHe was #7 on Fortune magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” in 2014. The magazine quoted Dunford as saying that his first battalion commander told him the three rules to success. The first? Surround yourself with good people. “Over the years,” said Dunford, “I’ve forgotten the other two.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama nominated Marine Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford on Tuesday to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top U.S. military position, replacing Army Gen. Martin Dempsey.Five things to know about Dunford:___FOLLOWING IN DAD’S FOOTSTEPSDunford, 59, joined the Marine Corps in 1977, following in the footsteps of his father, a Marine who served in Korea and later became a Boston police officer. Raised in South Boston and later Quincy, Massachusetts, he’s a die-hard Red Sox fan who kept team caps in his office in Kabul during his 2013-14 Afghanistan tour as the top U.S. commander there. President Barack Obama, during Tuesday’s announcement at the White House, noted, “The only downside in my book is as a White Sox fan, there is yet another Red Sox fan who I’m going to have to be dealing with.” Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Double suicide bombing kills hardline rebel leader in Syria

center_img Sponsored Stories BEIRUT (AP) — A double suicide bombing in northern Syria on Tuesday targeted the headquarters of an ultraconservative Islamic rebel group, killing its leader and several other high ranking members.The attack marked the second time in less than a year that a bombing takes out the leadership of Ahrar al-Sham, one of the most powerful Islamic groups fighting both President Bashar Assad’s forces and its rival, the Islamic State group, which holds wide swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

Obama vigorously challenges critics of landmark Iran deal

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility WASHINGTON (AP) — Vigorously challenging his critics, President Barack Obama launched an aggressive and detailed defense of a landmark Iranian nuclear accord Wednesday, rejecting the idea that it leaves Tehran on the brink of a bomb and arguing the only alternative to the diplomatic deal is war.“Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war,” Obama said during a lengthy White House news conference. “Those are the options.” Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Obama insisted sanctions on Iran could be “snapped back” in place if Iran cheats on the deal, even if Russia and China object. He defended the 24-day window Iran would have before international inspectors gain access to suspicious sites, saying nuclear material “leaves a trace” and suggesting the U.S. has other means of monitoring facilities. And he shrugged off concerns that a United Nations arms embargo on Iran could be lifted in five years, saying the U.S. and its partners have others ways of preventing Iran from sending weapons to militant groups.Taken together, Obama said, the deal marks a rare opportunity to cut off Iran’s pathways to a bomb and bolster the safety of the U.S. and the rest of the world.“If we don’t choose wisely, I believe future generations will judge us harshly for letting this moment slip away,” he said.___AP writer Josh Lederman contributed to this report.___Follow Julie Pace at https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2032/IMG3884.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more

Records Broken Thirsty Thursdays Melbourne

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A A Melbourne laneway came to life last night when the travel industry gathered at Charlie’s Bar for the first Melbourne Thirsty Thursdays of the year.With major sponsors VISA on board along with ANZ, Touchdown Tours and Breakaway Travel Club, some 150 guests enjoyed canapes and drinks whilst waiting with bated breath for their name to be called out.A record number of guests made way for a record number of prizes and more than a few surprises. In addition to our major prizes of over $2000 in VISA prepaid cards, a 4 night deluxe Nile Cruise and tickets to the famed Tutankhamun exhbition at Melbourne Museum, ANZ surprised every attendee with a prepaid card…each!Guests received up to $300 per person in celebration of ANZ’s newest product, a VISA prepaid card that offers 10 different currencies on the one card.Anthony Cassar, general manager Breakaway Travel Club, was also on hand to answer any queries guests had and surprised current members with free renewal and new members with free membership.Photo booth hilarity ensued well into the night and everyone got in touch with their inner Egyptian for posterity.Stay tuned for details on our next Melbourne event and click here to view several of the photos from last night…many more will be added in the coming days.last_img read more

The Appointment Group appoints Vicky Hartley to Global Events Singapo

first_imgThe Appointment Group appoints Vicky Hartley to Global Events, SingaporeThe Appointment Group – Asia Pacific has announced the appointment of Vicky Hartley as Event Director, Global Events, Singapore.Vicky brings over seventeen years of international experience across all aspects of the industry including hospitality, incentives, conferences, sales, marketing and exhibitions.She began her career in the United Kingdom and has managed conferences and incentives across four continents for global companies, including projects for the London Olympics, 2012.Following the Olympics she was headhunted to run the busy meetings and events division at Wembley Stadium, delivering over 300 meetings, conferences and exhibitions on an annual basis.She was instrumental in developing and running ‘Clearwinners’, an innovative and award winning incentive scheme for the UK events industry.Vicky moved to Singapore at the end of 2016 and later joined The Appointment Group – Global Events, Asia Pacific team. Under the guidance of General Manager Laura Tucker, she will spearhead the company’s expansion into the Asia Pacific MICE market.“We are delighted to have Vicky on the team. Her phenomenal global experience across events, operations, marketing and travel management is a huge asset for our Singapore office and further cements our expertise in the market”, said Laura Tucker, General Manager for The Appointment Group, Global Events, Asia Pacific.Source = The Appointment Grouplast_img read more

Nairobi is set to become East Africas culinary hub

first_imgTwo unique awards programmes, which aim to catapult Kenya’s culinary and beverage service industries to globally recognised and competitive levels, have been launched in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.In the spirit of re-branding Nairobi, the County Executive of Trade Industrialisation, Cooperative Development & Tourism, Anna Othoro, mentioned the need to differentiate “Nairobi as a Brand” and explore the “Live-Love Nairobi” campaign through culinary tourism.Following the hugely successful first chapter of the Chefs Delight Awards programme in 2012 / 2013, International Quality Awards Ltd (IQAL) and Go Places, the country’s authoritative hospitality and tourism marketing brand, officially announced the commencement of the 2nd chapter of the awards programme, at the Louis Leakey auditorium at the Kenya National Museum, Nairobi.Mansoor Jiwani, Group CEO of International Quality Awards Ltd, who is also a former Kenya Utalii College chef, formally announced the start of this year’s award programme.In his speech, Jiwani said, “When International Quality Awards first began its journey, we had a noble goal in mind and set out to do what no other awards programme has ever been done before. Having worked as a chef myself in the industry very many years ago, I asked our IQAL awards teams to create an unbiased industry awards programme that would continually help build and enhance our culinary and beverage service sector to internationally- acclaimed levels – one where participating establishments and their service teams could fairly compete to be the best in their categories, not judged by a panel of judges, nor judged by individuals on the Internet who have never visited and experienced what these establishments have to offer, but more importantly based on their own clients’ true opinions.” Alongside, this year’s International Quality Award, another corresponding industry awards programme the Bar & Mixology Awards 2015, would run side-by-side complimenting the Chefs Delight Awards.Kenya Tourism Board’s representative, Orumoi Tajeu Jonah, said that there was a need to drive and support the effective marketing of Kenya’s tourism products professionally and transparently while enriching the lives of Kenyans, recognising food and beverage as an important player in displaying Kenya’s diversity, culture and creativity.last_img read more

Obama Nominates Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing January 10, 2013 438 Views Four years after inheriting an economy on the brink, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner is stepping down. The nominee to replace him: Jack Lew, former director of the Office of Management and Budget during both the Clinton and Obama administrations and current “”White House””:https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2032/IMG6955.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more

Home Prices Rise in 20 US Cities

first_img Home prices in U.S. cities saw year-over-year increases, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released today. Bothe the 10-City and 20-City composites saw gains in January compared to December. The 10-City composite gained 4.4 percent, up from 4.3 percent seen in December. Data released today for January 2015 show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. However, monthly data reveal slowing increases and seasonal weakness.“The combination of low interest rates and strong consumer confidence based on solid job growth, cheap oil and low inflation continue to support further increases in home prices” said David Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices.The 20- City Composite gained 4.6 percent year-over-year, compared to a 4.4 percent increase in December. The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 4.5 percent annual gain in January 2015 versus a 4.6 percent increase in December 2014. Denver and Miami reported the highest year-over-year gains, as prices increased by 8.4 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively, over the last 12 months.“Regional patterns in recent months continue: strength in the west and southwest paced by Denver and Dallas with results ahead of the national index in the California cities, the Pacific Northwest and Las Vegas. The northeast and Midwest are mostly weaker than the national index,” he said.Fourteen cities reported higher price increases in the year ended January 2015 over the year ended December 2014. Chicago led the way with a reported increase of 2.5 percent, up 11 basis points from December. Six cities reported declines, with San Francisco leading the declining annual returns with a reported rate of 7.9 percent, down from 9.4 percent annually.The National index declined for the fifth consecutive month in January, reporting a -0.1 percent change for the month. Both the 10- and 20-City Composites reported virtually flat month-over-month changes. Of the nine cities that reported increases, Charlotte, Miami, and San Diego led all cities in January with increases of 0.7 percent. San Francisco reported the largest decrease of all 20 cities, with a monthover-month decrease of -0.9 percent. Seattle and Washington D.C. reported decreases of -0.5 percent. Unusually cold and wet weather may have weakened activity in some cities.“Despite price gains, the housing market faces some difficulties. Home prices are rising roughly twice as fast as wages, putting pressure on potential homebuyers and heightening the risk that any uptick in interest rates could be a major setback, Blitzer said. “Moreover, the new home sector is weak; residential construction is still below its pre-crisis peak. Any time before 2008 that housing starts were as low as the current rate of one million, the economy was in a recession.” David Blitzer S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index U.S. home prices 2015-03-31 Samantha Guzman Home Prices Rise in 20 U.S. Cities March 31, 2015 466 Views center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured Sharelast_img read more

Mortgage Applicants Not Motivated by Low Rates

first_img Mortgage interest rates continue to decline to historical lows, but this phenomenon is not motivating homebuyers to purchase a home.Freddie Mac reported last week that fixed mortgage rates declined further, which would in-turn, help homebuyer affordability amid a tight supply of for-sale homes in many markets. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.62 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week, down from last week when it averaged 3.65 percent.”Yields on the 10-year Treasury continued their downward trend this week after a small rally the previous two weeks. The 30-year mortgage responded, falling 3 basis points to 3.62 percent,” said Sean Becketti, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac. “Since the beginning of 2016, 30-year rates have fallen almost 40 basis points helping housing markets sustain their momentum into this year. Earlier this week, the National Association of Realtors announced existing home-sales were up 4 percent month-over-month in January and up 11 percent from last year.”Mortgage applications fell 4.8 percent this week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). On an unadjusted basis, applications fell 7 percent.  Refinance applications decreased 7 percent from last week to 58.6 percent of total applications, falling to its lowest level since January 2016.  Purchase applications declined 1 percent from one week earlier, while the unadjusted purchase applications increased 14 percent compared with the previous week and was 27 percent higher than the same week one year ago.According to the MBA, the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.6 percent of total applications. The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged from 12.0 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 12.1 percent from 13.0 percent, while the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.7 percent.The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.83 percent from 3.85 percent, with points decreasing to 0.39 from  0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans, the MBA reported. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination Share March 2, 2016 505 Views center_img Mortgage Applicants Not Motivated by Low Rates Freddie Mac Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates 2016-03-02 Staff Writerlast_img read more

The 5 Toughest Housing Markets for Millennials

first_img Share More than any other age group, millennials are feeling the one-two punch of tight inventory and consistently climbing housing prices. Realtor.com, in fact, calls the current state of the market  “the toughest home buying season in history” in a new look on which metros are the hardest for millennials to buy into.“Millennials want to buy, but record-low inventory is making it extremely difficult,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com. “Our analysis shows millennials are facing challenges in both established markets such as San Jose and Seattle, as well as more recently popular areas like Omaha and Salt Lake City.”Minneapolis is in the top five too. According to the report, homes in these five cities are increasingly out of reach for millennial buyers, despite that this group of buyers is flocking to them for their strong economies and high-paying jobs. “As a result, millennials make up a higher share of the population, at 14.6 percent, compared to 13.4 percent for the U.S.,” the report stated. “Household income among 25- to 34 year-olds in these five locations is also significantly higher, at roughly $79,000, compared to the U.S. median of $59,800. And millennials are definitely interested in buying. Realtor.com said that in the first quarter, millennials accounted for 25 percent of views, higher than any other age group. But the economic hopes for San Jose, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Omaha, and Minneapolis are meeting with the economic realities of living there. While the median U.S. home price is $280,000, the median price in San Jose is $1.24 million. The report stated that the Bay Area is “replete with young students and scholars” chasing tech salaries—the average millennial salary in San Jose is $102,000 a year—at companies like Google and Apple. The competition for houses, therefore, is intense, and non-tech workers are increasingly getting shoved to the outskirts of the city.The same story is occurring in the other four cities, just with different numbers. Millennials average $78,300 a year in Seattle, where the median home price is $533,000; they average about $68,000 a year in Salt Lake City, where the median home is almost $400,000; $73,600 a year in Minneapolis, where the median house can cost $283,000; and $63,500 a year in Omaha, where the median home price is the same as in Minneapolis.All that combines with especially low inventory. Nationally, inventory is 35 percent lower than the spring of 2012, the report found. Compared to this time last year, active listings in these five metros remain 8 percent lower, the age of inventory is 7 percent lower, and list prices are 8 percent higher. “Supply is nearly three times lower than the rest of the country, at 5.7 listings versus 16.1 listings per 1,000 households,”: the report stated. “Additionally, listings in these areas are scarcer and selling faster for more money. In these five metros, active listings are 9 percent lower, the age of inventory is 13 percent lower, and list prices are 14 percent higher from a year ago.” April 27, 2018 702 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

Tickets are still available for the longestrunnin

first_imgTickets are still available for the longest-running live musical in Sydney’s State Theatre history – back for its 17th year – Sing-A-long-A Sound of Music. The interactive extravaganza returns for two special shows (1.00pm and (7.30pm) on 17 February 2018. Presented up on the big screen in all of its technicolour glory, with subtitles to accompany each unforgettable song, Sing-A-Long–A Sound of Music is perfect for stage-destined musical belters, avid fans and secret shower singers alike.VENUE: State Theatre, SydneyDATES: Saturday 17 February 2018 at 1pm & 7.30pmBOOKINGS FACEBOOK entertainmentmusicSound of Musiclast_img read more

Brochures

first_imgBrochures Insight Vacations is bringing together autumn, winter and spring with the release of its 2019-20 Seasons brochure featuring 32 premium escorted journeys and two new itineraries – Glories of Greece & Three Continents Cruise and Athens & Three Continents Cruise.Insight’s full collection of journeys to Europe, Britain and the Eastern Mediterranean includes departures between October 2019 and April 2020.Lorraine Sharp, Managing Director for Insight Vacations Australia commented, “We are pleased to unveil our newest Seasons brochure, giving our Travel Agent partners diversity and exceptional value with off-peak travel. Travelling in the low season means clients can uncover the secret seasons with fewer crowds and more choice, a world of opportunity awaits our guests during these magical season moments.”Agents are advised to urge guests to book early to secure their spot for the trending travel seasons and save 5% per person with Insight’s Early Payment Discount, when booked before 29 August 2019.last_img read more

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the business has

first_imgQantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the business has responded well to challenges, including a $416 million (27 per cent) increase in its fuel bill, to deliver a strong second half result.Underlying Profit Before Tax was $780 million and Statutory Profit Before Tax was $735 million compared with the record first half result in FY18 – a $179 million drop at the underlying level.“Our dual brand strategy with Qantas and Jetstar in the domestic market meant these segments delivered another set of record earnings. Across our network, capacity is broadly meeting demand, including shifts to capitalise on the continued strength of the resources sector,” Mr Joyce said.“Higher oil prices were a significant headwind and we moved quickly to recover as much of the cost as we could. That’s easier to achieve in the domestic market than on longer international routes, where fuel is a much bigger factor, and that’s reflected in the segment results we’re reporting today.“We also saw an increase in selling costs, simply due to the commissions associated with the 6 per cent rise in revenue, as well as costs linked to a weaker Australian dollar.“Importantly, we made good progress against our longer-term strategy. More 787s arrived and more 747s are being retired; Loyalty continued to diversify with new revenue streams to deliver another record result; and we started or completed several lounge upgrades to help maintain the revenue premium Qantas achieves.“Looking ahead, we’re seeing strong forward bookings. Competitor capacity growth has slowed internationally and is relatively flat domestically. And oil prices have declined from the peaks we saw late last year.“These factors point to a strong second half and we expect to completely recover our increased fuel costs by the end of this financial year.“We are mindful of potential signs of weakness in the broader economy and we’re always adjusting capacity to meet demand in individual markets – but overall revenue and yield indicators remain positive.“Above all, the resilience we’ve built into the business gives us plenty of confidence about our performance going forward.” Alan Joycehalf yearqantaslast_img read more

The Arizona Cardinals travel to the nations capit

first_imgThe Arizona Cardinals travel to the nation’s capitalSunday to face the Redskins, but there’s one obstacle theteam must overcome if it’s expecting to leave with a win. The east coast. Including the 2008 season the Cardinals have gone 5-9 whenplaying back east, a stretch including some blowoutlosses, including what is probably the worst football gameplayed last season, a 19-12 loss in Carolina to thePanthers. Since the east coast has been less than pleasant for theCardinals, head coach Ken Whisenhunt knows that the gamewon’t be an easy win. “It’s tough, you know I’m not going to sit here and sayit’s not tough — it is tough,” Whisenhunt said. “This isan east coast trip which has historically been difficultfor a lot of teams in the west. We are going to stay trueto the way we’ve been preparing for it and we’ll see howwe play on Sunday.” When it comes to traveling, Whisenhunt’s biggest concernmay be with the Cardinals’ youth as a team. “This is our first time with this team doing that,”Whisenhunt said about traveling east. “We’ve got a lot ofyoung guys so you don’t know how it’s going to respond inthat environment.” Whisenhunt is confident that the way the team prepareswill give the team the “best chance to play well.” The coach knows his team will face a hostile environmentas the Redskins are coming off a 28-14 win againstdivision rival New York.“This is a tough team,” Whisenhunt said. “They’ve got awin at home so their fans will be behind them.” Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation 0 Comments   Share   What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke As tough as this game may be, Whisenhunt knows his teamwill have to learn how to win on the east coast sooner orlater. “You got to learn how to go in and play well in thesesituations,” Whisenhunt said. “It’ll be a greatopportunity for us.” last_img read more

0 Comments  

first_img 0 Comments   Share   Sean ConsidineSFootDNPDNPDNPOut Daily Practice DesignationsOut – Definitely will not playDNP – Did Not ParticipateLimited – Limited Participation (Less than 100% of normalrepetitions)Full – Full Participation (100% of normal repetitions) Kerry RhodesSFootFullFullFullProbable Ben WatsonTEHeadDNPDNPDNPPlaced on IR Rob HouslerTEShoulderLimitedFullFullProbable Dave ZastudilPBicepsLimitedLimitedLimitedProbable Quinton SpearsLBHamstringLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable Cleveland BrownsPlayerPosInjuryWedThuFriStatus Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Clark HaggansLBHamstringLimitedFullFullProbable Montario HardestyRBCalfFullLimitedLimitedQuestionable DeMarco SampsonWRRibsLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable Josh CribbsWRGroinDNPLimitedLimitedQuestionable Kevin KolbQBHeadLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable Friday Status DesignationsOut – Definitely will not playDoubtful – At least a 75% chance will not playQuestionable – A 50-50 chance will not playProbable – A virtual certainty of being available fornormal duty D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Shawn LauvaoGAnkleLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable Beanie WellsRBKneeLimitedLimitedFullProbable Joey PorterLBKneeLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable Arizona CardinalsPlayerPosInjuryWedThuFriStatus Tony PashosTAnkleLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable Top Stories T.J. WardSFootLimitedDNPDNPOut The official injury report for the Arizona Cardinalsand Cleveland Browns for their Week 15 game. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Jabaal SheardDLForearmFullFullFullProbable Owen MarecicFBHead/AnkleDNPDNPDNPOut Colt McCoyQBHead/HandDNPDNPDNPOut Brandon KeithTAnkleLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

0 Comments  

first_img 0 Comments   Share   Larry Fitzgerald stands on the wrong side of history when it comes to the 2012 season. The Arizona Cardinals’ star wideout is the only Pro Bowler in the league this season to catch passes from four different quarterbacks.While he might be the answer to a meaningless statistic at season’s end, there has been nothing trivial about his subsequent drop-off in production through Arizona’s first 15 games. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo But that satisfaction wasn’t limited to the Valley.Fitzgerald’s second 100-yard receiving day of the season caught the eye of the folks over at ProFootballFocus.com, who had this to say about Arizona’s poorly-utilized offensive weapon:Fitzgerald Still One of the BestHe hasn’t complained at all this season, but the revolving door of quarterbacking ineptitude has clearly affected Fitzgerald in a way it never has before, and there have been games where he hasn’t looked the force we know he can be. In this game he took the opportunity to remind everybody that he can still be amongst the toughest men in the NFL to cover. The Cardinals sent it his way 12 times and he caught eight passes for 111 yards, snagging six of those passes against Charles Tillman, the man that can hold Megatron quiet when the two meet. Fitzgerald made leaping grabs that we have been used to seeing him for years, and ran with purpose despite the failings of those around him. We can only hope for his sake the Cardinals find an answer at quarterback, because he is far too special a talent to waste.Since it came in a losing effort, Fitzgerald’s big day might be as meaningless as the opening stat of him catching passes from four different quarterbacks. But in a year filled with negative headlines, it’s nice once in a while to reflect on the performances that remind us that even during a season to forget, the Cardinals still have plenty of talent as they begin to focus their collective attention on 2013. Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact With only a trip to San Francisco Sunday left on the Cardinals’ schedule, Fitzgerald remains on pace to have his worst statistical season since 2006, when he played just 13 games. Although he leads the team in receptions (69) and receiving yards (785), Fitzgerald’s average yards per catch (11.4) is the lowest its been since 2008 and his first down completions (44) are the fewest he’s accumulated since his rookie campaign in 2004. However, the most eye-opening aspect of his season, are the lack of trips the former Pittsburgh standout has made to the end zone. Fitzgerald hasn’t scored a touchdown since Arizona’s 31-17 loss at Green Bay in Week 9 and currently has a career-low four touchdowns in 2012.At 29 years of age, it’s safe to say Fitzgerald’s skills are not yet in decline. If anything, he is likely still in his prime. And while the organization and its fans have been victimized as a whole by the constant quarterback shuffle this season, no individual has been affected more so than No. 11.Fitzgerald has been a good soldier all season, failing to take the bait when given the opportunity to vent his criticism over the team’s poor quarterback play. So while it only lasted for 60 minutes, Fitzgerald’s eight-catch performance for 111 yards in the Cardinals’ Week 16 loss to the Chicago Bears gave everybody a temporary sense of satisfaction.last_img read more

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians greets W

center_img “You put it on our shoulders and it’s time for us to answer the call,” offensive tackle D.J. Humphries said. “When it’s time, we’ve got to do it.”“It says a lot,” defensive lineman Calais Campbell said. “That’s B.A.’s style. He’s been like that since he’s been here. I have a lot of love for him, a lot of respect for him. That’s what it took for us to win.“Our backs are against the wall. We have nothing to lose. This is our last opportunity. We’re going to fight every minute. We’re going to go out there and try to make it happen.”Being aggressive, as Arians so often is, seems to be more about taking the initiative — not waiting for things to happen to or for the Cardinals. If they have a chance to make a play to win the game, they go for it.If that means going for it on fourth down inside their territory or throwing a deep ball when milking the clock would seem like the prudent thing to do, so be it.“Shoot, we’re trying to win, we’re trying to get into it, so it’s going to take some risks some times,” safety Tony Jefferson said.This time, the risks turned into reward. Or, rather, biscuits. They don’t always, and that’s the reality of calling plays in the NFL. They are fun to call when they work. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “They are,” Arians said, “and when they don’t, you’re in here answering questions of, ‘Why the hell did you do it?’”Follow Adam Green on Twitter – / 25 Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental has more unique el

first_imgThe Landmark, Mandarin Oriental has more unique elements than nearly every other luxury hotel in Hong Kong. Where else are there seven marble steps from the lower to the upper lobby, deliberately angled so that at the top you can go through a Dior door direct into a retail salon? Where else do bedrooms have wall-set chilled cabinets to hold whatever welcome goodies culinary director Richard Ekkebus might have in mind? Where else do you have two Dutchmen, Ekkebus and his GM, Torsten van Dullemen, planning what they can do next? As it happened, that very day van Dullemen, whose next triathalon is this very Sunday 4 June 2017, was displaying his physical prowess in a demonstration at the hotel’s lovely wellness complex.Torsten van Dullemen is a follower of Joint Dynamics, the intelligent movement initiative led by David Jacquier, who has worked with the All Blacks and many other sportspeople. It seems that, apart from joggers or running machines, and a few other bits of cardiac equipment most gym ‘torture machines’ are unnatural, forcing the body into movements that never occur in normal life. Now I do not fully understand Joint Dynamics but it does sound more akin to ballroom dancing or tai chi than weight-lifting, and sometime I want to know more. But, for the moment, let me share one of the most delectable tastes I have had in a very long time. Richard Ekkebus insisted we try his caviar tart, a one-bite delight, that I actually dreamed about later – or perhaps it was the glass of Barolo Eugenio Bocchino Riserva 2006 that sparked the memory.The Landmark, Mandarin Oriental is so integral with the fine things of life that recollection can blur. Where does the hotel end and the fabulous Landmark retail begin? Get into the shopping area via that lobby exclusive, and a couple more entrances. Turn the other way into the street-set MO Bar, which attracts an after-work crowd that comes here just because it is, they think, a free-standing bar. This is where top global DJs spin, Wednesday through Saturday (coming up on Friday 16 June 2017, as an extra, is mid-fi synth-wave specialist Com Truise). In the bijou mezzanine gallery, which holds 12 at most, it seems New York’s iconic PDT – Please Don’t Tell – bar will introduce a speakeasy.Back in New York, PDT hunters go to the Crif Dogs restaurant on St Marks Place. In its old-fashioned phone booth, pick up the phone, press the buzzer and the phone booth wall opens to let you into the minute bar. This is the kind of “exclusive” that this luxury hotel loves to offer and, when it comes to overnighters, this is the kind of place that attracts the entertainment crowd and the millennially-minded of all ages; it helps that both Torsten van Dullemen and his number two, Archie Keswick, who is not Dutch but quintessentially English, of the OE (Old Etonian) style, are perennial youngsters. Stay here to relax after the chaos that is Hong Kong in your two-metre diameter circular bath-tub, preferably with plenty of Jo Malone sweet-smells, and perhaps nibbling on Richard Ekkebus crudités.Mary Gostelow travels over 300 days a year, doing one-night stands in top hotels around the world. Read her daily travelogue, www.girlahead.comlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter The Mitchelton Hotel

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterThe Mitchelton Hotel & Spa, a $16 million hotel on the banks of the Goulburn Valley in Victoria,  has joined AccorHotels‘ boutique MGallery by Sofitel portfolio.Located within the spectacular surrounds of Mitchelton Winery Estate, the 58-room hotel boasts a four-treatment room day spa, sprawling restaurant, a 20-metre lap pool and extensive banquet and meeting facilities.Designed by award-winning architects Hecker Guthrie, the hotel’s interiors complement the property’s existing Robin Boyd structures and feature earthy tones and a minimalist aesthetic. All guestrooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows and have views of either the Goulburn River or the vineyards.Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels Pacific, Simon McGrath, said the group was thrilled to be adding to its boutique hotel collection.“The Mitchelton Hotel & Spa is a beautiful property on spectacular grounds and we are thrilled to be welcoming the hotel into our network; it will be the tenth MGallery by Sofitel hotel in Australia.“There is a lot to see in the Goulburn Valley region and with the addition of such a quality hotel it will no doubt help attract more visitors to the region, boost local tourism and support the domestic travel market. The Ryan family has done a wonderful job of transforming the property into a thriving food, wine and hospitality destination. The hotel will be a special addition to our network and we look forward to welcoming guests,” McGrath said.Andrew Ryan, Managing Director of The Mitchelton property, said, “The Hotel and Day Spa is something that we wanted to develop early on with our acquisition of the estate.“It has always been the missing piece in the puzzle for Mitchelton. Goulburn Valley and Nagambie have so much to offer, we have high hopes that the addition of the accommodation facility will help attract more visitors to the region and boost local tourism.”The Mitchelton Hotel & Spa joins other iconic properties within the Australian MGallery network,. including Hotel Lindrum, The Como Melbourne, Elements of Byron, Harbour Rocks Hotel, The Reef House Resort & Spa Palm Cove, Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, Mount Lofty House in the Adelaide Hills and the Playford Adelaide.See www.accorhotels.comGo back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Related Manchester Airport is the UKs favouriteMa

first_img RelatedManchester Airport is the UK’s favouriteManchester Airport named best in the UK, according to our latest survey.Stansted Arrivals & Departures | Live Flight InformationCheck your flight is leaving on time, or be ready to meet friends and family off the plane with our Stansted arrivals and departures information. We’ve got accurate, real-time flight updates as they happen, to make your journey as easy and stress-free as possible. Find cheap flights direct from Stansted…Flights to Turkey to be launched by easyJet from StanstedFlights to Turkey to be launched by easyJet from Stansted Britain’s third busiest hub, Stansted Airport, has been named Europe’s central departure point for low cost flights by a new data report.While Heathrow and Gatwick handle more passengers overall, BAA’s third London hub was claimed to offer more low cost flight departing capacity than any other in Europe by RDC Aviation’s Low Cost Monitor.The new figures showed that overall European low-cost carrier capacity rose 22 per cent this year on 2006 figures, with low budget options now accounting for some 35 per cent of all intra-European capacity thanks to hubs such as Stansted.A multi-million pound project for building a second runway at Stansted was recently proposed by operator BAA, claiming that new capacity and expanded flights are needed to meet the 68 million passengers – many of whom are on low cost flights – expected to process through the hub yearly by 2030.Among the many expanding routes out of London Stansted are the Scandinavian services recently launched by Norwegian to Tromso and Oslo, and the increased frequency of Iceland Express flights to Reykjavik from the Essex airport.Recent stats from FlightOnTime.info found that the average departure delay for Stansted charter flights was 25.59 minutes, slightly up on figures from 2006 but still below the UK charter flight average.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more

German carrier Air Berlin has announced plans to t

first_imgGerman carrier Air Berlin has announced plans to test a new satellite navigation system on board select flights.The airline has been granted approval from the Federal Air Transport Authority to carry out test flights using the Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS).All new Boeing 737NG aircraft redelivered to Air Berlin since last June have been fitted with the system, with the carrier’s bases at Berlin and Malaga also equipped with GBAS.This means that flights to Berlin and Malaga, as well as flights from the European airports could be controlled by the GBAS programme.Air Berlin currently uses the traditional Instrument Landing System (ILS) to navigate plans into airports, but suggests that GBAS is a more accurate and cost-effective option.Using GBAS will result in jet fuel savings and noise reductions in flight approach areas, Air Berlin explained.Meanwhile, the carrier has recently announced an increased emphasis on its domestic network of Spanish flights.For the winter season Air Berlin will operate flights from Palma to 11 cities in the country, as well as the Portuguese city of Faro.Additions include two daily flights to Seville from the Spanish cities of Alicante, Barcelona, Santiago de Compostela and Valencia via Palma. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedAir Berlin adds new Florida flightsAir Berlin adds new Florida flightsAir Berlin adds Cyprus flightsAir Berlin adds Cyprus flightsAir Berlin adds Dusseldorf-China flightsAir Berlin adds Dusseldorf-China flightslast_img read more

London England – Reported by Elite Traveler the

first_imgLondon, England – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineWhen Bea Tollman, President and Founder of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, opened her first hotel in London in 1984 she believed outstanding personal service and great value should be the essence of every guest’s stay. Now, with generations of experience in hospitality, and having grown the collection to an impressive thirteen family-run luxury boutique hotels, Red Carnation is regarded as one of the world’s finest. With accolades including kudos from major travel publications to even a “Best Employer in Hospitality and Leisure” award at the 2009 Springboard Awards for Excellence, her secret ingredient for success is continued investment in her most prized asset – her people.Guest reviews often includes phrases such as “flawless service”, “extraordinary staff” and “top notch luxury”. And Red Carnation delivers over fifty different internal training programs, including the specially designed Management Trainee Programs, to ensure talented individuals receive the guidance and business acumen to fulfill their potential within hospitality and continue to deliver unforgettable guest experiences. Many of these programs are linked to internationally recognized qualifications and include extensive leadership and management initiatives.Staff remuneration through rewards is also a key ingredient. Individual and department incentives together with social events throughout the year are just some of the ways in which Red Carnation recognizes and rewards good performance whilst reinforcing strong family values. For example, over 700 staff are set to attend a glamorous Dinner Dance, at The Hilton Park Lane in London, 28th March 2010. Some 100 employees will be flown in from the overseas hotels, some from as far as South Africa, to celebrate the collection and the achievements of the team members. The evening will see over 130 staff recognized for their outstanding contributions as managers and employees over the past twelve months, as trainers, and as individuals who were willing to go way beyond their ordinary duties for the benefit of guests and other members of the team as well as honorary awards for length of service. Generous cash prizes, weekends away, trophies and certificates will mark the occasion for the winners. Above all, and most importantly however, it’s an opportunity for friends and colleagues to get together and have some fun.“When you work closely with people day in and day out you become a family, and that’s how I see our staff. Likewise, we’re creating a ‘home from home’ for our guests, and treat them as we would treasure family friends,” says Bea Tollman. “A true appreciation of people, those that work with us and those that stay with us, is at the heart of everything we do, as evinced by the extremely low staff turn-over. But it all starts with staff training, development, recognition and, ultimately, promotions from within. We’re totally dedicated to helping every individual fulfill his potential, because it’s the only way to deliver the ultimate guest experience. There are no short cuts or half measures.”www.redcarnation.comlast_img read more

GRENADA — For a new spin on beachside luxury Spic

first_imgGRENADA — For a new spin on beachside luxury, Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada has debuted super-elegant beachfront suites situated literally right on the beach at the edge of the Caribbean Sea. To add to the elegance of the experience, Spice Island Beach Resort opened Janissa’s Spa, a truly special facility for pampering guests.Boasting a style and elegance befitting royalty, the palatial Cinnamon and Saffron Suites (one on either side of the resort public areas) measure 1,440 sq. feet each and feature a romantic canopy bed, rich fabrics, marble bathroom, spacious living room with a wetbar and dining area set for six. Click to view a floor plan of these ultra-elegant rooms and take a virtual tour.All rooms are outfitted with spectacular amenities, making them five-star quality. Attention to detail is found in each luxurious suite with contemporary Caribbean décor, large whirlpool, LCD flat panel televisions with cable, Italian Frette bathrobes and linens (some of the softest and smoothest around), DVD and CD players, Molton Brown bath and body amenities, mini-bar, clock radio, hair dryer, air conditioning, ceiling fan, iron and ironing board, direct dial telephone with Internet access, safe, coffee/tea facility, toaster, chaise lounges and patio or balcony.Fully-inclusive rates are $2,000 per room, per night, based on double occupancy Jan. 16 – April 15. Fully-inclusive rates include accommodations; breakfast, lunch and dinner daily; afternoon tea; beverages including house wine at dinner; use of non-motorized watersports such as snorkeling, kayaking and Hobie cat sailing; golf greens fess at the nine-hole Grenada Golf Club; and concierge and room service.As if the smooth sand of Grand Anse Beach and the calming hum of the Caribbean Sea’s rolling waves weren’t enough to relax guests, Spice Island Beach Resort presents Janissa’s Spa to pamper visitors in paradise.The luxurious, full-service, 5,600 square foot spa and fitness center encompasses the same elegant, tropical feel found throughout the entire resort complemented by soft colors, natural materials such as pebble stone inlays, and stunning views of the surrounding hills and lush flora and fauna.For guests who want to pamper themselves with massages, body wraps, facials and much more, Janissa’s Spa features the following: -Four air-conditioned indoor treatment lounges, each with its own outdoor shower bordered by fragrant flowers and rich greenery -An exterior treatment room in a garden setting, also with an open-air shower area (this room is often used for Couple’s Massages) -An outdoor relaxation lounge for reading, quiet reflection and general rest post-treatment -One outdoor sunken whirlpool bath -An exterior courtyard within the facility highlighted by a cool water reflection pool-A salon for hair styling, manicures, pedicures, waxing and other services -Separate men’s and women’s lockers and a sauna“Janissa’s Spa is our special ‘Spice Island’ sanctuary where guests can unwind, relax and re-energize their body, mind and spirit,” said Sir Royston O. Hopkin, KCMG, Owner and Chairman of Spice Island Beach Resort.The menu of available spa and salon services is as follows: -Massage Therapies: Swedish, Aromatherapy, Reiki, Deep Tissue, Back, and Janissa’s Signature Massages-Skin and Facial Treatments: Janissa’s Face Treatment where skin is analyzed, cleansed, exfoliated, steamed and moisturized, and a Men’s Facial to condition and balance the skin’s natural oils-Body Treatments: Purifying Back Treatment and Enzymatic Sea Mud, Body Hydro and Janissa’s Signature Body Wraps-Nail and Waxing Services: Classic and Janissa Luxury Manicures and Pedicures, Change of Polish, Paraffin Treatments for Hands and Feet, and Depilatory Waxing and Tinting-Salon Services: Shampoo, Condition, Blow Dry, Haircut, Flat Iron, Curling Iron, Braiding and Relaxing Scalp TreatmentTreatments performed at Janissa’s Spa are as natural as the facility’s surroundings, providing guests with an extensive menu of services that incorporate local Grenadian herbs and spices. Using natural oils such as orange, grapefruit, cinnamon, aniseed and lemongrass soothes the body while adding exotic aromas to the air. Ginger, cinnamon and honey are essential elements combined to hydrate the skin during the spa’s body scrubs and signature body wraps, Corn meal forms part of the granular blend for exfoliation in the homemade body polish. The key ingredient in the deep tissue massage is local Caribbean coconut oil, while citrus grapefruit oil adds zest to the Swedish massage.Also available at Janissa’s Spa are five packages for guests looking to combine several treatments and enjoy a cost savings. Packages include: -Janissa’s Spa Welcome (2 hours) – Swedish Massage and Janissa’s Manicure – priced at $125 plus tax and service charge-Head To Toe (2.5 hours) – Janissa’s Face Treatment, Janissa’s Luxury Manicure and Janissa’s Luxury Pedicure – priced at $170 plus tax and service charge-Escape to Harmony (3 hours) – Aromatherapy Massage, Janissa’s Signature Body Wrap and Hand Paraffin Wrap – priced at $250 plus tax and service charge-Spa Indulgence (4 hours) – Swedish Massage, Body Hydro Wrap, Purifying Back Treatment, Classic Manicure and Janissa’s Luxury Pedicure – priced at $315 plus tax and service charge-Body Oasis (7 hours) – Janissa’s Signature Body Wrap, Janissa’s Face Treatment, Enzymatic Sea Mud Wrap, Back Massage, Purifying Back Treatment, Relaxing Scalp Treatment, Exfoliating Body Treatment, Hand Paraffin Wrap, Foot Paraffin Wrap and Classic Pedicure – priced at $610 plus tax and service chargeThe spa director is Tricia Thomas, who brings to Spice over ten years of experience in numerous high-end luxury chains in both London and the Caribbean. Thomas, a Grenadian, oversees all operations at Janissa’s Spa and is working on growing the spa’s list of in-house and local clientele by presenting new and inventive spa therapies.Within the spa is the fitness center with all new, top-of-the-line equipment including treadmills, stationary bikes and a wide selection of free weights.Guests can keep up with their fitness routines while away from home by mixing indoor and outdoor activity. They can enjoy a morning workout in the fitness center, a round or two of tennis on the new world-class Omnicourt® artificial turf surface court or a refreshing swim in the sparkling Caribbean Sea. Top off with a Swedish massage, a soak in the jacuzzi and then some quiet time in the spice-scented relaxation lounge.Janissa’s Spa is open daily, 7 am – 7 pm (off-season hours sometimes vary). Reservations are recommended for all spa services. Spa services are priced accordingly (and are outlined in brochures placed in the hotel rooms). The menu of spa services is subject to change. Treatments at the spa are not included in the resort’s rates.Spice Island Beach Resort The award-winning Spice Island Beach Resort features 64 elegantly-appointed suites, the full-service Janissa’s Spa, a Cybex® fitness center, Oliver’s beachside gourmet restaurant, the Sea & Surf Terrace for light lunches, the Sea & Surf Bar for refreshing cocktails throughout the day, a central swimming pool with swim-up whirlpool, an Omnicourt® tennis court, the Nutmeg Pod children’s activity center, the Gatsby Boutique and more.Spice Island Beach Resort is a member of the esteemed Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) collection and the exclusive Virtuoso network’s Hotels & Resorts Program. Spice Island Beach Resort is the first and only Virtuoso preferred hotel in Grenada.For more information, contact Spice Island Beach Resort at tel: 473-444-4258, fax: 473-444-4807, e-mail: [email protected], or visit www.SpiceIslandBeachResort.comlast_img read more

Alexandra Billings left and Amy Landecker partic

first_img Alexandra Billings, left, and Amy Landecker participate in the Amazon Prime Video “Transparent” panel at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on Saturday, July 27, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) “Transparent” musical finale gives cast a chance to heal by Katie Campione, The Associated Press Posted Jul 27, 2019 2:04 pm PDT LOS ANGELES — Wrapping up five seasons of an award-winning series with a musical is a risk that only Amazon’s “Transparent” could take.Risks are part of the show’s DNA, said series creator Jill Soloway.“We were all just kind of flying in our risk spaces,” Soloway said of creating the finale, “and today, we are still flying in our risk spaces by having made a musical as a way to say farewell to this family.”Actor Jay Duplass added that, after several seasons of pushing boundaries, upon hearing the idea he thought: “That’s nuts, and it totally makes sense, and that’s what we have to do.”Soloway joined sibling and executive producer Faith Soloway, as well as the cast of the Amazon series, during a Television Critics Association meeting to talk about the fitting conclusion for the characters as they mourn the loss of one of the show’s central characters.The finale begins with the death of Maura, played by Jeffrey Tambor, who left the show last year after allegations of sexual harassment on set. Approaching the death of Tambor’s character with a musical gave the cast a creative outlet to also mourn their own loss, Jill Soloway said.“Our cast is mourning Maura, and as actors and creators, we’re mourning what happened with our show,” Jill Soloway said on Tambor’s exit, adding: “It was a chance to heal together.”The “Transparent” musical finale, which debuts Sept. 27, concludes a series that broke barriers with its representation of LGBTQ characters on screen. The show exits the television scene with others in its wake, including Ryan Murphy’s award-winning “Pose.”While Jill Soloway said they don’t take responsibility for the push toward more representation on screen, they are grateful to have been a part of that conversation.“I feel more like a child in awe than parental. I came to all of this so late in my life. I wasn’t even queer until my late 40s,” Jill Soloway said. “So I couldn’t take responsibility for this revolution. I have always felt just in awe.”Katie Campione, The Associated Press AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

Focus trial back on track after ruling on evidence

The trial proper in the Focus case was allowed to move forward again on Monday, after Nicosia criminal court ruled – in a trial within a trial – that certain evidence introduced by the prosecution was admissible.The defence had earlier argued that evidence obtained from Greece by Cypriot authorities was not acquired lawfully via the mutual judicial assistance protocol between the two countries. As such, they said, this evidence should not be admissible.The evidence in question relates to Greek national Michalis Zolotas, owner of Focus Maritime Corp and a key defendant in the proceedings.On Monday, the court rejected the defence’s motion.By unanimous decision, the three judges said the evidence in question had been obtained lawfully from Greece via mutual judicial assistance requests made by Cypriot law enforcement authorities.According to the court, the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that all the evidence in question was accounted for and properly documented in the mutual judicial assistance requests.The court noted that even if the evidence had not been obtained lawfully, it would still have admitted the evidence provided it were deemed relevant to the case and provided that the defendants’ right to a fair trial were not adversely affected.The decision allowed the prosecution to call to the witness stand CID sergeant Nicolas Foullidis, the officer in charge of the evidence related to the case.Foullidis had begun testifying in early May, but his testimony was interrupted when the defence raised its objection to the evidence, leading to the trial within a trial.On Monday, the defence objected anew when Foullidis tried to introduce as evidence a digital disk containing evidence.The CD was obtained from the Sovereign Base Areas, the court was told.The defence argued that the CD was not obtained lawfully.As such, the proceedings were interrupted, and will resume on September 7.Prosecutors claim that Focus Maritime Corp was the conduit for transferring €1m to a consultancy firm in Cyprus.The consultancy firm was owned by the daughter of then governor of the Central Bank Christodoulos Christodoulou. The prosecution’s case rests on the premise that the money was a sweetener to Christodoulou so he would green-light the 2006 takeover of Laiki Bank by Greek financier Andreas Vgenopoulos, now deceased.Laiki was shuttered in 2013.Vgenopoulos, chairman of Marfin Investment Group (MIG), was initially also on the charge sheet. His name was withdrawn when he died in November 2016.In addition to Zolotas and Christodoulou, defendants in the same case are Christodoulou’s daughter Athina, her ex-husband Andreas Kizourides, former Laiki official Michael Fole, and ΑC Christodoulou Consultants Ltd, MIG and Focus as legal entities.In a related issue, state attorney Andreas Aristides said on Monday that no evidence or documents related to the Focus case were destroyed in the fire that broke out at the Nicosia court complex back in February.Aristides told the Cyprus News Agency that, at the time of the fire, no evidence pertaining to the case had yet been submitted to the court and therefore none of this evidence was being stored in the building.As such, recent media reports claiming that Focus-related evidence was destroyed, were inaccurate.You May LikeMuama Instant TranslatorGenius Japanese Invention Allows You To Instantly Speak 43 LanguagesMuama Instant TranslatorUndoYoutube video by: PopMaltWhat it’s Like to Play Princess Belle at a Disney Theme ParkYoutube video by: PopMaltUndoCar NovelsNo One Buys These SUVs But They Are The Best On The MarketCar NovelsUndo Famagusta municipality says Varosha entry goes against UN regulationsUndoProperty owners price themselves out of the marketUndoCypriot ambassadors gather in Nicosia for annual briefingUndoby Taboolaby Taboola read more