Top Chinese filmmaker admits having multiple children

first_imgBeijing- One of China’s top movie directors has admitted having three children with his current wife, according to a studio media posting, after months of speculation he broke the country’s controversial family planning laws several times.Zhang Yimou, the maker of “Raise the Red Lantern” and “Red Sorghum”, has two sons and a daughter with his current wife, the Yimou Studio said in its verified account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.That would mean Zhang, 62, has a total of four children including a daughter with his ex-wife, potentially violating China’s one-child policy. Zhang “would like to make a sincere apologies to the public for the negative ramifications caused”, said the posting by Yimou Studio, which says it is affiliated to the director.The disclosure comes after months of speculation that he has seven or eight children by three or four women.Yimou Studio dismissed those allegations as “untrue” and threatened to hold the rumourmongers legally responsible.“The false allegations have seriously affected the normal life of Zhang Yimou’s family and led to an egregious impact on society,” said the statement.“We are collecting and sorting out relevant evidence against the rumourmongers and preserve the right to pursue their legal liability.”China has implemented its family planning law for over 30 years, which currently restricts most parents to one child, with exceptions including some rural families whose first child is a girl, ethnic minorities, and couples who are both only children.It has been at times brutally enforced, say rights groups, while officials say it has been a key element of China’s rising prosperity.The ruling Communist Party said last month it would relax the rule by allowing couples to have two children if one of the parents is an only child.Family planning officials in the eastern city of Wuxi, where Zhang is registered as living, are investigating, reports in state-run media said.Zhang was willing to cooperate with the investigation and “accept commensurate penalties” according to national laws, said the Sina Weibo posting.If found guilty of breaching the policy, Zhang could be fined around $100,000, according to the per capita urban resident income in Wuxi and the number of children involved, the state-run Beijing News reported Monday.Many of Zhang’s early films were banned in China but he has since become close to authorities and was picked to direct the opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.His most recent work, 2011’s “The Flowers of War”, starred Christian Bale and was a historical drama set during the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.last_img read more

Caisse investing 143 billion on Mexico infrastructure projects

MONTREAL — The Caisse de depot is partnering with Mexican institutional investors as the Quebec pension fund manager pursues its goal of doubling infrastructure investments by 2018.The Caisse says it will invest $1.43 billion on infrastructure projects in Mexico after teaming with a newly created consortium that manages 62 per cent of that country’s pension fund assets.The group plans to spend $2.8 billion over five years in what the Caisse de depot says is the first such partnership in North America between Mexican financial institutions and a large international pension fund manager.“It is going to position both the Caisse and our partner … to benefit and invest in the unique opportunities that Mexico will provide in infrastructure in the coming years,” said Macky Tall, senior vice-president infrastructure, private equity.Caisse chief Michael Sabia warns of global turbulence as fund tops benchmarks in first halfThe Caisse and Goldman Sachs invest in background screening companyThe Caisse sees large investment opportunities in Mexico because the government plans to spend about $614 billion over four years on infrastructure investments, targeting mainly energy and transportation projects.It will hold a 51 per cent stake in the unnamed investment vehicle. The Mexican investors will hold the remaining 49 per cent.The co-investment platform will focus on energy generation, including renewable energy, transmission and distribution, as well as water, transportation and public transit projects.As part of the Mexican transaction, the pension plan partners called CKD Infraestructura Mexico, are acquiring 49 per cent of the Caisse’s equity investment with the country’s largest construction firm that owns four toll road concessions.Tall said the co-investment platform being created in Mexico could be used in other emerging markets in Latin America such as Colombia, India or South East Asia.“This is certainly a model we would like to replicate in other countries,” he said in an interview.The Caisse hopes emerging markets will eventually account for 10 to 15 per cent of its infrastructure portfolio, up from the current level of less than five per cent.It has been a major infrastructure investor in the United States and other developed markets for 15 years, building a portfolio worth more than $11 billion. Assets include the Port of Brisbane, Heathrow Airport in London, Eurostar and Colonial Pipeline in the United States.The Caisse is also analyzing two large infrastructure projects in Montreal with an estimated value of about $5 billion. A final recommendation on options is expected to be sent to the Quebec government within 18 months on downtown transit links to Trudeau International Airport and across the new Champlain Bridge to the south shore of Montreal.The Caisse is Canada’s second-largest pension fund manager with $240.8 billion in net assets as of June 30. It primarily manages funds for the pension and insurance plans of the public and parapublic sector, which includes doctors and other professions paid by but not directly employed by the government.The Canadian Press read more

Annan voices regret at General Assembly panel vote on reform resolution

A caucus of developing countries showed its muscle on the United Nations budget committee this evening by pushing through a draft resolution that would effectively slow a series of reform proposals aimed at overhauling the world organization’s management structures which was put forward by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who immediately voiced regret at the vote and vowed to continue trying to forge an agreement among UN Member States. Breaking a longstanding tradition of consensus action, the Administrative and Budgetary (Fifth) Committee approved the lengthy and contentious resolution sponsored by the “Group of 77” developing countries by a vote of 108 States in favour to 50 against with 3 abstentions. The measure will not take effect until it is formally adopted by the General Assembly plenary, a body which has the same membership as the Committee. The draft resolution responds to Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s report, “Investing in the United Nations: For a Stronger Organization Worldwide,” submitted in March to enable the UN to accommodate its own shift from largely bureaucratic tasks to life-saving work in the field. The proposals encompass a revamped version of how to recruit, contract, train, assign and compensate staff, and include a redefined post of Deputy Secretary-General. Other recommendations call for exploring options for alternative service delivery, including relocating and possible outsourcing of functions.In a reflection of the Group of 77’s concern about governance of the UN, the draft resolution would reaffirm the Assembly’s oversight role – and that of its Fifth Committee – in administrative and budgetary matters, and in carrying out a thorough analysis and approval of the human and financial resources and policies. Other provisions of the text would mandate that any changes to the role of the Deputy Secretary-General must be in accord with the original Assembly resolution that established the post. Proposals to amend the UN’s overall departmental structure would be subject to the Assembly’s review.The resolution would have the Assembly request a series of detailed reports that could slow the reform momentum as the Secretary-General’s second – and final – five-year term nears its close at the end of 2006. These include studies on the impact of previous and ongoing reforms as they relate to the proposals; on investing in information and communications technology, new sourcing options, financial management practices and performance evaluation and reporting; and on a comprehensive review of procurement rules, regulations and policies.In an effort to forestall a confrontation, Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday had appealed to Member States to set aside the most controversial proposals – 20 and 21 – which relate to interaction between the Secretariat and the key General Assembly budget committees. Instead of doing so, the approved draft resolution would have the Assembly reaffirm that no changes to the budget methodology, to established budgetary procedures or to the financial regulations can be implemented without prior review and approval by the Assembly.“The Secretary-General deeply regrets that Member States were unable to reach consensus in the Fifth Committee deliberations on his management reform proposals,” a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement released following the vote.“He urges Member States to seek to work together to rebuild the spirit of mutual trust that underpins consensus and is essential to the smooth functioning of the United Nations,” the spokesman added, voicing Mr. Annan’s conviction that all Member States remain committed to the principles of UN reform.“He will begin the process of seeking mutually agreed ways to pursue this agenda,” the statement said.The Secretary-General’s comprehensive reform blueprint was called for in the Outcome Document adopted by national leaders at last September’s World Summit in New York. It builds on a package of reforms Mr. Annan launched last year to enhance ethics and accountability and to address weaknesses exposed by the Independent Inquiry on the Oil-for-Food Programme as well as evidence of sexual exploitation in certain peacekeeping operations.The Fifth Committee is not expected to meet again until 22 May, when it will resume its session. read more

Automakers report US sales up in March for best month since August

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Automakers report US sales up in March for best month since August 2007; growth pace slows DETROIT – America is getting back to work, and it needs pickup trucks.Strong truck demand in March drove U.S. auto sales to their highest monthly total since August 2007, as everyone from oil and gas producers to local home builders raced to replace the aging trucks they held onto during the recession. Overall auto sales rose 3.4 per cent from March of last year.“I think day-to-day business is the best it’s been in five years,” said Tim Parker, owner of a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealer in Hot Springs, Ark. Parker recently joined a Chrysler program that helps him stock pickups so he has inventory ready when business owners come calling.March is typically a good month for the auto industry. Many car buyers put their tax refund checks toward a down payment. And Japanese automakers, whose fiscal year ends in March, often juice sales with big incentives to end the year on a high note.But this year had additional incentives for buyers. Fuel prices ended the month lower than a year ago. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to a five-year low during March. Interest rates are low. And the stock market — which is a strong predictor of auto sales — closed the first quarter with the S&P 500 at an all-time high.New cars are also enticing buyers. The newly redesigned Nissan Altima sedan outsold the Toyota Camry, the perennial midsize king, in March by 100 vehicles. That hadn’t happened since May 2011. The redesigned Honda Accord, which went on sale at the end of last year, also came close to outselling the Camry, which was last redesigned in 2011.But pickup trucks were the big drivers in March. GM, Ford and Chrysler sold a total of 154,722 full-size pickups, up 14 per cent from a year ago. It would be the third straight month that pickup sales have outpaced overall industry sales.Total sales in March reached 1.45 million, the highest monthly total for the industry since August 2007, according to AutoData.Pickup truck sales should keep increasing through this year and at least into early next year, said Jeff Schuster, senior vice-president of forecasting for LMC Automotive, a Detroit-area forecasting firm.Small businesses and the housing industry are recovering from the recession, and automakers are offering big discounts, especially as GM tries to clear out older models before the debut of its 2014 pickups later this, a car buying site, estimates that GM offered $5,800 in discounts on the Chevrolet Silverado in March, compared with $4,010 for its chief rival, Ford’s F-150.“I think the pickup truck battle is starting to heat up at the same time demand heats up,” Schuster said.After seeing the pace of March sales, Edmunds raised its full-year U.S. sales forecast from 15 million to 15.5 million. That’s still below the high of almost 17 million in 2005, but nearly 50 per cent better than the 10.4 million vehicles sold in 2009.Things look so good that some analysts think automakers will have to increase production and hire more workers to keep up.Automakers have added 125,800 jobs since February of 2010. That’s a nearly 20 per cent increase in industry employment, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.But Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS Automotive, which tracks production, said many U.S. auto plants are running almost around-the-clock to meet demand. By the end of the year, more than half the vehicles made in North America will come from plants running the maximum three shifts, Robinet said.“We’re really bumping up against the edge,” he said. “So it really is brick-and-mortar time.”Ford is already producing as many Fusion midsize sedans as it can sell, said Erich Merkle, Ford’s top U.S. sales analyst. Supplies will be low until this fall, when the company adds a new shift with 1,200 workers at the Michigan plant that will build the Fusion.“We’re going to need more capacity,” said Merkle. Ford plans to increase production in North America by 9 per cent in the second quarter.But after going through a severe downsizing during the recession, companies are also wary of adding factory space, fearing the cost of having too much if the economy heads south. GM said Tuesday that it has no plans to increase production because its factories can handle the expected slow-and-steady growth.Sales at Ford and GM each rose around 6 per cent in March. GM reported big increases for Buick and Cadillac, which both have new small cars, while Ford’s Fusion sedan and Escape SUV both reported record monthly sales. Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand was down 23 per cent. But the arrival of the MKZ sedan at dealerships this month should help turn sales around, the company said.Toyota said its sales were up 1 per cent. Sales of the new Toyota Avalon and Lexus ES sedans doubled over last March, making up for double-digit losses for the Prius hybrid and Camry sedan.Other automakers reporting Tuesday:— Chrysler’s sales rose 5 per cent thanks to a 25 per cent increase for the Ram pickup and big gains for the Dodge Avenger and Challenger sedans.— Nissan’s sales gained 1 per cent to 137,726, its highest ever monthly U.S. sales. Sales of the Leaf electric car reached 2,236 — almost 300 per cent more than last year — after Nissan lowered its price. Sales of the new Pathfinder SUV were also strong.— Volkswagen’s sales were up 3 per cent thanks to strong sales of the Beetle small car and CC sedan.— Hyundai’s sales fell 2 per cent from March of last year, which was the automaker’s highest sales month ever. Elantra compact sales were up 33 per cent, but sales of the company’s top-selling car, the Sonata, plunged more than 22 per cent.— Honda’s sales rose 7 per cent thanks to strong demand for the Accord and the new Acura RDX crossover. by Tom Krisher And Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press Posted Apr 2, 2013 8:25 am MDT read more

Taste of Calgary kicks off in Eau Claire

Start off with some crispy shrimp dumplings from Globefish, for the main course take in some BBQ St. Louis pork ribs from Ed’s Restaurant and wash it down with a White Owl Whisky Caesar from Highwood Distillers, or dive into any of the other dozens of restaurants taking part in Taste of Calgary. The tasty dishes will be served up at Eau Claire’s Festival Plaza starting at 11 a.m. Thursday.About three dozen restaurants and pubs are taking part in the 18th annual event which goes from Thursday through to Sunday. Taste of Calgary kicks off in Eau Claire AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Aug 14, 2014 7:28 am MDT read more

FEATURE Nepals heritage sites on shaky ground after devastating quake

Nepal is not unfamiliar with the devastation wrought by earthquakes or the subsequent reconstruction. In 1934, an earthquake destroyed 20 per cent of the buildings in the Kathmandu Valley and one-quarter of those in the capital. Back then, stone and wooden features were salvaged and used later for restoration.Mr. Manhart is optimistic. “Today, in addition to plans, drawings, photographs and measurements, we have very detailed documentation of not only the World Heritage Sites but most of the historic houses.”As centuries of existence crumbled overnight, the strength of an ancient people remains determined to rise from the ashes, to bequeath to future generations a way of life handed down through the ages. Eighty per cent of the temples and historic structures in both Bhaktapur and Kathmandu Durbar Squares have been destroyed. The walls on two wings of the former Royal Palace in Kathmandu, which is now a museum, have totally disintegrated from the corners.On 25 April, the Square’s customary hustle and bustle – along with the rest of the country and some neighbouring States – was jolted by a violent earthquake that shattered lives and reduced structures that have stood for decades, some even centuries, to rubble. The disaster, which has left more than 8,000 people dead and thousands of others injured, led the Nepalese Government to declare a state of emergency.Not three weeks later, amid ongoing rescue and relief efforts, another powerful temblor shook the country, ravaging more lives and dealing another brutal blow to the crippled infrastructure. Adding to the human tragedy was an immense cultural loss that has registered both locally and globally.According to a preliminary assessment by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the earthquake has severely impaired Nepal’s cultural heritage, particularly in the Kathmandu Valley – a World Heritage Site known for its unique temples, stupas and historic houses – where more than half have either collapsed or been seriously damaged.In a message expressing her deep condolences on the magnitude of human loss, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova also voiced shock at the earthquake’s “devastating impact on the unique cultural heritage in the country, in particular extensive and irreversible damage at the World Heritage site of Kathmandu Valley.”Kathmandu Valley is composed of seven groups of monuments and buildings representing a broad range of historical and artistic achievements. The Valley is world famous for the three Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan, as well as the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath, along with the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan.The capital city of Kathmandu – the political, commercial and cultural hub of the country – stood for centuries as a colourful showcase of a culture rich in art and tradition. Encircled by a range of green terraced hills dotted with clusters of red tiled-roofed houses, one legend says that the valley was once covered by a lake until the Bodhisattva Manjushri raised his sword of wisdom and sliced a passage through the mountain walls, draining the water and creating the first settlements.Today that passage has been shaken to its core. Christian Manhart, the director of UNESCO’s Kathmandu office, described the extent of the damage to the country’s cultural heritage, particularly in the Kathmandu Valley, as “absolutely dramatic.”“Half of the temples in Patan Durbar Square have collapsed. Eighty per cent of the temples and historic structures in both Bhaktapur and Kathmandu Durbar Squares have been destroyed. The walls on two wings of the former Royal Palace in Kathmandu, which is now a museum, have totally disintegrated from the corners and we have, as yet, not saved the objects inside,” he said.Mr. Manhart explained that two teams of structural engineers deemed it was unsafe to enter the Palace Museum and that it must be demolished. “We have plans to remove the roof and use a crane to take the objects from top to bottom out of these wings and then to demolish the building.”As per the Government’s request, UNESCO has begun evaluating and consolidating monuments. “We have assessed the monuments inside the Kathmandu Valley and I have sent out a team to more remote areas where standing temples are at risk of collapsing when the monsoon comes,” Mr. Manhart said.Regarding the stupa of Swayambhunath, on a hill in Kathmandu, the devastation was palpable, the UNESCO official noted, adding that while “the earthquake did not trigger an anticipated landslide, important cracks on the level of the steep slope in the south of the precipice may widen during the rainy season – in three to four weeks – sparking a landslide that would be very damaging.”He pointed out that hotels are not safe and most of them are closed at the moment, bringing to light another harsh impact of the earthquake on the fragile country – plummeting tourism, a main source of income for Nepal.“Many hotels in the Himalayas’ Sagarmatha National Park in the Mt. Everest area are destroyed, especially by the second earthquake, whose epicentre was under Mt. Everest. The base camp has been destroyed – keeping away any potential trekking tourists.”Those who come for the heritage monuments will also think twice, now that a big part of them has been reduced to dust. “This will have a medium and maybe even a long-term impact on tourism,” Mr. Manhart noted. read more

Whats open and closed for Victoria Day weekend

All Brock University administrative offices will be closed on Monday, May 22 in observance of Victoria Day.However, a number of key areas at the University’s St. Catharines campus will remain open as per regular weekend operating hours.Campus Security is available at x3200 via emergency phones on campus or through the Brock Mobile App.The following campus services are open and closed Victoria Day weekend.James A. Gibson LibrarySaturday, May 20: 1 to 5 p.m. (Learning Commons and Circulation Services)Sunday, May 21 and Monday, May 22: ClosedWalker Complex/The ZoneSaturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday, May 22: ClosedFood ServicesLowenberger dining hallSaturday, May 20: noon to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.Sunday, May 21: 7 to 10 a.m., noon to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.Monday, May 22: 7:30 to 9 a.m.DeCew dining hallSatuday, May 20: noon to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.Sunday, May 21: 7:30 to 9 a.m., noon to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.Monday, May 22: 7 to 10 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m.Parking ServicesMain office in Thistle hallway is closed from Saturday to Monday. The following hours are for the kiosk in LOT D located at Lowenberger residence:Saturday, May 20: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.Sunday, May 21: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.Monday, May 22: ClosedGuests can pay $8 to park in LOT D for the day. Hourly parking is also available in a number of locations throughout campus. Cars with valid permits can continue to park in their designated lot. read more

Brock leaders welcome Cheechoo to a second term as Chancellor

Canadian writer, director and filmmaker Shirley Cheechoo has been appointed to a second term as Chancellor of Brock University.Cheechoo, whose initial three-year term was to expire this fall, was re-elected to the ceremonial leadership role for a further two years by the University Senate, upon the recommendation of Brock President Gervan Fearon and following consultation with the Board of Trustees.Fearon called Cheechoo a strong leader who connects students to the important role that Indigenous people have played in the development of the country, and also to how the arts can inspire people to find scope for leadership.“The Chancellor has made enormous contributions to the University, and it has been an honour to have her renewal unanimously approved by our Senate and confirmed by our Board,” said Fearon.“She contributes to Brock’s priorities to advance community engagement and post-secondary opportunities across Niagara and beyond, plays an important role in inspiring the establishment of a new position for a Vice-Provost for Indigenous Engagement, and continues to support the building of capacity and understanding for indigenizing the University.”Senate Chair David Whitehead said Cheechoo’s presence on campus brings Brock’s values of inclusiveness and diversity to life at the highest levels of the University.“Brock is moving forward strategically with its commitments to indigenize and decolonize the University by supporting the work of the Two Row, One Dish, One Spoon Council and creating a senior administrative position to guide this work,” said Whitehead. “Chancellor Cheechoo’s reappointment is concrete evidence of Brock’s commitment to moving forward with this important work.”Gary Comerford, Chair of Brock’s Board of Trustees, said extending the Chancellor’s appointment allows Brock to continue to seek her counsel on how to make Brock a university of choice for Indigenous students.“Having someone with the respect and admiration that Shirley has, not only in the Indigenous community but across the broader Canadian community, is a great asset for Brock,” said Comerford.Cheechoo said the Chancellorship provides an important communications conduit that lets her help Brock’s leaders become more knowledgeable about Aboriginal people, their protocols and governance, and why they are so connected to the land.“I don’t think people don’t want to learn,” she said. “Sometimes they just don’t know what to ask in order to learn.”First appointed in 2015, Cheechoo is the eighth chancellor in Brock’s 54-year history, and is the first woman and the first Indigenous Canadian to hold the position.  At Brock, the Chancellor plays an inspirational leadership role aimed at advancing the educational welfare of students, including conferring degrees and awards at convocation ceremonies.A member of the Cree nation, Cheechoo has won international acclaim for stage work and films that are shaped by her First Nations background, including honours at the Sundance Film Festival and the American Indian Film Festival.She is also the founder and Executive Director of Weengushk Film Institute, an institution on Manitoulin Island that develops media arts skills for Indigenous youth and persons of diversity. read more

Hiawatha Belt latest Indigenous flag featured on campus

Brock is continuing an initiative launched last spring with a new Indigenous flag now flying at the front of the University.In April, a fifth flagpole was added to the green space in front of Schmon Tower that throughout the year will feature flags of the many Indigenous communities represented on campus.The Hiawatha Belt flag is now featured in the green space in front of Brock University’s Schmon Tower.The latest flag features the Hiawatha Belt, the national belt of the Haudenosaunee. The belt symbolizes the agreement between the original five Haudenosaunee nations and their promise to support each other in unity.The central symbol is a tree, representing the Onondaga Nation, with two white boxes on each side representing the Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida and Mohawk tribes.Lines connect each nation in peace.The belt represents the moment in history when the five nations buried their weapons of war under the Tree of Peace to live in harmony.Brock’s flag project was launched through the Aboriginal Education Council and is one of many initiatives meant to promote inclusivity on campus and to show the University’s commitment to indigenizing the institution through meaningful and sustainable changes.Other initiatives include the creation of the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Rights, Equity and Decolonization (PACHRED); hiring a Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement; hiring a Director of Human Rights and Equity; and the creation of the Two Row, One Dish, One Spoon Council, a special committee to advise the University Senate on issues related to Indigenous education. read more

NBA Free Agency Diary The Winners And Losers From A Chaotic First

After a whirlwind start to NBA free agency — in which almost every big, available name settled on a home — there was plenty to sift through. Almost too much! So we did the dirty work for you. Here are some of our initial takeaways from Day 1 of free agency.The Warriors may not be a contender, but they’ll still be entertainingFor the third time in four offseasons, Golden State added an All-Star to its roster, arranging a sign-and-trade with the Nets to acquire D’Angelo Russell in the wake of Kevin Durant’s decision to sign with Brooklyn.The move is a compelling one: While it gives the Warriors another scorer to make up for the absences of Durant and Klay Thompson this coming season, it also figures to weaken Golden State considerably on defense — especially because the deal forces the Dubs to part ways with Andre Iguodala. No, Iggy isn’t a spring chicken anymore, but he is still an above-average defender who, along with Draymond Green, has long been one of the most important pieces of that unit. It wouldn’t be all that surprising if the Warriors fall outside the top half of the league on defense at this point, a jarring thought given how great they were on that end for several years.1Losing free agent Kevon Looney would be another blow.But what makes the deal most interesting, aside from seeing how Russell does next to Stephen Curry,2The Nets struggled at times when Russell was paired in the backcourt with fellow guard Spencer Dinwiddie. is that it gives the Warriors a young, valuable asset to trade for other parts — and a deeper roster — once they get Thompson back healthy again. Being able to pivot like that is a plus and is a better alternative to basically losing Durant for nothing.Aside from the Nets, the Pacers had maybe the most interesting dayIf you had told Pacer fans that they were going to lose not only Bojan Bogdanovic — their leading scorer, at 21 points per game, after Victor Oladipo got hurt — but also Swiss Army Knife Thaddeus Young, you probably wouldn’t have gotten a great reaction from them. But that was the reality Sunday. And there’s a decent chance that Indiana comes out of it OK anyway.As Bogdanovic joined the Jazz and Young made a deal with the Bulls, the Pacers agreed to pacts of their own with Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon and Charlotte’s Jeremy Lamb. Brogdon had several suitors, and Indiana had to part ways with a couple of picks in order to complete a sign-and-trade for him. But he could be a solid fit, both because of his tough defense and his ability to play on and away from the ball once Oladipo is back in the mix.For that reason, this seemed to be a much better signing than Ricky Rubio would have been. The offense-challenged Pacers desperately needed someone who was at least something of a shooting threat to take pressure off Oladipo. (Though it remains to be seen whether Brodgon will shoot just as well without the crazy spacing he benefited from with the Bucks.) And the Lamb signing, for three years and $31 million, was arguably even better from a value standpoint.In fact, based on FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO player projection model, Lamb is projected to provide $22.3 million worth of production per season in his deal. Only four players who reached agreements Sunday — all of whom were max-level stars3Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker. Durant and Irving are believed to be taking slightly less than the max to allow DeAndre Jordan to sign for $10 million per year. There’s a good chance that Durant won’t outplay his contract the same way the others in the group might, as he will likely miss most of this coming season. But there’s no way to adjust for that in our projection model just yet. — are projected to outproduce their deals by more than the $12 million per season of excess production expected from the 27-year-old Lamb.By contrast, the model wasn’t high at all on Bogdanovic’s agreement for four years and $73 million with Utah, even though he seems like a great fit with the Jazz on paper. Our model suggests that Utah overpaid by around $14 million a season in order to get someone of his production level, based on his aging curve. (The system did find Young to be a great value for Chicago, however, with the Bulls getting an almost $5 million bargain for him over his three-year deal.)Sacramento won’t get high marksThe Kings made a couple of head-scratching decisions. They kept Harrison Barnes for four years and $85 million and then also picked up Trevor Ariza for two years and $25 million. Both were on the short list of players our CARMELO projection model deemed to be overpays by more than $10 million per season. The Kings were the only club to sign two such players on Sunday.Many of the other players on that dreaded list — Klay Thompson,4Our system has always been tough on Klay — it would likely be even tougher if it were able to account for his ACL tear. Tobias Harris, Khris Middleton — were on contending teams and were in position to command max or near-max deals because their clubs risked losing them for nothing otherwise. That wasn’t true of Barnes or Ariza, though. (Nor was it true of someone like Bobby Portis, who, for all his scoring ability, registered in our system as a nearly $14 million overpay per season with the Knicks.)Sacramento’s other deals, for Dewayne Dedmon and Cory Joseph, were more or less in line with their value.The Sixers overhaul themselves yet againIt’s somewhat stunning that the Sixers either couldn’t or wouldn’t bring back Jimmy Butler after the postseason he had with Philly, but now that he’s moving on, Al Horford is a fascinating signing. Some will gasp at the four-year, $109 million price tag. (Our model actually pegs him right at $109 million over that length of time.) But between him and Josh Richardson, who figures to be on the way to Philadelphia in a Butler sign-and-trade, the Sixers are going to have a scary amount of length on D. Losing JJ Redick’s shooting will sting, but Richardson and Horford are both good from outside.The Sixers will miss Butler’s ability to facilitate as a secondary ball-handler. But Butler’s exit may streamline things on offense for Harris, who was all but forgotten at times in the playoffs — something that simply can’t happen given his salary and what the team gave up to get him.Other winners and losersTwo other teams that deserve credit for their deal-making: The Magic got almost $14 million worth of bargains per season between Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu, according to our model. And the Clippers, who saw all their star targets aside from Kawhi Leonard fall off the board, decided to lock in Patrick Beverley at just three years and $40 million. While the contract was easily the biggest of Beverley’s career, our system pegged his value at $51 million over the next three seasons.The Knicks had a frustrating day, even prompting the team’s brass to put out a statement to fans who were disappointed to see a pair of stars team up in the wrong borough. (Other fans were disappointed to see the team spend more than $100 million in contracts on three players that all could play power forward.) And the Hornets have had a lot of us wondering what they’re up to. Why not trade Kemba Walker ahead of the deadline if there was a chance you were simply going to let him walk in free agency?Some questions, we’ll likely never get an answer for. Others, hopefully, will become more apparent over the coming days, as teams continue to fill in their free-agent blanks. read more

New rules on advertising of unhealthy food and drink to children

first_imgNEW RULES ARE to be introduced concerning the advertising of food and drink with high fat, salt, and sugar content to children.Following a recent public consultation, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has agreed adopt the ‘nutrient profiling model’ which will be used to determine whether a food or drink being advertised is one that is high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) and thereby subject to additional regulation by the BAI.Under the new rules, the advertising of HFSS food and drink will not be permitted in children’s programmes, as defined by the Draft Children’s Commercial Communications Code.Rules regarding content will also be introduced for HFSS food and drink adverts broadcast outside of children’s programmes but which are directed at children. Such communications shall not: Include celebrities or sports starsInclude programme characters eg Peppa PigInclude licensed characters eg characters and personalities from cinema releasesContain health or nutrition claimsInclude promotional offersIn addition to this, no more than 25 per cent of advertising sold by a broadcaster can be for HFSS food and drink and no more than one in four adverts included in any advertising break can be for such products.Notably, upon the recommendation of the Department of Health, advertisements and other commercial communications for cheese will be exempted from the new rules. While advertising for cheese products aimed at children will still be allowed, they will include an on-screen message indicating the recommended maximum daily consumption limit for cheese.Speaking about the new rules, BAI Chief Executive, Michael O’Keeffe said the revised codes has been completed following “one of the most extensive consultations undertaken by the BAI”.He added that cheese products were not to be removed from the nutrient profiling model due to the “health benefits and the economic and cultural significance” of cheese:The key area of the draft code which has now been amended is the removal of cheese from the nutrient profiling model. This was done on the basis that the pre-eminent health body in the State, the Department of Health, recommended this approach given the health benefits and the economic and cultural significance of cheese in an Irish context.Concerns expressedThe Irish Heart Foundation has expressed concerns that the new regulations do not go far enough – saying it was disappointed that the BAI’s proposed Children’s Commercial Communications Code does not ban the advertising of foods such as “French fries, crisps, confectionery, biscuits and sugary sweetened drinks from 6.00am to 9.00pm in order to protect children and young people”.“I am extremely concerned that a ban on adverts for foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS), excludes prime time viewing when on average the most popular time for children (4 to 17 year olds) to watch television is between the hours of 6pm and 9pm and over half of Irish children watch adult programmes without parental supervision. It is clear that the interests of industry have been put before the health of Irish children,” said Maureen Mulvihill, Head of Health Promotion at the Irish Heart Foundation.The Foundation said commercial interests had ‘taken priority over the health of children’ and that a ban on advertising such foodstuffs up to 9pm, to include primetime family viewing, was the only proportionate response to ensure adequate protection of children’s health.It said that a pre-watershed ban was also “strongly supported” by 75 per cent of Irish parents.The rules will come into effect on July 1st 2013 and will apply to all radio and television broadcasters regulated in the Republic of Ireland.Read: Dairy Council says cheese ban is based on ‘inappropriate’ UK model>Read: Committee criticisms proposed changes to cheese ads aimed at children>last_img read more

Fake gun man arrested in Grand Turk

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#28yearoldarrestedinGT, #fakegunarrest, #magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, April 11, 2017 – Grand Turk – A 28 year old man was yesterday arrested by Police for firing off a fake gun in the face of another man.   The arrest in Grand Turk came following a report from Friday, where a 41 year old man reported that around 4:27am, the 28 year old pointed the phony revolver at him and fired shots.No one was hurt and the man was arrested for suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm.#MagneticMediaNews#28yearoldarrestedinGT#fakegunarrestlast_img read more

Tim Kaine reaches out to black voters visits attorneys

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine made a South Florida stop.Hillary Clinton’s running mate was in town to raise campaign money and reach out to black voters. He stopped by Betty’s Soulfood Restaurant on Sistrunk Boulevard, the main street in a historically black business district of Fort Lauderdale.Kaine also visited the home of Fort Lauderdale attorneys Mitchell and Sharon Berger. The couple has previously raised money for U.S. Senate candidates.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Van crashes into bakery storefront in NW MiamiDade

first_imgNORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A van made a crashing stop into a bakery storefront in Northwest Miami-Dade.The driver behind the wheel crashed into the bakery, located on the 4800 block of 167th Street, at approximately 6 a.m., Tuesday.Witnesses on scene said there were two people inside the van.One victim was transported to the hospital in unknown condition.The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

AMI Bets National Enquirer App Will Draw Younger Audiences

first_imgAmerican Media Inc. [AMI] is hoping to revitalize the age-old grocery store tabloid, the National Enquirer, with a tablet app aimed at younger audiences. The company will roll out a tablet-only edition in February that will feature content exclusives focused on gossip. “The starting point will be the print edition,” says David Perel, AMI’s editor of digital entertainment content and the publication’s former editor in chief. Perel and a team of AMI media professionals will analyze the print edition to decide which stories will translate well to the tablet version. “The better news stories and the stories that will appeal to a younger audience will be included,” he says. “Those stories will go to a different editorial team that will rewrite them and sometimes supplement them with new information. We’ll be able to use staff from other publications to supplement material specifically geared toward this audience.” Perel was one of the individuals behind AMI’s relaunch of Radar Online, the entertainment and pop culture website focused on celebrity news. The site now has roughly 4.7 million unique visitors and 34 million monthly page views—a 102 percent increase and a 190 percent increase, respectively, since the site’s launch in 2009. Perel is hoping to translate Radar Online’s success to the new app. “With Radar Online, we had a brand that was not nearly as well known as the National Enquirer,” he says. “We took that and decided to make it an entertainment news site and three years later we’ve been successful in that. For me, the thinking at that point was it didn’t matter what the name was—you can take a website and put almost any name on it as long as you get your message out and deliver the content consistently. With Enquirer Plus, which is the name of the app, it’s different. The National Enquirer is probably the best-known source of gossip in the country so I think it’s an advantage that we have a starting point with a well-known name. The challenge that we face will be to reinvent it for a younger audience and develop that younger audience with the type of content that will be on there.” Perel says that for individuals who don’t read the print edition, this will be a different product focused on breaking news, video, interactivity and bonus features to target the younger demographic. AMI’s other brands, like Star, OK! and Soap Opera Digest magazines, among others, will be used to market the new app, which will cost 99 cents a week or $2.99 a month for a subscription. So far, the app will be available for the iPad with other devices to follow in the coming months. “Unique content will start right from the beginning now, when you send reporters into the field they all have mini-HD cameras to shoot original video,” he says. “With Radar Online, we generate unique material that we share with various TV programs—we get on those shows and our reports and stories are on TV almost everyday, which is how we were able to build the brand so quickly. With Enquirer Plus, we will incorporate that type of strategy so that when we get original material not only will it be in the print edition but there will be other material you can’t find that will be in the app. We’ll share some of that cross platform with other media outlets to help promote awareness of Enquirer Plus and drive people to the brand.”last_img read more

Jordanian Queen to visit Rohingya 23 Oct

first_imgJordanian Queen Rania Al AbdullahJordanian Queen Rania Al Abdullah will visit Cox’s Bazar on 23 October to see for herself the Rohingya situation on the ground.Queen Rania is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on Monday morning, an official told UNB on Friday.In her capacity as a board member of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and as an advocate of the work of UN humanitarian agencies, the Queen will visit Rohingyas.Her visit underscores the urgent need for a dramatic increase in humanitarian assistance for this vulnerable population, said an official on Friday.Rania will visit Kutupalong Refugee Camp and its surroundings in Cox’s Bazar, where she will meet women and children who have recently crossed the border from Myanmar and see some of the emergency services offered by the IRC, UNHCR, Unicef, and other humanitarian agencies on the ground, the official said.At the conclusion of the visit, she will make a press statement.Since late 25 August, around 6 lakh Rohingyas, consisting of women and children in the majority, have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, marking the largest mass refugee movement in the region in decades and a major humanitarian emergency.In Bangladesh, the total number of Rohingyas is now estimated to have reached around 900,000 people, with more expected to arrive, according to international aid agencies.The sheer number of new arrivals has overwhelmed pre-existing service providers, leading to significant challenges in the provision of essential lifesaving services and highlighting the need for greater concerted urgent international response.last_img read more

Pool Season Starts in DC

first_imgBy George Kevin Jordan, Special to the AFROIt’s time to dust off your goggles, pull out that snorkel and gather those fins, as D.C. gets ready for pool season. This past week, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District rolled out the official pool season during a press event at Langdon Pool and Spray Park, 2680 Miles Avenue, N.E. In 2018, Langdon went through a $3 million renovation which made it the only place in D.C. with a combination of pool and spray park. Other features of Langdon include: a new pool and all new equipment, six lap lanes, ADA ramp and handrail into the pool, drinking fountain for people and their pets, and a splash pad area, with multiple spray features, according to the mayor’s office.Public pools are now open in the District on weekends and will be open on weekdays beginning June 17.(Courtesy Photo:“In D.C., we view our parks and pools and playgrounds and senior wellness centers not as a luxury, but as must haves – in every neighborhood, in every corner of the District,” said Mayor Bowser. Washington, D.C. celebrated being ranked  the #1 park system in the country by The Trust for Public Land. The Trust’s survey found that 98 percent of District residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park.“The investments we’ve made have helped us achieve the #1 ranked park system in the nation, including a world-class system of indoor and outdoor pools for D.C, families to enjoy throughout the summer,” Bowser said.“We achieve this honor by investing more than $200 million to ensure that all residents have this great access. Coming into office we made another pledge that all of our fitness and recreational centers would be absolutely free for D.C. residents.”“So we recognize how important it is, especially in a growing city to have better access to places where they can have fun for free.”The mayor spoke of adding 1,000 new slots to eight sites around the city for kids, as well as other investments in the district’s summer camp programs. “When we’re talking about giving people a fair shot we want to make sure we have free things, as [often] as we can, including this pool,” Bowser said.  “…we have affordable and [many] activities for families. When we do that we know that everybody has equal access to opportunity around our city.”The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is expanding swim hours for 10 pool locations including: Anacostia, Francis, Langdon, Kenilworth, Oxon Run, Lincoln Capper, Happy Hollow, Harry Thomas, Upshur, and Banneker. those locations will open at 10 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.Pools will be open on a weekend-only schedule (Saturday and Sunday) through June 16. Starting Monday, June 17, all outdoor pools will operate on individual summer schedule. Spray Parks open Saturday, May 25 and operate daily, from 10 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., according to the mayor’s office.The DPR aquatic inventory includes 19 outdoor pools, 11 indoor pools, 23 spray parks and three children’s pools.For more information on the summer outdoor pool schedule, visit: read more

Googles Bach Doodle Shows Computers Are Great Composers

first_img In-between moves like potentially upending the entire video game industry with Stadia game streaming, calculating Pi to a record-breaking decimal, and even becoming a baby’s first word, it’s nice to see Google still has the time for something as humble as a Google Doodle.But even something as seemingly simple as a goofy image on top of a search bar can be a minor technical marvel when Google puts its mind to it. Check out this AI-powered musical Google Doodle celebrating the birthday of famous German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.Music is a rich, expressive, creative, and highly improvisational art form. But it also relies a lot on math and patterns, especially when it comes to music theory and composition. Musicians spend their lives mastering this knowledge to innately know which kinds of notes harmonize with each other in different ways to achieve the intended aural effect.AdChoices广告But computers are also pretty great at quickly crunching a whole bunch of numbers. So when Google fed a ton of Bach songs into a machine learning program, the resultant algorithm wound up pretty good at creating Bach-style harmonies out of whatever random notes users plug into it on this Doodle. Leave the hard work to the machines and get all the glory for your heavenly tracks by sharing them online or even downloading them as MIDI files.This isn’t the first time a Google Doodle has taken some of the effort out of a notoriously tedious part of music. In 2017, in honor of the history of hip hop, Google put out a Doodle making it easy for anyone to scratch, match beats, and mash up tracks like a real DJ. Classical like Bach or hip hop like Grandmaster Flash, music is music.For more nifty Google Doodles check out this one celebrating International Women’s Day and this one celebrating the life of Steve Irwin. Stay on target Easily Assign Tasks With Google AssistantLGBTQ+ Video Creators Sue YouTube, Google last_img read more

Uplifting sufi music

first_imgIt turned into a fan-moment for many wide eyed patrons, when the humble AR Rahman stepped onto the dais and thanked everyone for their presence and being patient. The internationally acclaimed artiste was in the Capital to officially announce his upcoming concert in November, The Sufi Route.Organised by Friday Filmworks, INvision Entertainment, and Invloed Matrix, The Sufi Route has been established to encourage and nurture a holistic alternate music experience, is hosting its first ever concert on November 18 at Qutub Minar in Delhi. The concert will bring to the fore, Sufi artists like Nooran sisters, Mukhtiar Ali, Hans Raj Hans, Konya Turkish Music Ensemble, Dhruv Sangari and Dervish dancers. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Oscar winning music maestro said, “For me, Sufi means destroying the evil in your heart. I am grateful to the organisers for this concert. This is something I cherish very closely. The need of the hour is to share the spirituality and love, which Sufi gives, with humanity.”Rahman expressed his gratitute to the organisers for bringing up the idea, and giving a platform to Sufi. He believes that the youth as well will love to listen to the songs in the upcoming concert. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhat are the maestro’s views on spirituality? Says Rahman, “Spirituality is not about bhajans or kawwalis, it’s about love and actions. For me that is very important.”About his musical compositions he said, “When we take up any job, we take up a responsibility, and we must do it honestly. It’s the same with music. What we give to the people has to be right, and filtered even with all the limitations, and one must try his best to do so.”When enquired about his thoughts regarding the audience’s reaction upon singing Tamil or Hindi songs at certain concerts, in context to some recent events, AR Rahman said, “I’ve been receiving complaints since my first gig in 2000. In some places they complain about the Tamil songs, while in some place there are complains about the Hindi songs. But they’ve (audience) been coming back for the concerts anyway, so I don’t mind.” Sufi music is universally accepted as an expression of peace, freedom, and diversity. The unusual concert, The Sufi Route, is the first Sufi festival in India aimed as an ode to the origins of the genre. It is also the only time in recent memory that two ancient and culturally rich roots of Sufi music – Turkish Tasawuf and Indian Sufism – are blending together on this scale. The festival at large aims to achieve peace at such a time of unrest across the globe.This ‘music led peace festival’ has been designed to be age agnostic, and it welcomes anyone with an ear for alternative music and poetry. The organisers have also created The Sufi Route to be a traveling, global platform, with plans for Indian artistes to have an encore in Turkey in the next edition, followed by concerts in UK and UAE. Gagan Takyar of INvision Entertainment, Event Organiser and Co-Owner said, “The idea of The Sufi Route came about because this genre of music deserves its share of limelight. Not many music lovers have heard the undiluted rhythms of Sufism that are truly soul-stirring. We are honoured and excited to bring about this congregation of amazing artists. It’s a dream in the making!”last_img read more