WINNIPEG – The acrimony, distrust and eventual open warfare that crippled the Manitoba New Democrats and almost toppled former premier Greg Selinger is being laid out for the first time by an insider.Gord Mackintosh, who was a cabinet minister the entire time the NDP was in power between 1999 and 2016, details the behind-the-scenes arguments that led to a revolt by other cabinet ministers in 2014 and to a convention at which Selinger hung on to his position as party leader by 33 votes.Mackintosh’s new book “Stories Best Left Untold” comes out May 23 and covers his youth in Fort Frances, Ont., his time as a lawyer advising Elijah Harper on opposing the Meech Lake accord and his service in a variety of cabinet portfolios such as justice, conservation and family services.The book reveals cabinet discussions about Selinger’s controversial move to raise the provincial sales tax and the ensuing effort to dump him to revive the party’s sagging poll numbers.Selinger had promised in the 2011 election campaign not to raise the sales tax, but the government was in a cash crunch and needed money, Mackintosh writes. Weeks before the 2013 budget, cabinet ministers had options they thought would be more palatable to the public: income tax increases on high-earners or a series of smaller tax and levy increases that would, combined, raise as much money.Selinger didn’t listen to warnings the public would be angry at the broken promise and a major public relations campaign would be needed to sell the increase, Mackintosh writes.“Greg was blind to what several of us learned in our first month in office — communications planning and a fine-tuned press release and remarks are good ideas. This wasn’t leadership as I’d come to know it.”The public anger was immediate and lasting. NDP poll numbers plummeted. By the summer of 2014, some in the NDP caucus were telling Selinger to resign so that a new leader would have a shot in the next election.Mackintosh says Selinger should have resigned “for the good of the party,” especially once the revolt broke out in the open toward the end of 2014.“‘For the good of the party’ is an age-old exit ramp.”But five rebel cabinet ministers who tried publicly to force Selinger out did not work to get enough support from fellow caucus members before making their move, Mackintosh writes. A news conference in which they criticized Selinger just gave the Opposition Progressive Conservatives fodder for campaign ads, he suggests.The Tories would win the 2016 election with a modern-day record majority. The NDP were reduced to 14 seats as the official Opposition. Selinger announced on election night he would step down.Selinger, who continues to sit in the legislature, declined an interview request Tuesday. Theresa Oswald, who challenged Selinger for the leadership but did not seek re-election last year, was not immediately available.Mackintosh effusively praises former premier Gary Doer, who led the New Democrats until 2009 and enjoyed continuous high poll numbers. Doer was able to keep a team together, listen to those around him and “bring people in,” Mackintosh writes — a sharp contrast to Selinger.“Like everyone, Greg has shortcomings but one was an apparent belief he bested other members. That’s a problem when it comes to political smarts where advice can help avoid calamity.”Mackintosh, 61, didn’t run for re-election. He teaches political science part-time and spends more time with his family.Talking over a cup of tea in his north-end Winnipeg neighbourhood, he doesn’t seem to miss anything.“People keep saying, ‘Gord, you have to get back into politics,’ but it’s not in my in-basket right now.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version used wrong information provided by the publisher that indicated the book was coming out May 11
As wildfires continue to roar across British Columbia, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said her government will help when and where it can.The premier made the comments at her Stampede pancake breakfast Monday morning.Having gone through a huge fire disaster last year with Fort McMurray, Notley said everyone understands how traumatic forest fires can be for communities.“That’s why we reached out to B.C. and offered them what we have,” she said.Alberta has already sent about 100 firefighters and 60 emergency support staff to help with co-ordination.Notley said the government will keep in touch in case more help is needed.“We’re very open to working very closely with our neighbours in B.C. because we’re all part of the same country,” she said, adding Alberta has a lot of expertise to offer.
“The OIC has been articulate in rejecting any linkage between international terrorism and Islam, and active in repudiating those misguided and malevolent individuals who have invoked Islam while inflicting appalling suffering on innocent people,” Mr. Annan said in a message to the 30th session of OIC Foreign Ministers in Tehran, Iran.”I urge you to continue your efforts to inform the world about what Islam really means and the values it represents, and thus help to fill, with accurate information and mutual understanding, the terrible breach that has opened between faiths, cultures and countries,” he added. “That would be a most welcome contribution to our shared mission of development, tolerance and peace.”Assuring the Conference that the UN would play its full part in ensuring that the Iraqi people can form a free, representative government as soon as possible, Mr. Annan declared: “All international and foreign entities in Iraq must realize that it is essential that at all times we keep the interests of the Iraqi people at the forefront of our efforts.”Referring to the Road Map plan calling for a Middle East peace based on an Israeli and a Palestinian state living side by side and achieved through reciprocal, parallel steps, Mr. Annan noted that “great wrongs have been done by each to the other.””Terrorist attacks launched by Palestinian groups must stop, and the Palestinian Authority has an obligation in this regard,” he declared. “Israel must end such measures as extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, house demolitions, blockades and settlement activities. Moreover, the parties should not allow extremists to hijack the process and dictate agendas.”Though responsibility to bring this process to a successful conclusion rests primarily with the parties themselves, Mr. Annan added, “The international community remains there to help, not least to alleviate the hardship of the Palestinian people until the occupation of the Palestinian territory is ended.”On Afghanistan, he warned that fragile gains in rebuilding the country were being threatened by daily harassment and intimidation, inter-ethnic and inter-factional strife, and the persistence of the drug economy. “At this critical stage for the Bonn (reconciliation) process, I hope the Security Council, Afghanistan’s neighbours, and the entire international community will maintain their commitment and support,” he added.”The OIC has key contributions to make in these and other areas,” he stated.
During the meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission will discuss the first phase of the withdrawal process from the Lake Chad area, which is scheduled to happen by the end of the year. The meeting will also consider the interim report of the Sub-commission on Demarcation, and the interim report of the Sub-commission on Affected Populations after its visit to the Lake Chad area last month. The Mixed Commission was set up last year by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the request of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Paul Biya of Cameroon. It is chaired by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah. The Commission organizes regular meetings between Cameroon and Nigeria according to a mutually agreed agenda, and five such meetings have taken place since December last year.
by The Associated Press Posted Jul 1, 2015 6:05 am MDT The Latest: EU says its assessment of the latest Greek offer is going to all 19 euro nations ATHENS, Greece – The latest news on Greece’s financial woes (all times local):___3 p.m.The European Commission will submit its assessment of Greece’s demand for a new two-year loan program to the finance ministers of the 19 nations using the euro.All the finance ministers, including Greece, are holding a teleconference meeting later Wednesday.Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis says it’s up to the member countries to decide what action to take, but warns that the Greek request is being considered in “a different economic situation” than offers last week. That suggests any decision could take time.The Commission is also urging the European Financial Stability Facility — Greece’s biggest creditor — not to call in its loans to Greece until decisions on a possible new bailout have been made.___2.36 p.m.Cyprus’ finance minister is calling Greece’s latest bid to thrash out a new bailout program with its creditors to be “very significant” and a “step in the right direction.”Harris Georgiades said he’s cautiously optimistic that Greece’s latest move would help the country “avoid dangers and move forward.”He said Cyprus wants Greece to stay in the eurozone so that “serious risks and painful consequences” for the Greek people are avoided.Georgiades said a well-structured bailout program that’s reform-driven and doesn’t rely on taxation can bring the country back to growth.___2.32 p.m.Greece’s biggest creditor says the country is likely to be in default for not paying its roughly 1.6 billion-euro ($1.8 billion) debt installment to the International Monetary on Tuesday.The European Financial Stability Facility says that once the non-payment is officially confirmed by the IMF board “this would constitute an event of default for certain EFSF loans.”In a statement, the EFSF said its chief Klaus Regling would then have to propose one of three actions to the 19 nations using the euro.He could suggest that the loan contract be cancelled and demand immediate payment of Greece’s debt and interest, waive the EFSF’s rights for this loan payment, or reserve the right to act at a later stage.The government in Athens owes the EFSF 130.9 billion euros ($145.9 billion) in loan money.___2.30 p.m.German Chancellor Angela Merkel is making clear that she wants the International Monetary Fund involved in any new aid program for Greece.Merkel said making Europe strong in the world and defending its values is a key consideration in deciding whether to launch negotiations on a new bailout “on the basis of solidarity and responsibility, and involving the three institutions — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.”Merkel also said Europe has become stronger over the past five years and that “we can wait calmly” for the Greek referendum result.“Today the other 18 member states no longer have to fear an economic catastrophe because Greece has gotten into turbulence,” she added.___2.23 p.m.No votes in Sunday’s Greek referendum have been cast yet, but bookmakers are already expressing confidence that voters will back creditor demands for more austerity in return for bailout cash.Many online bookmakers already have stopped taking wagers on the outcome as money has flowed in heavily in favour of Greeks voting “yes.”The government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said it will press for a “no” outcome.The major Irish bookmaker, Paddy Power, closed betting Wednesday and paid out winning outcomes to those who risked money on a “yes” verdict.The Dublin-based company said more than 85 per cent of its customers’ money placed on the Greek referendum outcome backed approval.___2.15 p.m.German Chancellor Angela Merkel is insisting that there can be no negotiations on any new aid package for Greece before its referendum on Sunday.Merkel told the German Parliament Wednesday that “the door to talks with the Greek government was always open and will always stay open.” But she said that Greece unilaterally ended talks by calling Sunday’s referendum on previous creditor proposals.She said that was Greece’s legitimate right but that other eurozone countries had their rights, too.“We will wait for the referendum,” she said. “There can be no negotiations on a new aid program before the referendum.”Merkel also insisted that Europe needs to stick to rules and principles in negotiations and that a compromise at any price would only be “a result for the sake of a result.”____1.35 p.m.German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has rejected suggestions that a new bailout agreement with Greece was possible before Sunday’s referendum.Schaeuble said Greece’s creditors in the eurozone agreed there was “no sense” in trying to reach one in a situation where there are constantly conflicting reports on what Greece wants.“Before a referendum, there is indeed no basis (for an agreement),” said Schaeuble.He added that with Greece’s bailout having expired Tuesday, “we cannot simply act as though” the program was still in place.Eurozone finance ministers are set to discuss Greece’s latest proposals in a teleconference later.___1.20 p.m.A Greek official has sought to douse suggestions that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has caved in to creditor demands.In a letter sent to creditors Tuesday proposing a new deal for Greece, Tsipras appeared to make significant concessions in a request for a new bailout deal.The Greek official insisted that press reports he had “fully accepted the creditor proposal are not true.”In the letter, Tsipras said Greece is “prepared to accept” the creditor proposal as it was presented last Sunday by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who published it on the Commission website, subject to certain amendments.Those include maintaining the discounted value added tax on Greek islands which creditors had demanded to be abolished, and delay some labour reforms until the fall, compared to creditor demands they be enacted immediately.___1.00 p.m.Germany’s finance minister has urged Greece to make it clear what it wants from creditors before serious talks on a new bailout can take place.Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble complained of confusing reports coming from Greece and noted that any discussions to take place will be under “much more difficult conditions” than previously.Greece, he said “must first create clarity as to what it wants, and then we have to talk about it under much more difficult conditions.”He noted that Greece’s bailout program has expired so the possible deal being presented in Sunday’s referendum no longer exists.___12.24 p.m.Stock markets across Europe surged higher on a report on the Financial Times website that Greece will accept all the bailout demands of creditors bar a few changes such as maintaining a discount on sales taxes on the Greek islands.In the two-page letter sent to Greece’s creditors on Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appears to be making big concessions in a request for a new bailout deal.Traders responded positively, thinking that it could form the basis of a new deal between Greece and its creditors that would prevent a messy Greek exit from the euro.The Stoxx 50 index of leading European shares was up 1.6 per cent, while Germany’s DAX jumped 2.2 per cent.___11.43 a.m.French Finance Minister Michel Sapin is hoping for an agreement with Greece before Sunday’s referendum but called the situation “terrifyingly complicated.”Sapin said on French radio RTL that “the aim is to find an agreement, before the referendum if possible.” Eurozone finance ministers are set to discuss Greece’s latest two-year bailout request later in a teleconference.“If Greece votes yes, negotiations will continue in difficult conditions, but we’d be able to quickly find an agreement,” he said. “If Greece votes no, there is a risk of sliding towards a Greek exit from the euro.”Sapin also said the “little countries,” many of which have taken made big economic changes over the past few years, have taken a tougher stance on Greece than Germany.___11.34 a.m.Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s reckons a Greek exit from the euro could “easily weaken the upturn” currently taking place in the eurozone.Though, the agency says the risks of contagion to other eurozone countries are less elevated that in 2010-11, it does warn that a so-called Grexit could “lead to increased risk aversion among investors, lenders and consumers.”S&P has upgraded its projections for the eurozone to 1.6 per cent growth this year and 1.9 per cent next, from the previous 1.5 per cent and 1.7 per cent.___10.45 a.m.U.K. Treasury chief George Osborne says the failure of the Greek government to make its scheduled payments to the IMF has only served to add to a sense of crisis in the country.Greece failed to repay a debt of roughly 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the IMF, becoming the first developed country to fall into arrears since Zimbabwe in 2001.Osborne said it is vital to resolve uncertainty to ensure economic and financial stability across Europe.“We hope for the best; but we prepare for the worst, and we stand ready to do whatever is necessary to protect our economic security at this uncertain time,” he said.___10.40 a.m.Thousands of elderly Greeks thronged banks that were opened especially for pensioners who don’t have bank cards, to allow them some access to their money.Withdrawals are limited to 120 euros ($133) per person for the week.However, a seeming last minute decision to serve customers on an alphabetical basis, announced by some banks overnight and others in the morning, led to confusion and frustration.Many pensioners waited in line from before dawn but were eventually told they would have to return Thursday or Friday.Greek banks have been closed since Monday as the government imposed strict capital controls to prevent a bank run in the wake of its decision to call a referendum on creditor demands.___10.30 a.m.Markets took in stride Greece’s failure to pay the roughly 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) it owed the IMF with stock indexes across Europe posting solid gains. The Stoxx 50 index of leading European shares was up 0.7 per cent while Germany’s DAX rose 0.9 per cent.There appear to be some hopes that Greece’s new proposals to the eurozone may meet with some support. Eurozone finance ministers are set to weigh Greece’s latest proposal for aid later, in a teleconference that’s been put off until 5.30 p.m. Brussels time, according to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the eurozone’s top official. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
I was surprised by my colleague Neil Paine’s analysis of Miguel Cabrera’s record-breaking new contract extension. I thought the Detroit Tigers would come out looking much worse.According to Neil’s estimate, which used projections from Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA system, Cabrera’s market value for the next 10 years is roughly $275 million. That’s not as much as the $292 million that the Tigers will be paying him, but the difference is modest.Neil’s valuation assumed that teams are willing to pay about $6.5 million per additional win in the free-agent market, based on research from Dave Cameron and Lewie Pollis. These estimates come from comparing the salaries given to free agents against their expected on-field production. (Neil further assumed that the market price of a win will increase by 5 percent per year.)In other words, Cabrera isn’t that vastly overpaid as compared to recent free agents. If Mike Napoli is making $16 million per year, then Cabrera’s $29 million per year doesn’t look so bad.But Cabrera’s market value is not the same as Cabrera’s economic value to the Tigers. It could be that free agents as a group are vastly overpaid, relative to the revenue they bring to their teams.In the 2006 book “Baseball Between the Numbers,” I estimated the marginal value of a win to a baseball team, based on how responsive different categories of revenue (such as ticket sales and TV deals) are to a team’s quality. I estimated that an additional game won added only about $1.2 million to a team’s bottom line, after subtracting revenue-sharing payments. (This assumes that the value of a win is constant from team to team, which it isn’t, but we’ll leave that aside for now.)That estimate is now eight years old. Total gross revenue accruing to the 30 Major League Baseball clubs has increased since then; it was $7.1 billion in 2013, according to Forbes, as compared to $4.7 billion in 2005.If the marginal economic value of a win has increased proportionately, a win would now be worth about $1.8 million. That’s still far less than the $6.5 million that teams are willing to pay for a win. Are baseball owners being irrational?Perhaps, but their motivation to own a baseball team may not be based solely in profits and losses. They may just be having fun. (I can think of a lot of worse ways to splurge.)And they may know that if they choose to sell their teams, they can do so — probably at a significant profit. The market value of an MLB franchise has increased by more than 600 percent since 1990, according to valuations from Financial World and Forbes magazine (see Rodney Fort’s website for the data). By comparison, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose by about 450 percent between March 27, 1990, and March 27, 2014. (Framed in terms of compound annual growth rates, baseball teams have increased in value by 8.5 percent per year since 1990, as compared with 7.3 percent for the stock market.)Not only have baseball franchises outperformed the stock market, but the patterns in their growth rates have been quite different. The stock market rose dramatically in the 1990s, but has teetered back and forth since then. By contrast, the rise in MLB franchise values has been much steadier.What accounts for this?Here’s a theory. The average baseball franchise is now worth $817 million, according to Forbes. Loosely speaking, you need to be a billionaire to afford one. And there are a lot more billionaires than there used to be.Forbes estimates that there are 492 billionaires in the United States, as compared to 99 in 1990. The increase in the number of billionaires, like the increase in baseball franchise values, has been relatively steady. (The number of American billionaires fell after the financial crisis of 2007-09 but has risen to a new high since then.)In a sense, the Tigers may be betting less on Cabrera’s performance and more on economic and regulatory conditions. If the number of billionaires continues to rise, Tigers owner Mike Ilitch (worth $3.6 billion) should find plenty of buyers should he sell the team down the line. Cabrera’s presence might make the Tigers a more attractive purchase — or if not, the liability might be modest as compared with the Tigers’ resale price. But if the rise of the billionaire reverses, Cabrera’s contract might come to look like the peak of a bubble.
“As a result, further advice and guidelines have been issued to team doctors and support staff – standard procedure for such an occurrence where a number of teams are occupying championship accommodation.”It was not immediately clear if Makwala, who pulled out of the 200m heats earlier on Monday, was staying at the hotel in question but he said on his Facebook page that other athletes in his accommodation had been ill.”According to IAAF medics I am apparently suffering from food poisoning which has affected several other athletes in the athletes’ hotel,” he wrote on his Facebook page.”Lets hope they will allow me to run my final tomorrow.” As he missed the heats on medical advice, however, he would be able to run, if fit.Ireland’s 400m hurdler Thomas Barr was also forced out of his semi-finals on Monday.”I wasn’t feeling great yesterday evening and later in the night I was hit with a bad bout of gastroenteritis,” Barr said in an Athletics Ireland statement.”My whole year has been focused on the World Championships … and I’m gutted to have to withdraw.” Botswana’s Isaac Makwala after the semi-finals of the men’s 400mCredit:JEWEL SAMAD/AFP Makwala, among the favorites for the 400m, would normally be scratched from the final after pulling out of another event. A number of athletes at the World Championships have been laid low by stomach upsets with Botswana’s Isaac Makwala saying on Monday he was forced to withdraw from the 200m heats because of food poisoning.London 2017 organisers released a statement late on Monday saying that a number of teams had reported cases of gastroenteritis at their official hotel.”Those affected have been supported by both team and LOC medical staff, in addition we have been working with Public Health England to ensure the situation is managed and contained,” the organising committee said in a statement. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Bojan BeljanskiFrisch Auf GoppingenGerman Bundesliga Serbian line player, “silver boy” from the last week finished EHF EURO 2012, Bojan Beljanski (26) is close to sign contract with German team, Frisch Auf Goppingen. Currently player of Swiss Kriens, Beljanski came to Switzerland last summer, after three seasons spent in Spanish side – Arrate.If Germans want to get Beljanski next summer, they will have to pay for his freedom, because he is under contract with the Swiss team until 2013. ← Previous Story Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson two years in Kiel? Next Story → SEHA 2nd Part begins: Favorites celebrate wins!
Your Nook Color is now like a real Android tablet. The device just received a software update to give it Android software 2.2, also known as “Froyo.” This means it has access to the Android Market and full Internet connectivity.The update comes after hackers routinely turned the Nook Color, which used to run on a very specialized and restricted version of Google’s mobile OS, into a fully functional Android tablet. Now it’s been done in an official way.So now you can get an Android tablet at a pretty affordable price, and have full access to all of Nook’s features at the same time.Via ZDNetAdChoices广告
Sitdown Sunday: Solving the murder of Peter Falconio Grab a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads Sunday 19 Feb 2017, 9:00 AM No Comments IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.1. The graffiti kids who started the Syrian war Source: AP/Press Association ImagesThis incredible story is about how a teenage rebellion sparked civil war in the Middle East.(Globe & Mail, approx 78 mins reading time)Naief Abazid had no inkling that he was about to launch a revolution, or anything else that has followed. He was just doing what the bigger kids told him to. Trying to make them laugh. “It’s your turn, Doctor Bashar al-Assad, ” he painted, just under the window of the principal’s office of the all-boys al-Banin school in his hometown of Daraa. The date was Feb. 16, 2011.2. Eat breadNathan Myhrvold is out to change our mind about bread – and no, he’s not against us eating it, he just wants us to realise that we could change things up a bit. This interview with him isn’t just about bread though, it’s about food, how we think about food, and one man’s obsessive journey with food.(Eater, approx 40 mins reading time)Well, but all of our ancestors did at some point in time, depending on exactly who your ancestors were — that could have been relatively recently or could have been 200 years ago — but they did live on bread and porridge and other kinds of foods as the bulk of their calorie consumption. So if we release bread mentally from being this pillar of all these things and say, “Yes, I’m willing to spend more for it,” if I can spend $25 on a plate of risotto or pasta — which is not expensive by New York standards at all — well, I ought to be able to be willing to spend that for an equal serving of bread.3. 50 Shades of Green Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson at the Fifty Shades Darker premiere. Source: Empics EntertainmentLa Donna Pietra takes a look at the new film Fifty Shades Darker, and decides: It’s all about the economy. A sideways and smart look at the movie.(Birth Movies Death, approx 10 mins reading time)Fifty Shades Darker does not do a very good job of hiding its actual motivations, any more than Ana’s sleazetastic new boss Jack Hyde. Financial concerns drive the plot from start to finish, and the sex everyone showed up for is just window dressing. This is not a huge surprise; the book remains the only erotic/porn/romance novel I have ever read to include student loan payments as a plot point, and E.L. James’ notably clunky writing gets significantly better when she’s describing consumer goods. By Aoife Barry Feb 19th 2017, 9:00 AM Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3237134 20,534 Views Share Tweet Email2 4. The death of Karen BattsKaren Batts was found hypothermic and dying in a parking garage in Portland. Her shocking death forced the city to look at how it treated the homeless.(The Guardian, approx 24 mins reading time)The city’s image of itself as a bastion of liberal values and affable quirkiness is increasingly undermined by the plight of its homeless residents. Amid unusually brutal weather, Batts was among four homeless Portlanders who died of exposure in the first 10 days of 2017. In the same period, a homeless woman was found holding a dead infant at a bus shelter; the medical examiner ruled it a stillbirth.5. Life on drugs Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesMusic journalist Barney Hoskyns was young when he got involved in drugs – they made life more interesting, helped him escape his problems, but left his life in tatters.(The Guardian, approx 12 mins reading time)To this day I don’t know why I said yes – why I rolled up my sleeve and told my old friend: “Do it.” I can’t say it was peer pressure. I harboured no secret longing to be a junkie. You’d think that, having just graduated with a first from Oxford, I might not have stuck my hand in this particular fire. In a moment of existential recklessness, I did it anyway.6. Immortal techniqueIrish writer and journalist Mark O’Connell has a new book out about humans and our obsession with death. In this extract, he introduces us to ‘transhumanist’ Zoltan Istvan, a presidential candidate who undertook a trip in a coffin-shaped bus in order to make people think about immortality.(New York Times, approx 34 mins reading time)Although I was not sure I wanted to live forever, I was sure that I didn’t want to go down in a blaze of chintzy irony, plunging into a ravine strapped into the passenger seat of a thing called the Immortality Bus. For all that Istvan railed against the tyranny of death over human lives, his attitude toward basic road safety was at times wildly cavalier. The fact that he was piloting a 38-foot coffin bus through New Mexico did not, for instance, stop him from looking at his phone every couple of minutes, responding to texts and emails, checking the social-media analytics on his latest piece for TechCrunch, etc\…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES… Northern Territory Supreme Court handout of British backpackers Joanne Lees and Peter Falconio in their camper van. Source: PA Archive/PA ImagesIn 2001, British backpacker couple Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees were flagged down by a man in Australia’s Northern Territory. The man shot and killed Peter and abducted Lees. Here, former detective Colleen Gwynne looks back on an incredibly tough case.(The Guardian, approx 16 mins reading time)In the darkness, Gwynne recalled the details of the crime: a Kombi van with two British backpackers headed north; a man in a white utility pulled off to one side of the highway, hazard lights blinking; a helpful Falconio coaxed to the rear of the vehicle; male voices discussing something about exhaust pipes and then a gunshot ringing through the night; a terrified Lees pulled from the front seat, stunned by a blow to the head, hands bound, forced into the ute; an anxious killer returning to Falconio’s body; a tiny, wild window of opportunity for Lees to scramble out into darkness and run to this very place, under the saltbush.More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Whyalla is facing more uncertainty regarding the struggling Arrium steelmaking plant, since new administrators KordaMentha were appointed on Tuesday after a successful federal court order, sought by banks and the AWU (Australian Workers’ Union). Closure is not an option“The creditors have the right to appoint the firm they wish to represent them,” says previously appointed administrator Paul Billingham, of Grant Thornton. South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis just wants to get on with finding a solution for the 1,600 Arrium workers, in South Australia’s third most populous city. “I don’t think there is any more uncertainty; just a further delay with the banks forcing a change of administrator,” Koutsantonis stated in Neos Kosmos. Greek-born, acting Whyalla mayor Tom Antonio met with the KordaMentha on Wednesday morning. Antonio’s wish is for the administrator to collaborate with state and federal governments to ensure the Arrium plant continues to push out the quality steel that Whyalla produces, while he insists that the federal government should encourage all state governments to use Australian steel for all taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects. “The community was initially concerned about the change, but after my meeting with KordaMentha, I feel that they can follow on from the good work Grant Thornton has produced,” he tells Neos Kosmos. “We shouldn’t be buying steel from overseas,” Antonio points out, at a time when a lot has been said about importing and using foreign steel for major construction projects in South Australia, such as the new Royal Adelaide Hospital construction project. Koutsantonis, on the other hand, is adamant. “All our infrastructure is built using South Australian or Australian steel. “They only time we import steel is if the steel required is not manufactured in Australia or unavailable,” he says. Whyalla is known as the ‘Steel City’ due to its integrated steelworks and shipbuilding heritage, while the port of Whyalla has been exporting iron ore since 1903. Unfortunately, according to Tom Antonio, the city has already been affected tremendously by the Arrium crisis, experiencing up to 30 per cent drop in real estate value. “Arrium is a lifeline for the community and has been the backbone of the South Australian economy for the last 100 years. “Arrium and Whyalla are too big to be left to fail and the economic and social impact would be catastrophic if it’s allowed to happen,” warns Antonio. “Closure is not an option.”Furthermore, Leader of the House and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, scheduled a door-stop on Wednesday at his electorate office in Adelaide together with Assistant Minister for Science Karen Andrews, regarding steel anti-dumping. And it doesn’t end there. Adelaide Crows Football Club has also shown its support towards the Whyalla community by conducting school visits to eight schools across three days this week, preaching wellbeing and positive messages to more than 1,600 children, as part of the club’s schools program, ‘Growing with Gratitude’.“It just made sense to get up there as quickly as possible, to get our community team into some cars and into the trenches in Whyalla,” said the club’s CEO, Andrew Fagan, in his statement to the local press. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Cyclone Yasi : d’une violence exceptionnelle, il fonce sur l’AustralieLes services météorologiques annoncent pour le jeudi 3 février au plus tard l’arrivée sur les côtes du Queensland du cyclone tropical Yasi, d’une intensité 4 sur une échelle de 5. Touristes et habitants commencent à être évacués, et des ports sont déjà fermés.”Si vous vivez en plaine ou près des côtes dans la zone de danger, vous devez partir ailleurs avec votre famille pour vous mettre en sécurité”, avertit Anna Bligh, ministre de l’Etat du Queensland. Des vents atteignant 250 km/h, des pluies torrentielles : tels sont les effets, attendus pour mercredi ou jeudi sur la côte nord-est de l’Australie, du cyclone tropical Yasi, qui traverse actuellement la mer de Corail vers ce continent.À lire aussiRoi de l’imitation, cet oiseau-lyre peut reproduire le son d’un pistolet-laserDe force 4, comme Katrina à la Nouvelle-Orléans en 2005, le cyclone devrait atteindre la côte aux environs de la ville de Cairns et se faire violemment ressentir à des centaines de kilomètres à la ronde. Les évacuations ont commencé mardi dans la région, facilitées par des vols aériens supplémentaires avant la fermeture des aéroports. Les installations portuaires de la Baie de Dalrymple, d’où est exporté le charbon de la région, déjà fermées dimanche à cause d’un autre cyclone, ne rouvriront pas, attendant le passage de Yasi.L’Australie, et notamment le Queensland (nord du pays), est encore sous le coup des terribles inondations qui ont fait 35 victimes et enseveli sous les eaux de nombreuses mines de charbon, perturbant gravement ce secteur d’activité.Le 1 février 2011 à 12:59 • Emmanuel Perrin
L’ancêtre LUCA plus complexe que ce que les scientifiques pensaient D’après une nouvelle étude, LUCA l’ancêtre commun à tous les êtres vivants serait sans doute plus complexe que ce que les chercheurs avaient imaginé jusqu’ici. Peu à peu, on en sait plus sur LUCA, le mystérieux ancêtre commun de toutes les espèces vivantes. En effet, d’après les scientifiques, toutes les formes de vie existantes sur Terre proviendraient d’une unique cellule apparue il y a environ 3.8 milliards d’années, le Last Universal Common Ancestor. Depuis longtemps, les études se concentrent donc sur les points communs qui existent entre les trois grands domaines de la vie : bactéries, archées et eucaryotes. Des observations censées fournir des informations supplémentaires sur les caractéristiques de LUCA. À lire aussiUn nautile extrêmement rare observé pour la première fois en 30 ans en PapouasieAinsi, une équipe de l’université de l’Illinois a concentré son travail sur une structure bien particulière : un site de stockage de polyphosphate, considéré selon les auteurs comme le premier organite universel. Jusqu’à sa découverte en 2003, les scientifiques pensaient même que cette structure était absente des bactéries et des archées. Pour mener son étude, l’équipe américaine a donc comparé les séquences génétiques qui codent pour une enzyme de ce site de stockage chez des centaines d’espèces. Elle a alors pu construire un arbre généalogique montrant comment les différentes versions de l’enzyme chez différents organismes sont liées.D’après ces résultats, l’enzyme et le système de stockage des polyphosphates qu’elle gouverne, serait en fait très ancienne et daterait d’avant l’apparition des trois principaux domaines de la vie, autrement dit elle serait probablement issue de notre ancêtre commun, rapporte Sciences et avenir. Ainsi, James Whitfield, professeur d’entomologie à l’Illinois et co-auteur de l’étude explique : “l’étude tend à confirmer une hypothèse selon laquelle LUCA aurait été plus complexe que les organismes les plus simples vivant aujourd’hui”. Néanmoins, si la connaissance de LUCA progresse, l’ancêtre reste un véritable mystère. Le 7 octobre 2011 à 17:25 • Maxime Lambert
A 15 ans il fait la une de Nature et bouleverse les théoriesLors d’un stage à l’observatoire de Strasbourg où son père travaille, Neil Ibata a mis au point un programme informatique pour analyser trois années d’observations. Résultat, à seulement 15 ans, il a permis de montrer que des galaxies naines tournaient de manière ordonnée autour de la galaxie d’Andromède. Il a ainsi fait la une de Nature car cette découverte contredit les théories selon lesquelles les galaxies seraient disposées de manière aléatoire.Grâce à Neil Ibata, de nombreux employeurs vont très certainement arrêter de cantonner leurs stagiaires à la photocopieuse et à la machine à café. Ce jeune homme de 15 ans, étudiant en 1ère S lycée international des Pontonniers à Strasbourg, vient en effet de co-signer la une de la prestigieuse revue Nature. Il doit cet honneur à sa découverte de la rotation de galaxies naines autour de la galaxie d’Andromède, une nouvelle qui remet en cause les modèles dominants.Pourtant Neil Ibata n’était pas venu en stage à l’observatoire de Strasbourg, où son père Rodrigo Ibata est astrophysicien, pour observer le cosmos, mais bien pour maitriser le langage informatique Python. “Mon père m’a proposé de mettre en pratique ce que j’avais appris pour visualiser des données qu’il avait rassemblées depuis plusieurs années avec son équipe sur la galaxie Andromède, a-t-il expliqué au Figaro.”Tout le contraire de ce que son père cherchaitCes données avaient été prises par les télescopes Canada-France-Hawaï et Keck entre 2008 et 2011. Le mouvement des galaxies naines dans le voisinage d’Andromède intriguait de nombreux chercheurs car il semblait aller à l’encontre des théories dominantes selon lesquelles les galaxies grandissent grâce à l’accumulation de matière issue de galaxies plus petites, disposées à proximité de manière aléatoire.À lire aussiDengue : symptômes, traitement, prévention, où en est-on ?”Cela faisait plusieurs années que des astronomes prétendaient que les galaxies naines situées dans le voisinage de plus grosses structures comme Andromède ou notre Voie lactée n’étaient pas réparties de façon aléatoire, avoue Rodrigo Ibata au Figaro. Je n’étais moi-même pas convaincu car cela remettait en cause les théories existantes sur la matière noire et la formation des galaxies. J’espérais que nos mesures allaient permettre de démontrer qu’ils avaient tort.”Travailler dans un autre domaineAu final, c’est bien l’inverse qui a été montré. Ces galaxies naines tournent bien autour d’Andromède et sont organisées au sein d’un disque fortement aplati d’un million d’années-lumière de diamètre, en constante rotation. Et c’est bel et bien le programme de Neil qui a permis de le montrer. Ce dernier souhaite devenir chercheur en sciences, “mais ce ne sera pas dans le même domaine que mon père, précise-t-il. Je pense que c’est mieux de ne pas faire exactement la même chose que ses parents.”Le 5 janvier 2013 à 10:45 • Maxime Lambert
Un lézard vieux de 23 milions d’années retrouvé figé dans de l’ambreDes scientifiques mexicains ont récemment découvert le fossile d’un lézard vieux de 23 millions d’années. Parfaitement conservé, il a été trouvé figé dans de l’ambre. S’il n’est pas rare de retrouver des insectes ou d’autres petites bêtes figées dans de l’ambre, c’est un animal un peu plus inattendu que des chercheurs ont déniché : un lézard. La découverte a été réalisée il y a quelques mois dans la ville de Simojovel située dans l’Etat de Chiapas au Mexique. D’un doré translucide, le morceau d’ambre mesure environ 4 centimètres sur 1,2 centimètre. Mais il a fallu le regarder de près pour observer le petit animal piégé.Le fragment contient “un animal complet et articulé avec des tissus mous et de la peau préservés”, a commenté Francisco Riquelme de la National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Physics Institute. D’après ce spécialiste et ses collègues, l’animal serait vieux de plus de 23 millions d’années. Un âge qui ne découle pas d’une étude du spécimen mais d’une datation de l’ambre retrouvée dans la région de Simojovel, a souligné Gerardo Carbot, directeur du Musée de la Paléontologie de Chiapa. Une espèce inconnue d’Anolis ? Pour l’heure, l’âge exact de l’animal comme son histoire restent donc relativement flous. Mais les chercheurs ont d’ores et déjà déterminé qu’il s’agissait d’un lézard appartenant au genre Anolis. En vérité, ce n’est pas la première fois qu’un tel spécimen est retrouvé dans de l’ambre, un autre ayant déjà été découvert en République Dominicaine. Néanmoins, la trouvaille pourrait tout de même s’avérer unique puisque les scientifiques ont émis l’hypothèse qu’il s’agissait d’une espèce encore inconnue d’Anolis. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?C’est du moins ce qui est ressorti de l’étude préliminaire et ce qui devra être confirmé par une étude plus détaillée du précieux morceau d’ambre. Par ailleurs, l’autre fossile découvert en République Dominicaine ne contenait pas l’animal complet. Le nouveau spécimen pourrait donc fournir un bien meilleur sujet d’étude. “Ce sera intéressant d’en savoir davantage à propos de celui-ci”, a commenté Jonathan Losos, du Musée de zoologie comparative de l’Université de Harvard.Comme l’a souligné ce spécialiste, les lézards Anolis sont considérés comme un bon exemple de diversification évolutive puisque le genre inclut plusieurs centaines d’espèces assez différentes. D’une grande capacité d’adaptation, les membres de cette lignée montrent “une grande diversité dans leur écologie, leur comportement et les caractéristiques observées”, a précisé Losos cité par NatureWorldNews. Une mine d’ambre La région de Simojovel est une véritable mine de fragments d’ambre et de nombreux spécimens piégés y ont déjà été découverts. Une pièce d’ambre contenant des fleurs fossilisées et trouvée là-bas devrait d’ailleurs être présentée à la fin juillet 2013 lors de la conférence annuelle Botany. Récemment, dans d’autres pays, des chercheurs ont également découvert d’autres spécimens fascinants : une araignée en plein attaque ou encore les plus vieux insectes du monde. Le 12 juillet 2013 à 13:27 • Maxime Lambert
Want to take your PC gaming experience to a new level? The Tobii Eye Tracker 4C allows you to control select games with both your head movements and your gaze, so you can make intuitive and precise actions in some of your favorite titles.• Tobii Eye Tracker 4C head and eye tracker for $109.99 (List price: $149.99 — Coupon code: EYE40)Head tracking isn’t a brand new concept — sim-lovers have been using the likes of the TrackIR for a long time. That’s incredibly useful by itself, but the Tobii’s addition of eye-tracking really changes things. Not only can your eyes move extremely fast, but the entire process is second nature. Compared to just using a keyboard and mouse, this is a much more immersive experience.So, which games does it support? Heavy hitters like Watch Dogs 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and The Division already benefit from the tracking in the Tobii. Games like Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Ziggurat, War for the Overworld, and Monstrum will have support in the coming weeks and months. And when it comes to sims like Elite: Dangerous, Euro Truck Simulator 2, and theHunter, you’ll be able to properly immerse yourself in another world.While this setup would normally cost about 150 clams, using coupon code “EYE40” will save you $40 — a whopping 26% off the retail price. And thanks to Dell’s free shipping option, you’ll be saving even more!Our commerce group sources the best deals and products for the Geek Deals posts. We operate independently of Editorial and Advertising and may earn a percentage of the sale, if you buy something via a link on the post. If you are interested in promoting your deals, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.For more great deals, head over to TechBargains.
Share Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP, PoolDimitrios Pagourtzis is escorted by Galveston County Sheriff’s Office deputies into the jury assembly room for a change of venue hearing at the Galveston County Courthouse on Feb. 25, 2019.Federal agents took custody of the suspected Santa Fe High School shooter on Monday, according to multiple media outlets.Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 18, is accused of opening fire at the Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2018, killing 10 people and wounding 13 others. He faces state charges of capital murder and aggravated assault of a public servant.Federal agents arrived at the Galveston County Jail and took Pagourtzis into custody, according to officials.In March, federal prosecutors had said they wouldn’t pursue charges against the teenager at that time. A hearing in federal court is scheduled at 1 p.m.An announcement of the new venue for his trial in Texas is also pending. District Court Judge John Ellisor decided in February the trial will be moved out of Galveston County.If convicted in state court, Pagourtzis could be sentenced to life in prison. But he could be eligible for parole after 40 years, because he was a minor at the time of the shooting.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee instructed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Thursday to take over the investigation of Trinamool leader Nirmal Kundu’s murder at Nimta.In the evening, she visited Nirmal’s house and interacted with his family members. Later, Banerjee alleged that BJP is resorting to violence in the name of victory rallies and instructed the police not to allow any more victory rallies across the state by the saffron party. Banerjee was accompanied by Sujit Bose, Jyotipriya Mallick, MLA Saugata Roy and MP Dola Sen. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOn Thursday at around 6:30 pm, Banerjee visited Nirmal’s family members where they called for capital punishment for the guilty persons. After interacting with the Trinamool leader’s family, the Chief Minister stated that the conspirator behind the murder should be found at any cost. “Who is the conspirator? I have met Nirmal’s family and they have demanded capital punishment for the murderers. We want justice and punishment for the culprits as well,” she said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateLater, Banerjee alleged that BJP has won the seats in Bengal through fraud and bribes. She also stated that the party is lying about their workers getting killed in the state. “None of their workers have been killed. But in Delhi they are claiming that Trinamool is doing all the violence. They are lying. Only our workers are getting killed. After winning in some sub divisions, BJP is doing naked displays of violence. Bengal is not the place for it, it is a place of peace,” Banerjee said. She also alleged that general people and Trinamool leaders are getting attacked during the saffron party’s victory rallies. “No victory rally will be allowed. I am instructing the police about it. Only peace rallies will be allowed,” she added. Banerjee also stated that BJP on Wednesday had killed a Trinamool worker in Dinhata and a newborn baby in Habra. She also challenged BJP over the poster pasted on a Trinamool leader’s house in Birati, where there was a threat of his head being severed. Talking about Nirmal’s murder, Banerjee further said, “BJP workers were arranging a display of the oath taking ceremony. Nirmal just requested them to do it a bit far from his home. Was that his fault? I am requesting people to take action so that BJP cannot win in Bengal.” She also alleged that the CPI(M) is supporting BJP and warned the leaders of the party to control their cadres. According to sources, following Nirmal’s murder his brother is being threatened continuously by a group of miscreants. They have mentioned five names in the FIR lodged. On the other hand, two accused persons arrested on Wednesday, identified as Suman Kundu and Sujoy Das, were produced before the Barrackpore Court on Thursday. After hearing the petition from both parties, the magistrate remanded the duo to police custody for seven days. Sleuths are searching for the other accused persons named in the FIR and are conducting raids in several places.
Government services and now-defunct shoe factory Astrosol were inadvertently responsible for creating a ‘cancer cluster’ for people working in and living near the factory, Nicosia district court ruled on Friday.Class-action lawsuits were filed against Sotiris, Maroula and Fivos Liasis, Astrasol ltd, the official receiver as liquidator Liasis shoelast company ltd, the attorney-general for the labour inspection and town planning departments and the Latsia municipality.They were headed by Theofanis Chrysanthou and Constantina Barka, the parents of 11-year-old Stavros who died of cancer.In total, 21 people filed suits, claiming that for over 30 years Astrosol used dichloromethane R40 in processing its shoe soles, a chemical which has been classified as ‘likely to be carcinogenic in humans’.The plaintiffs blame it for the different types of cancer that have struck former employees and residents near the area.In its 171 page ruling the court said: “From 1976 to 2009, the systemic emission of toxic gas dichloromethane R40 which is potentially carcinogenic created a cancer cluster in the area in question.”The company closed down in 2009 due to financial troubles.The court found that the attorney-general bears responsibility for the majority of the plaintiffs as the state’s responsibilities on monitoring pollution were violated.The labour inspection department failed to carry out any waste gas emission measurements at the factory from July 1999 to June 2004, when Astrasol received its certificate of registration process.After the factory received its waste gas emissions licence, the department failed in its duties again because, despite readings showing the levels of dichloromethane were too high to be acceptable, ‘it did not take any measures to terminate the illegal operations of the factory’, the court said.The labour inspection department granted the two licenses to Astrasol despite the factory failing to have the proper planning permit.“The town planning department, despite knowing that Astrasol had not obtained a planning permit for the mass production of shoe soles, did not take any court measures to put an end to this unlawfulness.”It was also aware that the dichloromethane used by Astrasol was potentially carcinogenic and therefore that the factory which put the chemical to use would not be eligible for a planning permit, court said.That means the company owner, Astrosol and the attorney-general are responsible for any damages incurred by the plaintiffs.The factory and its owner committed the civil offence of private nuisance against the plaintiffs who lived near Astrosol, the ruling added.There was insufficient evidence to find the remaining defendants Sotiris and Maroula Liasis, the official receiver as liquidator Liasis shoelast company ltd and Latsia municipality liable against the plaintiffs.The court issued a decree separating all the lawsuits so that the compensation for each plaintiff will be decided separately.Head of the fight against cancer committee Ionas Kkailis said: “We were waiting for years for this decision and we have finally found justice.”You May LikeSUVs | Search AdsLuxury SUVs For SeniorsSUVs | Search AdsUndoKelley Blue Book10 Longest-Range Electric Cars of 2019 Kelley Blue BookUndoMacy'sYou Will Not Believe Macy’s Deals for TuesdayMacy’sUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
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