APTN National NewsFor decades the Lubicon Lake Cree Nation in northern Alberta has been a house divided.For the last few years, there were two band councils, one led by Bernard Ominyak, the other by his brother-in-law Steven Noskey.Noskey this week wrote to the federal government saying he is stepping down and Ominiyak is now chief.Noskey’s letter read in part:“The Lubicon Lake Indian Nation demands that INAC and its agents immediately remove themselves from the community and refrain from all further interference with the community and its long established customs.”Ominyak was chief of the impoverished band since the 1970s. He was against multi-national corporations taking oil and gas from Cree territory without consulatation.This led to the formation of the Little Buffalo band in the 1980s and the creation of Noskey’s council in Lubicon Lake in 2009.Since 2009, the band has been under third-party management and has refused to sign any deals with Canada or oil companies.Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan could not be reached for comment.
OTTAWA – The Bank of Canada is leaving its trend-setting interest rate unchanged today at 1.75 per cent as the sharp decline in oil prices temporarily dim its economic outlook for the coming months.Before long, however, the central bank expects the economy to expand with renewed vigour and it stresses more rate hikes will be necessary over time.In its first policy announcement of 2019, the bank says the recent drop in crude prices will result in slower-than-expected growth in an economy that has otherwise been performing well.The bank is now projecting growth to be just 1.7 per cent this year, down from its October forecast of 2.1 per cent but looking ahead it anticipates fresh momentum starting in the second quarter of 2019 and strong numbers in 2020.Governor Stephen Poloz has been gradually raising rates since mid-2017 but the pace at which future increases arrive remains a big question.The central bank says the timing of its next hike will depend on several factors with a particular focus on developments in the oilmarkets, the Canadian housing sector and global trade policy.
Rabat – After completing a joint study with Morocco’s General Secretariat of the Government, the Ministry of Culture is promoting a draft law to significantly bolster the protection and preservation of Morocco’s vast cultural heritage.The broad strategy, according to the study, will constitute a qualitative leap in the protection and advancement of cultural heritage in the kingdom through the strengthening of administrative and technical provisions relating to conservation, preservation, site excavation and development.The Ministry is promising a higher level of consistency in its preservation oversight role. Additionally, the strategy also integrates new internationally recognized concepts of cultural heritage, said the ministry in a statement released by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).The ministry is also emphasizing the importance of decree 2.17.664, which classifies the archaeological site Jebel Irhoud as an official national heritage site. Jebel Irhoud is where archaeologists discovered the oldest remains of Homosapiens in June 2017. The decree gives the ministry significant oversight responsibility to protect the archaeological site as excavation work continues. Research work and experiments at the site now require authorization from the Ministry of Culture and can only be carried out under the supervision of the same department.The ministry statement also noted a draft decree which is currently being developed that would add the Amridil Kasbah located in Ouarzazate to the list of national heritage sites.The decree also seeks to include other sites including Noul Lamta in the rural town of Asrir in Guelmim Province, the Kasbah of Ghalian in Tangier, the archaeological site Zilil in the Had Gharbia commune, the Gulf of Tangier, and the Medina of Taza.The Ministry expects these ambitious new policies for identifying, protecting and promoting these important cultural resources will be a driving force for economic development and cultural appreciation efforts, as well as an essential element of genuine sustainable development.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita arrived in Washington, D.C., to meet and hold in-depth discussions with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on security-related issues.Throughout the day, Pompeo hosted a series of meetings with the 79 members of the Coalition to Defeat ISIS to lead discussions focused on “the impending territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.”The participating ministers planned to discuss the campaign’s next steps to eradicate extremist group affiliations outside of Iraq and Syria, destroy their remnants, and protect against a resurgence of ISIS in Syria and Iraq after the withdrawal of US forces from Syria. The coalition is committed to a “coordinated fight” against ISIS “through stabilization and security assistance.” “As ISIS is defeated on the battlefield, the Coalition will continue its stabilization efforts to facilitate the safe and voluntary return home of those who have been displaced by the violence,” read a statement by the US Department of State.Read Also: Bourita and Pompeo Discuss Western Sahara in Meeting in WashingtonThe Global Coalition regularly organizes meetings to enhance combined efforts to combat ISIS. The most recent meeting was on July 12, 2018, in Brussels, Belgium.In June, a similar meeting took place in Morocco, between Bourita, the US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL (ISIS) Brett McGurk, and other members.The meeting’s program focused on eradicating the extremist group in Iraq and Syria, combating its global networks, halting its financing, and curbing recruitment.Morocco maintains its crackdown on terrorist cells recruiting and planning attacks in the country and abroad.Recently, the 2018 Global Terrorism Index deemed Morocco safer than Algeria, the US, and France. The country ranked the 132nd least dangerous country for terrorism out of 163, gaining nine places compared to the 2017 report when it ranked 123rd. The report indicates that Morocco has two strategies to deal with Moroccan fighters returning from conflict zones: Deradicalization programs and imprisonment, a policy that has allowed law enforcement to apprehend returnees for investigation and put them in custody in 2015.
The Ford government remains receptive to the idea of ambitious recreation projects amidst tough talk this week of provincial belt-tightening.Monday, local MPP Toby Barrett said his government has an envelope of cash for recreation facilities and will open the floor to proposals early next month.This is the government’s fourth intake for municipal projects. The first three were related to hard services such as roads, water, and wastewater treatment facilities.This could be a pivotal week in Norfolk’s ongoing discussion of building a recreational hub in Simcoe.Mayor Kristal Chopp and Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin are delegates at the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference, which is being held this year in Ottawa.In a news release last week, Norfolk County said Chopp has lined up meetings with cabinet ministers and high-ranking provincial officials to discuss a range of issues relevant to the local area.This includes a multi-use recreational hub, which could cost as much as $60 million. A resolution passed by the previous council made Norfolk’s support of the project contingent on two-thirds federal-provincial funding.“These decisions have to be considered in the context of $60-million projects,” Barrett said. “But there is only one taxpayer. Proponents of these facilities are spending other people’s money. It’s easy to focus on your share but you need to be aware that you are spending other people’s money too. Thus the importance of gatherings such as AMO.”That said, Tourism, Culture and Sports Minister Lisa MacLeod confirmed on social media Monday that as much as $1 billion in federal-provincial cash could be in play Sept. 3 as part of the Community, Culture, and Recreational Stream of the federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.Barrett suggested Norfolk may be well-positioned to take advantage of this funding. The county did not receive funding 10 years ago the last time a similar program was offered in Ontario.Premier Doug Ford addressed the assembled delegates in Ottawa Monday morning. In backtracking earlier this year on some previously announced funding decisions, Ford assured the nearly 2,000 in attendance that “we’ve listened to you.”Nonetheless – in light of the massive debt racked up by the previous government — the province is intent on forcing municipalities to assume a larger share of the burden in the area of health and social services.Ford announced Monday that the province would fund 70 percent of health programs administered at the municipal level. Effective next year, local governments will be expected to come up with the rest.It’s impossible to say how this might affect Haldimand and Norfolk. Some programs are funded 100 per cent by the province while others are funded in the range of 75 percent.As well, a funding patchwork from municipality to municipality has evolved over the years, meaning some will do better than others.Other subjects Chopp will broach at this week’s conference – which runs through Wednesday – include abandoned natural gas wells, phragmites control in wetland areas, cannabis-related issues, shoreline protection, the future of beaches in Turkey Point, and the role environmental assessments play in delaying and adding to the expense of bunkhouse construction.“This is a tremendous networking opportunity and provides a chance to plant the seeds and address issues that impact all Norfolk County residents and businesses,” Chopp said in the news release.“With that being said, the real work begins after the conference. Partnering with ministry officials to ensure Norfolk continues to grow is paramount.”Neither Chopp nor Martin replied by deadline to a request for comment about the province’s austerity agenda and the impact this might have on Norfolk’s prospects for growth. However, in a Twitter posting Monday. Martin said she and Chopp have their eye on the $1-billion recreation stream.“We are already preparing for it,” Martin said. “We’ve been waiting for additional funding envelopes to open for this initiative, and this was one we were banking on.“We’ll continue to move the #AllNorfolkCommunityhub forward with an application when it is released Sept. 3.”Premier Ford arrived in Ottawa with his cabinet in tow. On Monday, Barrett was hearing testimony in Niagara-on-the-Lake as a member of the province’s public accounts committee.Barrett’s plan was to drive to Ottawa Monday night and liaise with local representatives as they jockey for position to get their priorities heard. – with files from PostmediaMSonnenberg@postmedia.com
“It is increasingly clear that children are at risk from all sides,” Allan Rock, the Special Adviser to the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict on Sri Lanka said yesterday.The so-called Karuna faction continues to abduct children in Government-controlled areas of the East, particularly Batticaloa district, the mission said in a statement. Since May of this year, 135 cases of under-age recruitment by abduction have been reported to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), “with evidence that this trend is accelerating,” it added.“The mission also discovered a disturbing development involving the Karuna abductions. It found strong and credible evidence that certain elements of the Government security forces are supporting and sometimes participating in the abductions and forced recruitment of children by the Karuna faction.”Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse assured Mr. Rock that he will order an “immediate and thorough investigation” into the allegations and if they are proved correct, he will “hold accountable those who are responsible.” Karuna’s political wing also said it would forbid under-age recruitment and release any children who may now be in its ranks, adding it would also work with UNICEF and arrange the release of those abducted children whose families have complained to the agency.The mission also found that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have “not complied” with their commitments under the Action Plan to stop child recruitment and release all the children within their ranks.“Under-age recruitment continues and the LTTE have yet to release several hundred children as verified by UNICEF.” The Action Plan was endorsed by the Government and the LTTE during peace talks in 2002 and 2003 to work with UNICEF to end the recruitment of children and to release under-age recruits.The LTTE also assured Mr. Rock that they would “immediately” start working with UNICEF to speed up the release of all child soldiers, “with the objective of completing that process by January 1, 2007,” the mission said.“Wherever I travelled, I saw with my own eyes that systems meant to safeguard children’s rights are either deteriorating or absent. It is apparent that there is an urgent need for an independent monitoring capacity to ensure that children affected by the conflict are protected,” said Mr. Rock.Apart from the issues of child recruitment and abductions, the mission also observed the deteriorating humanitarian situation in certain areas of the North and East. In particular, during his visits to Vaharai and Jaffna, Mr. Rock saw first hand the fear, isolation and critical unmet needs of internally displaced children there. Fighting between Government forces and the LTTE has intensified since April, and especially over the past few weeks, despite a ceasefire agreed in 2002 aimed at ending a conflict that has lasted for more than 20 years and claimed some 60,000 lives.
TORONTO – Canadians who get spooked every time they see online advertisements that seem to be based on their web browsing history now have a tool available to stop some of the snooping ads.The Digital Advertising Alliance Of Canada has launched youradchoices.ca, which allows web users to opt out of so-called behavioural advertising.Behavioural advertising is typically based on web browser “cookies” — small files that get dropped on your computer with information about browsing history and habits. Advertisers can read those cookies and serve up product pitches that are targeted to individual web surfers.Digital Advertising Alliance Of Canada chairman Bob Reaume said he’s pushing for the industry to use the term “interest-based advertising” instead, since behavioural advertising has negative connotations attached to it.“It sounds so sneaky and evil, and interest-based advertising is really what we’re doing, we’re just inferring what products and services a consumer might be interested in and we’re serving ads for those products and services,” he said.“It’s our hope that consumers will get the point that this is making advertising more relevant for them. Surely if there are consumers who find this objectionable then it’s their absolute right and option to opt out of this type of advertising.”The opt-out tool currently stops consumers from receiving behavioural ads from 115 ad agencies, ad networks and companies that are participating in the program. Behavioural ads paid for by those companies will soon be marked with a blue triangle-shaped icon, which will link to more information about the new opt-out system.But unmarked behavioural ads may still be pushed to consumers by companies not affiliated with the voluntary program.“We hope the program will be ubiquitous in a couple of years but who knows, we don’t have legislative force to make people do this,” Reaume said.And opting out of behavioural ads isn’t the same as opting out of advertising in general, he added.“They’ll still receive random advertisements. Advertising will still be served everywhere on the Internet because that’s what pays for the content,” he said.Privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart had been calling for a Canadian opt-out system, similar to the one that was first launched in the U.S., since 2011. Last summer, industry leaders said they expected it would be implemented within a few months.“It was an incredibly complicated thing to get up and running,” said Reaume about the delay.“We wanted to be sure that we did this right, we didn’t want to turn on the program and then find we perhaps didn’t think of something or ran into errors. You still expect a few blips here or there but we were cautious and we wanted to be sure we did it right before we turned on the switch.”Stoddart’s office released the results of a survey earlier this year suggesting Canadians want more disclosure about how their data is being used by marketers.About 92 per cent of those polled said Internet companies should be required to ask permission before tracking users online. About 81 per cent wanted companies to specify what data they collect and how it’s used.Websites typically do declare that users will have their actions logged while surfing but the disclosures are often buried in the rarely-read privacy policies or terms and conditions. New tool lets Canadians opt out of some creepy online behavioural ads by Michael Oliveira, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 19, 2013 10:43 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
A new hotel will soon sprout up at Calgary’s International Airport.Without providing financial details, the President and CEO of Delta Hotels and Resorts announced a major investment in the city with the construction of a new 318 room hotel, including 17,000 square feet of conference and meeting space and a 6,000 square foot ballroom for up to 500 guests.Ken Greene said the new hotel will open in conjunction with the opening of the new international terminal at YYC, with construction for both projects expected to be completed sometime in 2015.Greene said “his company is pleased to be involved with expansion plans at the airport, which is the fastest growing in the country, with more than 14-million business and leisure travellers passing through each year.” by News Staff Posted Jul 22, 2014 1:06 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Delta Hotels and Resorts announces new four-star full-service hotel in Calgary
“We will never guarantee the right to health and end the AIDS epidemic if we exclude people,” said the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibé. “However, huge structural barriers stand in the way of the health and well-being of millions.”This year’s Zero Discrimination Day campaign invites people to ask themselves ‘what if’ questions to reflect upon their everyday actions, such as: What if the person you bought your vegetables from was living with HIV? Would you buy tomatoes from him? What if your neighbour had tuberculosis? Would you stop to chat?UNAIDS says no one should ever be discriminated against because of their HIV status, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, language, geographical location or migrant status, or for any other reason.Discrimination is often based on misinformation or fear of the unknown, the agency says, warning that allowing discrimination to continue is not only wrong, it is bad for communities, bad for the economy and bad for the future.Ending discrimination requires action from everyone. Zero Discrimination Day is an opportunity to highlight how everyone can be a part of the transformation and take a stand towards a more fair and just society, UNAIDS says.Zero Discrimination Day is annually observed on 1 March.
More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code By Neil Paine, Chris Herring and Kyle Wagner Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (April 5, 2018), Neil, Chris and Kyle break down the Eastern Conference ahead of the playoffs.First, the Philadelphia 76ers have clinched a spot, but the team has also lost star center Joel Embiid to injury. Embiid may miss the beginning of the postseason. How will the Sixers function without him?Next, the Toronto Raptors are on track to be the No. 1 seed in the East, but the team’s past several playoff runs have been disappointing. The crew takes a look at why Toronto is playing better this season. Plus, a significant digit on Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers.Here are links to what the podcast discussed this week:Keep an eye on FiveThirtyEight’s 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.ESPN reported on Embiid’s surgery to fix his fractured orbital bone.Sports Illustrated took a look at how the 76ers are surviving without Embiid.Foreshadowing? The Cavs took down the Raptors on Tuesday.Significant Digit: 8. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Victor Oladipo is on track this season to become the eighth player in the past decade to have a usage rate of 30 percent or higher and a true shooting percentage of 57 percent or higher while 25 years old or younger.
Australia’s African-focused explorers, developers and miners were urged last week to drive a resurgent minerals sector in one of the continent’s hottest gold spots, Ghana. Speaking on the second day in Perth of the three day 2011 Paydirt Africa DownUnder conference, Ghana’s Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, the Hon. Moses Asaga, said the country had the potential to scale-up many of its smaller mining operations – of which there are about 600 – in parallel with its nine major mines.“However, local mining companies lack the capital and expertise for this scale-up and Australians, with their expertise in Africa’s resources sector, are natural partners and we would welcome a higher level of involvement in this development opportunity,” Asaga said.“The reasons are compelling. Ghana’s mineral exports contribute $3.9 billion in overseas earnings and command 6% of our Gross Domestic Product. We are the second largest gold producer in Africa and the eighth largest in the world but we can also offer Australian investors exposure to larger scale diamond, manganese and bauxite opportunities as well as gold.“Significantly, we have to diversify our mineral resource base to achieve increased foreign exchange earnings and optimise tax revenue generation which in turn can further support development of our resources sector.”Asaga said his message to Australian investors was that Ghana was the gateway to western Africa and “collaboration” between Australia and Ghana was the key to achieving mutual benefits. This was particularly so in the immediate years ahead as Ghana moved to open up its considerable offshore oil and gas resources.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Stamoulis Property Group development project in Port Melbourne, undertaken by Canny Projects, will consist of 287 premium quality townhouses on the former site of soap manufacturer Symex, is scheduled for completion in late 2017.The first stage will consist of 13 townhouses on the corner of Ingles Street and Munro Street, which is scheduled to be completed in early 2016.The development will include triple storey three bedroom luxury townhouses, built in and around heritage-listed buildings on Woodruff and Ingles Streets, opposite the Port Melbourne Cricket Ground.Source: www.theurbandeveloper.com
Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, October 6, 2017 – Providenciales – Digicel’s Chairman, Denis O’Brien, visited the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) on Tuesday, October 3rd, to get a first-hand account of the impact of the recent hurricanes on the cluster of Islands.His itinerary included meetings with His Excellency Dr. John Freeman, Governor Hon. Anya Williams Deputy Governor, Hon. Premier Charlene Cartwright Robinson, Hon. Sean Astwood Deputy Premier, Hon. Delroy Williams Minister of Telecommunications and Hon. Edwin Astwood Min. of Health in Grand Turk to discuss Digicel’s plans for further investment in the rebuilding of the TCI.Mr. O’Brien’s trip also incorporated a meeting with the hard-working Digicel technical team in Providenciales and Grand Turk. “I am very impressed with the hard work and dedication that the team displayed in such a difficult time. It shows in the rapid recovery that I’ve seen here today only two weeks after Hurricane Maria impacted The Turks and Caicos Islands. I can assure you Digicel will continue to be a pillar of strength in the community as the resilient TCI team continues recovery efforts,” Mr. O’Brien stated.Jay Saunders, one of Digicel TCI’s founding Directors said of Denis O’Brien’s visit, “This signals that the TCI is top of mind to Digicel. In fact, the urgency with which the network restoration has been treated, with the team of engineers on the ground in quick time, sends a strong message that the loyalty of the people of The Turks and Caicos Islands to Digicel has not gone unnoticed.”Digicel was the first mobile provider to restore 3G services in Grand Turk, a feat that according to Stephen Murad, Digicel TCI’s Chief Commercial Officer was a tremendous one for Digicel, he added, “Knowing that we were able to connect people in a desperate time of need brought us the greatest satisfaction. Our customers have been patient and understanding and we will continue to honour their commitment to us by working to restore the network fully.”“Full restoration will take more time in some places. We will be continuously updating our customers as we complete key areas of our TV and Broadband Network” said Addison Stoddard, Chief Technical Officer. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 13, 2017 – Exuma – Two people are blessed to be alive this morning after a plane crash yesterday in Staniel Cay, Exuma. The Royal Bahamas Police explained that shortly before 10am, Police on Staniel Cay received a report that a plane had crashed at the airport. Upon arrival at that location, Officers discovered that a 2004 (2) two seats open cockpit, Air Cam, experimental aircraft Registration N57BG had crashed into an eastern chain link fence as it attempted to land.The male pilot and his female passenger, both US Citizens, were treated at the local clinic for their injuries. The passenger was released but the pilot is expected to be flown into New Providence for further medical attention. Police say the matter will be referred to the Department Civil Aviation for further investigation.#MagneticMediaNews#Exumaplanecrash#twopersonssurviceExumaplanecrash Related Items:#Exumaplanecrash, #magneticmedianews, #twopersonssurviceExumaplanecrash Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Two years ago, CalTrans began a veterans outreach program and used ‘Back 2 Work’ to supply three roadside cleanup crews here in San Diego.Today marked the program’s expansion here and now seven crews dedicated to highway trash and debris pickup and the local Back 2 Work coordinator want even more. KUSI Newsroom, June 20, 2019 KUSI Newsroom New jobs offered to homeless Veterans by ‘Back 2 Work’ program Posted: June 20, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
OLYMPIA — Officials have processed more than 6,600 marijuana business license applications in Washington state, including 291 in Clark County, and they still have more to go.The state Liquor Control Board issued updated figures Tuesday for applications to grow, process and sell pot under Washington’s legal marijuana law, passed by voters in 2012. The total so far: 6,619.Some 2,666 of those are growing license applications, and 1,918 are processing applications. In Clark County, there are 36 applications to grow pot and 99 have applied to process it so farThe board at least initially is limiting the number of stores to 334 statewide, including 15 in Clark County. There have been 2,035 retail applications received by the state, with 156 retail applicants from Clark County. This means there could be lotteries to decide which applicants will become licensed stores, where adults older than 21 will be able to buy up to an ounce of marijuana under Initiative 502.A few potential Clark County pot businesses submitted multiple applications to sell marijuana from more than one site.Board spokesman Mikhail Carpenter says some incomplete applications are still being processed by the state and that officials are working with those applicants.“The ones we have left are people who have not supplied all of the information necessary,” he said.Carpenter said the board expects to begin issuing licenses in late February or March, at which point it will be up to the newly legalized industry to provide supply for the private pot market and open retail stores.
WWDC 2019 Tags 4:19 Share your voice Jul 5 • RIP, iTunes. This is what happens to your Apple music now Review • Apple iPad 2018 review: The iPad for everyone CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Amazon Apple WWDC 2019 null Mentioned Above Apple iPad 2018 (space gray, 32GB) Best Buy $249 $249 Aug 19 • iOS 13 and iPadOS: How to join the beta, use the best new features on your iPhone and iPad $329 Apple iPad See It $249 See It Apple’s new two-player AR arcade game at WWDC is crazy See it 0 Jun 30 • iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas: How to download and install them now • reading • What Apple’s new AR bowling game taught us about the future See All See It Jun 14 • Apple Music vs. Apple Podcast vs. Apple TV: What’s the difference? A giant bowling game showed us the best features of ARKit 3. Screenshot by Chris Pavey/CNET I’m scrambling around a wooden floor, trying to fend off a giant virtual ball with my iPad Pro. It’s a bowling alley, but it feels like a basketball court. A crowd cheers. Eli faces off across from me, pushing his iPad Pro forward, launching the ball at my face. I lose my footing. The ball shoots past me. I run after it. Too late. The pins were knocked down. I lost. Again.But we’re on a big court that’s totally empty, except for us and our test iPads. We see the big ball, bowling pins, and us, running around among these things as if they’re in our shared space. Welcome to Apple’s imminent AR future: fast-paced, collaborative, and… still, headset-free.While Microsoft has HoloLens 2 and Magic Leap has its magic AR goggles, Apple — like Google — is exploring augmented reality through flat screens. But while Google’s recent AR efforts focus on utility and quick assistance, Apple is pushing even more realistic graphics and effects. Apple unleashed a number of AR tools at its WWDC developer conference that are coming this fall, including a whole AR-making toolkit called Reality Composer. ARKit 3, which needs a recent A12-equipped iPhone or iPad to do its most impressive effects, is what Swift Strike is meant to show off. And it shows how far things have come in a year. Tablets Mobile Now playing: Watch this: It’s a multiplayer AR game, much like the one I played in this same space a year ago that had me knocking down blocks on a table with a ball. But that game last year was pretty stationary. This time, I ran around a far larger area, and so did my opponent (Eli Blumenthal, who’s never played an AR game quite like this before).I came away thinking that all I was really missing was the convenience of wearing a pair of AR glasses so I would not have to worry about looking down at an iPad all the time.What the game looked like in reality: empty space, two guys with iPads. Scott Stein/CNET Occlusion is the coolest magic trick that Swift Strike offers. If people pass in front of AR things on an iPhone, like a virtual IKEA sofa, the illusion is shattered. But now ARKit 3 lets people walk in front and block the objects, as if they’re really behind in the distance. It can layer virtual objects among real people… or layer real people into virtual AR things in a landscape. Minecraft Earth will use this trick, and so does Swift Strike.While used for demo purposes, it’s unclear if Apple will ever release this game to the masses. To see it in action, check out the video in this story. Occlusion wasn’t perfect, and sometimes objects flickered between being behind and in front of us. Sometimes objects became semi-transparent, either by game design or something else. But the realism that was added by occlusion was significant. Coupled with haptic vibrations on the iPad every time we hit the ball, iIt suddenly started to feel like we were stepping into the game.But again, we’re on an empty court, looking around for things on an iPad screen. That’s fine when the ball is right in front of me, but really hard when the ball gets pushed past me and I try to find it again. I think I scored an own-goal when I backed up and pushed the ball when it was behind me. A 3D AR headset could help, obviously. Apple’s not there yet, nor have any plans been announced, but one will reportedly arrive as early as next year.Eli and I are holding our ground against the giant virtual ball (we feel haptics in the iPads). Screenshot by Chris Pavey/CNET CNET’s Eli Blumenthal, who played with me, sees it as a stepping stone toward immersive arcade attractions, too: “When we stepped onto the wooden floor to play Swift Strike, a demo of a bowling-like app built using the company’s ARKit 3 software, the experience was different. It was interactive and engaging,” he said. “The iPad Pros Scott and I were holding tracked our movements running around to push a virtual ball into stacked virtual bowling pins. The game registered the force with which we exerted ourselves to move the ball and tracked us even as we ran across the space.””As companies like Sandbox VR and VR World NYC open up virtual reality arcades around the world, it’s not hard to imagine this technology expanding to malls, parks and events, providing a new medium for people to come together and interact.”While multiplayer AR became available last year on iOS 12, bigger steps have been taken this year that should make games like this be a lot more possible. Shared maps are possible, where players scan a real space and collaboratively build a map that is shared between devices. Anchored objects, that are meant to stay in space and be seen by multiple people, can stay persistent. I think about Minecraft Earth, which I haven’t played yet. It aims to unleash a lot of these ideas at once. Multiplayer AR games could finally start becoming the norm instead of the exception.Eli and I both agreed that this isn’t AR, perfected. This is only a demo, and it’s well in advance of the release of ARKit 3 inside iOS 13 and iPadOS this fall. But it’s a sign of a faster, more fluid AR world to come.I need to get better shoes. Google Microsoft Apple
State troopers believe that a set of human remains found on Adak this month are those of a long-lost camper.Download Audio“Based on a wallet with some ID that was found near the remains, we believe that this is Samuel Arrington, who was 57 at the time of disappearance,” says trooper spokesperson Beth Ipsen.Arrington went missing in July 2008 during a camping trip at Lake Betty. The lake is about a mile from the spot where two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees stumbled on the human remains in mid-June.The state medical examiner performed an autopsy, but Ipsen says it didn’t reveal much.“So the remains are going to be shipped out of state to try and pin down the cause of death and do positive identification,” Ipsen says.Right now, the troopers don’t suspect foul play.
Alaskans who buy health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace will see a significant rate hike for next year. The state Division of Insurance says consumers can expect to pay an increase of more than 30 percent on average for coverage.Download AudioTwo insurers offer individual plans on the marketplace – Premera Alaska and Moda. Premera’s plans will increase the most – an average of 37 percent. Premera spokesperson Eric Earling says even that increase is not enough to pay for customers’ claims.“We do have a pretty clear influx of folks with some very significant medical costs that in the past was spread across the insured market, including employers,” Earling said.Earling says the way the individual market is structured under the Affordable Care Act is not sustainable in a small population state like Alaska.“Before the ACA took effect in January, people could access coverage through a state high risk pool or through a state high risk pool,” Earling said. “Many of those folks are now purchasing coverage on the individual market and we believe Premera probably picked up a disproportionate share of those folks with really significant medical needs.”Premera is working with the state on a solution that would spread the risk of those high cost customers across the insurance market. The state is analyzing the plan and hasn’t yet taken a position on it.Premera serves 7,000 customers in the state who bought marketplace plans. Earling says the company expects to lose four million dollars insuring those customers this year. He says a small number of enrollees account for a huge amount of claims.“We’ve seen since January first through June 30th, seven million dollars in medical claims from only 33 members out of those 7,000,” Earling said. “So that’s about 1/3 of all of our medical claims costs for those 7,000 members are coming from 33 individuals.”Earling says Premera would have to increase rates by more that 70% next year to break even. That’s the rate increase the company first proposed when it approached the state Division of Insurance, according to director Lori Wing-Heier. After looking at the company’s data, she agreed with their financial assessment. But Wing-Heier says through discussions they were able to compromise on a lower rate increase:“And we felt that they could sustain another year of significant loss,” Wing-Heier said. “They’re indicating they’ll lose 5 million dollars in 2015 in addition to what they lost in 2014. But they are financially strong and they’re willing to take that loss to see what the data looks like when we go through rate filling next year.”Moda, the other company offering individual plans on the marketplace, will increase rates by an average of 27 percent. Rates increase for both companies will vary depending on age and geographic region. Wing-Heier says state statute prohibits her from releasing the specific rates until they go into effect on January 1st. She says she hopes in a year or two, the rates will stabilize.“We are being asked through a federal program to price a product that some people cannot afford,” Wing-Heier said. “And we’re doing the best we can to keep the cost of that product down.”The federal government points out that many Alaskans will be able to use subsidies, and that will help lessen the impact of the rate increases. In Alaska, almost 90 percent of consumers who bought plans on healthcare.gov in 2014 qualified for financial help to purchase the plans.