Brad Paisley joined President Obama for a surprise trip to Afghanistan in the weekend to thank American troops and civilians stationed at Bagram Air Base for their service.Brad Paisley Performs In AfghanistanCredit/Copyright: Pete Souza, The White House via BradPaisley.comBrad played an hour-long acoustic set for the 3000 people at Bagram, before President Obama gave his address to the troops.“Tomorrow is Memorial Day,” said Obama. “At bases here in Afghanistan and towns across America, we will pause and we’ll pay tribute to all those who’ve laid down their lives for our freedom. And that includes nearly 2,200 American patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice, that last, full measure of devotion, right here in Afghanistan. I know you’ve stood in front of those battle crosses. I know many of you carry the memories of your fallen comrades in your heart today. We will honor every single one of them — not just tomorrow, but forever.“I thank you as your Commander-in-Chief because you inspire me. Your willingness to serve, to step forward at a time of war, and say ‘send me,’ is the reason the United States stays strong and free. Of all the honors that I have serving as President, nothing matches serving as your Commander-in-Chief.”Read the full speech here.
“Trade is a zero-sum game.” “There can only be one winner and one loser, and the United States is losing.” That’s the message Donald Trump has been hammering since before he even came into office. The biggest villain in his nationalist nightmares, beating and cheating the US in the cutthroat game of global economics? China, of course. The narrative used to justify his escalating tariff war goes something like this: The trade deficit is out of control because China plays dirty. It keeps U.S. products out of its domestic market, undervalues its currency in order to sell things cheaper, subsidises its state-owned companies, and steals “our” technology to improve its own products. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyHe promises that higher tariffs, which to put it simply are really just increased taxes on imports, will knock some sense into the Chinese and show them America won’t be bullied. Attempting to rally his flagging political base, he claims to wage his trade battle on behalf of the American worker, vowing never to back down until “Beijing stops cheating our workers and stealing our jobs.” The same game has been played by managers and bosses forever. They try to get their workers to identify their interests with those of the company and compete with other companies and other workers. We’re all on the same team here, don’t you know? Also Read – The future is here!It’s troubling when some, like Teamsters union leader James Hoffa, Jr., repeat Trump’s message. Speaking on PBS recently, he echoed the rhetoric of the president, saying: “We need tariffs against China…to level the playing field…. They’ve had it one way all this time…. They have really kind of gone wild over there. And we have got to get them back to our senses.” The oversimplified explanation that Trump gives, and which sounds appealing on the surface, is that the country will be making money in the short run from Chinese tariff payments and will have more jobs in the long run when China finally cracks. But the reality is that that just isn’t how capitalism works and it is not how this trade war is shaking out. The latest calculations from researchers at UCLA show that the American consumer bore the full brunt of increased import taxes in 2018, amounting to nearly $69 billion, or an average of $213 per person. If you bought a new car or washing machine last year, you probably went well over that average. U.S. companies just passed the cost on to all of us. And the real kicker for those who believed Trump’s trade rhetoric? The UCLA team concluded that “workers in heavily Republican counties were the most negatively affected by the trade war.” The impact has been harshest for farmers in some of those same counties. They have watched helplessly as Chinese markets for their soybeans and other crops evaporated in response to U.S. tariffs, while the costs of their tractors went up. For the average American worker and farmer, the trade war has so far been a bust. So why is Trump really engaging in this economic brinksmanship with China, and why now? For a long time, China has been the world’s low-wage workshop. As a poorer developing country in the late 1970s, China had little choice but to open itself to foreign investors looking for cheap labor. Its factories kept the shelves stocked at Walmart, and in return, the United States sold China tech-intensive goods like airplanes and computer parts. China benefitted from the investment, obviously, but whether it was imports or exports, most of the profits usually flowed toward U.S. companies. But some things are starting to change. China is building the basis for its own high-tech economy and no longer needs to just be a manufacturer of textiles and plastic goods. Chinese solar panels now dominate the world market for renewables, Huawei phones compete globally with older brands like Apple and Samsung, and Weibo’s 462 million monthly users dwarf Twitter’s 270 million. In the nearly 75 years since the end of World War II, US has had no real competitors in the capitalist world. Only the Soviet Union presented a challenge, but it has been gone for over a quarter century already. China’s rapid growth and development—especially its ambitious “Made in China 2025” plan and its effort to build an international alternative to U.S-dominated trade with its “Belt and Road Initiative”—promises to reset everything. As for our domestic troubles, the US-China trade deficit is not the main danger threatening the U.S. economy. Graver problems are a public spending regime that showers billions on the military; underfunded education, health, and social services that are starved by tax cuts for the rich; crumbling infrastructure; the refusal of right-wing politicians and corporations to raise wages; and gender and racial pay gaps that maintain systemic sexism and racism. Of course, that doesn’t mean every Chinese trade practice is beyond question. The world has become an even more complex place since the end of the Cold War when socialism and capitalism presented distinct alternatives. Now, we have a competition between the U.S.-dominated model of global capitalism and a rising power that is not quite capitalist, but also not quite socialist. With these two systems so intertwined, unlike the U.S. and Soviet economies that stood largely apart from one another, the world is in a situation like none ever seen. It is obvious that compromise and negotiation are the only way forward. The imposition of more tariffs by either the U.S. or China is not going to lead to a resolution that benefits the mass of the people in either country. Trump wants American workers to shift their anger over lost jobs and shrinking wages to China and the Chinese workers there who get paid even less. He says look abroad, not at home, for the source of your troubles. But it must be remembered that it wasn’t China that closed U.S. plants, it wasn’t China that busted U.S. unions, and it wasn’t China that slashed wages and cut public services. Building reckless tariff walls (or border walls) isn’t the way to protect U.S. workers from the impact of developing countries’ move up the international value chain. Instead, the United States needs to focus on ways to “green” its economy with investments in renewable energy. We should put public money toward public needs that create good jobs, like infrastructure and mass transit. For workers who are displaced by cheaper imported goods, we have to provide retraining and income assistance—including long-term financial help. We should be requiring companies to pay a living wage to all workers and guarantee them the right to organise into unions by reversing “Right to Work” (for less) laws. We can fund a lot of these things if we slash the bloated military budget and stop engaging in unnecessary wars. And to make sure that U.S. workers and those in developing countries aren’t continuously forced into a competition for who will sell their labor power for thelowest price, all existing and future trade agreements—like the new NAFTA—should include guarantees for workers’ rights, wages, and working conditions on all sides of the deal.Those are the things that would really help U.S. workers, not some trade war that is only aimed at playing an imperial game against China, protecting corporate giants, and funneling money toward certain favored segments of the capitalist class.(The author is the Managing Editor, People’s World. Views expressed are strictly personal)
By Constance RentonToronto – The White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks they say the media has consistently under reported.At a recent visit to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, President Donald Trump alluded to attacks happening “all over Europe” and that “it’s gotten to the point where it’s not even being reported.” Trump expanded his commentary on the media, saying “… in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.” The media, already on the defensive, was pushed further into its own spotlight when the White House issued its list of 78 terrorist attacks on Monday, which it says went under-reported or not reported at all.On Monday night’s edition of CNN’s The Lead, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius said “As a journalist I’m really troubled by this.” He went on to say he has approximately 100 examples of strong reporting that he would like to show the President. Ignatius underscored his remarks saying, “We have brave colleagues who everyday are taking big risks to cover these stories.”“I Know Because I was There”Appearing on the same program, CNN’s Anderson Cooper also robustly defended his colleagues and his network’s coverage. “Not only did we cover many of the attacks on that list the White House has released, we covered them heavily. I know because I was there on the ground reporting a number of them.”These remarks were followed by footage of Cooper reporting on attacks in cities such as Ottawa in 2014, Paris and San Bernardino in 2015 and Orlando in 2016. “To be sure, we as a program did not cover each and every incident on the list, however, other programs as well as CNN International covered most if not all of them, many of them exhaustively.”In an interview on the subject with Anderson Cooper, CNN’s Jim Acosta saw the tempest in a teapot as “a talking point in search of a set of facts that doesn’t exist.”Others took critical note of the fact that the White House list only included attacks motivated by so-called Islamic terrorism. There was no mention of home grown terrorist attacks over the same time-period. For example, the church massacre in South Carolina which left 11 worshippers dead, and the massacre in Quebec City in which 6 Muslim men died while at evening prayers, were omitted, some say conveniently.This has left plenty of room for reflecting on Trump’s repeated use of Islamic terrorist attacks, or the mere threat of such, as a reason for justifying his recent immigration and refugee ban. He has also repeatedly referred to any news organizations which have been critical of him as reporting “fake news.”
25 March 2011The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the death of journalist Jamal Ahmed Al-Sharabi, who was killed when gunmen opened fire on protesters in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, last week. A number of other people were also killed and dozens injured in the crackdown against the demonstrators on 18 March, the agency said in a news release. According to the International Press Institute (IPI), Mr. Al-Sharabi was covering the demonstration for the Al-Masdar independent newspaper.“The killing of Jamal Ahmed al-Sharabi is an attack against the basic human right of the people of Yemen to freedom of expression,” stated UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “It is the duty of the authorities to ensure that journalists are able to carry out their professional duties in the safest possible conditions. It is also their duty to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of this death – which occurred during a confrontation that also tragically cost many other lives – and bring the perpetrators to justice.” Earlier this week, the UN human rights office voiced alarm about the situation in Yemen, where a state of emergency has been declared and armed clashes between security forces and protesters continue. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) deplored the reported killing of dozens of peaceful protestors last week, including reportedly by snipers shooting from rooftops, and stressed that all violations of human rights must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. It also expressed concern about the suppression of the right to freedom of expression in the region, including the Yemeni Government’s decision to deport two Al Jazeera correspondents on 19 March.Yemen is among several countries in the Middle East and North Africa that are witnessing demonstrations calling for democratic reforms. Similar protests have already led to the ouster of long-serving leaders in Tunisia and Egypt in January and February, while in Libya Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi is waging a fierce military offensive against the opposition there.
Global prices of key staple food commodities rose in April, marking a third consecutive monthly increase after four years of decline, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today. The FAO Food Price Index averaged 151.8 points in April, a 0.7 per cent increase from March. That is about 10 per cent below its level of a year ago and more than a third off its 2011 highs. The gradual increase is far from even across the board. April’s increase was driven by palm oil prices and, in a minor key, cereals, while sugar prices tapered down after a strong increase in March. The trade-weighted index tracks international market prices for five key commodity groups: major cereals, vegetable oils, dairy, meat and sugar. Its decline over the past year reflects ample food supplies, a slowing global economy and a stronger US dollar. Vegetable oil prices rose 4.1 per cent, due largely to a grim 2016 production outlook for palm oil coupled with a growing worldwide demand. Cereal prices rose 1.5 per cent on the month, due primarily to international maize quotations, themselves influenced by a weaker US dollar and spillover from the oilseeds complex. However, rice prices declined marginally, while wheat markets posted limited gains amid expectations of large supplies in the new season for the crop. Dairy prices dropped 2.2 per cent as stocks of butter and cheese in major exporters continued to grow. Meat prices rose 0.8 per cent, pushed up by strengthening United States demand for Australian beef. Sugar prices, meanwhile, dropped 1.7 per cent in April after a dramatic 17 per cent increase the previous month. While concerns about global sugar production remain, Brazil – by far the main exporter – has had its second-highest crop ever and the country’s use of sugarcane for ethanol is expected to decline. Sugar and vegetable oils are the only sub-indexes currently at levels higher than those of April 2015.FAO Economist Peter Thoenes talks about the behaviour of the five key commodity groups taken into consideration by FAO Food Price Index. Credit: FAOOutlook for cereals output improvesFAO raised its forecast for world cereal production in 2016 slightly to nearly 2,526 million tonnes, virtually the same as in 2015 and potentially on course to be the second-largest global harvest ever, according to FAO’s Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, also released today. The larger figure results almost entirely from improved prospects for wheat production, as winter weather conditions have been favourable for prospective yields in the European Union, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. At 717 million tonnes, the 2016 wheat output forecast remains 16 million tonnes short of last year’s record. FAO’s new production forecast for global coarse grains – including barley, maize, millet, oats, rye and sorghum – stands at 1,314 million tonnes, about one per cent below the 2015 output. FAO left unchanged its worldwide rice production forecast at 495 million tonnes, about one percent higher than the previous year, although the full impact of the El Niño weather phenomenon will not be clear for a few more months.
The search for the University’s next President and Vice-Chancellor is underway. In a letter sent today to the Brock community, Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Gary Comerford, who also chairs the Advisory Committee on the Presidency, said the search will be “comprehensive in scope with an integral portion being a process of consultation” with the Brock communityTo facilitate that consultation, Comerford’s letter links to a questionnaire where, until Jan. 9, people can offer opinions and advice on the search process.It has also been announced that Brock has retained Laverne Smith & Associates as the consultant who will facilitate and manage the presidential search.
https://jrnl.ie/4603836 No Comments By Ruaidhrí Giblin Patrick Quirke murder trial nears end as jury to continue deliberations tomorrow Patrick Quirke has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan. 11,444 Views THE JURY IN the trial of a 50-year-old farmer charged with murdering his alleged love rival, and hiding his body in an underground tank, have paused their deliberations for the night to resume on Wednesday morning.Earlier, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon told the jury of six men and six women that they must not be influenced by emotion, sympathy, anger or disgust, and must treat circumstantial evidence against the accused with care. Patrick Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan, a part-time DJ going by the name Mr Moonlight. Ryan went missing on 3 June 2011 after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry’s home at about 6.30am. His body was found in an underground run-off tank on the farm owned by Ms Lowry and leased by the accused at Fawnagown, Tipperary, 22 months later in April 2013.The prosecution claims that Quirke murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Lowry (52).The two verdicts open to the jury are: guilty of murder or, alternatively, not guilty. The jury begun their deliberations shortly after 2pm and retired just after 4pm.A short time into their deliberations, the jury sought all of Quirke’s interviews with gardaí as well as phone records, which were handed in. They will resume again tomorrow at 11am.In her charge to the jury this morning, Ms Justice Creedon said it had been a long trial that had lasted many weeks. She told the jury that their verdict must be unanimous until circumstances arise that can allow a majority verdict be returned by 10 of them. She said the first rule for the jury, and a fundamental cornerstone of the criminal process, was the presumption of innocence which Quirke enjoyed right until the end. She said the onus of proof remained fairly and squarely on the prosecution and that the defence did not have to prove a thing. The judge added that an accused does not have to give evidence, and that a jury must not hold that against an accused, because they are entitled to remain silent.Ms Justice Creedon said the jury were entitled to consider the impression a witness makes on them. She said they were entitled to bring their life experiences to these considerations, and that everybody assesses people in their lives constantly. Circumstantial evidenceShe said the prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence to prove Quirke’s guilt, and that, on the prosecution’s case, various circumstances taken together lead to the sure conclusion that Mr Quirke committed the crime. She said the prosecution relied on evidence of the “intimate relationship” between Mary Lowry and Patrick Quirke between 2008 to 2010, and the subsequent “cooling” of that relationship.She said the prosecution’s case was that Bobby Ryan stayed with Mary Lowry on the night of 3 June 2011, and left the following morning fully-clothed. It was the prosecution’s case, Ms Justice Creedon said, that Bobby Ryan was violently assaulted after he left Mary Lowry’s house and placed into the tank by Patrick Quirke. She said the prosecution contend that the discovery of Mr Ryan’s body by Patrick Quirke was “staged” because “he knew where the body was”. The judge said the prosecution further relied on the circumstantial evidence of the discovery of the body and what the accused said about water levels in the tank.She said they relied on the observations of Gda Conor Ryan on the water levels in the tank and conversations with the accused and the clothes he was wearing on the day of the discovery.They further relied on an A4 sheet found in Patrick Quirke’s home and what was written on that sheet, according to experts, Ms Justice Creedon said. Computer evidenceShe said they relied on evidence from the hard drive found in Patrick Quirke’s home and on internet searches on the decomposition of human bodies, that some of the searches were made prior to the death of Quirke’s son, and Quirke’s assertions that his son’s death was the reason for the searches. She said they further relied on correspondence between solicitors regarding the termination of the lease and on background evidence of the financial relationship between Mary Lowry and Patrick Quirke.She said the prosecution further relied on Patrick Quirke’s alleged financial difficulties and demands for money.Ms Justice Creedon said the prosecution draws all of this evidence together and contrasts it with what they say are lies told by Mr Quirke, in his garda interviews, to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that he murdered Bobby Ryan. The prosecution contends that any other conclusion is not rational. She warned the jury that circumstantial evidence can be powerful but it must be treated with care. She told the jury to consider whether it revealed issues that “destroys” the prosecution case.She said there was usually more than one way of looking at circumstantial evidence and if a rational explanation pointed to Quirke’s innocence, they must adopt the view favourable to the accused.The defence, she said, contend that the evidence was insufficient to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt, and was more consistent with innocence.She said the defence point to “inconsistencies” in Mary Lowry’s evidence, contending that she was “not a reliable witness”. Those inconsistencies relate to the alleged assault of her by Quirke, her passport being taken and her memory of staying in the Cliff House Hotel. She said the defence contend there was no evidence Patrick Quirke was in financial difficulty. They also contend that the garda investigation was inadequate and that certain evidence was not put before the jury. She said the defence point to the garda’s failure to search Mary Lowry’s house at Fawnagown and the pathologist’s failure to attend the scene. They point to the fact that the recovery of the body was not video recorded, that a hair clip was recovered from the tank and not properly analysed, and that fingerprints from the van were not followed up. She said the defence contend that evidence of computer searches was not sufficient to prove anything and was not directed to the facts of the case. The computer searches could be explained by inquisitiveness of curiosity on the part of Mr Quirke, according to the defence.She said the defence contend that much of the background evidence was unreliable and insufficient to prove Mr Quirke’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that they must acquit.Ms Justice Creedon told the jury that they must be satisfied of Quirke’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It was not a “fanciful” doubt or a “flimsy” doubt but a reasonable doubt, that might make them pause or think about decisions they make in their own lives. She told the jury that they couldn’t come back to court next week and say ‘I’ve had another think about that’. “It’s not enough to say ‘I think he’s guilty or probably guilty’. If that’s where you are you must acquit,” she told the jury. She said they had to certain, satisfied and have no reasonable doubt about the matter. She told them they were “required to be objective, dispassionate and must not be influenced by emotion, sympathy, anger or disgust.”Comments are off as legal proceedings are ongoing. Tuesday 23 Apr 2019, 6:20 PM Share Tweet Email2 Patrick Quirke arriving at the Central Criminal Court. Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie Short URL Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie Apr 23rd 2019, 6:21 PM Patrick Quirke arriving at the Central Criminal Court. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
More than two-thirds of homeowners are ahead of their mortgage according to CBA research. Of 1.8 million home loan borrowers, 68% are ahead of their mortgage repayments, by an average of seven payments.Assist Finance chief executive Jason Di Iulio said the increased focus on debt repayment and savings illustrates that people are nervous about the economy and their jobs.“They are reducing debt at the expense of luxury spending.” He says the trend of maintaining mortgage payments at the same level even when rates are cut is a smart move.“It will reduce debt faster and take real advantage of the rate cuts. If you have non-income-producing debt, you should be paying it off as fast as possible, which will benefit you later in life.”Source: Broker News Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Piratage : la mort de Barack Obama annoncée sur TwitterCe lundi 4 juillet au matin, alors que les Etats-Unis célèbrent leur fête nationale, la page Twitter de la chaîne Fox News annonce la mort de Barack Obama ! Une plaisanterie de très mauvais goût réalisée par des pirates informatiques.En ce jour de fête nationale américaine, les abonnés au compte Twitter (lien non disponible) de la chaîne Fox News ont pu lire un dramatique message. “Barack Obama vient tout juste de décéder. Le président est mort. Un bien triste 4 juillet. Le président Obama est mort”, annonce un premier tweet bientôt suivi d’une information plus précise sur les circonstances du drame : “On lui a tiré dessus deux fois au restaurant Ross dans l’Iowa”. Puis dans un dernier tweet, les pirates souhaitent “bonne chance” au vice-président Joe Biden, censé prendre la tête du pays.À lire aussiAntiSec : le FBI conteste les accusationsCette très mauvaise plaisanterie, relayée par des milliers d’internautes, a bien vite été démentie. Loin de l’Iowa, Barack Obama est aujourd’hui à Washington, pour assister avec sa famille aux célébrations du 4 juillet. La Fox News a présenté ses excuses à tous ceux qui ont lu ces messages, se disant “désolée de la peine que ces faux tweets ont causé”. La chaîne a en outre annoncé mener une enquête pour découvrir qui en est à l’origine. Selon le site de France Soir, le piratage aurait été réalisé par un groupe baptisé The Script Kiddies, une expression péjorative qui désigne les pirates inexpérimentés utilisant les programmes développés par d’autres. Ce groupe se dit proche des Anonymous et du groupe AntiSec, né après la dissolution de LulzSec le mois dernier.Le 4 juillet 2011 à 16:40 • Emmanuel Perrin
1/6August 2016 ANTI-HERO Loot Crate, with all the stuff inside. 1/6Turn the box inside-out and assemble the included cardboard handle, and you get a mallet! 1/6Archer t-shirt. 1/6Harley Quinn Q-Fig figure. 1/6Hellboy piggy bank. 1/6Kill Bill socks. <> August 2016’s Loot Crate theme is ANTI-HERO. They’re like regular heroes, only they act like dicks and screw up regularly. It’s a popular category, even if the term itself is poorly defined and bafflingly vague. Does a character save people? Hero. Does a character punch people in the dick and insult them, then save them at the last minute? Anti-hero. Does a character not save anyone, but futilely struggle to follow a damaged moral compass that provides them with an ethos that’s, at best, completely Quixotic? Eddian anti-hero.Anyway, here’s what’s in the ANTI-HERO Loot Crate:Archer t-shirtKill Bill socksHarley Quinn Q-Fix figurine (Batrman: The Animated Series version)Ceramic Hellboy piggy bankSylvanas Windrunner pin Not bad, but there’s one extra little addition that doesn’t really fit on the list, because it’s part of the packaging itself. The crate comes with a small piece of cardboard that can be folded into a triangular rod. The crate also has a triangular hole in one side and two slits on the other. It turns the crate into a mallet!It doesn’t matter if you didn’t like Suicide Squad, because the Harley in the box is from the DCAU anyway, and she used a mallet then, too. And this is just one of the most clever things Loot Crate has done with its boxes yet. It’s a hammer! It’s a cardboard hammer, sure, but it’s still a cute little extra.As for the other items, it’s an all-around solid Loot Crate. The Archer t-shirt is a bit too busy and topical (it’s a fake campaign t-shirt for Archer as president of the Danger Zone), but it’s still fun, and the socks are great. And again, Harley is DCAU, so no complaints with the figurine. The Hellboy bank’s coin slot is a bit too big, and it spilled a few nickels when I moved it around, but otherwise it’s pretty sweet, and lets me do a big red fistful of dollars joke.Loot Crate sends out boxes of geeky collectibles every month for $13.95/month plus shipping. Besides the main Loot Crate, there’s Loot Anime for anime fans, Loot Gaming for gamers, and Loot Pets for pet lovers (the regular Loot Crate runs the gamut of interests, but if you have specific likes then the other crates are great alternatives). There’s also Loot Crate DX if you want an even bigger box, and LootWear if you specifically want some sweet hoodies, shirts, and accessories. It’s a lot of loot, delivered monthly.
Vancouver-based pizza chain Papa Murphy’s has posted a $1.9 million loss for its third fiscal quarter. The loss amounts to an 11 cent drop per diluted share.The losses continue a skid for the take-and-bake-pizza purveyor. Through the first nine months of the year, the company posted losses of $13.4 million, compared with $1.2 million in income for the same period one year earlier.Weldon Spangler, who was named CEO in June, said the quarter was disappointing, but pizza sales within company-owned stores did show an upward tick. However, Papa Murphy’s is still aiming to sell off many of its company-owned stores and return to being 95-percent franchised.Shares in Papa Murphy’s, traded on the Nasdaq Exchange as FRSH, closed trading at $5.52 on Wednesday, down 13 cents.
SPOKANE — A federal agency has discovered genetically altered wheat plants growing in Washington state that were engineered to be resistant to the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide.Agency officials haven’t given any more details about where the plants were found.The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, said in a news release earlier this month that genetically engineered wheat plants were found “in an unplanted agricultural field” in Washington and that the plants were altered to be resistant to glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the popular and controversial Monsanto herbicide Roundup.“At this time, we are still gathering information,” APHIS spokesman Rick Coker said in an email response to questions. “We will provide additional information on this event as soon as we can.”The genetically altered wheat is designed to allow farmers to spray herbicide on the crop to kill all other plants without damaging the wheat. The announcement is important because several wheat-importing countries have reacted strongly to past discoveries of genetically engineered wheat, which was last discovered growing in Washington in 2016.Several Asian countries temporarily halted purchases of U.S. soft white wheat after genetically modified wheat was found unexpectedly in a field on an Oregon farm in 2013. It also popped up in a field at a university research center in Montana in 2014.
PAGCOR puts freeze on approval of new POGO applications PAGCOR revenue to hit Php75 billion in 2020 Load More Australian-listed Frontier Capital Group (FCG) says it will resume operations at Casablanca Casino, located within the Clark Freeport Zone in the Philippines, after confirming it has the necessary funds to settle a Php225 million PAGCOR escrow payment.FCG completed a takeover of Hotel Stotsenberg, which houses Casablanca Casino, in February 2016 for a cost of AU$26 million in a deal that included an AU$25 million profit guarantee over five years from the operator of the hotel and gaming business, E!xcite Gaming and Entertainment. RelatedPosts Self-contained POGO hubs aimed at separating Chinese workers from locals: PAGCOR However, the company was forced to close casino operations on 5 February 2017 after the Philippines gaming regulator ordered the escrow payment, with the E!xcite agreement also terminated at that time.In a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange this week, FCG said it has now secured the necessary funds to satisfy PAGCOR requirements to reopen Casablanca Casino, a move it described as “imminent.”FCG also revealed that AU$1.5 million of those funds have come via the termination of an agreement to operate the Mongolian National Lottery, resulting in the return of the company’s initial cash balance.In a statement, FCG Chairman Henri Ho said, “The company has worked diligently to satisfy PAGCOR’s operational requirements and to secure the return of the Mongolian National Lottery deposit. I am pleased that both have now been achieved.“FCG will soon recommence operations at the Casablanca Casino, with a healthy bank balance.”
Here, FOLIO: checks in with Nick Thompson (pictured below), editor of NewYorker.com, to get the details on the new science vertical and why it was launched. FOLIO: Why is NewYorker.com launching a specific science and technology vertical?Nick Thompson: Science and technology coverage is something that The New Yorker has traditionally been very good at. If you look at something like Josh Rothman’s piece, “Nine Decades of Science in The New Yorker,” you can get a sense of the breadth and depth of our long-time science coverage. But, it’s something that didn’t have a real home on the website. We’ve had a bucket for our news stories, a bucket for our culture stories and a blog for our books essays. There wasn’t a natural place for science and tech stories to fit.I have a tech background and I had been blogging on it, and some of them were running on the news desk while others ran with the culture desk. It is something we’re good at and we can give a unique, New Yorker take on, and it’s something the website hasn’t done. We proposed it, got corporate support for it, went out and hired our science and tech editor Matt Buchanan and launched it.FOLIO: There are a ton of other tech blogs and science sites out there. How will The New Yorker compete with them?Thompson: The same way that The New Yorker has traditionally competed with other publications on other topics. We’ll try to cover it in a more literary way, to the extent you can, and we’ll try to cover it in a deeper way. We’ll try to bring the kind of writer that has been on staff or written for The New Yorker to these subject areas. We’re going to try and take The New Yorker’s DNA and use it in covering science and technology. We want readers to sort of feel the way they do after they read the magazine after reading a blog. We’re not going after another blog; we’re trying to do it the way The New Yorker does things. FOLIO: Did you find that the site was getting more traffic to science and tech columns?Thompson: We had seen for a while that people liked our science and technology coverage. There has also been a large surge in traffic to the site in general due to our increased ambitions and the number of things we’ve added. We did notice that our science coverage tends to do quite well. FOLIO: What are your plans going forward? Will you be tying any of this coverage back to the print magazine?Thompson: We’ll certainly be taking stories that run in the print magazine and we’ll be putting them online. We’ll also be taking topics that might have been in a long print story and we’ll add follow up blog posts on it, or special extra additions. What makes a piece perfect for print is different from what makes a piece perfect for the Web. I don’t think things will run the other way, turning a blog post into a magazine post, but we’ll certainly see a lot of overlap in that the people who write for the magazine will be blogging a lot. The editors that work on the print and Web sides will be talking about people and ideas to cover, so there will be certain kinds of overlap. We’re going to keep trying to live up to the standards and ideals that the magazine has had for so long, and do that while engaging with the rest of the Internet on the conversations of the moment.Stay updated on the latest FOLIO: news, follow us on Facebook & Twitter! The New Yorker today added another category to its main nav bar—Science & Tech. The vertical is the latest in a series of new content features added to the site in the last year, including the Humor Channel and the Political Scene hub.With all the new content—including audio, video, photography, cartoons and at least a dozen new articles each day—the site’s traffic hit 9.6 million unique visitors in January 2013, up 111 percent from the prior year. Pageviews jumped 74 percent to 33 million in the same month.
Suryapet: In a tragic road mishap, six members of a family were killed in an accident near MIT Engineering College in Suryapet district on Friday morning. The accident occurred when a speeding lorry hit an auto-rickshaw coming from the opposite direction. The victims have been identified as Mahboob Basha (38), Afzal Basha (48), Ghousia Begum (40), Mahmooda (35), Maheen (15) and Muskan (12). Also Read – Heavy rains lash erstwhile Khammam district Advertise With Us They met with the accident while returning to their village Chintapalli of Mahbubnagar district after visiting Jan Pahad Dargah in Suryapet. The accident was so gruesome that four persons were killed on the spot while two out of four injured persons succumbed to injuries at the hospital. The injured were first taken to Huzurnagar Government Hospital and later shifted to Khammam Hospital where two persons are undergoing treatment. Also Read – Thimmapur villagers pledge to go plastice-free Advertise With Us Suryapet District Superintendant of Police Venkateshwarlu, Kodad DSP Sudarshan and Kodad Rural Inspector Ravi and other police officials visited the accident spot. The injured were immediately shifted to a nearby government hospital with the help of locals present at the spot. “In the accident, four people died on the spot while four others who were injured were taken to a nearby hospital. Out of the four injured, two are in a critical condition and two are out of danger. It looks like the incident took place because of the negligence driving of the lorry driver,” Sudharshan Reddy, DSP, Kodad, Suryapet, said
IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/1:35Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:34?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … ReutersAround five fishing boats set sail to hunt whales in north-east Japan on Monday, July 1, marking the end of the country’s 30-year-old restriction on commercial whaling. The development followed Japan’s contentious withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission (IWC).The country’s fisheries agency has given permission to hunt seasonal quota of 227 whales, including 52 minkes, 150 Bryde’s and 25 sei whales, during this year’s hunting season, which lasts until December. According to reports, five fishing vessels from Kushiro and three whaling boats from Shimonoseki in southwestern Japan set sail in the morning to hunt whales off its shores.Whaling culturesIn Japan, whale meat has cultural significance due to its popularity as a cheap source of protein. Some have welcomed Japan’s decision as a cultural awakening.In Wakayama Prefecture, known for its whale and dolphin hunting, the head of the Japan Small Whaling Association, Yoshifumi Kai said: “People have hunted whales for more than 400 years in my home town.”He also said that he is “excited” to resume commercial fishing, “my heart is overflowing with happiness, and I’m deeply moved,” he added.A poll conducted by news agency NHK revealed 53 percent of Japanese citizens agreed with the IWC withdrawal decision, compared with 37 percent who opposed the move.Some have claimed international condemnation on Japan’s decision is a societal decision where foreign players don’t get to decide. “If you force others not to eat what you do not eat yourself, that’s cultural imperialism,” Hideki Moronuki, senior fisheries negotiator at Japan’s Fisheries Agency, told Al Jazeera.Extinction or Conservation?Last year, when Japan announced its plan to withdraw from IWC, environmental activists had pointed out that the purpose of the 1986 convention was to prevent the extinction of some species such as minke whales.Japan has been the target of international criticism for hunting whales in the Antarctic waters under IWC’s “scientific research” clause. The availability of whale meat in the local markets confirmed suspicions of commercial whaling being conducted under the guise of research.Australia had accused Japan in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2010 for violating international norms. In 2013, ICJ had ruled that Japan’s whaling program was not for scientific purposes. But despite international criticism, in 2016, commercial whalers killed 333 minke whales, according to Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research.With the recent withdrawal, Japan would be conducting coastal whaling as the country won’t be allowed to fish in international waters like before. Some environmentalists have argued that the resumption of whaling will decrease as both its consumption and availability will be hampered.Government data reveals the annual consumption of whale meat fell from 200,000 tons in the 1960s, to around 5,000 tons in recent years. Close What Is Commercial Whaling? With the dwindling popularity of whale meat in Japan, the commercialising is also seen as a step towards ending of commercial whaling itself.Patrick Ramage, director of marine conservation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, said the resumption of commercial whaling “will not magically increase market demand”.”This is a face-saving way out of whaling, the beginning of the end of Japanese whaling,” he said at a recent press conference.
A gold worker holds a 1 KG gold bullion at Istanbul Gold Refinery (IGR) on January 13, 2015, in Istanbul. AFP PHOTO/OZAN KOSEOZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images [Representational Image]Gold prices slipped on Thursday as the dollar steadied and equities climbed on signs of easing trade tensions between the United States and China, while palladium rose to a record high, trading at a premium to the bullion.Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,243.91 per ounce, as of 0415 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were 0.1 percent lower at $1,249.3 per ounce.”Market sentiment is neutral today… We’ve got a little more positive sentiment than we anticipated from U.S.-China trade tensions, which is weighing on the topside,” said Stephen Innes, APAC trading head at OANDA in Singapore.”Dollar hasn’t made many moves and that’s the real signpost for gold as they are still highly correlated.”The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major rivals, was steady at 97.069, after retreating from a near one-month high overnight.Meanwhile, Asian shares advanced on signs of easing trade tensions between the world’s top two economies, and expectations that China will step up efforts soon to support its cooling economy.China appears to be easing its high-tech industrial development push, dubbed “Made in China 2025,” which has long irked the United States, while it also made its first major U.S. soybean purchases in more than six months on Wednesday.Investors seem more interested in equity at this point in time than in gold, said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.However, analysts see uncertainties around the Brexit deal and expectations of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s dovish tone at its meeting next week, supporting the yellow metal.”We are still gonna have a lot of noise coming out of Brexit and that should definitely keep a gold bid for a while,” Innes said.Markets are not expecting more than one rate hike from the U.S. central bank next year, after a likely interest rate increase at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Dec. 18-19.Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,240-$1,253 per ounce, and an escape could suggest a direction, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.Among other precious metals, spot palladium was down 0.2 percent at $1,258.90 per ounce, having touched a record high of $1,264.25 earlier in the session.Palladium rose strongly on the news that China would be reducing tariffs on U.S. imported autos, raising hopes that the sector would be boosted by additional demand, analysts at ANZ said in a note.Silver was up 0.1 percent at $14.75 per ounce, while platinum climbed 0.3 percent to $800.49.
Venezuelan demonstrators throw stones during clashes with authorities, at the border between Brazil and Venezuela, Saturday, 23 February 2019. Photo: APA US-backed drive to deliver foreign aid to Venezuela met strong resistance as troops loyal to President Nicolas Maduro blocked the convoys at the border and fired tear gas on protesters in clashes that left two people dead and some 300 injured.As night fell Saturday, opposition leader Juan Guaido refrained from asking supporters to continue risking their lives trying to break through the government’s barricades at the Colombian and Brazilian borders. Instead, he said he would meet US Vice President Mike Pence on Monday in Bogota at an emergency meeting of mostly conservative Latin American governments to discuss Venezuela’s crisis.But he did make one last appeal to troops to let the aid in and urged the international community to keep “all options open” in the fight to oust Maduro given Saturday’s violence.”How many of you national guardsmen have a sick mother? How many have kids in school without food,” he said, standing alongside a warehouse in the Colombian city of Cucuta where 600 tons of mostly US-supplied boxes of food and medicine have been stockpiled. “You don’t owe any obedience to a sadist…who celebrates the denial of humanitarian aid the country needs.”Earlier, Maduro, who considers the aid part of a coup plot and has refused to let it in, struck a defiant tone, breaking diplomatic relations with Colombia, accusing its “fascist” government of serving as a staging ground for a US-led effort to oust him from power and possibly a military invasion.”My patience has run out,” Maduro said, speaking at a rally of red-shirted supporters in Caracas and giving Colombian diplomats 24 hours to leave the country.Throughout the turbulent day Saturday, as police and protesters squared off on two bridges connecting Venezuela to Colombia, Guaido made repeated calls for the military to join him in the fight against Maduro’s “dictatorship.” Colombian authorities said more than 60 soldiers answered his call, deserting their posts in often-gripping fashion, though most were lower in rank and didn’t appear to dent the higher command’s continued loyalty to Maduro’s socialist government.In one dramatic high point, a group of activists led by exiled lawmakers managed to escort three flatbed trucks of aid past the halfway point into Venezuela when they were repelled by security forces. In a flash the cargo caught fire, with some eyewitnesses claiming the National Guardsmen doused a tarp covering the boxes with gas before setting it on fire. As a black cloud rose above, the activists — protecting their faces from the fumes with vinegar-soaked cloths — unloaded the boxes by hand in a human chain stretching back to the Colombian side of the bridge.”They burned the aid and fired on their own people,” said 39-year-old David Hernandez, who was hit in the forehead with a tear gas canister that left a bloody wound and growing welt. “That’s the definition of dictatorship.”For weeks, US President Donald Trump’s administration and its regional allies have been amassing emergency food and medical supplies on three of Venezuela’s borders with the aim of launching a “humanitarian avalanche.” It comes exactly one month after Guaido, in a direct challenge to Maduro’s rule, declared himself interim president at an outdoor rally.Even as the 35-year-old lawmaker has won the backing of more than 50 governments around the world, he’s so far been unable to cause a major rift inside the military — Maduro’s last-remaining plank of support in a country ravaged by hyperinflation and widespread shortages.Late Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Venezuelan security forces to “do the right thing” by allowing humanitarian assistance into the country.The clashes started well before Guaido straddled a semi-truck and waved to supporters in a ceremonial send-off of the aid convoy from Cucuta. In the Venezuelan border town of Urena, residents began removing yellow metal barricades and barbed wire blocking the Santander bridge. Some were masked youth who threw rocks and later commandeered a city bus and set it afire.”We’re tired. There’s no work, nothing,” Andreina Montanez, 31, said as she sat on a curb recovering from the sting of tear gas used to disperse the crowd.The single mom said she lost her job as a seamstress in December and had to console her 10-year-old daughter’s fears that she would be left orphaned when she decided to join Saturday’s protest.”I told her I had to go out on the streets because there’s no bread,” she said. “But still, these soldiers are scary. It’s like they’re hunting us.”At the Simon Bolivar bridge, a group of aid volunteers in blue vests calmly walked up to a police line and shook officers’ hands, appealing for them to join their fight.But the goodwill was fleeting and a few hours later the volunteers were driven back with tear gas, triggering a stampede.At least 60 members of security forces, most of them lower-ranked soldiers, deserted and took refuge inside Colombia, according to migration officials. One was a National Guard major. Colombian officials said 285 people were injured, most left with wounds caused by tear gas and metal pellets that Venezuelan security forces fired.A video provided by Colombian authorities shows three soldiers at the Simon Bolivar bridge wading through a crowd with their assault rifles and pistols held above their heads in a sign of surrender. The young soldiers were then ordered to lie face down on the ground as migration officials urged angry onlookers to keep a safe distance.”I’ve spent days thinking about this,” said one of the soldiers, whose identity was not immediately known. He called on his comrades to join him: “There is a lot of discontent inside the forces, but also lots of fear.”Guaido, who has offered amnesty to soldiers who join the opposition’s fight, applauded their bravery, saying it was a sign that support for Maduro was crumbling. Later, he greeted five of the military members, who in turn offered a salute, calling the opposition leader Venezuela’s “constitutional president” and their commander in chief.”They aren’t deserters,” Guaido said. “They’ve decided to put themselves on the side of the people and the constitution. … The arrival of liberty and democracy to Venezuela can’t be detained.”Analysts warn that there may be no clear victor and humanitarian groups have criticized the opposition as using the aid as a political weapon.”Today marked a further blow to the Maduro regime, but perhaps not the final blow that Guaido, the US and Colombia were hoping for,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington. “Threats and ultimatums from Washington directed to the generals may not be the best way to get them to flip. In fact, they are likely to have the opposite effect.”International leaders including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are appealing for the sides to avoid violence. But at least two people were killed and another 21 injured in the town of Santa Elena de Uairen, near the border with Brazil, according to local health officials.Amid the sometimes-chaotic and hard-to-verify flow of information, opposition lawmakers and Guaido said the first shipment of humanitarian aid had crossed into Venezuela from Brazil — although reports from the ground revealed that two trucks carrying the aid had only inched up to the border itself.Late Saturday, Guaido tweeted that the day’s events had obliged him to “propose in a formal manner to the international community that we keep all options open to liberate this country which struggles and will keep on struggling.”
The History of Sexbots in MoviesSexy Robots Help Cure Erectile Dysfunction Some of the first sex dolls were invented by Dutch sailors in the 17th century.Fast forward 4,000 years, and those seamen would probably endorse modern sex robots.And they wouldn’t be alone: New data from Internet-based market research firm YouGov suggests 49 percent of Americans expect that having sex with robots will become common practice in the next five decades.Unsurprisingly, adult men lead the charge—one in four (24 percent) would consider taking an automated lover. Fewer than 10 percent of women, meanwhile, are open to the idea.The statistics, published on Monday, reconcile with those released by the Foundation for Responsible Robotics (FRR) in July; they are also consistent with futurist Dr. Ian Pearson’s forecast that sex with robots will overtake human love-making by 2050.One in four men would consider having sex with a robot (via YouGov)Most Americans aren’t convinced that mechanical copulation should even be classified as sex (I did not have sexual relations with that robot). Only 14 percent of US adults would label the act as intercourse, and one in three liken it to simple masturbation.Which begs the question: Does having sex with a robot while in a relationship constitute cheating? The divided response split down the middle: 32 percent said yes, 33 percent said no. (One guess as to which gender voted which way.)The moral ambiguities of cyborg sensuality remain unclear.More people believe it is acceptable to get it on with a humanoid android versus a traditional robot. But a majority still find either exterior—synthetic character or motorized machine—objectionable.Unlike Arran Lee Wright and his wife Hannah Nguyen, whose smart sex doll Samantha is part of the family.“My children [aged three and five], they say, ‘Where’s Samantha?’” Wright said during a recent appearance on This Morning.Nguyen agreed, admitting that “We have fun with her.”“I have no worry about someone else actually there for Arran to have an affair. We don’t have to worry about some sort of disease,” she said on live television. “It’s fun to have her around.”YouGov’s robot sex survey, administered online between Sept. 26-27, includes responses from 1,146 adults (aged 18+). Test your own convictions with all eight original questions below:If it were possible to have sex with robots, to what extent would you consider having sex with one?And how important, if at all, would it be that the robot would resemble a humanoid (i.e. as opposed to a traditional mechanical robot)?To what extent do you think it would be morally acceptable or unacceptable for people to use a robot designed for sex if it resembled a humanoid or a traditional robot?Do you think that engaging in sex with a robot should be considered closer to resembling traditional intercourse, to masturbation, or neither?If someone were to pay to use a sex robot, would you consider that prostitution?If you had a partner who had sex with a robot, would you consider it cheating?When, if ever, do you believe using robots for sex will become a commonly accepted practice?To what extend do you feel that having sex with a robot is more or less safe, if either, than having sex with a human stranger?Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target
Mexico City, Mexico — Dish Mexico is fighting back against its biggest competitor with free mobile telephone services for its customers.Dish Mexico is fighting back against Sky, its main competitor in satellite pay TV, by offering its customers free mobile telephony through FreedomPop, a Mobile Virtual Operator (OMV) that transits under the Telcel network.José Luis Woodhouse, CEO of Dish said that due to consumption habits and the evolution of the sector, they saw the opportunity to add this service in order to maintain the loyalty of its customers.“This will also support us so that when a potential client decides which operator to go with, the more benefits an operator presents to the client, the more they will decide in favor of us,” he said.This new service is independent of the sale of the spectrum of the 2.5 GHz band to Telcel, which is to be completed in July 2018.According to data from IFT, by the second quarter of 2017, the penetration of pay television accesses in homes is 66 per 100, of which satellite accesses represent 60.3 percent.Ramiro Tovar, analyst of the telecommunications sector stressed that this is the second attempt in the industry to launch a mobile service that is attractive to customers.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)