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Abstaining from pot improves memory ability to learn in young users study

first_imgTORONTO – Researchers say a month of abstaining from cannabis leads to improved memory in adolescents and young adults who are regular users of weed.A study by Massachusetts General Hospital found young people who stopped using cannabis for 30 days had a better ability to learn compared to peers who continued to smoke, vape or ingest pot.Lead author Randi Schuster, director of neuropsychology at the Center for Addiction Medicine at the Boston hospital, says teens and young adults learn better when they are not using cannabis.She says the findings suggest that at least some of the cognitive deficits linked to at least once-a-week cannabis use are not permanent and improve quickly after a short period of abstinence.The research involved 88 subjects aged 16 to 25 who completed regular assessments of thinking and memory during the study period and also provided frequent urine tests to verify cannabis abstinence. The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.The authors note that adolescence and young adulthood are critical times for brain development, specifically for brain regions that are most susceptible to the effects of cannabis.“There are still a lot of open questions to be studied, including whether attention might improve and memory continues to improve with longer periods of cannabis abstinence,” says Schuster, adding that two larger follow-up trials will try to address those issues.last_img read more

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Foreign national cheated at Vijay Chowk

first_imgNew Delhi: Through different tricks, criminals are making away with money in the city. In a recent incident, they targeted an Iraqi national arrived in the city to see President House on March 6.In the complaint to police, the foreign national alleged that he came to India for his treatment in Gurugram based hospital. “On the day of the incident, the victim along with his son and friend came at the Vijay Chowk to see the President House in a taxi bearing Haryana number plate,” complainant told police. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderHe further told the law enforcement agency that at about 5:30 pm, when they were at Vijay Chowk, two gents and one lady came and started interacting with them in the Arabic language. After gaining the victim’s confidence, one of the suspects asked the foreign national that he want to go to Iraq and requested him to show the USD. “On this, I gave him my Doller. He again asked me the Doller rate in Iraq and after taking my 20 notes of 100 Dollar, the suspect rub his hand and play a trick,” complainant told police. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsPolice further said that the suspect returns back 11 notes of 100 US Dollars and put the remaining amount in his pocket. The foreigner could not understand the trick and after this, all the three persons sit in the grey colour car and went away. “When I checked my money there were only 11 notes in my pocket I apprised all fact to my taxi driver who called the police,” the complainant said adding that all three persons aged about 35-40 years. Police have registered a case under sections 420 and 34 of IPC. In another case which was reported from Kalkaji area of South East Delhi, robbers allegedly stole a bag containing Apple laptop, I-Pad, I-Phone and other important documents. The complainant told police that he was inside his car when a person came and told him that his cash is fallen on the road. During the distraction, another person fled with a bag from the back gate of the car.last_img read more

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On 158th birth anniversary: Rare oil paintings by Tagore, contemporaries to be displayed by RBU

first_imgKolkata: Art lovers in the city for the first time will get the opportunity to witness a number of oil paintings by eminent painters including Rabindranath Tagore himself with the Rabindra Bharati Museum (RBM) putting on display these artworks at the Jorasanko campus of Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) on the occasion of the 158th birth anniversary of the legend which falls on May 9.”There are 72 oil paintings by Tagore’s contemporaries in our collection. Some larger paintings are already on display at the Western Art Gallery of the Museum but 53 of them, mostly smaller in size, were kept in the air-conditioned museum strong room away from public view for shortage of space. All these will be unveiled in a visible storage space that has been created in the campus,” said Baisakhi Mitra, curator-in-charge of RBM. Bulk of this collection was gifted by Maharaja Prabirendra Mohan Tagore and Kumar Purnendu Nath Tagore of Pathuriaghata. The conditions of the paintings deteriorated over time due to natural processes and the effects of pollution in the heart of Kolkata. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe National Research Laboratory For Conservation of Cultural Property, Lucknow, gave the oil paintings a fresh lease of life with the funds of the university itself. However, even after the restoration work carried out in two phases that ended in July 2013, the paintings again found its place in the strong room due to paucity of display space. “A grant from the Union Ministry of Culture helped us in setting up a visible storage space in which 53 of the remaining oil paintings could be displayed for art connoisseurs across the world,” said RBU Vice-Chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe most important painting that will be displayed is the one titled “Three Witches from Macbeth” done by Tagore himself who began painting it when he was in his 60s. Tagore had produced around 3,000 drawings and paintings and was the first Indian artist to exhibit his works across Europe, Russia and the US in 1930. His painting style was very individualistic, characterised by simple bold forms and rhythmic quality and later inspired several modern artists. An oil painting by Hitendranath Tagore, the eldest son of Hemendranath, Debendranath’s third son, “Portrait of Maharshi Debendranath Tagore” done by Sashi Kumar Hesh, “Composition — Omar Khyam/Arabian Nights” by Asit Halder, “Family” by Ramkinkar Beij are among the noted paintings that will be on display. The visual storage titled “Abanindranath Tagore — Visual Storage” will also showcase works by eminent painters who were contemporary of Tagore including Nirode Majumdar, Sukhomoy Mitra, Satyen Ghosal, Santosh Arora and a few unknown artists too.last_img read more

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Lebanese singer and Arab “Singing Bird” Sabah dies

Rabat – Famous actress and singer Sabah has died on Wednesday, Lebanese media reported.The Lebanese diva passed away at her residence in the capital Beirut at the age of 87.Nicknamed “Shahroura” or the “singing bird” in Arabic, Sabah was born as Jeanette Gergis Al-Feghali in Bdadoun, Lebanon in 1927. During her career spanning over six decades she released more than 50 albums and starred in 98 films as well as over 20 stage plays.She was the first Arab singer to perform at Olympia in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, Piccadilly Theatre in London and Sydney Opera House in Sydney.Sabah was subject to harsh criticism due to her multiple cosmetic surgeries and the fact that she was wearing showy outfits that did not match her age.She was also famous for her multiple marriages. She was married at least nine times and some of these marriages only lasted few months if not less. read more

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GAZA: Inauguration of Hassan II Faculty Financed by King Mohammed VI

Rabat – A faculty whose construction was paid by King Mohammed VI of Morocco has been inaugurated on Monday in the Gaza Strip.Minister of endowment and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Taoufik took part, on Monday in Gaza, in the inauguration ceremony of the Hassan II Faculty of agronomic and environmental sciences.The faculty cost over $6 million and includes 12 classrooms, laboratories and other departments, Taoufik told MAP on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony. Organized by the Palestinian national authority, the inauguration ceremony was also marked by the presence of Palestinian political and civil figures who thanked the monarch for the gesture.In a video message after the ceremony, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas lauded the sovereign’s role in supporting the Palestinian cause and people. read more

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GuineaBissau progresses on path towards stability after last years unrest – Ban

Guinea-Bissau is countering the effects of last year’s unrest, and the United Nations is helping to promote security sector reform in a country that has been dogged by war, coups and assassinations in recent years, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his latest report.“I am encouraged by the noticeable progress that Guinea-Bissau has made to reverse the negative effects of the civil-military events that took place on 1 April 2010,” he writes, referring to the brief detention of the Prime Minister, Chief of General Staff and other senior military officers by some members of the armed forces, which he has previously called “a major setback” to promoting stability and implementing key reforms.“I note the positive steps taken by the leadership of Guinea-Bissau, especially the President and Prime Minister, to demonstrate its renewed commitment to resolve contentious issues through dialogue and consultations and to consolidate State institutions.”In a report covering events since the end of October, Mr. Ban cites the continuing rift between President Malam Bacai Sanhá and Prime Minister Carlos Gomes, but notes that compromises over certain appointments, and Mr. Sanhá’s assurance that the Government would serve until the end of the legislative session in 2012 have helped ease tensions. His Special Representative Joseph Mutaboba has continued to promote permanent dialogue between the two, he adds. The UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), which Mr. Mutaboba heads, has been cooperating with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) to promote defence and security sector reforms, and Mr. Ban commends the important role played by regional and international stakeholders to encourage constructive dialogue among the political and military leadership.UNIOGBIS was set up last year as a successor to the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS), which had been in the country since 1999 as part of international efforts to help it recover from civil war in which thousands were killed, wounded or forced from their homes. In the years that followed, the country was still plagued by coups, coup attempts and, in 2009, the assassination of President João Bernardo Vieira. Citing continuing instability, the Security Council in November extended UNIOGBIS’ mandate until 31 December 2011. Guinea-Bissau is one of six countries currently on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commission – along with Burundi, Guinea, Sierra Leone, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Liberia – established in 2005 to help countries emerging from conflict make an irreversible transition from war to sustainable peace.Mr. Ban notes that, together with the Defence Ministry, UNIOGBIS has organized awareness-raising seminars on the rule of law, human rights, gender, democracy and military justice to enhance the capacity of military officers in consolidating peace and the rule of law, prevent impunity and renew public trust in the armed forces.The mission has also been helping with police reform and, with national and international partners, has assisted national authorities in promoting dialogue and cooperation among and between law enforcement agencies, magistrates and prosecutors.UNIOGBIS and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) continue to help national authorities tackle the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa as part of an ECOWAS regional action plan.“If you have strong police, if you have a strong criminal justice system, it will raise the capacity of the state to tackle the issue of impunity,” UNIOGBIS Senior Police Adviser Nelson Werlang Garcia told the UN News Centre in a separate interview. “By addressing impunity, you’re creating confidence by the population in the police, in the state, and helping them to feel more secure and protected by the state.”On human rights, Mr. Ban notes that the mission has joined with the Interior Ministry in organizing sensitization workshops on gender issues to promote full respect for the principles of equality within law enforcement to prevent, identify and investigate gender-based violence.He sounds a positive note on the economy, noting that despite continuing structural fragility, Guinea-Bissau has continued to pursue important reforms enabling it to make significant progress in managing its debt burden, thus opening up opportunities to stabilize the economy and promote economic growth.But, he warns: “Political stability is essential if the country is to use the window of opportunity presented by the recently announced debt relief arrangement to build on the positive momentum created.“It is especially important for the people of Guinea-Bissau, in particular political and military actors, to reflect on the high cost of the wasted years and to focus on working collectively in the national interest towards building a national consensus on the priorities for socio-economic development and long-term stability,” he concludes. 22 February 2011Guinea-Bissau is countering the effects of last year’s unrest, and the United Nations is helping to promote security sector reform in a country that has been dogged by war, coups and assassinations in recent years, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his latest report. read more

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UN agency puts forward eightpoint plan to help AsiaPacific benefit from global

The UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) 2006 Asia-Pacific Human Development Report, “Trade on Human Terms: Transforming Trade for Human Development in Asia and the Pacific,” was released today in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and is the first in a new annual series, the agency said in a press release.“Trade on Human Terms comes at a critical time with only a few months left before the end-of-year deadline for the completion of the Doha Development Round. We are at the midpoint of the 10-year Brussels Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries and have less than a decade to achieve the targets of the Millennium Development Goals,” said UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis, referring to targets to slash a host of ills, such as extreme hunger and poverty, by 2015.Among the findings included in the report is that Asia’s opening to the global market has propelled record economic growth and reduced income poverty in much of the region. Its cheap, labour-intensive manufacturing and high-tech goods have made it the “factory of the world.” East Asia’s “miracle” economies, in particular, have used trade to boost exports and accelerate progress in other areas including education, health and gender equality.Yet at the same time, trade has exacerbated inequalities, not only between countries but also within national borders. And some of the region’s most open economies – particularly the East Asian success stories – are grappling with the challenge of “jobless growth,” with job creation lagging far behind workforce expansion. Further, the benefits of free trade have accrued more to highly-paid skilled workers than unskilled workers, while job opportunities and working conditions for women in textiles and clothing in the poorer countries are threatened by competition from China and the demise of global quotas.“Asia and the Pacific have embraced globalization, but globalization cannot embrace the region’s poor without determined action on the part of governments,” said Hafiz A. Pasha, the Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, who launched the report at a ceremony with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. The report also highlights that some parts of Asia-Pacific – especially the 14 Least Developed Countries that include Cambodia – and the Pacific Island countries, have seen few tangible human-development benefits from trade and also face tough conditions for membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO). “Due to the tyranny of averages, the relatively poor performance of Asia’s Least Developed Countries gets little attention,” said Anuradha K. Rajivan, who led the Colombo-based multinational team that prepared the Report for UNDP.Key recommendations in the report call for investing in for national governments to make trade work for the poor are:Invest for competitiveness, including in education as well as in research and development, especially for agriculture and trade-related infrastructureAdopt strategic trade and industrial policies, by not opening up too early strategic industries and by introducing properly sequenced tariff barriers with a clear timeframe Refocus on agriculture, emphasizing investment in rural development, maintaining tariffs on food imports, and ensuring that global trade negotiations agree on special safeguard mechanismsCombat “jobless growth,” by recalibrating interest rates; phasing out fiscal incentives that artificially raise the return on capital and result in moves away from labour; and adopting labour-market policies to encourage flexibility and retraining Prepare a new tax regime, ensuring that new taxes are equitable and protect the poor; develop income taxes and curb evasion, while exploring promising new areas such as real estate, capital gains and value-added tax to compensate for revenue losses from trade liberalizationMaintain stable exchange rates, providing realistic exchange-rate management that values a currency neither too high nor too low and maintains real stabilityPersist with multilateralism, for more durable human-development outcomes, building up slower but ultimately more productive relationships under the multilateral global trade regime rather than seeking highly imbalanced bilateral agreements with rich nations andPromote regional cooperation, strengthening regional trade agreements, pooling of foreign-exchange reserves and development of an Asian bond market. read more

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The Joyce Foundation makes major financial gift to Brock University

A $2.5 million gift from The Joyce Foundation will be used to establish new bursaries covering full tuition of multiple students each year.The major donation announced Friday, Nov. 27, will create The Joyce Foundation Bursary, the largest single bursary fund in Brock’s history.“This is one of the most significant gift announcements in the history of our school,” said Brock University President Jack Lightstone. “This generous donation from The Joyce Foundation will open the door to post-secondary education for an untold number of students in the years to come.”Lightstone also thanked the Foundation’s board, including the Hon. Ed Lumley, Grant Joyce, Steven Joyce, Aileen O’Rafferty, Michele Thornley and David Wagstaff.One student who was facing personal challenges and was struggling to find their way forward to university called receiving a Brock bursary a gift and a message.“The generosity of a Brock donor changed the course of my life. From that moment I was able to focus on my studies, achieved the best marks of my life, earned my degree and kept going, becoming a graduate student,” said alumnus Jason Sykes, who now teaches at Brock.“Our board truly believes in helping students who face financial barriers to attain a higher education. We wanted to establish bursaries at Brock University because we believe that when education is more accessible, everyone benefits,” said Joyce Foundation founder Ron Joyce. The Canadian business icon co-founded TDL Group Ltd., which licenses Tim Hortons restaurants around the world.As Niagara’s economy transitions from traditional industry into new innovative, knowledge-driven sectors, a highly skilled and educated labour force will be needed. Obtaining post-secondary education is increasingly vital. Yet, Niagara lags quite behind other areas of Ontario in terms of the percentage of our population that has had post-secondary education.Brock University is always looking for ways it can increase the number of donor-funded awards available to students. In 2014/15 more than 10 per cent of Brock students received financial assistance through donor funded awards. read more

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Ohio State retail jerseys will be limited to a pair of numbers

A rack of OSU jerseys is seen at Barnes & Noble at 1598 N. High St. For the 2015 season, stores such as Barnes and Noble will now only be allowed to sell Nos. 1 and 15 jerseys. Credit: Giustino Bovenzi / Lantern reporterFans looking to purchase new Ohio State football jerseys for the upcoming season will have two jersey options to choose from at Nike apparel-approved retailers: No. 1 and No. 15. Rick Van Brimmer, assistant vice president for Affinity Trademark Management, said that it is merely a coincidence that two team standouts in redshirt senior quarterback/H-back Braxton Miller (1) and junior running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) sport the two number choices that are represented.According to Van Brimmer, the decision to make those two numbers available to fans is because annually No. 1 is the most popular jersey number and No. 15 represents the upcoming 2015 football season.Van Brimmer said the decision came about after an internal meeting from peer institutions.“Given the current climate around use of players’ names and likeness, this seemed to fit philosophically with where we want to be,” Van Brimmer said. “Fans can still get any number they choose through our custom jersey program at the stadium and online at our official team shop, as long as they include their (own) name on the jersey.”Carter Marsch, a second-year in communication, said he approves of the decision to represent the year and the potential national championship awaiting the team at the end of the season, but he also realizes the problem with teams using players’ jersey numbers for profit.“There’s always been problems with representing students and making money off of them, and what the football team can bring in, compared to what the students make,” Marsch said. “I think that this is a good way to kind of cancel that out, almost.”Van Brimmer said some stores may have carryover stock from last year still available for a limited time.Kathy Smith, general manager at the Barnes & Noble in the South Campus Gateway, said her store was already clearing out last year’s inventory before the announcement came out.Smith said her store still has some of last year’s No. 5 jerseys — the number formerly worn by Miller — on clearance right now.“If (customers) are looking for any other numbers besides 1 and 15, then they can come in and look at what we have on clearance,” Smith said.Smith mentioned that a rivalry game jersey will be made available later this year as well, but she could not provide the details on those yet, as they have not been officially released.The new OSU jerseys are available in two styles, game and limited, and range from $90 to $135 on the Nike website. read more

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EHF EURO 2012 Star of the Day 1 – Stevce Alusovski

← Previous Story French NT coach, Claude Onesta: “Spain doesn’t need Sterbik” Next Story → EHF EURO 2012 (Round 2): Serbs beats Denmark in the Madhouse! Fantastic game against Sweden 26:26, brought a big point to the Macedonians. One of the best player and with Kiril Lazarov, the best scorer in Macedonian team was Stevce Alusovski (40), experienced left wing. He got the most votes in our Poll “Who is the Star of Day 1”, where eight players were nominated. Second is Serbian left wing, Ivan Nikcevic, third one, one of the biggest star, Filip Jicha. Stevce Alusovski read more

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Hungary Pick Szeged with great performance wins over FTCPLER

ancsinbudayFTCFTC PLERkocsilarholmPick SzegedsulcSzegedzubai ← Previous Story LNH: Sebastian Simonet extends contract with US Ivry Next Story → ASOBAL (Roudn 16): Atletico Madrid defeated by Naturhouse, league champion decided?! Three days after a 14-goal home victory in the Hungarian Cup and five days before a critical CL match in Switzerland Pick Szeged played in the Hungarian League against FTC-PLER. Due to the TV broadcast the match started at a very odd time (13.10). This must have been the reason why Pick began at a very sleepy pace  (12th min 6-6). They made far too many mistakes especially in defence. This all changed when hungarian international goalkeeper Roland Mikler came in. He immediately performed several great saves while Ancsin and Sulc started scoring thus increasing Pick’s lead (27th min 18-12). Swedish superstar Jonas Larholm was very confident from the 7-meter line and the first half ended with a 6-goal difference (20-14).The first goal of the second half came from the guests after 3 minutes . After that Pick started finishing their attacks more precisely and the difference kept on growing (42th min 26-17). At this time Zubai and Buday were the leading goalscorers. Roland Mikler made sure that FTC wouldn’t be able to get closer. In the end Pick won the match by 14 goals and can start preparing for next week’s crucial away match against Schaffhausen.Pick Szeged-FTC-PLER 38:24Larholm 7, Ancsin 6, Zubai-Sulc-Buday 4. Best scorer for FTC: Kocsi 6TEXT: Peter Butty read more

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Ukraine opposition refuses to back bill that would free activists

first_imgUKRAINE’S OPPOSITION HAS defiantly refused to back an amnesty bill that would free activists and ease the country’s worst crisis since independence, as Germany urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to use his sway to push for dialogue.The amnesty bill was passed by parliament with the backing of the ruling Regions Party in a chaotic late night session, but opposition MPs refused to vote and it appears unlikely the law could mark any breakthrough in the standoff.ProtestersPresident Viktor Yanukovych has granted several concessions to protesters who have packed the centre of Kiev for the last two months, including accepting the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. But the opposition want the head of state to go.EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said after meeting Yanukovych that it was time for “real dialogue” to start and for “the violence and intimidation” to stop.Three activists were shot dead in clashes between police and protesters in Kiev last week, but tensions have calmed somewhat since negotiations between the government and the opposition gained traction.However, there still appears to be no easy way out of a crisis which will influence the future strategic orientation of the nation of 46 million people sandwiched between Russia and the EU and whose economic potential remains unfulfilled.Putin, seen as the key international player in the crisis, told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that “any outside interference is unacceptable,” the Kremlin said.Merkel for her part told Putin to push for a “constructive dialogue” to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, her office said.In a sign of Russia’s economic influence over Ukraine, Putin on Wednesday said Russia would wait until a new government is formed in Ukraine before it considers releasing a crucial $15 billion bailout package for Kiev in full.‘On the brink of civil war’Protesters, some from right-wing radical groups, remain camped out in much of the city centre of Kiev and have now erected wooden watchtowers at their barricades.Underlining the gravity of the crisis, Ukraine’s first post-independence president Leonid Kravchuk on Wednesday warned that the country was “on the brink of civil war”.“It is a revolution. It is a dramatic situation in which we must act with the greatest responsibility,” Kravchuk, president from 1991 to 1994, said to applause and a standing ovation.Protesters guard the barricades in front of riot police in Kiev, Ukraine. Pic: AP Photo/Efrem LukatskyThe opposition did not vote for the amnesty bill as they are unhappy that the law is conditional on protestors vacating buildings they have occupied in Kiev before it takes effect.The majority Regions Party backed the law after a rare closed-door meeting at parliament with Yanukovych who reportedly threatened early parliamentary elections if they did not support it.A total of 232 deputies voted for the bill and 11 against, but 173 MPs present in the parliament did not vote.Svoboda (Freedom) party leader Oleg Tyagnybok said that parliament had essentially adopted a law about “hostages” as the dozens arrested during the crisis would now be held until buildings are freed.“The authorities have now admitted they take hostages like terrorists do, so that they can then barter over them,” he was quoted as saying by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.He said that the law had been adopted with gross violations of parliament rules and the “vote was absolutely illegitimate”.The UDAR (Punch) party leader and world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko warned: “Instead of lowering the temperature in society this is going to raise it.”Dozens of activists have been arrested since clashes broke out January 19, both in Kiev and in the provinces, where activists have stormed regional administration buildings.Azarov and his entire government resigned on Tuesday after weeks of protests that began when Yanukovych pulled out of a key EU deal in favour of closer ties with Moscow in November.In the biggest concessions to the opposition so far, parliament on Tuesday also scrapped anti-protest laws which had ignited the current upsurge in tensions when they were passed by parliament on January 16.- © AFP, 2014Read: Ukraine could be on the verge of civil war>last_img read more

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Facebook and Twitter representatives to appear before Oireachtas committee

first_imgREPRESENTATIVES FROM FACEBOOK and Twitter are to speak to the Oireachtas communications committee about social media tomorrow.They will speak to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications during the second of its hearings on the challenges facing individuals, families and communities from the rise of social media, including cyber-bullying and online harassment.Social mediaSinead McSweeney, Director of Public Policy for Europe, Twitter; and Simon Milner, Policy Director for the UK & Ireland, Facebook will appear before the committee tomorrow morning.Minister Pat Rabbitte spoke to the committee today, and said that government plans to ensure that social media is used in a responsible manner were “not about politicians”.The minister heard from a number of deputies and senators, including Fidelma Healy-Eames, who somewhat confusingly described the term ‘fraping’ on social media as “where you’re raped on Facebook”.Chairman of the Committee Tom Hayes TD said today that they look forward to hearing from Twitter and Facebook on the safeguards that currently exist on their platforms.In particular, we wish to explore what mechanisms currently exist for both users and non-users of Facebook and Twitter who feel wronged to uphold their individual rights.At the first meeting today, officials from the Office for Internet Safety spoke on the issues. Hayes said that there “is a fine balance to be struck between allowing freedom of speech on these channels while not impacting adversely on people’s individual rights”.A key focus of our Committee in these hearings is therefore to explore possible policies can be put in place to increase awareness of cyber-bullying and enhance accountability for the minority who abuse online channels. At these early stages of our hearings, it is clear that any recommendations will include a joined-up approach to this area, which might encompass those government departments in the areas of Justice, Communications and Education.The meeting commences tomorrow 7 March at 9.30am in Committee Room 3, LH 2000. Committee proceedings can be followed live at this link.Members of the public can also have their say and make a submission on the issue.Read: Rabbitte: ‘Bullying didn’t come in with the advent of the internet’>last_img read more

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Germany ups demands for oversight

first_imgGermany is proposing that Greece give up more of its fiscal sovereignty and come under closer economic control, according to a document leaked on Tuesday. The German Finance Ministry proposals were made public by PASOK officials and made for controversial reading as they called for an escrow account into which Greece’s bailout installments are paid to be transferred to the European Central Bank and for the account to also receive the tax revenues that Greece collects. “In the last program [for Greece] we introduced mechanisms; we need to strengthen those in the sense of control mechanisms, perhaps also automatic stabilizers,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in Berlin on Tuesday in an apparent reference to the proposals. In February, eurozone finance ministers had agreed that an escrow account should be created to ensure that Greece collected the revenues necessary to cover upcoming debt payments. According to the German document, Greece would also be obliged to pay all of its primary surplus into the account each month. Should Greece miss its targets and not turn a primary surplus that month, it would have to immediately cut spending to bring the budget on track. The German proposals also foresees a greater role for the European Commission in overseeing Greece’s borrowing and its implementation of the loan agreement. As a countermeasure to appease a skeptical Greek public, Germany proposes more growth measures, including the creation of a public investment bank. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Poll gives SYRIZA 31 point lead over New Democracy

first_imgGreece’s radical leftist SYRIZA party led the ruling conservatives by 3.1 percentage points in an opinion poll conducted after it became clear that a snap election would be called, the pollster Rass said on Saturday.The survey for Sunday’s Eleftheros Typos newspaper was conducted on Dec. 29 to 30, after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to have his candidate elected president by parliament.The poll put support for SYRIZA at 30.4 percent against 27.3 percent for the conservatives of Samaras’s New Democracy party, if an election were held now, a slight narrowing from a 3.4 point lead in a previous Rass poll last month. The election has been set for Jan. 25.In the latest survey, the KKE communist party was third on 4.8 percent, followed by the center-left To Potami with 4.7 percent, and the far-right Golden Dawn with 3.8 percent. The Socialist party Pasok, which rules in coalition with New Democracy, polled just 3.5 percent.SYRIZA has led New Democracy in opinion polls for months, but its lead has narrowed in recent weeks.In the poll, 74.2 percent agreed that Greece must stay in the euro zone «at all costs», and 24.1 percent disagreed.The survey was conducted on a sample of 1,002 Greeks.Source: Reuters Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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The Russos explain the story behind Iron Mans iconic final line in

first_img Avengers: Endgame breakdown of Thanos’ fate Robert Downey Jr. played Iron Man. Marvel Studios Following the massive box office success of Avengers: Endgame and in anticipation of its Blu-ray release, directors the Russo brothers are on a victory tour. They just got done doing an AMA on Reddit and today they just finished up a live chat on Twitter, where they answered fan questions.It was all bog standard stuff, except for one little detail.The ending of Avengers: Endgame was extremely good, particularly Tony Stark’s ultimate sacrifice. Stark’s final line, “I am Iron Man” harks back to the first Iron Man, and the first MCU movie, and felt like a perfect signing off — not just for the character, but the series as a whole.Turns out that line was actually put in at the last minute. During the first shoot Tony Stark actually said… nothing! 7 Photos Comments Share your voice TV and Moviescenter_img The @Russo_Brothers are LIVE now from Twitter HQ to answer all your questions about Marvel Studios’ #AvengersEndgame and more! Get the film on Digital now and on Blu-ray Tuesday. #WeLoveYou3000 https://t.co/URWV8vV9F3— The Avengers (@Avengers) August 8, 2019 2 Tags “Initially when we shot the scene where Tony shows down with Thanos and snaps he did not say anything,” explained Anthony Russo.But when they took the footage to the editing room, Tony Stark’s final scene didn’t quite resonate.It was Jeffrey Ford, the editor, who came up with the idea to re-use the line “I am Iron Man.””We couldn’t figure it out,” said Russo. “It was actually our editor Jeff Ford who has been a cornerstone of the MCU… he came up with the line, he suggested the line and the minute he brought it up it was like ‘of course’. How could his last line ever be anything else other than that.”It was a really beautiful, perfect moment.”last_img read more

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Feds change subsistence ruralnonrural rule

first_imgThe U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture announced Friday that they have updated subsistence management regulations defining which parts of Alaska are rural or non-rural, marking a likely end to the City of Saxman’s struggle to regain its rural subsistence status.Saxman lost its designation during a 2007 Federal Subsistence Board review. The board decided that Saxman’s connection to the larger community of Ketchikan meant that Saxman, with a population of about 400, can’t be considered rural.In recent months, the Federal Subsistence Board proposed a rule change to allow more flexibility when determining rural designations. The change, approved on Friday, removes numeric criteria and takes into account regional differences in the state.The change becomes effective on Monday, Nov. 2.Along with that regulation change, the departments also announced they plan to remove Saxman and the area of Prudhoe Bay from the non-rural list. Public comment will be accepted on that through Dec. 2.Alaska lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate have proposed legislation that would require congressional approval before any community’s rural designation could be removed in the future. Both of those bills remain in committee.last_img read more

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Local Property Tax Relief Bill Passes Out Of Senate With Concerns

first_img Share RYAN POPPEState Sen. Paul BettencourtLegislation aimed at reducing homeowners’ property taxes passes out of the Texas Senate.   But some critical of the bill still worry it will reduce what cities and counties use to fund their local police, fire, and emergency services.As heard on Texas Public RadioThe bill introduced by Sen. Paul Bettencourt would lower the percentage that cities and counties could raise property taxes when property values aren’t providing enough revenue to fund local municipalities’ budgets.“What we are talking about is lowering the rate of growth on taxing jurisdictions so that hard-pressed homeowners and small business owners can stay in their home and business by lowering the rollback rate and cutting the rate of growth,” Bettencourt explains.Cities and counties use this rollback rate to determine the tax rate.  As property values increase, the tax rate goes down and vice versa.  Once that rate reaches more than 8 percent, voters can petition their local taxing entity to lower that rate back down to 8 percent.  Bettencourt’s bill would keep the local tax rate at 5 percent or lower.State Sen. Carlos Uresti, a Democrat from San Antonio, is concerned Bettencourt’s bill will lead to less money for police, fire, and EMS services, which are all funded by local property taxes.“In San Antonio, about 66 percent of the budget is used primarily to fund the firefighters and the police department.  And, so what do I tell them and what do we tell our first responders about this bill?” Uresti asks.Bettencourt says with the rate increases Bexar County has had over the last three years, it should not have trouble funding its emergency services.  The bill passed out of the Senate on an initial vote of 18 to 12. Copyright 2017 KSTX-FM. To see more, visit KSTX-FM.last_img read more

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Texas Equusearch Goes To Arkansas To Look For Maleah Davis

first_imgHouston Police Department via APThis undated photo released by the Houston Police Department shows Maleah Davis.Searchers are headed to Arkansas to look for the body of Maleah Davis, a 4-year-old girl from the Houston area who has been missing since May 4, after community activist Quanell X said the man arrested in connection with her disappearance confessed he disposed of her body there.Tim Miller, director of Texas EquuSearch, said his group will fly to Arkansas on Friday afternoon to search for Davis’ body. Miller declined to say where in Arkansas he was going.Quanell X said he spoke on Friday in jail with Derion Vence, the ex-fiance of Davis’ mother, who had claimed on May 3 Maleah was taken by a group of men.Houston Police Dept. via APDerion Vence.Vence reported Maleah’s abduction in the Sugar Land area. He told police that a group of men abducted him, Maleah and his 2-year-old son on May 3. Vence said they freed him and the boy, but not Maleah.Investigators later debunked that version of events after Vence’s car was found and a police canine detected the smell of human remains in the vehicle. They also found evidence of blood in the family’s apartment.Vence has been charged by Harris County prosecutors with tampering with a human corpse in connection with the girl’s disappearance. Prosecutors have said in court documents he could eventually face additional charges, including murder. Vence has a court hearing on July 10.Quanell X said Vence confessed he dumped the girl’s body in Arkansas. Quanell X declined to comment on what happened to Maleah.Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement “Let’s let search teams do what search teams do.” Ogg said her office has spoken with Vence’s lawyer and there is no agreement. Houston police declined comment. Sharelast_img read more

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Google and Facebook Backed an Event Denying Climate Change

first_imgThis story originally appeared on Mother Jones and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have publicly acknowledged the dangers of global warming, but last week they all sponsored a conference that promoted climate change denial to young libertarians.All three tech companies were sponsors of LibertyCon, the annual convention of the libertarian group Students for Liberty, which took place in Washington, DC. Google was a platinum sponsor, ponying up $25,000, and Facebook and Microsoft each contributed $10,000 as gold sponsors. The donations put the tech companies in the top tier of the event’s backers. But the donations also put the firms in company with some of the event’s other sponsors, which included three groups known for their work attacking climate change science and trying to undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions.Among the most notable was the CO2 Coalition, a group founded in 2015 to spread the “good news” about a greenhouse gas whose increase in the atmosphere is linked to potentially catastrophic climate change. The coalition is funded by conservative foundations that have backed other climate change denial efforts. These include the Mercer Family Foundation, which in recent years has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to right-wing think tanks engaged in climate change denialism, and the Charles Koch Institute, the charitable arm of one of the brothers behind Koch Industries, the oil and gas behemoth. In the LibertyCon exhibit hall, the CO2 Coalition handed out brochures that said its goal is to “explain how our lives and our planet Earth will be improved by additional atmospheric carbon dioxide.” One brochure claimed that “more carbon dioxide will help everyone, including future generations of our families” and that the “recent increase in CO2 levels has had a measurable, positive effect on plant life,” apparently because the greenhouse gas will make plants grow faster.In a Saturday presentation, Caleb Rossiter, a retired statistics professor and a member of the coalition, gave a presentation titled “Let’s Talk About Not Talking: Should There Be ‘No Debate’ that Industrial Carbon Dioxide is Causing Climate Catastrophe?” In his presentation, Rossiter told the assembled students that the impact of climate change on weather patterns has been vastly exaggerated. “There has been no increase in storms, in intensity or frequency,” he said. “The data don’t show a worrisome trend.”He insisted that when he hears the news that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are rising, “I’m cheering!” That’s because, he said, carbon dioxide “is a fertilizer” that has made Africa greener and increased food production there, reducing human misery. Rossiter also claimed that carbon dioxide emissions correlate with wealth and that the greenhouse gas “improves life expectancy” because poor countries that start burning fossil fuels have a more consistent power supply and can then clean up their water. “I’m happy when carbon dioxide is up, because it means poverty is down,” he declared.“I come not to bury your carbon but to praise it,” he concluded.Rossiter’s presentation puts him on the far fringes of the climate denial world. Not even Exxon is trying to make such arguments anymore. And it’s a long way from what Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have said about the dangers of carbon dioxide; all three companies have committed to reducing their own carbon footprints. Microsoft has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 75 percent by 2030. Google claims to be committed to a “zero carbon” future and is aggressively pursuing renewable energy sources for its operations to reduce its carbon footprint and help combat climate change. And Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg criticized President Donald Trump after he announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, writing, “Stopping climate change is something we can only do as a global community, and we have to act together before it’s too late.”The presence of the tech sponsors at a libertarian conference is not itself unusual, as governments around the globe move to try to regulate social media and online privacy. Tech companies see libertarians as natural allies in the fight against regulation. Indeed, Google sponsored two different sessions at the conference, one on why “permissionless innovation” needs to be defended and another on whether the government will “continue to let the Internet be awesome.” But the companies’ underwriting of a conference with a climate denier on the schedule shows the hazards of trying to advance a policy agenda through interest groups without also supporting their fringe elements.center_img The CO2 Coalition wasn’t the only group sponsoring LibertyCon that is known for its work undermining efforts to combat climate change. Along with Facebook and Microsoft, the Heartland Institute was also a gold sponsor of the event. Heartland is a longtime player in industry-funded efforts to undermine climate science and fend off efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The conservative Heritage Foundation, which pushed the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris climate accords and has long featured experts who argue that global warming is a myth, was also a sponsor.Microsoft did not respond to requests for comment. A Facebook spokesman responded to questions about its sponsorship of LibertyCon by sending a link to its political engagement page, which says, “Sometimes we support events that highlight Internet and social media issues” and features a long list of third-party groups it has worked with in the past. He noted that LibertyCon met its criteria for support and cited the number of sessions unrelated to climate change.A spokesperson from Google defended the company’s LibertyCon sponsorship, saying, “Every year, we sponsor organizations from across the political spectrum to promote strong technology laws. As we make clear in our public policy transparency report, Google’s sponsorship or collaboration with a third party organization doesn’t mean that we endorse the organization’s entire agenda or agree with other speakers or sponsors.”More Great WIRED StoriesWeedmaps’ grip on the high-flying California pot marketHave phones become boring? They’re about to get weirdTrump, a Russian agent? The alternative is too awfulOne couple’s tireless crusade to stop a genetic killerAs tech invades cycling, are bike activists selling out?👀 Looking for the latest gadgets? Check out our picks, gift guides, and best deals all year round📩 Get even more of our inside scoops with our weekly Backchannel newsletterlast_img read more

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