Manitoba premier asks colleagues to cut restrictions on interprovincial booze

first_imgWINNIPEG – Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is asking his colleagues to eliminate restrictions on interprovincial booze runs.In advance of next week’s premiers meeting in New Brunswick, Pallister has written a letter to other provincial leaders outlining his priorities.In the letter obtained by The Canadian Press, Pallister says the provinces should remove their limits on interprovincial transportation of alcohol for personal use.He says the idea has broad public support, and would show progress in the effort to reduce inter-provincial barriers on other items.In April, the Supreme Court upheld a New Brunswick law that fined a man $240 for bringing home a trunk load of beer and liquor from Quebec.The high court said provinces have the power to enact laws that restrict commerce if there is another overriding purpose, which in New Brunswick’s case was the desire to control the supply of alcohol within the province.Pallister’s letter says the premiers should adopt a recommendation to reduce alcohol restrictions from an advisory body called the Regulatory Reconciliation and Co-operation table, set up under the Canada Free Trade Agreement.“In particular, the recommendation regarding a personal use exemption will address long-standing concerns regarding the transportation of alcoholic beverages across domestic borders by significantly increasing personal-use limits,” Pallister wrote.“I suggest we consider going further by fully removing those limits, a move strongly supported by Canadians from every region of the country.”Pallister also points to other items that are subject to interprovincial barriers including trucking regulations such as size and weight restrictions, abbatoirs and business registration requirements.“The Bank of Canada has estimated that removing existing trade barriers could raise real GDP by the equivalent of approximately $1,500 per family per year. Viewed from that perspective, the costs of inaction are high.”The premiers meeting, which runs July 18 to July 20, will cover a variety of topics including Indigenous issues and inter-city buses.Alberta’s Rachel Notley wants to find some replacement for Greyhound bus routes that are being ended across Western Canada at the end of October.“I will be raising this issue at the Council of the Federation with a view to working on common solutions with my fellow premiers and the federal government to ensure western Canadians — particularly those living in rural areas, including many Indigenous communities — have access to the transportation services they deserve,” Notley said in a written statement Wednesday.Pallister said he hopes private firms will step forward to fill the void — one firm in northern Ontario has already announced plans to expand westward. He said government subsidies will not be the answer.“The companies that take the subsidies tend to run out as soon as the subsidy runs out.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly quoted the GDP estimate as $1,500 per year total.last_img read more

Michael J Fox Returns To Primetime TV

first_imgLast night, Michael J. Fox returned to television as the star of his own sitcom after more than two decades living with Parkinson’s disease.Fox’s decision to return to primetime has injected Parkinson’s into the national conversation — a conversation already transformed by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), which the actor launched in 2000 with the exclusive goal of funding research to speed a cure for the disease.“What I had in mind was an organization built for speed, eschewing bureaucracy and taking an entrepreneurial approach toward helping researchers find a cure for Parkinson’s,” says Michael J. Fox. “There was no existing blueprint for accomplishing what we wanted to do. We were faced with the challenge of inventing a new system.”Parkinson’s disease is estimated to affect one in 100 people over age 60. It is the second-most common brain disorder after Alzheimer’s and the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. The average age of onset is 60, though some people are diagnosed at age 40 or younger. There is no cure, and available treatments are inadequate to patients’ medical needs: They address only some of the symptoms and bring disabling side effects of their own.“Michael J. Fox’s return to television has created an opportune moment to consider how much work remains to be done in the realm of neurodegeneration research,” wrote MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, Ph.D., in an op-ed published by Scientific American on September 25. “For every patient, a community is affected, as the impact of PD ripples to loved ones and caregivers. This is a global problem, but one that we can and must solve.”Largest Nonprofit Funder of Parkinson’s Disease ResearchThe Michael J. Fox Foundation grew quickly from startup to the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research, and has made grants totaling more than $350 million to research teams all over the world (about 30 percent of funds go to international teams). In November 2008 The New York Times called MJFF “the most credible voice on Parkinson’s research in the world.”The Foundation typically allocates donor capital within a few months of receiving donations, eschewing an endowment or large investment reserve to quickly push research to the next level. Since inception, 89 cents of every dollar spent by MJFF has gone directly to high-impact research programs. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News called MJFF a “beacon of efficiency” after the Foundation placed first on their list of 20 grant-giving disease foundations in May 2013.Due in no small part to the Foundation’s efforts, more new Parkinson’s drugs are in development today than ever before. A high-risk, high-reward model drives investment in early-stage research, getting innovative new projects off the ground to make them attractive to larger-scale partners. Earlier this month, biotechnology companies Amicus Therapeutics and Civitas Therapeutics, Inc., announced follow-on investments to projects kick-started with MJFF funding. Additional support for these projects — around a disease-modifying drug target and improved delivery of symptomatic treatment — will mean faster development and delivery of therapies that will improve the lives of Parkinson’s disease patients.Patient Engagement to Accelerate Discovery and DevelopmentIn addition to funding promising studies, MJFF problem-solves to address operational challenges in the landscape of biomedical research. One roadblock to drug discovery and development is the lack of reliable and validated Parkinson’s biomarkers. A biomarker — a substance, process or characteristic in the body associated with the risk or presence of disease or that changes over time in a way that can be linked to disease progression — can help diagnose the disease sooner, track its progression and test the effects of new drugs.The MJFF-sponsored landmark Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) launched in 2010 with 24 clinical sites around the world capturing and analyzing standardized Parkinson’s disease patient and healthy control data to identify biological markers of the disease. The first significant PPMI results were published last month in JAMA Neurology, where investigators reported differences between Parkinson’s patients and controls in spinal fluid protein levels. Research continues into these and other potential biomarkers, and PPMI has expanded to study individuals with Parkinson’s risk factors to try to characterize the disease before the onset of motor symptoms. The hope is that such understanding will lead to a preventive therapy for Parkinson’s.To identify biomarkers and test new drugs, research needs volunteers; 85 percent of clinical studies are delayed due to slow volunteer enrollment. MJFF created Fox Trial Finder, an online clinical trial matching tool to connect interested Parkinson’s patients and healthy controls to Parkinson’s disease studies they may be eligible for and interested in. With more than 20,000 registrants and 300 active trials in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, Fox Trial Finder is launching this fall in five additional European countries: Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Austria.think/able Campaign Collects Messages for MichaelTo mark Michael J. Fox’s return to television, the Foundation has launched the think/able campaign, which celebrates the power of optimism and proactivity to overcome challenges and meet our goals. Now through the end of October, the project is collecting messages to Michael from the community. All are welcome to submit a message using the form available on the Foundation’s Web site at Newswirelast_img read more

DR Congo top UN humanitarian official condemns new terror and upheaval

30 April 2009The top United Nations humanitarian official today condemned a resurgence of violence against civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), amid a serious of offensives against a Rwandan militia group. “People who have repeatedly been victims of violence in this region are yet again experiencing terror and upheaval,” John Holmes, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said.Attacks and threats against civilians, in South Kivu province committed by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), comes in response to a planned new phase of Congolese army operations against the militia, he said. An estimated 100,000 people in South Kivu have been displaced by fear of armed groups since the beginning of the year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).“In the event of intensified fighting between Government forces and armed groups in the weeks ahead, all armed actors in South Kivu must have as a top priority protection of civilians and their livelihoods,” he stressed, adding that they must also guarantee safe access for humanitarian workers.The FDLR and other Rwandan militias have also been a key factor in the resurgence of violence in North Kivu province, where another 100,000 civilians have been uprooted by fighting in the past two months, in addition to the many hundreds of thousands previously displaced.The ethnic Hutu rebels, who recently carried out a wave of retaliatory attacks against civilians after being targeted by a joint Congolese and Rwandan military offensive, have been operating in eastern DRC since the 1994 genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda.In FDLR-dominated areas of South Kivu, in recent weeks, more than a dozen villages have been pillaged and hundreds of houses set on fire, while in others, FDLR groups are forcing the population to provide them with food, OCHA said.Rape has also been on the increase in recent weeks – in areas under the control both of the FDLR and of the Congolese army (FARDC). “Women and girls are at the mercy of groups with horrendous records of sexual violence,” OCHA said in a news release.“Those committing violations of humanitarian law will have to answer for their crimes,” Mr. Holmes said, urging the Congolese Government to stop and punish abuses committed by its soldiers, and ensure the protection of civilians during these operations.Meanwhile, Alan Doss, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for DRC, has welcomed last week’s conviction and sentencing of 20 Congolese army officers by a military tribunal. The tribunal found that the 20 soldiers committed offences ranging from rape and armed robbery to crimes against humanity, according to the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUC), which is led by Mr. Doss. Human rights experts from the mission monitored the trials, which took place in the north-eastern town of Walikale, to ensure they met international standards, and provided logistical and financial support, MONUC said. read more

SLFP members in joint opposition to promote SLPP

He said the SLPP hopes to open offices in all the districts with the support of joint opposition members.Several former SLFP provincial council members joined the SLPP at a recruitment drive held today. Rajapaksa said that the party was also able to recruit members from Jaffna. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members in the joint opposition are to promote the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).Former Minister and SLPP member Basil Rajapaksa said that the recruitment process for SLPP members was progressing well.

Hamilton man arrested for sexual assault

Two female victims were approached by a male in the area of Main Street East and Holton Avenue South in the City of Hamilton, 3am Friday.The unknown male tried to have a conversation with the female victims.  They ran and was chased by the man where he assaulted, choked and sexually assaulted the victims.The man received injuries as a result of the victims defending themselves against the attack and he fled the scene.The Hamilton Police Service Sexual Assault unit and has arrested and charged the man.Charged is Chad Leonard Scally, 33 years old from Hamilton.  He is charged with 2 counts of sexual assault, assault and one count of choking.Hamilton Police are continuing to investigate and believe that there could be more victims.If you have any further information, you are encouraged to contact Detective Michelle Moore at 905-540-5545 of if you with to remain anonymous, to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. read more

Two killings in TimorLeste prompt increased UN police activity

UN Police (UNPOL) has opened a murder investigation into last night’s death of a foreign national, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Security Sector Support and Rule of Law Eric Tan Huck Gim confirmed at a press conference today in Dili. The man was pronounced dead soon after being taken to a clinic in the Bairo Pite district of the capital.Mr. Tan said UNPOL is also looking into the death of a second person whose body was found in the Comoro area, near Dili’s airport.“We are investigating and trying to collect the facts, but I can say now that there does not seem to be any indication that there is a relation between the two,” he said.The UN envoy said UNPOL has stepped up its presence at different sites across Dili, which remains beset by tensions following the nationwide outbreak of violence in April and May that led to the deaths of at least 37 people and forced about 155,000 people – or 15 per cent of Timor-Leste’s population – to flee their homes.Emir Bilget, the Acting Police Commissioner from UNPOL, told journalists that more street patrols will begin across Dili tomorrow and the number of police involved in patrols will go up by at least 50 per cent, while some key police posts will also be reinforced.Mr. Bilget said there are currently 966 UNPOL officers working in Timor-Leste, with the total expected to rise eventually to more than 1,600, while the process of training officers with the national police force is also continuing.Mr. Tan also stressed that the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste, known as UNMIT, remains committed to ensuring that national elections expected to be held in April or May will proceed and be conducted in a free and fair manner. read more

Dave Bolland Regrets Retweet About Gary Bettmans Death

Chicago Black Hawks center Dave Bolland retweeted a post by a “fan” that called for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s death, an act the player now says he regrets.As the lockout continues to eat away at the season with the sides apparently not close on a deal, Bolland on Friday reposted a Twitter entry that read: “can I get a RT for wanting Bettman dead?”The retweet later was deleted.“It was a mistake, I never meant to retweet that out,” Bolland told’s Pierre LeBrun. “I like to retweet for a lot of my fans, and I just retweeted the wrong thing. I feel bad about it.”It’s not the first time controversy has found Bolland. In a radio interview last year, Bolland referred to Daniel Sedin and Herik Sendin of Vancouver as “sisters” and the city of Vancouver as “weirdos.”The Twitter development also continued a trend of apparent ire with Bettman, who is overseeing a lockout for the third time since he became commissioner in 1993. The last lockout forced the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season.Detroit Red Wings’ defenseman Ian White recently called Bettman an “idiot,” and Florida Panthers forward Kris Versteeg referred to Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly as “cancers.”On Friday, the NHL announced another round of cancellations, wiping out all regular-season games through Dec. 14, as well as the All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, originally slated for Jan. 27.The lockout now has cost the league 422 regular-season games — 34.3 percent of the season — as well as its regular-season marquee events; the annual Winter Classic was canceled earlier this month.Just as bad is the fact that there are no new labor talks scheduled. read more

Lithium from oil sands a step closer as MGX refines nanofiltration process

first_imgMGX Minerals Inc reports that the adsorbtion rate for the company’s lithium extraction nanofiltration process has been increased from 20 mg/g, milligram of lithium per gram of adsorbtion reagent, to an optimised 40 mg/g Li/reagent. This reflects a doubling of adsorbtion rate and a significant cost cutting breakthrough as reagents reflect the single largest cost in the company’s lithium extraction process. This advancement reduces reagent use and the direct cost of lithium chloride recovery from brine. Additionally, reagent depletion in the lithium nanofilter has now been reduced to less than 1% per cycle, increasing the operating time and associated recovery for the lithium nanofilter prior to requiring recoating with the reagent.This work was completed by engineering partner PurLucid Treatment Solutions at its Calgary, Alberta facility as part of the commissioning of the company’s first 120 cubic meter (750 barrel) per day small commercial lithium extraction system. The system utilises these latest advancements in lithium nanofiltration. The System is currently undergoing final flow testing and optimisation in preparation for deployment.The system utilises a highly charged Replaceable Skin Layer (RSL™) membrane related to the nanofiltration and High Intensity Froth Flotation (HiFF) system, known as nanoflotation, which collectively have demonstrated performance superiority over other processes typically used to remove contaminants. The technology allows ultra-high temperature water treatment (up to 700°C) at 10-30 times the efficiency of existing ultrafiltration systems and offers numerous environmental water purification and mineral extraction benefits, including contaminant removal, mineral recovery, reduced energy demand, and small footprint.The first 1,200 cubic metre system is in final engineering design phase by engineering partner PurLucid. Fabrication is expected to commence shortly and be completed by the summer. The system is under contract for deployment at an oilsands SAGD site under a water purification agreement targeting a reduced cost of 50% as compared with the current truck and dispose option, as well as reduction of physical hydrocarbon (bitumen) waste product footprint, clean water reuse and minerals recovery.Additionally, the initial component design of a 2,400 cubic metre (13,000 barrels) per day system has been completed. The basic system and tanks are designed to fit within a 42’ x 64’ building housing nano-flotation pre-treatment sub-system, nano-filtration lithium and mineral extraction subsystem, mineral holding tanks, sludge processing, and on-site laboratory.MGX and PurLucid are working to integrate their respective technologies and develop a pilot plant suitable for commercial use that will treat EBD to provide oil sand producers with additional environmentally-friendly disposal options as well as recover valuable minerals such as lithium.last_img read more

Maptek to acquire 100 of Minlog to permanently bridge mine planningproduction gap

first_imgMine planning software specialist Maptek has agreed to step up its investment in Minlog and its Production Management Information Systems technology, with the aim of acquiring 100% of the company over the next 18 months.Maptek said the deal builds on a longstanding partnership between the two companies to bridge the gap between mine planning and mine production.Maptek has been involved in a partnership with MinLog and its production management and management information systems technology since 2008. When the tie-up was announced in November of that year, Maptek said it “will provide a greater global marketing, delivery and support capability as well as deliver enhanced product functionality to global customers in the short and long term”.Prior to this, the two companies already had a relationship whereby MinLog acted as distributor of Maptek’s MineSuite product in Africa.Minlog says it develops, deploys and supports mining processes with intuitive, meaningful information that helps operations manage product flow and performance. It does this through production management solutions, including fleet management and management information systems.Maptek said: “This latest investment will see Maptek increase its ownership of the business and the products to 100% over the next 18 months. Production Management data is considered a key component in delivering on Maptek’s commitment to add significant value to the data available to mining companies.”Commenting on the investment, Maptek MD Peter Johnson said: “There is a huge gain in performance and efficiency to be had by combining the data models used in Mine Planning with the systems and processes applied in Mine Operations.“The orebody knowledge and characteristics have an impact on mine performance well after the planning stages are complete, but there has been little ability to refer to and make decisions with the benefit of that orebody knowledge in a tactical, operational decision support capacity in a mine production environment.”Under the new arrangement, MinLog will continue to operate, with current management and staff “remaining committed to delivering the world’s best Production Management systems”, Maptek said.MinLog MD Karel Gilliland said: “MinLog leverages flexible service bus integration and a cloud- or server-hosted data lake containing a validated and contextualised digital record of all equipment and mining fleet being tracked. This enables us to deliver a powerful range of production management functionality across the whole supply chain in a mine.”He added: “In addition, MinLog develops advanced DSF technology, allowing near real-time data acquisition from fixed and mobile equipment underground for reliable, cost effective and flexible deployment.”last_img read more

Mays gamble backfires as Corbyn surge sees hung parliament

first_img Jun 9th 2017, 6:26 AM Friday 9 Jun 2017, 6:26 AM 41 Comments Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesShe said that while the full results had yet to emerge, her party seemed to have won the most seats and “it would be incumbent on us to ensure we have that period of stability”.But opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose Labour party surged from 20 points behind, urged May to quit, saying she had “lost votes, lost support and lost confidence”.Backbench MP Anna Soubry began the in-party calls for May to go, lambasting May’s “dreadful” campaign.“She’s a remarkable and very talented woman and she doesn’t shy away from difficult decisions, but she now has to obviously consider her position.“It was a tightly knit group, it was her group that ran this campaign and look where we are, for God’s sake.“This is a very bad moment for the Conservative Party. We have to take stock and our leader needs to stake stock as well.”Corbyn surgeMay and the right-leaning tabloids lambasted Cobryn as ill-prepared to face the challenges of terrorism and Brexit, even branding him a threat to the nation.But Corbyn was able to score unexpected points against May during the bitterly fought campaign, casting her as cold and uncaring on social welfare reforms and reckless on police funding cuts during her tenure as interior minister.With a confident campaign founded on radical policies, Corbyn confounded his critics and revived Labour’s fortunes, and his future is secure. He had reportedly been due to meet with advisers tonight to plan his defence of his leadership. Instead, he went to Labour HQ to plan the next five years as a much stronger opposition party.“Jeremy Corbyn managed to mobilise his base. He managed to not only enthuse young people and people who hadn’t voted before but actually get them to the polling station,” said Tim Bale, a professor of politics at the Queen Mary University.SNP stung, UKIP wiped outIn Scotland, a second independence referendum now looks unlikely after the Scottish National Party lost a string of seats, including that of its former leader Alex Salmond and current deputy leader Angus Robertson, mainly to a regionally-resurgent Conservative Party.UKIP, whose euroscepticism had helped to force last year’s Brexit vote, found themselves without a rudder in this campaign and saw its vote share fall from 11% to 2%.Read: Northern Ireland could hold the balance of power in the UK election By Paul Hosford Image: Dominic Lipinski/AP May’s gamble backfires as Corbyn surge sees hung parliament Backbench MP Anna Soubry began the in-party calls for May to go, lambasting May’s “dreadful” campaign.center_img Image: Dominic Lipinski/AP Share75 Tweet Email BRITISH PRIME MINISTER Theresa May will lose her overall majority in the House of Commons after a disastrous snap election.May’s Conservative Party will fall short of a 326-seat majority and will likely look to Northern Ireland’s DUP to make up the numbers.With just four  seats left to declare, the Conservatives have won 315 seats, meaning they cannot get an overall majority in the 650-seat House of Commons. In the event of a hung parliament, May will attempt to form a government, either as a coalition or a minority government.If successful, she would survive a motion of confidence and become Prime Minister. If not, she would resign and Jeremy Corbyn would be invited to form a government. If no government can be formed, parliament will be dissolved and another election called.After being re-elected with an increased majority in the London commuter seat of Maidenhead, May said Britain “needs a period of stability” as it prepares for the complicated process of withdrawing from the European Union. 24,355 Views Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Airbus présente lavion du futur

first_imgAirbus présente l’avion du futurAirbus a dévoilé hier son avion du futur. Prévu pour 2050, cet appareil transparent sera équipé d’innovations technologiques dignes d’un film de science-fiction.Bien qu’un tel appareil ne puisse pas être mis en circulation avant 2050, Airbus a présenté hier ce qui sera son avion du futur. Transparente, la coque de l’appareil offrira un panorama sans pareil aux passagers de cet avion. Le revêtement extérieur devrait également être capable d’évoluer et de changer d’aspect en fonction des conditions climatiques. Selon le constructeur, l’avion a été pensé pour posséder une “structure bionique calquée sur l’ossature d’un oiseau”.À lire aussiLa tragique histoire de l’homme évacué d’un avion à cause de son odeurCôté innovations, Airbus n’en reste pas là. Les différentes classes et leur répartition à l’intérieur de l’engin ont été complètement repensées. Désormais démocratisé, l’avant de l’avion disposera d’un espace de relaxation tandis que l’arrière sera dévolu au travail avec des conférences virtuelles disponibles. D’autres secteurs devraient également faire leur apparition avec des espaces de “socialisation” équivalents aux wagons bars des TGV ainsi que des aires interactives avec des jeux vidéo et des boutiques virtuelles. Le must, des espaces dits “vitalisants” et “antistress” capables de proposer des vitamines, de l’air enrichi aux antioxydants, des huiles essentielles ou encore de l’acupression. La cabine, “intelligente”, saura s’adapter aux voyageurs et pourra “identifier et répondre à leurs besoins”.En outre, Airbus prévoit d’alimenter tous ces différents gadgets grâce à la chaleur corporelle dégagée par les passagers ! Le constructeur ne compte pas en rester là et les ingénieurs sont actuellement à pied d’œuvre pour parvenir, à terme, à réduire le bruit en vol et à diminuer la consommation de carburant.Découvrez cet avion du futur en images en cliquant ci-dessous : Le 15 juin 2011 à 15:18 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

John Deere Spent 305M on Robot Farming Firm

first_imgWith its latest acquisition, Deere & Company wants to prove old heavy-equipment manufacturers can still learn new tricks.The John Deere brand owner this week announced plans to purchase robotics firm Blue River Technology for $305 million.Blue River’s growing portfolio includes high-tech agricultural spraying equipment, dubbed “See & Spray,” which enables farmers to reduce the use of herbicides by spraying only where weeds are present.See & Spray for cotton weeding (via Blue River Technology)Using artificially intelligent tools, growers can scan fields, assess crops, and exterminate weeds in one fell swoop.A set of cameras fixed to crop sprayers use deep learning algorithms to identify various types of greenery; the machine automatically knows to shower weeds with herbicide and squirt fertilizer or fungicide on plants as needed.“We are using computer vision, robotics, and machine learning to help smart machines detect, identify, and make management decisions about every single plant in the field,” Blue River CEO Jorge Heraud said in a statement.The multi-million-dollar transaction is expected to close this month; once the ink dries, the 60-person Blue River team will remain in Sunnyvale, Calif., where it has been operating since 2011.“John Deere recognizes the importance of technology to our customers,” John May, president of agricultural solutions and chief information officer, said in a statement. “Machine learning is an important capability for Deere’s future.”LettuceBot for precision lettuce thinning (via Blue River Technology)Despite working on autonomous tractors for two decades, Deere & Company hasn’t yet reached the same level of success as industry giants like Google and Tesla. Even its most advanced vehicles, which use the proprietary AutoTrac guidance system, can only assist with navigation, and require a human in the cab.There is no telling what Deere will accomplish with the help of Blue River; neither company revealed its exact plans for the future. But whatever it is will surely benefit the growing agricultural robotics sector, expected to reach $16.3 billion by 2020.last_img read more

Seniors be on the lookout for new Medicare card

first_imgThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has a message for seniors with Medicare: Watch your mailboxes.Beginning next month, the federal government will begin issuing new Medicare cards that will have unique, randomly assigned numbers and letters that replace Social Security numbers. The cards will be mailed out in waves beginning April 1 and running through April 2019.Oregon Medicare beneficiaries are in the first group to receive new cards, but cards won’t be headed to Washington residents until after June. A more exact timeline isn’t yet available.The new cards will feature an 11-character identifier, which will include numbers and uppercase letters. The combinations are randomly assigned and don’t have any hidden or special meaning, according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.Medicare beneficiaries should start using their new cards as soon as they receive them, but the old cards and numbers will still work until Dec. 31, 2019. The cards do not change Medicare benefits.The biggest reason for the change is to protect seniors from medical identity theft, according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Incidents of identity theft among seniors increased from 2.1 million in 2012 to 2.6 million in 2014, according to Department of Justice data.last_img read more

Man shot killed in alley near Spring Valley

first_img SPRING VALLEY (KUSI) – A man was fatally shot Thursday morning in an alley in the La Presa area south of Spring Valley, authorities said.Dispatchers received multiple reports of gunfire shortly after 1:20 a.m. near the intersection of Delrose Avenue and Elkelton Boulevard, just west of state Route 125, San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Karla Menzies said.Deputies responded to the area and found a man lying in an alley near the intersection suffering from at least one gunshot wound, Menzies said.Paramedics responded, but the man, whose age was not immediately available, was pronounced dead at the scene, the lieutenant said.The circumstances leading up to the shooting were under investigation and no suspect descriptions were immediately available.Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call sheriff’s homicide investigators at (858) 974-2321 or (858) 565-5200 after-hours or on weekends. Tipsters who wish to remain anonymous can contact San Diego Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477, or online at Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, March 21, 2019 Posted: March 21, 2019 KUSI Newsroom Man shot, killed in alley near Spring Valleylast_img read more

Another alleged RAB gunfight claims 3 lives

first_imgProthom Alo IllustrationThree people were killed in a reported gunfight with a team of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Khulshi area of Chattogram city early Thursday.Two of the deceased are Jakir Hossain, 31, and Dalim Hossain, 32, from Morelganj upazila in Bagerhat district while the identity of the other one could not be known immediately, reports UNB.Being tipped off that several people were carrying drugs in a private car, a team of RAB-7 conducted a drive in the area around 3:30am, said ASP Mimtanur Rahman of RAB-7 (Media).When the force asked the private car to stop, the passengers opened fire on them forcing the RAB members to fire back in self-defence, he said.At one stage, RAB men recovered the bodies along with 120 kilograms of hemp, two firearms and bullets from the spot, Mimtanur said.Prothom Alo, however, could not verify the law enforcement’s versions of the incident independently as no version of the incident was available immediately either from any witnesses or from any member of the victims’ families.With the latest deaths, at least 151 people were killed in reported gunfights with law enforcers while 37 bodies of suspected drug traders were recovered after reported gun battles between rival groups during the countrywide anti-narcotic drives since 15 May.last_img read more

What To Expect From The Next Harris County Sheriff

first_imgFlorian MartinSheriff-elect Ed Gonzalez with his wife and daughter at his election watch partyEd Gonzalez is a former Houston police officer and city council member.His campaign for sheriff centered on the Harris County Jail and how to improve it.Houston Public Media’s Coverage of Election 2016For several years now, the jail has suffered from overcrowding as well as mistreatment and preventable deaths of inmates.In an interview with News 88.7 during the campaign, Gonzalez said he wants to make better use of the budget. Currently, many detention officers are working overtime.“We have to relook at the hiring process, make sure we’re staffing adequately because that leads to overtime cost,” he said. “And then we need to be a leader on how do we find more alternatives to incarceration, as I did for example with the sobering center, and also be an advocate for bail reform.”Gonzalez was endorsed by the Texas Organizing Project. The organization’s Tarsha Jackson said she wants Gonzalez to deliver on his campaign promise to end the 287(g) program.It’s an agreement with immigration authorities to report undocumented immigrants that are charged with a crime.“I’m hopeful that he’s going to come in and transform the way the sheriff’s department has been operating for centuries,” Jackson told News 88.7 at Gonzalez’s election watch party.The Harris County Deputy Organization endorsed Sheriff Ron Hickman.But its president David Cuevas said they are looking forward to discussing their vision for the department with Gonzalez, “to make sure that there are guaranteed due process rights for employees and that staffing levels will increase so that way there is not going to be a security risk.”Cuevas said it will take a collective effort to address management of the overcrowded jail. 00:00 /01:31 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Share Listenlast_img read more

Hasbros SpiderMan Into the SpiderVerse Toys Turns You Into Your Faves

first_imgStay on target Spider-man masks are a dime a dozen. Hasbro has made tons over the years. I have a few under my desk right now. They’re all pretty similar, with that iconic red face with the textured webbing and big white eyes that scream “I’m Peter Parker, your friendly neighborhood Spider-man!” The comics have seen some new Spider-people come onto the scene recently, though, and Hasbro is finally giving them their time to shine in role-playing toy form.No, I’m not talking about the Slingers (but Ricochet deserves his own mask/wig set). I’m talking Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen. They’re big in Marvel’s Spider-man books right now, and they’re going to be the core of Sony’s upcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse animated movie. They’re also pretty interesting characters in their own right, with Miles being one of the few good things to survive the Ultimate Marvel universe (Earth-1610) and Spider-Gwen being a legitimately fun alternate reality (Earth-65) take on Spider-Man where Gwen Stacy got powers, and Peter Parker ended up dying super-hard.Hasbro has announced new role-playing toys based around Into the Spider-Verse (Earth-I don’t actually know the number because it’s a multiverse split off from the MCU and Sony’s own Spider-Man tie-in films, all of which are pretty unclear in the cosmic sense), and that means Miles and Gwen are getting some love, starting with $12.99 Mission Gear packs. These are sets that include plastic half-masks and small dart-launching web shooters based on classic Spider-Man, Miles Morales, and Spider-Gwen. The Miles and Gwen masks and web shooters are respectively black-and-red and white-and-pink, matching their costume designs from the nose up. Gwen’s mask even has a molded hood on the top to simulate her hoodies. They’re just half-masks, though, which expose the lower half of the face. So don’t try to fight crime with them.Since Miles is starring in Into the Spider-Verse, he’s getting a few bigger role-playing toys from Hasbro as well. The Into the Spider-Verse Hero FX Mask is a $14.99 full-face mask based on Miles’ costume, with motion-activated sound effects. The Into the Spider-Verse Super Web Slinger is a $19.99 multi-purpose web shooting glove that can squirt water or fire “web fluid” (Hasbro’s Marvel-licensed version of Silly String).Finally, the Into the Spider-Verse Miles Morales Nerf Assembler Gear is a $24.99 modular Nerf blaster gauntlet that can be configured in multiple ways and used to fire Nerf darts or hold a molded web blast that sticks out from the front. We’ve been disappointed by previous Nerf Assembler kits compared with proper Nerf blasters and their already extensive N-Strike and Modulus accessories, but it looks fun if you just want to pretend to be Spider-Man and not worry about the tactical considerations of foam ballistics.These Into the Spider-Verse toys will ship this fall, before the planned release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse December 14. Dressing up like Miles and Gwen sounds like fun, and we’re excited about this movie being the first big screen appearances of the characters. Yes, it’s animated and not part of the MCU or Sony’s increasingly baffling Spider-man-less Spider-man spin-off movies like Venom, but it’s also being produced by Lord and Miller, with Phil Lord writing the screenplay. It also has Nicolas Cage as Spider-man Noir, the alternate reality Darkwing Duck version of Spider-man, and I’m so on board for that.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. James Gunn Once Again Directing ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’Dark Phoenix Trailer Released & More Marvel Movie News last_img read more

Watch Artist Robert Ball Shows Game of Thrones Deaths in Illustrations

first_imgStay on target Artist Robert Ball is taking Game of Thrones fans behind the scenes of Beautiful Death, a series that features illustrations of characters’ final moments on the show.The Game of Thrones finale aired in May, however, the series recently shared a video on YouTube featuring Ball and his stunning artwork. From Season 1 to Season 8, Ball captured Iron Throne contenders’ deaths in 74 illustrations, each creatively showing their fate and how they play a role in the greater Westeros power struggle.Right after each episode would end, Ball would illustrate the iconic deaths of each character. From Eddard Stark’s execution to Missandei’s beheading, Ball’s art tells a greater story beyond their fatal incidents through gloomy, yet mesmerizing images. Now, Ball is getting ready to commemorate the Mother of Dragons, also known as Daenerys Targaryen, who perished after Jon Snow stabbed her during the last episode of Game of Thrones.AdChoices广告Some of Ball’s past ‘Beautiful Death’ illustrations. (Photo Credit: Game of Thrones / HBO)“I think my most successful pieces really talk about what their deaths mean for the show going forward, rather than having a clever way of mirroring the death scene,” Ball said in the video. “It’s been bigger than I expected, to put it mildly, it’s been quite overwhelming.”Photo Credit: Game of Thrones / YouTubeBall also commented on how he had to figure out the 74th illustration of the Beautiful Death series and how he can’t wrap around the fact that the series is done.“It’s really weird that it’s over. It’s going to take a while to absorb. It was a perfect Game of Thrones mix of tragedy, surprise, and trying to communicate that in an image.”Ball ended up incorporating the fiery Iron Throne with the phrase “You are my queen, now and always.” And, it’s a breathtaking creation that will stay in the memories of fans for years to come.More on‘Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Gives Coffee Cup Dilemma Update ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Emilia Clarke Deeply Regrets One Season 8 ThingThis ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Predicted How the Series Would End in 2015 ‘Game of Thrones’ Director Explains Why Arya Ambushed the Night King’Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Predicts Sansa Stark’s Future last_img read more

An Interview With Escape the Shattered Plains VR Developer Arcturus

first_img British Airways Tests VR Entertainment on Select First-Class FlightsGeek Pick: HP Reverb Is Clear-Eyed Virtual Reality A few weeks ago, I got the chance to check out a VR title called The Way of Kings: Escape the Shattered Plains. Created by Arcturus, in partnership with DMG Entertainment, the title is the first visual adaptation of Brandon Sanderson’s best-selling The Stormlight Archive series. I have played many VR games in the last couple of years and was curious to see what Escape the Shattered Plains brought to the table. What I found was an engaging and immersive experience that masterfully transported me into a believable fantasy realm. That’s saying a lot considering I’ve always been a bit of a VR skeptic.Arturus CCO Ewan Johnson and CTO Devin Horsman were kind enough to answer some questions I had about The Way of Kings: Escape the Shattered Plains. They describe what drew them to adapt Sanderson’s series, what steps were taken to ensure a smooth VR experience, and where VR is headed in the immediate future.Why did the team decide a game based on The Stormlight Archive would make an enjoyable VR experience? What is it about the universe that makes it ideal for VR?EWAN JOHNSON (CCO): We were all attracted to adapting Brandon’s world because of the breadth of the story and the magic systems, which seem uniquely suited to VR. From there, Kaladin’s hero journey was particularly appealing because it allowed us to put the viewer in the hero’s shoes. Because the scale of this world is so large, we felt we needed to go deeper than a treatment and some concept art to awaken the imagination of DMG’s partners in producing a film. The immersive nature of VR combined with interactivity and exploration allow a much deeper discovery of a story, we could literally allow studio execs to step into the world and experience the characters and environment. By creating a narrative thread to combine the moments within the experience we could provide a deeper sense of the characters at the same time. As we developed the concept and a narrative that tied it all together, it became clear that this was a standalone piece that we should share with the fans.Was it challenging to create a unique story within the confines of the established narrative?JOHNSON: Very challenging! There are so many beautiful, unusual and scary(!) things to visualize. We wanted to provide an introduction to this world and we believed that by using Kaladin and his journey, as well as relying on Syl to be our mentor and guide, that we were able to stay true to the broad storyline in the book but also adapt as needed to provide a short, fun experience for new audiences as well as those familiar with the lore. Brandon Sanderson was involved from the very beginning; providing feedback on scripts and artwork and we were thrilled that when Brandon saw it all he loved it and said it matched his vision.What emotions do you want players to feel while playing Escape the Shattered Plains?JOHNSON: Fans will embark on an electrifying, unforgettable adventure in the Cosmere universe as they wield magic, dodge crashing landscapes, and battle against perilous magical creatures for survival. During this emotional journey, it was important to us to cover several emotional arcs that Kaladin experiences. He starts out a slave, chained to a bridge during a highstorm, sentenced to death. His survival of the high storm and subsequent meeting of Syl, his mentor and guide (in the books and the VR experience), helps him understand his new powers and place within Roshar’s difficult environment. He finds the strength and the skills to battle Parshendi on the plains and then must work together with his foes to rally together against the fearsome Chasmfiend. It’s a roller coaster from start to finish!What technical hurdles did the team face while creating The Way of The Kings? What steps were taken to ensure an enjoyable VR experience?DEVIN HORSMAN (CTO): For VR applications, performance is always a big concern. We need to hit 90fps on a sizable pixel count with two viewpoints (one for each eye). Most VR games are pixel bound, that is the bottleneck for most frames is on the graphics card doing shading calculations for surfaces. One of the techniques we came up with, involves flattening the various detail maps of surfaces in the distance; the normal maps, gloss, occlusion and even view-dependent specular lighting into very simple-to-render unlit surfaces that are much less expensive to render on a per-pixel basis. It happens just-in-time as you move around in the game. In effect, we trade texture memory for pixel rendering performance. There are minor artifacts as a result but we think the trade is very worthwhile; we save several milliseconds a frame this way and it allows us to have more detailed, up close surfaces than most VR titles.From a graphical standpoint, what were some of the goals the team wanted to achieve?JOHNSON: Our graphic goal was stylized reality. We wanted to create a world that evoked the feelings from the book. The landscape needed to feel hard and tactile creating the impression that it was a harsh place to exist, yet needed to be appealing and interesting enough to encourage people to explore; even if they were not familiar with the world of Roshar. We spent a lot of time exploring different types of rocks and landscapes trying to evoke the impressions we got from the books while making sure it didn’t feel like a landscape we had seen before. One of the biggest challenges in this was the design of the Parshendi. Brandon’s writing is incredibly evocative in a way that opens the doors to your imagination and we knew we had to stay to true capturing the feeling from the books but we also knew the Parshendi would be encountered at a very high intensity moment for the player and we needed them to come across as fearsome and dangerous in a quick read. Because of this we decided to take the colors of their armour away from the red and into more of a dusky reddish-grey. This allowed them to pop against the landscape and be visibly fearsome from the second you see them. It was the same reason we pushed the look of the shell to be more armored; in the heat of battle it needed to read instantly that this was armour.Why do you consider this an “experience” and not just a “game”?JOHNSON: We’ve been calling Escape the Shattered Plains an interactive narrative – which helps differentiate us from both, a AAA title with hours of gameplay, and from a passive, sit-back-and-watch experience. VR offers the opportunity to create a new entertainment format, and calling this a “game” would be a misnomer and potentially misleading. We are immersing viewers in an environment they have not seen before and providing an opportunity for them to explore, interact, and learn more about Brandon Sanderson’s amazing Cosmere universe.In what ways do you feel The Way of The Kings innovates/evolves VR gaming? What makes it different from other titles utilizing the technology?JOHNSON: Escape the Shattered Plains is the first major adaptation in VR (that’s not in support of a theatrical release) and our goal is to evolve VR deeper into the narrative space. There’s plenty of discussion to be had about what this is best called, so we’re calling it an interactive narrative. We believe that immersive entertainment, deeply rooted in story and interactivity, is a new medium and requires experimentation to understand how best to create experiences. We spent lots of time discussing story elements, writing treatments, determining levels and methods of interactivity, in order to provide a succinct introduction to Kaladin and the Stormlight Archives that satisfies existing fans and introduces the lore to a broader audience. Creating an adapted piece from Brandon’s work that goes beyond marketing gimmicks and stands on its own was a tremendous honor and we can’t wait for the fans to get a chance to experience it for themselves.Given the number of books in The Stormlight Archive, is it possible we’ll get multiple games set in the universe?JOHNSON: We certainly hope so! As with anything, demand will drive the development of more but we’ve already been thinking about what the next one might be and how it further immerses you in Roshar.Lastly, where do you see VR gaming going in the next five years?HORSMAN: There’s a lot of areas to explore as new hardware and software technology adds more affordances. As mobile 6DOF VR becomes more robust we should see a lot more interest in research on redirected walking; a technique to trick the senses into thinking they’ve walked straight lines when they’ve actually walked a curved path; it could potentially open up limitless spaces to explore. AR and VR technology will begin to look very similar in about the same time frame and mixed immersive experiences will begin to be explored. I’m excited to see how things like google’s VPS and AR storytelling working together can create the possibility for seeing a narrative unfold around you in real-time anywhere in the world, fit to the location you are in.JOHNSON: We believe that VR gaming is going to become a turnkey element of media entertainment; increasing the depth of our stories and extending the way in which the viewer (player) can experience a given story. For example, you might be watching a movie and the main character hints at a mystery surrounding the house he is in. Then, after you get home you put on your headset and enter the very house that was in the movie and begin to explore. Your mission is to unravel the puzzle that was alluded to by the main character. Solve the puzzle and it unlocks more games and experiences. These extended worlds add depth and variety to entertainment and will allow the viewer to become an active participant in the stories.We applaud our industry’s constant experimentation and we love watching and learning together, developing new and exciting experiences.The Way of Kings: Escape the Shattered Plains is now available on Steam and Viveport for $10.99.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img read more

EC to closely monitor PMs rally at Brigade Parade ground today

first_imgKolkata: Election Commission officials would capture videos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally at Brigade Parade ground on Wednesday.The commission will also keep a tab on the rally to ascertain if there is any violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The commission will also carry out an assessment to know if the entire cost of organising the rally has been spent as declared by the state BJP leaders, while taking permission for it. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe commission will also monitor to see if the controversial theme song of the party sung by its Asansol MP Babul Supriyo is played during the rally. The song is yet to receive permission from the EC. Meanwhile, Special Central Police Observer Vivek Dubey will hold meeting with all the observers at Siliguri Circuit Bench on Wednesday, to take a stock on the poll-preparedness in the two districts that will go to poll in the first phase on April 11. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateSeven companies of Central Forces have been sent to North Bengal for the first phase of polls. The first phase of elections would be held in Alipurduar and Cooch Behar. Sanjay Basu, additional Chief Electoral Officer, said that seven companies have been taken from the existing 10 companies which have been presently deployed in the state. The forces have been sent to the North Bengal districts as a part of the confidence boosting measure.last_img read more