George Clooney Donates 1 Million to Counter War Crimes and Corruption in

first_imgToday George Clooney, through the Clooney Foundation for Justice, gave a $1 million gift to The Sentry to kick off its “Making War Criminals Pay” fundraising campaign.With increased investigative capacity, The Sentry – an initiative of the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch – will dramatically increase its production of dossiers focused on war criminals and their financial networks. The Sentry’s dossiers are being turned over to banks and governments in order to lay the foundation for serious action by regulatory and law enforcement authorities around the world, aimed at prosecuting or seizing the assets of those who finance and benefit from genocide or other war crimes.In addition to George Clooney’s generous grant, The Sentry is pleased to announce leadership gifts from: Don Cheadle, Carl Allen, Ruben Vardanyan, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, and three major donors who wish to remain anonymous. Including the Clooney Foundation grant, these gifts total $3.45 million. To reach their campaign goal of $6 million, The Sentry will seek to raise an additional $2.55 million.The Sentry is a team of policy analysts, regional experts, and financial forensic investigators that follows the money in order to create consequences for those funding and profiting from genocide or other mass atrocities in Africa, and to build leverage for peace.Announcing his gift, George Clooney, co-founder of The Sentry, said: “Our focus is to make sure that war crimes don’t pay. We want to make it more difficult for those willing to kill en masse to secure their political and economic objectives. When we’re able to go after the warlords’ wallets and bankrupt those who choose the bullet over the ballot, suddenly the incentives are for peace, not war; transparency, not corruption.”Sentry co-founder John Prendergast added: “The Sentry is pursuing a new strategy to counter mass atrocities that would utilize the tools of financial pressure normally reserved for countering terrorism, organized crime, and nuclear proliferation. We aim to undermine the pillars of the war economy and disrupt the financial flows that fuel conflict. Unless the links between conflict and corruption are confronted, peace will remain a distant dream.”With the Clooney Foundation gift and additional campaign donations, The Sentry will also be able to increase its capacity for public reporting based on material from these dossiers. Over the coming year, reports will be published focusing on state looting and illicit financial flows out of the war-torn countries of South Sudan, Sudan, Congo, Somalia, and the Central African Republic.As part of its efforts, The Sentry has also been an active partner in the #KeepThePromise ( campaign aimed at countering genocide and educating the world about past atrocities such as the Armenian Genocide. The Sentry and its partners Enough and Not On Our Watch will expand its activities in that partnership over the coming year.last_img read more

Ontariobased cannabis firm Aphria Inc targeted in hostile takeover bid

first_imgLEAMINGTON, Ont. — An Ohio-based company is making a hostile bid to acquire one of the biggest players in Canada’s legal cannabis market.Columbus-based Green Growth Brands Ltd. has announced a takeover bid for Aphria Inc. that values the Leamington, Ont.-based firm at $2.8 billion.Green Growth says in a statement that the offer values Aphria shares at $11 each, providing shareholders with a 45.5 per cent premium over the company’s closing price on Monday, Dec. 24.Aphria shares closed Thursday at $7.57 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but shot up in after-hours trading amid reports of the takeover bid.An Aphria representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Green Growth CEO Peter Horvath says in a statement that the acquisition “will create value for both Aphria and Green Growth shareholders.“We are confident that the significant premium we are offering and the opportunity to participate in the growth of a stronger, combined company are so compelling that we are taking our offer directly to Aphria’s shareholders,” Horvath said.“Together, we can unleash synergies between our teams, assets and geographies, forming a combined enterprise that will accelerate our collective growth strategies in Canada, the U.S. and overseas.”Earlier this month, a Toronto law firm said it filed a proposed class action against Aphria and its chief executive and financial officers after the company was targeted by short-sellers.Koskie Minsky LLP alleges Aphria made false and misleading statements related to its acquisition of LATAM Holdings Inc., a claim that has not been tested in court.The proposed class action came after short-sellers Quintessential Capital Management and Hindenburg Research alleged in early December that Aphria’s acquisition of the LATAM Holding assets in Colombia, Argentina and Jamaica were “largely worthless.”Aphria said on Dec. 6 that it had set up a special committee of independent directors to review the acquisition. Companies in this story: (TSX:APHA, CSE:GGB)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Moroccos El Zhar extends his contract with Spanish Club Levante

first_imgRabat – Moroccan striker Nabil El Zhar has extended his contract until 2016 with Levante, a team that plays in first division of the Spanish league (La Liga).“Nabil El Zhar has extended his contract with FC Levante for two years and a third year as an option,” said the Spanish club in a communiqué, according to MAP.El Zhar debuted with Levante in 2011. He has played 79 games in two years and scored six goals with the Spanish team, adds the same source A the age of 12 , Nabil El Zhar, 27, joined the training center of Nîmes Olympique with which he reached the final of the Coupe Gambardella in 2004.After spending two years in the Training Centre of AS Saint- Etienne, in 2006 he signed for Liverpool, he played his first game for the Reds on November 29, 2006 against Portsmouth.Moroccan fans still remember the pivotal role El Zhar played in the U-20 World Cup held in 2005 in the Netherlands, as he helped the Moroccan national team to qualify for the first time to the semi-finals of the U-20 World Cup.The Moroccan El Zhar is hopeful to be among the players who will form the Moroccan team that will participate in the upcoming African Cup of Nations, which will be held in early 2015 in Morocco.last_img read more

Likely NBA top pick Zion Williamson referenced at NCAA trial

NEW YORK — The player widely projected to be the NBA draft’s top overall pick came up at a college basketball corruption trial as jurors heard a recording of a Clemson coach who seemed eager for help recruiting him.The charismatic Zion Williamson played one year at Duke before entering the draft scheduled for June.His name surfaced as recorded conversations were played Thursday at an aspiring agent and an amateur basketball coach’s criminal trial.Prosecutors say the defendants teamed up with undercover FBI agents and a corrupt financial adviser to decide which college coaches should get money to steer players their way.In a July 2017 recording, defendant Christian Dawkins was heard telling Clemson assistant coach Steve Smith he could help get Williamson’s family what it needed if Williamson attended Clemson.The Associated Press read more

In Liberia UN envoy asks presidential candidates to keep campaign peaceful

In a meeting with the presidential candidates, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Alan Doss asked them to assist the UN in ensuring that the campaign remained peaceful and to make sure that their supporters fully respect the National Elections Commission (NEC) Candidates’ Code of Conduct, which has been signed by all political parties.Any challenge to the results had to be dealt with according to the law. The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was monitoring the political situation closely and had put in place the necessary contingency plans to contain any security incidents, he said.The SRSG noted the colossal tasks ahead for the winners of the presidential and legislative races and stressed the importance of a continued dialogue between the UN and the elected government of Liberia on such critical issues as security, governance and economic reform, the justice system and the protection of human rights.On another front, UNMIL has helped the Liberian Government’s Forestry Development Authority to evacuate about 500 illegal settlers who were illicitly hunting “bush meat” and mining gold in West Africa’s richest environmental preserve and the country’s only declared national park, Sapo, in the south-east.The illegal hunters and miners were guided to reception areas at park entry points in communities around the Park, provided with food and basic medical treatment, and transported to Zwedru, Greenville, or Monrovia. Troops from UNMIL’s Ethiopian military contingent helped with the transportation of 184 of the illegal settlers and then were deployed in the communities on the perimeters of Sapo National Park to prevent poachers from re-entering.Despite major rains in Liberia, by 26 August the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) had helped 38,375 refugees to go back home, while the number of internally displaced people re-settled had reached 207,580. UNHCR also has issued 650 micro-finance loans so far out of the 800 targeted. The loans have ranged from $75 to $500, it said. read more

Jefferson Co Attorney wont prosecute small pot possession

He says the policy change will free up his office to focus more on gun, domestic violence and drunken driving cases.O’Connell spoke from a courtroom to announce the policy Wednesday morning. He cited a 2013 study that found that African Americans are four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Courtesy: Berea Police Dept. LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The Jefferson County Attorney says his office will no longer prosecute small marijuana possession cases, pointing to racial disparities in the enforcement of pot laws in Kentucky’s largest city.County Attorney Mike O’Connell says his office will dismiss citations for possession of marijuana for one ounce or less when it is the most serious or only charge against the person. Saying he “must act,” O’Connell referenced the relaxing of marijuana laws in other U.S. cities.- Advertisement – read more

Bad Karma Biting The Redskins Where It Hurts In

The waiting list for season tickets to Washington Redskins games used to be 100,000 diehards deep. Now they are selling tickets at FedEx Stadium for $4.Call it karma. . .  bad karma, to be precise.This is what happens when your owner refuses to change a nickname deemed racist by a large faction of Native Americans. This is what happens when a first-year coach publicly trashes and then benches the player with the most potential and any semblance of star power. This is what happens when you have just one winning season since. . . well, for a long time.This is a considerable departure for the Redskins, who have enjoyed a loyal and rabid fan base for some time. According to the website, which resells tickets and also tracks the market, some tickets for Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams are $4. A java chip frappacino at Starbucks costs more.On, there were more than 6,400 tickets for sale starting at $5.25. The Virginia High School playoff tickets are $10.Some would say, “That’s what you deserve,” and they’d be pretty accurate. Not much has gone right lately for the Redskins. Worse, not much has been handled right by the team.Owner Dan Snyder has been arrogant in his insistence on keeping the team’s name, although even some legislators are asking for change. Snyder grew up as a fan and claims personal ties to the name, even as many consider it hurtful and racist.Coach Jay Gruden has been just as arrogant, with no room for arrogance. His first year as a head coach has been miserable; he has not impressed. He even treated Robert Griffin III as rudely as any coach ever has, blasting him in a post-game press conference for an extended period. Now word comes that Gruden “is done” with Griffin, who two years ago was the NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year.He’s been impatient and mean-spirited in his handling of the one star player that fans have been excited to see play in the last decade.Now it’s all unraveling for the team. The average ticket price last week was $31, the lowest since they were a running joke under Jim Zorn. The erstwhile “Dream Seats” behind the Redskins’ bench are selling for hundreds of dollars less than face value, at $91.Never would have, could have, expected this from the Redskins. But then, they have not deserved much better. read more

More than one in ten primary school boys is labelled with mental

Dr Marc Bush, Policy Director at YoungMinds, said: “Boys of primary school age are more likely to be identified as having behavioural disorders or hyperactivity disorder than girls – while rates of emotional disorder are higher among girls than boys at an older age.“The factors behind mental health problems are often complex and multiple, but it’s crucial that all professionals who work with children have a good understanding of how ‘difficult’ behaviour may be linked to emotional distress. The analysis also suggests that there are twice as many mental disorders among children from middle income backgrounds, compared with poorer families.And it shows that children living with step-brothers and step-sisters were more likely to suffer from all types of mental disorders.The analysis comes from research on more than 9,000 children, including 3,597 aged between five and 10, whose teachers were also quizzed. More than one in ten boys at primary school are being labelled as suffering from a mental disorder, amid growing concerns about their classroom behaviour, research suggests.The NHS report, which examines the factors which may increase the risk of mental illness, found young boys were twice as likely as girls the same age to suffer such problems.Experts said “difficult” behaviour in young children could be a sign of emotional distress that they struggled to talk about.The figures from NHS Digital show 12.2 per cent of boys aged between five and 10 were found to be likely to be suffering from a mental disorder, along with 6.6 per cent of girls.Emotional disorders were equally likely in both genders, but behavioural problems which can include autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were twice as common in boys. “We need to ensure that both boys and girls with emerging mental health problems can get the support they need, so that they can develop skills to form healthy relationships, look after themselves and cope with life’s challenges.” After interviews were complete, clinical raters reviewed the data to classify each participant.Dr Louise Theodosiou, of the child and adolescent faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said it was possible that some disorders were more noticeable in boys, and being missed in girls.She said: “It is likely that conditions such as ADHD and Autistic spectrum conditions are recognised more in younger boys than girls. Girls are more prone to develop an emotional disorder as they grow older and as they become more aware of social pressures.”This may explain why there is a levelling out of the rate of any mental disorders between boys and girls as they move from primary to secondary school. It may also be that we are not recognising conditions – such as ADHD – in girls and this is adding to the pressures that they face.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Imminent 5G in South Africa in 2018 will help boost mining digitalisation

first_imgEricsson and MTN recently announced that the first 5G trial in South Africa is to start in the first quarter of 2018. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last November at AfricaCom 2017 to collaborate on the rollout of 5G technologies in South Africa, one of the first in Africa.Ericsson provides end-to-end 5G capabilities in support of MTN South Africa’s growth, 5G and enterprise monetisation ambitions. MTN will trial a range of 5G use cases and applications in its Test Bed (laboratory) proof of concept in South Africa, leading to commercial deployment in the future.MTN and Ericsson will collaborate to demonstrate the true potential of 5G in South Africa. Together they will identify 5G use cases and applications for the digital transformation of industry verticals such as mining.“5G gives us the opportunity to rethink our business and address previously untapped value chains. The new technology opens up new opportunities in new ecosystems,” says Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO, MTN South Africa.“In collaboration with Ericsson, we are continuously testing, learning and pushing the boundaries of how 5G can meet the diverse needs of our customers in the future. We’re developing 5G technology based on real business needs,” he says.“Not only does Ericsson have the most signed telecom operator MoUs in the industry, but we are now the first to launch a 5G initiative with MTN in Africa,” says Seckin Arikan, Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit MTN at Ericsson Middle East and Africa.“This supports our strategy of delivering next-generation mobile broadband, cloud and providing support for massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployment. This initiative also enables new industry use cases thanks to increased throughput and reduced latency,” he adds.last_img read more

James Reilly wants cigarettes to cost €1 each

first_imgHEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly wants to see an increase in the price of cigarettes every year for the next five years so that people “think long and hard before they drag long and hard”.Reilly said today that he would continue to fight “the scourge of tobacco” even if he is reshuffled out of the Department of Health next week as is widely expected.The minister’s ‘war on tobacco’ has been widely praised with plans for Ireland to become one of the few countries in the world to introduce plain packaging provided it can overcome legal challenges from tobacco companies.Speaking this morning, Reilly said he would ultimately like to see a situation where each cigarette costs €1. A standard packet of 20 cigarettes currently costs between €9.40 and €9.60. Minister James Reilly in Dublin this morning He said that the euro-a-cigarette policy is not one he would expect to see immediately in the October budget but outlined how he would like to see it introduced incrementally.“What I would love to see in a budget is a five-year plan that they’re going to go up incrementally every year, year-on-year, over the next five years,” Reilly said.“So people who are smoking get the very strong message that this is just becoming more and more unaffordable and it’s killing me. “‘It’s hurting my pocket and it’s hurting my health. Why am I doing it?’”He said that his fight against tobacco goes back to his time before politics and “will continue long after my time in politics”Reilly: More shops need to stop selling sweets and chocolates at checkoutsRead: James Reilly vs tobacco industry: Stop making smoking look attractive to girlslast_img read more

American Gods Shows Us What Mr World and the New Gods Can

first_img ‘American Gods’ Season 2 Trailer: A Divine War Is ComingNYCC 2018: The American Gods Cast Gives Us a Glimpse of Season Two Stay on target After two episodes ending up in the same place, it was time for American Gods to move its story forward. It did it with amazing performances, fantastic visual effects, and cleverly-hidden exposition. We’re now in the back half of the first season. The show has established its world and the goals of its main characters. Now, it’s time to set up what they’ll do for the rest of the season. American Gods’ greatest trick is making expository scenes feel like they’re driving the plot forward. Not a ton of shows can accomplish that. Even when it’s transparently hiding its set-up behind flashy imagery, there’s a reason for it.The first part of the show gives us the confrontation between Shadow and Laura we’ve been waiting two weeks for. Laura switches between tactics to avoid talking to Shadow about her infidelity, but Shadow isn’t having it. They miracle of her being alive is just another drop in the bucket of weird stuff that’s happened to Shadow the last couple days. At this point, it’d be stranger if his dead wife wasn’t trying to talk to him in a hotel room. He wants answers, and no miracle is going to distract from getting them. Not that he likes what he hears. Laura says promising to wait for Shadow wasn’t a lie; it was just something she knew could become a lie.Still, no amount of explanation, pleading or kisses from a warm (sewn up) body can make Shadow forgive Laura just yet. While it’s clear that she loves Shadow now more than she ever did in life, she never learned how to express it. She appears to Shadow to just be going through the motions. Even when his kiss makes her heart beat for one second (which might hint at the reason why she’s so drawn to him in death), Shadow pushes her away. He is no longer her puppy.Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, Emily Browning as Laura Moon. (Photo via STARZ)Laura’s later sequences in the episode, after Shadow and Wednesday are taken away, focus on her interactions with Mad Sweeney. Sweeney wants his coin back, and Laura won’t give it to him. The leprechaun is a tragic comic relief figure for this episode, but he has a couple of moments that are very important. He hints at just what it is Shadow has gotten himself mixed up in, outright telling Laura who Wednesday is. He calls Wednesday “Grimnir” (one of Odin’s names) and says Shadow shouldn’t trust him. His other big contribution is more subtle. In trying to get the coin back, he offers Laura a hat-full of gold coins “just as good.” She deduces that if he’s offering her all those in exchange for her one, they’re really not just as good. Sweeney puts a suddenly empty hat back on his head.He was trying to con her by showing her a flashing trick that ultimately amounts to nothing. Which is exactly what’s happening to Shadow and Wednesday at the police station. At that moment, the New Gods are attempting to con Shadow and Wednesday into joining them with a flashy, colorful, ultimately meaningless presentation. They were the real stars of the episode, particularly Gillian Anderson and Crispin Glover as Media and Mr. World. We got to see Media twice in this episode. First, as a scarily uncanny recreation of David Bowie. I had to look a second time to make sure it wasn’t somehow really him. Later, we saw her as a purposefully less convincing facsimile of Marilyn Monroe. She walks on air and speaks in half-hearted catchphrases. It’s an unconvincing performance that Shadow and Wednesday see right through. There might be a reason for that, but only those who have read the book can guess why at this point. For everyone else, let’s just say there may be more than one con at work here.Crispin Glover as Mr. World. (Photo via STARZ)Crispin Glover is charming, funny and menacing all at once in his portrayal of Mr. World. He gives the show a much-needed antagonist standing in the way of Wednesday and Shadow. His rainbow-unicorn version of death, destruction, and Valhalla perfectly crystallizes what’s at stake for Wednesday in a way the show hadn’t yet bothered to do. It’s not just erasure of the old gods he’s worried about; it’s sanitization. “A New Lemon-Scented You” is what Media offers Wednesday. Odin will no longer be an old, feared god. He’ll be a missile guidance system, and a cleaned-up, cutesy, marketable version of war.That’s the power of the new gods. Through the power of Media and Technology, they can make any story they want true. Wednesday confirms this when they’re escaping the police station and find all the cops dead. One, played by Tracie Thoms of Bryan Fuller’s short-lived FOX series Wonderfalls, is impaled by a living tree. (Possibly Yggdrasil?) It’s an effective bit of horror that makes Shadow trust Wednesday even more, and possibly hints to the audience at what Mad Sweeney meant when he said Shadow shouldn’t. We’ll have to see if the show is truly going where book-reader me thinks it is. That’s not a guarantee. The show has surprised me before, and will likely continue as the first season goes on.Gillian Anderson as Media (Photo via STARZ)As the first episode of this season’s second half, it was naturally heavy on the exposition and set-up for what’s to come. You almost wouldn’t notice though, because it delivered it with the subtlety and distraction of a perfectly executed con. Seeing the New Gods in all their glory gave us such a strong scene that you barely noticed all the exposition being laid out in it. It helped that the reveals were all completely necessary for the story to move forward. The stakes were raised not just by introducing an antagonist, but by hinting at why Shadow is so important to Wednesday. Shadow didn’t believe in anything, and Wednesday is making him believe in him. As Media says, sometimes a god only needs one person to believe. The episode also showed us what happens when people stop believing in their gods. The opening Coming to America sequence focused on the first people to cross the Bering Strait, bringing their gods with them. After a while in the new land, their gods were forgotten. With no believers, the gods died. That’s what Wednesday is trying to avoid, and turning Shadow into a believer is key to his survival.last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE Half of employers believe all staff are aware of their eyecare

first_imgEXCLUSIVE: More than half (57%) of employer respondents believe that all of their members of staff are aware of their existing eyecare policy, and 40% feel that most staff are aware of it, according to research by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.The survey of 507 UK-based HR decision makers also found that 47% communicate their eyecare policies using a staff welcome pack, while 43% use their organisation’s intranet as the main source of communication around these benefits, and 35% send emails to staff. A further third (32%) place written information on notice boards, and 29% make use of posters around their workplaces.HR professionals felt that these varying communication methods had similar levels of confidence regarding their impact, in terms of enabling all employees to be aware of the eyecare benefits available to them. For example, 65% of those that use a staff welcome pack to communicate this information feel that all employees are aware of the available eyecare benefits, compared to 64% who communicate via an intranet and 60% that use written information on noticeboards.Similarly, just under two-thirds (60%) of those respondents that communicate their eyecare policy using emails, and 57% of those that use posters, believe all of their staff are aware of the information.Jim Lythgow (pictured), director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, said: “The clear message is that communication makes a difference. Businesses that communicate [their] eyecare policy will get the best value from it.“Eyecare can help towards improved health and wellbeing in the workplace, which in turn supports productivity and boosts morale. For the business to benefit, however, the employees need to be aware of the eyecare available and the positive impact it can have on their health.”last_img read more

Reentry Program Gives Inmates Hope to Succeed Inside and Out

first_imgThis is the eighth year Success Inside and Out has been held at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. The day’s events took place inside the prison gym. (Photo By Lisa Phu, KTOO-Juneau Download AudioOn Saturday, 43 people rotated through tutorials in a basketball gym on topics like finding employment, how to open a bank account and reconnecting with family.All the participants were wearing yellow jumpsuits. It’s Lemon Creek Correctional Center’s eighth annual Success Inside and Out event, which offers resources to soon-to-be-released inmates.James Luckart has been in jail for more than eight years. According to court records, Luckart was convicted for three counts of assault, one for attempted sexual assault. He’s due to get out ofLemon Creek Correctional Center next February.“I feel ready and I think I am ready, but it’s just I’m scared. It’s going to be a big test,” Luckart says.James Luckart says Success Inside and Out makes him believe he has a chance to make it once he’s released. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)This is his first time at Success Inside and Out. He’s just come from a session on addiction and mental health. He’s gotten information about counseling once he’s out and a number to call even while he’s still in jail. Luckart thinks it’s cool.“There’s people out there that actually care. I mean people in this environment are like, ‘Nobody cares about us. They just want to let us rot.’ But there are people that actually care, so it feels pretty good,” Luckart says.His favorite part of the day has been hearing from former inmates who have succeeded on the outside – people who are sober, have jobs or go to school and are part of healthy relationships. These stories give him hope.“We all have a chance to make it out there. Yeah, we’ve made some mistakes in our life but there’s a chance that we can make it out there in the community,” Luckart says.Marcos Galindo is one of those people who made it. Most of his life was shrouded in violence, he says. He was part of a gang in California and was in and out of jail. He came to Juneau in December 2011 to visit his mother. That next April, he assaulted someone and ended up at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. While there, he took a class taught by Sol Neely, assistant professor of English at University of Alaska Southeast.Now, Galindo is a senior at UAS and radiates positivity.“My whole day when I wake up in the morning is about being positive, about how can I better my life and how can I better the person next to me’s life. And I learned a lot of that through Sol’s classes,” Galindo says.So far, he’s helped four former male inmates get into UAS.“Three of them are success stories. One of them started using again and went back. So we lost one and I took it a little personal but what can you do, right?” Galindo says. “But the three superstars we got now, they don’t need any help at anything. They’re knocking out essays on their own. They got higher GPAs than me.”Juneau District Court Judge Keith Levy has been organizing Success Inside and Out for the past few years. The program was founded in 2006 by Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Dana Fabe for incarcerated women at Hiland Correctional Center near Anchorage. The program still takes place there.Levy says the court system has a great interest in seeing inmates thrive when they’re released.“People think of judges as punishing people and our role is not punishment. Judges, especially in Southeast Alaska, what we want to have happen is to recognize what gets people into jail and to deal with those things and help them not come back,” he says.Levy isn’t sure how successful Success Inside and Out has been over the last eight years, but he says if it helps even a handful of people, it’s worth it.last_img read more

Ctg city BNP vice president Mohammad Ali dies

first_imgMohammad Ali. Photo: UNBBangladesh Nationalist Party’s Chittagong city unit vice president Mohammad Ali passed away at a hospital in the port city on Sunday night, reports UNB.He was 56.He breathed his last at the National Hospital in Mehedibagh area of Chittagong city around 8:00pm where he had been receiving treatment for last 15 days for liver diseases.He will be buried at Hazrat Garib Ullah Shah Mazar in Chittagong after the namaz-e-janaza at Jamiatul Falah Jame Mosque after Zuhr prayers.His body will be kept at BNP’s Kazir Dewry office for two hours from 11:00am to 1:00pm.He is survived by wife, two daughters and two sons.last_img

10 Coolest Zords in 25 Years of Power Rangers

first_img ‘Legend of the White Dragon’ Reunites Original Power RangersThe Original ‘Power Rangers’ Movie Should Have Stayed Small Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetcenter_img From Gundam to Pacific Rim there is something undeniably appealing about watching giant robots go on wrecking sprees. It’s as ingrained in our DNA as the fight/flight mechanism or our gag reflexes being triggered when Benedict Cumberbatch tries to speak in an American accent. As such, it’s probably not controversial to say that the coolest facet of the Power Rangers franchise is the Megazords.To be clear, pretty much everything about Power Rangers is cool. We’re talking about a TV show that is, at every level, made to appeal to what 8-year-olds think is awesome, and 8-year-olds happen to have great taste when it comes to what they think is cool—as a person who is spending his adulthood writing about things he’s liked since he was 8 I feel confident in saying this. Still, teenagers with attitude and dope multicolored uniforms can’t touch giant robots combining to form an even more giant robot for the purpose of fighting a giant monster. Over the series’ 25-year run there’s been a massive number of Megazords. As is inevitable when designing giant fighting robots, some are a bit cooler than others. I, a grown adult who owns noise-canceling headphones and has a credit score, have seen every single episode of Power Rangers, some more than once, and as such feel as qualified as anybody to make the definitive list of the 10 coolest Power Rangers Megazords. These rankings are based on science and as such cannot be disputed.Thunder Power What an absolute unit. Look at this fella. The Thunder Power Megazord gets its first round of cool points for being a zord belonging to rangers that start out as antagonists, meaning we get to see it trounce the primary rangers’ zord at least once. It gets its second round of cool points, the round that secures it a spot on this list, for looking rad beyond belief. Comprised of what’s basically two monster trucks with beetle horns, this sucker just looks mean. It’s got horns! It’s got beetle horns! The Thunder Rangers get undersold on how dope they are far too often, so we’re going to give credit, at least to their Megazord, where it’s due. Thundersaurus Easily the coolest zord of the Disney era largely thanks to being the OG Megazord of the best ranger team of the Disney era. The Thundersaurus Megazord harkens back to the classic Mighty Morphin’ Megazord, being made up of three giant dinosaur robots. It doesn’t hurt that it’s got a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex head on its chest and a massive drill in place of its left arm. It’s a great design that makes you instantly want to check eBay for the toy version and that’s the highest compliment you can pay a Megazord design. Thunder Megazord First of all, it’s totally unintentional that the first three entries on this list are Thunder-centric zords, I promise. Now that that’s out of the way, we’ve got to talk about the OG secondary Megazord. A ranger team getting a brand-new Megazord in the midst of a series run is a franchise staple at this point, but few of those secondary zords can compare to the original. The Thunder Megazord comes together when the Dinozords transform into zords that take inspiration from mythical creatures like unicorns and gryphons. They then combine to form a Megazord that takes design cues from samurai armor, making for a perfect breath of fresh air to the original ranger team’s arsenal. Zeo Megazord Conceptually the Zeo Megazord has a lot in common with the Thunder Megazord, being made up of zords that draw cues from various mythologies. Still, the design is insanely cool, a factor much needed in the first post-MMPR Megazord. Even better is that it doesn’t take design cues from the admittedly not-great Zeo Ranger shape masks as its successor, the Super Zeo Megazord, does. White Tigerzord  Here it is, the first Tommy zord on the list. Nobody’s going to dispute that Tommy is the greatest Power Rangers character of all time, having held several different morphers over the course of the series and several zords to accompany them. The White Tigerzord is one of the best, a giant white robotic tiger that can convert into Warrior Mode, at which point it becomes even cooler. This one, again, is the kind of essential zord that practically holds you at knifepoint and forces you to check Amazon for the toy. Defender TorozordShort of OG Green, you’d be hard-pressed to find a sixth ranger with a cooler design and story than the Magna Defender. While it’s tempting to wax poetic on the character’s arc over the course of Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy, we’re here to talk about zords, and fortunately there’s plenty to say about the Defender Torozord. The Magna Defender’s zord is a giant bull fully capable of wrecking bad dudes in its bull form. But it doesn’t stop there. When converted to the Defender Torozord, the Magna Defender gets blown up to zord size and then wears the Torozord like a suit of armor. It’s an awesome take on a Megazord and the design is sleek, simple, and effective. Dark PredazordPower Rangers Wild Force varies wildly in quality throughout its series run but the indisputable high point is the Zen-Aku saga, in which a terrifying wolf monster systematically wrecks the Wild Force Rangers in devastating fashion. The highlight of this saga is when he reveals his Dark Wildzords, a wolf, hammerhead shark, and alligator. Together they form the Dark Predazord, a giant sinister juggernaut with a massive alligator head on its chest that shoots a laser cannon. That’s everything a dark zord should be and the show hasn’t topped it in the years since Wild Force was on the air. MegazordYou can’t knock the original. Everything that makes Megazords great as a concept started with the OG, the very first Megazord, so great that there’s no modifiers like “Thunder” or “Mighty Morphin” or “Ultra Max.” It’s just the Megazord. You can say that word and it’s the first one that will come to people’s minds. The design has never been topped and it is and will always be the most iconic Power Rangers zord of all time. Wild Force MegazordA few series have utilized the idea of the zords not being simply robots so much as fully sentient creatures with whom each ranger has a relationship. None have explored this as so fully realized and compelling a concept as Power Rangers Wild Force. The mythology surrounding the zords in this series makes for killer storytelling and lends a degree of empathy to them. They’re not just giant robots used as third-act plot devices. They’re characters. Furthermore, the series’ first Megazord design is incredibly cool, with the added bonus of endless customizable combinations. The original is awesome, but a few episodes into the series the Rangers begin to discover more zords, allowing for new add-ons like the Soul Bird, the Giraffe Zord, and the twin Bear Zords. DragonzordThe game had changed. With the debut of the Green Ranger and the Dragonzord, our understanding of Power Rangers changed. No single zord has more drastically altered the landscape of the series like the Dragonzord the moment it emerged from the sea like the Kraken that took down the Titanic (YOU CAN’T TELL ME IT’S NOT TRUE). There is no dragon-to-zord transformation as there is with the White Tigerzord. No tricks, no fancy alternate modes. There’s just a giant robot dragon that absolutely wrecks everything in its path. Its later combinations with the Megazord are cool, yes, but it’s still pure perfection on its own. It’s the best Megazord of all time, no doubt. WORST: Turbo MegazordLook at this large dumb boy.Unleash your inner Megazord now that you’re saturated with Ranger knowledge. You should be reading Boom! Studios’ latest run of Ranger comics. Watch MovieBob’s review of that last film. Stay informed of all Mighty Morphin’ news here with the 25th Anniversary. last_img read more

Through a Sensor Holographically

first_imgThis pixel superresolution approach effectively increases the sensor pixel density without physically adding additional pixels or sacrificing the imaging field of view (FOV). This is accomplished by capturing different images resulting from motion of either the illumination source or the sample and subsequently merging these lens-free frames to synthesize a higher spatial resolution holographic image. In microfluidic applications, for example, the fluidic motion of objects flowing by the sensor array can be used to generate high-resolution holograms. Ozcan acknowledges that a fundamental challenge to transmission optical microscopy in general (whether lens-based or lens-free) is photon scattering when imaging thick tissue samples. “However,” he adds, “I expect that this limitation can be partially released if the scattering properties of tissue were to be reduced through some sample preparation steps – at least for certain class of objects. There is some very promising work in the literature around this major issue and researchers are working hard with various innovative schemes toward this end.” Ozcan sees the primary applications of lens-free microscopy being in cell and developmental biology – especially in microfluidic integration. “Microfluidic integration would permit rather interesting lab-on-a-chip devices that could do optofluidic microscopy and tomography (also referred to as holographic optofluidic microscopy, or HOM) on the same chip. This way the compact and cost-effective platform of lab-on-a-chip devices could be coupled with high-resolution 3D micro-analysis tools on the same platform.”In fact, Ozcan has done previous work in lens-free opto-fluidic microscopy, last year publishing a paper with Dr. Waheb Bishara and Dr. Hongying Zhu entitled Holographic Opto-Fluidic Microscopy (Optics Express 18:27499–27510, 20 December 2010, Vol. 18, No. 26). In that paper, the authors note that their HOM platform does not involve complicated fabrication processes or precise alignment, nor does it require a highly uniform flow of objects within microfluidic channels. Relatively recently the Ozcan group has also demonstrated, for the first time, optofluidic tomography, soon to be published in Applied Physics Letters. Of great interest is that when asked if further miniaturization and integration – such as an on-chip partially-coherent light source – could potentially enable in vivo applications, Ozcan did not rule out the possibility. “Over the last decade microfluidics has created a versatile platform that has significantly advanced the ways in which microscale organisms and objects are controlled, processed and investigated, by improving the cost, compactness and throughput aspects of analysis. Microfluidics has also expanded into optics to create reconfigurable and flexible optical devices such as reconfigurable lenses, lasers, waveguides, switches, and on-chip microscopes.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ( — The power and resolution of lens-based optical microscopes have improved by orders of magnitude since their invention around 1595. Nevertheless, relying on a high-magnification lens for image clarity has limitations that become more relevant as larger and larger sample volumes need to be viewed. Moreover, achieving these advances in lens-based optical microscopy has increased their size and complexity. At the same time, microfluidic systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated while decreasing in size, creating a need for miniaturized optical microscopy that can be integrated onto a lab-on-a-chip to allow simultaneous analysis and imaging of small biological samples. (A1) A single, low-resolution (LR) hologram obtained by vertical illumination of 10μm beads in a chamber. (A2) Zoomed region from the LR hologram, showing the aliasing effect due to undersampling of high-frequency interference fringes. (B1) A digitally synthesized pixel superresolved (SR) hologram using multiple subpixel shifted LR holograms. (B2) Zoomed region from the SR hologram, showing the digitally recovered high-frequency fringes. The inset shows the profile along the dashed line on the SR hologram, where an interference fringe with 2.8μm period is recovered with high SNR, which is normally undersampled by the detector with a physical pixel size of 2.2μm. (c) PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1015638108 Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Optical microscope without lenses produces high-resolution 3-D images on a chip Enter Prof. Aydogan Ozcan, associate professor of electrical engineering at UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. Ozcan and his team – notably lead researchers Serhan Isikman and Dr. Waheb Bishara – have created a lens-free chip and image processing algorithm that utilizes optical sensors, holography and digital tomography combination to render high-resolution, high-contrast images while avoiding the limitations of standard lens-based optical microscopy. “The sensor,” Ozcan notes, “is an inexpensive five megapixel CMOS chip, 5MP with a 2.2 micrometer pixel size. It’s almost the same sensor that we have at the back of a Blackberry or iPhone, except that it’s monochrome rather than RGB.”One of the biggest challenges facing the team was reducing noise artifacts resulting from spatial and temporal coherence due to illuminating the sample with lasers – especially at oblique angles. This coherence-induced noise appears as speckling patterns that obscure images of the actual sample structure. The team addressed the issue by replacing laser illumination with partially-coherent light that emanates from a large aperture of ~0.05-0.1mm diameter with a bandwidth of 1-10 nm, finding that recording in-line holograms using partial coherence provided a gating function which allowed the device to filter noise beyond a defined resolution level. Using partially-coherent light provided a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) that dramatically improved clarity and legibility of fine structural details. Moreover, the team developed a sample illumination approach that rotates the partially-coherent light source around the sample, rather than requiring the sample platform to be rotated within the illumination field, which is rather inconvenient to achieve practically, especially for large sample volumes. Ozcan comments that, of the many innovations in this lens-free optical tomographic microscope, three are key: partially-coherent illumination with unit-magnification; pixel superresolution to achieve deeply subpixel lateral resolution; and dual-axis tomographic illumination. In their setup, dual-axis illumination is achieved by rotating the light source using a motorized stage; alignment is not sensitive and robustness is maintained. At every illumination angle, a series of subpixel shifted holograms are recorded for implementing pixel superresolution, such that submicron lateral resolution can be achieved even under unit fringe-magnification. “The chip uses dual-axis illumination to mitigate our limited angles of illumination such that a decent axial resolution can be achieved. The spatial frequencies that are collected from each axis is merged together to fill in some gaps in the 3D Fourier spectra of our objects. Moreover,” he adds, “this is the first time that dual-axis illumination has been applied in optical computed tomography schemes.” Explore further More information: — The Ozcan Research Group at UCLA– Lens-free optical tomographic microscope with a large imaging volume on a chip, PNAS Published online before print April 19, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015638108– Holographic Opto-Fluidic Microscopy, PubMed, doi: 10.1364/OE.18.027499 — Optical microscope without lenses produces high-resolution 3-D images on a chip … gh-resolution-d.html Citation: Through a Sensor, Holographically (2011, April 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Tax revenues grow by 11 percent in first quarter

first_imgNo related posts. Revenue generated primarily by fuel, corporations and tobacco taxes increased Costa Rican tax revenues by 11.4 percent during the first three months of this year, the Finance Ministry reported on Monday.Despite the increase, the country’s deficit also was maintained during the first quarter, “because the government in 2013 has invested more in infrastructure,” according to the report.State spending also grew by nearly 11 percent, so that the fiscal deficit for the first quarter of this year remains at 1.4 percent of gross domestic product.The report also indicates that the Finance Ministry has stepped up efforts to prevent smuggling, after increasing Fiscal Police personnel by 25 new officers.In 2012, the Fiscal Police seized ​​the country’s largest shipments of electronics, with 18,000 products seized, most of them TV sets. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Noble Jets a premiere 
private air charter servic

first_imgNoble Jets, a premiere 
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Joshua Just, COO of Noble Jets, said “Our Noble Jets Card is easy to
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Simplicity is the driving factor behind the creation of the Noble Jets 
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Rare and innovative surgery on patients jawbone successful health ministry says

first_imgBy Evie AndreouHealth Minister, Constantinos Ioannou on Friday congratulated state medical staff and services of his ministry for carrying out a rare innovative implant surgery on a patient’s jawbone.The surgery involved the replacement of a patient’s temporomandibular joint (TMJ) with an artificial, custom-made implant. The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge, connecting the jawbone to the skull.The case concerned a patient who was experiencing difficulty in chewing, pain and eventually immobilisation of one of his TMJs following chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer a few years ago.The surgery, which the health ministry described as “innovative”, took place last week when a team of Cypriot doctors from the Nicosia general hospital’s clinic of Maxillofacial Surgery, under the guidance of the clinic’s head, Dr Georgios Pantelas, successfully replaced the patient’s TMJ with an artificial implant.“In order to carry out the surgery, the Maxillofacial Surgery clinic had continuous communication for more than two months with a specialised centre abroad, where it was extensively studied and pre-operative planning and preparation took place,” the ministry said in a written statement.The centre abroad that makes TMJ implants, in full cooperation and coordination with the Cypriot medical team, the ministry said, prepared a custom-made three-dimensional artificial joint for the patient.Pantelas told the Cyprus Mail that such operations were not that common and that this was the first time such an operation took place in a state hospital in Cyprus.What was remarkable in this case, he said, was that the patient did not have to go abroad, as, the Cypriot team sent the centre in question a CT scan of the patient and they custom made the implant with the use of technology.Following this successful cooperation with the centre abroad, more operations like these could take place in state hospitals, he said. “There is experience, infrastructure and equipment,”  Pantelas said.The health ministry said that this “radical intervention highlights the excellent level of health services provided by doctors in public hospitals.”You May LikeSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Polemidia mayor launches disciplinary probe after traffic ticket debacle

first_imgPolemidia mayor Nikos Anastasiou has ordered a disciplinary investigation into municipal secretary Giannaki Kallikas and a municipal traffic warden.According to daily Politis, Kallikas was fined €85 by the traffic warden on August 22 last year after his service vehicle was found parked illegally on the pavement of the Evangelistria main road.The municipal secretary refused to pay the fine, and after the 30-day deadline a court order was issued asking Kallikas to appear before court on January 9.As municipal secretary, Kallikas oversees municipal workers and traffic police, and signs off on indictments.Upon refusing to sign his own indictment to appear before court, the court order was signed by mayor Anastasiou.According to Politis, while the municipality seemingly took its own secretary to court, it refrained from appointing a lawyer to defend Kallikas. The traffic warden took matters into his own hands and appointed a lawyer without informing the municipality.In court, Kallikas claimed the appointed lawyer was incompetent to represent the municipality.Ultimately the case was dropped and Kallikas was acquitted.Mayor Anastasiou said that there are no regulations in Polemidia to deal with traffic offences by the municipality.Several municipal councillors criticised Anastasiou, accusing him of tolerating unacceptable behaviour by municipal employees, which has led him to launch a disciplinary investigation.While the municipal council approved new regulations to cover such incidences in May 2018, Anastasiou said these had not yet been published in the Official Gazette of the Republic.As such, the old regulations, which date back to when Polemidia had a community authority, are in effect.Akel municipal secretary Andreas Tsipis told Politis that the issue of the municipality’s dysfunctionality has been tabled multiple times but has yet to be discussed due to obstacles set by the mayor.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more