Studies suggest new Canadians dont know how to swim compared to those

first_imgMONTREAL – The recent drowning of an eight-year-old Syrian refugee in Quebec is highlighting the findings of two studies which indicate new arrivals in the country are more at risk of drowning than people born in Canada.The girl died Sunday after falling into the Magog River in Sherbrooke, east of Montreal.Local Muslim officials say her family had only moved to the town about two years ago.A 2010 study done for the Lifesaving Society concluded that new Canadians — particularly those who have lived in the country for less than five years — are at a higher risk of drowning than people born here.A 2016 study focused on children between the ages 11 and 14 who are new to Canada. It concluded they are five times more unlikely to be able to swim than their Canadian-born classmates.Research shows new Canadians face a number of challenges when it comes to learning how to swim. They include cultural and religious challenges as well as time constraints and day-to-day life struggles.last_img read more

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Halifax man charged in sex trade worker murder

first_imgAPTN National NewsA man with a history of violence against sex trade workers in the Halifax area has now been charged with murder.Steven Elliot Laffin, 36, has been charged with second degree murder in the death of Nadine Taylor, who had been working as a prostitute before she disappeared this summer.News of the charges came amid a report that another prostitute had been murdered in the city.APTN National News reporter James Hopkin has this story.last_img

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California jury orders Chevron to pay 21M for cancer claims

SAN FRANCISCO — A Northern California jury ordered Chevron Corp. to pay the families of two brothers who died of cancer a combined $21.4 million after concluding the company failed to properly warn the men about the dangers of a toxic solvent they worked with at a company-owned tire factory.The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Contra Costa County jury’s verdict Friday came after three days of deliberations and four weeks of trial.The jury concluded that the solvent benzene caused the cancers that killed brothers Gary Eaves and Randy Eaves. The brothers worked at a tire manufacturer in Arkansas owned by Unocal for decades. San Ramon, California-based Chevron purchased Unocal in 2005. Both brothers at times worked as a “spray booth operator” responsible for spraying the solvent on tires. Gary also hauled tires coated in benzene.Gary died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015 at age 61. Randy died of leukemia in 2018, also at age 61.The families’ lawyer Mary Alexander argued that none of the plant workers wore respirators or protective clothing while working with the solvent. Alexander also argued that workers were never advised to handle benzene inside of a ventilation booth.The families of the men filed their wrongful death lawsuit in the San Francisco suburb of Contra Costa County where Chevron is based.Chevron said it is mulling its next legal step.“We do not believe that Unocal had any role in the claimed injuries and we are evaluating the jury’s decision and the court’s rulings in this matter,” the company said in a statement.___Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.comThe Associated Press read more

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UN unveils new website promoting peace through sport

19 February 2010The United Nations today lifted the curtain on a new website showcasing the transformative power of sport in furthering peace and creating positive social change around the world. The power of sport is increasingly being recognized as a low-cost and high-impact means to promote humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts, as well as to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight economic and social targets with a 2015 deadline, according to the world body.Cooperation is a fundamental component of sport, which stands for human values such as respect, acceptance of rules, teamwork and fairness, all principles laid out in the UN Charter. In 1978, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) labelled sport and physical education as a “fundamental right for all.”The new website showcases the UN’s efforts to harness the power of sport to promote its ideals, including the age-old Olympic Truce called for before the start of this year’s Vancouver Games, urging warring parties to lay down their arms as the Games’ ancient Greek founders did some 2,700 years ago.Wilfried Lemke, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, said today that the new site is “a great step towards greater coordination, knowledge-sharing and partnerships,” in both the UN and beyond.The world body has long championed the potential of support to achieve its objectives, and “it is now time to further strengthen this momentum and make sure that we all speak the same language – the language of sport and play,” he stressed. read more

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General Assembly President and South African leader discuss Security Council reform

21 July 2011Security Council reform and the ongoing fighting and humanitarian suffering in Libya topped the agenda today during a meeting between General Assembly President Joseph Deiss and South African President Jacob Zuma. Mr. Deiss briefed Mr. Zuma on his intention to set up a Group of Friends to exchange views about Council reform in an informal setting, a spokesperson for the Assembly President said in a press statement. On Monday, Mr. Deiss told a conference in Mexico that UN Member States should enter genuine negotiations on reforming the size and membership of the Council and urged them to show flexibility. He said success in reforming the 15-member Council – which currently has five permanent and 10 non-permanent members – would help make the body more representative of the new world order.Mr. Deiss and Mr. Zuma also discussed the situation in Libya, the implementation of Security Council resolution 1973 and the roadmap of the African Union (AU) for a political solution to the conflict, the spokesperson said. International forces in Libya operate under Security Council resolution 1973, adopted in March, which authorizes States to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians amid the Government’s crackdown against its own people. read more

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TSX adds to losses amid Fed tapering concerns

The Toronto stock market was lower for a second day as a U.S. budget deal and a solid retail sales report fuelled expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could start cutting back on its monetary stimulus program as early as next week.Further drops in mining stocks heped push the S&P/TSX composite index down 51.65 points to 13,081.77 after tumbling 191 points.The Canadian dollar declined 0.35 of a cent to 94.05 cents US as a stronger than expected retail sales report boosted the greenback.U.S. indexes also fell after the Commerce Department said that retail sales rose 0.7 per cent in November, the biggest gain in five months and a better showing than the 0.6 per cent rise that economists had expected. October’s figure was also revised higher to 0.6 per cent from 0.4 per cent.The Dow Jones industrials were down 90.19 points to 15,753.34, the Nasdaq fell 5.22 points to 3,998.59 and the S&P 500 index gave back 5.63 points to 1,776.59.A budget deal in the U.S. Congress raised concerns that the Fed is set to start tapering its US$85 billion of monthly bond purchases.Analysts believe the prospect of a shutdown over budget wrangling, along with difficulties in extending the debt ceiling, helped persuade the Fed to postpone tapering in September. The 16-day shutdown in October crimped economic growth and hurt consumer confidence.The prospect of Fed tapering has hung over markets since May when outgoing Fed chairman Ben Bernanke first raised the prospect of cutting back on asset purchases, if economic conditions allowed.Those bond purchases have kept long-term rates low, persuaded investors to put their money in the stock market and supported a strong rally on many markets this year.Fed tapering concerns also continued to punish bullion prices as February gold fell $31.90 to US$1,225.30 an ounce.Bullion prices have also been depressed amid low inflation in many countries and an improving global economy, falling about 25 per cent this year. Gold stocks have done much worse, with the TSX Global Gold sector down about 50 per cent for the year.That sector was down a further 2.3 per cent Thursday morning with Kinross Gold (TSX:K) down five cents to C$4.80.Iamgold Corp. (TSX:IMG) said that it is suspending its dividend effective immediately, citing the need to preserve cash in the face of falling prices for bullion and its stock fell 31 cents or 7.6 per cent to $3.76.The base metals sector lost 1.8 per cent while March copper was unchanged at US$3.29 a pound. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) fell 48 cents to $24.19.The interest-rate sensitive utilities sector was also a major source of weakness, down 2.3 per cent. The sector has been weakening for months as Fed tapering talk has pushed bond yields higher. On Thursday, the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yielded 2.85 per cent, up sharply from about 1.6 per cent at the end of April.Canadian utility Fortis is buying power provider UNS Energy Corp. for $2.5 billion, expanding its business into Arizona. Fortis will also assume $1.8 billion in debt. UNS Energy, which is headquartered in Tucson, Ariz., provides electricity and natural gas services to more than 650,000 customers in the state through its two subsidiaries. Fortis shares fell $1.53 to $29.66.Financials were also weak with Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) down 41 cents to $62.77.The energy sector was up 0.3 per cent as January crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 25 cents to US$97.69 a barrel.In other corporate news, shares in yoga clothing retailer Lululemon Athletica (Nasdaq:LULU) fell 10.6 per cent to US$61.11 in New York after the Vancouver-based company beat estimates for profit and revenue but it said it expects flat same store sales in the crucial fourth quarter.Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) is buying 61 Boeing 737s as it replaces its older Airbus and Embraer narrow body aircraft. The deal has a face value of about US$6.5 billion. Air Canada says it could expand the order to as many as 109 of Boeing’s 737 MAX planes as it replaces its older Airbus and Embraer narrow body aircraft. Air Canada stock slipped four cents to $7.64.American Airlines has signed a firm deal to purchase 30 of Bombardier’s (TSX:BBD.B) CRJ900 NextGen aircraft and options for 40 more planes. The value of the contract is about US$1.42 billion at list prices but could rise to US$3.38 billion if the options are converted into firm orders. Bombardier was off four cents to $7.64. read more

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International Day of Peacekeepers observed in Geneva

“We pay tribute their courage in hazardous and complex circumstances, and we salute their dedication to the values and principles of the United Nations,” the Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, Sergei Ordzhonikidze, said. At the solemn gathering, members of the diplomatic community, UN staff members and peacekeepers as well as their family members observed a minute of silence for the more than 2,200 men and women who have given their lives in the service of the United Nations and its ideals since the first peacekeeping operation was established in 1948. During the discussions that followed, participants spoke of the countless risks involved in serving in some of the world’s most dangerous conflicts for the cause of peace and in the service of humanity. Mr. Ordzhonikidze recalled that 2005 witnessed the deaths of more peacekeepers in the service of peace than in any other year in the past decade; a year in which 124 peacekeepers, both military and civilian, from 46 countries lost their lives to violence, disease and accidents. The observance was also an occasion to reflect on the nature of the current peacekeeping challenges and the need to address them effectively amid growing demands for United Nations peacekeeping. Listed among these challenges was the struggle to get some of the world’s most capable military forces more engaged in UN peacekeeping efforts. Participating in the round table discussion was Ambassador Toufiq Ali, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Office at Geneva, whose country is currently the largest contributor to UN peace operations, with over 10,000 military and police personnel serving in 11 of the 18 current missions. “The success of peacekeeping operations hinged upon the image, credibility and integrity of peacekeepers and the operations themselves,” he said. General Pierre Le Peillet, a former blue helmet who served in the UN mission in the Suez Canal, spoke of how peacekeeping operations have evolved since its early days, highlighting the increased number of intra-State conflicts and the more complex nature of today’s operations. Representing the academic community, Daniel Warner of the Geneva Institute of International Studies stressed the key central role peacekeeping plays throughout the world. “Peacekeeping is one of the most visible activities of the United Nations and goes to the heart of its ideals,” he said. Laurent Attar-Bayrou, the President of the Soldiers of Peace International Association, one of the co-organizers of the event, said the Day was an opportunity to spotlight the “tireless” approach of the UN in working for peace and security. Underlining the vital role peacekeepers have been making since the inception of UN peacekeeping nearly 60 years ago, he said “peacekeepers should be recognized for their true value and for their own unswerving support.” Mr. Attar-Bayrou said it was of utmost importance to improve training and selection procedures for peacekeepers and called on the international community to support the establishment of regional peacekeeping training centres. read more

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Israeli and Palestinian leaders must move beyond words and take concrete action

“The status quo is unsustainable, both politically and economically,” the Secretary-General said in a message delivered on his behalf by the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Carlos Lopes, to the United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine, which began today in Addis Ababa. “There is an urgent need for a concerted push for peace this year if we are to salvage the two-State solution, he said. The two-day meeting, organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, is on the theme “African solidarity with the Palestinian people for the achievement of its inalienable rights, including the sovereignty and independence of the State of Palestine”.In is message, the Secretary-General said that the accomplishments of the Palestinian State-building programme and donor funding will be difficult to maintain in the absence of concrete progress on the political track. Again emphasizing the belief that 2013 would be a critical year for the peace process, he outlined his five priorities: collective international engagement, meaningful negotiations, stability in Gaza, Palestinian reconciliation, and preventing the financial collapse of the Palestinian Authority. “These goals are interdependent and mutually reinforcing,” he said.“A window of opportunity for renewed international engagement has opened following the visit of President Obama to the region. I am also encouraged by the subsequent visits by Secretary of State John Kerry,” he said. In his recent meeting with President Obama, Secretary-General Ban reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to support any serious initiative that presents a credible political horizon, including multilaterally, through the diplomatic Quartet and key regional partners. “Now is the time for concerted action,” he said. He said that the decision by the United States to restore aid to the Palestinians was highly welcome, as was the decision of the Israeli Government to resume the monthly transfers of clearance revenues. “I call on donors, especially those from the region, to accelerate the provision of timely and predictable assistance to stabilize the finances of the Palestinian Authority.” Meanwhile, he stressed the crucial need to defuse tensions on the ground and to preserve the calm. The Secretary-General was concerned by renewed violence, particularly over the situation of Palestinian prisoners and violations of the November 2012 Gaza ceasefire. Israel’s decision to close key crossings in Gaza had only exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation, he said, urging the parties to refrain from actions and rhetoric that aggravated tensions and diminished the prospects for negotiations, “which remain the only way towards the two-State solution.”Recognizing the importance of the prisoners’ issue, he said that prisoner deaths should be promptly investigated by an independent authority. “A solution must be urgently found for the long-term hunger strikers,” he said, adding that administrative detainees should be charged and face trial, or released without delay. Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest and act with restraint, and protests should be kept non-violent.He said that the United Nations would continue its efforts to solidify the Gaza ceasefire and he condemned the indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza. At the same time, Gaza borders should be fully opened for the legitimate movement of people and goods. That was especially important given the humanitarian situation, he said, with much of Gaza’s population relying on assistance from the UN and its partners, and given the major investments required for Gaza’s water resources and other critical development needs.“I am deeply troubled by Israel’s continued settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, all of which is illegal under international law,” the Secretary-General said, emphasizing that those actions constitute ever-greater impediments to peace and must not be allowed to prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations. At the same time, Israel’s legitimate security concerns must be recognized and addressed, especially on the issue of arms smuggling and rocket fire. read more

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UK beachgoers defend woman in burkini prank video

first_imgA viral video has captured how UK beachgoers reacted to a woman being told to remove her burkini in a staged encounter.YouTube channel Trollstation got two actors, one dressed in the body-covering swimsuit and another as a police officer, to argue over removing the  full length swimming costume on a beach in Southend.They secretly filmed the encounter in what they called a ‘social experiment’ and the video has received more than 160,000 views in 48 hours. As the argument gets more heated and more people surround the pair, the woman admits: “We’re actors. We need to raise awareness about this issue.”The burkini ban has been ruled illegal in France – prompting right-wing backlash and vow from towns to ignore it.Last week, protestors against the controversial burkini ban staged a “wear what you want” beach party outside the French embassy in London. 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. burkini bancenter_img YouTube pranksters Trollstation looked at how UK beachgoers would react to the burkini banCredit:YouTube / Trollstation “You’re not allowed to wear this it at the beach. It’s banned,” the man dressed as a police officer says in the video.The woman pretends to respond angrily: “I’m not going to take anything off. I’m allowed to wear whatever I want.“How am I any different to anyone else? This is racial profiling.“You can’t say this to me. I don’t feel oppressed at all.”A member of the public then defends the woman, telling the male actor: “You can’t do that…She’s obviously a Muslim. Do not discriminate against her religion. You can’t do that.”last_img read more

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Skype to Disgruntled Nokia Employees Please Apply

first_imgNokia just can’t catch a break. Just last week, over a thousand Nokia developers walked off the job in protest over their company’s new partnership with Microsoft to bring Windows Phone 7 to Nokia’s mobile devices. Google’s response was less than subtle: “we’re hiring, come on over!” Now Skype is joining the chorus as well. Skype’s CEO, Tony Bates, said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week that “There is going to be tremendous talent out there,” and that “Our primary engineering focus just so happens to be somewhere between Finland, Estonia and Stockholm, so you can imagine that’s a great opportunity and we’re hiring.”Ouch. On the bright side, those Nokia engineers tasked with Symbian as their active project won’t have to look far to find new work. On the other hand, Nokia likely won’t be winning any “best places to work” awards in the immediate future, given the employee outrage. [via Reuters]last_img read more

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Artist spends 3 years on art installation made of 300 dead computers

first_imgDid you ever wonder what happens to all those old computer parts you’ve thrown away? Most of them probably end up in a landfill, but for Polish artist Marek Tomasik, the parts are recycled to create another world. Tomasik created an room-scale art installation completely out of recycled computer parts and wooden pallets.AdChoices广告The room, which is 16.4-feet wide, 13.1-feet long, and 14.8-feet tall, is located in a historical castle in Świecie, Poland. There are a few videos of Tomasik talking about the installation, but unfortunately, they’re all in Polish without English subtitles. What we do know is that Tomasik is a graphic artist, a sculptor, and “a space-time continuum compositor and a street actor.”The installation, entitled, “You Sometimes Have to Be Open,” was in the works for almost three years. Most of us can’t make it to Poland to see the exhibit in person, but Tomasik has created an interactive 3D panorama of the installation that’s viewable online. Beware, though, there’s some pretty jarring music playing on the 3D site which we weren’t able to figure out how to turn off besides pressing the mute button on our computer.It really is an impressive piece of work. You can see the sky in the background, as well as bricks behind other parts of it. Tomasik used parts from around 300 computers. Though it seems like a bunch of random parts pieced together to make the room, Tomasik told the Polish site Gazeta that there is no randomness in the piece. He planned everything out. Some visitors have mixed feelings about the piece, especially concerning its location. Many of the older people question if the historic castle is the best place for an art installation made up of recycled computer parts, whereas the younger crowd most likely finds it to be pretty cool.Read more at Gazetta Pormorska, via Recyclartlast_img read more

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Simeone is aware of Borussia Dortmunds threat

first_imgAtletico manager Diego Simeone, analyzed the complications that Borussia Dortmund could bring his players on Wednesday.There is already a lot of expectation for this match between Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park, manager Diego Simeone made his personal analysis about the upcoming match and what kind of complications his players will find against this young German squad.The Argentine manager has been studying the German squad, one that has surprised all of Europe with their impressive level of performances and roster filled with young talented players.‘Cholo’ was questioned about Dortmund, he knows that this might be one of the most complicated matches of the season for the Colchoneros.“Their transitions on the attack are extremely good, their center-backs have great technique and their midfielders have high speed coming from the sides,” said Simeone to Diario AS.“We are going to try and maintain our same style of play, we mean to exploit our strengths and take the match to a place where we know we can hurt the opponent.”“We aim to play a great match, they are very strong right now and their supporters will make them even stronger.”Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“They are currently first place in the Bundesliga, Bayern was always on that position and our rival tomorrow is currently in its best form from some time until today.”“We have to play smart in order to know what kind of game we have to play against them.”“Diego Costa’s presence gives us a lot of physical strength, it also gives us confidence, it transmits a lot of character to the squad,” added Simeone about Diego Costa’s presence in the match against Dortmund.“He was inactive for some time but we will see if he starts the game or not. But I can tell you that we see him very lively and when he is like this, he usually motivates all the fans, his teammates and also the technical staff,” he concluded.📋 | SQUAD LIST🏧 Check out who @Simeone called up for #BVBAtleti! 👇#AúpaAtleti pic.twitter.com/8ZRXyuCtMQ— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) October 23, 2018last_img read more

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The World Soy Foundations Acre Challenge Update

first_imgHundreds of farmers from 30 states have accepted the Challenge and your state could be competing for the top spot! We’re over 80 percent of the way to our goal for the year—over $82,000 has been raised so far! By giving the value of an acre of soybeans today, you will not only join those farmers in helping reduce malnutrition through the power of soy and you help your state compete for the number one spot, you’ll be pushing us that much closer to our goal! The generosities of farmers like you have made a difference in six-year-old Anita’s future. Abandoned by her mother when she was a toddler, Anita began attending preschool when she was three, where she receives soymilk everyday as part of her breakfast.The WSF, the philanthropic arm of the American Soybean Association and the soy family, donated soybeans to seven local organizations that focus on providing better nutrition to children in need, just like Anita. We couldn’t have done that without the support of farmers like you. As farmers, you know that soybeans have the power to provide much needed protein to nourish the hungry—helping to reduce malnutrition and improve the chances of children like Anita reaching their full potential. Today, Anita lives with her dad, grandparents and uncle, and attends school full-time where she is thriving! By giving to the World Soy Foundation through the Acre Challenge, you can make a difference in the lives of other children like her.You can give to the Acre Challenge by simply calculating the value of an acre of soybeans (yield x price) and send your check to the WSF in that amount. To make donating even easier for you, click HERE to donate online. Your donation means so much! Stay connected! Visit us on our website, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.The World Soy Foundation is a 501c3 charitable organization. Your gift is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.last_img read more

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What Amazons Alexa will tell us in 2019

first_img 15 ‘Hey Google’ was posted far and wide at CES 2019 Amazon Alexa doubles down on cars at CES 2019 in Las… reading • What Amazon’s Alexa will tell us in 2019 Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 See All • Apple Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Worldwide, Alexa is in about 51 million smart speakers, while Google is in about 24 million, according to IHS Markit. But thanks to the global popularity of Google’s Android operating system, Google is expected to overtake Amazon by 2023, according to researchers at both Canalys and IHS Markit. Granted, four years is a very long time in the tech industry, so a lot could happen before then.”It’s just a matter of time,” said Blake Kozak, an IHS Markit smart home analyst.As Amazon fights to remain the market leader, its push to bring Alexa to even more products may start to become a liability.”Alexa, in a way has almost been too successful,” Narcotta, from Strategy Analytics, said. “Go on Amazon and search for smart light bulbs. You’re completely overwhelmed.”To ease more people into the Alexa world, he suggested Amazon create more gadgets with Alexa built in to bring the voice assistant to more parts of the home. The company should also develop more products that are dead simple to set up at home, getting rid of a major headache for smart home devices, he said. Amazon introduced Wi-Fi Simple Setup in September to alleviate this issue, but the feature is just getting started.Bring out your devs Amazon’s work to draw in more Alexa acolytes continued this week in Chattanooga, Tennessee, far from the bright lights of Las Vegas. That’s where Paul Cutsinger, an Alexa exec who works with developers to design new skills, spoke to about 150 voice enthusiasts at the VoiceFirst.fm Alexa Conference.img-0616Amazon’s Paul Cutsinger at the Chattanooga conference. Ry Crist/CNET His job: Help them help Alexa. Amazon, after all, has created thousands of places for Alexa to live, but those devices aren’t worth much without useful software from independent developers.”I really believe it’s the indies of the world who make things happen,” he told the crowd. “They make it happen in music, they make it happen in movies, they make it happen on mobile.”This year, he added, Amazon will begin to offer Alexa developer certification courses, complete with an exam. Those who pass get the developer equivalent of a blue “verified” checkmark on their CV.One recurring theme in Chattanooga came from speakers in health care, gaming and storytelling with sights set on Alexa. All of them see voice as a legitimate new platform, and all of them want in.”We’re going to constantly push back the frontier as we see it,” said Nolan Bushnell, who founded Atari and now makes interactive Alexa board games. “Look for new things, weird things.”Ken Sakal, CEO of health care startup Vohesu and a panelist at the conference, talked about developing an Alexa skill for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, who have a hard time using their fingers. “It first shows up in hands and feet, so spending time on a keyboard can be difficult,” Sakal said.”With patients with chronic diseases, a big challenge is depression,” he added. “That’s a use case that we’re actively working on.” A  fellow panelist from the Mayo Clinic, which offers an Alexa first-aid skill, nodded knowingly as he spoke. To fulfill that vision, Amazon will need to convince a lot more people they need Alexa, which dominates the smart speaker market worldwide. As of now, 32 percent of Americans own a smart speaker, which is massive growth from virtually zero just four years ago when Amazon’s Echo speaker and Alexa first launched. But it’s far from ubiquitous. And as Alexa pushes deeper into the mainstream market, it may face resistance from customers who don’t want to talk to their machines, don’t see a point to voice assistants or don’t trust tech companies enough to plug in devices with always-on microphones.”There really isn’t a clear value proposition that jumps out,” said Jack Narcotta, a Strategy Analytics smart-home analyst, “that killer product that you just say, man I’ve got to have this.”Also, as CES showed, the competition is catching up to Amazon, with some analysts predicting Google will eventually steal its crown. Google, currently the No. 2 player in smart speakers, crammed its Assistant into a CVS-receipt-long list of new products at CES, including a KitchenAid smart display, a Gourmia multicooker and a Moen smart shower. All these new products, along with Google’s blanket advertising and over-the-top booth at CES, show how aggressive the search giant plans to be this year in shaking up the voice hierarchy. We’re going to constantly push back the frontier as we see it. Look for new things, weird things. Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, who now makes Alexa board games More CES voice-assistant stories Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: CES 2019 Smart Home Smart Speakers & Displays 1:13 One room over, restaurateur and Monkey Group President Mo Asgari pointed out that while most takeout and catering orders happen via mobile, people still prefer placing their orders with a phone call. That could turn into a new opportunity for Alexa, which can already take orders for Domino’s, Denny’s and Starbucks. Google is also working in this area, creating human-like bot called Duplex that can make appointments and reservations on your behalf.”People like to talk,” he told a room of developers as they typed away at their laptops. “They like to be very specific about their order.”Much of this potential has yet to materialize, but Amazon hopes that a well-motivated army of developers can make it happen.Back in Las Vegas, Amazon’s team there was hoping it, too, could encourage even more hardware makers to build stuff for Alexa, ensuring that the voice assistant keeps expanding rapidly this year. Amazon’s Daniel mentioned how Amazon came out with about a dozen new products last fall, but its Alexa partners came out with 100.”We’re at a tipping point,” she said.Ben Fox Rubin reporting from Las Vegas. Ry Crist reporting from Chattanooga.CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens. 18 Photos All the new Alexa products from CES 2019 All the new Google Assistant products from CES 2019 Who won CES 2019: Amazon or Google? At Amazon’s Alexa booth at CES 2019. Sarah Tew/CNET A motorcycle helmet? Yep, that works with Alexa. The Rachio 3 sprinkler controller? That, too. How about that guy over there playing a Roland keyboard? OK, we’ll be here all day if we keep this up.Amazon’s Alexa booth at last week’s CES tech show in Las Vegas emphasized one point to death: If electricity runs through it, it can work with the Alexa voice assistant. The centerpiece of the bathed-in-Alexa-blue booth was an Audi e-tron sedan beneath a giant circular billboard filled with voice commands, including “Alexa, how’s the traffic to the airport?” and “Alexa, buy air freshener for my car.”Just around the corner in the Sands Expo, in a far less flashy meeting room, Pete Thompson, vice president of Alexa Voice Service, outlined some of Amazon’s plans for the digital assistant in the new year, including making Alexa a default feature in new devices and appliances.”I think about the kid that walks up now to any screen and touches it because they just assume it’s a touchscreen,” he said. “They’re gonna walk up to devices and just start talking to them. And if it doesn’t respond, they’re gonna be like,  ‘What the heck? Is it broken?'” Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Tags Comments Samsung’s Bixby, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are much smaller players in the digital assistant battle, but they too could find targeted ways to steal Alexa’s customers.Amazon’s Thompson offered a positive spin on Google and other rivals’ push into voice.”It’s great to see all the energy and activity and investment from lots of companies,” he said. “It drives awareness with customers, it drives credibility, it drives the interest for people to learn more about it.”Alexa gets more assertive Along with working to make Alexa a constant presence, Miriam Daniel, vice president of Echo and Alexa devices, said Amazon this year plans to make the voice assistant more proactive and ambient.08-amazon-alexa-ces-2019At the Alexa booth, where the company showed off laptops, pet feeders and a bunch of other items that work with the voice assistant. Sarah Tew/CNET Hints of these efforts are already coming up. One example is Hunches, which gets Alexa to offer friendly reminders like suggesting you lock the door when you tell it “goodnight.” Another concept is Alexa Guard, which alerts you if it catches the sounds of breaking glass or a smoke alarm going off while you’re out of the house.”Alexa will be able to look at your patterns and suggest stuff for you,” she said, adding that the company tests these features first with beta customers to make sure they are concepts people will be comfortable with and actually want. “The ambient Alexa things will be things you authorize Alexa to do.”As Alexa continues to grow, it will need to digest more kinds of customer data, including location information. When asked about protecting all that data, Thompson said: “Data privacy and security have always been fundamental to Alexa. It’s not going to work if we don’t get those right.”Amazon used CES to tout its leadership in voice, saying there are now more than 28,000 smart home devices from more than 4,500 brands that work with Alexa. That’s up from over 20,000 and 3,500, since September. Also, more than 150 products now have Alexa built in, including headphones, thermostats, PCs, cars and light switches.Google said it’s also working on making its Assistant more conversational and said it expanded to 80 countries in 2018, up from 14 the year earlier.One area Thompson wasn’t as bullish about was creating an Alexa-enabled phone, despite rumors that crop up every now and then that the company will eventually build a second Fire Phone. The original, which came out in 2014, flopped within months. “I don’t know if it’ll be a big focus for us,” Thompson said. Instead, he said, Amazon is happy with its current Alexa phone app. Google Assistant Alexa Amazon Voice recognition Google Microsoft Samsung Applelast_img read more

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Quidditch Lands On Earth In A Houston Suburb

first_img X Share – / 10Editor’s note: This story was originally published on August 25, 2016Real-life Quidditch doesn’t need slick computer-generated effects.Picture a soccer field, but with a set of three vertical rings sticking out of the ground where the goal net would be. Two teams of six players are trying to score by tossing a Quaffle, which is a slightly deflated volleyball, through the other team’s rings. The other three balls –those are called Bludgers—look and function like dodge balls, meant to hit members of the opposing team.Now imagine all this going on while the team members run around on their broomsticks, which are really 3 ft. PVC pipes that they hold between their legs.“Quidditch is a mix of rugby, basketball, soccer, and dodgeball,” says Hank Dugie, founder of the League City Legends Quidditch team. The 26- year-old League City council member played a big role in bringing the North American annual Major League Quidditch Championship to his hometown this year.The full-contact sport began about eleven years ago at Middlebury College, a private liberal arts school in Vermont. Today, there are hundreds of colleges across the U.S. with Quidditch teams.“Before I even joined, I just thought, ‘Oh, these are a bunch of Harry Potter nerds playing a game,’” laughs Taylor Crawford, who plays on the New York Titans. He has a bandage on his left cheek covering ten stitches, the result of a rough game last week. “I didn’t try out or play it until someone told me, ‘It’s full contact, you’ll like it.’ I played football growing up, so I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll go to a practice.’”Not only is Quidditch full-contact, it’s also co-ed. Beth Cleaver is on the League City team. She’s always played sports, but five years ago, she found Quidditch.“I remember seeing YouTube videos about it when it was first starting and it looked silly,” Cleaver says. “But once I got out here, I got so hooked.”Eighteen minutes into every Quidditch game, the excitement steps up a notch. That’s when a new player dressed entirely in yellow suddenly appears on the field and starts running around. This is the Snitch. On the back of his shorts, a sock with a tennis ball inside is attached to the waist band by Velcro.  At this point, players from both sides try to grab the sock. When that happens, the game ends and whichever team has the highest score at that point wins.At Hometown Heroes Park in League City, the sun was broiling and the grass was soggy. That didn’t keep nearly 400 people from showing up last weekend to watch the Major League Quidditch championship. Some came from other states to support their teams. Ariel Heiblum even flew in from Mexico City.“I saw on Facebook that it was being held this weekend and I found a super-cheap plane ticket,” Heiblum says. “I have friends here from college that I could stay with. So, I’m here specifically for this.”Tyler Trudeau, 22, could be considered one of the Quidditch celebrities and is even on the cover of the league’s recent magazine. He came to compete, despite having to play on a sprained ankle.“I was a huge Harry Potter fan,” Trudeau says. “I’ve read all the books, I’ve seen all the movies and I love all the Quidditch scenes.  Harry Potter has brought me to Quidditch but Quidditch has kept me playing.”After two days of competing, it came down to a face-off between his team – the defending champions Boston Night Riders – and the Austin Outlaws. History repeated itself when Boston took first place again, beating Austin 150 to 120. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /03:42last_img read more

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Newseum to Honor Legendary Black Journalist With Statue

first_imgBy TRAMON LUCAS, Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — A pioneering Black, female journalist is being honored with a statue in the nation’s capital.A life-size sculpture of Alice Allison Dunnigan, the first African-American woman credentialed to cover the White House, will go on display next month at the Newseum, the nonprofit news museum in Washington.Alice Allison Dunnigan, the first Black woman White House Correspondent, here atop Capitol Hill. (Courtesy Photo/Georgia University Press)Dunnigan, a native of Russellville, Kentucky, became head of the Associated Negro Press’ Washington bureau in 1947. In 1948, she covered President Harry Truman’s whistle-stop campaign tour, the first Black, female journalist to do so.Dunnigan also was the first Black woman to obtain press credentials to cover Congress, the State Department and the Supreme Court. She died in 1983.The bronze sculpture of Dunnigan was created by Kentucky sculptor Amanda Matthews. It will be displayed at the Newseum from Sept. 21 until Dec. 16, then moved to Dunnigan’s hometown.last_img read more

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TMC carries out campaign across Bengal ahead of July 21

first_imgKolkata: With only six days to go for the Martyrs’ Day rally of Trinamool Congress, leaders and workers of the party carried out a massive campaign across the state on the last Sunday ahead of the programme.Trinamool Congress president Subrata Bakshi visited the venue in front of Victoria House at Esplanade on Sunday.Bakshi said: “It is the 25th year since the 13 people were shot dead during a procession in Kolkata in 1993. On the other hand, the Lok Sabha election is also forthcoming. In her address, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee will be stating the party’s roadmap in the present political scenario and will also give direction on the fight against the communal forces.” Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPIt may be recalled that the incident took place on July 21 in 1993, during the procession in demand of making voters’ identity card mandatory to cast votes. Bakshi further said: “It was due to the sacrifice of the 13 people and our fight that the Election Commission of India had made voters’ identity card mandatory to cast vote.”In both North and South Bengal districts, party leaders have taken out processions with a focus on the forth coming Martyrs’ Day mega rally in Kolkata. Also Read – 2 Group D staffers held for ‘assaulting’ minorsFirhad Hakim, senior Trinamool Congress leader, also headed a rally in support of Martyrs’ Day in ward number 82 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).Trinamool Congress supporters also carried out campaigns at some places to make people aware about the need of helmet while riding motorbikes. Lakhs of people will start pouring into the city in the next two to three days. The party workers from North Bengal will start reaching the city at least a day ahead of July 21.Senior leaders of the political party are also taking necessary steps so that people can reach the city and again go back to their homes without facing any inconvenience.The Kolkata Police are also taking necessary steps to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during the rally. The traffic police are also chalking out a plan for traffic management to ensure that the common people do not face any inconvenience.last_img read more

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Columbia capital to host major global events through 2017

first_imgInvest in Bogota recently announced that the city will host numerous key industry events in 2015 through 2017, further establishing Colombia and its capital as a world-class destination for business. Colombia ranks third among Latin American countries in hosting events, with Bogota being the main contributor, according to the most recent report from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).Sandra García, Bureau Director for Greater Bogota Convention said, “Our presence in these global events demonstrates the relevance countries in this region have undertaken. In particular Bogota has been ranked as one of the strongest options in the areas of tourism and investment by studies from prestigious firms such as IdN Intelligence, fDi Magazine, and AT Kearney rank.”Among the major events that the Colombian capital will host in 2015 is the Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology, scheduled for August 5 to 8. The event is estimated to attract 3,000 participants and approximate economic impact of USD 4,200,000. Bogota will also host the 5th United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) World Congress in 2016, a significant opportunity to demonstrate to the world that Bogota is a city with long-term strategic vision. Another meeting of great importance to Bogota and its surroundings is the Annual Meeting of Latin American Dermatologists, which is confirmed for May 25 to 29, 2017. The event is estimated to attract 3,500 participants and approximate economic impact of USD 5,250,000.last_img read more

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Palmer 33 is clearly not the quarterback he once

first_imgPalmer, 33, is clearly not the quarterback he once was. A Pro Bowl selection in 2005 and 2006, the former top pick is no longer considered to be elite.However, he threw for 4,018 yards with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season with the Raiders, and has completed better than 60 percent of his passes in eight out of nine NFL seasons. While Palmer may not be great — the Raiders would not be parting with him if he was — it’s tough to argue the idea that he’d be an upgrade over the team’s other options at the position. As of this very moment, the Arizona Cardinals’ stable of quarterbacks includes Drew Stanton, Brian Hoyer, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley.Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has said Stanton will be the starter if the team does not add another signal caller, and many mock drafts have the team looking at a different position at the top of the 2013 draft.So, in other words, if the Cards are to add another passer it will likely be via free agency, and it just so happens an enticing option is likely to hit the market. Interesting: now “highly unlikely” Carson Palmer will be willing to restructure his contract meaning OAK pays him $13 million or cuts him.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 25, 2013 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories last_img read more

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One of the sureties

One of the sureties, agriculture, Here are the other candidates that Donald Trump has interviewed over the past week: Joan Larsen Joan Larsen, (By the way, announced on an alarming cover that said: "Yes, It’s not a crime to drink in our society and it’s not a crime to have a gun, Larson said. large crowds come out for Women’s March the day after Pres.

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com. "The idea [of using BDNF] has been around. The Wire, they use “please. 2018 23:47:22 IST Comment 0 Tweet This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed. He and his fellow searchers tracked the caravan through the forest until they met an old man who told them that the militants would kill the girls if they approached the camp. Fla. read more

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