Can personal info be made public under RTI after 20 years CIC

first_imgNew Delhi: Can private information of officials held by the government be provided after 20 years as per the Right to Information statutes?The Central Information Commission (CIC) has decided to constitute a full-bench to adjudicate the crucial matter on a petition of a convict in the 2006 Mumbai train blast case. Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddiqui, who has been sentenced to death in the case, approached the Commission after his RTI application seeking a copy of UPSC forms and other records of 12 IPS officers listed by him, was rejected by the Union Home Ministry. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The ministry invoked privacy clause of the Right To Information (RTI) Act which exempts from disclosure personal information of an individual. Siddiqui, who has been claiming that he was wrongly framed in the blasts case, said the records sought by him are over 20 years old from the date of filing of his RTI application in 2018. He cited Section 6(3) of the RTI Act which says any information relating to any occurrence, event or matter which has taken place, occurred or happened 20 years before the date on which any request is made under Section 6 shall be provided to any person making a request under that section. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KHowever, this clause allowing disclosure is limited to three types of records under ‘exempted clause’ pertaining to–strategic importance and national interest, breach of privilege of Parliament or State Legislature, and cabinet papers including records of deliberations of Council of Ministers, secretaries and other officers. “Subject to the provisions of clauses (a), (c) and (i) of sub-section (1), any information relating to any occurrence, event or matter which has taken place, occurred or happened 20 years before the date on which any request is made under Section 6 shall be provided to any person making a request under that section,” it says. It further says where any question arises as to the date from which the said period of 20 years has to be computed, the decision of the Central Government shall be final, subject to the usual appeals provided for in this Act. The Home Ministry said the Supreme Court of India in plethora of cases has held that the ‘right to privacy’ is a constitutional right, and hence, this right cannot be overruled by any Act. “The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and perusing the records, observes that the issue before the Commission is as to whether by virtue of the provisions contained under sub-section (3) of Section 8 of the RTI Act, the personal information which is in the custody of a public authority is to be disclosed under RTI application after lapse of 20 years,” Chief Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava said. PTIlast_img read more

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We must resolve to safeguard fundamentals of Republic Yechury

first_imgNew Delhi: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday reminded the country of its diversity and the need to hold on to it while wishing the nation on its 73rd Independence Day.He said safeguarding the “fundamentals” of the country was essential.”We must never forget that all Indians are equal and free, irrespective of the language they speak, the food they eat, the clothes they wear, the person they marry, the god they pray to (or don’t) or the colour of their skin.”Happy Independence Day! We must resolve to safeguard the fundamentals of our Republic secular democracy, federalism and social justice,” he said.last_img read more

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Moroccan Jew Rescues 128 Girls Enslaved by ISIS

Rabat – A Moroccan Jew from Montreal has announced the release of over 128 Yazidi and Christian girls who were being held hostage for enslavement and sexual purposes by ISIS.Already dubbed as “Jewish Schindler,” Steve Maman, born in Casablanca and raised in Montreal, is following in the footsteps of Oskar Schnidler, who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.Maman has raised over $ 200,000 — $ 50,000 over one recent weekend alone — to pay for the release of the captives during the past year. The price of a child’s life to remove them from the hands of ISIS is between $1000 and $3000. Steve Maman was born in Casablanca, Morocco and raised in Montreal, Canada.Maman told the Catholic publication “The Tablet” that he has overseen the rescue of more than 120 Christian and Yazidi girls kidnapped by ISIS in northern Iraq.The rescued girls were escorted to a secure location in Northern Iraq where short-term shelter, food, and medical care was provided. Assistance was then offered to help them relocate and rebuild their lives.He said that ten more are expected to be liberated in the coming days.The rescue has been operated through Maman’s organization, The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq (CYCI).“CYCI is operated mainly by volunteers that are Sephardic Jews. As of recent we have a branch in Germany; CYCI Germany operates by three members, one Christian, one Yazidi and one Jewish and they are helping us a great deal,” the 42 year-old father of six said.In August of 2014, up to 7,000 Yazidi women and girls, some as young as 13, were taken into slavery by ISIS’ military. An unknown number of Christian women and girls were also kidnapped. CYCI estimates that around 2,700 are still being held by ISIS.“I, Steve Maman, will not stand idle in the face of such laxism. I am acting and I urge others who hear about my mission to join me and act. Donate to CYCI and share with everyone,” the Montreal based businessman announced.“We have lives to save. Every dollar means life. We need to raise enough awareness to save 3,000 girls from being brutally raped, beaten and underfed. They will be burned alive for not wanting to submit themselves to their captors’ sexual acts,” he concluded.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

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Ex-SNC-Lavalin CEO Neil Bruce says succession process began in 2018

MONTREAL — Neil Bruce, who stepped down abruptly as head of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. on Tuesday, says the process to replace him was in the works for at least six months.Bruce says in a LinkedIn post that the process started last year and notes that his interim replacement, Ian Edwards, was appointed operations chief in January, allowing a five-month handover period to groom the industry veteran.Bruce says his family moved backed to the United Kingdom after the winter holidays and that he was eager to join them.His departure this week capped off a near four-year stint marked by a 61-per-cent plunge in share price over the past 12 months and a political controversy tied to an ongoing corruption case.Despite a beefed-up backlog and successful acquisitions like the WS Atkins purchase in 2017, analysts say faith has waned in Bruce’s ability to make good on recent profit forecasts, avoid flops like SNC’s cancelled Chilean mine contract and make judgments like his partial sale of the 407 toll road.SNC-Lavalin’s reputation has taken a beating over fraud and corruption charges related to its work in Libya that preceded Bruce’s tenure. The firm has also been mired in a political controversy following accusations by former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould that top government officials pressured her to overrule federal prosecutors in the Libya case and negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement with the company.“To all employees you are in great hands,” Bruce wrote. “Ian knows the business well now and will do a great job, he is committed to our values of integrity safety innovation and collaboration so I wish you all well and much success in the coming months and years.”Companies in this story: (TSX:SNC) The Canadian Press read more

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Violence against Algerian women hidden because of social taboos – UN expert

Yakin Ertürk, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council on violence against women, issued a statement yesterday after completing a 10-day fact-finding visit to Algeria saying that the taboos “and the lack of a sufficient institutional response and support for victims of violence silence the victims and perpetuate the violence.”But she said the Government also deserved praise for achieving equal access for boys and girls to all levels of education “in little more than one generation,” with girls now numerically over-represented in secondary schools and universities.Professor Ertürk met with Government ministers, human rights officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) during her visit, as well as with many individual victims of violence.“Recent surveys reveal that violence against women is a major concern in Algeria in both the home and the public space,” she said, noting that many women also endure sexual harassment in their workplaces.The Rapporteur added that the issue “remains largely invisible. The social taboos around violence in the society and the lack of a sufficient institutional response and support for victims of violence silence the victims and perpetuate the violence.”Many women and girls are ejected from their family homes after suffering physical attacks by husbands or other relatives, forcing them to try to survive on the streets where they are often subjected to further violence.The situation is exacerbated by the problems hanging over from what Professor Ertürk called Algeria’s “black decade of violence” during its civil war in the 1990s, when there was “systematic and widespread rape and sexual enslavement of women.”But she welcomed a national charter of peace and reconciliation adopted in 2005, which excludes many of the most serious crimes such as rapes, collective massacres and bombings from a wider amnesty.She also described the recent criminalization of some forms of sexual harassment as “a positive first step” towards tackling the problem, and endorsed a draft national strategy to combat violence against women, which is yet to be adopted by the country’s Cabinet.If it is approved, the strategy “will mark a first step of a long process that requires close partnership between relevant ministries, the United Nations and non-governmental associations for women’s rights. Ultimately, the Government will have to be measured against the concrete measures it takes to combat violence and gender equality it is embedded in.”Professor Ertürk, who became the Special Rapporteur in 2003, is scheduled to present a full report on her Algerian visit to the Human Rights Council by the middle of the year. 1 February 2007An independent United Nations human rights expert has called on Algeria to take concrete measures against the gender inequality underlying violence against women, which she called a largely hidden problem because of the North African country’s social taboos around violence. read more

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Britains Curry King shows Myanmar refugees way to nutritious food at UN

“I believe that the tips and stories that I have shared will give women leaders the confidence to develop positive health behaviours in their homes and community,” star chef Tommy Miah said, thanking the UN World Food Programme (WFP) for organizing the event at Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar, eastern Bangladesh, home to some 11,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled neighbouring Myanmar.Mr. Miah, a British celebrity chef of Bangladeshi origin, involved women community leaders in the demonstration as he cooked mushroom fried rice, pumpkin and lentil soup, vegetable pakora, garlic mushrooms, spinach with potatoes and banana fritters – a dessert consisting of banana, sweet syrup and WFP’s fortified Wheat Soya Blend (WSB) formula.Looking at the tiny kitchens available to refugee women, he passed on tips on how to cook nutritious food with locally available cheap ingredients, while WFP field monitor Masing Newar explained the types of vitamins and minerals found in the foods and educated them on the causes and consequences of under-nutrition.“I have learnt that to retain the nutrition content of vegetables it’s better not to wash them after cutting [as I currently do] but they should be washed beforehand,” said Jahura, a 45-year-old mother with eight family members to cook for.Sobmeraj, a 35-year-old mother with seven family members to provide for, said she had never thought before that such a nutritious and tasty meal could be prepared with such limited and cheap items. “I realized that cleanliness and good presentation are important in enjoying our meals, and I believe they’re good for our health as well,” she added.WFP runs its programmes in the two refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in conjunction with a number of UN and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners.“Today’s experiences and demonstrations, if practised widely in the camp, can make needed changes at the community level, without disturbing traditions,” said Selina Akhter, Nutrition worker of Action Contre la Faim (ACF), a NGO providing a package of nutrition services including assisting mothers of undernourished children to grow vegetables in their homes. 30 December 2009Britain’s renowned “Curry King” has been giving poor refugee women in Bangladesh lessons on concocting nutritious dishes using United Nations food rations along with locally grown fruit and vegetables. read more

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Syrians fleeing Qusayr report harsh conditions along dangerous route – UN agency

Refugees describe Qusayr as a “ghost town, heavily damaged and rocked by warfare,” UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Melissa Fleming told journalists in Geneva.UNHCR has received reports that people are hiding in bunkers or holes dug as shelters. One lady said her family could not leave their hole for a week and had to live off the food they could bring with them, she said, adding that the agency could not verify the reports.“From the handful of interviews we have done so far, it appears that a new route for displaced people has opened up from the Qusayr area towards Arsal in Lebanon, about 100 kilometres away,” Ms. Fleming noted. She also said that some people flee to Lebanon while others are displaced internally to towns, including Rankous, Dahel, Qara, Flita and Nabek. The refugees – mostly women and children – said the difficult journey to the border has to be made by foot. “Fighters are said to be targeting people as they try to flee. No route out of Qusayr is considered safe, and there are continued reports of between 700 and 1,500 injured civilians being trapped in Qusayr,” Ms. Fleming said.“Those we have spoken to say it is unsafe to flee with men, who are at heightened risk of being arrested or killed at checkpoints along the way. None of the refugees was able or willing to identify those who are manning the checkpoints,” the spokesperson said.She noted that one woman had told UNHCR staff that people in Qusayr were faced with a stark choice, “You leave and risking being killed . . . or you stay and face a certainty of being killed.”The UN agency stressed that it does not have access to the city and the refugee accounts are hard to verify. “However, we share the concern of others over the serious humanitarian situation and the risks for the civilian population. It is imperative that people seeking a route out of Qusayr, and other unsafe locations, be allowed access to safe areas,” Ms. Fleming stressed. Over the weekend, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos and UN human rights head Navi Pillay called for the protection of civilians and urged that thousands of trapped residents be allowed to flee the city.“As preparations for an international conference on Syria intensify, he [Mr. Ban] reminds all parties to the conflict that the eyes of the world are upon them, and that they will be held accountable for any acts of atrocity carried out,” his spokesperson had said in a statement.Since March 2011, fighting between the Syrian Government and opposition forces seeking to oust President Bashar Al-Assad has killed more than 70,000 people, and left 6.8 million people in need. In addition, the UN estimates that some 1.5 million Syrians have fled their country to escape conflict. read more

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UK automotive vanguard of governments See Inside Manufacturing initiative

Young people across the UK will get a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of what it’s like to work in one of industry’s most dynamic and vibrant sectors this month, as automotive companies open their doors to students and graduates.From today, the automotive industry, which is pioneering government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing‘ initiative, will deliver a national programme of activities throughout October to inspire the next generation of budding engineers.The initiative, which was launched in March by Business Secretary, Vince Cable, aims to challenge perceptions that the UK has an outdated manufacturing sector and encourage more young people to take up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, in order to boost the UK’s skills base.Speaking on behalf of the automotive sector, Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The scope and scale of the UK’s automotive sector presents fantastic career and skills opportunities for young people. More than 700,000 people are employed across design, engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, aftermarket and retail sectors and UK engineers and executives are increasingly filling top jobs around the world. Despite challenging economic conditions, October’s activities demonstrate the opportunities available and industry’s commitment to attracting the brightest and best talent to the sector.”In total, over 20 automotive companies across the UK, including England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, will open their doors to graduates and school children, offering a range of hands-on activities, designed to highlight the career opportunities within one of the UK’s most diverse industries.“For too many young people the word manufacturing is a turn off,” said Business Secretary, Vince Cable. “A worrying poll out last week found that only one out of ten children aged 11 to 14 thought that engineering was an important job and even ranked being a politician as a better choice of career! We are determined to shake up old fashioned views of manufacturing and through government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ campaign and the overwhelming support from the automotive industry, we will give young people the chance to see the exciting face of modern manufacturing, which is highly skilled, high tech and highly paid.”Click through to visit the ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ website hub.Find out the activities that automotive companies, including Aston Martin, Bentley, Ford, GKN Driveline, Jaguar Land Rover, Leyland Trucks, Millbrook, MINI and Nissan are staging in October as part of the ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative.View all the latest photos from ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ events by clicking through the slideshow below.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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Tyre manufacturers begin biggest ever customer information campaign

This week, the tyre industry began to roll-out its largest ever customer information programme that will deliver crucial cost and safety information to the UK’s 44 million motorists.Tyre companies have begun the process of labelling each of the 35 million tyres sold each year in the UK. The labels will explain the fuel efficiency, safety and external noise level of every tyre on sale in car dealership aftersales departments and fast fit operations across the country.“There are more than 150 million tyres currently on UK roads, so any information to help motorists understand crucial safety and performance characteristics is valuable, particularly given the safety improvements and fuel efficiency savings that can be gained from choosing the right tyre,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “Before this tyre label, customers only had price and brand to distinguish between more than 300 different types of tyres; now motorists have a set of comparable factors to make buying decisions easier.”BBC report: Car tyres set to be labelled under new EU lawFrom 1 November it will become a legal requirement for tyre retailers to display the new label on all replacement tyres, but labels will start appearing in shops and dealerships from this week. Fuel efficiency (rolling resistance) and safety (wet grip) will be categorised using a seven grade ranking scale, similar to the new car CO2 or fridge efficiency labels.A top-ranked A-grade tyre could out-perform the lowest-ranked G-grade tyre by 30% for safety and 7.5% for fuel efficiency. This translates to a vehicle stopping three to four car lengths shorter from 50mph and a fuel cost saving of around £100 every year for the average motorist.Franchised dealers and garages subscribed to the OFT-backed Motor Codes garage scheme are briefed with the latest information to provide first-class advice to motorists on the new tyre labelling legislation. Visit vehicle manufacturer websites or www.motorcodes.co.uk to find your nearest dealership or tyre stockist.Tyre manufacturer Continental said, “Continental considers the tyre label to be a real breakthrough in providing standard performance data to motorists in the interest of improving road safety by providing information on wet grip, and for the environment with the classifications for noise and rolling resistance.“However, the EU label only shows three of more than 14 important tyre performance criteria. Tyre tests from magazines will continue to be the most comprehensive source of information for motorists because they provide complete and independent reports covering nearly all criteria for the most popular tyre sizes.”Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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Scouting Michigan State A look at the 2015 Spartans

Michigan State then-redshirt junior quarterback Connor Cook (18) during a game against OSU on Nov. 8, 2014 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe 10-game warmup for No. 3 Ohio State has come to an end.Now begins the most important, and difficult, two weeks of the regular season for the Buckeyes, starting with Michigan State on Saturday. The forthcoming game has been circled on the schedules of college football fans since the season began in August when both teams were ranked in the top five of the AP poll. Anticipation hit its peak during Weeks 4 and 5, as the Buckeyes and Spartans occupied the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the AP poll, respectively. The matchup began to lose some of its luster ever since, especially on Nov. 7 when the Spartans fell to Nebraska 39-38 on the road. Even though it is no longer a meeting of unbeatens, there is still a lot of hype about a game between two top-10 teams with major implications on who advances to the Big Ten Championship Game. Here is a look at the 2015 Spartans. Can Connor still cook? Redshirt senior quarterback Connor Cook is an integral part of Michigan State’s success, but unfortunately for coach Mark Dantonio and his team, there are questions surrounding Cook coming into Saturday’s contest. Cook did not play in the second half of the Spartans’ 24-7 win over Maryland because of an apparent shoulder injury. The Hinckley, Ohio, native took two major hits in the first quarter. On the second one, Cook was slow to get up and visibly favored his right shoulder. He stayed in the game but his arm strength was clearly diminished. The decision to trade his helmet for a headset in the second half was more a precautionary one, Cook said after the game. Both Dantonio and Cook downplayed concerns about the redshirt senior’s availability against OSU, but there is reason to wonder how effective he will be able to be. For a quarterback, an injury to the shoulder is about the worst place, besides maybe to the hand, to be ailing. It’s highly likely that Cook suits up — on Monday, multiple OSU players said they are preparing as if Cook will play — but questions of whether he can he still be the same guy who ranks 28th nationally in passing yards and has a 32-4 record as a starter are legitimate. Everything Michigan State does offensively revolves around Cook’s ability to distribute the football so efficiently. Cook has talent on the outside, namely senior wide receivers Macgarrett Kings Jr. and Aaron Burbridge, who have combined for well over half of the Spartans’ receiving yards, but if his arm isn’t able to deliver the football with the same zip to these players, the offense is vulnerable.The Spartans’ rushing attack has taken steps backward this season with the loss of Jeremy Langford to the NFL, as it ranks 92nd nationally. So, if Cook cannot be his normal self, meaning a larger reliance on the run game, the Spartans could struggle mightily to put up points against the vaunted OSU defense. Reviving the old recipe The old recipe for Spartan success was typical smash-mouth football: a strong run game to set up nothing more than an effective passing game, complemented by an imposing defense to win low-scoring affairs. This has worked incredibly well for Dantonio and Michigan State since he took the helm in 2007. However, the past two years have seen the program veer slightly away from this formula to a more wide-open offense spearheaded by Cook with really good, but not great, defenses — especially this season. The Spartans’ defense has not been the feared unit it has in the past yet this season. It can partly be attributed to injuries in the secondary, but even so, the defense’s performance against Maryland might be what it needed to regain its old mojo. The Spartans have held opponents below 20 points just twice: the Terrapins last week (24-7) and Central Michigan in Week 4 (30-10). However, the old, dominating defense re-emerged against Maryland. The Spartans, who are led by redshirt junior linebacker Riley Bullough, limited the Terrapins to 289 yards total offense, about 100 fewer than OSU allowed. They also forced five turnovers: three interceptions and two fumbles. The latter statistic — turnovers — will be an area where the Michigan State defense will need to repeat its success against OSU, especially because the Buckeyes have been slightly turnover prone this season. The Scarlet and Gray have turned the ball over in each of their past three games, including twice last week against Illinois. For Michigan State to have a real shot at upsetting OSU, the Spartans’ defense will need to be able to generate turnovers, and the offense will have to capitalize on the extra possessions. Beyond the BuckeyesFollowing Saturday’s tilt against OSU, Michigan State is scheduled to return to East Lansing, Michigan, for its final game of the regular season against Penn State. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. read more

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Rail firms must offer discount tickets for parttime workers campaigners say

Passenger groups have urged all rail companies to offer discount tickets for part-time workers after South Western Railway introduced a ten-ticket discount.As the way people work evolves, with more staff than ever opting to work remotely from home once or twice a week, many commuters say they feel ripped off.Campaigners have argued that it is unfair for a flexible, part-time or remote worker to pay for five days a week of rail travel when they only commute three or four times – especially considering the rising cost of transport.South Western Railway  has launched a discounted carnet ticket for those who travel regularly but not enough to benefit from a season ticket.Customers get a 5 per cent discount when buying 10 one-day tickets for use between the same origin and destination stations. Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, said: “Part time season tickets are something many of my constituents have been calling for. With flexible working and the ability to work from home, many now only travel two to three days a week to work by train.“However there are no options currently on the Southern Rail network for them to buy a part time season ticket. This would make a huge difference to the cost of commuting for thousands of passengers in Lewes.”The Campaign for Better Transport agreed, adding: “The way that companies sell season tickets hasn’t evolved with the way people work.”The government has recently announced a review into the railways, and many commuter groups have argued that ticketing needs to be made simpler and more affordable.Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “The rail ticketing system has failed to keep up with the changes in the way people work. With the growth in part-time working, and working from home, the rail industry needs to adapt its ticketing approach to make commuting by train more palatable and affordable for those not working full time.“Train companies need to ensure that their part-time ticketing options are meaningful and save passengers money compared to a 7-day season ticket or buying tickets each day.”A complete overhaul of fares and ticketing is long overdue – the Government’s recently announced root and branch review of the railways needs to make ticketing simpler, fairer and more affordable.” 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

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Over 120 AIB mortgage holders get long term solution under new initiative

first_imgUNDER A NEW initiative between the Irish Mortgage Holder Organisation and AIB, 122 distressed mortgage holders have been granted a long term sustainable solution.In November, AIB gave €150,000 to the IMHO towards the running of a new third-party body to advise distressed mortgage holders and to further engage with customers – particularly those that have not returned a standard financial statement (SFS).The results show that 22 AIB customers have had a portion of their mortgage debt written off by the bank. Follow ups on SFS and related documentation resulted in 263 proposals being sent to the bank to-date. The remainder are being assessed by IMHO.New initiativeSince its launch, 1011 mortgage holders received information packs containing an introductory letter explaining the core procedures for dealing with arrears, a plan of action for the borrower, a standard financial statement (SFS), a mortgage resolution guide, a link to an online video on how to complete a financial statement, an authorisation letter for IMHO to act on the borrower’s behalf, a pre-paid self-addressed envelope for return communications, and a check list.More that 441 of these recipients have gotten back in touch with the group and the IMHO is following up with the remainder.Additionally, 12 customers who had already been offered a mortgage solution by AIB prior to the AIB/IMHO initiative, approached IMHO for advice on the offers. Following a review these long term sustainable offers were accepted by the customer.“Given that the pilot scheme has been in operation for just 55 working days since the launch, this is a very significant result and confirms our contention that this free and independent service would be successful,” said David Hall, Director of IMHO.Good resultsHe added that they are very pleased that the scheme has worked so well and believe that this scheme is a template for a trusted third party to act on borrowers behalf to engage with banks to achieve long-term sustainable solutions for their mortgage challenges.“AIB Group has acted in good faith and worked assiduously with us to reach those sustainable solutions that are so necessary,” said Hall.According to Constantin Gurdgiev, Director of IMHO, said the pilot scheme offers significant help to distressed borrowers, increases their engagement with the lenders and delivers meaningful impact in terms of arrears resolution deals achieved. He added that it offers insights for Irish policymakers and regulators into how the process of engaging with distressed borrowers can be improved”.Head of the Financial Solutions Group at AIB, Brendan O’Connor said the initiative is “another way for customers to engage with the bank and the pilot has demonstrated the value for some consumers of having access to a trusted advisor who can provide them with practical and objective advice in their pursuit of a resolution to their mortgage difficulties”.Read: AIB and Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation to establish third-party advice body>Column: We hope to ease the enormous pressure placed on mortgage holders>last_img read more

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10 astonishing optical illusion GIFs

first_imgThe human brain is a remarkable living machine. It’s constantly processing sensory input and churning away on innumerable little tasks that make up your very being. Humans rely on having a big, powerful brain to solve problems and avoid danger. However, when we encounter a visual input that doesn’t make sense, our brain will do its best to fill in the gaps — it’s just not always right. The result is an optical illusion, and you can experience them from the safety of your internet connection. Click the gallery to see each one of the pics and then check out the full explanations of each animations below, without your browser being weighed down by all those hefty GIFs!The Phantom Green DotTo get this illusion to work, just stare at the center of the image. As the pink dots swirl around, the gap will quickly be replaced by a green dot. I can assure you there is no green in this GIF — try following the gap’s movement with your eyes. The green dot is gone, right? This is a result of how the eye perceives color, as described by the opponent process theory. The photoreceptor cells in the retina that see the magenta dots quickly become saturated and tire out, so you see an afterimage of the magenta dots. The weakened signal is interpreted by your brain as the opposite color, the antagonist of magenta, green.The Spinning DancerThis one will really mess you up. The spinning dancer illusion was designed in 2003 and has been melting brains ever since. The silhouette of the dancer lacks all depth cues, so your brain interprets the movement as either clockwise or counterclockwise. It seems most people get clockwise at first, though. Now look away or down at her foot. In a flash, the direction seems to have reversed. When you’re watching the rotation, whichever way it’s going seems like it must be the right one. How could it have ever been different? Then it changes again and your brain explodes with “whaaaaaaa?”Flashed Face DistortionThe flashed face distortion effect is likely related to the brain’s strong drive to spot and recognize faces. We want to differentiate between the two faces, but there isn’t enough time. When you look at the center of the image, your peripheral vision picks up on the presence of the faces, but your brain lacks the data to fully process them. What you get is a bizarre caricature of the real face. A person with a large nose appears to have a gigantic schnoz and someone with a slightly asymmetrical face looks like Quasimodo. Brains are weird.Motion-induced BlindnessThis GIF is interesting not only because things literally disappear from your vision, but because we don’t know exactly why it happens yet. Stare at the middle and the yellow dots blink out. Look to the side, and they come back. Science is still trying to nail down the exact cause, but there are several good hypotheses. It may be a case of your brain filling in the peripheral vision incorrectly because it is overwhelmed by the spinning motion. Alternatively, it could be an adaptive strategy to facilitate better perception of movement. Whatever causes it, it’s cool.Gathering For Gardner Dragon The human brain, as previously mentioned, is programmed to recognize faces. Even faces that don’t look entirely human can be favored in an ocean of stimuli. The GIF above shows how the Gathering For Gardner dragon (named after science writer Martin Gardner) seems to follow the viewer around the room. The brain sees the features of a face and processes it as a regular convex surface. It’s actually concave, but the brain can’t sort that out until you get around to the side.Illusory SquareThe phantom square connecting the four smaller dots is a result of illusory contours. The same effect happens with some static images, but it’s much more profound in this animation. It is believed illusory contours are generated in the V2 area of the visual cortex, which is responsible for processing complex shapes. It’s simply thrown off by the moving dots and the intersection of the larger dots with the square in the background. The result is that the smaller dots are perceived as the corners of a square.Floating CubeThis illusion packs in a few visual quirks to trick your brain into thinking the object is a floating 3D box. Your brain wants things to be regular three dimensional shapes, so the lines and surfaces in this concave box are processed as cube. That background also serves to make the shape seem like it has more depth, making the illusion more potent. The brain is really just taking a guess based on limited visual information.Inverted ColorThis is another example of opponent process theory causing a negative afterimage. The photoreceptors in your eye are being overwhelmed by the magenta and blue tones. When the image flips to the neutral grayscale version, the weakened signal from those photoreceptors causes the brain to interpret the image as having the opposite, or antagonist color from the magenta and blue channels. That means you see greens and yellows — an almost natural color image.Penrose TriangleThe Penrose triangle was popularized in the 1950s by mathematician Roger Penrose. You can follow the path of the ball around the triangle and it seems to make sense at first, but there’s just something off about it. Any two corners follow normal Euclidean geometry, but that third one is connected in two different planes. The literal Penrose triangle cannot exist in real life.The Growing CigaretteThe trick with this illusion is all in the background. The drawing of the wall makes the brain think it is looking at a 3D scene. Therefore, it assumes one cigarette is farther away than the other. Since in a real 3D space those lines on the wall would be parallel, your brain tells you that one cigarette is clearly larger than the other because it’s farther away and crosses more lines. So when the left one rolls over, it seems to get larger VIEW PHOTO GALLERY The Phantom Green DotThe Phantom Green DotStare at the center and the gap in the pink dots will suddenly be filled in with a green one.The Spinning DancerClockwise or counterclockwise? Your brain won’t be able to decide and will actually flip back and forth if you look away and back a few times. Flashed Face DistortionStare at the center of the image and the faces on either side are perceived as deformed and kind of scary. Motion-induced Blindness Look at the dot in the middle as the square rotates around it. After a moment, the yellow dots will vanish.Gathering For Gardner DragonYour brain is pretty sure this paper dragon is a convex face following the viewer around, but no. It’s a concave face taking advantage of the brain’s wishful thinking. Illusory SquareWatch as the smaller dots move through the larger ones. You could swear for a split second that there are lines connecting them in a square, but there is no square.Floating CubeThe package appears to be floating in mid air, but it’s just a concave box in front of the backdrop.Inverted ColorWatch the center of the image, and wait for it to change. It looked like a color image for a moment, right?Penrose TriangleLooking at any two corners of the Penrose triangle makes sense, but then that third one doesn’t look right. That’s why it’s called an impossible shape. The Growing CigaretteWhen the small cigarette on the left rolls to the right, it appears to get larger. Actually, they were the same size to start with.Stare at the center and the gap in the pink dots will suddenly be filled in with a green one.last_img read more

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Womens March Dublin attracts thousands as part of global protest against Trump

first_img 295 Comments Protesters listen to speeches in Trafalgar Square, London, today. Source: John Stillwell/PA ImagesFranceIn Paris, at least 2,000 people gathered near the Eiffel Tower, holding up banners that read “liberty, equality, solidarity”, in a reference to France’s national motto.“I am here for women and for all minorities because Trump is a threat to all humanity,” said a US national Kendra Wergin, who is in her mid-30s.Andreia Rossi, a 39-year-old Brazilian, told AFP she was taking part “because I am a woman, but also because I want to protest against everything Trump represents.”She added: “It’s very dangerous, he has lied to all those who voted for him, and that can happen in France too.” Source: Gareth Fuller/PA ImagesRight-wing populists and nationalist groups in France and elsewhere in Europe have been emboldened by Trump’s victory as well as by Britain’s vote last year to leave the European Union.While Trump won 42% of the women’s vote in the US, many worry that gender rights and other progress on women’s health, contraception and abortion could be chipped away.‘Make America sane again’In Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and Geneva too, protesters were enraged by Trump’s derogatory remarks on women.“We are here for women and for human rights,” one of a large contingent of American expatriate women told SkyTG24 news channel in Rome.“This American says Trump go back to your own planet,” read a placard brandished by a protester. Protesters carry placards as they leave Grosvenor Square, London. Source: John Stillwell/PA Images“We must defend democratic values,” said Karen Olson, who organised the Swiss march, as motorists driving by honked their horns in support.“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty,” read a banner held up by a Barcelona protester.“Make America sane again,” read a banner in Amsterdam.In Budapest, up to 400 people gathered in solidarity with the Washington marchers.“Bridges not walls,” read one of their banners, a reference to Trump’s threat to build a wall separating the US from Mexico to stop migrants from entering the country – and to have Mexico pay for it. Protesters carry placards in Bristol. Source: Ben Birchall/PA ImagesIn Berlin, hundreds rallied in front of the US embassy, chanting pro-migrant slogans in a nation that welcomed nearly a million people fleeing war and poverty in 2015.“No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here,” they cried.In Prague, protest organiser Johanna Nejedlova branded Trump’s rhetoric “hateful”.“We want to express our support for values such as democracy, human rights, ecology and women’s rights,” she said. Source: Ben Birchall/PA ImagesThere were also solidarity marches beyond Europe too, with protests in Johannesburg, South Africa, where marchers held up banners reading “Black lives matter” and “Love trumps hate”.With reporting from AFPRead: Updated: The inauguration protests (and parties) happening in IrelandRead: ‘It’s only a matter of time before Putin makes a fool of Trump’ Short URL Jan 21st 2017, 5:20 PM Share Tweet Email9 Women’s March Dublin attracts thousands as part of global protest against Trump Other protests were held in London, Paris, Geneva and Johannesburg against sexism and racism, which Trump is seen to represent. #WomensMarch #Dublin pic.twitter.com/gmhtnAW9Jy— Joshua Murray (@Joshua_Murray_) January 21, 2017 47,432 Views Saturday 21 Jan 2017, 5:20 PM “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” organisers said in a statement.It is estimated that around 300 similar marches – including the Dublin event – are set to take place across the world today.center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article https://jrnl.ie/3198425 #WomensMarch dublin pic.twitter.com/AOkwu9ZXQg— Enda O’Dowd (@endajodowd) January 21, 2017 By Sean Murray The UKIn London, a largely female crowd, which also had many men and children, packed a Trafalgar Square rally in solidarity with women-led demonstrations throughout the United States.“Our Rights Are Not For Grabs – Neither Are We” were among the banners held aloft, along with “We shall overcomb” and “Make bigotry wrong again”. ‘We shall overcomb’ – one of the most common signs from the Women’s March protests. This one is from London. Source: Ben Birchall/PA ImagesHannah Bryant, a 34-year-old museum worker, brought her four-year-old daughter – both of them wearing the bright pink “pussy hats” worn by US demonstrators.“I’ve been teaching her about equality and prejudice,” she said.“It’s a feeling of solidarity – not in our name,” said Jill Pickering, a 56-year-old American student. “I’m angry – I didn’t vote for Trump.”Organisers said 100,000 attended the London march, although there was no independent verification as police do not give an estimate. Source: Enda O’Dowd/Twitter Source: Joshua Murray/Twitter Updated, 5.20pmTHE WOMEN’S MARCH in Dublin kicked off this afternoon, as protests take place worldwide against the inauguration of the US President Donald Trump.Crowds gathered in the city centre for 12.30pm today before marching down O’Connell Street to join protesters in London, Barcelona and Helsinki, as well as other planned protests in Galway and Castlebar today. Women’s March Dublin. Source: TheJournal.ieParticipants posted videos and pictures across social media of the event which, by 1.30pm today, seems to have attracted in excess of a few hundred people.The final turn-out was in its thousands; it’s even been suggested that the march had to be moved to Parnell Square because it was too large to rally at the GPO. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ieThe march here was organised and supported by the Abortion Rights Campaign, Amnesty International Ireland, European Network Against Racism, ROSA & The Coalition to Repeal the 8th. Source: TheJournal.ieIt is also being supported by groups such as Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and the National Women’s Council of Ireland.Powered by social media, the “Women’s March on Washington” aims to draw 200,000 people to the US capital, illustrating the divisions of a country whose incoming leader faces levels of public mistrust unseen in recent decades.Organisers are now saying that the number is closer to 500,000, and the ‘march’ part of the protest has been called off due to safety concerns.last_img read more

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La semaine du développement durable débute demain

first_imgLa semaine du développement durable débute demainLa neuvième édition de la semaine du développement durable va commencer ce vendredi 1er avril sous l’intitulé “Changeons nos comportements”. Habitude prise depuis 2003, la semaine du développement durable va commencer le 1er avril sous l’égide du ministère de l’Ecologie, pour se terminer le 7 avril. Durant ce laps de temps, tout un ensemble d’acteurs, entreprises, associations, services publics, collectivités et établissements scolaires, sont invités à partager sur le thème du changement de nos habitudes, afin de sensibiliser les citoyens. À lire aussiJournée mondiale de l’environnement : Quelques astuces pour un mode de vie plus écolo au bureauUn spot TV sera diffusé toute la semaine pour promouvoir les écolabels alors que des prix récompenseront les entreprises les plus exemplaires dans les domaines de l’éco-conception ou de la protection de l’environnement. Tout cela sera accompagné de temps fort que seront le salon Planète durable, qui se tiendra du 31 mars au 3 avril à Paris-Porte de Versailles, et les Premières Assises de la Qualité de l’Air, qui se tiendront les 6 et 7 avril à la Maison du sport français (Paris 13e).  Si vous êtes intéressé par cette initiative, découvrez tout le programme des manifestations sur le site http://www.semainedudeveloppementdurable.gouv.fr (lien non disponible)Le 31 mars 2011 à 17:53 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Escondido Council votes to join federal lawsuit against California sanctuary city policies

Escondido Council votes to join federal lawsuit against California sanctuary city policies

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsESCONDIDO (KUSI) — In a 4 to 1 vote, the Escondido City Council will join the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California’s so-called sanctuary laws.The council is in support of the lawsuit, which challenges the legality of three state laws enacted last year. Among them is a statute that limits cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, which U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says is unconstitutional and compromises public safety.Escondido City Councilmember Olga Diaz — who represents District 3 — was the dissenting vote.Escondido is now the first local government in San Diego County to sound off on the case. Orange County has led the way in opposition against the sanctuary policies, though tactics have varied between governments.The Mission Viejo City Council voted to file an amicus brief last month, and the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to join the administration’s lawsuit.The Huntington Beach Council on Monday voted to become a part of the courtroom fight against the laws and the council in Los Alamitos recently voted to “exempt” itself from the policies.The matter was put on the council agenda by Mayor Sam Abed and Councilman John Masson.The San Diego Board of Supervisors on April 17 plan to discuss the case. Supervisor Dianne Jacob said she expects the board to vote at least 3-2 to join the lawsuit. April 4, 2018 Posted: April 4, 2018 Ed Lenderman, Ashlie Rodriguez, Escondido Council votes to join federal lawsuit against California sanctuary city policies Ed Lenderman, Ashlie Rodriguez 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings Updated: 10:59 AMlast_img read more

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Good Samaritans free woman trapped in car after rollover crash

Good Samaritans free woman trapped in car after rollover crash

first_imgFerrer showed first responders a bruise that formed on her arm. “Thank God I had my seat belt on,” Ferrer said.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – A college student found herself trapped inside her car after a rollover crash in the middle of a Miami Gardens intersection, Monday morning, but some good Samaritans nearby managed to free her.Sophia Ferrer had just turned into the intersection of Northwest 171st Street and 33rd Court, on her way to St. Thomas University, when another car crashed into her SUV and knocked it on its side.Ferrer told 7News that she took a detour on her way to the university that day to avoid the area of a reported bomb threat.“I stopped at the stop sign, watching,” Ferrer said, “And I thought I had enough time to turn, and I guess he was going too fast and didn’t see me.”The other driver, in a silver Ford Crown Victoria, slammed into the driver’s side door of Ferrer’s SUV, shattering the glass and leaving a large dent.Other drivers and people living nearby rushed to the SUV and pealed off one of the doors, freeing Ferrer.Both Ferrer and the other driver managed to walk away from the crash without any serious injuries. last_img read more

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From the August issue of FOLIO The Making of Marines

first_imgToday the magazine is published seven times annually (quarterly with three special editions), with an average print run of 75,000 copies. Marines is not ad-supported and generally speaking, it costs about $500,000 annually to publish. The magazine is currently funded by the military but that may change in the future (at press time, Marines was waiting on a ruling from the Secretary of Defense).Since Reeder took over, Marines has undergone several aggressive redesigns with Bates Creative that put it on the path to becoming an award-winning magazine (specifically, the Thomas Jefferson Awards, which recognize excellence of publications at the military department level, as well as FOLIO: Ozzie Awards for design and Hermes Platinum Awards in several categories, including writing, design and photography). “We wanted to take it from a stale, military-type publication and liven it up,” says Reeder. “Up until that point, Marines was viewed as, ‘Oh, isn’t that cute, the Marines have a magazine.’ Now we’ve won the Thomas Jefferson Award for general excellence four times.” The most recent redesign of the magazine took effect in the beginning of 2009, coinciding with a redesign of the website, which switched from a Flash-based design to Word Press. Last fall, Marines debuted an iPad edition and last month updated the web design again. “The most recent change was put in place to ensure we are keeping pace with our digital iPad delivery and that we remain on brand with other Marine Corps web design standards we are in the process of implementing,” says Reeder. “As  result, our blog and magazine sites are leading the pack into these new design formats.”Content has changed as well. “The focus of our stories is typically geared toward the Marine air ground task force elements of aviation, ground forces, and supporting elements,” says Reeder. “We also try to use shorter content formats, and overall topics that Marines, their families, prospective Marines and Marines no longer on active duty might find useful, interesting, fun or informative.”   Adding Tablets to the MixMarines’ first iPad attempts were based on a custom app, but the magazine moved to Adobe’s digital publishing suite as well as Adobe SiteCatalyst. The iPad app (which is available for free) is growing at a rate of 2,000 new readers per month. The iPad edition features exclusive stories not found in print, direct links to social media outlets, high definition video and interactive content. “The goal of the iPad app was to take a ‘best of’ look at the magazine knowing that the people who downloaded it might not be actual Marines, but could be high school students interested in joining the Marine Corps,” says Debbie Bates, president of Bates Creative. “We wanted manageable page counts for the first few issues but we also wanted to add in interactive elements and 360-degrees views of things like weapons.” Bates Creative and the Marines staff handpick the content and redesign every page from the print edition for the iPad. “It’s not just a replica of the print magazine, we’re redesigning pages so they’re super user-friendly,” says Bates. “The biggest challenge was just getting used to a new way of thinking and working with new types of suppliers like Adobe and Apple to get everything configured properly. We think we’re ready to roll in a very streamlined fashion. We’ve gotten feedback on the iPad app from different awards programs that said it was robust enough, and easy to use and dynamic enough without going over the top and being annoying like some of the initial magazines on tablets ended up doing.”Every Marine is an Editor(And a Blogger, a Social Media Expert, a Photographer. . .)Marine Corps doctrine states that “Every Marine is a rifleman” no matter what their assigned role, and that can-do attitude also translates to the staffers of Marines.  Staff turnover is a fact of life for every magazine but it’s built into the core of Marines, which is faced with the prospect of turning a constant rotation of personnel into publishing experts in a short period of time. “We need to utilize who we have that’s available, not just one person assigned to a specific job,” says Reeder.That‘s especially true since Marines became a multi-platform brand. “Today we have a couple people dedicated to the magazine for editorial and the rest of the team chips in to gather content and help with things like photo editing,” says Reeder. “My total shop has 20 people but at any given time there are three working on the magazine.”Each staffer is an active duty Marine (except for Bates Creative Group and a web developer, who are considered “honorary Marines”). Reeder is a Marine reservist/civilian employee (and former Command Operations Officer at Marine Corps Pacific).Staffers need to get up to speed quickly. “The cool thing about the Marine Corps is that Marines will do whatever they can to get the job done, whether they know how or not,” says Reeder. “For example, our social media manager will now be editor of the magazine. We sent him to Syracuse University for a year for a photojournalism course and when he showed up, we said ‘you’re the social media manager, go figure it out, you start next week.’ There are always growing pains with what we do because someone new is always coming in. Our broadcasters are trained broadcasters but they are not trained social media guys. Our magazine guys are trained in magazines but not broadcast. There is a lot of cross-training going on.”Giving a Voice to All Constituents:How Marines Blurs the Lines of CommunicationThe magazine website drives 500,000 page views any given week while Marines has 1.4 million fans on Facebook and 45,000 Twitter followers. “When we add it all up the reach is about 4 million potential viewers of all the products combined,” says Reeder. “I tell my staff that with everything we do, we have to blur the lines of communication so we can maximize all those audiences. Our video guys make sure that stuff gets loaded onto YouTube, which in turn gets put out on Facebook to draw in audience members who may not be connected to our video output. We want to make sure we put out an iPad version so we can include multimedia content from video.”Marines conducts audience surveys online, and finds (as with most magazines) the age demographic of readers tends to be a little older on the print side, although print is also key for Marines deployed overseas who may not have access to the Internet. With the website and other digital products, Marines sees a higher concentration of senior leadership, as well as families of Marines.Today, Marines has become much more of a social platform with its constituents. “The thing about an online presence or even a tablet presence is that it gives people the chance to respond,” says Reeder. “We had to really consider the commenting feature because once you let the genie out you can’t put it back in, but that turned out to be one of the best decisions we made.”Reeder cites an article about a Marine who was killed in combat. “Lots of people comment on lots of things,” he says. “However, one of the people who commented on that story was that Marine’s mother. She wrote a pretty moving comment about her son. If we had not made that decision, she would not have been able to share her story, which was equal in impact to the story itself. She wouldn’t have had that voice to talk about how great her son was.” Marines is the official magazine of the United States Marine Corps, a communications mainstay for five key audiences: active Marines, families of Marines, potential Marines (at any given point, the Corps needs 43,000 people to join to keep up with normal attrition), retired Marines, and constituents of the Marine Corps—such as schools, law enforcement, and The Marine Corps League. But to serve today’s Marines, it needed to be a media brand, not just a good-old ink-on-paper magazine.Marines has had an on-again, off-again history before settling into its current iteration. The publication debuted in the early 1900s (the earliest record the staff has is from 1919) in newsletter format and became the official publication of the Marine Corps in 1983. It went monthly at that time, adopting the magazine format (the remake authorized a color cover but internal pages remained black and white) with circulation of 25,000 to 30,000.Greg Reeder became director of Marine Corps News and editor-in-chief of Marines Magazine in 2001. “We reduced the magazine to quarterly to save costs so we could add staff, then we gradually increased circulation so we could inform Marines on a variety of issues,” says Reeder.last_img read more

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Apple envisions devices that can smell blood sugar toxic gases

first_img Apple After AirPower’s death we highlight Apple’s other fumbles 0 Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? See All Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 reading • Apple envisions devices that can ‘smell’ blood sugar, toxic gases Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors • Gadgets Wellnesscenter_img Now playing: Watch this: Apple’s sketch for the “systems and methods for environmental sensing.” Apple via USPTO It’s common to test blood sugar by pricking a finger if you’re diabetic, but what if there was an easier way? Apple appears to be working on it. The US Patent and Trademark Office published two patent applications Thursday that suggest Apple is working on devices that could potentially smell the environment. One application details the “systems and methods for environmental sensing.” While this is mainly meant to detect toxic gases related to environmental hazards, the patent application notes that it also applies to “spoiled food material detection, body odor detection and health applications.”The application specifically suggests it could “measure compounds in human sweat and alert the user about his sugar levels.” The other application for a “compact particulate material sensor” is geared toward detecting pollution.  The patent applications were reported earlier Thursday by Apple Insider.Apple previously drew up plans for a potential glucose monitoring device that were published by the patent office last August. However, Apple’s efforts to patent a technology doesn’t guarantee it’ll ever land in an actual product.The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Tags Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Post a comment 2:45 Share your voice Applelast_img read more

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More Commercial Coho Fishing Coming to the Kuskokwim

first_imgThere’s a sigh of relief on the middle Kuskokwim River as the silver salmon have arrived and smokehouses are firing up. The run appears to be looking good, and the Department of Fish and Game says the river is ready for more commercial fishing.The Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group Tuesday heard from the middle river and beyond that people are beginning to meet their needs for winter. Barb Carlson gave a silver report from Sleetmute.“They’re here and people are fishing them hard, and the weather is good. Right now we’re happy. They’re looking nice, they’re a little small, but they’re very shiny and very good quality,” said Carlson.The Working Group had opposed some earlier commercial openings, but they voted unanimously Tuesday to support managers’ plans for another opening Thursday and possibly another early next week. Monday’s commercial opener, the first since July 21st, saw 187 permit holders deliver nearly 24-thousand coho salmon to Coastal Villages Seafoods.Several people thanked the Department for waiting until now, when more than 60 percent of the coho run is thought to be past Bethel. Alice Kameroff in Lower Kalskag has begun to put fish away.“I just wanted to thank the commercial fisherman for giving us a break up here,” said Kameroff.What was expected to be a below average coho run is looking better. It’s above average at the Bethel Test Fishery and so far at the weirs tracking escapement to spawning grounds.Managers won’t know for a while exactly how the entire river’s chinook salmon did, but several weirs are not looking good. Research biologist Kevin Shaberg contrasted the George River, which has made its escapement goal, and Kwethluk river, which didn’t.“With that discrepancy at the two different weirs, it’s possible we achieved the whole river escapement goal, but right now it’s very uncertain whether we did or not, and if we did, it’s probably not by very much,” said Shaberg.For several months, the Working Group and Department had been shooting for the middle of the drainage-wide goal 65-thousand to 120 thousand chinook. They say counts from airplanes reached those individual specific escapement goals, but they won’t know how many fish total this summer made it to spawn until later.With that outlook on their mind, the group began discussion on the Department of Fish and Game’s upcoming review of escapement goals. There’s no exact timeline in place, but there will be public involvement over the winter.In other action, the group will ask the Board of Fish to allow dip-nets to be used the entire fishing season, instead of just in times of chinook conservation.last_img read more

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