Alberta utilitys late reporting of 2015 PCB spill earns hefty fine

first_imgHINTON, Alta. – The electrical utility FortisAlberta has been fined $300,000 for a spill of potentially dangerous polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in west-central Alberta nearly three years ago.Environment and Climate Change Canada says in a release that a provincial court judge ordered the fine Wednesday after the company pleaded guilty to two charges of violating federal regulations.The department says the charges relate, in part, to FortisAlberta’s failure to quickly notify an enforcement officer or other designated person of the release.Court heard that on May 12, 2016, the utility reported a spill at one of its transformers in Hinton, but an investigation showed the company had discovered the problem on Oct. 19 of the previous year.Test results showed that about 325 litres of oil containing PCBs was released into the environment.The department says FortisAlberta will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry, which contains information on convictions of corporations under certain federal environmental laws.The fine will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.Officials said scientific data suggest PCBs are probable human carcinogens and are toxic to fish at low concentrations.There was no indication from the department if anyone outside of Fortis came in contact with the oil, or if it leaked into any waterway.last_img read more

Schools re-open in Sri Lanka amid tight security

first_imgColombo: Schools in Sri Lanka resumed classes on Monday with few students arriving in classrooms, two weeks after the devastating Easter Sunday bombings forced the authorities to close the educational institutions. Amid tight security, the classes commenced for mid-to-upper stream (grades 6 to 13) and will be followed by lower grades (1 to 5) on May 13. “The second academic term for school children in grade 6 and above classes, commenced today (Monday). The three armed forces, police, civil security officers, parents and old boys gathered at their respective schools to provide protection,” News 1ST channel reported. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportNine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21, killing 253 people and injuring over 500 others. Following the attack, the authorities closed the schools until further notice. Despite the tight security arrangements, most classrooms were near empty. Private schools, including Catholic institutions, remained closed. The attendance of teachers was also low, the report said. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsAn extensive security programme has been implemented in schools. Special circulars have been issued by the Education Ministry about the security of the schools. Children will have to carry transparent or see-through school bags, lunch boxes and water bottles. Parking vehicles near schools have been completely banned. Separate places have been prepared to park school vans, buses. Special search operations will also be conducted from Sunday in schools. The Islamic State terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ). Sri Lanka banned the NTJ and arrested over 100 people in connection with the blasts. Sri Lanka has imposed a state of emergency since the attacks and given sweeping powers to soldiers and police to arrest and detain suspects for long periods.last_img read more

Three arrested for trying to smuggle medicines to Lanka

Three people, including two Sri Lankans, have been arrested at Vethalai near Rameswaram for attempting to smuggle medicines worth about Rs 2.5 lakh to Sri Lanka, the police said today.Rajagopalan and Murugan, both hailing from Jaffna in Sri Lanka, and Mahesh had planned to smuggle the medicine by boat to Sri Lanka last night, police said, according to the Press Trust of India.

Angola Annan meets President hails prospects for lasting peace

Speaking to reporters following his meeting with José Eduardo dos Santos, the Secretary-General said he had congratulated the President and the people of Angola for their achievement. At the same time, he cautioned that much remained to be done to help the country, including through humanitarian aid, recovery, reconstruction, demining, and the improvement of health services and education. Noting that his first visit as a Secretary-General had been to Angola, he said he was happy to be back at a time when peace is on the horizon. He promised that the UN would “work effectively with the Government on all fronts.” Visiting camps for internally displaced Angolans later in the day, the Secretary-General and his wife, Nane Annan, were greeted by large crowds of people singing and dancing. While in the camps, Mr. and Mrs. Annan also vaccinated two babies against polio.Addressing a crowd of several hundred Angolans, the Secretary-General noted that their country had one of the highest numbers of internally displaced people in the world, and paid special tribute to Angolan women, who, he said, “had been the backbone of society when the men have gone to war, leaving them behind with the children.” Also today, the Secretary-General met with the diplomatic corps in Luanda and with local leaders, including church officials. Attending the opening ceremony for the joint commission set up to identify pending tasks to fulfil the commitments under the Lusaka Protocol – the country’s milestone peace accord – he said the event was “powerful testimony to the progress Angola has made.” Pledging the UN’s assistance to help Angola consolidate the gains achieved so far, he called for the complete demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants into civilian life, and the return and resettlement of displaced people. “Only then can peace truly take hold, and your people put the years of brutal war behind them once and for all,” he told those assembled.Arriving in Angola on Sunday, the Secretary-General was received at the airport by Foreign Minister João Miranda. At a subsequent reception in his honour given by UN staff in the country, Mr. Annan requested a minute of silence in memory of the late former Special Representative to Angola, Maitre Alioune Blondin Beye, who was killed in a plane crash near Abidjan airport on 26 June 1998 while travelling for meetings aimed at moving the Angolan peace process forward. “It is really moving to be back here,” the Secretary-General told the staff present. “We are all happy and excited with the prospects for lasting and genuine peace in Angola.” At the same time, he warned that the present opportunity “is only a beginning – we have a long way to go, first and foremost the Angolans, but also the international partners.” read more

UN intensifies efforts to bring DPR of Korea back to nuclear talks

“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned. He’s instructed me to intensify our efforts at supporting the resumption of the six-party process,” Kofi Annan’s Personal Envoy to the DPRK, Maurice Strong, told a news briefing in New York, noting that economic and other incentives were vital to securing an end to the weapons programme.”I expect that there will be peaceful resolution because the consequences of not resolving this issue are so horrendous for all parties that that itself provides a strong incentive to overcome the deep-seated distrust and hostility that has been built up over the last 50 years between the parties and particularly between the principal parties, or the most contentious parties – the DPRK and the United States,” he said.The DPRK announced yesterday that it was pulling out of the so-called Beijing process, the six-party talks between itself and the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, the Russian Federation and the United States, stating publicly for the first time that it already has nuclear weapons in a programme the talks seek to end.Mr. Strong, who was meeting the DPRK’s Permanent Representative to the UN later today, said he was not surprised by the weapons claim, which Pyongyang has previously made privately, noting that the talks had not actually been cancelled.”The DPRK has simply said it is not prepared to continue to participate in them under the conditions that they have described [hostile US statements], but they have not annulled those and I believe that we should regard this not as the end of a negotiating process but as a blip. Difficult yes, an unhappy twist in the road, but nevertheless the road to negotiations still runs through the six-party talks,” he stated.He said very few people close to the situation were surprised at anything but the timing of the weapons claim. “They have not explicitly said in public but they have said in their private discussions with the six parties that they do have nuclear weapons and this has simply been affirmed now more publicly in the statement they made,” he added.”It’s a disappointment, yes, that they placed a stress on it. But I remind you again that they have made it clear that they are committed to a peaceful settlement of the problem. They, too want, or at least are committed to a nuclear weapons-free Korean peninsula.”But, he stressed, they insist that their national requirements be met and that some of the restrictions against their full participation in the international economy also be lifted. “The work which the Secretary-General is doing with which he has entrusted me is designed to be fully supportive of the six-party talks, recognizing that you’re not going to get a peaceful resolution of the nuclear weapons issue without an economic and energy component,” he said. read more

Innovation Rodeo lassos networks for entrepreneurs

There’s a different kind of rodeo in Calgary Monday.The first Innovation Rodeo is for local innovators and entrepreneurs.Chief Wrangler Craig Elias says the goal is to connect business people in the city with others from out of town who are visiting the Calgary Stampede.“Most entrepreneurs find it hard to bounce ideas off people or if they’ve got an idea but they want to find a way to get it out of their own geography, where they might have some traction, it’s great to have relationships outside of Calgary so you can then grow your business or idea outside of your own natural network, which tends to be where you live,” he said.The Innovation Rodeo goes until Friday at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre on 17 Avenue SW. by audreywhelan Posted Jul 11, 2016 7:06 am MDT Last Updated Jul 11, 2016 at 7:06 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Innovation Rodeo lassos networks for entrepreneurs read more

Experts at UN forum adopt action plan to safeguard Malis cultural heritage

The action plan adopted at the meeting, organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the French Government, seeks to rehabilitate cultural heritage damaged during the conflict with the active participation of local communities, and to take measures to protect the ancient manuscripts kept in the region.Estimated to cost some $11 million, the plan also aims to provide training activities so as to re-establish appropriate conditions for the conservation and management of cultural heritage, including manuscripts and intangible heritage. There have been several attacks on Mali’s cultural heritage after radical Islamists occupied the northern part of the country after fighting broke out in January 2012 between Government forces and Tuareg rebels. Just last month, extremists reportedly set fire to a library in the city of ancient city of Timbuktu containing thousands of historic manuscripts. Prior to that, at least three mausoleums were destroyed in December.On a visit to Mali with French President François Hollande earlier this month, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova had underscored the need to help the authorities rebuild and safeguard the country’s cultural heritage.Opening today’s meeting, Ms. Bokova reiterated the agency’s commitment to work for cultural preservation in Mali. “When a World Heritage site is destroyed, because of stupidity and violence, the whole of humanity feels it has been deprived of part of itself; that it has been injured.”The action plan covers both World Heritage sites and cultural heritage properties protected under national legislation. Specific actions are foreseen for Timbuktu, the Tomb of Askia in Gao, the Old Town of Djenne and the Cliff of Bandiagara (land of Dogon) as well as museums.Comprehensive measures for the safeguarding and digitization of manuscript collections are also planned. The training activities foreseen by the plan concern all areas of cultural heritage preservation, both monuments and manuscripts.UNESCO will send a mission to Mali to make a full assessment of the damage and how best to implement the action plan as soon as the situation allows it, the agency noted.Today’s meeting was organized within the framework of the Day of Solidarity with Mali, which featured a series of presentations and discussions, the drafting of the action plan and a cultural programme hosted by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and global singing sensation Angélique Kidjo. “We have gathered to transform indignation into action – Mali’s heritage is much more than an inscription on UNESCO’s list, it is the legacy of an ancient culture, a testimony of dialogue between cultures, and it is our duty to do everything possible to protect it,” said Ms. Bokova. read more

Zayn Malik and Sadiq Khan chosen to front Black History Month Kent University

first_imgDevante Wallace added: “It’s not just about the image shared, it’s the fact you have the audacity to try and bundle all non-white culture into black history month as if were not important enough to be represented individually. It’s offensive to all ethnic groups.”Other names on the list include Dame Kelly Holmes, Sir Trevor McDonald, Shirley Bassey and Arthur Wharton, Britain’s first black professional footballer.Kent Union president Rory Murray apologised to students who were “upset, uncomfortable or offended”. Deeply disappointed at @KentUnion’s ill thought and misdirected Black History Month celebrations.— Black History Month (@BhmUK) October 25, 2016 The student union at the university said they aimed to “empower” students through its Black History Month, where it chose six public figures to represent diversity, at a number of events throughout October.Black History Month tweeted: Kent University’s Sadiq Khan poster He said: “I want to apologise on behalf of Kent Union to any individuals who were upset, uncomfortable or offended by the image shared.”There was no intent for this to happen and I am very sorry to anybody who felt this way. “I also feel it is important to explain the context behind how this happened.”As a students’ union we are led by our members; over 2,000 volunteers who give up their time to run campaigns and events.”This is through a wide range of activity be it sports clubs, societies, campaign groups, elected. “This is through a wide range of activity be it sports clubs, societies, campaign groups, elected officers and so forth.”The Black History Month calendar of events was led and run by these students and supported by the organisation. The activity for the month was decided by open meetings attended by black and minority ethnic students.”I hope that the passion ignited in many people in the last 12 hours will continue and that students will become further involved in leading our black and minority ethnic work.” 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.center_img Khan was born in Tooting, south London after his parents migrated from Pakistan to Britain. Ex-1D heart-throb Malik was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in 1993 to Pakistani/English parents.Despite the university’s grovelling apology, students described the mistake as “an absolute non-apology” and a “national embarrassment”.Benjamin Smith wrote: “At this point Kent Union has become a national embarrassment. “From what I’m seeing, this post doesn’t really cover the extent of the offense you’ve caused and comes across as a bit patronising.” Kent University's Sadiq Khan poster A university’s students union has become a “national embarrassment” after it picked former One Direction singer Zayn Malik and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan as poster-boys for Black History Month.Students at Kent University pointed out that that neither Malik nor Khan are black and are both from British Pakistani families.Kent University Students Union are facing a huge backlash and the official UK organisers for Black History Month said they were “deeply disappointed” by the university. With Asian Heritage Month being observed by a growing number of countries in May, will Black icons be celebrated by Kent University then?— Black History Month (@BhmUK) October 25, 2016last_img read more

RIM could have beaten the iPad 2 with the PlayBook by six

first_imgIt seems astonishing that as Apple prepares to introduce the iPad 2, the competition still hasn’t managed to release a viable, competitively priced alternative to even the original iPad.It’s true, though. In fact, despite the fact that it’s been announced for months, RIM won’t be able to deliver its anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook tablet until well after the iPad 2’s debut. If new rumors are anything to go by, though, RIM might have been able to bring the PlayBook to market six months ago… if not for the fact that they decided to switch chip manufacturers six months into production.According to TechEye’s source, the 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP4430 that comes stock with every PlayBook wasn’t RIM’s first choice for ARM-based central cortex. Far from it: in fact, the Canadian mobile company had been working for six months with a chipset rival: Marvell.Supposedly, Marvell was “having some serious problems getting the software to work with the hardware. The team was just taking too long and there were issues that weren’t being resolved quickly enough.”Apparently, the delay cost the PlayBook, and RIM had no choice but to turn to Texas Instruments for their dual-core chip in the OMAP4. It’s pretty clear that Texas Instruments feels the sting of this delay, as they’ve admitted previously that unforeseen circumstances stopped them from beating the dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC to market, which is now pretty much the standard for Android tablets. Ouch. Reading between the lines, it sounds like RIM could have a viable iPad 2 competitor out six months ago, if not for Marvell’s ineptitude. That’s got to sting: as it is, they’re now just another also-ran.Read more at Slashgearlast_img read more

Tsipras set to leader Europes left

first_imgSYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is set to be named the European Left’s candidate for European Commission president, following a meeting of Europe’s leftist leaders in Spain.Tsipras’s nomination is due to be confirmed when the European Left, the collection of leftist parties represented in the European Parliament, holds its congress in Madrid between December 13 and 15. Leaders of Europe’s left-wing parties gathered in the Spanish capital on Friday to decide on Tsipras’s candidacy.The leftists want the Commission president to be elected by European voters rather than nominated by the European Council and then approved by the European Parliament.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

Search for anarchist

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Police were looking for Costas Sakkas, a self-proclaimed anarchist who is facing charges of involvement in the urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, after he failed to report to his local police precinct in Kaminia, Piraeus, by midnight on Monday.Sakkas, 30, had been released from custody in January on the condition that he posted bail of 5,000 euros, reported to the precinct closest to his declared residence every Monday and refrained from fraternizing with any known or suspected members of the terrorist group. He had been re-arrested after his fingerprints were found in an apartment that had been used several years ago by Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire as an arms cache.Authorities launched the search for Sakkas at midnight on Monday, after he failed to report in.Sakkas has denied any involvement with the terrorist group, though he has admitted to being on “friendly terms” with some of its members.Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

Man airlifted after shooting in parking lot of Hialeah strip mall

first_imgHIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) – A man had to be airlifted to the hospital after he was shot in the parking lot of a Hialeah shopping plaza.Rescue officials said the man was shot in the chest at the strip mall located on the 5400 block of West 16th Avenue at approximately 2 p.m., Friday.The man somehow ended up blocks away, in the area of West 20th Avenue and 56th Street, before rescue crews got to him.The man, described to be in his 50s or 60s, was transported to Palmetto General Hospital and then airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.Authorities told 7News the man was shot in the chest.A witness told 7News that the shooting happened inside the Royal Arcade store. However, several crime scene markers could be seen outside of the store.7News spoke to the owner of the store, and he said the shooting did not happen inside of the store. Instead, the owner said someone came into the store after the shooting happened in the strip mall’s parking lot. Police said there are no suspects at large while the investigation continues.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. A witness said she saw a man arrive at the strip mall with a gun under his arm.“What I saw was the old man got off with a gun. That’s all I saw,” she said.When asked what she was thinking when she saw the man, the witness replied, “Nothing. I hope someone calls the cops, and I locked the door.”Another witness said she was at the Angels Speech and Therapy when she heard two gunshots.7News cameras captured a tow truck pulling up and lifting a red Nissan Rogue SUV onto its flatbed.It remains unclear what role the SUV played in the shooting.Nearby stores have been ordered shut as police continue to investigate. last_img read more

US opioid maker Purdue reaches 270m settlement in lawsuit

first_imgPurdue Pharma, accused of helping fuel the US opioid addiction epidemic with its painkiller OxyContin, has reached a $270 million settlement in a key lawsuit brought by the state of Oklahoma, officials announced Tuesday.The settlement was the first of its kind to address the national addiction crisis that kills 130 Americans a day.The bulk of the money will go toward establishing an addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University, Purdue said in a press release.The drug manufacturer also agreed to not promote or market opioids in the state, in what was a “non-negotiable part” of the deal, Oklahoma attorney general Mike Hunter said.”The addiction crisis facing our state and the nation is a clear and present danger, but we’re doing something about it today,” Hunter told a news conference.”Today’s agreement is only the first step in our ultimate goal of ending this nightmarish epidemic,” he said.Purdue is facing hundreds of lawsuits in the US over claims that OxyContin causes addiction. The Oklahoma case was the first scheduled for trial.Two other companies are still defendants in the civil case: Johnson & Johnson and Teva.Purdue said $75 million of the settlement will be paid by the Sackler family, members of which own the company.The family’s philanthropic efforts have recently been rebuffed by non-profit institutions — underscoring the growing unease with the main source of the philanthropic dynasty’s riches: revenue from sales of OxyContin.400,000 death toll”Purdue is very pleased to have reached an agreement with Oklahoma that will help those who are battling addiction now and in the future,” company CEO Craig Landau said in a statement.The settlement comes just a day after the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected an appeal by opioid manufacturers to delay the civil trial in the state.Purdue is the only one to settle.Hunter last month said his office had obtained confidential documents showing Purdue launched a “disinformation campaign” to cover up the epidemic, and that “executives were more interested in spreading propaganda than stopping the death toll.”But Landau insisted the company had “a long history of working to address the problem of prescription opioid abuse.””We see this agreement with Oklahoma as an extension of our commitment to help drive solutions to the opioid addiction crisis.”Overdoses from prescription painkillers and heroin — a last-resort illicit drug for opioid addicts — exploded over the last 20 years, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.Almost 400,000 people have died from an overdose involving prescription or illicit opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Pop icon Prince and rocker Tom Petty were among the most high profile victims of the epidemic.last_img read more

In new talks US and N Korea to face old disagreements

first_imgThis picture taken on 30 June 2019 and released by North Korea`s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 1 July 2019 shows North Korea`s leader Kim Jong Un (L) shaking hands with US President Donald Trump at the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ). Photo: AFPWhen nuclear talks resume after Sunday’s off-the-cuff meeting between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the inter-Korean border, negotiators will be revisiting old disagreements that have scuttled previous talks.Trump and Kim agreed to set up teams to hold working-level talks, which have stalled since a second summit in February in Vietnamese capital Hanoi failed to agree on US calls for denuclearisation and North Korean demands for sanctions relief.The brief weekend meeting broke a recent pattern of increasing threats and complaints from North Korea, and the two sides will enter the talks with renewed backing from their leaders.North Korea’s state media KCNA lauded Sunday’s meeting, saying Kim and Trump vowed to continue dialogue to make a “new breakthrough” in the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and in bilateral ties.But there are still formidable differences, including whether denuclearisation or normalising ties should come first, and how much North Korea is actually willing to give up.Disagreements ExposedIn Hanoi, Trump sought the abolition of all of the North’s nuclear installations, including shipping of the weapons and material to the United States, while Kim offered to close its main Yongbyon nuclear complex in return for sanctions relief.There has been little sign that North Korea and the United States are any closer to resolving differences on how to achieve denuclearisation and when and which sanctions should be lifted.Perhaps most fundamentally, the sides lack a shared definition of denuclearisation, with Pyongyang discussing it in terms of removing the threat of nuclear weapons from the entire Korean peninsula.Some experts have said Trump made a mistake at his first summit with Kim in Singapore last year by allowing their promise to build “new relations” a top priority in their joint statement, whereas denuclearisation comes in third.The New York Times, citing unidentified sources, reported on Monday that Washington is seeking to soften its approach, floating an idea of accepting a nuclear freeze – instead of complete dismantlement – and giving tacit recognition that North Korea is a nuclear state.Reuters was unable to independently verify the report.Nuclear Site ProposalOne of the most visible parts of North Korea’s nuclear programme, the Yongbyon reactor complex is a central point of contention.After the Hanoi summit ended without a deal, North Korean foreign ministry officials said they had made a “historically unprecedented offer” to close all of Yongbyon together with US experts.US negotiators confirmed North Korea had made the offer, but said talks broke down over exactly which facilities were included, and the scope of sanctions relief that Pyongyang demanded in return.Even if the revived working level talks lead to Yongbyon’s closure, the process is likely to take years, well after Trump’s term ends.South Korean officials say that dismantling the site would be a major blow to North Korea’s nuclear programme, though experts warn that Pyongyang has built a wide number of other, clandestine sites that could allow it to keep some nuclear capabilities.New North Korean NegotiatorsUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a fresh round of talks will likely happen in mid-July, which would be led by Stephen Biegun, special envoy for North Korea, and Pyongyang’s foreign ministry officials, without specifying.The diplomats would take over from Kim Yong Chol, a hardline military general, who steered negotiations in the run-up to the Hanoi summit.The new North Korean lineup could mean better chances of working through denuclearisation, analysts said.Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and his deputy, Choe Son Hui, are seasoned diplomats with expertise in the nuclear issues and experience in working with US officials.The diplomats have gained trust from Kim since the failed summit, but the final decision maker remains Kim Jong Un, who has shunned gruelling working-level talks in favour of dealing directly with Trump.What Does North Korea Want?North Korea has publicly called for an end to the crippling economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations.An initial step might include formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War and setting up liaison offices.North Korea has also long called for a peace deal with the United States to normalise relations and end the technical state of war that has existed since the 1950-53 Korean War concluded with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.South Korea has also said re-opening the Kaesong industrial park and tours to Mount Kumgang, two inter-Korean projects closed as tensions ramped up, could expedite the North’s denuclearisation.last_img

Researchers use Facebook to dispel notion that social contagion is like biological

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A comparison of how people who received invitations to join Facebook from four groups of friends responded. Connections between the groups are shown in the squares at the bottom of each column. The less connected those four groups were,the more likely they were to join. These are averages over millions of invitations. Credit: Provided/Kleinberg et al More information: Structural diversity in social contagion, PNAS, Published online before print April 2, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1116502109AbstractThe concept of contagion has steadily expanded from its original grounding in epidemic disease to describe a vast array of processes that spread across networks, notably social phenomena such as fads, political opinions, the adoption of new technologies, and financial decisions. Traditional models of social contagion have been based on physical analogies with biological contagion, in which the probability that an individual is affected by the contagion grows monotonically with the size of his or her “contact neighborhood”—the number of affected individuals with whom he or she is in contact. Whereas this contact neighborhood hypothesis has formed the underpinning of essentially all current models, it has been challenging to evaluate it due to the difficulty in obtaining detailed data on individual network neighborhoods during the course of a large-scale contagion process. Here we study this question by analyzing the growth of Facebook, a rare example of a social process with genuinely global adoption. We find that the probability of contagion is tightly controlled by the number of connected components in an individual’s contact neighborhood, rather than by the actual size of the neighborhood. Surprisingly, once this “structural diversity” is controlled for, the size of the contact neighborhood is in fact generally a negative predictor of contagion. More broadly, our analysis shows how data at the size and resolution of the Facebook network make possible the identification of subtle structural signals that go undetected at smaller scales yet hold pivotal predictive roles for the outcomes of social processes.Press release ( — Historically, diseases tend to spread most quickly when introduced into a crowded environment. The more neighbors there are, the more easily viruses can hop from person to person. More recently, the same sort of language has been used to describe how social ideas and adoption spreads. Facebook for example, has been described as spreading like a disease. Now however, researchers from Cornell University have shown that users adopting Facebook, tend to do so more predictably when receiving invitations from multiple sources, rather than a lot of requests from members of the same group, which implies that Facebook and its growth, does not actually compare with biological contagion at all. They have published their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2012 Citation: Researchers use Facebook to dispel notion that social contagion is like biological contagion (2012, April 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The research team started out as just Johan Kleinberg and Jon Ugander, researchers at Cornell, but soon grew to four as Lars Backstrom and Cameron Marlow, sociologists working for Facebook signed on. Together the team was able to study actual Facebook data. Specifically, they looked at what happens when a user first joins Facebook; their email contact list is examined and Facebook then offers to send an invitation to everyone on that list who is not already a Facebook member. Facebook also offers to send an invitation to “friend” other Facebook users who have the new user already listed in their contact list. In watching and analyzing the circumstances under which users respond to such requests the researchers found patterns emerging. The most striking of which was the fact that users are more likely to accept such requests if they come from people who reside in social different groups, than if they all came from the same one. An example would be, if a person receives invitations to join Facebook from people they work with, some friends, as well as some from people in their Book of the Month club, they are more likely to join than if they simply receive a bunch of invitations from their regular group of friends. They also found that upon accepting the invites, those that do so as a result of getting invites from a more diverse group tend to spend more time on Facebook, indicating perhaps, that a more diverse group of “friends” is ultimately more interesting.Besides providing practical information for marketers, the results of the teams research help dispel the notion that social acceptance of new ideas or people spreads in much the same way as diseases do through human populations. The team says that a users, rather than responding to requests to join Facebook from a bunch of friends from their normal social clique, tend to be more likely to accept requests to join if they come from a more divergent group, or in other words, people from different groups, even if they don’t know a lot of the people in those other groups. Explore further A Facebook “Neighborhood.” This member has two large, closely interconnected clumps of friends, and a few smaller clumps. Each clump probably represents a different social context — people from work, people from a hobby, and so on. Cornell research shows that many requests from one context are less effective in influencing decisions than requests coming from many directions. Credit: Provided/Kleinberg et al Facebook launches mobile messaging applast_img read more

VLC 223 fixes Resume feature

first_imgVLC 2.2.3 fixes Resume feature by Martin Brinkmann on May 03, 2016 in Music and Video – 27 commentsVideoLAN, makers of the popular media player VLC, have just released VLC 2.2.3 which can be best described as a bug fix release as it does not introduce new features to the client.When it comes to features that I like in video players, resume may not be at the top of my list but it is a nice to have feature that I expect media clients to support.While VLC Media Player did support resume for some time, the feature never worked properly whenever I tried it.That’s one of the reasons why I use other media players, SMPlayer to be precise. I was not the only VLC user who could not get resume to work and I even tried to install add-ons for the program that supposedly got the resume feature working but they too did not work properly or reliable.VLC Media Player 2.2.3All of this changes with the release of VLC 2.2.3. If you check out the changelog, you find “Fix resume where you left off” listed as a change.A quick test with video and audio files revealed that VideoLAN has fixed the issue indeed. VLC Media Player 2.2.3 displays “do you want to restart playback where left off” option as a small prompt in the player interface if the media file was played before in the player.A click on continue jumps to the last recorded position and starts playback from there. The prompt disappears after a couple of seconds automatically, but you can also click on the close icon to close it right away.If you have no use for the resume feature, you can disable it in the following way:Open VLC Media Player.Select Tools > Preferences or use the shortcut Ctrl-P.Under Interface, locate Continue Playback and uncheck the option.Click on Save.VLC won’t offer to start playback where it was stopped the last time the media file was played in the program.As far as other changes in VLC Media Player 2.2.3 are concerned, they fix issues as well but most of them under the hood.VLC 2.2.3 is not yet picked up by the program’s update check feature. You can download the latest version from this page currently as the main frontpage of the project does not list the new release yet as well.It is only a matter of time until the release is pushed to the frontpage and picked up by the update checker.SummaryArticle NameVLC 2.2.3 fixes Resume featureDescriptionVLC 2.2.3 is a bug fix release for the popular media player that fixes, among other issues, the player’s resume functionality.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Five arrested one officer injured after criminals attack Cancun police

first_imgCancun, Q.R. — An early morning attack on Cancun police has left five arrested and one officer wounded.Early reports say that members of the Cancun police force have taken five people into custody after a gunfire attack that ended in Region 253 left one municipal officer injured. The arrests were the result of an alleged criminal group attacking a police patrol unit in Region 219 then attempting to escape.Police pursued the group of men into Region 253 where they were finally arrested near Avenue Leona Vicario, but not before an exchange of gunfire and the burning of one vehicle. Police were performing a routine surveillance tour in 219 when the attack occurred.Photo: La Fiscalía General del EstadoGunfire was aimed at the patrol unit from another vehicle as police passed by. The report of the attack on police resulted in a Red Alert. During the pursuit, one of the cars involved crashed into a Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) pole, which caused an electrical blackout and the vehicle to catch fire and burn.Photo: La Fiscalía General del EstadoOnce arrested, police found the group carrying a large arsenal of weapons along with radio communication equipment. In total, five were taken into custody and transferred to the State Secretariat of Public Security base which remains under heavy guard.The injured officer was taken to IMSS hospital for medical care.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Dynamic team makes sick children smileDynamic team makes sick children smile

first_imgN3TC, SAPS, RTI and Sharaj Ambulance Services personnel recently handed out teddy bears and Easter eggs in Ladysmith Provincial Hospital’s paediatric wards.The dynamic team members took time out of their hectic schedules to put smiles on the children’s faces.Known as the Duduza Project, this initiative sees hospitals in the area being visited every Easter and Christmas.Greeted by delighted nursing staff, the team handed out soft toys and yummy Easter eggs to all the children.The team of paramedics, officers and N3TC personnel spent time chatting to the little ones, holding their tiny hands, and spreading laughter and giggles.Memorable moments were indeed made for all those involved! WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter  why not join us there?last_img read more

By land and by sea 2018s hotel happenings cruise news

first_imgBy land and by sea, 2018’s hotel happenings & cruise news TORONTO — Vertical integration is still the name of the game so it’s no wonder tour operators pressed on with plans for new resorts, and new resort alliances, in 2018.Rounding up the industry stories making headlines this year, we also look at the 2018 good-news recovery stories from the wild 2017 hurricane season, and a volcano that seemed to attract twice as many visitors as it kept away. Plus, a major closure that could hit the travel compensation funds in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. for millions of dollars.Through it all agents kept doing what they do best: counseling their clients, selling just about everything under the sun and staying sane knowing that no matter what the industry comes up with, they can handle it.HOTEL HAPPENINGSSunwing Travel Group, already a major player on the resort scene with its Blue Diamond Resorts hotel division with 15,000+ rooms across more than a half dozen brands, fortified its position even further with a blockbuster deal with Planet Hollywood. Announcing the venture in February 2018, Sunwing Travel Group and Planet Hollywood said initial plans called for two resorts in Mexico and Costa Rica, with more to come. Right on time, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica opened in fall 2018. In Mexico, Planet Hollywood Resort Cancun is slated to open in spring 2019. Sunwing is also transforming the site of the former Sonesta Great Bay in St. Maarten into a Planet Hollywood resort. And in October Sunwing announced plans to expand its hotel division again with the addition of six of Rex Resorts’ Caribbean hotels, part of a newly formed strategic alliance that will see Sunwing grow its presence in destinations including Grenada, Tobago and Barbados.Transat’s resort plans meanwhile are taking shape like never before, as the company makes good on its decision, first divulged in 2017, to develop its own hotel chain in the Caribbean. In September 2018 Transat announced it had purchased a stretch of land in Riviera Maya, in Puerto Morelos on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is ideally situated midway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen some 20 kilometres from Cancun International Airport.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe company has also entered into a promissory agreement to purchase a second adjacent property for a total consideration of between US$54 and $57 million to build a new beachfront resort.Transat says its new hotel division will include some 5,000 owned or managed hotel rooms at its main Sun destinations by 2024.There was more hotel news from Hilton and Playa, with the introduction of Hilton La Romana, an All-inclusive Resort, and Hilton Playa del Carmen, an All-inclusive Resort, adding 1,269 new Hilton guest rooms to its existing global portfolio as part of a strategic alliance. In September 2018 Playa took over management of the resort currently known as Dreams La Romana (rebranded as the Hilton La Romana) while The Royal Playa del Carmen became Hilton Playa del Carmen, an All-inclusive Resort. The agreement between Playa Hotels and Hilton also includes the potential for the conversion and management of eight additional resorts by 2025.And in other news, Sandals Resorts released new details about its ground-breaking Tobago development, saying it planned to build a Sandals Resort and a Beaches Resort side by side, with close to 300 rooms and 450-500 rooms respectively.WILD WEATHERThis was the comeback year for destinations like Puerto Rico, Dominica, Anguilla and St. Maarten, all of which took a hit from 2017’s hurricanes. Sunwing Travel Group’s newest Planet Hollywood resort is taking shape on the site of the former Sonesta Great Bay, which had closed after Irma hit the island in September 2017. Meanwhile AMResorts is bringing a new Secrets resort to St. Martin, on the site of the former Riu Palace St. Martin. A $20 million reno will get the place in shape in time for its 2019 reopening.In October 2018 Hawaii confirmed it was ‘open for business’ despite a volcano eruption and two close calls with hurricanes. Kilauea volcano’s eruptions began May 3 with lava flowing continuously until Aug. 6, and generated headlines worldwide, but it was only a small area that was affected on the Island of Hawaii.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaSINORAMAIn August 2018 Sinorama Holidays closed its doors after 13 years in business, with a voluntary termination of its Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 registration.Over its 13-year history Sinorama Group expanded from Canada into Europe, Australia/New Zealand and the U.S., began trading as a public company in the States and reportedly sold $123 million worth of travel in 2017, up 27% over the previous year.And yet by April 2018 the company was allegedly running a $10.9 million shortfall and scrambling to bring in new money to cover the deficit, at least according to reports in consumer paper La Presse, which covered Sinorama’s financial tailspin extensively.Quebec’s travel regulator, the Office de la protection de la consommateur (OPC), first notified the Montreal-based operations of Sinorama that its license would not be renewed in that province, citing insufficient funds. Soon alarm bells were going off at Consumer Protection B.C. too.At the same time, TICO issued a closure advisory for Markham-based Sinorama Holidays Inc. as the company voluntarily terminated its Ontario registration. The hit to Ontario’s Travel Compensation Fund from the Sinorama Holidays Inc. closure could exceed the $5 million legislated maximum. The six-month window to file a claim is Feb. 11, 2019.CRUISE CONTROLAccording to CLIA’s latest stats, some 30 million passengers are expected to cruise in 2019, up from 28.2 in 2018. Close to 20 new ships will debut in 2019, bringing the number of CLIA-member ship to 272. Revenues are up, yields are up and interest in cruising continues unabated, especially thanks for headline-grabbing newcomers like Symphony of the Seas (March 2018), Norwegian Bliss (May 2018) and Celebrity Edge. Sales for river cruising, despite difficulties with low water levels in Europe in 2018, are still through the roof. And all eyes are on the first of Virgin Voyages’ four new ships, Scarlet Lady, getting ready to set sail, and set new benchmarks for adults-only cruising, in 2020. Tags: Norwegian Cruise Line, Planet Hollywood, Sinorama, Transat, Virgin Voyages Posted by Sharecenter_img Travelweek Group Thursday, December 27, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more