TORONTO – Eddie Lampert, the chairman and chief executive of Sears Holding Corp., is blaming Sears Canada for exacerbating its problems before it filed for creditor protection.Lampert’s ESL Investments is the largest shareholder in Sears Canada, which is in the process of liquidating and closing its remaining stores.In a post on his blog, Lampert says the retailer’s reinvention strategy was risky and untested.“In particular, ESL noted that it would be risky and unwise for the company to pursue additional borrowings on onerous terms to fund a new, untested strategy,” he wrote.“Despite this advice, management decided to proceed with these actions and the company’s operating losses and cash drain rapidly worsened.”Lampert posted the comments in response to a report by the Globe and Mail that chronicled Sears Canada’s troubles.Sears Canada has been operating under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act since June, but had been struggling for years.It had hoped to restructure and keep many of its stores open, but the retailer received court approval earlier this month to begin its liquidation sales after failing to find a buyer for its operations.A group led by Brandon Stranzl, who stepped down as the company’s executive chairman following approval of the liquidation sales, had been in talks to purchase the retailer and continue to operate it, but no deal was reached.
BERLIN — German factory production declined unexpectedly in December, increasing concerns about the weakening of Europe’s largest economy.The Federal Statistical Office said Thursday industrial production dropped 0.4 per cent in December over the month before, when adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors.On Wednesday, the office reported factory orders also slipped. In both cases, economists had been predicting increases, and the developments raised speculation Germany might have contracted in the fourth quarter of 2018 for the second quarter in a row, meaning it entered a technical recession.Last week, the government slashed its 2019 economic growth forecast from 1.8 per cent to 1 per cent. Germany’s economy grew 1.5 per cent last year and 2.2 per cent in 2017.In January, officials said it appeared Germany had avoided recession, but fourth-quarter numbers haven’t yet been finalized.The Associated Press
Government efforts to respond to the floods have been bolstered by the Common Pipeline system, which is an operation managed by the UN Joint Logistics Centre with support from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the non-governmental organization (NGO) CARE.Approximately 1,000 families in Kosti in White Nile state have received relief aid, while supplies have been delivered to 85 households in Geissan in Blue Nile state with assistance from local authorities and the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).In Kassala state, UNICEF has provided plastic sheeting for 1,000 families in immediate need through the NGO GOAL, while the Common Pipeline has supplied 3,000 jerry cans.“In times of emergency, the ability of different agencies to work together quickly and effectively is critical,” said Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF’s Chief of Field Operations in northern Sudan, speaking on behalf of the Common Pipeline’s partners.The partnership, established in 2004, “demonstrates that we can get essential supplies to the most vulnerable families with the minimum of delay, lightening the burden on those already experiencing great hardship and loss,” he added.To respond to additional requests for assistance, the Common Pipeline has prepared emergency supplies for up to 500 families in Kosti, 1,000 households in Kassala and 4,000 families in high-risk areas in Khartoum.“This joint effort in support of the Government of Sudan will ultimately ease the plight of those affected by the floods and ensure that those living in high-risk areas can be provided with timely assistance should they need it,” noted Mr. Veitch.In addition to this joint assistance, UNICEF has delivered much-needed medicines to health centres in flood-impacted areas to meet the needs of 80,000 people for one month. The agency has also provided chlorine powder and tablets to treat water supplies for roughly 50,000 people. 10 July 2007The United Nations is rushing vital emergency supplies – including plastic sheeting, blankets, cooking sets, jerry cans, sleeping mats and mosquito nets – to thousands of people affected by flooding in northern Sudan.
7 November 2007Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged States to tackle the terrible humanitarian, human rights and developmental effects of cluster munitions by concluding a legally binding instrument banning this particular type of weapon. “The atrocious, inhumane impact of cluster munitions requires urgent action,” Mr. Ban told those gathered in Geneva for this year’s meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. In a message delivered by High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sergio Duarte, Mr. Ban drew attention to the fact that “the characteristics of these munitions, with their inherent inaccuracy and their frequent malfunctioning, make them particularly indiscriminate both at the time of use and long after conflicts have ended.” He urged States to address the horrendous effects of these weapons by concluding a legally binding instrument prohibiting the “use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.” Mr. Ban emphasized that such a legal instrument should require the destruction of current stockpiles of these munitions, and provide for clearance and risk mitigation activities, victim assistance, cooperation, and compliance and transparency measures. Until such a treaty becomes a reality, he urged States to take domestic measures to immediately freeze the use and transfer of all cluster munitions. Noting that the Conventional Weapons Convention is still short of universal membership, Mr. Ban expressed appreciation for the practical steps being taken to achieve wider adherence, especially among developing countries and States affected by mines and explosive remnants of war.
HERE ARE 25 of the quotes that tell the story of the year that was 2013.
THE TAOISEACH HAS said that he has rejected assertions that the HSE is in disarray.Speaking during Leaders’ Questions, Enda Kenny said that the 250 consultant vacancies in the health system were in the process of being filled.Kenny accused Micheal Martin of “never going near” issues of budget management in his time as Health Minister.He added that the situation is being managed and that a long process of overhauling the health sector in the country.Kenny was also asked if he has confidence in Health Minister James Reilly to see out the job of fixing the health sector.His initial response fell short of fully backing Reilly.“On the issue of taking charge of matters that spent years lying around, the matter of confidence speaks for itself.”When it was put to him by Martin that that response was not a wholesale vote of confidence, the Taoiseach said, off mic, that he does support Reilly.Read: The HSE was €158 million over budget at the end of May
Stay on target The seventh season of Once Upon a Time has been so much better than anyone could have expected. As far as most of us were concerned, the story ended in season six. Jennifer Morrison didn’t renew her contract, and Emma got her happy ending. When we heard this season would be half-reboot, half-continuation with an older Henry, we were skeptical. We didn’t need to be. Not only is Once Upon a Time the same show it’s always been, it’s a real good version of it. Its new spins on fairy tales kept things interesting, and it was able to play with our expectations. It used our memories of the first season against us, changing things up when we least expected it to. And yes, some cameos and lines were pure manipulative fan-service, but seven seasons in, that’s a lot of why we still watch this show. This midseason finale did all that and brought all its story threads together in a pretty spectacular package.With Lucy in magic-induced critical condition, we immediately flash back to just after Lucy is born. Henry is the proud father, showing off his baby girl to the crowd (minus Regina for no real reason), when Drizella appears. She starts to relate a prophecy of doom like a dollar-store version of Maleficent, when she gets turned to stone by blood magic. It turns out Lady Tremaine decided to make herself useful. So the resistance is just cool with her now? Just because her daughter is super evil doesn’t make the things she did any less terrible. But hey, blood magic help is hard to come by, I guess. The flashbacks then take us forward to Lucy’s eighth birthday, which is interrupted by Gothel and some hooded figures. It turns out that blood magic can be brute forced with enough witches. Also, they just happen to be having a party right next to the Drizella statue. Why did they keep that around?Lana Parrilla, Rebecca Mader (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)In the modern world, Jacinda and Sabine are trying to figure out what’s wrong with Lucy, not knowing that the only one who can help her is a few rooms down. Anastasia is recovering and getting up to speed with the modern world. Weaver shows up and the two come to a begrudging agreement. Weaver will guard Anastasia from Drizella and Gothel, and in exchange, he gets to figure out whether or not she’s the Guardian he’s been looking for. Meanwhile, we finally catch up with Henry and Regina/Roni. It turns out they’ve come to San Francisco to find Zelena. She’s teaching an off-brand Soul Cycle class! The build-up to her reveal was just so well-executed. Of course that’s what she’s doing in this new world. She even commands the people exercising by calling them “her little monkeys.” It’s the kind of fun fan-service this season is very good at pulling off.Unfortunately, Zelena isn’t so happy to see them. Apparently in this reality, Roni was the cool aunt to Zelena’s daughter Robin. Yes, Zelena and Robin Hood named their daughter after the father. It’s cute. At her suggestion, Robin apparently went off to Amsterdam to travel and party instead of going to college. Oops. Fortunately, all it takes is a potion and a strongly worded recap to remind Zelena who she really is. She’s all ready to run back to Hyperion Heights and fight evil, but there’s just one problem. The curse gave her a whole life in San Francisco. She’s getting married tomorrow. She quickly puts that aside to help her real family, but it’s a nice little moment. It means that the stuff that happens under the curse matters. It’s real. Once Upon a Time is best when it explores the messy details of both fairy tales and its own premise. These characters are in a world without magic, but they don’t live in a bubble. They still interact with the real world and breaking the curse won’t undo any of that.Robert Carlyle, Yael Yurman (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)With Zelena back for this episode, we know this can’t be the first time Regina called for her help. In the past, she called on her sister to help her fight off whatever Drizella had planned. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get to do all that much. She gets a dramatic entrance, but that’s about it. Because this is the midseason finale and that means we finally get to see how the curse was cast. It doesn’t leave much room for any Zelena badassery, but it means she’ll stick around for at least a few episodes once the show comes back. When the day of the curse finally comes, and witches chase Henry through the woods, we see that father-daughter scene from last season’s finale once again. Only now we know what’s going on. Henry runs to fight them off while Regina and Zelena go to stop whatever Drizella’s planning. Only it turns out that’s what she wanted them to do. See, just like she hides her curse under a layer of obscurity, making her mother think she was in charge, she does the same thing to Regina. It turns out the witches caught Henry, and poisoned him. And the only way to keep him alive is to take him to a world without magic. See, Drizella still needs Regina to cast the curse, and this is how she’s making her do it. It also explains exactly why Drizella was suddenly able to get Regina to keep Henry and Jacinda apart. We knew it had to be something like this, but it was still pretty harrowing to see it play out. That’s a real cold move, Drizella. Also, the special effects in this episode are great. Watching the curse take over the realm is a spellbinding moment. They really went all out for this one.People in the past aren’t the only ones getting played. This episode saw yet another villain rise up. This kind of twist-after-twist-after-twist would get tiring, but to be honest, Gothel is a much better villain than either Drizella or Tremaine. Tremaine felt too much like a Diet version of season one Regina, and Drizella… was anyone ever intimidated by her? Looking back on it, she always did have to be led around by someone else, which doesn’t make for a great villain. Alright Once Upon a Time, we’ll give you this one. As soon as Rumplestiltskin and Tremaine figure out that Anastasia is the Guardian, and have her work on a spell to save Lucy, Drizella shows up and captures her. Pretending to be a concerned sister, she lures Anastasia to a room with Gothel and tries to steal her magic. I say tries to because this whole time, Gothel was manipulating Drizella. The cuffs she gave her actually transfer Drizella’s power to Anastasia. Gothel wants to form The Coven of Eight, the group of witches who helped cast this curse to begin with. We don’t know anything about them or what they plan to do in this new world, but that’s just how this show rolls.Gabrielle Anwar, Robert Carlyle, Yael Yurman (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)This midseason finale was Once Upon a Time doing what it does best. It spun out its fairy tales into the twistiest soap opera, and actually pulled off some shocking twists. I know a lot of fans were ready to dismiss this seventh season as an unnecessary extension but once again, it proved that it can still be the same show it’s always been. It’s even capable of surprising us after all these years. It just has to work more to pull it off. As convoluted as Gothel’s plan was, I have to admit it worked. It was set up well so that when the twist happened, it came as a shock, but still made sense. And since this is the midseason finale, that means the show is leaving us at a serious low point for the characters. Henry, in reading his book to the unconscious Lucy finally believes that he was her father in another world. He kisses her forehead just like Emma did his and nothing happens. Tramaine has destroyed her belief. The only way for Regina and Zelena to save her life now is to break the curse. Which we now know will kill Henry. That’s one hell of a cliffhanger to leave us on. Especially since the next episode isn’t coming until March. Once Upon a Time’s Finale Was Everything We Loved About an Imperfect ShowHenry Screws Everything Up Again on Once Upon a Time
Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will visit Vancouver on Friday to serve as a special guest during a breakfast fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna. Attending the breakfast costs $250 per guest. For those who want better access to Christie, fundraiser participants can pay $5,000 to attend a private roundtable discussion at 8 a.m., and then participate in a photo-op and reception with Christie at 8:30 a.m. The photography and reception portions of the fundraiser, excluding the roundtable, cost $1,800 a person. The fundraiser is scheduled to take place at the Heathman Lodge, 7801 N.E. Greenwood Drive. Those who want to attend are encouraged to RSVP by today. To RSVP, call Jessica McDowell at 425-202-5150 or email her at Jessica@McKenna-WSRPVictory.com.
NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Jan 28, 2018 – 10:52 pm Janelle Monaé’s “Time’s Up” Speech News Janelle Monáe Drops Two New Singles, Announces New Album Email Twitter Janelle Monáe Drops Singles From ‘Dirty Computer’ janelle-mon%C3%A1e-drops-two-new-singles-announces-new-album While Monáe has stayed busy over the past five years with music and acting, Dirty Computer is her first full-length album since 2013’s The Electric Lady. If these first two singles are any indication, Monáe will continue to make her statement loud and proud well into 2018 and beyond.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more Continuing her year of compelling statements, in “Django Jane” Monáe takes on issues of sexism and racism head-on, reading a rap-heavy riot act at power symbols while situated on a royal throne and at the head of the table. Just as visually striking, “Make Me Feel” presents a more sultry, seductive vibe, showing off Monáe’s acting chops overtop a funky, melodic dance club banger. Facebook The GRAMMY-nominated artist returns with not one, but two bold new songs and striking videos, plus a release date for her new full-length LPNate HertweckGRAMMYs Feb 22, 2018 – 3:34 pm Less than one month after her unforgettable and empowering “Time’s Up” speech at the 60th GRAMMY Awards, Janelle Monáe released two new songs on Feb. 22, complete with accompanying videos, and announced the release date for her upcoming fourth album, Dirty Computer, out April 27.
A new patent shows how drones can keep an eye out on a home while making deliveries. CNET For years, Amazon has shown off how it’ll use drones to deliver items to customers, and it’s even developed a super-quiet drone for neighborhood deliveries. The company has a new patent that’ll give these flying robots a second use: surveillance. Amazon received a patent for what it calls “Image creation using geo-fence data” from the US Patent and Trademark Office in early June. The application explains that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, could be used to provide a secondary service of checking on an individual’s property while the robots are out doing deliveries.An image from the Amazon patent shows how drones will deliver and provide surveillance. US Patent and Trademark Office/Amazon As part of this service, customers can receive images or videos from the drones overlooking the property. UAVs would only be allowed to record the property of the individuals who consented and not those of their neighbors. “We take customer privacy very seriously,” John Tagle, senior PR manager for Amazon, said in an email Friday. “Some reports have suggested that this technology would spy or gather data on homes without authorization — to be clear, that’s not what the patent says. The patent clearly states that it would be an opt-in service available to customers who authorize monitoring of their home.”One company you might think would be worried about this is Sunflower Labs, a startup developing home security drones. But Chief Executive Alex Pachikov says he’s happy with Amazon’s patent.”I am actually very excited to see this,” Pachikov said. “We’ve long believed that drones are ideally suited for security, and while Amazon’s approach is different from ours, we are happy to see this market validated.”Like many patents granted to tech companies, there’s no telling if this drone security service will actually see the light of day. So far, Amazon’s plans for drones and autonomous vehicles are for deliveries sometime in the future. CNET reporter Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.Originally published June 21, 7:50 a.m. PT.Update, 9:16 a.m. PT: Adds Amazon comment. Update, June 23: Adds comment from Sunflower Labs. Share your voice Tags Comments 5 Patents Amazon Drones Smart Home Security Security Cameras
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download AudioWalker calls special session on new gas tax, gas line buyoutGov. Bill Walker on Thursday formally called the Alaska Legislature back to Juneau for a third special session this year. His proclamation calls for considering two topics: A tax targeting undeveloped natural gas still in the ground, and buying out Canadian pipeline builder TransCanada’s ownership stake in a proposed natural gas pipeline.Pope wows Alaska senators — and Rep. Young’s wifeLiz Ruskin, APRN-WashingtonAlaska’s congressional delegation had an audience with the Pope Thursday morning. Actually, all of Congress did, along with the president’s cabinet and the Supreme Court. But Senator Lisa Murkowski did have a close encounter with Pope Francis, a personal moment that left her awestruck. Murkowski was among a group of senators assigned to greet the Pope at the Capitol.Murkowski votes to protect Planned Parenthood fundingLiz Ruskin, APRN-WashingtonAfter the Pope left the Capitol, the U.S. Senate took another procedural vote on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, this one linked to a stop-gap measure to fund the government. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of eight Republicans to vote against advancing the bill. She sided with Democrats who say cutting Planned Parenthood funds would limit access to healthcare and contraception.Sockeye wildfire defendants ask for delayEllen Lockyer, KSKA-AnchorageThe state’s case against the two defendants in the Sockeye wildfire may not go to trial until sometime next year. At a court hearing in Palmer on Thursday attorneys for defendants Amy DeWitt and Greg Imig asked Judge David Zwink for more time to prepare their case.Mexican Counsulate to close in AnchorageAnne Hillman, KSKA-AnchorageThe Mexican Consulate in Anchorage is closing to the public at the end of November because of budgetary reasons.Questions raised about Nome’s hosting patrol vesselsEmily Russell, KNOM-NomeThroughout the summer, Nome’s horizon is dotted with oil tankers, cargo vessels, and foreign icebreakers —anchoring off-shore to avoid the port’s shallow depth. A recent stopover by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Munro raised questions about the Nome’s inability to host patrol vessels that help ensure the nation’s security in the Arctic.Contentious minor offenses ordinance to start in 2016Jillian Rogers, KHNS-HainesThe contentious minor offenses ordinance, an order that assigns fines to more than 200 violations, will take effect Jan. 1 with an amendment to clarify who exactly can write the tickets. The ordinance passed Tuesday evening during a four-hour emotional rollercoaster of a meeting.Bristol Bay sockeye included in school lunchesMolly Dischner, KDLG-DillinghamThousands of cans of Bristol Bay sockeye will make their way to school lunches and other federal food programs around the country this winter as part of a USDA bailout.Author Seth Kantner out with new bookLori Townsend, APRN-AnchorageMost authors struggle to get their work noticed…at all…and would love to get a phone call by a publisher, asking them to write something…but for Northwest Arctic resident and writer Seth Kantner…maybe not.
Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland has commended the government of Bangladesh for setting aside land to receive hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Myanmar.The refugees are Rohingya Muslims who say they are fleeing persecution and violence at the hands of Myanmar’s Buddhist majority and government forces.Patricia said this is a major humanitarian crisis, and reports indicate that the majority fleeing are women and children.”I’m encouraged that Bangladesh has opened its borders to receive those who have felt they had no choice but to leave their homes,” she said.”By providing immediate assistance – food, shelter and clothing – to hundreds of thousands of desperate people in this time of great need, the government and people of Bangladesh are acting with characteristic Commonwealth goodwill, and in accordance with our Commonwealth Charter,” Patricia added.
Hasan MahmudInformation minister Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said the instability in the media, especially in TV channels, over the insecurity of journalists’ jobs will be over soon as the government is taking various steps in this regard, reports UNB.”Since the prime minister has given me the charge of this [information] ministry, I have been working for ensuring the security of journalists and their jobs so that they can work independently. I’m putting in my best efforts to this end,” he said.The minister further said, “I’ll be able to do many things, if I get your (journalists’) cooperation. I’ve started working on some issues, especially ensuring your job security. If I can successfully do it, the current instability in the media, mainly in TV stations, will be over.”Hasan Mahmud came up with the remarks while speaking at an iftar mahfil arranged by Chittagong Division Journalists’ Forum, Dhaka (CDJFD) at the National Press Club.He said their ministry is also working for changing the Terms of Reference (ToR) of Journalist Welfare Trust to extend the areas of assistance.Mentioning that the number of newspapers, TVs and online portals has increased exponentially in the country, the minister said it is necessary to maintain the professional skills and excellence of journalists with the expansion of the media sector.Hasan Mahmud sought cooperation of journalists’ forums, including Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) and the National Press Club, in resolving the existing problems in the media sector.Former railways minister Mujibul Haque, prime minister’s special assistant lawyer Biplab Barua, Press Council chairman justice Mohammed Mumtaz Uddin Ahmed, Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) director general Zafar Wazed, Press Club senior vice president Omar Farroque, DUJ general secretary Sohel Haider Chowdhury and CDJFD president Mahmudur Rahman Khokon, secretary general Shahinul Islam Chowdhury, former DUJ general secretaries Quddus Afrad, Kazi Rafique, Jatiya Grantha Kendra director Minar Mansur and senior journalists were present at the event.
By Nadine Matthews, Special to the AFROIf you can’t find what you’re looking for, you should probably just make it yourself. That is the principle that Sonja Herbert was going by when she was looking for a community of Black women who were also Pilates enthusiasts and instructors. After teaching Pilates for 12 years and not seeing many Black women in that community, she decided to be the change she wanted to see. “I decided to start the group. I reached out to two friends of mine on Instagram. They gave me about fifty names,” she recalls. I started following them and then became Facebook friends.” Now that group has increased to over 300 people who live across the United States as well as abroad. Herbert explains, “They’re all over the world. We’ve got members from Nigeria, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland. All Black women.”Pilates Instructor, Sonja Herbert. (Courtesy Photo)Created by German fitness instructor Joseph Pilates, in the early twentieth century Pilates is an exercise system that according to Wikipedia, “Improves flexibility, builds strength and develops control and endurance in the entire body.” Popular for many years among dancers, it is particularly effective Herbert explains, “For overall core body strength. That means the trunk part of your body, like from your neck, down to your hips front and the back part of your neck, down your hips back. That’s your foundation and if the foundation is strong, then the rest of the body can move properly. Pilates will make everything else you do better. For instance it will help you do yoga better, but nothing but doing Pilates, will make you do Pilates better.”Pilates can be done as a series of exercises on the floor or using machines created specially for it. Herbert became hooked after one class when her daughter’s ballet instructor Cynthia Shipley, formerly of the Baltimore Dance Theater, convinced her to give it a try.Mainly through the use of Facebook and Instagram, Black Pilates instructors in Herbert’s community, network, mentor and provide each other with a source of support and inspiration. All instructors are either certified or are actively working toward certification. There are now two Facebook groups: one for instructors called Blackgirl Pilates (Instructors Only) and one for those looking for instructors called Black Girl Pilates Tribe. “As Black women teaching Pilates you’re not going to run into a hell of a lot of us nor are you going to run into a hell of a lot of Black clients either. We are in very White spaces. It’s pulling together all of this amazing talent and expertise but also giving each other support as Black women.” Herbert and some of the members are now developing their own certification program. “Our certification will be classic exercises that Joseph taught himself, with modern components.” Their certification will also include knowledge of the impact of two women of color on the history of Pilates. “Kathy Grant, a Black woman and Lolita San Miguel, who’s Puerto Rican,” Herbert explains, “were certified by Joseph Pilates himself.”Herbert at one point had to defend herself and the group against charges of reverse racism, going so far as writing an essay in a national magazine addressing the issue. Herbert says she wasn’t exactly shocked. “I wasn’t really surprised. I’ve had some well-meaning White people try to join the group who just want to support us but I’m like, ‘This is a safe space and you being here would make it unsafe for us.’ I had a few conversations in the initial part of starting a group and then after, I decided that it wouldn’t be good to have those conversations.”The group meets annually in New York City for a huge mashup. In 2019, there will be an even bigger, international meeting taking place in Barcelona Spain. Excitedly Herbert shares, “I’ll be meeting a lot of women I’ve never met before.”Trying to create what she jokingly terms “Pilates Wakanda,” Herbert is coordinating a number of smaller local meetings that will take place throughout the year in locations such as New York City, Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Georgia and Texas.Herbert finds it hard to pinpoint just one great benefit she received from creating this community but said, “I’ve never really had the opportunity to have a lot of female friends and I consider this community, all of them, friends. I think for me, it’s a sisterhood and the feeling of safety that brings.”
Japan will reportedly inspect some 200 million network-connected devices ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.The government-backed National Institute of Information and Communications Technology will begin the sweep next month, checking for potential vulnerabilities in routers, webcams, and smart home appliances.Ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup and G20 summit—not to mention the 2020 Summer Olympics—host city Tokyo is eager to boost cybersecurity, according to Channel NewsAsia.Analysts will test common-yet-unsafe IDs and passwords (like “abcd,” “1234,” “admin”) on easily hacked devices—primarily those using physical cables to access the Internet, Institute spokesman Tsutomu Yoshida told the news agency.“Too often, we see webcams, for example, that are already being hacked because security settings are too simple and their images are being seen by outsiders,” he said. “Sometimes they are put on public websites without the owners being aware.”While the Institute said it will eschew expensive and complex operations like checking smartphones, it may instead examine routers at cafes, for example.“We will see, of roughly 200 million products to be surveyed, how many are being exposed” to risks,” Yoshida said.The move comes after an attack during the 2018 Winter Olympics that took down several hundred Pyeongchang computers, knocking Internet and television systems offline for 12 hours.Authorities declined to reveal the source, but The Washington Post pointed the finger at Russia. Citing two anonymous U.S. intelligence officials, the paper tipped a “false-flag” operation, claiming the Russians tried to frame North Korea for the disruption.Next year’s Games mark the return of the Summer Olympics to Tokyo for the first time since 1964. They will be the fourth Olympics held in Japan, and the second of three consecutive Games in East Asia—sandwiched between last year’s event in South Korea and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.More on Geek.com:‘Donald’ Is One of 2018’s Worst PasswordsTokyo 2020 Olympic Medals Will Be Made Out of Old GadgetsJapan Opens Cocktail Bar in a Waste Dump to Promote Sustainability Stay on target Researchers Discover Two More Cases of Facebook Data ExposureGirl Scouts Can Now Earn Cool Cybersecurity Skills Badges
Even the way the fire was prepared appeared to be an art form, with each pairing convinced that their method was the best by far.The ‘twinnies’ of Craig Booth and Brad Pitout won the best potjie. These guys really know how to cook up a storm.The day was enjoyed by all who attended, and every meal was prepared with heart and soul to get all those tasty flavours to come to the fore.Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The Siegetown Moths held a potjiekos / pot of curry competition on Saturday at the Shellhole. Those showing off their culinary skills gathered at the Moth Hall and started the day off early, pot and ingredients in hand.The different methods were evident, as everyone has their own unique way of making an amazing potjie. The tables were seen full of delicious “goodies”, all ready to go into the pot.Also read: Amazing food at Moth HallAlso read: Moths hold El Alamein DinnerEverybody who was cooking unselfishly shared their ideas with each other and gained some very valuable tips for making the best potjie or pot of curry.
The Arizona Cardinals are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2009-10 and will travel to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers in the Wild Card round on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 2:35 p.m. Arizona started the season 9-1, but a myriad of injuries, particularly to their starting and back-up quarterbacks, caused them to finish the season with an 11-5 record, good enough for the fifth seed in the NFC. Carolina won the lowly NFC South with a record of 7-8-1, beating the Atlanta Falcons in their regular season finale to clinch the division. The Panthers are only the second team to win their division with a losing record (Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West at 7-9 in 2010). Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Carolina and Arizona did not meet during the 2014 season, with their last matchup coming in Week 5 of last season, a 22-6 Arizona win in Glendale. The last time Arizona traveled to Charlotte for a playoff game was in 2009. The Cardinals upset the Panthers 33-13 in the Divisional round on the road to their Super Bowl appearance. That game was the last road playoff win for the Cardinals. Arizona is 0-1 on the road since.Only Larry Fitzgerald, Lyle Sendlein and Calais Campbell remain on the Cardinals’ roster from that game.Drew Stanton’s status for next weekend’s game is up in the air due to a knee injury.Arizona will rely on its “next man up” mentality to advance in the playoffs with, at best, an injured back-up quarterback. – / 27 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
Go back to the e-newsletter >Muri Beach Club Hotel won the World Luxury Hotel Award at this year’s prestigious awards ceremony. Taking out this year’s ‘Luxury Romantic Hotel’ award category, Muri Beach Club Hotel is Cook Islands’ leading boutique romantic escape. Perched on the most picturesque stretch of white sandy beach facing the famous Muri Lagoon on the island of Rarotonga, this intimate 30-room hotel assures guests the perfect balance of modern luxuries and Polynesian charm.Owner & General Manager Liana Scott reports: “On behalf of Management and our hard-working team, we are ecstatic to take out this year’s Luxury Romantic Hotel award category. We are proud to play a part in each and every guest’s romantic Cook Islands experience. Guests can spend their days doing as little or as much as their hearts desire at Muri Beach Club Hotel. This award solidifies our efforts to be Cook Islands number one romantic escape and encourages us to continue to strive to deliver a better more improved unique holiday experience.”For a limited time Muri Beach Club Hotel is giving guests the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the hotel firsthand. Book and save 30 per cent plus receive an intimate lovers lunch on one of the three private motu’s (islets) located just off the hotel’s beach. With accommodation starting from NZD$362 per night twin share inclusive of tropical breakfast daily, guests will be spoilt for choice.Go back to the e-newsletter >
2. Sunbathe on tropical beaches in OkinawaThe Okinawa islands are part of the Ryukyu archipelago, which stretches almost all the way down to Taiwan, and they have a tropical climate much unlike the temperate weather on the mainland. The main island, Okinawa Honto, is home to a huge US military base and gets rammed with Japanese tourists in summer, but the smaller Ryukyu islands further south, like Miyako-jima, tend to be deserted and have some stunning beaches. And if you head to Zamami-jima island in spring, you can even see humpback whales.3. Admire the snow sculptures in SapporoThe Sapporo Snow Festival takes place in February each year, and it’s worth making the long trip to the northern island of Hokkaido just to see the enormous sculptures. Previous works of art have included a Japanese castle, the Taj Mahal and even a giant Darth Vader. Make sure to pack your snowboard too: the Niseko ski resort just outside Sapporo has some of the best powder in the world. There are thousands of islands in the Japanese archipelalago, which extends for over 3,000 kilometres from icy Hokkaido all the way down to the idyllic tropical islands off the coast of Taiwan.So, depending on the time of year and the particular island you stop off at, you might be stomping through metres of snow or sweltering in 35-degree heat, and the range of activities on offer is just as varied as the climate. Geeks are well catered for in the otaku heaven that is Tokyo, while Kyoto appeals to the more spiritual with its dozens of serene temples, and the love hotels of Osaka showcase Japan’s quirkier side.1. Dance with dragons in NagasakiFrom the early 17th century to the mid 19th century, Japan effectively closed its borders. But during this sakoku period, the city of Nagasaki in southern Japan remained open to trade with Dutch and Chinese merchants, and as a result the city has a surprisingly different feel from the rest of the country; it’s one of the few places you will see historic Western-style buildings in Japan. And the Chinese influence on the city is showcased each year in the Kunchi festival in October, when dragons take to the streets… and even find their way into shops and restaurants, much to the surprise of diners. 9. Seek serenity in ancient templesKyoto is the place to go if you want to see temples. The most famous is probably Kinkakuji (Golden Temple), although Kiyomizudera is much bigger and provides some stunning views across the city. But if you want to go beyond the tourist temples and see a real-life retreat, you can arrange a stay of contemplation at Eiheiji, a working temple north of Kyoto in Fukui prefecture.More: 10 best places to visit in Kyoto Related10 of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes: in picturesTen totally stunning photos of a selection of the world’s most awesome, and most dangerous volcanoes.Top 15 attractions and things to do in TokyoA fascinating mix of the hyper-new and the ancient, you can see the second-tallest structure in the world – the Tokyo Skytree – on the same day as visiting a 1,400-year-old temple in Asakusa. Here’s our list of Tokyo’s top attractions, as eclectic as the city itself.Explore Japan: 5 unmissable things to do in OkinawaOkinawa is a collection of 160 islands forming the southwestern tip of Japan and it’s the perfect add-on to an Asia trip, thanks to great flight connections from airports across Japan. Explore the coral-fringed island, home to some of Asia’s best dive sites, as well as its steamy rainforests and… Photo: U.S. Embassy Tokyo Press, CC BY 2.04. Climb Mount FujiThe almost perfectly conical Mount Fuji is breathtaking, literally so if you plan to climb it. The air gets pretty thin at the top, 3,776 metres above sea level, but the climb is relatively steady and easy. Beware of being overtaken by ultra-fit Japanese grannies though, and be prepared to queue your way up the mountain in particularly busy periods. The climbing season is July to mid-September, check here for details.5. See snow monkeys bathing in NaganoIt’s essential that you go to an onsen – a mineral spa – at some point during your stay in Japan. Onsens are a way of life in the country, although when stripping naked in front of strangers, you might feel a bit self-conscious at first. There are onsens everywhere, but the ones in Nagano prefecture are some of the most famous – and the monkeys there have learned the benefits of taking a hot bath too.6. Explore the Hiroshima Peace MemorialOn 6 August 1945, an atomic bomb was detonated above Hiroshima, killing around 70,000 people and changing the world forever. Remarkably, the building directly below the blast survived when everything around it was flattened, and it’s now been preserved as the Atomic Bomb Dome (or Hiroshima Peace Memorial) in remembrance of that day, while the nearby Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum provides a by turns fascinating and harrowing record of the events of 1945.7. Visit a love hotel in OsakaLove hotels are a peculiarly Japanese phenomenon – with privacy at a premium and many young couples living with their parents, boys and girls who want a bit of alone time can head off to one of these kitsch neon hotels, which charge by the hour. Often payment is via vending machine, or the money is passed beneath a screen to ensure privacy is retained. But these love palaces are far from seedy – in fact they can be a lot of fun, with themed rooms that run the gamut from cute to bizarre. Osaka is the capital of love hotels, although the authorities are currently clamping down on them, so these cultural oddities may soon cease to exist. Read more:Top 9 things to do in TokyoGiant robots? Mega towers? Ancient temples? Electronic sushi restaurants? Tokyo is like a peek into the future with a foot in the past.8 best geek things to see and do in TokyoLove technology and gadgets? Take a tour of 8 of the best hi-tech attractions on the ultimate geek’s adventure in Tokyo.Find flights to JapanFind hotels in JapanSkyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map _Photo: Laura Tomàs Avellana, CC BY-NC 2.0_8. See a samurai castle in HimejiThere are many impressive castles all across Japan, although very few are actually ancient – thanks to frequent earthquakes, rampaging warlords and walls made mostly of wood. A lot of the castles that have been reconstructed, like Osaka Castle, have been remade with modern building materials like concrete, but Himeji castle has been rebuilt using ancient techniques. And not only is it freaking huge, it’s home to some real-life samurai armour and swords. 10. Go geek crazy in TokyoIf you grew up on Akira and video games, then Tokyo is your Mecca, and the Akihabara district in particular. Battle all comers in the five-floor-high arcades, shop for Godzilla figures in the enormous collector shops and then head to the Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo for all the plush toys you can eat. And don’t forget to stop off at Odaiba Island to see the moving, 12-metre-high Gundam robot (sorry, mobile suit).
All parents are not looking for the same thing from a senior school. But how should you consider which one is best for you and your child?There is no one answer to the question ‘why do parents send their children to private school? One could cite the poor state of public schools, which seem to exist to serve teachers rather than children, but that is not a complete answer. As active education consumers, parents have demands of a school. Research carried out abroad with the intention of finding out why parents go private came up with the following reasons, which are listed in the order they were ranked:Small classesSmall classes are often a requirement of parents. They are usually equated with that other requirement, more individual attention for the child, but they do not necessarily go together. Private schools can often provide more individual attention because the teachers are required to stay longer hours and provide extra support outside mainstream classes. They may also have better training. This is the kind of individual attention that parents expect when they are paying school fees.Better disciplineParents expect better discipline from a private school and it is usually delivered. That is because private schools are able to pick the students they want and weed out the ones they don’t want if those students are disruptive or step out of line. This does not happen at public schools because if students in the state sector get excluded from one school, they only end up in another one. Students in private schools have to meet the required standards of behaviour.Better learning environmentWhen teachers are competitively recruited (in stark contrast to public schools which hire graduates indiscriminately) and expected to work long hours to meet the learning needs of their students, it usually makes for a more dynamic and interesting result in the classroom. Sometimes private schools can offer a broader curriculum and better teaching resources as well. But when the teaching is not good and parents are not happy, private schools are often quick to change things around and sometimes get rid of teachers that prove less than capable or do not have parental support. Essentially, it is the quality of the interaction in the classroom that determines the quality of the teaching and learning. Sometimes this happens best in schools that do not appear on the surface to have the best facilities. But parents should be able to choose a school based on the aspects of education that they value most.Student SafetyStudent safety may not be the hottest issue in Cyprus education, although it clearly was an issue for parents that were surveyed in other countries. This may be becoming a concern in Cyprus. Parents of children in public schools are constantly demanding more security measures and although the safety problems are exaggerated there are signs that it could become an issue, while some private schools have stepped up security on campus.When it comes down to exercising choice, private education gives parents what they want. Sometimes what they want is a highly competitive, exam and results driven environment. Sometimes it is something quite different – extra literacy support and the chance to take drama or art as a serious subject – or just better sports facilities.And for many foreigners in Cyprus, it is the opportunity for their child to learn in English and get A Levels or IB with extra support to get into a UK or US university. The point is that not every school will meet the needs of every child. With private education, parents have a choice. To make the right choice, though, parents must decide what constitutes value for money for them.Nothing should be taken for granted. For instance many parents believe that small classes are something worth paying for. Often private schools do have much smaller classes than state schools. This is a good thing. While it is clearly not the case that bad teachers can suddenly teach just because the classes are small it does mean that good teachers can give your children more time and individual attention.However, just because you pay for education, it does not guarantee the school employs only good teachers. There are good teachers in state schools and bad teachers in private schools. But it seems it is a lot easier to get rid of bad teachers in private schools than it is in the state sector, in which teaching unions are all-powerful. It is interesting to ask private schools how they support poor teachers and see if they admit to ever having had any!There is also the matter of academic results. Schools these days are very open about their exam results and usually display them on their website. But this is not necessarily a great way to judge value for money. Many private schools select the pupils they want in the first place and only take those they consider academically able. So sometimes students in the less selective schools actually do better academically, even though this is not always obvious from the results. Nor will the results reveal how many parents at the school are paying for private lessons on top of school fees. In which case you might ask yourself why would you pay for both?There is no guarantee that your child will do well academically in any school, no matter how much you pay. However, one thing that private schools can do well is monitor progress and communicate with parents on a regular basis. Especially if the school has a parent portal, a virtual learning environment and a good website. It is reassuring to know that you can walk into school at any time and teachers are always willing to talk to you or reply to emails. So it is useful to ask how quickly any kind of underachievement will be picked up on and how long the school would wait to get in touch.The social mix of the school and its culture is something a lot of people think is worth paying for. Some private schools in Cyprus offer an international environment with opportunities for the students to interact with and learn from other students from all around the world. The student population of some schools is mainly Cypriot and there are parents that prefer this.High academic achievement is always of paramount importance, but sometimes it could be at the expense of a broader education and the development of a love of learning. A parent could prefer a school that encourages students to pursue other interests by offering a range of extracurricular activities as well as subjects not deemed ‘academic’ such as music and drama.This is the most valuable thing a good private school can give you, freedom to choose from any number of activities, an interest in everything and the confidence to achieve what you are capable of. Good private schools should be advising their pupils to take the traditional exam subjects and supporting high achievement in them. But those that encourage the broadest range of interests, and pay the most attention to your child’s individual needs are the ones doing the best job. 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