Over 180 kids benefit after opening of Anganwadi scheme in Shahdara

first_imgNew Delhi: More than 180 children and 18 pregnant women are now getting benefits of Anganwadi scheme, which was opened after the intervention of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) in one of the areas in Shahdara. DCPCR member Ranjana Prasad told Millennium Post that they received a complaint on May 14 from a resident of Shahdara. “The complainant told us that there was no Anganwadi in the area,” said Prasad.She added that a DCPCR team was sent to the spot to inspect the area. It was revealed that there were 186 children (0-6 years) and 18 pregnant women. “Some of the kids were malnourished,” DCPCR official said. According to child rights body, they informed the concerned Delhi government authority regarding the issue which turns out to be fruitful. Recently the commission enquired the complainant about the current status of the project. They came to know that the locality now enjoys the basic facilities of the Anganwadi. In July, two more anganwadis were opened in Delhi after the intervention of the commission. “Poor people are not aware that government has a scheme for the good health and free education of their children. If children are connected to Anganwadi, we can prevent the problem of malnutrition,” said Ranjana Prasad.last_img read more

Too late in the game Concerns hurt bear near Calgary cant weather

first_imgCOCHRANE, Alta. – A wildlife biologist says a young injured black bear that has been wandering alone west of Calgary for weeks has not built up enough body fat or grown a thick enough fur undercoat to survive the winter without help.The small bruin was spotted hobbling in a field in late September with an apparent injury to one of its back legs. That prompted calls for the Alberta government to allow a wildlife rehabilitation charity to intervene.The province has said the animal should be left alone and has suggested it could heal while it hibernates. Anyone who approaches the bear risks being charged and fined.More than 6,700 people have signed an online petition urging the government to allow the bear to be treated.Biologist Lisa Dahlseide says the bear was seen as recently as Sunday, when it attracted a crowd of onlookers near the small community of Redwood Meadows.She says the animal has been able to move over greater distances than it had been several weeks ago, when it stayed mostly in the same spot.“It’s great news because it shows that he’s healing,” Dahlseide said Monday.“However, I feel that it was a bit too late in the game for this time of year. He had such a long period of time when he wasn’t mobile, where he lacked getting the nutritional content that he needed to prepare for hibernation.”Alberta Environment and Parks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Bears need to consume 20,000 calories a day in preparation for their winter slumber, Dahlseide said.“He’s very skinny. He’s still very much underweight.”The Cochrane Ecological Institute, which has been rehabilitating and rescuing wildlife for a half-century, has for weeks wanted the bear to be brought to its facility for care.But provincial rules in place since 2010 prohibit the rescue, rehabilitation and return to the wild of a number of animals, including black bears.Institute president Clio Smeeton said she wrote to the province last month to ask for a temporary shelter permit, which would allow her organization to look after the bear for a limited period of time. She also asked to borrow a bear trap.Smeeton said the bear would be given veterinary treatment at no cost to taxpayers. The bear would be fattened up as much as possible for the next few weeks and would be given a safe place to hibernate until spring.“We have been collecting vast amounts of apples, all donated for him, should we ever get him.”Smeeton said she doesn’t understand why the province hasn’t taken her up on the offer.“It’s not difficult. It’s clean, it’s ethical and it’s morally right to do,” she said. “It won’t cost the government a penny and by doing something like that, they look good, the animals are looked after and everybody’s happy.”Dahlseide said Smeeton’s proposal is the best option, but the biologist has been exploring an alternative.Dahlseide said a den insulated with straw bales could be built for the bear on the private property it has been roaming on, since it’s not clear whether the animal has the strength to build one itself. She said the landowner has expressed an eagerness to help, but wants to ensure doing so doesn’t cause any legal trouble.The downside would be that the bruin would be more vulnerable to predators than if it were at the wildlife institute — but it’s better than nothing, Dahlseide said.“We have built the den, so as soon as we get the OK, it’s just a matter of putting it on the back of a pickup truck.”— By Lauren Krugel in Calgarylast_img read more

Freeland says VicePresident Mike Pence a valuable partner on free trade

first_imgOTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence has been a valuable partner to Canada because he supports free trade.Freeland says the government is looking forward to getting an update on U.S. efforts to ratify the new North American free-trade pact when Pence visits Ottawa next week.Pence will be in Ottawa on Thursday following the Trump administration’s decision last week to lift its controversial tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum.Both countries had said it would be difficult to ratify the new trade deal with the tariffs in place.Canada has yet to table legislation in Parliament to ratify the new version of the 25-year-old NAFTA, a treaty President Donald Trump has lambasted and repeatedly threatened to tear up.Uncertainty continues to swirl in the U.S. over Trump’s ability to get the new trade pact approved in Congress because of an escalating feud between him and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is now openly criticizing his fitness to serve as president.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Manitobas Nepinak hopes for another court hearing on hunting rights

first_imgThe Canadian PressWINNIPEG –The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is hoping for another court battle over Indigenous hunting rights.Last week, the chief of the Pine Creek First Nation and his cousin George Lamirande, also from Pine Creek, pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful hunting on private property near Canora, Sask.Boucher and Lamirande were each fined $7,500.Read Treaties, Moose and a Line in the SandGovernment officials say that in Saskatchewan, people exercising treaty rights to hunt for food must ask for prior permission to hunt on private land.But Grand Chief Derek Nepinak with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says the government has obligations under Treaties to accommodate Indigenous rights.Nepinak says he’s been told the men cannot appeal because they pleaded guilty, but talks are underway to find a legal avenue to reaffirm hunting rights.“The settler community needs to understand the limits of notions of private property in treaty lands,” Nepinak said in a press release.“The concept of private property is limited by Crown obligations … to not interfere with Indigenous treaty hunters in the carrying-out of their vocation of hunting safely.”Boucher and Lamirande were charged after the landowner told investigators last year he observed three moose being loaded into two trucks on his land, and provided the officers with a Manitoba licence plate from one of the vehicles.The investigation included search warrants being issued at two residences on the Pine Creek First Nation and DNA testing on the moose meat comparing it to samples collected at the kill site.news@aptn.calast_img read more

Canada Post forecasts continuing sector losses despite booming parcel deliveries

The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Canada Post says it will struggle to make a profit in coming years despite booming parcel delivery because of a continuing decline in letter mail, higher employee costs and billions in capital spending.In a corporate forecast quietly tabled in Parliament, the Crown corporation says it is expecting to achieve “modest” profits of between $10 million and $125 million from 2019 through to 2023 but those will be driven primarily by its Purolator subsidiary, while the base Canada Post segment will post losses.The five-year plan estimates Canada Post will need to invest $3.6 billion to keep up with the growth of e-commerce shipping while modernizing to meet shipper and customer expectations and stay ahead of competitors.Meanwhile, employee costs are rising, in part due to a rural pay equity ruling last fall identified as the main cause of an estimated $264 million loss in 2018, and which is expected to add $140 million in annual costs going forward.Canada Post says it expects to have to borrow about $500 million more by 2023 to cover capital needs and to make special employee pension plan solvency payments, expected to start at over $500 million in 2020 and total over $1.8 billion by 2023.It forecasts a post office sector loss of $22 million for 2019 as total revenue grows 3.5 per cent or $234 million to $7 billion — driven by a 13 per cent increase in domestic parcel volume offset by a drop in letter mail activity of about five per cent.The document says Canada Post has spent about $4.7 million to dismantle 2,280 community mailbox sites in 12 municipalities where it had begun but didn’t complete the conversion of door-to-door delivery, acting after the Liberal government ordered the cancellation of the program.“Although Canada Post is in a financially viable position today, the forecasted growth in parcels revenue will not be enough for the Canada Post segment to achieve profitability throughout this plan’s period, nor will it be enough to make Canada Post financially self-sustaining in the long term,” the document says.  read more

With worlds coral reefs under threat UN report urges coordinated protection measures

About 20 per cent of the original area of coral reefs has been lost, with a further 25 per cent threatened in the next century, according to the report “Climate, Carbon and Coral Reefs” by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Tropical coral reefs cover about 0.2 per cent of the world’s ocean, contain about 25 per cent of marine species and are worth an estimated $30 billion annually to the global economy in terms of coastline protection, tourism and food. For the past 20 years, they have been “under siege” from a growing global threat: increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the two UN bodies said in a joint press release. “High CO2 emissions lead to ‘double trouble’ for coral reefs,” states the report, which was launched at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP-10), which is currently taking place in the Japanese city of Nagoya.“First, the trapping of heat in the atmosphere leads to ocean warming which can cause extensive coral bleaching events and mass mortalities. The global devastation of coral reefs from record warming of the sea surface in 1997/1998 was the first example of what is likely to occur in the future under a warming climate. “Second, high CO2 levels lead to ocean acidification which reduces the ability of the coral reefs to grow and maintain their structure and function.” The report calls for more financial and technical development assistance for the protection of coral reef ecosystems, and makes a number of recommendations for future action, such as the need for meteorologists to be well informed about the potential impacts of weather and climate events on coastal and coral reef ecology.It also recommends that concise summary reports on the global carbon threats, together with the ongoing regional and local disturbances to the world’s coral reefs, be presented to policy makers and governments, and that further research and investment are needed to improve the ability to assess and predict the impacts on coral reef systems of climate change and associated extreme events. 26 October 2010A new United Nations report urges a global partnership, backed by commitment and resources, to tackle the threats posed to coral reefs by climate change, including damage from increasingly severe tropical cyclones and ocean acidification. read more

UN chief urges change in resource consumption patterns for sustainable development

13 May 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the need for fundamental changes in humanity’s resource consumption patterns and values, saying the planet’s natural environment is under unprecedented pressure with far-reaching social and economic consequences. “Our vision must be clear; a sustainable green economy that protects the health of the environment while supporting achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through growth in income, decent work and poverty eradication,” Mr. Ban told the high-level segment of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, whose current session is due to end later today. “Equity, not only within societies but globally, will need to become more fully integrated into our institutions and our policies,” said the Secretary-General. This year’s high-level segment of the Commission focused on a number of critical issues, including chemicals, mining, transport and waste. It also considered a 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns. “We must also create an enhanced architecture for sustainable development governance at the national, regional and international levels. This is critical to advancing sustainable development. Our watchwords must be ‘implementation’ and ‘action’,” said Mr. Ban. Government ministers from about 50 countries are attending the segment, which was designed to give impetus to preparations for the Fourth UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, which will be held in the Brazilian city in June 2012. The Secretary-General said the initiative and energy generated during the current session of the Commission, the final one before Rio+20, provides both direction and momentum for the way forward. “You have the full support of the UN system as you embark on the next important leg of the journey to Rio and beyond,” added Mr. Ban. read more

Happiness should have greater role in development policy – UN Member States

19 July 2011The General Assembly today called on United Nations Member States to undertake steps that give more importance to happiness and well-being in determining how to achieve and measure social and economic development. The General Assembly today called on United Nations Member States to undertake steps that give more importance to happiness and well-being in determining how to achieve and measure social and economic development.In a resolution adopted without a vote, the Assembly invited countries “to pursue the elaboration of additional measures that better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding their public policies.”The resolution said “the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal” and embodies the spirit of the globally agreed targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Member States also welcomed the offer of Bhutan, which for many years has used gross national happiness rather than gross domestic product (GDP) as a marker of success, to convene a panel discussion on the theme of happiness and well-being during the Assembly’s next session, which begins in September.The resolution notes that the GDP indicator “was not designed to and does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people in a country,” and “unsustainable patterns of production and consumption can impede sustainable development.”Meanwhile, the Assembly today also adopted a resolution stressing the importance of equality among the six official UN languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. read more

Some powerful nations against Mahinda

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) member and former Parliamentarian Salinda Dissanayake says some powerful countries are against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.Dissanayake said that the countries which wanted Rajapaksa out of power had used President Maithripala Sirisena and those around him to achieve their goals. The former Minister said that even Sri Lanka’s closest neighbor India had worked towards removing Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential election. “These countries used Maithripala Sirisena, Rajitha Senaratne, Champika Ranawaka and others to remove Mahinda Rajapaksa from power in January,” he said. Dissanayake said that the next attempt by some countries is to ensure Mahinda Rajapaksa is completely removed from politics.However he said that there is opposition growing towards that attempt with the participation of several members of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) who are baking Mahinda Rajapaksa to return to power. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Update Missing Simcoe teen returns home

A Simcoe boy reported missing on Thursday has returned home, police say.Dylan Wheeler, 13, returned to his Metcalfe Street  home “safe and sound” at about 12:45 a.m. on Friday.The teen had left his home at about 5 p.m. Thursday to go to a business on Norfolk Street South but never arrived at his destination. A neighbour last saw him walking along the road.His concerned parents contacted police at about 8:45 p.m.“The OPP would like to take this opportunity to thank all our media partners and concerned residents for their assistance during the course of this investigation,” said a media release.No further details were released by police. read more

Iraqi political leaders concur on need to Iraqiize political process UN envoy

Asked if he saw common ground emerging from his various meetings, Mr. Vieira de Mello, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, told reporters there was agreement on the need to move swiftly to new transitional institutions that will embody Iraqi sovereignty in this phase leading to the elaboration and adoption of a new constitution and democratic elections.Earlier today, Mr. Vieira de Mello met with Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi Kurdish leader and head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, who told him he believed the UN should play an important role in the current transitional phase. This would include providing advice and assistance in matters such as the constitutional and electoral processes, financial, monetary and budgetary matters, and the longer-term construction of democratic institutions in Iraq. The UN envoy underlined the importance of promoting and protecting the human rights of all Iraqis, and of assuring an equal place for Iraqi women in all walks of life. On the humanitarian front, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said it was deeply concerned by the lack of security prevailing in most parts of Iraq as it strives with its partners to get all children back to school. Insecurity continued to keep attendance levels, particularly of girls, at unacceptably low levels, with rates estimated at 60 per cent, still far below pre-war levels.In the immediate future, UNICEF said ensuring the organization of final exams across the country, due to start on 21 June, was a daunting challenge. Precautionary security measures are being planned along with related educational and logistics issues. Parents need to be reassured that their children will be safe while taking their exams.UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and a representative of the police have reviewed safety issues such as costs for transport of exams, student IDs, communication, and extra police escorts. The agency has also funded the printing of 15 million exam booklets and some of the booklets are already being delivered to the governorates. read more

Malware could block Internet connections for 9000 Canadian PCs on Monday

MONTREAL – About 9,000 Canadian-owned computers could be infected and lose access to websites, email and social networking on Monday when the FBI shuts down temporary servers used to stop a scam, experts say.Overall some 300,000 computers, most of them in the United States, Italy and India, could be infected and lose their Internet service, Queen’s University associate professor Thomas Dean said Friday.“The computer will start up, but when you try to use your mail or try to use your browser, you are going to get some kind of error message,” Dean said from Kingston, Ont.Warnings about the Internet problem have been splashed across Facebook and Google and Dean said that initially about four million computers were infected globally.The FBI took down hackers last fall in an online advertising scam and had clean servers installed to take over from the malicious servers so that people wouldn’t lose their Internet service right away, but the replacements are being turned off on Monday.Dean said Canadians can go to www.dcwg.org to check if their computers are infected and take appropriate measures. He said Canadians may also have to check routers to see if they have been affected, too, and reset them.“We’ve got roughly 9,000 computers that still appear to be infected,” he said about the Canadian situation.If computers have been infected due to the scam, they haven’t been able to perform anti-virus software or system updates, leaving them vulnerable to other malware, said Dean, who teaches in Queen’s University’s department of electrical and computer engineering.The DNSChanger Trojan malware program at issue was created to redirect Internet traffic and hijack online searches.Symantec’s Dean Turner said Eastern European and Russian hackers generated a profit of $14 million by setting up rogue servers and getting paid for driving traffic to malicious websites, and for also putting fake ads on top of real ads on legitimate websites.“It was basically click fraud — hijacked searches,” said Turner, director of global intelligence for Symantec, a software security company.While Turner said it’s difficult to predict how many infected computers would be in Canada, he said 9,000 wouldn’t be “out of whack.”On Monday, infected computers will get message saying “Cannot find this website,” he said from Calgary.“It would block all access to the Internet.”McAfee’s Robert Siciliano said computer users who have no access on Monday may wrongly assume that their Internet service provider is having problems and flood them with calls.“It will ultimately be a nightmare for customer service,” said Siciliano, who specializes in online security at McAfee, another anti-malware security company.ISPs may have to bring in tech support if they’re inundated with calls, he said.Bell (TSX:BCE) said it has been contacting customers by phone and email for some time about the potential problem.The telecom company also has a webpage (http://www.bell.ca/malware) that explains the problem and directs consumers to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s online diagnosing tool (www.dns-ok.ca). by LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 6, 2012 4:01 pm MDT Malware could block Internet connections for 9,000 Canadian PC’s on Monday AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Protest at valve site disrupts operations on Line 9 pipeline in Sarnia

SARNIA, Ont. – Enbridge Inc.’s Line 9 pipeline was offline for about 90 minutes on Monday morning after three activists concerned about the line’s environmental impacts locked themselves to a valve site on the outskirts of Sarnia, Ont.The line, which runs from southwestern Ontario to Montreal, is back in service and crude deliveries have not been affected, said company spokesman Graham White.Lindsay Gray, speaking on behalf of the trio of “land defenders” who staged the protest, said it was easy to get into the fenced-in valve site.“They had no security whatsoever. Anyone could have done this — anyone,” said Gray, a member of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, by the starting point of the pipelineThe activists sought to manually shut off the pipeline by turning a big blue wheel once they got into the site. White said the company shut off the flow remotely from Enbridge’s control room as a safety precaution shortly after the protest began.The group phoned Enbridge from the scene and company representatives and police arrived shortly thereafter. Gray said the three were then taken into custody.A similar demonstration disrupted Line 9 operations in Quebec two weeks ago.Gray says First Nations along the route were not properly consulted about the project, which she says poses environmental dangers.Line 9 has been in operation for about four decades. It originally flowed from west to east, but then in the late 1990s, its flow was reversed to bring imported oil inland.Enbridge (TSX:ENB) recently finished up a controversial project to restore Line 9 to its original configuration and boost its capacity, enabling it to supply Alberta crude to Suncor Energy’s (TSX:SU) Montreal refinery.“The fact that line 9 is currently in operation really just adds to the urgency for people to act,” protester Stone Stewart said in a statement. “I’m here because the negative impacts of the oil industry are taking place right now, every day.”———Follow @LaurenKrugel on Twitter Protest at valve site disrupts operations on Line 9 pipeline in Sarnia by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 21, 2015 11:42 am MDT Last Updated Dec 21, 2015 at 2:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

UK vehicle production falls 487 in December

% of total86.5%78.0%71.0%61.9%84.9%76.0% -61.6%-8.9%-64.5%-8.1%-62.2%-8.8% Total53,8231,446,6196,290202,89660,1131,649,515 Home7,263318,0331,82577,2859,088395,318 Source:CarsCommercial Vehicles Total vehicles  -44.4%-4.8%-52.4%-4.5%-45.2%-4.8% Export46,5601,128,5864,465125,61151,0251,254,197 -47.5%-5.7%-56.7%-5.9%-48.7%-5.8% SMMT LtdDec-08YTD 2008Dec-08YTD 2008Dec-08YTD 2008 % of total13.5%22.0%29.0%38.1%15.1%24.0%DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Field test Sony SLTA55 digital camera

first_imgSony’s A55 digital camera (along with its little brother, the A33) had a significant impact in 2010. They were lauded for their technology and gave Sony a notable presence in the sub-$1000 camera market, with the A55 at $849 and the A33 at $699 (kit prices). Their release put Sony’s exciting A55, with its translucent mirror technology up, against with the popular, but conventional, Canon T2i and Nikon D90.Sony, being less established in the consumer photography market than Canon or Nikon, made sure to sweeten the A55 with some serious technology. The translucent mirror (SLT) design is a big start, but it also included built-in GPS, 10fps shooting, sweep panorama, and full HD video recording. It packs a Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, shoots in HDR, is small and light thanks to the lack of a moving mirror, the mirror doesn’t need to be cleaned as the effect of dust is minimal, and finally AF works when you are shooting video so your subject stays in focus.AdChoices广告I’ve tested the A55 out for a few weeks and wanted to put down some quick, informal thoughts about my experience.A lot of information is available on the mirror technology if you want to read up on it. Sony’s explanation is short and sweet–“In contrast with conventional DSLR cameras, Translucent Mirror Technology uses a fixed, translucent mirror that ‘splits’ the optical pathway between the main image sensor and a separate phase-detection autofocus sensor”. The translucent mirror cameras have a lot going for them but users should know that they have to use an electronic viewfinder. So if you are looking to stay in touch with your film origins and maintain an old-school SLR feel despite having moved to digital, the Sony Alpha cameras are not for you. They feel decidedly high-tech and the shutter action feels very much like that on a micro 4/3rds camera.Sony’s A55 has about the size and feel of a Canon Digital Rebel, though it manages to be a bit lighter than those. The construction is of similar quality, with lots of plastic and buttons scattered all over the device. There is no top-mounted LCD and there is just a single thumb dial, both of which reinforce the fact the the A55 is a consumer camera.Like Canon’s upcoming T3i and the 60D, the Sony has a fold-out LCD display on the back, which can be made to face the camera’s body in order to protect it. The 3-inch LCD looks great and turns out to be a better way to take your images than the electronic viewfinder, which seems to have some quirks, like odd coloring and a faded look to it. The good news is that the rear display quickly senses when your face is close to the EVF and it turns off as soon as your face gets close. I wasn’t a huge fan of the EVF, but it’s functional and after a while you do get used to it. Because it’s electronic it can display a lot of data, which is cool.Sony’s controls are easy enough to adjust to if you give them time, but the camera does a have a lot of functions. There is your standard mode dial, but Sony isn’t happy with just M/A/S/P/Auto/Scene, there is also:Auto+ (Auto with automatic scene selection, auto HDR, and continuous shooting)Continuous Priority AE (for maximum frames per second capture)Sweep Shooting (sweep panoramas and 3D sweep panos)No Flash (Auto without flash).Within the modes Sony made sure to include extras as well, like a Dynamic Range Optimizer tool (Off / DRO off / HDR Auto for 3-exposure HDR shooting). All told it’s not too much more than today’s other DSLRs but the A55 does come off feeling quite high-tech and, at times, more like a gadget than a photography tool.Shooting with the A55 is generally a very good experience. It handles well and the controls are quick. A second dial would be amazing, but it pulls off one well enough, thanks to recognizable, predictable controls. The camera seems to encourage fiddling, but that becomes a self-control issues so users will have to figure out if they want to play with HDR and sweep panoramas, or just get their shot. There are some quirks–once or twice the camera just didn’t want to to take the shot I wanted and some setting conflict or “helpful” auto feature wouldn’t let the trigger go. This can be frustrating, but learning a bit more about the settings you are running should do the trick.The HDR mode is a lot of fun to use. It doesn’t require a tripod and takes really nice shots in not much more time than it takes for a standard exposure. The results look great and do an incredibly job of capturing scenes with tough lighting. The images can be a bit over the top, but they do really pop if you are looking for some attractive (if not perfectly accurate) shots.The ergonomics are fine. Despite this being a small camera the grip is OK, and Sony did a nice job of molding it to your right hand and adding some softer material to that area. The display articulates, but it does so from the bottom which doesn’t seem ideal compared to the side. Regardless, you can still face it in to protect it, face it down (when the camera is above your head) or left/right. For these last three the lens is just on the bottom of the camera, not off to the left.The LCD is great, much better than looking through the viewfinder, which is a very strange experience for a SLR-type camera. It is a high quality LCD, but the EVF just tends to look faded. That said, this was a minor issue compared to the lens. I used the A55 with the kit lens (Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM DT), which goes for about $200 on its own. This lens is light and versatile, but it’s not well constructed and zooming in and out is jerky. My test unit surely has some miles on it, but it’s just not a great lens. The variable aperture isn’t much fun and f/3.5 isn’t super fast to begin with. Pictures tended to be OK, but they usually lacked the sharpness I was looking for from a camera of this caliber, especially something with such fancy internals.Between the Exmor sensor, excellent auto-focus, and 1080p30 (as well as 1920×1080 60i) capability the A55 should be great at taking video. And for the most part it is. The continuous autofocus works great, the image is very sharp, and colors look quite nice. So, generally speaking, the A55 is great at video. There are some issues that are worth knowing about though. The first is that the lens’ zoom isn’t smooth so any zooming in your videos will can be jerky, but this isn’t the bodies fault.What is an issue with the body is that the sensors overheats after about 10 minutes of use, causing your video to immediately stop and the camera to go into cool down. You’ll be able to take more video shortly after, but don’t expect to take a another long video unless you gave it 5 minutes to cool. This becomes a serious problem if you have to take a lot of video or if you are doing something that requires multiple takes. There is no temperature gauge so there is no warning when the sensor is about to overheat–it just says it’s too hot and stops your video.The A55 doesn’t give much transparency to the camera’s GPS–it just works or doesn’t work. There is a setting to toggle it on/off and an icon that tells you if it’s working or not. That said, the GPS feature is far from the forefront of this camera so it’s not something I spent much time monitoring. There is no built-in functionality for the GPS (tracks, maps, waypoints, etc.). I was excited to test out the GPS after doing some shooting only to learn that the camera told me all the shots I took in NYC and NJ over the course of a weekend were actually taken in San Diego, California… about 3000 miles away. Not only was it wrong, but it told me all the shots were taken in the same spot, so something was clearly not working properly.There are a number of aspects about the Sony A55 that I really like. The camera has great technology, it takes awesome video (with excellent full-time AF while shooting), has built in GPS, ISO 12800, and it has all the perks of a pellicle mirror. It’s not without its problems though: the camera seems like it could use a firmware upgrade (past v1.10), the GPS was wonky, and the sensor overheating made shooting video a pain when it should have been a great experience. I’m still impressed with the A55, and it could be a good choice if you need something that takes excellent (short) videos, but I wouldn’t recommend it over cameras like the T2i/T3i.Sony is definitely on to something here and while the shortcomings have me leaning towards the Canon/Nikon offerings, I am very excited for the follow-ups from Sony’s Alpha series.sony_a55_camera_06sony_a55_camera_06sony_a55_camera_05sony_a55_camera_04sony_a55_camera_03sony_a55_camera_02sony_a55_camera_01DSC00141DSC00134DSC00128DSC00117This loaner unit was provided to us by Sony.last_img read more

Music to the years

Music to the years

first_imgLegends of India Life Achievement Awards are conferred upon living legends who have contributed in taking our art forms to a different platform among the masses in India and abroad. One of India’s most prestigious awards shall be presented on the occasion of 15th Annual Legends of India Sangeet Mahotsav.The Sangeet Mahotsav is dedicated to Swami Vivekananda on the occasion of his 150thBirth anniversary. The music of Swami Vivekananda ‘Dhrupad’ shall be the central theme of the festival. Swami Shantatmananda, Secretary, Ramkrishna Mission, will grace the occasion. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Vivekananda was an exponent of Dhrupad and he also played the tabla, tanpura, khol and pakhawaj. Dhrupad, a genre of Hindustani classical music is said to be the oldest in use in the music tradition. To be held at the Siri Fort Auditorium December 26-27 the live performances of Uday Bhawalkar (Vocal) Bhai Baldeep Singh (Vocal), Gundecha Brothers in jugalbandi with Igino Brunori and Virginia Nicoli (Saxophone and Flute), Ustad Bahauddin Dagar (Rudra  Veena) besides a jugalbandi of flute by Ronu Majumdar and Rajan Sajan Mishra (Vocal).  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis year, the award for music shall be conferred upon the internationally renowned Hindustani classical vocalist, Prabha Atre. The award for theatre shall be conferred upon Ebrahim Alkazi is god’s gift to theatre, synonymous with the stage and all its forms. As the director (1962–77) of the National School of Drama, Alkazi catalyzed its emergence as India’s premier theatre training institute. The award for fine arts shall be conferred upon Himmat Shah who is one of India’s renowned sculptors of terracotta and bronze, exploring materiality as well as texture. The recipients ofthe award are chosen independently by a selection committee comprising of artists, critics and eminent people associated with the arts.last_img read more

Criminals target parents of missing US hiker in Costa Rica

first_imgThe poster of David Gimelfarb that’s offering a $100,000 award for anyone that helps find him. Roma said OIJ agents suspect the call may have been made from inside a prison in Costa Rica. According to a records search by The Tico Times of the phone numbers and email addresses of the perpetrators, the phone’s owner is an 18-year-old man living in Santa Cruz, Guanacaste.Whoever made the calls also threatened a translator hired by the Gimelfarbs. In an attempt to speak with Roma and Luda, the caller reached their translator and demanded access to the Gimelfarbs. The caller then noted the location of the school the translator’s young daughter attends.The sinister calls are only the latest in a long line of reported sightings and tips, all of which have amounted to nothing. A farmer near Rincón de la Vieja reported seeing David, while others reported seeing him at a brothel in Liberia, the provincial capital of Guanacaste. At a gas station in Limón, a family reported taking in a disheveled mute man who matched David’s description. They took the man to a police checkpoint, where he was briefly questioned and released before his identity could be confirmed.On recent trips, someone reported that a homeless man in the central Pacific town of Quepos might be David. Roma soon found the man, and it was not his son.The Gimelfarbs have spent more than $300,000 on the search, according to “The Last Hike of David Gimelfarb,” a long-form story published in Chicago Magazine by writer Dave Seminara. They have hired private investigators, conducted dog searches and prodded their hometown police, the OIJ, the U.S. Embassy in San José, and the FBI. They have even consulted several psychics, but nothing has helped, and in many cases, people offering helped appeared only to take advantage of the Gimelfarbs’ desperation.At the end of August and exhausted from the latest debacle, the Gimelfarbs once again returned to Chicago. “We can do a lot more here than we can do down there,” Roma said.The Gimelfarbs also are looking beyond the case of their son to set up a foundation to assist families who end up in similar situations. Roma said the inspiration came after meeting many other families whose loved ones disappeared while traveling abroad.“[The foundation] is to provide direct help to people to start the search, right away,” Roma said. “It would help them coordinate with the embassy, with qualified people, and with a bunch of others.”In addition to assistance, the Gimelfarbs believe the foundation could help prevent disappearances. They want to create a safety rating system for parks, travel regions and specific tourist attractions. They want hikers to be able to rent devices like GPS systems to help them avoid getting lost.But most of all, they just want to know what happened to David.The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica encourages U.S. citizens traveling here to enroll in its Smart Traveler Program, which registers your trip with the embassy (in case the embassy needs to issue an emergency statement). Read more about the program here. Also, the embassy offers Country Background Sheets with information on traveling in Costa Rica: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1093.html Facebook Comments A Chicago couple’s latest attempt to find their missing son in Costa Rica instead turned up a caller demanding a $250,000 ransom – a disturbing but thus far unhelpful new chapter in the four-year search.Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) has been investigating the disappearance of David Gimelfarb, who would be 32, since he went missing on Aug. 11, 2009, the day he was seen entering Rincón de la Vieja National Park in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.His rental car was found at the park entrance, his belongings at a nearby hotel. Despite a widespread and longstanding search involving the Costa Rican Red Cross, U.S. military helicopters, and even a U.S. congressman, no solid evidence of David’s whereabouts has emerged.Although OIJ spokesman Marco Monge told The Tico Times the agency has not received recordings of the extortion attempts – made by the Gimelfarbs during several phone conversations with the alleged perpetrators – and therefore has not opened an official investigation, the Gimelfarbs, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica and a Chicago-area police spokesman all told The Tico Times they have been in contact with the OIJ about an ongoing investigation into the extortion attempt.It is unclear why the OIJ spokesman repeatedly has contradicted information from several other sources regarding the latest series of events in the David Gimelfarb case.The fiasco began on Roma and Luda Gimelfarb’s yearly trip to Costa Rica – a ritual they conduct on the anniversary of their son’s disappearance. This year’s trip spanned 1,370 kilometers (850 miles) across Costa Rica, beginning at San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport. The couple traveled to the site of David’s disappearance in Rincón de la Vieja, and then they trekked down the Pacific coast to Quepos, Dominical and eventually the Panamanian border. They returned to San José, before journeying to the Caribbean side, visiting Limón and then the Panamanian border.On this trip and those that came before, the Gimelfarbs pursued every lead that surfaced, and there have been several since 2011, when they began offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to David’s location.In late August, just before the couple was preparing to return to Chicago, Roma received a call from a Costa Rican cellphone. The caller said he was in touch with people who had abducted David. “They can send you a picture of your son, you know, with the newspaper,” the caller said. “You know, with today’s newspaper.”Soon after, the Gimelfarbs received by email a dark photo of a man holding the current edition of the daily Costa Rican newspaper La Teja. According to Roma’s description of the photo, the pictured man was lying on a bed and was wearing a long-sleeve shirt. He had dark hair – darker than David’s – and a slight amount of facial hair. Roma said it was impossible to know if it was his son.The caller said he wanted $100,000 up front and $150,000 at a later date for David’s return. He said heavily armed men were holding David on a farm north of the capital, and Roma and Luda should come alone, without the cops. They said David had become involved with drug traffickers and stolen drugs. The kidnapping, they said, was payback.“Because it [the photo] was so dark, my first reaction was, ‘I don’t think that’s my son.’ But later I thought that could be him,” Luda told The Tico Times.Roma said his reaction was different. “I looked and thought it could be David,” Roma said. “He looked drugged. My feeling was it could possibly be him.”Since posting the $100,000 reward, the Gimelfarbs have received several calls from people claiming to have information about David. When asked for proof, though, the callers are never able to provide it. The incident last August was the first time anyone followed a call with apparent photographic evidence.The Gimelfarbs said they provided the recorded phone calls to the OIJ while in Costa Rica, as well as to police in their hometown near Chicago, in the United States. According to Roma, OIJ investigators are developing a suspect list, based on the photo and on names obtained from cellphone and email records.A Tico Times reporter and editor also listened to the recordings in late August.center_img No related posts.last_img read more

China says Golden Triangle source of most dangerous drugs

first_imgBEIJING (AP) — Southeast Asia’s lawless ‘Golden Triangle’ region remains the overwhelming source of the heroin and methamphetamine sold in China, the country’s Cabinet said in a report issued Wednesday.The report said 90 percent of the 9.3 tons of heroin and 11.4 tons of methamphetamine seized in 2014 was produced in the region that incorporates parts of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand and borders China’s southern province of Yunnan. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall By contrast, heroin from the Golden Crescent region that includes Afghanistan, the world’s biggest opium producer, accounted for less than 2 percent of the drug seized in China, it said.“From an overseas perspective, the Golden Triangle continues to be for China the most dangerous drug-producing region,” said the report, the government’s first comprehensive look at drug use in China.The report underscores the persistence of the regional threat, despite China’s efforts to boost cross-border cooperation to crack down on the rebel armies and criminal gangs that run the drug trade in the mountainous area along the Mekong River.China began running joint river patrols with Thailand, Laos and Myanmar following an attack on two Chinese cargo boats on the Mekong in 2011 that resulted in the massacre of their 13 crew members.The Cabinet report said synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and ketamine have overtaken heroin in popularity in China. The country largely eliminated opium use after the 1949 communist takeover of power but saw drug abuse come roaring back in the 1980s after social controls were relaxed.China currently has about 3 million registered drug users, it said, adding that estimates of those who have tried drugs run as high as 14 million amid a population of 1.4 billion. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Patients with chronic pain give advice How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Drug users are getting younger, come from more diverse backgrounds and are experimenting with a wider range of substances, including cocaine from South America, the report said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Amadeus launches new data intelligence tool for airlines

Amadeus launches new data intelligence tool for airlines

first_imgAmadeus launches new data intelligence tool for airlinesIn a competitive marketplace, it’s essential that airlines can benchmark their own performance against the comparable market and get an executive display of market data to make strategic decisions – quickly. When understood correctly, data is a powerful asset that helps airlines make faster, well-informed choices about their business. If airlines can compare market position and performance on a daily basis, understand which channels and locations sales are coming from, and compare past versus current performance, the benefits are clear.Amadeus’ new data intelligence tool Booking Analytics, which launches today, has been developed to help airlines achieve this competitive advantage – it benefits from the very latest in big data technologies, and allows airlines to extract new opportunities for growth from existing Market Information Data Tapes (MIDT) data from over 600 airlines.Whether a senior executive or a business analyst, users can visually monitor bookings – per route, per airline, per booking class, per agency point of sale, among other criteria, and act upon them. It also enables airlines to better manage inventory by adjusting their booking class offering, allows carriers to monitor passenger volumes right down to an Origin and Destination (O&D)* level and offers visibility to point of sale level where available. Booking Analytics can also inform decisions on network planning, such as the opening of new routes, schedule changes, and codeshare alliances.Pascal Clement, Head of Travel Intelligence, Amadeus, said: ¨Booking Analytics puts vital information about an airline’s performance against the market in the hands of decision-makers, on demand. Senior executives will be kept up-to-date, even on the move, with insights on key market metrics for their airline. This information is displayed on a user-friendly, customisable dashboard via an Amadeus-hosted web portal application, which is accessible from anywhere. It can be viewed easily on tablet devices, with all key metrics available at a glance. Put very simply – this will allow executives to make strategic decisions, such as adapting pricing and marketing strategies, quickly and effectively.”Mr. Jack Li, Director, International business division, Hainan Airlines explained: “Understanding our business’s performance in the context of the wider marketplace is essential as we develop and refine our business strategies. Amadeus Booking Analytics allows us to understand exactly where our bookings are coming from, both in terms of O&Ds and points of sale, and how this compares to others in the industry. Armed with this information, we can make strategic decisions more effectively to maintain our competitive edge.”Business analysts will not only benefit from the predefined dashboards, they’ll also be able to fully customise their display with an intuitive drag and drop capability, whilst being able to filter the information based on any criteria of their choice. The Booking Reports Composer module as part of Booking Analytics allows analysts to access and add any of the MIDT fields to their reporting requirements. They also have the added benefit of being able to save, export and share their reports internally with peers at the click of a button.Booking Analytics is a new solution within the Amadeus Airline Market Insight suite, which enables airlines to better understand broader market dynamics, gain industry intelligence and therefore be more competitive. The Airline Market Insight suite includes MIDT data, Global Booking Processing, Booking Analytics, Traffic Analytics, Schedule Analytics and Search Analytics. Each solution in the suite is designed so that it can be adapted to each airline business and technical context.Source = Amadeuslast_img read more

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first_img – / 25 I find that I keep going back to a comment Cardinals Play-by-Play man Dave Pasch said on the pregame show before the Hall of Fame game vs. the Saints. It’s not a direct quote so apologies to Dave if I botch it, but I liked it so much I tweeted it out that afternoon:I want to see something out of Kolb and Skelton to make me feel better about both. Four preseason games and I’m still waiting. I’m starting to suspect I’ll write the same thing after four regular season games. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ But let’s be honest. He could have done so much more Thursday night. Enter Kevin Kolb, who had to know that as the new underdog in this competition he had a chance to win back the hearts and minds of the coaches, players and fans. Here it is, an hour (as I’m writing this) later, and I’m still not sure what to make of Kolb’s night that included:• 17-for-22, 156 yards, and a QB rating of 73.3• Two of the worst interceptions a QB fighting for his job could throw, sandwiched around….• A touchdown drive that went 86 yards and included a 53-yard bomb to Larry Fitzgerald• Authoring a three and out to start his night that one NFL writer coined “one of the worst possessions ever”I suspect a lot of stock is going to be put in that top line. A pitcher who gives up a pair of two-run homers can say, well, I only threw two bad pitches all night. Similarly, Kolb and the coaches can say that overall it was a good night for him; he just threw two really awful picks. And since we all know the tie goes to Kolb due to the salary and all they gave up to get him, my guess is he has now pulled back in front. None of which is actually designed to make you feel better. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaycenter_img The Cardinals quarterback competition is like getting lost in the woods. We’ve come all this way only to find we’ve been walking in a giant circle.John Skelton (not Jonathon Trent Dilfer) was the night’s biggest letdown. He completed 4-of-10 passes for 41 yards, tossed a pick on an overthrow and has a QB rating of 12.9. The drops were an issue (Heap, Floyd). His protection was a major issue (DJ Jazzy Jeff would have been more effective than DJ Young). It would be easy for me to rationalize Skelton’s performance as not his fault since I had already (in my mind anyway) given him the starter’s job. Maybe we’d look at his night differently if those balls were caught or a switch at left tackle happened sooner. Top Stories Comments   Share   Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocationlast_img read more